January 07, 2011


Nintendo 3DS Not Made for Kids Under Age Six, Says Company

Nintendo 3DSAccording to In-Game, a blog on msnbc.com, Nintendo has issued a warning to parents telling them that kids under the age of 6 should not play 3-D games on its soon-to-be-released Nintendo 3DS.
The warning, translated by Kotaku.com, reports that 3-D viewing causes quicker eye fatigue than standard screen viewing, and children under 6 are still developing their eye muscles. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime told Kotaku.com, “We will recommend that very young children not look at 3-D images. That’s because, [in] young children, the muscles for the eyes are not fully formed.”
In-Game reports that Sony issued a similar warning about playing 3-D games on the PlayStation 3 console, saying that parents should “consult your doctor before allowing young children to watch 3-D video images or play stereoscopic 3-D games.”
The Nintendo 3DS is expected to launch in Japan on February 26 and then in North America and beyond in March. The 3DS will feature a slider that lets players adjust the amount of 3-D effect they see. Nintendo said the console will include parental controls that can turn the 3-D effect off. The 3DS will premiere to the Japanese public at next week’s Nintendo World event

PlayCore Acquires Two Companies

According to Plastics News, toy company PlayCore Holdings, Inc. has purchased Big Toys, Inc. and Spectrum Products, LLC. Big Toys is based in Olympia, Wash. and makes commercial playground equipment from sustainable harvested wood or recycled steel and plastic. Spectrum Products, based in Missoula, Mont., makes products used in construction, among other things. Both plants will remain open. Former Big Toys owner Tim Madeley will serve as the company’s general manager. PlayCore is owned by New York-based private equity firm Irving Place Capital, Inc.

The Middleton Doll Company Changes Name

Middleton DollThe board of directors of The Middleton Doll Company held its Annual Meeting of the Shareholders on December 22. Three proposals were voted on and approved by the shareholders. The shareholders elected seven directors; authorized a change in the name of the company to “FirsTime Design Limited”; and authorized the board to move forward to effect the proposed stock recapitalization plan.
The company will proceed to effect the name change and the stock recapitalization plan as soon as possible. The Middleton Doll Company, through its subsidiary License Products, Inc., does business as FirsTime Manufactory, a designer and marketer of clocks and home décor products that are sold to major national retailers.


FAO Sets up eBay Store

eBayAccording to Auction Bytes, FAO Schwarz set up an eBay store in 2010 and received more than 300 feedback ratings in December. As of press time, the store had a 99.2 percent positive feedback rating. The FAO Schwarz eBay store joins other brands such as Timberland, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, and Aldo, which also sell directly on eBay. The FAO eBay store, found at stores.ebay.com/fao, is powered by ChannelAdvisor, TrueAction (GSI Commerce), and Frooition, reports Auction Bytes.

UK to Ask Toy Makers to Sign Agreement Pledging Waste Reduction

According to The Telegraph, UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will ask makers of toys and other household products next month to sign a voluntary agreement committing them to slash the amount of packaging they use for their products. Supermarkets and other food retailers have already signed the voluntary agreement.
The newspaper reports that Britain generates around 29 million tons of household waste. About six million tons were classified as packaging and 30 percent comes from toys, mobile phones, televisions, computers, and other appliances.
UK ministers want to cut the amount of packaging waste to hit European Union-imposed recycling targets. The official announcement next month will come when Britain’s government announces the results of its waste review. Ministers are aiming to cut waste by 4 percent over a four-year period.

Scribble Mats Redesigns and Relocates

Scribble MatsScribble Mats has redesigned its line and has relocated to a bigger space for the new year. The company has moved to a 200,000-square-foot facility in Bristol, Penn.
In February, Scribble Mat’s sister company, Scribble Town, will launch two new websites, wescribble.com and scribbleshop.com. Wescribble.com will offer crafts, activities, and coloring sheets available for free download. Scribbleshop.com will launch as an online shopping website where visitors can find art and craft supplies, including books, kits, and more.



Mookie Toys Signs Three-Year Toy Licensing Deal for The Jungle Book

The Jungle BookUK-based Mookie Toys, Ltd. has signed an exclusive toy licensing deal with DQ Entertainment PLC for DQE’s 3-D animated series, The Jungle Book. The deal will last for a three-year period and will cover outdoor play and balls. According to StockMarketWire.com, toy merchandise will include wheeled bicycles, tri-scooters, tricycles, balance bikes, sit ’n rides, play balls, outdoor activity centers, slides, and more.
Mookie acquired the licensing rights for the UK, Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands through DQE's licensing agent, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG).

New “Touch & Tilt” Line of iPad Book Apps by Scholastic Is Released

Scholastic Media has introduced its “Touch & Tilt” line of iPad book applications, available for purchase at the iTunes App Store. The interactive storybook applications include I Love You Through and Through, based on Scholastic’s book by Bernadette Rosetti-Shustak and illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church; The Magic School Bus: Oceans, based on the Scholastic book The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen; and Go, Clifford, Go!, based on the Scholastic book series by Norman Bridwell. Each application allows kids to read and play independently on the iPad and also brings the book to life. For more information, visit www.scholastic.com/apps/.

Moxie & Company’s Licensing News

Moxie & Company has new properties available for licensing, including Word Roundup Bingo in the categories interactive and electronic games, board games, and promotions; and GIANTmicrobes in the categories promotional tie-ins and health/personal care products.
Moxie & Company has also granted several licenses recently, including Nancy Drew to Her Interactive for “Mobile Mystery” game apps for the iPad; Funbrain to KiwiTech USA for educational game apps for iPad; Funbrain to StickerYou for online and retail personalized stickers; Alphabet Animals to Odyssey Books for Quilt-and-book story time sets; Ziggy to StickerYou for online and retail personalized stickers; and more.

Madame Alexander

Atari Promotes Former Board Director to CEO

Jim Wilson, former director of the board at Atari S.A., has been promoted to CEO as Jeff Lapin steps down. Just a few months ago, Wilson was appointed to the director position. According to Atari, Wilson “assumes this expanded role as part of the next phase of Atari’s repositioning, orchestrated by Lapin, Wilson, and the Atari board.” Wilson joined Atari in 2008 as CEO of U.S. subsidiary Atari, Inc.

Sesame Workshop Promotes Legal Department Veteran to Chief of Staff

Sesame Workshop has promoted Myung Kang-Huneke to chief of staff. In this role, Kang-Huneke will join Sesame Workshop’s President and CEO Gary E. Knell and COO H. Melvin Ming in the Office of the President. In addition to overseeing legal and business affairs and public policy, Kang-Huneke will now supervise Sesame Workshop’s Corporate Partnerships and Development groups, as well as drive horizontal decision making on projects. Kang-Huneke will continue to serve as general counsel and secretary to Sesame Workshop’s board of trustees.
Kang-Huneke joined Sesame Workshop’s legal department 12 years ago. Most recently, she served as executive vice president and general counsel, where she developed Sesame Workshop’s Product Safety Assurance Program.

Franz Carl Weber Reports Best Year in 130-Year History

According to World Radio Switzerland (WRS), Swiss toy retailer Franz Carl Weber said 2010 was the best year in the company’s 130-year history. November and December generated “40 percent of total annual turnover,” WRS reported. Franz Carl Weber says it might open new stores in Switzerland and abroad because of the success.
Franz Carl Weber, one of the world’s oldest toy retailers, has a dozen stores across the country.

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