CPSC Grants Exception to Lead Content Limit Rule Under CPSIA
Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has granted an exception to the 100 parts per million (ppm) lead content limit rule under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) The exception is for certain aluminum alloy components of children’s die-cast, ride-on pedal tractors, and similar component parts made of aluminum alloy on similar ride-on children’s products for kids ages 3 and older. As of April 5, these aluminum alloy components must continue to meet the 300 ppm lead standard previously in place.
“This was a noteworthy decision from the CPSC,” says Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs for the Toy Industry Association (TIA). “Based on the decision reached in response to this petition, it is reasonable to assume that the CPSC may be willing to favorably consider petitions for exemption for other products, materials, and components where the 100 ppm lead level cannot readily be met for technical or other reasons, the product is intended for children over the age of 3 years, and the items at issue are unlikely to be mouthed or otherwise are unlikely to contribute to a measureable increase in blood lead level.”
Jazwares Named Master Toy Licensee for Yo Gabba Gabba!
Wildbrain Entertainment has tapped Jazwares to expand the Yo Gabba Gabba! toy line, serving as the master toy licensee. Jazwares, which joins a robust Yo Gabba Gabba! consumer products program featuring more than 40 licensees in the U.S., will manufacture, market, and distribute a line of preschool toys based on the television series. The company’s line will include a broad range of categories, including figures and accessories, plush, play sets, vehicles, and musical toys. Products will be available at mass and online retailers nationwide by next spring.
Crayola Teams Up with Mattel for Branded Products
Mattel, Inc. and Crayola have joined forces in a global partnership what will bring the Barbie and Hot Wheels properties to life with Crayola colors. The companies have launched two new Crayola-branded Barbie- and Hot Wheels-themed product lines. The products include branded Mess Free Color Wonder art activities, featuring markers and paints that only appear on Color Wonder paper, and Giant Coloring Pages, both of which are in stores now. A third branded product, the Crayola ColorStudio HD and iMarker, will launch later this year. Global distribution of Crayola’s Mattel licensed items will include the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico, Latin America, Asia, and Australia.
Chicago Toy and Game Fair Moves to Bigger Space
The Chicago Toy and Game Group has signed a contract with Navy Pier to host the 10th Annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair, which will be held November 17-18. As the nation’s largest public toy and game fair, this year’s exhibition is expected to draw more than 25,000 visitors. The increased space at Navy Pier will allow for more visitors, exhibitors, and play. Exhibitors can now register online at www.chitag.com for this year’s event.
Hasbro Studios Signs Deal with Netflix to Provide Content in the U.S.
Hasbro Studios has announced a multiyear deal with Netflix, Inc. The deal will make Hasbro franchises available on Netflix instant stream. Currently, Netflix account holders can watch Transformers Prime, My Little Pony, Pound Puppies, G.I. Joe: Renegades, and The Adventures of Chuck & Friends on the site’s “Just for Kids” section. Series available later this year includeJEM & The Holograms, Transformers: Generation 1, G.I. Joe: Real American Heroes, Transformers: Beast Wars, and Transformers: Rescue Bots.
Target and Disney Host National Princess Week
Target and Disney have teamed up for the first-ever National Princess Week, celebrating the magic and mystique of royalty. From April 22-28, Target will showcase Disney-inspired merchandise, including Blu-ray DVDs, books, toys, bedroom décor, and games.
In addition, Target will also unveil the 10th anniversary release of The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, starring Anne Hathaway and host of Princess Week, Julie Andrews. In addition to Andrews’ movies, shoppers will also find The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl, the newest addition to Andrews’ Very Fairy Princess series.
Activision Debuts Skylanders App for iOS Devices
Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., is expanding the reach of its Skylanders franchise with the debut of Skylanders Cloud Patrol, an app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Skylanders Cloud Patrol is set in a new region of Skylands that has been overrun by the evil minions of Portal Master, Kaos. With all 30-plus Skylanders available to unlock, the game lets players take command of a sky-ship and use their favorite Skylander to dispatch the bad guys. Fans can also unlock Skylanders and Magic Items in the app by using the code bundled with each Skylander action figure. Additionally, new Portal Masters may earn or purchase in-game currency to build their virtual mobile Skylanders collection, Magic Items, and more.
Ape Entertainment Enters Licensing Agreement with Sesame Workshop
Ape Entertainment has partnered with Sesame Workshop to produce a comic book series featuring the cast of Sesame Street that emphasizes education while entertaining young readers. The books will be available this fall in standard comic-sized printed editions for $3.99, and digest-sized hardcover comic book editions for $7.99. A digital comic book will be available through Apple’s App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
Hasbro to Reduce Product Packaging Materials in New Intitiative
Hasbro, Inc. plans to reduce materials used in product packaging for many of its global brands. The company’s new initiative will result in an approximate 15 percent improvement in the average product-to-package ratio of brands and products included in the initiative, to be available at retail this year.
Over the next two years, a broader range of packaging efficiencies will be put into place, including redesigned disposable boxes and blister packs that use less material. Packaging that serves the dual purpose of long-term storage, such as game boxes, are not included in the initiative.
TCG Partners with Funtastic for Australian Distribution
In an exclusive arrangement, TCG (formerly The Canadian Group) is partnering with Funtastic Limited to launch the Roxx brand in Australia. The brand targets tween boys with tradable, playable, head-to-head competitive games. In addition to in-person play, Roxx expands its play to online and mobile apps. Roxx and related accessories, for kids ages 7 years and up, will hit Australian retail shelves in September.
Simon Spotlight and CBS to Release Children’s Book Series, Club CSI
Simon Spotlight, of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, will publish the first two books in its new Club CSI series this month. Based on the CBS television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the middle-school series of chapter books by Dave Lewman features a crew of junior high school investigators inspired by their forensic science class to form a “Club CSI” to solve crimes and capers at school.
The first books, Case of the Mystery Meat Loaf and Case of the Missing Moola, will be released simultaneously in hardcover and paperback. Lewman has also penned additional titles for release later this year. The Club CSI series is licensed through an agreement with CBS Consumer Products.