June 28, 2012

 Top Trumps

ABC Kids Expo

Disney Store to Release Dolls, Apparel Inspired by Villains

The Disney Store has revealed its exclusive Disney Villains Designer Collection, set to arrive in stores and at DisneyStore.com this fall. Centered around a series of six limited edition villain dolls, limited to 13,000 each, the collection also includes apparel, beauty products, home items, and stationery.
Disney Villains Designer Collection products are inspired by the villains Cruella DeVil (101 Dalmatians), Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Mother Gothel (Tangled), Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), and the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland). Disney Store designers re-imagined the villains from these movies to create the line of dolls, styled in couture fashions.
Apparel and accessories will launch exclusively at DisneyStore.com in August. The entire Disney Villains Designer Collection will launch in select Disney Store locations nationwide and online in September. A limited quantity of the complete set of dolls will be available online, and then individual dolls will be released during a six week period beginning in September.

Kahn Lucas Acquires Madame Alexander Doll Brands

Madame AlexanderKahn Lucas Lancaster, Inc., acquired all intellectual property and select assets of Alexander Doll Company, Inc., makers of the Madame Alexander play and collectible dolls. Kahn Lucas had been a long time licensing partner with Alexander Doll under Kahn Lucas’ Dollie & Me brand of matching girl and doll apparel and related fashion accessories.

Nerf Presents New N-Strike Elite Line

N-StrikeThis year, Nerf will take the N-Strike line’s technology to the next level with three new N-Strike Elite products.
The Hail-Fire Blaster has a clip carousel with the capacity for up to 144 darts and shoots a stream of N darts up to 75 feet. The Rampage Blaster’s 25-dart drum allows users to choose between fast-paced slam-fire and deliberate single shot mode. The Retaliator Blaster incorporates a removable stock, barrel, and drop-down handle enabling several configurations, creating the necessary blaster for each mission. The N-Strike Elite darts will be fully compatible with most N-Strike classic and N-Strike Elite blasters. All products are for ages 8 and up.

Disney’s Brave Video Game Now Available, Princess Game to Come

BraveBrave: The Video Game, inspired by the Disney/Pixar movie Brave, is available for PlayStation3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, and Windows PC/Mac. The game is a third-person action-adventure where players can challenge destiny and change their fate as Merida, voiced by the film’s actress Kelly Macdonald. Brave: The Video Game offers a variety of gameplay options, including single-player as Merida, co-op mode with a will-o’-the-wisp, and a special Bear mode. With Kinect for Xbox 360 and PlayStationMove motion controller for PS3, gamers will feel like they are using a bow and arrow to compete in archery.
Disney Interactive will release Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure in September. The game will be available for Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Windows PC/Mac. In the game, players discover that a spell has been cast over the princess worlds, and they will need to use their magic wand to help Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Belle, and Tiana restore peace and bring “happily ever after” back to each kingdom. Players act as the Fairy Godmother’s apprentice, and each Princess world allows players to explore and interact with familiar Disney characters who guide them through missions.

Sesame Street Introduces Multi-Lingual Apps for Windows, Nokia Phones

GroverSesame Workshop has released the Grover’s Number Special app and the Bert’s Bag app for Windows and Nokia Symbian^3 Phones. Beginning this month domestic and international Windows and Nokia mobile users can download the new apps from the Microsoft Marketplace for Windows phones, and the Nokia Store for Nokia Symbian^3 phones. In the U.S., both apps will be available in Spanish and English for Windows users, and in English for Nokia Symbian^3 users.
Grover’s Number Special and Bert’s Bag each include original Sesame Street video content and encourage visual discrimination, counting, and number recognition, with a choice of English, and one of five different local languages including Mandarin, Hindi, Spanish, Dutch, and German. The apps will be available in more than 40 countries.


Mattel Dedicates Design Center to Company Founders

MattelMattel, Inc., has renamed and dedicated its design center the Handler Team Center in honor of founders Ruth and Elliot Handler.
Among the Handlers’ contributions to the toy industry are Barbie, the first doll on the market that wasn’t a baby doll, but rather a teenage fashion model, creating a new play experience for girls; Hot Wheels, one of the first toy cars with wheels that actually moved on a track; and Chatty Cathy, the first talking doll.
The newly renamed Handler Team Center, one of five buildings on the Mattel campus in El Segundo, is home to more than 650 employees and the Barbie, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Monster High, Polly Pocket, Little Mommy, and Max Steel brands, as well as an array of entertainment-inspired toy lines.


Gaming Apps Most Popular Among Kids

Kids have an average of 12 apps on their mobile devices—or devices to which they have access—and 88 percent of them are acquired for free, according to a new report by NPD Group. Kids and Apps: A New Era of Play also shows that children use mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, or the iPod touch approximately five days a week, with an average session lasting less than one hour.
Gaming is, by far, the most popular type of app used by children, according to the report. The devices children use hold an average of 6.5 gaming applications. In terms of popularity, gaming is followed by listening to or downloading music and taking pictures.
Boys are significantly more likely to be game players than girls (87 percent versus 80 percent), while girls are more diversified in the apps they use. Girls are also likely to have a wider variety of apps than boys.

Toys “R” Us to Introduce Revamped Rewards Program

Toys “R” Us will launch an all-new integrated, point-based loyalty-member system that delivers streamlined benefits for members, as well as new and existing “R” Us credit card holders.
Rewards “R” Us members will have unlimited access to expanded loyalty benefits when shopping at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com. Toys “R” Us is also launching its new credit card program, including an “R” Us-branded credit card and a MasterCard co-branded card, issued by GE Capital Retail Bank, connecting cardholders with the perks of Rewards “R” Us and more.
The new Rewards “R” Us benefits begin on July 1. Beginning July 10, new and existing “R” Us credit card holders will be automatically enrolled in Rewards “R” Us.

PlayWow Partners with Goliath Games For U.S. Debut

PlayWow, a new line of inflatable infant, toddler, and preschool products, signed Goliath Games to manage the U.S. distribution of its products. The line, which helps foster physical, cognitive, and developmental skills, was created by toy industry veteran Michael Greenberg, who launched the product line internationally last year. 
PlayWow will roll out more than 50 distinctive products designed specifically for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with key products including musical toys, ride-ons, bath toys, and ball pits. All PlayWow inflatable toys are designed to be soft, comfortable, safe, and easily transported.
PlayWow will also launch its Made with Love Foundation, which is dedicated to working with local and national charities to provide underserved children around the globe with toys.

Irene Weibel Appointed as Vice President, Head of Nelvana Studio

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana appointed production and development executive Irene Weibel to the role of vice president, head of Nelvana Studio, effective immediately.
Weibel will have overall responsibility for the development and production of all original productions from Nelvana. She will oversee the studio’s creative direction and lead coordination of the development, series production, distribution, and consumer products groups to launch new brands in the marketplace.
Weibel formerly held the position of vice president, international production and development for Nelvana. She will be based in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Olympic and Jubilee Souvenirs Could Boost UK Toy Market 4 Percent

Experts at NPD Group project that if consumers spend just 2 percent of the £1 billion expected to be spent on souvenirs and mementos of the UK-hosted Summer Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on toys, the two big events could deliver a 4 percent boost to the toy market between May and August.
The events could serve as a needed shot-in-the-arm for the UK toy industry. The latest market data from NPD Group shows that the value of the UK retail toy market dropped by 1 percent last year—from £457 million to £451 million.
Notable toys include the London 2012 Olympics Monopoly board game from Hasbro and Hornby’s Team GB Velodrome cycling toy. Corgi is offering consumers a slice of nostalgia, with a 1:64 scale die-cast model of London’s iconic red Routemaster bus and a whole array of London taxi replicas. In the plush category, London 2012 Olympic Games mascots Mandeville and Wenlock, from manufacturers Golden Bear, are retailing in a twin pack, in addition to the Union Jack Wenlock and Pride the Lion soft toys.

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