New WowWee Line Partners with Disney XD and More
Recently launched by WowWee, Paper Jamz has teamed with Disney XD this month to sponsor the network’s Next X series. The month-long sponsorship includes co-branded commercials, billboards, and, later this month, the two will partner for a new episode of XD’s I’m in the Band.
Additionally, Paper Jamz is sponsoring the American Idol Live Tour this year, in partnership with Clear Channel and the Creative Arts Agency (CAA), and will embark on a Simon mall tour, visiting 20 city malls across the country.
Paper Jamz allows kids to become an instant rockstar with the line of toy guitars, drums, and amplifiers. The instruments are made with “Active Graphics Technology,” which allows the paper strumming surface to be embedded with circuits, and there is no need to plug them into a computer or television. Each product includes three licensed songs and four modes of play. Series 2 of Paper Jamz and additional instruments will launch next year.
Commonwealth Toy Signs on for Luv Me Buddies
London-based Lavish Rights has signed Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Company as plush licensee. The deal was brokered through Jewel Branding and Licensing. Commonwealth will produce a range of Luv Me Buddies plush toys and pillows for distribution across the U.S., Europe, South America, and Australia. The product range is expected to hit retail starting in spring 2011. Lavish is now looking for stationery and gifting partners.
Luv Me Buddies is a sentiment-driven property featuring animal characters with heart-shaped heads and bodies. The brand will consist of more than 30 characters.
Report: 82 Percent of Singapore Toys Fail Safety Standards
According to Channel NewsAsia, 82 percent of toys in Singapore failed safety tests conducted by Insight Laboratories. The organization’s testing involved chemicals, as well as physical testing and labeling, and toys have to pass all three tests to be deemed safe for the public. Toy testing in Singapore, stated Insight Laboratories, follows the same standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Bradford Licensing Signs on for Katz Fun
Bright Ideas Design Co., Ltd., a creative production team, has picked Bradford Licensing, LLC, as its licensing partner to bring Katz Fun merchandise to the U.S. Katz Fun is an animated children’s series about friendship, teamwork, and confidence. In the series, the group of six characters, Katz Fun, unite together to protect the tiger Katz from the evil Dark Messenger, whose goal is to “undermine the good intentions of Katz and disturb the tranquility of the Bent Boo Village.”
Potential licensing categories for the series include digital games, home entertainment and DVD, toys, apparel, accessories, and publishing. Katz Fun’s target audience is children ages 6 to 9, and the show aims to give children a multicultural experience, as well as encourage creativity and education.
Report: 56.8 Million Americans Have Played a Social Networking Game
According to a new report by The NPD Group, Social Network Gaming, approximately 20 percent of Americans ages 6 and older, or 56.8 million U.S. consumers, have played a game on a social network within the past three months. In terms of kids’ activities, according to the report, 23 percent of children ages 6 to 12 reported that they have played a game on a social network within the past three months.
The report also states that 35 percent of social network gamers are new to gaming and have never played any other type of gaming before playing on social networks. According to the report, gamers are nearly evenly divided between genders: 47 percent are male and 53 percent are female.
Social Network Gaming also reports that 10 percent of social network gamers have spent real money during social networking gameplay, although the games are free to play, and 11 percent of those surveyed are likely to make future purchases. Gamers surveyed also report spending 20 percent less on gaming overall since they started playing social network games.
TRU Releases 2010 Guide for Differently-Abled Kids
Toys "R" Us, Inc. has released the 2010 edition of the Toys "R" Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. Released annually, the guide helps parents of children with special needs select toys that help develop skills.
The toys featured in the guide are assessed by the National Lekotek Center. The association assesses the value of hundreds of toys and at least two skill-building traits are assigned to each toy that appears in the guide. The skills include auditory, creativity, fine motor, gross motor, language, self-esteem, social, tactile, thinking, and visual.
Additionally, the guide includes “Top Ten Tips for Buying Toys” from the National Lekotek Center and “Safe Play Tips for Children with Special Needs.”
The guide, in English and Spanish, is available in Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled.
Movie Car Designer Signs Deal with Johnny Lightning
Hollywood movie car designer and TV host Fireball Tim has secured a deal with die-cast manufacturer Johnny Lightning for a new die-cast car. The car, “Bad Mood,” is a 1976 black and red spider-themed Corvette that will premiere later this month.
Fireball Tim’s movie car build house, Cinema Vehicles (a partnership), will debut cars in four upcoming action films this year. Additionally, Fireball has a top-secret project for Autotrader Classics and has created design projects with Dragtracks Race Systems.
Iron Man Duo to Write Script for TMNT Movie
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone) have signed on to write the script for the new feature film for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The film is being produced by Platinum Dunes for Paramount. The studio hopes to pick a director and be in production next year, according to THR.
Bandai America Sponsors Second Power Rangers Convention
From August 27-29, the Pasadena Convention Center will morph into Ranger Central for the second annual Power Rangers Convention, “Power Morphicon.” More than 1,000 visitors and 20 specialty vendors are expected to attend the convention. The event will also feature panels, guest appearances, autograph signings, a silent auction, a costume contest, and the Power Quest Trivia Game.
Bandai America, Power Rangers’ master toy licensee, is serving as the premier sponsor and will host a booth in the Dealers Room, allowing fans to meet and take photos with two of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers characters on Saturday. Other vendors will include CS Toys International, RedStarRobot, and AnimeBooks.com, among others. For more information, visit www.officialpowermorphicon.com.
Babies “R” Us Premieres New Home Safety Microsite, Mamas & Papas Line
Babies "R" Us has launched a new micro site dedicated to informing parents about home safety as a part of the company’s expanded partnership with the Home Safety Council, a national nonprofit organization that raises awareness about accidental infant and child injury and is dedicated to preventing home-related injuries.
The new micro site, Babiesrus.com/HomeSafety, offers tips on how to keep kids safe, and includes a new parent home safety quiz, an interactive nursery safety game, room-by-room baby-proofing tips, and an outline of seven safety product categories that parents should consider when they prepare for a baby’s arrival. After browsing the sections, parents can add safety items to their Babiesrus.com shopping cart or print out safety product information as a checklist when shopping in-store.
In other news, Babies “R” Us has debuted a special assortment of Mamas & Papas products at select stores nationwide. The assortment marks the line’s debut in the U.S. An expanded selection of Mamas & Papas products will also be available at Toys “R” Us Times Square, Babies “R” Us Union Square, and FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue in New York City, as well as at Babiesrus.com/MamasandPapas. The exclusive Babies “R” Us collection includes strollers, lightweight strollers, highchairs, bouncers, and travel toys.