San Francisco Bans High-Calorie, High-Fat Kids’ Meals with Toys
San Francisc’s board of supervisors has voted to ban many kids’ meals that include a free toy. Under the ordinance, scheduled to take effect in December 2011, restaurants cannot include a toy with a meal if the food and drink combined contain more than 600 calories and if more than 35 percent of the calories in the meal come from fat. The ordinance would affect fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s and its Happy Meals. The ordinance also requires restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all kids’ meals for children that include a toy.
San Francisco is the first major city in the U.S. to pass this type of ordinance. A similar ban was enacted by Santa Clara County in California.
BBC Worldwide Retains Peppercom for Licensing and Branding
BBC Worldwide has signed Peppercom for licensing and branding support for In the Night Garden. The television series launched in the U.S. on October 10.
Peppercom will work with BBC Worldwide to provide marketing and public relations advice that will help build relationships with targeted audiences through social media. The company will also work to generate excitement for the 2011 retail launch of licensed products, which will include an initial product launch of toys, DVDs, books, and apparel in summer and holiday 2011.
In the Night Garden was created, written, and composed by Andrew Davenport, co-creator of Teletubbies, and airs on The Hub.
Paul Frank to Release Silly Bandz Pack
Paul Frank Industries, LLC is the latest licensee to jump aboard the Silly Bandz train with a new line of silicone wristbands inspired by the company’s brand characters. Beginning this holiday season, the Paul Frank Silly Bandz pack will be available at specialty stores, Paul Frank retail stores, and mass retailers. The collectible bands will include characters such as Clancy, Tyrone, Steve the Crab, Skurvy, Ellie, and Julius. The new Silly Bandz are available for sale and pre-order at http://retail.sillybrandzglobal.com/product/silly-bandz-paul-frank-shapes.
International Toy Fair in Nuremberg Boosts Safety Area
Spielwarenmesse eG has announced that its Testing + Inspecting Center, in hall 11.1, will be twice as large at the upcoming International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, to be held February 3-8. The number of exhibitors for the Center has risen from 12 in 2010 to 15 to date.
The Testing & Inspecting Center combines all test and inspection institutes that will exhibit at the fair. These exhibitors will also have the opportunity to contact the European Commission about toy safety standards directly. The 2011 International Toy Fair in Nuremberg will mark the first time that Unit C.1 Regulatory Approach for the Free Circulation of Goods of the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry is exhibiting at the International Toy Fair.
The Trade Inspectorate at the toy fair will also make random safety checks of toys at the fair. Safety requirements will vary according to the market that each toy manufacturer produces its products for. The test and inspection institutes in the Testing + Inspecting Center will also answer questions on safety standards for specific countries.
Hallmark Extends Licensing Partnership for Bakugan, Liv, Others
Hallmark Cards, Inc. has extended its exclusive, long-term partnership with Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE). Hallmark will continue to produce a wide range of everyday and seasonal social expression products including greeting cards and party supply items based on the network’s portfolio of brands, such as Ben 10 Ultimate Alien, Generator Rex, Adventure Time, and Nelvana and Spin Master’s Bakugan, as well as Spin Master’s Liv, and Zoobles. Hallmark’s product offerings will be available throughout North America.
Charisma’s New Play Baby Doll Collection to Release in January
Charisma is launching a new play baby doll collection for children ages 1 and older, the Adora Playtime Dolls. The 12-inch Adora Playtime Dolls come in five skin tones and eye combinations. With lifelike features such as a silky smooth body, a bean bag-weighted bottom, and sculpted faces, the collection can be accessorized with a range of 12 accessory SKUs. All Adora dolls are lightly scented with a baby powder scent. The dolls were sculpted in the Adora studio and are hand-crafted; each face has been hand painted and each costume is individually sewn.
The full line will be available to retailers starting at the Atlanta Gift Show, to be held January 12-19. Shipping to retailers will begin in late January.
First StinkyKids Book to be in Stores November 20
StinkyKids is debuting its first title, called StinkyKids and the Runaway Scissors, in the company’s new series of books. The book is due in stores November 20 and currently for sale online at www.stinkykids.com.
In StinkyKids and the Runaway Scissors, StinkyKid Britt is the main character, and her love of chewing gum and blowing bubbles creates a tangled situation that the StinkyKids have to figure out. Also included with the story is a parent/teacher corner section, providing teaching tools, take-away messages, and suggestions for further engagement of children.
Any retailers who want to carry the book can contact Britt Menzies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kidrobot Releases Series 2 of The Simpsons Vinyl Figures
Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products has teamed up with Kidrobot to release a second series of The Simpsons vinyl toy mini-figures. With 25 new figures in total, including 15 new characters, Series 2 features two alternate versions of the family. The series will be the biggest Kidrobot-produced mini-figure series to date. Each vinyl figure stands three-inches tall, includes a character sticker, and comes blind boxed to preserve its identity. Figures will be sold separately (or can be purchased by the case) at all five Kidrobot stores, kidrobot.com, and at select retailers worldwide alongside Series 1 of The Simpsons vinyl toy mini-figures.
Pinkalicious Video Game to Be Released in the Spring
GameMill Publishing, Inc. has signed a deal to develop an interactive game for Nintendo DS based on the Pinkalicious property. The game, Pinkalicious, It’s Party Time, will be available at all major specialty stores and national retail chains in the spring.
The game will draw on the property’s characters, themes, and key elements, such as party planning and fun mini-games. A new picture book in the Pinkalicious series, Silverlicious, will be released around the same time. The video game is set to feature a special Silverlicious unlockable game.
Earth Rangers Partners with CBD for New Website Content
Earth Rangers has formed a partnership with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to produce content for children and families on the importance of biological diversity. The first project under this partnership includes 100 biodiversity facts—about such things as the world’s most interesting animals and the decline of endangered eco-systems—that have been displayed for children to reference on the Wild Wire, Earth Rangers’ Biodiversity Blog at earthrangers.com. The blog, which also features photos and links, can be accessible by both Earth Rangers’ existing members and new online visitors. For more information, visit www.earthrangers.com.
Neighborhood Toy Store Day to Take Place This Saturday
More than 500 independent toy retailers are expected to celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 13. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is planning to hold the event annually on the second Saturday in November.
Neighborhood Toy Store Day is designed to celebrate and tell consumers about the advantages of shopping at locally owned toy stores. ASTRA’s 2010 Best Toys for Kids list will be announced to customers at many of the participating stores. Some stores will offer special coupons, product giveaways and raffles, toy and game demonstrations, and live entertainment, and many stores are donating a portion of their Neighborhood Toy Store Day’s sales to a local charity. For more information and to find participating retailers, visit neighborhoodtoystoreday.com.