License! Global has the first look at the new toys and games that are on showcase at New York City’s annual American International Toy Fair.
It's February and that can mean only one thing: American International Toy Fair. Now in its 111th show, the event is the Western Hemisphere's largest and boasts more than 1,000 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, licensors, importers and sales agents from around the world showcasing the latest in toys and games.
Hosted by show producers the Toy Industry Association, the annual trade show takes place Feb. 16-19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
This year's Toy Fair will no doubt wow attendees with the sweeping offerings on the show floor from the industry's best-in-class toy makers.
During Toy Fair, Hasbro will showcase its latest products and properties available for the spring season. Among them are new items for Baby Alive, Furreal Friends, Kre-O and Play-Doh, as well as many more.
For My Little Pony, several new products slated for reveal include the Fantastic Flutters Pony assortment, a My Little Pony Zoom N' Go assortment, Pinkie Pie's Rainbow Helicopter play set, a Flip & Whirl Rainbow Dash Pony, Fashion Style Rarity Pony, the Styling Strands Fashion Pony assortment and many more. For its younger-focused My Little Pony Equestria Girls range, multiple products will be on highlight including dolls, accessories and a My Little Pony Equestria Girls Dolls that Rock collection that allows girls to sing alongside the ponies.
Furby is still going strong for Hasbro and will debut two new collections this spring: Furby Furblings and Furby Boom. The Furby Boom creature is an extension of the digitally integrated Furby toy that features all of the personality of the original but with twice the content, combining physical and digital play using the "Furby Boom" app. Furblings are companions to the Furby Boom and similar to their digital counterparts within the app, but in physical form. The Furblings toys will interact with the Furby Boom and will be available in six pattern combinations.
Hasbro has several new toys available for Sesame Street such as the Elmo guitar, Super Grover microphone, Elmo Bath Adventure steamboat, a Sesame Street Hugs Forever Friends assortment, as well as a mini plush and a Racers assortment.
Gaming is also central to Hasbro's spring offerings and includes new games for a wide breadth of properties such as Transformers; Bop It!; Monopoly Junior; Pop-Up Magic Disney Princess, Cinderella and Tangled; Twister and more.
Marvel Entertainment and Disney Consumer Products are offering an action-packed lineup of products from its classic franchises and the upcoming summer movie release Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy at Toy Fair.
Marvel and longtime partner Hasbro are expanding its recently launched Super Hero Mashers lineup of iconic Marvel Super Heroes to support The Avengers and Spider-Man franchises with new classic, TV and film-based offerings, as well as for Guardians. LEGO will also extend its offerings with a new line devoted to Guardians. KidDesigns will showcase a line of cool Guardians-inspired consumer electronics including FRS walkie talkies and iHome headphones and earbuds that will launch in time for the movie; and C-Preme will show a line of 3D helmets and protective gear that incorporate stylized designs based on Marvel's mightiest Super Heroes, which will be joined by Huffy's line of bicycles, tricycles, scooters and accessories based on the forthcoming films Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
For Mattel, Toy Fair is the chance to bring its biggest properties to the forefront. From Barbie to Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends and Fisher-Price, the toy maker will be highlighting a breadth of product such as the Barbie Iron-on Style doll, which allows children to be the designer of Barbie fashions; a doll assortment tied to its Ever After High Ever After Rebels and Royals properties; a Thomas & Friends TrackMaster range, which is a re-mastered line of engines and tracks; and a new Little People play set.
A big debut for Mattel is the introduction of the Hot Wheels Track Builder System, which utilizes "universal" plastic track connectors that allow children to extend the Hot Wheels play experience and connect all new track sets to other sets.
The company is also making strides on the high-tech side with the launch of Smart Stages for the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn products. The technology enables parents to input their child's basic information to customize age-appropriate content for the product, therefore keeping the child engaged as well as elongating the life of the toy. The first product to hit shelves this fall is the Laugh & Learn Smart Stages chair, a "magic" ABC seat that incorporates interactive songs and phrases over three levels of learning.
Mattel is also debuting product for new partnerships with Saban's Julius Jr. property (a play set) and Marvel (various Hot Wheels products).
Nickelodeon Consumer Products
Nickelodeon Consumer Products will unveil a new portfolio based on its established and new properties at New York Toy Fair.
For SpongeBob SquarePants, Nick has named master toy licensee Just Play, which will debut a range of collectible figures, talking action figures, vehicles, plush and role play products this year. Nick will also expand SpongeBob with additional licensees Mega Brands and Imaginext.
Fisher-Price has been tapped to extend Dora the Explorer and Bubble Guppies to include products such as a Swimming Mermaid Dora, Explorer House, Ready to Explore doll set, Lullaby Bubble Puppy, Bubbletucky Market and bathtime Bubble Puppy.
Fisher-Price will additionally launch a toy line inspired by the new preschool series "Dora and Friends: Into the City." The range will be available this fall and feature dolls, plush, play sets and role play products.
For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, licensee Playmates has created a robust toy line that features all-new action figures, vehicles and role play products; while LEGO is on board for building sets and Power Wheels will debut new ride-on vehicles.
Debuting at Toy Fair is Nick's Peter Rabbit property. Cartwheel Toys has been named as the master toy licensee and will launch a host of product including play sets, figures, plush and role play based on the new CG-animated series. The property will also be supported by infant and toddler items (a first for Nick) such as bedding, feeding and toy products from manufacturers Lambs & Ivy, Infantino, NUK and more. Other licensees slated for the property include Gund, Cardinal and PTI.
Additionally, Nick will showcase sporting goods for SpongeBob, TMNT and Dora the Explorer; while it will also unveil novelty and activity products from Blip Toys, What Kids Want, Tech 4 Kids, CrazArt, International Playthings and more.
Mega Bloks is showcasing new ranges of construction products for preschool-age children, girls, boys and collectors at this year's Toy Fair.
For the preschool set, due out this fall is Mega Bloks' First Builders toys that incorporate new themes and characters into the construction line. New sets include the Mix n' Match City Rescue Center; the Fold n' Go Musical Farm, which also includes light and sound capabilities; the Learning Train and Learning Cubes educational toys; and the Mega Bloks Junior Builders-themed bags that include blocks, special parts and a figurine in each set.
For girls, Mega Bloks is pairing with Sanrio's Hello Kitty for the Hello Kitty–Fun at the Fair set that will include more than 200 pieces and two Hello Kitty figurines. Mega Bloks is also partnering with Mattel for the new Barbie Fab Mansion, which features five rooms and a patio to build and decorate. The set also includes two mini fashion figures: Barbie and Skipper.
Boys are set to get a Mega Bloks Skylanders Swap Force–Skylands Spinner (an Activision property) assortment pack that allows children to choose the hero they want to build, spin and smash.
Not to be outdone, Nickelodeon has lent its SpongeBob SquarePants character to the Mega Bloks construction toy range for a new line of collectible, micro action figures, along with buildable vehicles and play sets; while Saban's Power Rangers are also getting the buildable treatment with the Mega Bloks Super Megaforce Power Rangers Megazords set to hit retail this fall. The new buildable figures feature three 7-inch characters: Legendary Megazord, Q-Rex Megazord and Ultimate Legendary Megazord.
For the older collectible fan, Mega Bloks will launch Micro-Fleet, a new way to build and collect its Mega Bloks Halo range. The small-scale construction sets are packaged in a Spartan helmet and include a micro action figure. The Call of Duty property is also getting new construction sets that include buildable vehicles, themed locations and collectible micro action figures.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products is storming into Toy Fair with a lineup of global licensees in support of the studio's entertainment properties, milestone anniversaries and upcoming theatrical debuts. The summer blockbuster from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, Godzilla, leads the licensing lineup with support from master toy partner Bandai America. The Wizard of Oz, which will lead WBCP's milestone celebrations this year, will see product support from a number of cross-category partners; and WBCP will also spotlight its DC Comics portfolio including evergreen Super Heroes Batman and Superman, with Looney Tunes, The Hobbit trilogy, The Big Bang Theory, Harry Potter and more rounding out the studio's offerings.
Activision will have a continued presence at Toy Fair with a booth and show a variety of licensed products including those from licensees USAopoly, BDA/Power A, Rubie's Costumes and Topps, in addition to its Mega Bloks Skylanders range.
BDA is expanding on its four-year partnership with Activision for the Skylanders video game property and will showcase more than 20 new accessories including Flynn's Ship, an Island play set, an Adventure case and a tackle box. The play set ranges will grow this year to include storage and full-size options, while BDA will offer a brand-new line of travel kits that allow children to transport the game portal, the game and figures.
According to Ashley Maidy, vice president, global licensing and partnerships, Activision, the company has more than 150 licensees worldwide, and the Skylanders merchandising program has seen tremendous growth over the last two years thanks to the support of its retailers, licensees and promotional partners, with 2014 predicted to be yet another stellar year for the property.
4K Media (a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami Digital Entertainment) will highlight new products for its Yu-Gi-Oh! property from licensee WizKids on the Javits show floor. The new products include HeroClix, which allows Yu-Gi-Oh! fans to duel in an all-new way. Series one of the toys hit shelves last month and features a starter set that contains six collectible mini figures, two exclusive maps and all other accessories necessary to play the tabletop battle game. A full series one set will include more than 50 figures and be available in March. The series two set will arrive in stores in May and bring an additional 50 figures to the line.
WizKids will also debut its Dice Masters strategy game and is set to hit retail mid-year. Players build a team and battle for supremacy using custom Yu-Gi-Oh! dice representing characters from the animated series. Yu-Gi-Oh! Dice Masters will be available in a starter set that includes 44 custom die, 38 cards, two dice bags and a rule book.
Toy maker Spinmaster has innovative offerings on the horizon, particularly for its Ionix building system. The "revolutionary" line of construction bricks shapeshift and change to become mini figures, action figures, gear, gadgets and more, in addition to functioning as traditional construction systems that are compatible with other brands. For the range, two new licenses are slated for product: Pokémon and DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2.
For Pokémon, the property will get a new mini figure assortment and an evolution pack; while Dragons will get a mini figure assortment and play sets. Also for the Dragons property, Spinmaster will debut an action assortment. Each action 8- to 11-inch dragon has flapping wings and features and is compatible with Spinmaster's separate 3-inch Viking figures.
Other products from Spinmaster to launch include products tied to properties Minecraft (mini figures and plush), NASCAR (die-cast collector cars and die-cast snap kit) and Paw Patrol (racers, vehicles and an action pack).
Discovery Communications is continuing to grow in 2014, and the launches slated for Toy Fair reflect that. New licensees have been added for its Discovery Kids brand, and range expansions are planned for properties TLC Cake Boss, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.
For Discovery Kids, Cypher is developing a new line of Jurassic action toys for two separate product packs, the Dino Excavation kit and the interactive Dinosaur kit, and Tek Nek is adding a new line of outdoor adventure and role play items for the Discovery Kids brand. From Merchsource comes a wide variety of toy and gift items including tents, magnetic tiles, train sets, garden sets, toy tool sets, dinosaur sets, a kinetic space lab and musical water limbo game; NKOK will spotlight a line of interactive tech toys such as a battery operated T-Rex, infrared bugs, pull-back bugs, RC vehicles and helicopters; and Good Stuff Company will show a Discovery Kids View-Master reel pack and gift set.
TLC's Cake Boss is actively looking to expand in 2014. The licensed product program already include ready-to-sell cakes and cupcakes, cake mixes, bakeware, publishing and more, but at Toy Fair 2014, TLC and Discovery Communications will look to expand the property into the kids space with new licensees.
For Animal Planet, Bendon Publishing will feature coloring and activity books; while for Discovery Channel, Enchanted Moments/Pay Dirt will showcase a Gold Rush panning kit that allows kids and adults to pan for gold in their own home.
Entertainment One's Peppa Pig is back in New York for Toy Fair with several new offerings. From Fisher-Price comes the Singing Ballerina soft plush and Peppa's ballet bag. eOne will also show a new DVD, "Peppa Pig My Birthday Party," which includes 14 "Peppasodes" and two never-before-seen educational extras.
The World of Eric Carle
Finally, as The World of Eric Carle gears up to celebrate its milestone 45th anniversary this year, several products will hit the market to support the property at Toy Fair.
Creative Baby will debut its The World of Eric Carle i-Table, which comes with two educational, interactive mats that serve as a tabletop. Kids Preferred will highlight an Eric Carle wood easel with paint cups and magnets, along with an art smock/apron, a splat mat/floor cover and character sponge brushes. The licensee will also debut The World of Eric Carle Little Musician collection, which includes wooden items such as maracas, castanets, a tambourine, a jingle bell stick, clacker, harmonica and more. Additional product from Kids Preferred includes a grabbable rattle with music and lights, a bead rattle, teether rings and rattles and a spinning popper toy. University Games will release several new games in 2014 including the Let's Feed The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game: A Game of Counting, Collecting and Building and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Lunch with Friends Game: The Game of Seek and Find; while licensee Trends will showcase an Eric Carle collection of stickers, flip packs and a Grab & Go set.