People of Play PoP Young Inventor
Events News
Toy Industry Vets, Educators and Mentors Join the People of Play Young Inventor Challenge Advisory Board

People of Play (POP), host of the preeminent toy and game industry events that occur during Chicago Toy & Game Week, is honored to announce the formation of an advisory board for the Young Inventor Challenge (YIC), a toy and game design and pitch competition for children ages 6 to 18 that is held during the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. “2023 marks the 17th year of the Young Inventor Challenge and has grown so much recently that we knew it was time to put an advisory board together,” said Mary Couzin, founder and president of People of Play. “Recent partnerships with ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) and Happy Camper Live (a company that brings the fun of summer camp to kids 365 days a year) have brought our program to thousands more young inventors! Expansion also means we need more mentors, judges and sponsors. Please reach out to us if you are interested!”

Fade Collection Naturalistas Purpose Toys
Purpose Toys Announces Expansion of Popular Naturalistas Doll Line with Fade Collection

DeeDee Wright-Ward, creator of viral Naturalistas Natural Hair Fashion Dolls and CEO of Purpose Toys (the nation’s largest and most widely distributed Blackowned culture-driven international toy company, and leader in natural hair products and culture-driven products for kids) announces the expansion of their flagship line Naturalistas, with the forthcoming release of their latest brand, “Fade Collection”! “Fade Collection” is a line of 11.5-inch contemporary “cultural-Action Figures” that aim to celebrate the warmth and influence of Black Barber Culture, our unique approach to expression through hair, and overall “Celebration of Cutz, Community and Culture,” stated DeeDee WrightWard, creator of Naturalistas, Fade Collection and CEO of Purpose Toys.

Licensing Awards 2023 Winners
Events Licensing News
The Licensing Awards 2023 Announces Winners

The winners of the 2023 Licensing Awards have been crowned in a glittering ceremony, with over 1,200 industry executives filling The Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel for an evening of celebration. The event opened with a special message from Angry Birds’ Red, before Jakki Brown, director at Max Publishing (which owns and organises The Licensing Awards), officially welcomed everyone, saying: “It is incredible seeing everyone here at what is the largest Licensing Awards event for many, many years. I have a feeling it will be a night to remember. Tonight, there are almost 1,300 of us here all to celebrate everything that is great about our industry. These awards exist only because of you. Licensing, to be successful, needs everyone to work together. This event is testament to the enormous talent, passion, commitment and engagement from all strands of our industry.”

MGA Logo Meabrands Zapf EU
Licensing News
MGA Entertainment Appoints MEABRANDS as Licensing Agent for MENA

MGA Entertainment, one of the largest and fastest growing toy and entertainment companies in the world, has appointed MEABRANDS as its licensing agent in select categories to continue the momentum of its portfolio of brands in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Under the agreement, MEABRANDS will represent L.O.L. Surprise!, Little Tikes, Bratz and Rainbow High licensing for the MENA region in mainly the Food & Beverage and Promotional categories.

Dune Monopoly
Licensing News
Legendary Entertainment Unveils ‘Monopoly: Dune’ Pre-Order

Legendary Entertainment (“Legendary”), a global media company, is pleased to announce the pre-order availability of Monopoly: Dune, the latest addition to their diverse collection of merchandise. Monopoly: Dune, an exciting blend of strategy and intrigue, invites players to immerse themselves in the captivating universe of Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction masterpiece. This highly anticipated board game is now available for pre-order on and will be available at retailers nationwide by the end of the month.

Teletubbies WildBrain
WildBrain Teletubbies Give ‘BigHugs!’ to New Licensing and Content Partners Around the World

WildBrain, a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, is continuing to deliver new and colorful ways for fans of its perennially popular Teletubbies to engage with the much-loved franchise around the world. New licensing partnerships and content deals expand the brand into additional categories, with growth in the digital space and fresh promotional activations in key markets. Highlights include a brand-new e-commerce site, new apparel ranges from Dolls Kill, multiple fan-focused activations, location-based events in China and a previously announced global partnership with leading lifestyle retailer MINISO.

Zigazoon Kids Daymond John TOTY
Entertainment News
Zigazoo Kids Marks Their 100th Celebrity Reading with Shark Tank’s Daymond John

Zigazoo Kids, the world’s largest kid-safe social media platform for Generation Alpha that has prominent investors including Jimmy Kimmel, Serena Williams, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio and the NBA, is marking a major milestone for its Celebrity Reads literacy program. As the 100th celebrity to make a special visit to the platform to read a book to Zigazoo users, Shark Tank personality, entrepreneur, and investor Daymond John will read his recently released children’s book, Little Daymond Learns to Earn (Random House Children’s Books). Zigazoo Kids initially launched the Celebrity Reads program in July 2021 with the purpose of encouraging kids to read, especially during summer months when kids are out of school and don’t have as much opportunity to hone their reading skills. Since launch, a number of popular celebrities have participated in the program including Kristin Chenoweth, Karamo Brown, Elizabeth Olsen, Camila McConaughey, Kel Mitchell, Holly Robinson Peete, Bethany Hamilton, Diane Kruger, and Max Greenfield.

Lil Wish Lanterns Surprise!
Intersell Launches New Edition of Inspiring Children’s Toy ‘Lil Wish Lanterns Surprise!’

Intersell, New Jersey-based toy creators, are excited to announce the launch of their newest product, Lil Wish Lanterns Surprise! This exciting new toy incites anticipation to reveal which magical Wishimal comes with your lantern! Lil Wish Lanterns Surprise! starter packs include a uniquely-designed lantern. Once the surprise Wishimal is revealed, it is placed inside the lantern. Then pull the charm to make the magic happen! They are compatible with all of the Wishimals and have two light modes: wishing mode and nightlight mode. The lanterns also have an auto shut-off feature