FAO Schwarz, New York City’s most iconic toy store, unveils their dazzling holiday happenings, inspiring families and kids of all ages to embrace the wonder and awe of the holiday season. Surrounded by the festive Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwarz plays host to the ultimate holiday shopping destination, where shopping is actually full of fun and play! Unwrapping the magic of the holiday season, FAO Schwarz is packed with one-of-a-kind customer experiences, making a visit to the Rockefeller Center flagship store a must-do holiday tradition.
StickTogether Products has named toy industry veteran Bill Benda as its new consumer national sales manager. In this role, Benda will help grow the footprint of the company’s recently-launched Puzzle Face in brick-and-mortar and online stores nationwide. The one-of-kind Puzzle Face innovation allows young and old alike to create an unlimited number of different faces – their face, a friend’s face, a famous face from history – all with one 300-piece puzzle that can be assembled and reassembled again and again. “Puzzle Face is truly a remarkable – and magical – innovation that makes an ideal gift for any home, classroom, or office,” said Sylvia Stein, president of StickTogether Products. “As we work to bring Puzzle Face to more stores and consumers nationwide, we know that Bill’s leadership and experience in the industry will be invaluable. We are thrilled to have him join our team.”
Following its successful debut at Toy Fair, ZipString (www.zipstring.com) has now gone from startup to upstart to industry player with its viral hit product now being sold at over 4000 Walmart stores across the country. “Less than two years ago, we turned an idea, starting in my Dad’s basement, to a Shark Tank appearance, to hand-building and shipping thousands of units to our growing army of fans,” noted co-founders Austin Hillam and Stephen Fazio, “all of which attracted the attention of the legendary Dude Perfect group, leading to a national stage tour and viral video sensation with millions of hits.”
Toy Safety Awareness Month has kicked off, with the goal of helping parents, grandparents, and other caregivers keep little ones safe this holiday season. From the importance of avoiding recalled and counterfeit products, to advice for keeping kids safe when playing with Internet-connected toys, families are being advised of some simple steps they can take to ensure children’s safety. Toy Safety Awareness Month takes place each November and is sponsored by PlaySafe.org, The Toy Association’s trusted safety resource for parents. “Play is our business – and keeping kids safe while they play is the number one priority for The Toy Association and our members all year long,” said Joan Lawrence, The Toy Association’s “Toy Safety Mom” and senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs. “With the holidays around the corner, toys are top-of-mind for many families, which makes it the perfect opportunity to remind consumers about how to choose safe and appropriate toys and ensure a child’s safety once the gifts are unwrapped.”
MGA Entertainment, one of the largest and fastest growing privately held toy and entertainment companies in the world, is bringing holiday cheer with mini seasonal delights from MGA’s Miniverse, its booming miniature collectible brand recognized for its virality across social media and prominence in the cultural zeitgeist. The brand announced its Make It Mini Food Holiday Theme collection, which boasts its first-ever licensed partnership as part of the new series. In addition to the new line’s Gingerbread House, Hot Cocoa, and Roasted Turkey capsules, MGA’s Miniverse has partnered with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products to launch an ultra-rare, surprise collectible inspired by the classic holiday film, Elf, the Mini Buddy the Elf Spaghetti dish. The partnership signifies the brand’s continued expansion into the lifestyle space via timely and innovative designs with real working DIY features and now best-in-class partnerships.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc (NASDAQ: JAKK), a world-leading toy and consumer products manufacturer, announced a long-term agreement with Authentic Brands Group (Authentic), a global brand development, marketing and entertainment platform. Through the agreement, JAKKS Pacific will design, manufacture and distribute an extensive range of innovative products inspired by Authentic’s portfolio of iconic brands. This includes Forever 21, Juicy Couture, Element, Roxy, Quiksilver, Prince and Sports Illustrated. The new products are planned to roll out in-store and online at key specialty and mass retailers across North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, commencing in 2024.
Gayle Keller, the author of the international bestselling book, Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, has announced the launch of her line of dolls, Theodora S.T.E.A.M. Girls. On a mission to bring female empowerment to young girls, the Theodora S.T.E.A.M. Girls line features five diverse dolls that each possess a special superpower designed to help young girls discover their own strengths. As a former software sales executive, Keller experienced first-hand the inequalities and difficulties as a woman in STEAM. As a mother of two daughters, this troubled her and fueled her determination to uncover the root causes behind the gender gap in STEAM careers. Keller’s mission is to reshape the landscape of STEAM and instill in young girls the confidence needed to achieve their dreams.
Sesame Workshop, the global impact nonprofit behind Sesame Street, announced a variety of multimedia offerings and free resources, deepening their multi-year commitment to the emotional well-being of children and their families. Focusing on emotional literacy and the connection between mind and body, new videos, articles, digital interactive game, and digital storybook share different ways children and families can take care of their feelings and overall health. “More than ever, young children need a strong foundation and support system to help them manage their big feelings and bolster their emotional well-being,” said Sherrie Westin, President, Sesame Workshop. “By addressing children’s unique needs and supporting the caring adults in their lives, we can connect minds, bodies, and hearts.”
Nickelodeon is serving up seconds with the renewal of the Annie Award-winning The Tiny Chef Show, starring culinary social media sensation Tiny Chef. Produced in association with Imagine Television and Nickelodeon Animation, season two (22 half-hour episodes) will follow Chef as he embarks on all-new herbivorous adventures and cooks up a fresh assortment of plant-based recipes and bite-sized meals in his tree-stump home. From preparing tea for the Queen Bee, trying his hand at magic and facing his ultimate fear of chopping onions, Chef’s kitchen is the place to be. The new season will commence with two brand-new holiday-themed specials: “Fwendsgiving,” premiering Monday, Nov. 20 at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT); and “Tiny Chef’s Marvelous Mish Mesh Special,” on Monday, Dec. 4 at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT).