aNb Media News, February 23, 2010

Parents Magazine Teams with Manhattan Toy

Parents Magazine (circulation 2.2 million) announced during Toy Fair that it is teaming with Manhattan Toy to develop a new line of contemporary products for children. The new Parents line of toys is expected to debut at the ABC Kids Expo this October.

The line will launch with a collection of developmental toys for preschoolers. The toys will be designed to encourage musical interests, stimulate imaginations, and inspire roleplay. Additional preschool toys will be added to the Parents line in January 2011, with infant products added in July 2011. The toys will be available for sale at specialty toy and gift retailers.

ASTRA Offers Free Webinar

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced that retailers who register for the June 2010 ASTRA Marketplace & Academy event by February 28 will be given a free webinar (valued at $49) on optimizing retail store advertising on a shoe string budget. Speaker Rick Segel will present the webinar on April 28, 2010, from 9 a.m. -10 a.m. CST.

ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy will be held in Providence, Rhode Island from June 13-16, 2010. Attendees will have a two pronged experience: an exhibit hall featuring show-only manufacturer’s discounts on top-selling products, and a business strategy seminar program that will help independent retailers learn the ropes in the specialty toy business.

To register for early-bird pricing and the free webinar by February 28, visit or call (800) 591-0490.

4Kids Named Agent for Castle Builders

4Kids Entertainment announced that it has been named worldwide merchandising and licensing agent and brand manager for the Israel-based technology company Castle Builders Ltd. Castle Builders is the creator of the Computerized Storybook, a multimedia software application with a unique interface that narrates popular children’s stories aloud while incorporating rich multimedia and animation. The Storybook creates a multi-sensory experience for the user, incorporating audio and video, along with such object movement as a dynamic book flipping feature, word-for-word story narration, sentence translation, story glossary, and picture navigation, allowing the young user to be in control of the reading process.

Fitz Roy Media Signs European Agents

Fitz Roy Media has named Brandzoo the exclusive licensing agency to represent the company’s entire portfolio of properties throughout the UK.

Beginning March 2010, the three-year deal includes properties as Heathcliff, Secret Wings, Fido Dido, and Funny Face, among others.

For Secret Wings, Brandzoo’s initial efforts will focus on the apparel, novelty and gift, and back-to-school categories. For Fido Dido, the company will focus on direct-to-retail programs for T-shirts, hoodies, jeans, and other related product categories along with promotional tie-ins with wireless carriers and websites targeting teens and tweens.

In addition, Fitz Roy announced that Italy-based Atlantyca Entertainment has been named the designated licensing and merchandising agent in Italy for Fitz Roy Media’s Funny Face property. Signed in January 2010, the agreement grants Atlantyca rights to license Funny Face-branded merchandise across all product categories throughout Italy including publishing, music, toys and games, food and beverage, promotions, advertising, and home video, among others.