aNb Media News, September 21, 2010

TIA Replaces ToyCon with PlayCon

The Toy Industry Association, Inc., (TIA) announced that its annual executive leadership conference will re-launch in May 2011 under the name PlayCon—the International Conference of Play Professionals. The play-focused event will be held May 4–6, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Formerly known as ToyCon, the conference will cater to TIA members as well as toy industry and play professionals who are seeking the information, tools, and inspiration needed to tackle the business of play. The program is expected to cover a broad range of concepts such as play as a basic human instinct and play product as a natural response; data such as consumer preferences and trends, and tactical business applications of social media and other communication tools.

“This event has always generated a lot of excitement for members of the toy community,” said Bob Wann, CEO of Patch Products and chair of the program committee in a statement.

Joining Wann on the PlayCon planning committee are the following: PlayCon vice-chair Nancy Zwiers, Funosophy; Nurit Amdur, Alex; Joel Berger, Cardinal Games; Mary Couzin, Discover Games; Richard Gottlieb, USA Toy Experts; Shirley Price, Funrise; Lourdes Arocho and Manual Torres, Nickelodeon. Visit for more information.

New Partners for Guess with Jess

Classic Media announced that Fisher-Price, Nelvana Enterprises’ Treehouse Presents, and The Licensing Shop, Inc., will serve as anchors of the consumer products program for the CGI-animated preschool television series, Guess with Jess.

Master toy partner Fisher-Price will debut the Guess with Jess line in Canada in fall 2011, Treehouse Presents will distribute Guess with Jess on DVD, and The Licensing Shop is named licensing representative to oversee the brand in Canada.

Kenneth Cole May Sell to Iconix

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that designer Kenneth Cole is in talks to sell the shoe and clothing company he founded to Iconix Brand Group, Inc., the licensing company run by his brother Neil Cole. There was no further information on the timing of the deal, according to Bloomberg.

Betty White, Jerry Leigh Apparel on YouTube

Jerry Leigh Apparel’s partnership with actress Betty White, for a line of officially licensed merchandise, brings the release of a series of viral videos starring White. The first in the series of comedic promotional videos launched last week. To watch the YouTube video, click here.

A portion of all proceeds from the Betty White collection will benefit the Morris Animal Foundation, an animal health organization, for which Betty White serves as a trustee.

Toys ‘R’ Us Announced its Fabulous 15 Holiday Toy List

Toys “R” Us announced its Fabulous 15 this morning, representing the best new toys of the holiday season as determined by TRU. The list is presented in alphabetical order:

1. Calico Critters Luxury Townhouse from International Playthings
2. Cuponk from Hasbro Games
3. Disney Princess & Me dolls from Jakks Pacific
4. Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3 Imaginext Tri-County
Landfill from Fisher-Price
5. Fast Lane Wild Fire RC from Toys “R” Us
6. Imaginext Bigfoot the Monster from Fisher-Price
7. Leapster Explorer from LeapFrog
8. Loopz from Mattel
9. Minotaurus from LEGO
10. Monster High Cleo DeNile and Deuce Gorgon doll set from Mattel
11. Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS from Hasbro
12. Pillow Pets from Ontel Products Corp.
13. Sing-a-Ma-Jigs! from Mattel
14. Squinkies Cupcake Surprise! Bake Shop from Blip Toys
15. Tomica Hypercity Mega Station Set from Tomy