aNb Media News, December 7, 2010 Reveals America’s Toy Wish List: The Must-Haves as Chosen by Consumers

Earlier today (that’s us!) revealed the winners of the 2010 People’s Play Awards. The annual People’s Play Awards program gives the public a forum to select the toys, games, and video games they are hoping to receive this holiday season.

Throughout October and November, consumers were encouraged to log on to and vote for their favorite toys to create “America’s Wish List.” Nominees in 17 categories were carefully reviewed and selected by the Time to Play editorial team headed by Jim Silver, editor in chief, and Chris Byrne, content director aka The Toy Guy.

Here are the winners as voted on by consumers:
* Activity Toys: Crayola Glow Explosion, Crayola
* Boys Action: Kung Zhu Pets, Cepia, LLC
* Construction Toys: Toy Story 3 Trash Compactor Escape, LEGO Systems
* Educational Toys: Leapster Explorer, LeapFrog
* Fashion Dolls: Monster High Doll Assortment, Mattel
* Games: LEGO Games, LEGO Systems
* Girls Toys: Zoobles, Spin Master
* Large Dolls and Baby Dolls: Lalaloopsy, MGA Entertainment
* Party Games: Monopoly Revolution, Hasbro
* Preschool Toys: Bigfoot the Monster, Fisher-Price
* Radio Control: Spy Video TRAKR, Wild Planet
* Riding Toys: Power Wheels Smart Car, Fisher-Price
* Sports and Outdoor Toys: Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS Blaster, Hasbro
* Stocking Stuffer: Silly Bandz, BCP Imports, LLC
* Tech Toys: Paper Jamz, WowWee
* Vehicles: Hot Wheels Toy Story 3 Cars, Mattel
* Video Games: Xbox Kinect, Microsoft

For additional information and to watch videos of the winning products, visit

DreamWorks’ Madagascar on Stage

DreamWorks Theatricals and Broadway Across America announced that they have partnered to launch Madagascar Live. The production is expected to visit more than 70 cities across the United States beginning in January 2011. The brand new stage show, aimed at family audiences, stars the cast of popular characters from the Madagascar film series, including Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo, and members of the madcap Madagascar crew, King Julien and the crafty Penguins.

The show is being directed by Gip Hoppe, director of Dora the Explorer Live who has worked with Broadway Across America and Nickelodeon on other family friendly live touring productions. Hoppe also wrote and directed the Broadway play Jackie: An American Life and is a founding member and co-artistic director of the Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre.

The show is being written by Kevin Del Aguila, who received a Drama Desk Award nomination as book writer of the Off-Broadway hit Alter Boyz and has also written the musical adaptations of the children’s books Lilly’s Big Day and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.

Joel Someillan and George Noriega are serving as the show’s composers and lyricists.

Squinkie’s Hair-Raising Line Extension

Blip Toys, the company behind this fall’s popular line of Squinkies mini dolls and playsets, announced a new addition to the Squinkies brand: Squinkie Doos. Just like the original, Squinkie Doos are small, squishy, collectible figures encased in a plastic toy bubble that pops open to reveal the “surprise inside.” The new Squinkie Doos each have a soft mane of colorful hair, adding a new dimension of play.

Squinkie Doos will be arriving at retailers throughout the month. It is now available in Toys “R” Us stores nationwide.

ASTRA Announces Marketplace Speakers

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced that customer service coach Graham David and mommy marketing maven Maria Bailey will headline ASTRA’s 2011 Marketplace & Academy June 19–22, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif.

Graham David has built a powerhouse training company that uses actors, games, posters, toys, music, and interactive exercises to help retailers learn new ways to reach customers, train staff, and address problem behaviors on the store floor. Known for his fun and energetic presentation style that leaves audiences with many practical and effective tips, David is the founder and president of Blue Beetle, which is located in Birmingham, England. He will open ASTRA’s annual convention on Sunday, June 19, 2011, with Play Your Way to Powerful Customer Service. Retailers will have the option of hearing more from David and his team in a breakout session titled Turning Customer Service into Sales.

Maria T. Bailey is an author, host of Mom Talk Radio, co-host of the Good Day with Doug Stephan show, nationally-known speaker and the foremost marketing authority on marketing to moms. Her company, BSM Media of Ft. Lauderdale, is a full service marketing and media firm. She will close ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy on Wednesday, June 22, 2011, with ideas to help retailers do a better job reaching moms in their communities. She will make a presentation titled, “She’s the Household Gatekeeper. Are You Connecting with Mom?”