aNb Media News, February 14, 2011

Watch Video Sneak Peeks of the Hottest Toys

Visit for sneak peeks of products at this week’s Toy Fair. Chris Byrne, Jim Silver, and Shannon Eis bring viewers the latest items from Mattel, Hasbro, Jakks, and many others to come as new videos are added as the week progresses.

TOTY Awards Announced

The Toy Industry Association announced its Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award winners at an awards ceremony on Saturday night. The overall Toy of the Year Award went to Sing-a-ma-Jigs! by Mattel. Here are the winners across numerous categories.

Activity Toy of the Year: Crayola Color Wonder Sound Studio by Crayola

Boy Toy of the Year: Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS Blaster by Hasbro

Educational Toy of the Year: Leapster Explorer Learning Experience by LeapFrog

Game of the Year: Scrabble Flash by Hasbro

Girl Toy of the Year: Squinkies Cupcake Surprize Bake Shop by Blip Toys

Infant/Toddler Toy of the Year: My Own Leaptop by LeapFrog

Innovative Toy of the Year: Sing-a-ma-Jigs! by Mattel

Outdoor Toy of the Year: Nerf Super Soaker Shot Blast by Hasbro

Preschool Toy of the Year: Sing-a-ma-Jigs! by Mattel

Property of the Year: Toy Story 3 by Disney Consumer Products

Specialty Toy of the Year: Hexbug Nano Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs

In addition, the TIA inducted Al Verrecchia (chairman of the board of director of Hasbro) and the late Donald Duncan (founder of Duncan Toys) into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Mattel and Stardoll in Multi-Year Agreement

Mattel announced during the Nuremberg Toy Fair that it has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Stardoll, the online fashion game and website for teen and tween girls. The partnership is aimed at taking the Stardoll brand from the virtual into the physical world with the first product line to come in fall 2011.

Stardoll was launched in 2006, has more than 92 million registered users globally and reaches more than 15 million unique users per month.

Mattel has teamed up with Stardoll after years of successful commercial collaborations allowing brands to engage online with their target audience. Mattel brands that have advertised on Stardoll include Barbie, Fashionistas, and Monster High, with the companies deploying a range of experiences that included launching a fan club, exclusive dolls, and a virtual store.

Highlights Announces Companion Toys for the iPad

Highlights has expanded its partnership with Discovery Bay Games (DBG) to include Highlights-branded downloadable game apps for the Apple iPad and other tablet devices.

The agreement between DBG and Highlights, which already encompasses children’s board games, has been expanded to include the possible development of Highlights-branded iPad “companions,” or toys that interact with the iPad to create new types of play experiences. One of DBG’s first Highlights’ apps will interact with DBG’s current iPad companion device, the Duo. The Duo is the world’s first integrated toy product for the iPad, which uses patent-pending light sensor technology to turn the tablet into a board game. DBG’s first three Highlights’ apps will launch in the first half of 2011.

Tinga Tinga Tales Debuts on Disney Jr., Product Lines Showing at Toy Fair

Classic Media announced new licenses for Tinga Tinga Tales, with Ravensburger (puzzles), Pressman Toy Corporation, and University Games (Colorforms activity products), joining master toy partner Bandai and master publishing partner Grosset & Dunlap for the U.S. launch of the preschool brand.

Tinga Tinga Tales premieres Monday, February 14 with the launch of Disney Junior on Disney Channel. The series will air weekdays in the U.S. at 11:00 a.m. ET/PT on the new multiplatform destination for kids ages 2–7. The stories and characters will further come to life through interactive toys released by Bandai in fall 2012.

Tinga Tinga Tales is an animated preschool series about how our favorite animals came to be. Inspired by traditional animal folktales from Africa and the colorful Tingatinga art style of Tanzania, the series is created by award-winning producer Claudia Lloyd (Charlie and Lola) and produced entirely on location in Africa by local artists.

Blip Signs Cardinal for Squinkies Games and Puzzles

Blip Toys (the company behind Squinkies collectible figures) has announced a new licensing partnership with Cardinal Industries, Inc., to expand the Squinkies brand into the games and puzzles categories. Under the agreement, Cardinal was granted the exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute Squinkies licensed games, card games, skill-and-action games and puzzles to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

The new Squinkies 24-piece lenticular puzzles are available now at mass retailers, while other items—including the Squinkies Gumball Surprize Playhouse Game—will be rolling out later this month and throughout the spring.