aNb Media News, August 30, 2017

YouTube Kids to Roll Out #BacktoSchool Event

YouTube Kids is launching its #BackToSchool initiative with a little help from The Big Bang Theory Star Mayim Bialik, who will create a special playlist for the occasion. The #BackToSchool event debuts in the YouTube Kids app on September 1st and will run through September 29th.

As part of #BackToSchool, each day YouTube Kids will roll out content intended to inspire children’s love of learning, such as how to decorate lockers to school supply DIYs. In addition to Bialik’s playlist, edu-tuber Maddie Moate will create a playlist around Bee Awareness, an educational playlist about the science of bees. Moate has hosted educational online content for the past six years and has amassed more than 18 million views on YouTube across multiple science and technology channels.

The STEM-based comedy adventure series, Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab will also launch on YouTube Kids for #BackToSchool.

FF2_HowTo_Select_2Star Wars 3-Day AR Treasure Hunt Launches Force Friday

Disney and Lucasfilm announced Find the Force, a global augmented reality (AR) event rolling out on Force Friday II (September 1) to commemorate the worldwide launch of new products inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The pop-up AR treasure hunt aims to unite fans around the world in the battle against the dark side in a unique three-day event (September 1–3) at more than 20,000 retail locations across 30 countries. As fans turn up to take home new Star Wars: The Last Jedi products, they will have the opportunity to activate a unique AR experience featuring Star Wars characters, including fan-favorites and new surprise additions from the film.

To play, download the Star Wars app. Then, visit any one of the participating retail locations to find a graphic that contains the Find the Force logo. Scan the graphic using the Star Wars app to reveal a character, who through AR, will appear in the room with you. You can then take photos, record videos, and share the experience on social media via #FindtheForce. Come back each day to reveal new characters (15 in total across the program’s three-day run). Click here for more information:

CHITAG Nominations Closing This Week for 2017 Toy & Game Innovation Awards

Nominations for the 2017 Toy & Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs) close today, Wednesday, August 30. Winners will be honored at an annual gala event during Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Week, November 16–19.

The 2017 categories now open for nomination by all members of the toy and gaming industry include:

  • Toy Inventor of the Year
  • Game Inventor of the Year
  • Rising Star Inventor of the Year
  • Young Inventor of the Year
  • Innovative Marketing Team of the Year
  • Art and Design Visuals of the Year

Five finalists for each of the six categories will be announced on September 18th, at which time voting will open to the general public, media and industry.

New for 2017 is the Innovative Marketing Team of the Year and Art and Design Visual of the Year. These categories recognize the innovation in marketing and design to bring the idea and product to life and into the hands of our consumers.

A separate committee of industry experts will determine the honorees for the following closed TAGIEs categories:

  • Founder’s Award
  • Inventor Advocate
  • In Memoriam Presentation
  • Hassenfeld Humanitarian Award
  • Lifetime Achievement

“The TAGIE nominations recognize the special individuals and teams from around the world who spend countless hours inventing, designing and bringing ideas for toys and games to life that everyone enjoys and that connects us to one another,” says Mary Couzin, founder and CEO, Chicago Toy & Game Group. “The awards gala brings together everyone for an elegant evening celebrating these industry creatives for their vision, spirit of fun, philanthropy and humanitarianism.”

The TAGIEs ceremony takes place Friday, November 17th, 2017 with an evening of entertainment that includes cocktail hour, a seated dinner, and the awards program. Click here to get in your nominations and find out more about this year’s event and last year’s winners.

witempowermentdayWIT Empowerment Day Speakers Announced

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) announced the speakers, industry experts, and panelists to participate in its annual WIT Empowerment Day event on Monday, October 2, the day before Fall Toy Preview in Dallas officially begins. Held in collaboration with Walmart and The Toy Association, this event gives women the opportunity to pitch their play products to Walmart and buyers and top toy companies, and to be mentored by more than 20 industry experts.

The speaker lineup for the event includes a morning keynote by Norma Rosenhain, CEO and founder of Creata; a Walmart Buyer Panel led by Anne Marie Kehoe, vice-president toys at Walmart, and an afternoon special guest speaker, Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The morning keynote and Walmart Buyer Panel are both open to all Fall Toy Preview exhibitors and trade guests.

WIT has brought together experts from all corners of the toy industry for this event to help entrepreneurs, women-led startups, and small business owners grow their business and catapult their career.

Speakers and industry experts include:

  • Ann Marie Buerkle, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • Anne Marie Kehoe, Walmart
  • Avi Levine, Star Funding
  • Ben Dermer, Spin Master
  • David Becker, Blue Plate Media Services
  • Deb de Sherbinin, Perk Consulting
  • Denise Vannucci, Blue Plate Media Services
  • Elsie Collins, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Gina Anzalone, ASTRA
  • Jeff Pinsker, Cardinal / Spin Master
  • Jerry Welch, Bambini Partners LLC
  • Jill Sasso, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Joan Grasso, Entertainment One (EOne)
  • John Lee, Bambini Partners, LLC
  • Karen Kilpatrick, JazWings
  • Kelly Couchee, Licensing Expo International
  • Kimberly Carcone, The Toy Association
  • Laura Zebersky, Jazwares
  • Leila Nosrati, Master Toy Advisors
  • Lisa Shamus, Lisa Shamus and Partners
  • Lisa Wuennemann, PlayMonster
  • Marian Bossard, The Toy Association
  • Matt Phillips, Tier 1
  • Maureen McHale, McHale Design
  • Michele Martell, Martell Media House
  • Nancy Zwiers, Spin Master
  • Norma Rosenhain, Creata
  • Pablo Garrahan, Fiction Films
  • Robert Yusim, Product Counsel
  • Shelby Mathis, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • Stacy Lellos, Klutz
  • Stephanie Azzarone, Child’s Play Communications
  • Steven Heller, The Brand Liaison
  • Sue Warfield, ASTRA
  • Tanya Thompson, Hasbro
  • Veronica Walters, Funko

Panel discussions:

  • Walmart Buyers Panel with VP of Toys, Anne Marie Kehoe and Walmart Buyers
  • E-commerce Best Practices
  • DRTV – Using Direct Response to Launch a Product
  • ‘Be an Inventor’ Panel

Info Sessions are open to registered WIT members only. Fifteen-minute speed mentoring sessions with industry experts in a variety of areas include: IP, licensing, content creation, e-commerce, financing, product development, packaging, manufacturing, sales & distribution, PR/marketing, advertising, product safety, industry associations, the SBA, and the WBENC.
WIT Cocktails & Connections – October 2 – 5:30 PM: All Fall Toy Preview® exhibitors and trade guests are invited to join in the fun at WIT’s annual Cocktails & Connections event, immediately following Empowerment Day at 5:30 PM on October 2 at Dallas Market Center, Hall of Nations. Tickets are on sale now, and may be purchased by clicking here.