aNb Media News, September 13, 2017

National Toy Hall of Fame Reveals 12 Finalists

The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, revealed the 12 finalists for induction are Clue, Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, paper airplane, PEZ Candy Dispenser, play food, Risk, sand, Transformers, Uno, and Wiffle Ball.

Only two or three of these finalists will join other iconic toys in the hall and sit alongside past inductees such as Barbie, LEGO, Monopoly, Rubik’s Cube, and Star Wars action figures.

The final 2017 toy inductees, chosen on the advice of a national selection advisory committee, will be announced at The Strong museum on Nov. 9 followed by a public celebration Nov. 11–12. Criteria for induction include icon-status, longevity, discovery, and innovation.

To date, 63 toys have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Last year’s inductees included Dungeons & Dragons, Fisher-Price Little People, and the classic swing.

MindWare Makes First Acquisition

MindWare announced the acquisition of Peaceable Kingdom.

Peaceable Kingdom was started in 1983 by the family of Clement Hurd, illustrator of Good Night Moon, to produce posters and stationery based on classic children’s book illustrations. The family of most recent Peaceable Kingdom president, Donna Jaffe, bought the company from the Hurds in 2000. Jaffe, along with a management team, will stay on board to help with the transition process. Peaceable Kingdom, headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., is most known for its line of cooperative games. Its additional product offerings include diaries and stationery, stickers, temporary tattoos, and cards.

“The opportunity to acquire a company with a great reputation like Peaceable Kingdom has been something we’ve looked to do for some time,” says Jonathan Staruck, MindWare vice-president and general manager. “The Peaceable Kingdom product line will be a great addition to the MindWare collection, allowing us to offer even more to our consumers and educators, as well as our wholesale partners domestically and internationally alike.”

“I’ve been a big fan of MindWare for a long time,” says Jaffe. “How exciting to be invited to become a part of their extended family.Peaceable Kingdom has truly been a cooperative effort of many talented and committed people for many years. All of us wish the best for its future with MindWare.”

A total of 23 Peaceable Kingdom cooperative games have received more than 75 awards in the past six years. The collection will be available for direct purchase on beginning Monday, Sept. 18. Wholesale customers can work with MindWare Wholesale beginning immediately. MindWare is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oriental Trading Company, a Berkshire Hathaway business. This marks MindWare’s first acquisition since its beginning in 1990; financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Goliath Games Acquires JAX Games

Goliath Games has acquired JAX Ltd., Inc. JAX will continue to operate out of Plymouth, Minnesota. The Levine family will stay in its leadership roles at JAX with Cindy, Kreg, and Debbie Levine moving the company forward.

“I am very happy to welcome JAX into the Goliath family,” says Adi Golad, Goliath’s founder. “Having been friends with the Levine family for decades, we’re excited to finally do business together. Both of our companies share similar origins of using grassroots promotion to build games from the ground up. Globally, Sequence will be a great fit with our other evergreen titles such as Rummikub and Tri-ominos.”

“We are very pleased to join Goliath and look forward to sharing the success of our games with them,” says Cindy Levine.

David Norman, president of Goliath Games added, “JAX will continue to produce its own products and maintain its brand while enjoying the benefit of Goliath’s significant global resources, including R&D, logistics, TV and digital marketing campaigns. I look forward to sharing their great story with consumers everywhere.”