(First appeared in ToyBook, USA, Feb 2018 issue.)CES 208 Article TOYBOOK Feb 2018 issue page 1
CES 2018 Article TOYBOOK Feb 2018 issue pg 2
The year of 2017 is shaping up to be another substantial year for strong licenses and licensed properties, and brands with multi-generational appeal. There are a number of factors that support this premise. Character licensing is no longer relegated to the merchandising power of toys and games. Strong theatrical releases, live events and multi-tier tentpole events are driving merchandising dollars into apparel, publishing, sports, entertainment theme parks, and even more branded lifestyle categories.
For example, it was no coincidence that Pokémon Go attracted a wide swath of the population across multiple age groups. In 2017, the Pokémon brand celebrates their 20th anniversary. Kids who grew up with Pokemon are now young adults, for whom augmented reality treasure hunts were a positive pat-time for Summer 2016. Kids and parents also joined the foot traffic, as tens of millions of people across the globe hunted for the elusive Pokémon characters. Expect more Pokémon news throughout 2017, in new and exciting formats that will continue to break barriers with technology innovations. Promoting inter-generational play, active outdoor activities and the “Gotta Catch Em All “mentality will continue throughout 2017.
|In the Night Garden||10||DHX Media|
|YooHoo & Friends||10||Aurora World/ Mondo TV|
|Build A Bear||20||Build-A-Bear|
|Pokemon||20||The Pokemon Company|
|Dragon Ball Z||30||Toie Animation|
|Care Bears||35||American greetings|
|Maya the Bee||40||Studio 100|
|Star Wars||40||Lucas Ent/ Disney|
|Toie Animation||60||Toie Animation|
|Mr Potato Head||65||Hasbro|
|Wonder Woman||75||Marvel/ Disney|
|Daffy Duck||80||Warner Bros Looney Tunes|
|Goofy animated character||85||Disney|
|Peter Rabbit: Beatrix Potter||150||Sony / Penguin/Beatrix Potter|
Other strong cross-generational brands celebrating major milestones include Star Wars 40th anniversary. Their first action figures for boys were launched in 1977, and stores couldn’t get enough merchandise to meet demand, even then. This dual target audience brand (kids and adults) will be strengthened with another new Star Wars movie, Episode VIII in late 2017, and the Rogue One movie (Holiday 2016) will continue to offer new footage and characters with epic stories in late 2016 and spilling over into 2017.
On a softer side, Care Bears will be celebrating its 35th anniversary with a Fall 2017 movie release. TeleTubbies are back, marking a 20 year anniversary with new TV episodes. Their storyline has been updated for today’s kids by updating the television screen on their tummies with touch-screens. Power Rangers continue to appeal to new fans each year, and will be celebrating 25 years of Power Rangers with their own 2017 movie launch. DragonBall Z (30th) and even Dirty Dancing (30th) will continue to tug at Millennial heart strings, with young adults and new parents remembering their childhood favorites.
With this knowledge of upcoming movies and strong anniversaries, store shelves and online channels will continue to appeal to the dual-target market audiences, and offer an inter-generational connection for the young and the young-at-heart.
|The Greatest Showman on Earth||20th Century Fox||Jan 2017|
|Monster Trucks||Paramount||Feb 2017|
|LEGO Batman||Warner Bros||Feb 2017|
|Beauty & The Beast||Disney||March 2017|
|King Arthur; Legends of the Swords||Warner Bros||March 2017|
|Smurfs 3: The Lost Village||Sony||April 2017|
|Guardians of the Galaxy 2||Disney||April 2017|
|Fast 8: Fast & the Furious||NBC Universal||April 2017|
|Power Rangers||Lionsgate||April 2017|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales||Disney||May 2017|
|Despicable Me 3 (Minions)||Universal||June 2017|
|Wonder Woman||Warner Bros||June 2017|
|Transformers 5: The Last Knight||Paramount||June 2017|
|Thor Ragnarok||Disney||July 2017|
|Cars 3||Disney||July 2017|
|Emoji Movie: Express Yourself||Sony||Aug 2017|
|LEGO Ninjago||Warner Bros||Sept 2017|
|Care Bears: The Movie||Not yet announced||Sept 2017|
|Justice League||Warner Bros||Nov 2017|
|Black Panther||Disney||Nov 2017|
|Croods 2||20th Century Fox||Dec 2017|
|Star Wars, Episode VIII||Disney||Dec 2017|
Christmas is next week, are you ready? Yeah, we’re not either. Good thing we have Toy Trend Expert, Reyne Rice, to give us a heads up on some of the hottest Last Minute Gifts for kids this holiday season!
GameStop is THE PLACE to help holiday shoppers find the gaming and tech items on their lists. With the LEGO Dimensions starter pack, you’ve got the classic LEGO building bricks, mini-figures, and the added magic of video gaming in the newest toys to life creation. It features Batman fighting side by side with Gandalf and Wyldstyle! GameStop has ALL the games that feature interactive figures like Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Nintendo’s amiibo. Now you and your kids can play together with the characters you remember from YOUR childhood, too! They have deals on games for the whole family on ANY gaming system. Visit GameStop.com to learn more!
The award-winning Bunchems by Spin Master are the latest creation for kids. Bunchems are soft plastic spheres that squish, connect and stick together for hours of fun. Kids can pull them apart and start fresh. With over 400 pieces in the MegaPack, kids can start playing right out of the box. Accessories like eyes, wings, hats, and feet personalize kids’ creations. For children who may want some idea-starters, there are easy-to-follow instructions for creating owls, bears, cars, monkeys and more! The smaller Creation Packs have 60 pieces to create things like bugs and pets which are great stocking stuffers. Click here to learn more.
The original light-up brick construction toy is Laser Pegs which combine lights and building, two things every kids loves! Children will have fun constructing illuminated helicopters, jets, cars and more. Laser Pegs come with a patented “Slide, Stack and Spin” feature. These translucent colored blocks foster STEM concepts using technology, engineering, and math skills. They also encourage hand-eye coordination, creativity, and language learning. They offer a great value becauase you can build multiple models and they are compatible with other “leading” brick sets. Visit LaserPegs.com to learn more!
A fast, simple strategy game to continue your kids’ STEM education in a fun way is Matermind from Pressman Toy. It is one of the best-selling games of all time for kids ages 8 and up. The Codemaker sets a secret code, then the Codebreaker tries to match the code using logic, deduction, and a little bit of luck. It’s an easy-to-learn quick moving game with more than 2,000 possible code combinations. It makes the game different every time it’s played! Parents will love that all of the game’s pieces can be stored in the game board. No mess! Click here to learn more.
Easter is right around the corner and many families are looking for alternatives to candy to fill those baskets! We’ve picked some of the best last minute gifts to finish off the perfect Easter basket, including toys and video games!
The re-launch of the classic favorite, LEGO Bionicle, is a different kind of LEGO experience called the “Constr-action” or constructible action figures. Kids get all the pieces they need to build heroes and villains. Each set includes 2 masks, cool translucent accessories, and a creature sidekick. Six of the original Bionicle characters from 2001 are available, with 18 new sets to collect, trade and combine by year’s end. A completely new series of animated Webisodes explore the storyline with lots of upgrades that inspire kids to use their imagination. Learn more at www.shop.lego.com.
Dance to the beat with the new Music Series of Elektrokidz by Wow Wee. There are six collectible figures with fantastic new looks and they are sound-activated. They are THE only figures whose hair “dance” to the beat of the music you are listening to. Each character has its own special hair dance, activated by music and together the Elektrokidz are United by the Beat. They come with their own pair of stylized shades and 2 sets of batteries so the fun will definitely last! Available exclusively at Target and at www.elektrokidz.com.
Most families love playing video games and GameStop is THE PLACE to help you find your favorite gaming and tech items, at affordable prices. GameStop offers great deals on new and pre-owned video games, consoles, accessories and consumer electronics. Some of Spring’s most popular new releases for the whole family include Mario Party 10, MLB 15, and games with interactive figures like Activision Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Nintendo amiibo. With their buy-back program and PowerUp Rewards credit card, gift-givers get a boost to purchase gifts for their family’s Easter baskets and Spring wish lists! Learn more at GameStop.com.
Our Toy Trend Expert Reyne Rice is at the New York Toy Fair showing us some of her favorite finds this year.
Celebrating imagination, LEGO offers a creative building experience for the entire family. This Large LEGO Creative Brick Box features bricks in 33 different colos, along with doors, windows, wheels, eyes and more to create anything a child can imagine. There are six sets available, no instructions, but lots of visuals to get kids started with building, right out of the box! The package provides built-in storage, making cleanup easy. Learn more at www.shop.lego.com and follow them on Facebook & Twitter!
From Disney Imagicademy, we have Mickey’s Magical Arts World. With five inter-connected apps, children use learning-based tools to create their own Disney-inspired neighborhood. Kids can explore drawing, music, drama, cartooning and building skills. The Disney Imagicademy Parents companion app lets parents take an active part in their children’s progess. By year-end, Apps for Math, Science, Reading and Social Skills will be included; for kids ages 3 – 8. Learn more at www.DisneyImagicademy.com and be sure to follow them on Facebook!
Mattel found that 9 out of 10 girls wanted to be BOTH a SuperHero and a Princess, so they combined the two! The Barbie in Princess Power: Super Sparkle easily transforms from her pink princess gown to her Hero alter-ego. The DVD introduces Barbie as Kara the Princess that turns frenemies into friends using her magical SuperHero powers, special gadgets and everyday acts of “Being Super”! Visit www.BeSuper.com to learn more and definitely visit their Facebook and Twitter pages for more info!
Ozobot is the world’s smallest programmable robot and makes learning fun! Kids can program Ozobot to move and play on any surface. Using thick markers, kids can draw paths and instructions for this mini robot to follow on paper, OR use a tablet to unlock additional free apps. Using the new OzoGroove App, kids can teach their robot to dance and play other games as well! Visit www.Ozobot.com to learn more. Want one? Click here to get it at Brookstone right now! Visit them on Facebook and Twitter too!
Let’s put the pedal to the metal with the Carrera Digital 1:32 Hybrid Power Race Set! It includes 27 feet of reconfigurable track with two exclusive cars, the retro-look Porsche RS Spyder and the sleek LaFerrari by Ferrari. With a 50-year heritage, the retro Carrera racing system adds digital technology by combining physical race-cars with a unique digital wireless 2.4 GHz controller system. Beginners and more advanced driving enthusiasts can enjoy racing together! Learn more here. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter too!
Summer and Travel time is dedicated to family fun so here are some of the hottest toys and devices to keep families engaged and happy throughout the summer.
Portable digital gaming cubes with games and activities for the whole family, and they’re wireless! Play solo or with multiple players, these games will keep young minds fresh until the next school year with Intelligent Play.
A Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet for kids! Keep kids occupied throughout the summer with their very own tablet computer designed to keep them on a fast track for learning.
The smart phone for kids! Families can have access to each other with peace of mind knowing Kajeet offers free, unlimited, award-winning parental controls that allow parents to set time limits on phones, block unwanted calls and more!
The #1 virtual world for kids! The new free My Penguin App allows kids to access their favorite Club Penguin games and activities on-the-go.
Another fun way to keep everyone laughing throughout the hot summer months. Check out The Original Temporary Mustache Tattoo!