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Lately Lily Property Expands, MerryMakers Creates First Doll

Ap23.LilyMerryMakers Inc. will make the first Lately Lily doll along with several other new products for the property. The doll will be released this fall.

Lately Lily was first introduced in 2012 through a line of graphic T-shirts and a storyline. Lily is the daughter of a journalist and photographer and travels with her parents, where places such as Peru, Iceland, London, and Paris inspired most of the products. The newest apparel collection will be based on Lily’s adventures in Tokyo and will be available this May at latelylily.com and The Land of Nod nationwide and online.

In addition to the apparel line, Chronicle Books will debut a picture book, flash cards, and travel activity kit. These products will also be available in May.

Silver Dolphin Books, Skyreader Media Launch Pretend and Play App Series

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Silver Dolphin Books and Skyreader Media Inc. have partnered on the launch of three new interactive apps based on Silver Dolphin Books’ Pretend and Play book series.

Skyreader Media, using its web-based platform Skyreader Studio, has developed three immersive and interactive e-books based on Silver Dolphin’s Pretend and Play titles Pretend and Play: Toolbox, Pretend and Play: Firefighter, and Pretend and Play: On The Farm. Utilizing bright bold colors, fun animations, interactive play, and audio, the apps provide next-generation storytelling.

Kids learn about tools and projects in Pretend and Play: Toolbox; fire safety in Pretend and Play: Firefighter; and farm animals in Pretend and Play: On the Farm. The apps are available for iPad.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Open at Universal Studios Japan in July

Apr21.HarryPottahThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter will have its grand opening on July 15 at Universal Studios Japan. The Hogwarts castle was also unveiled, which is one of the many iconic locations that will be replicated from the world of Harry Potter.

The celebration began with an owl delivering a letter from Hogwarts to President of CEO of Universal Studios Japan Glenn Gumpel. Additional honored guests include Evanna Lynch, Stuart Craig, Tadao Ando, and United States Ambassador to Japan Kennedy. As the opening date was announced, the Hogwarts castle was illuminated with fireworks.

A website has been launched to explore The Wizarding World online.

Hands-On Learning Event at Barnes & Noble in Celebration of 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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The Joester Loria Group has partnered with Barnes & Noble for Hands-On Learning events across the country in celebration of the 45th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The events are tailored to children ages 3 to 6 to encourage them to develop their creativity and social skills through sharing and storytelling.

During the Hands-On Learning event, children will learn, color, share, and take home their custom-created crowns. They will also learn about the free B&N Kids’ Club.

The events will kick off on April 25 and run through May 4th. The events are free and open to the public.

COMMENTARY: Now Every Kid Can Get Licensed to Be Captain America

Phil.04.03.Cap6inchLegendsRecently, everyone’s favorite re-animated World War II super-soldier returned to theaters in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, from Marvel Studios. (PLEASE NOTE: THIS OPENING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.) I won’t give too much away, but suffice it to say, it’s a good time, precisely because the captain faces conflicts that aren’t just fisticuffs. At a certain point, both he—and the other Marvel Comics-based heroes who appear—must decide whether to turn on their own government. Admittedly, it’s not that difficult a choice, since saying no means a terrorist organization descended from the Nazis gets the power to kill millions with the push of a button. But a moral quandary is, nevertheless, a moral quandary, and gives the movie a kind of complexity that isn’t always found in summer blockbusters. (END SPOILERS.)

It also results in a character that kids of all ages can—and should—aspire to become more like. (Did I mention that Captain America also learns to trust his friends? This film’s full of valuable lessons for young ones!) To that end, Hasbro has released an impressive line of licensed Captain America: The Winter Soldier toys and accessories that allow for all kinds of pretend play. Since not every movie protagonist is a fit role model for kids, having found one with product support from the toy industry, I feel it is this column’s responsibility to highlight said product as much as possible. Cap, you’re welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

Shaun the Sheep Set for Expansion

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Shaun the Sheep The Movie is coming to movie theaters worldwide next spring. The TV show, now in its fourth series, airs on kids’ channels in 170 territories. The movie is now in production.

Aardman Animations continues to develop an international licensing program for the property across core categories and looks forward to meeting current and new partners at Licensing Expo in June. Aardman will present new Shaun the Sheep product opportunities and style themes for this year and next.

Shaun the Sheep has also reached a publishing deal for Tales from Mossy Bottom Farm and Shaun the Sheep The Movie titles, as well as a joint licensing program with Rugby World Cup 2015.

Women In Toys Appoints New President, Board Members

Women in Toys (WIT), a global organization for professional women in the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries, has appointed Ashley Mady, president of Brandberry Inc., as its new board president.

Women in Toys provides its members with a collaborative, empowering environment through shared resources, industry connections, and extensive networking opportunities to foster professional growth and career enrichment. The organization recognizes and promotes the achievements of outstanding female leaders at all levels and capacities within the industry.

Other new appointments include Stephanie Barone, vice president of product development for Innovative Designs, as treasurer; Caitlin Gutekunst, senior manager, content acquisition and business development at LeapFrog, as regional chapter chair; Jennifer Quattrock, independent design contractor, as design chair; and Mali Baum, CEO of Beezeebee, as chair of international chapters.

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