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Rubie’s Wins Top Awards From Party City

As a costume company, having an innovative get-up is great. Winning an award for it is even better. Rubie’s Costume Company Inc. took home the top prize for 2010 Best Breakout License for Lady Gaga, an honor bestowed on the company by Party City. The award recognized creativity and innovative design.

“We are very proud and honored to receive this distinction and thankful to be selected to receive this impressive award from one of the top retailers in the Halloween Industry,” said Rubie’s Executive Vice President Howard Beige.

Additionally, Rubie’s received the 2010 award for the Best Humor Costume for “Mario”, which has been a successful costume in both the children and adult categories.

“We are very grateful and appreciative to be selected to receive this distinctive award from one of the most recognizable retailers in the Halloween Industry,” Beige said.

Black Friday Weekend Saw More Shoppers This Year

According to a National Retail Federation survey conducted over the weekend by BIGresearch, 212 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black

Photo courtesy of cmablogs.com

Friday weekend, which includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and projected spending for Sunday, up from 195 million last year. People also spent more, with the average shopper this weekend spending $365.34, up from last year’s $343.31. Total spending reached an estimated $45.0 billion.

Additionally, according to a survey conducted for Shop.org by BIGresearch, 106.9 million Americans plan to shop on Cyber Monday this year, up from the estimated 96.5 million who shopped on Cyber Monday last year.  Also according to the survey, more people plan to shop via their smartphone on Cyber Monday—with more than 6.9 % planning to use a mobile device for Cyber Monday shopping, nearly double the estimated 4 million who shopped that way last year.

A new Halo movie in the works?

Gossipgamers.com

According to a recent article on Kotaku.com, every video game geek out there needs to jump for joy: There might be a new Halo movie. Discussion of a new film supposedly went down at the Future of Television East conference in New York City last week. The conversation went something like this:

Bigwig network exec: We want to do something with Halo.

Halo Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor: Bring piles of money.

Bigwig network exec: For Halo, we will.

You might be asking yourself two questions right now: First off, are movie deals really made in such a lackadaisical manner? Secondly, Halo is old school, why are they talking about a movie now?

Well, I can’t answer the first question, but the latter might have something to do with licensing rights. Short version: According to the article, Microsoft owns the rights to the whole shebang, so the movie studio could only profit off of the movie. That’s right kids, no T-shirts, coffee mugs, stuffed animals, etc.

Maybe Microsoft will even make the movie or a TV show to remedy the whole merchandising situation. Time will tell. But if the project doesn’t materialize, let the nerd rage begin.

—Mackenzie Allison

J Lo and Hubby To Launch Lifestyle Brands

Kohl’s Department Stores and Music Entertainment Sports Holdings (MESH), a division of LF USA, will launch two lifestyle brands with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. Kohl’s will be the exclusive provider and marketer in the United States of all Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony apparel, accessories and other merchandise, which will be available in Kohl’s stores nationwide and Kohls.com beginning next fall.

The Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brands will initially launch in women’s and men’s apparel and accessories. The Jennifer Lopez collection will include sportswear, dresses, handbags, jewelry, shoes and sleepwear while Marc Anthony will launch in sportswear, dress shirts, neckwear, accessories, suit separates, sportcoats and shoes.

MESH, a division of LF USA and partnership between LF USA and Star Branding, will sub-license the Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brands exclusively to Kohl’s under a long-term agreement.

It’s a Gas for American Greetings

When walking down the card aisle at a drugstore, picking the right card

seems to have little to do with the actual occasion. Sure, birthdays, engagements, anniversaries and retirement all call for certain celebratory notes, but really, the personality of the sender—sarcastic, sweet or inspirational—always shines through.  American Greetings Corporation is adding another “category” to the list: the prankster. The company—known for both Web and print properties—is adding the first ever whoopee cushion card to its list of offerings. Titled “It’s A Gas!” each card in the collection is an actual whoopee cushion that can be signed and sent in

Photo Credit: rbes.net

an accompanying envelope.

Most likely everyone knows someone who would get a kick out of this card…but maybe go the more traditional route for grandma and grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary.

Nickelodeon To Make Splash At Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has always been the perfect setting to see the most cherished characters in pop culture displayed on a grand scale. From the very first float—Felix the Cat—in 1927 to Mickey Mouse in 1934 and Popeye in 1957, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has always been a festive event with an eye on what’s hot—even while standing in the cold. One of the coolest things about the parade—beside the larger-than-life floats—is the chance to see some of the year’s most popular stars sing and dance while making their way through Midtown.

Nick Stars Perform at the Parade

The 84th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will see several Nickelodeon stars offering “mini concerts” at the event. Big Time Rush will perform on the Hess’s Bridge to the Future float and Victoria Justice—from Victorious fame—will perform on the Build-A-Bear Workshop’s International Cele-bear-ation Clock Tower float. Grammy Award-winning India Arie will even belt out her Emmy-nominated song “”Nochebuena” on the Dora the Explorer float.

What’s New?

Although they won’t be singing as far as I know, the Samurai Power Rangers will make their first public appearance at the parade when they walk with the Planet Earth balloon. Additionally, Po the Panda, from Kung Fu Panda, will make his balloon debut.

Mackenzie Allison

Kim Kardashian’s Latest Venture

Kim Kardashian has a pretty diverse résumé, if you want to call it that. From a sex tape to a reality TV show and several product endorsements, the girl gets around. Her latest venture includes a prepaid credit card—for kids. According to the New York Post, The Kardashian Prepaid MasterCard launches tonight at Pacha in New York and is backed by Mobile Resource.

Why should kids as young as 13 get plastic? Well, the idea behind the card is so that parents can monitor their kid’s spending amounts and habits—you can’t charge drugs. Plus, having a card at a young age with parental supervision could help kids learn responsible spending habits. Whether this is a good idea is yet to be determined.

Kideo Launches Redesigned Website With Personalized Video Option

Kideo, a creator of personalized and branded video products, has launched its newly redesigned website this week. The new site allows users to create their own customized videos on Kideo.com through online streaming and instant downloading. Kids can star alongside their favorite animated characters including Dora the Explorer, Spider-Man, Barney, Precious Moments, and the Care Bears in an online adventure. Families can also share their customized videos with friends and relatives on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube through the streaming and downloadable options.

Personalized video streams and downloadables are available for $7.99 and $9.99, while keepsake personalized DVDs retail for $19.99. Additionally, the site offers a new free trial option, which gives parents and children the opportunity to enjoy short clips from each video at no charge.

Sneak Peek at uDraw GameTablet

For all those gamers out there mark your calendars—there are only ten days left until Wii’s newest gaming system, uDraw GameTablet, hits the shelves.

Jackie Breyer, editor in chief of The Toy Book, and I got a chance to take a sneak peek at the latest addition to the Wii family.

Even those who aren’t necessarily artistically inclined will feel like a Picasso with uDraw Studio, which is bundled with the GameTablet. For those in the art world, uDraw Studio is reminiscent of a design program or high-tech Etch A Sketch.

With access to a SD-Card, gamers can save, export and print their work on compatible devices.

The action component to the uDraw GameTablet comes in the form of Dood’s Big Adventure! Comparable to Sonic the Hedgehog, players can draw, tilt, and maneuver their way through 60 different levels.

By far, my favorite uDraw game was Pictionary. Similar to the classic game—minus the pen and paper—the Wii version has a few updates, including a game mode where the screen moves as you draw.

The uDraw GameTablet will retail for $69.99 and includes the uDraw Studio. Dood’s Big Adventure! and Pictionary will retail for $29.99.

Mackenzie Allison

Kidrobot & Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Partner for Simpsons Figurines

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products has once again partnered with Kidrobot, creator and retailer of limited-edition art toys and apparel, to release The Simpsons series 2-vinyl toy mini-figures. The second series features two alternate versions of the popular family as well as 15 new characters (including extended family members and friends).

Kidrobot’s The Simpsons mini series two includes 25 new figures, which can be sold separately for $9.95 or purchased by the case. The figurines are available at Kidrobot stores, kidrobot.com, and select retailers worldwide.

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