March Spotlight on Toy Association Members

March 9, 2018 | This month's Toy Association member spotlight features Hasbro, LEGO Group, Goliath Games, Spin Master, Mattel, Disney, and Nickelodeon.

Hasbro to Roll Out Plant-Based Packaging
Hasbro has announced that it will begin using plant-based bio-polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for blister packs and plastic windows in its product packaging beginning in 2019. Utilizing bioPET plastic is another important step in Hasbro’s sustainable packaging journey. In 2010, the company eliminated wire ties and in 2013 replaced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with PET. In 2015, Hasbro achieved 90 percent recycled or sustainably-sourced paper for packaging and in-box content and in 2016 moved from PET to post-consumer recycled (rPET). Moving forward, Hasbro will use bioPET plastic made with 30 percent plant-based material derived from agricultural by-products. This shift in material builds upon Hasbro’s efforts to continuously enhance the sustainability of its packaging and enables the company to develop packaging that is less reliant on non-renewable resources.

LEGO Group to Launch First Sustainable LEGO Bricks in 2018
LEGO Group has started production on a range of sustainable LEGO elements made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane. The new sustainable LEGO “botanical” elements will come in several varieties including leaves, bushes, and trees. The move is part of LEGO Group’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030. The new sustainable LEGO elements are made from polyethylene, which is a soft, durable, and flexible plastic, and while they are based on sugarcane material, they are technically identical to those produced using conventional plastic. The elements have been tested to ensure it meets the high standards for quality and safety.

Goliath Games Acquires Wahu Outdoor Line
Goliath is pleased to announce it has acquired Wahu, the No. 1 Australian outdoor brand that features unique beach toys for kids and families. The line will debut in North America in Spring 2019. The Wahu brand embraces all aspects of the outdoor lifestyle with products ranging from inflatables, swim vests, and glow-in-the-dark outdoor fun, as well as a wide variety of sporting goods.

Spin Master Acquires GUND from Enesco
Spin Master Corp. announced the purchase of GUND, the oldest soft toy brand in the United States, from Enesco LLC, a portfolio company of Balmoral Funds, a private equity firm. Established in 1898, GUND is one of the world’s leading plush toy manufacturers, recognized by the American Brand Council as one of the most trusted toy brands in the U.S. With the acquisition of GUND, Spin Master says it will now have a solid platform from which to expand into the infant toy and specialty gift categories. The acquisition closely aligns with Spin Master's key growth strategies and furthers diversifies its product line.

Mattel Unveils Role Model Barbies for International Women's Day with the Launch of 17 New Dolls 
Barbie is honoring 17 historical and modern-day role models from around the world with the release of new distinctive dolls from diverse backgrounds and fields to inspire the next generation of girls. Fourteen modern-day role models are being honored, including filmmaker Patty Jenkins, Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim; and Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin. Barbie has also introduced the Inspiring Women doll line series – each doll comes with educational information about the contributions each woman made to society and their respective fields. The first three dolls in this series are: aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, artist Frida Kahlo, and NASA engineer Katherine Johnson.

Disney Junior to Relaunch “Muppet Babies”
Disney Junior’s reimagined "Muppet Babies" will premiere on Friday, March 23 with two back-to-back episodes on the Disney Channel and in the DisneyNOW app. Based on the original Emmy Award-winning series, the all-new CG-animated "Muppet Babies" chronicles the hilarious playroom antics of the young Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, and brand-new Muppet Baby, Summer Penguin. Each story is designed to introduce young viewers to the unique problem-solving power of imagination.

Nickelodeon Partners with Outright Games for New PAW Patrol Video Game
Nickelodeon has partnered with worldwide video game publisher Outright Games to release a new game based on Nick's hit animated preschool series, PAW Patrol, produced by Spin Master Entertainment. PAW Patrol: On a Roll will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in September. Players join Ryder and all eight PAW Patrol Pups for 16 exciting rescue missions.

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