September Spotlight on Toy Association Members

September 9, 2019 | The latest Toy Association member spotlight features Alex Brands, LeapFrog, MGA Entertainment, Sphero, Spin Master, Sunny Days Entertainment, and TOMY.

Alex Brands Celebrates National Slinky Day with Commemorative Marker in Slinky’s Birthplace
Alex Brands, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, unveiled an historical marker August 30th commemorating the birthplace of Slinky nearly 75 years ago. Timed to National Slinky Day, the unveiling in Clifton Heights, PA was attended by the children of Slinky inventors, Richard and Betty James.

LeapFrog Announces Availability of RockIt Twist
LeapFrog has announced the release of RockIt Twist, a new twist on handheld, educational gaming. With four sides of colorful, light-up controls that include buttons, dials, a spinner, slider, switch, and D-pad, the device “reinvents educational gaming for kids ages four through eight,” teaching literacy, math, problem-solving, and more.

MGA Signs on iQIYA as China-Based Master Distributor and Master Licensee for L.O.L. Surprise
MGA Entertainment, Inc. and iQIYI, Inc., an online entertainment service in China, have entered a new licensing partnership for L.O.L. Surprise, representing the brand’s first endeavor into China beyond the current product distribution channels.   

Sphero Joins Forces with littleBits to Accelerate Play-Based Learning for Kids
Sphero and littleBits have announced they are joining forces to become “the #1 STEAM and coding solution for every classroom, living room, and afterschool program around the world.” Through this acquisition, Sphero will now feature a portfolio of more than 140 patents in robotics, electronics, software, and the Internet of Things.

Spin Master, Ryerson University Partner to Launch Canada’s First Toy Invention Program
Ryerson University's Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, and Spin Master Corp. have partnered to create a new course series in toy invention that focuses on entrepreneurship in the toy industry and provides key perspectives on what it takes to bring great ideas and inventions to market. The one-year program begins in September 2019.

"We're delighted to lead this program with world-class partners, and to offer learners highly applied knowledge, mentorship and the cutting-edge tools of our Creative Technology Lab – the only robotic, prototyping and interaction design facility of its kind on any campus in Canada,” said Charles Falzon, dean of FCAD.

Sunny Days Entertainment Names Rick Mershon SVP of Sales and Marketing
Veteran sales executive, Rick Mershon, has joined Sunny Days Entertainment, LLC as senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We have known Rick professionally for several years,” said Melvin Wells, CEO of Sunny Days Entertainment. “He is known for helping emerging companies such as Blip and Basic Fun achieve great things. The fact that Rick is joining our fast-growing company is a testimony to our commitment to continued growth and development of new properties.”

TOMY Announces North American Release of Tomica Die-Cast Vehicles in Walmart Stores
TOMY’s limited edition models of Tomica collectible die-cast vehicles are now available in Walmart stores across North America, the company announced. The vehicles combine “superior quality, die-cast metal construction, authentic ‘real car’ features, attention to detail, and a wide variety of models to collectors in the U.S. and Canada.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to bring Tomica into North America as we herald the upcoming 50th anniversary of this global phenomenon and heritage brand of TOMY," stated Peter Henseler, President of TOMY International.

Want to be considered for next month’s Member Spotlight? Email Kristin Morency Goldman with company news.