Hasbro to Produce Disney Princess Dolls Beginning in 2016

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Hasbro and Disney Consumer Products today announced that starting in 2016, Hasbro will be granted worldwide rights (except for Japan) to produce dolls based on the Disney Princess properties including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Frozen. This will further expand Hasbro’s existing deal which already encompasses Star Wars and Marvel properties.

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First Look: Hasbro’s ‘Iron Assemblers’ Collection, Wave One (Hi-Res)

Marvel 'Iron Man 3' Assemblers from Hasbro: A1783 Iron Patriot

Ahead of the 2013 American International Toy Fair in New York City, Hasbro has shared this first look at the first wave of their ‘Iron Assemblers’ collection of 3.75″ action figures in support of Marvel’s Iron Man 3.

Each figure in the series includes an Interchangeable Armor System, allowing for more than 25 possible combinations. In addition, each figure’s armor pieces are compatible with other figures, allowing for hundreds of combinations of customizable play.

There are 16 figures in the collection, with the first wave being released soon (see hi-res images below) including Iron Patriot, War Machine and the classic Gold/Red Iron Man suit. Each figure will retail for $9.99 each and is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

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Hasbro Puts New Spin on Classic Board Games for Disney, ‘Cars 2,’ ‘Pirates,’ and More

Parker Brothers has been synonymous with classic board games beloved by families for generations. From Monopoly to Sorry! to Trouble to the (relative) new kid on the block, Trivial Pursuit, and more, no family game night is has been complete without at least one of them.

For Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2, however, at the 2011 New York International Toy Fair, parent company Hasbro is shifting into higher gear, offering expanded and improved gameplay on the classics, taking full advantage of the Pixar property’s theming. Unfortunately due to restrictions due to the sensitivity of details from the film not yet revealed, we are unable to share any photos at this time, but we will do our best to describe the enhanced gameplay involved. As it was, many of the graphics were covered as they pertained to unreleased details from the film.

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Report: Disney Consumer Products and Pixar Present ‘Toy Story 3′ – Part Two

Note: this is a continuation of an article that begins here.

After the presentation was complete, I was able to speak a little bit to Lee Unkrich who graciously posed for some photos and entertained my questions, particularly on how his recent inspirational decision to auction his own personal Pixar memorabilia on eBay to raise money for Haiti disaster relief went (he provided a guesstimate on the total and he and the legions of Pixar fans did impressively well, that much I will say). So congratulations to Lee for the generous donation as well as for the film.

img_0695 I also got to speak at length with Chris Heatherly, Disney Consumer Products’ General Manager & Vice President of Toys, on various topics (all Disney) as well as received some personal demonstrations of some of the new  toys.

By far, most of the toys presented at the event were from Mattel with demonstration models including the Buzz Lightyear Deluxe Action Wing Pack and the Toy Story 3 Action Links Playsets.

Epic Mickey iPhone/iPad App I was most surprised with the Buzz Lightyear Wing Pack, both for the better and for the worse. On the pro side, I was completely expecting the Wing Pack to be restricted to child size, but the backpack/strap style actually fits adults surprisingly well. On the con, the wings are motor-controlled, not spring release so they expand a bit slower than one might perhaps hope (but it’s doubtful many kids will notice or care). On the motor action, a representative for Mattel told me that there is actually a mechanism in place to respond if the wings end up being forced by small hands, so that the mechanism is virtually indestructible, so that is a good thing. Overall, it is pretty neat with large ‘LED’ lights that light up and blink when the wings expand at the press of the giant red button (which contracts the wings at the next press) and features popular Buzz phrases, both automatically and at the press of other buttons, just like the real toy. Using accelerometer technology, when the child (or adult) bends over at about 30 degrees or so (and more), the wings automatically make flying noises and light up and also respond in kind to the swaying movement as the Space Ranger-to-be runs/flies/falls-with-style around.

img_0685 For the Action Link playsets, individual sets of varying sizes and prices link up to produce a wacky series of Rube Goldberg-esque events. There will be five sets at launch, of which three were on display at the event (though I did manage to see the other two at the Mattel showroom) and the gimmick is that the sets (which incidentally are purely mechanical, so no batteries needed) can be arranged in any order, changing the whimsical sequence with each arrangement. I did find resetting the sets trying my patience at times because they each operate with a hair trigger and — just like with setting up dominos — it’s frustrating to be in mid-setup and inadvertently fire off half of the sets, forcing you to attempt to reset them again. Still, there is quite a bit of fun and novelty value to it despite some of the inevitable setbacks (maybe teaching patience also makes it an educational toy).

img_0676 Not presenting at the International Toy Fair, but well represented at the event was original Toy Story licensee and innovative toy developer Thinkway Toys. Of course a ‘LOT’ of attention went the way of Lotso, the overly fluffy pink male bear who happens to be strawberry scented (although maybe a tad more Frankenberry than strawberry), but Thinkway has quite a few more new exciting products to share with Toy Story 3.

img_0719 There is, for example, the Toy Story Collection Mr. Potato Head. Or rather the Animated, Talking, Part Popping Action Mr. Potato Head. The very animated and vocal potato responds to voice and eagerly chats away and entertains, but he’s always just one loud noise away from exploding, sending his body parts scattering in all directions. He also has the capability of realizing when the wrong parts are in the wrong place (purely G rated of course, he is a Playskool toy afterall).

Tucked away with the rest of the Thinkway Toys on display, I also managed to catch a glimpse of both Jessie and Bullseye who have been added to the collection. Yeehaw!

img_0681 But speaking of incredibly horrible reverse-segues, on the former topic of Playskool and Mr. Potato Head, Hasbro is introducing a set of Toy Story 3 themed Potato Heads including Spud Lightyear and Woody’s Tater Roundup (Reach for the Fry!) which were on display. I also understand there will even be a Mrs. Potato Head themed as Jessie.

Another product on display from Hasbro that I’m particularly excited about is a Toy Story themed edition of the classic electronic boardgame of Operation. Buzz. Aliens. Probe. Need I say more?

In the gallery of photos below, you’ll see many more of the Toy Story 3 products you can expect to see in stores within the next few months. With around 250 new products from about 20 different licensees, I promise there’s plenty more to come than just what you’ll find here, especially from Mattel who I’ll cover a bit more in a future article.

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Report: Disney Consumer Products and Pixar Present ‘Toy Story 3′ – Part One

I was extremely fortunate to attend an event earlier this week in which Disney Consumer Products launched dozens of new toys from Mattel, Thinkway Toys, LEGO, Hasbro and JAKKS Pacific, just some vof the licensees for Toy Story 3 products with the aid of some very special guests.

Epic Mickey iPhone/iPad App Held at Gotham Hall in the Herald Square area, the space was magically transformed into the Sunnyside Daycare Center featuring oversized props, shrinking us all down to toy size. An over-sized chair provided an appropriate photo opportunity while Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear were on hand to greet guests and to take complimentary photos.

Epic Mickey iPhone/iPad App To kick off the presentation, Mary Beech, Vice President/General Manager for Global Studio Franchise Development at Disney Consumer Products, talked about the previous night’s event at the Toy of the Year Awards in which John Lasseter was inducted into the International Toy Hall of Fame. We were shown the mini-documentary that was shown during the awards show which focused on Lasseter’s contributions to the industry and featured many of his colleagues at Pixar as well as his wife, Nancy, and his three sons who spoke of receiving a Buzz and Woody for Christmas after Toy Story had first been released.

[SinglePic not found]Lasseter took the stage next and talked about the genesis of the toy story franchise — how the idea was hatched after witnessing his niece’s approach to toys and wondering how the toys would react if they were alive. After implementing some of the concept in the Pixar short Tin Toy, he talked about how the story was made to be able to reach an older audience by giving the toys neuroses such as Rex’s expectation to be the fiercest creature on earth despite his tiny little arms or Mr. Potato Head’s chip on his shoulder because his body parts are always being removed and re-arranged. Of course, Lasseter says, a toy’s biggest fear is being outgrown, leading into a key plot point in Toy Story 3 in which the toys are led to believe that a daycare center is nirvana — a ‘retirement home for toys’ — in which there will always be a steady flow of children needing the toys and no need to become emotionally attached to the kids as they come and go.

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New Star Wars Theme Park Merchandise: R2-MK Astromech Droid Figure

Coming to a theme park galaxy near you in April is this Disney theme park exclusive merchandise featuring a two-pack of Jedi Mickey alongside his R2-MK astromech droid pal.

From Hasbro, the R2-MK action figure features red and yellow accents and — of course — his own pair of Mickey ears. Packaged with Jedi Mickey, the set will retail for $18.95.

For more photos and information, see StarWars.com

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The Game of (After) Life: Haunted Mansion Edition Launches at Once Upon a Toy August 21

The Game of Life: Haunted Mansion EditionIt is the classic game of LIFE with a chilling spin. Welcome to the After-LIFE incorporates the stories, mythology, history and the scary fun of the Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris  Haunted Mansion attraction (known as Phantom Manor in Paris) to create an otherworldly game play experience.

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Catherine Ralston, 12, of Ohio Takes the Cake at Hasbro’s Easy-Bake 2009 ‘Baker of the Year’ Contest

Catherine Ralston, right, 12, from New Albany, Ohio, reacts as she is announced as the winner as the other finalists look on at the Easy Bake 2009 "Baker of the Year" Contest at the Walt Disney World Resort, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Thursday, May 7, 2009. (Ray Stubblebine/Hasbro)

Catherine Ralston, right, 12, from New Albany, Ohio, reacts as she is announced as the winner as the other finalists look on at the Easy Bake 2009 "Baker of the Year" Contest at the Walt Disney World Resort, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Thursday, May 7, 2009. (Ray Stubblebine/Hasbro)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Catherine Ralston, a 12 year-old from New Albany, Ohio was named the EASY-BAKE 2009 “Baker of the Year” today after baking her delicious “Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart” for a panel of toy, parenting, and culinary experts at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This announcement concludes a search, started last summer, by Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) and the EASY-BAKE brand, that combed America’s kitchens looking for the next “Baker of the Year.”

Assisted by her “sous chef” mom, Teresa, Catherine set the hearts of the judges aflutter with her “Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart,” a mouth watering marriage of fresh strawberries and EASY-BAKE sugar cookie mix.

“Wow, I can’t believe I’m the 2009 EASY-BAKE ‘Baker of Year!’ I love to cook and had so much fun baking with and spending time with the other kids,” said Catherine. “I especially love that I got to share this experience with my mom, the person who taught me to cook!”

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Grand Floridian to Host EASY-BAKE 2009 ‘Baker of the Year’ Contest

EASY-BAKE 2009 "Baker of the Year" finalist Catherine Ralston, 12, from New Albany, Ohio pictured with her "sous chef," mother Teresa, presents her creation "Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart." (Photo: Business Wire)

EASY-BAKE 2009 "Baker of the Year" finalist Catherine Ralston, 12, from New Albany, Ohio pictured with her "sous chef," mother Teresa, presents her creation "Queen of Hearts Strawberry Tart." (Photo: Business Wire)

After searching America’s kitchens since last summer, Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) today announced the names of the seven talented child bakers selected to participate in the EASY-BAKE 2009 “Baker of the Year” contest finals. Representing different states across the country, the seven finalists will be flown to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, where they will compete for the title of EASY-BAKE 2009 “Baker of the Year” on May 7, 2009.

“We were impressed by the caliber of recipes that we received for the EASY-BAKE 2009 ‘Baker of the Year’ Contest that it was difficult to choose just seven finalists!” said Kim Losey, Senior Brand Manager Global Marketing and Development, for Hasbro’s EASY-BAKE Brand. “The kids participating in the finals really stood out – not only were their recipes outstanding but we were equally impressed by the amount of time, thought, and creativity put forth by each of them.”

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