Walmart Opens Holiday Layaway Program Two Weeks Early, Reduces Minimum Cost For Eligible Items

Walmart Opens Holiday Layaway Program Two Weeks Early, Reduces Minimum Cost For Eligible Items

Thinking about getting a jump on your holiday shopping? So is Walmart, apparently. The company announced today that it will open its seasonal layaway program early and lower the price for eligible items. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Target Promises To Stop Sorting Kids’ Merchandise By Gender

While every kid has preferences, there’s no reason why little boys can’t play with dollhouses or why little girls can’t play with plastic dinosaurs. Some parents, kids, and other activists have started to ask retailers why store sections for anything marketed to kids is always separated into strict “girls” and “boys” sections with signage to match. One retailer announced today that they’ll be changing that. [More]

Now Kids Can Chat With Thomas The Tank Engine, Too

Now Kids Can Chat With Thomas The Tank Engine, Too

You might remember Hello Barbie, a wifi-enabled smart doll that lets children hold conversations with their Barbie dolls…after that speech is recorded, transmitted to product creator ToyTalk, converted to text, and the answer is sent back to Barbie. While the idea of a doll that can hold a conversation is interesting, there are a lot of other products out there that want to chat with your kids. [More]

Bratz Dolls Return With Slightly More Clothing, Selfie Sticks, Still No Noses

Bratz Dolls Return With Slightly More Clothing, Selfie Sticks, Still No Noses

Bratz, a line of noseless fashion dolls whose owner has spent the last decade in litigation with Barbie-maker Mattel, have returned to store shelves. Is this a good thing? Maybe. The company is certainly making a big deal out of its relaunch, with ad campaigns, a “brand anthem,” and a big event in Times Square. [More]

(dBrooksNY)

FAO Schwarz Flagship Closes In NYC, Forcing All Those Giant Stuffed Animals To Find A New Home

The doors will close, the giant piano keyboard will fall silent and all those giant stuffed animals will lose the attention of adoring crowds when FAO Schwarz’s New York City flagship closes today. Will there be a clearance sale on ginormous tigers, or an auction of oversized musical instruments? It’s unclear, though Toys “R” Us, the owners of FAO Schwarz, says it’s looking for a new home to sell toys and bring in tourists again. [More]

(frankieleon)

Appeals Court Upholds Probation Sentence For Beanie Babies’ Creator Convicted Of Tax Evasion

Probably the only person to ever have actually gotten rich off Beanie Babies isn’t exactly relaxing on piles of money or swimming in his vault of gold coins anytime soon, but Ty Warner, the billionaire of the plush toys did get to escape jail time after a U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the probation sentence handed down to him after he was convicted of tax evasion. [More]

She's a lady. Whoa, whoa, whoa, she's a lady.

Dinosaur Experts In Uproar After Hasbro Referred To ‘Jurassic World’ Raptor Toys As Male

Anyone who’s familiar with Jurassic Park knows that all the dinosaurs in the park were engineered to be female — this, to control the animals from making their own dino babies and overwhelming the humans. So then why did Hasbro rewrite the Jurassic Park canon by rebranding its Jurassic World dinosaur toys as males in product descriptions for its raptor toys? [More]

(JeepersMedia)

LEGO Investing $150M To Develop Sustainable Non-Plastic Materials For Brick-Making

Last year, LEGO made 60 million blocks out of the same plastic material the Danish company has been using since 1963. But the bricks of our childhood could one day be of a different substance, as LEGO has plans to spend a bunch of money figuring out how to develop new sustainable materials to replace plastic. [More]

The description now simply reads, "Turg looks like an experiment that’s gone very, very wrong! Part frog, part chicken, this Mixel has the longest tongue of them all."

LEGO Apologizes For Describing Toy Character As A “Window-Licker”

In yet another example of a company offending a whole lot of people in just a few words, LEGO is apologizing for branding a toy in their online store as a “back-of-the-bus window-licker.” “Window licker” is known as a derogatory term for people diagnosed with learning disabilities. [More]

Barbie’s Feet Finally Get A Break As New Range Of Dolls Can Wear Flats

Barbie’s Feet Finally Get A Break As New Range Of Dolls Can Wear Flats

Barbie has spent her entire life standing on her tiptoes and boy, she must be tired. Too long has she toiled for hours in dream mansions and in ice cream shoppes without the benefit of having her feet flat on the ground, encased comfortably in flat shoes. Her time has come: Mattel’s newest line of dolls have adjustable ankles, and a line of flat footwear to go with that new flexibility. [More]

Ad Board Recommends McDonald’s Focus On Actual Meal, Not Just The Cool Toy

Ad Board Recommends McDonald’s Focus On Actual Meal, Not Just The Cool Toy

By now we all know that McDonald’s is trying to appeal to a younger audience, but a commercial the company aired last fall geared toward its youngest customers apparently didn’t sit well with an ad review board. And now that group is warning the fast food giant to stick to its food and not to use toys to appeal to youngsters.
[More]

(Nicholas DiMaio)

Toys ‘R’ Us Can’t Beat Discounters On Price, Invites Everyone Over For Play Dates

Toys ‘R’ Us has a problem: they’re a specialty store that people love, but they must compete with mega-discounters like Walmart and online vendors like Amazon on price. When they can’t do that and still make money, how are they to survive? The company’s new idea: get kids in the door by creating an experience, not just a place to buy toys. [More]

This Talking Barbie Doll Can Listen To You… And Share What You Say With Third Parties

This Talking Barbie Doll Can Listen To You… And Share What You Say With Third Parties

Since some imaginative cave child made the first doll out of a dead marmot, kids have been talking to their make-believe pals. And for more than a century, some of these dolls have been talking back. But the newest generation of Mattel Barbie dolls may take things to the next level by not only listening to what you have to say, but by sharing your conversations with complete strangers. [More]

(World of Oddy)

Report: Injuries Related To Bounce Houses, Other Inflatable Attractions, On The Rise

Is it every kid’s dream to go flying through the air, light as a bird, only to land safely on a soft surface? Perhaps. But that doesn’t mean that all of those inflatable bounce houses, castles, slides and other amusements are necessarily safe for children, and a federal agency is pointing to a rise in injuries on such attractions to make sure parents are aware of the risks. [More]

(Wicked Cool Toys)

Girl Scouts Cookie Oven Is A Real Thing You Can Use To Stuff Your Face With Homemade Thin Mints

For many, Girl Scout cookie time is the most magical time of the year — the boxes come a’tumbling off the cookie wagon, bringing mouthfuls of sugary joy for as long as they last in the hands of greedy customers, and all is well… at least for a little while. But what if you could make your own Girl Scout cookies at home, no matter the season? [More]

Mattel Unveils Hello Barbie, A Doll That Can Hold A Conversation

Mattel Unveils Hello Barbie, A Doll That Can Hold A Conversation

Barbie may not be able to code without the help of a few of her closest male friends, but soon she’ll be one of the most technologically advanced toys. Mattel announced this week that it has developed a connected version of the iconic doll that can hold conversations during playtime. [More]

Mattel and Google teamed up to create a virtual reality toy for kids.

Mattel, Google Revamp View-Master To Create Kid-Friendly Virtual Reality Device

The days of grainy, hard to decipher photos that came with Mattel’s View-Master are apparently behind us. The company, along with Google, revealed an overhaul that transforms the classic kids’ toy into a virtual reality gadget. [More]

Parents Are Upset About This Play-Doh Extruder For Some Reason

Parents Are Upset About This Play-Doh Extruder For Some Reason

Do you know who I feel sorry for this week? The people running social media for Hasbro’s Play-Doh brand of perpetual play clay. People keep posting to point out the resemblance of an accessory in one of their current play sets to a human phallus, and Hasbro keeps taking down their posts. Update: Hasbro has acknowledged the issue on Facebook and will send a replacement extruder to families on request. [More]