Just over a year ago, a very odd lawsuit made the news: a Fox News anchor was suing toy maker Hasbro over a toy hamster. Harris Faulkner objected to the existence of a Littlest Toy Shop collection toy hamster named… Harris Faulkner. This was either a really weird coincidence or some very niche cross-marketing on Hasbro’s part. The case has now ended, though we don’t know whether there was a financial settlement. [More]
Last summer, Toys ‘R’ Us closed the last physical store in the FAO Schwarz brand. That cut the legacy of a venerable retail brand down to only a section on the Toys ‘R’ Us website, with its former retail space becoming a flagship store for sporting goods brand Under Armour. Now, the same firm that makes toys and gadgets for Sharper Image, Animal Planet, Smithsonian, and Discovery Kids has purchased the brand. [More]
Whether popping plastic packing material is your idea of a good time, or nailing your adversaries with a foam projectile is more your speed, both modes of entertainment have a chance at being inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year. [More]
When I was but a young Consumerist, the only way to get your hands on an American Girl doll — once parents had been successfully harangued into purchasing the pricey toy — was by mail order. Since then, Pleasant Company, now a subsidiary of Mattel, has 20 stores around the country dedicated to selling the dolls as well as a website. Times are changing yet again: starting next month, the dolls will also be available at Toys ‘R’ Us stores. [More]
A doll creator who’s already going to court with Hasbro for allegedly stealing her designs for new versions of My Little Pony and other toys filed an additional lawsuit this week.
No cultural phenomenon would be a complete success without its own line of merchandise attached to it, and it makes sense: fans of popular TV shows, comic books, and movies will often seek out products that tie-in with those franchises, providing a great way for a lot of people to make a bunch of money. But when it comes to some infamous product tie-ins, we’ve got to wonder if it all that effort was worth it. [More]
While some toy companies are giving up on long-held preconceptions about gender-specific products, LEGO has gone the other way. Shedding its gender-neutral past, the company now makes toys specifically targeted at either girls or boys. These products have no shortage of critics, but LEGO says it has good reasons for the separate product lines. [More]
Long gone are the days of parents tussling it out in toy store aisles over Cabbage Patch Dolls, those squish-faced darlings of the early ’80s, but there are still people willing to duke it out in the name of the doll. This time, they’re toy companies, and they’re fighting each other in court. [More]
Nearly four years after federal regulators dealt a swift blow to the makers of super-powerful desktop magnetic toys Buckyballs, filing a lawsuit against the company and persuading retailers to stop selling the dangerous toys, a Colorado-based company has been ordered to recall similarly powerful magnets that can cause fatal injuries when swallowed. [More]
There are a few reasons why parents might choose not to buy their kids a go-kart, thus dashing the child’s dreams of roaming the neighborhood at high speed, unfettered by the wishes of pesky adults: it’s a pricey toy, and parents don’t necessarily want to give their kids something they could potentially drive into traffic or somewhere else unsafe. A few things have changed since I last wished for my own set of wheels, as I saw at the North American International Toy Fair in New York City this week, while others have remained pretty much the same. [More]
The company behind the toy that has been teaching children about the impermanence of the human condition for more than 50 years has decided to shake things up and sell the rights to make Etch A Sketch to a Canadian toymaker. [More]
Once upon a time, teddy bears were simple, cute, cuddly friends for youngsters. Today, the seemingly benign toys can talk, hold a conversation, and give away your personal information. Or at least that’s what security experts are saying about the Smart Toy stuffed bear from Fisher Price.
For decades, Mattel’s famous line of Barbie dolls has been heavily criticized for perpetuating an unrealistic and unobtainable image of the female figure. And for some reason, the dolls’ feet were perma-slanted so that Barbie had to wear heels all the time. But today Mattel has announced that Barbie will come in a variety of sizes and skin tones. [More]
Each year manufacturers and federal safety regulators initiate safety recalls for a number of baby- and child-focused products. One major retailer wants to ensure you’ve rid your home of these potentially dangerous items by offering discounts if you trade in the goods for new ones. [More]