Ladybug Girl Products in Development

The beloved children's book character will have her own line of dolls, plushes, puzzles, back-to-school products, apparel, footwear, accessories and more thanks to a new partnership with SMC Entertainment Group. The products will be geared towards girls from preschool age to 6 years old. The character first came into children's lives through a best-selling book in 2009 and a new picture book, Ladybug Girl and Bingo, was released last month. Senior Vice President of Licensing at SMC Lisa Streff believes Ladybug Girl is a positive influence on young girls.

ASICS To Produce Children’s Wear

The active company ASICS has announced a partnership with Cayre Group. Cayre Group is the brand's exclusive children's apparel licensee. They plan on producing activewear, outerwear and swimwear in sizes 4 to 20 for newborn, infant and toddler aged children. Vice President of Apparel and Accessories for ASICS David Chandler is excited at the growth of their relationship with Cayre Group and the opportunity to expand their line.

Imaginarium Toy Sold Exclusively at Toys “R” Us Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Toys "R" Us has announced a voluntary recall of the Imaginarium 5-Sided Activity Center sold exclusively at Toys "R" Us stores nationwide and online between August 2009 and September 2010. No injuries have been reported but the small wooden knobs attaching the xylophone keys to the end of the toy can detach, causing a choking hazard to young children. About 24,000 units are affected by the recall.

Child Safety Locks Recalled by Dorel Juvenile Group

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Columbus, OH-based Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) Inc. is recalling 183,000 Safety 1st Sure Fit Toilet Locks and 685,000 Safety 1st Cabinet Slide Locks because children can unexpectedly disengage the locks, posing a risk of injury. Major retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Target and Home Depot, sold the toilet locks from January 2005 through April 2010 and the cabinet locks from January 2000 through March 2009. DJG is offering free replacement locks to consumers who call (877) 416-8105.

Skylanders Team Up with Mega Brands

Mega Brands and Activision's Skylanders are partnering together to develop Mega Bloks and Mega Puzzles toys for multiple years. Chief Innovation Officer of Mega Brands, Vic Bergrand, says the company is excited about their new partnership, which he calls the "hottest property in the kids' space." "We look forward to bringing the endless creative play possibilities of Mega Bloks together with our innovative line of Mega Puzzles to the world of Skylanders Giants," he says.

Brave Products Arrive at Disney Stores

Merchandise for the new Disney Pixar film, which will be released this summer, is set to hit store shelves this month before the film's theater release. Brave products include dolls, costumes, toy sets, plush toys, apparel and accessories. Mattel produced the dolls based on the film, Posh Paws the plush toys and role-playing items from Jakks Pacific.

TRB Acquisitions Partners with Cherry Stix Ltd. to Expand Rugged Bear Clothing Line

The Rugged Bear apparel line is extending from the newborn and infant lines coming out this summer to include sizes toddler to 18. The apparel will be mix and match knit and woven pieces, focusing on school wear essentials such as sweaters, basic tees, corduroys, cargo pants and turtlenecks. Licensees for Rugged Bear include iApparel for outerwear, Gina Group for crib shoes and hosiery, FAB Starpoint for backpacks, Eastman for footwear, CNY Apparel for pajamas and underwear and Cutie Pie Baby for newborn and infant clothing.

Malibu Dream Girl Changes Name

After three decades in business, Malibu Dream Girl, Inc. changed its name to Malibu Design Group. The name change went into effect on June 1st and is part of a larger rebranding effort to better suit the company's expanding and diverse brand portfolio. Recently Malibu Design Group established a new headquarters in Los Angeles with an expanded team of designers and a new showroom in New York.

Gap’s Online Piperlime Unit to Open its First Retail Store

Online retailer Piperlime, a division of Gap Inc., will open its first brick-and-mortar storefront this fall in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. The 4,000-square-foot store will offer a similar curated assortment as online and be styled as a boutique. The San Francisco-based company, which launched in 2006, sells a selection of kids' shoes from brands like Havaianas, Hunter, Jumping Jacks and Livie & Luca, to name but a few.

1 Percent Increase Toy Sales

NPD Group, a market research firm, reported a 1 percent growth in the licensed toy industry in the first quarter. NPD Group industry analyst Anita Frazier stated that licensing is a crucial feature for the toy industry.