Crayola Gets Artsy

Kids' favorite crayon brand, Crayola, is teaming up with Surfacers, a producer and supplier of glass tile, to create a line of glass mosaics. The Crayola Glass Tile collection includes 60 SKUs, with colors that reflect Crayola's far-reaching brand heritage, such as Fire Engine Red and Deep Sea Blue. "Our partnership with Surfaces allows us to bring Crayola colors into homes in a unique way by bringing fun and creativity to kids' spaces," notes Warren Schorr, CP of licensing for Crayola. "The colors are vibrant, and the shapes are playful and fun."

Alvin & Crew Hit Wal-Mart

To celebrate the release of the newest "Chipmunks" movie, "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," Fox Consumer Products is launching an exclusive apparel deal with Wal-Mart. The collection will consist of a spring collection of boys' and girls' apparel from the following licensees: Bioworld, for boys' T-shirts; Awake, for girls' T-shirts; Isaac Morris for boys' swimwear and girls' T-shirts; H.I.S. International, for girls' sportswear and swimwear; Berkshire Fashions, for boys' hosiery and headwear;  and SG Intimates for boys' and girls' pajamas.

Barbie, Hot Wheels Under Construction

Two children's industry giants, Mega Brands and Mattel, have partnered up for a multi-year global licensing deal to create a line of construction toys based on the Barbie and Hot Wheels brands. The Mega Bloks Barbie line, made especially for little girls, will feature Barbie and her friends in a buildable world of fashion and dream locations. The Mega Bloks Hot Wheels collection allows little boys to customize cool performance and stunt cars. Both lines are slated to hit stores in Spring 2013.

Moody’s upgrades outlook for US apparel industry

Moody's Investors Service said on Thursday that children's retailer Gymboree Corp. would benefit the most from plummeting cotton prices and steady demand. When cotton prices peaked last year, Gymboree's profit margins took the hardest hit, but an ongoing decline coupled with a slow and steady economic recovery in the U.S. should benefit the company, with most gains coming in the second half of the year.

Bentex renews and expands its Garment District lease

Children's apparel outfit Bentex has renewed its lease for 17,000 square foot, as well as an additional 6,000 for 10 years at 34 W 33rd St. The asking rent was $39 per square foot. Bentex, which currently occupies the entire second floor of the building, will be expanding into the sixth floor in the coming weeks. It has been a tenant in the 12-story building since 2006.

KidzBiz Insights Launch a New Juvenile Show

Event producer nGage Co. will host the KidzBiz Insights event at Las Vegas' THEhotel at Mandalay Bay from July 15-17. The conference covers products in maternity, babies, toddler and older categories. Qualified retailers, who will receive a hosted package that includes airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, meals and access to the conference, will be required to attend appointments, information sessions and continuing educational programs featuring speakers who will discuss market trends and what's ahead in the future.

Easter Spending Expected to Increase

According to the National Retail Federation's Easter spending survey, Americans will spend 11 percent more in 2012 on candy, apparel, food and decorations than last year. On average, consumers will spend $145.28. Total spending is expected to reach $16.8 billion. Nearly half will shop for spring sales on apparel and accessories. Even more, 89.3 percent, will purchase candy and chocolates. The majority of surveyed consumers said they will head to local discount stores to make their purchase, but online retailers will see a notable jump in business. One in five will shop online.

BabyUnited Scores Tic Tac Toe Deal

Children's legwear brand Tic Tac Toe signed a deal last week with BabyUnited-owner of BabyLegs, a division of United Legwear-that will allow Tic Tac Toe to leverage BabyUnited's far-reaching sales and distribution capabilities. Tic Tac Toe is known for its collection of basic and fashion socks, booties, knee-highs, leggings and tights for infants, children and teens and is sold in more than 2,000 specialty and department stores.

K.I.D.S. supplies essentials to Florida families in need

The charity plans to distribute 4,000 pieces of Gerber Childrenswear today to approximately 250 families in Miami. K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc.) is giving out the items at Neat Stuff, an organization that aids in providing necessities to abused and abandoned children, hoping to inspire their self worth. The charity is implementing its national "Clothes 4 K.I.D.S." campaign in the state due to its high levels of poverty. K.I.D.S. supplied Florida's homeless families with nearly $1 million worth of shoes, clothing, books and other children's products in 2011.

PS Brands Launching Southpole Socks

Wholesale clothing company Wicked Fashions and PS Brands, a designer and manufacturer of private-label and branded socks and accessories, have teamed up to launch a line of Southpole-branded baby socks and infant crib shoes. The products will be available to U.S. and Canadian retailers beginning next month. 

"Southpole will be a great addition to the PS stable of brands," PS Brands President and CEO Elie Levy. "It's an exciting lifestyle brand. Their trendy designs in apparel have given us the ability to create a cutting-edge line of leg wear to service their consumer."