Author: Maddie Michalik

IBM Watson, Sesame Workshop Team Up for Learning Platform

Georgia’s Gwinnett County Public Schools completed IBM and Sesame Workshop’s initial pilot of the companies’ first cognitive vocabulary learning app, built on the IBM and Sesame intelligent play and learning platform. The new platform, powered by IBM Cloud, enables an ecosystem of software developers, researchers, educational toy companies, and educators to tap IBM Watson cognitive capabilities and Sesame Workshop’s early childhood expertise to build engaging experiences to help advance kid’s education and learning. The cognitive vocabulary app is one of the first of additional planned cognitive apps, games, and educational toys that will be built over time on this new platform, as a result of the two companies’ collaboration that began last year. The Gwinnett pilot program marks the first time that this technology have been introduced into classrooms to be tested by students and educators. In the initial phase, Gwinnett kindergartners and teachers in six classrooms engaged with a tablet-based, cognitive vocabulary app built on the Watson-powered intelligent play and learning platform to enhance vocabulary development of students. Fueled by Sesame learning design, the app features Sesame Street characters alongside educational videos and word games.  Based on the initial Gwinnett pilot, with an expanded pilot currently being planned for this Fall, IBM and Sesame collected 18,000 feedback points from 120 students that helped determine a more accurate progression of words they were exposed to over a two-week period. In the pilot, students...

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Build-A-Bear Workshop Adds Pop-Up Shop Experiences at Select Movie Theaters, Family Resorts

This summer, Build-A-Bear Workshop will offer new experiences for fans at select AMC Theatres, Carnival Cruise Line ships, Gaylord Hotels, and Beaches Resorts. Build-A-Bear Workshop seasonal pop-up shops opened in March at select AMC Theatres locations in Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and 10 additional shops opened this month in Texas, Kansas, and Missouri. Kids can make movie-inspired plush and customize it with an assortment of clothing, accessories, scents, and sounds. Pre-stuffed plush are also available. The Carnival Cruise Line Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea experience launched last summer and is now available on all 25 Carnival ships. Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea lets kids create and customize with a variety of outfits and accessories, including vacation-wear. The selection also includes a signature Carnival bear, Carnival T-shirts and backpacks, and an exclusive Make-Your-Own Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat. Build-A-Bear Workshop and Beaches Resorts also partnered for shop experiences at resort locations. The first Build-A-Bear Workshop Beaches experience opened last December at Beaches Turks and Caicos, and two additional locations will open this month at Beaches Negril and Beaches Ocho Rios in Jamaica. On Memorial Day, the Build-A-Bear Workshop returned to Gaylord Hotels, including Gaylord Palms Resort, Gaylord Opryland Resort, and Gaylord Texan Resort. The shop will be available Labor Day as part of the resorts’ annual SummerFest event. Signature Teddy bears, licensed characters, and more are available and...

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Zimpli Kids Launches the SnoBall Battle Pack

The new SnoBall Battle Pack, from Zimpli Kids, transforms a seasonal experience into an activity that can be enjoyed year round—including summer. The toy lets kids add water to the included powder to create their own realistic snow. The powder makes more than 60 snowballs, letting kids have epic snowball fights outside. According to Zimpli Kids, consumer reaction has been very positive. The company’s YouTube campaign has reached more than 12 million views in two months. Zimpli Kids’ other items, Gelli Baff and Slime Baff, have accumulated more than 2 billion views on YouTube since October...

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Playmates Toys Launches New Limited Exclusive Ben 10 Toy Line at Toys “R” Us

The Ben 10 toy line from Playmates Toys is now available as a limited exclusive at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at  The full collection will be available at all other major retailers in August. The line is inspired by Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 animated series, which premiered in the U.S. in April. The collection of toys includes action figures, vehicles, play sets, and role-play items. The Playmates Toys collection includes the Basic Action Figure assortment, which features a variety of 5-inch, articulated figures including Ben Tennyson, the 10 different heroic aliens that he transforms into, villains from the first season, and more; the Rustbucket Vehicle and Playset, which transforms into a 3-level play set that is more than 2 feet tall; and a Basic and Deluxe Omnitrix and Transform-N-Battle gauntlets and...

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Surprizamals Launches Design Contest to Celebrate Series 4 Release

Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co. launched a Design Your Own Surprizamal contest to celebrate the release of Surprizamals Series 4. Participants can now design the next character in the plush series. The grand prize winner will have his or her design become part of the Surprizamal family, and the top three submissions will win the entire Series 6 collection. The winning design will be incorporated into the upcoming series launching at the beginning of next year as the limited edition Surprizamal.  The contest will run through June 30, and the winner will be announced on July 30. Participants can...

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