China Toy Fair


Neil Friedman Resigns as President of Toys “R” Us, Inc., U.S.

In a SEC filing on Friday, Toys “R” Us, Inc. announced that Neil Friedman has resigned as president of U.S. operations after 10 months at the company. His resignation will be effective on February 24. The filing says Friedman will “become an advisor to the broader toy industry,” and the company “intends to retain his advisory services, on a non-exclusive basis, for new ventures and business alliances.”

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

TIA Identifies Top Trends from Toy Fair 2012

After viewing tons of the 100,000-plus products that were on display during the 109th American International Toy Fair last week, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) found six new toy trends for this year. A presentation was made during a “Toy Trends Tea,” hosted by TIA.

The six top trends identified were: toys that work with smart devices and apps; toys that glow in the dark or light up; educational games and toys for infants, preschoolers, and children of all ages; toys that have multiple play patterns or customizable toys; higher-priced toys that pack a “wow” factor; and toys that teach music basics or allow older kids to emulate their favorite pop stars.

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Hobbico Acquires Revell Germany

Hobbico, Inc., announced today that it has acquired Revell Germany. Revell Germany, established is 1956, will continue to operate from its headquarters in Bünde, near Hannover, Germany, and will be led by Hans Remfert, president of Revell Germany. For the past four years, Revell has been a market leader in the plastic model building segment and a key player in toy radio control vehicles in the European toy market. Several new product lines were announced at this year’s Nuremberg Toy Fair.

Hobbico manufactures and markets model hobby products, including radio-controlled models, plastic model kits, flying model rockets, and other hobby and toy products. The 100 percent employee-owned company sells products through several subsidiaries including Revell, Estes, Great Planes Model Distributors, and Tower Hobbies.

This post was originally written by Ericka Johnson and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

TOTY Award Winners Announced

More than five hundred toy industry executives and guests from around the globe gathered in New York City on February 11 to honor their peers at the 12th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

A Toy Industry Association (TIA)-administered event in support of the Toy Industry Foundation, the  gala held in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center kicked off the 109th American International Toy Fair and paid tribute to today’s superstars, tomorrow’s bright up-and-comers, and illustrious toy industry icons.

Interspersed with the presentations of 12 TOTY Awards were two inductions into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame: Arnie Rubin, Founder and CEO of Funrise Toy, and the late Frederick August Otto Schwarz, founder of FAO Schwarz. The new inductees join a distinguished roster of nearly 60 toy industry luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since its establishment in 1985.

Award winners were selected with the input of consumers (on ToyAwards.org), retailers (mass and specialty), media, and members of the toy industry. The five ballots were weighted and used to determine the category winners as well as the overall “Toy of the Year” award.
LeapPad Explorer by LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. received the coveted “Toy of the Year” title and was also awarded Educational Toy of the Year and Preschool Toy of the Year. The awards program included 77 finalists across the 11 categories.

And the winners are…

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PHOTOS: Toy Fair 2012, Told Through Our Editors’ Smartphones

American International Toy Fair, held in New York City at the Javits Center every February, is always a blast, and this year’s event did not disappoint. Below is only a snapshot of the interesting people, places, and things the editors of Adventure Publishing Group saw at the fair. So click away, and see you next year!

Tons of pictures after the jump!

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Little Airplane Productions Joins with Laurie Berkner

Little Airplane Productions and children’s music artist Laurie Berkner have joined together to develop the new animated preschool television series Sing It, Laurie!
Sing It, Laurie! follows a little girl named Laurie who loves to sing and play her purple guitar. Each episode features songs written by Laurie Berkner.
The Sing It, Laurie! educational curriculum was written by Dr. Christine Ricci and focuses on two core themes: creativity curiosity and music appreciation. In each 11-minute episode, Laurie will use music and singing to help her explore and understand her world.

This post was originally written by Ericka Johnson and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Figures Toy Company to Release Retro KISS Action Figures

KISS collectors and rock fans can now add to their collections, with Figures Toy Company KISS action figures. The figures are reminiscent of the original figures released in 1977-1978 by Mego Toy Company. The figures will have rooted hair, cloth clothing, 16 points of articulation, and, for the first time, will be available in an eight-inch size. A re-release of the 12-inch will also be available. Collectors will be able to find the figures at toy stores, comic shops, music stores, and online retailers beginning in March.

This post was originally written by Ericka Johnson and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

TIF to Collect Plush, Toy, and Game Donations During Close of Toy Fair

The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is once again asking exhibitors to end their American International Toy Fair stay with donations. During the close of the show, 4 p.m. on February 15, exhibitors can donate their samples of plush, toys, and games to TIF’s signature program, The Toy Bank. The volunteers for the collection will wear bright orange T-shirts. To participate, companies must complete the one-page donation form, and submit it before Toy Fair via email, fax (212-675-1328), or on-site at booth No. 5201.

The annual collection is made possible through TIF’s partnership with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.). All donations will benefit TIF’s partnerships with My Stuff Bags Foundation and Boys and Girls Clubs of America Military Services. Products will also be distributed to The Toy Bank’s NYC-area network of charity recipients.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

TIA’s Bossard Talks Licensing at Toy Fair

by Marian Bossard, vice president of meetings and events, Toy Industry Association (TIA)

If I had a dollar for every key industry contact that told us the concept of a licensing showcase during American International Toy Fair was nothing short of brilliant, I would have at least $10. Maybe even $12.

After all, what isn’t right about endeavoring to create a “Licensing Upfront” for brand and property owners when all the right people with all the right innovation, influence, and interest are already in New York City for Toy Fair? And, what could be off the mark about bringing together an audience of Madison Avenue marketers, manufacturers from around the world, mass market and independent retailers, and critically important global media available only in New York City? The short answer is nothing. But the short answer just kind of falls short of telling the story.

A venture like this requires that you start with a clear objective, but just as important is the need to remain flexible and open to modification along the way. As it turned out, even with high levels of interest, the formats that prevailed were the small meetings with key partners, invitation-only breakfasts and cocktail receptions, and brand and property exposure through traditional advertising and promotional opportunities. So, while Toy Fair won’t be seeing “big screen showcases” this year, we are pleased that we have provided just the right solutions for these stakeholders’ needs.

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Nuremberg Toy Fair Welcomes 77,500 Visitors

Approximately 77,500 buyers and retailers from all over the world (119 countries) came to Nuremberg for the 63rd Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nuremberg. The share of international visitors increased to 55 percent, which Spielwarenmesse EG attributes to the new Wednesday start date of the fair. Most of the buyers came from the U.S., Russia, and Great Britain.

Most exhibitors plan to return for the fair next year. Of the 2,776 exhibitors, 92 percent said they will come back for International Toy Fair 2013, and 87 percent of visitors said they will attend the fair next year. Additionally, 347 exhibitors presented their products for the first time at this fair, compared to 325 new exhibitors in 2011. The 2013 show is slated to run from January 30 to February 4.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.