Sweet Suite 2016

Global Toy Sales Rise Seven Percent

Toy industry sales are up 7 percent overall (January-September 2015) across 11 global markets, according to The NPD Group. Russia, Mexico, and Poland show growth that surpasses established markets, with double-digit growth through the third quarter of this year.

Russia is showing the fastest growth among the markets that NPD tracked globally. Despite the country’s high inflation, Russian consumers are spending more money on toys and are buying more of them. The largest super-category in Russia is building sets, which has been growing 50 percent faster than the rest of the toy market. [Read more...]

You’re a Box Office Hit, Charlie Brown!

unnamed-1The Peanuts Movie launched in the U.S. this past weekend to box office success. The film earned $45 million over its first weekend, and will roll out globally to 100 countries over the next six weeks.

Digital efforts leading up to the movie launch included the PeanutizeMe website. To date, more than 6 million characters have been created. The Wah Wah machine brought the iconic Peanuts “adult voice” into the digital age. There is also a designated Peanuts Movie Sticker Pack on Facebook.

Peanuts has also invaded the toy aisle, where the property hasn’t had much presence in the past, with Just Play’s Happy Dance Snoopy leading the charge. Peanuts Worldwide/Iconix Entertainment recently announced that Peanuts shorts based on the strip will be on air in the U.S. on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

This December will mark the 50th Anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and consumers can expect to see special events surrounding this milestone, including a new TV special hosted by Kristen Bell airing on ABC focusing on the enduring power of the original special. In additional news, Snoopy will fly in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Peanuts gang will star in Macy’s holiday windows, and Snoopy will serving as Macy’s 2015 Holiday Ambassador.

TIF Celebrates 1 Million Hours of Play

TIFThanks to Toy Industry Foundation’s (TIF) Play Pledge, families have promised to support their kids with more than 1 million collective hours of play so far this year. In celebration of this milestone, TIF is donating $10,000 worth of new toys to kids in need.

COMMENTARY: Positive Outlook for 2016

After attending the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I feel confident that 2016 is going to be an even better year for the toy industry. While the show floor seemed quieter than in years past, the majority of companies I met with were upbeat and excited for holiday 2015 and the year ahead. A number of my meetings were cut short due to drop-ins by Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us buyers, which is always a good sign.

The industry is expected to be up approximately 6 percent this year, and I expect this success to carry over to 2016. I saw a higher than usual number of new lines, and interesting expansions of successful products, proving that manufacturers are riding high on the wings of rising sales, leaving them willing and able to take some risks. [Read more...]

ASTRA Names Kimberly Mosley Its New President

Kimberly MosleyKimberly Mosley, MBA, CAE has been appointed president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), its board of directors announced today.

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The Queen’s Treasures Offers Dr. Jane Goodall-Licensed Line

The Queen’s Treasures Goodall Tent with Cot and Doll

This September, children will be able to reenact the true story of Dr. Jane Goodall, whose pioneering research on wild chimpanzees helped change the way human beings perceive animals. The Queen’s Treasures has created a rainforest camp for 18-inch dolls, featuring a canvas tent and canvas cot reminiscent of the ones Goodall used at Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania.

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Q&A with Barbara Peacock, Creative Director, and Adam Mellema, Producer, Charlie & Company

Charlie_PlushSchool Zone Publishing Company is getting ready to unleash season two of its fun, educational children’s series, Charlie & Company. The Toy Book recently spoke with Barbara Peacock, the creative director of Charlie & Company, as well as its producer, Adam Mellema, about the show and upcoming plans for the brand, including toys.

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Inaugural World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

VideoGameHallOfFameThe games in the inaugural class of The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame span multiple decades, countries of origin, and gaming platforms, but all have significantly affected the video game industry, popular culture, and society in general. Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., DOOM, and World of Warcraft have been selected from a field of 15 finalists that also included Angry Birds, FIFA, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokémon, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders. [Read more...]

Bryan Stockton Resigns as Chairman and CEO of Mattel, Christopher Sinclair Named Chairman and Interim CEO

logo_Mattel logoChristopher A. Sinclair has been named the chairman and interim CEO of Mattel, effective immediately. The company also announced that Bryan G. Stockton has resigned as Mattel’s chairman and CEO and resigned from the board of directors. [Read more...]

Rubie’s Expands Its Dress-Up Line with Marvel, Minions, and More

Imagine by Rubie’s, a toy division of Rubie’s Costume Company Inc., is expanding its offerings with new products and accessories. Available for children in separates and box sets, every unique ensemble provides kids the opportunity to dress-up as their favorite character 365 days of the year.

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