Sweet Suite 2016

Same Card, New Tricks: Using Gift Cards to Go Beyond the Basics

First Data LadyBy Euphemia Erikson, First Data

The holiday season is once again approaching, and this year, retailers are not leaving any tactics on the table as they begin strategizing creative ways to boost customer traffic. Starting Black Friday and continuing past Christmas, retailers will turn to door busters, flash sales, deep discounts, and shockingly early store openings to drive their holiday sales higher than years before.

With big picture tactics like these, it’s also important for retailers to remember the power traditional retail tools command when driving revenue up. Gift cards are consumers’ most desired holiday present, and for retailers this classic has the unique ability to drive value far beyond a single purchase. Digital and plastic gift cards, more so than store credit, add a nice edge to retail sales planning by supporting marketing efforts, driving sales, and even engaging new audiences. [Read more...]

Paul de Glasenapp, Chief Editor of Baby, Hobby & Leketøy, Passes Away

paulChief Editor Paul de Glasenapp, born December 22, 1941, left us Thursday morning, 22 October 2015. Paul struggled, but finally had to give in to cancer. Until recently, he was doing what he lived and breathed for, with his work as a journalist for the toy industry.

Paul started the trade magazine Hobby og Leketøyhandleren in 1974, which eventually also added Babycare. In 2000, the magazine received its present name, Baby, Hobby & Leketøy. He has for many years made a considerable effort and contribution to the toy industry, and was awarded in 1992 the industry’s own Honorary Award for his dedicated years of service. [Read more...]

Q&A with Ernst Kick, CEO of Spielwarenmesse eG

unnamed-4Marek Jankowski, president of Baby Care Magazines International, recently spoke with Ernst Kick, CEO of Spielwarenmesse eG, about the growth of Spielwarenmesse eG, toy fairs throughout the international community, and more.

Marek Jankowski: I remember us talking a few years ago. You mentioned that every year there are 200-250 companies queuing to exhibit at Spielwarenmesse. I suggested that you could build a new hall, but you were not convinced. You replied that assuming that the number of buyers remains stable, if they would scatter over a wider area, an average exhibitor would have fewer visits at their booth. But in 2014 you opened a new hall—3A. From today’s perspective, was it a good idea to build it?

Ernst Kick: Yes, I think, because we could have improved the quality of the whole fairground. I would say that the new hall 3A is one of the most modern halls in the world. And if you see it from the organisation view, the climate is better than in the old halls. We are also in discussion how to reconstruct the older part of the fairground. I think there can be some possibilities — not today, but in the future; I think it is also necessary. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Named Master Toy Licensee for Make It Pop

by Melanie Rainone

MAKE IT POP - newDHX Brands, a part of DHX Media, has appointed Jakks Pacific Inc. as master toy licensee for the show, Make It Pop, for all territories outside of Europe. The products will include dolls, plush, dress-up, role-play, girls’ electronic toys, and Halloween costumes, and are expected to launch in 2016.

[Read more...]

Ubisoft and RSG Partner to Create Next-Generation Theme Park

Ubisoft.logoby Varuni Sinha

Ubisoft is partnering with RSG, a co-owner and co-developer of Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) to develop a next-generation theme park. By combining a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands with expertise in designing highly interactive gaming experiences, Ubisoft aims to revolutionize the basic concept behind theme parks.

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Hasbro to Participate in Panel Discussion on Millennial Moms

Hasbro-logo-jpgJohn Frascotti, the president of Hasbro Brands, will take part in a panel discussion on Millennial Moms at the Goldman Sachs 22nd Annual Global Retailing Conference, scheduled for September 9 at 2:25 p.m. ET in New York City. He will be joined by Brian Lynch, the president of Carter’s Inc., and Chuck Vila, the vice president of consumer and customer insights at Campbell Soup Company.

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Thunderbirds Seeing Success in Australia and New Zealand

As ITV Studios Global Entertainment continues to build upon the international reach of its new boys’ property Thunderbirds Are Go, the firm has shared details of the brand’s success so far in Australia and New Zealand.

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Wal-Mart Revamps Layaway Program in Anticipation of Toy Demand

logo-walmartWal-Mart Stores Inc. will bring forward its holiday layaway program by two weeks, in what has been viewed as a move to get ahead of year-end demand for toys, and to generate sales of upcoming Star Wars toys. As reported by Reuters, Anne Marie Kehoe, the vice president of toys for Wal-Mart, said in a briefing that shoppers can utilize the program starting August 28, two weeks earlier than last year.

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CPSC Approves E-Filing Pilot Program for Imported Products

CPSCAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a pilot program last week that will require participating importers to electronically file five data elements for imported consumer products, in order to help the agency more accurately target noncompliant and unsafe consumer products before they are imported. CPSC is currently seeking volunteer participants.

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A Preview in Paris: Hape Hosts Sneak Peek of The Little Prince Movie and Tie-In Toys

by Scarlett Wisotzki, editor-in-chief, das spielzeug

On June 1, Peter Handstein, the CEO of Hape, rolled out the red carpet for his retailers in France, and gave them a sneak peek of The Little Prince movie and tie-in products prior to their official global release. Scarlett Wisotzki, the editor-in-chief of das spielzeug for the past four years, has this exclusive report:

[Read more...]