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:

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Hasbro Studios and Sony Music/Legacy Recordings to Release Truly Outrageous: A Jem and the Holograms Tribute

HasbroStudios.logoHasbro Studios and Sony Music/Legacy Recordings will release a tribute album to Hasbro’s 1980s cult classic Jem and the Holograms on August 7, featuring modern renditions of hit tracks from Starlight Records’ Jem and the Holograms, The Misfits, and The Stingers.

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How Toymakers Can Succeed with Millennial Parents

by Catherine Mevs, strategy director, Red Peak Branding

redpeak_logo_rgbWith more and more Millennials stepping into parenthood, big name toymakers are trying to guess at the expectations of a new generation of parents. However, from Mattel’s introduction of its Siri-inspired Hello Barbie to Hasbro’s more compact preschool toys, thus far their efforts are either misguided or not going far enough.

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GUEST COMMENTARY: Take Action: Urge Your Senator to Support TSCA Reform

TIA Logoby Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs, Toy Industry Association (TIA)

One of the biggest threats facing your business today is the increasing problem of state after state seeking to ban certain chemicals used in toys. Individual state legislatures—and even counties—have been creating their own flawed chemical management laws, which could force retailers to pull perfectly safe products from store shelves. While the TIA is working to prevent such state laws, we are also actively engaged in addressing this threat by urging Congress to pass a federal, uniform chemical management policy that will help preempt state-by-state activity.

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GUEST COMMENTARY: Game Stores versus Toy Stores: There’s More than Enough Fun to Go Around

by Sara Erickson, owner, Rook’s Comics and Games

Rook's InteriorSitting in my game store on a warm Saturday afternoon, I watch as customers stream in with tote bags full of games they plan on playing during the next three or four hours. I know most of them by name and would consider many of them my friends. They’ve been shopping and playing at my store for the past nine years, and I’ve seen them grow from awkward teenagers into professional adults. Many have even outgrown my store and are now shopping at the local toy store across the street for their own kids. Eventually, the cycle will repeat and I’ll be selling the newest hot game to the next generation.

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ASTRA Names 2015 Best Toys for Kids

ASTRAlogoThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) unveiled its 2015 Best Toys for Kids award winners. This year’s list includes 18 winning toys in 14 categories.

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Netflix Research Finds Dads Feel Powerful Connection from Bonding with Kids Over Cartoons

NETFLIX, INC. LOGOAccording to new research from Netflix released just in time for Father’s Day, 85 percent of dads around the world have already or plan to introduce their kids to the cartoons they grew up watching. For 75 percent of those polled, it lets them feel like a kid again, while for 76 percent, it helps them teach life lessons. The research finds dads take seriously the role of keeping the pop culture references from their childhood alive: Roughly two-thirds of them, or 66 percent, are turning to internet TV services such as Netflix for this new family tradition.

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