Sweet Suite 2016

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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COMMENTARY: Smart Technology Spans New Categories

by Reyne Rice, trend hunter, toy trend expert, industry analyst, and consultant

Resized,Reyne_RiceSmart tech for kids is no longer buzzword lingo. It has become a reality and has grown to encompass so much more than just technology added to toys to make them interesting or “tech-y.” Today, kids’ technology-enhanced products offer engaging and explorative play patterns that span a wide spectrum of categories. And while there are new technologies being used in these toys, the thrill is in the play experience, not in the technology itself. New technology enhances and extends play patterns way beyond how kids were playing in past decades. Plus, parents, older siblings, caregivers, and educators are all using new technology that companies are translating into toys and tech products for kids’ worldwide.

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Q&A with Diana Brobmann, CEO and Creative Director, Giggo Toys

Diana Brobmann, Giggo ToysThe Toy Book (TTB): How are you engaging customers to drive sales?

Diana Brobmann (DB): We have the most powerful tool in the marketplace–the mommy bloggers, and now, the daddy bloggers. We have partnered with a consortium of top bloggers to engage our target audience by providing timely information about Giggo Toys as well as enticing giveaways.

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NPD Group Finds Interactive Gaming Toys Keep Families and Players Engaged in Play

NPDGrouplogoAccording to “Interactive Gaming Toys,” the latest report from The NPD Group, 70 percent of parents in the U.S. are familiar with Interactive Gaming Toys (IGT), also known as Toys to Life. As reported by Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group, 40 percent state that they own at least one franchise, and 41 percent of those who own an IGT indicate they own more than one franchise.

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The Unvarnished History of Beanie Babies and the Man Who Created Them

by Zac Bissonnette, author, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute

TheGreatBeanieBabyBubbleBetween 1996 and 1999, Ty Warner earned more than a billion dollars with a single line of understuffed beanbag animals that retailed for $5 each. In my new book, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute, I chronicle the story of how those animals became the strangest speculative bubble in the history of capitalism.

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