Author: Guest Contributor

Accelerating Through Turbulence

Putting the brakes on marketing spend in the wake of the Toys “R” Us closure will only result in a crash  By Harold Chizick In this time of crisis brought on by the imminent closure of Toy “R” Us, I needed to remind myself the toy industry’s annual revenues have been sitting at around $21 billion—give or take a few million—for at least the last decade. That figure has remained constant through the closures of Zany Brainy, FAO Schwarz, KB Toys, the downsizing of Learning Express, and even the implementation of tougher COPPA legislation. And it’s also worth noting...

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PlayCon to Feature Trend Hunters Armida Ascano and Courtney Scharf

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Experts from Trend Hunter will share cutting-edge insight into today’s youth and how to get consumers to engage more with brands during two presentations at this year’s PlayCon conference, from May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, Calif. The first session, titled “Millennial Myth-Busting and Gen Z: Destroying Assumptions of Millennials While Diving into the New Youth Generation,” will be led by Armida Ascano, Trend Hunter’s vice president of insight. Ascano will discuss misperceptions about millennials and critical subsegments of the generation, top priorities for Generation Z, and a comparison of the two generations....

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Toys “R” Us is Closing its Doors

Sean McGowan analyzes how this happened, and what it means for the toy industry. by SEAN MCGOWAN, managing director, Liolios Group Toys “R” Us is folding. It’s sad. No doubt about it. Many of us are processing the shock. Even oldsters might find ourselves singing, “I don’t wanna grow up; I’m a Toys “R” Us kid!” Quite aside from my memories as a consumer when I was young, or taking my kids there, I had a decades-long professional connection to Toys “R” Us. I covered the stock on Wall Street for 18 years. It was the first company in which...

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PlayCon Spotlight: Toy Veteran Tim Kilpin to Present

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Veteran toy executive Tim Kilpin has spent nearly 30 years developing innovative consumer products in the toy and children’s entertainment industries. Kilpin, who took on the role of Activision Blizzard’s head of consumer products last year, will share his knowledge into how brands can deepen their relationships with their audiences and engage fans during a special session at the new PlayCon when the conference returns May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, Calif. Kilpin, who was recently elected to The Toy Association’s board of directors, has set brand strategies and creative direction for...

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Toys Not Included on China Tariff List

The Toy Association Will Hold FGAC Call on Thursday, April 5 The Toy Association sent out a Legislative Bulletin is to inform its members that toys were not listed in the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) proposed list of products imported from China that could be subject to additional tariffs published Tuesday evening. Specifically, no products in Chapter 95 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule are listed, which includes toys, dolls, games, puzzles, magic tricks, etc., nor are crayons of Chapter 96. However, The Toy Association encourages each company, especially domestic manufacturers, to review the list closely because some machinery and materials that toy manufacturers import...

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