Author: Guest Contributor

Army Building: Assembling Brand Ambassadors to Champion Your Brand

by JAMES ZAHN, publisher, The Rock Father Magazine In the action figure world, “army building” is the process in which kids and collectors rally the troops—assembling a full crew to carry out imaginary missions. Whether it’s Gru’s Minions or Imperial Stormtroopers, the right army can make a big impact. Standing out among the ranks of the troops are the “specialists”—members of the team who look a little bit different, a distinction that they have an additional skill set or niche. When working with influencers, digital content creators, bloggers, or writers to help champion your brand, the same rules apply,...

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Toys “R” Us UK Goes Into Administration

Toys “R” Us UK, the biggest toy retailer in the UK, has gone into administration following the failure to find a buyer, according to BBC News. All 105 stores will remain open until further notice, but transactions on the website have been suspended. Products in store are expected to be on sale. Toys “R” Us has been facing a £15 million tax bill, and the closure of stores will put up to 3,000 jobs at...

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The NPD Group Examines How the Toy Industry Fared in 2017

by JULI LENNETT, senior vice president, industry advisor, toys, The NPD Group The U.S. toy industry grew by 1 percent to $20.7 billion in 2017, according to retail sales data* from global information company The NPD Group. Unit sales grew faster than dollars, up 3 percent, bringing the average retail price down by 2 percent to $9.99. The industry was 14 percent larger in 2017 than 2014, which calculates to a compounded annual growth rate of 4.5 percent. In terms of sales performance across the supercategories tracked by NPD, seven of the 11 supercategories posted gains in 2017. All...

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by NATHAN RIGBY, vice president, One Click Retail; and DANNY SILVERMAN, CMO, Clavis Insight On September 19, 2017, Toys “R” U.S. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Once the most recognizable toy seller in the country, it struggled in recent years as consumers increasingly prefer to shop online, and kids are more interested in touchscreen technologies and robotics than board games and action figures. Enter Amazon. While Toys “R” Us racked up debt throughout last year, Amazon’s toy sales grew by 12 percent. The e-commerce giant has numerous advantages over its brick-and-mortar competitors. Today, Amazon’s Prime membership is at an...

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The Hottest Trends of 2018

Where to Look and How to Capitalize on Them by Christine Osborne, owner, Wonder Works; principal, Christine S. Osborne LLC I am often asked three things: What item is trending? How do I find sources for the trending product? Will this trend really help my business? Here are tips on how to spot toy trends and capitalize on them. WHY YOU SHOULD CARRY TRENDING ITEMS The fourth quarter can make or break a specialty toy store. Many have gone from doing 60 percent of their yearly business to only 30 percent during the last three months of the year....

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