NPD Group Issues Video Game Analysis for April 2015

NPDGrouplogoIn the most recent video game analysis from The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, overall sales across hardware, new physical software, and accessories in April grew by 3 percent over April of last year, due to the strength of new physical software sales, offsetting losses from hardware and accessories. April hardware sales decreased by 4 percent, due to the 55 percent decline in sales of seventh-generation console hardware. After 18 months on the market for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, cumulative hardware sales for those consoles are more than 50 percent higher than the combined sales of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the same point in their life cycles.

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Albany County Agrees to Halt Enforcement of Toy Ban

As reported by the Toy Industry Association, a federal judge has granted a motion to stay an Albany County law banning the sale of toys and other children’s products containing certain chemicals. The law will not be enforced while the county seeks to address the serious legal concerns raised by a lawsuit filed by the Safe to Play Coalition last month.

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Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club Grow Your Own Business Challenge Announces Grand Prize Winners

GeniusBrandsInternationalLogoGenius Brands International, the creators of Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaire’s Club, announced the winners of the 4th annual Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club Grow Your Own Business Challenge, sponsored by the Fairholme Foundation. The Individual Winner is Miroslav Bergam, 14, of Short Hills, N.J., and the group winner is Team Keep Track Sticky Back, consisting of Emily Harkins, 12, and Bryn Hansen, 11, of Omaha, Neb.

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Toy State Recognized for Licensing Excellence by Caterpillar

ToyStateLogoToy State has been awarded platinum status by the Caterpillar Trademark Licensing Licensee Excellence and Recognition Program for 2014. Toy State has been a Caterpiller licensee since 2002, and its products include the Lights & Sound, Preschool, and Diecast Cat-licensed lines of machines.

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American Girl Unveils Truly Me Doll Line

AmericanGirlTrulyMeAmerican Girl has re-branded its line of contemporary 18-inch dolls and accessories, clothing, and exclusive play-based content as Truly Me. Formerly known as My American Girl, Truly Me lets kids create a one-of-a-kind doll through a variety of personalized options, including 40 different combinations of eye color, hair color and style, and skin color, as well as an array of outfits and accessories.

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TIA Launches My TIA, a New Members-Only Online Resource Center

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) recently unveiled My TIA, a new web portal that makes it easier for members to manage their TIA profiles and unlock member benefits.

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WTHRA Revises Its Dates for ToyFest West 2016

ToyFest WestDuring the annual Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) membership meeting this past March, the results of a post-show survey pointed to overwhelming consensus from both exhibitors and buyers that attendees could complete their business at ToyFest West in three full days. As such, a half-day on day four was eligible for elimination.

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LEGO Dimensions Adds Iconic Characters from DC Comics, Back to the Future, and LEGO Ninjago

Lego Dimensions SupermanWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has unveiled details about upcoming properties coming to LEGO Dimensions, which merges physical Lego brick building with interactive console gameplay.

In addition to LEGO Batman, LEGO Gandalf, and Wyldstyle, the three minifigure heroes used to start the experience, LEGO Dimensions will allow gamers to customize their experience post-launch and throughout the first half of next year with additional packs from brands including: DC Comics Team Pack, featuring LEGO Joker and LEGO Harley Quinn minifigures; three additional DC Comics Fun Packs, featuring LEGO Superman, LEGO Aquaman, and LEGO Bane minifigures; the Back to the Future Fun Pack with LEGO Doc Brown minifigure; and two additional LEGO Ninjago Fun Packs with Sensei Wu and Lloyd minifigures.

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VTech Reports Full Year Annual Results

VTech-LogoIn its financial results for the year ended March 31, VTech Holdings Ltd. reported a decline in revenue and profit. Group revenue for the year ended March 31 declined by 1 percent to $1,879.8 million. The decrease was mainly due to lower revenue in North America, which offset higher revenue in Europe, Asia Pacific, and other regions.

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Coastal Student Scrabble Team Brings Home the W-I-N at North American School Scrabble Championship

School SCrabbleAfter two days of intense strategy and play, students Noah Kalus from New Paltz, N.Y., and Zach Ansell from Los Angeles defeated more than 55 teams to take home the coveted North American School Scrabble Championship trophy, the title, and the $10,000 grand prize at the 13th annual North American School Scrabble Championship. The tournament gathered the top Scrabble players from the U.S. and Canada in grades 4 through 8 at the Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I.

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