Author: Phil Guie

Fisher-Price Enters Multi-Year Play Area Partnership with CBL and Playtime

Fisher-Price Inc. has entered into a five-year partnership with CBL & Associates Properties Inc. and Playtime LLC to design soft play area attractions at select CBL malls nationwide. Each play area will resemble a larger-than-life toy box featuring brands such as Thomas & Friends, Little People, and more. The first three attractions will open at the West Towne Mall in Madison, Wis.; the Asheville Mall in Asheville, N.C.; and the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pa., shortly before the holiday season. Three additional attractions will open early next year, and the partnership will extend to more than 18 malls across the U.S. over the next three...

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Young Toy Professionals Invited to Networking Cocktail Party in Dallas

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) Young Professionals Network (YPN) will host a networking cocktail party on October 7 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The event is free for all to attend, and will take place following the close of the second day of Fall Toy Preview. Toy industry professionals ages 35 and under are invited to the party, to be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Gossip Bar. Light bites will be served; drinks and additional food will be available for purchase. TIA member company representatives will receive one complimentary drink. Guests are encouraged to RSVP by October 1. Questions regarding TIA’s YPN may be directed to Bernadette Boyle, membership manager, at (646)...

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MGA Entertainment Launches Bratz App

Earlier this month, MGA Entertainment launched its Bratz App, which gives users the ability to create worlds in the digital space by customizing Bratz avatars, fashions, and the Bratz Create It Yourself (CIY) Shoppe. Follow the link to see hi-res screenshots....

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Barbie Honors Zendaya with One-of-a-Kind Doll for Upcoming Benefit Concert

Mattel‘s Barbie brand is honoring Zendaya with a one-of-a-kind doll to be presented at the Barbie Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience on September 26 at the Hollywood Palladium. The doll commemorates the singer’s Vivienne Westwood look from the 2015 Oscars Red Carpet. Zendaya, who encourages girls to raise their voices, will host the Barbie Rock ‘N Royals concert this month, an experiential event benefiting the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The concert will include up-and-coming musical and dance acts, a meet and greet with Zendaya, and a rock star zone where kids can jam out on guitars, drums, trumpets, and more instructed by music teachers and high school music students from Duarte Unified School District, a VH1 Save The Music partner school...

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Toys “R” Us Reports Second Quarter Results, Announces Seasonal Hiring

This past Tuesday, Toys “R” Us Inc. reported financial results for the second quarter ended August 1. For the quarter, Adjusted EBITDA was $122 million, compared to $83 million in the prior year period. In addition, domestic operating performance improved significantly as domestic gross margin rate remained strong. Internationally, the company continued its positive comparable store net sales trend with particular strength in Canada, Central Europe, China, and Southeast Asia. Consolidated net sales were $2.3 billion, a decrease of $147 million compared to the prior year period. Excluding a $144 million negative impact of foreign currency translation, net sales declined $3 million. The relatively flat net sales resulted from an increase in international comparable store net sales, offset by a decrease in domestic comparable store net sales. International comparable store net sales were up 3.3 percent, primarily driven by increases in the learning, baby, and core toy categories, partially offset by a decrease in Toys “R” Us’ entertainment category. Domestic comparable store net sales were down 2.5 percent, primarily due to a planned decrease in promotional activity. With the holiday shopping season arriving, Toys “R” Us will hire 40,000 employees at its stores, distribution centers, and warehouses nationwide. Interviewing for seasonal positions begins this month at stores, with new hires starting work in October. Applications are being accepted at the company’s Holiday Hiring...

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