China Toy Fair


Toys “R” Us Bolsters Leadership Team to Drive TRU Transformation Strategy

toysrusToys “R” Us Inc. has appointed a number of proven executives to key leadership roles, as the company continues to position its business for long-term profitable growth.

Debbie Lentz has been named senior vice president, chief supply chain officer, with responsibility for U.S. distribution and customs compliance, global importing and exporting, fleet operations, and domestic transportation. She will report to Hank Mullany, president, Toys “R” Us, U.S. In this role, Lentz will oversee inventory planning and allocation, as well as e-commerce fulfillment, while driving efforts to significantly improve in-stock levels both in stores and online. She will also lead logistics strategy development for the company’s international markets and efforts to improve global supply chain efficiencies, reporting in this capacity to Antonio Urcelay, chairman and CEO of Toys “R” Us Inc.

Lentz most recently held the position of senior vice president, customer service and logistics, at Kraft Foods Group. Prior to Kraft, she worked for many years in logistics operations at Nabisco Foods Group. [Read more...]

Gamers Have a Date with Destiny After Midnight Tonight

DestinyAt 12:01 a.m. on September 9, Destiny, the new video game from Bungie and Activision Publishing Inc., will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. In Destiny, players are cast as a Guardian of the last city on Earth, able to explore the ruins of the solar system, which is a social universe populated with other players.

In addition to the story campaign, players can take their character into cooperative or competitive activity, including the ability to compete with or against friends in The Crucible, a competitive multiplayer mode featuring playlists and maps spanning diverse environments across the galaxy.

The Expansion Pass will extend the Destiny adventure after the launch of the game with two expansions. Both will include brand new story missions, cooperative activities and competitive multiplayer arenas, and a wealth of all new weapons, armor, and gear to earn. Expansion I will launch in December, with Expansion II following.

DHX Brands Signs Character Options as Master Toy Partner on New Teletubbies

DHXMediaOriginalTeletubbiesDHX Media has appointed Character Options as global master toy partner for the new series of Teletubbies. DHX Brands, the company’s dedicated brand and consumer products arm, completed the deal.

Character Options will launch product at retail in the UK in 2016, with other territories to follow. Core categories will be plush, plastics, and bath toys.

The much-anticipated new 60-episode series of Teletubbies has been commissioned by the UK’s CBeebies and is being produced by Darrall Macqueen Ltd. It will bring a contemporary look to the property, ensuring that it is relevant for a new generation.

Bazooka Candy Brands and Hasbro Cross-Promoting for Digital and Retail

Hasbro logoHasbro and Bazooka Candy Brands are joining forces for a cross-promotion launching this month. Favorite childhood games and tasty, classic candies such as Juicy Drop, Baby Bottle Pop, and Jumbo Push Pop will be co-mingling.

The promotion will feature a campaign with retail, digital, and social elements:

Retail: The strong in-store presence will include shippers with $3 off any one Hasbro game coupons. Family prize opportunities sponsored by Topps will include chances to win a Carnival cruise or one of 100 Hasbro game and Bazooka Candy Brand prize packs.

Digital: Bazooka Candy Brands’ site, candymania.com, will be re-branded and skinned to feature Hasbro game themes. Along with the redesign, the site will host an interactive online promotion sponsored by Topps, featuring an instant win game where fans can play for a chance to win game and candy prize packs, which include Hasbro games such as Monopoly and Twister and Bazooka candy.

Social: There will be cross promotions on both Bazooka Candy Brands’ and Hasbro’s social media platforms.

Jenga Creator Leslie Scott to Speak at T&GCon

ChicagoAs reported by the Chicago Toy & Game Group, Leslie Scott, the inventor of Jenga, will be a keynote speaker headlining the 2014 Toy & Game Inventor & Innovation Conferences (T&GCon, I-SPI & IRS) on November 20 and 21 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. To celebrate Scott’s involvement at this year’s T&GCon, attendees of the conferences will receive a copy of her book, About Jenga: The Remarkable Business of Creating a Game that Became a Household Name.

T&GCon is open to anyone interested in getting involved with the toy and game industry, while I-SPI and IRS are invitation only events that bring together seasoned professionals. Anyone interested in an application to attend I-SPI and IRS can visit www.inventorsummit.com.

World of Toys Pavilion at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair Grows

SpielwarenmesseegSpielwarenmesse eG is increasing the display space at its World of Toys pavilion at Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair from 385 square meters to 427 square meters. According to Spielwarenmesse eG, 22 companies from 12 countries have already registered for the pavilion, and applications for the pavilion can be submitted until September 30.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) organizes the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, which is scheduled for January 12 to 15. For more information about the pavilion, contact Andreas Pfeiffer, project manager, Spielwarenmesse eG, at a.pfeiffer@spielwarenmesse.de.

Sphero Releases Fast-Driving, App-Driven Ollie

OllieSphero will launch its next-generation, app-controlled robot, Ollie, which features the same technology as the company’s Sphero 2.0. Featuring a tubular design, Ollie has the ability to drive up to 14 mph; and execute tricks including spin, drift, jump, and flip. Through apps, it can provide automatic feedback and points based on the difficulty of the maneuvers and tricks performed.

Programming apps will also be available, and users can customize Ollie with a collection of accessories and parts, which will launch for the holiday season. Accessories include nubby tires, turbo tires, and ultra tires that give users a completely different driving experience. [Read more...]

Thanks to The Lego Movie, Lego Is World’s Largest Toy Maker

LEGO_LogoAs reported by The Wall Street Journal today, Lego is currently the world’s largest toy maker.

Denmark’s Lego A/S said that revenue during the first six months rose 11 percent, boosted by The Lego Movie products. This makes Lego the biggest toy company in the world in terms of both revenue and profit, ahead of Mattel Inc. The jump also puts Lego slightly ahead of Mattel in sales for the first six months of the year.

A sequel to The Lego Movie, The Lego Movie 2, is scheduled for release in 2017, and Warner Bros. has already set the release for the Ninjago movie next year.

The licensing of the movies themselves isn’t a significant element of sales for Lego compared with the sales of movie-related boxes of bricks. Overall first-half sales for Lego rose to 11.5 billion Danish kroner ($2.03 billion) from 10.4 billion kroner in the same period last year, the company said. [Read more...]

Pueri Elemental Debuts Real Heroes Bopper Toys at ABC Kids Expo

Microsoft Word - ECO-BONK_RHS.ABCKIDS.docxPueri Elemental is expanding its plush bop toy collection with its new Eco-Bonk Real Hero Series. These latest boppers join the ranks of the Eco-Bonk Wildlife Series, and will include Soldier Ethan, Fireman Mason, and Doctor Sophia.

Suitable for ages 2 and up, Eco-Bonk boppers are fitted with a soft cover made from 100 percent recycled plastic, while their covers make them feel more like interactive plush toys. Each durable vinyl inflatable is non-phthalate-based, contains no traceable BPA, is kinder to the earth, and packaged in recycled materials.

All three will be featured in the Made in USA Showcase and available for purchase in the South Hall, Level 1, Booth 4121, at ABC Kids Expo on September 7 to 10.

Not a Hoax! Not a Dream! Marvel Launches Month-Long National Celebration: Marvel Super Hero September!

SuperHeroSeptemberDisney Consumer Products and Marvel have teamed up for Marvel Super Hero September, a national multi-platform campaign that encourages the public to, “power up like a Marvel super hero.” This month-long celebration features retail partnerships, licensing partners, advertising, and online activations. The strategy is on behalf of the Marvel brand, as both Marvel and its characters celebrate 75 years of history.

“This stands as one of the largest non-film campaigns in Marvel history and we’re looking forward to seeing how kids, fans, parents, and adults will celebrate their passion for Marvel,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president, global licensing, Disney Consumer Products.

The central hub for Marvel Super Hero September is a new online portal, superheroseptember.marvel.com, which houses content and activities, including a national photo sweepstakes contest supported by select national retailers. Marvel is also re-launching marvelkids.com with additional content. [Read more...]