China Toy Fair


New Research Data Released on Kids Making In-App Payments

New data from youth research agency Dubit has shown that parents have a greater hold on in-app payments (IAP). The research shows that only 2 percent of kids have ever spent without their parent’s permission, and not one of the 500 kids surveyed had ever spent more than $16 on a single purchase. Furthermore, only 17 percent of children are allowed by parents to spend money in-game, and they rarely spend more than $3 in one go.

Of the 500 parents and children (ages 6 to 12) surveyed by Dubit, 71 percent of the children played mobile games, compared with 91 percent of parents. Only 17 percent allow their child to spend real money in-game. The data shows that such permissions increase as kids get older: the older the child, the more likely they are to conduct an in-app purchase.  

Eighty-seven percent of kids always ask their parents before making a purchase, and 11 percent usually ask, meaning that only 2 percent have ever bought something without their parents’ consent. Although 2 percent is still a worry, this does not appear to be a case of kids being out of control. It appears that parents acknowledge this as 41 percent of children who are allowed to make in-app payments know their parent’s app store account details. [Read more...]

NPD Group: Parents Demanding Balance in Children’s Play Experiences

The Evolution of Play, the latest report from The NPD Group, examines a variety of factors in a changing environment for play, toy purchasing, and shopping habits. At the top of most people’s minds is the impact electronic devices have had on children’s playtime with traditional play items. NPD noted that almost 40 percent of parents felt their child is spending less time with traditional toys, while slightly more than half (51 percent) said the devices had no impact at all.

Not surprisingly, as kids get older, the impact of technology becomes more important in terms of time spent with more traditional playtime items. In fact, younger children who use technology are still more likely to request traditional toys, and their use of devices is perceived to have little effect on playtime with toys.

Among the parents who say they spent less money on any type of play item for their kids over the past year, 54 percent cited the economy and less disposable income, compared with only 24 percent who called out a shift to technology.

According to the report, heavy spenders on technology products—those spending $200 or more a year—are actually the most engaged traditional toy buyers, and are more likely to shop most toy categories and spend more when they do make a purchase. For example, heavy tech buyers are nearly 40 percent more likely to also buy action figures, and when they do, they spend 60 percent more per capita. This pattern held for most toy categories.

LeapFrog to Webcast First Quarter Results

LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. will webcast its first quarter results conference call on May 2, at 5:30 a.m. PDT, following the release of its financial results.

The live webcast will be available at LeapFrog’s investor relations website at www.leapfroginvestor.com. An archive of the webcast will be available on the web site approximately three hours following completion of the call. To participate in the call, dial (706) 634-0183 and request Conference ID 36439156. A telephonic replay of the call will be available for one month. To access the replay, dial (404) 537-3406 and use Conference ID 36439156.

Children’s Play Preferences and Academic Success Subject of Study in the “American Journal of Play”

Courtesy of The Strong

There is an apparent link between children’s thinking styles, the types of play activities they prefer, and their academic achievements, according to a recent study by Robin M. Holmes of Monmouth University and colleagues Sharon Liden and Lisa Shines in the American Journal of Play, a scholarly journal of The Strong in Rochester, N.Y.

Holmes and colleagues studied 74 middle school students (45 boys and 29 girls, ages 10 to 15) of mostly Filipino and part Hawaiian heritages to assess the relationship between the children’s thinking styles, play preferences, and school performance as measured by state mandated test scores and grade point average. Two standard assessment tests were administered to determine the students’ personality traits, and students were asked to provide written responses to three questions about themselves and their favorite playful activities to help categorize them as field dependent (gravitating towards social situations and interactions) or field independent (preferring to avoid social contact and set their own standards for thinking and behaving). [Read more...]

Easter Bunny Keeps Frugality in Mind This Year, According to NRF

Americans will celebrate Easter in style and on budget this year according to NRF’s Easter Spending Survey, conducted by BIGinsight. Keeping cost and their shopping list in mind, the average person celebrating Easter will spend approximately $145.13 on candy, decor, apparel, and food, flat with last year’s $145.28. Total spending will reach an estimated $17.2 billion.

Consumers will spend an average of $20.82 on gifts.

“While many of today’s consumers are coping with tight budgets, the Easter Bunny isn’t headed toward retirement in 2013,” says BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “Look for cost-conscious parents to scope the sale racks, head to discounters, and clip coupons to keep spending on track and to make the holiday special for youngsters this year.”

Spin Master Takes the Board Out of Games, Rises to No. 3 in Category

Spin Master Games is the No. 3 Games Manufacturer in Annual 2012, according to The NPD Group, and has recently acquired the worldwide rights to Perplexus.

Spin Master will be releasing a slate of new games for fall, including Perplexus Rookie, Perplexus Epic, Boom Boom Balloon, Hedbanz Act Up, and Logo Party.

For more information, visit www.spinmastergames.com.

Toys Account for 45 Percent of Global Market for Licensed Preschool Properties

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

According to a new report released last week at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Content Connection, an educational program for licensors attending the American International Toy Fair, retail sales of licensed merchandise for character-based preschool properties totaled $10.4 billion worldwide last year, up 1 percent over 2011.

The Global Market for Preschool Properties research study was presented during the seminar held on February 10 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

According to the report, toys accounted for 45 percent of the total on a global scale, up from 38 percent in 2005. The second largest merchandise category was apparel, accessories, and soft goods (24 percent), followed by publishing (9 percent), DVDs (8 percent), and paid apps/electronic content (5 percent).

For more information, visit www.epmcom.com/preschool.

LeapFrog’s Children’s Learning Tablets, Educational Software Dominate Top 10 Toys of 2012

According to The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service report, LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., a leader in educational entertainment for children, topped the 10 best-selling toys list last year with its award-winning learning solutions. The LeapPad Explorer, LeapPad2, LeapPad2 bundles, and the Leapster Explorer educational software were among the top 10 toys sold in the U.S. Moreover, LeapFrog had three of the top five sellers in the toy industry last year. [Read more...]

Tenth Chicago Toy & Game Fair Sets Attendance Records

The 10th anniversary Chicago Toy & Game Fair continued its tradition as the nation’s largest public play event, attracting more than 25,000 people to Navy Pier on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The Fair was the finale of Chicago Toy & Game Week, which featured industry seminars, a highly celebrated inventor awards gala, and a new toy-inspired fashion show, playCHIC. [Read more...]

Everloop.com Reveals Hottest Kids Holiday Trends

Everloop.com, the leading safe social networking site for children 13 and under, has the inside scoop on this year’s hottest kids holiday trends. Featuring the most up-to-date data sourced from kids themselves, Everloop showcases the top gift wish-list picks, favorite holiday treats, and biggest holiday topics this season.

When it comes to this year’s top gift picks, 22 percent of Everloop members are hoping for some type of electronic device, such as a Kindle Fire, an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Twelve percent would like clothes; 10 percent asked Santa for toys like Lego Friends, Furby, and Monster High Dolls; and 100 percent want “something cool.”

To learn more, visit www.everloop.com.