PriceGrabber Shares Cyber Monday Analytics

Thanks to PriceGrabber, you don’t have to wonder what Cyber Monday’s most sought-after toys were. Check out the breakdown below.

  • Hot Wheels 3 Lane Plug In
  • Ninjago 9450 Epic Dragon Battle
  • The Elf on the Shelf(R) Boy Elf, Lightskinned
  • Mini Power Quad Ride-On
  • Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven
  • Crayola Digital Light Designer
  • City 4204 The Mine

Santa to Bring High-Tech Gadgets, Familiar Favorites to Children This Holiday Season

Children’s wish lists this holiday season are full of the latest gadgets such as Apple iPads and the Nintendo Wii U, but there’s still demand for some classic gifts like Lego blocks, dolls, and toy cars, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s 2012 Top Toys Survey, conducted by BIGinsight.

A surprise item in this year’s top ten is Furby, which ranked No. 3 on girls’ wish lists and No. 9 on boys’ lists. Furby became a must-have item and child favorite in the late 90s but has since undergone a digital makeover complete with LCD eyes and compatible iPad apps. Video games also appeared on both lists this year. According to NRF’s holiday survey, 45.1 percent of consumers plan to buy toys this holiday season.

Holiday Shoppers Believe Black Friday Holds Best Deals, According to PriceGrabber Survey

PriceGrabber has released results from its third winter holiday shopping survey, revealing that 71 percent of consumers believe that retailers offer better deals during Thanksgiving weekend than they do during the rest of the winter holiday shopping season, up from 58 percent last year. Conducted from October 1 to October 24, the survey includes responses from 4,958 U.S. online shopping consumers.

When consumers who indicated that the best deals can be found over the Thanksgiving weekend were asked which days retailers offer the best prices (respondents could select as many choices as they liked), 71 percent said Black Friday (November 23), down from 80 percent last year and 86 percent in 2010, and 41 percent said Cyber Monday (November 26), up from 37 percent last year and 33 percent in 2010.

To view all of PriceGrabber’s 2012 holiday shopping press releases, visit http://www.pricegrabber.com/about.php?about=press.

Mega Brands Reports Third Quarter 2012 Results

Mega Brands Inc. has announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30.

Consolidated net sales in the third quarter increased 5 percent to $140.1 million compared to $133.4 million in the corresponding 2011 period. [Read more...]

MGA Entertainment Sees Accelerated Growth in 2012

MGA Entertainment, the largest privately held U.S. based toy company, posted 41 percent dollar growth in Q3 2012 versus a year-ago, according to The NPD Group.

Within the U.S., retailers continued to see explosive growth with Lalaloopsy, a global toy powerhouse driven by robust product, entertainment, and licensing programs.  Interest in the brand continues to develop as seen with the strong sales of Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star: Harmony B Sharpthe first-ever talking, singing, and dancing Lalaloopsy doll.

This summer, MGA debuted Bratzillaz and Novi Stars.  Bratzillaz takes girls’ imagination on a supernatural flight of imagination to reveal their own special powers. Novi Stars combines cosmic adventure with cutting edge toy features never before seen in doll play.

Outside of girls’ toys, broader support for Little Tikes helped drive sales.  Little Tikes hottest retail sellers include Little Tikes Pillow Racers and iTikesa new line of pre-school toys that can be enhanced through the technology of Apple iDevices.

Toys and Apparel Top Moms’ List of Purchases Influenced by Social Media

Moms love Facebook–but they trust blogs, according to a new study from Child’s Play Communications. Moreover, 92 percent of moms active in social media are buying products as a result of a social media recommendation.

The study, How Moms are Using Social Media RIGHT NOW–and How You Can Make the Most of It, conducted by Child’s Play Communications, was presented for the first time at the eighth annual Marketing to Moms Conference in Chicago, held from October 23 to 24.

Child’s Play reached out to the 1200 moms in its Social Savvy research network–almost all of them regularly active on blogs and social networks–to explore five key questions:

  • What social media platforms do moms currently favor?
  • How has that changed?
  • Why?
  • What social media platforms are impacting purchasing decisions?
  • What products are moms buying as a result of social media recommendations?

Among the study’s findings:

  • Facebook, Twitter, and blogs were the three most popular social media platforms among moms surveyed
  • Pinterest was the platform that most moms (63 percent) tried for the first time this year
  • Instagram topped the list of technologies moms (28 percent) were likely to try next
  • Polyvore and Olioboard were among the new services these early adopters were exploring
  • Moms are spending more time on Facebook than in the past (64 percent of moms) and less time on Twitter (33 percent)
  • Of all social media platforms, blogs impacted moms’ purchasing decisions more than any other (80 percent)
  • Toys were the No. 1 kids’ product purchased by moms as a result of social media recommendations

Child’s Play Communications specializes exclusively in public relations, social media, and word-of-mouth communications for products and services targeted to moms. Based in New York City, the agency has launched an array of proprietary services to engage this influential market through traditional media, online, and in-person, including the award-winning Team Mom, the agency’s own network of mom review-bloggers. For additional information, visit their Web site, blog, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter or Pinterest.

Amazon vs. Brick-and-Mortar

by Lutz Muller

In a pretty flat overall market place, Amazon continues to make headway as it is propelled by the ongoing move to cyber space, lower prices, and convenience.

Amazon has three major assets. First, the absence of brick-and-mortar stores allows Amazon to offer an unlimited inventory. Second, Amazon pays no sales tax in most states, which allows the company to undersell its competitors. Third, Amazon’s infrastructure allows it to grow almost limitlessly without the need for expensive retail stores.

This is how Amazon’s sales developed over the past few years against two major competitors:

[Read more...]

Video Game With Biofeedback Teaches Children To Curb Anger

Children with serious anger problems can be helped by a simple video game that hones their ability to regulate their emotions, finds a pilot study at Boston Children’s Hospital. Results were published online October 24 in the journal Adolescent Psychiatry.

Noticing that children with anger control problems are often uninterested in psychotherapy, but very eager to play video games, Jason Kahn, PhD, and Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD, at Boston Children’s Hospital developed “RAGE Control” to motivate children to practice emotional control skills that they can later use in challenging life situations.

The fast-paced game involves shooting at enemy spaceships while avoiding shooting at friendly ones. As children play, a monitor on one finger tracks their heart rate and displays it on the computer screen. When heart rate goes above a certain level, players lose their ability to shoot at the enemy spaceships. To improve their game, they must learn to keep calm.

Report Demonstrates Mattel’s Commitment to Responsible Play

Mattel has announced the launch of its fourth Global Citizenship Report, We Believe Play Matters, which highlights Mattel’s commitment to operating as a responsible member of the global business community. To meet this commitment, the company focuses on ensuring the quality and safety of Mattel products, reducing the overall impact of its products and operations on the environment and investing in strategic philanthropic partnerships to make a positive impact on the global communities it touches. Mattel employees around the world contribute daily to these efforts, embodying the company values to Play with Passion, Play Together, Play to Grow, and Play Fair.

Mattel is launching a web-based version that demonstrates the company’s citizenship efforts in action. The web presence will deliver comprehensive information around the evolution of the company’s efforts and offer digital storytelling content and video vignettes that help bring these stories to life.

To learn more about the Mattel 2012 Global Citizenship Report, visit www.mattel.com/GlobalCitizenship2012.

Valpak Announces Results of 2012 Holiday Spending Survey

With the holiday season quickly approaching, consumers are holding onto their budgets tightly, according to Valpak’s Semi-Annual Consumer Spending Report. The report revealed 20 percent of consumers are spending less this year than last and are becoming more creative when it comes to finding deals.

Valpak, the 44-year direct and digital savings leader, conducted the report in an effort to understand how consumer spending has evolved since last year’s “post-recession” economy.  Shoppers are planning to start their holiday spending earlier this year with 40 percent of consumers beginning their shopping before, and during, the month of October, including searching throughout the year. Eighty four percent of shoppers will spend the same or less on holiday-related purchases, with more than half (53 percent) planning to use coupons for gifts, entertaining, travel, and food/catering. [Read more...]