China Toy Fair


NPD Group: Cyber Monday Week Toy Sales Are Strong, Up from Last Year

npd_group_logoRetail dollar sales for the toy category were up 23 percent for the Cyber Monday week compared to the same period last year. For the combined Black Friday and Cyber Monday weeks, The NPD Group reports that toy sales were up 12 percent on a dollar basis compared to the previous year. These sales trends include both online and brick and mortar channels.

The NPD Group noted that all 11 super categories it tracks in the toy sector experienced positive dollar sales growth during the period covering Black Friday and Cyber Monday weeks. Those with the highest growth—and their respective change in dollar sales compared with Black Friday and Cyber Monday weeks last year—include plush at 34 percent, youth electronics at 32 percent, arts and crafts at 26 percent, and outdoor and sports at 18 percent. These results reflect brick and mortar and online sales combined.

Ruling Issued in Hasbro Arbitration

Hasbro logoPreviously, inventor licensor Johnson Research had brought claims against Hasbro based on two licensing agreements between the parties. One license agreement related to certain products included in Hasbro’s Super Soaker product line, while the other related to certain products included in Hasbro’s Nerf product line.

Johnson Research claimed that the license agreements require the payment of royalties by Hasbro on a significantly greater number of products in each of those respective product lines than the company believed was the case. The claims related to the Nerf products were pursued by the licensor in binding arbitration in Atlanta as was required by the license.

Johnson Research made a demand for arbitration with respect to the Nerf claims, and on October 29, the arbitrator issued a ruling awarding a total of $72,932,686, including damages, interest, fees and expenses, to the licensor. In connection with this ruling and applicable accounting requirements, Hasbro anticipates taking an additional charge to its earnings for the fiscal quarter that ended September 29. The company is currently assessing the impact to third quarter results and it will be reflected in its Form 10-Q for that same period.

Hasbro Announces 2013 Investor Day Webcast

Hasbro logoHasbro has announced that it will webcast presentations from its Investor Day on September 10 starting at 10 a.m. EST. Among those presenting will be President and CEO Brian Goldner, CFO Deborah Thomas, and Chief Marketing Officer John Frascotti. Each presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

The webcast will be available to investors and media on Hasbro’s Investor Relations home page at http://investor.hasbro.com. A replay of the webcast will be available approximately two hours following the event from the same address.

Virtual Piggy Partners With Innovation First For E-commerce Platform

Virtual Piggy, Inc. has integrated its youth-friendly payment system to Innovation First International, the company behind Hexbug Micro Robotic Creatures and Vex Robotics product lines. Hexbug products are available in more than 4,000 outlets globally including Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, RadioShack, and other mass and specialty retailers.

Virtual Piggy is integrated directly into Innovation First International’s Hexbug e-commerce platform to allow direct online and mobile purchases. Virtual Piggy has a standard interface to eBay’s Magento e-commerce platform, which facilitates a simple and rapid integration.

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.

LIMA Cares on Track to Raise $4 Million for Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation

Through the dedication of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and the generosity of the licensing industry, the LIMA Cares campaign is well poised to raise $4 million for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF), the organization’s charity of choice. LIMA expects to reach the achievement just in time for May’s National Brain Tumor Awareness Month–and the group’s commitment will continue strongly, as it works to meet its goal of raising an additional $5 million in the next five years.

As part of the 2013 LIMA Cares campaign theme, “Save the Bravest,” LIMA is encouraging all of its members and licensing industry professionals to “Tweet for the Bravest” on April 17. In addition, companies and individuals of the licensing community can invest in a tribute ad to appear in the official program distributed at the LIMA Awards Ceremony on June 18, 2013 during Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas.  [Read more...]

Skylanders Franchise Reaches More Than $1 Billion in Worldwide Retail Sales

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., announced that together Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Giants have generated more than $1 billion in retail sales worldwide, inclusive of toys and accessories.

Last year, the combined sales of Skylanders Giants and Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure toys out-sold the top action figure lines in the U.S. and Europe, including Beyblades, Star Wars, and Transformers. Additionally, through January, more than 100 million Skylanders toys have been sold at retail. [Read more...]

New PriceGrabber Survey Serves Up Holiday Shopper Stats

PriceGrabber has released additional results of its first winter holiday shopping survey, revealing that 54 percent of consumers plan to spend $500 or more on gifts this season, slightly higher than last year. Conducted from August 31 to September 12, the survey includes responses from 2,235 U.S. online shopping consumers. Click either photo below to view the full-size infographic.

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Report: Six in 10 Holiday Shoppers Plan to Buy Non-Gifts for Themselves

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released its 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, and the report predicts a slight decrease in the average amount each shopper will spend this holiday season. According to the survey, shoppers say they plan to shell out an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise, down slightly from last year’s $718.98. NRF still forecasts overall holiday retail sales to grow 2.8 percent during November and December to $465.6 billion.

Holiday shoppers also plan to take advantage of sales and discounts to purchase goods for themselves. Nearly six in 10 holiday shoppers (59.9 percent) say they plan to purchase additional non-gifts for themselves and their families during the holiday season. The largest portion of a consumer’s holiday budget will go to family members, with the average person spending $403.26 on kids, parents, and other family members. Additionally, an average of $68.23 will be spent on friends, followed by $21.06 on co-workers, and $23.39 on other gifts. Consumers will also spend on decorations ($46.73), greeting cards ($26.52), candy and food ($96.75), and flowers ($18.23.) Gift cards will be popular with consumers again this year, with 57.7 percent of shoppers saying they’d like to receive a gift card this holiday season.

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Reports: Mattel Finalizing Deal to Buy Hit Entertainment

According to multiple news outlets, including the Financial Times, Mattel is in talks with Apax Partners to buy Hit Entertainment for £500 million. Two anonymous sources told the Financial Times that Mattel is in the final stages of negotiations to purchase the company that Apax bought in 2005 for £489 million. The sale of Hit will not include the group’s stake in children’s channel Sprout, but will include Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, and Pingu.