China Toy Fair


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.

NRF Forecasts an Average Holiday Season

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is expecting this year’s holiday season to be just average. Although last year’s holiday season outperformed most analysts’ expectations, NRF expects 2011 holiday retail sales to increase 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion, close to the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.6 percent. Last year, retailers experienced a 5.2 percent increase.

For the first time this year, NRF used its holiday forecasting model to create a projection for seasonal hiring in retail. According to NRF, retailers are expected to hire between 480,000 and 500,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, which is comparable to the 495,000 seasonal employees they hired last year.

Retail Sales Climb; Fastest Rate in Four Months

Improvements in the U.S. economy bolstered retailers’ February sales, reflecting improved consumer sentiment as it relates to spending. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) for February 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from January and 4.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

“Retailers have done a commendable job keeping their inventory levels where they need to be, while still offering attractive promotions for those who are eager to spend,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “The big challenge retailers will face in the coming months, however, will be going head to head with high cotton, food, and energy prices.”

“February retail sales are in sync with evidence of the expanding economy,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “While February is typically a slow month for retailers, consumers showed their spending power, though it’s too soon to tell what type of impact the spike in gasoline prices will have on consumers this spring.”

February retail sales released today by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations, and restaurants) increased 1 percent seasonally adjusted over January and 9.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Solid growth in discretionary spending was seen across the board.