China Toy Fair

Kidscreen 2011 – The Golden Ticket

by Ryan Conti

Have you ever wondered how SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder, and Chuggington came to be? We know that the right product connected to the right audience puts millions of dollars into everyone’s coffers. he Kidscreen Summit, held last month at the Hilton New York, welcomed people from all over the world, giving them the opportunity to pitch their properties to various production companies.
I liken the Kidscreen Summit to Roald Dahl’s classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the five golden tickets, but everyone has a chance at success. The stakes are high, the payoff enormous. There are so many benefits to attending, where do I begin?

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GUEST BLOG: The Generation Born Online is Changing Business Models

by Andy Marken, Marken Communications

If you’re a parent, you have to wonder how a kid can start out knowing zip, zero, nada and in the blink of an eye, they’re rocket scientists! Our son was always handy in managing the VCR, but now that everything is online who cares?

Today’s youngsters—the iGen (interconnected)—don’t know what a VCR is or video tape, they were born wired. Instead of being propped up in front of a television, they’re online.

It’s estimated that 40 percent of U.S. children under the age of 12 will go online at least once a month this year. Nearly half will do so by 2015.

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GUEST BLOG: Co-Founder Marshall Gavin Tells the B. Dazzle Story

by Marshall P. Gavin, co-founder and executive vice president of b. dazzle, Inc.

In today’s tough economy, when mass-market discount import products are an increasing share of the market, b. dazzle, inc. bucks the trend by choosing to manufacture in North America and directs its efforts only to the specialty retail market. The company’s values include quality products that are wholesome, cross-generational, fun, and mind-stimulating; personal service recognizing the importance of every customer; a commitment to the American economy and the small business sector; and a strong commitment to high ethical standards.

In 1993, my wife, Kathie, and I lost our jobs in corporate America within six months of each other. We looked for new employment, but there was a terrible recession in Southern California in the early ’90s, and we were unable to find anything locally. After a few months of no additional prospects, our savings ran out and our home went into foreclosure.

Kathie always had a dream of creating a puzzle based upon patterns she studied in school, specifically ancient Egyptian ”heads and tails” tile matching games. Recognizing that we were at a point of losing everything anyway, I suggested to Kathie that it was the perfect time to take the risk of starting a business to produce and distribute her puzzle idea, and we wrote a business plan.

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