China Toy Fair


Kids Wish Network Supports U.S. Military with Toys, Necessities for Operation Toy Drop

Florida-based children’s charity Kids Wish Network has provided more than $280,000 in toys and necessities in support of the U.S. Army’s Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop for children in need in Fort Bragg, N.C., and in agencies across the U.S. Kids Wish Network is an international charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. [Read more...]

The Big Toy Book Hosts Biggest Day of Holiday Play

The Big Toy Book’s holiday toy showcase, the Biggest Day of Holiday Play, took place December 8 at the ultra-chic Yotel, hosting more than 100 bloggers and their children. Participants had the opportunity to visit eight cabin spaces sponsored by various toy companies, including Hasbro, The Bridge Direct, Innovation First, Delta Children’s Products, Poof-Slinky, Play Hut, among many others. Stations exhibiting the hottest holiday toys were set up throughout the Yotel lounge space. [Read more...]

Callaway Digital Arts Offers Family-Friendly Mobile Apps This Holiday Season

Still shopping? Looking for an interactive app for kids? Callaway Digital Arts has a number of offerings that might just solve your holiday shopping woes.

The Great Cookie ThiefStarring Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster in his app debut, The Great Cookie Thief encourages children to use their observational skills as they solve the interactive mystery and deduce the identity of the Great Cookie Thief. The app features an interactive storybook format, Parent’s Tips sections, and the option to create Wanted Posters using character art or personal photographs. [Read more...]

Al’s Angels Announces Updates on Hurricane Sandy Holiday Toy Drive

Al’s Angels, a non-profit charitable organization founded by CEO of Optimus Publishing Al DiGuido, launched an initiative in November to help children up to 10 years old who have been impacted by the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The organization began collecting toys and gifts for children in need throughout the tri-state area.

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Toys for Tots, Blue Angels Mission to Save Christmas for Children Affected by Sandy

The Blue Angels turned their C-130 aircraft, affectionately nicknamed “Fat Albert,” into a modern Santa’s Sleigh with a mission to help the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation save Christmas for many children still living with destruction from Superstorm Sandy. The Blue Angels arrived at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst with Santa on board after picking up an aircraft full of toys in Atlanta, Ga., and Washington D.C. Additional toys were trucked in to meet the plane. [Read more...]

The Queen Mary, Radio Disney Launch Holiday Toy Drive to Benefit Toys for Tots

The Queen Mary, in partnership with Radio Disney, kicked off a week long toy drive benefiting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots with a live Radio Disney broadcast from Chill,  on December 1.

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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...]

Mystixx Change The Face of Girls Play

Just in time for Halloween, toymaker Playhut will release Mystixx Vampires dolls, four transformational fashion dolls that are popular girls at school by day and powerful vampires by night. Mystixx Vampires are 11-inch fashion doll divas named Talin, Silva, Azra, and Kalani whose personalities “turn” to fit their moods with a simple twist of their heads.

All four Mystixx Vampire dolls have different personalities that focus on characteristics like confidence, compassion, competiveness, and intelligence. These four girls come from different backgrounds and recently started at a new school together. The backstories provide a backdrop for girls’ creative play.

Each doll has two distinct faces, two complete outfits, two interchangeable wigs, two pairs of shoes, and accessories. Mystixx are sold exclusively at Toys “R” Us and at toysrus.com, and are designed for children ages 6 and up.

For more information, visit Mystixx on Facebook or check out the website.

Hess to Sell Toy Truck Online

Hess Corporation has announced that the Hess Toy Truck, a holiday tradition for 48 years on the East Coast, will be available for purchase online this year for the first time.

Details of the 2012 Hess Toy Truck will be announced November 1 and will go on sale November 9 at participating Hess and Hess Express retail stores and at http://www.hesstoytruck.com.

Hess will implement an integrated marketing plan that combines online media buys and traditional ad buys with expanded social media efforts, as well as ties to the free Hess Express mobile app, to reach Hess Toy Truck fans across the United States.

Toy Truck fans can work together to reveal the truck early.  Beginning October 22, fans, through a variety of linked social actions on the Hess Express Facebook page, will be able to slowly reveal—via hints and image pieces—the new Toy Truck model before the official launch.

A new virtual Hess Toy Truck Collection website feature will enable fans to indicate which Hess Toy Trucks they own from past years, reminisce about holidays when they received the truck, and earn digital toy truck collector badges to share with their friends on Facebook.

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...]