China Toy Fair


Easter Bunny Keeps Frugality in Mind This Year, According to NRF

Americans will celebrate Easter in style and on budget this year according to NRF’s Easter Spending Survey, conducted by BIGinsight. Keeping cost and their shopping list in mind, the average person celebrating Easter will spend approximately $145.13 on candy, decor, apparel, and food, flat with last year’s $145.28. Total spending will reach an estimated $17.2 billion.

Consumers will spend an average of $20.82 on gifts.

“While many of today’s consumers are coping with tight budgets, the Easter Bunny isn’t headed toward retirement in 2013,” says BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “Look for cost-conscious parents to scope the sale racks, head to discounters, and clip coupons to keep spending on track and to make the holiday special for youngsters this year.”

COMMENTARY: Toys Are More Fun Than Candy

Mattel’s North American team recently kicked off an Easter program called Save the Bunny, which launched with a clever celebrity PSA. The concept is to promote giving toys, rather than copious amounts of candy, for Easter. As part of the promotion, consumers who visit www.savechocolatebunnies.com will have a chance to win a Mattel toy every day this month, download exclusive coupons on toys from Mattel brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and Thomas & Friends, and win grand prize money.

As a parent and someone who loves toys, I whole-hardheartedly agree with this idea. Not only does my 3 year old not need a giant chocolate bunny, gallons of jelly beans, and piles of fluffy marshmallow chicks (OK, I’ll admit this is making me hungry), but I know from experience that I won’t actually let her eat it all, and I’ll end up eating it, which isn’t exactly part of my summer bikini plan (though I’m pregnant, so what’s the difference, right?). Anyway, she will have a lot more fun if I limit the candy to a few of her favorites, and fill that basket—er, strongly suggest the Easter Bunny fill that basket—with toys!

For retailers, signage suggesting spring/summer toys to fill Easter baskets should already be up, but it’s not too late! Many consumers wait until the last-minute to shop, especially with the holiday coming earlier this year. A special display of spring-like, small, basket-sized items makes shopping easy and promotes quick sales. The pharmacies already do this, toy stores should too! [Read more...]

Mattel Wants You to Help Take a Bite Out of Chocolate Bunny Extinction

Mattel’s North American team has week kicked off an Easter program called Save the Bunny.

The chocolate bunny has been an Easter tradition for more than 200 years, but the future of this holiday icon is… well, melting. This Easter, Mattel, the Endangered Chocolate Bunny Commission (ECBC), and celebrities such as Chris Harrison, Stephen Collins, and Kate Flannery, have come together to Save the Bunny with a special hare-raising and entertaining PSA.

Help support our chocolate friends and sweeten up Easter baskets with toys at www.savechocolatebunnies.com. Visitors to the site have the opportunity to win a Mattel toy, download exclusive coupons on toys from Mattel brands, and win grand prize money.

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.

[Read more...]

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...]