Spin Master Ltd. has partnered with Autism Speaks in the U.S. and Canada to raise funds for the organization through the sale of Kinetic Sand. The company will also explore the positive benefits that play skills and social experiences may have for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
Jakks Pacific Inc. reported results for the company’s first quarter ended March 31. Net sales increased 38 percent to $114.2 million, compared to $82.5 million reported in the comparable period last year. The reported net loss for the first quarter was $7.6 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $16.3 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in the comparable period last year.
According to a new report from the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the U.S. toy industry supports more than 491,000 jobs, generates $24.51 billion in wages, contributes $9.93 billion in combined state and federal taxes, and has a total annual economic impact in the U.S. of $76.71 billion. Nearly 98 percent of U.S. toy manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors are small businesses.
For the first quarter, Mattel Inc. reported worldwide net sales up 5 percent in constant currency, as well as reported worldwide net sales down 2 percent, reflecting the impact from changes in currency exchange rates. On a regional basis, first quarter gross sales increased 9 percent in constant currency, and 8 percent as reported in the North American region, which consists of the U.S., Canada, and American Girl. For the International region, gross sales increased 2 percent in constant currency, and decreased 14 percent as reported.
As part of The Genius of Play campaign, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) has kicked off an industry-wide social media initiative to open a dialogue with parents and raise awareness about the developmental benefits of play. TIA suggests that the social media posts range from encouraging kids and parents to engage in imaginative play, such as arts and crafts and dress up, to asking parents to share how toys and play helped their children reach important developmental milestones.
Toys “R” Us’ recent campaign to benefit Special Olympics, hosted at its stores across the U.S. and online at toysrus.com, raised more than $2 million. Throughout the duration of the eight-week awareness and fundraising program, Toys “R” Us customers pledged their support to help children with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn how to hit balls, run bases, take jump shots, and other sports moments.
From April 16 to 18, ABC Kids Expo is hosting the first North American Pavilion at the Children-Baby-Maternity Expo (CBME SEA) in Singapore. ABC has joined forces with the show organizer, UBM, to host the pavilion, which will feature exhibitors such as Baby K’tan, Bumkins, Itsy Bitsy Pantry, Kittrich, and Zoli.
The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) 8th annual Washington, DC Fly-In will take place on June 2 to 4. Intended to provide small business owners and large toy companies with an effective way to have their voices heard on issues significantly impacting their business, this year’s program offers small group meetings with leading lawmakers, a boat tour, and more.