Toys “R” Us Inc. Reports Full Year and Fourth Quarter Results

On Friday, Toys “R” Us Inc. reported financial results for both the full year and fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended on January 31.

For full year fiscal 2014, net sales improved by $61 million, or 0.5 percent, excluding a $243 million negative impact from foreign currency translation, to $12.4 billion compared to the prior year.  The improvement was within the international segment, primarily due to an increase in net sales from new stores and comparable store net sales, partially offset by an expected decline in domestic comparable store net sales.

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Recall-Sharing Program Allows Countries of the Americas to Exchange Product Safety Information

OASLogoA new technology information system is allowing regulators in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the nations of Central and South America to quickly and reliably exchange information about consumer product recalls, according to the Toy Industry Association. The Inter-American Rapid Alert System, launched by the Organization of American StatesConsumer Safety and Health Network, will enable regulators to coordinate efforts to prevent recalled products from entering the marketplace.

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Greg Choyke Joins ASTRA Staff as Director of Education

AstraLogoProfessional education specialist Greg Choyke has joined the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) as its director of education. In the newly created position, Choyke will lead ASTRA’s effort to increase access to and participation in innovative professional educational programs that will help ASTRA members strengthen their business.

ASTRA will be introducing a new education initiative for independent toy retailers at its annual Marketplace & Academy, to be held June 7 to 10.

Monopoly Reveals Here & Now Vote Results on 80th Birthday

Monopoly,PeruWith nearly 4 million votes cast in 182 countries, Monopoly fans around the world have selected their favorite cities to become property spaces in the upcoming Monopoly Here & Now games, which are launching this fall. Hasbro Inc. revealed the list today on the Monopoly brand’s official birthday, coinciding with the first-ever World Monopoly Day.
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Funrise Appoints King Cheng as CEO, Arnold Rubin to Become Chairman

Funrise Inc LogoAfter more than 27 years with the company, Arnold E. Rubin is stepping down as CEO of Funrise Inc. Rubin will become chairman, and will continue to serve on the board of Matrix Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Funrise. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us to Close Times Square Flagship Store

ToysRUS_TimesSquareToys “R” Us chose not to renew its lease at the 110,000-square-foot flagship store in the Times Square area, according to a report by the Commercial Observer (CO).

“They have 21,000 square feet [on the ground floor]. There really is not a tenant that can rent that. The market has just escalated so,” Brad Mendelson of Cushman & Wakefield, who is marketing the Toys “R” Us space at 1514 Broadway between West 44 and West 45 Streets on behalf of landlord Charles Moss, tells the CO.

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Nintendo Forms Business Venture with DeNA, Hints at New Gaming Hardware

NintendoNintendo and DeNA will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP), including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the worldwide smart device market. [Read more...]

Arad, 41E Appoint MGA as Master Toy Licensee for Kong—King of the Apes

March16.KongArad Animation and 41 Entertainment have granted the exclusive worldwide master toy license to MGA Entertainment for their Kong property. The product line will include action figures, electronic and action plush, playsets, vehicles, games, and learning aid toys for kids ages 5 to 10. Kong—King of the Apes is a Netflix original series, slated to debut next year.

“We were attracted to this great brand because of its iconic nature, Avi’s great story-telling and designs, and the power of Netflix as a platform. We are excited to design and produce a strong product line for 2016,” said Isaac Larian, president and CEO of MGAE.

Mattel Brings Back Former CEO as Consultant

logo_Mattel logoBryan Stockton, who abruptly resigned as Mattel Inc.’s CEO in January, is back at the toy maker as a consultant, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mattel will pay Stockton $125,000 a month for the next year. On an annual basis, he would earn $1.5 million.

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LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Villains Revealed

Lego LogoLego has released this rendering of Ronin, the main antagonist of the upcoming LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, arriving on Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita on March 24. The image also features the titular bad guy’s band of villains, including Frankjaw, Master Chen, Skales, and General Cryptor.

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