NPD Group Issues Video Game Analysis for April 2015

NPDGrouplogoIn the most recent video game analysis from The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, overall sales across hardware, new physical software, and accessories in April grew by 3 percent over April of last year, due to the strength of new physical software sales, offsetting losses from hardware and accessories. April hardware sales decreased by 4 percent, due to the 55 percent decline in sales of seventh-generation console hardware. After 18 months on the market for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, cumulative hardware sales for those consoles are more than 50 percent higher than the combined sales of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the same point in their life cycles.

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Albany County Agrees to Halt Enforcement of Toy Ban

As reported by the Toy Industry Association, a federal judge has granted a motion to stay an Albany County law banning the sale of toys and other children’s products containing certain chemicals. The law will not be enforced while the county seeks to address the serious legal concerns raised by a lawsuit filed by the Safe to Play Coalition last month.

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Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club Grow Your Own Business Challenge Announces Grand Prize Winners

GeniusBrandsInternationalLogoGenius Brands International, the creators of Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaire’s Club, announced the winners of the 4th annual Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club Grow Your Own Business Challenge, sponsored by the Fairholme Foundation. The Individual Winner is Miroslav Bergam, 14, of Short Hills, N.J., and the group winner is Team Keep Track Sticky Back, consisting of Emily Harkins, 12, and Bryn Hansen, 11, of Omaha, Neb.

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TIF, National CASA Team Up to Help Kids in Southern California

pyp2015-250x167Nearly 150 volunteers from the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and the National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association (CASA) gave gift packages to 7,000 foster children in need throughout Southern California as part of the TIF’s annual Play Your Part event. Forty-one companies from the toy industry participated in the event, including Funrise Toy Corp., Jakks Pacific, Mattel, Patch Products, Tomy International, and VTech Electronics North America, as Big Heart and Specialty level event sponsors.

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American Girl Unveils Truly Me Doll Line

AmericanGirlTrulyMeAmerican Girl has re-branded its line of contemporary 18-inch dolls and accessories, clothing, and exclusive play-based content as Truly Me. Formerly known as My American Girl, Truly Me lets kids create a one-of-a-kind doll through a variety of personalized options, including 40 different combinations of eye color, hair color and style, and skin color, as well as an array of outfits and accessories.

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TIA Launches My TIA, a New Members-Only Online Resource Center

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) recently unveiled My TIA, a new web portal that makes it easier for members to manage their TIA profiles and unlock member benefits.

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WTHRA Revises Its Dates for ToyFest West 2016

ToyFest WestDuring the annual Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) membership meeting this past March, the results of a post-show survey pointed to overwhelming consensus from both exhibitors and buyers that attendees could complete their business at ToyFest West in three full days. As such, a half-day on day four was eligible for elimination.

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VTech Reports Full Year Annual Results

VTech-LogoIn its financial results for the year ended March 31, VTech Holdings Ltd. reported a decline in revenue and profit. Group revenue for the year ended March 31 declined by 1 percent to $1,879.8 million. The decrease was mainly due to lower revenue in North America, which offset higher revenue in Europe, Asia Pacific, and other regions.

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FAO Schwarz to Close Its Flagship New York City Store

faonewlogoAs reported by Reuters and other news outlets, FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store in the U.S., is closing its iconic Fifth Ave. flagship store in Manhattan, citing rising rent prices. The store will shut its doors on July 15, exiting early from its lease.

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The Wiggles’ Rock & Roll Preschool Tour Kicks Off in September

WigglesComing off an Australian tour that boasted 145 sell-out shows, the children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, will return to the U.S. this fall for their Rock & Roll Preschool tour. The Wiggles will be touring in support of their brand new CD and DVD, Rock & Roll Preschool, as well as a new season of their TV series, which airs on Hulu in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.

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