Toys Lead All Categories in European Commission’s Consumer Product Report

Last year, toys were among the most common product categories to receive health and safety notifications in Europe, according to the European Commission’s 2014 Report on the Rapid Alert System for Dangerous Products (RAPEX). Toys led the most common product categories notified with 28 percent, though only 11 percent of the notified toys were subject to follow-up actions. According to the Toy Industry Association, the percentage of notified toys is not surprising, considering how toys are a particular focus for market surveillance authorities and represent a significant proportion of products examined by them.

The full 2014 RAPEX, which operates through a network of 31 countries that exchange information on non-food products, can be found online in .pdf form.

Toy$, a Comic Strip by Dustin Glick

We really enjoyed this recent Dustinland comic, which centers on taking a kid to Toys “R” Us.

Don’t squint; click on the image for a larger-sized version.

dland.toysrus

PlayScience Unveils New Study Showing Gender Influence on Parents’ Digital Preferences for their Children

PlaySciencelogoPlayScience recently unveiled a new study showing parents’ perceptions about their child’s technology and media use is heavily influenced by their child’s gender—along with device type and perceived educational value. The study was conducted with a national survey of 501 parents of children between the ages of 2 and 9 years old.

[Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Inc. Provides TRU Transformation Strategic Update

toysrusAt presentations today for investors, industry analysts, and the media, Toys “R” Us Inc. provided an update on its strategy to improve the company’s operational performance, as it continues its work to position the business for long-term profitable growth.

[Read more...]

NRF Survey Says Consumers are on the Hunt For Candy, Spring Apparel this Easter

nrfThe average person celebrating Easter this year will spend $140.62, an slight increase from last year’s $137.46, according to the National Retail Foundation’s (NRF) Easter Spending Survey conducted by Proper Insights & Analytics. Total spending is expected to reach $16.4 billion, including purchases of apparel, decorations, gifts, candy, food, and flowers.
[Read more...]

The Transformers Brand Transforms the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis into an Immersive Experience

Transformers,RobotsinDisguiseThe Children’s Museum of Indianapolis celebrates 30 years of Hasbro’s Transformers brand with Transformers Robots in Disguise, exhibiting between now and July 26.

[Read more...]

Expanded Toy & Hobby China and Baby & Stroller China to Offer Wider Range of New Products

Toy&Hobby,ChinaToy & Hobby China and Baby & Stroller China are both set to return to the Poly World Trade Center Expo in Guangzhou. Held from April 8 to 10, the fairs will be some of the earliest trade events in the region, and will kick off the industry’s key sourcing season this year.

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

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.