Spielwarenmesse Names Four ToyAward Winners Including Spin Master

SpielwarenmesseegFour winners were honored with the ToyAward on January 28 at this year’s opening ceremony of Spielwarenmesse, the specialty trade show in Nuremberg. The winners of the ToyAward beat 601 products from 318 exhibitors, and were chosen based on quality, creativity, safety, and educational benefits. The award is a special acknowledgement within the global toy industry. The categories and winners are as follows: [Read more...]

Webinar on Value of Play Research Scheduled for January 29

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) is hosting a webinar entitled “The Value of Play: A Generational Perspective,” taking place on January 29 from 2 to 3 p.m. Presented by Dr. Suzanne Martin, principal at Martin Research Consulting, the webinar examines research results on the role of play on children’s lives. [Read more...]

Julie Livingston Launches Livingston PR in New York City

Public relations and marketing pro Julie Livingston has officially launched Livingston PR. Based in New York City, the consultancy will provide clients with a full range of strategic marketing and communications services, as well as assist in business development and strategic partnerships.

Over her career, Livingston has served and supported numerous prestigious clients and brands including Scholastic, Toy Industry Association, NY Women in Communications, and more.

Bryan Stockton Resigns as Chairman and CEO of Mattel, Christopher Sinclair Named Chairman and Interim CEO

logo_Mattel logoChristopher A. Sinclair has been named the chairman and interim CEO of Mattel, effective immediately. The company also announced that Bryan G. Stockton has resigned as Mattel’s chairman and CEO and resigned from the board of directors. [Read more...]

Jakks Pacific Takes Home British Toy of the Year Award

JakksPacific,DisneyFrozensnow_glow_elsa_dollOn Tuesday, Jakks Pacific Inc. was awarded Toy of the Year for the Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa doll, the top honor at the annual Toy Industry Awards hosted by the British Toy and Hobby Association.

To date, the toy has won more than a dozen awards and topped holiday retailer lists. Snow Glow Elsa magically lights up and says 15 phrases from the film, Frozen. The doll also sings the hit song, “Let is Go,” in up to 25 languages depending on where she is purchased globally.

Spielwarenmesse Kicks Off with Widest Offering Ever

SpielwarenmesseegThis year, Spielwarenmesse will kick off in Nuremberg with 2,857 exhibitors. The number represents 67 countries and the widest offering ever seen at the event, scheduled to take place from January 28 to February 2. Spielwarenmesse eG is expecting an estimated 75,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries. [Read more...]

U.S.-Canadian Steering Committee to Consider Unified Toy Standards

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), U.S. and Canadian regulators, standards development organizations, and toy industry representatives held discussions in Ottawa, Canada, on January 7 to discuss the possibility of unified U.S.-Canadian toy safety standards that would be acceptable for both countries to use in regulating toys. [Read more...]

NRF Says Supreme Court Ruling on Swipe Fees Leaves Merchants and Consumers Paying Too Much

nrfOn Tuesday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) expressed disappointment at the U.S. Supreme Court for not reviewing an appellate court ruling on whether the Federal Reserve (Fed) set a 2011 cap on debit card swipe fees higher than the level sought by Congress in legislation passed the year before. [Read more...]

Disney’s Andrew Sugerman to Keynote Digital Kids Conference at Toy Fair

DigitalKidsConference2015Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, will deliver a keynote address at the 2015 Digital Kids Conference, hosted by Digital Kids Media, on February 17 in New York City. Digital Kids takes place February 15 to 17, and is co-located with the 112th North American International Toy Fair. Attendees from Digital Kids have free access to the Toy Fair Expo Hall. [Read more...]

Retail Toy Sales Up 4 Percent on Building Sets, Electronics, Frozen, Says NPD Group

NPDGrouplogoAccording to retail sales data from The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $18.08 billion last year compared to $17.46 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent.

Retail sales over the 2014 holiday shopping season got off to a bumpy start, with the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday experiencing mixed results of -2 percent and 1 percent (compared to the same time periods in 2013). However, with one extra shopping day the week of Christmas compared to last year, Christmas week grew 27 percent, lifting December growth to 6 percent. Meanwhile, fourth quarter sales were up 3 percent for the 13 weeks starting October 5 through the week ending January 3. [Read more...]