Alex Brands Acquires Shrinky Dinks

AlexBrandsShrinky Dinks will be part of the Alex Brands family of toys, which includes Alex Toys, Poof, Slinky, Scientific Explorer, and more. Invented in 1973, Shrinky Dinks consist of large, flexible sheets, which when heated in an oven, shrink to small hard plates without changing their color or shape.

Alex Brands historically licensed the Shrinky Dinks brand for use in the Alex Toys product line. It also joins Alex Brands’ growing collection of Made in the U.S. products, including Poof foam balls and Slinky products.

Toys “R” Us Lights Up Times Square for 183 Continuous Hours

ToysRUS_TimesSquareToys “R” Us Times Square is opening its doors at 7 a.m. this morning, and will remain open through 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, to provide New Yorkers and visitors with 183 uninterrupted hours for holiday shopping. Specialty services such as personal shopping and corporate sales; gift-wrapping; and shipping to local, national, and international locations are also available.

Toys “R” Us Extends Hours, Offers Last-Minute Deals for the Holidays

toysrus.croppedIn the days leading up to Christmas, Toys “R” Us will offer extended shopping hours at stores nationwide. From December 20 through December 22, stores will remain open from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m., while beginning at 6 a.m. on December 23, and continuing through 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Toys “R” Us stores will be open around the clock.

At Toys “R” Us stores between now and December 20, deals are available on all Barbie dolls, Charmazing kits, Transformers Stomp & Chomp Grimlock, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combos or Blu-ray combo packs with ear buds and masks, Skylanders Trap Team Starter Packs, LeapTV systems, The Lego Movie DVD with Lego construction set, Imaginext toys, and select board games (while supplies last). [Read more...]

Target Offering Last-Minute Sales During Final Week of Holiday Season

Target LogoWith one week until Christmas, Target Corp. will offer last-minute deals and free shipping on target.com, where orders placed through December 20 can still be delivered by Christmas. Meanwhile, on Christmas Eve, guests can place online orders for store pickup as late as 5 p.m. and have their items ready that day.

Over the next week, Target will offer deals on gifts including the Sony PlayStation 4; select video games and starter packs, including Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, Disney Infinity Marvel, and Skylanders Trap Team; select Disney Junior toys; and the New Bright Mud Slinger R/C Jeep.

Cartwheel, Target’s mobile savings app, is offering 50 percent off a different toy every day until December 24. From now until Christmas, Cartwheel is also featuring more than 150 offers, including discounts off Sony PlayStation 4 bundles.

Target stores are also offering extended hours through the holiday season, with the following days and times: December 16 to 20, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. or 12 a.m.; December 21 to 22, 8 a.m. to 12 a.m.; December 23, 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.; December 24, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.; December 26, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 11 p.m., or 12 a.m.; and December 31, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Play-Doh’s Year in Review Features Ice Buckets, Selfies, and More

Hasbro Inc.‘s Play-Doh brand is celebrating memorable moments and top trends for the past year with its second A Year in Play-Doh Moments, a year-in-review sculpted out of Play-Doh compound. There’s the Ice Bucket Challenge, selfies, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the 20th anniversary of Friends, The Fault in Our Stars, smart watches, nostalgic ’90s-inspired fashion, and the polar vortex.

Play-Doh fans can visit the Play-Doh Facebook page to celebrate the past year with other Play-Doh fans.

TIA Discusses Industry Priorities at Annual Strategy Meeting

TIALast week, Toy Industry Association (TIA) members attended TIA’s Annual External Affairs Strategy Meeting held in Los Angeles to discuss key priorities for next year, and to strategize on new and emerging topics projected to impact the toy industry next year and beyond.

On December 3, there was an update and forecast of the industry’s short-term priority policy areas, including chemical regulation, product safety, environmental sustainability, marketing to children, and international trade. On December 4, TIA staff and member representatives participated in a full-day series of brainstorming sessions to discuss how TIA’s efforts on behalf of the toy industry could be enhanced, both domestically and abroad. [Read more...]

Spielwarenmesse eG Calls Upon Exhibitors to Donate to Charity

SpielwarenmesseegEach year, Spielwarenmesse exhibitors donate their products to charity. Spielwarenmesse eG collects these items on the last day of the fair and presents them to SOS Children’s Villages and regional institutions in Franconia.

The Spielwarenmesse eG fair team has been working with the Nuremberg SOS Children’s Village since Spielwarenmesse 2014 to give gifts to children all over Germany. That year, around 800 of the 2,700 exhibitors donated some of their products to the charity, and all in all, more than 8,000 products were collected and donated to social institutions throughout Germany. [Read more...]

Renne Fink Joins Rubie’s as New General Manager of Imagine by Rubie’s

Renne Fink has been promoted to general manager of the Imagine by Rubie’s Sales Division, as announced by The Rubie’s Group. She comes to Rubie’s with more than 20 years of consumer product sales experience, and served as vice president of sales at Tara Toy Corporation, and more recently, was national accounts manager at Playmobil USA.

Fink joined Rubie’s in April of this year to do new business development, and has been working closely with the Imagine team.

Toys “R” Us Inc. Reports Third Quarter Financial Results

toysrus.croppedOn Thursday, Toys “R” Us Inc. reported financial results for the third quarter ended November 1. Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter improved by $43 million compared to the prior year period, while consolidated gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, increased by 90 basis points compared to the prior year period. Gross margin dollars were $908 million, compared to $896 million for the prior year period, an increase of $12 million.

Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 36.9 percent, an increase of 0.9 percentage points versus the prior year period. The margin improvement was primarily attributable to the domestic segment, which increased by 1.8 percentage points, to 35.3 percent, as a result of promotional efficiencies. [Read more...]

Angry Birds Celebrates Five Years with “BirdDay” Extravaganza

a42ee5b73b2f3f83_orgTo celebrate Angry Birds’ five-year anniversary, Rovio has released “Play the Next Level,” a new Angry Birds episode featuring 30 new game levels created entirely by fans.

“Play the Next Level” is the result of a social media competition hosted by Rovio and its partners and was one of the world’s largest user generated events with thousands of entries from all over the world. In its home nest in Finland, Rovio is hosting a BirdDay party for over 2,000 local children and gifting every baby born in Finland on December 11 with a special edition baby Flock outfit.

As part of the celebrations, Rovio is also hosting a Finnish hockey league match between Espoo Blues and Porin Ässät—the birds and the pigs.