China Toy Fair


Sanrio and Target Say Hi to Hollywood with Hello Kitty Con

Hello Kitty Con 2014 LogoSanrio has revealed details for Hello Kitty Con 2014, the first official Hello Kitty fan convention in the world. Presented in conjunction with Target, Hello Kitty Con was developed in celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th Anniversary, and will take place at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) in downtown Los Angeles from October 30 to November 2. This milestone event will invite Hello Kitty fans to immerse themselves in an environment in which the brand is celebrated, explored, and experienced.

Hello Kitty Con 2014 will present a full line-up of activations ranging from integrated workshops, lectures and panel discussions; special appearances and signings with Hello Kitty head designer Yuko Yamaguchi and other special guests from Japan; interactive art installations and daily artist signings; the Hello Kitty Friendship Station Pop-up Shop offering convention exclusives; and the Hello Kitty Super Supermarket, featuring a curated selection of vendors offering products and experiences available only at the convention. There will also be a Hello Kitty retrospective and vintage shop selling rare collectibles from the past, product and collaboration previews, a tattoo shop, photo opportunities, and more. [Read more...]

NRF Reports Back-to-School Shoppers Still Wrapping Up Shopping Lists, Leaning More on Coupons

nrfAccording to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) latest Back-to-School/College Surveys, the average family with children in grades K to 12 completed 49.9 percent of its shopping by mid-August, down slightly from last year’s 52.1 percent.

As of August 12, fewer families had stepped out to take advantage of retailers’ special school savings opportunities; specifically, 23.6 percent had not started shopping yet, up from 20.9 percent last year. However, some were eager to get started: 15.7 percent said they have completed their lists, which is roughly the same as last year.

Meanwhile, college families got a jump on retailers’ sales and promotions this summer, with 23.4 percent stating that they completely finished with their lists, up from 20 percent last year. Slightly fewer families this year say they haven’t started shopping, at 26.2 percent versus 28.8 percent last year. [Read more...]

Fuhu Repeats as No. 1 on Inc.’s Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Inc_Magazine_Cover_Sept14Fuhu has repeated as No. 1 on the Inc. 5000, Inc.’s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Fuhu has seen a 158,957 percent leap in revenues over the past three years, which is the largest growth spurt ever recorded in the Inc. 5000. When Fuhu took top honors last year, its growth rate was 42,148 percent.

The only other back-to-back No. 1 in the Inc. 5000′s history was energy management company Cogentrix, in 1989 and 1990. To make the top 500, a company had to have achieved a three-year growth of 942 percent. [Read more...]

WIT Announces Winning Moves Event for Female Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Manufacturers

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) is hosting its first Winning Moves workshop, which will provide WIT members with an opportunity to develop their careers and grow their businesses.

Women-owned businesses can pitch their products to Wal-Mart, inventors can present their product concepts to toy companies, and members seeking professional development advice can meet with toy experts for a speed mentoring session. [Read more...]

NPD Reports Star Wars, Disney Princess among Top-Selling Toy Properties in Six Countries

npd_group_logoThe NPD Group recently released lists of the top five toy properties by country, ranked by value sales for January to June. Across the U.S., the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia, Star Wars is the one property that ranks among the top five properties for each country. In the U.S., the top toy properties are Disney Princess, Barbie, Nerf, Little Tikes, and Star Wars.

Lego ranks in the top five toys for the UK, Australia, and Germany, with both Lego City and Lego Duplo on the short list for Germany. Disney Princess, meanwhile, ranks among the five top-selling toy properties in the U.S., the UK, and Australia.

“The unique cultures of a country lend themselves to unique preferences, and the toy industry is no different,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toy industry analyst with The NPD Group. “However, there are clearly messages and styles of play that resonate with a child, regardless of geography.”

Kidrobot, Loot Crate Partner to Bring Premium Art Figures to Monthly Subscription Program

Loot Crate and Kidrobot have teamed up to bring fans more premium art figures through Loot Crate’s mystery bundle subscription program. Every month, Loot Crate subscribers receive a box of gamer gear that has its own specific theme, where customers get the opportunity to assemble a diverse collection of figures and items.

Under the partnership, Kidrobot will work with Loot Crate to bring a variety of product to new customers and audiences.

LeapFrog, Mia Hamm Partner to Get Kids Active with LeapBand

LFLOGOLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has named Mia Hamm the company’s official spokesperson for LeapBand. Hamm will help bring awareness to the benefits of getting children up and active every day. The LeapBand is LeapFrog’s new wearable activity tracker, designed for children to encourage active play and healthy habits as they nurture their personalized pet. The more active a child is, the more points they can earn for their virtual pet and unlock additional levels of play and rewards. Hamm has been honored more than any soccer player in history, including being a two-time women’s FIFA player of the year, five-time U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, two-time Olympic Gold medal winner, and two-time World Cup Champion. [Read more...]

MasterPieces Donates More than $117,000 to TIF’s Toy Bank

tif_logoMasterPieces Puzzle Company recently donated just over $117,000 worth of jigsaw puzzles to the Toy Industry Foundation’s (TIF) Toy Bank during TIF’s annual Summer Toy Drive. Beneficiaries include: the Huntington Area Food Bank, of West Virginia; New Threads of Hope, of Wisconsin; and First United Presbyterian Church, of Ohio.

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers served as the Toy Bank’s logistics partner. TIF’s 2014 Summer Toy Drive is ongoing through August 31.

Chicago Toy & Fair Group to Host Eighth Annual Young Inventor Challenge

CHITAGThe 2014 Young Inventor Challenge, presented by Spin Master, is returning for its eighth year at the annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair. The toy and game inventing competition is open to kids between the ages 6 to 18, and designed to combine imagination, play, and critical thinking.

Attendees will cast their votes for their favorite inventions based on originality, creativity, appeal, and presentation of the marketing message. Six winners in total will be announced in junior and senior categories, including “First Place,” “Runner Up,” and “Fan Favorite” for each. The winners will be announced on November 22, the day of the competition.

Registration for the competition is free, and parents, guardians, and educators are invited to sign up young inventors online before November 4 on the ChiTAG website.

Disney Interactive Hosts Top Disney Infinity Community Members at Inaugural Toy Box Summit

Toy Box SummitTwenty-two of the most talented Disney Infinity Toy Box designers were invited to the Inaugural Disney Infinity Toy Box Summit, which took place this weekend at Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event gave the community members exclusive access to Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Toy Box 2.0, allowed them to meet with the development team, and challenged them participate in a Toy Box design competition for the chance to win a special Disney Infinity prize pack.

Five Toy Box artists served as mentors for Toy Box Summit guests, who were hand-picked from the community for delivering amazing Toy Box creations that were consistently among those showcased for players to download on the Disney Infinity Toy Box TV web series. The artists include Stewart Malcolm (Crazybynick), Patrick Efird (Papa Echo), Tyler Cole (TyForce), Jose Abalos (doctorlogicgate), and Quinn Johnson (quinnjitsu). They are also currently working on new Toy Box content that will be released for Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.  [Read more...]