SCEI Launches PlayStation Business in People’s Republic Of China

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOSony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will launch its PlayStation 4 (PS4) and PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) in the People’s Republic of China on January 11. Along with the release of the two systems, SCEI will offer an after-sales service to ensure Chinese users have a smooth and positive experience on PlayStation.

Along with SCE Worldwide Studios, 70 third-party software developers and publishers plan to deliver a stream of software titles to gamers in China. In addition, a variety of titles created by Chinese game developers will be available on PlayStation.

In cooperation with modian.com and business partner Shanghai Oriental Pearl Suole Culture Development Ltd., SCEI will actively provide support to Chinese game developers to bring their content to PlayStation platforms.

TIA Considers Three for Board of Directors

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) nominating committee has submitted candidates for consideration by the membership, for election to the association’s board of directors. Successful candidates would serve a two-year term expiring at the annual meeting in 2017.

The proposed board members are: Bruce S. Raiffe, president of Gund; Howard Kahn, CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales of Tomy International. Additional nominations, made in writing and signed by no less than 10 percent of the TIA’s membership, may be submitted to TIA President Carter Keithley at ckeithley@toyassociation.org no later than January 16.

Raiffe, Kahn, and Cunnion would fill the seats of retiring board members Joel Berger of Cardinal Industries Inc.; Peter Henseler of Tomy International; and D. Hugo Malan of Sears Holdings Corp.

The election of new board members will occur during the TIA Annual Business Meeting that will convene at 8 a.m. on February 16, in conjunction with North American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The meeting is open to all stakeholders of the toy industry—both members and non-members.

Hasbro Elects Michael Burns to Board of Directors

MichaelBurns,HasbroHasbro Inc. has elected Michael Burns as an independent director to its board of directors. Burns is currently vice chairman of Lionsgate, and his appointment is effective immediately.

Since joining Lionsgate in 2000, Mr. Burns has been instrumental in building the company into a multi-billion dollar global content leader with a major presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, channel platforms, and digital distribution.

RadioShack to Carry LittleBits’ New Smart Home Kit

LittleBits,RadioShackThis holiday season, littleBits Electronics has entered a partnering with RadioShack for a product roll out in 2,000 stores nationwide. RadioShack is the first nationwide brick and mortar retailer to carry littleBits, which was previously available online and through boutique stores.

Beginning this month, RadioShack locations will carry littleBits’ new Smart Home Kit, which features a series of modules that lets users turn everyday objects into smart devices, or recreate popular smart devices. The Smart Home Kit comes with 14 Bits, including the new MP3 Player, Threshold, Number, Temperature Sensor, and IR Transmitter Bits. It also includes an infographic poster with project ideas and 11 accessories, including an AC switch that connects the littleBits 5V system to AC power (110V).

The Smart Home Kit is compatible with all other littleBits kits.

Hasbro Participates in Community Service Projects in 33 Countries Worldwide for Second Global Day of Joy

HasbroGlobalDayHasbro Inc. celebrated its second Global Day of Joy on December 4, a volunteer initiative designed to spread cheer and bring positive change to children in 33 countries. Team Hasbro employees volunteered with more than 100 charitable organizations worldwide to deliver toys and games to children, provide meals for the homeless, renovate playrooms, and host Hasbro Game Day for the event.

Hasbro’s Global Day of Joy is one of the company’s largest global efforts, and this year’s day lasted 27 full business hours from the start of the day in Australia to the close of business in Los Angeles. Service programs from around the world included hand-delivering toys and games to school children; volunteering at an Operation Smile mission in Colombia; character visits to Miami Children’s Hospital; and sorting and packing thousands of toys and games to the organizations Toys for Tots, SeriousFun Children’s Network, and Give Kids the World.

During this year’s holiday season, Hasbro expects to donate more than half a million toys and games to organization benefitting children, valued at $6 million.

Surprise Ride Launches e-Shop, Makes Past Gift Boxes Available

ImageSurpriseRideIn time for the holidays, Surprise Ride is launching its first e-shop featuring past gift boxes, which include such themes as Ancient Egypt, Superheroes, and Volcanoes. Every month, Surprise Ride fosters creativity by providing a curated box of activities for kids ages 6 to 11 that promotes hands-on learning.

Each box teaches kids something new about the world, and past activities have included painting in the style of van Gogh, exploring the science behind how things glow in the dark, and making organic chocolate from scratch. Surprise Ride is also debuting its first limited edition holiday box, allowing kids to make their own DIY gifts.

Toy Fair 2015 Sells Out of Exhibit Space

ToyFair15LogoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), exhibit space for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, scheduled for February 14 to 17, has officially sold out. The show has already surpassed a record-breaking 419,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and going forward, prospective Toy Fair exhibitors will be placed on a wait list (under no financial obligation).

The expanded show floor, equivalent in size to more than seven football fields, will feature hundreds of thousands of innovative new toys, games, and youth entertainment products. The North American International Toy Fair draws buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, and other play professionals from 100 countries, who will be on-hand scouting toy trends, spotting unique product lines and brands, and writing orders for next year.

Major global retail outlets already registered to attend include Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Apple, and Hobby Lobby.

USAopoly Celebrates 20 Years with 13 Days of Giving Games

USAopolyUSAopoly is currently giving away a themed gaming package each day for 13 days through December 20. With every game a fan wins, one will also be donated to Toys for Tots. For every day that there are over 500 entries, an additional winner will be chosen and will match the number of games given to fans to the Toys for Tots donation. Prize packages include The Walking Dead Day, Nintendo Day, My Little Pony Day, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Day.

ASTRA’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day Supports Increased Sales for Retailers

ASTRAlogoAccording to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), nearly two-thirds of ASTRA stores participating in Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 8, reported an increase in their year-over-year same store sales. An estimated 25 percent posted growth of 20 percent or more.

ASTRA retailers reached out to several hundred media outlets around the country and across multiple platforms, including print, radio, broadcast, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Of the ASTRA retailers who reached out to the media in their markets, 82 percent reported that they were successful in using the event to secure local media and blogger coverage.

ASTRA supports participation of its retailer members in Neighborhood Toy Store Day by offering free planning guides, templates for media outreach, Best Toys for Kids award program flyers, and more.