Sweet Suite 2016

NPD Group Releases Monthly Point-of-Sales Data Reports on U.S. Games Industry Sales

NPD GroupThe NPD Group released its monthly point-of-sales data reports, showcasing a four percent rise, or $19.3 million, in overall trends across new physical software, hardware, and accessories for May 2016. The report showed a healthy install base of the Xbox One and PS4, which currently have 43 percent higher cumulative unit sales than their predecessors at the same point in their lifecycles. NPD also reported that new launches were a major driver of the May 2016, selling nearly double in unit sales and 108 percent more in dollars compared to new launches last May.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was the best-selling game for May 2016, which helped Sony rank as the leading software publisher of May 2016. The game, Doom, ranked second, followed by Overwatch as the third-best selling game. Accessories debuted mixed results, which resulted in an overall decline of two percent in dollar sales, or $2.5 million.

Auldey Toys Recalls Sky Rover Toys Due to Fire Hazard

Auldey-LogoAuldey Toys is recalling its Sky Rover toys due to potential fire and burn hazards caused by the overheating of the USB charging cords that are sold with the toy. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the USB cords and contact the firm for instructions on obtaining a free replacement charge cord. To contact Auldey Toys, consumers can call the toll-free number at 844-303-8936 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, by email at aeroproducts@auldey.us, or online here.

American Greetings Entertainment Signs Multiple Partners to Celebrate Care Bears’ 35th Anniversary

CB Classic 35th Logo 2American Greetings Entertainment (AGE) has partnered with retail, promotional, and licensing partners to celebrate Care Bears’ 35th anniversary next year, featuring new and ’80s-inspired classic looks for the Care Bears on a range of products in new categories. The celebration includes retail programs in specialty and department stores and mass-market retailers targeting millennial moms and their kids, young adults, and juniors. [Read more...]

Advanced Registration is Now Open for WIT Empowerment Day in September

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 1.36.07 PMWomen in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment’s (WIT) annual WIT Empowerment Day event will be held on Sept. 26, the day before Fall Toy Preview in Dallas officially begins. Held in collaboration with Walmart, WIT Empowerment Day is designed for entrepreneurs, manufacturers, inventors, and business owners who want to grow their businesses and careers. [Read more...]

TIA Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

TIA100yearsThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) is celebrating 100 years of serving the North American toy industry. The TIA kicked off the anniversary celebration on Sept. 17 last year with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Toy Halls of Fame Exhibit at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. In addition, the TIA has taken a look back at its past 100 years, highlighting key toy industry moments from 1916-2016 in a timeline that will continue to be displayed during TIA events throughout its anniversary year.  [Read more...]

LaRose Industries Recalls Cra-Z-Jewels

16186aLaRose Industries recalled the Cra-Z-Jewels Ultimate Gem Jewelry Machine due to a violation of the Lead Standard.

The “Slider Bracelet” in the making kit contains high levels of lead, which is toxic if kids ingest it. Consumers should immediately take these products away from kids and contact LaRose for a full refund. There are no reported injuries yet.

LaRose Industries can be contacted toll-free at (855) 345-4693 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at recall@laroseindustries.com, or online at www.laroseindustries.com.

ASTRA Members Elect New Representatives to Board of Directors

PrintMembers of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) elected five specialty toy industry leaders to its Board of Directors at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy in Denver, Colorado this week. The new representatives are Cynthia Compton from 4 Kids Books & Toys; Anita Demetropoulos from Island Treasure Toys; Damien Crocker from The Orb Factory; Tami Murphy from The Haywire Group; and Nicole Bortnick from BGN Sales Group. [Read more...]

A Mary Poppins Sequel is Coming to Theaters December 2018

Golden Globe Award winner Emily Blunt will star as Mary Poppins, and Emmy, Grammy, Tony Award, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda will play a new character named Jack in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns on Dec. 25, 2018. [Read more...]

Loot Crate Closes $18.5 Million Series A Funding Round

unnamed-2Loot Crate announced its $18.5 million Series A funding round, lead by Upfront Ventures, with participation from Breakwater Investment Management, Time Inc., Downey Ventures, M13, and SterlingVC.

Loot Crate offers its consumers themed mystery boxes each month tailored around leading entertainment and pop culture franchises. Each box offers four to seven curated product and content that ranges from collectible figurines, comic books, apparel, and Loot Crate-exclusive items.

Since launching in 2012 with $25,000 in seed funding, Loot Crate’s revenues have grown to more than $100 million annually and more than 600,000 monthly subscribers worldwide. The company currently services 35 countries, including the UK, which has become its second-largest market and where the company will be opening secondary offices this summer.

ICTI Care to Host Webinar on Responsible Sourcing in Toy Industry

ICTICareWebinarICTI Care will host a complimentary webinar for toy and entertainment industry stakeholders to provide an overview of responsible sourcing and a better understanding of the ICTI Care Process. The session will take place on June 9 at 10:30 a.m. EST.

ICTI CARE’s Tom van Haaren, senior advisor of responsible sourcing, and Mark Robertson, director of communications & stakeholder relations, will lead the webinar, focusing on ICTI CARE’s role in the global toy marketplace and how it works with brands, retailers, and manufacturers to ensure that ethical workplace standards are met in factories.   [Read more...]