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.

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.