Sweet Suite 2016

TIA Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has elected eight new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in 2018. David Hargreaves of Hasbro Inc. has been elected chairman, taking over the position from retiring Board Chairman John Gessert of American Plastic Toys. [Read more...]

Playmobil USA Names Freeman Public Relations as Agency of Record

Playmobil USA has named Freeman Public Relations as its agency of record (AOR). As AOR, Freeman Public Relations will increase awareness of the Playmobil brand through an integrated mix of special events, influencer outreach, and strategic media relations.

“We selected a PR agency to help continue to build our brand and gain visibility for our vast array of figures and imaginative playsets,” said Mark Cohen, vice president of sales and marketing for Playmobil USA. “Freeman Public Relations brings strong industry knowledge of toy and licensing PR, as well as an extensive proven track record of growing major brands. They will be a strategic partner in guiding our communication efforts as we further cultivate our brand portfolio as well as our licensed product lines.”

Toy Industry Grows 6 Percent During First Quarter

The U.S. toy industry grew 6 percent, or $206 million, in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2015, according to The NPD Group. Out of the 11 supercategories within toys, eight of them posted gains, with Action Figures and Dolls experiencing the highest dollar growth.  [Read more...]

Adult Coloring Impact Extends Beyond Toy Industry

unnamed-1The adult crafting trend is carving out new opportunities for the office supplies industry, according to Adult Coloring, Crafting, and the Handmade Movement: An NPD Office Supplies Industry Report, from global information company The NPD Group.

Coloring and art supplies are a $1 billion market, with in-store and online sales growing to $75 million combined in 2015. In the arts and crafts paper category, coloring pages, including adult coloring books, is the largest segment based on dollar volume, also seeing the largest store dollar growth in 2015. With paint nights and adult coloring gaining in popularity, sales of complementary products such as colored pencils, gel, and porous pens, painting accessories, and acrylic paint are driving growth within their respective categories.

Chalk and chalkboard usage is also influencing industry sales, as these items are increasingly used not only for school, but for businesses, home offices, and home décor. The chalk category saw the largest in-store dollar sales increase in 2015, surpassing crayons. Both dollar and unit sales for chalkboards more than doubled in 2015 compared to the prior year.

NBCUniversal Acquires DreamWorks Animation

NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corporation, announced the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation. The studio will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.

Under the terms of the agreement, DreamWorks Animation has an equity value of approximately $3.8 billion. DreamWorks Animation stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation common stock. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of DreamWorks Animation and Comcast, and the controlling shareholder of DreamWorks Animation has approved the agreement by written consent.   [Read more...]

Moose Toys Awarded Partner Award of Excellence by Target

Moose Toys received the 2015 Partner Award of Excellence from Target retailers. The award acknowledges the company for their innovative leadership and good business practices.

For Moose Toys, the award completes the trifecta of honors from leading retailer partners in the U.S. In February, the company received the Toy Supplier of the Year award from Walmart, and the Vendor of the Year award from Toys “R” Us.

Moose Toys’ most popular products over the years include Shopkins, The Trash Pack, and Mighty Beans. They also won the Toy Industry Association’s Girl Toyof the Year award two years in a row for Shopkins. The company continues to grow its portfolio with brands such as Little Live Pets, Beados, and Qixels.

Spin Master Expands Global Presence with Australian Subsidiary

Spin Master Corp. is forming an Australian subsidiary Spin Master Australia (Pty) Ltd. Spin Master Australia will begin trading in 2017 and will assume distribution for the majority of the company’s brands for Australia.

Based on NPD data, Spin Master was the fourth largest toy, games, and entertainment company in North America in 2015 and ranks in the top 10 globally based on Euromonitor data.

Spin Master has distributed product in Australia and New Zealand for over 15 years. Overseeing business operations will be Jacqui Webster, recently appointed as general manager, Australia and New Zealand, reporting into Derek Seidewand, vice president, International Sales. Prior to joining Spin Master, Webster held senior roles with Hasbro, Mattel, Paramount Pictures, and several international consumer packaged goods companies.

Spin Master Australia will be based in Sydney, NSW, and a warehouse location will be finalized in the coming months.

Angry Birds 2 App Supports WWF

AngryBirdsRovio Entertainment, Apple, and the World Wildlife Fund are working together to support environmental efforts on the planet. From now until April 24, WWF will receive all proceeds from the in-app purchase of the WWF Pack in the Angry Birds 2 shop. The app is also supporting WWF’s conservation work with special content that highlights ocean protection, one of WWF’s key focus areas. The game now features a special spell and new themed level, where the flock of birds square off against overfishing pigs.

Barbie Launches #YouCanBeAnything Campaign in Canada

BarbieYouCanBeAnythingBarbie will celebrate Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 28 with a #YouCanBeAnything campaign in Canada. From April 28 to May 2, Barbie encourages families across Canada to share photos on Facebook and Twitter of kids living out their career ambitions using the hashtag #YouCanBeAnything. They can also upload their photo to the You Can Be Anything event page, where four winners will be selected to live out their dream career for a day in real life.

Barbie recently surprised four aspiring veterinarians with a trip to the Toronto Zoo for a day to work alongside animal technicians to care for baby animals, examine penguins, and experience a day in the life of a trained animal doctor.

TIA Leads Advocacy Day for TSCA Reform Legislation

Toy Industry Association (TIA) representatives and several TIA members met with members of federal congressional offices and the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the passage of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform legislation.

TIA led the TSCA Advocacy Day to encourage key policymakers to collaborate, finalize legislation, and propose a joint bill to President Obama, which he can sign into a federal law before he leaves office next year.

State chemical regulatory programs have resulted in complex and costly compliance procedures that often do not increase the safety of children’s products. Both bills include preemption language that would prevent states from banning chemicals in the future.