China Toy Fair


Toy State Showcases New Branding for Road Rippers and Nikko

Toy State New BrandingOn Monday, Toy State unveiled new branding designs for its flagship lights and sound and R/C product lines, Road Rippers and Nikko. The company is showcasing the new-look product lines and branding at Fall Toy Preview in Dallas, and will continue to highlight them at Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair in January.

Toy State acquired Nikko and Nikko Entertainment BV in May. The moves came on the heels of a period of aggressive growth, including new licensing partnerships with Hot Wheels, Transformers, Hello Kitty, and Angry Birds.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the new logos and packaging these leading brands will have when they hit retail shelves in 2015,” said Andy Friess, Toy State’s general manager of U.S. operations and senior vice president of global marketing. “Redefining the Nikko brand was a major design objective following our acquisition, and returning Road Rippers to its signature ‘orange package’ roots provides an exciting refresh for the leader in the lights and sound vehicle category.”

Skylanders Trap Team Gameplay Truck Tour Arrives at New York Comic-Con

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoActivision Publishing Inc.’s nationwide Skylanders Trap Team First-to-Play Tour includes a lengthy stop at New York Comic-Con. Attendees and kids can play Skylanders Trap Team within a customized Game Truck, a mobile video game media room. Guests will also be treated to Skylanders-branded activities, photo opportunities with costumed characters, and giveaway items.

The Game Truck will be on-hand at New York Comic-Con, taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, today until 7 p.m., as well as on the following dates and times: [Read more...]

Lego and Shell to Part Ways After Decades-Long Partnership

Lego.ShellOn Thursday morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that Lego is ending its co-branding relationship with Royal Dutch Shell. The move follows pressure from environmental group Greenpeace, which targeted the decades-long partnership in an online video and petition.

Since the 1960s, Lego has built play sets branded with the Shell logo, including Shell filling stations, tanker trucks, and Shell-sponsored racing cars. These have been sold at Shell gas stations and other retailers that carried Lego sets.

In July, Greenpeace circulated an online petition calling for Lego to sever ties with Shell, which it has accused of operating recklessly in exploring for oil in the Arctic. The group released an online video, Lego: Everything Is Not Awesome, which depicts an Arctic wonderland made of Lego bricks that is flooded with spilled oil, and asks viewers to sign the petition urging Lego to sever ties with Shell. According to Greenpeace, the video has garnered more than a million signatures to date. [Read more...]

Rilakumma Heads to the Big Apple’s Big Toy Store

RilakkumaNew York City toy store FAO Schwarz will host a Rilakkuma Day to celebrate the brand’s extension from Asia to North America.

Guests will be able to interact with a life-size Rilakkuma mascot and Kawaii girls, and will have a chance to win giveaway prizes. A Rilakkuma pop-up shop featuring plush, apparel, accessories, electronics, and stationery based on the brand will remain in FAO Schwarz’s Great Hall until the end of the month.

The free event will be held on October 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Giveaways will be distributed to guests while supplies last.

Diamond Select Toys Has Talks, Giveaways Planned for New York Comic Con

DST.NYCCConcourseDiamond Select Toys (DST) will be participating in New York Comic Con with panels, signings, and more scheduled for all four days of the convention. Of the two panels DST will host, the first, Diamond Select Toys: The Best of All Worlds, will take place on October 9 at 5 p.m. in Room 1A18. DST president Chuck Terceira and sculptor Eli Livingston will talk about upcoming products, give away prizes, and announce a new toy line.

On October 11, at 4:15 p.m. in Room 1A24, Minimates product manager Robert Yee and designer Uriel Caton will join Terceira for Minimates MiniFigures: From Marvel to Clerks to TMNT! They will discuss upcoming Minimates releases, give away more prizes, and unveil the next Marvel Minimates assortment.

DST.MarvelPosterBefore and after the Minimates panel, Caton will sign full-size Minimates posters at booth 1736. Finally, every morning at the start of the show, DST will give out a free Ghostbusters promotional Minimate, while supplies last. A limited number will be given out each day, Thursday through Sunday. Throughout the weekend, DST will also give out free full-size posters featuring original Aliens, Ghostbusters, and Marvel Minimates artwork.

Laser Pegs Hires Rainer Kuhn as New CEO

Laser Pegs, the company known for its LED light-up construction toys, has named Rainer Kuhn as its new CEO. Kuhn has over 25 years of international sales and marketing experience across various markets. He plans to increase the company’s international presence.

The company also recently added “bricks” to their line of light-up building kits, which come in themes ranging from cars and trucks to dinosaurs and sea life.

Spielwarenmesse Announces Topics and Dates for Toy Business Forum

SpielwarenmesseegFrom January 28 to February 1, Spielwarenmesse will be hosting its Toy Business Forum for visitors to the trade show, which is scheduled to take place at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre.

Visitors can get their knowledge of the industry up to speed at the free forums, where experts will explain new and worthwhile aspects of daily topics in 30-minute presentations.

The forums, which can be followed in both German and English, will be held daily from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hall 3A. The subjects addressed will be as follows:

  • Wednesday: ToyKnowHow: Experiencing future trends & technologies
  • Thursday: Licenses: Recognizing worldwide trends in 2015
  • Friday: Online Marketing: Understanding strategies on the World Wide Web
  • Saturday: Marketing: Discovering potentials for the trade
  • Sunday: Visual Merchandising: Creating experience worlds

A selection of talks from 2014’s Toy Business Forum can be found at www.youtube.com/spielwarenmesse. Additional information is available at www.toyfair.de/toybusinessforum.

NRF Says Record Number of Americans to Buy Halloween Costumes This Year

nrfAccording to data from the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Halloween Consumer Spending Survey, more than two-thirds—or 67.4 percent—of celebrants will buy Halloween costumes for the holiday, which is the most in the survey’s 11-year history.

An estimated 2.6 million children plan to dress up as one of Disney’s Frozen characters, while about 1.8 million children will dress as one of the re-imagined classic characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Princess (3.4 million), animal (3 million), and Spider-Man (2.6 million) will also be popular choices for children.

The NRF survey also found that 75 million adults will dress in costume, with most sticking to traditional options, including a witch (4.8 million), an animal (2.6 million), a Batman character (2 million), and a pirate (1.8 million).

A total of $2.8 billion will be spent on costumes overall, with celebrants shelling out $1.1 billion on children’s costumes, $1.4 billion on adult costumes, and $350 million on costumes for pets. Findings revealed that among the 14.3 percent of celebrants planning to outfit their pets, 10.8 percent will dress them as a pumpkin, the top costume choice again this year.

Slightly more than 34 percent of Americans will look for costume inspiration online, while 33 percent will seek it at a retail store or costume shop. The survey found 11.4 percent of Americans will turn to Pinterest for costume ideas, up from 9.3 percent last year, with young adults driving the most Pinterest traffic: 21.2 percent and 21 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds and 25-to-34-year-olds, respectively.

Nintendo and Super Smash Bros. Join The Tailgate Tour

NintendoNintendo is bringing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS to top college football tailgate stops across the South and Midwest regions of the U.S. through the end of November. Before the games, fans from rival schools will be able to settle their differences by competing in Super Smash Bros. head-to-head matches.

Nintendo will be keeping score as fans compete, with a visual display indicating whether the home or away team has the edge. A demo version of the Wii U game will be used to pit fans of rival schools against one another, while the 3DS game will be focused on letting friends settle their scores.

The Tailgate Tour will make stops at the following games, with Mario and Luigi costumed characters attending the Florida-Georgia game to cheer on the Super Smash Bros. match-ups:

  • Oct. 4: LSU at Auburn
  • Oct. 11: Penn State at Michigan
  • Oct. 18: Georgia vs. Arkansas
  • Oct. 25: Alabama at Tennessee
  • Nov. 1: Florida vs. Georgia
  • Nov. 8: Alabama at LSU
  • Nov. 15: Florida State at Miami
  • Nov. 22: Louisville at Notre Dame
  • Nov. 29: Michigan at Ohio State

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS launches today, while the Wii U version launches this holiday season.