Spielwarenmesse TrendGallery 2015 to Include Tech, DIY, and Science Toys

SpielwarenmesseegTrends for this year’s Spielwarenmesse TrendGallery will include Little Scientists, Express Yourself, and Beyond Reality, all believed to be promising international trends within the toy industry. All three trends, as well as new products linked to them, will be found in the TrendGallery space in Hall 3A during the fair.

The Little Scientist trend includes toys that bring scientific phenomena to life, promote logical and analytical thinking, and explain technical relationships, exposing kids to the sciences in a fun way. Express Yourself focuses on do-it-yourself toys and the processes of self-discovery realized through creativity. And nurturing the technological aspect of toy trends is Beyond Reality, which includes 3-D innovation, digital functionality, and technological components.

Fisher-Price Launches Best Possible Start Campaign with Parents from Around the World

This past Friday, Fisher-Price Inc. released a short film entitled Wishes for Baby, marking the official launch of its Best Possible Start marketing campaign. Directed by Patrick Creadon, and filmed with real parents from around the world on New Year’s Day and during the final days of December of last year, the short film is intended to capture the love and hopes all parents share for their children during their first moments.

The production involved more than 50 crew members around the world, in seven countries over five continents and in 10 hospitals, shooting the births of 27 babies and the first wishes of 26 families. More than 15 hours of raw footage was scoured through and edited within 24 hours in order to produce the 90-second film.


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TIA Concerned FDA Stance on Lasers Could Affect Toy Manufacturers

TIALogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has been tracking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health‘s (CDRH) thinking on the safety of lasers and laser diodes used in kids’ toy products. Most laser-like toys on the market employ harmless LED lights to simulate lasers; however, any toy that uses actual laser technology and falls under current FDA definitions for laser products must comply with FDA rules for low power lasers. [Read more...]

ICTI Annual Meeting to Take Place in Cancun, Mexico This May

The 41st annual general meeting of the International Council of Toy Industries will be held in Cancun, Mexico from May 3 to 6 next year. The meeting will be hosted by the Mexican Toy Association at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun, and will bring ICTI members to discuss the state of the toy industry and update on each country’s domestic market.

According to the Toy Industry Association, the general meeting agenda will include discussions and presentations, including a global toy industry sales report from The NPD Group, a presentation from the president of the Mexican Toy Association, an update on the status of the ICTI Care program, and more.

Bandai Namco Games America Inc. Changes Name to Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc.

Effective April 1, Bandai Namco Games America Inc. will officially rebrand itself as Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. The company’s new corporate name and logo will be fully integrated into all of the company’s communications, product branding, and presence in digital and online spaces.

Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. reflects the next stage for the company as it leverages its intellectual properties and franchises into new business opportunities and a wider network of content beyond that of video games.

TIA’s Alan Kaufman Elected President of ICPHSO

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the organization’s senior vice president of technical affairs, Alan Kaufman, has been elected president of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO). He will assume the role of president for a one-year term beginning next February.

With more than 35 years of experience in the consumer product safety field, Kaufman’s objective will be helping to lead ICPHSO’s efforts to ensure the safety of products made and sold in the global marketplace. Created in 1993, ICPHSO is a non-profit organization that provides forums for the exchange of ideas and information related to health and safety issues for products manufactured and marketed around the world.

Kaufman was a member of ICPHSO for several years before joining the organization’s board of directors in 2010.

Hasbro Releases New Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Hasbro logoHasbro Inc. has released its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which provides a detailed look at the progress Hasbro made throughout 2013 in its three key CSR priorities. These are product safety, environmental responsibility, and ethical sourcing—in addition to other focus areas including human rights, responsible marketing, global philanthropy, and more.

Performance highlights from the 2013 CSR Report are as follows: zero product recalls in 2013—and no recalls since 2008; several product and packaging sustainability innovations, including the replacing of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in Hasbro toy and game packaging; developing a set of goals and key performance indicators to guide and measure progress in improving working conditions among its third-party suppliers; and the development of a human right policy including focus areas, implementation strategies, and governance structure.

In addition, Hasbro contributed $14.5 million through product donations and financial contributions to organizations that benefit children in need, positively impacting 3.5 million children worldwide. The company also engaged 75 percent of Hasbro’s global workforce to volunteer in their communities during 2013.

Hasbro is also making progress on sustainability goals for 2020, such as reducing waste to landfills at owned/operated facilities by 50 percent; decreasing energy consumption at owned/operated facilities by 25 percent; reducing global Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from owned/operated facilities by 20 percent; and decreasing water consumption from owned/operated facilities by 15 percent. All goals are intended to decrease numbers from 2012 levels.

The full 2013 report can be found at Hasbro’s website.

Ubisoft Pushes Further into China with PlayStation 4 Titles

Ubisoft.logoUbisoft will release a number of titles from its popular franchises for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) computer entertainment system in China, where the PS4 console will be available starting on January 11. Ubisoft’s releases will include Trials Fusion and Rayman Legends: Rayman.

Trials Fusion will retain many elements from the original Trials game, while enhancing the experience with new game play elements, such as a physics-based trick system and new social features. As for Rayman Legends: Rayman, the latest installment adds new characters and environments, as well as an updated soundtrack.

Robert Bauer to Serve as Director of Sales for Rubie’s Canada

rubielogoRobert Bauer has joined Rubie’s Canada as its director of sales. He brings more than 20 years of experience in independent account sales, specifically in the Halloween and party industries. Bauer also brings an in-depth knowledge of the Canadian market, based on many years of experience in developing products and programs for every sector.

Bauer will be responsible for sales at the company’s independent accounts throughout Canada, working closely with senior executives at both Rubie’s Canada and Rubie’s USA.

Sessions and Speakers Announced for Digital Kids Conference at North American International Toy Fair

DigitalKidsConference2015The Digital Kids Conference, scheduled for February 15 to 17 at North American International Toy Fair, will offer insight on how to create digital toys, games, and media services for kids. The event is intended for game developers, app developers, brand owners, entertainment and media executives, marketers, producers, digital media directors and licensing professionals seeking to engage children online and on digital devices.

Session titles include: Connected Digital Devices: Understanding Digital Kids; Embracing Digital Construction: Lego Fusion Case Study; and Launching, Marketing, and Distributing Toys to Today’s Parents and Kids with YouTube; and more.

The featured speakers include Andrew Sugarman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide; Carrie Bischke, director of brand integration, Ubisoft; Boris Sofman, Ph.D., co-founder, and CEO of Anki Drive, and more.

The full schedule can be found at the Digital Kids Conference homepage. Early registration ends on January 16, and a special early registration rate will be offered until January 17.

A Digital Kids Conference ticket includes access to all Digital Kids Conference sessions, the Toy Fair Expo show floor, and exclusive networking events and parties.