Sweet Suite 2016

Global Licensed Toys Market is Growing as it Heads into Licensing Expo 2016

The dollar sales of licensed toys grew 11 percent from January through May, according to the NPD Group. Last year, the overall toy industry grew seven percent during this time.

The top toy license so far this year is Star Wars, whose sales have more than doubled over the past year, followed by Disney’s Frozen. For 2016 films, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the top selling toy license followed by Captain America: Civil War.

Educational Insights, Night & Day Studios Partner for Peekaboo Barn Board Game

Peekaboo BarnNight & Day Studios awarded a license for its flagship preschool brand to Educational Insights, which will produce a Peekaboo Barn board game for toddlers. Peekaboo Barn was one of the first early childhood apps for mobile devices, and is now one of the first preschool brands to debut as an app and expand its reach through consumer products licensing. [Read more...]

Diverse Insights Presents: The Tokyo Toy Fair Report 2016

thead_logo copySteve Starobinsky from Diverse Marketing attended this year’s Tokyo Toy Fair. The following are the trend clusters he identified at the event:

  • Novelty Cat Items: The top industry embraced item was the Do Re Mi Fa Cat from Takara Tomy, also recognized by the Japanese Toy Association as the winner for the top toy for kids with special needs. The Do Re Mi Fa Cat is a riff on the cat keyboard concept and the more you buy, the more fun it becomes. Other favorites included the Cat Couch Stacking game from Epoch and the Sumo Cats Bling Box program from Re-Ment.
  • The Vending Machine Effect: The vending machines range from simple turn and win to complex video game hybrids that reward the player different collectibles based on their performance. According to the Japanese Toy Association, there are 600,000 vending machines in the market that are responsible for $320 million dollars in sales annually.
  • Retro Gaming: Old school is trending in Japan with the current obsession of retro gaming. NES, Gameboy Color, emulators, and old video game cartridges are being sold and traded. The fair had multiple stores and sections for old 90s video games including arcades to play the games.
  • Impulse Intricate Craftables: In the adult hobby category, craft projects in tiny packages dominated relating under $20. These craftables incorporate a sense of the love for kawaii things, collectability, the desperate need to de-stress, and a smaller apartment/store space.
  • Anpanman: Anpanman is the top preschool anime series in Japan that is more than 40 years old and has a collectively of 1300 episodes.
  • Bonus Top Amime License: Hatsune Miku was the biggest property. Hatsune is a computer general popstar who has her own expo tour, Hatsune Miku Expo, and over 2.5 million followers on Facebook.

Local Toy Industry Volunteers Roll Up Their Sleeves to Help 25,000 Foster Children

TIA Play Your PartThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA) partnered at TIF’s annual Play Your Part event on June 16. Volunteers from nearly 30 toy companies helped to sort, wrap, and pack toys for 25,000 foster care children in Southern California and seven additional states. In addition, hundreds of Los Angeles-area foster children were on-site at the event to receive dolls, games, puzzles, arts & crafts, and other skill-building playthings. Manufacturers and retailers donated all toys to TIF’s Toy Bank with the goal of providing comfort to children awaiting placement in permanent homes.  [Read more...]

Toy Preview Month Takes Place this September

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) dubbed September 2016 “Toy Preview Month” to mark product preview meetings slated to take place across the nation throughout the month, culminating with TIA’s Fall Toy Preview event in Dallas. [Read more...]

Karen Kilpatrick Joins Jazwares as Vice President of Marketing for JazWings

JazWingsGraphicJazwares appointed Karen Kilpatrick as vice president of marketing for JazWings, an online platform that provides creators and inventors an opportunity to launch new brands.

Kilpatrick will be based in the company’s Sunrise, Fla. headquarters and will focus  on accelerating JazWings in the toy and entertainment space for creators, inventors, and fans. Kilpatrick previously built and sold several websites in the legal service industry, is an independent creator who authored a children’s book series, and has created several other brands. [Read more...]

Moose Toys Chairman and Co-CEO Manny Stul Wins EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

unnamed-2Chairman and Co-CEO Manny Stul of Moose Toys won the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 award. The award ceremony was held in Monaco’s Salle des Etoiles on June 11. Stul was chosen from among 55 country winners from 50 countries, and is the first Australian to win the title in the award’s history.

Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing, and dynamic businesses, and recognizes them through regional, national, and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Moose Toys created Shopkins, which was the No. 1 best-selling toy of 2015 in the U.S.

Spielwarenmesse ToyPreview to Run During Insights-X 2016

Logo Spielwarenmesse 2016This year, the Spielwarenmesse ToyPreview at Nuremberg’s Exhibition Centre will take place from October 6 to 7. So far, 20 companies are signed up to present their latest products lines and marketing campaigns for the next season. The event will also take place alongside Insights-X, the new office supplies and stationery trade fair, fromOctober 6 to 9.

The ToyPreview enables central buyers, buying groups, licensors, and journalists from the specialist toy press from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to meet the managing directors and representatives of big companies. Trade visitors wanting to take advantage of the ToyPreview can arrange appointments with exhibitors directly and register online here.

Skylanders Series to Debut on Netflix

Blog Activision-SkylandersAcademy-6Skylanders Academy, the first production from Activision Blizzard Studios, Activision Blizzard Inc.’s newly-created television and film studio, will premiere this fall on Netflix.

The series will follow the adventures of the Skylanders team, a group of heroes with unique elemental skills and personalities who travel the Skylanders universe, protecting it from evil-doers and showing the next wave of Academy cadets how to do things the “Skylander way.” [Read more...]

TSCA Reform Bill Passes Senate

TSCAThe U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation reforming the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) on June 7, according to the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The bill, which is now awaiting signature by President Obama, marks Congress’ first major update to the legislation in 40 years and represents a major victory for the toy industry.

TIA will host an educational webinar to explain how the TSCA reform impacts toy companies’ chemical use management program. The webinar will take place on Thursday, June 16th from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. (EST), registration is now open.

Once President Obama signs the bill into law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin the process of prioritizing chemicals and taking necessary steps to review them. TIA intends to stay engaged with EPA in order to find opportunities to participate in the development of future rules and regulations impacting the toy industry.