China Toy Fair


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.

TIA to Induct Two to Hall of Fame

TIAThe Toy Industry Association will induct Pat Feely, chairman of the Toy Industry Foundation and retired CEO of Radica Games Ltd., and the late Leslie Berger, founder of Cardinal Industries Inc., into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held on Feb. 13 in conjunction with the annual Toy of the Year Awards to kick off the 112th North American International Toy Fair.

Feely and Berger have been chosen in recognition of their contributions to the toy industry and the impact they have had on children through a commitment to toys and play, according to the TIA. They will join 67 others who have been inducted since it was established in 1984.

Feely has been in the toy industry for 37 years and engineered a turnaround and expansion of Radica Games and Tonka. He has been serving as chairman for the Toy Industry Foundation for the past eight years. In addition, he has served as chairman of the TIA for two years and was an advisor to the TIA Board of Directors for six years, where he helped form the TOTY Awards program and diversify the TIA Board.

The late Leslie Berger founded Cardinal Industries, one of the oldest privately owned toy businesses in the U.S. He served on the Toy Manufacturers of America, now called TIA, board for several years. He also secured the license to General Hospital from ABC in the early 80s.

Growth Expected for 2014 China Toy Expo and China Kids Expo

The 2014 China Toy Expo and China Kids Expo will see a 24 percent increase in exhibitors from last year, with 1,364 global brands and 80,000 visitors participating in the trade fairs over three days.

Over 300 international toy and baby products brands from more than 30 countries and regions will be exhibiting at the 2014 shows. Both participation from exhibitors and expected visitors has increased from past years’ expos. International visitor pre-registration has increased 149 percent from last year.

New exhibition hall themes and pavilions have been created to meet the needs of this year’s trade expos, which will take place in Shanghai from October 14 to 16.

GoldieBlox Joins the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

GoldieBlox FloatGoldieBlox will bring its design and engineering toys to life at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The toymaker’s new float, titled The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine, will transform GoldieBlox toys into larger-than-life form in an elaborate, creative, and brightly colored machine.

“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an iconic celebration and we’re thrilled to join the line-up this November with the first-ever float that is specifically designed to showcase the principles of engineering,” said Debbie Sterling, the founder and CEO of the company. “Macy’s Parade floats are the ultimate engineering spectacle, and relatable to kids everywhere. We can’t wait!”

The engineers and craftspeople at Macy’s Parade Studio worked closely with the GoldieBlox team to design and build the float as three distinct stages. It will use kid power to spin, pull, and rotate a myriad of elements from giant pinwheels and parachutes to jogging wheels.

Bandai Namco Launches Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign

Bandai Namco Games America Inc. has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to launch the Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign in the fight against the second leading cause of cancer among U.S. women.  Ms. Pac-Man will mascot the campaign, which will be anchored with new gameplay incentives across the video game publisher’s line of mobile titles. The campaign will raise funds for NBCF to help women and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services.

The Ms. Pac-Man Ribbon Campaign will run until Oct. 31 and includes an exclusive new maze for sale across Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man iOS and Android titles. All proceeds from purchases on the new level will go directly to support the NBCF. The in-game user interface and artwork for game will change to a new pink ribbon theme for October alongside the new content.

AG Properties Launches Strawberry Shortcake Program in Nordic Region

strawberry shortcakeStrawberry Shortcake will see a dramatic expansion across Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland this fall, thanks to a new licensing deal between AG Properties (AGP) and strategic partner Tactic Games. They will produce and distribute a variety of publishing products, games, and puzzles, and will serve as distributor in the Nordic region for the new core toy line produced by The Bridge Direct featuring all new packaging.

The deal was handled by local agent Alicom Licensing acting on behalf of AGP.

All products will be distributed via direct selling, book clubs, specialty stores, book stores, supermarket and grocery, hypermarket, mass market, department, duty-free stores, game specialty, novelty, and toy stores.