My Little Pony Pop-Up Spa Heads to New York

MilkandCookiesMLPFrom Feb. 9 to Feb. 17, Milk & Cookies Kids Spa and Salon in New York City will offer a My Little Pony Pamper-Me Pop-up Spa that lets kids play with new My Little Pony fashion-themed products and enjoy My Little Pony-inspired spa treatments. [Read more...]

Lego Group Launches Social Network for Kids

LegoLifeThe Lego Group launched Lego Life, a social networking app for kids under the age of 13. The digital experience lets kids connect with a community of like-minded peers to express their creativity, share their Lego creations, and interact with Lego characters. The app is available in the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Austria, and Switzerland, with additional markets launching throughout the year and next year.

The Lego Life app lets kids personalize their LEGO experience through direct interaction with their favorite LEGO characters, exclusive content, an in-depth 3-D Lego minifigure avatar creator, and fun building inspiration and challenges. Lego Life also introduces a custom LEGO Emoji Keyboard with which kids and tweens can communicate about what they create in Lego form, as well as comment on what their peers share. [Read more...]

Toy State, Caterpillar Extend Global Licensing Partnership

ToyStateLogoToy State and Caterpillar have agreed to a four-year extension of their licensing partnership. The term of the agreement extends through 2021 and grants Toy State rights to continue to design, manufacture, and distribute its Cat product lines through major retailers globally.

Toy State’s partnership with Caterpillar began in 2002 and is the toy company’s longest running licensing program. Since then, the line has expanded from an initial “lights and sounds” line of construction machines to a robust offering featuring Cat toys within role play, outdoor, preschool, construction, die-cast/steel, and R/C retail categories. The licensing extension applies to all toy categories included in Toy State’s agreement.

Jazwares, Jazwings Partner with USP Studios for YouTube Content

JazwareslogoJazwares LLC obtained the licensing rights for USP Studios‘ original properties that air exclusively on YouTube. In addition, JazWings and USP Studios will partner to develop animated content based on new brands in the JazWings incubation program to air on YouTube. USP Studios is a creator of online content for kids. [Read more...]

Schleich Launches New Website

SchleichlogoSchleich redesigned its website to reflect the brand’s recent packaging and in-store display redesign. The site also shows the company’s store locator for purchase locations, along with information about the quality and manufacturing of Schleich products. Consumers now also connect to all content on the company’s social media channels with streams of its Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages on the homepage.

The Haywire Group Appoints National Sales Manager

TamiMurphyThe Haywire Group appointed Tami Murphy as its national sales manager. In the newly created position, Murphy will focus on sales throughout domestic channels of Haywire’s distribution: specialty, catalog, online, mass market, and distributors.

Murphy joined The Haywire Group in 2006 as the company’s office manager and quickly moved into a sales and marketing role, most recently as its marketing manager.  [Read more...]

TIF to Host Toy Drive at Toy Fair

toyindustryThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) will host its largest toy drive of the year at the North American International Toy Fair in New York City. Exhibitors are welcome to donate playthings when the marketplace closes at 4 p.m. on Feb. 21. [Read more...]

NPD Reports December 2016 Video Game Sales

npd-group copyTotal industry spending for video game hardware, full game software, and accessories from Nov. 27 to Dec. 31, 2016 declined 15 percent to $2.8 billion, with declines in spending across all categories, according to analysis from The NPD Group. [Read more...]

Mattel Reports Full Year and Q4 Financial Results

Mattel LogoMattel Inc. reported full year and fourth quarter 2016 financial results.

For the year, reported worldwide net sales were down 4 percent as reported, and were down 2 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Worldwide gross sales were down 3 percent as reported, and were flat in constant currency. Reported operating income was $519.2 million, and adjusted operating income was $560.8 million.

For the fourth quarter of 2016, net sales were down 8 percent as reported, and were down 6 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Worldwide gross sales were down 5 percent as reported, and were down 1 percent in constant currency. Reported operating income was $262.6 million, and adjusted operating income was $269.2 million.

For the year, worldwide gross sales for Mattel girls and boy brands were $3.19 billion, down 8 percent as reported, and down 5 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand were up 7 percent as reported, and up 9 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Worldwide gross sales for other girls brands, which includes Disney Princess and Monster High, were down 52 percent as reported, and down 47 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Worldwide gross sales for the wheels category, which includes the Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands, were up 6 percents reported, and were up 11 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Worldwide gross sales for the Entertainment business, which includes Radica and games, were up 13 percent as reported, and were up 16 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year.

For the year, worldwide gross sales for Fisher-Price brands, which includes the Fisher-Price Core, Fisher-Price Friends and Power Wheels brands, were $1.89 billion, up 2 percent as reported, and up 6 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Fourth quarter worldwide gross sales were $607.7 million, down 3 percent as reported, and up 2 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year’s fourth quarter.

For the year, worldwide gross sales for American Girl brands were $570.8 million, flat as reported and in constant currency, versus the prior year. Fourth quarter gross sales were $283.9 million, up 4 percent as reported, and up 5 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year’s fourth quarter.

For the year, worldwide gross sales for construction and arts and crafts brands, which includes the Mega Bloks and RoseArt brands, were $377.6 million, up 7 percent as reported, and up 15 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year. Fourth quarter gross sales were $124.8 million, down 4 percent as reported, and up 1 percent in constant currency, versus the prior year’s fourth quarter.

Carla Hassan Joins Toys “R” Us as Chief Marketing Officer

PepsiCo veteran Carla Hassan will join Toys “R” Us as executive vice president, global chief marketing officer, effective Feb. 20. She will report directly to Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon. [Read more...]