TIA Extends Benchmark Study Participation Deadline to April 24

TIALogoToy companies can still participate in the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) confidential 2015 Toy Industry Financial and Operating Benchmark Study, and learn how their financial performance compares with other companies of similar size and distribution channel. The response deadline has been extended until April 24, and the questionnaire can be completed securely online or via hard copy (mailed out to members in late February).

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Kadho Joins TechStuff PR Roster

TechLogo_HRTechStuff Public Relations, a division of KidStuff PR, has added Kadho to its tech client roster. TechStuff PR will promote the preschool game app and e-book-maker’s linguistics program to consumers.

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NRF Reports Imports Are Rising as West Coast Ports Recover

nrfImport cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise 8 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports continue to recover from a backlog of cargo that built up before a tentative new labor agreement was signed, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

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Gazillion Bubbles Named the Official Bubbles of the Los Angeles Dodgers

GazillionBubblesFunrise Toy Corporation has signed an exclusive agreement, making its premium Gazillion Bubbles brand the Official Bubbles of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2015 Major League Baseball (MLB) season.  Throughout the season, more than one million Dodger fans and families will be treated to extraordinary Gazillion Bubbles activations at Dodger Stadium.

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Lionel Celebrates 115th Anniversary with Boxcar Design Contest

LionelLionel is giving fans a chance to design a new boxcar in celebration of the company’s 115th anniversary. The winning boxcar design in the Design Your Own Boxcar contest will be produced and featured in Lionel’s Fall 2015 Signature Edition catalog.

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Disguise Receives Seasonal Vendor of the Year from Target

DisguiselogoDisguise Inc., the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific Inc., received the 2014 Vendor of the Year Award for Seasonal from Target. The Target Vendor of the Year Awards distinguish a select group of vendor partners each year based on certain performance and relationship criteria.

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New Look for Junie B. Jones Series to Roll Out This May

JBJonesThis spring, Random House Books for Young Readers is rolling out a new cover look for the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. All 28 books, as well as the interactive journal, will feature the new branded look, which includes colorful polka dots and a new title font. The iconic illustrations by Denise Brunkus will remain the same.

The re-branded series launch will be supported by a major marketing and publicity campaign. It will include the Laugh Yourself Silly with Junie B. School Campaign (formerly the Junie B. Jones Stupid Smelly Bus Tour), which will bring Junie B. and her bus driver, Mr. Woo, live and person to schools in May.

Border Agents Seize Undeclared Tobacco Amid Load of Toys

As reported by the Associated Press, U.S. border agents found $300,000 worth of loose-leaf tobacco hidden in a truck hauling toys.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Thursday that agents made the discovery at the Lewiston-Queenston bridge in western New York in December and that the load was formally seized this week.

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Port of Long Beach Seminar Considers Key Issues for Holiday Shipping Season and Beyond

TIALogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host an educational seminar at the Port of Long Beach on May 21, intended to help toy companies gain a better understanding of what caused the West Coast port delays—and to provide information for making logistical decisions going forward.

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ASTRA’s Record-Breaking Marketplace to Feature 89 First-Time Exhibitors

ASTRAlogoAccording to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), 89 toy manufacturers will be participating for the first time in its exhibit hall at ASTRA’s upcoming Marketplace & Academy. The exhibit hall, which will represent ASTRA’s largest ever, includes a total of 15 percent more exhibitors than last year.

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