China Toy Fair


CPSC to Open Consumer Product Safety Office in China

The Consumer Product Safety Commission will set up its first office outside the United States in China in an effort to reduce the number of dangerous products reaching the American market.

Commission head Inez Tenenbaum told reporters Monday the office also aims to make it easier for the U.S. to raise concerns with the Chinese government about product safety problems, including toxic metals in toys. Tenenbaum said choosing China as the commissions first overseas location made sense because 45 percent of the consumer products and 90 percent of all toys sold in the United States come from China and Hong Kong.

The CPSC office, to be located within the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, will have two employees to start, an attache and a safety specialist, who will work with their Chinese counterparts and help educate Chinese manufacturers about American product standards, Tenenbaum said.

Neil Friedman Leaving Mattel

Mattel, Inc. has announced that Neil Friedman, president of Mattel brands, is leaving and its president of international will take the new role of COO. Friedman will leave in March. Bryan Stockton, president of international, will become COO, effective immediately. Stockton has been head of Mattel’s international division since 2003. He joined the company in 2000 as executive vice president of business planning and development.

Webisodes for Lalaloopsy

MGA Entertainment has announced that its Lalaloopsy doll line, which was a huge hit over the holidays, will have its own webisodes. The webisodes will air on the Lalaloopsy website, YouTube, and other social media outlets. In October 2011, Lalaloopsy will premiere on Nickelodeon, and Lionsgate will distribute a DVD.
Additionally, the company announced that it has signed on a raft of new licensees, which will extend the brand into many categories of consumer products, including video games, apparel, publishing, back-to-school, social expressions, and costumes. Future plans include additions to the toy line, filmed and live entertainment, and an immersive website for kids.
Lalaloopsy are collectible, magical dolls that came to life when their very last stitch was sewn. Each comes with its own pet and background story based on the fabrics used to make their clothing.

NPD Analyst: Retailers Scrambling to Recover Lost Sales

Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group, initially expected that the holiday 2010 season would “be remembered as a good year, not a great one.”
“To be great,” said Cohen right before Christmas, “the consumer would have to be in a frenzy and retailers would still be stocked with plenty of product to go around.” According to Cohen, retailers practiced the theory that it is better to sell out than to have leftovers.
On Monday, Cohen revised his outlook saying: “Holiday 2010 just went from a truly Merry Christmas for retailers to a lost weekend with retailers scrambling to recover lost sales.” Cohen called the post-Christmas weekend “brutal,” citing an already shortened post-holiday shopping weekend due to the holiday falling on a Saturday and the Sunday snowstorm in the Midwest and Northeast.
“All-in-all, retailers will lose about 0.5 [percent] of sales with the loss of this big post-Christmas day. And by the time they make it up, the sales will fall out of the range of the ‘holiday numbers’,” Cohen said. “Consumers will now have to wait longer to use those gift cards and make their returns. This is an important part of the sales in that consumers tend to spend approximately an additional 16 percent above the face value of gift cards and returns.”

Wild Creations to Display Real T-Rex Skeleton at Toy Fair!

In a true demonstration of just how wild they really are, science company Wild Creations is having Stan, an actual, real T-Rex skeleton shipped over from Italy, where he is on display in a museum (as dinosaurs usually are). They will be assembling Stan in their booth for all to see. In addition to checking out all of their cool science toys and kits, visitors are invited to visit Booth 5367 to get their photo taken with Stan. Wild Creations will print it so it can be taken home as a souvenir of Toy Fair, to show their store staff or family members that they actually met a real dinosaur.

Unearthed in South Dakota, Stan was hatched in the late Cretaceous period. It is estimated that he roamed the western plains sometime between 65 and 80 million years ago.

Stan

Survey: More Holiday Shoppers Prefer to Buy in Store Than Online

According to the third wave of StrategyOne’s Annual Holiday Shopping Index, more people, 59 percent, prefer to do their holiday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and retail outlets, compared to the 41 percent of consumers who prefer to do their holiday shopping online. Women preferred stores over online at a higher percentage (62 percent) than men (56 percent).

The Clicks vs. Bricks holiday survey conducted by StrategyOne asked 1,072 Americans, between November 29-December 1, whether they thought the best deals were found online or in retail stores, where they preferred to shop, and more.
When asked which is the easiest way to do holiday shopping, 74 percent stated online compared to 26 percent who said at stores and retail outlets. The answers were more evenly split when asked about where the best holiday deals are found; 52 percent said online and 48 percent said at stores and retail outlets.
More people (54 percent) thought online shopping was the best way to ensure that they will stick to their holiday budget, and most (87 percent) felt that stores and retail outlets were the best shopping destinations to get into the holiday spirit.
The StrategyOne survey also found that U.S. consumers are disappointed by the amount of bargains in stores this holiday season; 68 percent said there weren’t enough low prices, and 45 percent experienced sticker shock with prices that were generally higher than they expected.

The Toy Book Toy Report 4/13/2010

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 03/01/10

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 01/13/10

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The Toy Book’s Toy Report 01/05/10

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 01/05/10.

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