Toy Fair PR Bootcamp Webinar to be Held on December 11

Toy companies exhibiting at the North American International Toy Fair can participate in the Toy Industry Association (TIA)’s annual Toy Fair PR boot camp webinar, scheduled for December 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET.

The free webinar, entitled Tips for Developing Your TF’15 PR and Promotion Strategies, will review tools and techniques for attracting the attention of retail buyers and media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, The LA Times, Forbes, as well as trade magazines and bloggers that attend Toy Fair.

Webinar participants will learn how to develop a well-rounded media list; leverage social media to attract media attention; strategically present product, brands, and trend information to different media audiences; and more. The session will be presented by Adrienne Appell, TIA’s senior manager of public relations; Kimberly Carcone, TIA’s senior director of trade shows and event marketing; and Gina Espinosa from Virtual Press Office.

Registration for the webinar is now open and is free for all Toy Fair exhibitors. Questions may be submitted in advance to TIA’s Jackie Retzer at jretzer@toyassociation.org.

Spielwarenmesse Revises Internet Presence to Offer More Content

SpielwarenmesseegSpielwarenmesse’s website www.spielwarenmesse.de has a new design that presents information on both upcoming fairs and the world toy market. The new website was developed with Fork Unstable Media GmbH, a Hamburg-based agency, and has flexibility for use on PC, tablet, and mobile phone.

Interested companies can now quickly find information about the fair and exhibitors can discover details on fair services available. In addition, visitors and journalists have convenient access for buying tickets and obtaining the latest press releases, respectively. Information about Spielwarenmesse is also available in 41 languages, including Albanian, Indonesian, and Korean.

Spielwarenmesse will take place in Nuremberg from January 28 to February 2.

China Toy Expo, China Kids Expo, and China Licensing Expo Grow Significantly Over Previous Year

ChinaToyExpoAccording to data from the China Toy & Juvenile Products Association, China Toy Expo, China Kids Expo, and China Licensing Expo together attracted a total of 50,515 buyers, an increase of 26 percent over the previous year. The three events also saw visits from more than 4,100 overseas buyers from nearly 120 countries and regions, an increase of 40 percent.

A total of 1,364 global exhibitors participated in the shows, with more than 6,200 booths across a 120,000 square meter exhibition area. Next year, the shows will return, expanding by an additional two halls to reach a total exhibition area of 140,000 square meters.

Among the new exhibitors this year, 90 percent were Chinese manufacturers, and a total of 87 percent of the Chinese exhibitors were export-ready. Nearly 20 production regions such as Chenghai, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, Jinjiang in South China, Kunshan, Ningbo, Pinghu, Cixi, Baoying, Yongjia and Yunhe in East China, Pingxiang, Gaomi, and Qingdao in North China organized local factories to showcase recent products. [Read more...]

ChiTAG Group Brings Largest Toy and Game Inventor Event to Chicago Toy & Game Week

CHITAGHosted by the Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG), the International Toy & Game Innovation Conference (T&GCon) is a networking and educational opportunity in which both industry leaders and those looking to get involved in the industry and/or have their product licensed can come together to share key insights and ideas.

The conference, scheduled to take place on November 20 and 21 at the Navy Pier in Chicago, also includes the International Summit for Professional Inventors (I-SPI), and the Inventor Relations Summit (IRS), which is part of I-SPI. Attendees will have the chance to meet top executives from Hasbro, Spin Master, Ravensburger, NASA, Patch Products, and more.

At T&GCon, new inventors will have opportunities to show their ideas to dozens of toy and game industry companies. Meanwhile, at I-SPI, aspiring inventors can meet colleagues from around the world, experience new technology, meet with manufacturers in private offices, and more. Finally, at IRS, attendees can discover new ideas, products, and innovation from different inventors and companies, as well as discuss ways to strengthen both the inventor community and the industry as a whole.

Registration includes a ticket to PlayCHIC, the toy, game and entertainment brand-inspired fashion show on the evening of November 20, as well as a ticket to the Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards. Interested parties can visit the official T&GCon site to register.

Buyer, Trade Guest Registration Open for North American International Toy Fair

Oct22.ToyFairBuyer and trade guest registration has opened for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, according to the Toy Industry Association. Toy Fair 2014 is scheduled to take place February 14 to 17 in New York City.

The event, formerly the American International Toy Fair, was recently re-named the North American International Toy Fair, as part of a new affiliation agreement between TIA and the Canadian Toy Association. CTA and TIA will have a single toy fair, rather than single marketplace events in the U.S. and Canada.

Last year’s Toy Fair had a record-breaking 414,060 net square feet of exhibition space and welcomed an 11 percent increase in international buyers, an 8 percent rise in exhibitors, and a 5 percent spike in attendees.

China Toy Expo Highlights Sustainability, Safety, and Education as Popular Trends in China

Despite being half a world away, the concerns and demands of toy consumers in China are not all that different from their U.S. counterparts, according to China Toy Expo.

The first day of the trade fair, along with China Kids Expo and China Licensing Expo—all hosted by China Toy & Juvenile Products Association—kicked off this past Tuesday in sprawling fashion at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Shanghai. Across three days, 1,364 global brands were on display, and roughly 80,000 visitors were expected to participate.

CTE 1

The China Toy Expo took place at the Shanghai International Expo Center in Shanghai from Oct. 14-16.

Recent news shows reasons to be optimistic about the Chinese toy market’s future, including the country’s overtaking of the U.S. in terms of purchasing power. Yet based on the flow of crowds at the show, many of the types of toys that Chinese consumers are especially interested in are ones promoting sustainability, safety, and educational development. [Read more...]

Out of the Blue Enterprises Acquires Colorforms

Out Of The Blue Enterprises.logoOut of the Blue Enterprises is planning an extensive new toy line, animated series, and digital apps based on its newly acquired legacy brand, Colorforms. New products in the line are expected to debut at retail next fall, based on popular brands including Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Peter Rabbit, Pete the Cat, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Colorforms Brand LLC, the new division of Out of the Blue, is showcasing its new Colorforms toy line to retailers at the Fall Toy Preview in Dallas this week.

Funko Partners with Sesame Street on New Pop! Series

Funko.SesameStreetFunko has a new license with Sesame Workshop to create a series of Sesame Street Pop! Vinyl figures. The partnership will launch at this month’s New York Comic Con with the first to market release of a Super Grover Pop! Vinyl figure, which stands 3.75 inches tall and comes in a window display box. The Super Grover Pop! Vinyl figure will be available for sale at Toy Tokyo’s New York Comic Con Booth.

A complete Sesame Street Pop! series will follow next year. The Sesame Street Pop! series will include Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Oscar, The Count, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Grover.

“As a company, we feel that the Sesame Street license is a fantastic way to bring our older customers back to their youth, while at the same time introducing our fun new line of collectables to younger generations,” says Andrew Perlmutter, vice president of sales.

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.

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.