Nuremberg Toy Fair Looks to Continue Momentum of Past Year

NurembergNuremberg Toy Fair 2015 is scheduled for January 28 to February 2 of next year. It will be located in Nuremberg, Germany, and is estimated to attract 75,888 trade visitors from 122 countries, based on 2014 figures.

Of more than 75,000 visitors and approximately 2,748 exhibitors, 56 and 71 percent, respectively, are expected to come from outside Germany. Meanwhile, among 2014 exhibitors, 90 percent will exhibit again in 2015. Finally, 92.5 percent of visitors are involved in the purchasing decisions for their companies.

Spielwarenmesse’s accompanying program includes the Global Toy Conference, Toy Business Forum, New Exhibitor Center, Trend Gallery, and the ToyAwards. Kallman Associates Inc. serves as the exclusive U.S. representative for the event in Nuremberg, and will organize two U.S. international pavilions at the 2015 show, and can help exhibitors secure a booth.

Angry Birds Stella Game, Animation Series Set to Launch this Fall

June4.ABStella-300x186 copyRovio Entertainment Ltd, the company behind Angry Birds, has created an all-new game, Angry Birds Stella. It will feature a whole new set of stories, characters, and adventures.

Angry Birds Stella adds a new cast of characters to the Angry Birds universe: Stella, Poppy, Willow, Dahlia, and Luca. Gale, a good bird gone bad, wants to take over Golden Island, the birds’ island habitat. All of the birds must work together to find creative solutions to their problems. [Read more...]

Reeves International Offers Shopping Spree to Lucky ASTRA Attendee

breyer 2One lucky winner will receive a $1,000 shopping spree from Reeves International when it debuts its mid-year releases to retailers at the American Specialty Toy Retailer Association (ASTRA) Marketplace and Academy, scheduled for June 9 to 10. The key is the Breyer Golden Ticket, which can be found inside one of the complimentary ASTRA Tote Bags provided to all retailers attending the show.

The Breyer Golden Ticket has been inserted into one of the Wow ToysMy Pocket Friends surprise bags. Once found, the winner must return the ticket to the Reeves International Booth, #801, to select $1,000 in wholesale products from the Breyer range. This promotion is for brick and mortar specialty retailers who are ASTRA members in good standing.

World Congress Promises Comprehensive Look at the Play Industry

Members of all play-related industries are invited to attend the 2014 World Congress of Play, presented by Global Toy Experts and Creativity Inc. The objective is to foster new relationships, ideas, and businesses, and to engage in conversations about the rapidly changing play market.

The Congress will feature a cast of global speakers who touch on all aspects of play, including video games, traditional toys, digital play, board games, music, entertainment, theme parks, and more. There will also be out-of-the-box discussions on where the business of play might be headed.

The event is scheduled to take place from September 8 to 10 at the Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco in Union Square. Registration can be found online.

TIA Releases Details on PlayCon 2014 Sessions

Digital experts from Google/YouTube, Amazon, RocketHub, and Tongal will present their insights on connecting with 21st century kids and moms, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding at PlayCon 2014, the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) International Conference of Play Professionals. The event is scheduled to take place from May 7 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Growing Up Digital: Creating, Consuming, Connecting” will feature Katie Rottier, head of U.S. industry, sports & toys, at Google/YouTube. “Amazon: Key Customer, Marketing Partner, Platform for Customer Engagement, or All Three,” will be presented by Eva Lorenz, category leader for Amazon’s Toys & Games store. For “Get Out of the Box—Get Into the Crowd!” Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, and Caleb Light-Wills, senior vice president of product at Tongal, will provide an in-depth look at crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

Full agenda details, as well as hotel and registration information, can be found at the TIA website.

ASTRA Convention to Host Special Session on Succession

ASTRAlogoThe American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is featuring a special session at its annual ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy that will focus on helping specialty toy retailers build succession plans for their businesses. The key takeaways will include: critical factors in determining the value of an independent toy store; how to get stores ready for a sale or transfer of ownership; and establishing a timeline for an independent retailer to make a smooth exit.

Lynn Switanowski of the Creative Business Consulting Group will lead this session. ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy will be held on June 8 to 11 in Phoenix, Ariz.  Following the convention, the succession topic will be continued in member-only discussion groups on ASTRA’s website.

PAX South to Launch in San Antonio in 2015

ReedPOP and Penny Arcade have announced the addition of a new PAX event to the calendar: PAX South. Slated to debut in San Antonio, TX, from January 23 to 25 of next year, the southern addition marks the fourth PAX show and third in the U.S. The others take place in Seattle, Wash.; Boston, Mass.; and Melbourne, Australia.

Following the PAX format, the new show will focus on video games, tabletop games, game-inspired music, competitive gameplay, and insights from leaders in the world of gaming.

K’NEX Education to Exhibit at USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo

K’NEX Education will be participating in the third USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo and Book Fair, hosted by founding and presenting sponsor Lockheed Martin. Designed to inspire the next generation of innovators, the Festival Expo allows kids and adults to participate in more than 3,000 hands-on activities, as well as see more than 100 live stage performances.

The K’NEX Education Build and Learn Zone invites kids of all ages to have fun with hands-on learning while designing, building, investigating, problem solving, and evaluating scientific and design principles in action using K’NEX rods, connectors, gears, tires, and hubs at interactive building stations. Kids will have the opportunity to chat with K’NEX designers and engineers, and teachers can stop by and learn how K’NEX Education building sets can complement their STEM curriculum.

The Festival Expo is scheduled for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on April 26 and 27, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ASTRA Welcomes 80 New Manufacturers to Its Marketplace & Academy

astra_logo_homeAs reported by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), more than 80 new toy manufacturers will be showing new products in the exhibit hall at the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Most of these products are not yet available online, which gives specialty retailers the opportunity to offer them in their communities before anyone else.

“Specialty toy retailers need innovative products with high play value that consumers cannot find elsewhere, and ASTRA is the place to discover them,” said Kathleen McHugh, President of ASTRA. “These products help retailers position themselves as a hands-on shopping experience that is more creative and more fun and more interesting than the competition.”

ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy will be held June 8 to 11 in Phoenix, Ariz. Admission to the ASTRA Marketplace exhibit hall is free to specialty toy retailers, with registration through ASTRA’s website.

Messe Frankfurt and GDTA to Organize Guangzhou Trade Shows

Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and the Guangdong Toy Association (GDTA) have signed a letter of intent to join forces in organizing the Guangzhou International Toy and Hobby Fair and the Guangzhou International Stroller and Baby Product Fair starting next year.

The GDTA acts as an industry voice to communicate with the Chinese government and coordinate with the government for industry research and survey projects. It also organizes the Guangzhou International Toy and Hobby Fair.

Trade show organizer Messe Frankfurt is responsible for Ambiente, Christmasworld, Paperworld, and Tendence. It has exhibition and collaboration experience with different industry associations and government bodies in greater China.