Disney’s Andrew Sugerman to Keynote Digital Kids Conference at Toy Fair

DigitalKidsConference2015Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, will deliver a keynote address at the 2015 Digital Kids Conference, hosted by Digital Kids Media, on February 17 in New York City. Digital Kids takes place February 15 to 17, and is co-located with the 112th North American International Toy Fair. Attendees from Digital Kids have free access to the Toy Fair Expo Hall. [Read more...]

Retail Toy Sales Up 4 Percent on Building Sets, Electronics, Frozen, Says NPD Group

NPDGrouplogoAccording to retail sales data from The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $18.08 billion last year compared to $17.46 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent.

Retail sales over the 2014 holiday shopping season got off to a bumpy start, with the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday experiencing mixed results of -2 percent and 1 percent (compared to the same time periods in 2013). However, with one extra shopping day the week of Christmas compared to last year, Christmas week grew 27 percent, lifting December growth to 6 percent. Meanwhile, fourth quarter sales were up 3 percent for the 13 weeks starting October 5 through the week ending January 3. [Read more...]

FremantleMedia Signs Master Toy Deal with Jazwares for Tree Fu Tom

Jazwares,TreeFuJazwares has signed the master toy rights for FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment’s pre-school series, Tree Fu Tom. Under the terms of the deal, Jazwares will take on the role of global manufacturer and distribute a new range of toys in the UK, Asia, North America, and Latin America. A variety of distributors will manage the range in other key territories. [Read more...]

Registration Open for TIA’s Toy Fair Credit Meeting

Toy_Industry_Association_Inc_logoRegistration is open for the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Toy Fair Credit Meeting, scheduled to take place on February 17 at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel in New York City.

An exclusive forum for TIA member manufacturers, the Toy Fair Credit Meeting offers trade information and educational and networking opportunities for credit, finance, and operations professionals. Through discussions and workshops, industry experts, major retailers, and fellow participants of the TIA Credit Interchange program will share knowledge from across the toy industry. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Inc. to Host 10th Great Trade-In Event

toysrusToys “R” Us will hold its 10th Great Trade-In event, beginning January 23 and continuing through February 21, at Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us stores across the U.S. Over the duration of the event, stores will accept any used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, high chairs, infant swings, bouncers, travel systems, walkers, entertainers, and play yards in exchange for 25 percent savings on the purchase of a new baby item, in any of these product categories.

There is no limit to the number of items a customer can trade in. In addition, consumers who do not have items to trade in will receive 15 percent off a new gear or furniture item with an in-store only coupon available on babiesrus.com/greattradein.

Since August 2009, products traded in as part of the Great Trade-In event were missing parts or damaged, while others were decades old or showed obvious signs of wear and tear.

Activision Enjoys Top Global Games of 2014

CallofDuty,AdvancedWarfareActivision Publishing Inc. delivered the top-selling console video game last year with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, as well as the top-selling kids video game, Skylanders Trap Team.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare topped the U.S. charts and claimed the title of the No. 1 console game globally, while Call of Duty was the No. 1 franchise in the U.S. for the sixth year in a row, based on revenue. Skylanders Trap Team was the No. 1 top-selling kids video game globally, while Skylanders was the No. 1 kids video game franchise, both in the U.S. and globally, for the third year in a row. Skylanders earned its ranking based on retail sell-through, including toys and accessories.

In addition, Activision and Bungie’s Destiny was the No. 2 top-selling console game in the U.S. last year, based on revenue.

NRF Reports 4 Percent Increase in Retail Holiday Sales

nrfAccording to the National Retail Federation (NRF), December retail sales, which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants, decreased 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year. The significant drop in gasoline prices for the month of December brought down much of the month-to-month growth. [Read more...]

The Little Gym Expands Its Partnership with Lego Systems Inc.

TheLittleGym.logoThe Little Gym International and Lego Systems Inc. will expand their ongoing partnership to integrate building time with Lego Juniors into birthday parties, camps, and other events.

Since last spring, The Little Gym has featured a special Lego Duplo building block curriculum incorporated into the gym’s Serious Fun programs. Adding Lego Juniors will provide opportunities for kids ages 4 to 7 to build projects as part of extended programs, including The Little Gym’s Summer and Winter Camps, which consist of both construction and project building along with creative role play. The Little Gym also offers Parents’ Survival Night, featuring special building activities with parents invited to join in; and the Awesome Birthday Bash, which incorporates Lego Juniors activities into 90-minute and two-hour parties.

Parents can visit thelittlegym.com to find their nearest The Little Gym location.

Safari Ltd. Wins Dinosaur of the Year for Second Year in a Row

Microsoft Word - 2104 dinosaur of the year[2].docxFor two years in a row, Prehistoric Times magazine awarded Safari Ltd. with the award for Dinosaur of the Year.

Prehistoric Times caters to both retail stores and individual dinosaur enthusiasts. Its staff and retailers chose the Wild Safari Monolophosaurus as the 2014 Dinosaur of the Year, and in 2013, gave Safari Ltd the award for the Wild Safari Gryposaurus.

According to Randy Knol, the editorialist for the magazine, not only does the figure fit into the 1:40 scale that collectors like, but it has accurate anatomical features, including realistic paint.

Target Corporation to Discontinue Canadian Operations

Target LogoTarget Corporation will discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co. As a part of that process, this morning Target Canada filed an application for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. [Read more...]