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NPD Provides Insight for 2017 Holiday Season

Toy manufacturers will need a fresh strategy as the toy industry gears up for the upcoming holiday season, according to The NPD Group.
 
From January through November 2016, U.S toy sales grew a healthy 5.5 percent, positioning December for potentially high single-digit growth. But, December toy sales were less than expected, growing only 3 percent and actually bringing annual 2016 growth down to about 5 percent. Read more…

Jay@Play Launches Mini FlipaZoo Collectibles

Jay@Play, creators of the two-in-one FlipaZoo, launched a new line of FlipaZoo Minis collectibles.
 
Like the original plush, these collectibles flip to reveal a secret FlipaZoo character, and the new pocket-sized collectibles are part of a collection of 101 styles for kids to collect. The line also includes five different levels of rarity: common, rare, extremely rare, special edition, and limited edition, and different finishes such as gold, rainbow, and sparkle.
 
FlipaZoo Mini Collectibles will be available this Easter at Walmart in packs of seven, three, and a blind bag.

Roblox Secures $92 Million in Funding

Roblox announced the closing of a $92 million investment, which will be put toward enhancing the platform’s infrastructure and recruiting talent. The new funding follows the company’s rebranding and an online to offline expansion with a first-ever user-generated toy line from Jazwares.
 
The Roblox and Jazwares toy line will feature popular user-generated characters. The line is available at Toys “R” Us, additional retailers, and online at www.roblox.com and www.jazwares.com. The deal marks the beginning of an offline strategy that will bring Roblox to retail.

Hasbro, Harmonix Announce Dropmix

The global launch of Dropmix, Hasbro’s new fast-paced music mixing game, will launch globally in September. Developed in collaboration with video game developer Harmonix Music Systems Inc., creators of Rock Band and Dance Central, Dropmix uses technology that lets players create unique mixes of songs by placing cards on a game board connected to a mobile app. Read more…

Jakks Pacific Launches Disney's Beauty and the Beast Line of Toys and Role Play

Jakks Pacific launched a line of Beauty and the Beast products to celebrate the live-action adaptation of the classic Disney movie.
 
The line features dolls, dress-up, and role play items including the Enchanted Rose Jewelry Box, Enchanted Objects Tea Set, Belle's Ball Gown, Belle's Dress Up Accessory Set, Ballroom Belle, and Baby Belle. Click here to see the products in action!

eOne Debuts New Toy Lines for Its Properties at Abrin Toy Fair

Entertainment One (eOne) outlined plans to strengthen its brands in Latin America with a new appointment to manage its portfolio for TV properties, including Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, and PJ Masks.
 
Bruna Sawada joins the company in the newly created role of regional territory manager—Brazil and will report directly to London-based Murilo Hinojosa. Hinojosa leads consumer products for the entire Latin American region.  Read more…

Build-A-Bear Workshop Rolls Out Spring Collections

Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. launched several new furry friends in its stores and online for the Easter season, and more additions will roll out later this month and in April. Guests can personalize voice messages to any furry friend to create a Build-A-Sound recordable sound chip, available in stores and online. Read more…

Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique, Hasbro Partner for Transformers and My Little Pony Costumes

Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique partnered with Hasbro Inc. to launch pet costumes inspired by Transformers and My Little Pony.  Both brands will debut movies later this year.
 
The Transformers line includes Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee, both which come with a shirt and headpiece. The My Little Pony collection features Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle, both of which are available in three styles: hood, tutu, and harness and leash.  The costumes are designed in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes.
 
Transformers: The Last Knight will premiere in June and My Little Pony: The Movie will debut in October.  The new lines will be available nationwide this summer.

Mattel Commits $50 Million to UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

Mattel Inc. will gift UCLA Health $50 million to fund an expansion of the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital and help establish a pediatric center and research hub focused on improving children’s health. A committed partner for more than 20 years, Mattel has provided more than $80 million to UCLA in support of the university and health care system. Read more…

Hasbro Recognized as One of the World's Most Ethical Companies for Sixth Consecutive Year

The Ethisphere Institute named Hasbro Inc. as a 2017 World's Most Ethical company. This marks Hasbro's sixth consecutive year of being recognized, and is one of three companies to be named from the consumer products sector. Read more…

Gund Donates More Than a Thousand Cans of Pet Food

Gund delivered a donation of more than one thousand cans of pet food to St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center today. Gund pledged one pet food can to St. Hubert’s for every business card collected during this year’s North American International Toy Fair.
 
Founded in 1939, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. St. Hubert’s has two locations in Madison and North Branch, New Jersey.Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique, Hasbro Partner for Transformers and My Little Pony Costumes.

Excell Marketing Appoints Tim Nolan as President of Bulls-i-Toy Division

Excell Marketing L.C. appointed Timothy J. Nolan as president of the Bulls-i-Toy Division effective March 6.
 
Nolan was most recently president of Imperial Toy LLC. Prior to being president of Imperial Toy, Nolan provided strategic and creative direction to Imperial as its leader of the sales and marketing teams. Before joining Imperial Toy, Nolan held several buying and analytical roles in the corporate merchandising divisions of Target Corp. and Walgreens.

Spin Master Reports Q4 and Full Year 2016 Financial Results

Spin Master Corp. announced financial results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016. Highlights include an increased revenue of $338.4 million, up 30.9 percent from $258.4 million in Q4 2015. Excluding revenue from Swimways Corp., which was acquired in Q3 2016, Q4 revenue grew 26.1 percent. Read more…

Jakks Pacific Sells $19.3 Million of Common Stock to Hong Kong Meisheng Culture Co. Ltd.

Jakks Pacific Inc. entered into an agreement with Hong Kong Meisheng Culture Co. Ltd. to sell 3,660,891 million shares of the company's common stock to Meisheng for a total purchase price of $19.3 million. The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Meisheng's parent company and regulatory filings in China by Meisheng. Read more…

March 16, 2017
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