March 19, 2014

China Toy Fair

NPD Reports Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Powered Video Game Sales

According to the U.S. Games Industry Sales analysis by The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, February hardware sales increased by 42 percent over the prior year, due to a more than 60 percent increase in console hardware sales. These strong year-over-year increases are due to the success of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The analysis also showed that total video game sales in February were $887 million, a change of 9 percent compared to February 2013. This is credited to strong growth in hardware and a slight rise in accessory sales. Total software sales—across the console, portable, and PC categories—were $328 million in February, a decline of 11 percent year-over-year.
Accessory sales rose by 3 percent in February versus February of last year, due to positive sales of interactive toys and gamepads, as well as video game point and subscription cards.
Taking into consideration other physical format sales such as used and rentals, as well as NPD’s estimate for digital format sales, the total consumer spend in February is estimated to be $1.47 billion.

Tomy Launches Megabuild Junction for Kids to Show Off Cool Combos

Megabuild JunctionWith Megabuild Junction, Tomy provides a new resource for showcasing layouts, providing building instructions, and inspiring fans to explore ways to combine their Chuggington StackTrack play sets and track pieces.
At Megabuild Junction, users can find helpful suggestions and tricks courtesy of Chuggington’s toy team experts. Through photos and videos, they can also see what Tomy’s designers and other families have created, as well as share photos of their own builds, which will be posted on Tomy’s Facebook page. Users are also invited to join conversations taking place in social media.



WWE Slam City Launches with Mattel Toy Line

WWE Slam CityMattel Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have recently launched WWE Slam City, a new kids property that includes a complete line of WWE Slam City merchandise as well as an original animated short-form series co-produced by WWE and Mattel’s Playground Productions. WWE Slam City’s toy line includes action figures, ring sets, and more, and is available at major retail stores. In addition to toys, books and graphic novels will be available by year’s end, while a WWE Slam City mobile game will be in stores next year.


Nickelodeon to Launch Nick Jr. App

The same Nickelodeon digital team that created the Nick App has developed the new Nick Jr. App, which will launch this spring. The app is designed specifically for preschoolers and features educational activities, a high level of interactivity, short-form video and curriculum-based content, and full-length on-demand episodes and live streaming of Nick Jr. with authentication.
The Nick Jr. App includes the TV series Dora the Explorer; Team Umizoomi; Bubble Guppies; PAW Patrol; Peter Rabbit; Wallykazam!; Go, Diego, Go!; Max & Ruby; The Fresh Beat Band; The Backyardigans; and Blues Clues.
The app will be available for the iPad at the App Store and will roll out on additional platforms in the coming months.

Fans to Choose Newest Playable Scrabble Word

Scrabble and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary will update The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary for the first time in nine years. Thousands of words will be added to the dictionary, including a new word that fans will nominate and choose during the Scrabble Word Showdown. Fans can submit their suggestions to the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page, where 16 words will be chosen for fans to cast their votes.
The final word will be chosen on April 10 and will be included in the fifth edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, available in August and across digital platforms later this year, from Electronic Arts.

Jakks Pacific’s New Godzilla Makes a Big First Impression

GodzillaJakks Pacific has released a new, massive Godzilla figure measuring more than 43 inches in length. Inspired by Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ upcoming film, Godzilla, the figure is now available at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide.







Big Tent Entertainment Develops Marketing Campaign for Komaneko

KomanekoBig Tent Entertainment will launch a retail and marketing campaign with Domo creator Tsuneo Goda for Komaneko, a cartoon cat, based on the animated short film Komaneko: The First Step. Big Tent Entertainment will kick off the campaign with the launch of an e-book based on the original animated story.
The e-book will feature a Movie Maker tool, games, and puzzles in addition to helping develop reading, learning, and language skills. Kids will also be able to personalize the e-book with their own voice and picture. Komaneko will be part of the educational Kideo eTales series and will be available on iTunes and Google Play in English, Malay, and Mandarin.


BreyerFest Turns Silver This July

The BreyerFest Silver Jubilee, Breyer Animal Creations’ 25th annual festival for model horse fans as well as horse lovers, will be held from July 11 to 13 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
This year’s BreyerFest Celebration Horse is the Friesian Gooitzen fan Teakesyl, imported from Holland by Siren Song Stables. Its record includes 130 career wins and 15 World Champion titles. Every three-day ticket to BreyerFest includes a limited-edition collectible Breyer model of the Gooitzen fan Teakesyl. On-site activities include three days of live horse demonstrations featuring some 200 horses of different breeds, an oversized Breyer Store filled with models especially for BreyerFest, and new for this year, a Tonka Fun Zone that includes a playground dedicated to Tonka toys.

Friendly Monsters Come to Life with The Horndribbles

Adventures of the Horndribbles: Zapp and the Oogah-Oogah Nut, by Herbert Joel and published by Explorers’ Playground Inc., is the tale of four creature friends that work together to save one of their own when he finds himself in potential danger. The Horndribbles live on—you guessed it—Horndribble Island, a fantastical land with lakes, forests, mountains, and beaches with names such as Waka Forest, Rumblethump, Pinball Rapids, Willy Nilly Waterway, Namby Pamby Creek, and Gadzooks Glacier Range, just to name a few. Read more…

AllerMates Help Keep Kids with Allergies Safe

As the mother of a preschooler with a newly discovered sesame allergy, I am somewhat unfamiliar to the world of epi-pens and the importance of teaching a young child to speak up for themselves in a potentially lethal—but seemingly innocent—situation. It’s scary to be told your child has a serious allergy, and that the next seed to cross her lips could cause her throat to close up. While nut allergies are a known condition that can trigger anaphylaxis with tongue swelling and the inability to breathe, sesame allergies are a somewhat new, albeit growing phenomenon. As a parent, it’s my job to keep my children safe, and to make sure that no matter where my daughter is or whose care she is in, she will not be in danger. Read more…

Not a Barbie Girl!

Barbie just celebrated her 55th birthday and, to commemorate the occasion, made a splash on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Wearing a skimpy, and quite-controversial, neutral-toned swimsuit, Barbie caused quite a stir. Many argue that it may be time for Barbie to finally step down as the queen of the children’s doll world. Nickolay Lamm, creator of the new Lammily doll, would certainly agree that there is a new girl in town: the “average is beautiful”-promoting Lammily doll. Read more…

The Maya Group Hires Chuck Scothon to Lead Sales, Marketing, and Product Development

Chuck Scothon has joined The Maya Group as executive vice president of sales, marketing, and product development. He will oversee growth in the company’s girls and boys businesses, while driving the marketing, sales, and product development vision of the company.
Scothon has more than 20 years of experience in the toy industry, including 17 years at Mattel. During his time at Mattel, he served as senior vice president (SVP) of marketing for Fisher-Price, general manager of the girls division, general manager of the Mattel Digital Network, and SVP of marketing, U.S., for all of Mattel.

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