April 13, 2010

POOF-Slinky Acquires Cadaco

EnvirobloxPOOF-Slinky has acquired the assets of Cadaco, a division of Rapid Displays in Chicago. Cadaco manufactures the Ryan Oakes Magic line, the eco-friendly activity and construction line EnviroBLOX, and a line of board games such as Tripoley, among other products.


TCKL Names Senario as Global Master Toy Licensee

Drip DropsSenario has been named the global master toy licensee for TCKL, Inc.’s line of Drip Drops plush and toy sets. Brokered by Firefly Brand Management, the agreement gives Senario exclusive rights to manufacture, market, and sell the full line of Drip Drops toys and learning materials, which will be available this fall.
Set in Tint Town, the Drip Drops know everything about color and strive to bring color to the world. They come to the rescue when there is “color trouble,” explaining how our vivid and vibrant world works. The Drip Drops will be featured in several books, cartoon entertainment, a broad range of toys, and online.

TIA Calls for Companies to Oppose CT Bill

The Toy Industry Association and other organizations such as the American Chemistry Council, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Apparel and Footwear Association, and the Personal Care Products Association are calling for companies across the country to alert Connecticut state legislators that a proposed bill could be very costly for stakeholders involved.
The proposed legislation in Connecticut (HB 5130) would regulate five or more “chemicals of concern” in consumer and children’s products. TIA and other organizations argue that because their products are marketed in all states, they already support regulation of the chemicals at the federal level. If each state passes individual laws, compliance can become “unwieldy and very costly.”
TIA is also concerned because the bill “does not establish an appropriate hazard and exposure decision criterion and does not provide the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the resources needed to properly implement this chemical regulation program through a science-based approach.” The consequence, says TIA, is that immense testing and compliance burdens could be placed on product manufacturers.

U.S. Toys and Games Market Sales Hit $47 Billion in 2009

Euromonitor International’s “Toys and Games 2010 Trends, Developments, and Prospects” outlines the performance of Toys and Games products both at regional and global levels. According to the report, in 2009, value sales in the global market for toys and games declined by 1.3 percent from the prior year, reaching just over $138.6 billion. Value sales in the global market for traditional toys and games reached more than $72.4 billion in 2009, a decline of nearly 3 percent from the prior year. The decline was due, in part, to many consumers switching to video games.
In 2009, value sales in the U.S. reached nearly $47 billion, representing nearly 34 percent of global TG total. In 2008, value sales of video games surpassed value sales of traditional toys and games in the U.S. market for the first time. That trend continued as video games accounted for 51.4 percent of the total U.S. toys and games value sales in 2009. Also in 2009, the 10 largest markets accounted for just over 74 percent of total global value sales in the toys and games market.
In terms of per capita consumption, the leaders in 2009 were the UK, U.S., Australia, and France. In all of these markets, there was both high participation in outdoor activities and high demand for video games. China, Germany, Spain, and Japan remained growth opportunities in 2009, evidenced by high total value sales but low rates of per capita consumption.
The full report can be purchased from Euromonitor by clicking here.

More Attendees Visit Toy Russia 2010

Toy Russia 2010Although Toy Russia 2010, held in Moscow, was one day shorter than last year, the number of visitors rose to 6,273, an increase of 25 percent. The share of trade visitors also increased to 84 percent, compared to 77 percent in 2009. The expo featured 11 exhibitors from China, Germany, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, and Cyprus. Four percent of attendees traveled internationally.
Toy Russia 2010, held March 10-12, marked the debut of World of Toys, an international fair program by Spielwarenmesse eG that provides toy manufacturers support and advice for trade fair marketing presentations. The Nuernberg company, which organizes the Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair Nuernberg, organized Toy Russia with the Russian National Toy Association (RTNA).
Toy Russia 2011 will be held March 15-18, 2011.
For more information, visit www.toy-russia.com.

BBC’s 3rd & Bird! Heads to the U.S.

3rd & Bird!Disney Channel has secured broadcasting rights for the UK animated preschool series, 3rd & Bird!, which will debut in the U.S. during the Playhouse Disney programming block in early 2011. The deal includes all 50 x 10 minute episodes of the series with one double episode, a 20-minute holiday special. Kate Livo, director, TV sales & co-productions for BBC Worldwide, brokered the deal.
Aimed at 3-5 year old children, the series features bold and colorful photo-puppetry, a style of animation created by production company Little Airplane. 3rd & Bird! follows the birds Muffin, Lovebird, and Samuel, and their friend Rudy, as they teach children diversity, tolerance, and perseverance.
3rd & Bird! has been sold to 17 territories, including Canada and Spain. Fisher-Price is currently the master toy licensee for the series and will develop electronic and non-electronic plastic figurines, toys, vehicles, playsets, and plush.

Kids Wish Network in Need of Dolls and Toy Cars

Kids Wish NetworkKids Wish Network, a 501 (c) 3 organization that serves children with life-threatening illnesses, is in desperate need of donations of dolls and toy cars. Despite the demand for high-tech gadgets, dolls and toy cars remain on the top of the list of the most desirable toys. Playing with a toy is a calming and relaxing activity for kids who are suffering from illnesses, distressed while dealing with harsh circumstances like homelessness, or trying to cope with other traumatic situations such as abuse.
Through its gift giving Holiday of Hope Gift Bank program, Kids Wish Network distributes thousands of dollars worth of toys and games directly to children within approximately 150 hospitals and child care facilities per year across the country; there are no middle men involved.
If your company would like to make a donation, please contact Kids Wish Network’s Distribution Center. All donated items will be shipped via free freight within the United States. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org, or call (727) 937-3600; toll free at (888) 918-9004.

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Brian Goldner Signs with Hasbro Through 2014

Brian Goldner has agreed to serve as Hasbro's CEO through 2014 under his amended contract, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made public last Tuesday. The company increased his base salary to $1.2 million on February 1, up from $1 million. Hasbro awarded Goldner 125,000 performance share units to be earned
based on the company's financial performance from 2010 through 2012. He also netted 687,000 stock options, carrying an exercise price of $38.39 a share. The options will vest in five equal installments in March 2011 through 2014.
The agreement replaces a May 2008 deal, when Goldner was promoted to CEO from COO. His original employment contract was set to expire in May 2011. In the restated contract, Hasbro said it wished to secure an "enhanced noncompetition commitment" from Goldner. Other incentive pay collected by Goldner in 2010 includes 312,094 in
options and 36,698 in shares for meeting specific earnings and revenue targets since 2007.

KKR, Bain Prepping Toys “R” Us IPO

According to The Street, Private-equity giants KKR and Bain Capital are preparing an initial public offering for three of their larger holdings, including Toys “R” Us. Toys “R” Us was acquired by KKR, Bain Capital partners, and Vornado Realty Trust in 2005 for $6.6 billion.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Buys Minority Stake in Munchkin

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (“Teachers’”) has acquired a significant minority stake of common stock in Munchkin, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
This latest transaction follows Munchkin’s January acquisition of Lindam, a UK manufacturer of safety gates and safety accessories, adding to Munchkin’s existing portfolio of infant products and pet products through its Bamboo division. Munchkin was established in 1991 and is still privately held.

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