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Ken Joins Barbie Fashionistas Line with 15 New Dolls

Mattel expanded its line of Fashionistas dolls with 15 new and diverse Ken dolls, featuring three body types—slim, broad, and original—and a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles, and fashion looks.
 
Last year, the Barbie Fashionista line expanded with three new Barbie body types—tall, curvy, and petite—along with new skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles, and on-trend fashions and accessories. Read more…

Hasbro Launches Its First Gaming Subscription Service

Consumers can now sign up for Hasbro’s first subscription service, Hasbro Gaming Crate. This program offers an exclusive collection of games curated by Hasbro Gaming experts that will be delivered straight to subscriber doors every three months starting this fall.  
 
There are two types of crates, each containing three games. The Party Crate is packed with content geared toward college students, young adults, and parents who are looking to enjoy "adults-only" game nights.  The Family Crate offers games designed to be played together and enjoyed equally by kids and adults. Read more…

Zuru Launches #FreeYourFidget Campaign

Zuru is kicking off the launch of its fidget toys—including The Original Fidget Cube and the Zuru Spiner—at retailers worldwide with a #FreeTheFidget campaign. The fully integrated global marketing campaign spans TV, digital, and PR, and encourages everyone of all ages to freely fidget. Read more…

NPD Study Shows Toys and Technology Drive Licensed Sales for Kids in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Kids License Report from The NPD Group, video games, electronics, and apps make up a combined 22 percent of kids’ licensed product dollar sales in the U.S.
 
This is on par with the volume represented by toys, which is the No. 1 licensed industry at most retailers. Read more…

Spin Master Launches Hatchimals and Paw Patrol in China

Spin Master Corp. is launching the Hatchimals and Paw Patrol brands in China, the world's second largest toy market. The launch demonstrates Spin Master's commitment to international expansion as part of its growth strategy.
 
With full market support beginning in July, Hatchimals and Paw Patrol will be available across the top online sellers and 137 Toys "R" Us stores, with placement across department store chains throughout China. Online retailers will include flagship stores on Tmall.com, distribution on JD.com, and all other major online platforms. In addition to Hatchimals and Paw Patrol, Spin Master is expanding all core brands throughout China and will continue to target additional retailers.

ASTRA Reveals 2017 Winners of Excellence Awards 

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced the 2017 winners of ASTRA’s Excellence Awards.
 
The winners were Co-Owners Erin Blanton and Susan Blanton of Pufferbellies Toys and Books for Children in Staunton, VA for Retailer of the Year; HABA in Skaneateles, NY for Manufacturer of the Year; Kimberly Leakas from 24/7 Sales in New York, NY for Sales Representative of the Year; and Elizabeth Royall of Toy Travelers International in High Point, NC for the Young Professional Rising Star of the Year.

Hasbro Named Community-Minded Company for Fifth Consecutive Year

Hasbro Inc. has been recognized for the fifth consecutive year as one of the most community-minded companies in the U.S. by Points of Light, earning a spot on The Civic 50 list.
 
Hasbro’s history of giving back to children and families through donations, volunteer work, and philanthropic programs earned the company a spot on list. In 2016, the company contributed $14.4 million in philanthropic support, helping make a difference for 3.8 million children worldwide. Read more…

Lego Dimensions Reveals New Teen Titans Go! Trailer

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released a new trailer providing a look at the DC Super Heroes along with a glimpse of the new Teen Titans Go! Adventure World and Battle Arena.
 
The Teen Titans Go! Fun Pack and Team Pack is set to release on September 12 as part of the LEGO Dimensions Wave 9 launch, alongside the Powerpuff Girls Team Pack and Fun Pack and the Beetlejuice Fun Pack. The Teen Titans Go! packs access an exclusive in-game episode that can only be found in LEGO Dimensions.

3Doodler Launches Kickstarter Campaign

3Doodler launched a Kickstarter ‘Gold’ campaign for limited-edition Star Trek Crew Edition pen sets inspired by Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. All Crew Edition pen sets come with a limited-edition 3Doodler Create 3D pen, numbered engravings, an additional pack of plastic, Star Trek Project Stencils, and a 3Doodler Star Trek Leather Pouch. Read more…

Registration Open for WIT Empowerment Day

The Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT)'s Empowerment Day will be on Oct. 2 this year, the day before the Fall Toy Preview in Dallas. WIT Empowerment Day is held in collaboration with Walmart and will feature product pitches, mentorship, and face-to-face connections with various members of the industry.
 
The goal of the event is to help entrepreneurs, manufacturers, inventors, and business owners strengthen their career in toys, games, licensing, and entertainment. Members of WIT will be able to pitch their products to Walmart buyers and pitch products and concepts to companies such as Hasbro, Spin Master, PlayMonster, and Jazwares for licensing or feedback. Opportunities for “Ask an Expert” Info Sessions and “Looking to Launch” Bootcamp sessions will also be available for members. Read more…

Online Registration for Kids Turkey Opens on June 28

Spielwarenmesse Middle East Fuarcılık Ltd. Şti., a subsidiary of Spielwarenmesse eG, is inviting toy experts to Kids Turkey taking place from October 26 to 29. The Turkish trade show brings together representatives of the toy industry from Turkey and other countries in the Near and Middle East. The World of Toys by Spielwarenmesse eG will give international exhibitors support in breaking into the market successfully. Trade buyers can submit their online registration in advance of the event to secure access to the fair. Read more…

Peaceable Kingdom Launches Monthly Facebook Live Series

Peaceable Kingdom is set to launch its monthly Facebook Live series, Peaceable Perspectives, to bring topics related to child development and social emotional skills into the spotlight.
 
The series will feature experts who highlight issues such as empathy, anxiety, bullying prevention, kindness, resilience, and play. It also offers parents advice and tips on these sometimes sensitive topics. Read more…

WIT Hosts Summertime Referral Contest

Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) is hosting a referral contest from June through September. The chapter with the highest percentage of new members brought in through referrals will win $100 to be used toward any event and a Project Genius brainteaser bundle valued at $500 for the winning chapter's local charity or school of choice. Plus, each referring member will receive $25 off their next WIT membership renewal.
 
To participate, have a friend fill out an application here and make sure the "Who Referred You?" box is filled out.

Kettler USA Named Exclusive U.S. Distributor for Gymnic Products

As of this August, Kettler USA will become the exclusive U.S. distributor for Ledraplastic S.p.A. Gymnic products. The Kettler Gymnic line includes toys, fitness, low impact, and physiotherapy items.
 
Ledraplastic S.p.A. was founded in 1963 and was one of the first manufacturing companies to work non-toxic vinyl. In 1984, Ledraplastic S.p.A. released the Rody Horse, a jumping horse to support body movement and develop balance and coordination in children.
 
Gymnic products can be found at specialty toy retailers nationwide and select online partners.

Wild Republic Founder Becomes Finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of The Year Award

G.B Pillai, founder of Wild Republic is a finalist for Ernst & Young’s (EY) Entrepreneur of The Year(EOY) 2017 Award in the Northeast Ohio region. The awards program, now in its 31st year, recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
 
Pillai was selected for his commitment to providing nature-related toys and stuffed animals to kids to educate them about wildlife.
 
Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EOY National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the EOY National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, in November.

Jakks Retires $12 Million of Company's 2018 Convertible Senior Notes

Jakks Pacific Inc. agreed with holders of its Convertible Senior Notes due in 2018 to redeem $12 million face amount of such notes for approximately $11.4 million in cash and 112,400 shares of its common stock. After such redemption the balance of the face amount of the 2018 Notes will have been reduced to approximately $42.7 million from approximately $54.7 million.

NPD Reports May 2017 Video Game Sales

Total industry spending for video game hardware, software, and accessories from April 30 to May 3, 2017 declined 11 percent to $542 million compared to last year, according to analysis from The NPD Group. Read more…

NRF Survey Says Retail Shrink Increased to $48.9 Billion in 2016

Thefts from retailers and other inventory “shrink” grew to $48.9 billion in 2016 from $45.2 billion the year before even as budget constraints left retail security budgets flat or declining, according to the annual National Retail Security Survey released by the National Retail Federation and the University of Florida. The thefts amounted to 1.44 percent of sales, up from 1.38 percent. Read more…

June 22, 2017
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