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U.S. Toy Industry Sales Up 3 Percent Mid-Year; 4.5 Percent Growth Predicted for Full-Year

The U.S. toy industry grew its dollar sales by 3 percent in the first half of 2017, according to The NPD Group. With about one-third of total annual sales typically occurring in the first half, NPD estimates that the industry will grow approximately 4.5 percent for the full year. Read more…

Spin Master, Feld Entertainment Partner for Monster Jam

Spin Master Corp. entered a licensing partnership with Feld Entertainment as the new worldwide master toy partner for Monster Jam. The 10-year partnership begins in 2019.
 
The Monster Jam franchise includes a wide range of toys and products featuring larger-than-life intellectual property such as Grave Digger, Max-D, Megalodon, Monster Mutt, and El Toro Loco. Monster Jam produces more than 400 events each year across five continents. Its broadcasts of live events reach millions on the FOX Sports family of networks in addition to their digital reach.

MGA Entertainment Recruits New Collectible Line

MGA Entertainment Inc. launched Awesome Little Green Men, blind box collectible toys that combine humor and battle play. The collectibles have a pop vinyl aesthetic and will be available at retail stores nationwide on August 1.
 
With more than 100 characters to collect in Series 1, including four super rare figures in the green army and blue army, the collectibles offer an additional experience. Kids can play games with the collectibles, where the goal is to build the best squad in order to win. Each character is a member of a special unit with names such as, "Captain Obvious" and "Sergeant Swag."
 
Awesome Little Green Men starter packs include four soldiers, and each blind box includes one soldier, a dog tag with a chain, and a new recruit poster. A battle pack with game piece stickers is also available.

Moose Toys to Debut Grossery Gang Movie

Moose Toys' Grossery Gang will release its first-ever film, Putrid Power: The Grossery Gang vs. The Clean Team. The film will premiere with a green carpet event this Saturday in LA before releasing later that day on YouTube.
 
More than 450 Grossery Gang characters were released since launching in 2016, including Garbage Mouth, Dirty Danish, and Slop Bucket. Read more…

Spin Master Launches Rusty Rivets Toy Line

Spin Master Corp. launched the new Rusty Rivets preschool toy line inspired by Spin Master Entertainment's newest animated show. The toy line will be available exclusively at Toys "R" Us stores in North America and online on August 1.
 
Kids can build vehicles and characters from the show, while inventing new builds inspired by Rusty and Ruby, the lead characters in the show. The line is designed for kids ages 3 and up and includes the Rusty Rivets Botasaur, Rivet Lab Playset, Mini Build Packs, and Core Build Packs.

IDW Games to Launch ’90s-Themed Nickelodeon Games

IDW Games partnered with Nickelodeon to bring Nick ’90s properties to market as tabletop games. Focusing on the hobby and specialty channels, IDW Games will release a variety of games featuring characters from Rugrats, Invader Zim, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Wild Thornberrys, Hey Arnold!, CatDog, The Angry Beavers, Rocket Power, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and Rocko’s Modern Life.
 
The first planned product is Nickelodeon Splat Attack!, a game that is an all-out food brawl between the ’90s Nick characters. The game will have players controlling teams, divided along brands, as they fling food at each other in an effort to hold key positions in the property themed food court to become king of the court.
 
Designed by Michael Gray and Daryl Andrews, the board game will feature highly detailed, plastic miniatures. Nickelodeon Splat Attack! is planned to be released next spring, and IDW Games will reveal more details about the game as it gets closer to the release.

First Themed Content Pack for Lego Worlds Now Available

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The Lego Group's first downloadable themed content pack for Lego Worlds is now available.
 
The Classic Space Pack includes new quests, characters, builds, and vehicles from Lego Space play sets. Players can blast off and explore the farthest reaches of space and embark on new adventures together as they travel across Worlds in a new space-themed PUG-Z, land the one-man spaceship on the new Space Theme World, or build a customized Space Station with Rocket Launchers in the new Moon biome.
 
Lego Worlds lets players explore, discover, and create in a world made of digital Lego bricks. The game is currently available for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and STEAM, and will be coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall.

American Girl Debuts Custom Dolls

For the first time in American Girl history, kids can customize their own Truly Me doll from head to toe. Using the new online tool, kids can create their own designs with the options of face molds, skin tones and freckles, eye and hair colors, hair textures, new cuts and styles, and additional features such as earrings, hearing aids, glasses, braces, and more. Read more…

Mattel, Babytree Launch Child-Focused Learning Centers in China

Mattel Inc. and Babytree launched the second phase of the companies' strategic partnership, focused on co-developing a network of physical learning centers across China. Read more…

Jakks Pacific Reports Q2 2017 Financial Results

Jakks Pacific reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017.
 
Net sales for second quarter 2017 were $119.6 million compared to $141.0 million reported in the same period the year prior. The reported net loss attributable to the company for the second quarter was $16.7 million, which included a non-cash charge of $2.3 million related to the write-down of accounts receivable from 2014/2015 sales to an online retailer no longer in business. Read more…

NPD Says Pre-Packaged School Supply Kits Are Popular Option as U.S. Consumers Head Back to School

According to The NPD Group’s 2017 Back-to-School Report, 65 percent of U.S. consumers who have the option to purchase pre-packaged school supply kits from their child’s school or PTA have chosen to do so at least once. The majority of these consumers—45 percent—have purchased a school supply kit on more than one occasion.
 
The top reasons consumers have decided to purchase such packs are because it is convenient (56 percent) and includes everything the student needs for school in his/her respective grade level (51 percent). One-third of consumers reported spending $100+ dollars on one kit.
 
Among consumers who chose not to take advantage of the pre-package program, the leading reason is because students like to pick out their own supplies (45 percent), followed by the view that they are too expensive (41 percent). These sentiments tie in with consumers’ emphasis on price savings and selection in choosing where to shop. K-12 shoppers prioritize where to shop based on the best/lowest prices (58 percent), sales/discounts/promotions (54 percent), and having a wide selection of products to choose from (50 percent).

July 27, 2017
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