July 31, 2014


China Toy Expo

The Big Toy Book Hosts Fifth Annual Sweet Suite for The Biggest Night of Play

The Big Toy Book’s annual Sweet Suite event took place this year on July 17 at the chic Location 05, located in the heart of Manhattan. At The Biggest Night of Play, more than 50 toy companies set up lounge areas where the more than 400 top bloggers, digital influencers, and press outlets got hands-on experience with some of the hottest toys for this holiday season.


For those who were unable to attend, organizers ran a Live Stream Hangout during the event, so that those at home were able to see the action. #SweetSuite14 amassed 20.6 million impressions the day of the event and 43.5 million impressions overall on Twitter alone. In addition to the plethora of blog, Facebook, and video posts, #SweetSuite14 boasted more than 1,900 unique images on Instagram.
Sweet Suite 14 was part of a bigger two-day blogger conference, Blogger Bash. Blogger Bash was created by Toy Insider Mom and The Big Toy Book founder Laurie Schacht, and was co-hosted by Joey Fortman of Real Mom Media and Charlene DeLoach of Charlene Chronicles, in order to provide bloggers who are beyond Blogging 101 with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with big brands to make lasting, professional connections.

On October 29, The Big Toy Book will host its third holiday event at the Hearst Tower overlooking Central Park in New York City. The Biggest Day of Play will invite more than 100 influential bloggers from Philadelphia to Boston to connect with toy brands as we get closer to the holiday season.
If you’re interested in participating in The Biggest Day of Play, please contact Laurie Schacht at thetoyinsidermom@gmail.com. Space for the holiday event is limited. 


Goliath Games Acquires Pressman Toy

Goliath Games is acquiring Pressman Toy, a move that supports Goliath’s goal of creating global brands. With the move, Goliath now shares a number of successful game brands with Pressman, including Rummikub and Tri-Ominos. Goliath will look to use elements of its European marketing campaign for Tri-Ominos in North America.
This past May, Goliath also made a strategic investment in Crown & Andrews, an Australian-based manufacturer of toys, puzzles, and games.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Release Date Set, Pre-Order Program Launches

Disney Infinity: MarvelDisney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition will be available for retail on September 23. The game will introduce new Marvel play sets and characters that players can experience inside of the new version of the game. The Toy Box mode will return with enhanced features, where users can create their own adventures and share them online with friends.
Disney Interactive has also launched a pre-order program for the game. Through September 22, fans will receive a Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel figure as a bonus for pre-ordering the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack. The game is available for pre-order at retailers nationwide.

Chicago Toy & Fair Game Group Unveils ChiTAG Fair Lineup

The Chicago Toy & Fair Game Group Fair returns to Navy Pier in Chicago from November 22 to 23. The fair is open to the public for a weekend full of interactive events and play. ChiTAG commemorates the toy and game industry as the global hub for consumers, inventors, trade, and media to preview, play, and purchase new toys and games.
This year’s ChiTAG events roster includes playCHIC on November 20, an annual fashion show that pairs toy and game developers to create couture looks; the Young Inventor Challenge on November 22, a toy and game inventing competition for kids ages 6 to 18; the TAGIE Awards on November 21, honoring innovation in the toy and game industry; I-SPI from November 20 to 23, a networking event with the International Summit for Professional Inventors; and T&G Innovation Con, where industry leaders can share key insights with others.

Rubie’s Announces Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Costume Collection

Rubies Guardians of the GalaxyRubie’s Costume Co. Inc. has launched a collection of costumes, masks, accessories, and makeup inspired by Marvel Studios’ upcoming film, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Available in children and adult sizes, the officially licensed Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Costume Collection includes Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer, Nova Corps, and Gamora. The collection will be available this Halloween.









NRF Launches Small Business Retail Council Aimed at Grassroots Advocacy

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has formed the Small Business Retail Council to organize, recruit, and engage Main Street merchants and independent community retailers in grassroots advocacy activities. The council will represent and be responsive to the needs, concerns, and interests of local shops, and provide the association’s small business members with a forum to discuss the most pressing public policy issues and priorities.
The Small Business Retail Council will consist of two co-chairs leading a five-to-seven member steering committee that will identify priorities, propose strategies and solutions, and participate in the coordination of grassroots advocacy. Membership on the Council will be comprised of independent retailers from around the country, as well as small retailers that currently serve on the NRF board of directors.

Spielwarenmesse eG Organizes Its First International Pavilion at Toyzeria Trade Fair

ToyzeriaInternational manufacturers can take part in the Toyzeria trade fair for the first time through the international pavilion organized by World of Toys and Spielwarenmesse eG.
Toyzeria takes place at the Istanbul Expo Center from October 30 to November 2, and offers exhibitors and visitors an overview of the growing toy market in the Near and Middle East. The Turkish toy industry registered 6 percent more growth last year than in 2012, and spending per child on toys in Turkey is $110 per year.
At Toyzeria last year, 105 exhibitors from six countries presented products in a 13,500 square meter area, and 8,721 visitors from 46 countries attended. The organizer is Spielwarenmesse Middle East Fuarcılık Ltd. Şti, a subsidiary of Spielwarenmesse eG.
More information is available at the World of Toys homepage and the Toyzeria official site.

Disguise Renews Agreements with Top Entertainment Properties and Brands

Jakks Pacific Inc.’s Halloween costume division, Disguise, has renewed and expanded agreements for multiple top entertainment properties to produce Halloween costumes and accessories launching at retailers nationwide this Halloween season.
Disguise has renewed its licensing contract with American Greetings Properties to create costumes and accessories for the Care Bears property and has expanded its agreement to now include Strawberry Shortcake.
Disguise has also renewed its agreements with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to produce costumes and accessories for The Simpsons, Family Guy, and the Austin Powers franchise.

Activision to Bring Eon’s Elite Toy Line to Skylanders This Fall

Skylanders Eon's LiteActivision Publishing will bring Eon’s Elite, a new set of premium toys, to Skylanders fans worldwide this fall. The limited edition line will introduce eight repowered collectible versions of fan-favorite Skylanders characters, beginning with Spyro and Chop Chop.
These heroes hail from the original Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and feature a never-before-seen decoration with a distinct, metallic finish and a golden base. Each special edition toy will be offered in premium foil packaging and will feature a display case with 3-D lenticular background.
Eon’s Elite characters will be available in limited quantities at GameStop and EB Games in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, and at select retailers in Europe this fall while supplies last.

ToyFest West Returns to Las Vegas for Third Year

The annual ToyFest West trade show will take place for the third year in Las Vegas. It will be held March 8 to 11 at the South Point Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) will once again offer the promotion of a free Monday night when attendees book Saturday and Sunday night at the host hotel.  The offer is limited to the first 300 rooms booked.
At ToyFest, more than 700 established and new vendors alike will unveil their products for the upcoming year. Products include traditional toys, hobby, dress-up, craft, infant and toddler, museum, science, and more.
Information on the show, manufacturers, and representatives that will be present, as well as the special room rate and program can be found at ToyFest West’s homepage <<www.toyfestwest.com>>, or by calling (909) 899-3753.

Skylanders Trap Team First-to-Play Tour Launches

Activision Publishing Inc. has kicked off a four-month, nationwide Skylanders Trap Team First-to-Play Tour, in which attendees can play Skylanders Trap Team inside a customized Game Truck, which serves as a mobile video game media room.
The tour will give fans a hands-on experience of the game prior to its North American launch on October 5. Stops on the tour include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, and New York.

Comichron and ICv2 Estimate Comics and Graphic Novel Market at $870 Million

The market for comics and graphic novels in the U.S. and Canada reached $870 million at retail last year, according to an estimate prepared by ICv2 and Comichron.
The analysis by ICv2 and Comichron was divided up between periodical comics, graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales. Graphic novels contributed the largest portion at $415 million, while comic books contributed $365 million and digital continued to grow faster than the market at $90 million. All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup.
ICv2 and Comichron collaborated on market estimates for 2011 and 2012, revising earlier estimates by both. According to the new report, comics periodical sales grew from $300 million in 2011 to $335 million in 2012, graphic novel sales grew from $390 million in 2011 to $400 million in 2012, and combined comics and graphic novel sales grew from $690 million in 2011 to $735 million in 2012.

TMNT-Themed Monopoly Games to Hit Stores

TMNT MonopolyUnder license from Hasbro, and thanks to a new partnership from USAopoly and Nickelodeon, two new Monopoly games inspired by the much-anticipated summer blockbuster, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, are set to hit stores this fall.
In Monopoly: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Edition, fans of the popular television show will be able to vie for 22 popular locations found in the animated series. Monopoly: Teenage Mutant Turtles Collector’s Edition will also give fans the opportunity to sell and trade the Turtles villains, and properties can be claimed and enhanced with custom pizza slices and pizza boxes, which replace the traditional Monopoly houses and hotels.

New Toys Inspire Girls to Cross Stereotypical Boundaries

Some girls like to play with dolls, while others might enjoy more crafty activities. But some girls also want to take charge at an early age and are interested in subjects that are stereotypically dominated by men. Recently, there has been an emergence of toys that help young girls develop an early interest in areas such as business, math, and science, as toy companies follow the trend of encouraging young girls to follow their dreams to the career path of their choice. Read more…

Target Names Brian Cornell as New Chairman of the Board and CEO

Brian CornellTarget Corporation has named Brian Cornell as the company’s next chairman of the Board of Directors as well as CEO, effective August 12. Cornell joins Target with more than 30 years of experience at some of the nation’s leading retail and consumer product companies. As Target’s new CEO, Cornell’s top priorities will be accelerating the company’s performance and advancing Target’s omnichannel evolution.
Cornell most recently served as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, and was responsible for a portfolio that included Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods, and all of PepsiCo’s Latin America food and snack businesses. He also served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.





Scott A. Steinberg Joins LeapFrog as Vice President of Platform Marketing

LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has named Scott A. Steinberg as its new vice president of platform marketing. He will be responsible for the development and marketing strategies for LeapFrog educational hardware platforms, and will lead the company’s efforts to grow the company's existing platforms, including the LeapTV active video gaming system and LeapPad tablets.
Prior to joining LeapFrog, Steinberg was vice president of product marketing at Sony PlayStation, where he was responsible for annual marketing strategy development, new product introductions, and go-to-market planning. Steinberg has also held an executive position at Sega of America.

Dan Burns Named Vice President of Sales at LeapFrog

Dan Burns has joined LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. as vice president of sales. In his new role, Burns will lead LeapFrog's efforts to drive sales of the company's award-winning products, including the recently unveiled LeapTV active video gaming system, the new LeapBand activity tracker, and more.
Prior to joining LeapFrog, Burns was vice president of sales at VTech Electronics for 10 years, where he drove record sales revenue and profit, set the strategy for global brand and product development efforts, and led retail merchandising initiatives for all sales accounts. He previously held executive sales positions at Radio Flyer Co. and Hedstrom Co., as well as management positions at Hasbro and Kolcraft.

CPSC Nominations for Elliot Kaye, Joe Mohorovic Confirmed

At a hearing this past Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominees for the vacant positions on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Elliot Kaye will lead the agency as CPSC chair for a term ending in 2020, while Joe Mohorovic will come on board as the CPSC’s new Republican commissioner through 2019.
Kaye will fill the vacancy left by Inez Tenenbaum, who vacated her position as CPSC chair last November. Mohorovic will fill the seat of former commissioner Nancy Nord, who departed the CPSC last October. Once sworn in, Mr. Kaye and Mr. Mohorovic will join Commissioners Robert Adler (who will resume his duties as vice chair), Ann Marie Buerkle, and Marietta Robinson on the commission.

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