New Disney Frozen Product Collection Available Now
To commemorate the arrival of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, Frozen, Disney Consumer Products is releasing a diverse new collection of role-play items, plush, dolls, apparel, and more. These products are available now from Mattel, Just Play, Jakks Pacific, and other licensees at mass retailers nationwide, as well as at Disney Store and DisneyStore.com.
Mattel Launches First Multi-Brand Hispanic Integrated Campaign
In preparation for the holidays, Mattel Inc. has launched its first Spanish-language multi-brand marketing campaign, toy feliz. Already live in Los Angeles, Houston, and Miami, this Hispanic-oriented effort spans multimedia marketing platforms and key brands, including Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, and Barbie.
As part of the campaign, Mattel has partnered with Padres Contra El Cáncer to help with the non-profit’s mission to provide emotional and financial support, as well as bilingual health education, to children with cancer and their families. Mattel is sponsoring Padres’ annual holiday parties, which provide families who have a child undergoing treatment with the opportunity to enjoy the holidays in a fun-filled and safe environment.
Kids Preferred Introduces New Buildex Wooden Construction Toys
In celebration of 10 years of play, Kids Preferred is introducing Buildex wooden construction toys, including buildable street bikes, racecars, trucks, and trains. Developed in conjunction with Chelona Wooden World, these toys encourage three-dimensional thinking and an appreciation for construction, movement, and design. The collection utilizes a construction system that allows for safe assembly and play, and the vehicles are made with natural suspension and have functional steering.
Ridemakerz Comes to FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue
Ridemakerz will open an experimental store-within-a-store at FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue in New York City. The shop, to be located on the second level, officially opens at 10 a.m. on November 11, and Ridemakerz will offer complimentary Ridez to the first 100 people who arrive before 11 a.m. In celebration of Veteran’s Day, a complimentary Ridemakerz baseball cap will be offered to veterans visiting the store.
The Ridemakerz shop resembles the look and feel of an authentic racecar garage, and offers a unique experience for kids and adults to build their own customized toy cars. Interactive Ridemakerz retail shops have already opened across the U.S.
Spin Master Launches Tenkai Knights by Ionix Construction Toys
This fall, Spin Master Ltd. will launch the Tenkai Knights toy line. Tenkai Knights is the first franchise to launch under the Ionix brand, a revolutionary new construction system featuring shape-shifting building bricks that are fully compatible with other construction sets.
Along with allowing kids to experience classic construction play in a new way, the toys bring the Tenkai Knights animated TV show to life. Tenkai Knights by Ionix is now available at Toys “R” Us and Target, and will be at Wal-Mart starting December 1.
ASTRA’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day Celebrates Fourth Year
On November 9, independent toy stores across the U.S. will participate in the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) fourth annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day. The initiative raises consumer and media awareness about the positive influence that specialty and independent toy retailers have on the local community and economy.
Local toy stores will mark the occasion with special in-store events, including crafts, entertainers, scavenger hunts, and more. Participating ASTRA store owners can download banners and graphics and access sample promotional language on ASTRA’s website for members. For more information about Neighborhood Toy Store day, visit YourNeighborhoodToyStore.org.
Kids India Premieres in Mumbai
An estimated 5,237 buyers and retailers attended the premiere of Kids India, held October 24 to 26 at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre in Mumbai. The new trade fair Kids India is a business platform for the growing Indian toy market. Exhibitors presented toys, baby articles, licensed products, and hobby articles. Spielwarenmesse eG organized the new trade fair with the support of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), in cooperation with the Sports Goods Export Promotion Council (SGEPC) and The All India Toy Manufacturers’ Association (TAITMA).
The three-day seminar and workshop program featured a kick-off event for the charity campaign Value of Play for India, which aims to raise awareness of the value of play in the Indian population.
New Warner Bros. Licensed Games Look at Superheroes in a Different Light
I’m a huge superhero fan. However, I’ve started to feel super-saturated by all the licensed comic book-based movies and TV shows popping up of late. They always seem so serious, with all the world-saving and high drama, the death and epic romance and heroic posturing. For that reason, I am grateful for the recent trend in video games based on licensed superhero properties, specifically those from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The company is responsible for two titles that manage to be respectful of the superhero genre, while simultaneously turning it on its head in ways that are funny and downright fun. Read more…
Costumes Aren’t Just for Halloween
Halloween may be over, but costumes are still alive and well in many households. I don’t know about you, but I definitely got more than one night’s use out of my costumes as a kid. In fact, we had a whole dress-up box full of Halloween costumes, dance recital outfits, wigs, tutus, etc. My mom would find extras at yard sales or after-Halloween clearance sales. My neighborhood friends and I used them all year long, whether playing house, coming up with plays and performances (that our parents graciously endured), or just for the fun of it. Here are a few fun costumes that kids can enjoy any time, inspired by some of my favorite disguises of Halloweens past. Read more…
Chuck Terceira Promoted to President of Diamond Select Toys
Chuck Terceira has been promoted to president of Diamond Select Toys & Collectibles, LLC (DST). He has served as director of DST for the past nine years, and before its formation, was the purchasing brand manager for Diamond Comic Distributors’ toy team. In his new position, Terceira will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of DST, as well as the Art Asylum, DST’s in-house design studio.
Originally in retail sales, Terceira joined Diamond Comics in 1997, and moved over to DST shortly after it was formed in 1999 as a manufacturer of action figures and pop culture collectible merchandise.
Barry Marrone Joins Worx Toys as Director of Sales
Barry Marrone will join Worx Toys as director of sales. He comes to Worx from Pacific Play Tents, where he was the national sales manager. Effective immediately, Marrone will be responsible for Worx Toys sales and distribution for North America in both the specialty and mass markets.
Prior to joining Pacific Play Tents, he held senior sales roles at BluwGroup, SnS International, and SmartPlanet Toys.
LeapFrog Reports Third Quarter Results
This past Monday, LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30. Compared to last year, consolidated net sales were up 4 percent; U.S. segment and international segment net sales were up 1 percent and 14 percent, respectively; income from operations was up 16 percent; and income from operations as a percentage of net sales was 21.3 percent, up 2.2 percentage points.
Third quarter net sales were $201.0 million, up 4 percent compared to $193.1 million last year, and included a 1 percent negative impact from changes in currency exchange rates. Net sales growth was largely driven by shipments of multimedia learning platforms, including LeapPad Ultra and LeapPad2 Power. In the U.S. segment, net sales were $146.8 million, up 1 percent compared to $145.7 million last year; and in the international segment, net sales were $54.2 million, up 14 percent compared to $47.4 million last year.
Gameloft Achieves Record Third-Quarter Sales
Gameloft achieved record revenues of €61.7 million during the third quarter, up 11 percent from the previous year. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, third-quarter growth was 17 percent. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa represented 31 percent of third-quarter sales; North America, 32 percent; Latin America, 20 percent; and Asia-Pacific, 16 percent.
Over the first nine months of this year, Gameloft achieved consolidated sales of €171.0 million, up 14 percent year-on-year. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, growth for the first nine months was 17 percent. Sales continue to be driven by the worldwide success of Gameloft games on smartphones and tablets. Gameloft's third quarter sales on smartphones and tablets grew by 31 percent year-on-year, and represented 69 percent of total group sales, compared with 58 percent in the third quarter.
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