December 05, 2013

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ShopperTrak: Retail Sales Up, Store Shopper Traffic Down During Weekend

Consumers spent a little more money holiday shopping from Thanksgiving (November 28), through Black Sunday (December 1), than they did last year. ShopperTrak, the leading provider of shopper analytics, estimates that brick-and-mortar retail sales increased 1 percent as shoppers spent an estimated $22.2 billion across the four days. Retail shopper traffic decreased by 4 percent, to an estimated 1.8 billion store visits.
Total in-store shopper traffic increased by 9.4 percent in the apparel sector, while traffic in the electronics sector decreased by 6.5 percent for that same time period. ShopperTrak estimates that in-store shopper traffic by region decreased the most in the Northeast, by 9.8 percent; while sales by region increased the most in the West, by 5.5 percent, compared to Thanksgiving Day through Black Sunday last year.

Cyber Monday Online Shopping Extends Four Days After the Big Day

More than 130 million Americans participated in Cyber Monday this year, as sales reached a record $2 billion, a 20 percent increase since last year. Meanwhile, the other four days this week have continued to be peak online shopping days. Visit The Toy Book for a corresponding infographic presented by Blue Fountain Media.

Saban Brands’ Power Rangers Celebrates 20 Rangers for 20 Years

Power RangersA pop-up art exhibit will open this weekend to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Saban Brands’ Power Rangers. The exhibition, entitled 20 Rangers for 20 Years, was curated by Sweet Streets and will appear at the Toy Art Gallery in Los Angeles from December 7 to 8. Artists and designers from around the world created the painted, 31-inch Ranger statues that were provided by Saban’s partner, Jakks Pacific. Each customized statue will be available for purchase on-site, or online at<<>>, during the event.
A percentage of artwork proceeds will benefit the Challengers Boys & Girls Club, and Jakks Pacific will also make a donation to that charity.

Health Canada Issues Notice Regarding Children’s Toys with Magnets

Health Canada, the agency responsible for regulating consumer products, has issued a notice about powerful magnets or magnetic components for companies that manufacture, import, and/or distribute in Canada. The notice includes information regarding the dangers posed by some toys containing magnets, and advises companies to take the necessary actions to ensure that all products being marketed in Canada do not present a danger to human health or safety, as outlined in the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA).
The agency had issued a press release in April, which detailed steps to improve the safety of consumer products, such as focusing increased attention on products containing more than one small, powerful magnet. These products include toys, sculpture building products, and those intended for mental stimulation or stress relief. Questions about the Health Canada notice may be directed to or by phone at (866) 662-0666.

Mattel’s 12 Days of Play Program Impacts More Than 100,000 Children

Mattel Children's foundationMattel has started its fourth annual Mattel 12 Days of Play program, a series of holiday-themed philanthropic events that will give the gift of play to more than 100,000 children in more than 30 countries.
In the Los Angeles area alone, Mattel’s signature partner, Playworks, working with LA’s Best and other local organizations as well as volunteers, created eight Winter Wonderlands—play areas that have approximately 400 tons of snow combined, and where an estimated 5,000 kids ages 6 to 11 can play. Featured activities include sledding, ice skating, racing Hot Wheels cars down a 40-foot track, and photo opportunities with a real-life Barbie.
Through December 12, these wonderlands will make stops at Mattel’s headquarters, the Toyota Sports Center, and various elementary schools.

Galt Toys Launches Exclusive Toy Collection in the U.S.

Galt Toys, producer of quality developmental toys for children, has debuted in North America in time for the holidays. The 175-year-old company is launching a collection of educational toys for kids ages 0 and up.
The collection was developed with parenting guru Dr. Miriam Stoppard, and includes 21 wooden, plastic, and soft toys designed to encourage learning through play. A jigsaw puzzle, a rattle, a baby walker, an activity center, and a shape sorter are part of the collection, which is designed to help with key child development milestones.

Super Duper Begins Selling Through Two New Accounts

Super Duper Publications offers unique educational materials that benefit teachers, therapy professionals, and parents for use with children. Through two new partnerships with Quill and Staples, its products can now also be purchased at<<>> and<<>>.
Super Duper gears its products to kids ages 3 to 12, with an emphasis on children with special needs and communication or language delays.

Making a List and Checking It Twice

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year again. Time to deck the halls, brave the malls, trim the tree, visit family—and if you’re a kid, it’s time to get serious about that Christmas list. As we get older, our wish lists shift to more practical items, or fewer (and often more expensive) indulgences. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that my list included such fantasies as a horse like the one from the Billy and Blaze book series, an RV (a real one), a ride-on car, and other obnoxious requests. Read more…

Roam with Romo

Have you ever wished that you had your very own robot? I know it seems unrealistic unless you have big time money, but maybe not. Meet Romo, the robot I’m sure anyone would love to have. By the creators of Romotive, Romo is a product of this technologically advanced age that will not only make you excited to have your own robot, but enjoy all of the things it does. Read more…

Will Black Friday Need to Be Rebranded?

The Christmas holiday and toys are synonymous. Indeed, toys and the Christmas season are a tradition. Another holiday tradition is Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Yet over the past several years, Black Friday has started to lose its meaning with retailers pushing opening hours ever earlier. Now many retailers are opening on Thanksgiving Day, and pushing the envelope to see how early they can open on that holiday. Read more…

Big Tree Group Provides Year-end Financial Results Forecast

Chinese toy sourcing and distribution firm Big Tree Group Inc. announced its financial forecast for the full fiscal year and provided its outlook for the next fiscal year. Big Tree Group estimates that it will achieve record revenue exceeding $45 million, with earnings per share of approximately $0.14 for the full fiscal year ending December 31.
Management further believes that the successful implementation of a more aggressive pricing strategy to increase international market share, coupled with a strengthening global economy, have set the stage for Big Tree to achieve substantial financial growth next year. Big Tree Group sees full year revenue next year reaching $60 million, with earnings per share exceeding $0.20.

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