December 20, 2012

Laser Pegs

International Toy Fair

ABC Kids Expo, CBME Asia, and BPA/Harrogate Nursery Fair Forge Alliance

As a result of high-level meetings during the 2012 ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, the ABC Kids Expo, Children’s Baby Maternity Expo, and the Harrogate Nursery Fair/Baby Products Association have formed an alliance of mutual cooperation and reciprocal pavilions in each other’s shows.
The ABC Kids Expo, held annually, is the largest North American baby, maternity, and juvenile products exhibition; UBM Asia’s CBME is the largest Chinese exhibition in this sector; and the Harrogate Nursery Show is the only show of its kind in the UK.
Due to the challenges of exhibiting internationally, all show management agreed that providing a turnkey exhibit for new-to-market companies was essential. In addition to pavilions in each other’s shows, each exhibition will hold export opportunities seminars at each respective exposition and receive additional publicity through co-marketing promotions.

Digital Preschool Property Launches First Ebook

Drip DropsThe first Drip Drops eBook, The Story of the Drip Drops, is available now for free from Apple’s App Store and from Google Play. More enhanced ebooks, iBooks, and super apps will roll out over the coming weeks and The Drip Drops creators plan to introduce a cutting edge series of art apps for toddlers utilizing remarkable patented 3D technology at The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
The Drip Drops, the new digital preschool property centered on art, color, reading, and creativity, provides young children ages 2 to 6 with the tools necessary to appreciate and investigate the world around them. The preschool app and ebook series focuses on art and color to reinforce the value of artistic expression as vital for childhood growth, development, and overall well-being during the early stages of life.
For more information on The Drip Drops, visit www.thedripdrops.com.

Hong Kong Mega Show Dates Announced

Dates for next year’s Mega Show in Hong Kong have been set. Mega Show Part 1 is scheduled for October 20 to 23 and Mega Show Part 2 is set for October 27 to 29 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. These two trade shows are the main buying-selling platforms for gifts, housewares, toys, premiums, and stationery in Hong Kong in the annual fall buying season and key events in the Southern China sourcing circuit. More than 4,700 worldwide suppliers, mainly Asian production-based companies, are expected to participate in the shows and present new ranges and products to more than 60,000 importers, distributors, wholesalers, and trade buyers from some 130 countries. 

NPD Weekly Holiday Trends Report Finds Brick-and-Mortar Sales Down

For the week ending December 8, The Shopping Activity Weekly Holiday Trends report from The NPD Group, Inc., shows that 56 percent of U.S. consumers went shopping at brick-and-mortar retail stores, down from 58 percent in the week prior.
Approximately 65 percent of those shopping visits resulted in a purchase in the most recent week, up 2 points from the prior week. While conversion is up in stores, the average spent in brick-and-mortar stores is down 7 percent compared to the prior week.
For the week ending December 8, the online share of buying visits was down to 21 percent after the prior weeks’ spike due to Cyber Monday. The average spent online was down 10 percent from the prior week.
“As expected, consumers are catching their breath and spending less but with their focus changing to purchasing gifts for those on their list rather than on themselves,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, in a press release. “Look for spending to shift into high gear as we approach the countdown to Christmas.”

Online Retailers Rake-in $5 Billion in Five Days

Digital business analytics firm comScore has reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 44 days of the November and December holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, $33.8 billion has been spent online, marking a 13 percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent work week saw four individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led by Green Monday (December 10) with $1.275 billion.
For the 2012 holiday season-to-date, eleven individual days have surpassed $1 billion in online retail sales, already surpassing last year’s record of 10 shopping days. Cyber Monday (November 26) currently ranks as the heaviest online spending day of the season—and in history—at $1.465 billion. December 4 ranks second with $1.362 billion, followed by December 10 (Green Monday) with $1.275 billion, November 27 with $1.263 billion, and November 28 (Cyber Monday 2011) with $1.251 billion.

Wonder Women Awards Set For February

The Ninth Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Awards Dinner is scheduled for February 10 at the Lighthouse at Pier 61 overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Hudson skyline. The awards honor toy, licensing, and entertainment industry women business leaders.
Industry leaders are asked to nominate a Wonder Woman in various categories including manufacturing, sales, marketing and branding, licensing, inventor/designer, entrepreneur, retailer, rising star, socially responsible, public relations.
Mattel, Jakks Pacific, Toys “R” Us, the Toy Industry Association, Funrise, The Toy Book, and others have joined together to offer a cash sponsorship that helps provide financial scholarships to future industry leaders in toy design programs at universities around the globe.
Buy tickets and nominate industry leaders at www.womenintoys.com.

                                                                                       
Toy & Game Industry Luminaries Celebrate Inventors at Annual Industry Gala

As part of the Chicago Toy & Game Week, industry leaders from 18 countries gathered at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History for the 5th Annual Toy and Game Inventors Awards, known as “The TAGIEs,” to honor the creators of some of the world’s best-known playthings.
Nearly 400 industry movers-and-shakers gathered for the event, at which inventor Bruce Lund gave a keynote address after being introduced by a full-sized marching band. Kevin Harrington, chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc., and “Shark Investor” on the show Shark Tank was also in attendance to present the Young Inventor of the Year Award.
Based on public voting, awards were presented to Tony Morley for Excellence in Toy Design; Leslie Scott for Excellence in Game Design; Martin Nedergaard Andersen as a Rising Star Inventor; Seth and Alexia Kempe as Young Inventors of the Year for their creation of HoodiePet; and The Apptivity Hot Wheels team from Mattel for Excellence in Electronic Toy or Game Design. A closed jury of industry-based judges also voted for additional awards including Excellence in Character Design, awarded to Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer; The Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award, awarded to Peter and Andrew Brown; Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded to the Theo Coster Family; Inventor Advocacy, awarded to Mel Taft; and In Memoriam, awarded to Stan Clutton.

TIA

Aurora World, Inc., Appoints Vice President of Sales           

Aurora World, Inc., has promoted Tony Sayles to vice president of sales. He will oversee all field personnel in the U.S. as well as Aurora's national and strategic accounts.
Sayles started his career at RJR Nabisco as a territory/regional manager. He spent five years in senior management at Russ Berrie and Co., and four years at Fitz and Floyd as vice president of sales. He joined Aurora in 2009 as managing director of sales.

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