NPD Reports August 2017 Video Game Sales

npd-group copyTotal industry spending for video game hardware, software, and accessories from July 30 to Aug. 26, 2017 declined 2 percent to $568 million compared to last year, according to analysis from The NPD Group.

Video games hardware sales compared to the same period last year decreased 6 percent from $179 million last year to $168 million this year; video games software decreased 2 percent from $276 million last year to $271 million this year; and video games accessories increased 10 percent from $108 million last year to $118 million this year.

The top 10 games for the period based on dollar sales in August across all platforms are Madden NFL 18, Grand Theft Auto V, Unchartered: The Lost Legacy, Splatoon 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Seige, Mario Kart 8, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, and Overwatch.

3Doodler, Cartoon Network Partner for Powerpuff Yourself Kits

3DoodlerPPG3Doodler partnered with Cartoon Network for its 3Doodler Start Powerpuff Yourself Pen Set and Activity Kit. The kit features a special edition 3Doodler Start Pen, new themed DoodleMolds, DoodleBlocks, and a new plastic color pallete for kids to create their own Powerpuff adventures.  [Read More...]

Toys “R” Us Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

877d58a0-611f-478c-9dd6-ddca770cc5d6Toys “R” Us Inc. last night announced that the company and certain of its U.S. subsidiaries and its Canadian subsidiary have voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, VA. In addition, the company’s Canadian subsidiary today intends to seek protection in parallel proceedings under the companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Toys “R” Us intends to use these court-supervised proceedings to restructure its outstanding debt and establish a sustainable capital structure that will enable it to invest in long-term growth.

The company’s operations outside of the U.S. and Canada, including its approximately 255 licensed stores and joint venture partnership in Asia, which are separate entities, are not part of the Chapter 11 filing and CCAA proceedings. [Read More...]

Retail Sales Down Slightly in August from July But Up Over 2016, NRF Reports

nrf1Retail sales in August decreased 0.2 percent from July on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the National Retail Federation. August sales increased 3.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants. Year-over-year growth was up 3.4 percent on a three-month moving average. [Read More...]

Ravensburger Acquires ThinkFun

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 10.05.12 AMRavensburger AG acquired ThinkFun, broadening the company’s portfolio of brands. ThinkFun joins Wonder Forge, acquired in 2012, and BRIO, acquired in 2015, as the newest company under the recently established Ravensburger North America division.

Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello founded ThinkFun 33 years ago, and the company is known for its games such as Rush Hour, Zingo, Gravity Maze, and Laser Maze. As a subsidiary of Ravensburger North America, ThinkFun will continue to operate as an independent brand from its Alexandria, Virginia headquarters. Ritchie will stay on as the company’s chief creative officer. ThinkFun will also retain company directors and staff.

“Ravensburger is the ideal partner to help us bring our games to even more families across North America and around the world,” said Bill Ritchie, co-founder and CEO of ThinkFun. “This will enable us to build upon our distinctive style and explore new and innovative product concepts, across multiple categories and for players of all ages.”

Ravensburger North America division offers products for all ages and spans key toy industry categories including puzzles, games, playsets, wooden toys, arts & crafts, and science kits.

Bambini Partners LLC acted as special advisors to ThinkFun Inc. in connection with this transaction.

Crayola Names New Crayon Bluetiful

Crayola New Blue Event

After two months of deliberation, Crayola named “Bluetiful” as the name of its new blue crayon, with 40 percent of consumer votes. Bluetiful will be the nineteenth active blue color, replacing the previously retired Dandelion in the 24-count box and across the entire Crayola portfolio. [Read More...]

Fifth Kids India to Focus on Value of Play

KidsIndia_LogoThe fifth Kids India trade show in Mumbai, taking place from Sept. 20 to 22, will feature a second panel discussion focused on the value of play. Industry leaders and prominent childcare experts will underline the importance of toys as a comprehensive learning aid for children. [Read More...]

WIT Accepting Nominations for Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award

WITEmpowermentDayWomen in Toys, Licensing, & Entertainment is accepting nominations for the Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award, to be presented at the 2018 Wonder Women Awards Gala.

The Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award honors an individual, female or male, who is recognized by her or his mentees and industry peers for having provided valuable advice, support, and guidance. Through a significant commitment of their time and effort, the award honoree will have contributed to the growth of the toy, licensing, or entertainment industry by building their mentee’s professional skills and abilities. Mentees can be inside or outside of the mentor’s business.

Nominations will be open until Oct. 1. Click here to nominate a mentor!

 

Feld Entertainment, Sesame Workshop Kick Off Partnership with New Show

SesameWorkshop_LetsPartyFeld Entertainment Inc.‘s inaugural production under its new partnership with Sesame Workshop is Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party! Families will get immersed in the happy world of Sesame Street through furry and friendly encounters both on and off stage.

During the show, parents and children will sing along to a pop-infused soundtrack with Sesame Street friends and live emcees Casey and Caleb. Party guests will sing along to new and familiar songs, like “I Love Trash” and “C is for Cookie,” with Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster; dance to the beat with Elmo; explore a wintry wonderland when Abby Cadabby’s magic goes awry; take flight with Big Bird to learn about some of his fabulous feathered friends; and discover new cultures in an interactive Spanish lesson with Rosita. [Read More...]

North America Expected to Dominate Smart Toys Market by 2022

Transparency Market Research (TMR) reports that the global smart toys market is heavily dependent on product innovation, and that an increasing number of players are venturing into the competitive landscape.

Based on toy-type, the global smart toys market gains maximum demand for voice or image recognition toys, accounting for $2,271.7 million in 2017 and projected for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7 percent during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. This segment is growing at $89.7 million annually over the course of the forecast period, and this absolute growth is larger than the any other segment. [Read More...]

U.S. Toy and Game Shipments Expected to Total $1.1 Billion in 2021

U.S. toy and game shipments are forecast to fall to $1.1 billion in 2021, according to Toys & Games: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Competition from imports, which already meet the vast majority of U.S. demand, will drive shipments to retreat.

U.S. demand for toys and games is forecast to expand 2.3 percent annually through 2021. Expansion of the population aged 35 to 44, which contains those most likely to have and buy toys for children, will drive gains. [Read More...]

Nintendo Increases Inventory of Super NES Classic Edition

SNES_ClassicNintendo now plans to ship the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition into 2018 due to high demand for the product. Shipments were originally going to cease at the end of this calendar year.

In addition, more units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its Sept. 29 launch day in the U.S. than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly.  [Read More...]

Mattel Launches Challenge Accepted Hot Wheels Campaign

Mattel Inc Challenge Accepted Brand CampaignIn partnership with BBDO San Francisco, Mattel unveiled a new Hot Wheels brand campaign titled, “Challenge Accepted.” The campaign showcases how the challenges Hot Wheels provides to kids help them build skills and confidence.

The campaign launched with a one minute-long video focusing on a mother an son, drawing parallels between play and reality. The campaign will play during NBC’s American Ninja Warrior to reach a co-viewing audience, and will be supported by a multi-year 360-degree marketing effort to include TV, cinema, social, and digital.

National Toy Hall of Fame Reveals Finalists

2017 NTHOF Nominees Group_blog

The 12 finalists for induction into Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York are Clue, Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, paper airplane, PEZ Candy Dispenser, play food, Risk, sand, Transformers, Uno, and Wiffle Ball. Only two to three finalists will join other toys in the hall and sit alongside past inductees such as Barbie, LEGO, Monopoly, Rubik’s Cube, and Star Wars action figures.

The final 2017 toy inductees will be chosen on the advice of a national selection advisory committee, and will be announced on Nov. 9. Criteria for induction include icon status, longevity, discovery, and innovation.

MindWare Acquires Peaceable Kingdom

MindwareLogoMindWare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oriental Trading Company, a Berkshire Hathaway business, acquired Peaceable Kingdom. This marks MineWare’s first acquisition since its beginning in 1990. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Peaceable Kingdom, headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., is known for its cooperative games. Its collection also includes diaries and stationery, stickers, temporary tattoos, cards and valentines. [Read More...]

3Doodler Reaches One Million Milestone

3Doodler1Mil3-D printing pen creator 3Doodler celebrated selling its one millionth pen. The company has raised more than $4 million on Kickstarter across three separate campaigns, and its products are now sold in 60 countries around the world—boasting more than $20 million a year in revenue.  [Read More...]

Sesame Workshop Names Ed Wells Head of International Media and Education

Sesame_EdWellsEd Wells joins Sesame Workshop as head of international media and education. In this role, Wells will manage Sesame’s internal offices and expansion efforts throughout Europe, the GCC, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Wells will oversee all production, distribution, themed entertainment, education, and licensing businesses for the Workshop across these regions. [Read More...]

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WBIE Releases Latest The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game Trailer

The latest trailer for The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game trailer is here! From Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the new video game based on the upcoming movie features eight large, action-packed open locations based on the movie story, as well as iconic locations and characters from the LEGO Ninjago TV series. Each location includes a [...]

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LMA to Represet Lionel

Lisa Marks Associates Inc. (LMA) is now the licensing agency for Lionel LLC. Key planned product categories for the Lionel licensing program include toys and games, gifts and collectibles, publishing, digital games and apps, apparel and accessories, and more. Since 1900, Lionel’s classic railroad sets and toys feature an attention to detail, with accurate model reproductions [...]

Spin Master to be Included in S&P/TSX Composite Index

Spin Master Corp. will be added to the S&P/TSX Composite Index effective after close of trading on Sept. 15. 

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