Sweet Suite 2016

TIA Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) has elected eight new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in 2018. David Hargreaves of Hasbro Inc. has been elected chairman, taking over the position from retiring Board Chairman John Gessert of American Plastic Toys. [Read More...]

Toy Industry Grows 6 Percent During First Quarter

The U.S. toy industry grew 6 percent, or $206 million, in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2015, according to The NPD Group. Out of the 11 supercategories within toys, eight of them posted gains, with Action Figures and Dolls experiencing the highest dollar growth.  [Read More...]

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Launch Crowdfunding Campaign

AdaptoysThe Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has created Adaptoys, adapted versions of popular toys that allow people with physical disabilities to experience actively playing with their families. The toys are equipped with voice activation, motion sensors, and sip-and-puff assistive technology.  [Read More...]

WowWee Launches Lumi Gaming Drone on Indiegogo

Lumi Drone LightsWowWee has launched the Lumi Gaming Drone on Indiegogo. The advanced, easy-to-fly quadcopter combines drone action with accessible controls. It features BeaconSense technology, where Lumi can fly itself while the user plays, directs, and commands the drone for app-based Gamified Flight. The technology within the drone makes Lumi best suited for indoor play, without fear of crashing into obstacles. Lumi’s features includes Lumi to the Beat, multi-drone play, Choreography Mode, obstacle avoidance, BeaconSense Technology, and a Follow-Me feature. [Read More...]

Barbie Launches Misty Copeland Doll

Mattel - Misty Copeland Barbie dollMattel has created a Barbie doll in Misty Copeland’s likeness as part of the Barbie Sheroes program, honoring female heroes who inspire girls. Copeland is the first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and joins an esteemed group of diverse Barbie Sheroes, including Ava DuVernay, Eva Chen, Kristin Chenoweth, Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser, Trisha Yearwood, and Zendaya. [Read More...]

NBCUniversal Acquires DreamWorks Animation

NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corporation, announced the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation. The studio will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.

Under the terms of the agreement, DreamWorks Animation has an equity value of approximately $3.8 billion. DreamWorks Animation stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks Animation common stock. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of DreamWorks Animation and Comcast, and the controlling shareholder of DreamWorks Animation has approved the agreement by written consent.   [Read More...]

Spin Master Expands Global Presence with Australian Subsidiary

Spin Master Corp. is forming an Australian subsidiary Spin Master Australia (Pty) Ltd. Spin Master Australia will begin trading in 2017 and will assume distribution for the majority of the company’s brands for Australia.

Based on NPD data, Spin Master was the fourth largest toy, games, and entertainment company in North America in 2015 and ranks in the top 10 globally based on Euromonitor data.

Spin Master has distributed product in Australia and New Zealand for over 15 years. Overseeing business operations will be Jacqui Webster, recently appointed as general manager, Australia and New Zealand, reporting into Derek Seidewand, vice president, International Sales. Prior to joining Spin Master, Webster held senior roles with Hasbro, Mattel, Paramount Pictures, and several international consumer packaged goods companies.

Spin Master Australia will be based in Sydney, NSW, and a warehouse location will be finalized in the coming months.

Jakks Pacific Announces TMNT Toys for Fall

jakks_logo_new copyJAKKS Pacific Inc., in conjunction with Nickelodeon, has received the global licensing rights to manufacture, market, and distribute several new toys launching this fall that feature popular characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series.

The full line of JAKKS Pacific 2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys includes XPV RC Skateboarding Mikey, where kids can control the turtle and have him perform skateboard tricks and incredible moves such as wheelies, 360s, one-footed spins and more; Big-Figs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 48.5-Inch Figures, which have five points of articulation and come with a weapon belt and two removable ninja swords; and Ba-BOOM-ies Blind Packs, where each balloon features favorite licenses and characters for collecting and trading.

Seasonal toys available now include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fold N’ Go Chair, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Half Shell Heroes Turtles Extreme Basketball, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Activity Table Set, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 16-Inch Big Wheel, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color n’ Play Activity Playland.

News

Playmobil USA Names Freeman Public Relations as Agency of Record

Playmobil USA has named Freeman Public Relations as its agency of record (AOR). As AOR, Freeman Public Relations will increase awareness of the Playmobil brand through an integrated mix of special events, influencer outreach, and strategic media relations. “We selected a PR agency to help continue to build our brand and gain visibility for our [...]

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Adult Coloring Impact Extends Beyond Toy Industry

The adult crafting trend is carving out new opportunities for the office supplies industry, according to Adult Coloring, Crafting, and the Handmade Movement: An NPD Office Supplies Industry Report, from global information company The NPD Group. Coloring and art supplies are a $1 billion market, with in-store and online sales growing to $75 million combined in [...]

Moose Toys Awarded Partner Award of Excellence by Target

Moose Toys received the 2015 Partner Award of Excellence from Target retailers. The award acknowledges the company for their innovative leadership and good business practices. For Moose Toys, the award completes the trifecta of honors from leading retailer partners in the U.S. In February, the company received the Toy Supplier of the Year award from Walmart, and the Vendor of [...]

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Articles

REV Air

Game of Drones

Drones compete to be top dog in the R/C aisle by adding extra features, gaming, and more. Winter is coming—well, at least for the toy industry, which is constantly looking forward to Q4—and toy manufacturers are always competing to provide the best products at the best price. Last year, we saw an influx of drones [...]

FURREAL FRIENDS TORCH MY BLAZIN' DRAGON Pet

The New Age of Feature Plush

Feature plush has come a long way, expanding far beyond plush toys that just talk or make sounds. This year, plush are more realistic and interactive than ever. Last year, most interactive plush introductions responded to touch, voice, or movements. This year, companies continue to raise the standard, taking plush to the next level.

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Q&A with Hansa Creation

The Toy Book spoke with Richard Martinez, president, Hansa North America, about what sets the plush company apart. Tell me about Hansa’s background. Inspired by our mission to educate today’s generation and future generations on the need to preserve and protect nature’s wildlife, Hansa’s artisans have lovingly designed and hand-crafted the world’s largest collection of [...]

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