Amazon, Lego, and Hasbro Rank Among Reputation Institute’s 2015 U.S. RepTrak 100

ReputationInstitute2,logoAmazon ranked first for the second year in a row in Reputation Institute‘s 2015 U.S. RepTrak 100, an annual survey of corporate reputations. Lego ranked third among the top ten companies, and Hasbro ranked 23rd.

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COMMENTARY: Toy Shoppers Have More Tools at Their Disposal than Ever

ToyBooklogoToday’s toy shopping experience has become a combination—or choice—of in-person browsing, online price comparisons, and research in a way we’d previously never seen before the dawn of the smartphone. Gone are the days of browsing the aisles of a single store, limited to its inventory and prices. Competitors used to be a trip or a phone call away, and often, shoppers didn’t have the time or desire to drive around town in search of a slightly lower price.

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Amazon.com Launches STEM Toys & Games Store

Amazon.com today launched its STEM Toys & Games Store, a single destination for discovering products that are meant to help children of all ages develop science, technology, engineering, and math-related skills.

STEM was the second most-visited category, as well as the second highest in terms of sales volume for Amazon during the most recent holiday season.

American Greetings Hires Karen Vermeulen, Revamps Internal Licensing, Entertainment Teams

ResizedAGPLogoAmerican Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, is revamping its licensing, entertainment, digital, and distribution teams, starting with the hire of former longtime Zodiak Kids executive Karen Vermeulen. Vermeulen joins AGP as its new head of global sales and co-productions, and will initially be based out of London.
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Tris Barbie Re-Enacts Iconic Scene from The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Insurgent,BarbieTimed to the release of The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the sequel to the 2014 film Divergent, images of the new Tris Barbie doll are available now on thebarbiecollection.com and amazon.com.

In this photo, the Tris Barbie doll reenacts an iconic scene from the new movie in theaters nationwide March 20.

Q&A with Eva Lorenz, Category Leader, Amazon Toys & Games

Eva Lorenz, AmazonThe Toy Book (TTB): How are you engaging consumers to drive sales?

Eva Lorenz (EL): Amazon customers, particularly busy parents, appreciate having the ability to shop on their own time and from the comfort of their own home or while on-the-go using a mobile device. They also love having access to the largest selection of products and all the information they needcomprehensive product details, high-resolution images, video content, and customer reviews–to make informed purchasing decisions. We consistently deliver on these promises to customers, which has earned their trust and keeps them coming back to shop on Amazon. [Read more...]

Ann Kearns and Eva Lorenz to Receive WIT Honors

WIT.logoWomen in Toys (WIT) will honor Ann Kearns, vice president, global toys, Sesame Workshop, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the WIT 11th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Dinner on February 15. The organization will also present Eva Lorenz, general manager for Amazon Toys & Games, with Retailer of the Year. The event coincides with the North American International Toy Fair in New York City. [Read more...]

Toy Fair 2015 Sells Out of Exhibit Space

ToyFair15LogoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), exhibit space for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, scheduled for February 14 to 17, has officially sold out. The show has already surpassed a record-breaking 419,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and going forward, prospective Toy Fair exhibitors will be placed on a wait list (under no financial obligation).

The expanded show floor, equivalent in size to more than seven football fields, will feature hundreds of thousands of innovative new toys, games, and youth entertainment products. The North American International Toy Fair draws buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, and other play professionals from 100 countries, who will be on-hand scouting toy trends, spotting unique product lines and brands, and writing orders for next year.

Major global retail outlets already registered to attend include Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Apple, and Hobby Lobby.

Angry Birds Transformers Rolls Out Worldwide

ABTransformersThe Angry Birds Transformers mobile game is now available on the Apple App Store, to be followed by the Android version on Google Play on October 30 and on Amazon on November 4. Also available is the Angry Birds Transformers Telepods product line from Hasbro, which allows players to teleport figures straight into the game and gain unique powers.

This new mash-up combines the Angry Birds world with the iconic Transformers franchise. With an edgy ’80s vibe, Angry Birds Transformers brings a humorous twist to the beloved Transformers characters. Angry Birds are disguised as robots in disguise when Eggspark plunges to Piggy Island changing the pigs and the eggs in its wake. The Autobirds and the Deceptihogs will have to join forces to prevent the rioting EggBots from wreaking havoc.

Developed in collaboration with Hasbro, the Angry Birds Transformers Telepods gaming platform will allow fans to teleport their favorite characters directly into the game, bridging the digital and the physical play experience. The toys change form, like the original Transformers.

New Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet Available for Pre-Order

FireHDKidsOn Wednesday, Amazon introduced the Fire HD Kids Edition in both 6-inch and 7-inch tablet sizes. This children’s tablet comes with a two-year guarantee, as well as a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which provides access to books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games featuring characters such as Harry Potter, Lightning McQueen, Dora the Explorer, and more.

The Fire HD Kids Edition features a quad-core processor, a vivid HD display, front- and rear-facing cameras, Dolby Digital audio, and access to Amazon’s content ecosystem of more than 33 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, Android apps, and games. The Fire HD Kids Edition also comes with Amazon FreeTime, which offers parental controls that encourage learning before play and that help manage screen time.

The Fire HD Kids Edition is now available for pre-order and will start shipping in October.