China Toy Fair


Kaboom! Secures Branded Retail Space Across Canada

Oct21.OctonautsDVDCollectionkaboom! Entertainment has secured dedicated retail space across all of Canada’s 125 Target branches for its Treehouse Presents releases. The exclusive spaces will launch November 5 and will host releases coming through the Treehouse Presents DVD label, jointly created by Corus and Phase 4 Films.

Brands, including OctonautsMy Big Big Friend, Franklin & Friends, Toopy & Binoo, Chuggington, and The Bernstain Bears will be included in Target’s first line of exclusive Movie Night packaging, and kaboom! will be creating downloadable activities, recipes, and games for each release.

Patch Products Distributes Classic Board Game Stratego

StrategoJumboPatch Products has signed a licensing and distribution agreement with Royal Jumbo, which grants Patch the exclusive right to market and distribute Stratego products in the U.S. and Canada, effective next year. Stratego, a game of battlefield strategy, has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Over the years, it has been released under different themes, looks, and rules, although the goal remains capturing the opponent’s flag.

Patch Products is a family-owned company that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of games, children’s puzzles, preschool toys, creative activities and teaching tools. Royal Jumbo, a 160-year-old company, is a Dutch publisher and manufacturer of games and puzzles.

TIA Seeks Input from Members on Proposed Health Canada Lead Limits

tia_logo[1]Health Canada might expand its requirement limiting total lead content in toys sold or imported to Canada. Currently, the 90 parts-per-million (ppm) lead limit is applicable to toys produced for kids ages 3 and under. The expanded requirement would apply to toys produced for kids up to age 14.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has issued a short survey to learn how this potential requirement might impact the operations of TIA members. The survey asks if the proposed lead content limit would have no impact on companies, and why; would increase testing costs, and by how much on an annual basis; force them to stop selling toys in Canada; or reduce the number of toys sold in Canada.

The survey is available online. Responses are due by October 7. Any questions may be directed to TIA’s Rebecca Mond at (202) 459-0352.

Spin Master Entertainment Brings Tenkai Knights to Teletoon Canada

TenkaiKnightsTenkai Knights, a new animated TV show, premiered on the Canadian channel Teletoon on September 29. New episodes will air on Sundays.

Tenkai Knights will feature 52 episodes, webisodes, an interactive website, as well an extensive toy line. The plot revolves around characters Guren, Ceylan, Chooki, and Toxsa, who accidentally stumble into an inter-dimensional portal and are ripped through space and time.

Spin Master Entertainment is responsible for distributing the Tenkai Knights broadcast in North and South America, while Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co. Ltd. will distribute the broadcast in Asian territories and Viz Media Europe will distribute Tenkai Knights in EMEA territories.

TCG Strengthens Sales Force with New Appointments

In a move to strengthen its Canadian sales force, TCG has promoted Laura Giger to vice president and appointed Moe Merali as sales director. Giger has nearly 20 years of experience as a senior-level consumer packaged goods sales executive, more than half of which have been at TCG. Prior to joining TCG in 2003, she held the positions of national account manager for Hasbro Canada and sales representative for Hugh McIvor Agencies. She will oversee all account relationships in the Canadian market.

Merali joins TCG with more than 10 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods and IT sectors. Prior to joining TCG, he served as sales director Canada at Innovation First International.

Online Acquisition of Video Games Growing in Canada

According to a new report by The NPD Group, “Video Game Acquisition in Canada,” Canadian gamers are slowly shifting towards digital properties and away from traditional, packaged video games. The study polled 4,006 gamers across Canada, ranging from age 13-54, between September 2010 and February 2011.

According to the report, an estimated $84 million were spent on games through digital downloads. Sixty-five (65) percent of games were purchased via physical retail outlet.

Still, the study showed that some gamers are reluctant to buy through a digital download—88 and 81 percent of console and portable gamers, respectively, chose to purchase physical copies of games. Additionally, PC and Mac gamers totaled 20 percent of those who reported they have acquired at least one game via a social networking channel.

Of those who prefer to buy a physical copy, 58 percent say it’s because they just like having a physical copy, while 35 percent say they like going to the store because it has other things they need. The report also analyzed traditional gamers and the growing amount of gamers that are emerging from the smartphone and tablet markets.

Melissa & Doug Toys Recalled In Canada

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Three toys by Melissa & Doug, the Slice and Bake Cookie set, Shape Sorting Cube, and Pound a Peg, have been recalled in Canada only. Health Canada, the country’s public health department, says the surface paint on the toys contains excessive barium that is past the legal limit in Canada. For more information, click here.