The Canadian Toy Association (CTA), an affiliate partner of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), recently asked its members to share the unique perks of partnering with a Canadian distributor. A survey of U.S. TIA members found that Canada is their No. 1 target market for toy, game, and youth entertainment product distribution.
The top four advantages, compiled by CTA, are as follows:
Alex Brands is expanding its operational footprint with the opening of a new worldwide headquarters and customer showroom in Fairfield, N.J.; a state-of-the-art distribution center in Woodbridge, N.J.; and expanded warehouse capacity in its Canton, Mich., distribution center.
The company’s new worldwide headquarters in Fairfield, N.J., covers 30,000 square feet, and houses the majority of the senior leadership, sales, marketing, purchasing, and compliance teams. It also features more than 4,000 square feet of showroom space, an in-house design center, and a photography and film studio. Along with fostering a collaborative team atmosphere, the new space will serve as a hub for the company’s product development team.
Alex Brands has also made significant investments in expanding its distribution capabilities, with the new Woodbridge, N.J., distribution center adding 300,000 square feet of space. The facility also provides direct-to-consumer fulfillment capabilities to support the company’s rapidly growing e-commerce initiative.
The company also doubled the warehouse space at its Canton, Mich., distribution center. The new facilities are expected to create job opportunities for local communities in Fairfield, Woodbridge, and Canton.
Retailer Wayfair.com is now carrying The Prettie Girls!, The One World Doll Project’s line of multi-cultural dolls. The Prettie Girls! consists of fashion dolls that encompass the attributes and aspirations of contemporary girls of different ancestries, including African-American, Latino, South Asian, and Caucasian heritage. Currently, The Prettie Girls are the only African-American and Hispanic fashion play dolls available on Wayfair.com.
“Following our successful February showing at Toy Fair 2014, we are in close contact with many enthusiastic retailers,” said Trent T. Daniel, Founder of One World Holdings, the parent company of The One World Doll Project. “We have been working closely with the Wayfair.com team to offer The Prettie Girls! dolls to their customers just in time for the Easter basket toy rush.”
Ralph Thielert has acquired iToy, a distribution company specializing in the distribution of toy-related products and services. The Lichtenstein-based company will act as a full service distributor to German-speaking territories, providing warehousing, invoicing, and trade market services.
iToy will also act as a sales agency and distribution and logistics consultant to domestic and international toy producers. The company’s distribution will continue to cover specialty stores, food retailers, online trade, and wholesale.
GP Flair has announced that it will be the new UK and Ireland distribution partner for a new range of WWE construction figures and play sets. The new collection, manufactured by U.S. toy company The Bridge Direct, is expected in stores in the late summer.
Designed and manufactured by the Bridge Direct, under the banner “C3” (create, construct, and connect) the new collection will include universally compatible building bricks and accessories that can be constructed into WWE rings, as well as WWE Superstars. At launch multiple SKUs will be available with more in the pipeline for subsequent seasons.
Patch 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.
Playmates Toys, Inc., has appointed marketing and distribution partners across a number of international markets for toys inspired by Nickelodeon’s all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Currently in production, the show is set to premiere next fall, followed by the theatrical release from Paramount Pictures. The all-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy line by Playmates is scheduled to launch next fall in the U.S. and Canada, to coincide with the series premiere. The line will be available in most international markets in 2013.