- Novelty Cat Items: The top industry embraced item was the Do Re Mi Fa Cat from Takara Tomy, also recognized by the Japanese Toy Association as the winner for the top toy for kids with special needs. The Do Re Mi Fa Cat is a riff on the cat keyboard concept and the more you buy, the more fun it becomes. Other favorites included the Cat Couch Stacking game from Epoch and the Sumo Cats Bling Box program from Re-Ment.
- The Vending Machine Effect: The vending machines range from simple turn and win to complex video game hybrids that reward the player different collectibles based on their performance. According to the Japanese Toy Association, there are 600,000 vending machines in the market that are responsible for $320 million dollars in sales annually.
- Retro Gaming: Old school is trending in Japan with the current obsession of retro gaming. NES, Gameboy Color, emulators, and old video game cartridges are being sold and traded. The fair had multiple stores and sections for old 90s video games including arcades to play the games.
- Impulse Intricate Craftables: In the adult hobby category, craft projects in tiny packages dominated relating under $20. These craftables incorporate a sense of the love for kawaii things, collectability, the desperate need to de-stress, and a smaller apartment/store space.
- Anpanman: Anpanman is the top preschool anime series in Japan that is more than 40 years old and has a collectively of 1300 episodes.
- Bonus Top Amime License: Hatsune Miku was the biggest property. Hatsune is a computer general popstar who has her own expo tour, Hatsune Miku Expo, and over 2.5 million followers on Facebook.
The best part of a new year is the chance to refresh, renew, and make resolutions. Australia’s export anaMalz has a strategic marketing plan that’s full of possibilities for distributors, retailers, and kids (with a focus on the child within even “big” kids). Starting with an enlivened logo, the poseable pals have an updated global website, worldwide social media campaign, multipurpose packaging, and captivating point of sales materials.
The new anaMalz brand starts off the year welcoming new reps Diverse Marketing for the Midwest region and Enchanted Moments for East Coast sales. The Fulfillment House, based in New Jersey, will handle anaMalz’s new warehouse needs.
anaMalz has also updated its logo, color scheme, packaging, and hang tags. The product line has expanded to six “homelands,” including new iceberg and coral bay creatures. Customers can visit online and meet all of the anaMalz. To entice supply and demand, every six months a half dozen animals will hibernate, and every other month a new anaMalz will be born.
Beyond the individual toy is a hang sell tag that doubles as a bag tag. “Let’s Make Nature Grow” is the brand-wide theme that will link into the anaMalz Adopt An Acre program, which will allow consumers to preserve the world’s most beautiful four-legged and two-legged playgrounds.