Nintendo and National Park Foundation Team Up for 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll

NintendoNintendo of America will join with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to bring fun, active-play video games to the White House Easter Egg Roll. Nintendo will be at the event with Wii Fit U and Wii Sports Club, two Wii U games that ask players to get active.

Mario and Luigi costumed characters will also be on site to greet guests, take photos with fans, and cheer on families as they play. The White House Easter Egg Roll, which takes place in President’s Park on the South Lawn of the White House, supports the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to help kids grow up healthy.

COMMENTARY: Easter Is the Other Big Holiday

I don’t know about you, but in my family, Easter is the “other” big holiday. It gets as much attention as Christmas and Thanksgiving, complete with family from near and far, a feast, candy, and, of course, Easter baskets. My sister and I are both in our 20s, but who says grown-ups can’t still get excited to open their Easter baskets and see what goodies await? While Easter isn’t the time for lots of presents, our baskets usually contain some candy, a few small trinkets, and one bigger gift. This Sunday, when kids across the country open their Easter baskets, some may be lucky enough to receive any of the following fun spring toys.

airhogsskywinder

Spin Master Air Hogs Skywinder is an awesome choice for a kid’s “big” basket gift. Kids toss the R/C stunt rocket into the air and squeeze the trigger on the remote. The rocket flies, dives, hovers, and loops, and is lightweight enough that it can be used indoors. It flies high, though, so kids will enjoy it most outside—a perfect reason to go outdoors and celebrate spring! [Read more...]

Douglas Co. Prepares for Easter 2014

douglasIn preparation for Easter fun, lifestyle gift creator, Douglas Co., has 10 new, silky-soft bunnies. Each bunny ranges in size from seven to 18 inches and in price.

The springtime line includes: Stella the Floppy Ivory Bunny, which has an antique flare because of her longer fur style; Lopsy the Tan Bunny, which is a boy bunny with a tan coat of fur; Penelope Lop the Tan Bunny and Basil the Tan Sitting Bunny, which look even better together; Laurel the Floppy Pink Bunny, which has pretty pink short fur; Pixie the Floppy Lavender Bunny, which is a whimsical lavender-colored bunny with polka dot ear lining; and Clover the Pink Bunny, which is the tinniest and pinkest bunny of all.

Douglas Co. has also introduced new Puffs to their Easter line. These 8-inch tall animals with plush heads, arms, and legs and a powder puff center. Brooke Puff the Yellow Duck, Skippy Puff the Cream Lamb, Dolly Puff the Pink Bunny, and Duffy Puff the Green Frog are all available.

The new bunnies and new Puffs will be on retail shelves in the U.S., Canada, and Europe in January. Douglas products are sold at specialty gift and toy stores.

Hip Hop Hooray, Easter’s On Its Way

Yesterday, Jackie Breyer shared some Easter-worthy toy picks. As the toy industry promotes giving toys in lieu in candy this year, here are a couple of dolls from Madame Alexander’s Easter Collection!

EasterPrincessThe Easter Princess is an 8-inch fully articulated Wendy with brown eyes and curly brunette pigtails worn with bangs. She is wearing a party dress that has a blue taffeta bodice layered with sparkle organza. Because she’s an Easter Princess, she wears a tiara composed of Easter grass, pastel eggs, iridescent flower sequins, pearls, and a pink bow. What’s a princess without her accessories? This princess comes carrying a sparkle bag of glass jellybeans in her hand. [Read more...]

Easter Bunny Keeps Frugality in Mind This Year, According to NRF

Americans will celebrate Easter in style and on budget this year according to NRF’s Easter Spending Survey, conducted by BIGinsight. Keeping cost and their shopping list in mind, the average person celebrating Easter will spend approximately $145.13 on candy, decor, apparel, and food, flat with last year’s $145.28. Total spending will reach an estimated $17.2 billion.

Consumers will spend an average of $20.82 on gifts.

“While many of today’s consumers are coping with tight budgets, the Easter Bunny isn’t headed toward retirement in 2013,” says BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “Look for cost-conscious parents to scope the sale racks, head to discounters, and clip coupons to keep spending on track and to make the holiday special for youngsters this year.”

COMMENTARY: Toys Are More Fun Than Candy

Mattel’s North American team recently kicked off an Easter program called Save the Bunny, which launched with a clever celebrity PSA. The concept is to promote giving toys, rather than copious amounts of candy, for Easter. As part of the promotion, consumers who visit www.savechocolatebunnies.com will have a chance to win a Mattel toy every day this month, download exclusive coupons on toys from Mattel brands like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, and Thomas & Friends, and win grand prize money.

As a parent and someone who loves toys, I whole-hardheartedly agree with this idea. Not only does my 3 year old not need a giant chocolate bunny, gallons of jelly beans, and piles of fluffy marshmallow chicks (OK, I’ll admit this is making me hungry), but I know from experience that I won’t actually let her eat it all, and I’ll end up eating it, which isn’t exactly part of my summer bikini plan (though I’m pregnant, so what’s the difference, right?). Anyway, she will have a lot more fun if I limit the candy to a few of her favorites, and fill that basket—er, strongly suggest the Easter Bunny fill that basket—with toys!

For retailers, signage suggesting spring/summer toys to fill Easter baskets should already be up, but it’s not too late! Many consumers wait until the last-minute to shop, especially with the holiday coming earlier this year. A special display of spring-like, small, basket-sized items makes shopping easy and promotes quick sales. The pharmacies already do this, toy stores should too! [Read more...]

Universal Pictures and Walmart Unveil Exclusive Hop Merchandise

Universal Pictures and Walmart have announced a retail program tied to the upcoming live action/CG-animated comedy Hop, the second film from Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me) that hits movie theaters across the country on April 1. Walmart customers can build their Hop-themed Easter baskets, and visit the movie-inspired “Candy Factory,” with 100 exclusive licensed products, including candy, toys, activities, and apparel.
“This is the first time we’ve worked with a licensed property to brand an important seasonal event in Walmart stores,” said Gary Severson, senior vice president, Home Entertainment, Walmart U.S.
The program, which rolled out March 17 in more than 3,000 Walmart stores, includes a dedicated aisle rolling out sweet Easter treats, and a Build-a-Basket Factory. Toys include character plush toys from Funrise, coloring and activity books from Dalmation Press, bubbles, pinwheels, paddle board, memory card games, etc. from Funrise, and Hop-themed video games for the Nintendo DS, DSi, and 3DS.
Blending animation with live action, Hop is a comedy about E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand), the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. He encounters Fred (James Marsden), an out-of-work slacker with his own lofty goals, who accidentally hits E.B. with his car. Feigning injury, E.B. manipulates Fred into providing him shelter, and Fred finds himself with the world’s worst house guest.

New Product: Eco Eggs

Eco Eggs are new-to-market plastic Easter eggs for egg hunts that are made in the U.S. from corn starch, 100-percent renewable content, and are fully compostable after use. The eggs are available in three box sizes of 10, 28, and 48.

[Read more...]

Big Idea Entertainment to Release New Easter DVD

Big Idea Entertainment, a faith-based studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters, and brands, will release their first new Easter holiday DVD in seven years, VeggieTales: ‘Twas The Night Before Easter, on March 5 and 8, in Christian and general market stores, respectively.

Easter Toy Sales Increase 5 Percent in UK

According to The NPD Group, traditional toy sales in the UK during the two weeks of Good Friday and Easter 2010 increased 5 percent in revenue. This year, toy sales during Good Friday week rose by 30 percent versus the prior week, which NPD says is not an unusual trend for the UK.

Based on NPD’s toy market research, grocers’ market share for the two-week Easter peak increased from 28 percent in 2009 to 37 percent this year. The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service reports that grocers raised their average price by 11 percent during Good Friday week (versus the prior week).

Properties such as Stars Wars, Ben 10, and Toy Story saw an increase in sales by more than 50 percent, compared to the prior week.