Sweet Suite 2016

COMMENTARY: Positive Outlook for 2016

After attending the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I feel confident that 2016 is going to be an even better year for the toy industry. While the show floor seemed quieter than in years past, the majority of companies I met with were upbeat and excited for holiday 2015 and the year ahead. A number of my meetings were cut short due to drop-ins by Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us buyers, which is always a good sign.

The industry is expected to be up approximately 6 percent this year, and I expect this success to carry over to 2016. I saw a higher than usual number of new lines, and interesting expansions of successful products, proving that manufacturers are riding high on the wings of rising sales, leaving them willing and able to take some risks. [Read more...]

Laser Pegs Launches Product Concepts, Expands Lines

Lava PegsLaser Pegs Ventures introduced the Lava Peg Power Base and the Light Up Pull Back Motor at the Fall Toy Preview show in Dallas. The company is also expanding its product lines to include seventeen new kits.

The Lava Peg is a power base and building set that has a light up tube with colorful and bubbly child-safe liquid at its core. It is compatible with all other Laser Pegs kits and major brick construction brands, and has a rechargeable USB battery. The Lava Peg Power Base will launch as part of Stealth, a four-in-one kit. Following the initial release of the Stealth kit, the Lava Peg will be available as a standalone power base in various colors for toy retailers worldwide. [Read more...]

Fall Toy Preview Yields Positive Outlook for 2016

Tens of thousands of new toys for 2016 made their debut at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Fall Toy Preview held last week in Dallas. Industry analysts called the fall marketplace “more optimistic” than any show in the past several years, thanks to an abundance of creative and innovative toys that are sure to drive industry sales through next year’s holiday shopping season.  [Read more...]

Wonder Forge Develops New World of Eric Carle Games

eric carleWonder Forge has partnered with The World of Eric Carle, for multi-year North American licensing agreement to develop preschool games based on the best-selling books by Eric Carle. The line will feature Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar on two of Wonder Forge’s game platforms—Matching and Surprise Slides.

These new games will debut with select retailers and media at the Toy Industry’s Fall Toy Preview Show in Dallas.

Young Toy Professionals Invited to Networking Cocktail Party in Dallas

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Young Professionals Network (YPN) will host a networking cocktail party on October 7 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The event is free for all to attend, and will take place following the close of the second day of Fall Toy Preview.

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TIA’s Fall Toy Preview to Remain at Dallas Market Center through 2018

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Executive Committee and Board have announced that Fall Toy Preview will stay in Dallas through 2018. The event is scheduled to take place on the following dates: September 27 to 29, 2016; September 26 to 28, 2017; and September 25 to 27, 2018.

[Read more...]

TIA Announces Business-Savvy Line-Up of Speakers for Fall Toy Preview

Fall Toy PreviewAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), speakers at this year’s Fall Toy Preview include Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire investor from the hit TV show, Shark Tank. He will deliver his address at the Women in Toys Empowerment Day, a mentoring and networking event for female business owners taking place on October 5, the day before Fall Toy Preview officially opens its doors.

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Fall Toy Preview Buyer Registration Starts Strong

TIARegistration for the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Fall Toy Preview has started out strong, with more than 200 buyers from global retail outlets already signed up to attend the preview show, to be held in Dallas on October 6 to 8. Representatives of global retailers and toy sellers—including buyers from GameStop, Toys “R” Us, and more—will be on-site to browse hundreds of brands with one or more lines slated for the fourth quarter of next year.

[Read more...]

NFL Players Inc. Wants to Turn Toymakers into Playmakers

NFLPlayersAssociationNFL Players Inc. (NFLPI), the marketing and licensing arm of the NFL Players Association, introduces Playmaker Challenge, an exciting new competition for toy developers. To be considered, new toy ideas must feature the unique intellectual property assets licensed only by NFLPI, including names, uniform numbers, signatures, nicknames, images, and likenesses for more than 1,800 active NFL players.

The competition, announced at Fall Toy Preview in Dallas, runs through December 19, and NFLPI is accepting applications for concepts through the Playmaker Challenge microsite. The grand prize winner will receive an NFLPI-issued license, an NFL player promotional appearance at their Toy Fair booth, and $10,000 towards player marketing, which can be used on retail partnerships, social media activation, and/or player appearances. Additionally, NFLPI will work with the winner and retail launch partner to donate a quantity of the newly licensed toy to a pre-determined children’s charity.

A committee will review submissions and invite three finalists to present their concepts to the NFLPI committee from January 4 to February 13. The winner will be announced at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.

Toy State Showcases New Branding for Road Rippers and Nikko

Toy State New BrandingOn Monday, Toy State unveiled new branding designs for its flagship lights and sound and R/C product lines, Road Rippers and Nikko. The company is showcasing the new-look product lines and branding at Fall Toy Preview in Dallas, and will continue to highlight them at Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair in January.

Toy State acquired Nikko and Nikko Entertainment BV in May. The moves came on the heels of a period of aggressive growth, including new licensing partnerships with Hot Wheels, Transformers, Hello Kitty, and Angry Birds.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the new logos and packaging these leading brands will have when they hit retail shelves in 2015,” said Andy Friess, Toy State’s general manager of U.S. operations and senior vice president of global marketing. “Redefining the Nikko brand was a major design objective following our acquisition, and returning Road Rippers to its signature ‘orange package’ roots provides an exciting refresh for the leader in the lights and sound vehicle category.”