China Toy Fair


Rilakumma Heads to the Big Apple’s Big Toy Store

RilakkumaNew York City toy store FAO Schwarz will host a Rilakkuma Day to celebrate the brand’s extension from Asia to North America.

Guests will be able to interact with a life-size Rilakkuma mascot and Kawaii girls, and will have a chance to win giveaway prizes. A Rilakkuma pop-up shop featuring plush, apparel, accessories, electronics, and stationery based on the brand will remain in FAO Schwarz’s Great Hall until the end of the month.

The free event will be held on October 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Giveaways will be distributed to guests while supplies last.

Toys “R” Us and Claire’s Enter into Global Partnership

Feature Shops, FAO and Times Square, Hot ToysToys “R” Us and Claire’s have entered into a strategic global partnership to bring trendy, fashion-forward products to Toys “R” Us customers in select stores around the world. Following a successful pilot program in Europe, Claire’s-branded shops within Toys “R” Us stores will expand to nearly 100 locations across the continent, including stores in the UK, France, Germany, Austria, and Spain. They will also be set in 12 Toys “R” Us stores in the U.S. by the end of this year.

Shoppers will be able to choose from Claire’s jewelry, headbands, hair and fashion accessories, jewelry holders, legwear, seasonal items, and more. The shops will vary in size by location.

Two Claire’s locations in the U.S. will officially debut this week in the company’s flagship Toys “R” Us Times Square and FAO Schwarz stores in New York City. The additional 10 locations in the U.S. are expected to be open by the end of October and will be located in Murrieta, Calif.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Jensen Beach, Fla.; Florence, Ky.; Waldorf, Md.; Henderson, Nev.; Toledo, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Houston, Texas.

FAO Schwarz to Host Rilakkuma Day of Fun

RilakkumaFAO Schwarz will host a Rilakkuma Fun Day on October 11, where the store will convert three towers in the Grand Hall of its New York flagship store into the ultimate Rilakkuma destination for the duration of the month. During the Rilakkuma Day of Fun, consumers can participate in giveaways and a meet-and-greet with the Rilakkuma Mascot and Kawaii girls. Rilakkuma, created by San-X, is one of Japan’s most popular characters, famous for its “bear in relaxed mood” lifestyle of eating, sleeping, and listening to music.

FAO Schwarz currently carries a variety of plush Rilakkumma product in its flagship store and online on FAO.com, but will expands the product assortment to a 6-foot space on the second floor to include plush, apparel, accessories, electronics, and stationery.

 

Dedicated Rilakkuma Shop to Launch at FAO Schwarz in October

RilakkumaFAO Schwarz will convert three towers in the Grand Hall of its New York flagship store into a Rilakkuma destination for the month of October. Over the past decade, the Rilakkuma brand and its characters have become a key part of Japanese culture and the essence of the Kawaii lifestyle, which emphasizes cuteness and adorableness.

FAO Schwarz currently carries a variety of plush Rilakkuma product in its flagship store and online at fao.com. To celebrate the brand’s shop-within-a-shop launching in October, FAO Schwarz will expand its product assortment to include Kigurumis, hats, cell phone cases, ear buds, graphic t-shirts, and new plush items.

In 2003, San-X launched Rilakkuma in Japan, and Aliquantum International (AQI) has since brought the brand to North America.

COMMENTARY: These New Japanese Toys and Games Aren’t Just for Kids, Part 1

Phil.April18.2014.1I may not be the biggest aficionado of Japanese pop culture, but I do consider myself a fan, having devoured lots of manga and anime over the years. What I also appreciate are the toys: Japan has some of the most exquisitely-made action figures and giant robots ever made, and in their native land, these items are generally aimed at adults.

Now when it comes to toys and games, Japan has long enjoyed a healthy foothold in North America—think of all the Pokémon, Hello Kitty, and Power Rangers products that have made their way over. So far in 2014, that trend has continued, with several new properties either just launching or expected to launch soon. But these are Japanese imports, meaning they’re sophisticated enough for grown-ups, even if they look like they’re for kids. [Read more...]

FAO Schwarz Hosts a Rilakkuma Day of Fun

RilakkumaThis Saturday, the world of Rilakkuma will take over FAO Schwarz in New York City. Rilakkuma, created by San-X, is one of Japan’s most popular characters, famous for its “bear in relaxed mood” lifestyle of eating, sleeping, and listening to music.

Consumers will have the opportunity to celebrate Rilakkuma Day and interact with a life-size Rilakkuma mascot and branded Lolita girls. There will also be merchandise giveaways while supplies last. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at FAO Schwarz Flagship Store, 767 5th Ave., New York, NY.

Toys “R” Us Stores Nationwide Remain Open 87 Continuous Hours Ahead of Christmas

toysrusToys “R” Us stores nationwide will remain open for 87 consecutive hours for last-minute shoppers. Beginning at 6 a.m. on December 21 and continuing through 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, gift-givers can shop day and night for toys, including those that can only be found at Toys “R” Us.

Bargain hunters can also take advantage of savings and deals, as well as the company’s Price Match Guarantee, every day leading up to Christmas. Select discounts available at Toys “R” Us from December 20 through December 21 include buy one, get one free deals on all Chuggington Engines and Totally Me! by Victoria Justice crafts; buy one, get one 50 percent off all FAO Schwarz toys; and more.

Meanwhile, beginning December 22 through December 24, select discounts include buy one, get one free deals on all K’NEX building sets; buy one, get one 40 percent off all Disney Pixar Cars and Disney Planes die cast vehicles, and play sets; discounts on Disney Infinity Starter Packs; and more.

Ridemakerz Comes to FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue

imagesRidemakerz is driving to New York City with the grand opening of the experimental Ridemakerz store-within-a-store at the FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue location on the second level. The shop officially opens at 10 a.m. on November 11, and Ridemakerz will offer 100 complimentary Ridez to the first 100 people who arrive before 11 a.m. In celebration of Veteran’s Day, a complimentary Ridemakerz baseball cap will be offered to veterans who visit the store.

The Ridemakerz shop resembles the look and feel of an authentic race car garage and offers a unique experience for kids and adults to build their own toy cars. Customizers can choose from authentic cars, including Corvettes, Vipers, and Mustangs, and entertainment characters like Lightning McQueen, Iron Man, and Spider-Man. There are more than 649 million possible combinations to be made with customizable options, including lights, sounds, accessories, and decals.

For a unique experience, participants can also engage in the Pit Crew Challenge where their build times can be compared against family and friends. For special occasions such as birthdays, group outings, and company team-building, Ridemakers offers Revved Up Bashes, where friends can “Chooze, Customize, and Cruise” home with a one-of-a-kind Ridez. As the holidays approach, Ridemakerz will begin offering special, in-store events, as well as in-store and online deals on new products.

Interactive Ridemakerz retail shops have already opened in Downtown Disney in Anaheim, Calif.; Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; Branson Landing in Branson, Mo.; and Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Opens New Store at FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue

BABW_NewCircleLogoBuild-A-Bear Workshop has announced plans to open a shop within the FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue flagship store. Opening in early November, the new location is the first Build-A-Bear Workshop store-within-a-store in the U.S.

While visiting the store, guests can participate in the hands-on Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffed animal-making experience, which has been enhanced with digital technology. The company worked with Microsoft, Samsung, and other leading technology companies to create the store design, which includes:

  • A touchscreen storefront display that allows guests to interact with the brand by playing and exploring the latest Build-A-Bear Workshop furry friend collections.
  • An interactive Love Me station that enables guests to customize their stuffed animals by giving personality traits to the red satin heart, which is added to their animal at the Stuff Me station.
  • A Hear Me station where popular music and special sounds can be added. Guests can also record their own voice to further personalize their stuffed animal.
  • The Fluff Me station where customers can play with a sensory effects digital bath tub with virtual bubbles.
  • The Name Me station, which allows guests to reveal the personality traits and customized features that were added to their stuffed animal throughout the bear-making process. At Name Me, guests also create a one-of-a-kind birth certificate.

Hansa and Zinger Launch Plush-TV In-store Signage to Retailers

ZINGER DIGITAL SIGNSHansa North America launched of their new Plush-TV signage channel to its more than 900 retail dealers in the U.S. and Canada. Plush-TV is an in-store entertainment channel, branded for each retailer, and shown to their shoppers. Hansa features more than 5,000 designs of individually handcrafted, realistic animals. Hansa’s products are sold worldwide in collectables and gift  shops, museums, toys stores, zoos, and retailers, such as FAO Schwartz.

Plush-TV’s entertaining and educational content is focused on the animal kingdom in their natural habitat. Plush-TV was developed by Zinger Digital Signs. Zinger customizes Plush-TV signage for each retailers’ requirements. Zinger brands with each retailer with banners, advertisements, and interactive content. Plush-TV also showcases each retailer’s Hansa store inventory. Shoppers can interact with the Plush-TV using QR codes and texting. Zinger Digital Signs manages the content and equipment for each retailer.

[Read more...]