HoliDAY of Play 2015

Chicago Toy and Game Group Announces 2015 Toy and Game Inventor of the Year Nominees

ChicagoThe nominees for the eighth annual Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards are in! At this year’s comedy themed awards ceremony, excellence will be recognized in the categories of Toy Design, Game Design, Rising Star, Excellence in Game Design, Young Inventor, and Digital Toy/Game. Industry members have selected the industry nominees, and the public is invited to place their votes. The annual award show will take place in November as part of the 13th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

The 2015 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Award nominees are: [Read more...]

Hasbro Reports Second Quarter Financial Results

Hasbro-logo-jpgOn Monday, Hasbro Inc. reported financial results for the second quarter. Net revenues for the second quarter decreased 4 percent to $797.7 million versus $829.3 million last year. Excluding a negative $71.5 million impact from foreign exchange, net revenues increased 5 percent.

[Read more...]

Q&A with Eric Nyman, Senior Vice President of Global Brand Strategy and Marketing at Hasbro

EricNymanThe Toy Book (TTB): How do you utilize consumer feedback in product development?

Eric Nyman (EN): Hasbro puts our consumers at the center of everything we do, and we’ve seen a tremendous amount of change in the way kids and families play today. Therefore, we conduct extensive research and are in constant conversation with our consumers to better understand their wants and needs and make sure we are delivering the world’s best play experiences. Over the last several years, Hasbro’s marketing team in conjunction with our consumer insights team has talked to tens of thousands of kids of all ages through research and in our three Fun Labs around the world. [Read more...]

On the Hunt with Jordan Hembrough

When you step inside Hollywood Heroes in Westwood, N.J., you can literally smell the nostalgia (for those of you who are unfamiliar, nostalgia smells similar to dust-covered cardboard and childhood memories—but like, in a good way). In the collectible toy shop, bright lights beam down on glass cases displaying superhero relics with more than 40 years under their utility belts, making these toys anything but child’s play.

Owner of Hollywood Heroes and star of the reality TV show Toy Hunter, Jordan Hembrough poses with a plush version of himself.

Owner of the shop and star of the Travel Channel series Toy Hunter, Jordan Hembrough is an expert in the art of toy collecting, with more than 25 years of professional experience dealing toys. However, toys were always an integral part of Hembrough’s life. From schoolyard selling, Hembrough entered the big-time after college, when he secured a job as a buyer for StarLog, a chain of science-fiction-focused retail stores. Despite a lack of business background, Hembrough eventually went on to launch his own company, Hollywood Heroes. “I had the passion, and I think sometimes passion will drive you more than a business plan,” he says. [Read more...]

Survey Shows Children Want Game Systems, iPads for Holidays

Non-traditional items are finding their way onto children’s wish lists this year, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. For the first time, iPads are among the most popular gifts for both girls and boys, with slightly higher demand among the former.

Among the other results from NRF’s 2013 Top Toys survey: 44.3 percent of holiday consumers plan to buy toys as gifts this holiday season; children are still asking for timeless items such as Barbie and dolls (No. 1 and 2 among girls, respectively) or Lego and toy cars (No. 1 and 3 among boys, respectively). And the younger generation is clearly technologically savvy, asking this year for tablets/iPads, smartphones (girls’ No. 11), and game consoles like Xbox One (boys’ No. 5) and PlayStation 4 (girls’ No. 10, boys’ No. 6).

Other popular toys for girls include Monster High Dolls, Disney Princess, and American Girl. The hot new item for boys this year is Skylanders, a hugely popular interactive video game that allows kids to play with a toy action figure at the same time. [Read more...]

Hasbro Showcases Its Franchise Brands at the International Licensing Expo

Hasbro-logo-jpgHasbro, Inc. showcased its global franchise brands, including Transformers, Nerf, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, Play-Doh, Magic: The Gathering, and Monopoly, at the International Licensing Expo on June 18. This year’s lineup highlights the company’s effort to market brand extensions across licensing categories such as publishing, digital gaming, apparel and plush, homewares, food, health, and beauty.

Hasbro’s Transformers brand  features the Autobots and Decepticons engaged in battle on multiple storytelling platforms, including film, TV, digital gaming, publishing, and theme parks. Hasbro and its licensees provide the  Transformers fan base with merchandise including digital gaming, toys, apparel, sporting goods, and more. DeNA and Hasbro recently announced the launch of Transformers: Legends, an action card battle game based on the Transformers franchise, which is now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on Google Play for Android devices. Transformers: The Ride – 3D is open in Singapore and Hollywood, and will officially open on June 20 at Universal Studios Orlando. [Read more...]

The UK’s Top 10 Best-Selling Toys to Date

The UK’s Top 10 best-selling Toys year to date (April 2013)

  1. Vivid ImaginationsMoshi Monsters Moshling Figures
  2. Lego‘s Lego Minifigures
  3. Leapfrog‘s Leappad Explorer Tablet
  4. Hasbro‘s Furby Hot and Cool
  5. Vivid ImaginationsMoshi Monsters Blind Bag
  6. Mattel‘s Monster High Doll
  7. Leapfrog‘s Leapfrog Explorer Game
  8. VTech‘s Innotab Learning Tablet
  9. Mattel‘s Cars 2 Character Clipstrip
  10. Flair‘s TMNT Basic Figures

Source: The NPD Group

COMMENTARY: Get Your Party on with the Newest Member of the Furby Family

Looking back, I remember being terrified of Furby when I was younger. Whenever a Furby commercial came on, I either ran into another room or attacked the TV with pillows. To my dismay, neither of these methods saved me from the Furby Fever that everyone around me seemed to be succumbing to.

fussby-front-largeWhen these fuzzy little creatures were relaunched last year, I was cautious and, truth be told, still a bit frightened. That’s not the case for the new Furby Party Rocker, a smaller, less expensive Furby that I tested out for the spring edition of The Toy Insider. Used in conjunction with a free app, this little rocker performs for you, speaks in Furbish—which, according to a fellow editor hailing from Honolulu, oddly resembles Hawaiian—and is sure to delight you with her sassy behavior. While the Party Rocker is entertaining on its own, the app takes it to another level and appeals to today’s digi-obsessed kids.

I’m not hopping aboard the classic Furby Ferry just yet, but I am ready to get my party on with the new Furby Party Rocker.

Santa to Bring High-Tech Gadgets, Familiar Favorites to Children This Holiday Season

Children’s wish lists this holiday season are full of the latest gadgets such as Apple iPads and the Nintendo Wii U, but there’s still demand for some classic gifts like Lego blocks, dolls, and toy cars, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF)’s 2012 Top Toys Survey, conducted by BIGinsight.

A surprise item in this year’s top ten is Furby, which ranked No. 3 on girls’ wish lists and No. 9 on boys’ lists. Furby became a must-have item and child favorite in the late 90s but has since undergone a digital makeover complete with LCD eyes and compatible iPad apps. Video games also appeared on both lists this year. According to NRF’s holiday survey, 45.1 percent of consumers plan to buy toys this holiday season.

Meijer Drops Prices on More Than 400 of Season’s Hottest Toys In-store and Online

Meijer will continue to be a toy destination this holiday season, offering customers the lowest prices on the hottest toys and brands by slashing prices on more than 400 popular products in-store and online.   [Read more...]