Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2015 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards

TOTY2015logoToday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the 83 finalists for the prestigious 2015 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). Between now and January 11, toy consumers of all ages can visit www.toyawards.org to vote for their favorite toys, games, and properties across 12 categories.

The 2015 finalists were selected from more than 600 nominees submitted for consideration by 159 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.

Votes from mass retailers, specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members, and consumers will be weighted and used to determine each of the 12 category winners. The winners—including the overall Toy of the Year and the People’s Choice awards—will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony held on February 13, 2015 as the kick-off to the 112th North American International Toy Fair. [Read more...]

My Life Games to Offer Line of Customized Hasbro Board Games

Nov21.MyLifeGamesMy Life Games LLC has introduced a line of customizable Monopoly and Scrabble games under license from Hasbro Inc. and distributed by CafePress Inc. Consumers can personalize these official games with their own photos and text, choosing from a large selection of designs.

CafePress’s user-friendly interface enables customers to choose and arrange their photos from Facebook, Picasa, SmugMug, and Flickr, or to upload images from their desktop or mobile device. Users can also select from game board designs for various occasions: birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, vacations, graduations, and more. Each full-size game board is printed, packaged, and shipped with the classic game components.

Hasbro Franchise Brands Show Strength in Third Quarter

Hasbro logoToday, Hasbro Inc. reported financial results for the third quarter, in which net revenues increased 7 percent to $1.47 billion, compared to $1.37 billion last year. Foreign exchange had an unfavorable $10.8 million impact on third quarter revenues.

Reported net earnings for the third quarter were $180.5 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, compared to $126.6 million, or $0.96 per diluted share, last year. Adjusted net earnings for the third quarter were $187.8 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, excluding a pre-tax charge of $11.6 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, related to the restructuring of the company’s investment in the Hub Network joint venture. By comparison, adjusted net earnings for the third quarter last year were $172.5 million, or $1.31 per diluted share.

U.S. and Canada segment net revenues increased 4 percent to $764.3 million compared to $735.6 million last year. International segment net revenues increased 11 percent to $649.3 million compared to $582.7 million last year, reflecting 7 percent growth in Europe, 24 percent growth in Latin America, and 11 percent growth in the Asia Pacific region, as well as growth in the Boys, Girls, and Preschool categories. In total, Emerging Markets revenues increased 29 percent. [Read more...]

Hasbro to Step Back from The Hub Children’s Network

Hasbro logoAs reported by The Wall Street Journal, Discovery Communications Inc. and Hasbro Inc. are ending their equal partnership in The Hub, a cable network that hoped to become a force in children’s television against Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Under the terms being completed, Discovery would take a controlling interest in The Hub and reposition the channel as a family network aimed at parents as well as children. Hasbro will retain a large stake in the service and control six hours of daytime programming on the network, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Launched in 2010 with a $300 million investment from Hasbro for half of the network, The Hub was designed to be an outlet for some of Hasbro’s best-known toy brands, including G.I. Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony.

The makeover could take place as early as the fourth quarter, with The Hub renamed Discovery Family.

Hasbro Celebrates National Play-Doh Day with a School Daze

Hasbro Inc. celebrated National Play-Doh Day with a collection of six back-to-school-themed sculptures made out of Play-Doh compound. To commemorate the annual holiday, the Play-Doh brand put its spin on beloved schools and students from pop culture.

Mattel and Hasbro Named Among 100 Best Corporate Citizens

Hasbro Inc. has been ranked No. 22 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for 2014. This is the third time that Hasbro has been honored in the top 25 and recognized for responsible business practices and transparency.

In the same list, Mattel Inc. was recognized as one of America’s best corporate citizens, receiving the publication’s highest honors in the toy industry. The magazine also recognized Mattel as the fifth most socially responsible public company in the U.S. The 2014 ranking marks the sixth consecutive appearance by Mattel.

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens List documents hundreds of data points from publicly available information in seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy. The list can be found at www.thecro.com.

New Jersey and Texas Students Take Home Grand Prize at National School Scrabble Championship

SchoolScrabbleWinnersNew Jersey and Texas eighth graders outscored more than 65 teams to win the 12th annual National School Scrabble Championship, which took place this past weekend at One Hasbro Place in downtown Providence, R.I.

The team of Jacob Sass, of Magnolia, Texas, and Thomas Draper of Skillman, N.J., won six of seven preliminary games during the two-day tournament, and went on to win Sunday’s final match by a score of 378 to 320. Their highest-scoring word during the game was delaine, a type of fabric, for 76 points.

Sass and Draper received the Champion’s Trophy, and will split the grand prize of $10,000. The National School Scrabble Championship is a competitive event for school-aged Scrabble players in the United States and Canada, hosted by Hasbro Inc.

Hasbro Named as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company

Hasbro logoHasbro Inc. has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance, as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company.

Hasbro is one of eight consumer products companies honored this year. It marks the third time that Hasbro has been recognized with this award, which recognizes organizations that continuously raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior.

The Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient framework and methodology was determined, vetted, and refined by advice and insights from a network of thought leaders, as well as the World’s Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel. Scores were generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program; reputation, leadership and innovation; governance; corporate citizenship and responsibility; and culture of ethics.

Hasbro Named a Winner of 2014 Climate Leadership Award, Takes Home Gold for Green Efforts

Hasbro logoHasbro Inc. has been named as a winner of the Climate Leadership Awards for the second time, acknowledging the company’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and address climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Association of Climate Change Officers, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry honored Hasbro for its leadership in managing and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Hasbro received the Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management – Goal Setting Certificate, which recognizes organizations that publicly report and verify corporate GHG inventories and set aggressive GHG emissions reduction goals. Last September, the company established a goal to reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2020 from a 2012 base year. This represents the company’s third public GHG reduction goal.

Recently, the toy manufacturer was also awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S Green Building Council for the its renovated facility in Providence, R.I., which has a number of green building features including sustainable carpet and reused material from local sources.

WIT Honors Outstanding Business Leaders with 10th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards

At a February 18 dinner attended by more than 400 executives, Women in Toys (WIT) celebrated 10 visionary women business leaders with the 2014 Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Awards. The award recipients are: Kiyomi Haverly of Mattel, Global Brands; Naz Cuevas of Rovio Entertainment Inc. and Donna Tobin of Hasbro Inc.; Rita Raiffe, design director at Gund; Stefanie Barone of M.Z. Berger & Co.; Susie Lecker of Fisher Price; Michele Litzky of Litzky Public Relations; Joan Packard Luks of The Seranata Group; Christina Jansa of Target; and Debra Sterling of GoldieBlox.

With support from major sponsors including Nickelodeon and Bandai, WIT also granted six scholarships to future toy industry leaders at toy design programs in universities worldwide.