COMMENTARY: Toy Fair 2015 Shows Off Toymakers’ Tech-Savvy Side

The Meccanoid G15 KS, from Spin Master

We all know that kids are more tech-savvy at the age of 2 than most of us will ever be. Living in the digital age comes instinctively for kids, and the fact that they have the ability to understand and use technology so early on lets toy manufacturers create some really, really cool tech toys for kids of all ages. Below is a roundup of favorite tech-y playthings from North American International Toy Fair, in no particular order:
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Q&A with Sharon DiMinico, Founder and CEO, Learning Express

Learning Express.sharonThe Toy Book (TTB): How are Learning Express retailers engaging consumers in-store to drive sales?

Sharon DiMinico (SD): Every month, our stores publish a full calendar of events to draw people into the store. We engage, we entertain, and we have product demonstrations. We also offer classes, costumed character appearances, and featured guests (silhouette artists, musicians, authors, etc.). We learned early on that customer-centric services and the “wow” factor would be the only way to compete with buying toys online from the comfort of your home. [Read more...]

Q&A with Billy Lagor, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Asia-Pacific at Hasbro

Billy LagorThe Toy Book (TTB): What kind of marketing promotions are going on in the region in anticipation of Chinese New Year?

Billy Lagor (BL): We have significant promotional activity surrounding Chinese New Year. This consists of a substantial range of marketing activity to engage our shoppers and consumers, similar to what happens during the holiday season in the U.S., and development of unique products designed with a Chinese New Year theme or to meet specific Chinese New Year product expectations. See below for some examples from the past two years.
Microsoft Word - HASBRO AND THE CHINESE MARKET - Billy interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hasbro and BuzzFeed Team Up for Global Monopoly Here & Now Campaign

Hasbro-logo-jpgIn celebration of the Monopoly brand’s 80th anniversary, Hasbro Inc. has teamed up with BuzzFeed to ask fans to choose which great cities around the world will be featured as property spaces in new Monopoly Here & Now games, which are launching this fall. [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...]

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner to Become Chairman

Hasbro logoHasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner will become chairman on May 21, the date of the toy maker’s annual shareholder meeting, according to Hasbro this past Thursday. Goldner has been Hasbro’s president and CEO since 2008.

Chairman Al Verrecchia will step down in accordance with the company’s target retirement age of 72. Four other Hasbro directors will also retire from the board because they are close to retirement age: Frank Biondi Jr., John Connors Jr., Michael Garrett, and Jack Greenberg.

Hasbro has stated that current director Basil Anderson will become its lead independent director. The company is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results tomorrow.

Risk Now Available to Download on Xbox One and PlayStation 4

Hasbro logoStarting today, Hasbro Inc.’s console version of Risk, based on the famous wartime strategy board game, is available to players worldwide. The Risk console game can be downloaded on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems.

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COMMENTARY: Disney Frozen Poised to Dominate Again, or, We Welcome Our New Toy Overlords from Arendelle

FrozenFever2It’s the age of Frozen, and not just because of this freezing weather we’ve been having.

If you work in the toy industry, you’re probably familiar with Disney Frozen as a powerhouse license. According to data from The NPD Group, it was the top gainer among all toy properties last year, generating $531 million in toy sales across more than 39 categories. This is well and good for the toy companies fortunate enough to have partnered up with Team Elsa. On the flip side, if recent events are any indication, not having the license for Disney Frozen has the potential to be hazardous. [Read more...]

Hasbro Enlists Fans to Create Massive New Transformers Robot

TransformersCombinerWarsappIn celebration of the theme for its 2015 Transformers Generations line, Combiner Wars, Hasbro is inviting fans to help create a new character for the Transformers brand; specifically, a new team of robots that combine to form one giant new character. [Read more...]

Hasbro Releases New Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Hasbro logoHasbro Inc. has released its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, which provides a detailed look at the progress Hasbro made throughout 2013 in its three key CSR priorities. These are product safety, environmental responsibility, and ethical sourcing—in addition to other focus areas including human rights, responsible marketing, global philanthropy, and more.

Performance highlights from the 2013 CSR Report are as follows: zero product recalls in 2013—and no recalls since 2008; several product and packaging sustainability innovations, including the replacing of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in Hasbro toy and game packaging; developing a set of goals and key performance indicators to guide and measure progress in improving working conditions among its third-party suppliers; and the development of a human right policy including focus areas, implementation strategies, and governance structure.

In addition, Hasbro contributed $14.5 million through product donations and financial contributions to organizations that benefit children in need, positively impacting 3.5 million children worldwide. The company also engaged 75 percent of Hasbro’s global workforce to volunteer in their communities during 2013.

Hasbro is also making progress on sustainability goals for 2020, such as reducing waste to landfills at owned/operated facilities by 50 percent; decreasing energy consumption at owned/operated facilities by 25 percent; reducing global Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from owned/operated facilities by 20 percent; and decreasing water consumption from owned/operated facilities by 15 percent. All goals are intended to decrease numbers from 2012 levels.

The full 2013 report can be found at Hasbro’s website.