Cardinal Industries Turns 70

cardinalIn 1944, a young Les Berger, the founder of Cardinal Industries, started the company in Brooklyn. With his knowledge of plastics, Berger began manufacturing dominoes poker chip racks, hula hoops, and Mah Jongg sets.

Seventy years later, Cardinal has grown to become one of America’s top signature board game and puzzle companies offering more than 400 items including traditional games such as dominoes, checkers, and poker sets, as well as an extensive line of licensed games and lenticular, wood, and basic puzzles. With a worldwide reach Cardinal products can be found throughout North America, Europe, and Austraila. Cardinal has excelled in the licensed puzzle and game arena working with Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Twentieth Century Fox, NBS, Warner Bros, Sesame Street, HIT Entertainment, Lucas, Mattel, and Hasbro, among others.

COMMENTARY: #SantaCame!

Early Wednesday morning, the posts started. My Facebook and Instagram feeds were filled with images of friends and family’s kids tearing into presents, digging through stockings, and excitedly displaying their treasures for the camera. As I scrolled through the photos, I noticed several items that showed up over and over again. Having dedicated the last few months to the hottest toys on the market, it was neat to see them finally end up under Christmas trees around the country.

leappadI’d say the most common recurring toy in my feed was the LeapPad Ultra. Each time it showed up, the caption described how the kid who received it loved it and wouldn’t put it down. The LeapPad Ultra is a great introduction to tablets for kids, and lets them fully utilize its contents safely. [Read more...]

Hasbro Survey Finds 78 Percent of Americans Partying at Home on NYE

For the second year in a row, when the clock strikes Twelve on New Year’s Eve, the majority of Americans plan to ring in the New Year at home instead of out on the town, according to a new survey by Hasbro. Seventy-nine percent of women and 76 percent of men, up from 70 percent last year, will opt for a more low-key celebration. To make the most of a festive night at home, Hasbro recommends some friendly game night competition to get the good times rolling on December 31.

And while most (56 percent) seem to want to keep the competition light and friendly, 81 percent of people ages 18 to 24 admit to “bending the rules” in order to win when playing games. If you’re spending the night in on New Year’s with some family-friendly competition, be sure to upload pictures of your party to the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page or tweet @HasbroGameNight, #HasbroHolidays.

Kidada Jones, Soho Fashions Release My Little Pony Hair Extension, Accessory Collection

mylittleponyKidada Jones and Soho Fashions have teamed up with Hasbro Inc. to launch a collection of My Little Pony hair extensions and accessories sold at Soho Fashions mall kiosks nationwide. Kidada Jones has created a line that captures the magic of the My Little Pony brand. The Kidada for My Little Pony collection features an array of My Little Pony single- and multi-colored hair extensions, cutie marks accented with crystals, iconic character hair charms, and more. Soho Fashions trained stylists are available at each kiosk to “Ponyfy” fans with any purchase of the My Little Pony hair accessories or extensions. Fans can accessorize to look like their favorite pony characters from the hit animated series, produced by Hasbro Studios, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and airing on the Hub Network.

Fans can visit www.mylittleponyparlor.com for kiosk locations.

COMMENTARY: Monkeez (and Others) Help Kids Make A Difference

monkeezIt’s the season of toys and giving, as the holidays are quickly approaching. December’s cheerful spirit is evident throughout the city, on social media, and in toy stores worldwide. Christmas lights are hanging everywhere, department stores are adorned with pops of red and green, and children are on their best behavior, hoping to fall on the right side of the naughty-or-nice list. Santa is taking last-minute requests from children who will surely receive their prizes for being good girls and boys all year long.

When I was a kid, my parents always took part in Operation Christmas Child, an organization that collects shoeboxes full of toys and non-perishable items to be given to children who wouldn’t otherwise have a Christmas gift to open, during this time of year. I loved getting to help put toys together to send to kids around the world, though I didn’t really understand exactly what it meant. Now, I see kids crying in department stores wanting their toys now, and I see lists of toys growing longer and longer. I’m all for it—‘tis the season—but I think it’s important that kids learn to receive with a grateful attitude, rather than an expectant one.

The older I get, the more bittersweet the holidays become. The music, ice-skating, tacky sweater parties, and family time are wonderful, but the receiving of gifts isn’t as satisfying as it was when Barbie dolls and Polly Pockets filled my Christmas wish list. It’s now apparent to me that so many kids spend Christmas without basic necessities, and certainly without gifts to open. I started researching major toy companies and realized that there are so many that donate to this cause in various ways. [Read more...]

Hasbro Is Named One of America’s Most Community-Minded Companies in the Civic 50

Hasbro logoThe Civic 50, an annual initiative that recognizes companies that go above and beyond to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business, has named Hasbro Inc. one of America’s most community-minded companies.

Between Hasbro’s philanthropic programs that aim to help the lives of children in need through play and the power of service, and the Team Hasbro employee volunteer program that gives employees four hours of paid time off per month to volunteer with child-focused organizations, they company has been recognized in The Civic 50 for the second consecutive year. Additionally, Hasbro was also recognized in two other categories, including Best in Consumer Discretionary Industry and Best in Mid-Cap Market. [Read more...]

NPD: Fashion Dolls Still in Fashion for the Holidays

According to retail sales data from The NPD Group, year to date through October, the doll category is entering the holiday season with dollar sales up 1 percent compared to year ago. The Fashion Themed Dolls segment is the main driver of this growth with year-over-year sales growth of 6 percent through October.

This increase is due not only to several new brands such as My Little Pony Equestria Girls and Sofia The First, but also growth in some of last year’s more popular brands, including Monster High, Doc McStuffins, and Lalaloopsy.

Within dolls, other subclasses that have experienced strong growth are Fashion Styling & Dressup and Fashion Themed Clothes, which include items such as Monster High Fashion Sets and Barbie Ultimate Closet.

The following lists the Top 15 Fashion Doll items for the last 13 weeks ending November 9, ranked on dollar sales and in alphabetical order:

Modarri Kickstarts a New Breed of Toy Car

ModarriThoughtFull Toys has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Modarri, a line that seeks to reinvent the toy car space. The company’s intent is to create toy cars that are sleek and durable, yet also drivable, buildable, and interchangeable.

Modarri cars can be disassembled and redesigned by changing their parts, leading to hands-on experimentation with real physical objects. In addition, kids can learn about the physics and mechanics of suspension and steering by driving the cars around, and feel the differences in performance by swapping out parts.

Suitable for kids ages 6 and up, Modarri cars are built using a combination of metal and high strength plastic, with no screws. The planned color prototypes of Modarri include the Street Car S1, Dirt Car X1, and Track Car T1; and each car includes chassis, hood/windshield, seat pan, seat, fenders and frame, hex tool, wheels, and front and rear suspension. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: It’s Alive! Cool Tech Brings Animal Toys to Life

Kids are always begging for pets, especially around the holidays. “Can I have a puppy?” “I want a pony!” I’m sure you’re hearing it all. But if you’re not ready to make that huge commitment to a pet and a messy house (and perhaps all of the dog-walking responsibilities), new technology that’s available is truly bringing animal toys to life.

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

The Hexbug line, from Innovation First, has used new tech to make robotic Hexbug critters that crawl on battery power. Two of the company’s newest lines expand upon this technology to make it even better. The Hexbug Nano V2 critters are gravity-defying bugs that can climb vertically through tubes. The Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole play set, the Nano V2 bugs can climb vertically, horizontally, and around corners. Kids can unleash their creativity by customizing the design and layout of the three-story set. The play set also comes with special accessories including a spiral tube and a black funnel.

The Hexbugs Aquabot line features robotic fish that really swim in water. The micro-robotic creatures have Smart Fish technology that allows it to swim, dive, and change directions. You don’t have to worry about feeding it or cleaning its tank. Aqua bots are available in five translucent colors and designed for kids ages 3 and up. [Read more...]

Icing Introduces Exclusive Monopoly-Inspired Collection

Icing.MonopolyIcing has teamed up with Hasbro to design a capsule collection of jewelry and accessories inspired by Hasbro’s popular Monopoly game. This exclusive collection is designed in metallic gold and bedazzled jewels, featuring chain link, beading, and glitter details on pieces including a charm bracelet, stud earrings, iPhone cases, wallets, makeup compacts, T-shirts, and rings.

To celebrate the launch and to encourage shoppers to showcase their “gaming” spirit, Icing will also launch an Instagram “Glam Game” promotional sweepstakes with a grand prize of a seven-day cruise for two on Carnival Cruise Lines. The sweepstakes encourages fans to express their unique sense of style by snapping and uploading a photo of themselves. Official Rules for the “Glam Game” sweepstakes can be found on Facebook.