TIA Considers Three for Board of Directors

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) nominating committee has submitted candidates for consideration by the membership, for election to the association’s board of directors. Successful candidates would serve a two-year term expiring at the annual meeting in 2017.

The proposed board members are: Bruce S. Raiffe, president of Gund; Howard Kahn, CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales of Tomy International. Additional nominations, made in writing and signed by no less than 10 percent of the TIA’s membership, may be submitted to TIA President Carter Keithley at ckeithley@toyassociation.org no later than January 16.

Raiffe, Kahn, and Cunnion would fill the seats of retiring board members Joel Berger of Cardinal Industries Inc.; Peter Henseler of Tomy International; and D. Hugo Malan of Sears Holdings Corp.

The election of new board members will occur during the TIA Annual Business Meeting that will convene at 8 a.m. on February 16, in conjunction with North American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The meeting is open to all stakeholders of the toy industry—both members and non-members.

Toy Fair 2015 Sells Out of Exhibit Space

ToyFair15LogoAs reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), exhibit space for the 112th North American International Toy Fair, scheduled for February 14 to 17, has officially sold out. The show has already surpassed a record-breaking 419,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and going forward, prospective Toy Fair exhibitors will be placed on a wait list (under no financial obligation).

The expanded show floor, equivalent in size to more than seven football fields, will feature hundreds of thousands of innovative new toys, games, and youth entertainment products. The North American International Toy Fair draws buyers, licensors, entertainment executives, and other play professionals from 100 countries, who will be on-hand scouting toy trends, spotting unique product lines and brands, and writing orders for next year.

Major global retail outlets already registered to attend include Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, Apple, and Hobby Lobby.

Painting Lulu to Launch at Toy Fair 2015

Copy.ProductshotofPaintingLuluPainting Lulu, a traditional coloring book that bridges the gap to the digital world, will officially launch in February at North American International Toy Fair, located at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Kids color in the Painting Lulu Activity Book, and then with the help of their parents, scan the page using the free Painting Lulu app on a smart device. The coloring page instantly appears on the device, and kids can continue coloring where they left off using the Painting Lulu Digital Crayon.

With a tap of the Digital Crayon, which is designed with a smooth touch and thick grip to fit in a child’s hand, kids can easily re-touch, save, and print their creations. The one-click share feature also makes it easy for kids to share their artwork with their parents.

Each 32-page Painting Lulu colouring book is made with 100 percent recycled paper, and the brand’s 10 different characters–including Milky, the milk carton; Toby, the plastic water bottle; and Max, the broken calculator–are intended to teach children about recycling while they color.

In preparation for its Toy Fair launch, Painting Lulu has engaged ChizComm Ltd. to handle marketing and communications initiatives, and Perpetual Licensing to manage license acquisitions.

Skylanders Trap Team Gameplay Truck Tour Arrives at New York Comic-Con

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoActivision Publishing Inc.’s nationwide Skylanders Trap Team First-to-Play Tour includes a lengthy stop at New York Comic-Con. Attendees and kids can play Skylanders Trap Team within a customized Game Truck, a mobile video game media room. Guests will also be treated to Skylanders-branded activities, photo opportunities with costumed characters, and giveaway items.

The Game Truck will be on-hand at New York Comic-Con, taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, today until 7 p.m., as well as on the following dates and times: [Read more...]

Toy Fair Named One of New York’s Top Events

From advertising and technology to fashion, entertainment, sports, and more, the event planning news site BizBash has curated its 2014 list of New York’s Top 100 Events—and has named American International Toy Fair to this exclusive list. To choose and rank the Top 100 list, BizBash considers several factors including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and the event’s prominence within the communities it intends to serve. The largest toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere, Toy Fair takes place each February at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Toy Fair and the rest of New York’s Top 100 Events 2014 can be found at www.bizbash.com/top-100.

Toy Fair 2014 Shows Increase in Attendees, Double-Digit Rise in International Visitors

Last week’s American International Toy Fair in New York City drew nearly 26,500 toy professionals from 94 countries, and boasted a record-breaking 414,060 net square feet of exhibit space. According to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair 2014 also welcomed an 11 percent surge in international buyers, an 8 percent rise in exhibitors, and a 5 percent spike in overall attendees, bringing the total attendance to 26,493.

There was an estimated 1,153 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sales agents, and nearly 10,000 buyers from more than 5,000 retail outlets, including delegations from Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us. Members of top press outlets including Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and The New York Times scouted top toy trends.

Next year’s Toy Fair has been scheduled for February 14 to 17, and will once again take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Show information will be available in the coming months at www.ToyFairNY.com.

Grammy-Winner Alicia Keys to Cut Ribbon, Unveil New App at Toy Fair Opening Ceremony

Feb14.AliciaKeysAs first reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Grammy-winner Alicia Keys, co-creator of the interactive children’s app The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee from Bento Box Interactive (BBI) and AK Worldwide Inc. (AKW), will help cut the ribbon at the American International Toy Fair’s opening ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, February 16 at 10 a.m. Immediately afterward, Keys will hold a press conference moderated by Marian Bossard, TIA’s vice president of meetings and events.

The press conference will include a question and answer session and introduce the new interactive storytelling app Mookey, the latest extension of The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee, suitable for kids ages 4 and up. Other participants in the press conference include Scott Greenberg, BBI co-founder and CEO, and Makeda Mays Green, educational adviser for BBI/AKW.

The ribbon-cutting will officially kick off the largest toy show ever held in North America, with more than 30,000 anticipated attendees from 100 countries, and hundreds of thousands of toys and games across a record-breaking 411,500-plus square feet of exhibit space.

The 111th American International Toy Fair will take place on February 16 to 19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. After-hours and networking events during Toy Fair week include the 14th annual TOTY (Toy of the Year) Awards on February 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

Women in Toys Collaborates with Walmart at Toy Fair 2014

WIT.WalmartWomen in Toys (WIT) and Walmart will once again collaborate to help women-owned businesses pitch children’s products and brands to Walmart buyers at the 111th annual American International Toy Fair in New York City in February.

Scheduled for February 18, the Second Annual WIT-Walmart Women’s Global Economic Empowerment Initiative will kick off with a morning panel discussion featuring Raquel Taylor and Kelly Deimel of Bobo Buddy. Immediately following the panel presentation, by-appointment-only pitch meetings between women-owned toy companies and Walmart buyers will take place in Room 1C01 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Companies that would like to apply for Walmart pitch meetings must complete the online application form by December 30. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 1. More information is available through Patti Becker at PBecker@BeckerAssoc.com or at (203) 321-6813.

UPDATE: Women in Toys says it has “received an anonymous offer from a mentor who has promised to consider an investment in a company whose products are accepted by Walmart.”

Toy Fair 2014 to Be Biggest U.S. Toy Fair Yet

The American International Toy Fair in February is expected to be the largest toy trade show ever held in North America. Though registration has been open for just a few weeks, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) reports that the show has already surpassed a record-breaking 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The 2013 event—which hosted the largest exhibit area since 2000—covered just over 366,000 net square feet at the Javits Center. As of press time, total registration for the 2014 American International Toy Fair is up 10 percent over the same period last year, while buyer registration is up 6 percent year-to-date, and international buyer attendance has surged 18 percent over last year’s point-in-time figures.

Approximately 30,000 visitors are expected to attend, exploring products on display by more than 1,000 exhibiting toy companies.

Ubisoft Will Feature Watch Dogs at New York Comic Con

Ubisoft.logoUbisoft’s lineup for New York Comic Con will feature the companion app for Watch Dogs, the company’s upcoming open-world action-adventure video game, and its The Next Level competition. Attendees can check out the company’s booths between October 10 and 13 at the Javits Center in New York City.

At the Watch Dogs theater, the adversarial mode of the app Watch Dogs—ctOS Mobile, will be highlighting ways in which players can invade each others’ games within the world of Watch Dogs. Players take on the role of Aiden Pierce, a vigilante who, with the help of his smartphone, can hack into Chicago’s central operating system and control almost every element of the city.

The Next Level puts attendees’ gaming skills to the test in head-to-head competitions. Gamers will try their hand at popular Ubisoft titles, including Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Just Dance 2014, and The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, before facing-off in a mystery title for the final round. Each day, the winner of The Next Level competition walks away with a package that includes a gaming PC, a next-generation console with pre-ordered hardware, and tickets to PAX East 2014.