NPD Reports Star Wars, Disney Princess among Top-Selling Toy Properties in Six Countries

npd_group_logoThe NPD Group recently released lists of the top five toy properties by country, ranked by value sales for January to June. Across the U.S., the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia, Star Wars is the one property that ranks among the top five properties for each country. In the U.S., the top toy properties are Disney Princess, Barbie, Nerf, Little Tikes, and Star Wars.

Lego ranks in the top five toys for the UK, Australia, and Germany, with both Lego City and Lego Duplo on the short list for Germany. Disney Princess, meanwhile, ranks among the five top-selling toy properties in the U.S., the UK, and Australia.

“The unique cultures of a country lend themselves to unique preferences, and the toy industry is no different,” says Frédérique Tutt, global toy industry analyst with The NPD Group. “However, there are clearly messages and styles of play that resonate with a child, regardless of geography.”

MGA Entertainment Unveils New Additions at Toy Fair

LalaloopsyAt the 2014 American International Toy Fair, MGA Entertainment will introduce its spring line-up for its Lalaloopsy, Mooshka, Moxie Girlz, and Little Tikes lines.

The Lalaloopsy brand will expand with Lalaloopsy Babies, featuring original characters Crumbs Sugar Cookie, Pillow Featherbed, Jewel Sparkles, and Mittens Fluff ‘N’ Stuff as soft, adorable babies. Lalaloopsy Bubbly Mermaids Pearly Seafoam and Ocean Seabreeze have hair that can be filled with bubble solution, and tails that can be squeezed to watch their bubble hair grow.

The newest additions to the Mooshka Fairytale lineup include Princess Palia, Ballerina Casia, Mermaid Sonia, and Fairy Ina. Each is adorned with a shimmering tulle dress, colorful soft ribbons, and lace crowns. In addition, each soft doll has Velcro hands that are perfect for holding hands with friends. [Read more...]

Little Tikes Promotes Early Learning, Interaction with New Website, Tagline

LittleTikesThe website for MGA Entertainment‘s brand Little Tikes has been redesigned to feature more content for customers. The brand has also rolled out a new tagline, “The Wonder of Little Tikes,” referencing the moments that connect parents and their children.

The refresh adds new and extended content that reinforces littletikes.com as a destination not only for the largest assortment of Little Tikes products, but also as the go-to resource for insights and tools related to early engagement in childhood development. The updates, stemming from feedback from Little Tikes customers online, provide a more interactive, complete experience.

Now there is an easier check out process and additional functionality to make shopping more efficient; educational and entertainment content, including online games, coloring pages, and an animated webisode series; an incorporated ratings and reviews system to collect feedback and engage customers; and posts from leading childhood development experts to inform parents of key trends.

MGA Entertainment Adds Three Senior Members

MGAMGA Entertainment Inc. (MGA) has added three new senior members to its leadership team: Bruce Morrison, executive vice president of sales and licensing; Efren Gonzalez, vice president of advertising and public relations; and Ame Cameron, vice president of marketing.

Morrison will focus on strengthening critical business relationships with MGA’s key retailers, licensees, and distribution partners in the U.S. and abroad. He will also serve an important strategic role in the areas of retail marketing, business development, and product planning in the global arena. Morrison most recently held the position of senior vice president retail sales for Disney Consumer Products (DCP) North America.

Gonzalez joins MGA after 11 years with Ogilvy & Mather, where he was most recently a senior partner and executive group director. He will fuel the creation of integrated programs for each MGA brand.

Cameron spent the past two and half years with Walmart Marketing. As vice president of marketing, she will leverage her consumer packaged goods background to infuse strategic business leadership into branding and marketing initiatives across MGA product lines. The MGA family includes such toy brands such as Little Tikes, Lalaloopsy, and more.

Diono Collaborates with Little Tikes on New Product Line

Diono.LittleTikes.jumperDiono will introduce a new line of products stemming from a collaborative partnership with Little Tikes. The international license agreement will feature a broad range of juvenile products, including more than 50 new items spanning from car seats and strollers to travel accessories and gear.

The new line, available early next year at major retailers nationwide and in key international markets, will include:

  • Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Accessories and Gear: The Little Tikes red and yellow Cozy Coupe toy car now has its own dedicated line of juvenile products, including booster seats, car organizers, and roller car shades.
  • Little Tikes Booster Seats: Machine-washable and available in multiple colors.
  • Little Tikes Strollers: The new Little Tikes Lightweight Stroller and Travel Stroller include a three- or five-point harness, extra-tall comfort grip handles, and cup holders and storage features. These are designed for kids up to 50 lbs and available in four different colors.
  • Little Tikes Car and Travel Accessories: From car and on-the-go accessories like a travel bottle warmer or sit and play bouncer, the line includes 17 new products.

Little Tikes’ Interactive Lil’ Blabberz Love to Chat

632792-talking-blabbler_300Lil’ Blabberz, from Little Tikes, are crazy and funny characters in the shape of a ball. The silly characters interact, tell jokes, and dance and sing together, with mouth animations that bring the toy to life. Kids ages 3 and up will love Oolie, a Lil’ Blabberz who is funny, and crazy, but also soft and fuzzy. Lil’ Blabberz can be stand-alone toys, but if there is another Lil’ Blabberz in the room, the fun multiples as they interact with each other. 

Lil’ Blabberz is part of Little Tikes’ new extensive holiday line

MGA Entertainment Sees Accelerated Growth in 2012

MGA Entertainment, the largest privately held U.S. based toy company, posted 41 percent dollar growth in Q3 2012 versus a year-ago, according to The NPD Group.

Within the U.S., retailers continued to see explosive growth with Lalaloopsy, a global toy powerhouse driven by robust product, entertainment, and licensing programs.  Interest in the brand continues to develop as seen with the strong sales of Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Star: Harmony B Sharpthe first-ever talking, singing, and dancing Lalaloopsy doll.

This summer, MGA debuted Bratzillaz and Novi Stars.  Bratzillaz takes girls’ imagination on a supernatural flight of imagination to reveal their own special powers. Novi Stars combines cosmic adventure with cutting edge toy features never before seen in doll play.

Outside of girls’ toys, broader support for Little Tikes helped drive sales.  Little Tikes hottest retail sellers include Little Tikes Pillow Racers and iTikesa new line of pre-school toys that can be enhanced through the technology of Apple iDevices.

iTikes Discover Tour Hits the Road to Spread the Love of Learning

In celebration of the release of iTikes, the new interactive line of pre-school toys from Little Tikes, the iTikes Discover Tour hits the open road on a U.S. bus tour of parks, playgrounds, and special events. On a mission to instill in children a love of learning, the iTikes Discover Tour is an i-tacular mobile event filled with fun activities for the whole family including a 10-foot musical keyboard where kids can learn music theory, sight reading, and pitch training; a 17-ft inflatable microscope through which families can learn about plants, fibers, and insects; an interior terrain on which everyone can explore and discover; and a photo booth.

The iTikes Discover Tour makes its debut at the L.A. County Fair in Pomona, Calif., from September 1 to 5, followed by stops at the Mountain View Art and Wine Festival in Northern California from Sept 8 to 9, and the Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City from September 13 to 15.

To learn more about iTikes and the iTikes Discover Tour, follow on Facebook and Twitter.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Little Tikes Pioneers Technology-Enhanced Educational Toys

This month, Little Tikes launches the iTikes line of pre-school toys. Designed to be enjoyed on their own, iTikes also have extended capability through free iTikes Apps. iTikes products are suitable for kids three years old and up. The following iTikes products will debut this month:

  • The iTikes Canvas comes with a classic magnetic doodle board. With the App, kids can draw with the conductive pen, play interactive learning games, and press the shapes on the sides to magically stamp images. Compatible with iPad, iPad 2, and the New iPad.
  • The iTikes Piano teaches kids how to actually play and read music, with four songs built in that can be played in four modes: Freeplay, Stepper, Solo, and Playback. With the App, kids can learn pitch training, sight-reading, and music theory. Compatible with all Apple mobile digital devices.
  • The iTikes Map includes a smart-pen that recognizes images on the map. Through the device camera and Augmented Reality, the map virtually turns into a lifelike playground. Compatible with all iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, 4s and iPod touch 3 and 4.
  • The iTikes Microscope lets the child use a real lens-based microscope to examine and interact with 36 actual specimens. With the App, the specimens come to life with interactive 3D images and animated facts. Compatible with all Apple mobile digital devices.

All iTikes Apps can be downloaded for free on iTunes.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Little Tikes Workshop and Tool Sets Recall Extended to 1.7 Million

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with MGA’s Little Tikes, has expanded the voluntary recall it issued in August 2009 of Little Tikes Workshop and Tool Sets. Approximately 1.6 million of the sets were recalled in 2009, and the recall has now been extended to 1.7 million.

The recalled workshop and tool sets have oversized, plastic toy nails that can pose a choking hazard to young children. Little Tikes reported two additional incidents, occurring prior to the August 2009 recall, of children who choked when the toy nail became lodged in their throat. Both children were treated in a hospital and made a full recovery. The recalled products were sold nationwide from 1990 to 2004 for $25 to $100.

For model numbers, which may be found on some of the products, click here. Owners of the products should take the toy nails away from young children immediately and contact Little Tikes. For more information, visit at www.littletikes.com