Macy’s BalloonFest Shows Off Giant Inflated Versions of Popular Toys

BalloonLineupOn Saturday, kids product luminaries such as Eruptor from Activision’s Skylanders, Mattel’s Thomas the Tank Engine, the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, and Pokemon International’s Pikachu crossed paths—though not literally—at Macy’s BalloonFest in Queens, N.Y. The event, which took place at Citi Field, featured a test flight of the newest giant character balloons that will premiere at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A total of six new character balloons took flight for the first time, directed by Macy’s flight management team and handled by hundreds of volunteers. The newest balloons include Thomas the Tank Engine, the largest and heaviest balloon ever to be featured in the parade; the Weinstein Company’s Paddington, which at 77.5 feet is the longest balloon to date; and Eruptor, which features a paint job requiring more than 40 gallons of fluorescent paint and five barrels of glitter.

Skylanders’ Eruptor Will Take Flight Over NYC in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Activision‘s Skylanders franchise, best-known for bringing physical toys to life, will take flight in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time. Fan-favorite Skylanders character Eruptor will join the collection of balloons at the parade. Eruptor hails from deep in the underground of a floating volcanic island that laughed his entire civilization to the surface after a massive eruption. He is known for being quite the hot head—steaming, fuming, and (literally) erupting over almost anything.

Eruptor

the final sketch of the Eruptor balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

To re-create Eruptor’s smoldering physique, artists used more than 40 gallons of florescent paint and five barrels of glitter. You and your little Skylanders fan can catch the broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in all time zones on NBC. [Read more...]

Macy’s Holiday Arcade to Offer Toys from Build-A-Bear, Madame Alexander, Gund, and More

MacysLogoMacy’s will be introducing the Holiday Arcade, in-store gifting shops offering customers an eclectic assortment of distinctive and playful options for their holiday shopping lists. These shops will launch at six Macy’s locations between late October and mid-November:

The Holiday Arcade at five locations including Macy’s South Coast Plaza, Macy’s Union Square, Macy’s State Street, Macy’s Herald Square, and Macy’s Center City will be home to exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop shop-in-shops. Visitors will have the opportunity to customize Build-A-Bear stuffed animals, as well as licensed products such as figures from Disney’s Frozen and Marvel’s superheroes. [Read more...]

GoldieBlox Joins the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

GoldieBlox FloatGoldieBlox will bring its design and engineering toys to life at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The toymaker’s new float, titled The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine, will transform GoldieBlox toys into larger-than-life form in an elaborate, creative, and brightly colored machine.

“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an iconic celebration and we’re thrilled to join the line-up this November with the first-ever float that is specifically designed to showcase the principles of engineering,” said Debbie Sterling, the founder and CEO of the company. “Macy’s Parade floats are the ultimate engineering spectacle, and relatable to kids everywhere. We can’t wait!”

The engineers and craftspeople at Macy’s Parade Studio worked closely with the GoldieBlox team to design and build the float as three distinct stages. It will use kid power to spin, pull, and rotate a myriad of elements from giant pinwheels and parachutes to jogging wheels.

Exclusive SpongeBob SquarePants Plush Available at Macy’s this Holiday Season

MacysSpongeBobSpongeBob SquarePants will serve as Macy’s 2014 Holiday Ambassador, according to Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group and Nickelodeon. Kicking off this November, an exclusive SpongeBob talking plush with sound chip and Patrick and Plankton finger puppets will be available exclusively in more than 600 full line Macy’s stores and at macys.com, as part of the Macy’s collectible plush program that runs through December 31.

The holiday plush has become a Macy’s tradition and a coveted collector’s item. The SpongeBob SquarePants plush features SpongeBob’s laugh, as well as quotes such as, “Did you know you were my best friend?” and “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

Disney Celebrates Valentine’s Day With Mickey and Minnie Collection

Feb10.ValentinesA new line of Disney Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse products are rolling out just in time for Valentine’s Day. The collection includes fashion, accessories, and sweets in a number of stores.

The “So Sweet” collection is available at Target, featuring chocolate-filled mugs and chocolate covered pretzels. Children’s Mickey and Minnie graphic tees and accessories will be available at Macy’s, Children’s Place, Target, and the Disney Store. Women’s Mickey and Minnie tees are available from Delia’s, Wet Seal, and the Disney Store. Hallmark also has Valentine’s Day cards featuring the couple along with the “itty bitty” plush collection.

Report: Target Has the Best Social Media Presence Among Retailers

According to a new survey by L.E.K. Consulting, as reported by Internet Retailer, Target Corp. has the best social media presence among retailers. Target took the top spot with 8.5 percent, followed by Amazon.com (8 percent), Walmart (5.4 percent), Best Buy (4 percent), and Macy’s (4 percent). L.E.K surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers, but did not say when the survey took place or define what constituted a strong social media presence.

[Read more...]

Report: International Travelers to the U.S. Spend Approximately $1,172 on Shopping

Mandala Research has announced the results of an international visitors study underwritten by Macy’s and Shop America Alliance and conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce/Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (DOC).

The study polled 2,500 inbound travelers to the U.S., who had visited within the past 12 months, on their itineraries and shopping plans. The visitors included those from Australia, Brazil, China, India, and Korea. On average, the respondents spent $3,517 on their trip to the U.S., and one-third of that (approximately $1,172) was spent on shopping.

According to results, 56 percent said shopping was the key reason for the trip or it helped them choose among destinations. In addition, these travelers purchased more than the twice the amount they had planned to purchase while shopping in the U.S.

Apparel was the top purchase for the visitors. While toys were not on the top 10 list of items planned to purchase, a quarter of all travelers said they purchased toys on their most recent trip to the U.S.

For more results, visit www.MandalaResearch.com or www.ShopAmericaTours.com.

Sorcerer’s Apprentice Game Hits Both Coasts

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, in anticipation of its live-action comedy The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, has partnered with Inwindow Outdoor to bring an interactive game to both coasts. Using infrared and 3-D cameras to detect precise gestures, users step into the role of apprentice as they blast energy balls and control mops a la Disney’s animated film Fantasia.

The kiosks, located in The Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif., and the Trump Building and Macy’s in New York City, run through the film’s release on July 14. Users who participate can have their apprenticeship picture uploaded to Facebook, as part of the promotion.

Smurfs to be 2010 Macy’s Holiday Ambassadors

More than 50 years after the iconic blue images of the Smurfs were introduced into American pop culture, the classic characters are being reintroduced with a feature film set to be released by Sony Pictures on July 29, 2011. The film combines a childhood classic remembered fondly by many with a plethora of current favorites, ranging from Neil Patrick Harris and Glee’s Jayma Mays to pop star Katy Perry. As the odd-yet-intriguing combination brings the Smurfs back into the spotlight, the characters will also become Macy’s 2010 Holiday Ambassadors.

The Smurfs will adorn Macy’s throughout the holiday season, from windows and countertops to a giant balloon and an exclusive plush collection. The talking plush collection will be dressed in holiday gear. It will be available in mid-October and retail for $14.95. Marketing support will also include half a million custom designed shopping bags to be distributed at the flagship location at Herald Square in New York City. In addition to a 47-foot helium balloon Smurf and Smurf float that will return to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a cold-air inflatable Smurf will adorn the marquee at the entrance to Macy’s Herald Square.

Past characters to be featured in the Macy’s Holiday Ambassador tradition include Babar the elephant, Kermit the Frog, Scooby Doo, Snoopy, Shrek, and Mickey Mouse.