Toy Industry Association (TIA) Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIAAt its annual general meeting held on Monday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of three new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in February of 2017. Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA Board were Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales at Tomy International; Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Bruce Raiffe, president of Gund. [Read more...]

Christine Kelly to Head Toy and Game Initiatives for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing Division

ChristineKellyNational Geographic has named Christine Kelly as its director of licensing, toys, and games for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing division. In this new role, she has been tasked with National Geographic’s toy business—both licensing and strategic retail partnerships. She will oversee marketing, retail strategy and product development, including new franchises. [Read more...]

American Girl Partners with Fashion Angels on Arts and Crafts Licensing Deal

AmericanGirlOn Friday, American Girl announced a licensing agreement with Fashion Angels, a designer of tween girls’ lifestyle and activity products, to create trend-right and fashion-focused arts and crafts products. The new line will be available this fall at mass retailers nationwide and will include activity kits, fashion sketchbooks, and Do-It-Yourself craft kits for girls to create accessories for themselves and their American Girl dolls.

Mattel and Google Re-Imagining Iconic View-Master Toy

ViewMaster,GoogleAt the North American International Toy Fair in New York today, Mattel Inc. unveiled a collaboration with Google that gives the iconic View-Master toy a 21st century twist. With the new View-Master that works with Google Cardboard, Mattel is developing an immersive digital experience for kids.

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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...]

Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends Animated Content to Debut Following Successful Toy Lines

BatmanUnlimited1Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Animation have created a wave of new content inspired by toy lines from Mattel and Fisher-Price. Batman Unlimited, based on Mattel’s new toy line, will launch later this year with new made-for-video movies and shorts that will extend the play experience for kids. DC Superfriends, inspired by the Fisher-Price Imaginext toy line, will offer content as a series of shorts. Both lines will debut in the spring. [Read more...]

Barbie Makes Superhero Debut at Spielwarenmesse 2015

Barbie(TM) Takes to the Skies With a Daring Stunt at World's Biggest Toy FairFor the first time in Mattel‘s 56-year history, Barbie pulled out a cape and mask to transform into a modern day superhero. During a stunt at Spielwarenmesse 2015 in Nuremberg, Barbie demonstrated new superpowers and took to the skies as part of a new superhero persona. [Read more...]

Bryan Stockton Resigns as Chairman and CEO of Mattel, Christopher Sinclair Named Chairman and Interim CEO

logo_Mattel logoChristopher A. Sinclair has been named the chairman and interim CEO of Mattel, effective immediately. The company also announced that Bryan G. Stockton has resigned as Mattel’s chairman and CEO and resigned from the board of directors. [Read more...]

Mattel Makes Changes to Executive Leadership Team

logo_Mattel logoMattel Inc. has made key changes to its executive leadership team, effective immediately. Richard Dickson and Tim Kilpin will assume expanded responsibilities as president, chief brands officer, and president, chief commercial officer, respectively. Both will report to Mattel Chairman and CEO, Bryan G. Stockton. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Sibling Rivalries Exist in the Toy World, Too

FrozenproductsA real-life sibling rivalry exists between Disney’s Frozen Elsa and Anna products—with one sister clearly winning. According to a Wall Street Journal article published last month, Disney marketing executives expected the sisters to be equals in popularity. As such, they were caught off-guard by the overwhelming preference for Elsa, who outsells Anna in dolls, toys, costumes, and other items. Disney, in response, makes sure to keep Elsa items in-stock at stores: For example, about 10 percent more Elsa dolls are stocked than Anna ones at Wal-Mart, according to the same Wall Street Journal article.

To help combat the Frozen sibling rivalry, companies are selling dolls with both sisters, and sales data from last holiday season shows that girls want to play with dolls or role-play with costumes featuring both characters. In turn, companies such as Jakks Pacific, as well as retailers like Toys “R” Us, are making and selling products, respectively, that involve the two sisters. [Read more...]