For the first quarter, Mattel Inc. reported worldwide net sales up 5 percent in constant currency, as well as reported worldwide net sales down 2 percent, reflecting the impact from changes in currency exchange rates. On a regional basis, first quarter gross sales increased 9 percent in constant currency, and 8 percent as reported in the North American region, which consists of the U.S., Canada, and American Girl. For the International region, gross sales increased 2 percent in constant currency, and decreased 14 percent as reported.
Highlights for Children and Mega Brands Inc. have entered a multi-year licensing partnership to develop a new line of puzzles. The collaboration will feature Highlights’ Hidden Pictures illustrations and other classic photos on Mega Brands’ line of engaging puzzles for kids.
“We are so excited to join forces with Highlights in bringing their characters, puzzles, graphic content, and stories into the world of puzzle building,” said Wendy Martin, director of puzzles and games for Mega Brands. “Children of all ages will embrace the Highlights line of easy-to-challenging puzzle products.”
The FunPlay HideAway play sets, from PowerA, enable fans to both store and play with their favorite Skylanders. The line is going to expand to include Dr. Krankcase’s Lair.
Meanwhile, the Skylanders-themed construction sets from Mega Brands will soon include the Cut Throat Carnival set. [Read more...]
China-based Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co. Ltd. has created Auldey Toys North America, which will launch its new headquarters in Boston, Mass. The Auldey Toys subsidiary comes as the company prepares for 2015, which will feature a focus on its established boys, R/C, and vehicles lines.
Auldey Toys will also launch its first North American preschool animation program, Super Wings, which will air next year.
Auldey Toys North America has appointed Adrian Roche as the company president. Joining Auldey Toys after eight years as vice president of brands at Mega Brands, and previously serving as vice president at The First Years (Tomy), Roche brings significant experience in the boys and preschool categories.
Auldey Toys North America has retained ChizComm Ltd. as its marketing agency.
Last Thursday, Mattel Inc. reported third quarter financial results, including net income of $331.8 million for the quarter, or $0.97 per share. This includes a negative impact of $0.05 per share from Mega Brands integration costs and a tax benefit of $0.04 per share. This compares to last year’s third quarter net income of $422.8 million, or $1.21 per share, which included a tax benefit of $0.05 per share.
For the quarter, net sales were $2.02 billion, down 8 percent compared to $2.21 billion last year, while on a regional basis, third quarter gross sales decreased 7 percent in the North American region. For the international region, gross sales decreased 7 percent, including an unfavorable impact of currency exchange rates of 1 percentage point. [Read more...]
In case you didn’t know, this past Tuesday was the national day of Canada! Here at The Toy Book, we’re lucky enough to work with tons of awesome Canadian toy companies, and to show both our support and Canada pride, here are some of our favorite toys from great Canadian toy manufacturers:
From WowWee, we always know to expect something innovative and hi-tech, such as last year’s 32-inch-long Roboraptor. In keeping up with the robo-trend, WowWee recently rolled out MiP, a unique, dual-wheel balancing interactive robot that utilizes GestureSense technology. With MiP, kids can control the robot through a Bluetooth link to any smart device using a free app. There are fun games to play with MiP, and kids can even make it dance to songs from their iTunes library. [Read more...]
Mega Brands has partnered with Shriners Hospital for Children in Canada and pledged half a million dollars to the hospital’s Exceptional Care for Exceptional Kids campaign. In addition, Mega Brands recently launched a custom-made limited edition Mega Bloks First Builders Block Buddy fundraising toy, Loveable Lucas, at the June 6 International Shriners Day celebration event in Ottawa.
Mega Brands will also provide Mega Bloks toys and decorations for the new hospital’s Child Life playroom. The construction of the children’s hospital began last spring and will be complete next year.
Mega Brands Inc. has donated $72,000 to Autism Speaks Canada in support of Autism Awareness Month. The donation was presented at the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Montreal, which helps fund autism treatment, education, research, and advocacy throughout the country. Mega Brands was also the local presenting sponsor of the event.
The money was raised during April when Mega Brands pledged to donate one dollar for every Mega Bloks toy sold by Toys “R” Us Canada both in stores and online. This generated over $20,000 in proceeds. Philanthropic donors also contributed $29,000 to the pledge amount.
Mega Brands employees raised an additional $10,000 in donations through bake sales and auctions, an amount that was matched by Mattel.
Mega Brands was honored this past Thursday with the Prix Hommage from the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Saint-Laurent-Mont-Royal. The tribute award was given at the 30th Alpha Gala, which celebrates outstanding performances by companies in St-Laurent, Cartierville, and Mont-Royal.
Recently, Mega Brands repatriated a large part of its production from China to Montreal, thanks to technological advances. This has enabled the company to accelerate its own growth, while following principles of sustainable development.
Mega Brands’ St-Laurent plant, now the world’s first toy manufacturing facility to be recognized as environmentally responsible, produces six times as many toys as before with the same amount of energy. It also emits 500 times less greenhouse gas emissions than plants in China for the same level of production.