China Toy Fair


NPD Group: Cyber Monday Week Toy Sales Are Strong, Up from Last Year

npd_group_logoRetail dollar sales for the toy category were up 23 percent for the Cyber Monday week compared to the same period last year. For the combined Black Friday and Cyber Monday weeks, The NPD Group reports that toy sales were up 12 percent on a dollar basis compared to the previous year. These sales trends include both online and brick and mortar channels.

The NPD Group noted that all 11 super categories it tracks in the toy sector experienced positive dollar sales growth during the period covering Black Friday and Cyber Monday weeks. Those with the highest growth—and their respective change in dollar sales compared with Black Friday and Cyber Monday weeks last year—include plush at 34 percent, youth electronics at 32 percent, arts and crafts at 26 percent, and outdoor and sports at 18 percent. These results reflect brick and mortar and online sales combined.

Tokidoki and Sanrio Collaborate on Holiday Collection

sanriotokidoki has partnered with Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for the pop icon Hello Kitty, on a limited edition tokidoki x Sanrio Characters holiday collection.

The new collection features bright and colorful co-branded products with favorite tokidoki and Sanrio characters, including Adios, Ciao Ciao, Stellina, Hello Kitty, Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, and more. The broad product assortment consists of charms, ornaments, women’s tees, bags, smartphone, tablet, and computer cases, plush, toys, and luggage.

The tokidoki x Sanrio Characters holiday collection is available at the tokidoki flagship store in Los Angeles, Calif., as well as Sanrio boutiques across the country, and www.tokidoki.it and www.sanrio.com.

Douglas Adds New Puppies, Wildlife Animals

DouglasWildAnimalsDouglas Co., a New Hampshire-based plush toy maker, has added a new size of breed to its puppy kennels, as well as a variety of new animals to its wildlife line. Eight new pups will be joining the dogs line, and 18 new wildlife animals will join the entourage, in time for the 2014 American International Toy Fair.

Each of the new pups is created from soft, faux fur in the exact likeness of its true-to-life counterparts. Douglas’ new wildlife animals include a fox, wolf, moose, cow, white tail deer, raccoon, and pig. The company is also adding larger wildlife animals that range in size from 11 inches to 24 inches in length. Douglas’ Wildlife Animals have authentic-looking details and bring attention to both current and endangered species.

The new Douglas products are expected to appear on store shelves by early March.

COMMENTARY: Disney’s Frozen Toys Will Melt Your Heart

The thing that I like most about Disney’s Frozen was that it played with the idea of a typical Disney Princess movie. It touches on the idea of falling in love and being engaged within hours of meeting each other and changes the way the audience thinks about typical princesses and princes. There is, of course, a curse that’s lifted by “an act of true love,” but this act comes from (spoiler alert!) one of sisterly love rather than romantic love. A lot of the plot is focuses on the two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa, and the animation is so spectacular as it brings this truly magical story to life.

To go along with this great movie, Mattel has introduced an entire line of toys that capture the lively, magical spirit of Frozen. With quirky characters (Olaf!), Frozen quickly becomes a new Disney favorite, and the toys are sure to have the same effect on any toy box.

MusicalDollsOne of my favorite toys from this line is the Disney Frozen Musical Magic Elsa and Anna Dolls. These dolls feature glittery and glamorous gowns, but I think also do a fantastic job of capturing the familial bonds that are so important to the movie’s story. When kids hold the dolls hands, the dolls hold each other’s hands, OR you create a circle of humans and dolls holding hands, Anna and Elsa magically light up and play enchanting music. [Read more...]

Douglas Co. Prepares for Easter 2014

douglasIn preparation for Easter fun, lifestyle gift creator, Douglas Co., has 10 new, silky-soft bunnies. Each bunny ranges in size from seven to 18 inches and in price.

The springtime line includes: Stella the Floppy Ivory Bunny, which has an antique flare because of her longer fur style; Lopsy the Tan Bunny, which is a boy bunny with a tan coat of fur; Penelope Lop the Tan Bunny and Basil the Tan Sitting Bunny, which look even better together; Laurel the Floppy Pink Bunny, which has pretty pink short fur; Pixie the Floppy Lavender Bunny, which is a whimsical lavender-colored bunny with polka dot ear lining; and Clover the Pink Bunny, which is the tinniest and pinkest bunny of all.

Douglas Co. has also introduced new Puffs to their Easter line. These 8-inch tall animals with plush heads, arms, and legs and a powder puff center. Brooke Puff the Yellow Duck, Skippy Puff the Cream Lamb, Dolly Puff the Pink Bunny, and Duffy Puff the Green Frog are all available.

The new bunnies and new Puffs will be on retail shelves in the U.S., Canada, and Europe in January. Douglas products are sold at specialty gift and toy stores.

Aurora Reveals Easter- and Spring-Themed Plush Products

AuroraAlthough Halloween just passed and we’re only heading toward the holiday season, sometimes its fun to think ahead. To get you through the dreary winter with thoughts of spring, Aurora World Inc. is offering more than 180 Easter- and spring-themed plush products highlighted by new designs and materials, extensions of lines, and extensive programs for its retail partners.

Featured products include the Lopsie Wopsie Bunny and Sweet & Softer collections, as well as Miyoni Unlikely Friends, an animal pairing for one of Aurora’s popular lines. Aurora and Hasbro have teamed up again to expand the Raggedy Ann doll collection with a new Gardener edition.

 

Bunnies By the Bay Introduces the Red Thread Collection

wobblyBunnies By The Bay, from Kids Preferred, has introduced The Red Thread Collection. This new division of the Bunnies By The Bay brand has introduced items for all ages.

Red Thread is bringing more hearts and minds together through a new collection of soft, sweet toys for both little ones and adults who are truly kids at heart. They recognize that everyone longs to be connected to someone who loves them and believes that every heart is connected by an invisible red thread, which sparked the inspiration for this new collection. Products introduced by the collection are The Wobbly Friends, Little Big Friends, Wee Friends, Scraggly Friends, Welcome to the Jungle, and Be Elfish, Not Selfish.

In support and celebration of this new collection, Bunnies By The Bay is also bringing together several organizations that support orphans and abandoned children in the U.S and worldwide, and giving a percentage of proceeds to global charities and nonprofits. Half the Sky is an organization that offers the love and concern of family for thousands of orphaned children in China who have lost theirs. Worldwide Orphans works to transform the lives of orphaned children to help them become healthy, independent, productive members of their communities and the world.

Gund, TCG, and Ganz Nab Worldwide Licensing Rights to Grumpy Cat Toys

Grumpy Cat, the famously pessimistic, yet hilarious Internet sensation with over 1 million Facebook fans, has signed new deals for branded toys.

Gund, a division of Enesco LLC in the U.S., has acquired worldwide licensing rights to manufacture and distribute Grumpy Cat plush. Gund’s Grumpy Cat was launched in July and is currently being sold to all upstairs channels and specialty markets. The plush recreates the title feline’s famous frowning face. Delivery to stores will begin November 1.

Meanwhile, TCG and Ganz of Canada were also granted worldwide licensing rights to manufacture, distribute, and market a line of consumer products for Grumpy Cat and her brother Pokey. TCG will create puzzles and novelty plush toys for the mass market, and Ganz will produce gift items and plush. TCG and Ganz products are expected to hit retail shelves in December.

The Wiggles Toys Debuting Exclusively at Toys “R” Us

Wiggles

A new toy line from Wicked Cool Toys based on the children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, will be debuting exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores and online at Toysrus.com. The release coincides with the group’s North American “Taking Off!” concert tour.

The toy line includes plush, cars, and musical instruments. The Wiggles—Anthony, Emma, Lachy, and Simon—appear in the Ready, Steady Wiggle! TV series on Sprout as well as CDs and DVDs, and have performed live in concerts across the globe. The toys are aimed at Wiggles fans ages 2 to 6.

The musical instruments, all of which play Wiggles songs, include the Wiggles Wiggly Microphone, the six-piece Wiggles Drum Set, the Wiggles Musical Guitar, and the Wiggles Musical Keyboard. Meanwhile, Wiggles fans can go for a ride with the Wiggly Steering Wheel, Big Red Car Keys, and the Bump ‘N Go Big Red Car, which also play music.

The line also includes 10-inch Wiggly Friends Plush and the Wiggles 4-Pack Figure Set, which includes Simon, Anthony, Emma, and Lachy.

Wide Range of Disney’s Planes Toys Ready to Take Off

PlanesToyRangeCoinciding with the release of Disney’s Planes in theaters, My Baby Excels and Thinkway Toys have launched an interactive range of high-quality toys and plush of the movie characters including Dusty, Ripslinger, and El Chupacabra. All toys are suitable for kids ages 4 and up.

U-Command Super Charged Dusty: This deluxe infrared remote-controlled Dusty has interactive features including Dusty’s original film voice and phrases, sound effects, and moving eyes and mouth. Kids can control Dusty with joysticks or by pressing the wireless remote to make him talk, move, and turn in more than 1,000 action combinations.

Dusty Bubbles Plane: Thanks to the bubble attachment on his wings, bubbles come out when Dusty is launched into the air. The package includes bubble solution and dipping trays.

Rubber Band Sky Gliders: A combination slingshot sky glider and rubber band launcher. Kids can race their favorite plane among Dusty, Bravo, and Ripslinger, each made from light, soft, harmless materials.

Plush Toys: Kids can cuddle up to their favorite Planes character with 10-inch plush figures of Dusty and Skipper.

The interactive Disney’s Planes toy range is available across leading stores and e-commerce websites.