As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), speakers at this year’s Fall Toy Preview include Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire investor from the hit TV show, Shark Tank. He will deliver his address at the Women in Toys Empowerment Day, a mentoring and networking event for female business owners taking place on October 5, the day before Fall Toy Preview officially opens its doors.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, Warner Bros. is launching a comprehensive campaign that includes toys and games from top licensees. Among them is McDonald’s, which will feature limited-edition The Wizard of Oz toys in Happy Meals at more than 14,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada from September 20 to October 10.
The Happy Meal program features six adorable stylized figures based on popular characters in the film. Kids can receive Dorothy, Scarecrow, Wicked Witch of the West, Tin Man, Glinda the Good Witch, or Cowardly Lion. In addition, each figure comes with a Yellow Brick Road base to stand on, and all the bases can connect to recreate The Wizard of Oz friends walking down the Yellow Brick Road.
Toy and game partners supporting the milestone anniversary include Jazwares, Mattel, and Adora Dolls, the latter of which will be introducing special-edition Wizard of Oz Toddlers. Meanwhile, commemorative collections of toys are expected to be part of “The Wizard of Oz’ 75th Anniversary Celebration,” scheduled to debut on QVC on September 26 at 9 p.m.
Chorion has announced a range of new products featuring Spot as he celebrates his 30th anniversary this year.
In the U.S., BBC America will release Spot Goes to School in August and Spot’s Magical Christmas in October. Chorion has also signed a new licensing deal with Zoobies who will make a Spot product to be featured on QVC for “Christmas in July.” Master toy licensee Kids Preferred is expanding its Spot product line to include puzzles, backpacks, bath toys, and wooden toys, which will be released in 2011.
In the UK, master toy licensee, Rainbow Designs will introduce an expanded range of products including puzzles and wooden toys for 2011. Additionally, an exclusive birthday party is planned for August 5 in London for parents and children.
Additional book titles for Spot from Warne include a 30th anniversary special edition of Where’s Spot?, Spot’s Birthday Balloon, and Spot’s Little Library. Touch and feel books, a book and plush set, and an 18-button sound book are planned for the holiday season.
Online retailers such as Buy.com and Ebates.com have reported an increase in Black Friday sales compared to the shopping event in 2008. Buy.com reported that this year’s Black Friday was its best ever, surpassing its Black Friday record set in 2008. The online retailer’s third-party marketplace section saw a 120 percent increase in orders compared to last year.