Toys “R” Us Celebrates Skylanders Trap Team’s Arrival with Special Events, Early Opening, and More

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoToys “R” Us is celebrating the debut of the latest Skylanders game, Skylanders Trap Team, with special events, an early opening, exclusive figures, and more.

On Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5, the Toys “R” Us flagship store in New York City will host unique in-store Skylanders-themed experiences. Customers who visit Toys “R” Us Times Square from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on either day can be among the first to play the new game at dedicated kiosks throughout the store.

ToysRUsLogo copyThey can also receive complimentary giveaways while supplies last, as well as have the opportunity to be digitally teleported into a Skylanders Trap Team “Most Wanted” photo alongside some of the game’s villains, including Kaos and Chompy Mage.

When Skylanders Trap Team releases on October 5, all Toys “R” Us stores nationwide will open one hour earlier at 8 a.m., and select stores will open at midnight. A full list of stores opening at midnight can be found at toysrus.com/midnightskylanders. Meanwhile, the Skylanders villain Kaos will be taking over the Toys “R” Us Twitter channel (@Toysrus) on Saturday, October 4, from 11 to 11:50 p.m. to interact with fans and build anticipation for the midnight release. [Read more...]

Kids’ Usage of Smartphones and Tablets Outpaces Other Electronics, Says NPD

NPDGrouplogoAccording to Kids and CE: 2014, the latest report from The NPD Group, kids’ usage of smartphones and media tablets outpaces their usage of all other consumer electronic devices in U.S. households.

Seventy-one percent of households with a child ages 4 to 14 reported owning a smartphone this year, up from 55 percent two years ago. Furthermore, incidence of ownership of media tablets doubled between 2012 and this year, growing from 21 percent to 43 percent, respectively. Among those with kids in the household, 35 percent said that their child uses a smartphone, up from 21 percent two years ago. For media tablets, the figure was 31 percent, up from 13 percent two years ago.

As far as personal ownership of consumer electronic devices among children ages 4 to 14, portable devices were the only device group to exhibit steady increases in ownership among the children themselves. Incidence of personal ownership of cell phones—including traditional cell phones and smartphones—held steady at 19 percent this year. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Introduces New Learning Friends Preschool Brand Featuring Fun Animals

Jan27.LeapFrogLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has debuted the Learning Friends brand, an all-new collection of friendly characters for children ages 2 to 5. The collection features 11 fun animal school friends, which help children prepare for their first days of school through pretend play and fun dialogue.

Learning Friends products include the Play & Discover School Set, Adventure Bus, the Hippo & Panda Figure Set and Board Book, and the Owl and Parrot Figure Set and Board Book, as well as two free animated short adventures and four Learning Friends apps available for download. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Unveils New LeapPad 3 and LeapPad Ultra XDi Tablets

31500_PR07.jpgLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. is adding to its line of LeapPad tablets with LeapPad 3 and LeapPad Ultra XDi, each of which offers shatter-safe screens, kid-appropriate web through LeapSearch, and more.

The 5-inch LeapPad3 tablet includes 4 GB of memory, 2.0 MP front and back cameras and video recorders, and a built-in lithium ion rechargeable battery. The 7-inch LeapPad Ultra XDi is a Wi-Fi tablet featuring a high-resolution touch screen, 8 GB of memory, and access to hundreds of downloadable apps. It also includes front and back mega-pixel cameras and video recorders, a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and on-board MP3 player. [Read more...]

PUBLISHER’S VIEWPOINT: The Times They Are A-Changin’

Feb.17.toybook.jsametby Jonathan Samet

On the December 21 episode of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update segment, Seth Meyers delivered the following:

Toys ‘R’ Us announced this week that its stores will remain open for 87 straight hours leading up to Christmas. Not to be outdone, the Internet announced that it will be open all the time, always, forever.”

This was meant to be a joke to make us all laugh (and it was funny), but at the same time it needs to be taken seriously, as the Internet has certainly changed the way we conduct our lives. One key difference is that the time of day consumers can make purchases is no longer limited by “store hours.” With a simple click of the “enter” button, toys and other products can show up at our door—or go directly to the gift recipient—in as little as 48 hours, without having to leave the comfort of the couch or desk.

Therefore, no matter what part of the toy industry you participate in, you have to take this change seriously. We all have to continue to evaluate how to best reach and win over the end user 24 hours a day, 365 days a year—or as Seth Meyers put it, all the time, always, forever! I remember talking to many manufacturers, even within the last nine years since I became publisher here, who said that Internet sales were just a tiny fraction of their business and was of no concern. To quote Bob Dylan: “the times they are a-changin’,” and to survive and succeed, we all better be a-changin’ with them. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us 2013 Holiday Strategy Highlights Education, Tablets, and More

toysrusToys “R” Us Inc. will enhance product categories that have experienced sales growth over the past few years, such as education, tablets, and construction, as part of their 2013 holiday strategy.

This season, a dedicated Imaginarium shop will set in-store, and each store will have a whole aisle dedicated to new educational products, such as microscopes and telescopes from Edu Science and language-learning programs from Little Pim. Meanwhile, capitalizing on the growing construction category, the company will install a “Shop within a Store” in approximately 300 locations, showcasing construction brands such as Lego and Mega Bloks. The company will also feature approximately 70 Lego exclusives this holiday season, including Legends of Chima The Croc Swap Hideout and Star Wars Jedi Defender Class Cruiser.

After experiencing increases in sales of tablets and tablet accessories, Toys “R” Us will add easy-to-navigate 32-foot shops that will showcase 25 tablets that can be tested and engaged with by kids and parents. These shops are expected to set in the majority of Toys “R” Us locations by October. The company also has exclusive tablet products, such as the Kurio 10s by Techno Source and its recently announced tabeo e2, and will be launching a dedicated online tablet guide.

Finally, online shoppers can now place a “Buy Online, Pickup In Store,” order on toysrus.com and it will be ready for pickup in under an hour, and “Ship to Store” orders will now be available for pickup in five to 10 days. Later this fall, stores will be equipped with a secondary in-store pickup location, and “Ready for Pickup” emails that are sent to customers once their order is available will include a map of where the pickup location is positioned within the store.

Techno Source Introduces New Kurio Android Devices

Kurio Touch 4s

Kurio Touch 4s

Techno Source introduces a new line of Kurio Android devices for families with kids: Kurio Touch 4s, a 4-inch handheld; Kurio 7s, a 7-inch tablet; and Kurio 10s, a 10-inch tablet, all available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and at Toysrus.com. The next-generation, Wi-Fi enabled devices will feature the latest technology, including an Android 4.2 operating system (Jellybean), a more comprehensive Kurio proprietary suite of parental controls, and preloaded free family-friendly content. Kurio Touch 4s, Kurio 7s, and Kurio 10s are available now for pre-order exclusively at www.Toysrus.com/Kurio. 

Kurio has partnered with Disney to preload premium apps that feature kids’ favorite characters from Cars 2 to Disney Princess to The Avengers, and more. The Kurio tablets also feature an exclusive, complete pre-school through 6th grade learning system developed by award-winning American educator Mr. Nussbaum. [Read more...]