Sweet Suite 2016

COMMENTARY: Positive Outlook for 2016

After attending the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I feel confident that 2016 is going to be an even better year for the toy industry. While the show floor seemed quieter than in years past, the majority of companies I met with were upbeat and excited for holiday 2015 and the year ahead. A number of my meetings were cut short due to drop-ins by Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us buyers, which is always a good sign.

The industry is expected to be up approximately 6 percent this year, and I expect this success to carry over to 2016. I saw a higher than usual number of new lines, and interesting expansions of successful products, proving that manufacturers are riding high on the wings of rising sales, leaving them willing and able to take some risks. [Read more...]

Revell Releases Snap-Together Vehicle Models Inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Revell Millennium FalconRevell has released an assortment of snap-together, interactive model kits inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, aimed at ages 6 and up. The first four kits consist of replicas of the Millennium Falcon, Poe’s X-Wing Fighter, the Resistance X-Wing Fighter, and the First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter.

[Read more...]

The Lowdown on Doll Hunting: Doll Collecting in the Age of Social Media

This article first appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of The Toy Book.

MelissaHunterHeadShotDoll collecting may be as old as the industry itself, but the newest generation of collectors is armed with video cameras, vlogs, and thousands of YouTube subscribers. They call themselves doll hunters.

[Read more...]

TIA’s Fall Toy Preview to Remain at Dallas Market Center through 2018

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Executive Committee and Board have announced that Fall Toy Preview will stay in Dallas through 2018. The event is scheduled to take place on the following dates: September 27 to 29, 2016; September 26 to 28, 2017; and September 25 to 27, 2018.

[Read more...]

My Friend Cayla Now Available at U.S. Retailers

MyFriendCaylaMy Friend Cayla, from toy manufacturer Genesis, officially arrives at toy retailers in the U.S. this week. Both Wal-Mart and Target are among the confirmed retailers selling the talking doll, which had only been available outside the U.S.

[Read more...]

Stikbot, from Zing, Uses App to Create, Animate, and Share Stop-Motion Videos

Zing Toy StikbotZing has launched Stikbot, which features a poseable figure with suction cup hands and feet that adhere to almost any flat surface. A free mobile app available on iOS and Android, StikBot Studio, allows users to snap individual photos and stitch them together into a stop-motion film.

[Read more...]

Target Names John Mulligan to Chief Operating Officer, Cathy Smith to CFO

Resized large Target-LogoTarget Corporation has promoted John Mulligan to the role of executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective September 1. In the newly created position, Mulligan will assume oversight of stores, supply chain, and properties.

[Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Shoppers Offer Their Takes on Target’s Decision to Drop Gender-Specific Marketing

Resized large Target-LogoIn recent days, the toy industry has been abuzz with the news that Target will remove gender labels from its in-store marketing. That means for the retailer’s toy department, there will no longer be signage referring to certain toys as being girls’ and others as boys’, nor shelves swathed in pink or blue paper, which traditionally have had gender-specific connotations (pink for girls, blue for boys).

[Read more...]

Target to Remove Gender Labels from Its Toy Department

Target LogoTarget Corp. will remove gender labels from most of its children’s departments, following customer complaints about signs designating certain toys for girls.

[Read more...]

CDPQ Invests in Wooky Entertainment Inc.

Wooky Entertainment LogoCaisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has invested $6 million in Wooky Entertainment Inc., a Montreal company specializing in the creation of games and toys intended mainly for the preteen market. The investment is part of CDPQ’s strategy of supporting promising Quebec companies in their growth and international expansions.

[Read more...]