HoliDAY of Play 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Bratz Announces Exclusives for Target, Wal-Mart

MGA Entertainment Bratz ReturnsThe Bratz line of fashion dolls, from MGA Entertainment (MGAE), is arriving at retailers with new products, apparel, and accessories. In addition to the four classic Bratz doll characters, Target guests can customize their own doll through the Create-A-Bratz experience on target.com.

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TIA Announces Business-Savvy Line-Up of Speakers for Fall Toy Preview

Fall Toy PreviewAs 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.

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