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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Spin Master Reports Second Quarter Financial Results

spin masterSpin Master Corp. has announced its financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30. Subsequent to the end of the second quarter, the company completed its initial public offering of approximately 12.2 million subordinate voting shares for total gross proceeds of approximately C$220 million. The comparative financial results reflect Spin Master as a private company, prepared to conform to the company’s go-forward financial reporting standards as a public company.

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COMMENTARY: Oversized Toys Are the New Big Thing

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Leonardo, from Jakks Pacific

There’s the old saying, “Go big or stay home.” Well, at the recent Sweet Suite event that was part of this year’s Blogger Bash, a lot of toy companies gathered in New York City to show off their wares, and many of them brought big toys. And by big, I mean that if placed side-by-side the average action figure, doll, ride-on, etc., these toys easily dwarfed the competition.

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Netflix Research Finds Dads Feel Powerful Connection from Bonding with Kids Over Cartoons

NETFLIX, INC. LOGOAccording to new research from Netflix released just in time for Father’s Day, 85 percent of dads around the world have already or plan to introduce their kids to the cartoons they grew up watching. For 75 percent of those polled, it lets them feel like a kid again, while for 76 percent, it helps them teach life lessons. The research finds dads take seriously the role of keeping the pop culture references from their childhood alive: Roughly two-thirds of them, or 66 percent, are turning to internet TV services such as Netflix for this new family tradition.

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LeapFrog Unveils LeapFrog Imagicard, a Digital and Physical Learning Experience for Kids, and New LeapPad Platinum

LeapFrog Imagicard Product ImageLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. today unveiled the new LeapFrog Imagicard, a digital and physical learning experience for kids that brings characters to life with the snap of a picture from more than 30 included interactive collectible cards. With LeapFrog Imagicard, LeapFrog digital learning games are enhanced by physical interactive cards featuring licensed characters mixed with educational content, extending play beyond traditional tablet gaming.

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CJ Products Expands TMNT Licensing Agreement with Pillow Pets Plush

May27.TMNTPillowPetCJ Products has created licensed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pillow Pets plush products, which will be available this summer on pillowpets.com and select retail stores nationwide. [Read more...]

Q&A with Jay Foreman, President and CEO, The Bridge Direct

resized,TheBridge.JayForemanThe Toy Book (TTB): Which licenses do you anticipate will be key drivers in 2015?

Jay Foreman (JF): I think everyone would agree on Marvel’s The Avengers, Frozen, Cinderella, Minions, and Star Wars, along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; however, there are a few nontraditional brands emerging from toy companies, like Shopkins, that should be considered.
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Oldies but Goodies: Some of the Biggest Toy Brands of Yesteryear Are Making a Comeback

DebbieDunnHeadshotby Debbie Dunn, Licensing, Marketing, Promotions, & Mom Expert, GennComm LLC

What’s old is new again, and vintage brands are expected to be the biggest hits in the toy aisle for this year. Many of these brands have reinvented themselves in modern ways with digital entertainment content to reach today’s savvy kid consumer, yet they still offer the same trusted attributes that parents–and even grandparents–knew and loved. [Read more...]

Jazwares Debuts New Collection of Blueprints Paper Craft Featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barbie, and More

jazwaresFollowing the successful introduction of Minecraft paper craft last year, Jazwares has expanded its popular Blueprints paper craft line. The new collections include kids’ favorite characters and scenes, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Barbie, SpongeBob SquarePants, and more. [Read more...]

Mega Bloks Joins Forces with Top Licenses Including Power Rangers, Terminator, and Star Trek

MEGA+Branks+logoMega Brands has entered new partnerships with top entertainment brands to expand its Mega Bloks construction portfolio. Mega Bloks will add new highly detailed sets and movie-inspired lines for fans of all ages. [Read more...]