Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will bring forward its holiday layaway program by two weeks, in what has been viewed as a move to get ahead of year-end demand for toys, and to generate sales of upcoming Star Wars toys. As reported by Reuters, Anne Marie Kehoe, the vice president of toys for Wal-Mart, said in a briefing that shoppers can utilize the program starting August 28, two weeks earlier than last year.
According to “Interactive Gaming Toys,” the latest report from The NPD Group, 70 percent of parents in the U.S. are familiar with Interactive Gaming Toys (IGT), also known as Toys to Life. As reported by Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group, 40 percent state that they own at least one franchise, and 41 percent of those who own an IGT indicate they own more than one franchise.
In the most recent video game analysis from The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, overall sales across hardware, new physical software, and accessories in April grew by 3 percent over April of last year, due to the strength of new physical software sales, offsetting losses from hardware and accessories. April hardware sales decreased by 4 percent, due to the 55 percent decline in sales of seventh-generation console hardware. After 18 months on the market for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, cumulative hardware sales for those consoles are more than 50 percent higher than the combined sales of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the same point in their life cycles.
Recently, the NPD Group reported U.S. games industry sales for the period of March 1 to April 4. According to Liam Callahan, director, games industry analyst, hardware unit sales decreased by 9 percent, and with average prices down 13 percent across all platforms, dollar sales decreased by 21 percent.
Since its release in November 2013, Disney Frozen has made nearly $1.3 billion globally at the box office and won the Academy Award for best animated feature. The largest grossing animated film ever, Frozen also inspired a robust line of consumer products, and was the No. 1 best-selling toy brand among girls in 2014, according to the NPD Group.
Marvel Rolls Out Extensive Toy, Kids Product Program for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spider-Man, and More
On Wednesday, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) revealed its 2015 plans for Marvel and its key franchises, including The Avengers and Spider-Man. This year will see the roll-out of one of DCP’s biggest licensing programs to date, which would revolve around Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the launch of new animated content, and innovative marketing initiatives.