How to Best Work With Bloggers and Toy Industry Experts at Toy Fair

Fourth in a series of posts on preparing for the annual trade event.

by Julie Livingston, director, business development and accounts, Child’s Play Communications

In addition to the hoards of journalists from traditional media channels covering Toy Fair, exhibitors should also consider outreach to bloggers (specifically, mom bloggers who write product reviews) and toy industry experts who cover the annual event.  Both influential in their own right, the clout these individuals carry can be particularly valuable to small and mid-sized toy companies, driving brand awareness, social media prominence, and, ultimately, sales.

Getting your toy featured on the right product review blog is a marvelous way to generate grassroots buzz for your product. According to a recent study conducted by Child’s Play Communications and the NPD Group, 79 percent of all American moms with children under the age of 18 are active in social media. Of that number, about one in four have made purchasing decisions as a result of a social media recommendation; more than half (55 percent) said they made their purchase because of a recommendation from a personal review blog

To reach moms where they “live,” it is essential that toy and youth entertainment companies have a strong presence among mom bloggers. To clarify, a mom blogger is a mother, generally with young preschool-aged children, who blogs on a regular basis. Many of the mom bloggers we work with at Child’s Play turned to blogging as an outlet following earlier careers as journalists, writers, and marketers. Some were involved in other aspects of business, and many are moms looking to express themselves while connecting with other moms to share experiences and life lessons. These women are smart, dedicated, and energetic.

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The Toy Insider’s Hot 20 Toys for the Holidays

Have you seen The Toy Insider‘s Hot 20 toy picks for this holiday season? You can get a quick rundown by watching the video above, which shows some of the Hot 20 toys that are sure to be on kids’ wish lists this year.

For a full list of the Hot 20, click here.

The Toy Insider will also release an extended list of 110 toy recommendations for the holiday season in the November 17th issue of Woman’s Day, on newsstands November 1. Plus, even more recommendations will be posted on www.thetoyinsider.com.

For more information, visit www.thetoyinsider.com, follow @thetoyinsider on Twitter, or become a Fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/toyinsider. The holidays are approaching!

Hot Holiday Toys Announced!

Elmo and Harry Potter Toys Headline the List of Top Picks in Sixth Annual Holiday Toy Guide

The Toy Insider (www.thetoyinsider.com), an annual holiday toy guide, announced today its HOT 20 TOYS for the 2011 holiday season, including Scene It? Harry Potter: The Complete Cinematic Journey, Let’s Rock Elmo, Redakai Championship Tin and LeapPad. The HOT 20 is the kick-off section of the Toy Insider, which will run in full in the November 17, 2011 issue of Woman’s Day magazine, on newsstands November 1, 2011.

Now in its sixth year, the Toy Insider features expert toy and gift recommendations at all price points, making it easy for all gift givers to find the perfect holiday gift for every kid on their lists. All of the toys in the guide have been selected by a panel of toy trend experts, led by industry veterans Jonathan Samet, Publisher of The Toy Book, and Laurie Schacht, TOY INSIDER MOM and Contributing Toy Editor to Woman’s Day.  Laurie is also the leading spokesperson to consumers on toys and gifts, making regular appearances on the TODAY SHOW, ABC NEWS, GOOD DAY NEW YORK and many others. The panel also includes Jackie Breyer, Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, the leading trade publication in the toy industry, and Reyne Rice, a leading toy trend expert. The Toy Insider team spent the past year reviewing and evaluating all of the latest toys to identify the most compelling and hottest new products to help gift givers get an early start on their holiday shopping.

This year’s edition is the biggest one ever, filled with 110 toy recommendations from more than 80 different manufacturers.  The Toy Insider is an excellent resource and user-friendly guide for gift giving. It includes gift ideas for all ages and both genders, broken out by age group (0-2 years old, 3-5 years old, 6-8 years old and 9+ years old).  Each section features an in-depth description of the developmental needs and interests for that specific age group to assist any holiday shopper in finding the perfect gift.  A unique toy skill key, located on the HOT 20 page, provides a list of icons that are matched to each toy, offering even greater convenience with age-appropriate gift giving.

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The Toy Book Toy Report-10/5/09

To view this week’s Toy Report, please click here.