Author: Guest Contributor

Making Your Outdoor Toy Look Good Indoors

By Phil Albritton, Power Kid Design & Development Through the years, I have been blessed to develop hundreds of outdoor toy products and packages. From the Original Funnoodle to bounce houses, waterslides, and sprinklers, the goal is that each product offers a new way to have safe fun outside. Outdoor products also offer several unique challenges, not the least of which is the packaging art. More than half of toy purchase decisions are made while in the store, and this is especially true with seasonal outdoor products that are often purchased with a particular event in mind and often...

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The Hunger Games Guide to Selling Toys and Games on Amazon

By Patrick Foster, writer and ecommerce expert, Ecommerce Tips It’s a familiar scenario: Living in a dystopian hellscape with a segmented population controlled by a diabolical dictatorship. You find yourself volunteering to take your young sister’s place in a massive contest with everything on the line. Drop-shipped into an enclosed custom-built landscape, you must outwit the best of the best and become the sole survivor. Now, imagine that instead of being drop-shipped into a terrifying wilderness, you’re drop-shipping products to customers from the Amazon jungle. And, instead of fighting for your life, you’re selling toys and games for your...

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Retail Imports to Hit Record Numbers this Summer Despite Tariff Debate

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to set record numbers this summer and fall even as the debate over trade and tariffs continues in Washington, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “Consumers are buying more and that means retailers are importing more,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Imports continue to be the primary source of high-quality, mass-produced necessities at affordable prices and will be for the foreseeable future. If tariffs are imposed on consumer goods, that...

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The Evolution of Women in Gaming: WIT Preps for Gen Con with New Panel Presentation

by DEBBIE DUNN, managing director, The Brand Guild Gaming in all forms is at the epicenter of pop culture today, and it opened up new worlds to creators, developers, and enthusiasts alike. With the number of female gamers on the rise and involved on both sides of the table, coupled with the shift in culture that helped kick-start positive growth, what exactly does this mean for the industry? For the first time ever, WIT (Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment) will host a panel at Gen Con on The Evolution of Women in Gaming. Known as “the best four days...

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Toy Association’s Releases Report on STEM/STEAM Learning and Play

The Toy Association released a new report, “Decoding STEM/STEAM,” to help tackle the challenges, stigmas, and myths related to STEM/STEAM learning. Assembled and reviewed by a committee of experts in STEAM fields, the report aims to shed light on the meaning and history of STEM/STEAM, eradicate common myths and misconceptions, define the role of toys and play in STEM and STEAM education, and help parents better guide their children’s learning. The report explores how role models, stereotypes, and parental attitudes and anxieties about math and other STEM topics can influence a child’s desire and motivation to learn. It also dives...

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Eurazeo Looking Into Asmodee Sale

The private equity firm that owns Asmodee Group, Eurazeo, is exploring a sale of the company for $1.79 billion, according to ICv2. Asmodee Group owns Asmodee North America and its subsidiaries, as well as numerous game studios and distribution businesses in Europe. ICv2 reports that, “Eurazeo acquired 83 percent of Asmodee in 2013 in a deal that valued the company at €143 million, and set the company on an acquisition tear that has rolled up numerous distributors, game publishers, and game rights across two continents.  Now it’s apparently time to cash out, with investment bankers reportedly hired to run the...

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U.S. Baby Product Sales Grow Three Percent

U.S. baby products purchasing rebounded, growing three percent compared to last year, according to TABS Analytics’ 2018 Baby Products Study. According to the annual baby products study, an increase in purchasing from the lower income brackets (under $50,000) was a part of the reason for stabilization. The study says that purchasing also grew for older households, particularly those ages 65 to 74. While purchase incidence is higher for households with young children than households without young children, households without young children comprise about 58 percent of the buyers overall and 50 percent of any given baby products segment. Purchase incidence...

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PlayCon to Feature Sugarfina Co-Founder Rosie O’Neill

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Rosie O’Neill, co-founder and co-CEO of gourmet candy boutique Sugarfina, will share insight into her approach to retail and the confections industry during a “TED-Talk”-like session at PlayCon, May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, Calif. “Rosie O’Neill’s fresh and exciting perspective on entrepreneurism and industry disruption is sure to get the creative juices flowing by all who attend PlayCon,” said Marian Bossard, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of global market events. “We are looking forward to hearing from our impressive speaker roster as the level of expertise and diverse knowledge at PlayCon...

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2018 Kids Time Toy & Baby Trade Fair in Kielce, Poland Breaks All Past Records

by Lena Hedo and Reyne Rice, co-presidents, International Toy Trade Magazine Association (ITMA) When the Kids Time Kielce Fair launched in 2009, it began as a two-day consumer show, with trade guests invited for only one day. Today, Kids Time Kielce has grown to be a significant and not-to-be-missed B2B European trade show for toys, games, baby products, furniture, and textiles. Boasting attendance from 22 different countries, exhibitors and trade guests travel from across all of Europe, Russia, Asia, and the U.S. In 2018, fair visitors increased to 7,515, and square footage hit a record 19,000 square meters (204,514...

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PlayCon to Feature Jefferies Analyst Stephanie Wissink as Session Presenter

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Bringing fresh insight into the world of toys, play, and youth entertainment, Stephanie Wissink, a managing director and senior research analyst at Jefferies, will lead one of several “TED Talk”-like sessions at the new PlayCon, taking place May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, Calif. Wissink, who specializes in trend-oriented consumer products, will focus on her areas of expertise: demographics, distribution evolution, and demand dynamics. Her discussion will help conference attendees tap into the latest global trends as they consider developing new product lines and new avenues for distribution. “We’re excited to add Stephanie...

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