Author: Guest Contributor

Spotlight Your Success with Media Coverage

Use earned media to leverage end-of-year sales. by KIMBERLY MOSLEY, president, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association Your fourth quarter is right around the corner. You have a long to-do list this time of year; yet many American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) members will agree that getting free “advertising” deserves a place on your priority list. Earned media — valuable coverage from bloggers, newspapers, magazines, TV and radio shows, and on social media — is all about trust. Like paid advertising, media stories can build awareness about your store and products. In contrast to paid advertising, earned media implies an...

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The Rise of Esports and Competitive Entertainment Viewing

The Licensing Updates and Trends You Need to Know by REYNE RICE, co-president ITMA, global trend hunter/ToyTrends Let’s be honest: kids love esports. They are increasingly watching and engaging with esports brands, teams, and players. Add in the popularity of sports licensing for older fans — including tweens, teens, and adults — and it is no wonder that esports is one of the fastest-growing segments of the licensing industry. Although sports licensing has been around for more than 20 years, video gaming and competitive championship viewing via streaming channels, such as Twitch and YouTube, has raised esports’ worldwide visibility...

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A Thing or Two About Marketing to Kids

By David Becker, president and managing partner, Blue Plate Media Services To quote the very clever Farmers Insurance advertising creative, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” As a media planning and buying agency immersed in the kid space for the past 20 years, we’ve seen a thing or two, too. So, what have we seen lately? What have we learned from what we’ve seen? And how do our observations translate into what you can do to drive your brand forward in what is perceived to be a very confusing market? We’ve seen...

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SDCC: Toy Industry Experts Offer Insight on How Action Figures and Collectibles Are Made

At Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), toy industry experts will gather for Action Figure Insider‘s annual weekend panel. Toy Book / Pop Insider Senior Editor James Zahn will talk all things action figures and collectibles alongside other members of the industry in Behind the Plastic: Licensees, Licensors, and Buyers: How Your Favorite Action Figures and Collectibles Are Made. Hosted by Daniel Pickett of Action Figure Insider, panelists include Dolly Ahluwalia (vice president, licensing & business development, Funko), Steven Anne (category manager – toys, Walgreens), Jason Labowitz (president, Entertainment Earth), Jimmy Liu (manager, global brand marketing, Hot Wheels, Mattel), Jeremy Padawer (co-president,...

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The Toy Insider Hosts the Biggest Birthday Bash EVER at 10th Annual Sweet Suite Toy Showcase Event

Celebrating its 10th birthday this year, The Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite event is the BIGGEST night of play! On Wednesday, July 24, join in the fun at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City for a first look at the hottest new toys that will be flying off store shelves for back-to-school and holiday shopping. More than 85 top toy makers will be in the room, including industry giants like Hasbro, Mattel, Spin Master, Vtech, Leapfrog and LEGO, along with up-and-coming toy companies. Plus, check out some cool new items from brands like Nintendo, FYE and Arcade1Up that will be on...

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WIT Gears Up for 7th Annual Empowerment Day

WIT and Walmart team up to host the annual mentoring event by NANCY ZWIERS, co-chair, WIT Empowerment Day Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) will be holding its seventh annual Empowerment Day on Oct. 1. The day is dedicated to helping dozens of women each year give their dreams a chance. Many women spend a lot of time with children, as mothers, educators, or community leaders. Not surprisingly, that “together time” often inspires promising new product ideas. Who better to see what children would like than those who spend so much time with them? Yet, many of these...

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Hear the Latest on Toy Industry Tariffs at The Toy Association’s Annual Business Conference

Next week, hundreds of toy and youth entertainment industry executives will gather in Minneapolis for The Toy Association’s Annual Business Conference, where they will learn insights on the most important issues affecting their businesses, including critical updates about the threat of tariffs on toys imported from China. Registration is still open for those interested in learning how to grow their businesses and protect their brands in today’s challenging environment. Co-hosted by Target, the two-day conference, taking place June 18 to 19, will feature top industry, finance, and retail leaders including Target executives, The NPD Group, toy industry CEOs, CIT...

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