Author: Guest Contributor

#SaveToysRUs and the Importance of Brick & Mortar Retail

Bob Wann shares his perspective on the evolving retail landscape and its impact on the business of toys by BOB WANN, chairman of The Toy Association Board of Directors, chief play monster at PlayMonster LLC It’s clear the retail landscape is undergoing seismic, disruptive change. Through all the confusion and uncertainty that everyone in our industry has been feeling in recent months—made far worse by news of the past week—the possibility that there might be an avenue to save some 200 Toys “R” Us stores in the U.S. by combining those in a sale with the Canadian operations finds me and everyone...

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NPD’s Frédérique Tutt to Present Key Toy Industry Data at PlayCon

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Frédérique Tutt, The NPD Group’s global toys industry analyst, will dig into recent toy and youth product sales figures during a special session at PlayCon, taking place May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, Calif. “NPD’s data is crucial for toy companies who want to understand current trends and future opportunities for their businesses,” said Marian Bossard, The Toy Association’s executive vice president of global market events. “As we continue to add to our formidable speaker roster, the new PlayCon is a not-to-miss event for toy and play professionals.” Tutt has 18 years...

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Global Toy Industry Opportunities Amid Toys “R” Us Closure

by Frédérique Tutt, global industry analyst, toys, The NPD Group Last week’s news of Toys “R” Us shuttering its doors sent shockwaves throughout the toy industry, as noted by my colleague, Juli Lennett, in her latest blog. The global toy industry is bracing itself and trying to work out what this “reset” will mean and how it will navigate the upcoming months. And the question on everyone’s lips right now is who will benefit from Toys “R” Us’ demise; and if it happens, which retailers will see this disruption as an opportunity, country by country. In the U.S., Toys “R”...

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Helping the Toy Community Navigate the Toys “R” Us Bankruptcy and Liquidation

by STEVE PASIERB, president and CEO, The Toy Association As the leading trade association for the industry, The Toy Association has been working since news first surfaced last fall to help member companies navigate the Toys “R” Us (TRU) bankruptcy that has now turned to liquidation. These are difficult days for the toy community—but we’re here to help and better times are indeed ahead. Our primary focus remains on protecting the interests of manufacturing member companies and helping them successfully navigate both the bankruptcy process as well as the next 18 to 24 months as the industry, the marketplace, and...

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What Toys “R” Us Closing Means for the Toy Industry

Crunching the numbers, The NPD Group’s Juli Lennett analyzes what will likely happen to the toy industry when Toys ‟R” Us closes all its doors in the U.S. by JULI LENNETT, senior vice president, industry advisor, toys, The NPD Group The news last week that Toys ‟R” Us will be closing all its stores in the U.S. has been a blow to the toy industry. Employees at Toys ‟R” Us, many of whom we consider our friends, will lose their jobs, and children and parents will lose an experience they so loved, of going to a toy store that had everything...

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Facebook Signs On as PlayCon Keynote Presenter and Sponsor

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Facebook has signed on as a keynote presenter and sponsor at PlayCon, The Toy Association’s International Conference for Play Professionals, adding to the formidable group of experts set to take the stage. The event will take place May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, Calif. Eva Press, Facebook’s U.S. Group Lead, Consumer Packaged Goods & Healthcare, will delve into how traditional brands can best leverage digital marketing strategies to reach consumers. Facebook will also sponsor PlayCon’s Opening Night Party, taking place at SPiN, San Francisco’s iconic ping pong social club. With a new...

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Black Panther: The Newest Hit in the Toy Aisle

by JULI LENNETT, senior vice president, industry advisor, toys, The NPD Group On Sunday evening, I just happened to catch Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue of the Academy Awards. During those few minutes, he said a joke that likely struck a chord with every minority and woman watching. He said, “Black Panther and Wonder Woman were massive hits, which is almost a miracle because I remember a time when studio heads didn’t think a woman or a minority could open a superhero movie—and I remember that time because it was March of last year.” While it struck a chord with me, too, I put it out...

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Dale Dougherty, “Father” of the Maker Movement, to Present at PlayCon

by Laurie Chartorynsky, The Toy Association Looking for inspiration on how to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build your competitors? Dale Dougherty, “father” of the Maker Movement, creator of the world-renowned Maker Faire events, and a White House “Champion of Change” honoree, may be just the muse needed. Dougherty will be presenting his ideas at PlayCon, The Toy Association’s International Conference of Play Professionals, when the conference returns May 8 to 9 in San Francisco, CA. “As we look to provide the most cutting-edge information and trends to PlayCon attendees, we are excited to include Dale in the conference’s strong line...

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FCC Issues New Requirements for Electronic Toys

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a new labeling and compliance requirement for all radio frequency equipment devices, according to the Toy Association. The requirement states that all devices, both “intentional radiators” (such as R/C vehicle transmitters) and “unintentional radiators” (such as items the agency classifies as “Class B digital devices,” a term which encompasses most items used in the home containing a microprocessor, including toys), must have compliance declaration labels that also disclose to the consumer that the device may cause unwanted RF interference. Previously, only intentional radiators were required to include compliance and warning labels on products. As a result of the new requirement, the FCC no...

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Building a Brand: LEGO Reigns Supreme as the Industry’s Strongest Brand

by DAVID HAIGH, CEO, Brand Finance Every year, valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. Brands are first evaluated to determine their strength on a scale from 0 to 100 (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation) and given a corresponding letter grade up to AAA+. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand, which is projected into perpetuity to determine brand value. The world’s most valuable toy brands are ranked in the Brand...

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