Author: James Zahn

Cyber Group Studios Expands UK Distribution for ‘Sadie Sparks,’ Gigantosaurus’

Cyber Group Studios‘ new animated series, Sadie Sparks, and its preschool series, Gigantosaurus, will hit broadcast channels in the UK for the first time thanks to a new deal with Sony Pictures Television. Both series will air on the free-to-air POP channel and its preschool companion, Tiny POP. Both shows will debut in the UK next spring. “We see this collaboration with Sony Pictures Television as a pivotal step in our journey, which will enable us to grow the reach and audiences of both properties,” says Raphaelle Mathieu, senior vice president of sales, acquisitions, and new media at Cyber Group...

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Nintendo Switch, Madden NFL Sales Soar Despite Overall Gaming Decline

It’s Madden season, but beyond the annual update to the long-running NFL title, the video game industry is in a slump as we approach the end of the current console cycle. The bright spots, according to the NPD Group’s August video game sales report, are largely led by Nintendo, with Switch sales and software soaring despite the overall decline. Overall sales for the entire video game category including hardware, software, and accessories was $666 million, an 18% decline versus last year. In terms of overall software sales, this August’s $257 million was a 22% decrease from the same period last year,...

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GameStop Could Close Up To 200 Stores Amid 14.3% Q2 Sales Decrease

GameStop may be running out of credits. Just two months after announcing sweeping changes to reinvent itself with new store concepts and experiences, the Texas-based retailer reported a dismal second quarter, which saw overall sales decline by 14.3%, with same-store sales dipping an average of 11.6%. New hardware sales dropped 41.1%, while new software and accessories dropped 5.3% and 9.3% respectively. Pre-owned and digital sales also posted double-digit decreases. The one bright spot: toys and collectibles. The category increased by 21.2% overall with strong sales in both domestic and international stores. GameStop was quick to update its strategic plan...

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National Toy Hall of Fame Reveals 2019 Finalists

The annual battle for toy supremacy has begun. The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame has revealed the 12 iconic toys that are in the running to take their place in the hallowed halls of the museum this November. Among the finalists are a few that have been up for the honor before, such as My Little Pony, Matchbox cars, and Masters of the Universe. This year they’ll face off against the Care Bears, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Magic the Gathering, the NERF Blaster, Risk, and two devices on completely opposite ends of the spectrum: the coloring book and...

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Distroller Teams Up with Miracle Babies for NICU Giving Day

Distroller USA is partnering with Miracle Babies in honor of NICU Awareness Month. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) helps critically ill newborns in the early stages of life. San Diego-based Miracle Babies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting families with their hospitalized newborns through financial assistance and supportive services. On Sept. 27, it will celebrate NICU Giving Day with its 3rd Annual Reunion for local NICU graduates and their families. From 9-11 a.m., families will gather at the experience-based Distroller Wərld boutique in Fashion Valley where they will be given the opportunity to adopt their own Neonate Baby,...

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Kid Trax Rolls Out Full Fleet of Ride-On Toys for the Holidays

Dorel Industries’ Kid Trax is rolling out a fresh lineup of ride-on toys for fall — many of which made their debut at the Toy Insider‘s Sweet Suite event this summer. The new lineup includes products for kids ages 18 months to 7 years old in a wide array of styles, such as original creations to those based on licensed vehicles and properties. Kid Trax’s popular Rideamals category expands with three new 6-volt Rideamals and one new 12-volt version, which will be available in limited quantities this holiday season. The Rideamals Josie Play & Ride Unicorn is the new centerpiece of...

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2020 TOTY Awards Nominations Close Sept. 19

They’re often considered to be the “Oscars” of the toy industry, and on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, the next Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will be distributed at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. Time is running out to get in the running, and The Toy Association is reminding companies to submit their nominations for the 2020 TOTY Awards by midnight (Eastern) on Thursday, Sept. 19. Finalists will be revealed on Nov. 11, at which time voting will open to retailers, media, The Toy Association members, and consumers through Jan. 5. 2020 Toy of the Year Categories: Action Figure of the Year Creative Toy of the...

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Retail Imports Surge Ahead of New Tariffs; Toymakers Can Apply for Exclusion

According to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates, retail imports at the nation’s major container ports surged to “unusually high numbers” just before the latest wave of tariffs hit goods from China beginning Sept. 1. While toys were not included in this wave, the next 15% tariff goes into effect on Dec. 15 and is expected to cover nearly all toys. The NRF expects another surge to precede the next tax. “Retailers are still trying to minimize the impact of the trade war on consumers by bringing in as...

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‘Masha and the Bear’ Heads to Theaters in the UK, Ireland

Beginning Sept. 20, Animaccord‘s Masha and the Bear is headed to theaters in the U.K. and Ireland. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of little Masha and her kind and caring friend, the Bear, Animaccord in collaboration with Generation Media and Vue Entertainment will present Masha and the Bear on the Big Screen. The special presentation includes the eight most recent episodes from Masha and the Bear’s third season, including A Ghost story, A Christmas Carol, Fishy Story, Monkey Business, God Save the Queen, All the World’s a Stage, Around the World in One Day, and Who Am I? “This collaboration is...

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