Author: Madeleine Buckley

Playmates Toys Launches New TMNT Line, Loyalty Program

Playmates Toys, a longtime licensee for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), developed a newly designed product line based on Nickelodeon’s new animated series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which premiered on September 17. The new line will be available at major retailers starting October 1, and includes an assortment of detailed action figures, vehicles, a play set, and role play toys. In addition to the new products, Playmates Toys reintroduces a Sewer Squad Pizza Points Loyalty Program, a version of which first debuted in the late ’80s, where fans can collect and redeem pizza points for exclusive toys and more. A unique,...

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Mattel to Host Global Day of Play

Mattel will host its first-ever Global Day of Play, a companywide community service initiative, which will take place in 26 cities globally on dates throughout September. More than 1,000 Mattel employees across offices in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America will participate, directly supporting 27 non-profit organizations and impacting more than 5,500 children around the world. Starting today at the company’s El Segundo headquarters, Mattel employees will build play houses for families supported by Habitat for Humanity. In partnership with Save the Children, volunteers will also assemble hundreds of “play kits”—backpacks full of toys, games and activities—which...

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Toy Association Joins Coalition to Oppose New Tariffs on Chinese Goods

The presidential administration imposed tariffs at a rate of 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, according to The Toy Association. The new tariffs will be in effect on September 24. Finished toys are not included in the tariffs, but the list does include children’s furniture, arts and crafts items, juvenile products, children’s hats, and more. Starting January 1, the tariffs will increase to 25 percent. The administration also said it would immediately pursue tariffs on approximately $267 billion additional imports if China retaliates. The Toy Association has spoken out against these tariffs, and joined the coalition “Americans...

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TOTY Nominations Due Thursday

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards is this Thursday, September 20 at 5 p.m. Companies may nominate toys, games, and licensed properties for one of 17 categories including Creative Toy of the Year, Collectible of the Year, and Tech Toy of the Year. TOTY finalists will be revealed the week of November 12. At that time, voting will open for retailers, media, Toy Association members, and consumers at ToyAwards.org through January 6, 2019. One winner in each category, a “People’s Choice” award (based solely on consumer votes), and the overall “Toy of the Year” winner will...

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Lakeshore Learning Launches New Collection

Lakeshore launched its Gifts for Growing Minds product line, featuring more than 200 items, in which 20 are new for this holiday season. The full catalogue features items for kids ages 0 to 11, all designed to boost skills such as problem solving and emotional development. All of the new, exclusive products were designed by a team of former teaches. New sets include: Royal Kingdom Adventure Castle—This play set’s walls open to reveal castle chambers where a wizard counsels the royal couple, and knights and guards defend the kingdom. Features working drawbridge and dungeon door. Take-Along Train Station—The set includes a...

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Far Out Toys Announces New Marketing Team and Strategic Vision

Far Out Toys appointed a new marketing team, which will be instrumental in the company’s global expansion in North America, Europe, and other Asian markets. Toy industry veterans Simon Waldron and Sarah Baskin will head the expansion campaign as senior vice president of marketing, and vice president of marketing communications, respectively. Waldron has led new brand launches, brand turnarounds, and restages, and has built new revenue streams for established businesses. His work with Mattel included global franchise expansion, new IP development, and the launch of the Team Hot Wheels campaign. Baskin helped propel brands at Hasbro, such as GI...

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August Retail Sales Increase 5 Percent Over Last Year

August retail sales increased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted over July and increased 5 percent year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants. The three-month moving average was also up 4.9 percent over the same period a year ago. The August results build on improvement seen in July, which was up 0.4 percent monthly from June and 4.9 percent...

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VTech Expands Go! Go! Smart Wheels Line

VTech released new Go! Go! Smart Wheels play sets with new themes. The Go! Go! Smart Wheels line teaches kids their first words, letters, and more. Using SmartPoint technology, the play sets will respond and engage kids with lights, sounds, and music when they place a SmartPoint vehicle on the designated locations on the set. The four new products are: Go! Go! Smart Wheels Launch & Chase Police Tower: Kids can chase the Getaway Car around the three track levels, launch down the ramp, or slide the switch to raise the road blocks and slow the Getaway Car down. Po...

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Mattel Elects Dr. Judy Olian to Board of Directors

Mattel elected Dr. Judy Olian, the ninth president of Quinnipiac University and former dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, to the company’s Board of Directors. Mattel’s Board of Directors now includes 10 directors, five of whom have joined within the last five months. Dr. Olian served as dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management for more than twelve years, simultaneously holding the John E. Anderson Chair in Management, before being named the ninth President of Quinnipiac University this year. During her time at UCLA, Anderson expanded the school’s Board of Advisors and oversaw the launch of...

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