Author: Maddie Michalik

MGA Entertainment Delivers 65,000 Masks, Protective Shields to U.S. Hospitals

In just seven days since its launch, MGA Entertainment (MGAE)’s Operation Pac-Man initiative delivered medical supplies to 40 hospitals nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic. The parent company of L.O.L. Surprise! and Little Tikes started the non-profit organization Operation Pac-Man last week to manufacture and distribute medical supplies to facilities in dire need of them. The company delivered more than 65,000 surgical, N95, and KN95 masks and face shields to hospitals in the U.S. The organization is also supporting the 250-bed, makeshift hospital in the Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition, throughout the past week, the designers and engineers at MGAE and Little...

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LEGO, Nintendo Reveal Super Mario Expansion Sets

Mario is jumping out of Mushroom Kingdom and into the real world via LEGO bricks. With this Super Mario collaboration between LEGO and Nintendo, kids can collect virtual coins, run and jump across obstacles, and avoid the baddies like Bowser all with their very own LEGO Mario figure. Two new expansion sets were revealed today along with preorder information for The LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course. With LEGO Super Mario, fans can build, play, and collect coins just like they would in the video games. They are fully in charge of creating the exact LEGO level course...

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Premium Bandai USA Releases Limited-Edition Figures

Premium Bandai USA, the newest division of Bandai Collectibles, just debuted 20 exclusive collectibles to North American fans for the first time. Until now, many of these rare and limited-edition releases were only available to the Japanese market. The exclusive online catalog has expanded to feature Bandai Spirits’ Tamashii Nations’ Dragon Ball S.H.Figuarts action figure line (pictured up top) and Bandai Hobby’s catalog of Gundam model kits (Gunpla). S.H.Figuarts are 5.5-inch figures that are designed to mimic the full range of motion of the human body. Gunpla is the common name for plastic models of mobile suits, mobile armor,...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: LEGO

LEGO Group’s Executive Vice President, Americas, Skip Kodak spoke with the Toy Book about strategies to innovate in the construction category, the importance of licensed products, and more. How does LEGO come up with new and innovative takes on existing lines to keep them fresh and exciting for consumers? Our designers are always looking for ways to reinvent existing LEGO elements to become completely new expressions of creative play for any audience. We look for gaps in the market — either audience gaps or product gaps — to inspire LEGO solutions that can fill a true need. We sometimes do so with digital...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Wonder Works

Christine S. Osborne, owner and founder of Wonder Works, shared multiple predictions about where toy retail is headed in the Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A. What are your predictions for the state of toy retail this year? Those who recognize the need to change and have the ability to take risks will thrive. This involves families we serve, vendors we partner with, and other toy stores we collaborate with. Consumerism, parenting, education, and tech are all changing — and will continue to. The way we live (minimalizing), the number of children per household (increasing from 1.88 in 2010 to...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: PlayMonster

Scott Flynn, vice president of sales and marketing at PlayMonster, addressed the importance of mergers and acquisitions in the Toy Book‘s annual State of the Industry Q&A. Do you anticipate the trend of mergers and acquisitions will continue this year? What are the benefits? With the industry still feeling the consolidation effects of the Toys “R” Us bankruptcy on top of last year being a softer year than expected, we feel a number of companies will be evaluating all options, including acquisition. This would mean that acquisitions would become more prolific than in the past. What are your predictions for the...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: MGA Entertainment

The Toy Book spoke with Isaac Larian, founder and CEO of MGA Entertainment, about several key topics for the year, including shifting business strategies, trends for the year, sustainability in toys, and more. What are your predictions for the state of toy retail this year? I believe the industry will decline another 6%-8% this year. This is due to the lack of focus on toys and innovations by the top toy companies. MGA Entertainment (MGAE) will grow high, double-digits because of our innovative toys taking market share — but not enough to close the decline gap. What trends will have the...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Diverse Marketing

Steve Starobinsky, chief marketing officer of Diverse Marketing and founder of Diverse Insights and KID@HEART, caught up with the Toy Book about several trends for the year, including sustainability, mergers and acquisitions, and more. How have trends in consumer spending affected toy sales? The Amazon effect on retailers created a consumer byproduct that no one is talking about: time. The consumer has more time because their dog food, toilet paper, and everything else gets delivered to their door. They have more time for hobbies and fun things — like shopping. Shopping has evolved from a necessity to an amusement. It was...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Cra-Z-Art

In the Toy Book‘s annual State of the Industry Q&A, Cra-Z-Art’s Chairman Lawrence Rosen discussed how the company shifted strategies after the loss of Toys “R” Us and its product plans for the year. How did Cra-Z-Art successfully cope with the loss of Toys “R” Us? There is no doubt that Toys “R” Us has been missed since it closed its doors in the early part of 2018. After all, the retailer had garnered approximately a 14% share of the toy marketplace and allowed us to showcase a wide array of our toy catalog. It certainly made the retail environment...

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