Author: Maddie Michalik

ChizComm Appoints Kathleen Campisano to Global CMO, GM of Beacon Media Group; Dean Shoukas to VP of Digital Marketing

ChizComm Ltd. and Beacon Media Group appointed Kathleen Campisano to global chief marketing officer of ChizComm and general manager of Beacon Media Group, along with Dean Shoukas as vice president of digital marketing. Campisano brings more than 25 years of experience of driving multi-million dollar growth. She joins the company from Barnes and Noble, where she served as vice president of toys, games and specialty products. During her 10 years in retail Campisano and her team, not only launched a world class Educational Toys & Games Department, but also delivered aPop Culture Trend Shop to stores nationwide. Throughout her career,...

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TCG Toys to Introduce Rubik’s Brand Jigsaw Puzzles this Fall

TCG Toys is set to introduce a collection of Rubik’s brand jigsaw puzzles with trademarked, square die-cut pieces reminiscent of the Rubik’s Cube. The new Rubik’s collection will arrive at retail this fall, kicking off the brand’s 40th-anniversary celebration next year. TCG Toys’ new Rubik’s puzzles will be available in 200- and 300-piece offerings, each featuring digitally pixelated images created on an app that replicates mosaics made from stacked Rubik’s Cubes. The puzzles are made with TCG Toy’s patented Sure-Lox technology, ensuring precisely cut puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly every time. The 200-piece puzzles feature images such as the Statue of Liberty...

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Beau James Honored with ASTRA Lifetime Achievement Award

Beau James, a forty-year veteran of the toy industry, received the 2019 ASTRA Lifetime Achievement Award shortly before his passing, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today. “Beau was known far and wide as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the specialty toy business,” said Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA. “He knew this market inside out. He was an enthusiastic supporter of ASTRA’s role in helping specialty retailers prosper from the very earliest days when back when ASTRA was launched, and he continued his support in so many ways over many years. On behalf...

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Warner Bros., TT Games, LEGO Group Launch The Lego Movie 2 Videogame

Fans of The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part can now go on building adventures in Apocalypseburg and beyond. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The LEGO Group launched The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame, which features gameplay inspired by the movie. In the game, players can explore the desolated wasteland of Apocalypseburg, a city left in ruins after an alien invasion. Players can follow Emmet, Lucy, and their crew of companions as they go beyond their world to save their friends from the odd inhabitants of the faraway Systar System. The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame is available now for digital download on Nintendo...

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State of the Toy Industry Q&A: Richard Barry Talks Tru Kids Brands

Last year was a tumultuous time for the toy industry, and no story received more coverage than the spectacular collapse of Toys “R” Us in the U.S. and other countries. Following the bankruptcy and liquidation of the iconic toy retailer, rumblings and rumors on the future of the Toys “R” Us brand have been constant. Last fall’s launch of Geoffrey’s Toy Box in partnership with Kroger added fuel to the fire, followed by the recent launch of Tru Kids Brands. As part of The Toy Book‘s annual State of the Industry Q&A series in which industry leaders, retailers, and...

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Talkin’ Toys: KidStuff Public Relations Celebrates 25 Years

The Toy Book chats with Lisa Orman, president and founder of KidStuff PR, about the agency’s 25th anniversary, advice to PR professionals, and how the toy industry has evolved. Toy Book: Congratulations on KidStuff PR’s 25th anniversary this year! How did the company get its start? Lisa Orman: I had been a journalist for seven years (Dallas Morning News, Des Moines Register, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Crain’s Chicago Business) and a retail management marketing consultant in Chicago. I was traveling like mad in the consulting job and was newly married at a relatively late age, so my...

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

Industry leaders, retailers, and manufacturers weigh in on toy trends, changes, and more in The Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.  LAWRENCE ROSEN, Chairman, Cra-Z-Art The Activities category was up in the first half of 2018. To what do you attribute the success? The Activities/Arts & Crafts category did well due to the continuing popularity of slime and other hot themes, such as sequins, glitter, bath bombs, and more. With Cra-Z-Art being one of the leaders in the arts and crafts category and being known for finding hot trends, we already had popular items, such as Nickelodeon Slime,...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Jada Toys

Industry leaders, retailers, and manufacturers weigh in on toy trends, changes, and more in The Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.  DARRYL LI, Director or Marketing, Jada Toys How do you integrate pop culture licenses into your products? In an ongoing effort to stay ahead, Jada looked to bring its core competencies in die-cast to the figure category, which resulted in Hollywood Rides. Hollywood Rides captures the essence of Hollywood’s most iconic vehicles and delivers them as die-cast collectibles with the iconic Jada style. From authentic movie vehicles to inspired-by executions, Jada delivers fan-favorite franchises across pop culture....

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State of the Industry Q&A: Bonkers Toys

Industry leaders, retailers, and manufacturers weigh in on toy trends, changes, and more in The Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.  DEBORAH STALLINGS STUMM, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Bonkers Toys Some of the hottest toys this year were based on multiplatform games and YouTube content. Do you expect this trend to continue in 2019? Influencers, social media, and gaming apps are at the core of how kids and teens now consume entertainment. YouTube stars and social media influencers are the new celebrities and role models that drive sales and demand for merchandise. Finding ways to integrate...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Basic Fun!

Industry leaders, retailers, and manufacturers weigh in on toy trends, changes, and more in The Toy Book’s annual State of the Industry Q&A.  JAY FOREMAN, CEO, Basic Fun! Basic Fun! made several acquisitions in the past year, including K’NEX, Playhut, Geoworld, and more. Do you have plans for further acquisitions in the future? Yes, acquiring companies, brands, and toy IP is part of our DNA and growth model. We see the market continuing to strain in the below-$50-million-revenue range, and we believe we continue to offer a great opportunity for companies worrying about how to navigate the changing retail landscape....

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