Author: Maddie Michalik

The Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite @ Home Draws Hundreds of Attendees

More than 600 members of the press and influencers logged into the daytime portion of the Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite @ Home virtual event yesterday, including The TODAY Show, The Ellen Show, NBC News, CBS News, ABC News Radio, BuzzFeed, Yahoo Finance, Associated Press, Blooomberg, Parents magazine, Good Housekeeping, and so many more. The customized show floor featured booths from more than 55 toy companies, a main stage, a press lounge, and more, and opportunities to meet with brand representatives live over video chat. The event garnered more than 30 million impressions (and counting!) on social media throughout the day. The Toy Book will host...

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Bonkers Toys Launches Trinity and Beyond, Braille Skateboarding Toys

Fans of Braille Skateboarding and Trinity and Beyond don’t have to wait much longer to get their hands on toys based on the YouTube channels. Bonkers Toys‘ newest lineup will be available at major retailers next month. In partnership with Semaphore Licensing, the toys include buildable figures with interchangeable charms, dolls with hair play, and jewelry surprise boxes. Trinity and Beyond has more than 2.6 billion lifetime views on YouTube. “Bonkers Toys immediately recognized the star power of Trinity, Madison, and the entire Beyond family. The connection with their viewers is undeniable, and Bonkers is launching true-to-brand toys that will immediately...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020

The Toy Book spoke with specialty retailers and manufacturers about the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. Click below to read their perspectives on trends, the evolving industry, and new products for 2020. Claude Alary Sales Director Wrebbit Puzzles Mark Carson President & Co-Founder Fat Brain Toys, Omaha, NE Ann Kienzle Owner *play, Chicago, IL Gwen Ottenberg Owner, Imagine That Toys, Wichita, KS Nick Tarzia Owner, Awesome Toys and Gifts, Westport & Stamford, CT Bob Wann CEO (Chief PlayMonster) PlayMonster Rick Woldenberg CEO Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind Annie...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020: SCHLEICH

Annie Laurie Zomermaand, Chief Commercial Officer of Schleich, discusses the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. The Toy Book: How have you done business differently since stay-at-home orders were put into place across most of the U.S.? Annie Laurie Zomermaand: We have put a heavier focus on those brick-and-mortar business partners that are still open, such as our farm channels. We’ve put a strong emphasis on our e-commerce business partners, and also have taken the opportunity to grow our own online store. TB: What do you think the short- and...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020: LEARNING RESOURCES, EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS, HAND2MIND

Rick Woldenberg, CEO of Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind, discusses the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. The Toy Book: How have you done business differently since stay-at-home orders were put into place across most of the U.S.? Rick Woldenberg: The widespread closure of schools and childcare centers created a crisis for families all over the world. We saw school closures in China and believed they were coming to the U.S., so our family of educational toy and hands-on curriculum companies — Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind —...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020: PLAYMONSTER

Bob Wann, CEO (Chief PlayMonster), PlayMonster, discusses the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. The Toy Book: How have you done business differently since stay-at-home orders were put into place across most of the U.S.? Bob Wann: We converted our entire office-based team to a virtual environment within 48 hours of establishing a work-from-home protocol. Our team adapted immediately and has been functioning incredibly efficiently. Checking in daily on video conferencing is one way we keep the team spirit going, so even though employees are physically separated, we all still...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020: AWESOME TOYS & GIFTS, WESTPORT, CT

Nick Tarzia, Owner, Awesome Toys and Gifts, Westport and Stamford, CT, discusses the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. The Toy Book: How have you done business differently since stay-at-home orders were put into place across most of the U.S.? Nick Tarzia: I have advertised our website and telephone number offering curbside pick-up, free same-day delivery, and more. TB: What do you think the short- and long-term impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic on the toy industry will be? NT: The short-term impact for independent retailers is a rough road...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020: IMAGINE THAT TOYS, WICHITA, KS

Gwen Ottenberg, Owner or Imagine That Toys, Wichita, KS, discusses the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. The Toy Book: How have you done business differently since stay-at-home orders were put into place across most of the U.S.? Gwen Ottenberg: We have been able to remain “open” the entire time. For me, it was simply a shift in focus from my typical storefront to online and curbside options. We utilize many online channels, including Kibo, which fulfills for manufacturer’s direct websites. People were looking to websites like Ceaco/Gamewright that make...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020: *PLAY, CHICAGO, IL

Ann Kienzle, Owner of *play, Chicago, IL, discusses the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. The Toy Book: How have you done business differently since stay-at-home orders were put into place across most of the U.S.? Ann Kienzle: Like so many businesses, we’ve had to pivot. Initially, we created custom Easter boxes for shipping so that we wouldn’t lose the sales bump we get from the holiday. Then, we set up an appointment calendar online for personal shopping. We also have been selling via FaceTime, social media, and email. We’ve...

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CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020: FAT BRAIN TOYS

Mark Carson, President & Co-Founder, Fat Brain Toys, Omaha, NE, discusses the latest trends, industry happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. The Toy Book: How have you done business differently since stay-at-home orders were put into place across most of the U.S.? Mark Carson: Because we do business across a number of different sales channels, we’ve had to orchestrate numerous changes to ensure that we’re still staying relevant to our customers and maintaining a safe environment for our employees. Most of those changes involved shifting resources to other areas of the company while...

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