Author: Maddie Michalik

State of the Industry Q&A: The Toy Association

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.  STEVE PASIERB, President & CEO, The Toy Association What are the biggest challenges facing the toy industry as we head into 2019, and how is The Toy Association addressing them? Preventing tariffs on toy products from China and a threatened fourth tranche is The Toy Association’s top legislative priority, among many, this year. Our staff continues to aggressively communicate the detrimental effects tariffs would have on the toy industry in meetings on Capitol Hill and to the...

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State of the Industry Q&A: MGA Entertainment

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.  ISAAC LARIAN, Founder and CEO, MGA Entertainment What is one of the biggest challenges toy manufacturers face, and how is MGA Entertainment addressing it? One of the biggest challenges toy manufacturers face in the industry is the mass production of counterfeit toys and other toy companies that knock off the hottest toys on the market. It’s also an easy way out for some toy companies and so-called “inventors” to make a copy of an original idea instead...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Jazwares

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. LAURA ZEBERSKY, Chief Commercial Officer, Jazwares Spending in video games increased 24 percent in the third quarter. How does this affect the toy industry? The increased popularity of video games is amazing for the toy industry—it’s bringing new consumers into the toy aisle. These players are fully committed to the games they are playing, and spend countless hours honing their skill set, exploring endless opportunities of customization, participating in storytelling, and diving into multi-player interaction. Players are...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Wonder Works

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.  CHRISTINE OSBORNE, Owner, Wonder Works What is one of the biggest challenges specialty toy retailers face, and how is Wonder Works addressing it? Staying relevant is one of the important challenges specialty toy retailers are facing in 2019. Discovering the experiences and products customers want and expect and tailoring one’s business to offer them are key to developing this year’s business plan. Reviewing our product mix for the age categories we provide for in our communities is...

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State of the Industry Q&A: eBay

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.  MICHAEL MOSSER, General Manager, Lifestyle, Media and Toys, eBay eBay launched Toytopia, a new section of the site specifically for toys, and its first-ever toy catalog. Were these initiatives successful? What are your plans to expand in 2019? eBay distinctly stands apart from other retailers with a toy selection that only our online marketplace can deliver—the latest, trending toys, the sold-out and impossible-to-find toys, and the collectible, nostalgic, and super special toys. eBay brought this unique shopping...

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State of the Industry Q&A: PlayMonster

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.  SCOTT FLYNN, Vice President Sales & Marketing (Chief Fun Monster), PlayMonster PlayMonster made several acquisitions in the past year, including Kid O Toys, Interplay, and Utter Nonsense. Do you have plans for further acquisitions at some point in the future? Acquisitions will continue to be a major part of PlayMonster’s growth strategy. Our objective continues to be to acquire brands or product lines that extend or complement our existing product portfolio. We will also consider new categories...

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State of the Industry Q&A: FAO Schwarz

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.  DAVID CONN, CEO, ThreeSixty Brands How is FAO Schwarz different from a typical specialty toy store? The big difference is the experience of shopping at FAO Schwarz. From a two-and-a-half-story clocktower and a giant rocket ship to toy soldiers that greet you at the door and, of course, the dance-on piano, a variety of exclusive, customized product-driven experiences make FAO a very unique toy store. In today’s world, children have such exposure to a variety of media...

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State of the Industry Q&A: VTech Electronics North America

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.  ANDY KEIMACH, President, VTech Electronics North America VTech created licensed Go! Go! Smart Wheels for the first time ever last year. Are there any plans to expand the partnership with Disney or any other licensors? We couldn’t be happier with the success of the licensed Go! Go! Smart Wheels line, and we’re looking forward to continuing the momentum with the expansion of the line this year. In addition, we’re partnering with Netflix to develop a new animated...

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State of the Industry Q&A: WowWee

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.  DAVIN SUFER, Chief Technical Officer, WowWee How does WowWee come up with new and innovative takes on existing lines, such as Fingerlings, to keep them fresh and exciting for consumers? We have a very playful and inventive team. We are quite literally always riffing on new ideas, things we see trending online, and what we see our kids doing. While that’s going on, our development team is constantly trying out new sensors, mechanisms, and design methods. When...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Learning Express 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.  SHARON DIMINICO, Founder and CEO, Learning Express How did demise of Toys “R” Us challenge you to rethink the way you did business last holiday season? We are examining our product mix and adding new vendors to our line where it makes sense. Our stores average 3,000 square feet, so it’s impossible to carry large items or a vendor’s complete line of games, for instance. Many of our stores have extended their hours. I know that Toys...

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