Author: Maddie Michalik

State of the Industry Q&A: Moose 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.  PAUL SOLOMON, Co-CEO, Moose Toys Several Moose Toys brands, such as Shopkins and Treasure X, are or will become licensed brands. How does this affect the way consumers interact with your brands? Licensing helps build brand affinity and longevity. You know that your product is resonating with kids when they want to incorporate it into their bedding, apparel, and other accessories. It’s exciting for both us and our consumers to have successful licensing programs across multiple categories,...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Barnes & Noble

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.  KATHLEEN CAMPISANO, Vice President, Toys & Games, Barnes & Noble What trends will have the biggest impact on the toy industry in 2019 and beyond? The toy industry can certainly expect to see more innovative and creative ways of interpreting and delivering products that offer a “surprise inside.” With the success of franchises, such as Spin Master’s Hatchimals, MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise!, and Funko’s Mystery Minis, it’s evident that combining the element of surprise with a unique...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Spin Master

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.  BENOIT GADBOIS, Global President and COO, Spin Master Spin Master made several acquisitions in the past two years, including GUND in 2018. Do you have plans for further acquisitions in the future? One of Spin Master’s key growth strategies is to leverage our global platform through strategic acquisitions. We have an excellent track record of acquiring and integrating companies into our business, with close to 20 acquisitions to date, including Meccano, Cardinal, Swimways, and most recently, GUND....

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State of the Industry Q&A: Mattel

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 TOTZKE, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer, Mattel Many retailers stepped up their offerings for the 2018 holiday season. How many of these changes will stick? Will consumers have as many options for shopping this holiday season? The 2018 holiday season was going to be a learning opportunity for everyone in our industry. It certainly was, and frankly it continues. The toy consumer is so important and valuable from a demographic and traffic standpoint, so retailers are...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Target

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.  KELLY CARUSO, Senior Vice President Merchandising, Hardlines, Target Corp. How did the demise of Toys “R” Us challenge you to rethink the way you did business last holiday season? Last year, as we were planning for the holiday season, we knew the retail environment was going to look a lot different, especially within the toy category. While Target was already on an uptick in the hearts and minds of guests—seeing 17 consecutive quarters of growth in toys—we knew...

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State of the Industry Q&A: Amazon

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.  ANNE CARRIHILL, Category Leader, Amazon Toys & Games How will you continue to evolve your toy department this year? Our mission is to build a world-class shopping experience that offers customers a vast selection, value, and convenience. We seek to provide the world’s largest selection of toys and games from manufacturers and brands of all sizes—from established brands to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Today’s customers seek toys and games from classic play patterns, such as the Disney...

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The Toy Association Awards 2019 TOTY Winners

Needless to say, there was no surprise at The Toy Association’s 19th annual Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). The Association announced the winners for the coveted awards and inducted three industry veterans into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame at its event at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City, with proceeds from the awards program and event supporting The Toy Foundation. The big winners of the night were MGA Entertainment, which won the distinguished Toy of the Year for L.O.L. Surprise! for the second year in a row, and Unstable Unicorns from TeeTurtle LLC, raking in the most votes for the People’s Choice Award. Similar to...

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Jakks Pacific Announces Strategic Reorganization

Jakks Pacific Inc. today announced a strategic reorganization that highlights the company’s growth initiatives. “We are strategically positioning our businesses for the future, creating a more effective, global framework to serve consumers worldwide, increase growth, and maximize shareholder value,” said Stephen Berman, chairman and chief executive officer at Jakks Pacific. “Jakks has been a top tier global toy manufacturer for over 20 years. We have exemplary design, marketing, operation, and sales teams and we have strong relationships with best-in-class licensors, retailers, and industry thought leaders. As the retail landscape and consumer behaviors continue to change, we are committed to...

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James Zahn Joins Adventure Publishing Group

Adventure Publishing Group, publisher of The Toy Book, The Toy Report, and the Pop Insider, named James Zahn as senior editor effective immediately. Best known as publisher of The Rock Father magazine, Zahn is a writer, media personality, and industry commentator. Zahn has already been part of the Adventure Publishing family since 2016 as a Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board member and contributor of feature articles for The Toy Book and commentary for the Pop Insider. Zahn has been covering toys and children’s entertainment for decades, and his coverage of the Toys “R” Us bankruptcy was nationally recognized. He regularly serves as a brand...

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Talkin’ Toys: Reindeer in Here Shows Kids that Different is Normal

When you think of holiday-themed toys, most of them involve a tradition in the month of December. But Reindeer in Here reins in a message for a year-long celebration. Reindeer In Here is a book and plush set sent by Santa in December as the first gift kids can get during the holiday season. The story behind the plush is that it wants to get to know each child and celebrate that being different is normal. Kids are then encouraged to take their new plush friend everywhere with them to go on adventures and help Santa make their Christmas...

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