Author: Stephanie Grassullo

HobbyTown USA to Open Express RadioShack Store-Within-a-Store

According to the New York Post, RadioShack will make its way back to the retail space as an “express” store-within-a-store at HobbyTown USA partner stores. HobbyTown will purchase the RadioShack merchandise and offer it to its hobbyist customers who need the tools, wires, and other accessories that RadioShack makes. The deal was signed this week, and the express stores could be opened in up to 100 of HobbyTown’s 140 stores. If successful, they could expand to all the hobby chain’s locations. The first express stores will open next week. RadioShack emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in January with 400 stores. The...

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Kid Trax Debuts New Rideamals Line

Kid Trax introduced its Kid Trax Rideamals, a new ride-on play experience for kids. The toy combines ride-on fun with interactive and imaginative pet play, and will be available this fall with the launch of the Kid Trax Rideamals Scout the pony. Kid Trax Rideamals Scout is a 12-volt interactive ride-on featuring more than 100 sounds and movements. Scout includes touch sensors, lifelike pony sounds, and motorized eyes, ears, head, and wheels. Scout can travel up to four miles an hour, offering two forward speed settings and one reverse speed. As kids ride Scout, the pony will play songs...

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Hape’s Dan Finanz AG Acquires Playwell Enterprises Ltd.

Dan Finanz AG, a financial division owned by Hape Holding AP founder Peter Handstein, acquired Playwell Enterprises Ltd., a Canadian-based distributor of children’s products. The acquisition allows Hape to further extend its reach into Canada, and lays the foundation to expand its offerings to Canadian retailers. The acquisition will drive increased representation with Playwell’s sales and distribution expertise to help retailers manage their inventory through a scalable platform. Hape will focus on the U.S. market with The Edmonton staff and U.S. warehouse. As part of the acquisition, Vivien Zheng, a senior executive with Hape for more than 15 years,...

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Moose Toys Launches First Boy Shopkins Shoppies Doll at SDCC

Moose Toys launched its first boy Shopkins Shoppies Doll at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). Chip Choc will be available in the Double Scoop Delight Exclusive pack at the UCC booth during SDCC. The pack will include an exclusive Peppa Mint with her long-lost brother Chip Choc. Only 1,500 units of this item will be available for purchase. Moose Toys will also release a Golden Collection Cutie Cars item with premium Carot Cake and Donut Deluxe cars. The gold Cutie Cars will feature a premium die-cast finish and only 500 versions of this pack available during...

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Hasbro Launches Nerf Laser Ops Pro Line

Hasbro’s Nerf brand introduced the new Nerf Laser Ops Pro line. The blasters are ready right out of the box, allowing kids to take part in head-to-head, live-action laser battles. The line launched with three blaster options, which all register hits with light and sound effects and include lights on the back of the blaster to keep track of health and ammo. Players can also use the free Nerf Laser Ops Pro app and the included armband to attach their smartphone device to their arms while playing. The app lets kids access real-time battle intel, allowing players to customize...

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North Star Games to Launch Most Wanted at Gen Con

North Star Games will launch Most Wanted at the Gen Con board game convention next month. Most Wanted is a poker-themed board game that challenges players to take risks, double-cross, and bluff in order to win. Designed by Ken Gruhl & Quentin Weir (Happy Salmon) and former pro-Magic player Dominic Crapuchettes (Evolution), Most Wanted blends the strategic risk-taking of a wild-west poker game with the thrill of being a notorious outlaw. The first player to reach 13 points and earn the title “Most Wanted” wins the game. Most Wanted will be available on October 1. A limited supply will be sold at Gen Con and available for pre-order...

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June Retail Sales Show 4.2 Percent Increase Over 2017

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), June retail sales were up 0.07 percent seasonally adjusted from May’s strong performance, and increased 4.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year as economic growth continued despite the U.S. trade war with China and other countries. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants. The three-month moving average was up 4.4 percent over the same period a year ago, matching the top end of NRF’s forecast that 2018 retail sales will grow between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent over 2017. The June results build on improvement seen in May, which was up 1 percent monthly and up...

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Yvolution Appoints Sino Foreign Trading as Majority Shareholder

Sino Foreign Trading entered an agreement with Yvolution to become the majority shareholder in Yvolve Sports Ltd., as Yvolution is known outside of the U.S. Sino Foreign Trading will provide the support to strengthen the company to expand, allowing Yvolution to continue to ride the success of its existing products—such as the Y Fliker scooter—while paving the way for future innovation. Yvolution products are available at retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Target, and...

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Spin Master Acquires Rights to Fuggler Brand

Spin Master Corp. acquired the rights to Fuggler, a line of collectible plush dolls. Originating in the UK, the Fuggler monsters have quirky characteristics, featuring unique toothy smiles or grimaces, eyes, and signature buttonholes. Available in 9- or 12-inch sizes, there are more than 50 Fuggler characters to collect. Rare Fugglers feature glow-in-the dark teeth and eyes. The plush dolls are available at Target, GameStop, and Hot Topic, as well as specialty...

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ASTRA Announces 2018 Best Toys for Kids Award Winners

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) unveiled its 2018 Best Toys for Kids award winners. The list includes 17 winners in 16 categories. The Best Toys for Kids program was created by ASTRA to help its retailer members attract media coverage and customers to their stores during the fourth quarter. ASTRA provides 300 free, professionally designed 2018 Best Toys for Kids brochures to member retailers for use in their holiday marketing. For more information about the award winners, and to order additional Best Toys brochures, visit besttoys.astratoy.org. The 2018 Best Toys for Kids award winners are: Active Play...

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