Author: Stephanie Grassullo

New Toy Company Modu to Launch Product on Kickstarter

This year, Danish design engineers Theo Ginman and Jonathan Rasmussen founded Modu, a toy company that allows kids to build imaginative creations that can be used for active play. Modu supports motor skill development and helps kids learn to walk, climb, and balance. Modu products consist of large foam blocks with holes, which can be transformed into different functional creations through the help of accompanying pins and wheels. Each toy is designed with to grow with kids as their gross motor skills develop. Modu will launch on Kickstarter next month, where the toy can be pre-ordered for a discounted...

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NPD Group Reports U.S. Toy Industry Sales Grow by Seven Percent in First Half of 2018

The U.S. toy industry grew its dollar sales by seven percent to $7.9 billion in the first half of this year, according to The NPD Group. Over these six months, which included the beginning and end of the Toys “R” Us liquidation, there were a number of catalysts for growth. The strongest growth driver in the first half came from toys priced from $5 to $19.99, and this was led by L.O.L Surprise!, Total Marvel, Fingerlings, Hatchimals, and Soft’n Slo Squishes. The influence of these toy properties is also clear when looking at the toy industry’s performance by supercategory....

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Blizzard Entertainment Unveils Nerf Rival Overwatch D.VA Blaster at ChinaJoy

Blizzard Entertainment debuted the Nerf Rival Overwatch D.VA blaster at ChinaJoy, China’s Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference. Designed in the style of D.VA’s signature accessory in Overwatch, the blaster is true to the game and works as a fully functional Nerf blaster. The D.VA Blaster is the second in the series developed in a collaboration between Blizzard Entertainment and the Nerf Rival brand. The blaster holds three Nerf Rival rounds, and blasts at a velocity of up to 80 feet per second. It will come with a spring-action mechanism, a ready indicator, and a safety lock, and features D.VA’s signature bunny charm. The Nerf Rival Overwatch D.VA blaster will launch...

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Brookstone Files for Bankruptcy, Plans to Close Mall Stores

According to NPR, Brookstone Co. Inc. has filed for bankruptcy for the second time. On Thursday, the retailer announced that it will shut down about 100 of its mall locations with hopes of selling its remaining assets, according to the filing document. In 2014, Brookstone filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sold its assets to the China-based conglomerate Sanpower Group. Currently, under Sanpower, the company operates 137 retail stores, 35 of which are located in airports. According to the bankruptcy filing, airport locations are set to remain open, but the company will close all unprofitable stores and sell its...

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Spielwarenmesse Donates Toys to Peter Maffay Foundation

More than 800 exhibitors donated their toys to charity following last year’s Spielwarenmesse show in February. The toys filled more than 30 pallets which were shipped to various charities around Germany. The Peter Maffay Foundation accepted the donations on behalf of the many projects benefitting from the campaign at the official presentation which took place on July 26 at Gut Dietlhofen. This was the first time that the Peter Maffay Foundation participated. Experiencing nature is a central concept of the foundaiton, which helps more than 1,300 kids and adolescents every year by offering therapy-based breaks. Known as Gut Dietlhofen, Maffay’s...

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Spin Master Reports Q2 Financial Results

Spin Master Corp. shared its financial results for the second quarter ending on June 30. Q2 2018 Financial Highlights as compared to the same period in 2017 Revenue of $311.5 million increased 12.6 percent from $276.7 million. In constant currency terms, revenue increased by 11.8 percent. Gross product sales increased 4.6 percent to $296.2 million, compared to $283.2 million, driven by sales of Hatchimals Colleggtibles, games and puzzles,and activities, and partially offset by declines in Air Hogs and Zoomer. Gross product sales increased 3.0 percent in North America and 26.6 percent in Rest of World but declined 7.1 percent in Europe. International gross product sales on a combined basis were 32.0 percent of total gross product...

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The NPD Group Reports June Digital/Retail/E-tail Video Game Sales

According to the NPD Group report, June spending across video game hardware, software, and accessories and game cards grew 25 percent when compared to a year ago, to $1.1 billion. Significant growth in both hardware and accessories and game cards offset a slight decline in software. Year-to-date spending across video game hardware, software, and accessories and came cards is up 17 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, to $6.0 billion. Growth occurred across all categories of spending, with the largest dollar growth coming from accessories and game cards. Software Dollar sales of console, portable and...

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ZURU Launches New X-Shot Products, Seizes Counterfeit Bunch O Balloons in the U.S.

ZURU launched new products and a global marketing campaign for the company’s X-Shot foam dart blaster toy line. The digital-focused global campaign began in July to promote the full rebranding and improved performance of current models, as well as the launch of new products. YouTube channel Corridor Digital will host online content featuring new X-Shot blasters launching this year, including the X-Shot Turbo Advance with a rotating 40-dart barrel; the X-Shot Flying Bug Attack with accurate foam blasters, flying targets, and a motorized launcher; the X-Shot Regenerator with more than 1,000 possible combinations; and the X-Shot Kickback and Reflex...

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WIT Offers Assistance to Rebuild Careers After Job Loss

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) will offer complimentary six-month memberships to anyone (men and women) affected by job loss. The move is aligned with WIT’s mission to champion professional growth for women through leadership, networking, and educational opportunities. WIT member benefits include a job board, educational webinars, a concierge service, committee involvement, worldwide networking events, a Members-Only Private Facebook Group, and more. The job board will soon allow members to create an online job candidate profile/resume, giving hiring managers the ability to tap into the talents or WIT’s membership. WIT’s next major event is Empowerment Day on Oct. 1...

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Fat Brain Toys Unveils Kidventor Challenge 2018

Fat Brain Toys launched this year’s Kidventor Challenge, which invites kids in first through sixth grade to submit toy or game ideas for the chance to have their concept sold worldwide. The winner receives a $2,500 scholarship, a license agreement that offers ongoing royalties, and round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for two to attend the 2019 American International Toy Fair in New York City. All finalists receive a prize pack from Fat Brain Toys. Last year’s winner, Alexander Xiong, was one among more than 160 contestants. He invented Door Pong, which is currently being manufactured and will be sold internationally in fall of this...

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