Search Results for: stranger things

China, Acquisitions, and a Post-TRU World

Factors That Will Impact the Toy Industry in 2019 by Sean McGowan, managing director, Liolios Group Toy Fair: It’s the annual deep dive into Toyland, a time when we can all focus on the joy that new toys will bring to kids over the course of the next year, and maybe think a little less about Crazyland, where we adults get the joy sucked out of our lives. We’re coming off a year that was strange in so many ways, including the first holiday season in more than 40 years without Toys “R” Us (TRU). The retailer’s departure not only figured...

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The Hunger Games Guide to Selling Toys and Games on Amazon

By Patrick Foster, writer and ecommerce expert, Ecommerce Tips It’s a familiar scenario: Living in a dystopian hellscape with a segmented population controlled by a diabolical dictatorship. You find yourself volunteering to take your young sister’s place in a massive contest with everything on the line. Drop-shipped into an enclosed custom-built landscape, you must outwit the best of the best and become the sole survivor. Now, imagine that instead of being drop-shipped into a terrifying wilderness, you’re drop-shipping products to customers from the Amazon jungle. And, instead of fighting for your life, you’re selling toys and games for your...

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Board Games Continue Down a Winning Path

by Mary Couzin, founder, SMG Leisure Many game industry experts consider this the golden age of board games. History will decide if the moniker sticks, but one thing is for sure: Games and puzzles were the fastest-growing toy category last year, climbing 11 percent to $1.6 billion, according to The NPD Group. This year, game sales continue to grow at 24 percent, more than three times the growth of the toy industry overall. And that number could be even higher if you consider all the crowdsourced board games, a category that has become a major player (pun intended) in the publication and manufacturing of board games. Platforms such as Kickstarter allow independent game designers to reach thousands of consumers, and retailers are tuned in to this trend, which will only continue to rise. Though lots of games sell at retail for less than $20, and some fall into the impulse category at less than $10, other more complicated games are selling for more than $50, contributing to the overall rise in game sales. During a recent trip to Target, I spotted 10 games selling for more than $50 each. Target.com has 67 titles selling for more than $50, including multiple strategy games. There is a perfect storm of many trends contributing to strong game sales. Below are the top trends from my research. We could meet over signature cocktails...

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COMMENTARY: The Future of Toys Is Boxed Up and Ready to Go

There was a time when consuming toys required going to where the toys are. That meant the neighborhood toy store, or the big chain retailer attached to the shopping mall. Even with the advent of Internet shopping, buying a new toy still required logging onto an online account, browsing for the item, and clicking a mouse to purchase it. But those days may be on their way out. A new trend I’m spotting around the toy industry is toy subscriptions by mail: Consumers sign up for a service that sends a new box of toys, calibrated to meet specific requirements, on a basis that’s monthly, bi-monthly, etc. That’s right; all you have to do is sign up, pay, and then sit back as the toys start arriving. Ladies and gentlemen, we live in the future, and it is glorious. Seriously, though, it’s probably premature to say that subscription toy services are going to replace the brick and mortar, or online, experience. Yet I can see the appeal of toy subscriptions. For the average consumer, finding the right toy for somebody is a very involved and time-consuming process, due to the sheer number of options out there. While consumer guides such as The Toy Insider (owned by Adventure Publishing Group Inc., which also owns The Toy Book) exist to help ease that decision-making process, subscription services take that helpfulness to...

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