November 12, 2020
The Toy Insider Shares Top Tips for Holiday Toy Shopping During the Pandemic

Consumer shopping habits have changed dramatically this year thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including a surge in online shopping and month-long Black Friday sales at major retailers. The experts at the Toy Insider, the toy industry’s most influential organization and a trusted go-to resource for parents and gift-givers, share their top tips on shopping for toys amid the pandemic and preparing for the next few months indoors. Read more…
Women in Toys’ 30th Annual Wonder Women Awards Moves to Los Angeles

Back in February, nearly 900 members of the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries were gathered in New York City as Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) pulled back the curtain on the 2020 Wonder Women Award Winners at the sold-out 16th Annual WIT Wonder Women Awards. Next year, WIT is taking the show to the West Coast for a September gala to be held in Los Angeles. Read more…
2020 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees Revealed

A trio of classic toys have joined the lineup at the National Toy Hall of Fame. Baby Nancy, sidewalk chalk, and Jenga were inducted during a special ceremony at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. The honorees were selected from a lineup of 12 finalists, including bingo, Breyer Horses, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Risk, Sorry!, Tamagotchi, and Yahtzee. Read more...
Mattel Creations, Frank Kozik Team up for MEGA Collabs Launch

Mattel Creations is continuing its fusion of toys and art with the debut of MEGA Collabs, a new collection that pairs iconic artists with MEGA Builders to create exclusive collectibles. MEGA Collabs will debut with a project from Frank Kozik, a graphic artist and collectible pioneer who rose to fame in the early ’90s by creating unique concert posters for rock acts including Nirvana, Melvins, Gwar, the Beastie Boys, and more. Read more…
Hasbro’s NERF Turkey Vortex Spirals Home for Thanksgiving

A delicious-looking new addition is joining the NERF lineup in time for Thanksgiving. Hasbro‘s NERF Turkey Vortex is a limited edition, turkey leg-inspired version of the NERF Vortex Aero Howler Football that comes packed in a tray that looks like a TV dinner. Read more…
The Toy Coach, TinkerTini Team up to Facilitate Pitching to Major Toymakers

Budding toy creators now have a new path to pitching that could help put new toys on the fast track to retail. The Toy Coach and TinkerTini are joining forces to offer graduates of the Toy Creators Academy instant access to pitch their ideas directly to major toymakers through the Tinkerly Innovation Platform. Read more…
People of Play’s Mary Couzin Talks ChiTAG on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In the second of two special episodes of the “Power Kid Podcast” this week, host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Mary Couzin, founder of People of Play (POP), formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group. Next week, POP will launch its annual weeklong toy industry event starting with the 2020 Toy and Game International Innovation Summit and culminating with a virtual edition of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG). Listen here...

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Cra-Z-Art Opens UK Office to Service International Customers in Europe and Beyond

Industry veteran Oliver Williams, previously of Make It Real and Wooky Entertainment, is heading the new office, which recently opened its doors in Manchester, England. An on-site showroom will exhibit a curated selection of more than 200 Cra-Z-Art’s products, including new offerings, trending lines, evergreen favorites, STEM learning activities, and licensed products. The new office will handle all international sales, marketing, and administrative functions. Read more…
Outright Games Releases Paw Patrol: Mighty Pups Video Game

In the game produced by Spin Master Entertainment, the PAW Patrol pups get superpowers after a meteor falls in Adventure Bay. Kids can play as their favorite characters to complete heroic challenges to help set things right in the town. Each pup has its own unique abilities, such as Chase’s Super Speed and Marshall’s Mighty Heat, that help them take on a total of 13 missions and four mini-games. Read more…
The Hot Wheels Legends Tour Goes Live from Jay Leno’s Garage

It’s been a year of evolution, and the third annual Hot Wheels Legends Tour was quick to treat COVID-19 as a minor speed bump on the road to finding the next real-life ride to immortalize as a 1:64-scale die-cast vehicle. After going virtual, the 2020 Tour will come to a close this Saturday with a finale broadcast live from Jay Leno’s Garage in Los Angeles. Read more...
European Doll Brand I’m A Girly Comes to the U.S.

The European doll brand I’m A Girly has officially launched in the U.S. with a wide range of diverse dolls aimed to inspire kids’ creativity and style. I’m A Girly offers three distinct collections of dolls: I’m A Girly, I’m A Wow, and I’m A Stylist. Read more…
Kate Winslet Lends Her Voice to a Thomas & Friends Bedtime Story

Actress Kate Winslet is lending her voice to a new Thomas & Friends audio story for the Calm app, which features celebrities reading sleep stories to help users quiet their minds and relax their bodies. The holiday-themed story, called Thomas and the North Star, follows Thomas the Tank Engine as he sets out to complete a very special delivery before he can wish kids a “Merry Christmas.” Read more…
Super7 Adds The Nightmare Before Christmas to ReAction Figures Line

Halloween may be over for this year, but in Halloweentown, it’s Halloween every day! And Super7 is bringing fans a little bit of Halloweentown with new The Nightmare Before Christmas ReAction figures. The first wave of figures features six characters from this Halloween/Christmas classic. Read more…

Additionally, Super7 added SpongeBob SquarePants to its ReAction Figures line this month.
Cryptozoic Unveils Holiday DC Bombshells Figures

Celebrate the holiday season with two of the fiercest DC women with the new Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman Holiday Edition DC Lil Bombshells figures from Cryptozoic. Part of the Cryptozoic Holiday Edition variant series, Harley and Diana trade their usual costumes for a festive red-and-green color scheme. Read more…
Peacock Kids Unveils LEGO Trolls Music Video for ‘Just Sing’

Universal Brand Development and The LEGO Group just debuted the first-ever LEGO Trolls music video celebrating the recent release of DreamWorks Animation’s highly-anticipated sequel Trolls: World Tour. The music video, which lives on the Peacock Kids YouTube channel, features beloved characters from the film singing and dancing along to the epic final number “Just Sing.” Read more…
Tim Clarke Is on the Run in the Second Episode of Boglins Are Back

TriAction Toys’ Boglins World Domination campaign continues its smashing success with Kickstarter backers having already pledged more than $103,000 against a $25,000 goal. The return of the classic creeps from the ’80s was exclusively revealed by the Toy Book last month, and following the reveal of the brand’s full 2021 lineup last week, the promotional machine continues with the second episode of Boglins Are Back. Read more…
An All-Star Lineup Assembles for Sesame Street Season 51

Few shows have the staying power of a classic like Sesame Street, but the educational series remains a favorite as it heads into its 51st season this week on HBO Max. The new season will be the first to debut on the streaming platform, with 35 episodes in total, and will mark the beginning of a 2-year curriculum focused on playful problem-solving. A new episode will premiere each Thursday with content designed to build critical thinking skills in young kids to help them handle challenges they may face in school and life. Read more...
Remarkable Brands Inks New Licensing Deals for Doug the Pug

Remarkable Brands inked new deals for Doug the Pug, a canine celebrity with more than 18 million followers across his social media accounts. New multi-year agreements with Mighty Mojo Toys, Fathead, Inkology, Bare Tree Media, Customized Personalized Products, and Komar Kids will bring Doug the Pug into new categories such as kid’s apparel, wall decor, pool floats, and more. Read more…
What Comes Next? 2021 Toy Industry Predictions

Of all the comparisons regarding what 2020 will be remembered for, the one that might be most useful is 1918+1929+1968=2020. This year, we’ve experienced a lethal pandemic, an economic collapse, and an explosion of social unrest. So, where does the toy industry go next? Sean McGowan of Gateway Investor Relations shares some ideas. Read more…
Spin Master Scores a Sales Win for Action, Construction, and Games in Q3

Gross product sales increased by just 0.7% while revenue increased 4.3% to $571.6 million versus $548.1 million during the same period last year. The company experienced big growth in boys action and construction, which spiked 27.5%, and activities, games, puzzles, and plush, which grew 13.2%. The outdoor category, which makes up just a small percentage of Spin Master's product mix, grew 92.2% in Q3. Read more…
Funko Digital Sales Boom Amid Pandemic Evolution

Funko hit a rebound in the third quarter thanks to aggressive cost-cutting measures and increased focus on digital sales. Net sales dropped 14% in Q3 to $191.2 million versus $223.3 million during the same period last year. Funko says it offset the COVID-19 impact thanks to growth in its own e-commerce business and through growth in domestic e-commerce and mass retail. Funko’s direct-to-consumer digital sales increased by more than 150% following the debut of a redesigned website and increased online engagement with families and collectors. Read more…
Canadian Toy Industry Grew 12% During First 3 Quarters of 2020

The Canadian toy industry mirrored its U.S. counterpart with big sales spikes in the first nine months of the year. Overall retail sales increased 12% through the third quarter, according to The NPD Group. In Canada, Disney Frozen, Star Wars, Barbie, Nintendo, and Little Tikes have become the fastest-growing properties of the year. Read more…
U.S. retail sales have been up both month-over-month and year-over-year every month since June, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Monthly Economic Report. The report cautions that while sales have recovered more than expected, the continued rise in COVID-19 cases across the country remains a looming threat that could send numbers tumbling again. Read more…

Tru Kids Brands Expands Leadership Team with Former WWE, Ferrero Execs

The owner of the Toys “R” Us brand has added a pair of executives to its ranks as it looks toward the future. New Jersey-based Tru Kids Brands welcomes back former Toys “R” Us executive Anand Shah as general counsel with Brian Maeda joining the company as chief business development officer. Read more…
 
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