December 3, 2020
32% of U.S. Consumers Bought Toys During Black Friday Weekend

The annual five-day Thursday-Monday shopping event has evolved this year. Despite the continued COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers still turned out at physical retailers, albeit in smaller numbers as a seismic shift to online shopping finally took place. Read more…
Spin Master Heads to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Following the recent success of its DC Comics and Batman lines, Spin Master Corp. has extended its licensing partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP). Spin Master inked a new deal to serve as the new toy licensee for the Wizarding World franchise. Under the new agreement, Spin Master will create and market figures and accessories, playsets, vehicles, dolls, games, plush, and roleplay items inspired by the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. Read more…
Mattel, Sanrio Collaborate for Hello Kitty and Friends Toys, Accessories, and More

Sanrio partnered with Mattel for a toy and accessory collection featuring some of the brand's most popular characters: Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Badtz-Maru. The Hello Kitty and Friends collection includes dolls, playsets, stationary, surprise toys, and more. Read more…
Here Are the Toys That Are Filling Amazon Carts for the Holidays

Amazon revealed that 2020 has already delivered the biggest sales numbers of any holiday shopping season in the company’s history. Toys and games are contributing to sales success, with top sellers tracked from Oct. 15-Nov. 30 revealing some surprising winners that are filling virtual carts as gift-givers stock up. Read more…
Funtastic Acquires Hobby Warehouse Group, Toys “R” Us Australia

Nearly a year and a half after Tru Kids Brands partnered with Hobby Warehouse Group to relaunch Toys “R” Us Australia, Funtastic is taking the reins. Funtastic — which distributes toys from Educational Insights, Learning Resources, Razor, and others in Australia — acquired Hobby Warehouse Group last week in a deal that includes control of the Toys “R” Us Australia, Babies “R” Us Australia, Hobby Warehouse e-commerce brands, and Mittoni Technology. Read more…
Dynacraft, Warner Bros. Team Up for Harry Potter, Looney Tunes Wheeled Goods

Dynacraft inked a new deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create new rides inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Looney Tunes. The partnership includes a Harry Potter bicycle and a 6-Volt Looney Tunes quad ride-on. Read more…
Neopets Is Ready to Rock with a New Licensing Program

JumpStart Games is giving the people what they want: an official Neopets merchandise licensing program based on the gaming franchise. Fans of the nostalgic virtual pet website can now purchase Neopets apparel, jewelry, home goods, and more, starting with a collection of Neopets T-shirts from Hot Topic. Read more…
Mastermind Toys Play Preview Invites Toymakers, Inventors to Pitch New Products

With the annual Toy Fair season shifting out of winter due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, retailers and toymakers alike continue to evolve the manner in which new products are being brought to market, and that means getting creative. Canada's Mastermind Toys is throwing open the doors for all toymakers, inventors, and distributors to pitch new toys and games for 2021 as part of its first-ever Mastermind Toys Play Preview event. Read more…
Funko Launches Personalized Pop! People Figures

For the first time ever, shoppers will be able to customize their own Funko Pop! figure as part of the new Pop! People line. Directly responding to fan’s demand for personalized Pops!, these 3.75-inch figures can look like anyone head to toe. The Funko headquarters in Everett, Washington and Funko Hollywood will begin the personalization process with mini Pop factories that offer thousands of combinations of hair, eye color, skin color, apparel, and more to ensure your Pop! figures look just like you or any family or friend of your choosing. Read more…
Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit Series Leads to a Major Spike in Chess Set Sales

After more than a decade of flat or declining sales, chess sets are suddenly an in-demand item this holiday season, thanks to a fictional chess prodigy named Beth Harmon. According to The NPD Group, sales for chess sets increased by 87% in the three weeks following the show’s debut, while chess book sales rose by 603%. Read more…
Hasbro Mixes My Little Pony with Other Iconic Toy Brands for Retro Figures

Hasbro's My Little Pony brand has gotten a variety of cross-over collectibles this year, including ponies inspired by Transformers, Ghostbusters, and even Dungeons & Dragons. Now, Hasbro has mixed this iconic toy horse brand with some of its other classic toys. The result? Some retro-style ponies that are must-haves for toy lovers. Read more...
Silvergate Media Prepares for Hilda Season 2 with New Merch Partnerships

A variety of new merchandise will be available to coincide with the season two premiere, including a T-shirt line from Hot Topic, apparel at Forbidden Planet, and an extension into housewares expected next year. Additionally, plush from GUND is available now and a game from Spin Master is on the way. Read more…
Celebrate 40 Years of Frogger with New Licensed Games

Frogger has been an arcade game staple for nearly 40 years, but now the iconic street-crossing frog is hopping off-screen for some analog gameplay. Konami Cross Media inked deals with Ultra Pro and Home Run Games for new a board game and card game, respectively. Read more...
The Ferrari 488 GTE AF Corse No. 51 Model Joins LEGO Technic Line

Modeled after the award-winning race car, the LEGO Technic version mirrors the Ferrari’s unmistakable features in a 19-inch model. These key authentic features include front and rear suspension, aerodynamic curves, a V8 engine with moving pistons, and the iconic prancing horse right on the steering wheel. With a mirroring paint job, racing number, and sponsor stickers, this model is ready for the race track. Read more…
Hasbro’s PJ Masks Kick into Action with World Taekwondo Federation

The PJ Masks are joining the World Taekwondo Federation to fight a new enemy: inactivity. Hasbro revealed that the trio of superheroes from its eOne division will enter the dojang with a dozen top athletes from the World Taekwondo Federation for the Get Active with the PJ Masks campaign. The global effort aims to get kids ages 3-8 active and raise interest in taekwondo by encouraging them to pull off 12 distinct taekwondo-inspired PJ Masks moves. Read more…
General Mills Brings Sesame Street Cereal to the Breakfast Table

The Muppets of Sesame Street are headed back to the cereal aisle. Sesame Workshop inked a deal with General Mills for a new Sesame Street Cereal that will begin hitting shelves next month. Read more…
Crayola Partners with Create A Treat for Holiday Cookie Kits

The new Crayola Cookie Decorating Kits and Gingerbread houses include pre-made, edible cookies and materials for families to decorate them with, such as assorted candy and icing. Create A Treat’s kits are designed to include everything families need in one simple package, eliminating additional trips to the grocery store. Read more…
Plus-Plus Boks Are a New Way For Adults to Play

Over the past few years, a growing market for play experiences geared toward adults has emerged, and the latest offering from Plus-Plus builds upon that. Boks (“box” in Danish) is a new construction set based around a wooden platform that both holds Plus-Plus’ unique, plus-shaped building pieces and serves as a building platform. Read more…
Licensing International Launches Diversity & Inclusion Accelerator Program

The Diversity & Inclusion Accelerator Program aims to provide underrepresented entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed. The IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility) Committee, a group of high-level executives from the brand licensing industry, created the initiative. Read more…
From Upwords to Ryan’s World: Elliot Rudell Talks Toy and Game Design on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with prolific toy and game designer Elliot Rudell. On the show, Rudell discusses how his “whimsical graphic flare” landed him his first job and early success at Mattel and the development of Upwards. Additionally, Albritton and Rudell discuss the recent partnership between Rudell Design and Far Out Toys to create products inspired by pocket.watch’s massively successful Ryan’s World brand. Listen here...

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Spread Holiday Cheer with These Fabulously Festive Toys

Just like a cheesy Christmas movie, there’s something special about seasonal toys that add an extra helping of holiday cheer this time of year. Why not swap out your overused throw pillows for reindeer and snowmen Squishmallows this month? How about putting a Pusheen or Back to the Future spin on your advent calendar this year, or celebrating your 30th quarantine puzzle with a Christmas-at-Hogwarts vibe? We say do it all! Read more…
U.S. Video Game Industry Continues to Benefit from Shifting Consumer Spend, NPD Says

According to NPD’s 2020 Evolution of Entertainment report, four out of every five consumers in the U.S. have played a video game in the past six months. The cross-platform growth leans toward mobile with consoles still coming up strong as 79% of U.S. consumers are gaming. Read more…
Stuart Noyes Named CEO at SUMR Brands

Nearly a year after stepping into the role of interim CEO at SUMR Brands, Stuart Noyes of Winter Harbor LLC has been named CEO and will join the company’s board of directors. Winter Harbor is a restructuring and turnaround firm that has been working to strengthen SUMR Brands, the parent company of Summer Infant, Born Free, and Swaddle Me. Read more…
 
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