March 19, 2020
How Coronavirus Is Affecting the Toy Industry

The spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes — COVID-19 — is receiving an unprecedented response. Like the rest of the world, the toy industry is working to adapt and evolve in order to maintain business while practicing social distancing and other measures to curb the spread of the virus. The changes not only affect the toy industry itself, but also adjacent industries such as pop culture and entertainment. The Toy Book is closely monitoring the situation and is providing regular updates in this special feature. Read more…
New Lawsuit Alleges Toys “R” Us, Private Equity Execs Committed Fraud During Bankruptcy

The story of the Toys “R” Us (TRU) collapse in the U.S. has entered a new chapter. On March 12, law firm Dovel & Luner filed a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court on behalf of the TRU Creditor Litigation Trust, a group representing many companies harmed during the largest retail bankruptcy in U.S. history. The 111-page complaint alleges “fraud, misrepresentation, and deceit,” “negligent misrepresentation,” “negligent concealment and negligent omission,” and various other breaches of fiduciary duty by some of the company’s top executives and corporate directors from its private equity owners — including KKR, Bain Capital, and Vornado Realty Trust — in connection with the bankruptcy and liquidation of Toys “R” Us that played out between 2017-2019. Read more…
The Toy Association Goes Remote Amid COVID-19, Social Distancing Recommendation

The Toy Association has temporarily closed its offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. as a precaution to protect the health and safety of its staff and members during the coronavirus pandemic. With staff members working remotely, the organization asks that members and others refrain from sending packages to the offices as they will not be accepted. Normal operations, services, updates to members, and committee meetings, will progress uninterrupted. Read more…
Target’s New Game Room Concept Opens in San Francisco

The future of gaming retail may come from an unexpected source: Target. Following a two-month renovation period, Target Open House reopened as Game Room earlier this month. The spacious store located at 115 4th St. in San Francisco is touted as “A Play Space for Tomorrow’s Gamer. Read more…
Invention Week on the ‘‘Power Kid Podcast’

This week, host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design is joined by Matt Nuccio of Design Edge for a four-part series of mini-episodes in which they delve into the various aspects of inventing including research, prototyping, presentation, and next steps. The series is designed to be an overview for newcomers to the toy industry while serving as a refresher for industry vets. Listen here...

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Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind Offer Free Educational Activities for Families Stuck at Home  

Educational toy companies Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind launched a range of complimentary, family-friendly online resources and activities to keep kids productive and engaged during school breaks. These engaging activities include advice, do-it-yourself projects, and printable activities for kids of all ages. Read more…
GoNoodle Debuts New Mobile Movement Games for Kids

Movement and mindfulness platform GoNoodle is introducing a new line of interactive games to encourage kids to get active. Its free GoNoodle Games iOS app aims to make screen time more active with original games that kids control with their own movements. Read more…
Age of Learning Offers Services Free for Families Impacted by Coronavirus-related School Closures

In order to help the almost 1 million kids in the U.S. whose schools have closed due to COVID-19, Age of Learning is offering its services free of charge to the schools and families that have been impacted. It will also make its online learning available abroad through UNICEF. Schools and school districts that have or will close can complete a form online in order to get more information on how to receive free access to, Adventure Academy, and ReadingIQ. Read more…
ChiTAG Young Inventor Challenge Winner “Betcha Can’t” Hits Retail

Pressman Toys‘ latest game is an award-winning title invented by kids. Created by 13-year-old Lily Brown and 12-year-old Tait Hansen, Betcha Can’t was honored as a 2018 winner of the annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) hosted by the Chicago Toy and Game Group. Read more…
eOne’s Ricky Zoom to Air on CCTV-14 in China

Entertainment One’s (eOne) Ricky Zoom continues to grow its audience around the world. For kids and families in China, the preschool series has been a hit since its debut last June, and beginning March 23 audiences will have a new place to watch: CCTV-14. The network will air 10 episodes per day beginning at 11:20 a.m. from March 23-27. In China, the series racked up more than 100 million views in its first 12 days on YouKu last year. Read more...
Call of Duty Reigns Once More as Video Game Sales Drop 29% in February

According to the NPD Group, overall sales for the entire video game category — including hardware, software, and accessories — was $755 million, a 29% decline versus last year. In terms of overall software sales, this February’s $307 million was a 36% decrease from the same period last year. Year-to-date spending for the video game category is $1.4 billion, a 28% decline over last year. Read more…
Coronavirus Impact: What Independent Toy Stores Should Expect and How to React          

A former president of AC Nielsen, Richard Derr left the marketing world in 1996 to open Learning Express Toys in Lake Zurich, Illinois. In a guest post, Derr looks at what data from 9/11 and the global financial crisis can teach us about weathering the COVID-19 storm. Read more…
Working from Home Is One Thing; Running a Business Is Another

No one knows how long it will be until people return to their communal workspaces. With this in mind, Clark Nesselrodt, senior vice president of Brilliant PR & Marketing, shares tips and practices that have helped his agency not just get through the workday, but to grow into a team of more than 25, each working from remote locations. Read more…
Challenge Accepted: ASTRA Members Were Born for This

We are entrepreneurs and out-of-the-box thinkers. When told “no” we hear “challenge accepted.” We have all been told “that’s not possible” a million times — and gone on to deliver against the odds. Amy Saldanha, founder and CEO of kiddywampus offers some thoughts on making it through these challenging times. Read more…
Hasbro Star Wars Designer Mark Boudreaux Retires

Legendary toy designer Mark Boudreaux is retiring after a 43-year career working on some of the most iconic Hasbro Star Wars toys and vehicles. Boudreaux joined Kenner as a University of Cincinnati co-op student in 1977, the year that George Lucas’ Star Wars first hit theaters. Read more…
WildBrain CPLG Expands German Sales Department

The global licensing agency, which represents properties from Hasbro, Spin Master, and Peanuts in select territories, welcomes Sarah Rosenstock as commercial director and Lisa Gruczek as senior sales manager. Read more…
Group Publisher:
Jackie Breyer

Maddie Michalik

Copy Chief:
Sierra McCleary-Harris

Toy Report Editor:
James Zahn

Senior Editors:
Jackie Cucco

Marissa DiBartolo

Ali Mierzejewski

Associate Editor:
Madeleine Buckley

Assistant Editor:
Miranda Siwak

Editorial Assistants:
Josephine Baran

Ben Goren

Art Director:
Joe Ibraham

Director of Sales and Marketing:
James Devin

Sales Executive
Branden Mendez

Production Director:
Bill Reese
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