March 31, 2020
Don’t Miss the Biggest Specialty Toy Issue of the Year!

The May/June issue of the Toy Book will showcase all of the best new toys and games available to specialty retailers this year. Email Jackie@toybook.com for information about print and digital advertising opportunities.
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…
Doing Good: These Toy Companies Are Stepping Up During Challenging Times

Toymakers have stepped up to join the fight against COVID-19 in a variety of ways, from donations of goods and services to cash contributions to nonprofits and beyond. Some have used their sourcing networks to secure and provide medical supplies, while others have switched gears — in true wartime fashion — and retooled production lines to create much-needed supplies instead of making toys. Read more…
Navigating Uncertainty: Toy Association Activities Support Members and Families Across North America

From business restrictions, mandated closures, and supply chain disruptions to the restructuring of day-to-day family life as millions of parents navigate working from home and childcare, we are certainly experiencing unprecedented times. The Toy Association team is supporting the toy community by acting both proactively and responsively to protect all and meet the needs of our friends and colleagues across the business of toys. Read more…
MasterPieces Says Puzzle Sales Are Soaring in a Changing World

The spread of COVID-19 has created an unexpected side effect: Sales of puzzles and games are soaring. Arizona-based MasterPieces kicked off its 25th anniversary by debuting its largest assortment of all-new puzzles that were ready for a spring launch. Like others in the space, the company was surprised by the unexpected surge in sales, but the spring products were already ready for shipment when demand began this month. Read more…
LEGO Launches Initiatives to Aid Families During COVID-19 Crisis

The LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation have entered the fight against the residual fallout from the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19. The LEGO Foundation has pledged a $50 million donation that will be split between three groups of partners, each with a specific goal. The second effort stems from UNESCO estimates that more than 87% of the world’s student population — more than 1.5 billion kids — are out of school right now. Read more…
These Fan-Fueled Companies Are Working to Fight COVID-19

Frontline workers are the true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic — making sure we have healthcare, food, other basic necessities while many of us are fighting the good fight by staying at home. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes. The Pop Insider looks at 10 fandom-fueled companies that are pivoting their factories to produce medical supplies, donating proceeds to COVID-19 relief funds, and supporting industries most impacted by the global health crisis. Read more…
3Doodler Launches Educational Webinar Series for Kids

To battle cabin fever and keep kids busy during this period of school closures, 3Doodler is hosting 3Doodler EDU, a livestream educational webinar series for kids to utilize their 3Doodler pens in a new, interactive way. Read more…
Free Resources to Keep Kids Busy While Schools Are Closed

During this odd period of extended school closures and social distancing, families are spending more time at home and looking for ways to pass the time and keep everyone entertained and engaged. The Toy Insider has the full roundup of the free resources that companies are offering for families at this time. Read more…
eOne Gears Up for UK Broadcast of Ricky Zoom on Channel 5’s Milkshake!

Entertainment One (eOne) is tuning up the Ricky Zoom brand for the animated show’s debut on the British TV network Channel 5’s multiplatform preschool destination, Milkshake! Episodes from the first season of the series will air on the channel daily, Monday-Friday, beginning on April 20. Read more…
Outright Games, Cyber Group Studios Launch Gigantosaurus: The Game

Outright Games, Cyber Group Studios, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe, and Wildsphere Studios have all teamed up to launch Gigantosaurus: The Game — the first video game based on the animated show and book Gigantosaurus . Read more…
New Docuseries to Explore Specialty Toy Stores During Quarantine

The Nacelle Company — producer of Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us and Disney+’s Behind the Attraction — is working on a new series that will focus on the impact of the coronavirus on a number of vintage toy stores across North America. Read more…
Distroller World Launches Mission K to Promote Healthy Habits

The latest Neonate Babies from Distroller World couldn’t be more timely. The Nerlie Kootie Pops are alien babies that have traveled to Earth from Neonatopia with distinct spots on their bodies. Distroller is launching the new collection of three dolls with its Mission K campaign, which promotes healthy habits and provides a collection of resources for kids and families to enjoy during these unusual times. Read more…
COVID-19: Toy Companies Must Rethink, Not Shutdown Marketing and Communications

Bill Southard, president and CEO of Southard Communications, shares some insight to how businesses in the toy industry and beyond can rework their marketing and communications strategies as they work to survive the COVID-19 era. Read more…
Rethinking Brand Messaging and Ad Spend in Times of Crisis

David Becker, president and CEO of Blue Plate Media Services (BPMS) explores the opportunities presented as families spend more time together in a rapidly changing world. Read more…
GameStop Sales Fell 19.4% Last Year; Guidance Suspended Amid COVID-19 Spread

The Texas-based retailer’s sales declined by 26.1% in the fourth quarter, reflecting the plight of other retailers in what was an unusually challenging holiday season coupled with the continued slide of the video game industry overall. Comparable sales for the year fell 19.4% as the company continued spinning its wheels in an ongoing turnaround attempt. Read more…
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Group Publisher:
Jackie Breyer

Editor-in-Chief:
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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