March 5, 2020
Exhibitors Showcase Thousands of Toys at Sold-Out Toy Fair New York

Last month, toy industry representatives from more than 100 countries gathered at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for the 117th annual Toy Fair New York. In its annual recap, The Toy Association says that exhibitors from more than 30 countries showcased more than 100,000 toys and games across a sold-out show floor that was the equivalent of nearly eight football fields. Read more…
Mattel Launches Ruth Handler Mentorship Program for Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment

Timed to Mattel’s 75th-anniversary celebration, the new program is named for Handler — Mattel’s co-founder and creator of the Barbie brand — and is underwritten by The Mattel Foundation. Powered by Everwise, a platform that guides mentorship both on and offline, the program will provide a library of content and career development tools for participants. The progress of the program will be tracked through participation, survey data, and annual reports. Read more…
Inventor Deej Johnson Talks Creative Pitching on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with author, inventor, and public speaker Deej Johnson about all things creative. Johnson, who recently appeared at Toy Fair New York’s Creative Factor, co-authored a new book entitled The Snakes & Ladders Of Creative Thinking: Have More Ideas For Board Games, Improve Them & Get Them Ready To Pitch with Mojo Nation co-founder Billy Langsworthy. Listen here...

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Spin Master Unveils Bakugan: Armored Alliance Season 2, New Toys

Spin Master officially launched the second season of Bakugan: Armored Alliance on Cartoon Network — with new adventures, characters, and gear to help Brawlers excel in battle. Read more…
SYBO Games’ Subway Surfers Apparel Program Debuts at Hot Topic, Walmart

Following a preview of lifestyle toys from Alpha Group at Toy Fair New York, SYBO Games‘ Subway Surfers brand is sliding into U.S. retailers with new apparel and lifestyle collaborations. Read more…
Dr. Seuss Enterprises Releases Educational AR Alphabet App

Based on the bestselling Dr. Seuss’s ABC book, the app is part of a series of digital educational experiences that the company is releasing in partnership with Sugar Creative. Read more…

Additionally, the company inked new licensing deals and launched new products and events tied to Dr. Seuss’ annual birthday celebration.
Crayola Imagine Arts Academy Launches Wild World After-school Program

Launched this week in celebration of World Wildlife Day, Wild World is a new after-school program and camp designed for kids ages 5-12. Wild World uses Crayola art supplies and materials to teach kids about various animal species and the conservationists and organizations who work tirelessly to protect them from extinction. Read more…
Aurora World Launches New Series of YooHoo Plush

Aurora World will expand its YooHoo plush collection with additional character offerings later this year. The line will include 37 new plush in various sizes based on the YooHoo to the Rescue series. Read more…
Distroller USA to Close Distroller World Stores, Open Pop-Up Locations

The company behind the Neonate Babies, Chamoy & Amiguis, and Chiquity Boom Town brands says that it’s made a strategic decision to close its U.S. stores on Feb. 29 as it moves toward pop-up locations in cities across the country. Read more…
Smart Toy Developer Roybi Acquires Speech Recognition Platform KidSense.AI

The creator and developer behind the Roybi Robot is powering up its tech with a new acquisition of an artificial intelligence (AI)-focused company. Read more…
Super7 Serves Up a Video Recap of New Products

The company’s extensive lineup includes action figures, seasonal products, apparel, and accessories from a vast array of licensees including Hasbro, Mattel, Major League Baseball, and more. Read more…
The World of Eric Carle Inks New Partnerships

Ahead of Very Hungry Caterpillar Day on March 20, the brand inked some new partnership deals and has retail initiatives planned for the year ahead. The deals were brokered by The Joester Loria Group working as the brand’s worldwide licensing agent and are supported by a targeted marketing campaign from Brilliant PR & Marketing. Read more…
NECA’s Top Toy Releases Go Retro

At Toy Fair New York, NECA revealed a host of new licensed product including retro-centric action figures based on Alien, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, classic horror films, and more. Read more…
Lakeshore Opens New Retail Locations

Lakeshore is bucking the trend with the opening of two new physical retail stores in Davie, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee. The leading developer and retailer of educational products for kids, teachers, and families will have a total of 62 stores nationwide following the opening of the Nashville store this spring. The store in Davie is now open, marking the company’s third location in the Sunshine State. Read more…
Kids India Registration Is Now Open

The eighth-annual Kids India trade show, organized by Spielwarenmesse India Pvt. Ltd., will take place from Oct. 8-10 in Mumbai. Registration is now open for companies interested in exhibiting at the World of Toys Pavilion. Read more…
Universal’s Back to the Future Franchise Celebrates 35 Years of Time-Traveling Fun

The Toy Book takes a look at the lasting legacy of Back to the Future through interviews with series co-creator, co-writer, and co-producer Bob Gale and others about how the franchise keeps moving forward by looking back. Read more…
State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Diverse Marketing

Steve Starobinsky, chief marketing officer of Diverse Marketing and founder of Diverse Insights and KID@HEART, caught up with the Toy Book about several trends for the year, including sustainability, mergers and acquisitions, and more. Read more…
State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Bonkers Toys

Deborah Stallings Stumm, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Bonkers Toys discusses key trends for the year, including toys based on YouTube creators, in the Toy Book ‘s State of the Industry Q&A. Read more…
State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Moose Toys USA

Moose Toys USA‘s President and General Manager Glenn Abell spoke with the Toy Book about shifting marketing strategies and how the company keeps up with demand for some of the most sought-after products. Read more…
State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Tru Kids Brands

The Toy Book caught up with Jamie Uitdenhowen, president of Toy Retail Showrooms, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tru Kids Brands, about the company’s new, revamped locations; its partnership with Target; and what’s new for the year. Read more…
Spin Master Reports Q4 Sales Growth, 1% Decline for 2019

Despite a challenging year overall, the company reported an 18.3% increase in gross product sales for the fourth quarter, rising to $550.7 million, up from $465.5 million during the same period in 2018. For the year, Spin Master says that revenue fell to $1.58 billion compared to $1.63 billion in the prior year — a 2.1% decrease. Gross sales for the year fell $16.8 million to $1.69 billion, a 1% decrease that in constant currency was essentially flat. Read more...
The LEGO Group Delivers Growth Across Key Categories to Crush 2019 Expectations

In a year in which global toy sales dropped 3%, consumer spending on LEGO products grew by 5.6% while revenue jumped 6%. In the company’s annual report, the LEGO Group says that operating and net profit increased by 1% and 3%, respectively, as the family-owned Danish brickmaker increased its investment in e-commerce, physical retail, and international expansion, particularly in China. Read more…
Martin J. Elliott Promoted to CFO at MGA Entertainment

A former executive at Mattel and The Walt Disney Co., Elliott joined the company as vice president of financial planning and analysis in 2015. He takes the reigns as CFO effective immediately, succeeding Stephen Schultz, who will remain with MGAE in an advisory role through the end of the year. Read more…
Caroline Audebert Promoted to Deputy Director at Cyber Group Studios

Cyber Group Studios, the animation company behind Gigantosaurus and Sadie Sparks , promoted Caroline Audebert to the newly created position of studios deputy director. Audebert joined the company in 2017 as head of production. Read more…
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