April 30, 2020
The Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite @ Home Brings the Biggest Night of Play to Living Rooms Across North America

For more than a decade, the Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite has brought together toy manufacturers, press, content creators, and influencers for the biggest night of play. As the toy industry and the world around us continues to evolve amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sweet Suite is evolving as well, and this year it’s going virtual! Read more…
U.S. Toy Industry Sales Spike Amid Stay-at-Home Orders

Despite retail closures, layoffs, furloughs, and the beginnings of a recession, the U.S. toy industry saw a sales increase in the first quarter, according to The NPD Group. Retail sales of toys rose by $256 million to $3.6 billion, a 7.6% increase over the same period last year. Read more…
Hasbro Takes First-Quarter Hit Despite U.S. Growth as COVID-19 Impact Begins

The company reports that net revenues for the quarter declined to $1.1 billion versus $1.2 billion during the same period last year. The numbers reflect a hit from the completion of its acquisition of Entertainment One and the first financial impact related to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. While global revenues fell, Hasbro saw a 20% increase in the U.S. and Canada as demand for gaming and filmed entertainment grew with families staying home together. Read more…
How COVID-19 Is Affecting the Toy Industry

The Toy Book continues to closely monitor the ways that the spread of COVID-19 is affecting the toy industry and how companies continue to evolve during this unprecedented time. Visit this post — updated daily — for the latest news. Read more...
Mattel Will ‘Play it Forward’ with Fisher-Price #ThankYouHeroes Action Figures, Little People Community Champions

Fisher-Price #ThankYouHeroes is the first of several brand efforts geared toward honoring the workers who keep communities running across the country. #ThankYouHeroes launches with a collection of 16 action figures representing doctors, nurses, EMTs, and delivery drivers, each packaged in a collectible display box. For younger kids, the Fisher-Price Little People Community Champions set features five characters including a grocery store worker, a delivery a driver, a doctor, a nurse, and an EMT. Read more…

Additionally, Mattel revealed plans for its 75th anniversary celebration for Thomas & Friends .
MGA Entertainment Kicks Off Frontline Hero Collection

The previously announced L.O.L. Surprise! PhD B.B. has been renamed as the L.O.L. Surprise! x MGAE Cares Frontline Hero doll. The limited-edition doll is now available to preorder through the L.O.L. Surprise! website. The company will pledge $1 from each doll sold to Operation: Pac-Man, the nonprofit effort that has already provided more than 350,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and other facilities — free of charge — to aid in the fight against COVID-19. Read more…
Sign Ups Are Open for WIT’s Mentorship Program

Calling all mentors and mentees in the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries! Women in Toys, Licensing, & Entertainment (WIT) has launched its Ruth Handler Mentorship Program for the spring 2020 session. Active WIT members can sign up now to be a mentor, mentee, or both. Read more…
ASTRA Offers Two-Month Introductory Membership Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is offering a two-month introductory membership intended to give toy industry professionals access to the nationwide ASTRA network for sharing COVID-19-related business strategies. Read more…
DMAI’s Helen Thomas Talks AI and Connected Play on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Helen Thomas, chief marketing officer at DMAI, the company behind the Animal Island Learning Adventure (AILA) Sit & Play — an intelligent monitor and edutainment system geared toward families with toddlers. Listen here...

The Adventure Media and Events Podcast Network is now available through all of your favorite streaming services, including Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more.
Jazwares, Hasbro Produce Toys Inspired by Travis Scott x Fortnite Virtual Concerts

We’re living in an era of virtual events and concerts that fans can watch from the safety of home. The latest performer to take the virtual stage is rapper Travis Scott, who partnered with Fortnite to perform a series of in-game concerts showcasing his new musical experience, “Astronomical.” Now there are toys based on the event. Read more…
YULU Celebrates National Tie Dye Day with Swirl & Style Set

Many families are turning to crafting during stay-at-home orders, and the proof is in the tie-dye pudding. YULU is celebrating National Tie Dye Day today with its Swirl & Style Tie Dye Studio Maker craft activity set. Swirl & Style embraces the current tie-dye trend, and at-home crafting kits have already been seeing increased sales fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more…
Moose Toys to Launch 2 Collectible Lines in May

Moose Toys is giving kids something to look forward to next month with the launch of two new collectible lines: Oh! My Gif and I Dig Monsters. Both collections will be available online and at retail locations nationwide beginning next month. Read more…
Scholastic, Sony to Produce New Goosebumps TV Series

Over the past three decades, R.L. Stine has written more than 230 books in the kids’ horror book series Goosebumps. The books inspired a TV series in the ’90s and two movies in 2015 and 2018, and now it is set to make its small-screen return with a new live-action series. Read more…
Sesame Workshop Celebrates Families of Essential Workers

Sesame Workshop is doing its part to help families with a major expansion of its Caring for Each Other initiative as communities continue to adjust to a new normal stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is offering free resources that will help kids face new challenges, such as missing their friends, while also offering activities and public health messages to help kids learn and play safely at home. Read more…
LEGO, Universal Enter Pact for Music, Films

The LEGO Group entered into new partnerships with Universal Music Group (UMG) and Universal Pictures to extend the LEGO brand across entertainment. With UMG, a new suite of LEGO products designed to “encourage and inspire the next generation of musicians, creatives, and fans” will be released next year. The new products will merge elements of LEGO creative play with the large, cross-genre catalog of recorded music and publishing maintained by UMG. Read more…

Additionally, LEGO and Warner Bros. revealed an expansion to the LEGO Harry Potter building set collection.
Cory Carson Special to Hit Netflix on May 1

Based on VTech’s popular toy line, Cory Carson and his family are toy cars who live in the town of Bumperton Hills, where another adventure is always down the road. The new Netflix special, Go! Go! Cory Carson: The Chrissy , follows the story of the Carson kids winning a talent show with a dance that Cory created. But, when “The Chrissy” catches on, his sisters gets all of the attention. 
Victoria Justice will Host Nickelodeon’s Virtual Kids’ Choice Awards

TV programming is adapting to the new normal of social distancing as we all try to safe safe and responsible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards will be the first award show to take place remotely, with Victorious actress Victoria Justice leading the charge as this year’s host. Read more…
Comic Book Sales are Set to Resume Next Month

It’s been just over a month since Diamond Comic Distributors announced a complete halt to all comic book shipments due to COVID-19. Now the company is starting the process of getting distribution ready to start up again. Read more…
Goliath’s Unsolved Case Files: Harmony Ashcroft Hits Retail

Created by John Carroll and Lou Wilson, the first case in the Unsolved Case Files series is now available at Walmart and Target via Goliath Games. In Unsolved Case Files: Harmony Ashcroft, players assume the role of amateur detectives takes with solving a murder that happened years ago. With only the original investigator’s case file, players must work together to crack the case and bring the killer to justice. Read more...
What Do You Meme, Scholly Partner for Spring Scholarship Program

Following its pledge to provide 1 million meals to Feeding America, the What Do You Meme team is setting its sights on another issue: student debt. The game company partnered with the Scholly app to offer a total of $30,000 in scholarships to high school seniors and undergraduate college students. Read more…
 
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