May 28, 2020
The Toy Insider Experts Reveal the Hottest Spring and Summer Toys of 2020

The Toy Insider‘s 2020 Spring & Summer Gift Guide features nearly 230 toys across eight different categories, hand-picked by the team behind one of the most influential and trusted resources for parents and gift-givers. The guide highlights the latest and greatest in toys that energize, teach, and keep kids busy; screen-free activities and games to help pass the time; outdoor options for some much-needed fresh air; and water toys that are sure to make a splash. Read more…
U.S. Toy Industry Grew 22% in April, NPD Says

According to The NPD Group, overall sales for the U.S. toy industry grew 22% in April. This number may come as a surprise given that overall retail sales fell off a cliff to hit historic lows last month. The sales boom, according to NPD, comes from the outdoor and sports toys supercategory, which spiked 51% versus the same period last year to make up 53% of total growth last month. Read more…
Spin Master Donates Nearly 90,000 Toys to Kids in Need

Spin Master has taken the role of Santa (sans jolly red suit) to deliver nearly 90,000 toys, plush, games, and activities to kids affected by the coronavirus. The toys — with a retail value of approximately $1 million — are meant to bring some joy into families’ lives as the pandemic continues. Read more…
Funko Celebrates First Responders with Frontline Heroes Pop! Figures

Funko has always turned out-of-this-world heroes into collectible figures, and now some of our homegrown heroes are getting the Pop! treatment. A new line of four Pop! figures honor the nurses and doctors caught on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Due out in October, there are two female figures and two male figures decked out in full personal protective equipment (PPE). Read more…
72nd Spielwarenmesse Extends Exhibitor Registration Period

Due to the global spread of COVID-19, Spielwarenmesse eG has extended the registration period for the 72nd Spielwarenmesse international toy fair through July 31. Currently slated to take place from Jan. 27-31, 2021 in Nuremberg, Germany, the Spielwarenmesse seeks to showcase new toys and games to an audience of international retailers and buyers alongside global media during the PressPreview. Read more…
Crayola Unveils New Crayons that Represent Kids of All Colors

Crayola Colors of the World is a 24-pack of crayons, each one a different shade that tries to represent the more than 40 skin tones worldwide. The company hopes this will allow kids to better reflect the way they see themselves and the diverse world around them. Read more…
Jason Mars of Red Planet Group Appears on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Jason Mars, owner of Red Planet Group, a distributor and marketer of toys throughout Canada. The company supports global toymakers by bringing toys such as Treasure X, Scruff-A-Lives, Little Live Pets, Wubble, and more to Canadian kids and families. Listen here…

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Resoftables Sustainable Plush Debut in Australia

Kids in Australia have the chance to find a cuddly new friend that is entirely made out of plastic bottles. Headstart’s Resoftables line of sustainable plush has debuted at Australian retailers. The toys were developed as a way to help eliminate household waste and provide a toy that parents can feel good about buying. Read more…
ToyAid Invites Families to ‘Buy Some Toys for Make Some Noise’

A grassroots movement in the UK seeks to raise funds to aid in the recovery of communities that have been hard-hit by the impact of the pandemic. Founded by Wow! Stuff’s Richard North and Joel Silverman of KidsKnowBest, the inaugural ToyAid campaign is benefiting Global’s Make Some Noise, a registered charity that works with smaller organizations to help those in need. Read more…
ADK Emotions NY Inks Pact with License to PR Ahead of Beyblade Anniversary

The company behind the success of the Beyblade franchise is getting ready for a big year. ADK Emotions NY Inc. appointed London-based License to PR to manage its trade media communications and to further position the company as a leader in bringing Japanese animated intellectual properties to a global audience. Read more…
New Reusable Face Masks Feature SpongeBob, Star Trek, and More

ViacomCBS just launched a collection of reusable face masks inspired by a variety of its fan-favorite shows and brands. To kick things off, there are six SpongeBob SquarePants-inspired designs to choose from, alongside masks featuring designs inspired by Star Trek and MTV. Read more...
Animaccord Inks First Licensing Deal for Masha and the Bear in China

Following the January debut of Masha and the Bear on Xigua Video in Mainland China, Animaccord — the company behind the global animated series — has revealed its first consumer products licensing deal for the property in the region. Guangdong D&G Trading Limited will distribute Masha and the Bear toys including figurines, playsets, dolls, plush, and roleplay in China beginning in August. Read more…
YouTube Show CoComelon Is Now Available on Roku

The popular preschool YouTube channel CoComelon is expanding to the Roku Channel, helping teach kids letters, numbers, nursery rhymes, colors, and more educational content at home. A toy line from Jazwares is set to hit retail later this year. Read more...
True and the Rainbow Kingdom Returns with Netflix Special

Following last month’s fairytale-inspired series True: Terrific Tales , Netflix is expanding upon True and the Rainbow Kingdom once again with a new adventure: True: Rainbow Rescue .
True is produced by Guru Studio, is based on the artwork of FriendsWithYou, and is executive produced by Pharrell Williams. Read more…
Go, Cory, Go: Preschool Hits the Road in VTech’s New Netflix Series

Cars don’t typically worry about starting school, being a good big brother, or having their first “oil spill,” but they certainly do in the world of Go! Go! Cory Carson . This new preschool series disrupts the traditional, clear-cut path of kid’s TV licensing and toy development because the show is based on an existing toy line: VTech’s Go! Go! Smart Wheels vehicles. Read more…
Following Years of Sales Declines, the R/C Category Is Relying on Innovation

The R/C aisle is ready for a change. This time last year, the category was in a bit of a strange place, trying to find its footing after the drone craze that dominated R/C sales for multiple years completely subsided. Now, that uncertainty seems to have passed as the products in this year’s R/C toys lineup are huge — both in literal size and their level of innovation, from monster truck madness to vehicles that can transform or drive on water. Read more…
The Pandemic-Fueled Video Game Boom Continues with a 73% Increase in April

While the toy industry has cautioned a potential decline in the second quarter, the first numbers from the video game industry tell a completely different story. According to The NPD Group, tracked spending for the industry in April hit $1.5 billion, a 73% increase compared to a year ago. That’s a new record high for an April month, beating a $1.2 billion spend back in 2008. Read more...
Walmart, Target See Big Gains as Consumer Habits Shift Due to COVID-19

Walmart and Target reported first-quarter earnings this week, each reflecting a 10% increase in same-store sales despite stay-at-home orders across most of the country. On the digital front, Walmart logged a 74% gain in e-commerce sales, while Target’s e-comm business grew 141% when compared to last year. Target continues to make strides in its omnichannel business with stores fulfilling more than 80% of digital orders during the quarter. Target also had a 278% increase in same-day services including online orders being picked-up in-store. Read more…
Fredrik Loving Joins Spin Master as EVP, Digital Studios

Spin Master has been hinting at an expansion of its digital business, and that begins with the appointment of Fredrik Loving to serve as executive vice president, digital studios. Loving will lead the company’s expanding digital toys and gaming offerings. Read more…
Alvin Fu Heads to Sesame Workshop for China Expansion

Shanghai-based Alvin Fu has joined Sesame Workshop as vice president and general manager of Greater China. Fu will be responsible for expanding the reach of Sesame Street in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan by “developing and implementing a new long-term strategic vision to help the next generation of children … grow up smarter, stronger, and kinder.” Read more…
 
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