May 7, 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…
Global Toy Sales Up 4% in Q1 as Families Stay at Home, NPD Says

On the heels of news that the U.S. toy industry saw a 7.6% spike in retail sales amid stay-at-home orders, The NPD Group says that global toy sales also experienced growth in the first quarter. Retail sales in toys tracked from January to March across 13 global markets that NPD calls the G13 grew 4%. Read more…
UNO, Pictionary, and Hot Wheels Grow as Mattel Takes First-Quarter Earnings Hit

Mattel delivered its first earnings report of the COVID-19 era. Despite reported global growth at retail for toys in the first quarter, Mattel’s earnings show a 14% decline in net sales globally and a 17% decline in North America. In the U.S., the company estimates that 40% of retail stores that carry its products — representing a third of revenue — were closed. Read more...

Additionally, Mattel inked a multi-year licensing deal with Warner Music Group’s Arts Music and partnered with Genius Brands to bring Rainbow Rangers toys to Walmart beginning this summer.
Spin Master Sees Mild Growth in Q1 as COVID-19 Shifts Buying Habits

The Toronto-based toy and entertainment company dodged an overall decline with a slight sales increase of just 0.7% in the first quarter to $242.3 million. Overall revenue declined 4.9% to $227.3 million compared to $239 million during the same period last year. Gross product sales increased by 2.2% in North America and 13.6% in Europe but fell 29.4% in the rest of the world. Read more…
Alex Brands, Poof-Slinky Assets Are Headed to the Auction Block

Earlier this spring, just on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alex Brands quietly shut its doors. The New Jersey-based company, which was gearing up to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its Slinky brand this year, reportedly let its third-party PR team go immediately following Toy Fair New York. By mid-March, most staffers had been sent home, and by early April, its website went offline and lawsuits had been filed on behalf of manufacturing and logistics partners. Now the company’s assets are set to hit the auction block. Read more…
Rubie’s Costume Co. Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty

New York-based Rubie’s Costume Co. Inc. and certain of its affiliated companies have filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip. The family-owned company hopes to facilitate financial restructuring under Chapter 11. Rubie’s is the world’s largest designer, manufacturer, and distributor of costume and related party accessories servicing more than 2,000 retail accounts. Read more…
ZURU Acquires TOTY-Winning Glove-A-Bubbles Brand

The brand, which was created by Ogosport and sold by Zing, joins ZURU’s expanding lineup of outdoor toys, including X-Shot and Bunch O Balloons. Glove-A-Bubbles was the winner of The Toy Association’s 2019 Outdoor Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award. Read more…

Additionally, ZURU inked a partnership deal with YouTube Stars Vlad and Niki.
Joe and Jim Seymour Talk E-Blox Success on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Joe and Jim Seymour of E-Blox. On the show, the Seymours discuss the origin story of their Illinois-based family business that offers products that balance deep learning with big fun. 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.
Hasbro/eOne Tap Toy Story 4 Director to Lead New Transformers Film

Fresh off the news that Entertainment One (eOne) is developing 15 TV projects and 21 film projects based on properties in the Hasbro portfolio, the first details have emerged about one project that is “more than meets the eye.” Oscar-winning filmmaker Josh Cooley ( Toy Story 4 ) will direct an animated Transformers prequel that will reportedly take place on Cybertron and focus on the dynamic between Autobot leader Optimus Prime and Decepticon leader Megatron. Read more…

Additionally, Hasbro unveiled a host of new Star Wars toys during its debut Fan First Friday presentation.
Spin Master Kicks Off Its Super Fun Calendar

The experience will take place across Spin Master’s most popular YouTube channels, including PAW Patrol Official & Friends, Hatchimals, Bakugan, and Zo Zo Zombie . The activities incorporate the Spin Master brands and characters, such as learning to draw with Hatchimals Pixies, practicing downward dog yoga moves with Chase from PAW Patrol, and playing a few rounds of Bakugan Bingo. Read more…
Uniqlo’s L.O.L. Surprise! Line Hits Retail

L.O.L. Surprise! dolls are known for their trendy style, so it’s only fitting that MGA Entertainment teamed up with Uniqlo to create a colorful collection of graphic T-shirts. The kids’ apparel line is officially available online in the U.S. with designs that showcase fan-favorite characters Diva, Queen Bee, and more. Read more…
Chalk of the Town Teams Up with City Harvest to Give Back

Chalk of the Town is stepping up to assist City Harvest in its efforts to rescue food and deliver it to those in need. Now through June 15, the Manhattan-based company will donate 10% of its profits to City Harvest. As New York City's largest food rescue organization, City Harvest is expected to rescue 74 million pounds of excess food this year. The organization will deliver it, free of charge, to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other partners. Read more…
FanGirl Consulting and Brand Management Launches FanGirl Friday Live!

FanGirl Consulting and Brand Management celebrated one of the biggest fan holidays of the year by launching its new livestream program FanGirl Friday Live! The show, which will focus on a central theme of “unlocking the business behind fandom,” debuted on Star Wars Day and will settle into its Friday time slot beginning tomorrow. Read more...
COVID-19 Drives 72% Increase in Netflix Streaming, NPD Says

The spread of COVID-19 continues to boost the consumption of home entertainment. According to The NPD Group, stay-at-home orders have resulted in a 72% increase in the number of Netflix subscriber profiles that were used to stream video content each week. Read more…
The Wiggles Live in Concert Is Heading to Your Living Room

The Wiggles are bringing their live show back to fans around the world with a series of six virtual concerts, called The Wiggles – Live from Hot Potato Studios! The concerts will be filmed live in Hot Potato Studios with no editing, retakes, or over-dubs, giving fans a real concert experience every two weeks. Read more...
Radio Flyer Invites Families to Keep #PlayingAtHome

Chicago-based Radio Flyer is encouraging families to take advantage of their time at home to make memories through play. The makers of the iconic little red wagon have launched a digital hub with inspiration and activities to keep families #PlayingAtHome. Content includes a question and answer game for grandparents and grandkids, coloring sheets, and “100 Ways to Use Your Wagon.” Read more…
Genius Brands Merges Channels to Become the Kartoon Channel

The Kid Genius Cartoon Channel and Baby Genius TV will come together under a new network brand: Kartoon Channel. The channel will debut as a digital network for kids ages 2-11 on June 15 with more than 4,000 episodes of entertaining and educational content. Read more...
Activision Blizzard Beats Expectations as 60 Million Enlist for Call of Duty: Warzone

Activision Blizzard saw a net revenue decline for Q1 when compared to last year ($1.79 billion compared to $1.8 billion), but still came in above its projections for the quarter. The company also provided key stats for some of its games, including the fact that Call of Duty: Warzone , which launched last month, has garnered more than 60 million players. Also, all of Blizzard’s key franchises saw month-over-month growth in March. Read more…
IMG to Develop Licensing Program for YouTube Star Like Nastya

Anastasia Radzinskaya is the latest YouTuber to score big on the licensing front. The 6-year-old’s Like Nastya channel boasts more than 3.3 billion monthly views and pulls in more than $20 million in annual advertising revenue. IMG will work to develop a full line of licensed consumer products based on her growing brand. Read more...
LEGO Makes Changes to Its Board of Directors

The LEGO Group made two changes to its board of directors, effective immediately. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries CEO Kåre Schultz has stepped down and Anne Sweeney, a member of the board of directors at Netflix, has joined. Read more…
 
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