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October 2011 | Vol. X - No. 10
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Toys in the News: 10-31-11


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See previous toy industry news.

Toys in the News is updated Mon-Fri at 9:15 am PST

How Much Candy Do Americans Eat on Halloween? October 31, 2011Candy is everywhere during Halloween season...

Report: Consumer confidence unexpectedly up in October
. October 31, 2011A report released Friday by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan found that consumer confidence in the United States rose unexpectedly...

Toys"R"Us Introduces 2011 Holiday Broadcast Campaign. October 31, 2011
Toys"R"Us today unveiled its 2011 holiday advertising campaign...the company will air two beloved ads from its archives, which celebrate the heritage of the Toys"R"Us brand...

Don't Expect Merrier Discounts. October 31, 2011Retailers already are getting into the holiday spirit in anticipation that shoppers will spend....

Police Warn of Toy Gun Dangers Ahead of Halloween. October 31, 2011
Florida's Collier County Sheriff's Office is cautioning the public about the seriousness and potential consequences of airsoft guns...

WIGGITY BANG GAMES SELLS QUELF & QUELF JR. TO SPIN MASTER LTD. October 31, 2011 — Wiggity Bang Games, LLC, creators of award-winning family board and card games, announced today that Spin Master Ltd. has exercised a licensing agreement purchase option to acquire the popular party games, Quelf and Quelf Jr., according to a press release.

ASTRA AND CANADIAN RETAILERS SET TO PROMOTE ADVANTAGES OF SPECIALTY TOYS ON NEIGHBORHOOD TOY STORE DAY. October 31, 2011 — Hundreds of independent toy retailers in the United States and Canada will celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 12, 2011, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today.

Small Toy Companies Leverage TSCP for Certification to CPSC Interim Enforcement Policies. October 31, 2011On December 28, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an interim Enforcement Policy regarding component testing and certification of children's products...

Mattel Inc. (MAT) COO Bryan Stockton Sells 25,000 Shares. October 31, 2011COO of Mattel Inc. (MAT) Bryan Stockton sells 25,000 shares of MAT...

IKEA to Launch 'Soft Toy' Campaign. October 31, 2011Global home products company IKEA said its Kuwait unit is set to re-launch its yearly ‘Soft Toy Campaign’...

'Phineas and Ferb' Gets the 'Toy Story' Treatment. October 28, 2011Fans of Disney Channel property "Phineas and Ferb" learned earlier this month they would get a theatrical movie on July 26, 2013.

UK Toy Retailers Face a Tough Marketplace Due to Rising Competition. October 28, 2011The toy market will provide little joy for UK retailers in the five years through 2016-17...

‘American Girl’ Author Creating Series for Boys. October 28, 2011In a Silver Spring living room, on a Friday afternoon, in the kind...

Female Wal-Mart Employees File New Bias Case. October 28, 2011Four months after the Supreme Court tossed out their national class-action lawsuit...

Busytown Toys Hit TRU. October 28, 2011
Cookie Jar Entertainment, its licensing division CPLG and toy maker The Bridge Direct...

Toys R Us Turnaround Turns Heads. October 28, 2011In the race to sell Transformers, Rock ’N Roll Elmo and Lalaloopsy, Toys R Us knows how to win.

NPD Group Predicts Static Holiday Spending. October 27, 2011
The NPD Group's annual holiday survey discovered little or no change in consumer spending habits...

Mattel's Popular Family Game Apples to Apples(TM) Gets Connected with Digital, Social and Mobile Play This Winter. October 27, 2011This December, THQ Inc. and Mattel bring families everywhere the ability to experience Apples to Apples(TM) on their favorite game consoles. Additional social and mobile applications are set to launch later this winter.

Bicycles Recalled by Trek Due to Fall Hazard. October 27, 2011The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 27,000 Trek 2012 FX and District bicycles from Trek Bicycle Corporation, sold at specialty bicycle retailers nationwide between May 2011 and September 2011 for between $550 and $1,100. The bolt that secures the seat saddle clamp to the seat post can break posing a fall hazard. Consumers should stop riding the bicycles immediately and contact an authorized Trek dealer for a free replacement bolt.

Spin Master Agrees to $1.3 Million Civil Penalty for Failing to Report Aqua Dots and for Selling a Banned Hazardous Substance. October 27, 2011
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Spin Master, Inc. of Los Angeles, California, and Spin Master Ltd. of Toronto, Canada, ("Spin Master") have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,300,000.

Price Leadership Not So Steady. October 27, 2011
Citigroup found that toy prices at both Walmart and Target fell by 4%...

Costco Seen Gaining Holiday Sales. October 27, 2011Shoppers at stores from Best Buy Co. to Gap Inc. (GPS) and Toys “R” Us Inc....

'Children's iPads' to Dominate Christmas Toy Market. October 27, 2011Toy shops are already struggling to secure enough stock of the tablet-style computers...

Dollar General Toy Competition No Child's Play. October 27, 2011Walmart is facing some stiff competition for toy sales with Dollar General...

Xia-Xia: colourful plastic crab toy 'must have Christmas present.' October 26, 2011A single crustacean, pronounced Shah Shah, is being sold every seven seconds in the United States...

Batman: Arkham City Week One Sales Top 4.6 Million. October 26, 2011
— Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced that Batman: Arkham City(TM), the critically acclaimed videogame developed by Rocksteady Studios, has shipped more than 4.6 million units worldwide since its October 18 North American launch...

Toys"R"Us, Inc. Expands Presence in Europe with Market Entry into Poland. October 26, 2011 — Toys"R"Us, Inc. today announced that it has established business operations in Poland and plans to open its first store in the country at the end of November.

TIA to Host Webinar on New Third Party Testing Regulations. October 26, 2011
—As part of an ongoing series of legislative and safety updates, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host a webinar November 10 at 3 p.m. (Eastern) on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) recently adopted third party testing regulations.

(UK) Top Christmas toys 2011: Doggie Doo is the business in must-have toys list. October 26, 2011 — The top 12 must-have toys for Christmas 2011 include a dog that defecates...

CPSC Provides Three Steps to a Safe Halloween Celebration. October 25, 2011 — From a fall resulting in a dislocated shoulder, to an open flame resulting in second degree burns, each year CPSC receives reports of injuries involving Halloween-related costumes, décor, and lighting. These incidents are preventable. Using CPSC's three-step safety check (pdf), consumers can ensure that their fright night fun is not haunted by Halloween injuries.

Toys"R"Us Children's Fund Awards $1 Million to Nonprofit Organizations in New Jersey. October 25, 2011 — The Toys"R"Us Children's Fund today announced it will award $1 million in grants to 54 nonprofit organizations supporting children in the state of New Jersey.

NRF Names Retail Veteran Vicki Cantrell Senior Vice President, Communities And Executive Director, Shop.Org. October 25, 2011 — The National Retail Federation announced today that Vicki Cantrell...

Dallas Children in Need Benefit from Generosity of Fall Toy Preview Exhibitors. October 25, 2011
— Nearly 1,000 guests who attended Fall Toy Preview’s Opening Night reception in Dallas earlier this month helped...

Mattel Acquires HIT Entertainment. October 24, 2011
For in-depth and insightful analysis of implications for the toy industry click here.
For a press release from Mattel please click here.
Mattel, Inc. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire HIT Entertainment for $680 million in cash from a consortium led by Apax Partners funds. HIT Entertainment owns a global portfolio of popular preschool brands, including Thomas & Friends®, Barney®, Bob the Builder®, Fireman Sam® and Angelina Ballerina®.

Hasbro Partners with Strategic Licensing. October 24, 2011 — Hasbro signed a strategic licensing agreement with Worlds Apart to bring to the European market...

National Geographic Kids and Funrise Toy Corporation Release Wild Rides Toy Line at Costco. October 24, 2011 — National Geographic Kids and Funrise Toy Corporation have teamed up to create a new line of adventure toys aimed at young children ages 3 and up. The Wild Rides adventure sets will be available in November at Costco stores nationwide.

Target faces New Pricing Pressure. October 24, 2011 — Target is facing new holiday pricing pressure as Walmart announced the launch of its Christmas price guarantee.

CPSC Adopts Independent Third Party Testing and Certification Rules for Children’s Products. October 21, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to approve (3-2) new independent third party product testing rules for domestic manufacturers, importers and private labelers. These firms will be required to test and certify that their children’s products comply with U.S. product safety standards as required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. In order to meet this requirement for children’s products, the Commission adopted a framework regarding third party periodic testing to ensure continued compliance.

Mattel Wins Dismissal of MGA Entertainment’s Antitrust Lawsuit. October 21, 2011 — Mattel Inc. won dismissal of an MGA Entertainment Inc. lawsuit accusing it of antitrust violations ...

Target Recall Children’s Frog Masks Due to Suffocation Hazard. October 21, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 3,400 Children’s Frog Masks, sold exclusively at Target stores nationwide from August 2011 through September 2011 for about $1. The plush frog masks lack proper ventilation. When secured in place across a child’s face, it presents a suffocation hazard to the child. Consumers should immediately take masks from young children and return the product to any Target store for a full refund.

‘Sesame Street’ characters hit the Kinect. October 21, 2011 — Courting the pre-school set, Microsoft is working with partners such as “Sesame Street” and National Geographic...

Hasbro to temporarily cut 180 manufacturing employees at East Longmeadow plant. October 21, 2011 — The Rhode Island-based toy manufacturer Hasbro announced Thursday that 180 employees...

NRF: Holiday Shoppers Plan to Spend Less. October 20, 2011 — Holiday shoppers plan to shell out an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise, down slightly...

Learning Express Reveals Its 2011 Top Toy List. October 20, 2011 — The holiday shopping season will soon be here, and that means it's time for the annual Learning Express Top Toy List.

Guidecraft Recalls Twist ‘n Sort Toys Due to Choking Hazard. October 20, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 760 Twist and Sort Toys from Guidecraft Inc., sold at specialty toy stores and gift shops nationwide, catalogs and online from September 2009 through November 2010 for about $20. The small pegs on three of the four posts can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys from children and contact Guidecraft to receive a replacement or another product of equal value.

More Consumers to Use Mobile Devices to Comparison Shop This Holiday Season. October 20, 2011 — It looks like this year's holiday shoppers have a renewed focus on value...

SymphonyIRI: Budget Grinch Will Restrict Most Holiday Budgets. October 20, 2011 — As many as 71% of consumers earning less than $100,000 per year are planning to trim back...

LittleLife Baby Carriers Recalled by Lifemarque Due to Fall Hazard. October 20, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 40 in the United States and 10 in Canada LittleLife Discoverer Child Carriers, imported by Rock Gear Distribution, sold at outdoor stores nationwide, Champaign Surplus in Champaign, Ill., Skinny Skis in Jackson, Wy. , Base Camp stores in Montana, and online at www.amazon.com, www.skinnyskis.com, www.thebasecamp.com, and www.MadAthlete.com from January 2011 through July 2011 for about $200. The carriers were sold without bolts that attach the carrier’s main frame to the metal stand. Missing bolts cause the carrier to disconnect from the stand and fall backwards, posing a fall hazard to a child in the carrier. Consumers should immediately stop using the carriers and check to make sure there are two bolts on each side where the carrier’s main frame attaches to the metal stand. If the bolts are missing, contact LittleLife for a free replacement product.

Henson Company Signs Enesco. October 20, 2011 — HIP Brands, the licensing division of The Jim Henson Company, inked an agreement with Enesco...

Disney Unveils Top 10 Holiday Toys. October 20, 2011 — Disney Consumer Products and Disney Store revealed their "Most Wanted Holiday Toys" ...

Controversy Blooms Over Tattooed Barbie. October 19, 2011 — The new Tokidoki Barbie is not your mother's Barbie. This lady has hardcore tattoos...

Where the Toys Aren't
. October 19, 2011
— It's been an uneasy few days for the toy makers...

Douglas Company Signs Agreement With Me to You. October 19, 2011 — Tatty Teddy is an adorable tattered gray teddy bear with a blue nose that currently has an amazing following in the UK. Douglas Company recently signed a licensing agreement with bestselling British brand Me to You by Carte Blanche Greetings and will be introducing Tatty Teddy to the US market in 2012.

'Angry Birds: the Movie' is confirmed as game hits 400 million downloads
. October 19, 2011 — Game creator Rovio confirmed that a film of the iPhone hit Angry Birds is in development...

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure Could Be the Most Expensive Game You Ever Buy. October 19, 2011 — While at least two of us at Kotaku enjoy Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure enough to recommend a purchase...

Eager To Strike A Deal While It’s Hot, Holiday Shoppers Plan Plenty Of Self-Gifting This Holiday Season. October 19, 2011 — Armed with savvy shopping skills and a renewed focus on value, consumers this holiday season will shop at a variety of locations...

Registration Opens for American International Toy Fair 2012. October 19, 2011
— American International Toy Fair 2012 is less than four months away...

CPSC and Meijer Re-announce Roman Shades and Roll-Up Blinds Recall; Strangulation Hazard Posed. October 19, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 3,200 (240,000 originally recalled in March 2010) “Innovations” and “At Home with Meijer” Roman shades and roll-up blinds from Meijer (Manufactured by Whole Space Industries LTD), sold at discount retailers, dollar stores, flea markets and other retail liquidators nationwide from March 2010 through September 2011 at various prices. Originally the products were sold at Meijer stores between January 2004 and December 2009 for about $40 before being recalled. Consumers should immediately stop using the Roman shades and the roll-up blinds and contact the Window Covering Safety Council for a free repair kit at (800) 506-4636 anytime or visit www.windowcoverings.org. Consumers can also return the products to any Meijer store for a full refund.

Hasbro Partners with Universal Cycles. October 19, 2011
— Hasbro signed with Universal Cycles for Nerf-branded skates, bikes, helmets and other accessories.

Mattel toys With Hit Purchase Plan. October 18, 2011 — U.S. toy giant Mattel is close to a £500 million ($786 million) deal to buy Hit Entertainment...

Jakks Pacific 3rd-quarter Net Income Falls. October 18, 2011 — Toy maker Jakks Pacific Inc. said Tuesday that its third-quarter net income fell 14 percent...

Mattel Reports Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results. October 17, 2011Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today reported 2011 third quarter financial results. For the quarter, the company reported net income of $300.8 million, or $0.86 per share, compared to last year's third quarter net income of $283.3 million, or $0.77 per share.

Hasbro 3Q Net Income Rises, But Misses Street View. October 17, 2011 — Hasbro Inc. said Monday that its third-quarter profit rose more than 10 percent...

ASTRA Marketplace Exhibit Space to be Biggest Ever in 2012. October 17, 2011 — (ASTRA) announced today that the number of exhibitor booths for its 2012 Marketplace & Academy will be nearly 20% more than the number available for the 2011 event. It will be the biggest exhibit hall ASTRA has ever offered its Marketplace & Academy attendees according to a press release.

JAKKS Pacific Completes Acquisition of Moose Mountain Toymakers. October 17, 2011
— JAKKS Pacific, Inc. JAKK +1.28% announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Moose Mountain Toymakers Limited ("Moose Mountain").

$20.6M Award in Pool Slide Death. October 17, 2011 — A Salem Superior Court jury has ordered Toys "R" Us to pay more than $20 million...

Disney's Club Penguin Unveils Puffle Plush. October 17, 2011 — Disney’s Club Penguin, the No. 1 virtual world for kids, unveiled new Puffle plush...

NRF Calls Better-Than-Expected 5.8% September Sales Increase “Just What The Economy Needs Right Now." October 14, 2011 — Despite an economy that has many Americans on pins and needles, consumers were spending in September...

Henry Gordy Agrees to $1,100,000 Civil Penalty For Failure to Report Children’s Toy Dart Gun Sets. October 14, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Henry Gordy International, Inc. (Henry Gordy), of Plainfield, N.J., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,100,000. The penalty agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission (5–0). The settlement resolves CPSC staff’s allegations that Henry Gordy knowingly failed to report the safety defect and hazard with the “Auto Fire Target Set” immediately to CPSC, as required by federal law. CPSC staff also alleges that the firm made a material misrepresentation to CPSC staff in the course of staff’s investigation into the target sets.

NRF Releases Crowd Management Guidelines As Holiday Season Approaches
. October 14, 2011 — The biggest event of all happens to be two months long, and retailers spend months preparing for it: the holiday season...

WTHRA Show Renamed “ToyFest West." October 14, 2011 — A new name and a new festive game plan bring ToyFest West: The Buyers’ Playground (formerly known as the Western States Toy & Hobby Show) to the Long Beach Convention Center in California March 24-27. ToyFest West will offer a playground of buying activity featuring over 650 Exhibitors showcasing their products in a relaxed festive environment, according to a press release.

International Megastar goes Gaga over Goo Goo. October 14, 2011 — Global kids website Moshi Monsters today reveals that its plans to release a music single from one of its most popular characters Lady Goo Goo have been scuppered as Lady Gaga takes out a court injunction to prevent the release...during a hearing at the New Rolls Building in London on Monday 10th October, an injunction was granted preventing Mind Candy from: "promoting, advertising, selling, distributing or otherwise making available to the public The Moshi Dance OR any musical work or video which purports to be performed by a character by the name of Lady Goo Goo, or which otherwise uses the name Lady Goo Goo or any variant thereon," according to a press release.

Hasbro 2012: Check out new toys for 'Avengers,' 'Amazing Spider-Man,' and 'Return of the Jedi.' October 14, 2011 — The New York Comic-Con kicks off today, but the festivities got off to an early start last night...

The Jim Henson Company Appoints TOMY International as U.S. Master Toy Licensee for PAJANIMALS. October 14, 2011 — World-renowned family entertainment producer and distributor The Jim Henson Company has appointed TOMY International (formerly RC2/Learning Curve Brands) www.tomy.com, a leader in creating innovative toys for children of all ages, as the master toy licensee in the U.S. for its PAJANIMALS' brand and characters.

Hasbro, Inc. Announces It is on Track to Further Reduce Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Based on Company's Stated Long-Term Goals. October 14, 2011 — Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), announced today that it is on track to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) a further 10 percent for the time period 2008-2012, building upon earlier U.S. reductions of more than 43 percent from 2000-2007. The Company's decision to report its latest progress through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an extension of its voluntary disclosure efforts through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Leaders Program.

Monstrous Licensing Program Revealed as Moshi Monsters Signs 100th Partner. October 13,2011 — Ahead of Brand Licensing Europe next week, Mind Candy announces a monster licensing program for global kids hit Moshi Monsters, with over 40 UK licensees on board, another 60 signed internationally and six recent hires bolstering the global licensing team. Mind Candy's Head of Global Licensing, Darran Garnham has grown the team from two to nine people, and increased its partner line-up from 9 to over 100 since January 2011, according to a press release.

Lawyer: Toys "R" Us Selling Cursing Baby Doll Set. October 13,2011 — Would you buy your kid a cursing baby doll? That's what one lawyer says Toys "R" Us stores in several states are selling...

Origo’s 3D Printer Could Be The Last Toy Your Ten Year Old Will Ever Need. October 13,2011 — Origo may be the last toy you ever have to buy for your child.

Keep Balloons From Kids? European Edict Stirs Debate. October 13,2011 — What do you call a child's latex balloon? European Union (EU) officials call it a choking hazard...

Tellem Worldwide Relaunches as Tellem Grody Public Relations, Inc. October 13,2011
— Tellem Worldwide has changed its name to Tellem Grody Public Relations, Inc., reflecting partner Dan Grody’s nine year contribution of business growth to the PR, social media and marketing agency.

eBay, Facebook Make Shopping Social. October 13,2011
— Facebook's influence on retail continues to grow as eBay announced that it has integrated the social network's Open Graph...

Fall Toy Preview Draws Energetic, International Crowd to Dallas. October 12, 2011 — The Dallas Market Center was abuzz last week during the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Fall Toy Preview,® where 2,662 members of the international toy industry...

California Gov. Brown Vetoes Big-Box Legislation. October 12, 2011
— Gov. Jerry Brown of California vetoed a bill that would have required comprehensive economic-impact ...

Zinkia Signs Evolution for Pocoyo. October 12, 2011 — Zinkia Entertainment has named Evolution Management Group licensing agent for its Pocoyo...

Dance Games Step Into Void Left By Other Genres. October 12, 2011 — Video-game makers are displaying some deft footwork these days.

NRF Says Senate Bill Is Wrong Approach On China Currency. October 12, 2011 — The National Retail Federation expressed disappointment at legislation expected to receive final passage by the Senate this evening that would pressure China to allow its currency to float more freely.

Justin Bieber Tops Survey of Kids’ Interests. October 12, 2011 — Last month, The NPD Group asked, “What would the kids you know say is the hottest new thing these days? It might be a celebrity, movie, TV show, toy, game, hobby, sport, website, brand, or retail store"...

Bratz Maker MGA Seeks $2 billion From Mattel in Antitrust Lawsuit. October 11, 2011 — Attorneys for toy-making giant Mattel, which lost its bid for the rights to the Bratz dolls, will return to a Santa Ana federal courtroom Tuesday...

Study: Kids Comfortable With Digital Downloads of Music, Movies and Apps. October 11, 2011 — Kids and young teens have become increasingly comfortable with downloadable digital content...

Jogging Strollers Recalled by B.O.B. Trailers Due to Choking Hazard. October 11, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 411,700 in the United States and 27,000 in Canada (357,000 units were recalled in February 2011 due to strangulation hazard posed by canopy drawstring) B.O.B.® single and double strollers from B.O.B. Trailers Inc, sold at REI, Babies R' Us and other children's product and sporting goods stores nationwide and Amazon.com between November 1998 and October 2011 for between $280 and $600. The stroller canopy's embroidered logo's backing patch can detach, posing a choking hazard to babies and young children. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers until they remove the embroidery backing patch from the interior of the canopy's logo. Consumers should contact B.O.B. Trailers for instructions on removing the backing.

NECA to Bring Back E.T. Toys. October 11, 2011The National Entertainment Collectibles Association signed an agreement with Universal Partnerships & Licensing...

eOne Renews with Character Options. October 11, 2011Entertainment One Family renewed its deal with Character Options, which will continue...

Conde Nast Taps Dawn Ostroff to Launch Entertainment Division. October 11, 2011
— Condé Nast has appointed Dawn Ostroff, the former chief of the CW Network, to head a new division aimed at poducing and distributing original TV and film entertainment, the company announced on Sunday night.

Inspirational New UK Deal For ZhuZhu Pets. October 11, 2011 — Lisle International Licensing is delighted to announce an agreement with the award winning licensed consumer electronic company, Inspiration Works that will see a new collection of ZhuZhu Pets electronic toys and gifts for children in 2012, according to a press release.

Latest Study Predicts Careful Spending For The Holidays. October 11, 2011 — An overwhelming majority (72%) of U.S. consumers expect their holiday spending to be “careful” or “controlled” in 2011...

Toy Sales May Be Slowed By Economy. October 11, 2011 — In cutting his profit targets for Hasbro, Needham & Co. analyst Sean McGowan said the “mood among toy retailers has worsened”...

Toy Price Parity Early Season Gift For Shoppers. October 11, 2011 — It is still very early in the holiday season and anything could happen from a pricing perspective...

Justin Bieber's Hair Cost Toy Maker $100,000. October 10, 2011 — Justin Bieber may be sporting a new hairstyle, but for one toy maker...

Babies Show Sense of Fairness, Altruism as Early as 15 Months. October 10, 2011 — A new study presents the first evidence that a basic sense of fairness and altruism appears in infancy.

Larry Schur, All Baby & Child, Inc. President, Says Expo Was a Success. October 10, 2011
— President of All Baby & Child, Inc., Larry Schur, sent TDmonthly a statement on this year's ABC Kids Expo.
"Although traffic was off a bit from our highest level ever last year, most exhibitors we have talked with had good shows. Some indicated that the show was the best ever in terms of order writing and quality of buyer attendance. While retailer attendance was down by about 400 stores (mainly from the west coast), there was a significant increase in buyers from the Midwest and East coast. We were very pleased to see that our international buyer attendance was the second highest in the events history, with 62 countries represented. Total event attendance was 12,425 compared to 14,655 last year, but is consistent with prior show years...Exhibitor registration for the 2012 show in Louisville is already underway and we are also happy to report that about 50% of the exhibit space (or 1,700 booths) are already sold out."
To see videos from the show, you can go here.

ASTRA Announces 2012 Marketplace & Academy Themes and Dates. October 10, 2011 — The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today that the theme of its 2012 Marketplace & Academy is: "GET MORE FROM YOUR STORE: Build Your Business at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy." The event will take place in Baltimore, Maryland from June 10 to June 13, 2012, according to a press release.

Children to be Banned From Blowing up Balloons, Under EU Safety Rules. October 10, 2011 — Children are to be banned from taking part in traditional Christmas games, from blowing up balloons to blowing on party whistles...

Is a FarmVille Movie in the Works? October 10, 2011 — There already could be an Angry Birds movie in the works...

California Becomes First State to Ban Children Under 18 From Using Tanning Beds. October 10, 2011 — California girls who dream about the sun-kissed skin glorified in song by Katy Perry will have to wait until they turn 18...

Sanrio Adds Four New Licensees. October 10, 2011 — Sanrio has signed four new Hello Kitty licensees.

NBCUniversal Signs Bif Bang Pow! Deals. October 10, 2011
— Bif Bang Pow! has partnered with NBCUniversal for toys and collectibles based...

Hasbro Taps Activision for Transformers Game. October 10, 2011 — Hasbro has partnered with High Moon Studios and Activision for "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron"...

September Same-Store Sales Improve. October 7, 2011 — Retail same-store sales gained 5.7 percent in September, compared with the previous month...

As Retailers Head Into Holiday Season, Persistently High Unemployment Remains Primary Concern. October 7, 2011 — Following the announcement that U.S. employers added 103,000 jobs in September and that the unemployment...

IKEA Recalls Children's Folding Tent Due to Laceration and Puncture Hazards. October 7, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 58,000 BUSA children’s folding tents, sold at IKEA stores nationwide from August 2011 through September 2011 for about $8. The steel wire frame of the tent can break, producing sharp wire ends that can protrude through the tent fabric, posing a laceration or puncture hazard. Consumers should immediately take it away from children and return it to their nearest IKEA store for a full refund.

HSN takes QR to TV. October 7, 2011
— HSN is bringing Quick Response (QR) codes to a new shopping frontier by becoming the first retailer to use them on television.

Activision Partners with Toys 'R' Us. October 7, 2011 — Activision Publishing has partnered with Toys 'R' Us to launch its new video game...

Canadian Specialty Toy Retailers To Celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day. October 7, 2011 — The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced on Wednesday that Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada (NETS) will participate in Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 12, 2011, according to a press release.

Warner Bros. Makes Deal for The Hobbit Toys. October 7, 2011 — Warner Bros. Consumer Products has awarded The Bridge Direct, Inc. the Master Toy License for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit...

Jakks Rejects Oaktree’s Buyout Offer. October 6, 2011 — Jakks Pacific Inc. on Wednesday turned down Oaktree Capital Management's proposal...

NRF Forecasts Holiday Sales Increase Of 2.8 Percent To $465.6 Billion. October 6, 2011 — The 2011 holiday season can be summed up in one word: average.

NPD: Still hope for video game spending. October 6, 2011 — The NPD Group has some good news for retailers worried about weak...

Get a Sneak Peek at Popular 2012 Christmas Toys. October 6, 2011 — Get a Sneak Peek at Popular 2012 Christmas Toys: MyFoxDC.com (Video Below)


Walmart Goes Back to Basics in Holiday Toy Aisles. October 6, 2011 — Walmart is taking cues from shoppers who have asked for more time to buy...

Yu Wei Recalls Drop-Side Cribs Sold Exclusively at jcpenney Due to Entrapment and Suffocation Hazards. October 6, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 8,000 Drop-Side Cribs sold at jcpenney.com and in the jcpenney catalog from January 2006 through December 2010 for between $300 and $450. The drop-side rails on the crib can malfunction, detach or unexpectedly fall down, causing part of the drop side to fall out of position. When this happens, a space is created into which an infant or toddler can roll and become wedged or entrapped, which can lead to strangulation or suffocation. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and contact Yu Wei to get a free immobilizer kit that will immobilize the drop side.

Saban Promotes Halloween Safety. October 6, 2011 — Saban Brands has launched a multi-platform national Halloween safety campaign featuring...

CPLG to Rep Chapman Brands. October 6, 2011 — Chapman Entertainment has partnered with CPLG for the licensing rights to "Fifi and the Flowertots"...

JAKKS Expands Monsuno Toy Supply. October 6, 2011
— JAKKS Pacific Inc. (NASDAQ:JAKK) has recently inked exclusive agreements to expand the global distribution of toys based on Monsuno...

Mattel Drops Paper Company Linked To Indonesia Deforestation. October 5, 2011 — Responding to a campaign by Greenpeace, toy giant Mattel, maker of the famed Barbie...
(See video below for more details on the original story)



Aurora World Inks YooHoo & Friends Deals. October 5, 2011 — Aurora World has signed P2Games for a "YooHoo & Friends" mobile phone app...

‘Sesame Street’ Special on Hunger Introduces New Muppet Character. October 5, 2011 — The familiar address of Sesame Street is about to get a new visitor...

U.S. Army Partners with EB Excalibur to Develop U.S. Army Branded Remote Control Land and Air Vehicles. October 5, 2011 — Beanstalk, a leading brand licensing agency and consultancy, today announced a new partnership between its client, U.S. Army, and EB Excalibur, a division of EB Brands, to develop U.S. Army branded remote control land and air vehicles to be featured at J.C. Penney locations and other leading retailers, according to a press release.

JAKKS Pacific's Tollytots(R) Division Seeks To Inspire & Puzzle A New Generation With A Licensing Agreement for Rubik's Early Learning Toys. October 5, 2011 — JAKKS Pacific's JAKK +1.55% Tollytots(R) division has signed a long term agreement with Seven Towns Limited, the owners of Rubik's(R) Cube, to manufacture, distribute and market a line of early learning pre-school toys, named Rubik's Clever Kids(TM), based on this iconic brand and one of the world's top selling puzzles.

MEGA Brands Enters Into Multi-Category Licensing Partnership With Moshi Monsters™ Creators Mind Candy. October 4, 2011 — MEGA Brands Inc. (TSX: MB) announced today that it has entered into an exclusive, multi-year international licensing partnership with online games developer and entertainment firm, Mind Candy, to develop creative toys based on the global kids hit Moshi Monsters, according to a press release. The toys will debut in time for the 2011 holiday season.

Toys R Us Expands Layaway Program, Offers Special Online Bill Me Later Option. October 4, 2011 — Toys R Us is expanding its layaway program and offering special Bill Me Later finance plans to help consumers budget before the holidays.

Joester Loria Brokers Annoying Orange Deal. October 4, 2011 — Joester Loria Group, the licensing agent for The Annoying Orange brand, brokered...

m4e Wins Licensing Challenge. October 4, 2011
— m4e's "Mia & Me" property won the eighth annual the Licensing Challenge...

Scholastic Media Adds "The Magic School Bus:Dinosaurs" to 'Touch & Tilt' Line of Storybook Apps for iPad. October 4, 2011 — Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced today the latest addition to its “Touch & Tilt™” line of storybook applications on the iTunes App Store with the release of The Magic School Bus®: Dinosaurs for the iPad.

Keith Malone Joins Scholastic as Creative Director, Scholastic Education. October 4, 2011 — Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced today that Keith Malone has been named Creative Director for Scholastic Education, the company’s instructional and educational technology development group.

Bank Sues Whittle Toy Company. October 4, 2011
— A Louisiana bank is suing a New London toymaker for just under a million dollars...

Zombie, Vampire, Princess Costumes Top Consumers’ Halloween Favorites, According To NRF. October 4, 2011 — This Halloween, the trendiest costume is – literally – coming back from the dead...

Fall Toy Preview Kicks off Today at Dallas Market Center. October 4, 2011
— Eighteen of the top 25 toy sellers in North America – and 902 buyers from approximately 525 long lead and mass market retail outlets – will be in Dallas today through Thursday, October 6 to place their orders for Holiday 2012 at the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Fall Toy Preview®.

Discovery Partners with Citiwell. October 4, 2011 — Discovery Communications signed a licensing agreement for its Discovery Kids brand with Citiwell International...

Smithsonian® Renews, Expands Master Toy License with NSI International, Inc. October 4, 2011
— NSI International, Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution announce the renewal of their long-standing licensing agreement for science-based toys, as well as expansion into a new line of crafts kits for kids.

Spin Master Ships 'Victorious' Toys. October 4, 2011
— Spin Master’s new toys from Nickelodeon’s "Victorious"...

Hoho Names Master Toy Partner for Cloudbabies. October 4, 2011 — Hoho Entertainment has appointed Vivid Imaginations as master toy partner for its first...

Mega Brands Magnet Toy Class Action Settlement. October 3, 2011 — On August 17, 2011, the Honorable Susan D. Wigenton, U.S.D.J., preliminarily approved a proposed class action settlement in the lawsuit Chris Doering, et al. v. MEGA Brands, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 2:08-CV-1750 (SDW) (MCA). Defendants MEGA Brands, Inc., et al. have agreed to settle legal claims surrounding certain Magnet Toy products, many of which were subject to recalls instituted by MEGA Brands in cooperation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

PriceGrabber: Almost Half of Americans Plan To Spend Less This Holiday Season. October 3, 2011
— The state of the economy continues to impact consumers' holiday shopping decisions as many plan to spend less or the same this year.

Could Mattel's Stock Double Your Money? October 3, 2011
— Recessions are anything but fun and games, but if we look at the results out of Mattel...

Jury overturns Toys R Us Lawsuit. October 3, 2011 — A federal jury on Tuesday ruled against an area woman who was seeking more than $20 million from Toys R Us.

Lego Group Announces New Toy Set With Dedicated iOS App. October 3, 2011 — The Lego Group has announced that it will introduce a new toy set that interacts with Apple's iPhone...

Baby Abuelita Productions Announces Strategic Partnership with The Marketing Store. October 3, 2011 — Hispanic toy and children’s media company extends its popular singing grandparent cultural line.

Anchor for Safety: TV and Furniture Tip-Over-Related Deaths and Injuries Not Slowing Down. October 3, 2011 — In March of this year, an 11 month old died while watching TV with his dad and his 2-year-old sibling. The baby’s brother bumped into the furniture holding the TV and the TV fell onto the baby’s head and abdomen. Unfortunately, this is not a rare incident...

Inaugural Consumer Product Safety Summit Links Canada, Mexico and U.S.. October 3, 2011 — Representatives of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada, and the Federal Agency of the United Mexican States (Profeco) agreed to...

TIA Invites Nominations for its Board of Directors (2012-2014). October 3, 2011 — The Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) invites all members to submit candidates for seats on the association’s Board of Directors.

Children's Place Names Head of Global Sourcing. October 3, 2011 — The Children's Place Retail Stores has announced the appointment of Peter Warner as SVP global sourcing...

Super Rad Toys Makes Friends With Paul Frank's Julius. October 3, 2011 — Super Rad is excited to announce that along with the iconic lifestyle brand, Paul Frank, the company recently unveiled two new limited-edition Julius figures at Comic-Con International 2011 in San Diego.

Techno Source to Make Handheld Tetris. October 3, 2011 — Techno Source and The Tetris Company expanded its current agreement to include handheld electronic games

Shermag Recalls to Repair Drop-Side Cribs Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards. September 30, 2011 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 2,300 (about 800 in Canada) Drop-side cribs from Shermag Inc., sold at The Land of Nod and other baby specialty stores from September 2004 through December 2008 for between $400 and $800. The drop-side rail hardware on the cribs can break or fail, allowing the drop side to detach from the crib. Consumers should stop using these cribs immediately and contact the firm to request a free repair kit that will immobilize the drop-side. In the meantime, parents are urged to find an alternate, safe sleeping environment for the child, such as a bassinet, play yard or toddler bed depending on the child’s age.

Saban Brands International Goes Global. September 30, 2011 — Formed just over a year ago, Saban Brands is quickly rising to become...

Will Toys Start Driving Licenses? September 30, 2011
— Half way through the year, the European toy market recorded a 5 percent growth...

Court Denies Injunction Against 'Elf Off the Shelf' . September 30, 2011 — It could turn out to be a very merry Christmas after all for F+W Media and its Adams Media line...

Report: Consumer spending lagged in August. September 30, 2011
— A report released Friday by the Commerce Dept. showed that consumer spending in the U.S. slowed in August, impacted by falling incomes and sporadic hiring.



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