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October 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 10
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Toys in the News: 10-30-2013


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

Target Recalls Children’s Sitting Stools Due to Fall Hazard. October 30, 2013
— The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of about 69,000 Circo-brand Chloe and Conner Sitting Stools, sold exclusivley at Target stores nationwide from April 2012 through June 2013 for about $15. The stabilizing bar can crack and cause the stool to collapse, posing a fall hazard to the user. Consumers should immediately stop using the stool and return it to a Target store for a full refund.

BreathableBaby Recalls Wearable Blanket Due to Choking Hazard. October 30, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of about 15,000 BreathableBaby BreathableSacks, sold at various stores and online retailers, and at www.breathablebaby.com, nationwide from June 2012 to August 2013 for about $20. The zipper pull tabs and sliders can detach posing a choking hazard to infants. Consumers should immediately stop using the BreathableSacks from Lot No. 124 and contact BreathableBaby to request a replacement garment.

ShopperTrak alerts retailers to brace for four days before Christmas. October 30, 2013 — According to ShopperTrak, a leading provider of shopper analytics, the busiest holiday shopping days...

The Toy Mogul Who Became A Billionaire Through His Fight To The Death With Barbie. October 30, 2013 — The trophy case in the tiny conference room outside Isaac Larian’s corner office spans an entire wall...

Can a toy robot teach kids computer programming? October 30, 2013 — In late 2012, Vikas Gupta left his job as head of the consumer payments division...

Mattel sends American Girl abroad. October 30, 2013 — For the first time, 27-year old American Girl is going abroad...

Bigger stores could hurt retailers' profits this holiday. October 30, 2013 — Although holiday sales are expected to post modest gains this season, the same may not...

Boys Love Rainbow Loom, Defying Stereotype and Delighting Moms Everywhere. October 29, 2013
The other day, my seven-year-old son asked me for a Rainbow Loom...

Specialty toy store looks to keep niche among big box stores. October 29, 2013 — It’s Friday morning, and The Toy Place has been overrun...

Movie Based on Toys Even Big Kids Might Like to See. October 29, 2013
Get ready for another movie based on toys. Yes, toys. Who’d have thought the things...

Retail sales weak in advance of holiday season. October 29, 2013 — Retailers had a shaky September, as lukewarm back-to-school shopping and a plunge in car purchases...

Mattel, Inc. : Mattel Announces the Global Launch of Ever After High. October 28, 2013
— Turning a new page in fairytale history, Mattel announces the global launch of its newest intellectual property - Ever After High...

TECH NOW: Who has the smartest toys for holiday season? October 28, 2013 — Have you been to the mall or a big-box store lately? It's not even Halloween and already...

Toy Magnet Sellers Feel Repelled by Federal Rulemakers. October 25, 2013
— Remember Buckyballs? Those are the small, spherical rare-earth magnets marketed as desktop toys...

Toys "R" Us Presents: An Unsustainable Toy Story for the Holiday Season. October 25, 2013 — Nathan Shedroff, the Chair of the MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts explains that...

Kids India 2013: The Toy Fair Starts in Mumbai. October 25, 2013 — Kids India 2013, the Indian edition of the world's biggest trade fair in the toy industry, started on Friday...

America’s Research Group finds economic hardships may affect holiday shopping. October 25, 2013 — One-third (33%) of U.S. families are making less money as a result of job loss...

Deloitte predicts bright holiday shopping season for retailers. October 25, 2013 — Despite many forecasts of a gloomy holiday season for retailers, Deloitte is predicting...

5 reasons Santa could be cruel to toy makers. October 24, 2013
Hasbro and Mattel both reported strong third quarter earnings, but the Christmas...

LeapFrog Products Win Highly Coveted Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. October 24, 2013 — LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., the leader in educational. October 24, 2013 — entertainment, today announced three of its products received the prestigious Platinum Award from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio...

Jakks Pacific banking on tech-driven toys to improve losses. October 24, 2013 — After experiencing a 27% sales slide in the second quarter of this year...

Infinitoy Recalls Softimals Toy Sets Due to Choking and Aspiration Hazard. October 24, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of about 7,134 Softimals Building Toy Playsets from Infinitoy, sold at specialty toy stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com and Mindware.com from September 2012 to September 2013 for about $25 and $40. The plastic hats found on playset figures pose a choking/aspiration hazard for children. Consumers should immediately remove the plastic hat from Safari Sam and Mighty Mike and contact Infinitoy Inc., to exchange the hat for a free replacement figure.

The NPD Group's Annual Holiday Spending Survey Reveals US Consumers Plan to Spend More But Will Seek Out Better Deals This Holiday Season. October 23, 2013
The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, released the results of its Holiday Spending Survey, the twelfth annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending intentions. According to the report, the majority of consumers intend to spend the same as or more than last year, with fewer saying they plan to spend less...

Happy Birds: May the Force be With You. October 23, 2013 — Latest data from The NPD Group, a global information company, reveals Angry Birds Star Wars as the best new toy license in the big five* European toy markets in 2013 so far

JAKKS Pacific, Inc. : Reports Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results. October 23, 2013 — JAKKS Pacific, Inc. reported results for the Company's third quarter ended September 30, 2013...

Blockbuster Toy Rainbow Loom: Weaving, Rubber Bands, And Digital Literacy. October 23, 2013 — Rainbow Loom is not just a craft set. It may also be a portal...

11 Weirdest Toys Of All Time (PHOTOS). October 22, 2013
— "What were they thinking?" Yes, that's a phrase one hears often if you work...

What Keeps Retailers Up At Night? It's The Uncertainty, Stupid. October 22, 2013 — As we close in on the holiday season, and retailers breathe a sigh...

Strong overseas demand boosts Hasbro's results. October 21, 2013
Hasbro Inc (HAS.O), whose popular toy brands include Monopoly, Nerf and My Little Pony, topped Wall Street's profit...

Online Retailers Fear a Dreary Holiday Shopping Season. October 21, 2013 — The government might be reopened, but online retailers are worried about whether...

Toys'R'Us tackles the holiday with new marketing campaign. October 21, 2013 — Toys"R"Us has unveiled its 2013 holiday marketing plans, including a new television campaign...

Shoppers’ spending intentions contradict NRF holiday forecast. October 21, 2013 — Shoppers responding to a recent National Retail Federation survey said they expect to spend slightly less...

Big Hugs Elmo, Others Make Target’s Hot Toy List. October 21, 2013 — An Elmo that gives out hugs, Barbie’s Dream House, and a new striped Furby all made Target Corp.’s list...

Here’s why it’s tough to get investors excited about your toy startup. October 21, 2013 — Let me get this out of the way:  For investors, toys aren’t all that interesting...

Hasbro Earnings Expected to Dip. October 17, 2013
— Hasbro reports its third quarter earnings on Monday, October 21, 2013, and the consensus earnings...

Mattel Reviews China Labor Practices After Alleged Abuse. October 17, 2013 — Mattel Inc. (MAT), the world’s largest toymaker, is reviewing working conditions at a handful of Chinese suppliers...

Money 2020: Retailers Will Become The Owners Of The Customer Relationship. October 17, 2013 — I recently spoke with veteran financial services analyst Sanjib Kalita, who is now...

Mattel Announces Playground Productions. October 16, 2013
— Variety is reporting that Mattel will begin creating original content for its many brands...

Monster High, American GIrl Dolls Power Mattel. October 16, 2013 — Mattel Inc (MAT.O) topped Wall Street's profit estimates for the third quarter, benefiting from strong demand...

Grey Wins Hasbro Brands. October 16, 2013 — Grey New York has won a sizeable global share of Hasbro brands after a review...

US group accuses Mattel over China labour violations. October 15, 2013
A US-based labour rights group on Tuesday accused toy giant Mattel over...

Is It Too Soon To Worry About Holiday Retail Sales? (Audio). October 15, 2013 — The calendar says October, but retailers and economists are already analyzing the holiday shopping season...

SMU students compete to design the world’s tallest toy. October 15, 2013 — A group of SMU students spent their weekend — and part of their fall break — in a quest to design the world’s tallest toy...

Study: Recasting brick-and-mortar stores in an omnichannel world. October 15, 2013 — The Internet and mobile have transformed consumer shopping behaviors, but the in-store shopping...

ASTRA Announces 2014 Marketplace & Academy Themes and Dates. October 14, 2013 —
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today that the theme of its 2014 Marketplace & Academy is “Where Play Means Business.”  The event will take place in Phoenix, Arizona from June 8-11, 2014.

'Bananagrams' most popular toy ever on Amazon.co.uk. October 14, 2013 — Amazon.co.uk has announced that Bananagrams is their best-selling game of all time, beating out classic games like Scrabble and the Original Rubik's Cube (which came in second)...

Relativity Halts Stretch Armstrong Production. October 14, 2013 — Relativity Media has announced that the Stretch Armstrong movie, slated to come out April 11, 2014, is no longer moving forward with production...

Amazing Machine Prints Toys for Blind Kids, on Demand. October 11, 2013
— Voice search and 3-D printing have one thing in common–they’re both technologies where awesome potential...

Video Gamers are Deserting Retailers. October 10, 2013
Video games have been in the doldrums since 2008, at least as...

Hasbro Reveals New Toy Lines for 'Amazing Spider-Man 2,' 'Captain American 2' and 'Transformers 4'. October 10, 2013 — Last night, we had a chance to preview Hasbro’s upcoming 2014 toy line...

Will The Government Shutdown Affect Holiday Retail? October 9, 2013
With the government shutdown already lasting longer than anticipated, some are now speculating that the repercussions could well travel into the retail sector...

Hasbro Off The Hook in Patent Fight with MiTile. October 9, 2013 — A judge ruled on Monday that Hasbro was not guilty of infringing on a patent for an electronic game held by UK company MiTile Ltd.

Accenture Predicts 11% Holiday Sales Increase. October 8, 2013
While ShopperTrack predicted a 2.4 percent increase in sales this holiday season, and the NRF a 3.9 percent increase,  Accenture Retail says that holiday shoppers plan on spending 11% more this year than last.

Activision Files Lawsuit Against Worlds Inc. October 7, 2013
— Activision Publishing, creator of Skylanders and World of War Craft, has announced that they have filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Worlds Inc...

New Emphasis on Tech Toys Helps Classic Companies Stay Relevant. October 7, 2013 — Some classic toy companies are being forced to go digital in order to keep up with an increasingly tech-based market. But are digital toys really better for kids?

Retail hiring goes high tech as holiday season nears. October 4, 2013 — As retailers gear up to hire hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers...

Market Minute: Shutdown Threatens Retail Sales, Forces Factory Layoffs. October 4, 2013 — The government shutdown worries retailers, and it leads to layoffs in manufacturing. Those...

Retailers, Brands Take Sides in PlayStation 4, Xbox One Launches. October 4, 2013 — Retailers are rallying around the launch of Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation videogame...

Retailers hedge on holiday sales forecast. October 4, 2013 — Americans, who are increasingly optimistic about improving economic conditions, are expected to spend...

As Government Shutdown Continues, Retailers Prep for Ho-Hum Holiday Season. October 3, 2013 — It's poised to be another ho-hum holiday season for retailers...

Tablets Becoming Must-Have Device For Kids Of All Ages, Ofcom Research Finds. October 3, 2013 — Research by U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom has found that tablet usage among children...

Mattel, Inc. : For Lego, rising wealth means more play - and business. October 3, 2013 — The boss of Lego Group carries two business cards - one the usual kind...

Toymakers go gross for the holidays. October 3, 2013 — This may be the grossest holiday season in years if the toy industry...

Holiday retail sales expected to rise 2.4 percent. October 2, 2013 — Retail sales will be up slightly this holiday season compared to last year...

Building blocks: High-level learning comes with low-tech toys. October 2, 2013 — Toys and childhood are and always will be linked: you can't grow up...

The future of retail is dynamic pricing. So why can't we get it right? October 2, 2013 — One of the great (and perhaps underrated) things that the Internet brought to bear is retail pricing...

Shop.org: Retail-related Internet time on mobile devices increases. October 2, 2013 — According to Shop.org, more than half (55%) of all retail-related Internet...

Quri, A Retail Intelligence Platform Using Mobile Crowdworkers, Scores $10 Million From Matrix & Others. October 2, 2013 — A company tapping into the power of a distributed mobile workforce is Quri...

With 'Swap Force,' Activision shakes up its 'Skylanders' toy game. October 2, 2013 — Here's a billion-dollar idea: Toys that kids can play with inside a video...

Licensing Expo and US Toy Fair reveal cross promotion deal. October 1, 2013 — Advanstar Licensing and TIA - the organisers of the American International Toy Fair - are teaming up to cross promote...

2013 National Toy Hall of Fame finalists announced. October 1, 2013 — Looking for a Clue of what games are this year's finalists for...

Disney Preps Live-Action Cruella de Vil Film (Exclusive). October 1, 2013 — After making a movie centered on Maleficent, the villainess from Sleeping Beauty, Disney is setting...

Retailers' hiring plans: Who's boosting holiday payrolls. October 1, 2013 — After last year's holiday hiring frenzy, retailers are showing more restraint in...

Toys R Us Recalls Journey Girl Travel Trunks Due to Laceration Hazard. September 30, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of about 12,650 Journey Girl Travel Trunks, sold exclusively at Toys R Us stores nationwide and online at www.toysrus.com from October 2012 through February 2013 for about $30. The blue metal handle on the trunk can be sharp, presenting a laceration hazard to the user. Consumers should immediately stop using the travel trunk, put it out of reach of children and return it to a Toys R Us store for a full refund or store credit.

NRF announces CMO Council. September 30, 2013
— The National Retail Federation has announced the development of a new chief marketing officer council...

Dynamite Launches Toys And Games At Dallas Toy Fair. September 30, 2013 — Announcing at the Dallas Toy Fair, Dynamite are launching a new Dynamite Toys And Games line...



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