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November 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 11
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Toys in the News: 11-27-2013


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

Is Black Friday a little less frenetic this year? November 29, 2013 — Thanksgiving openings by some big retailers appear to have reduced the traditional frenzy of Black Friday shopping...

Consumer Reports tests tablets for kids. November 29, 2013 — Consumer Reports teamed up exclusively with 7 On Your Side to test six tablets...

Shopping for a Girl? Consider Science and Engineering Toys. November 29, 2013 — Sofia the First, a new Disney princess decked out in a lavender gown...

Holidays are 'bah, humbug' for retail stocks. November 29, 2013 — Retail stocks have been hot this year. The sector is up around...

Online shopping may be bright spot for retailers this holiday season. November 29, 2013 — For the first time in about a decade, Angelica Talan did not brave the November cold...

Urcelay named chairman at Toys "R" Us. November 27, 2013 — Antonio Urcelay has replaced Gerald Storch as chairman of Toys "R" Us and the...

Cyber Monday popular among working consumers. November 27, 2013 — Nearly nine-in-10 (86%) working consumers plan to spend at least some time shopping...

Finalists For Toy Of The Year Put On Display. November 27, 2013 — The toy industry on Monday unveiled its finalists for toy of the year...

Thanksgiving Shopping: Can It Turn Retail Revenues from Bleak to Black? November 27, 2013 — Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day for family, turkey and football...

Hasbro Consolidates Most of Its Global Media at OMD. November 27, 2013 — Hasbro has consolidated the bulk of its global media business at OMD, which was...

Retailers Seek Partners in Social Networks. November 27, 2013 — "Showrooming" is no longer a bad word...

Toy recalls down, but hazards remain. November 27, 2013 — Toy recalls for excessive lead and other hazards are down this year...

Holiday pessimism proves infectious. November 26, 2013 — Apprehension regarding shoppers’ willingness to spend during the shortened holiday season has...

Thanksgiving sales not getting much love on social media. November 26, 2013 — Thanksgiving holiday sales are not getting much social promotion this year from retailers...

Stores remain popular on Black Friday according to survey. November 26, 2013 — Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, millions of consumers will flock...

Oakland toy startup GoldieBlox sues hip-hop group Beastie Boys. November 26, 2013 — Less than a year after Debbie Sterling moved into a cramped Oakland...

Retailers Fear Quiet Holiday Shopping Season. November 26, 2013 — This holiday shopping season may prove to be disappointing for retailers...

Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2014 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. November 25, 2013 — The Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced today the 84 toy, game and property finalists for the prestigious 2014 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY).  The annual awards program is sponsored by the toy industry itself to recognize the top toys available across 12 categories – from e-Connected and Activity to Educational and Outdoor toys. Beginning today through January 13, 2014, toy lovers of all ages can visit ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings.  Each vote is a chance to win one of twelve TOTY prize packages filled with the toys and games featured in each category.

Retailers play to their strengths as holiday shopping season kicks off. November 25, 2013 — On Thanksgiving evening this year, you're likely to find Wauwatosa Target store...

3 Things We Just Learned From the Biggest U.S. Retailers. November 25, 2013 — Now that Home Depot (HD), Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) and most of the other minnows in the retail sea have reported...

Chicago Toy & Game Fair puts fun in spotlight. November 25, 2013 — For companies like Tomy, the next month is go time. At just four weeks...

Mattel v Zynga. November 25, 2013 — The defendant, Zynga, is a company producing games for mobile devices. It launched its “Scramble with Friends” game across several platforms...

Hasbro, Inc (HAS): Things You Should Know Before Investing In Hasbro. November 25, 2013 — Hasbro, Inc. has some growing momentum with several new product lines and its fall 2013...

‘Frozen’ Is the Best Disney Film Since ‘The Lion King’. November 25, 2013 — Who needs Pixar? Frozen confirms that the House of Mouse is capable...

As Holidays Approach, Retailers Fight for Sales. November 22, 2013 — Major retailers are bracing for a tough holiday season, reflected again this week...

Angelcare Recalls to Repair Movement and Sound Baby Monitors After Two Deaths Due to Strangulation Hazard. November 22, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Angelcare Monitors Inc.®, of Quebec, Canada, is announcing a voluntary recall to provide cord covers for 600,000 Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitors with Sensor Pads, sold at Babies R Us/Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Meijer, Sears, Walmart, Amazon.com, Target.com, Overstock.com, and nearly 70 small baby specialty stores, from October 1999 through September 2013 for about $100to $300. The cord attached to the baby monitor’s sensor pad is placed under the crib mattress, which poses a strangulation risk if the child pulls the cord into the crib and it becomes wrapped around the neck. Consumers should immediately make sure cords are placed out of reach of the child and contact Angelcare toll-free at (855)355-2643 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.angelcarebaby.com to order the free repair kit.

Forget the next ‘it’ toy: Barbies, Legos are tops this season. November 22, 2013 — There are two requests Don Mahoney, otherwise known as Santa Claus, keeps getting day after day...

GoldieBlox: The girls' toy commercial sweeping the Internet. November 22, 2013 — If you haven’t seen it, check out the commercial for GoldieBlox that’s sweeping the Internet...

Disney’s Doc McStuffins Challenges Dora on Toy Wishlists. November 22, 2013 — Jennifer Chandler-Saunders buys Doc McStuffins toys because the Walt Disney Co. character teaches her two-year-old daughter...

South Korean President Awards Aurora Chairman and Founder H.Y. Noh With Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit Award. November 21, 2013 — Aurora World Inc. today announced Chairman and Founder H.Y. Noh received a Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit Award, the highest order of merit for the industrial sector in Korea, since it's inception in 1968. Recently Mr. Noh was invited to the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. After dinner, Park presented Mr. Noh with the award celebrating his achievements.

NRF reports 2.5% in October retail sales. November 21, 2013 — Strong retail sales in the month of October point to a good...

Global System of Toy Safety Works to Keep Kids Safe This Holiday Season; Recalls Down, Port Seizures Up. November 21, 2013 — In recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created a robust toy safety system...

Major Retailers Agree to Inspection Standards in Bangladesh. November 21, 2013 — Two groups of retailers — one dominated by American companies, the other by...

October retail sales up 0.4%, beating forecasts. November 20, 2013 — Consumers opened their pocketbooks last month despite the federal government shutdown. Retail sales...

Misfit toy sales may benefit deal-hunting shoppers. November 20, 2013 — Santa can be swayed with hot chocolates and cookies, but toy retailers may...

How To Profit From The Shortest Holiday Retail Season In A Decade. November 20, 2013 — Thanksgiving occurs so late this year that the Christmas shopping season will...

This Christmas could be make-or-break for Toys “R” Us. November 20, 2013 — Toys “R” Us might not have too many Christmases left, at least if you listen...

NPD: holiday gift predictions for home. November 19, 2013 — NPD Group has released its 2013 holiday gift predictions for the home...

Retailers anticipate boost in Black Friday sales. November 19, 2013 — Retailers anticipate a 3.1% increase in sales on Black Friday this year, mirroring...

Hasbro vs. Mattel: Who's Better Positioned for Growth? November 18, 2013 — On Oct. 21, toy company Hasbro released its latest quarterly earnings. Revenue increased 2% versus 6% for rival Mattel...

Can Mattel Make A Comeback In China? November 18, 2013 — After Mattel's embarrassing closure of its flagship store, the House of Barbie, in Shanghai...

This Black Friday, new retail areas look to food, music, luxury brands for help. November 18, 2013 — How do you create a successful shopping destination? That’s the question developers are racing...

Step2 Recalls Ride-On Wagon Toys Due to Fall Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Toys R Us. November 18, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of about 14,000 Step2® Whisper Ride Touring Wagon™ from The Step2® Company, LLC, sold exclusively at Toys R Us stores nationwide and online at ToysRUs.com from February 2013 to August 2013 for about $130. The removable blue seat backs can detach and allow the child in the wagon to fall out, posing a fall hazard. Consumers should immediately stop using the wagon and inspect it to determine if the seat belt is attached to the removable blue seat back.  If so, the wagon is included in this recall. Consumers with the recalled wagons should contact Step2 to obtain a free repair kit. 

E-commerce eats into Thanksgiving weekend crowds. November 18, 2013 — New research from the National Retail Federation sheds light on how 140 million Americans plan...

Toy Story. November 18, 2013 — MY model American entrepreneur of the moment is Cheong Choon Ng...

Lead Toy Shipment Seized By Officials At New York And New Jersey Port Authority. November 18, 2013 — Before they could make it into Santa's sack, shipments of children's toys from China...

Retailers Less Than Cheerful Over Christmas Sales. November 15, 2013 — As the holiday shopping season accelerates with aggressive deals, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer...

Disney Turns to Apps Like ‘Frozen’ Storybook to Get Kids into Movie Theaters. November 15, 2013 — Disney is hoping story time will mean movie time. The Mouse House...

Will retail investors keep investing new money in 2014? November 15, 2013 — The stock market is an amazing long-run wealth-creating machine. But to take part in it...

‘Tis the Season to Beg, Pressure, and Guilt Retailers to Stop Ruining the Season. November 14, 2013 — In what’s become an annual holiday tradition, Americans are organizing protests and...

Bono backs connected toy company making the next-gen LEGO. November 14, 2013 — The Seamless Toy Company, the company behind a connected building toy called Atoms...

Everlane’s retail recipe: Stock less than you’ll sell and never discount a thing. November 14, 2013 — To understand online retailer Everlane’s business model, you must first understand the traditional...

2,000 Children Living on California Air Force Base Receive New Toys from Toy Industry Foundation. November 12, 2013 — Nearly 2,000 children living with their families on Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California were provided with some pre-holiday cheer on Friday, November 8th when they were treated to a special toy giveaway by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services, according to a press release...

ASTRA Joins With Other Indie Trade Associations To Form New Coalition. November 12, 2013 — The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has joined with six other organizations to launch the Advocates for Independent Business (AIB), ASTRA announced today. AIB will provide a structure for its member organizations to exchange information about successful programs that deliver value for their members, generate new ideas to support independent businesses, and work together to advocate for shared public policy goals.

Goldie Blox, Bay Area Toy Company, Competing to Win Super Bowl Ad Time. November 12, 2013 — A Bay Area toy company is competing for a chance to have...

Analysis: U.S. retailers tread tight path in shortened holiday race. November 11, 2013 — U.S. retailers have little room for error in the fast-approaching and shortened holiday shopping season...

Analysis: LeapFrog may still bounce despite holiday sales warning. November 11, 2013 — LeapFrog Enterprises Inc lost its bounce this week after the maker of electronic...

The Hottest Holiday Toy Is Not What You Think. November 11, 2013 — Last year, there was no standout must-have holiday toy—no equivalent to the Tickle Me Elmo...

Retailers Hope to Bag Rivals' Customers on Twitter. November 11, 2013 — Google “conquesting” has long been an e-commerce practice where marketers buy ads...

Super Soaker Creator Awarded $72.9M In Hasbro Settlement. November 8, 2013 — Lonnie Johnson (pictured above), the founder of Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder of the Super Soaker...

Mattel Gives Barbie A China-Friendly Makeover: Now Equipped With Violin, And Cheaper Price Tag. November 8, 2013 — Barbie is getting a makeover! No, Mattel isn’t changing the notoriously unrealistic proportions...

ShopperTrak: October 2013. November 8, 2013 — Shopper activity increased this October, in line with ShopperTrak expectations. Total retail store...

He's The One! Rubber Ducky Joins The Toy Hall Of Fame. November 7, 2013 — Saying that "one toy stretches our gray matter; the other expands our sense of childhood wonder," the National Toy Hall of Fame announced...

Disney Will Release 4 Marvel Superhero TV Shows Exclusively On Netflix. November 7, 2013 — What a huge win for Internet television! Disney and Netflix announced this morning...

It’s the end of Walmart—and mass-market retail—as you know it. November 7, 2013 — For a long time, having the best supply chain was enough. This...

Mattel Is Counting on Latina Moms This Holiday. November 6, 2013 — Born in Vienna in 1909, Peter Drucker had a childhood marked in large part by seriousness...

Mattel’s Bold Plan to Take Control Back From Hollywood. November 6, 2013 — Depending on how bad the traffic is, Mattel’s headquarters is just 40 minutes from Hollywood...

Retailers want to make 'showrooming' a no-show. November 6, 2013 — Retailers facing tenuous consumer sentiment this holiday shopping season are going on the offensive...

Safari Ltd® Swaps Facebook Likes for Toys in its "You Like, We Give" Promotion. November 5, 2013 — Safari Ltd®, family-owned manufacturer and worldwide distributor of museum-quality, educational toys, is donating 5 toys for every new Facebook "like" it receives during the month of November to the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF), the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry.

Is It Time to Hop Off LeapFrog? November 5, 2013 — LeapFrog doesn't have strong momentum heading into the critical holiday shopping season...

Why Hasbro and Mattel’s Impressive Growth Stories Should Continue. November 5, 2013 — Toy makers, like movie studios, rely on hits to drive up revenues. This becomes more important when...

Zynga wins in copyright suit against Mattel over Scramble with Friends. November 5, 2013 — Zynga has emerged victorious from a round of battle in the High Court after Mattel claimed Zynga's Scramble With Friends...

Mix of high tech and old classics featured among 'hot toys' from toy association. November 4, 2013 — A mix of high-tech toys and old classics are predicted to be the most popular playthings...

Making mobile devices a positive for kids. November 4, 2013 — Two years ago, only 8 percent of families who had kids age 8 or younger had a tablet...

Sears, Kmart to open Thanksgiving Day through Black Friday. November 4, 2013 — Sears and Kmart stores are joining the still growing list of retailers that will open Thanksgiving Day...

Toy safety: Were these toys ever a good idea? November 1, 2013 — Toys are all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. As the U.S. toy industry...

Holiday-season retail sales look bleak, Morgan Stanley predicts. November 1, 2013 — Same-store sales will grow much less compared with last year's Thanksgiving-to-Christmas shopping season...

Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines Recalled by LaRose Industries Due to Risk of Mouth Injury. October 31, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of about 102,000 Cra-Z-Art Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines from LaRose Industries LLC,, sold at Barnes & Noble, Target and Toys R Us stores nationwide and online at www.amazon.com from September 2012 through July 2013 for about $15. A brass rivet can fall out of the sno-cone machine’s ice-shaving cylinder and into a sno-cone, posing a risk of injury to the mouth or the teeth. Consumers should stop using the recalled sno-cone machines immediately and contact LaRose Industries for a free repair kit, which includes a new ice shaving cylinder. Do not return the recalled sno-cone machines to the store where purchased.

NRF: Despite drop in auto, September sales up in most retail sectors. October 31, 2013 — Retail sales fell in September for the first time in six months, but the decline...



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