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December 2013 | Vol. XII - No. 12
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Toys in the News: 12-26-2013


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

How Consumers Contributed to the Shipping Nightmare on Christmas. December 26, 2013
— We have seen the Scrooge, and it is us. Both UPS and FedEx are...

Retailers Counting on After Christmas Sales to Escape Doldrums. December 26, 2013 — While the days leading up to Dec. 25 were the disappointing Christmas present under...

Retailers blend stores, e-commerce to snag holiday stragglers. December 24, 2013
— Retailers are trying new ways to win over Christmas procrastinators...

Tablets a Hit With Kids, but Experts Worry. December 24, 2013 — Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them...

Weekend spending drives better-than-expected sales. December 23, 2013
— U.S. retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers for the first 45 days of the November-December...

Toys R Us's Stockholm superstore goes gender neutral. December 23, 2013 — In a huge Toys R Us warehouse on the Kungens Kurva retail estate in south-west Stockholm...

Retailers expand to marathon hours for final holiday shopping. December 23, 2013 — Some stores are ending the holiday shopping season the same way they began it...

Playmates Beats Mattel on Ninja Turtles Return: Chart. December 20, 2013
— The television revival of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” by Viacom Inc. has catapulted Hong Kong-based Playmates Toys Ltd...

Holiday shoppers expect top holiday deals in December. December 20, 2013 — More than half (54%) of shoppers believe the best holiday discounts will be in December...

Playtex Recalls Hip Hammock Infant Carriers Due to Fall Hazard. December 20, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of about 305,000 and 36,000 in Canada of Playtex Hip Hammock infant carriers, sold at Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Walmart, juvenile product, baby and discount stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com from June 2004 through December 2008 and January 2010 in Canada for about $40 for the basic model and $60 for the deluxe model. The buckles on the waist and shoulder straps can crack or break, posing a fall hazard to the child...

Toy marketing mines the divide between boys and girls. December 20, 2013 — Many parents at this time of year are struck by the strong distinction in the way...

Target Says Data for 40 Million Shoppers Was Stolen. December 19, 2013
— Target confirmed Thursday morning that it was investigating a security breach involving stolen credit card...

Purdue urges parents to ignore toy gender roles. December 19, 2013 — Purdue University experts are challenging the toy aisles this holiday season...

How Lego Became a Fast-Fashion Company. December 19, 2013 — You might think of Lego as a perennial, and by several measures it clearly is...

Safari Ltd® wins Dinosaur of the Year award. December 18, 2013
— Safari Ltd®, family-owned manufacturer and worldwide distributor of museum-quality, educational toys, is excited to announce that Prehistoric Times magazine has awarded Safari Ltd’s Wild Safari Gyrposaurus as the 2013 Dinosaur of the Year. Prehistoric Times magazine is a publication that caters to both retail stores and individual dinosaur enthusiasts. The magazine was started in 1993 so this makes for their 20th year in distribution. Prehistoric Times staff and the retailers that were canvassed gave strong support for the Gryposaurus. According to a press release, "The Safari Ltd® Wild Life dinosaur collection uses incredible attention to detail and accuracy to produce these figures. This is what sets our collections apart and above the rest."

RILA appoints compliance director. December 18, 2013 — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has added Ajani Stewart to its sustainability team...

Anxious retailers stretch holiday hours. December 18, 2013 — With a week to go before Christmas, retailers are in full battle mode, with many...

Amazon beats Toys 'R' US, other retailers with most toys online. December 18, 2013 — Gift givers searching online for a kid's must-have toy this holiday season are more likely...

Holiday free-for-all is underway. December 17, 2013
— It promises to be a mad dash to the finish for the nation’s retailers...

E-commerce growth keeps UPS busy this holiday season. December 17, 2013 — UPS expects to pick up more than 34 million packages Monday, Dec. 16...

Toys R Us to stay open for 87 hours straight. December 17, 2013 — Here's some welcome news for all the procrastinators out there. Catering to last-minute shoppers...

Playmobil's smiling little toy people turn 40. December 17, 2013 — Deep in the Bavarian countryside lies the home of German toymaker Playmobil...

More Retailers See Haggling as a Price of Doing Business. December 16, 2013
— Pay no attention to the price on that tag. Or even the markdown...

Retail sales raise hopes for 2014. December 13, 2013
— Retail sales jumped more than economists expected in November, raising spirits about...

Doodlebutt Recalls Jelly BeadZ Jumbo BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun Toys Due to Serious Ingestion Hazard. December 13, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of about 1,500 Doodlebutt Jelly BeadZ Jumbo BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun water-absorbing polymer toys, sold at Amazon.com from February 2012 through September 2013 for about $9. These soft and colorful products can be mistaken by a child for candy. When swallowed, they can expand inside a child’s body and cause intestinal obstructions, resulting in severe discomfort, vomiting, dehydration and could be life threatening. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled polymer products and take them away from small children. Consumers should contact Doodlebutt for a full refund.

IKEA recalls children's wall lamps after child's death. December 12, 2013
— IKEA has recalled eight of its children's wall-mounted lamps after one toddler died and another was injured, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday...

Mattel Is Becoming A Better Story Teller. December 12, 2013 — As the largest toy maker, Mattel is now poised to learn how to tell good stories out of their fantastic brands...

Retail sales seen strong while traders stay on taper alert. December 12, 2013 — November retail sales are likely to show their best gain since February...

Retail sales rise, but jobless claims surge. December 12, 2013 — The economy threw out conflicting signals Thursday when the government reported that retail sales rose...

Amazon Takes Another Shot at LeapFrog. December 11, 2013
— LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE: LF  ) beefed up its kid-friendly tablet for this crucial holiday shopping season...

Why Hasbro Avoids ‘Cool’ Marketing. December 11, 2013 — It’s hard out there for a brand. From executing agile real-time marketing...

Group Wants Mattel to Recall a Newborn Bouncy Chair With Built-in iPad Holde. December 11, 2013 — It’s no secret that kids younger and younger are being targeted with products designed...

Manhattan Group Recalls Baby Rattles Due to Choking Hazard. December 10, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of About 8,300 in the U.S. and 4,100 in Canada of Manhattan Toy® Quixel™ baby rattles, sold at specialty toy and baby stores nationwide, in Canada and online at www.manhattantoy.com from September 2011 through October 2013 for about $15. The colored arches can break, creating a small part which poses a choking hazard to small children. Consumers should immediately take these rattles away from young children and return it to the store where purchased for a full refund.

Pacers and Fever Team up with JAKKS Pacific. December 10, 2013 — For the fourth consecutive year, the Indiana Pacers and Fever partnered with JAKKS Pacific...

Hasbro Partners with SmarTots to Develop Branded Educational Apps for China. December 10, 2013 — SmarTots, a leader in mobile learning games for kids, and Hasbro, the international toy manufacturer, are partnering to create a new coloring experience for three- to six-year-olds on the iPad...

Hasbro Employees Worldwide Make the Holidays Brighter for Thousands of Children in Need through First-Ever Global Day of Joy. December 9, 2013 — On Friday, global branded play company Hasbro, Inc. helped spread joy to thousands of underserved children in 35 countries through its first-ever Global Day of Joy. The initiative empowered Hasbro's 5,000 employees worldwide to become holiday "elves" and to immerse themselves in community service projects designed to bring joy over the holidays to children in need...

To inspire tomorrow’s great female engineers, we need better toys today. December 9, 2013 — While her friends dressed Barbie dolls, Lucy Sanders designed and constructed buildings with Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, and playing cards...

Why Disney keeps buying all your favorite childhood icons. December 9, 2013 — Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia. Kermit the Frog. Miss Piggy. Spider-Man. The Incredible Hulk. Buzz Lightyear. And now, Indiana Jones...

Retailers have themselves to thank for lower Christmas sales. December 9, 2013 — Retailer anxiety is rising nationwide as Black Friday spending declined despite the increase...

Magicforest Partners with Vilac from France. December 6, 2013 — Magicforest is proud to announce that as of January 1, 2014, it will become the exclusive distributor of Vilac toys, a French-brand of specialty toys known for its finely lacquered wooden cars and toys. Based in the Jura mountains near the Swiss border, Vilac has been creating unique toys since 1911. Along with Vilac, Magicforest will also distribute their sister brands: Petitcollin and Jeujura. Magicforest will have a 2014 Vilac catalog available for interested retailers at the beginning of 2014. Products will be available in the United States for delivery to retailers from the beginning of the year, according to a press release.

Shorter holiday shopping  period might boost traditional retail stores. December 6, 2013 — E-commerce has so far been the success story of a tumultuous holiday...

Deep Discounts Ring Warning Bell for Retail Profits. December 6, 2013 — Consumers have feasted on discounts this holiday season, but it means thinner profit margins...

Messy Kids Learn More. December 6, 2013 — There are endless ways to categorize people: Are you a Stone or a Beatle? A Coke-drinker...

Top-Rated Toys of This and Other Seasons: A Gift Guide. December 6, 2013 — Looking for fun, educational toys for your kids? The annual Toy of the Year Awards...

Disney's Doc McStuffins Toys Challenge Dora the Explorer. December 6, 2013 — With established toys such as Barbie and Legos prospering year after year...

Disney’s Spider-Man Rights Contested In Court Again By Stan Lee Media. December 6, 2013 — The mantra over at Stan Lee Media Inc must be “if first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”...

November retail sales weak despite all-out Black Friday efforts. December 6, 2013 — Retailers pulled no punches in November, slashing prices, opening during the Thanksgiving holiday...

JAKKS Pacific Looks to Rebound. December 5, 2013 — Malibu-based toy company JAKKS Pacific is expected to conclude a restructuring process...

Activision CEO Kotick Threatened to Quit Over Buyout Role. December 5, 2013 — Activision Blizzard Inc. Chief Executive Officer Robert Kotick threatened to quit if directors didn’t allow him...

Why Cyber Monday matters more than ever. December 5, 2013 — Given the origins of Cyber Monday, it should have become irrelevant in the grand scheme...

K2 Sports Recalls Kickboards/Scooters Due to Fall Hazard. December 4, 2013 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of about 400 K2 Revo Kick kickboards/scooters from K2 Sports, sold at sporting goods stores nationwide and online at K2skates.com from March 2010 through September 2013 for about $200. he front assembly of the kickboards/scooters can break and the handle can detach or partially detach, causing loss of control or loss of balance. This poses a fall hazard to the rider. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled kickboards/scooters and contact K2 Sports for a full refund.

Why Cyber Monday Matters More Than Ever. December 4, 2013 — Given the origins of Cyber Monday, it should have become irrelevant in the grand scheme of online holiday sales...

Mobile dominates on Cyber Monday. December 4, 2013 — U.S. shoppers made Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day in history with a 20.6% increase...

BEA, Toy Fair Team Up. December 4, 2013 — With more bookstores selling a range of items, including toys, BookExpo America and the American Booksellers Association have teamed up with the Toy Industry Association...

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Announces Best Toys & Games in Show for 2013. December 4, 2013 — The third weekend in November marked the 11th annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), held at the historic Navy Pier and hosted by the Chicago Toy & Game Group...

Online shopping brings mall retailers no holiday cheer. December 4, 2013 — Holiday shopping is now in gear, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us...

2,000 Kids on North Carolina Air Force Base Receive New Toys from Toy Industry Foundation. December 3, 2013 — More than 2,000 children and their families living on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina were provided with some pre-holiday cheer on Monday, December 2nd  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...

Retail sales fall despite holiday kickoff. December 3, 2013 — The holiday shopping season got off to a sluggish start with retail sales falling...

Mattel’s Fourth Annual 12 Days of Play Program Impacts More Than 100,000 Children During the Holiday Season. December 3, 2013 — Mattel (Nasdaq: MAT) today announced the start of its fourth annual global Mattel 12 Days of Play program, a series of holiday-themed philanthropic events...

Supreme Court declines case on making online retailers collect sales taxes. December 2, 2013 — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to get involved in state efforts to force online...

Parents Choosing Tablets Over Video Game Consoles This Holiday Season. December 2, 2013 — According to a new survey from PBS Kids, "More than half of parents...

Competition From Everywhere Has Hasbro, Mattel in Toyland Showdown. December 2, 2013 — Forget the most wonderful time of the year. For Mattel and Hasbro, it's the most stressful...

Retailers' Dilemma: A record number of shoppers turn out, but they spent less for the 1st time. December 2, 2013 — Retailers got Americans into stores during the start to the holiday shopping season...

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...



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