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January 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 1
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Toys in the News: 1-29-2014


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Former supervising artist sues Hasbro over firing; alleges gender, sexual discrimination. January 29, 2014
— A former supervising artist at Hasbro is suing the Pawtucket toymaker over her firing...

Will Mattel Disappoint This Earnings Season? January 29, 2014 — World’s largest toy manufacturer, Mattel Inc. is set to report fourth quarter and full year 2013 results...

GameStop, Tomb Raider, and how retail and online competition remains unfair. January 29, 2014 — GameStop employees opened their respective stores in August of 2011 to find an interesting directive...

Chinese Retailers Hope for a Warmer Welcome to the Year of the Horse. January 29, 2014 — As millions of Chinese factory workers and big city residents prepare to visit...

E-Retailers Are Loving This Frigid Weather. January 29, 2014 — When the weather outside is frightful, consumers tend to stay indoors and go shopping online...

Toy story: Old favourites fight rise of the tablet. January 28, 2014
— The big players in the traditional toy market have come out fighting in Britain as little fingers...

Nerf Blasters, One Direction and Crazy Cart: We reveal the best new toys for 2014. January 28, 2014 — Nerf blasters, virtual pets and the best go-kart in the world - 280 of the world’s top entertainment...

Adora's "Designed By Kids FOR Kids" program taking 2014 submissions. January 28, 2014 — California-based Company, whose best known for "Spreading Love & Joy", is officially on the search for this year's "Young Designer" for their Designed by Kids FOR Kids program. The program which launched in 2013 selects a "Young Designer" to work alongside Adora's creative team designing an outfit for their 18" Adora Friends® line of dolls. It's another incentive Adora developed to promote their belief that children are creative, intelligent and full of bright ideas, according to a press release. The final outfit and its Young Designer will be featured in the 2015 Adora catalog where the outfit will be available for purchase along with their story. In addition, the Young Designer will get to pick a favorite charity of theirs that Adora will make a financial donation to on their behalf. 

Consumer confidence rises again in January. January 28, 2014 — Consumer confidence rose in January, reinforcing December's rebound.The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index...

Photographer Captures Bizarre Reality Of Toy Production In 'Real Toy Story'. January 23, 2014
— Dig into your old toy chest and you're bound to find an adorable bounty of baby dolls, teddy bears and the occasional rubber ducky...

Wave of store closings expected to hit retail. January 23, 2014 — Get ready for the next era in retail — one that will be characterized ...

Banks, Retailers Point Fingers Over Target Hack. January 23, 2014 — Lobbying associations representing the retail and banking industries are pointing fingers over who's to blame...

Shop here! Retailers try bolder strategies to lure customers. January 22, 2014
— To grab attention, brick-and-mortar retailers are showcasing works by famous artists, investing in music playlists that enhance...

Toy industry suffers as parents become resistant to pester power (UK). January 22, 2014 — The toy industry has blamed a disappointing year on parents being less generous with their children...

Lack Of Quality Space Is Becoming A Big Problem For Brick-And-Mortar Retailers. January 21, 2014
— At first blush, the chart below tells the story of the demise of brick-and-mortar retail in the United States...

Movies, video games and drones dominate 2014's top toys (UK). January 21, 2014 — The hottest toys and top gadgets due to be lining your nearest Toys R Us were given their public debut at the Toy Fair in London...

Activision exec gets raise to $1.25 million, bonuses of millions more. January 21, 2014 — Activision Blizzard chief operating officer Thomas Tippl has gotten a raise. SEC documents from...

Amazon obtains 'anticipatory shipping' patent. January 21, 2014 — Amazon has reportedly obtained a patent for "anticipatory shipping," or a logistics...

Toy trends for 2014: what to expect on European shelves. January 20, 2014
— High-tech games for ‘kidults' proved to be one of the main talking points at the Hong Kong Toy Fair...

Preview: 2014 Toy Fair - what to expect (UK). January 20, 2014
— As the world of children's entertainment becomes ever-digitised, it's becoming increasingly difficult...

Hasbro Gives Its Transformers Toys a New Look. January 20, 2014 — When Hasbro conceived its Transformers toy line 30 years ago, the concept was simple: robots that turned into vehicles faster...

Disney Infinity has sold 3 million starter packs since launch. January 20, 2014 — Disney Infinity sold 551,000 during the holiday season alone, nearly catching up with rival Skylanders...

Privacy And Consumer Faith On Retailers' 2014 List Of Worries. January 17, 2014
At the National Retail Federation's annual convention held this past week in New York City it was evident that there were two...

MGA Entertainment Gets Bratty With Mattel Again. January 17, 2014 — Geez, is this still going on? I thought the long-running dispute between Mattel and MGA Entertainment was settled...

The All-New X-Men Come to Hasbro. January 17, 2014 — If you like action figures and Marvel superheroes, chances are you're a collector of Hasbro's Marvel Legends or Marvel Universe figures...

U.K. Retail Sales Beat Forecasts With Record Christmas Increase. January 17, 2014 — U.K. retail sales rose more than economists forecast in December, led by a surge at department stores...

Retail CEOs Reveal Top Goals for 2014. January 16, 2014
— They'll tap technology to get up close and personal with individual shoppers, mine "big data" for meaningful consumer insight...

3 Tips for Disconnecting Kids from Over-Stimulation, Video Games, and Digital Media. January 16, 2014 — Do your kids need to disconnect? Are video games and the proliferation of mobile devices making us expect constant stimulation?...

Entrepreneur Captures Nigerian Toy Market With ‘Queens of Africa’ Dolls. January 16, 2014 — With the booming economy in Nigeria and more Black children than anywhere else in the world...

Traditional holiday toys vied with electronics. January 15, 2014
When tablet computers first became popular, Darren Turbeville — owner of Toy B Ville on Main Street — would often have customers ask...

UK Toy Fair to Showcase New Merchandise for 30th Anniversary and Transformers 4. January 15, 2014 — The 2014 UK Toy Fair is set to take place January 21-23 at the Olympia in London, with a show floor that is sure...

Bratz maker MGA sues Barbie maker Mattel. Again. January 14, 2014
— The feud between fashion doll giants MGA Entertainment Inc. and Mattel Inc. got another infusion of legal juice on Monday...

Retail Sales in U.S. Climbed More Than Forecast in December. January 14, 2014 — Retail sales rose more than forecast in December as consumers snapped up holiday gifts amid year-end discounting...

Fox to Bring 'Magic: The Gathering' to the Big Screen. January 14, 2014 —  Simon Kinberg will produce the adaptation and oversee the building of the "Magic" universe...

Stocks Open Higher After Encouraging Retail Data. January 14, 2014 — Stocks opened higher on Tuesday, rebounding after a steep drop in the previous session...

ASTRA Announces Keynote Speakers for 2014 Marketplace & Academy. January 13, 2014
— The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today that customer service thought leader Lisa Ford and notable small business coach Howard Partridge will headline ASTRA’s 2014 Marketplace & Academy, according to a press release.

Security Breach Hits More Prominent U.S. Retailers, Report Says. January 13, 2014 — Target Corp and Neiman Marcus are not the only U.S. retailers whose networks were breached over the holiday shopping season...

Bad news from retail giving investors sticker shock. January 13, 2014 — Retailers are going from a bright spot to a black hole and starting to spoil...

Scientific Games And Hasbro Expand License Deals To Include New Channels, Brands And Territories. January 10, 2014
— Scientific Games Corporation and Hasbro, Inc. today announced the successful execution of amendments to their long-term licensing agreements...

Discounts slam U.S. retailers' holiday season profits. January 10, 2014 — Many large U.S. retailers slashed their earnings forecasts on Thursday because of steep discounts they offered...

Toys "R" Us had a grim Christmas; US sales declined 4.7 percent. January 10, 2014 — Sales at U.S. Toys "R" Us stores declined 4.7 percent during the nine-week holiday period, compared with holiday 2012...

Mattel shares suffer after Goldman downgrades to sell. January 9, 2014
— Barbie maker Mattel saw its shares skid Tuesday after Goldman Sachs downgraded its rating...

Macy's strength masks underlying retail weakness. January 9, 2014 — Retail sales results are starting to trickle in. While Macy's is a winner, there are many disappointments...

LeapFrog: My Best Small-Cap Idea For 2014. January 9, 2014 — As we end a year in which the major indices are all up over 20%, 2014 approaches with little chance...

Discounts drive U.S. holiday retail growth: ShopperTrak. January 8, 2014
— Promotions and discounts offered by U.S. retailers drove a 2.7 percent rise in holiday season sales despite six fewer days...

China lifts 14-year-old ban on gaming consoles. January 8, 2014 — China has lifted its longtime ban on video game consoles, opening a lucrative new market for manufacturers...

It's a wrap: Holiday retail winners and losers. January 8, 2014 — The gifts are all unwrapped. Returns and exchanges have been made...

Retail groups renew calls for online sales tax law. January 8, 2014 — Retailers and trade groups are putting pressure on House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to take up an online sales tax bill...

Differentiating with delivery: Top trends for 2014. January 7, 2014
— As the clicks and bricks went head-to-head in retail’s all-important holiday season...

Software apps bring new fun at toys and games fair. January 7, 2014 — Creators of software applications have parachuted into one of the world's largest toy shows...

Pediatricians worried about tablet's popularity among children. January 7, 2014 — Several gadget makers, that are well aware of the popularity of tablets among kids...

12 Reasons Why 2014 Should Be a Better Year for Retailers. January 6, 2014 — Looking ahead - beyong the reports for the holiday 2013 season - I see some very encouraging signs...

Holiday shopping in December up from 2012. January 6, 2014 — In-store holiday sales during December 2013 are expected to come out ahead of in-store holiday...

Meet The Reclusive Billionaire Behind The Beanie Baby. January 6, 2014 — The man who invented those tiny plush toys you used to buy with your allowance dropped out...

China 2013 Video Game Market Grows 38 Percent to $13.7 Billion. January 6, 2014 — China's video game industry saw a 38 percent rise in revenues last year to hit nearly $14 billion...

GameStop capitalizes on major console launches. January 6, 2014 — The holiday saw the launch of major consoles, and multichannel videogame retailer GameStop...

Three International Trade Fairs to Open 6 January. January 6, 2014 — More than 2,600 exhibitors from around the world are expected to participate in three international trade fairs, opening 6 January and continuing through 9 January, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, Asia's largest, and the HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair are organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd jointly organise the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair, according to a press release.

Orbotix rolls out its next robotic toy: the Sphero 2B, which resembles a rolling dumbbell. January 6, 2014 — Orbotix took the robot toy world by storm when it launched its Sphero rolling sphere...

Magnetic-toy company expanding to electronics connector. January 6, 2014 — The company behind Nanodots magnetic toys is trying to enter the mobile device market...

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...



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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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