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November 2014 | Vol. XIII - No. 11
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Toys in the News: 12-5-2014


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

Meet the pint-sized toy reviewers making king-sized money. December 5, 2014
— With Christmas approaching, brothers Gabe and Garrett have plenty of work to do. Their YouTube channel...

Navigating a Tough Retail Market. December 5, 2014 — It was another day when stocks were buffeted by cross currents as the S&P futures...

It’s a high-risk holiday season for some retailers on the edge. December 5, 2014 — The holiday shopping season is always a make-or-break period for struggling retailers...

The holiday shopping season is always a make-or-break period for struggling retailers. December 5, 2014 — Hasbro’s Global Day of Joy is so big, it had to be 27 hours long. Starting in Australia during what was Wednesday night in Rhode Island...

LeapFrog seeks to be the Apple of toddler tech. December 5, 2014 — LeapFrog is offering an array of games and gadgets for holiday shoppers, including a new kids-oriented video game console...

DreamWorks and Hasbro Would've Been a Sweet Pair. December 5, 2014 — Buyout rumors come and go, but there was one potential pairing that made too much sense to let go of...

Mickey and Math? Disney Launches Education Apps. December 4, 2014
— Disney is launching several educational apps for preschool aged children...

The Double Life of Retail Promotion. December 4, 2014 — Despite screaming sales signs, the holiday promotion is actually living a double life...

Hot Online Retailers Go "Bricks and Mortar". December 4, 2014 — More and more, retailers that used to deal exclusively online are opening up brick and mortar stores too...

Black Friday aside, retail has changed for good. December 3, 2014
— It’s far too early to worry about lackluster early numbers from retailers for the “Black Friday” weekend...

Why Online Shopping Is A Nightmare For Retailers. December 3, 2014 — Every major retailer is investing heavily in e-commerce...

Toy maker Mattel blasts Superman figurine into space just because they can. December 3, 2014 — We can put rovers on Mars and probes on comets. So what was next? Shooting Superman back into space...

Top Christmas toys searched on Google. December 3, 2014
— Santa is making his list and checking it twice. And Google too is getting in on the list action.

Study says scooters lead the toy-injury pack. December 2, 2014
— A recent study published in Clicnical Pediatrics has found that scooter-related injuries among children have increased in the past twenty years...

Small Retailers Jump On The Subscription Box Bandwagon. December 2, 2014 — For three years, Erin Maynard ran a store called The Geeky Cauldron out of her home in Phoenix...

Cyber Monday shoppers give retailers sales bump. December 2, 2014 — Cyber Monday is turning into Cyber Month. Retailers rolled out discounts and free shipping deals on Cyber Monday...

The National Retail Federation Blames Lame Black Friday Sales on a Recovered Economy. December 1, 2014
— Black Friday weekend has come and gone, meaning the holiday shopping season has officially started...

Retailers target Alibaba in online sales tax push. December 1, 2014 — A coalition of retailers warn in a new ad that online retail giants could put them out of business...

Cyber Monday: Online retailers hope for shopping surge. December 1, 2014 — Online retailers are hoping that a spending frenzy will continue, with internet shopping reaching a pre-Christmas peak...

Beyond Black Friday: Retail Holiday Success Demands A New Formula. November 25, 2014
— It’s do or die time for retailers. The products are in place...

Disney's 'Frozen' beats Barbie as top toy for girls, survey says. November 25, 2014 — Sorry, Barbie. You've had a long reign as the top toy for girls...

Black Friday Success Could Indicate Deeper Woes For Retailers. November 25, 2014 — The predictions for this week’s retail holiday sales kickoff are rosy, but they may...

Why Black Friday Is Overrated (and Always Was). November 24, 2014
— Travis Dent hopes Black Friday just dies, not least because it's already killed seven people...

Jumpy Is An Open-Platform Smartwatch Just For Kids. November 24, 2014 — Smartwatches for children hold a lot of allure and at least one analysis firm believes they will help drive the smartwatch market to 373 million...

Robots, Lasers and Custom Hot Wheels Top 2014 Toy of the Year Finalists. November 24, 2014 — The 2015 "Toy of the Year" finalists have been announced by the Toy Industry Association...

'Frozen' tops the 2014 list of hard to find hot holiday toys. November 24, 2014 — Not sure what to get the little ones this holiday. Well, if they are fans of the Disney movie 'Frozen' you can't go wrong...

Retail sales expected to increase this holiday season. November 24, 2014 — The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, is predicting retail sales...

Which retailers will sing a Black Friday swan song? November 24, 2014 — Many are struggling. Most will power through, but some retailers may be facing their last holiday season...

This holiday season, high-end retailers go high-tech. November 24, 2014 — Beginning this week, shoppers at Tysons Corner Center with the right app may see a welcome message...

Nintendo Tries to Energize Wii U Sales With Amiibo Toys. November 21, 2014
— Nintendo may have stopped its sharp fall. To start climbing again, the video game company is expanding its playbook...

Mattel Apologizes, Says Incompetent Engineer Barbie 'Doesn't Reflect The Brand's Vision'. November 21, 2014 — Earlier today, we wondered why the communications people over at Mattel hadn’t answered any questions about a book starring Barbie as a computer engineer...

iPhone 6 May Rob Holiday Sales From Some Retailers. November 21, 2014 —Massive sales of Apple's latest iPhone will likely have a ripple effect on broader retail sales and stock returns...

Hasbro Helps Kids With Disabilities Learn To Play. November 20, 2014
— Toymakers at Hasbro don't want Mr. Potato Head to end up at the bottom of toy boxes...

Children’s Day 2014: Google Doodle honours children across the globe. November 20, 2014 — Universal Children’s Day is marked in many countries across the globe as 20 November...

Mattel Inc. Brings Out The Big Toy Guns This Holiday Season. November 19, 2014
— Mattel, Inc. has been disappointing investors this year with shrinking sales from Barbie and Fisher Price...

Meet 7 Brands That Are Building the Future of Digital Retail Through Innovation Labs. November 19, 2014 — At first glance, Westfield San Francisco Centre appears to be a typical American shopping mall wit...

Online holiday sales to total $61 billion. November 19, 2014 — Increased use of tablets and smartphone this holiday season will help online sales grow 16% to a record $61 billion...

How Disney Turned ‘Frozen’ Into a Cash Cow. November 18, 2014
— The Patriot Center at George Mason University, half an hour west of Washington...

More retailers set to close on Thanksgiving. November 18, 2014
— Even as more retailers have moved the last two years to push their Black Friday store openings into the Thanksgiving holiday...

DreamWorks and Hasbro Cancel Acquisition Talks. November 14, 2014
— The toy maker was looking to expand its media reach with an animation arm...

Madison group designing, fabricating toys for children in need this season. November 14, 2014 — Santa’s elves at MindGear Labs in Madison are designing and soon, actually building toys for the Christmas season...

Sweden Considers Special Labels for Sexist Video Games. November 14, 2014 — A video-game trade group, inspired by the Bechdel Test..

Best kids smartwatch: VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch vs Leapfrog LeapBand. November 14, 2014 — Which is the best smartwatch for kids? Leapfrog LeapBand or VTech Kidizoon Smart Watch...

US Retail Sales Rise Ahead of Holiday Shopping. November 14, 2014 — U.S. retail sales rose modestly in October, evidence that recent job gains and lower gas prices...

Why Hasbro wants DreamWorks: synergy. November 14, 2014 — The link between Toyland and Movieland is not so simple. It may look that...

Dismissal denied in $1 billion lawsuit against Mattel over Bratz dolls. November 14, 2014 — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Thursday denied Mattel’s motion to dismiss...

This Holiday Season Reveals Big Changes in Retail. November 14, 2014 — A lot about holiday shopping has changed. Black Friday now starts...

Stores push extra-early holiday deals. November 12, 2014 — You're not dreaming. Those holiday shopping deals are coming faster and earlier this year...

Another Happy Singles Day for Alibaba: Will U.S. Retailers Chase the $9 Billion? November 12, 2014 — Singles Day ended hours ago in China, and Alibaba made a little bit of money: A record-breaking $9.3 billion...

Christmas 2014: Top toys this holiday season. November 12, 2014 — Children are the happiest during the holiday season and with the slew of toys...

Procrastinators can wait even longer this holiday season. November 11, 2014 — The 2013 holiday shopping season was largely defined by its price wars. And while...

Why McDonald's Recalled Millions of Hello Kitty Toys. November 11, 2014 — McDonald's is recalling a Hello Kitty-themed whistle given to children in Happy Meals...

10 Smart Tech Toys For Kids. November 11, 2014 — It's holiday toy shopping season. Please the budding coder, architect, robot-builder, or drone pilot...

Holiday Hype Aside, Five Seasonal Retail Predictions Worth A Double Take. November 11, 2014 — Drum roll, please: Consumers will spend a lot! Retailers are promoting earlier than ever! And mobile commerce will grow exponentially...

ALEX BRANDS® Names Industry Veteran Neil Friedman President and CEO. November 10, 2014 — The ALEX BRANDS® family of brands, which includes ALEX TOYS®, POOF®, SLINKY®, SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER®, IDEAL®, ZOOB®,  BACKYARD SAFARI®, ZILLIONZ® and CITIBLOCS®, announced that industry veteran Neil Friedman has been named President and CEO. Friedman, who joined the ALEX BRANDS® board of directors earlier this year, was most recently President of the U.S. division at Toys “R” Us. He was also previously President at Mattel Brands, Fisher-Price Brands, Tyco Preschool and MCA/Universal Merchandising.

Toys ‘R’ Us to Open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. November 10, 2014 — Retailer unveils initiatives to make the shopping experience smoother during the busy holiday season...

Rubik's Cube, Bubbles And Green Army Men Join Toy Hall Of Fame. November 10, 2014 — They've littered kids' rooms for decades. And now four well-loved toys...

Comparing America's 3 Largest Toys And Games Companies. November 10, 2014 — While good investing isn't necessarily fun and games, fun and games can be good investing...

Retail Categories That Need A Holiday Boost. November 10, 2014 — And now, back to your regularly scheduled flood of holiday-shopping commercials...

Shopping too soon: How retailers are ruining Thanksgiving. November 10, 2014 — No holiday is more explicitly American than Thanksgiving. Though Independence Day...

No Sales Decline for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Says Activision. November 10, 2014 — Combined retail and digital sales up year-on-year, publisher claims, though there are some caveats...

For Retailers, 'Black Friday' Has Become A Season Unto Itself. November 6, 2014 — Super-charged by increased mobile outreach, intensified consumer planning, and raised numbers...

Read more: October Retail Sales Lukewarm, Except for Costco Wholesale. November 6, 2014 — Retailers are announcing October U.S. same-store sales figures Thursday. Research firm...

The Disney Proper Infinity 2.0 Figures Are Here, And They're Lovely. November 6, 2014 — Now that we've gotten all of that superhero nonsense out of the way, it's time for the Infinity 2.0 figures...

Bandai Shows Off All Its New Toys At 'Tamashii Nation 2014'. November 6, 2014 — A few times a year, Bandai descends upon Akihabara with its latest and greatest toys...

Toy Makers' New Darlings: Tiny Critics on YouTube. November 5, 2014 — A snaggletooth eight-year-old. A middle schooler with a punk rocker bob cut and big earrings. Tween siblings with a penchant for playing...

Two Dozen Retailers Won’t Open on Thanksgiving–And They’re Shaming the Ones That Will. November 5, 2014 — A slew of national retailers are making a point of the fact that they aren't going along with the trend to open...

How Hasbro Is Leveraging Movies And Television To Its Advantage. November 5, 2014 — The success of Marvel and Transformers franchise will continue driving Hasbro's sales on the back of new movie releases....

Christmas top toys list includes first WiFi doll and miniature robot. November 5, 2014 — The world’s first Wi-Fi connected doll and a miniature robot invented with help from top scientists...

LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. Earnings: Flunking Out. November 4, 2014 — LeapFrog Enterprises investors are learning the hard way that electronic learning toys don't always pan out...

Google partnership with Disney streams its catalog to Android. November 4, 2014 — Disney is allowing you to watch "Frozen" on your Android device...

Eight Tips to Boost Holiday Sales. November 3, 2014 — If national forecasts prove accurate, the holiday season holds a welcome gift for retailers...

Stung Last Year, Retailers and Shippers Retool for the Holiday Season. November 3, 2014 — This year, Santa’s reindeer will be huffing and puffing their way from the North Pole...

Chillax parents, the great "Frozen" toys shortage has thawed. November 3, 2014 — Though parents may still have had to scrounge for Elsa costumes this Halloween...

The best toys for a tech-filled Christmas 2014. November 3, 2014 — With the big day creeping up all too quickly, Gizmag takes a look at, and plays with, our pick...

Hasbro to help 'Operation' inventor who couldn't afford his own pricey surgery. October 31, 2014 — "Operation" inventor John Spinello's story went viral this week after he revealed that...

Optimize your game plan for holiday toy shopping. October 31, 2014
— Looking for the holiday season’s hot toys, like anything related to Disney’s Frozen...

3 Things to Watch When LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. Reports Earnings. October 31, 2014 — There's no denying that LeapFrog Enterprises has been more of a toad than a prince...



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