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March 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 3
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Toys in the News: 3-31-2015


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

Amazon Launches A Dedicated STEM Toy Shop. March 31, 2015 — Amazon announced this morning the launch of a new store on its site that’s dedicated to selling STEM toys and games...

Mattel: Waiting For The Entry Point (That May Never Come). March 31, 2015 — Investors are waiting for a dividend cut or further fall in share price before buying Mattel....

Genius Brands International Partners With Comcast to Launch New Kid Genius Channel on Xfinity On Demand. March 31, 2015 — Building on the success of its Baby Genius® series on Xfinity On Demand, Genius Brands International, Inc...

Retail tries to lift image as employer, and pay is key. March 30, 2015 — Retailers are raising their minimum wages as the industry tries to elevate its status...

Toys R Us stores will become play places. March 30, 2015 — Toys R Us knows it can’t usually beat prices from the likes of Amazon and Wal-Mart...

Games Workshop, Turbo Tape Games Team For Warhammer: Arcane Magic. March 27, 2015 — When you come right down to it, anything based on the Warhammer universe is best when it’s turn-based...

'Fancy Nancy’ Set to Become Disney Junior Movie, TV Series. March 27, 2015 — “Fancy Nancy” is about to step up her game in a wide-ranging deal with Disney. Disney Junior has cut a deal...

Mattel: The Fork In The Road. March 27, 2015 — Using Jim Collins’ book How The Mighty Fall, we can see that Mattel’s decline has been a long time coming...

Retail trade increased in February. March 27, 2015 — The retail trade sales volume increased by 4.8 percent in February compared to the same month last year...

Activists fight release of new high-tech Barbie doll from Mattel. March 26, 2015 — Consumer activists are raising red flags about Mattel’s new “Hello Barbie” doll, which packs Siri-like voice recognition...

Famed San Francisco Toy Store To Close After Landlord Raises Rent To $40,000 A Month. March 26, 2015 — One of the last toy stores in San Francisco is the latest victim of exploding rents...

This Insane Tribute To Classic Star Wars Toys Took 2,000 Hours To Paint. March 26, 2015 — Artist Robert Burden's huge mural dedicated to the Star Wars universe celebrates the galaxy far, far away...

Toys 'R' Us Wants to Make Its Stores More Fun For, Well, the Kids. March 25, 2015 — In effort to contend with online retailers and discount box stores...

LeapFrog Enterprises: A Discussion Of The Brand's Potential Value. March 25, 2015 — LeapFrog is a powerful brand, well-recognized by families, parents and educators...

Retailers turn Instagram into a hipster mall. March 24, 2015 — When Beverly Ragon, co-owner of Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based vintage store Fox & Fawn, signed up for Instagram...

For Once, a Missing Princess Leia Figure Isn't a Hasbro Disaster. March 23, 2015 — Recently, Star Wars action figure fans were all flustered by the shocking news that a highly anticipated...

The Worst Is Not Over For Mattel. March 23, 2015 — Mattel has been blindsided by Frozen's princess duo of Elsa and Anna...

Mattel has been blindsided by Frozen's princess duo of Elsa and Anna. March 23, 2015 — Everyone loves a Slinky – but few have started a campaign...

Big retailers’ wage boost may set trend. March 23, 2015 — Wages have become the focus in retail’s gradual recovery of jobs lost during the economic bust, underscoring the employment...

Hasbro Backtracking On That Whole 'You Don't Need Girl Toys' Thing. March 18, 2015 — Paul Harrison, an editor at Star Wars Collectible fan site Jedi Temple Archives, was at the New York Toy Fair

Toys 'R' Us may move out of Times Square. March 18, 2015 — The future of one of the retailer’s iconic locations is in doubt...

How sympathetic are you to the small retailers who want Congress to correct tax that favors online sellers? March 18, 2015 — Proponents of e-fairness have once again introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act in Congress...

Retailers To Senators: Don’t Hit Us With Bank-Style Security Rules. March 18, 2015 — Banking data-security regulations would be a “poor fit” for retailers and other businesses that accept payment cards...

'Lego Jurassic World' Video-Game Is Four Movies Long. March 17, 2015 — Lego Jurassic World trailer reveals game-play footage, story-line from all four films...

Toy stores have icy reception for 'Frozen 2'. March 17, 2015 — With mega-hit Frozen on track to continue its flurry of success on the big screen with its upcoming sequel, announced last week...

Rumor: LEGO Toys-to-Life Comng Later This Year. March 17, 2015 — A published report claims Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developer Traveller's Tales are planning

Shoplifters cost retail industry millions each year. March 16, 2015 — "HOT products", or small items that can be easily concealed, are the target of shoplifters...

Kanye West Has High Standards for North's Toys. March 16, 2015 — Kanye West is a creative guy, so when he sees his daughter playing with toys...

Disney Can't Stop Lawsuit Over 'Toy Story' Stuffed Bear. March 13, 2015 — A Texas judge is showing no love to Disney in a dispute arising from "Lotso," an evil stuffed bear character...

Safari Ltd® Partners with GovernmentShopping.com. March 13, 2015 — Safari Ltd® is proud to announce its partnership with Governmentshopping.com which began in February 2015. As a Partner Store, various government employees are now eligible to purchase Safari Ltd. products at a discounted rate through the Government Shopping website...

Once Unique, LeapFrog Has Rivals in the Educational Toy Market. March 13, 2015 — On a weekday afternoon, Flora Bojadziev, a chef from Harlem, browsed through a Toys “R” Us in Manhattan...

Harsh Weather a Factor as U.S. Retail Sales Fall. March 13, 2015 — Retail sales in the United States fell in February as auto purchases dropped...

Hasbro's Fundamental Business Model Shift. March 12, 2015 — The market is finally catching on that Hasbro is no longer only a toy company...

U.S. retail sales weak; labor market strengthening. March 12, 2015 — U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell for a third straight month in February likely as harsh weather...

Fuhu’s nabi tablet to offer content from Disney, Discovery. March 12, 2015 — Fuhu Inc, which makes kid-friendly computer tablets, said it signed deals with Walt Disney Co and Discovery Communications...

'Cinderella' to be paired with 'Frozen Fever' short film in theaters. March 11, 2015 — One of Walt Disney Co.'s most storied princess properties is meeting the company's two newest royals...

Amazon launches Exclusives to surface "up-and-coming brands". March 11, 2015 — It's yet another niche for the e-commerce titan: Amazon Exclusives are available only via Amazon or the product makers' own pages...

Scrabble Ball raises $1.1 million for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. March 11, 2015 — An annual gala event last weekend raised $1.1 million for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. More than 900 people attended...

Mattel Struggles as Iconic Toy Brands Witness Lower Sales. March 11, 2015 — Mattel reported weak fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 results on Jan 30 as quarterly earnings...

Mattel, Viddiverse craft up new partnership. March 10, 2015 — Mattel is taking its new toy and crafting property AmiGami to the realm of tween video-sharing...

China offers great opportunities for e-retailers that know their way around. March 10, 2015 — The 500 biggest web retailers in China increased their online sales by 59% last year...

Safari Ltd Ends Licensing Contract with Carnegie Museum of Natural History. March 9, 2015 — Safari Ltd announced today in a press release that it has ended its 28 year collaboration with Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Pittsburg, PA), effective this month. "We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Carnegie, so this was a very difficult decision," said Alexandre Pariente, CEO of Safari Ltd. "We are proud of the value created through this cooperative effort over the years for our Carnegie Dinosaurs line," said Pariente. "We took our time and carefully analyzed Safari's direction and ultimately concluded that Carnegie and Safari have divergent interests and it made sense for us to part ways.  We wish Carnegie well in its future encounters."

Educators weigh virtues of video games in classrooms. March 9, 2015 — Playing and designing video games to help students learn skills ranging from teamwork to digital design...

Kids' Birthday Gift Registries: Parents Take on Trend. March 9, 2015 — People are used to gift registries for weddings, but the wish lists are now becoming popular for a completely different kind...

Hasbro Teams up with Demi Lovato to Introduce New TWISTER MOVES Line. March 9, 2015 — Hasbro, Inc. has joined forces with multi-talented recording artist, performer and actress Demi Lovato to introduce exciting ways to move with the new TWISTER MOVES line...

Hasbro Named as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute for Fourth Consecutive Year. March 9, 2015 — Hasbro, Inc. announced today that it has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2015 World’s Most Ethical Company®.

Why Retailers are Suddenly Desperate to Keep Their Least-Valuable Workers. March 6, 2015If the ability to throw a 100-mile-per-hour fastball sits at one end of the human-capital spectrum...

The Current State of the U.S. Toy Space. March 5, 2015
— The US Toy Industry is flourishing - though not by all metrics...  

Disney works to keep its hit film 'Frozen' hot. March 5, 2015 — When it comes to the sassy princesses who star in Disney's hit film "Frozen," retailers don't want to let them go...

A Toy Ball That Teaches Kids to Code. March 5, 2015 — It's inevitable that the kids of Generation Z will be the most naturally tech-literate...

Winona Capital invests in Fat Brain Toys. March 5, 2015 — Fat Brain Toys and Winona Capital announced today the Chicago-based private equity firm has made a strategic investment in Fat Brain Toys...

February Retail Sales Affected by Port Slowdown, Weather. March 5, 2015 — Retailers are announcing February U.S. same-store sales figures Thursday. Research firm Retail Metrics projected an overall gain...

Online retailers win big in use-tax dispute – for now. March 4, 2015 — Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion for the Court Tuesday in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl gave online retailers a big victory...

LeapFrog and Olympic Gold-Medal Figure Skater Kristi Yamaguchi Partner to Raise Awareness of Early Chilhood Literacy During National Reading Month. March 4, 2015 — LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., the leader in educational entertainment, and celebrated Olympic Gold-Medalist Figure Skater Kristi Yamaguchi announced a partnership to raise awareness of the importance of reading ...

Record $275 mln Activision settlement goes before Dela. Chancery Court. March 4, 2015 — Most of the nation’s attention on Wednesday will be fixed on the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices will hear arguments....

The NPD Group Reports on U.S. Toy Industry Retail Sales for 2014. March 4, 2015 — According to retail sales data from global information company, The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $18.08 billion in 2014 compared to $17.46 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent...

NY Lawmakers to try again to pass "toxic toy" bill. March 3, 2015 — Two New York state lawmakers have reintroduced legislation intended to ban the use of toxic chemicals in children's toys...

JAKKS Pacific Secures Worldwide, Master Toy Agreement for the Smurfs Franchise. March 3, 2015 — Leading U.S. toymaker JAKKS Pacific, Inc. announced today that it has secured a licensing agreement...

Beanie Babies: Whatever happened to Millennials' favorite toy? March 3, 2015 — Anyone of a certain age in the mid to late 1990’s knows all about the crazy fad called Beanie Babies...

Activision, EA Tried To Buy Minecraft - Report. March 3, 2015 — An excellent new story from Forbes dives into the post-Minecraft life of the game's creator Markus "Notch" Persson...

Attempts made to access Toys"R"Us reward program profiles. March 3, 2015 — Unnamed attackers attempted to gain access to some Toys“R”Us reward program members' profiles in January...

'Playing with toys, you learn about life'. March 2, 2015 — Ron Friesen is a child at heart. Although he’s a retired professor and in his 70s, his Bluffton home is filled with toys...

New High-Tech Toys Could Be Vulnerable to Hackers. March 2, 2015 — Toys are getting high tech. They don't just talk to kids, some new toys interact...

Retail Reaches A Tipping Point. March 2, 2015 — In early February, 93-year-old retailer RadioShack announced it was filing for bankruptcy...

Retailers find themselves caught in the middle. March 2, 2015 — Selling to the middle-class shopper has rarely been so tough...

The problem with separate toys for girls and boys. February 27, 2015 — Girls’ toys. Boys’ toys. To many parents, the ubiquity of separate color-coded shopping aisles feels natural...

JAKKS Pacific Shareholders Feeling 'Frozen' After Q4 Results Are Actually Missing A Really Good Story. February 27, 2015 — JAKKS for the 3rd straight quarter delivered beat and raise results and saw a 10%+ share price decline...

Option Traders Are Looking for Toy Maker Mattel to Rebound. February 27, 2015 — option traders are looking for Mattel to rebound from multi-year lows...

Retailers hand in their final holiday tallies and results are mostly good. February 27, 2015 — Three months after the holiday shopping season began on Black Friday, the verdict on how retailers fared...



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