ToyDirectory
December 12, 2017

TDmonthly Magazine

May 2015 | Vol. XIV - No. 5


Toys in the News: 6-11-2015

By TDmonthly Staff
May 2015

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See previous toy industry news.


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

Let kids learn by hacking their toys. June 11, 2015 — Children, unlike most adults, have imaginations that are unconstrained by either themselves or society...

Retail sales make a comeback in May. June 11, 2015 — Retail sales made a comeback in May. Retail sales rose 1.2%...

Genius Brands Continues to Expand the Baby Genius Consumer Products' Program. June 11, 2015 — As it prepares to debut a comprehensive Baby Genius retail program in September with dozens of new products...

Trial over Aqua Dots toy coated with date-rape-drug begins. June 10, 2015 — It was any parent's nightmare. A toddler, a presumably safe toy...

Lego apologizes for 'back-of-the-bus window-licker' toy. June 10, 2015 — The toy company Lego was the target of outrage recently after promoting...

Hazardous chemicals would be banned from toys, kids' clothes under proposed New York City Council bill. June 10, 2015 — Hazardous chemicals would be banned from toys' and kids clothes under new legislation...

JAKKS Pacific Announces Batman V. Superman Product Licensing Agreement. June 9, 2015 — Take a deep breathe, everyone. There will be plenty of Batman V. Superman, Dawn of Justice toys for...

Hasbro Showcases Global Franchise Brands, Stories, and Experiences at Licensing Expo 2015. June 9, 2015 — Hasbro, Inc. is set to arrive at Licensing Expo 2015 to spotlight its portfolio of global franchises, including the TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MONOPOLY, and JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS brands...

LeapFrog Enterprises (LF) Set to Announce Earnings on Thursday. June 9, 2015 — LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF) is scheduled to release its earnings data on Thursday, June 11th...

Disney To Launch Playmation Toy Series In October. June 5, 2015 — Disney’s consumer product division recently announced the launch of Playmation...

JAKKS Pacific (JAKK) Looks Good: Stock Moves 5.3% Higher. June 4, 2015 — JAKKS Pacific, Inc. was a big mover last session, as the company saw its shares rise over 5% on the day...

Meet the Chatty Robot Who Wants to Outsmart Every Other Toy. June 4, 2015 — Musio, a $599 prototype, is only the latest contender for smartest toy in the playpen...

Musio, a $599 prototype, is only the latest contender for smartest toy in the playpen. June 4, 2015 — Brick and mortar retailers — you know, the dinosaurs doomed in an increasingly digital world...

Activision supercharges Skylanders' game with new vehicles. June 3, 2015 — The next evolution of Activision's multibillion-dollar toys-to-life franchise Skylanders adds vehicles...

Why Google and Mattel are getting kids (and parents) wrong. June 3, 2015 — The shift in kids’ toys toward interactive, surveillance technology forgets that most children value creativity...

Toys 'R' Us Names IPO Veteran David Brandon As Its Next CEO. June 2, 2015 — Toys "R" Us Inc. appointed a new chief executive with little retailing experience but a track record...

'Lego Dimensions' has the toys, but 'Disney Infinity' is a better game. June 2, 2015 — The toys came to life, and it was cool when they did. Almost four years after Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure...

How Silly Putty Became the World's Most Malleable Toy. June 2, 2015 — A few days shy of Christmas 1968, the Apollo 8 mission blasted off from Cape Kennedy...

The incredible pay disparity facing black and Hispanic people in retail work. June 2, 2015 — Retail workers — sales clerks, cashiers and stock people — account for one in six jobs...

Hasbro CEO hints Bumblebee could get Transformers spin-off film. June 1, 2015
— The Transformers cinematic universe will soon expand far beyond the four films

Let's get phygital: Physical toys with digital interaction are a multibillion-dollar industry . June 1, 2015 — From G.I. Joe to Barbie to Treasure Trolls, collecting dolls and action figures has been a childhood rite of passage for decades...

Girson to Receive ASTRA Top Honor. June 1, 2015 — The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today that specialty toy retailer and industry leader Jonny Girson of The Learning Tree toy stores will be honored at Marketplace & Academy with ASTRA’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

Experiential Purchasing and the New Retail (PDF, auto-download). May 28, 2015 — What it means when consumers want to do something, not just buy something...

New Retail Formats Target The Nation's Next Biggest Buying Group. May 28, 2015 — Step aside, baby boomers. The Millenials are taking your place...

Amazon rolls out free same-day delivery. May 28, 2015 — In another blow to bricks-and-mortar retail stores, Amazon.com is launching free same-day delivery...

Big US retailers overtaken in brands ranking shift. May 27, 2015 — Alibaba has become the most valuable retail brand in the world, overtaking global behemoths Amazon and Walmart...

Hasbro insider John Frascotti Sells 31,602 Shares. May 27, 2015 — Hasbro insider John Frascotti sold 31,602 shares of the stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Friday...

ASTRA on Track for Record-Breaking Marketplace & Academy in Charlotten. May 26, 2015 — Registrations for the upcoming Marketplace & Academy are coming in at unprecedented rates, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced today.   The event will feature a large assortment of top selling and innovative new toys along with substantial show-only discounts and moneysaving retailing strategies. "ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy is the largest gathering of the specialty toy industry, and this year we expect to break previous attendance records," reports Kathleen McHugh, President of ASTRA. "It’s not too late to come to Charlotte if you want some great savings on products, some exciting new items to refresh your store, and a fun antidote to the long hours you’ve been working.  Just walk in and we’ll get you registered fast and on your way to stimulating educational sessions and a jam-packed exhibit hall."

Beloved Toy Shop Faces Forced Shutdown. May 21, 2015 — Concord, Massachusetts, is known for its Revolutionary War history, its legendary authors and...

Mind-controlled toy car tech could help amputees, those with disabilities. May 21, 2015 — Over the course of three days, organizers say more than 9,000 people...

Mattel Receives Consensus Rating of "Hold" from Analysts. May 20, 2015 — Shares of Mattel have been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the twelve analysts that are covering the company...

Ohio Lawmaker Wants Manufacturers To Alter Appearance Of Toy Guns. May 20, 2015 — The days of cops and robbers may be over on television, but recent shootings involving confrontations with police with people carrying toy guns...

3 Overlooked Retargeting Strategies For Retailers. May 19, 2015 — How can retailers step up their retargeting campaigns to reach new and existing customers?...

Iconic FAO Schwartz Toy Store to Close Manhattan Location. May 18, 2015 — After years of rising rents, iconic toy store FAO Schwartz will be leaving its Manhattan location, across from the Plaza Hotel, in July.

LeapFrog's stock slumps after delaying release of quarterly results. May 18, 2015 — LeapFrog Enterprises Inc.'s stock slid 8.2% in premarket trade Monday, after the educational entertainment company...

Toy Company Designs Dolls with Scars and Hearing Aids. May 18, 2015 — The toy company Makies has designed a set of dolls that have scars, hearing aids, birth marks and walking sticks...

Hasbro, Inc. – Stock Is Toying With a Two-Way Trade. May 15, 2015 — Shares of toy company Hasbro, Inc. bumped higher Thursday, giving hope to momentum traders...

ASTRA President Kathleen McHugh Resigns. May 14, 2015 — Kathleen McHugh will leave her role as President of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) effective October 6, 2015, the ASTRA "It has been a privilege to work with dozens of Board members and other committed volunteers during the many years I have led ASTRA and my decision to leave is one of the hardest I’ve ever made," said McHugh. "For over 15 years, ASTRA has provided me the opportunity to grow professionally and personally. Working with our members and supporting their entrepreneurship dreams with effective ASTRA programs has been my joy. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity I have had to contribute to the success of the organization as well as to the sustainability of the industry. I am proud of what we have accomplished together." In the coming weeks, ASTRA’s Board of Directors will provide information to the membership and the trade out its search for the next President of ASTRA.

What anemic retail sales mean for the Fed. May 14, 2015 — It wasn't supposed to be this way: Wednesday's April retail sales report was a surprising disappointment...

The Brand Blueprint: The Core Of Hasbro's Success. May 14, 2015 — Toy manufacturing giant Hasbro has experienced some success over the past ten years growing revenue...

Schylling Recalls Police Press and Go Toy Vehicles Due to Choking Hazard. May 14, 2015 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of about 13,200 (in the U.S., and 2,100 in Canada) Police Press and Go Toy Vehicles from Schylling Inc., sold at Specialty toy and gift stores nationwide from April 2010 through April 2015 for about $5. The hat can detach from the policeman’s head and pose a choking hazard to young children. For more information you can contact Schylling at (800) 767-8697 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at SafetyAlert@Schylling.com or online at www.schylling.com and click on Safety Alerts & Recalls at the top of the page for more information.

Propel Equity Partners Acquires Buzz Bee Toys®. May 13, 2015 — Propel Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing and creating value in leading consumer brands, today announced it has acquired Buzz Bee Toys®. Buzz Bee Toys®, a diverse line of active play toys, will join the ALEX BRANDS® family of brands, which includes ALEX TOYS®, POOF®, SLINKY®, SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER®, IDEAL®, ZOOB®,  BACKYARD SAFARI®, ZILLIONZ®, CITIBLOCS®  and SHRINKY DINKS®.

Retail sales unchanged; import prices weak in April. May 13, 2015 — U.S. retail sales were flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and other big-ticket items...

'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Toys Leave Black Widow Out of One of Her Best Scenes. May 12, 2015 — Here we go again. As we’ve reported before, there is a major lack of Black Widow...

Pioneering playtime: 5 predictions for the future of toys. May 12, 2015 — Move over, Furby — there are a whole new slew of toys on the market for tech-savvy tots...

LEGO is more profitable than Mattel and Hasbro combined. May 11, 2015 — When we think about toys, some of the first brands we think about are Hasbro...

Movie toys will dominate kids' wish lists this summer. May 11, 2015 — Movie ticket prices are high, but it may be the cost of blockbuster-related licensed products that...

Why Mattel Inc. Stock Jumped 22% in April. May 11, 2015 — Investors were pleased with the company's midmonth first-quarter earnings results, which included higher-than-expected...

3 Types of Risk Facing Retailers. May 8, 2015 — Running a traditional retail operation used to be so much simpler...

Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected First Quarter 2015 Financial Results. May 8, 2015 — Activision Blizzard, Inc. today announced better-than-expected financial results for the first quarter of 2015...

Check Out This Coding Toy—For Grownups. May 8, 2015 — The line between toy and tech tool barely exists anymore, as companies increasingly turn hardware hacking...

Report: Mattel CFO Nearly Duped Out Of $3.2 Million In China. May 7, 2015 — Mattel, Inc.'s Chief Financial Officer Kevin M. Farr nearly fell victim to a $3.2 million email scam...

Amazon Didn't Really Eliminate Gender Taxonomy for Toys—Yet. May 7, 2015 — A report that Amazon no longer sorts toys into "boy" and "girl" categories is currently sweeping the internet...

Star Wars Meets Disney: Designing Infinity's New Toys. May 7, 2015 — Jeff Bunker never thought he would be a toy designer. As vice president of art development...

Bears for Humanity Announces Retailer "Humanitarian Award" Contest. May 5, 2015 — Socially conscious brand Bears for Humanity will grant their first ever "Bears for Humanity Humanitarian Award" to the retailer with the most donations to date at this year’s ASTRA Marketplace & Academy, the company announced in a press release.

The Mattel Toymaker Turnaround Story. May 5, 2015 — Consumer confidence in the U.S. remains strong as we head into the 6th year of recovery...

Retail Apocalypse: Major Chains Closing 6,000 Stores. May 5, 2015 — The long feared “retail apocalypse” may be hitting with little or no fanfare if a growing list...

Disney beats on earnings and now the stock is at an all-time high. May 5, 2015 — Disney reported second quarter earnings Tuesday morning, and it was a beat on the top and bottom line...

The Hobby Market – a Force in Toys. May 4, 2015 — Lutz Muller explores the Game and Hobby sector, and how it fits with the Toy Industry overall. 

Mattel Appoints Joseph Johnson as Corporate Controller. May 4, 2015 — Mattel, Inc. today announced the appointment of Joseph B. Johnson as Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller, effective immediately...

Thanks to 'Star Wars,' Cincinnati's Kenner redefined toy industry. May 4, 2015 — Head into the toy section of any retail store in the United States, and you’re guaranteed...

Toy sellers at annual showcase say they're betting on 'Star Wars' boost. May 1, 2015 — Toy manufacturers and retailers are betting that the force will be with them this year...

A year ago, Nintendo was on the brink. Now it's back, and here's why. April 30, 2015 — The introduction of Nintendo’s amiibo figures last year has revitalized the company, providing much needed revenue...

U.S. Retail Inventory Moving Slower, Tying Up Cash Longer. April 30, 2015 — After several years of turning over inventory more quickly, U.S. retailers are experiencing slower-moving stock...

Retailers adjusting their playbooks to get your cash. April 30, 2015 — Forty percent off. Buy one, get one free. For more than a year, retailers' play-calling...





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