More than two million Rainbow Loom kits flew off US retail shelves in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With these scorching holiday sales, the low-tech product – which was just named Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association – is tapping into girls’ social nature to drive an arts & crafts toy category revolution.
Interactive games and electronics may be propelling the toy industry forward in the digital age, but this year’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards have sent a clear message that offline may just be more on-trend than ever – especially among girls. Craft sensation Rainbow Loom from Choon’s Design took home the coveted Toy of the Year title as well as three category awards, while GoldiBlox’s Spinning Machine picked up the People’s Choice award at the 14th annual TIA-administered event in New York.
The consumer products program surrounding Cartoon Network series Adventure Time is about to expand with a crop of new collectibles, games, puzzles and branded pet toys.
“Market signals indicate that investors are very bearish on the prospects of Toys ”R’ Us,” says Jerry H. Tempelman, director of the capital markets research group at Moody’s Analytics. “There is concern in the market.” The toy retailing institution is on shaky ground as debt hovers and sales drop. Industry analysts like Tempelman agree it’s time for a TRU makeover.
Hasbro is adding to its toy/digital integrated Telepods product line through Angry Birds Stella, the latest brand to hatch from Rovio Entertainment that features the popular Stella character and her friends.
In the lead-up to Toy Fair, Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) has signed numerous new global licensees to many of its hit kids IP, and the company has promoted Ana de Castro from WBCP’s SVP of business and legal affairs to Warner Bros. Entertainment’s SVP and deputy general counsel.
When Canada-based toyco Spin Master launched its first construction toys last November under the Ionix brand, the line was based on animated series Tenkai Knights. Now, the construction lines are set to encompass characters from DreamWorks Animation and Pokemon.
The return of Sega’s iconic Sonic the Hedgehog character to the small screen this fall in Sonic Boom will now be supported by a full multiplatform strategy that encompasses videogame development and a merchandising program.