March 07, 2012

 Toy Fest West

ABC and JPMA Form Trade Show Committee for Kids Expo

All Baby and Child, Inc. (ABC), creator of the ABC Kids Expo, and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) are forming a trade show committee for ABC Kids Expo. Regular participants will now have the opportunity to have greater involvement in decisions affecting the show.
The committee will meet twice a year and will be advisory in nature. The first meeting will be held during ABC’s Spring Educational Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas (April 25-27). Keith Schneider of PEM America, who is a JPMA board member and member of the JPMA and ABC Unification Task Group, has agreed to chair the trade show committee.
Committee members will be solicited from all major constituencies of the show—from large, medium, and small retailers and manufacturers to representatives of the various show categories. Anyone interested in serving should contact Kelly Mariotti at
The formation of the committee is one of a series of initiatives to be introduced by the JPMA and ABC Unification Task Group. In October, JPMA and ABC announced they were discussing ways that they could work together to achieve broad industry objectives.

Registered ASTRA Attendees Invited to Free One-Hour Webinar

On Friday, April 27, retail educator Paul Erickson of RMSA Retail Solutions will present a free one-hour webinar on inventory management to independent retailers who register for the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) Marketplace & Academy by March 31. Erickson will lead retailers through specific techniques to control inventory, increase margins, improve stock sell through, and pump up profits. The webinar will serve as an introduction to the content Erickson will present in June at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy in Baltimore, Md.
All retailers who register for the Marketplace & Academy by March 31 will receive a link to the webinar by April 20. To register for Marketplace & Academy, visit

Moose Enterprise Named Australian Distributor for Bananagrams, Inc.

BananagramsMoose Enterprise has been named the Australian distributor for the
Bananagrams games range, starting in May. The range includes Bananagrams, Appleletters, Pairs in Pears, Zip It!, and Fruitominoes.




Techno Source to Distribute Kurio Kid Tablet in U.S. and Canada

Kurio7Techno Source, a division of LF Products, has entered into an agreement with CIDE Interactive for a deal that grants Techno Source the rights to distribute the Kurio line of Android-based tablets in the U.S. and Canada. The marquis item, Kurio7, is an Android-based, seven-inch, multi-touchscreen tablet that is Wi-Fi-enabled. The complete range of Kurio devices will be available at mass and specialty retailers nationwide in time for this year’s back-to-school season.
Just like a tablet for adults, Kurio7 allows kids to access email, search the web, read e-books, write, draw, play games, take photographs and video, watch movies, and listen to music. The tablet has an open Android system that allows parents to monitor usage without restricting. Parents can set different controls for each user profile, expanding access as the child becomes older. The tablets, available in seven-inch, eight-inch, and 10-inch models, are appropriate for kids ages 4-14.

Cra-Z-Art and Rovio Launch Angry Birds Activities and Crafts Line

Angry BirdsActivities and stationery manufacturer Cra-Z-Art and Rovio Entertainment have partnered for a new line of Angry Birds-branded activity products for kids ages 3 and up. Rovio debuted an Angry Birds Figure Maker Playset, a Super Doodle Drawing Toy, Putty, Color Your Own Bird Bean Bags, a Super Fun set, an Activity Roller Desk, and a Giant Coloring Pad at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.


The Wicks Group Closes the Acquisition of Bendon Publishing

The Wicks Group of Companies, LLC and its affiliated fund entities has closed its previously announced acquisition of Bendon Publishing International, Inc. Bendon is a designer, publisher, and marketer of children’s educational workbooks, coloring books, board books, flashcards, and related educational and entertainment products.
The company plans to continue growing in its core markets and will pursue an acquisition growth strategy to build scale in this growing sector. Benjamin A. Ferguson has been named CEO and Terry D. Gerwig will continue to serve as executive vice president. Ferguson and Gerwig were among the company’s three founders.

Hasbro’s Global Licensing Deals 

Hasbro has announced the following recent global licensing deals. Chitech is bringing Nerf bikes, tricycles, scooters, and three-wheeled scooters to retailers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand next month. Great International Co., Ltd has signed on to create Transformers Prime pens, pencils, erasers, stickers, notebooks, and bags, available this year throughout Taiwan. Hunter Leisure is producing My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop sporting goods that are currently in stores in Australia and New Zealand. PT Adinata Melodi Kreasi is bringing Transformers Prime bags and stationery to Indonesia in May.

Moshi Monsters Partners with Sony Music

Moshi Monsters MusicMoshi Monsters is set to join the likes of Michael Jackson, Olly Murs, and One Direction, after parent company, Mind Candy, confirmed a deal with Sony Music. The deal follows the launch of Mind Candy’s own music label, Moshi Monsters Music. 
The deal kicks off with the debut Moshi Monsters Music album Moshi Monsters, Music Rox!, featuring 12 tracks from the Moshi characters, including The MonStarts, Dr. Strangeglove, Popstar Poppet, Big Bad Bill, and Sweet Tooth, as well as newly developed music characters Bobbi SingSong and Zack Binspin. The music ranges from rock to Bollywood styles.
Sony Music will handle the UK distribution of Moshi Monsters’ music releases. The album is available for pre-order now at,,, and iTunes UK. It will launch on shelves in the UK (and on iTunes globally) on April 2.

Hasbro to Cut Approximately 170 Jobs in the U.S. and Canada

According to Reuters, Hasbro, Inc. spokesman Wayne Charness said the company is cutting approximately 170 jobs, mostly in the U.S. and Canada. Charness said “about 55” of the eliminated positions will be in Rhode Island where the company is based. All employees affected by the downsizing will get “competitive” severance packages, including outplacement services, Charness said. Hasbro employs approximately 5,900 people worldwide, including 1,400 in that state.

Target Reports Net Sales for February

Target Corporation reported that its net retail sales for the four weeks ended on February 25, were $5.132 billion, an increase of 8.0 percent from $4.750 billion for the four weeks last year, which ended on February 26, 2011. On this same basis, February comparable-store sales increased 7.0 percent.
“February sales were well above our expectations, due to stronger-than-expected guest traffic combined with a solid increase in transaction size,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and CEO of Target Corporation. “We’re very pleased with the pace of our sales since the holiday season, though we continue to plan for a first-quarter comparable-store sales increase of around 4 percent.”

Lego Profits Increase 12 Percent

Lego announced that its net profits last year increased 12 percent to $750 million (4.2 billion kroner). Its global market share was 7.1 percent in late 2011. The company attributed its sales increase to the rising popularity of its Lego City line and licensed products based on Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The company said Lego Ninjago, launched last year, was its biggest product introduction ever.

Jakks Adopts Stockholder Rights Plan

Jakks Pacific, Inc.’s board of directors has unanimously adopted a stockholder rights plan and declared a dividend of one right for each outstanding share of the company’s common stock. The company said the board adopted the rights plan in response to Oaktree Capital Management’s unsolicited indication of interest as well as a recent indication by Oaktree that it may accumulate additional shares of the company’s stock in the open market.
According to Jakks, the company’s rights plan is designed to protect against any potential coercive or abusive takeover techniques and to help ensure that the company’s stockholders are not deprived of the opportunity to realize full and fair value on their investment.
In connection with the adoption of the stockholder rights plan, the company’s board of directors declared a dividend of one right for each share of the company’s common stock held by stockholders of record as of the close of business on March 15. The rights plan will continue to be in effect until March 4, 2013, unless earlier redeemed or exchanged for shares of common stock by the company.

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