Gaming Devices Remain Dominant Consumer Electronics Used by Kids
According to the Kids and Consumer Electronics: 2012 Edition, the latest report from the NPD Group, portable and console video game systems continue to have the highest usage levels among kids ages 4 to 14, but media tablets experienced the highest increase in usage at 13 percent this year, versus only 3 percent last year.
Additionally, while usage of the more sophisticated devices such as computers and video game devices tend to increase as kids get older, tablet usage is highest among younger children, which highlights how important it is for manufacturers to make their devices easy to use. According to the report, households with kids ages 4 to 14 own an average of 10 different devices, with kids using an average of five of those devices.
Televisions, computers, and cell/smartphones continued to maintain the highest household ownership, while portable digital music players saw the largest drop in household ownership with just 35 percent owning these devices in 2012, compared to 48 percent last year. Household ownership of console and portable video game systems, media tablets, and digital video cameras experienced the most significant increases.
Portable video game systems are the most popular devices personally owned by kids ages 4 to 14, with 6 years of age being the average age of adoption; this is slightly younger than last year, when the average age was 6.4.
PlaSmart Signed as Exclusive North American Distributor for DoodleArt
PlaSmart Inc., has been signed as the exclusive North American distributor for mass and specialty retailers for the color-it-yourself poster kit brand The Original DoodleArt.
DoodleArt posters will be rebranded in new plastic tubes with large label inserts. Each poster kit comes with 12 felt-tip pens, each with a calligraphy tip on one end and a fine tip on the other end. The pens are filled with environmentally friendly vegetable-dye inks.
Twenty of the original DoodleArt posters have been digitally recreated with ten currently in print. In keeping with DoodleArt tradition, a new design will also be unveiled at the 2013 New York Toy Fair.
Consumers Say Back-to-School Deals Better This Year
PriceGrabber has released results from its final Back-to-School Shopping Forecast survey, revealing that 48 percent of consumers believe retailers are offering better promotions on back-to-school items this year compared to last.
Eighty-eight percent of consumers chose “sales” as the top retailer promotion that will entice them to make a back-to-school purchase this year. Forty-nine percent of shoppers cited coupons; 44 percent noted that “free items with purchase” would persuade them to buy; and 34 percent selected sales available online only.
When broken down by categories, school supplies topped the list of best deals, with 67 percent of consumers saying they found great prices for those products. Fifty-eight percent of consumers said they found great clothing deals; 32 percent said electronics, including computers, tablets, and smartphones; 30 percent selected back packs or tote bags; and 15 percent said books.
JLK to Roll Out Roxx Brand in U.S.
TCG has appointed JLK Brand Licensing Group as its licensing and merchandising agent for the Roxx brand in the U.S. Roxx is the newest collectible, tradeable, playable, head-to-head, competitive game of skill that appeals to boys ages 8 and up.
Under terms of the deal, JLK Brand Licensing Group will represent Roxx for all licensing and merchandising efforts across the U.S. Roxx will roll from collectibles into apparel, hats, back-to-school products, footwear, stationery, and sporting goods. JLK Brand Licensing will implement Roxx promotions in packaged goods and at fast food chains.
Market Report Finds Lego Is the Third Largest Toy Company
Lego is the third largest toymaker in the world, behind Mattel and Hasbro, according to a new market report by Euromonitor International. Lego was one of the most successful toy companies during 2010 and 2011, outperforming the sluggish toy market. The majority of the company’s products remain in the construction category, where its position is solid. Lego has also diversified its business model, launching games and a number of video games.
The report findings come on the heels of Lego celebrating its 80th birthday. Lego released a new animated short on its website, chronicling the company’s history. Watch the video here.
Mind Candy to Release Two New Moshi Monsters Mobile Games
Mind Candy, the entertainment company behind Moshi Monsters, and global mobile social gaming company, GREE, have confirmed details of two debut Moshi Monsters mobile game titles to be launched as part of their new partnership.
Moshi Monsters Village is a 3D-style game, allowing players to design their very own town in Pawberry Fields, with help from Dewy at the DIY store. Fans will go on quests to rescue Moshlings captured by the evil Dr. Strangelove by playing a number of fun mini games.
Mind Candy and GREE are also set to launch Moshi Monsters: Lost Islands, a card collection and puzzle game. Players can collect Moshlings cards, as well as Moshi characters, while exploring uncharted regions and discovering mysterious new islands.
Moshi Monsters Village and Moshi Monsters: Lost Islands will launch for mobile devices beginning in the fall.
Spielwarenmesse eG Accepts Applications for World of Toys Pavilion
Spielwarenmesse eG is accepting applications for exhibitors at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair from January 7 to 10.
Companies can apply until September 30 for the World of Toys Pavilion. Manufacturers and suppliers can use the pavilion to develop and consolidate their business relationships in the Asian market.
The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair is organized by one of Asia’s largest fair organizers, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The semi-public, non-profit organization promotes Hong Kong’s international economic relationships and organizes four fairs at once in January.
The Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, the Hong Kong Stationery Fair, and the Hong Kong International Licensing Show take place parallel to the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. All the fairs are held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. For more information and the application documents for the World of Toys by Spielwarenmesse eG at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair 2013, visit www.world-of-toys.org/en.
Gameloft and Playmobil Partner for Pirates Mobile Game
Gameloft, publisher of digital and social games, and Playmobil have announced a worldwide exclusive partnership for the development of the Playmobil Pirates games for smartphones and tablets.
Playmobil Pirates will allow players to meet characters from the toy company’s pirates range, from the classic figurines to the newest additions. Users must build their own pirate camp and recruit crew members, while completing quests and mini-games. The modeling will remain faithful to the Playmobil characters.
Playmobil Pirates will be available for free on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets by the end of the year.
Retail Container Imports Expected to Increase
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 6.3 percent in August, compared with the same month last year. This year should show an increase of 4.8 percent over last year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.41 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent) in June, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 4.7 percent from May and 10.7 percent from June of last year.
The report is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker.
Bandai and Saban’s Power Rangers Challenge Kids to Zord Building Contest
Bandai America, Inc., and Saban’s Power Rangers are challenging kids across the U.S. to put their Zord building skills to the test. Fans can create and submit their unique Zord combinations for a chance to win weekly prizes as well as the grand prize, a visit from the Power Rangers.
The new ZordBuilder line of Power Rangers toys from Bandai has fused action with construction to allow kids to mix and match parts to build Zords and Megazords or their own unique creations.
Some 27 mall events will be held across the country, where Zord experts will teach kids how to play with the ZordBuilder collect and combine system. Kids will be able to build their Zords on-site and submit a photo of their creation for entry into the contest. Kids can also enter online at www.zordbuilder.com. Kids can build their Zord at home using their own Power Ranger toys, take a photo, and submit online, or they can experience the Virtual ZordBuilder.
Each week one winner will be chosen to receive a Power Rangers Toy Prize Pack and in December, a grand prize winner will be chosen for a Power Ranger Ultimate ZordBuilder party in their hometown, including a visit from the Power Rangers.