December 01, 2011


New Juvenile Trade Show to Run Concurrently with TIA’s Fall Toy Preview

PB&JNext year, Dallas Market Center will premiere a new trade event for mass-market retailers, “PB&J: The Preview for Baby & Juvenile,” created as a joint venture with the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The new show will debut and run concurrently with TIA’s annual Fall Toy Preview, to be held October 2-4 on the Dallas Market Center campus.
PB&J will offer a focused selection of baby and juvenile resources from different manufacturers, with an emphasis on companies in the categories of furniture, bedding, gifts, décor, baby care, accessories, strollers, high chairs, and nursing/feeding. Echoing Fall Toy Preview’s model, PB&J will be a by-appointment-only event that brings together vendors with mass retailers for private meetings and networking events.
The Dallas Market Center will provide meeting rooms, WiFi, special hospitality, and other amenities.
For more information, visit

Total Black Friday Weekend Shopping Estimated at $52.4 Billion

Black Friday 2011 set records, according to a new National Retail Federation (NRF)  survey conducted by BIGresearch. A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year, reported NRF. The average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year. Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion. Additionally, shoppers spent an average of $150.53 on the web, totaling 37.8 percent of their weekend spending. On Thanksgiving Day alone, 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores, an increase from 22.2 million last year. More people than ever (86.3 million) also braved crowds and shopped online on Black Friday.
ShopperTrak also released its Black Friday weekend report. According to ShopperTrak, Black Friday sales increased 6.6 percent over the same day last year, representing $11.4 billion in retail purchases and the biggest dollar amount ever spent during the day. Retail foot-traffic also rose, increasing by 5.1 percent compared to Black Friday last year.

More Shoppers Participated in Cyber Monday This Year

According to The NPD Group, Inc.’s “Anatomy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2011” study, almost 28 percent of consumers reported shopping online this Cyber Monday compared to 21 percent last year. Of those shoppers, 16 percent reported making a purchase this year compared to 12 percent last year. The study’s results also indicate that brick-and-mortar stores had a sales boost on Cyber Monday. More consumers reported shopping in a store on Cyber Monday this year (20 percent) than last year (14 percent), and of this year’s shoppers, 16 percent report making a purchase, compared to last year’s 11 percent.
In terms of average purchase amount, consumers spent less online this Cyber Monday compared to last year. This year, consumers reported spending $187.83 on average compared to last year’s $276.71. When asked about their reasons for shopping this Cyber Monday the No.1 reason cited by online shoppers was “to comparison shop” (29 percent, up 6 percent compared to last year). No. 2 was “I was just curious to see what was out there” (27 percent), and No. 3 was “I saw an item I wanted advertised on sale” (23 percent).

Toys Top Kids’ Holiday Wish Lists Once Again

This month, The NPD Group asked parents the unaided, open-end question “What is on your child’s wish list for this upcoming holiday season?” as part of its Kids Industry Data Service (KIDS). The results of the 1,477 compiled mentions of items were toys (42 percent), video game hardware and software (13 percent), consumer electronics (10 percent), apparel and accessories (9 percent), sporting gear (3 percent), DVDs/Blu-ray (3 percent), books (3 percent), items for the home (2 percent), and music (2 percent). Compared to last year, toys captured a bigger portion (39 percent in 2009).
Additionally, as part of KIDS, NPD released the top five children’s licenses from September 2010 to August 2011. The licenses (in alphabetical order) were Cars The Movie, Disney Princess, Dora the Explorer, Star Wars, and Toy Story, with each generating anywhere from 7 percent to 3 percent of total licensed product sales. Among age groups, 3-5 year-olds command the most dollars spent on licensed products (27 percent), followed by 6-8 year olds (21 percent). Segmented by gender, more money for licensed products is spent on boys (58 percent) than girls (43 percent).

Colorforms: A Touch of Nostalgia

ColorformsThe Colorforms brand is celebrating 60 years of creation by releasing new products to match today’s generation.
What do you get when you put two artists together? In this case, a “sticky” concept of classic shapes that allow imaginations to run free.
In 1951, Harry and Patricia Kislevitz were given flexible, paper-thin vinyl by a friend who manufactured pocketbooks. Curiously, they began experimenting with the vinyl, cutting shapes and placing them on the bathroom walls in their New York City apartment. They noticed the vinyl stuck to the semi-gloss paint, but could also be removed and rearranged, so the two left a pair of scissors and pieces of vinyl in the bathroom so guests could make their own creations. To read more, click here.


Richard Scarry’s Busytown Products Launch at Nordstrom

BusytownCookie Jar Entertainment, and its licensing division, CPLG, has teamed up with Nordstrom for a range of Richard Scarry’s Busytown products. This month, all Nordstrom full-line stores as well as the retailer's online store ( launched an assortment of Richard Scarry’s Busytown products, including classic picture books from Random House; the Eye Found It! and Busy, Busy Airport board games from Wonder Forge; new plush, play sets, vehicles, and figure packs from The Bridge Direct; and The Busy World of Richard Scarry and Busytown Mysteries DVDs from Mill Creek Entertainment. A Lowly Worm plush with DVD and play set is featured in the Nordstrom holiday catalog.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Debuts Make-Your-Own Chipmunks Plush

Alvin and the ChipmunksBuild-A-Bear Workshop, in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Bagdasarian Productions, debuted make-your-own Alvin and Brittany plush on Friday. Build-A-Bear guests can make their very own Alvin and Brittany, stars of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked!, the upcoming third installment of the family film franchise, which arrives in theaters on December 16. Also available are mini Alvin and the Chipmunks friends Simon, Theodore, Jeanette, and Eleanor in pre-stuffed mini form, all dressed in island apparel. Additionally, guests who purchase Alvin and Brittany will receive a virtual chipmunk for their online character to redeem on

Pinkalicious Expands Licensing Program with Street Flyers

Pinkalicious skatesThe Joester Loria Group is expanding the Pinkalicious licensing program with an agreement with Street Flyers. The launched collection of Pinkalicious in-line and quad skates from Street Flyers, as well as protective accessories such as elbow pads, kneepads, and wrist guards, debuted early this fall at mass accounts and e-commerce sites. The line’s distribution will expand this holiday and in the spring to sporting goods, outdoor, specialty, and independent retailers. The Joester Loria Group also signed American Marketing Enterprises for a collection of Pinkalicious sleepwear and Almay Sales Company for a line of Pinkalicious-branded HBA.



LIMA to Host Webinar on CPSIA and Other Regulations

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s (LIMA) is continuing its webinar series with a new discussion on Wednesday, December 7. Susan DeRagon, associate director for toys & premiums at UL-STR, will present “Regulatory Update—Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), State Legislation and Europe’s Toy Safety Directive.” The session will provide insight into recent developments surrounding the CPSIA, as well as U.S. and state regulations concerning consumer products. DeRagon also will offer her perspective on Europe’s new Toy Safety Directive, which went into effect last summer. The webinar will start at noon. LIMA webinars are free for all members and $99 per site for non-members. For more information and to register, click here.

TIA Presents “Toy Safety Training” Sessions in Hong Kong and China

Earlier this month, representatives from the Toy Industry Association (TIA) presented a practical understanding of U.S. toy safety requirements for Chinese manufacturers at “Toy Safety Training” sessions held in Hong Kong (November 14) and in Dongguan, China (November 16). In addition to TIA, presenters included the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission (EC), the General Administration of Quality Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ), and the Hong Kong Toys Council. The Toy Safety Training was designed to guide toy manufacturers in the region on both the European Union’s revised Toy Safety Directive and U.S. toy safety requirements.

Adventures in Pocketville to Broadcast in the U.S., Toys to Follow

PocketvilleMEG Toys has announced a new deal that will bring its animated television series Puppy In My Pocket Adventures in Pocketville to the U.S. The series will air on Boomerang starting early next year. A toy line based on the television series will follow in the spring, to be distributed in North America by Jakks Pacific, Inc. The line will feature collectible figures, accessories, play sets, and plush.
The Adventures in Pocketville is based on the Puppy in My Pocket brand from MEG and is a co-production between Mondo TV, Giochi Preziosi, and MEG. The new agreement with Cartoon Network, Inc. extends the show’s reach beyond broadcasts already underway across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Pan-Asia on Turner Broadcasting platforms. North American merchandise licensing and promotions for the television series is represented by Licensing Works!.

MGA Signs Deals for Little Tikes, Lalaloopsy

MGA has signed new licensing deals for Little Tikes and Lalaloopsy. For Little Tikes, new deals include The Canadian Group for puzzles, games, and magnetic creations; Fundex Games for backyard games and pool games; and JJ Sands for plastic infant bottles, infant feeding accessories, toddler feeding cups, plates, and utensils. For Lalaloopsy, new licensing deals include Imperial Toy for novelty toys, bubbles, and sand and beach toys; Stoneridge Cyclefor Sporting Goods; as well as deals for apparel, fabrics, and domestics.
Additionally, MGA has a number of categories open for Lalaloopsy, Little Tikes, and Bratz. Categories include consumer electronics, seasonal, ride-ons, outdoor play environments, music compilations, and amusement for Lalaloopsy; consumer electronics, infant products, furniture, seasonal, publishing, interactive/video games, and wheeled goods for Little Tikes; and consumer electronics, seasonal, publishing, wheeled goods, music compilation, and interactive/video games for Bratz.

Rocket Launches UK Licensing Campaign for Olly The Little White Van

Rocket Licensing has launched the UK phase of the global licensing campaign for the preschool children’s show Olly the Little White Van. The animated series tells the story of Olly, a little white van who has a huge personality and lives in the magical town of Bumpton. Airing on CiTV, the show has secured Hornby as master toy partner and Abbey Home Media as the DVD partner. Other licensing areas that are under discussion or being pursued include games, publishing, puzzles, gifts, homeware, nightware, and apparel.

WOWindows, LLC to Release Casper Posters for Next Halloween

WOWindows LLC, manufacturer and exclusive online wholesaler of colored window posters for seasonal and special occasion decorating, has been granted a licensing agreement by Classic Media to expand its WOWindow Posters line with Casper the Friendly Ghost and related characters as depicted in the original Harvey comic books. WOWindows, LLC plans to release two new designs in 2012: Casper the Friendly Ghost and Casper and the Ghostly Trio.

Studio 100 Signs Distribution Deal with Kidobi

Studio100 Media, a subsidiary of Belgium’s Studio100, has announced a digital distribution agreement with Kidobi, a preschool-targeted streaming video platform. The agreement gives Kidobi digital distribution and VoD rights for several shows from its programming library for a three-year period beginning next month. The licensed titles include Tabaluga, Lapitch, and Art Alive. Additionally, Kidobi has the rights to Zigby, Florrie’s Dragons, and the multi-platform 3-D and CGI quiz show Kerwhizz.

K.I.D.S. Gala to Honor Delta Children’s Products and More

On Thursday, December 8, actress and comedian Caroline Rhea (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) will host the 26th Annual K.I.D.S. Gala to be attended by apparel, juvenile products, footwear, and other industry leaders. The event will honor Joe Shamie, co-president of Delta Children’s Products; Steven Lawrence, executive vice president and general merchandise manager at J.C. Penney; and the Global Levi’s Brand, to be accepted by Becca Van Dyck, chief marketing officer. The keynote speaker will be Andrew Sorkin, a New York Times journalist, author of Too Big to Fail, and co-anchor of Squawk Box. For more information, visit

DCP Names Josh Silverman as EVP, Global Licensing

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) President Bob Chapek announced that Josh Silverman has been named the new executive vice president of global licensing for Disney and Marvel. Silverman was senior vice president of global strategy, business development, and brand management for Marvel Entertainment. In his new role, Silverman will ensure business maximization through collaboration with internal partners, licensees, and the newly combined retail organization throughout The Walt Disney Company. Internationally, he will work closely with regional licensing teams to leverage DCP’s scale and best practices.

Waboba USA Appoints Dale Marx as New President

Dale Marx has been chosen as the new president for Waboba USA. He will lead Waboba’s expansion throughout North America and the Caribbean. Marx’s professional experience ranges from building one of the largest sporting goods manufacturer’s representative firms to extensive involvement in private label manufacturing. Waboba says his background aligns with the company’s strategies for corporate international sales and marketing the brand as a diverse toy, game, sports, and fitness line.

Report: ESA Spent $1.1 Million on Lobbying in Q3

According to a regulatory report, as reported by the Associated Press, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent nearly $1.1 million on lobbying in the third quarter, approximately the same amount it spent lobbying in the second quarter of this year. ESA is a trade group that represents video game companies; member companies include Microsoft Corp., Disney Interactive Studios Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Nintendo of America.
AP reports that ESA lobbied on issues such as energy efficiency, foreign trade policy reform, entertainment industry ratings, parental control technology, and piracy and copyrights issues. ESA “opposes government regulation of video game content and says the industry should be able to regulate itself using its own system, which is similar to movie ratings,” reported AP.

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