December 21, 2010

HABA

Law Enforcement Seize 18,000 Counterfeit Pillow Pets in New York

Pillow PetsApproximately 18,000 counterfeit Pillow Pets were impounded by law enforcement officials at a warehouse in Queens, N.Y. last week, the largest seizure of fraudulent Pillow Pets brand products to date.
According to CJ Products, LLC and Ontel Products Corporation, the manufacturer and distributor of Pillow Pets, “unauthorized knockoffs of these trademarked products have been offered for sale by vendors online, at mall kiosks, in small retail stores, and at flea markets.” CJ Products and Ontel are filing lawsuits against counterfeiters and working with law enforcement to confiscate products that are not authentic.
Authentic My Pillow Pets and Pillow Pets labels are found on the rear right foot and the hangtag of each Pillow Pet plush foldable stuffed animal. An authentic Pillow Pet is shown here.

Uncle Milton Selected as National Geographic Toy Licensee

National Geographic KidsNational Geographic has picked Uncle Milton Industries as its primary toy licensee for its National Geographic, National Geographic Kids, and Nat Geo Wild brands. Under the multi-year agreement, National Geographic and Uncle Milton will team up to launch a comprehensive line of toys “designed to inspire the next generation of explorers.” The line is slated to launch in 2012. Uncle Milton Industries has also partnered with The Stupid Fun Club, a new venture from The Sims creator Will Wright, in a multi-year licensing agreement for a new product under Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm brand. The partnership will also include a broader line of science- and nature-themed educational toys, to launch over the next several years. The new Ant Farm product will be in stores next fall.

MommyTech Partners with BlogHer for Event

BlogHerThe 2011 CES partner event MommyTech Summit has partnered with BlogHer, Inc.
As part of the partnership, BlogHer co-founder and COO Elisa Camahort Page and Ilana Westerman, principal at Create with Context, Inc., will present the results of "Women, The Web and Their Wallets," a joint research study that looks at how moms purchase technology, and how technology drives purchasing.
Additionally, Page will join bloggers and journalists from the women-tech community—including Suzanne Kantra, Andrea Smith, and Beth Blecherman—as guest moderators at FashionWare, a runway show that will unveil the next generation of wearable technology. Diana Eng, author of Fashion Nerd and former Project Runway contestant, will curate the show.

Report: 76 Percent Say Their Mobile Phone Is Important to Their Holiday Shopping

Briabe Media has released a joint report with MocoSpace on the use of mobile devices in holiday shopping. Briabe surveyed more than 12,000 respondents from MocoSpace, an entertainment destination on mobile internet.
When it comes to mobile phone usage, 76 percent of those surveyed said their phone is “somewhat important” to “very important” to their holiday shopping this year. The majority of those who used the mobile phone for holiday shopping, 62 percent, use it as a product research tool prior to entering the store, while 46 percent use their mobile phones in-store for comparison shopping. Only 14 percent of survey respondents said they use mobile coupons, although 30 percent expect to use mobile coupons during the holiday season.

U.S. Customs Seize More than 100 Cartons of Counterfeit Dolls

According to Ktar.com, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 141 cartons of counterfeit dolls that resembled Barbie and Moxie Girlz at the San Luis port of entry on the Arizona-Mexico border. The officers said the dolls were estimated to be worth $61,000. Ktar.com reports that representatives from Mattel and MGA Entertainment confirmed the dolls were counterfeit and were in violation of copyright infringement.

NPD to Release New Report on Purchases Made For Kids

The NPD Group, Inc. is releasing its Kids Industry Data Service (KIDS), a monthly, syndicated tracking service that tracks purchases made for kids ages 0 to14, and focuses on licensing.
Categories tracked within KIDS include apparel and accessories, arts and crafts, consumer electronics, footwear, music and video content, items for the home, video game software and hardware, and toys, as well as categories that NPD does not currently track such as books, health and beauty, party supplies, Halloween costumes and accessories, sporting goods, school gear, stationery and gift cards, and baby/infant non-disposable products.
According to The NPD Group, the new service is designed to address a wide array of business needs such as size and scope of purchases made for kids by category, how that varies by age and gender of the child, retailer importance, buyer demographics, and purchase occasion. The report is slated to release in the fourth quarter 2010 holiday season.

ChiTag Young Inventor Challenge Winners Announced

Chicago Toy & Game FairAn 8 year old and a 16 year old took home the top honors at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair’s Young Inventor Challenge. As part of the event, kids ages 6 to 18 present an original toy and game that they invented.
Adrik Herbert, age 8 of Morris, Ind., won in the junior category for his game, Nutterz, which features a slanted board.
Nick Metzler, age 16 from Algonquin, Ill., was the winner in the senior category for his board game, That’s Cheating!, in which players have to cheat to win.
The winners of the Young Inventor Challenge were announced by actor, producer, and inventor enthusiast, John Ratzenberger and Mike Hirtle, head of Global Product Acquisition and Inventor Relations at Hasbro. Prizes for the winners include dinner with Hirtle and Ratzenberger, a private tour of Toy Fair in New York City, InventNow Camp Invention scholarships, an Inventor’s Digest interview, and a tour of professional inventor Bruce Lund’s Chicago studio.

Madame Alexander

Target Entertainment Execs to Set Up Own Production Company

Oliver Ellis, Target Entertainment’s director of children’s and family, and Helen Howells, Target Entertainment’s commercial director, will be leaving the company to set up their own production company. Ellis will continue to act as executive producer on Target’s forthcoming preschool series (to be announced shortly), while Howells will continue to support Target to ensure a strategic roll-out of the brand internationally. Ellis’ kids’ acquisition responsibilities will now be looked after by Ali Hill, director of TV acquisitions and Hannah Worrall, director of sales.

Darren Kyman Joins Sony Pictures Consumer Products

Darren Kyman has joined the Sony Pictures Consumer Products team as executive director, retail and softlines. Darren joins SPCP from Paramount Licensing where he served as executive director, marketing and retail development. Prior to that, Kyman held various marketing positions at MGM CP and Fox Licensing & Merchandising.

Scholastic Reports Second Quarter Results

Scholastic Corporation has reported results for its fiscal 2011 second quarter, which ended November 30. Revenue for the second quarter was $675.7 million, up 2 percent from $660.1 million a year ago. Earnings per diluted share from continuing operations were $2.19 compared to $1.54 in the prior year period.
During the second quarter, the company repurchased approximately 5.2 million shares of its common stock at $30 per share, returning approximately $156 million to shareholders. The company had total debt of $231.2 million at the end of the second quarter, down from $279.6 million a year ago, and approximately $44.5 million still authorized for additional share repurchases.
Based on its year-to-date results and current outlook, Scholastic now expects fiscal 2011 revenue of $1.9 to $1.95 billion and earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $1.80 to $2.05.

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