Author: Guest Blogger

Kids Time Fair 2017: A Look Inside Central and Eastern Europe’s Largest Toy Fair

by Reyne Rice and Lena Hedo The largest trade show for toys, games, and children’s products in Central and Eastern Europe, Kids Time 2017, was held in Kielce, Poland, from Feb. 23 to 25. The eighth annual international fair featured toys and products for babies and children, and recorded double-digit growth in key measurements, including more than 7,000 professional trade visitors and 474 exhibitors. With overwhelming interest from exhibitors and buyers, the event organizers filled a total of seven exhibit halls, covering 16,292 square meters (more than 175,000 square feet), and had a wait list of nearly 100 manufacturers. Next...

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Coloring and Craft-Related Products Sales Grow Double Digits Ahead of Easter

From slime and foam to coloring and crafts, the latest trends around creative expression are driving U.S. sales of office supplies ahead of Easter, according to The NPD Group. The double-digit sales growth seen across coloring and art related categories suggests that a different wave of items may be joining the chocolate bunnies and stuffed animals in Easter baskets this year. Dollar sales for washi tape grew by 41 percent in the 52 weeks ending February 25, 2017, and actual unit sales more than doubled. Consumers are buying tape with patterns, logos, and designs, with those sales up 31 percent. These tapes are being used conjointly with gift wrapping, journaling, planner personalization, poster-making, and more. Colored pencil sets and coloring pages experienced the highest dollar sales growth in the industry during this time. Sales grew by $49.2 million (+27 percent)—outpacing total industry gains—and $39.7 million (+26 percent), respectively. The coloring trend has also positively impacted pen and marker sales; traditional pens and color and permanent markers grew a combined $45.4 million. Spring-related colors including green, purple, and violet were among the traditional pen colors experiencing the highest percent growth. Painting and paint supply category sales are also reaping the benefits of creative expression, driven by acrylic paint, which comprises one-third of category sales; paintbrush pens, which grew its sales by 47 percent; and painting accessories, the second largest category. Beyond...

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TIA to Host Washington, DC Fly-In Tax Debate for Toy Companies

As momentum builds on tax reform, trade, and regulatory reduction, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is urging its members to attend TIA’s 9th Washington, DC Fly-In, where toy companies can share their concerns with key lawmakers. With the debate on healthcare reform now on the back burner, congressional and Trump administration officials are turning their attention to tax reform, including the controversial Border Adjustment Tax.  Taking place May 9 to 10, the Fly-In is free for TIA members to attend. During a series of meetings held over the course of two days, TIA staff and members will hold face-to-face meetings with policymakers and their staff members to discuss policies affecting toy companies, while also educating them on the positive developmental benefits of toys and the U.S. toy industry’s impact on the economy. In addition to tax reform, discussions will cover burdensome regulatory requirements, threats to imported products, trade barriers in other countries, and other important issues affecting the business of toys and play. TIA will schedule the meetings, as well as a dinner for all participants, and provide transportation to and from activities. Members who would like to attend the Fly-In may register online; and hotel reservations can be made via the reservation form. Questions about any of the above may be directed to Samantha Slosberg, TIA assistant manager of external affairs...

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Spin Master Reports Q4 and Full Year 2016 Financial Results

Spin Master Corp. announced financial results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016. Highlights include an increased revenue of $338.4 million, up 30.9 percent from $258.4 million in Q4 2015. Excluding revenue from Swimways Corp., which was acquired in Q3 2016, Q4 revenue grew 26.1 percent. In Constant Currency terms, revenue increased by 33.9 percent relative to Q4 2015. Gross Product Sales increased 30.9 percent to $376.2 million, compared to $287.5 million in Q4 2015, driven by sales of Paw Patrol and Hatchimals, which more than offset declines in Meccano, Kinetic Sand, and Air Hogs Star Wars products. Excluding Swimways, Gross Product Sales grew 26.3 percent. Other Revenue, which primarily reflects merchandising royalty and television distribution income from products marketed by third parties using Spin Master’s owned intellectual property, as well as app revenue from Toca Boca and Sago Mini (acquired in Q2 2016), increased 53.8 percent to $12.3 million from US$8.0 million in Q4 2015. Gross profit in Q4 2016 increased 30.7 percent to $172.0 million, representing 50.8 percent of revenue, compared with $131.6 million, or 50.9 percent of revenue in the comparable period last year, reflecting higher sales volume Adjusted Net Income was $9.3 million, or $0.09 per share, compared to $6.7 million, or $0.07 per share, in Q4 2015. Adjusted EBITDA was $22.9 million in Q4 2016 compared with US$13.6 million in Q4...

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Toys: By the Numbers

The NPD Group looks at the biggest growth drivers of 2016, and touches on what the new year will bring. by Juli Lennett, U.S. Toys Industry Analyst, The NPD Group Crossing the $20 billion threshold, the U.S. toy industry grew 5 percent to $20.4 billion in 2016, according to retail sales data* from global information company The NPD Group. Unit sales also grew 5 percent to $2 billion, and average retail price remained flat at $10.14. The industry was 16 percent larger in 2016 than 2013, which calculates to a compounded annual growth rate of 5 percent. In terms of...

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