Archive | Toys/Games

Strange Bedfellows No More

Toy companies are increasingly working with their direct competitors to refresh, extend, or strengthen their own brands. This would have been almost inconceivable in the past and shows how much the toy industry has changed over the past decade or more as players in this sector face numerous challenges: competition from video games, social media, […]

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Toys Look Good in Designer Togs

Fashion and toys have come together for decades, from Mattel’s extensive collection of fashion dolls with designers like Bob Mackie (who has created 47 different versions of Barbie) to specialists such as Integrity Toys, whose offerings include the Jason Wu Collection. The past year has seen a flurry of activity in the fashion-meets-toy space, as […]

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Enchanting Activity Kits

The worlds of magic and licensing are increasingly intersecting within the toy industry, as manufacturers of magic-themed activity kits—often with an educational slant—are matching this perennially popular category with a variety of properties, mostly connected to magic or science: Abacus Brands, a maker of educational virtual-reality activity kits, recently added the Penn & Teller license, […]

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Diversity and Inclusion at Play

For many years, entrepreneurs have been at the New York Toy Fair launching ethnically and culturally diverse product lines, created because they could not find anything similar at retail for their own children. In the past, these initiatives most typically have consisted of ranges of diverse dolls, often accompanied by books outlining the characters’ backstory. […]

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A Hunger for Branded Meal-Time Minis

The market for toy collectibles featuring real food and beverage brands seems as strong as ever, with demand continuing, new brands launching, and additional licenses being signed. Among the key players: Zuru Mini Brands offers Foodie Minis, which encompass more than 100 grocery brands, mostly from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K, ranging from Bazooka, […]

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Entertainment Studios Strategize Over TCGs

Classic trading card games (TCGs), especially the “Big 3” of Magic: The Gathering (MTG), Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!—all introduced in the 1990s—are going strong. They continue to rank at the top of the TCG sales charts, are expanding into new media and licensed product categories, and are making cameos in productions not connected to their brands, […]

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