aNb Media News, January 10, 2018

Schylling Acquires Lifespan Brands’ LAVA Assets

Schylling announced the acquisition of the LAVA assets from Lifespan Brands after distributing LAVA products since 2009. The assets include LAVA lamps, party products, and novelty lighting.
Lifespan Brands manufactures LAVA products and holds the U.S. trademark rights to the shape and name LAVA lamp. LAVA products are sold across key distribution channels
in U.S., Canadian, and European retailers.

Target Invites Toy Designers, Inventors to Pitch Products at Toy Fair

Target has launched a new Open Innovation Project that will create a path for toy inventors and designers to get in front of Target decision makers during the 115th North American International Toy Fair. The program will allow a select number of creative professionals to present their ideas in face-to-face meetings with Target executives throughout the day on Saturday, February 17 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Inventors and designers may apply by filling out the online invention submission form by Wednesday, January 17. Notifications for those who are selected to meet with Target will be sent by February 1.

Target’s program aims to tap into the pool of talented inventors and designers attending Toy Fair who may lack the resources necessary to get their innovative ideas in front of buyers and decision makers. The retailer is specifically looking for new products that fall within the following categories: games, dolls, activity sets, preschool toys, and imaginative play.

Applicants will be asked to provide information including: the product’s target audience, the void that it fills in the toy and children’s products entertainment space, and how the product is differentiated from what is currently on the market. Additionally, inventors must answer whether they have done any market research, utility patent searches, engineering plans, cost analysis, and produced any prototypes, among other questions.

The Toy Association’s Board Nominating Committee Names 2018-2019 Nominees

The Toy Association’s Board of Directors Nominating Committee, chaired by John Gessert, president & CEO of American Plastic Toys, announced nominees to serve on the Association’s Board of Directors for two-year terms beginning in February 2018.

The committee advanced seven board members concluding their first term of service for election to a second term. The second term nominees are: Kathleen Campisano, vice-president, GMM Specialty, Barnes & Noble; Jennifer Caveza, senior vice-president of toys, Nickelodeon; Charlie Emby, co-president, Just Play, LLC; Barbara Finigan, executive vice-president and chief legal counsel, Hasbro; Skip Kodak, senior vice-president, Americas, LEGO Systems, Inc.; Geoffrey Walker, executive vice-president and chief strategic technology officer, Mattel; and, Nancy Zwiers, chief marketing officer, Spin Master Corp. Association board members are elected for two-year terms and may be nominated for re-election twice before being required to depart the board.

The committee also advanced board member Smith Holland, Jr., president & CEO, Crayola, LLC, for election to his first full two-year term of service. Holland was elected by the board in 2017 to fill a vacancy, but must now stand for formal election by the Association’s membership.

The nominating committee also named four new candidates for board service. The 2018-2019 nominees are: Michael Keaton, president, Schleich North America, representing manufacturers; Tim Kilpin, president of consumer products, Activision, representing licensors; Andrew Quartin, CEO, Thames and Kosmos, representing manufacturers; and, Andrew Weiner, CEO, Toy’n around, representing sales representatives. Kilpin previously served on the Association’s board of directors and executive committee during his tenure at Mattel.

The Nominating Committee made special note of the exemplary board service of Jeffrey Kennis, president of Enchanted Moments, Inc. Kennis also served with distinction on the Association’s Trade Show Committee and Membership Committee and is now concluding his third and final board term.

The election of board members will occur during the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday, February 19 at 8 a.m. on Level 1, Room 1E09 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center during the 115th Annual North American International Toy Fair. The AGM is open to all Toy Association member companies and their representatives. Member attendance is strongly encouraged. During the meeting, members of The Toy Association’s Executive Committee and Steve Pasierb, its president & CEO, will make presentations on the state of the Association and take questions from members. The 2018-2019 Executive Committee and appointees to the Board Advisory Committee will also be announced during the AGM.