Spin Master Unveils Direct Distribution Ops in Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Greece
As part of the company’s international growth strategy, Spin Master has formed a Russian subsidiary, Spin Master Rus LLC, and will begin direct distribution to leading retailers in Russia, Switzerland, Austria, and Greece in early 2019. Spin Master’s Russian operation will be based in Moscow.
Spin Master will service the Swiss and Austrian markets and the Greek market directly through existing offices in Germany and Italy, respectively.
“International expansion is a core growth strategy for Spin Master and Europe has been an important source of growth for us over the past several years,” says Ben Gadbois, Spin Master’s president and COO. “We are taking a measured approach in the execution of our international expansion. Russia, Switzerland, Austria and Greece represent important market penetration opportunities supporting our long-term goal to significantly increase our scale outside of North America.”
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Event Takes Over Beijing’s Nanfeng City
The World of Eric Carle has partnered with Beijing Fans Technology Co. to launch The Very Hungry Caterpillar themed pop-up mall event located in Nanfeng City (The Place), Shanghai. The mall event, featuring themed activities, fanciful design and licensed merchandise, opened on June 15th and will continue for six weeks, closing July 29, 2018.
China has become Eric Carle’s fastest growing book market, with millions of copies sold over the past five years. The event includes an oversized version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar featuring a number of interactive zones within each segment of the caterpillar, a tree house with a slide, maze, and cheese house for arts and craft activities.
Guangzhou Art-land Holding Company, Ltd., sub-agent for the brand’s worldwide representative, The Joester Loria Group, manages The World of Eric Carle licensing in China.
Electronic Arts Acquires Industrial Toys
Electronic Arts announced that Industrial Toys, a creative team of experienced game makers based in Pasadena, California, is joining the company. Led by Alex Seropian, founder and former CEO of Bungie Studios and former executive at Disney Interactive, the team is known for developing unique game ideas on different devices.
“Creating breakthrough games takes passionate developers and incredible creativity, and each time we’ve worked with the Industrial Toys team, we’ve been inspired by their unique approach,” says Samantha Ryan, senior vice-president and group general manager in EA’s Worldwide Studios group. “We’re thrilled to have them join our studio organization, pursue new ideas together and bring amazing new games to our players.”
The 14-person Industrial Toys studio joins EA’s Worldwide Studios organization, the global creative collective responsible for development of EA titles across all major platforms.
The acquisition closed in July 2018. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The Genius of Play Launches Tag You’re It! Sweepstakes
The Genius of Play, a national movement to raise awareness about play’s critical role in child development and encourage more play in children’s lives, has created the “Tag, You’re It!” sweepstakes to help promote play during the summer months. “Tag, You’re It” takes place on Instagram and Twitter, July 9 through August 6. During this time, parents can share pictures of their children at play using the hashtags #GeniusofPlay and #sweeps and to tag their friends for a chance to win a trip for four people to Orlando, Florida worth $5,000.
Toy industry companies are encouraged to get in on the fun and share the campaign with their followers on social media, promoting their brand along with the benefits of play. To make it easy for toy companies to participate, The Genius of Play has created a quick Promo Assets Guide with key dates, messages, plus copy, and images that can be used directly or leveraged to create compelling social media posts.
“Our goal is to have at least 2,400 pictures shared, and we need the support of our member companies and the entire toy industry to achieve it,” said Anna Yudina, director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association. “We’ve made it easy for toy companies to share the ‘Tag, You’re It!’ campaign while showcasing their own products, and all the joy and benefits they bring to kids. If one picture represents one hour of play, together we will help inspire 2,400 total hours – or 100 days – of play!”
For additional information about The Genius of Play and healthy play habits for kids, visit TheGeniusofPlay.org.
NPD Group Launches Toy Retail Tracking Service in Brazil
The NPD Group has launched its Toys Retail Tracking Service in Brazil, covering online and brick-and-mortar sales of toy products.
The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service is available to subscribing clients on a monthly and weekly basis giving them more frequent and timely access to emerging trends and the ability to react faster to those trends ahead of the competition. The Brazil data aligns with NPD’s point-of-sale data for the 12 other countries in which NPD tracks the toy industry.
The monthly service aligns with the National Retail Federation (NRF) calendar, and currently captures 70 percent of Brazil’s toy retail market. It delivers coverage of product purchasing down to the item/model level in 11 super-categories and over 90 toy subclasses.
Brazil’s toy market increased 6 percent in 2017, from R$3.46 billion to R$3.67 billion, making it the seventh largest, and one of the fastest growing global markets tracked by NPD.
The new service is based on NPD’s global category definitions and hierarchy, and will include two years of trend data from January 2016 forward to track performance in the toy industry.