Mattel Launches Global Day of Play Initiative
Mattel announced its first-ever Global Day of Play, a companywide, global community service initiative that aims to bring the power of play to children around the world.
The Global Day of Play will take place in 26 cities globally on different dates throughout September. More than 1,000 Mattel employees across offices in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America will participate, directly supporting 27 non-profit organizations and impacting more than 5,500 children worldwide.
Kicking off at the company’s El Segundo headquarters, employees will build play houses for families supported by Habitat for Humanity and, in partnership with Save the Children, volunteers will assemble hundreds of “play kits” – backpacks full of toys, games and activities – which will be distributed to kids impacted by emergencies, such as Hurricane Florence. Mattel employees will also volunteer to play with hundreds of children from LA’s Best, a public/private partnership that provides after-school enrichment programs for elementary school students throughout L.A., and CoachArt, an organization that creates an arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness. The UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital will be on site in El Segundo to provide giveaways and information.
Globally, Mattel is partnering with several hospitals including the Faculty Hospital of Bulovka in Bulgaria; OBM – Children Hospital Buzzi Milan in Italy; IPO Lisboa Instituto Português Oncologia Lisboa in Portugal; and Ronald McDonald Houses in the U.K. and Netherlands. Mattel also works with non-profit organizations, such as SOS Villages in Belgium; Smile of the Child in Greece; Save the Children in Mexico; and many others.
Global Day of Play is organized by the Mattel Children’s Foundation, which works to break down the barriers of play for millions of children in need each year.
Toy Association, NRF Respond to New Tariffs on Chinese Goods
President Trump announced Monday night that tariffs at a rate of 10 percent will be imposed on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The 10 percent tariffs will take effect September 24; on January 1, the tariffs will increase to 25 percent. Although finished toys (imported under HTS chapter 9503) are not on the list, it includes children’s furniture; arts and crafts items; juvenile products; children’s hats; and more which will have a significant impact on U.S. toy companies, U.S. toy jobs, and U.S. consumers, according to the Toy Association.
“The Toy Association team is relentlessly focused on preventing the negative impact of tariffs on American families and quality jobs at U.S. toy and children’s product companies,” said Toy Association President and CEO Steve Pasierb. “The recently-implemented $200 billion round of new tariffs will hit a cross section of our member companies with rising costs, while the threatened additional rounds of tariffs, should they come to pass, will almost certainly sweep up all finished toys and cause irreparable harm to toy companies of all sizes, particularly small businesses. Tariffs on toys and consumer products are nothing more than a tax on American families. Our children’s birthdays, holiday presents, and joy of play shouldn’t be a bargaining chip in an international trade war.”
Additionally, the administration plans to immediately pursue tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports should China retaliate.
As part of its ongoing, aggressive fight against tariffs, The Toy Association strongly opposed these tariffs in its comments submitted to the USTR on September 7. Association staff members have also been on Capitol Hill, meeting with USTR and other officials to help them understand the profoundly negative impact that tariffs would have on American companies and jobs.
More recently, The Toy Association joined with other trade associations to form Americans for Free Trade, a multi-industry coalition aimed at opposing tariffs and highlighting the benefits of international trade to the U.S. economy. The National Retail Federation is also a member and has also responded strongly.
The NRF issued the following statement from its President and CEO Matthew Shay:
“As thousands of businesses have testified and explained in comments to the administration, tariffs are a tax on American families. It’s disappointing that, despite the voices of those impacted, the administration continues to advance harmful tariff policies that threaten to weaken the U.S. economy.
“Every time this trade war escalates, the risk to U.S. consumers grows. With these latest tariffs, many hardworking Americans will soon wonder why their shopping bills are higher and their budgets feel stretched.
“We cannot afford further escalation, especially with the holiday shopping season right around the corner. The mere talk of tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports is of serious concern to retailers since tariffs of that magnitude would touch every aspect of American life. Achieving better trade deals is an important priority, but there is nothing better about it when American families are forced to pay higher prices for everyday purchases.”
Hornby Stock Up 27 Percent on Warner Bros. Deal
Models and collectibles group Hornby signed a new licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. to extend its licensed product range of model railway and slot car sets to include Warner Bros.’ and DC’s franchises such as Harry Potter and DC Super Heroes.
Die-cast vehicles would also be included in the agreement, under the Hornby Railways, Scalextric, and Corgi lines.
Product is expected to debut at the upcoming London Toy Fair in January 2019.
JAM Media’s New Preschool Series Readies for Nick Jr. U.S. Premiere
Becca’s Bunch, a new preschool series from award-winning Irish producer JAM Media, will launch on Nick Jr. in the U.S., beginning September 24, at 3 p.m. (ET/PT). Episodes will also be available on Nickjr.com and the Nick Jr. App.
Becca’s Bunch (52 x 11 minutes) stars a cast of handmade puppet characters and features more than 4,000 individually crafted props and set pieces. The series merges live-action footage, puppetry, 2D and CG animation to create a unique textured world.
The show centers around Becca, a little bird with a big appetite for adventure, who loves helping her Wagtail Woods neighbors. Though she sometimes bites off more than she can chew, Becca knows that with her friends Russell, Sylvia and Pedro by her side, nothing is impossible. Thinking on their feet, Becca and her Bunch will urge kids to never give up, aim high and have big ideas—because once they do, like Becca, every day will become an adventure.
Nickelodeon has secured exclusive broadcast rights to the series in the US and pay-TV rights for the rest of the world. Becca’s Bunch premiered on Nick Jr.’s international channels and platforms in July.
3Doodler Supports U.S. Educators Impacted by Recent Hurricanes
3Doodler, the Kickstarter-backed makers of the world’s first 3D printing pen, announced its community efforts to support educators in areas impacted by recent U.S. hurricanes.
This includes working with Donors Choose (www.donorschoose.org) to fund all preexisting open projects in the Carolinas (North Carolina, South Carolina) featuring 3Doodler products as of September 14, 2018 (the landfall of Hurricane Florence). 3Doodler will also fund a pair of active projects in Houston, Texas schools impacted by Hurricane Harvey one year ago.
3Doodler Projects have been funded at the following institutions:
- Knightsville Elementary School – Summerville, SC
- Valle Crucis Elementary School – Sugar Grove, NC
- Chesterfield Elementary School – Morgantown, NC
- West View Elementary School – Spartanburg, SC
- Southern Nash Middle School – Winnsboro, SC
- St. Paul’s Middle School – Saint Pauls, NC
- Lugoff Elementary School – Lugoff, SC
- O’Donnell Middle School – Houston, TX
- North Pointe Elementary School – Houston, TX