aNb Media News, January 29, 2019

Simba Dickie Group Acquires Jada Toys

Simba Dickie Group has purchased Jada Toys as it works to expand further into the American market.

The L.A.-based toy manufacturer, Jada Toys is widely recognized as the leading manufacturer of authentically licensed and highly stylized diecast collectibles, radio control vehicles, and preschool toys. Jada is perhaps best-known for its pop culture-led entertainment licenses, such as Fast & Furious, Marvel, DC Comics, Disney, and Hello Kitty.

“The addition of Jada provides an excellent opportunity for growth and expansion for Simba Dickie Group,” says Florian Sieber, Co-CEO, Simba Dickie Group. “We are excited for what this partnership will bring as we work towards utilizing Jada’s licensors and links in the retail sector to gain an important foothold in the American market. We are also welcoming the opportunity to combine our efforts on the joint manufacturing of products through common uses of technology on an international scale.”

“The acquisition of Jada Toys by the Simba Dickie Group is a tremendous strategic maneuver,” adds Bill Simons, CEO, Jada Toys. “Joining the Simba Dickie Group instantly creates a significant global platform for our manufacturing and licensing partners.”

Last year, Simba Dickie Group acquired the French doll manufacturer Corolle.

FAO Schwarz Plans First European Flagship Store

On the heels of FAO Schwarz’s successful return to retail in New York City in 2018, the brand announced the opening of its first-ever European flagship store located within Selfridges’ Oxford Street location in London. The FAO Schwarz store at Selfridges’ will occupy more than 20,000 square feet of space and feature the full FAO Schwarz collection of toys and unique experiences. The Selfridges location, set to open on November 1, 2019, will be inspired by the New York FAO Schwarz flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza with its unique brand of theater and experiential retail.

Signature toys and interactive experiences will further cement FAO Schwarz as a place of imagination and discovery while staying true to key elements of the brand, including the famous clock tower, popular dance-on grand piano, and FAO’s newest icon, the rocket ship. The new store at Selfridges will also feature similar experiences to the New York location with in-store demos.

“FAO Schwarz is the world’s most inventive and inspiring toy store and the perfect partner for Selfridges’ reimagined Toy Department. We like to think of Selfridges as a retail playground; the unparalleled product and experience that FAO Schwarz will bring to our Oxford Street store will mean that sentiment has never been more true,” said Eleanor Robinson, director of accessories, kidswear, and toys at Selfridges.

One of the new experiences to look forward to, as first introduced at the New York FAO Schwarz flagship, will be the “FAO Raceway” where shoppers are invited to work alongside trained “mechanics” to build remote-control cars piece-by-piece with the option to customize their car’s body style, color, wheels, and designs.

FAO Schwarz has long-been a destination of discovery beginning with FAO Schwarz-branded toys as well as products from well-loved toy brands. ThreeSixty Group and Selfridges are jointly working with third-party brands to introduce even more exciting experiences for customers than ever before, and look forward to revealing additional details about this one-of-a-kind partnership in the coming months.

ASTRA Announces Slate of Programs, Services for Toy Fair

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced a package of programs and services it will sponsor at New York Toy Fair to help member retailers, sales representatives, and manufacturers maximize the use of their time in New York for product sourcing, learning, and networking.

“ASTRA members make a big investment of time and dollars to attend Toy Fair,” said Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA. “ASTRA programs are designed to give store owners a shortcut to the best new toys and children’s products in the aisles at Javits, plus we have lots of ways for all of our members to get some great new ideas and have some relaxing downtime with toy industry colleagues. It’s all about finding the strategies, connections, and products that will differentiate your independent toy business over the coming year.”

Events and services include:

  • ASTRA Booth 6414: Toy Fair Guides with complete list of member-only specials offered by manufacturers; member ribbons; and Sales Rep Wanted list available for pick up
  • Manufacturer support: Manufacturers who are ASTRA members receive package of materials with tools for connecting to ASTRA buyers–hand-delivered to their booths
  • Member Hospitality Lounge: Open Saturday, February 16 through Monday, February 18 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Tuesday, February 19, Javits Convention Center Hall 1E 12
  • Retail Redux, a panel discussion on retail trends and how to thrive in today’s evolving retail landscape: Sunday, February 17 at 2 PM in Javits Convention Center Hall 1D Lobby (in collaboration with Toy Industry Association)
  • ASTRA’s Night in New York: Happy hour event to be held from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Sunday, February 17 at Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine, 485 Tenth Avenue. Ticketed event includes food, drinks and great ASTRA conversations!
  • Share the Fair, a signature member retailer event at Toy Fair: Monday, February 18 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM in Javits Convention Center Hall 1E Room 1E11. Breakfast event brings together ASTRA retailers to share information about not-to-be-missed products they have seen on the exhibit floor. Share the Fair attendees will be able to pick up the list at ASTRA booth 6414 starting at 1:00 PM Monday.