Quantcast

The holiday spirit is infectious and there's nothing better than seeing joy brought forth to kids who don't see enough of it. The latest news to roll in comes from Massachusetts, where more than 250 deserving children were able to enjoy a "winter wonderland of play" at a special Play Your Part event hosted by The Toy Foundation (TTF) in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) – Local 103 in Dorchester, MA.  

We're entering award season, and that means we've hit a time of the year in which I question a lot of choices and inject my opinion as awards and nominees are pretty subjective. Earlier this week, the Toy Association unveiled their annual list of nominees for the coveted Toy of The Year (TOTY) in a variety of categories, and while there's some great stuff in the mix - there's some that hit me like the GRAMMYS... a little off and with some that seem to be on the list just to have representation from certain brands. Prime example, Playmates Toys scored a nom for their Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Ninja Action Figure Assortment. Overall, the Rise of the TMNT line is fantastic - another huge win for Playmates, but I would've chosen the more extensive (and creative) Basic Action Figure Assortment. Why? I think the "Deluxe" figures sorta suck. They're gimmicky, oddly proportioned (to hide the mechanics of the gimmick), and above all - I see kids play with this stuff on a regular basis. But maybe I'm over-analyzing things... doing my "Tom Hanks in BIG" ("I don't get it?") routine.  It'll be a tough call to choose the winners, and you can take part by casting some votes (early and often, as we say here in Illinois) at www.toyawards.org. Now let's check out the full list...

Tuesday, October 02 2018 11:41

Is "Geoffrey's Toy Box" the New Toys 'R' Us?

Updated 10:51pm with more details at the end of the article...

Less than 24 hours before the official start of The Toy Association's annual Fall Toy Preview in Dallas, court filings revealed that the long-awaited Intellectual Property Auction for Toys "R" Us had been cancelled. Reported on here (now updated with a statement from the company), the new chapter in the long saga of the TRU closure would see a new company rise from Geoffrey, LLC under control of the lenders. Having been rumored for months, one question raised is how long ago in the bankruptcy process were the lenders planning to relaunch the company themselves rather than sell the assets? Backing-up to the June 29th final closure of the remaining Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us locations in the United States, there were some cryptic messages posted on the TRU social accounts using the hashtag "#TRUBeContinued..." inviting followers to "stay tuned for news and information on the next chapter for Geoffrey and the iconic TRU brands." While the Facebook page has been deactivated and the Instagram account has gone dormant, someone recently did a clean-up on the TRU Twitter account, deleting all the liquidation posts and tacky video ads going back to March 9th - a message thanking customers for their support. So why is the June 29th date so important? Because on June 20th, just nine days prior to the doors being closed, Geoffrey, LLC filed for a trademark on a new name: Geoffrey's Toy Box. And just who is exhibiting in Booth #13-3229 at the Fall Toy Preview? Geoffrey's Toy Box.

At The Toy Association's PlayCon in San Francisco, Ellia Kassoff, head of Strategic Marks, LLC, addressed toymakers and others about the plans for resurrecting the KB Toys brand in malls around the country. First announced back in March (with an update here), KB Toys will return as a new retailer rooted in nostalgia - and the plan is to do it starting with pop-up shops this coming holiday season. Prior to being destroyed by Bain Capital Partners (who also killed Toys "R" Us), KB operated under many variations of their name, including K•B Toys, K•B Toys Outlet, K•B Toy Works and Kay-Bee Toys between 1922 and 2009. With Toys "R" Us currently in the final processes of winding-down operations in the United States, the biggest question is how, exactly, will Strategic Marks be able to pull this off - and how it's going to be done in time for this year's holiday season. Today, Kassoff offered up answers - some of which came directly from members of the audience.

Hard to believe that the The Toy Association's 115th North American International Toy Fair wrapped-up a week ago already, but it did, and I'll still be presenting content from Toy Fair here in the virtual pages of The Rock Father™ Magazine and over at The Toy Insider for some time to come. The annual event is significant, and outside of the toy industry, I'm not sure that the general public has any real idea of the magnitude of this thing - it's MASSIVE. Today the official numbers came in, and in all 26,236 professionals attended the largest toy show in the Western Hemisphere. The Javits center played host to hundreds of thousands of toys and games across 442,700 net square feet of exhibit space – the equivalent of about seven football fields! Curious for more data? Check this out...

They call it "the Oscars of the toy industry," and today the finalists have been revealed for the 2018 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, presented by The Toy Association. Announced at Play Fair in NYC, the 122 finalists can be voted on by consumers between now and January 5 as their favorite picks in each of the 17 categories will compete for the top slot. As someone who writes about toys regularly both here at The Rock Father™ Magazine and at The Toy Insider, I have some pretty strong opinions about these toys... and it's gonna be a tough race - there's some fantastic toys going up against each other! Check out all the finalists below, along with my "Rock Father Pick" for select categories, along with some "Rock Father Approved" items that we just like a lot...