As manufacturers head into the Fall Mass Market Toy Expo October 19 to 21, much of the jitters associated with the inaugural show have been replaced with optimism as the new timing and strong retail interest have proven beneficial for the toy industry. More retailers are participating this year, reports Marian Bossard, director of event operations at the Toy Industry Association (TIA), with 722 already registered at press time vs. slightly more than 700 tallied at the end of last year's show. Showroom registration is down slightly, a fact that doesn't bother Bossard, who feels "the show is defining itself this year and the companies that really need to be here will be open for business."
The association has received positive feedback from both the retail and manufacturer communities. "The show turned out far better than we expected, and
takes on new licenses such as literary property Franny K. Stein with a line of plush and vinyl dolls, bookmarks, doorknob placards, stickers, a magnetic playset, Franny K. Stein Pontiki, a flashlight key chain, a twistable key chain, and slime products. Also new are
Build-A-Bear, and Peeps with an assortment of key chains. Basic Fun expands its Hasbro Ornaments line with Clue, Play-Doh, and Operation and its
line with character key chains.
moves toward expanding its Hottiez fashion doll line with plans to enter 'tween/teen cosmetics in fall '05.
builds on the success of its breakout product, i-Top, with i-Top Pro, a more sophisticated top that allows users to program their own messages. Also new is an I See It electronic game, puzzles, an electronic foot bag, and an expanded presence in its Maginetics activity line. For
deals with Marvel, Warner Bros., Lucas Films, CapCom, and Midway provide the company with modern day licenses for its line of TV Games. Plug 'n play systems are on tap for
EA Sports, and
World Poker Tour
in October. The company debuts
and offers line extensions for Nickelodeon, Hello Kitty, World Wrestling Entertainment, and other action figure brands.
expands its My First R/C line with new radio-controlled products for preschoolers, as well as its first entry into powered and radio-controlled airplanes. A line of amphibious vehicles called Morphibians also is on tap, as are line extensions for Bendos.
expands its product mix for
Bob the Builder
and adds a new Thomas the Tank Engine license. More products are on tap for My Kingdom and Bionicle and the launch of Pirates. For
Fit and Fun Care Bears are a feature item. The company also expands its Cabbage Patch line for next fall with lots of doll-size accessories such as strollers, high chairs, and other items at higher price points.
has an expanded line and new packaging to support new parent messaging initiative "Teletubbies Teaches Happiness" created by Ragdoll.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
products mirror the new TV segment due in 2005. The company adds a new
license with Blue and Magenta joining its Water Babies lineup, as well as Dory and Nemo from Disney/Pixar's
Also on tap are newcomers such as
with dolls and role-play sets and everGirl with dolls and fashions.
Bob the Builder
Earth to Jane
product lines. The company also supports its play and collector brands from Learning Curve, Johnny Lightning, and Ertl with new introductions. For
remain a focus with the first TV advertised product, plus big plans for Fistful, a new collectible game.
features new Smartridges for its V.Smile TV Learning System, fashion-forward designs for its Grade School Gear line of electronic learning laptops, four new products in its Brainy Baby line, and four more products in its Winnie the Pooh collection.
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