The toy industry is readying itself for the Fall Toy Preview in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 2-4, an appointment-only event that showcases the newest mass market product lines for buyers.
Hosted by the Toy Industry Association, the Fall Toy Preview gives buyers a jump on forthcoming arrivals from manufacturers prior to New York City's annual TIA Toy Fair, which is next set for Feb. 10-13, 2013. While the event is closed to media, License! Global has a look at what attendees can expect to see on the Fall Toy Preview floor and what toy lines are in the works from manufacturers.
Saban Brands is hitting the aisles of Fall Toy Preview in a big way, setting its flagship properties–Power Rangers and Paul Frank–front and center.
"The business is now 365 days a year, but you can't replace the importance of seeing product on display, touching and feeling them," says Elie Dekel, president, Saban Brands. "Fall Toy Preview is a good rally point for our licensees and also for the industry. These events are important for moving the business forward."
Saban has 16 licensees exhibiting on the show floor, making for "one of the most exciting Dallas shows we've had in awhile," says Dekel.
For the Power Rangers property, Big Time Toys will be showing seasonal swim products, Funko has a range of collectible figures in celebration of Power Rangers' 20th anniversary, Jada is showing RC vehicles, Treehouse has a collection of collectibles and microfigures, Blip is bringing its Squinkies range and USAopoly will showcase its Power Rangers Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit games.
Other licensees include Basic Fun (key chains), Cardinal Games (puzzles), Jazwares (electronics), Kurt Adler (ornaments), Pressman Toy (games), Tech4Kids (electronics), The Bridge Direct (plush) and Trends International (posters).
For the Paul Frank brand, University Games and Yottoy will be highlighting product.
"We have tremendous engagement and momentum on both the licensing side and the retail side, but the business is no less competitive," says Dekel. "The retailers only have so much shelf space and that is shrinking door-by-door and shelf-by-shelf. We, as a licensor, have to be extremely proactive and involved in helping to manage and maximize delivery, sell-through and sell-in of product. These toy fairs are very important to the flow of business and to see the competition–to get a finger on the pulse. It's an important rhythm and the business benefits from having these touch points."
Essentially, however, Fall Toy Preview is a mouthpiece for licensees and manufacturers to highlight new product.
Spin Master is bringing a host of its licensed properties to Dallas, beginning with its partnership with Imangi Studios on the Temple Run brand extension. Spin Master Games will capture the essence of the mobile app and extend Temple Run to traditional games including card games and board games with electronic features with Temple Run Danger Chase. Other hot licensed properties from Spin Master include a 7-11 Slurpee drink maker and a range of NASCAR products such as the Bashers cars and launcher ramp, die-cast cars, haulers, pullbacks and remote control vehicles.
Theatrical licensed product is perennially a top seller, and Thinkway Toys is capitalizing on recent and forthcoming hot releases. At the Fall Toy Preview, Thinkway will be announcing its 2013 lines for properties such as Warner Bros.' Man of Steel, Universal's Despicable Me 2 (Thinkway is the global master toy partner), Disney's Planes and more.
For the Man of Steel property, Thinkway has developed a line of large-scale R/C vehicles and figures, as well as role play items based on the movie. Despicable Me 2 will get a collection of electric and non-electric toys based on the movie's characters and the multitude of Minions. Both lines will be available in summer 2013.
Thinkway has developed a line of electronic, R/C and flying toys based on the characters from the forthcoming Disney's Planes release. This range will debut at retail in fall 2013.
Existing licensed product that will be highlighted at the Fall Toy Preview by Thinkway include ranges for Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man, which will launch in fall 2013.
Ravensburger is expanding its collection of 2D and 3D puzzles with new ranges for properties such as Tinga Tinga Tales, Moshi Monsters and The Hobbit. The introductory collection of Tinga Tinga Tales puzzles, which is based on the preschool series aired on Disney Junior, includes three puzzles: a 24-piece floor puzzle, a 35-piece puzzle and a 60-piece puzzle.
This year has been busy for Jazwares as it announced six new plush, figure and electronics lines featuring hot licenses such as Lalaloopsy, 1D, Plants vs. Zombies, Fruit Ninja, Regular Show (Jazwares is the master toy licensee, appointed by Turner CN Enterprises) and Scribblenauts. Each will be featured on the Dallas show floor as the company looks to expand on the lines in 2013. Also highlighted will be Jazwares' release of its Yo Gabba Gabba! toy line, based on the preschool series. The line will include 3-inch figures, a boombox playset, plush, pullback vehicles and a microphone. The assortment will hit retail in spring 2013.
Fisher-Price and Basic Fun are teaming up for an expansion of the nostalgic View-Master brand and an addition to Basic Fun's Fisher-Price classic toys. Basic Fun will breathe new energy into the 70-year-old brand, giving it a fresh new look and a focus on an enhanced reel package with 3D adventures.
Genius Brands, licensors of the Baby Genius IP, have signed Karmin International for a new line of Baby Genius-themed jigsaw puzzles for preschoolers, and will be introducing the range at Dallas. Karmin will produce a full line of puzzles for the U.S. and Canada featuring Baby Genius characters including floor puzzles, dry erase puzzles, book and puzzle combinations, two-sided puzzles, 4-1 progressive puzzles, multi-pack puzzles and musical puzzles.