As the whole country is experiencing Olympic fever, Fisher-Price and Nickelodeon Consumer Products have teamed up to give aspiring gymnasts a practicing partner - the Fantastic Gymnastics Dora doll. The doll can "perform" two gymnastics routines and has seven various moves, including a split and a handstand. It also speaks 40 phrases in both English and Spanish. Kids can cheer Dora on and can download an app that brings Dora's routines to life.
Dreamworks Animation obtained Classic Media for $155 million last week. The company plans on leveraging the properties across television, consumer products, digital channels and movies. Such characters as Lassie, Casper the Friendly Ghost, George of the Jungle, The Lone Ranger and VeggieTales are all part of the Classic Media portfolio. Its library includes 450 titles and more than 6,100 episodes of both animated and live-action programming.
The Public Zoo, a brand that combines whimsical character art with premium apparel and accessories, has announced four new licensing partners: SkyHigh for stationery and back-to-school paper products; Age Group for sleepwear, loungewear, swimwear and underwear; Evy of California for girls' and boys' sportswear; and Fast Forward for handbags and backpacks. A Target store exclusive line of Evy of California sportswear called the Colobox Collection was also launched for the back to school season. Target is introducing The Public Zoo's boys' TPZ line later this month as well.
A survey released Wednesday by Chase Slate with Blueprint revealed that more back-to-school shoppers are managing their spending and borrowing by creating a budget and sticking to it. Thirty-eight percent report that they have a set budget for school-related expenses and 32 percent anticipate their spending on same will reflect pre-recession prices.
Build-A-Bear Workshop reported Thursday a loss of $8.3 million for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a $10.7 million loss in the year-ago period. Retail sales dipped 1.8 percent, while same-store sales declined 1.7 percent. Earlier in the week the company announced plans to introduce a new store design in six new stores starting in September and to open 10 to 12 international franchises locations.
In anticipation of the September "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" premiere on Nickelodeon, Toys "R" Us is dedicating a "sewer lair" space for products inspired by the four crime fighters. "Creating the atmosphere of the Ninja Turtle's sewer lair in their stories makes it look like the Turtles are leaping out of our TV series and into kids' hands," says Manuel Torres, senior vice president of global toys at Nickelodeon Consumer Products. The collection includes vehicles, action figures, playsets from Playmates Toys and action figures.
Burt's Bees has embarked on a licensing venture with Ayablu, Inc., to release its new line Burt's Bees Baby. The line will feature natural, organic products for both mom and baby. Products include apparel, bath linens, gift sets, and accessories and plans to expand across the baby, home and lifestyle categories to include gear, play-time, furniture and seasonal items. The line recently launched at select Target stores and on Target.com, and will also be available at buybuy Baby and BabiesRUs.com beginning August 1.
As the beloved footwear brand celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, with $1 billion in annual sales, Crocs is set to premiere its children's apparel line, available in infant, toddler and kids' sizes. Crocs, Inc. has partnered globally with The Group for their children's apparel license. The line features moderately priced quality products with functional design and colors that pop. Look for the Spring/Summer 2013 collection at various trade shows throughout the summer.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Downeast Concepts Inc. doing business as Backyard and Beyond of Yarmouth, ME, has announced a voluntary recall of the company's folding beach chairs. The recall affects an estimated 15,400 chairs sold at Home Goods and other stores from June 2011 through June 2012. The recalled chairs have exposed, sharp metal rivets, posing a laceration hazard. The firm is aware of one injury that resulted in stitches.
A new organization for specialty retailers recently met for the first time in Chicago to set goals and objectives. The Specialty Retail Board, made up of children's retailers from across the country, will focus on marketing, programs, education and resources poised to help specialty independents succeed in the marketplace. The organization is backed by ABC and the JPMA.