CNBC is reporting that Party City is planning to launch a new “toy” extension of their business. Starting in September, the company will open up roughly 50 ‘Toy City’ pop-up stores. The current plan is for these to run from September through the holiday 2018 season. In conjunction with this, the plan is for Party City to begin offering a greater selection of toys online. Details for that portion of the business or still to come.
“The creation of a Toy City concept to complement our temporary seasonal retail strategy is a logical extension of our brand; one that will allow us to leverage our existing pop-up store capabilities and capitalize on the category whitespace that has recently been created,” Party City CEO James Harrison said in a statement.
No word on the type of toys that the new Toy City will sell, has been revealed. We can only hope that it will sell traditional items from Mattel, Hasbro, and the like. We will update this with more information as it breaks.
How DC Comics Toy Sales Rank for the First Half of the Year
The NPD has released sales data for the toy industry today, which includes a look at the top 10 toy properties for the months of January to June 2018. The data comes from 13 international markets tracked by The NPD Group. According to the data, DC Comics toys come in at the number nine spot in total toy properties for the first half of 2018.
“Traditional play patterns, collectibles, social media, and innovation are the major themes we saw trending globally in the first six months of the year, and I expect they will continue to accelerate. More than entertainment, brands have been an important trend to move the needle for the industry so far this year,” said Frédérique Tutt, global toys industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Some key themes have also emerged or have been increasing in popularity, such as dinosaurs and unicorns on the one hand, and slime or toilet humour on the other.”
Looking back at the same time frame from 2017, Batman toys as a whole were listed at number 5 on the list. Illustrating the box office effect, declines in Building Sets and Action Figures can be linked to last year’s movie tie-ins, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, among others. This year, the NPD has combined Batman with the rest of the DC line, which puts them in the number nine spot, a drop of four on the top ten list.
While DC toy sales have dropped year-to-year, the toy industry as a whole saw global sales of collectibles increase by 26%, and now account for 11% of every dollar spent across the total toy industry.
Keep in mind that the second half year sales tend to trend higher due to the holiday season, but with a lack of Toys “R” Us this year, the future is a tad uncertain. Hopefully with Aquaman coming out in December, DC can move up the ladder on the list for the full year.
These numbers could also be an indicator as to why DC isn’t as prominent in the toy aisle compared to Star Wars, Marvel, LEGO and others. Another way to look at it is that maybe DC isn’t as high because they don’t have that prominent shelf space.
As always, leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
The NPD Group can help you see what others cannot – the current realities and future possibilities for your industry, your customers, and your business. Through our unique data assets, industry expertise, and analytic solutions, we help you get the right products in the right places for the right people.
The world’s most successful brands trust us to measure performance, predict future performance, improve marketing and product development, and advise on business and consumer trends and market opportunities.
New Details Emerge Surrounding the KB Toys Comeback!
Playcon is an annual toy industry convention, in which the industry’s biggest players gather to discuss the future of the business. This year, Playcon live streamed the Toy Association’s free industry open forum on retail disruption and a changing marketplace. On hand was founder of Strategic Marks, LLC Ellia Kassoff. Strategic Marks is the company behind the resurgence of KB Toys. Kassoff gave the crowd a little information about how KB Toys will be making their comeback.
If you want to read a synopsis without watching the video above, check out some of the highlights below!
Kassoff says that the goal is to bring back KB Toys so it is just the way that people remember it, while giving it a modern upgrade. He says that it will be an 80/20 split with the majority being they way you remembered it. They want the experience that adults had as kids at KB Toys, to be there just like they remember it.
They will start by hiring the key group of people at Toys R’ Us, which they have already been talking with. They will start with 300-400 pop-up stores during this holiday season. The pop-up store idea is twofold. It is a quick way to get out there, but also a quick way to test each market. At the end of January they will evaluate the success of each location and determine whether to keep them or look for new locations that might fit better. The goal for the next 3-4 years is to have 600-800 permanent stores.
They analyzed the problems that Toys R’ Us faced and KB Toys to see what failed and realized it was investors (Bain Capital). Big malls are going to provide the funding for these new pop-up stores. Kassoff said that in the past malls typically disliked KB Toys due to having product out in front and sometimes outside of their available space, but the malls have realized that they need the foot traffic from toys stores.
KB Toys will also be doing a lot of work with collectors, as well as roadshows with some of the toy vendors. They are looking at innovative ways of getting people into toy stores again. Each store will have a “Toy Nerd”, basically someone that is an expert at collecting toys. Someone that likes mint packaging, and knows what collectors want. Kassoff also said that KB Toys will host “meet and greets” to have autograph sessions with toy designers.
There will also be larger “Experience” stores that will have cafes for people to hang out, party rooms (which you can book), and registries for birthdays. This larger store will also be able to cater to smaller toy manufacturers, in that their product will have shelf space, unlike the smaller pop-up stores.
As always, leave your thoughts in the comment section about these upcoming KB Toys pop-up stores.
Toys R Us to Begin Liquidation Process Thursday
According to a new article at USA Today, Toys R Us will begin its liquidation process on Thursday, March 22, 2018. The site states that the current plan is for all stores to be closed by the end of June 2018. While we do know that the liquidation process starts tomorrow, we don’t know how steep the discounts will be or what product will be initially liquidated.
The timetable was disclosed Tuesday at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va. The toy superstore chain, which last week announced plans to dissolve its U.S. operations, came seeking court approval for its liquidation sale plan.
Some store may close earlier, he said, if inventory sells out faster.
The company’s distribution centers, which supply the stores, will close before the stores do, said Bill Kosturos, vice chairman of U.S. restructuring for Alvarez & Marsal, one of the companies advising Toys R Us in the liquidation. Otherwise, the operation is expected to take 14 weeks.
It looks like Toys R Us will only be around for a little longer. Get out and enjoy the sales, and make some memories at the greatest place on Earth to be a kid!
Clothing3 weeks ago
DragonCon: UD Replicas Booth
Funko2 weeks ago
Hot Topic Announces Exclusive Funko Pop Flashpoint Superman
Conventions7 days ago
Funko Announces NYCC Exclusive Orange Chrome Batman Pop
DC Collectibles2 weeks ago
DC Collectibles Announces New Dark Nights: Metal Statue Line
DC Collectibles5 days ago
DC Collectibles October 2018 Solicitations
MEGO2 weeks ago
MEGO DC Universe Wave 2 Revealed
Funko3 days ago
Funko Announces a NYCC Exclusive Teen Titans Go Beast Boy Pop!
Diamond Select Toys5 days ago
DST Releases First Images of Dark Nights Metal Red Death Statue