1 Percent Increase Toy Sales

NPD Group, a market research firm, reported a 1 percent growth in the licensed toy industry in the first quarter. NPD Group industry analyst Anita Frazier stated that licensing is a crucial feature for the toy industry.

One Million Trash Packs Sold

The popularity of The Trash Pack figures has hit an all-time high, with 1 million products sold. This figure comes two weeks before its projected forecast. The boys' brand manager of Flair Anne-Marie Noon urges retailers to take part in the trend, as she states the company expects figures to reach at least 4 million by the end of 2012. "We are delighted with the performance of The Trash Pack," she says, "and are working hard to keep retailers supplied in order to meet consumer demand ahead of the imminent launch of The Trash Pack Series 2."

2012 Licensing Summit

On Thursday, May 10, leaders of the licensing industry gathered to discuss important industry details and the upcoming Licensing Expo on June 12 to 14 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Tony Lisanti, editor in chief of License!

Jessica Simpson Launches Maternity

Jessica Simpson is expanding her fashion empire with a new line of maternity apparel. The line will be sold exclusively at Destination Maternity through a licensing agreement with Camuto Group starting in the fall. The agreement to design, develop, produce and distribute the collection marks the 24th product classification for Simpson's eponymous collection and will feature the same vintage 70s feel found throughout many of Simpson's fall lines.

Delta Galil Moves to Purchase Germany’s Schiesser

Tel-Aviv and U.S.-based Delta Galil Industries Ltd. is set to expand its global presence when it buys Schiesser AG, a leading manufacturer and marketer of children's underwear for the German market. The acquisition is expected to be completed in July for an estimated $90 million. Delta Galil, a global manufacturer of branded and private-label apparel for men, women and children in the Middle East, the U.S., Asia and Europe is not yet present in German-speaking countries. Schiesser commands 25 percent of the German market in children's underwear.

K.I.D.S. to Host 6th Anniversary Women in Industry Luncheon

On May 31st at The Plaza Hotel in New York, Kids in Distressed Situations will celebrate the sixth anniversary of its Women in Industry Luncheon. This year's recipients of the K.I.D.S. Women of Achievement award are Kathy Ireland, CEO and chief designer at Kathy Ireland Worldwide; President and General Manager of PBS kids Sprout Sandy Wax; and Sharon John, president of Stride Rite Children's Group. The event will include a presentation by Ireland on the steps she took to grow her business into a Fortune 500 company.

Lady Gaga Does Baby Rock

Little monsters everywhere can rock out to the newest Baby Blanket Music collection that features lullaby arrangements of some of Lady Gaga's most famous songs, including Just Dance, Poker Face, Bad Romance and The Edge of Glory. Past Baby Blanket Music collections include songs from artists like Madonna, Elton John and The Beatles. "As our line continues to expand, we are excited to introduce the songs of Lady Gaga," notes Josh Rutt, founder and CEO of Baby Blanket Music.

Stride Rite Preps for a Blockbuster Summer

Footwear brand Stride Rite is ramping up its licensing efforts just in time for the blockbuster season with its all new Marvel-branded X-celeRacers shoes that feature Marvel super heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and Spider Man. The shoes, which will be available at locations where Stride Rite shoes are sold, come with an adjustable closure for a great fit, a grooved outsole for traction and lightweight cushioning for comfort.

Target Recalls Dangerous Bunny Sippy Cups

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Target Corp. is recalling 264,000 Target Home Bunny Sippy Cups. The rabbit-shaped toddler training cups have protruding ears that can poke a child in the eye during use. The recall was issued after six reports of the plastic ear poking children, with cuts and bruises in three of those reports.

Hasbro Joins One Direction Craze

Toy giant Hasbro is cashing in on the reinvigorated boy band frenzy with a collection of toys and games inspired by the super-popular One Direction. The line, which will launch globally, will feature fashion dolls and mini-figures of all five members of the boy band. "In the short time since the group's debut, One Direction has captured the hearts of many young fans across the world," notes John Frascotti, Hasbro's chief marketing officer.