the Bloom Report: July 17 - 24, 2020

the Bloom Report

Toy Industry's #1 News Summary Worldwide

July 17 - 24, 2020


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Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is wearing their masks no matter what they look like! Thank you, Kaye White, for the cartoon! ​ In case you missed the last issues... After 22 years, the Bloom Report has a new look and steward. It is our honor to carry on Philip Bloom’s legacy and continue this essential news source for the industry. If you would like to reach Phil, his new email is: philip.bloom100@verizon.net We'd appreciate your feedback and welcome advertisements so we can continue this service for free. Phil summarized this endeavor well when he said, "Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know...we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" ​ Onward and Upward, Mary Couzin

tBR Company of Week: Camp Bonkers brought to you by WindSunSky Entertainment

Heading into 2020, WindSunSky Entertainment, the creative team behind smash hits like Angry Birds, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Ice Age, was working hard on content and technology to support a new entertainment platform for kids being developed for release in 2021. As part of this effort, the group had shot and edited a handful of videos under the banner “Camp Bonkers.” When COVID-19 hit and summer camps across the country began sending cancellation notices to families, the team knew that they had an obligation to rapidly pivot to bring Camp Bonkers to families in time for this summer.

Now, WindSunSky is expanding the reach of Camp Bonkers through a partnership with Fingerprint Digital. Fingerprint, a leading provider of digital content for kids and families, operates Kidomi™, the award-winning all-in-one subscription app for kids ages 3-12, delivering highly engaging, family-friendly content with thousands of premium games, videos and books from top family brands. Kidomi™️ is available in 14 languages with an engagement rate of 12 hours and nearly 60 sessions per user every month on average. (Read More...)


tBR Person of the Week: Person of the Week! Karen Klein, Kid Market MatchMaker

Define yourself, know what you can provide and especially what you can’t provide and always look for Integration! Who am I? So much and so little…​

  • Professional Agent and Consultant in the Toy market, providing sales, strategy, and distribution services to new, small & medium companies

  • Mom blogger writing about conscious parenting, skill building and the love of play

  • Mindful-Mom, biological and foster, each with a different experience and learning

  • World-lover: Born in France and lived there until age of 14, then moved to California, Czech Republic and Israel. Traveled to Cuba and Kenya in a special way (more can be read in my blog)

  • Active socially, especially about kids

​ When giving my elevator pitch, I find it quite tough, and coming from a marketing degree and career, knowing your elevator pitch is a must. (Read More...)

Financial & Legal News . . . US economy sees sharpest contraction in decades. The US economy shrank by a 32.9% annual rate in the April-to-June quarter as the country grappled with cutbacks in spending during the pandemic. It was the deepest decline since the government began keeping records in 1947 and three times more severe than the prior record of 10% set in 1958. German economy sees deepest decline on record. The German economy shrank at its fastest rate on record amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new official figures. The total production of goods and services declined by 10.1% during the April-to-June period. It was the sharpest decline since Germany began producing quarterly growth figures in 1970. UK retailer Game sells Belong esports network to U.S. startup Vindex. UK retailer Game has sold its Belong esports network to U.S. startup Vindex for a reported $50 million. That fee was reported by the Financial Times, although the deal itself has been confirmed by Vindex, which explained its plans to invest $300 million into the Belong brand over the next five years. Moonbug Entertainment acquires Blippi, CoComelon Brands. Moonbug Entertainment Ltd. is making moves to which it says positions the company as “the world’s largest digital kids media company.” After raising $120 million in funding through a deal led by Goldman Sachs and Fertitta Capital with participation from existing investors Felix Capital and the Raine Group, Moonbug acquired Blippi and CoComelon. Plantea Junior makes a ‘Miraculous’ investment in ZAG Entertainment. Following a lengthy partnership in promoting ZAG Entertainment properties throughout Europe, Planta Junior has taken an ownership stake in the studio behind Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir. In February, Playmates Toys and ZAG’s new toy division, ZAG Lab, previewed a new line of Miraculous action figures, dolls, playsets, and... The NPD Group Reports on First Half 2020 Global Toy Industry Sales. Toy industry sales increased by 9%* in the first half of 2020 (Jan. – June) across the 12 global markets (G12)** tracked by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The United States experienced the highest percentage growth at 16%, followed by Canada (9%), Germany (9%), UK (8%), and Netherlands (6%). Toys “R” Us, Target digital partnership comes to an end. Just nine months ago, Target Corp. and Tru Kids Brand revealed a partnership deal under which Target’s toy assortment, digital capabilities, and fulfillment services would support the relaunched Toys “R” Us shopping experiences in the U.S. both online and in-store. That relationship has come to an end. Target joins Walmart in staying closed for Thanksgiving this year. Target said Monday it will close up for Turkey Day, following Walmart’s announcement of the same plans last week. Instead, Target is encouraging shoppers to start their holiday shopping even earlier, in October. New Kickstarter project from Suikoden creators raises £1 million on its first day. The recently announced Kickstarter project for Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, a spiritual successor to the Suikoden series, has raised over £1 million in under 24 hours. This means the project is now fully-funded, with still a month left to raise additional funds. OUT THERE FIRST ACQUIRES ALEX BRANDS, RELAUNCHES COMPANY AS ALEX GLOBAL PRODUCTS. Alex Global Products is the new name of the company that will serve as the home of popular brands including Alex Toys, Backyard Safari, Ideal, Poof, Scientific Explorer, and ZOOB. The announcement follows the May 12 Alex Brands auction, out of which Slinky and Shrinky Dinks were acquired by Just Play. Walmart to close on Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving closure will be the first time Walmart has been shut for the holiday in 30 years... (for) a break to essential staff who have been working during the pandemic. “We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” stated John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart US. HOBBY GAME SALES HIT $1.675 BILLION IN 2019 Collectible Games, Miniatures, RPGs Drive Growth. Hobby game sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled $1.675 billion in 2019, up 12% from $1.495 billion in 2018, according to an estimate compiled by ICv2. The increase was powered by big jumps in sales of collectible games, miniatures, and roleplaying games, partially offset by declines in board games and card and dice games. ​

Trends, Market Research Reports . . . The toys market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4% during the period 2019−2025 . . . Walmart is raising an army of retailers to beat Amazon.Financial & Brokerage News . . . Hasbro (HAS) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript Financial Reporting . . . Amazon Q2 earnings blow past estimates as coronavirus buying boosts revenue, profit. Amazon posted second quarter earnings on Thursday that blew away Wall Street estimates, bolstered by consumer trends during the coronavirus pandemic that have catapulted the tech giant into one of the crisis’ biggest beneficiaries. The company’s results are even more impressive given that it acknowledged spending... JAKKS PACIFIC MAKES PROGRESS DESPITE 17% SALES HIT IN Q2. The company reported a 17% decline in Q2 sales versus the same period last year thanks to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of retail partners around the world. In the U.S., net sales for toys and other consumer products were down just 2%, while sales in the company’s Disguise Costumes division — which had been a pre-pandemic strong... Games Workshop celebrates ‘best financial year in the company’s history’. Games Workshop is celebrating what it has hailed ‘the best financial year in the company’s history,’ having reported a revenue of £269.7 million for the 12 months to May 31st 2020. That’s an increase of over £10 million on the £256.6 million it totaled for the same period in 2019. Roblox developers expect to earn $250 Million in 2020. The Roblox developers are on pace to earn over $250 Million in 2020. This is according to an announcement made during RDC, Roblox’s sixth annual developer conference. It was also announced that Roblox now has over 150 million monthly active users. Hasbro revenue falls 29% as store closures, product shortages hurt sales; shares drop. Despite strong demand for toys in the quarter, Hasbro’s revenue fell 29% on a pro forma basis. For the quarter ended June 28, Hasbro posted a net loss of $33.9 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with a profit of $13.4 million, or 11 cents per share, a year ago. ​ Future Financial Reporting... Earnings preview: what to expect from Amazon. Amazon is scheduled to report earnings after Thursday’s close. The stock hit a record high of $3,344.29/share in 2020 and is currently trading near $3,019/share. The stock is prone to big moves after reporting earnings …

Stories & Comments . . . How to get a job in games during a pandemic. While the full global impact of coronavirus is yet to be revealed, the video game industry has shown great resilience in the face of the pandemic. That’s welcome news if you’ve had your sights set on getting a job in the games industry. Game sales have skyrocketed and consumer demand is high as social distancing has encouraged people to explore new ways... Epic Games' Sweeney calls out Apple, Google for 'exploitative' platform fees. Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney has branded Apple and Google "exploitative" for imposing a 30 percent store fee on their respective mobile platforms. It's hardly surprising to see Sweeney slam the once standard 30 percent store fee, given his own marketplace the Epic Games Store only takes a 12 percent cut from developers. The First Etch A Sketch that lets you draw circles is the perfect fidget toy. Etch A Sketch Revolution. What is it? The first Etch A Sketch redesign that makes it easier to draw curves and circles. I was surprised to find that the new Etch A Sketch Revolution — arguably the first reimagining of the toy that now makes drawing smooth curves and circles a breeze — managed to hold my attention for a few hours... Argos axes 'book of dreams' catalogue after 48 years. "The laminated book of dreams," was how comedian Bill Bailey jokingly described the plastic-coated Argos catalogue. But 48 years on from its launch, the catalogue is finally coming to an end. The encyclopedia-like catalogues, the basis of many a child's Christmas wishlist, will no longer be regularly printed by the end of the January 2021. Two Buffalo men arrested for allegedly shipping cocaine and fentanyl in Nickelodeon slime box. The U.S. Attorney's Office says two Buffalo men have been arrested for allegedly shipping cocaine and fentanyl inside a box that contained toys, coloring books, paper plates, napkins, and a Nickelodeon slime box. UK: McDonald's will offer children the choice between a book or toy as their Happy Meal gift. McDonald's is changing its Happy Meal gifts after almost 50 per cent of parents said lockdown has negatively impacted on their children's reading habits. To encourage a love of books, little ones will now be given a choice between a story and a toy along with their meal. What jigsaw puzzles tell us about child development. They've been used as an educational toy for hundreds of years and are thought to develop skills such as hand-eye coordination and problem solving. But little has been known about how children learn to do jigsaw puzzles. Now, new research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) has put jigsaw puzzles to the test—and found that children only learn to do them... Game development in a time of upheaval. As we strive to represent diverse peoples from diverse backgrounds, we must do so responsibly and carefully. This means adding concrete new steps to our creative processes. It means that we seek out new voices and ensure that these voices can be heard. Pokémon Go players caught nearly a billion Pokémon at this year’s online-only fest. This year’s online-only Pokémon Go Fest took place over the weekend, and since it was the first one open to all players regardless of their physical location, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that it was the biggest one yet. Niantic says “a record number of millions of trainers” took part from 124 countries and regions around the world... “Anyone who says they know what this industry will be like in 2-3 years… listen, but don’t bet on it.” James Brooksby, Absolutely Games. Every month an industry leader wraps up MCV/DEVELOP with their unique insight. This month we talk to James Brooksby, CEO of Absolutely Games. Fantasy Flight Games announces Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn expansion. Fantasy Flight Games announced Terra Incognita, an expansion for Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn, as well as a new gamemat. Fantasy Flight Games released Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn back in 2017 Learning through play - is your child playing enough in preschool? Did you know that your preschool child needs at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day for optimal health? Adequate play stimulates your childs physical, cognitive and social-emotional development. Distractions caused by TV and other gadgets at home can prevent children from getting the play they need. The August 2020 issue of Toy World is available to read online now. The 108-page August issue of Toy World is now out and available to read online. This issue features in-depth looks at the Plush, STEM and Wooden Toy categories, bringing readers the latest product and marketing information decision makers need to know. This issue also contains a special Show Off feature; with a number of key physical trade shows... Action Figure Insider – 15 Years of Talking About Toys. Comic-Con@Home 2020. For 15 years Action Figure Insider has been putting together SDCC panels with leading toy industry talent and leaders to discuss the state of the industry, collecting, licensing and making physical products of pop culture. This year we not only look at the current state of the world, making toys in the time of COVID-19, but we also look... The Board-Game Series for the Age of the Coronavirus. In a list of retail shortages from early March, plague historians will include toilet paper, baking yeast, and, at some stores, every kind of meat except shrimp and ribs. They should also mention a coöperative board game called Pandemic. In 2004, not long after the sars virus wound a deadly path through China, Singapore, and Canada, Matt Leacock, then a... White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claims Paw Patrol has been CANCELED - but she fell for an online spoof and it was on Nickelodeon as she spoke. She added: 'Lego halted the sales of their Lego police station.' Lego had already fact checked a Trump aide telling then-campaign manager Brad Parscale it was not stopping sales of its Lego police station Casual Game Revolution Headlines - The Op has released a new Harry Potter game, the Spiel des Jahres 2020 winners have been named, and WizKids has announced Meeple Towers. ​ Remembering the toy industry's past . . . Rome fills museum with vintage toys in new exhibition. Rome displays an exhibition of vintage toys, including doll houses, cars, trains, spinning tops, magic lanterns, clowns and music boxes at the Museo di Roma Palazzo Braschi, in Piazza Navona, until 10 January 2021. Entitled Per Gioco. La collezione dei giocattoli antichi della Sovrintendenza Capitolina the exhibition focuses on the collection of vintage toys acquired by... Ice Cube from Milton Bradley (1972). Designed by Marvin Glass and manufactured by Milton Bradley, the Ice Cube board game combines water, ice, and salt for messy trips around the board until the last pawn is left standing. The object of the game is to be the last player whose ice cube melts. Viceroy Manufacturing Company. Rubber and vinyl dolls and toys were the name of the game for Viceroy Manufacturing Company of Toronto, Ontario. The company began producing moulded rubber toys in 1930, creating an array of balls, bath toys, sand and beach toys, and small cars and trucks.

Worldwide Licensing News . . . Braille Skateboarding debuts toy line. Braille Skateboarding has partnered with Bonker Toys for a new toy line. Braille Skateboarding founder and professional skateboarder Aaron Kyro is known for making skateboarding accessible to people of all ages - guiding them on how to master moves from this hobby-turned-official-Olympic-sport. Private Division signs publishing deals with Ori dev Moon Studios and others. Take-Two Interactive's publishing label Private Division has signed three new publishing deals with developers Moon Studios, Roll7, and League of Geeks. The move is notable given the pedigree on display. Moon Studios has garnered acclaimed for its work on artistic platformers Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Roll7... Peaky Blinders will be storming the tabletop gaming space this Q4 with two new titles. The Peaky Blinders are looking to storm the table top and travel gaming space in time for the Q4 shopping season this year, with the launch of not one, but two new games inspired by the hit TV series. The move arrives as part of a wider signing of six new licensing partners for the property. A new series from Kevin Smith and WildBrain will reinvent The Green Hornet franchise for a new generation of kids. “We’re thrilled to embark on a new animated Green Hornet series with Kevin, who has set up an incredibly rich world with a cast of amazing characters – especially Kato, who is no longer just a sidekick, but is now a strong female partner to the Green Hornet,” says Stephanie Betts, EVP Content and... Disney-Pixar Happy Meal toys arrive at McDonald’s. Calling all fast foodies and Disney fans. Your two loves have combined once again. Disney and McDonald’s have collaborated to bring Disney-Pixar toys to Happy Meals! We’ve shared Disney’s other recent collaborations with McDonald’s since last year. Back in April 2019, Disney and McDonald’s gave away prizes in honor of the release of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. McFarlane Toys acquires rights to Witcher action. McFarlane Toys - the merch manufacturer owned by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane - announced that it had secured the rights to produce a run of action figures based on popular fantasy RPG franchise The Witcher. While the company had nothing to reveal in terms of designs or prototypes, the first run of figures will be based specifically on characters... New CBeebies series Monty & Co eyes toy, publishing, and arts and crafts deals. Monty & Co, the new pre-school series to have landed on CBeebies earlier this month and devised by the team behind the likes of the Muppet movies, Mopatop Shop, and Chucklevision, is eyeing an early move into the toy aisle through the appointment of its global licensing agency, Licensing Link Europe.. Panda Mony Toys taps FanGirl Consulting in plans ‘to shake up the toy industry. Panda Mony Toys’ plans to shake up the global toy industry with the introduction of its Alter Nation action figure toy line has taken another step towards reality, with the appointment of the pop culture brand and licensing specialist, FanGirl Consulting. Founded by the former Hasbro executive, Anita Castellar, FanGirl has... Schleich USA has partnered with Viva Kids to create a feature-length film that brings the Bayala franchise to life. Animal figurine manufacturer Schleich is bringing its Bayala franchise to life onscreen. Their animated feature-length movie, The Fairy Princess And The Unicorn: The Bayala Movie, will make its U.S. debut this August. Made possible through a partnership with Viva Kids, the film’s U.S. expansion... WWE And Mattel Reveal Which Superstars Will Be Included In Their "Legends Series 8" Collection. WWE and Mattel teamed up for a virtual San Diego Comic-Con where several new WWE action figures were revealed. Mattel designer Steve Ozer talked about reviving the legends line and which legends will be a part of it. "We're celebrating our tenth anniversary partnership with WWE and... People . . . GoldieBlox names former New Form exec Melissa Schneider Chief Content Officer. Peter Pergola has joined GoldieBlox as an operating partner, assuming a seat on its board of directors. At the same time, digital video vet Melissa Schneider has been named GoldieBlox’s chief content officer. Other hires at GoldieBlox include: chief marketing officer Ferrell McDonald, who joins GoldieBlox from Tinder... Fred Soulie named Senior Vice President, General Manager, Mattel Television. Nearly two years after joining Mattel to lead content distribution and business development, Fred Soulie has been promoted to senior vice president and general manager, Mattel Television. In his new role, Soulie will oversee the development, production, and distribution of Mattel’s full slate of TV and streaming content. Humanoids brings in former Legendary exec to spearhead move into film and TV. Humanoids has appointed Matthieu Coppet as Group Chief Operating Officer. In that role, Coppet will work with Humanoids CEO Fabrice Giger to scale the company’s operations, using a multimillion dollar development fund recently secured with a strategic partner to help expand Humanoids IP into film and TV content. In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Trina McFarland, owner and managing director of TinkerTini. McFarland has reviewed thousands of toy and game concepts during the course of her career. She previously served as senior manager, inventor relations at Mattel, prior to which she managed inventor relationships for Jakks Pacific... Jud Meyers, whose promotion to Publisher at IDW Publishing was announced just last week (see "New President, Publisher, EVP at IDW Publishing"), has been placed on administrative leave. The company made the announcement to employees at a company town hall last Friday. In his role as Publisher, Meyers was in charge of editorial, sales, and creative services.

Companies . . . Mattel takes UNO Minimalista from concept to market in just 30 days. UNO Minimalista gives the game a sleek, minimalistic look featuring a streamlined logo against a dark background with simple symbols emblazoned on each colorful card. Originally a fan creation by Brazilian designer Warleson Oliveira, Mattel Games entered into a collaboration to bring the game to market in just 30 days. Hasbro reveals Pac-Man Monopoly, releasing on August 1st. Hasbro has announced a Pac-Man themed version of the Monopoly board game for the arcade icon's 40th anniversary, and will be available starting on August 1st for an MSRP of $30. A miniature, playable, arcade cabinet will be included, featuring a simplified version of Pac-Man for you to play every time you pass GO. Fantasy Flight Games unveils 'X-Men: Mutant Insurrection'. Fantasy Flight Games unveiled X-Men: Mutant Insurrection, a new board game, and its accompanying gamemat for release into retail in Q4. X-Men: Mutant Insurrection, designed by Richard Launius and Brandon Perdue, has players travelling the world to recruit new mutants, capture criminals, protect citizen, and battle X-Men villains. Excelsior: Stan Lee wins statue by Iron Studios! The greatest legend of the Marvel universe, present in small, but striking appearances in almost all adaptations in theaters and diverse animations, much more than co-creator of several heroes and villains of “House of Ideas”, and writer of many of his most striking stories, Iron Studios proudly presents … Stan Lee! Celebrate the end of winter with Holi: Festival Of Colors. Floodgate Games announced Holi: Festival of Colors, a new pattern building multi-tiered board game, coming soon to retail stores. In Holi: Festival of Colors, players celebrate the popular Hindu festival that marks the beginning of spring by making patterns of colored powders. Riot quickly drops controversial LEC sponsor after outrage from devs, community. Riot Games announced it is junking its partnership with NEOM. “As a company and as a league, we know that it’s important to recognize when we make mistakes and quickly work to correct them. After further reflection, while we remain steadfastly committed to all of our players and fans worldwide including those living in Saudi Arabia and... RedwoodVentures, OLO Industries Introduce Smooshy Mushy Ultra Range. RedwoodVentures Ltd., in partnership with OLO Industries LLC, introduces Smooshy Mushy Ultra, a new line extension that features ultra-rare squishable, collectible toys. The new styles include metallic colors and graffiti-style details. The Mean Greens: plastic warfare takes your army men online; enlist on August 5th. It’s been a while since we’ve seen an army men game, and The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare is the latest incarnation with a few new takes on the old formula. The game was announced on the PlayStation Blog today, and the Art Lead/Community Manager, Jamie Krautkremer, provided some details around the game and design. Gamegenic reveals deets on new Catan accessory product line. Gamegenic, alongside CATAN Studio, revealed a product line of officially licensed accessories for CATAN board games set to release in September. The new CATAN accessories cover a gambit of storage, organization, and gameplay enhancements to CATAN board games. Omnia doubles down on kids gaming content. Omnia Media, which runs a network of digital gaming channels, is pressing play on original productions with a new division that will make and distribute kids gaming content to meet a rising demand. The new Omnia Kids Gaming unit plans to produce Minecraft- and Roblox-themed content through its own channels … Pressure Games launches Kickstarter for its retro-inspired active-tech toy hybrid Countdown. Pressure Games, a toy development unit that aims to combine active, social and imaginative play to today’s demand for tech toys, has launched its Kickstarter campaign for its already international award-winning concept, Countdown is a retro-inspired tech toy that comes with more than 12 reflex, logic, and movement... WildBrain CPLG partners leading Italian design school to celebrate 65 years of Miffy. The entertainment, sport, and brand licensing agency, WildBrain CPLG has teamed with the Italian design school Istituto Europeo di Design for a new fashion project that celebrates the 65th anniversary of Mercis BV’s character brand Miffy.The project has seen students from award-winning design schools in the UK, Hong Kong... Hasbro Games announces 'Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins'. Hasbro Games, along with Wizards of the Coast, announced Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins, a cooperative fantasy board game, for release on October. This product is a quick-entry cooperative family board game revolving around the basic premise of D&D. Madballs are BACK! from MegalopolisToys. It’s Freaky Fun For Everyone! Madballs action figures are back, and they are more freaky and grotesque than ever before! Each Madballs action figure stands approximately 6 inches in height, features 25 points of articulation, interchangeable parts, and accessories designed by THE James Groman! Mattel unveiled the Barbie 2020 Campaign Team, a doll set and a full marketing program that highlights the importance of using your voice to vote and shows girls how to run a campaign. The new career set includes four dolls with important roles that can make a winning campaign, including a candidate, a campaign manager, a fundraiser, and a voter. The set features dolls of different ethnicities, including... BIG G CREATIVE INTRODUCES WHO’S THE G.O.A.T.? In the age of social media, the debate often rages as to who’s the greatest of all time — the G.O.A.T. Now, Big G Creative is bringing the challenge to the table in Who’s the G.O.A.T.?, a new party game from inventor Peggy Brown that offers players a chance to prove that they’re the greatest through prediction, competition, and fun. Wow! Stuff unveils print-your-own-mask kits. The company has pledged £10,000 of Your-Face Masks sale proceeds to NHS Charities Together. The in-house innovation team at Wow! Stuff, which was recently announced as the official master toy licensee for The Gruffalo, has created a patent applied-for home print-your-own-mask kits in two categories; Fashion and Arts & Crafts. The Your-Face Masks kits will... Kids Insights now launches into Canada and Australia as its global expansion continues. By adding the regions to its roster, they become the 10th and 11th operational markets for the firm. This follows the company’s recent expansions into Brazil and Mexico, where it launched earlier this year. Henson to help adapt books about race & immigration. Exclusive: Rehab Entertainment and the Jim Henson Company have signed on for Lena!, a new animated preschool series from showrunner Sidney Clifton and Karen Katz. Lena! is only loosely based on The Colors of Us (pictured below) and My America (set for a spring 2021 release), and tells the story of a culturally diverse neighborhood through the eyes... WOTC plans 'Curse Of Strahd Revamped'. Wizards of the Coast will release Curse of Strahd Revamped, a boxed collector’s edition of the famed Dungeons & Dragons adventure, on October 20. This will be in the run-up to Halloween, the company announced.​ ​

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Relative To Our Industry . . . COVID-19: Kids industry closures & cancellations. As pandemic continues to evolve, we will be updating this guide with all the info on what's being paused and shut down across the industry.... we have put together a guide of every industry event that’s been affected, as well as other important information you might need to know to go about your day to day business. Hasbro is increasingly reliant on TV and movies, and that's a bad thing at the moment. Demand for toys and games helped prop Hasbro early on in the pandemic, but the company's luck wasn't as good in the second quarter of 2020. The culprit? It would seem the company is suffering collateral damage from the delay of movie releases, and some TV productions are getting delayed by the redundancy crisis that ... How Mattel and Walmart drove toy sales by responding to COVID-altered shopping behaviors. Mattel knew there was high demand for its toys, as families looked for ways to keep children busy and entertained while staying home. But with stores closed and Amazon postponing shipments of non-essential items, Mattel’s biggest challenge became getting products in the hands of customers who wanted them. Slip 'N Slide sales are booming due to COVID ... as pools, water parks close. The maker of the iconic Slip 'N Slide is making a huge splash in sales ... as the pandemic forces families to keep all water play in their backyards. Wham-O -- the company that first introduced the Slip 'N Slide back in 1961 -- has seen sales jump a whopping 180% since April ... a totally logical jump as coronavirus forces the closure of most public... ​ Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . AMAZON DE-ANONYMIZING THIRD PARTY SELLERS The Wild West May Get a Little Tamer. Amazon will begin displaying business name and address for all third party sellers in the U.S. on September 1, the company told its sellers earlier this month. The change may help tame some of the more destructive elements of Amazon’s third party marketplace. Manhattan Toy recalls ‘Manhattan Ball’ activity toys sold exclusively at Target. The Manhattan Toy Company has recalled about 22,100 of its “Manhattan Ball” teething toys sold exclusively at Target due to a choking hazard. The toy’s plastic tubes can detach from the center ball and release the small silicone teethers threaded on the tubes, posing a threat. Putty and slime with dangerous chemical recalled after being sold in Nuneaton shop. Parents are being urged to take dangerous slime and putty that was being sold in Nuneaton off their children. The products have been found to contain high levels of a dangerous chemical. Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service discovered high levels of Boron in two toy putty products on sale in the town. The LEGO Group launches online safety and digital citizenship campaign. A new initiative from the LEGO Group will seek to help families have conversations about staying safe online and being a good ‘digital citizen’. Small Builds for Big Conversations is a new campaign from the LEGO Group that aims to help parents discuss the online world with their children …

Press Releases . . . Spotlight Licensing today announced a collaboration with Funko to create stylized Pop! Vinyl Figures as well as Pop! T-shirts, Keychains, Enamel Pins, and related accessories based on the popular Netflix Original television series The Last Kingdom, from Carnival Films. MSRP for The Last Kingdom Pop! Vinyl Figures will be $10-$14. “We know fans have been asking for The Last Kingdom collectible Pop! Figures and we are... The Learning Journey International, LLC (TLJI) introduced its new 2020 lineup of educational toys earlier this year to great reviews, and now the industry itself has spoken! The new additions quickly became identified as not just quality learning toys, but award‐winning educational toys. TLJI is proud to add 13 new awards to many of the new 2020 products! “What an honor to be recognized by our industry, as well as parents... New from Big G Creative, Who’s the G.O.A.T.? is the hilarious party game that’s one part prediction, one part competition, and all parts fun. Who’s the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.)? You are! Everyone’s the greatest at something. Who’s the G.O.A.T.? allows friends and family to discover each other’s hidden talents and is fun for all ages. The game comes with six irresistible squishy goats. Players pick who they think will be the... Barbie® Unveils 2020 Campaign Team Set to Encourage All Girls to Raise Their Voice. In Partnership with She Should Run, Brand Educates on Leadership Roles and Importance of Voting. The new career set includes four diverse dolls with roles that make a winning campaign, including candidate, campaign manager, fundraiser and voter, to show girls the importance of a political team working together to win. ​ News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals . . . (ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and more) Winners of CHITAG’s Young Inventor Challenge: Spring Edition announced. The Chicago Toy & Game Group, alongside sponsors Mattel, Magformers, Scholastic and the American Specialty Retailer Association (ASTRA), has announced the winners of the CHITAG Young Inventor Challenge: Spring Edition. Launched in May in response to Covid-19, this special edition of CHITAG’s annual autumn Young Inventors Challenge... SDCC: 9 MUST-WATCH TOY INDUSTRY PANELS FROM COMIC-CON@HOME. Now that the dust has settled from Comic-Con@Home, the world is left with days worth of content to enjoy and absorb. Unlike in-person editions of Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) in which most panels are not broadcast globally, this year’s lineup was presented entirely online. (Publisher note: I was excited to be one one of these panels!) Licensing Leadership Summit goes virtual. The Licensing Leadership Summit, which was set to take place this November in New York City, will now go virtual as part of Festival of Licensing. The Summit is the only virtual conference to unite C-level executives from the world’s largest players across manufacturing, retail and brands to discuss, debate and collaborate on the future of brand licensing. GDC Summer's Sponsor Showcase offers access to industry leaders like Tencent. The industry leaders (like Microsoft, Google, Unity, and Tencent) who have signed on to help sponsor the show can be a great resource for you, and all are available for scheduling meetings in the GDC Summer Sponsor Showcase. Enter the MCV/DEVELOP Women in Games Awards 2020 today! We’re incredibly excited to (finally) be launching the Women in Games Awards 2020. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we’re still determined to celebrate the huge contribution of women in the games industry (whether it be in the office or working from home!). Usually the event takes place in June, but this year we’ve had to move it back to the 25th of November. One of tabletop gaming’s biggest awards celebrates Black creators. Diana Jones Award honors over two dozen people of color. Gen Con, the nation’s largest tabletop gaming convention, has moved online this year because of the global pandemic. But that hasn’t stopped the industry’s annual awards, like the Ennie awards, from being handed out. On Wednesday, the hobby games industry announced the winners of one ... Two more major regional geek culture conventions have been cancelled for 2020, creating nearly a clean sweep (we’re looking at you, New York Comic Con) of cancellations for the year. Wizard Entertainment "postponed" its 2020 Chicago event to 2021, with dates earlier in the summer than usual for the show: June 24-27, 2021. Wizard’s Chicago convention is its largest and longest-running show, with roots back... CES 2021 to become all-digital event in January. CES, one of the world’s largest tech events, will be fully virtual next year following further concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The Consumer Technology Association announced the change this week, after previously saying CES 2021, due to take place in January, would continue to be an in-person event, with additional virtual and digital experiences. How Comic-Con engaged kid audiences from afar. From a deep-dive into how adaptation works best, to an online cosplay competition, Comic-Con@Home offers a new blueprint for online events. For the first time in its 50-year history, fans didn’t flock to San Diego for the annual Comic-Con event. Instead, they were at home from July 22 to July 26, attending virtual panels and connecting with other attendees from a distance... ​

Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide this Week . . .Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media's (US)

Toyworld (UK)

ICv2: THE BUSINESS OF GEEK CULTURE's (US) 1. WizKids Releases New 'D&D Icons of the Realms: The Tower' Deets 2. Wizards of the Coast Powers Down 'Transformers TCG' 3. 2020 'Spiel Des Jahres' Winners Announced! 4. Flat River Group Adds Distribution Center, Senior Staff 5. WizKids Reveals Second Round of 'Warlock Tiles' 6. Renegade Game Studios Reveals New 'Vampire: The Masquerade' Card Game 7. Mantic Games Unveils Five New 'Terraincrates' 8. WizKids Expands 'Fantasy Realms' 9. Minority Game Makers Urge Changes at Big Box Retailers 10. Z-Man Games Announces 'Pandemic Legacy: Season 0'Spielwarenmesse Magazine-Monthly, not Weekly (Germany)

TOYS Magazine (Germany)

Toy & Hobby (Australia)

Nación Juguetes (Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile & Spain)

Video of the Week


Tim Walsh Shares Where Inspiration Comes From and Fun First with Young Inventors!

Thank you for being a reader of the Bloom Report. — Mary and Graeme Founding Editor and Publisher (1998-2020, Retired): Philip Bloom Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher



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