the Bloom Report: June 19- 26, 2020

the Bloom Report Toy Industry's #1 News Summary Below is June 20 - 26, 2020

Articles posted e with newest articles at top of each news section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we send you highlights via email.


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Welcome to your Friday briefing of the week's news!


Thank you for the many congratulations on our first few publications of the Bloom Report. Phil Bloom built this into our industry’s #1 weekly industry news summary, and we plan to continue to grow its importance in the industry.

In case you missed the last few 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 & Upward,

Mary Couzin


Company of the Week: Big G Creative - Making Games in the Time of Corona



When the coronavirus started and the world shut down, we were busier than ever developing games from home. Because our operations team already worked remotely (Rob Stevens and Alex Kimerling in Nashville, Steven Anne in Chicago, me in Michigan), working from home wasn’t new for us. However, working from home, with our kids also at home, was definitely a new challenge. We quickly learned how to balance work with homeschooling, and having our kids at home turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Just like that, we had in-house playtesters at our disposal 24/7. Our kids played an important role in developing our 2020 games and helped with every aspect of game design from gameplay to rules and content. (Thankfully, we were building family games and not adult party games!) Fortunately, Steven’s wife, Shannon, is an editor and Alex’s wife, Whitney, is an attorney, so they both contributed their time and talents as well. It was definitely a family affair! (Read more)

Person-of-the-Week: Dylan Collins: How Generation C will Reshape the Toy Industry...

Although relatively short in duration, Covid-19’s impact will define a generation of kids. For the age band most impacted (6-16), the pandemic and its effects will define their generation, jolting them into a new way of thinking, acting, playing and socializing. Some of these behaviors are an acceleration of trends which were already in motion but others are completely new. Welcome to Generation C. All disasters tend to make that generation of kids grow up faster. However, other changes are more subtle and every brand should pay attention to what’s happening: Generation C has influence and feels empowered. Like Covid-19 itself, we are just beginning to understand their impact. Generation C are defined by a diverse range of traits and behaviors: (Read more)Financial & Legal News . . . JUST PLAY ACQUIRES SLINKY AND SHRINKY DINKS BRANDS. Following the sudden disappearance of Alex Brands and the auction of its assets this spring, Just Play has acquired Slinky and Shrinky Dinks. New products from both brands will arrive at retail this fall, just in time for the holiday season. “For 75 years, Slinky has been one of the most popular and recognizable playthings around the world,” says Charlie Emby... Ban on Chinese apps, including TikTok, surprises India content makers. India's ban on 59 Chinese apps, including the TikTok and WeChat platforms, has left millions surprised and disappointed. The government said the apps were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order". TikTok denied sharing any data with the Chinese government. Beijing said... ​V1 ANALYTICS PRESENTS A FASCINATING VISUAL LOOK AT THE EXPANSION AND COLLAPSE OF TOYS ‘R’ US. A new video from V1 Analytics is pushing the nostalgia buttons while also reminding the toy industry of some not-so-old wounds. The data visualizer offers a look at the growth, contraction, collapse, and seeds of rebirth that have been planted for Toys “R” Us in the U.S. Using multiple data sources, the video focuses... (the above posted after June 26th) Here's How Walmart is Placed Amid the Rising E-commerce Rage. The world’s largest retailer saw its U.S. e-commerce sales surge as much as 74% in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, mainly on strength in grocery pickup and delivery, walmart.com and the marketplace. The company notified that it saw an increased shift to online shopping, given the higher stay-at-home trends. Certainly, the company’s long-drawn... Kohl’s says tie-up with Amazon ‘underscores’ importance of stores. Kohl’s says its Amazon partnership is teaching the retailer a lot about its own stores, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. “It has opened our eyes ... that there are other roles a Kohl’s store can play to the American consumer,” Kohl’s chief technology officer Paul Gaffney said. Amazon’s next big move? It should buy Macy’s. Reports of Amazon’s potential interest in a struggling retailer refuse to go away. The speculation is spurred by Amazon’s cash hoard—the e-commerce giant had roughly $27.2 billion of cash on hand as of March 31—and the fact that it bought Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion in 2017. Most recently, Amazon was linked to J.C. Penney... Retail sales fall back in early June. Redbook Johnson reports chain store sales are down 1.4% M/M in June so far and decreased 6.1% Y/Y for the week ending June 20. Month-to-date sales are down 8.0% Y/Y through June 20. Looking ahead, retail sales are expected to improve incrementally on a monthly basis, but trail last year's levels. Russia Investigates Toy Protests Against Vote on Putin’s Term Limits. Criminal investigators in St. Petersburg have attempted to question an activist who used children's toys to protest against a vote on constitutional amendments that would allow Putin to extend his rule into 2036. Sonya Ulyasheva, a spokeswoman for the Vesna democratic movement, had posted photographs of the toy protests as on offshoot... Lone Echo developer Ready at Dawn acquired by Facebook. The Order: 1886 and Lone Echo developer Ready at Dawn has been acquired by Facebook for an undisclosed sum, and now joins the company’s Oculus Studios brand. Acquisitions have played a growing part in Facebook’s recent VR plans, with the company noting in that Oculus blog post that it is “exploring many ways to accelerate VR, and... Target announced that it’s raising wages for its workers. Its peers will likely have to follow suit, argues Credit Suisse. On Wednesday, Target (ticker: TGT) said that it would permanently boost its starting wage for U.S. workers to $15, while also giving one-time bonuses to some hourly workers for their efforts during the pandemic. This will coincide with other benefits, including free virtual doctor visits... Kowloon Nights launches $2 million game investment fund for Black creators. Global video game investment fund Kowloon Nights has launched a new $2 million fund dedicated to Black creators and studios working on PC and console projects. Any development studio that's majority-owned by black creators can apply to the initiative, which intends to deploy the $2 million without any limitations. Epic Games and Match Group join Spotify in protesting Apple’s App Store fees. More companies are vocalizing their support for an antitrust case against Apple filed in the EU yesterday. Both Match Group, the owner of dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, as well as Epic Games, which created Fortnite, issued statements last night in support.


Trends, Market Research Reports . . . The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in June, after virtually no change in May . . . BRICK AND MORTAR RETAIL SALES EXPECTED TO DECLINE 14% IN 2020 As E-Commerce Grows 18% Company Financial & Brokerage News . . . August 14th Options Now Available For Mattel (MAT) . . . Hasbro – Consensus Indicates Potential 28.8% Upside . . . Mattel Is Finally Playing to Win . . . Is Hasbro's Dividend Helping or Hurting the Company? ​ ​ Financial Reporting . . . Genius Brands International to retire all senior secured convertible debt. Genius Brands, a global brand management company that creates, licenses, and broadcasts, multimedia entertainment content for children, becomes debt free and has $55 million in cash on the balance sheet. Indigo loses $171 million in Q4 after taking large impairment, tax charges. Indigo Books & Music is reporting a surge in losses caused by non-cash charges in the quarter to fiscal year March 28. The Toronto-based book, gift and specialty toy retailer lost $171 million. Indigo attributed the higher loss to impairment and deferred tax charges along with the decision to pay staff wages until the end of March even though... ​ Future Financial Reporting... Spin Master Corp. to Report Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results on August 5, 2020. Ronnen Harary, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Mark Segal, Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call for the investment community on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. Hasbro, Inc. announced that it will webcast its second quarter 2020 earnings conference call on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. ET, following the release of Hasbro's financial results. The webcast and the accompanying presentation slides will be available to investors and the media on Hasbro's Investor Relations home page at https://investor.hasbro.com.

Stories & Comments . . . Mattel introduces anti-vaccine Barbie, sells out in California. There will be 4 dolls in total: Measles Barbie, Mumps Barbie, Rubella Barbie and Polio Barbie (complete with a wheelchair). “We are really hoping to corner the market on the science illiterate,” said Mattel Spokesman Ken Rothwell. “We know a lot of anti-vaccers are actually fairly wealthy as well as fairly stupid. In a nutshell, the perfect consumer.” (Note: article by Science, Health, Satire. A non-award winning online newspaper delivering the 47th best science satire on the web.) Gaming the impossible: Jane McGonigal wants you to save the world. World-renowned game designer has the tools you need to regain confidence in times of chaos, visualize your future and create positive change. Climate change, a global pandemic, racial injustice … in the face of a society in turmoil, how can we as individuals take better control of our lives and the future? The answer might be found in video games. Ubisoft Places Two Executives on Leave Following Misconduct Allegations. Ubisoft Entertainment, one of the world’s largest video-game publishers, placed two executives and several employees on leave as part of a corporate investigation into misconduct allegations. The two high-ranking employees under scrutiny are Tommy François and Maxime Béland, both vice presidents in the group overseeing development of... EA pledges to investigate allegations of abuse and support victims. EA has asked employees to come forward if they've ever experienced abuse or harassment during their time at the company, telling them "these behaviors are never okay." The company said it has been shocked by the number of "disturbing stories around sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct" that have been shared online in recent weeks... Roblox accounts hacked to support Donald Trump. Users of the online multiplayer game for children aged 9 to 14 complained their profiles were hacked with the message: “Ask your parents to vote for Trump this year!” and “MAGA2020”, an abbreviation of Make America Great Again. Roblox has more than 100 million users worldwide. It is marketed at children aged between nine and 14. Uno launches major social media campaign across TikTok and Instagram. Are you a Sore Loser, a Dodgy Dealer, a Victory Dancer, or do you simply make up your own rules to suit your game? Uno is celebrating the ‘four different types of player personalities' through the launch of a new digital campaign. The campaign – titles #unowhoyouare – has identified the four different types of players ... The July issue of Toy World magazine is out and has a strong ‘reboot’ theme, timed to coincide with major lockdown easing and the reopening of non-essential retailers following a long, challenging three months of temporary closures and strict stay-at-home orders. Reflecting the optimism and positivity of the toy industry, the July issue features upbeat, forward-thinking views and opinion from contributors including... QUIBI’S ‘LIFE-SIZE TOYS’ PAIRS EPIC STUNTS WITH RADIO FLYER, LEGO, THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE, MORE. Some classic toys are about to go big for the short-form content platform, Quibi. Originally slated to debut in May, Life-Size Toys will premiere July 6 with Nitro Circus ringleader Travis Pastrana playing host as iconic toys are transformed for epic stunts. Disney’s deepfakes are getting closer to a big-screen debut. How close are deepfakes to being used in big-budget films and TV shows? Pretty damn close, if a new demo from Disney is anything to go by. In a video and paper being presented at a computer graphics conference this week, researchers from the House of Mouse show off what they say is the first photo-realistic deepfake at a megapixel resolution. MOVIE TRAILERS: Official Trailer for 'Gamemaster' Doc About the Board Game Industry. "The worst thing you can do as a game designer is fall in love with one of your designs… which [does] not work." Gravitas Ventures has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary titled Gamemaster, marking the feature directorial debut of Charles Mruz. Uno launches #unowhoyouare brand campaign. Card game Uno has launched an innovative new digital campaign that celebrates the different Uno player personalities. The #unowhoyouare campaign has identified four types of players – Victory Dancers, Dodgy Dealers, Sore Losers and Make Your Own Rules – and has created content to show all the different gameplay reactions. The campaign is an ambitious... Barbie's new collection includes a doll with baby hairs, and fans are loving the inclusive hairstyle. Barbie launched a new collection of dolls with streetwear-inspired style and beauty looks. One of the dolls has styled baby hairs, which has caught the attention of fans online who are applauding the inclusive style. The new dolls are part of Barbie's BMR1959 line, which stands for Barbara Millicent Roberts... ​ ​ Remembering the toy industry's past . . . Jewel Magic from Mattel (1975). A 1975 dealer advertisement for Jewel Magic from Mattel. When loaded with beads, the Jewel Magic machine produced “oodles of baubles ‘n bangles” at the turn of its handle. Individual pieces could be linked together, allowing kids to create custom jewelry on the fly. Mattel included 600 beads and 100 links in each box. Refill kits were sold separately.

Worldwide Licensing News . . . Arcade1Up, Coleco Partner for Mini Arcade Machines. Two years, after its successful Kickstarter, Coleco has partnered with Arcade1Up to create new Mini Arcade units for nationwide sale, utilizing Arcade1Up’s retail and licensing connections. The successful campaign raised $71,246 — more than doubling its $30,000 goal. This campaign included Mini Arcade versions of two games: Rainbow Brite Journey to Rainbow and... Minecraft cereal is coming this Summer. From toys and clothing to books and party supplies, Minecraft-themed merchandise can be found all over the shelves. Soon it will make its debut in the cereal aisle in partnership with Kellogg’s. The Kellogg’s cereal has a cinnamon flavor, and it includes green, square-shaped marshmallows that represent the blocky creepers that players need to watch out for ... Spin Master gets crafty with TikTok creators. Spin Master inked a multi-category co-branding and licensing agreement with TikTok creators WeWearCute. The partnership will see tween-focused stationery, craft and activity products launch under Spin Master’s new inkFLUENCER brand. The first two branded products will launch exclusively with Walmart in October, with additional items hitting shelves in 2021. Disability visibility: ToyLikeMe’s mission to change the children’s industry with MixMups. MixMups, the new stop-motion animated pre-school series created by #ToyLikeMe’s own Rebecca Atkinson comes with one mantra: There is always another way. Currently in production under the expertise at Raydar Media and an extended ‘dream team’ comprising some of the kids’ entertainment space’s most influential ... Wow! Stuff has signed a licence with Magic Light Pictures for its full catalogue of brands including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Zog, and The Snail and the Whale – all creations based on books by the author and illustrator duo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The master toy deal is multi territory – products will be available in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, USA and Canada. From January 2021... People, Companies, Organizations . . . Facebook is no longer betting on Lasso, an app it launched a year and a half ago, to take on TikTok . The social juggernaut’s TikTok clone is shutting down on July 10, Lasso alerted users on Wednesday. Launched in late 2018, Lasso was seen as Facebook’s answer to TikTok that’s gained ground with young users, both in China and in the West. Lasso allowed users shoot up to 15-second long videos and overlay popular songs. Call of Duty: Warzone will soon offer 200-person matches. Popular battle royale shooter Call of Duty: Warzone is upping its already large 150-person lobbies to let 200 people compete in Quad mode contests, publisher Activision announced. Warzone’s large lobbies are one of many ways the game tries to differentiate itself from the increasingly crowded battle royale market. But after this update, if you’re playing... The Last of Us Part II sold over 4 million copies in three days. Launched on June 19th, The Last of Us Part II has become the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive in history after selling over 4 million copies in three days to June 21st. The sequel launched on June 19 following a series of delays, some of which were caused by logistical issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic... Amazon’s shooter Crucible goes back into closed beta after rocky launch. Amazon-owned game studio Relentless is putting its free-to-play shooter Crucible back into a closed beta state after admitting it launched the game before it was ready. Colin Johanson says the focus is now on ”providing the best possible experience for our players as we continue to make the game better,” and so the game will be reverting back... Cards Against Humanity workers are unionizing. Employees at Cards Against Humanity (CAH) are unionizing. In a statement posted on Twitter, workers said that they have sent a letter to CAH’s owners to voluntarily recognize their union. Cards Against Humanity employees have come forward over the past few weeks to talk about a long office culture of racist and sexist behavior... Microsoft will ban Forza players who add the confederate flag to their digital cars. Microsoft updated its enforcement guidelines to have a zero-tolerance policy for any player using the confederate flag or other symbols that represent “notorious iconography” including swastikas will also be banned... MGA Entertainment Introduces L.O.L. Surprise! J.K. Mini Fashion Dolls. Series 1 of L.O.L. Surprise! J.K. mini fashion dolls includes four dolls who are little sisters to popular members of MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. fashion doll lineup. The dolls will debut to fans during a YouTube livestream on the L.O.L. Surprise! channel Wil Wheaton Joins Games by Bicycle as its First Global Board Game Ambassador. The actor, writer, and board game enthusiast is best-known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Big Bang Theory, and as creator/producer of the web series, Tabletop. “My goal when we created Tabletop was to put more gamers into the world,” says Wheaton. “We’d do that by showing how fun and social gaming is... Pixel Toys doubles its team during lockdown. Since the Covid-19 outbreak began in late February, the independent UK games developer and publisher has continued to grow, increasing its team from 55 to 85 employees. Following the announcement of expansion plans earlier this year, which saw the opening of a second floor within its building, business has continued to thrive. In fact, while many UK businesses... American Girl gets patriotic with Team USA line. The line is a tribute to inspirational athletes, featuring gear and outfits fit for 18-inch dolls. The clothing and accessories cover six summer sports: gymnastics, soccer, swimming, track and field, softball, and beach volleyball. The collection also includes a Team USA Medal Ceremony Set and a kid-sized Team USA “Go for the Gold” T-shirt. Jazwares Unveils Premium UFC Collectibles. Jazwares is making waves with its new UFC Ultimate Series, a line of action figures and role-play collectibles showcasing some of the sport’s most popular fighters. The first wave of the line features both current and former UFC champions, including UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones... WowWee unleashes Power Treads all-surface vehicles. Kids build and unleash custom vehicles that can be used with or without the included modular track system. Power Treads have received more than 6 million views on TikTok. “Power Treads gives you raw power, a customizable vehicle, and a modular building system,” says WowWee’s Chief Technology Officer Davin Sufer. Nickelodeon Readies Next Chapter of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nickelodeon and Point Grey Pictures are jointly announcing today that production will begin on an all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theatrical motion picture. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver to Create All-New Iteration of the Iconic Franchise and Its Chaotic Cast of Crime-Fighting Ninja Turtles. Apple is reportedly canceling some Arcade contracts to focus on ‘engagement’. Apple reportedly canceled several contracts for games set to launch on Arcade. Allegedly for the same reason: Apple wants new games that will keep players coming back to the service. For developers wondering where Apple’s bar for engagement currently lies, the report mentions that an Apple Arcade representative cited Grindstone... Microsoft has announced that it's closing 83 of its Microsoft stores across the world, marking an exit from the retail space from the Windows (and Xbox) developer. According to a press release, this permanent closure follows a temporary one that began with the spread of COVID-19. With reopenings coming to a screeching halt across the country, it doesn't appear that Microsoft's sleek... Leaked Microsoft document hints at second next-gen Xbox. Microsoft has been planning a second, cheaper and less power next-gen Xbox console. Codenamed Lockhart, it’s designed to take most of the key next-gen improvements found in the Xbox Series X and provide them at a lower price point for gaming at 1080p or 1440p. GOING HOG WILD WITH JOSH LOERZEL ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’. In this week’s episode of the Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Josh Loerzel, vice president of sales and marketing at Hog Wild Toys. Loerzel, who recently took part in the Toy Book‘s Talkin’ Toys series, delves into his backstory which includes stints at Monkey Business, Zing, and Yulu before landing at Hog Wild. Asmodee USA will distribute games from Italian game publisher Giochi Uniti International to the U.S. market beginning in August, the companies announced. Giochi Uniti games are published under the Stratelibri brand in their home market, and include titles such as Kingsburg and Letters from Whitechapel. Upcoming games from the line include Bar Barians, a game of tavern brawling, Kingsburg: Roll... World-renowned game designer Ravensburger has announced the launch of the WWE Legends Royal Rumble Card Game. This new game will be available via pre-order on Amazon and will officially release at retail stores across the nation on July 26th of this year. This game aims to recreate the high-octane action of the Royal Rumble wrestling events of the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. company. With over ... Dr Seuss Enterprises names new senior director of global marketing and global licensing manager. Dr. Seuss Enterprises has strengthened its senior team with the promotion of Shannon Spisak to senior director of global marketing and communications, and Jenna Marson to manager of global marketing and licensing. The moves come as the company continues to expand on its strategy to develop in-house talent. Pocket.watch Plans Global Expansion of Emmy-Nominated Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, Announces Fourth Season Pickup. Pocket.watch, the studio behind global franchises from the YouTube stars and characters loved by Generation Alpha, unveiled plans to expand hit kids TV series Ryan’s Mystery Playdate to international markets, beginning with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited in Germany. Pocket.watch’s gaming... WeWearCute, popular TikTok content creators, have partnered with Spin Master Corp., a leading global children’s entertainment company, in a multi-category, co-brand and licensed products agreement. Under Spin Master’s new inkFLUENCER™ brand, a tween-focused stationery, craft and activities line inspired by fashion and influencers, WeWearCute will unveil two feature items exclusive to Walmart this October... The Far East welcomes first Entertainer store. Working with Kim Hin Joo (Malaysia) Bhd as its franchise partner for the territory, The Entertainer has opened its first store near Kuala Lumpur. Plans are already in place for further expansion across Malaysia before Christmas, with two more stores confirmed. The Entertainer operates in 10 other territories across the globe. ​ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Relative To Our Industry . . . How shut-in consumers turned mobile gaming into a $100-billion industry. Globally, daily "in-app" payments for mobile games have jumped 24 per cent since the pandemic began. But while the sector’s big listed groups such as Nintendo, Activision Blizzard and Take Two have enjoyed share price rises of more than 25 per cent since early March, a clutch of mobile gaming studios, many privately held, have enjoyed the real... The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another live event: the third annual Hot Wheels Legends Tour. The Tour kicked off on March 7 in Miami, with the first date standing as the only completed stop of the tour’s anticipated 18-date U.S. run. Additional dates were postponed, with a trial virtual run taking place on May 16 hosted by Hoonigan. Now, the remainder of the tour will go virtual. Disney has delayed Mulan for the second time this year, moving the film from July 24th to August 21st. The move follows Warner Bros.’ decision to delay Christopher Nolan’s Tenet for a second time from July 31st to August 12th. Disney doesn’t want to be the first studio to release a major film in the middle of a pandemic when the company is unsure of about how many people will show up. How Do Doctors Treating Coronavirus Relax? By Playing the Game ‘Pandemic’. The board game gives healthcare workers the chance to save the world in around 45 minutes; ‘stress relief.’ As associate medical director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network in North Carolina, Sonali Advani assists more than 50 hospitals in the Southeast on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Can A Board Game Help Us Understand The Pandemic We're Living Through? Board game designer Matt Leacock never expected to live through a pandemic when he created the board game, aptly named Pandemic, in 2007. Leacock began developing the game in 2004 after reading "The Hot Zone" during the SARS outbreak. He wanted to create a collaborative game where your opponent is not... ​ ​ Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . Amazon established a new Counterfeit Crimes Unit in an effort to crack down on counterfeiters and those selling counterfeit products on its site. The global, multi-disciplinary team is composed of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators and data analysts, who it says will “join Amazon’s extensive work to drive counterfeit to zero.” Amazon, which announced revenues of $75.4b in the first three months...​ ​

Press Releases . . . GOOD VIBRATIONS: JAMMIN WITH YOU INVITES THE WHOLE FAMILY TO TURN UP THE LOVE EVERY FRIDAY. Celebrity Guests Pop Up Each Week In TGIF Free Summer Concert Series July 3 To August 7 With An Added Fundraiser For Life Is Good Playmakers. Wellesley, MA (July 2, 2020) – Do you recall the hit song, Put A Little Love in Your Heart? Music maestros at Jammin With You are following the song’s lyrics, “and the world will be a better place for you and me, just wait and see…” with a free summer concert series. Everyone in the house will be off the couch and on their feet dancin’, hummin’ and jammin’ with artists Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Mister G and Josh & the Jamtones to namedrop a few headliners. Parents will recognize Tim Kubart on the Friday, August 7 roster as a Grammy Award winner for Best Children’s Album. TAGIE AWARD NOMINATIONS KICKS OFF WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF A NEW NAME, NEW CATEGORY AND NEW VIRTUAL PROGRAM. In the spirit and theme of “Celebration,” the TAGIE Awards will boldly continue this year by expanding its platform honoring the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. The Chicago Toy & Game Group is announcing a number of changes to make the toy and game industry’s preeminent design, innovation and marketing awards bigger and better than ever. First, in acknowledgement of the global reach the 13 year old program has attained, the TAGIEs will be renamed the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards. This slight name change reflects the support of people in over 150 countries that are a part of the Chicago Toy & Game Group’s community, whether online or in person. Spin Master Corp. is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Glass to its Board of Directors. Kevin was most recently Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at CIBC from 2011 to 2019, where he was responsible for financial strategy, oversight, reporting and planning as well as the use and composition of CIBC's balance sheet resources. ​ News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals . . . (ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and more) CHICAGO TOY & GAME GROUP REINVENTS THE TAGIES AS THE TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS, keeping the TAGIE designation while broadening its scope to honor innovators, designers, and marketers in the toy and game industry. The change celebrates the international reach of the ChiTAG community, which includes members from more than 150 countries. MIPCOM & MIPJunior to take place in person. After multiple shows were cancelled in response to the pandemic, Reed Midem is planning a hybrid physical and digital gathering for both events in October. The physical event will be a bit different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The French government is allowing trade shows and exhibitions with more than 5,000 attendees to take place as of September 1, The organiser of the MCM London Comic Con, ReedPop, has announced that the October event has been cancelled. Currently the London ExCel Centre is still on standby as an emergency hospital. As the venue for MCM London Comic Con, the October show will not be able take place as planned. The new Licensing International Small Business Global Grants Fund provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers across the globe.​ Licensing International is looking to lend a helping hand to the industry’s small business employers that are struggling during the COVID-19 outbreak with the launch of its Small Business Global Grants Fund. With small businesses making up 59 per cent of its membership... Licensing Week Virtual hailed a success. Over 32,000 unique content views and 2,900 digital meetings took place across the five-day online event. The virtual conference and exhibition secured 4,477 attendees globally from the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico and more, while attendees included Build-A-Bear, Guess, Primark, Selfridges, Target and other world-renowned retailers. Some 2,933 virtual meetings... 'YU-GI-OH!' POSTPONES IN-STORE EVENTS INDEFINITELY Cancels National Championship, YCS. Konami has eliminated more events from its tournament and organized play schedule in response to the increase in daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the company announced. Two tournament events have been canceled: the WCQ - National Championships, which had previously been postponed... Autumn Fair, due to take place at the NEC in September, has been cancelled, a move which has been widely anticipated for some time. While there has been no official announcement as yet, several exhibitors have contacted Toy World to confirm that they have been told by a representative of the Hyve Group that the show will not take place in 2020,...

Top Stories from Trade Magazines WorldwideaNb Media's (US)

Toyworld (UK)

ICv2: THE BUSINESS OF GEEK CULTURE's (US) 1. WizKids Unveils 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden' Miniatures 2. Cards Against Humanity Partner Departs 3. Gale Force Nine Unleashes New 'D&D Icewind Dale' Miniatures 4. Rolling for Initiative -- 5 Distributors Doing the Work of One and Free RPG Day 2020 5. Rest to Regain Spells in 'WizKids 4D Settings: Encampment' 6. The Frostmaiden Summons a Dark Winter in 'Dungeons & Dragons' 7. 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Adult White Dragon' Takes Flight! 8. Create Underwater Kingdoms in 'Aquatica' 9. The Mad Titan Invades 'Marvel: Crisis Protocol' 10. Ares Games Unleashes 'Masters of the Night'Spielwarenmesse Magazine's (Germany)

TOYS Magazine (Germany)

Toy & Hobby (Australia)

Tabletop Wire (US)


Video of the Week

Matt, Nico and Lucas Nuccio of Design Edge Get Young Inventors Pumped Up! Young Inventor Spring Challenge Closes June 30th. Details Here!

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Thank you for being a reader of the Bloom Report. — Mary and Graeme

Founding Editor and Publisher (1998-2020, Retired): Philip Bloom

We are honored to carry on Phil's 22 year legacy and continue the Bloom Report. Phil has been a mensch

and we've loved working with him. Here is a fun and interesting interview with Phil.

If you would like to reach Phil: philip.bloom100@verizon.net

Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher


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