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The Bloom Report Oct. 16 - 23, 2020

the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

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!" -Phil Bloom

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Happy Friday! We believe that if we build it, you will come, but we need you to Register Now. This year has been rough on those of us who host events, even though our industry hasn’t been hit as hard as others. We had to start from scratch to go virtual, and though costs are higher, we must charge considerably less. Our team considers this moment an opportunity to provide you with awesomely rich programming like you've never experienced before such as:

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  • POP's Got Talent’ a variety show hosted by the innovative Fuhrer Brothers.

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Please support us and most importantly, JOIN US! We won’t be seeing each other in January, February or for the foreseeable future, this is the main event that will not be missed. ​ Thank you for reading the Bloom Report​. ​ Mary

JoAnn McLaughlin: Do your Homework: Know the Competition - tBR Person of the Week

TAGIE Awards Keynote What exactly do you do in the industry?

I am the SVP of Product Development at Disney working on all brands from a hard lines standpoint as well as soft lines on the Marvel and Lucas brands. My teams work on both licensed and owned & operated product development for our Disney Parks, Disney Stores and Shop Disney destinations.

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

I have been with Marvel for the past 28 years so many of the relationships I have built and products that were invented came from my team and continue to be strong at retail; some being the Spider-Man silly string Web Shooter, Hulk Hands, Marvel Legends which all now reside with Hasbro, our master toy partner and are still thriving. My team also worked on the Lord of the Rings initial trilogy and won many awards for innovation on that action figure program for all those films. Boys Action is my long term expertise, but I have worked on all types of toys through the years. Read More...

Marvel's Jesse Falcon - Don’t be afraid to fail! - tBR Person-of-the-Week

Introduces JoAnn McLaughlin at the TAGIEs!

What exactly do you do in the industry?

I oversee the PD side of all hardlines items worldwide for Marvel, so toys, collectibles, construction, consumer electronics, novelty & I look over the O&O business for Marvel that are sold through Disney.

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

Probably the work that came out of working with the TOY BIZ team. I developed the Marvel Legends line and developed products for all of the Marvel movies from back in 1994. Those include the original X-Mem/ Spider-Man/ F4/ Hulk / Daredevil / Blade trilogy, As well as the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy toys.

Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?

I started making my own toys when I was very young. And continued to do so through grade school – when I was into a character that didn’t have an action figure Id make one out of the materials I had at my disposal – other toys and D&D paints plumbers’ putty. I did that although school and when I had my interview with toy biz I brought all of those and the gentleman took one look and hired me on the spot.


Financial & Legal News . . .

TikTok and Shopify Announce E-Commerce Partnership. Video app TikTok and e-commerce platform Shopify announced a partnership allowing Shopify merchants to create and connect their TikTok For Business account and deploy In-Feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify.

Juratoys acquires Lilliputiens Lilliputiens joins the Juratoys group’s brand portfolio to feature alongside Janod and Kaloo. Juratoys has announced that it has acquired Lilliputiens, a Belgian company that has specialised in activity toys for 0 – 6 year olds for 25 years. Known for its quality designs and colourful characters, the Lilliputiens range spans 400 products, incuding fabric-made toys, books and bags, and has...

Simba Dickie Group to acquire the majority stake in Exit Toys Simba's acquisition is expected to further increase the international footprint for Exit Toys in the outdoor toys sector. Exit Toys, a Dutch enterprise that develops and sells outdoor toys and allied products in the international market, intends to sell the majority of its shares to the German toy manufacturer Simba Dickie Group. This collaboration fits both the Dutch...

SPIN MASTER TO ACQUIRE RUBIK’S BRAND, OWNER OF THE ICONIC RUBIK’S CUBE. The 40th anniversary of Rubik’s Cube will come to a close with the start of a new era for the iconic toy. Toronto-based Spin Master Corp. inked a deal to acquire London-based Rubik’s Brand Ltd., owner of the Rubik’s Cube and its related assets. The deal is expected to close on Jan. 4, 2021, marking the 22nd acquisition since Spin Master was...

It’s a hoax! Very Group dismisses Woolworths return rumours. For a brief spell there a return to simpler times for the UK High Street seemed almost plausible, as rumours circulated that Woolworths had confirmed plans to make its return. An announcement put out on Twitter certainly caught the attention of the UK’s media channels.

Tencent leads $100 million investment into Chinese esports company VSPN. Tencent has led a $100 million investment into Chinese esports company VSPN (Versus Programming Network). The cash was raised via a Series B funding round, which was led by Tencent and backed by other investors including Tiantu Capital, SIG, and Kuaishou.

Tomy and Drumond Park invest in Sky partnership. The partnership sees a series of TV adverts across Sky channels, video on demand and digital campaigns via Sky Advance until 21st December. With over 100 years of combined games experience, Tomy and Drumond Park have announced a brand new partnership with Sky to build on its success in the adult and family games category this Christmas.

Esports Entertainment Group to acquire Helix Esports and ggCircuit. Esports Entertainment Group has committed to acquiring ggCircuit and Helix Esports in a deal worth more than $40 million. The esports firm, which is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, has entered into an agreement to acquire both ggCircuit and Helix Esports for a combined total of $43 million.

Post-Brexit VAT rules set to cause significant impact on trading. The new regulations mean thousands of small traders in the UK and abroad will be impacted, with critics warning of lower sales and limited consumer choice after Brexit. As of January 1st 2021, anyone abroad wishing to sell product in Britain will need to register with HM Revenue & Customs and pay VAT directly to the UK government; making it more expensive to sell goods in Europe.

Retailers call for “pandemic clauses” to cut rent payments. Retailers taking new leases are reportedly seeking “pandemic clauses” to ensure rent payments will be reduced if the store is forced to close as a result of a local lockdown. An increased number of retailers are seeking such clauses following the government’s newly imposed tier system in England, and other local restrictions across Scotland and Wales which are...

Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

Surge in online holiday shopping will pack 2 years of growth into one season, Adobe says . . . The Toy Insider experts name top holiday toy trends of 2020 . . . Retro toys to top Christmas lists as families seek familiar favourites to play together . . . Toy companies are cutting back on plastic to reduce waste . . . Hasbro and sustainability: “Changes in the toy sector may appear tiny, but there’s a big shift in mentality in the background” . . . Toymakers expect strong Christmas sales despite coronavirus . . . Canadian Toy Industry Continues to Experience Unprecedented Sales Increases as Consumers Look For Entertainment at Home.

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

Factors Setting the Tone for Hasbro's (HAS) Q3 Earnings . . . FY2020 EPS estimates for Spin Master Corp. . . . Hasbro (HAS) Expected to Beat Earnings Estimates: Can the Stock Move Higher? . . . Factors Setting the Tone for Mattel's (MAT) Q3 Earnings

Financial Reporting . . .

Hornby sales surge as more take up hobbies in lockdown. A spokesperson for Hornby said the firm had benefitted from families spending more time at home. The company has seen sales surge by 33% in the six months to the end of September, according to its latest financial report.

Genshin Impact made $245m in its first month on mobile alone. Genshin Impact has brought in at least $245 million in spending during its first month on mobile alone. This is according to Sensor Tower, which says this makes it one of the biggest mobile game launches ever …

Microsoft's game revenue up by $550 million as Xbox readies for Series X debut. While the Xbox One generation is winding down, the Xbox brand is holding strong and is even listed as a driving force behind year-over-year growth in Microsoft's “more personal computing” segment as a whole. Revenue for Microsoft’s game business is up 22 percent year-over-year, an increase of $550 million when compared to Q1 FY2020.

First-party releases are driving sales and operating income at Sony video game division, according to the company's fiscal report for the second quarter ended September 30, 2020...sales in the Game & Network Services segment rose by 11 percent year-on-year to 506.6 billion yen ($4.8 billion), while operating income increased to 104.9 billion yen ($1 billion).

Funtastic share price storms 200% higher following suspension. The Funtastic Limited share price was up 207.69% this morning, reaching 20 cents before dropping back to 14 cents... This came after the company’s shares were lifted from a suspension that commenced on 5 Oct 2020. On 23 Octr, Funtastic announced that it would undertake the acquisition of Australian e-commerce websites Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Hobby...

What is driving Mattel Inc stock? Mattel Inc stock rose over 6.7% in the pre-market session of October 23rd, 2020 (Source: Google finance) after the company posted better than expected results for the third quarter of FY 20 and forecast more growth in the holiday season, as retailers rushed to restock their shelves of Barbie dolls and other toys in high demand

Hasbro's stock rallies toward 8-month high after profit and revenue beat expectations. Shares of Hasbro Inc. HAS, -10.23% rallied 1.7% toward an 8-month high in premarket trading Monday, after the toy maker reported third-quarter profit and revenue that beat expectations, and said deliveries are expected to improve in the fourth quarter. Net income was $220.9 million, or $1.61 a share, after net income of $212.9 million..

Future Financial Reporting...

Hasbro and Mattel: Cautious Optimism for Q4. A combination of factors – retail caution, potential supply chain issues in some categories, and the shifting theatrical release schedule — is tempering projections for strong overall holiday sales as the ever-changing film release slate continues to impact the business, Hasbro and Mattel executives said in releasing Q3 financial results.

Jakks Pacific earnings information. JAKKS Pacific has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, November 5th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Spin Master earnings information. Spin Master has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Zynga earnings information. Zynga has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Electronic Arts earnings information. Electronic Arts has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, November 5th, 2020.

Target earnings information. Target has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Stories & Comments . . .

Angellina’s Toy Boutique Named Finalist for TAGIE Awards. The Canadian toy store is a finalist for most innovative retailer of the year, as part of the 13th annual Toy & Game International Excellence Awards. Betty Burns, founding creative director of Angellina’s Toy Boutique in Yukon, Canada, said she is proud that her specialty toy store has been honored as a finalist in the 13th annual Toy & Game International Excellence...

Warnings for Christmas supply chain chaos as peak trading season beckons. With more consumers avoiding crowded spaces and turning to the convenience of online shopping this Christmas, having already relied largely upon ecommerce platforms over lockdown, this year’s festive season is predicted to see a massive surge in online trading – which lends the question, will retailers and couriers be able to cope?

Talkin’ Toys: Imc Toys embraces a 360-degree play experience. The Toy Book caught up with Karen Branson, country manager for IMC Toys in the U.S. and Canada about the new Cry Babies Magic Tears app, strategies about turning brands into 360-degree play experiences, and staying relevant in today’s world.

Toycos bite into fast food. Moose Toys, Playmonster and Discovery have jumped onto the fast-food bandwagon, and trendspotter Chris Byrne explores why that's a healthy choice. For a long time, the fast-food licensing agreement was king when it came to brand awareness. IP owners fought to have toys inspired by their properties pop up in kids meals. In recent years, however, health concerns led to backlash...

VTech shares their Top Toy Picks for Holiday 2020. VTech® a leader in electronic learning products, has released their top picks for all the babies, toddlers and kids on your holiday shopping list this year. Known for innovative, educational and fun toys, VTech has a wide variety of options that are shoppable online or in person with retailers nationwide.

Toys “R” Us relaunches Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List. Following a two-year absence, Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List is back. Tru Kids Brands — parent of the Toys “R” Us brand — relaunched Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List for the 2020 holiday season. The curated list from the Toys “R” Us team includes 20 of the year’s hottest toys.

DreamToys announces top 12 toys for Christmas 2020. The DreamToys list is the most authoritative independent prediction of toys that will be the most sought after this Christmas in the UK. “We implore consumers not to leave their Christmas shopping to the final few weeks of the year,” explained Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys selection committee. “Due to Covid-19 restrictions across the country, retailers will simply not be...

TTPM Announces Favorite New Games List for 2020 Holiday Season. TTPM, the leading video product reviewer for toys, baby gear & pet gear, announces their list of Favorite New Games for 2020. Revealed via video, the list contains 20 games from the biggest toy companies to brands you may not have heard of yet. All offer laughs, excitement and a whole lot of fun this holiday season. “We’re thrilled to share a dedicated list of our...

"The industry has come of age -- we take our responsibilities seriously". Despite the awful nature of 2020 and its impact on the entire world, the impact of games on popular culture within the UK is firmly established; our industry is mainstream and currently seeing growth in many ways. More than half of the UK population now plays games regularly …

Understanding LEGO part numbers. If you've ever looked at the bottom of a LEGO piece closely you will have noticed that there's a 4- or 5-digit number visible, which is its design number. However, when you look at the parts listing at the back of instruction manuals, this number isn't shown. The 6- or 7-digit numbers listed there are element numbers. So, what's the difference, how are the two related, and how are they...

How kids use play to cope and build resilience.“Unprecedented.” It’s a simple word to describe what has been a very (very!) complicated 2020. In a good year, most kids content takes 18 months to get to screen. That means creators today are looking at a 2022 release for a recently greenlit series. But how does one plan for two years down the line when the present is unprecedented?

LEGO CMO says playing can prepare the next generation of workers. Much has been made of the coming job apocalypse—a future rich in robots and AI that will not only supplant workers but demand the sorts of technological skills that many Americans do not possess. A recent survey from the firm ManpowerGroup found that 46% of U.S. companies already have trouble finding workers with the tech skills necessary to...

Bake adventure with new Dungeons & Dragons cookbook. Playing Dungeons & Dragons has been a comfort these last several months. And part of that comfort comes from treating myself to snacks while I play virtually with my fellow players. However, I’m about to level up in the realm of culinary adventure with the new D&D cookbook, Heroes’ Feast. The official collection of D&D inspired recipes …

Why toys are making a 2020 comeback. It’s been a good year to be in the business of selling toys, a fact demonstrated by Mattel’s recent earnings release showing a surprising jump in quarterly sales, with hope for more to come as the annual holiday shopping season is revving up. As it turns out, kids locked down and attending virtual school from their bedrooms are looking for ways to fill their time — which in turn has ...

From sales pitch to shelf: tips to get retailers to buy more of your products. I tell my customers that it is my job to make them look good — “go ahead, take credit for the gift wrap.” (And, of course, the wrapping has my store’s name on it.) We are the experts. That is why customers choose to visit a brick-and-mortar store. Manufacturers and sales representatives are behind the scenes helping retailers become these experts...

AOC's Twitch stream is a milestone for games -- and for politics. Not so long ago, any story involving both politicians and video games was pretty much guaranteed to leave you sitting at your desk in the classic Picard facepalm pose. While occasionally you'd get a politician popping up to wax lyrical about the economic importance of the games sector, the history of political engagement with games has tended far more towards...

Remembering the toy industry's past . . .

Zeroids from Ideal (1968). Released in 1968 from Ideal, the Zeroids were a set of three motorized robots from the planet Zero: Zerak, Zobor, Zintar. Later, a fourth robot named Zogg was added to the line. At the heart of every Zeroid was a small, removable DC electric motor powered by 2 AA batteries. When powered on, each robot could move forward through a combination of wheels and rubber treads located in its base.

The Partridge Family Game from Milton Bradley (1971). Released in 1971 by Milton Bradley, The Partridge Family Game is based on the sitcom of the same name, which aired on ABC from 1970 to 1974. The game’s background offers a glimpse of what life on the road was like for one of TV’s favorite fictional pop bands.

McDonald's Happy Meals: 40 top toys Americans likely remember – and should return. 24/7 Tempo compiled a list of Happy Meal toys, using source material from McDonald’s and pop culture sites, that should make a comeback, primarily for reasons of nostalgia but also because there’s a kid in all of us and the toys are just plain fun.

Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, otherwise known as the rapper Logic, bought a Gem Mint 10 Charizard #4 Pokemon card for $220,574 at Iconic Auctions. Charizard is quickly becoming the "Black Lotus of Pokemon Cards". The 1999 1st Edition Shadowless holographic Charizard #4 card graded as Gem Mint 10 by PSA is a holy grail for Pokemon TCG collectors, and recently, famed rapper Logic became the proud new owner of...

Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Jazwares named global master toy partner for The Smurfs. Jazwares has been named the global master toy partner for the popular animated franchise, The Smurfs. The toymaker will develop a new toy line inspired by the classic Belgian franchise, with plans for a 2022 launch. The partnership is part of International Merchandising Promotions & Services plans to revive the internationally popular brand for today’s...

“Munchkin” card game has gotten a Disney makeover. Steve Jackson Games has partnered with Disney for a new version of the role-playing card game “Munchkin.” Players can choose from a selection of roles such as the Heroine, Villain, Sidekick, Adventurer, Dreamer and Animal Friend. These Character cards track levels in the game and determine special abilities.

Smiffys takes on Masha and the Bear licence. In a deal brokered by Lisle Licensing, the acquisition of the Masha and the Bear licence will cover both costume and tableware. Leading supplier of fancy-dress costumes, wigs, accessories and make up, Smiffys (R H Smith & Sons) has been in business since 1894, and is delighted to announce this latest addition to its ever expanding portfolio.

Ubisoft and Netflix partner for live action Assassin's Creed series. Ubisoft and Netflix are partnering up to create a new live action series based on the Assassin's Creed franchise. According to a press release, the two companies have signed an agreement to create "dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.” It also notes that the Assassin's Creed show will be the "first...

Crayola, Running Press Color in publishing partnership. Running Press and Crayola have announced a new partnership to publish a range of products across Running Press imprints Black Dog & Leventhal, RP Studio and Running Press Miniature Editions. The partnership will include the creation of children’s activity books, stationery products and mini-kits.

NBA, NBPA partner with NetMarble for gaming experience. Netmarble U.S., the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have announced that they have partnered to create an all-new original mobile game featuring star NBA athletes.

Talkin’ Toys: PMI International brings its licensed toys to the U.S. Over the past several years, PMI International has steadily built a large portfolio of toys and collectibles based on some of the world’s top entertainment brands. Based in Tel Aviv, the family-owned company is Israel’s leader in manufacturing, marketing, and distributing licensed leisure products for kids, including toys, collectibles, publishing, back-to-school...

Antstream Arcade, Interplay Entertainment ink partnership. Antstream Arcade has expanded its global partnerships ecosystem by signing a licensing deal with Interplay Entertainment. Following a recent deal with Bandai Namco, this collaboration will see popular titles such as “Earthworm Jim” and “Descent” now available for streaming on the Antstream platform.

Mattel, Raycom-Legacy launch Hot Wheels Ultimate Drive-Thru. Mattel and Raycom-Legacy Content Company have announced the all-new Hot Wheels Ultimate Drive-Thru, debuting at Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif. on Dec. 3. The experience, which will run through Jan. 2, will showcase more than a mile of life-size Hot Wheels vehicles and Monster Trucks.

People . . .

Sesame Workshop promotes new CEO & president. As Jeffrey Dunn sets his retirement plan, Steve Youngwood and Sherrie Westin are primed to take the reins. Sesame Workshop president and CEO Jeffrey Dunn is set to retire in January, though he’ll stay on as executive chairman until July 2021 as part of his transition. To fill the impending leadership gap, Dunn’s responsibilities have been split in two, with Steve Youngwood...

Nina Hahn to lead new ViacomCBS kids division Under the Nick International vet, VIS Kids expects to develop more than 30 new kids shows over the next three years. VIS Kids will aim to broaden its global kids content pipeline to include short and long-form content that will be produced and sold to third parties, as well as to ViacomCBS brands and platforms.

AIS buying group names Sue Kemp its new MD as Sheila Cooper retires after 40 years. Associated Independent Stores has appointed Sue Kemp to the role of managing director as part of the buying group’s wider transformational agenda, and following the retirement of its former MD, Sheila Cooper, who leaves after 40 years with the company.

Companies . . .

Mattel transforms the Mattel Playroom into a holiday hub for parents and caregivers. By RICHARD DICKSON, president and chief operating officer, Mattel. “As we head into the holiday season, and families continue to spend a significant amount of time at home, we want to ensure that the Mattel Playroom continues to provide consumers with timely activities, information, and tips. Starting today, we have transformed the...

Hasbro CEO: toy sales are rocking before the holidays. If recent toy sales are any indication, people's fears about the presidential election outcome and the lack of stimulus won't stop them from buying gifts for children this holiday season. Hasbro Chairman and CEO Brian Goldner tells Yahoo Finance's The First Trade his company has had an impressive October despite all the external concerns …

Mattel unveils Star Wars: The Mandalorian Real Moves Baby Yoda Plush. Following the success of its 11-inch plush version of The Child (aka Baby Yoda) from Star Wars: The Mandalorian — the No. 1 item in plush both for the third quarter and year-to-date according to NPD — Mattel is introducing a new version that’s even more lifelike. The Mandalorian The Child Real Moves Plush is an 11-inch plush toy that includes sound...

Funrise Toys Launches New Cat Junior Crew, Mixing Construction Play With Constructive Learning To Inspire The Youngest Builders. Now more than ever, parents of preschool age kids are looking for quality toys that will offer age-appropriate play patterns to support their development. The Cat Junior Crew product line includes a number of toys that do just that! The new line extends the existing Cat construction range and features five products for the preschool set.

Boglins, the creepy ’80s icons, return to toy aisles next year. A legendary crew of creeps from the 1980s have emerged from the murky shadows just in time for Halloween. The Boglins are back! Originally released by Mattel, Boglins have amassed a cult following over the past 30 years, and next year, kids and collectors can welcome some new characters and reinvented favorites into the fold.

Critical Role ventures into tabletop publishing. Critical Role has announced the launch of Darrington Press, its new tabletop game publishing company. The new company plans to release four games in 2021: Uk’otoa, Critical Role Adventures, Syndicult, and Guardians of Matrimonia, one title each quarter.

Award-winning plush specialist The London Toy Company to launch ‘huge toy range next year’. The London Toy Company – the plush artists formerly known as High Resolution Design – famed for pushing the envelope of plush design with licenses such as TfL and Harry Potter, has revealed its plans for the non-plush toy space next year.

Upper Deck announces 'Realm Of Kings' for 'Legendary'. Marvel’s Inhumans and their royal family will be the focus of the Legendary: Realm of Kings expansion releasing from Upper Deck on October 28. Legendary: Realm of Kings explores the political infighting within the Inhumans’ palace in the hidden lunar city of Attilan as well as the kingdom’s struggles with the space empires of the Kree and Shi’ar.

Mattel, Hasbro play catch-up after demand for board games, toys surges. Mattel's and Hasbro's supply chains could be chasing demand into next year after the pandemic boosted demand for board games, dolls and toys, the companies' executives said on recent earnings calls. The two major toymakers said their supply chains are fully up and running, following manufacturing disruptions in various countries due to rolling …

Crazy-haired Squish-Doos join the Squishmallow squad. There’s no shame in this hair game! Kellytoy, a subsidiary of Jazwares, is introducing Squish-Doos as the latest addition to the Squishmallows family, featuring some seriously wacky hairdos that we’ve never seen before.

Hasbro targets kidults with Play-Doh Grown Up Scents. Hasbro is debuting its first-ever line of Play-Doh modeling compound that’s marketed exclusively to adults. Play-Doh Grown Up Scents is a new collection of Play-Doh in adult-themed fragrances, including Lord of the Lawn, Overpriced Latte, Grill King, Spa Day, Mom Jeans, and Dad Sneakers …

'Warcry' descends into the 'Catacombs'. Games Workshop is taking its Warcry skirmish-scale miniatures game underground with the new Warcry: Catacombs starter set, shipping on October 31. Launched in 2019, Warcry creates small-unit battles between warbands of fighters from the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar fantasy setting, with a focus on the worshippers of Chaos.

IDW launches 'Dragon Ball Z: The Board Game Saga'. IDW Games will release Dragon Ball Z: The Board Game Saga, a cooperative boardgame based on the Toei Animation franchise, in 2021. In Dragon Ball Z: The Board Game Saga, up to four players each choose one of 10 hero characters from the animated series and work together to thwart the evil plans of the villains …

Klutz introduces 10 new book-based activity kits for fall. Klutz, a division of Scholastic, launched its fall lineup, which includes 10 book-based activity kits designed for kids ages 4 and up. The sets range from craft jewelry kits to STEM-based learning activities. Each one is designed to teach valuable skills like creative confidence.

Diamond Select Toys introduces Star Wars Select action figure range. Diamond Select Toys launched its Star Wars Select series of 7-inch scale action figures exclusively at shopDisney, Disney Store, and Disney Parks locations. The new range features premium deco and 16 points of articulation. In terms of scale, the new collection is compatible with Diamond’s long-running Marvel Select range.

Basic Fun! launches new Tonka campaign with brand spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal. Basic Fun!, the Florida-based toy company behind several iconic playthings including Tonka, has kicked off their fall campaign with Tonka spokesperson, superstar Shaquille O’Neal. The new humorous TV commercial features a nostalgic Shaquille reminiscing about his childhood days on the playground with Tonka trucks …

Luki Lab unveils holiday toys for 2020 season. Luki Lab, the direct-to-consumer division of Strottman International, a leading toy manufacturer delivering play experiences for 35 years, announced the launch of their must-have holiday toys for the 2020 season. The new lines are available now on Amazon and feature Gujo Adventure and Pinxies, two STEM authenticated creative building lines.

Playmobil’s CGI series Novelmore to land on YouTube with new play-sets en route. It’s been billed as the moment that Playmobil fans have been waiting for, as the international toy maker confirms that Novelmore, its animated children’s series, will be landing on the Playmobil YouTube channel and YouTube Kids App from this November.

Elton John is getting his own Barbie doll. Elton John is getting his very own Barbie doll. And while the doll won't look like the Rocket Man, it will be styled in his likeness. The limited-edition Barbie doll, which was released on Mattel's website on Thursday, will have a glittery top and flared denim complete with the singer's initials.

Wentworth Puzzles prepares Puzzle Positivity for National Jigsaw Day next month. Wentworth Wooden Puzzles is calling for Puzzle Positivity ahead of this year’s National Jigsaw Day on Tuesday, November 3rd by encouraging its fans and followers to share their jigsaw puzzle love across social media in a call to bring the nation’s puzzlers together in an online event.

Taxi Game company launches five new trivia board games amid ‘rocketing demand’ across the UK. The Scottish board gaming company, Taxi Game, has launched a raft of new titles under its Taxi! trivia board game range, with the addition of three new sports-themed editions for Rangers FC, Chelsea FC, and The Open, as well as two destination-themed games for Liverpool and Greater Manchester.

Hess launches first-ever ambulance as annual holiday toy truck for 2020. The 2020 Hess Ambulance and Rescue is now available for purchase exclusively at for $36.99 with free standard shipping and Energizer batteries included.

Japanime Games to bring 'Naruto: Ninja Arena' to markets beyond Europe. Japanime Games, alongside Don't Panic Games, has announced that they will release Naruto: Ninja Arena in Q1 of 2021. This release is another distribution team-up between Japanime and Don't Panic, who brought Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade to U.S. markets earlier this year.

Wizkids will release another round of 'D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures' character packs in March. WizKids will release new character packs for Dungeons & Dragons Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures in March 2021. The new character miniatures features a few obscure class/race combinations like Gnome Artificers and Wildhunt Shifter Rangers, and sculpted as highly-detailed figures that come primed and ready to paint.

Video Games, Gaming Hardware, and Game Development News . . .

Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase reveals new game details and surprise releases. During the last Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase of the year, Nintendo provided information about a variety of games coming to the Nintendo Switch family of systems from development and publishing partners like SQUARE ENIX, Remedy Entertainment, Koei Tecmo Games and HAL Laboratory.

CD Projekt Red devs speak out after Cyberpunk 2077 delay met with death threats. The game industry has an ugly history with threats of violence, but its important those threats aren't ignored or written off as acceptable expressions of anger. As Zawadski says in his tweets, it's important to treat those messages as the threats they are and there is absolutely no excuse for that kind of behavior, even if made in jest or...

Msi’s Ge66 Raider Dragonshield Edition is a beautifully extra gaming laptop. If you’re on the market for a portable gaming laptop that serves the dual purposes of running demanding games and making everyone around you jealous, look no further than the MSI GE66 Raider Dragonshield Edition.

Sony’s new PlayStation App is seriously clean and lets you do way more remotely. With the PS5 launch roughly two weeks away, Sony has unveiled a redesign for its PlayStation App on iOS and Android. Early adopters of the console will have the ability to remotely launch games, sign in to their PS5 directly from the app, and the app will even allow you to remotely manage storage on your console in case you need to make...

SteelSeries’ new Aerox 3 gaming mice are lightweight and water-resistant. SteelSeries’ new Aerox gaming mouse lineup marks a few firsts for the company. It claims both its $60 Aerox 3 wired mouse and the $100 wireless version that will be available on November 10th are the first gaming mice to receive an IP54 rating, giving them a fighting chance against water and dust.

SEGA brings twice the fun to Nintendo Switch with Sonic double packs. Good things come in pairs, Sonic fans! SEGA® of America, Inc. today launched two exciting new game packs, bringing everyone’s favorite Blue Blur to the Nintendo Switch in double form. Players can pick up bundles of Team Sonic Racing and Sonic Mania or Sonic Forces and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD to try their hand at some of SEGA’s ultimate...

Cyberpunk 2077's third delay pushes it to December 10. CD Projekt Red today delayed Cyberpunk 2077 for the third time, moving the release date back from November 19 to December 10. In announcing the delay, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński and studio head Adam Badowski acknowledged the game had already passed certification earlier this month.

The Backbone One is a stunning controller that turns your iPhone into a more capable gaming device. As the high-profile disputes about what content you can play on your iPhone rage on between Apple, Epic Games, Google, and Microsoft, a company called Backbone is focusing instead on making sure you get the most out of the games that are currently available …

WWE SuperCard Season 7 coming soon for iOS, Android devices and Facebook Gaming. Take-Two Interactive will launch “WWE SuperCard”, the newest addition to the action-packed collectible card-battling game, in November as a free, downloadable update on the Apple App Store for iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad, as well as the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore for Android devices, and Facebook Gaming.

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

UL offers free webinar to help companies navigate Brexit. The webinar on the key implications of Brexit for consumer products, including a deep dive into toys, will take place on November 19th. Manufacturers, retailers and brands that need to manage complexity look to partner with UL, which has been a trusted name in product safety and science for over 125 years.

Large number of toys bought by Irish parents online fail EU safety laws. The European Parliament has proposed a series of measures to strengthen consumer protection and enhance product safety and sustainability. MEPs addressed the issue of unsafe products, particularly those sold on online marketplaces. This includes products that contain dangerous chemicals, have unsafe software or pose other safety hazards.

Jakks Pacific recalls 'Skate & Skoot' scooters due to fall hazard, will provide replacement handlebar. Jakks Pacific recalled its MorfBoard Skate & Scoot Combo scooters with “Y” handlebars due to a risk that the “Y” handlebar joint on the scooter can break, posing a fall hazard. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the recall affects about 162,300 scooters, which were sold nationwide from February...

York Jersey: Be Reassured When Your Toys Are Insured - Just as important as toys are to building blocks of childhood, so too is product liability insurance (PLI), to toy makers. Though far less fun, PLI proivides financial stability to toy manufacturers so they can keep creating new and innovative toys for our youngest generation. All major USA retailers (including Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Costco), require...

Press Releases . . .

WHATSITSFACE EMOTIONAL PLUSH NOMINATED AS TOY OF THE YEAR FINALIST. Whatsitsface® Puppy Dog, Kitty Cat & Teddy Bear With Six Changeable Facial Expressions Enhances A Child’s EQ. Highlands Ranch, CO (October 29, 2020) –Whatsitsface plush toys, which feature six different facial expressions to help kids learn about emotions through interactive play, has been nominated as a finalist in the Plush category for the Toy Association’s prestigious Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. All TOTY finalists were nominated from within the toy industry and were selected by leading industry professionals, retailers, academia, media and consumers.

SOFT & SWEET LES DÉGLINGOS AND TEDDYKOMPANIET SHINE WITH TWO OPPENHEIM PLATINUMS AND A GOLD. Toddler Toys Muchachos The Llama, Speculus The Tiger & Cat Baby Comforter Imported By TriAction Toys Dazzle Hard-To-Impress Oppenheim Toy Portfolio – When it comes to picking the best of the best, especially a child’s toy, it’s natural to be picky. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio has searched the globe for this year’s finest playthings. Newcomer and European importer TriAction Toys wowed the 2020 judges not once but three times with its loveable, huggable array of soft toys for infants and toddlers. Oppenheim showered them with its highest honors – two rare Platinum and one Gold Seal...

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals . . .

(ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and more)

The Toy Association Unveils 2021 Toy of the Year Awards Finalists. They’re often considered to be the Oscars of the toy industry, and on Friday, Feb. 12, the next Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will be distributed virtually. The special online presentation will take place due to Toy Fair New York being pushed into May thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry experts determined this year's finalists in 16 categories.

SPIELWARENMESSE SUMMER EDITION DATES SET FOR JULY 2021. Following the postponement of the annual international toy fair due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Spielwarenmesse 2021 Summer Edition will take place July 20-24 at the Exhibition Centre in Nuremberg, Germany. The move marks the first time in history that the show has moved from its traditional spot on the cusp of January and February.

Potential change of date for Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2022. Toy World understands that the organizer of the Nuremberg Toy Fair is seriously considering changing the date configuration for the 2022 event. While the Spielwarenmesse will occupy its traditional week in the calendar, the show could replace its current Wednesday – Sunday format, shifting the show a day forward so that it would run from Tuesday 1st February...

Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide this Week . . .

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media's (US)

  1. and Disney Store Unveil Top 15 Toys for 2020 Holiday Season

  2. Mattel Opens Doors to the Virtual Fisher-Price Toy Museum to Celebrate the Brand’s 90-Year Legacy

  3. TOMY Acquires Fat Brain Holdings

  4. Timeless Toys Chicago Names Top Holiday Toys for 2020

  5. Hess Launches First-Ever Ambulance as Annual Holiday Toy Truck for 2020

  6. MGA Entertainment Wins Four Spots in Annual Target ‘Bullseye’s Top Toy’ List

  7. Pinkfong Baby Shark Dancing DJ Makes a Splash with FinFest Instagram Takeover on October 24

  8. ZURU’s OOSH Hairy Slime Hits Amazon and Retailers Globally

  9. People of Play (POP) Announces Entertainment Line Up for First-Ever ‘POP’s Got Talent’

  10. Super Impulse Expands Miniature Electronic Arcade Lineup

Toyworld (UK)

1. Show Down … it’s the Friday Blog!

2. 2021 London Toy Fair cancelled

3. Mattel posts strong third quarter results

4. Toy retailers react to latest Covid measures in Wales and Ireland

5. Tomy acquires Fat Brain Toys

6. Rubie’s opens Virtual Showroom for its customers

7. Tomy and Universal partner on Sing 2 toy line

8. Tesco reveals its Top 10 Toys for Christmas

9. Hamleys set to cut over 25% of London staff

10. As retail sales continue to recover, Welsh supermarkets told to limit offering


1. Wizards of the Coast Extends 'Magic: The Gathering' In-Store Play Suspension Till January 2. 'Magic: The Gathering' Gods' Names Spoiled in New Wave of WizKids Miniatures!

3. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman Sue Wizards of the Coast Over Cancelled 'Dragonlance' Books 4. Rolling For Initiative -- The Prisoner's Dilemma, Pricing and the Race to the Bottom 5. Wizards of the Coast Extends Suspension of 'Magic: The Gathering' In-Store Play 6. WizKids Unveils A Wave of Single-Count 'D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures' Monster Packs 7. Famed Rapper Logic Buys Gem Mint 10 Charizard 'Pokemon' TCG Card at Auction for $220,574 8. Wizards of the Coast Reveals 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Secret Lair: Extra Life 2020' 9. GAMA Plans to Expand Role of Non-Manufacturer Members 10. ICv2 Insider Talks Livestream - Games Track

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month


Toy & Hobby (Australia)


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

Video of the week - Spin Master Preview

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:

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

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