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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!


Happy Bloomin' Friday! 

Ahhh, what’s new in the toy industry? What’s always new is that change is afoot. It seems like constant change is rolling faster and faster these days at an almost dizzying pace. All we can do is put on our helmets, squeeze the handlebars tighter and enjoy the ride! We’ll get there eventually…  wherever that is!


​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News FeedPlease support our work by advertising and/or setting up a POP profile.


  • "I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.

  • The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.

  • “I seriously look forward to Friday to learn most every update + more in the Industry. Priceless info! Thank you” -Michael Kohner, The Michael Kohner Corporation

  • "TBR is required reading for: inventors, manufacturers, retailers, marketers, suppliers, absolutely everyone!" - Robert Fuhrer, Founder, NEXTOY

  • If you are tired of these quotes, send me yours! 

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Person of the week - Bill Walters, SVP, TOMY International

The TOMY Ag Toy Guru and Real-life Farmer Looks to his Future

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Bill, congratulations on a great career and a new chapter beginning this summer. You have a really unique background in our industry we would love for you to share.


Thanks, Mary. Well, I’m from Iowa - born and bred. It couldn’t have been more perfect that I’ve spent my entire professional career at TOMY on ‘Ag toys’ when my real life has always revolved around farming. Our family farm in still going strong today!


I did move out-of-state for 8 years when I joined the Air Force and was assigned to Shaw AFB in South Carolina. After I served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, I attended the University of SC where I completed a B.A. in Business Management.


In 1993, a job posting for a customer service position at ERTL brought me, and my young family, back home. From that position, I was promoted to manager of consumer services, then moved to the marketing side. I progressed into a team leader position on agriculture toys and vehicles in 1999. Over the last 25 years, I was promoted from Managing Director to Vice President, before reaching my current position.


After June, I’ll stay on part time to ensure a smooth transition, transferring preschool responsibilities to Jennifer Wulfekuhle, recently promoted to Director- Farm Toys, and Noah Pasker, Associate Product Manager, who will look after replica.    READ MORE...

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The Toy Association's President & CEO, Andy Keimach

Toy Safety Every Day of the Year

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Educating families on how to keep children safe at play remains a year-round priority for The Toy Association. While each November we mark the kickoff of the holiday season with our annual Toy Safety Awareness Month to highlight our industry’s deep commitment to safety (and share holiday toy shopping tips with parents), our safety messaging is shared throughout the year. 


Each spring, our communications team highlights the top safety tips for warm weather play with an infographic and a refresh of our consumer-facing website. I encourage everyone in the industry to share our new spring/summer safety infographic with online followers and in-store shoppers. 

Additionally, we have shareable infographics and other tips available at, including a toy shopping checklist, how to steer clear of counterfeits, and safety tips for “smart” toys. Joan Lawrence, The Toy Association’s Toy Safety Mom, will also appear in TV segments this May to discuss our tips for safe spring and summer play, including why it’s critical to buy only from reputable sellers to avoid counterfeit products that don’t comply with federal safety standards; following the age-grading and safety information on toy packaging; wearing protective gear when using all types of ride-ons; storing toys away from pools, driveways, and streets with traffic; and parental supervision, especially around swing sets and pools (even small kiddie pools). Joan’s segments will air in time for Memorial Day weekend, when much of the nation will be out enjoying the first official days of summer.     READ MORE...

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MESH UPDATE #2: Overcoming Obstacles with MESH Helps

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MESH Helps started with a question, “How can we strengthen the skills kids need for their mental, emotional, and social health and build resilience through play?”. ThinkFun inaugurated this initiative in partnership with resilience expert, Dr. Deborah Gilboa who prepared research and built the MESH White Paper.


MESH Helps is proud to be a nonprofit organization as of December 2023 with a mission to help kids build resilience through play.


This weekly column will share insights on MESH Accreditation and provide details on the MESH play patterns to select and submit products for evaluation during the pre-order sale through May 17, 2024. This week’s column share’s insights on one of four play patterns: overcoming obstacles.


When kids face obstacles, whether by solving a problem or adapting to an unexpected circumstance, they develop coping skills that allow them to tackle future hurdles. These coping skills can make children more confident, competent, capable, and influence them to try new things.


Overcoming obstacles as defined by MESH encourages the skills needed to identify and solve problems which is a critical skill of mental, emotional, and social health.  Read More...

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Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile! 

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Cartoon of the Week: Thank you to the person who wishes to remain anonymous for this week's cartoon. 

Lexophile Lovers:  "Then there was the time Fruit of the Loom took Hanes to court. It was a brief case." Thank you, Michael Kohner, for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes: “All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.” – Steven Wright

Toy Industry Word of Day:  Body Donor submitted by Rana Schenke

If you can think of a toy/game industry word not in our POPDictionary, add it and we will connect it to you POP profile, feature it here in an upcoming week and on POP's homepage! 

Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me!  Mary

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Financial and Legal


French conglomerate Mediawan (Miraculous Ladybug) has entered into an agreement to buy Germany’s Leonine Studios as part of an all-stock transaction.  To break things down by numbers, this transaction is expected to increase the French company’s annual revenue to roughly US$1.1 billion, expand its catalogue to 30,000 hours of premium content, and widen its footprint to span 13 countries across Europe...


The American Booksellers Association has filed a motion to intervene in the case against Amazon filed by the FTC and 17 state attorneys last fall.  The goal of the association is to bolster the case filed by the FTC by including the concerns of independent booksellers. The Association notes that in 1994, when Amazon launched, there were 7,000 independent booksellers in the U.S., a number that has now dropped to 2,500. 

*** The above posted after tBR circulated on April 26th ***


Goliath Games has announced the acquisition of Lucky Duck Games, best known for its industry-leading and award-winning digital hybrid board games such as Chronicles of Crime and Destinies. Jochanan Golad, CEO of Goliath, said: “As a global games business, we see there are two major growth areas in games; (adult) party games and strategy games. Consumers and kidults particularly are playing boardgames like never before; this trend was already there, but the pandemic had greatly accelerated it.”


Asmodee Group and Dark Horse Comics parent Embracer Group has announced plans to spin off Asmodee into a separate publicly traded company, and split the remaining assets into two companies.  The split into three new companies will be accomplished by distributing shares of tabletop game distributor and publisher Asmodee Group and new company Coffee Stain & Friends to Embracer Group shareholders...


TIA opposes NY City Council bill on toy chemical. The Toy Association said on Thurs.a proposed NYC Council bill restricting the sale of toys containing phthalates "is not supported by science" at a hearing before the council's Health Committee. In proposing the bill, the Health Committee cited a study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency on pregnant rats, who gave birth to male rats with deformed...

Sesame Workshop has reached a tentative truce with its writers, who are reviewing a new five-year collective bargaining agreement. The proposed deal guarantees minimum rates for work on animated and new media (digital) content that Sesame produces. It also includes protections against AI, paid parental leave benefits and improvements to digital residuals. 

Sony in Talks to Join a Bid to Buy Paramount. The company and Apollo Global Management are discussing a joint effort, even as Paramount conducts exclusive merger negotiations with Skydance. Even as Paramount, the home of the “Top Gun” movie franchise and “SpongeBob SquarePants,” continues its talks to merge with another media company, Skydance, a new suitor has emerged. 

Primal Screen will soon be shutting down operations, marking the end of a nearly 30-year run in the animation industry.  Primal Screen launched in 1995 and is best known for creating on-air branding and playful TV spots for Cartoon Network during the late ’90s and early ’00s—popularly dubbed the kidsnet’s “powerhouse” era. 

WildBrain declares IP infringement over Gadget A.I. Kartoon Studios' new AI toolkit, which is in early development and won't be licensed to third parties, is at the heart of a new copyright dispute between the two companies. In early development, Gadget A.I. aggregates several AI tools (think ChatGPT and Midjourney) into one package. The result, the company says, could save Kartoon as much as 75% on its animation costs. 

Writers Guild of Canada members in favor of striking. With its highest membership participation ever, the WGC has announced that 96.5% of members voted "yes" to a potential work stoppage over pay equity, AI and minimum staffing. The organizations have been in negotiation for more than six months, which WGC executive director Victoria Shen says is unprecedented—especially after their IPA...

FTC banning 'restrictive and exclusionary' noncompetes in the U.S. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a nationwide ban on noncompete agreements in the United States in a move that could have a notable impact on the video game industry. Noncompete agreements have been used to prevent workers from changing roles within their industry, prohibiting them from leaving one company...

US TikTok ban: When and why could the app could be outlawed? TikTok could be banned in the US unless it is sold by its Chinese owner ByteDance. When could TikTok be banned? Although Mr Biden has signed the bill into law, it does not mean an immediate US ban for TikTok. The legislation gives ByteDance nine months to sell TikTok to a new buyer, with an additional three-month grace period...



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Financial Reporting

JAKKS reported a decline in net sales to $90.1 million, marking a yr-over-yr decrease of $17.4 million or 16%. This drop was attributed to a dearth of new film releases compared to last year. Gross margin stood at 23.4%, down 580 basis points from Q1 2023, primarily due to increased inventory obsolescence expense and retailer markdowns. Sales of toys and consumer products dipped 15% while the co’s Disguise costumes... 


‘Fallout’ Nabs 65 Million Viewers in First Two Weeks of Availability, Amazon Claims


Worldwide sales by CMON Ltd. were roughly flat in 2023, at $45.1 million vs. $45.3 million in 2022, the company reported in its annual financial statements.  Profits were up 48%, from $510,101 in 2022 to $755,948 in 2023.


*** The above posted after April 26th ***


Mattel Q1 Earnings: Sales in N.A. Jump Amid Challenging Retail, Economic Environment. Mattel‘s earnings report reveals net sales of $810 million, down 1% as reported and in constant currency versus the same period last year. Despite this, gross margin increased to 48.0%, operating loss improved to $36 million, and net loss decreased to $28 million. Adjusted EBITDA surged to $54 million. Additionally, Mattel repurchased...


Hasbro Q1 Earnings: Revenue Slides as Business Model Evolves. Furby, Peppa Pig, and Magic the Gathering continue to see growth. While the company beat Wall St. estimates on profit and margin, revenue slid 24% versus Q1 last year amid a massive 21% decline in its Consumer Products segment which includes toys and games.

Netflix picks up more than nine million subscribers in Q. This 16% uptick brings its total count to nearly 270 million global subscribers as of March 31. 

Devolver financials show stable 2023, despite 'quiet' first-half.  After a slower first half of the year, the second half made a "strong" recovery. While its $92 million revenue was down 31 percent from the previous year, it remained in line with the company's general expectations. 


Steve Jackson Games sales slide producing loss. Gross sales were $3.5 million. The company had originally reported sales of $4.7 million in 2022 (see “Steve Jackson Games Sales Up”), but that number was later adjusted lower due to revised accounting for crow


Trends, Lists, Market Research, and State of the Industry

Snap says total watch time on its TikTok competitor increased more than 125%

LGBTQ representation dips on TV. While TV content for kids and teens continues to include more LGBTQ characters, GLAAD has outlined room for growth—especially after a year when many inclusive shows got axed or came to a natural conclusion.

REPORT: Online shopping draws in Gen Alpha. These digitally native kids are outpacing some of their older peers in e-commerce activity, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 US parents.


*** The above posted after tBR started sending on April 26th ***


19.3 million handheld gaming devices were sold globally in 2023. The Games Handhelds Database forecast, which spans the full breadth of dedicated handheld gaming hardware, estimates this will grow to 29.3 million units by 2028.

How Big are the Collectible Markets? Are We Really Spending $200 Billion Every Year on Them?


Stuffed And Plush Toy Market Is Projected To Reach US$ 19.8 Billion By 2034: Fact.MR Report


Streaming is up 11% among five- to seven-year-olds in the UK. Ofcom's latest research also shows that a third of older kids have seen something inappropriate online in the last year, but only 20% told their parents about it.

Beacon Media Group’s 2024 Media Mix Matters Report Reveals Key Trends in Kids’ and Family Media Consumption

‘Bluey’ Special ‘The Sign’ Draws 10.4 Million Views on Disney+. “Bluey” has proven to be a smash hit on streaming, with the show ranking as the second most-streamed show of 2023 according to the Nielsen rankings, with 43.9 billion minutes viewed.

‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ Has Record Debut Weekend As Roku Channel’s Most-Watched On Demand Title Ever




Parents are buying their kids experiences, not toys. Toy and game companies are seeing sales declines, as parents opt to spend on making memories for their children rather than on new products for them.

Iconic toy maker 'capitalizing' on new industry trends: 'Game play is here to stay'. Mattel recently unveiled Scrabble Together, a 'collaborative' and 'more accessible' version of the classic word game. Board game makers are evolving their products and re-imagining classics...


Target confirms it will stop selling some physical media in stores, like movies. The future of physical media took another blow as Target confirmed previously reported plans that it would stop offering physical DVDs in store and transition to only carrying a select number of films...

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

Move over New York Times, now LinkedIn is adding brain-busting games. Watch out “Connections,” LinkedIn says it’s adding a variety of games aimed at making actual connections. The Microsoft-owned platform, best known for professional networking and sharing news, is taking a page from the New York Times and adding three, free “thinking-oriented” games as a way to tap into the explosive popularity of brain-busting...

Storytelling with MESH Helps. MESH Helps started with a question, “How can we strengthen the skills kids need for their mental, emotional, and social health and build resilience through play?”. ThinkFun inaugurated this initiative in partnership with resilience expert, Dr. Deborah Gilboa who prepared research and built the MESH White Paper.

Chrisopher Byrne - The Disruption Report: Life Without Phones. An article this week in the Washington Post described how a Connecticut school’s banning of cellphones has improved student life. This may come as no surprise to those of us who grew up in an era where cellphones didn’t exist, but for the generation of kids and parents who have largely never been without their electronic companion, the article makes...

Why marketers should hold gaming in the same regard as other marketing channels. In just a few short decades, gaming has transformed from a niche hobby into a global multi-billion dollar industry that draws in billions of daily users, with in-game advertising enjoying high attention rates and diverse audiences. But gaming is still widely viewed as a ‘nice to have’, rather than an integral component. 

A 13-yr-old boy has discovered a “holy grail” Lego octopus which spilled into the sea from a shipping container in the 1990s. The octopus is one of nearly 5m Lego pieces that fell into the sea in 1997 when a storm hit a cargo ship 20 miles off Land’s End, Cornwall. While 352,000 pairs of flippers, 97,500 scuba tanks, and 92,400 swords went overboard, the octopuses are considered the most prized finds as only 4,200 were...


*** The above posted after tBR started running on April 26th ***


John Baulch, Toy World - Things can only get better… it’s the Friday Blog! Several of the global toy giants have released their Q1 results this week. Of all the fiscal quarters, Q1 is arguably the least crucial for the toy market, so on one level it’s not worth reading too much into the results. Mattel had a reasonably solid quarter (down -1% globally, down a bit more in the international markets), while Hasbro’s results needed...

Christopher Byrne - The Disruption Report: What’s Next for Tik Tok? At this writing, it looks very much like the essential aid bill will be saddled with a potential ban on Tik Tok if the Chinese-owned company Byte Dance doesn’t sell. Well, not so fast. Tik Tok has pledged to fight the bill in court. The ACLU has opposed the bill on First Amendment grounds, and 170 million users in the U.S. are reportedly upset because it will...

Paramount Plus is trying to carve out a safe streaming space for kids. The streamer has a lot of stuff kids want to watch and is getting serious about making sure they have a safe and easy way to do that. There are two types of parents I’m friends with: those who let their kids watch YouTube and those who work very hard to keep their kids as far from YouTube as possible.

How do you build without over polluting? That’s the challenge of new Catan board game. In the original version of the popular board game Settlers of Catan, players start on an undeveloped island and are encouraged to “fulfill your manifest destiny.” To win you have to collect resources and develop, claiming land by building settlements, cities, and roads. 


The ancient philosophy behind Bluey's blockbuster episode The Sign. This epic 28-minute instalment of the kids TV show, streaming on Disney+ from today, has been hotly anticipated – and its story is a deep reflection on change that proves, once more, it's truly transcendental viewing. But what viewers won't have predicted will be how much this episode draws from Taoist philosophy...

Move Over, Honey. Teddy Is Getting In. Sharing a bed with a partner sometimes means making way for a beloved stuffed animal or blanket, too. By any standard, Scooter, 22, is a world traveler. After spending his early years in Weston, Conn., he moved to Syracuse, N.Y., for college before settling in New York City. He has also traveled to Hawaii, Dubai, Ecuador, South Africa and Australia.

The lessons of woke Scrabble: When heritage meets innovation. “Thick”, scoffed the headline on the Daily Mail website on April 9th, in response to the news that Scrabble has had an overhaul. In some parts of the world the word-play game has been relaunched with a double-sided board; one side now shows a new, simpler design that is meant to be less intimidating and more inclusive than the original.


Scrabble Together: 'It feels a bit like cheating'. This week, for the first time in its 75-plus year history, a new "collaborative" version of Scrabble was launched in an attempt to entice Generation Z players to the traditional word-making game. I went along to a board game cafe to try out the game that has, in the words of some critics, "gone woke". 



History and Nostalgia


The Evolution of the 2-XL Talking Robot: From Pseudo-Intelligence to AI. Recently, Mego2, a partnership between Mego and technology and artificial intelligence (AI) firm D1srupt1ve, began shipping the 2XL Cobot. Short for “companion robot,” it is the third generation of talking robots that first hit store shelves more than 45 years ago in 1978.

*** The above posted after April 26th ***


TENTE from Hasbro (1978). In 1978, Hasbro began marketing TENTE in the United States and Japan. The line of plastic building blocks was manufactured by EXIN, a toy company based in Barcelona, Spain. More than a mere LEGO knockoff, TENTE distinguished itself from its Danish counterpart with a unique block design that allowed for more flexible and versatile construction options at the time. 

Hubley Toys (1965). In collector’s circles, Hubley Manufacturing Company is best known for its production lines of die-cast automotive toys and highly sought-after cap guns. This 1965 catalogue showcases the Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based company’s line of Mighty Metal Toys. Made of rust-proof metal, the vehicles were painted in bright colors, packaged in see-through boxes, and ranged from 7 to 12-inches long. 


Red Baron Model Kit from Monogram (1968). In the late 1960s, Monogram hired car designer Tom Daniel and began to release plastic model hot rods, funny cars, and other custom vehicles. From 1967 to 1975, Daniel was commissioned to design over 85 model sets for the company. His designs were often outrageous for the day and extremely popular with model kit builders and readers of classic magazines...

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Licensing and Entertainment 

Netflix’s popular preschool series Gabby’s Dollhouse is being adapted for the big screen by Dreamworks Animation and Universal Pictures. Slated for a worldwide theatrical premiere on September 26, 2025, Gabby’s Dollhouse: The Movie will see Laila Lockhart Kraner (pictured) reprise her lead role in a new story executive produced by show creators Traci Paige Johnson and Jennifer Twomey.

‘Mufasa: The Lion King’: First Trailer Released by Disney. Directed by Barry Jenkins, the music-filled movie serves as both an origin story and follow-up to Jon Favreau’s 2019 box office hit 'The Lion King.' Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Blue Ivy Carter are among the voice cast. Directed by Barry Jenkins, the music-filled film serves as both an origin story and follow-up to Jon Favreau’s 2019 photorealistic movie The Lion King. 

Clever Noodle, an award-winning startup dedicated to creating engaging educational games, has announced the launch of its phonics-based game, Popped!, in collaboration with world-acclaimed artist Jeff Koons. The dynamic and immersive game is designed to make learning to read an enjoyable adventure, with Koons’ iconic Balloon Dog serving as the game’s visual centerpiece. 

New broadcasters scoop up Ellipse and Belvision’s Belfort & Lupin. Aimed at six to nines, this 26 x 22-minute comedy inspired by real French history is in production now. It’s set in 17th-century France at the Palace of Versailles, with a premise revolving around a royal dog and a wolf living in the garden. Each episode also contains a one-minute clip explaining the historical fact that influenced its story. 

Netflix is turning to the mystery gang for its next buzzy teen show. Scooby-Doo! The Live-Action Series is in the works for the streamer at LA’s Berlanti Productions (a WB Television banner). The project is still in development, so details are scarce. But Josh Appelbaum (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Scott Rosenberg (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) are attached to pen the script, and Variety has reported that the format...

France’s StudioCanal has launched a new business unit that will focus on book-to-screen adaptations, and one of its first projects is based on Dick Bruna’s classic Miffy preschool books.  Canal+ and StudioCanal Stories, which is still assembling its full team, are developing a brand-new CG-animated Miffy series (78 x seven minutes) for 2025. Sarah Reese Geffroy has been promoted to lead the new unit as SVP...


*** The above posted tBR started running on April 26th ***


It’s Morphin’ Time: Hasbro, Playmates Toys Strike Global Deal for Power Rangers Toys. Major news for a fan-favorite franchise ahead of Licensing Expo and Q1 earnings. Hasbro is continuing its reinvention by answering a question that many fans and retailers alike have been asking: “What’s happening with the Power Rangers?” Following some recent dormancy with the brand in the toy department, Hasbro inked a global...


Moose Toys Unveils ‘Despicable Me 4’ Toys. Moose Toys released collectibles, action figures, and more in time for the movie’s July release. “There are a number of firsts in this new line that are sure to amuse and entertain fans of all ages,” says Joe Smith, VP of Global and U.S. Marketing for Licensed Brands for Moose Toys. “The melding of the innate subversive humor, friendship, and fun, that is embedded...

Hasbro is teaming up with China’s Max-Matching Entertainments and investment firm Shanghai Peiqi Enterprises Management to construct Peppa Pig’s first outdoor theme park in Asia. Slated to open in 2027 on 48 acres of Shanghai’s Changxing Island, the project is budgeted at US$331 million and will break ground later this year.

Mattel is about to enter the FAST market, with three 24/7 channels gearing up to launch sometime this year on free streamer Samsung TV Plus. Barbie and Friends, Hot Wheels Action (vehicle-focused, featuring Thomas & Friends and Hot Wheels) and Mattel Jr. (preschool-focused, featuring Fisher-Price and animated series Kipper and Pingu) will all be accessible on the Kids section of the Samsung TV Plus home screen. 

Hasbro’s latest Transformers launch features new figures inspired by Transformers One, the latest movie in the Transformers franchise set to come out in September. Transformers One is about Optimus Prime and Megatron’s origin story as friends before becoming enemies.

The highlight of the collection is the Transformers Studio Series Deluxe Transformers One 112 Optimus Prime figure, a 4.5-inch action figure...


All Seven ‘Harry Potter’ Books to Be Recorded as Full-Cast Audio Productions With More Than 100 Actors, Will Release Exclusively on Audible. Amazon’s Audible and Pottermore Publishing, the global digital publisher of Rowling’s Wizarding World, will co-produce a brand-new audiobook series for the original seven Harry Potter stories. The new audiobooks are scheduled to premiere in late 2025...

Elf Labs maps out strategy to reimagine fairytale IPs. The company wants to tap into transmedia storytelling and L&M opportunities for alternate trademarked versions of classic characters. The transmedia company unveiled an ambitious strategy this week after spending several years quietly building out a portfolio of 400 copyrights and more than 140 trademarks. 

Seven new digital-first animated projects for kids have been selected to share US$2.6 million in funding that’s available to Canadian producers from the CMF-Shaw Rocket Fund’s Kids Digital Animated Series Program. Receiving funding this year are Peg Pals (Imagine Create Media), Dance With Thickety (Moonshot Rights), Polly Can Do (Milkcow Media), Magic Sash (Hammer & Sash), Butterfly Academy...

Super RTL makes a move to replace Nick in Germany. If a new strategic agreement with Paramount is approved, the mediaco will launch a new free-to-air channel to air popular Nick shows from the same satellite frequency. If approved, this deal would give Super RTL the German rights to popular kids shows such as PAW Patrol, The Loud House and SpongeBob SquarePants. 

WildBrain is expanding the licensing program for beloved brand Playmobil, with new cross-category partnerships across the globe. As master licensee for Playmobil, WildBrain CPLG handles worldwide rights across the brand’s core and franchise programs for the Horst Brandstätter Group. As Playmobil celebrates its milestone 50th anniversary this year...

LEGO reveals Despicable Me 4 range featuring new Mega Minions. The LEGO Group, Illumination and Universal Products & Experiences have revealed the full LEGO Despicable Me 4 line-up. Four new sets will be available from 1st May ahead of Illumination’s newest chapter in the global animated franchise, Despicable Me 4, which will arrive in cinemas worldwide on 3rd July. 


Preschool Powerhouses: Ms. Rachel, The Wiggles partner for YouTube collaboration. The two music makers partnered for their rendition of “Baby Shark.” Children’s music creators Ms. Rachel and The Wiggles have partnered in a new video. Ms. Rachel is a YouTuber and songwriter known for her work in kids’ music, including the Songs for Littles series, featuring classic kids’ songs as well as original creations. 


Hot Toys unveils Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Darth Revan. Bow before the Dark Lord as Hot Toys is stepping into the Star Wars Extended Universe with a brand new 1/6 scale figure. Coming to life from the widely popular video game series Knights of the Old Republic, Darth Revan has returned. Once a Jedi, Darth Revan turned his back on the Order, embracing the Dark Side and helping form the Sith Empire. 


Cool Stuff: McFarlane Toys' New Movie Maniacs Include The Matrix, Rocky, And The Big Lebowski. Last year, McFarlane Toys resurrected their Movie Maniacs line of collectible figures. As you might have seen in our humongous /Film Holiday Gift Guide, the first waves included the likes of Alan from "The Hangover," Gandalf from "Lord of the Rings," the titular soccer coach from "Ted Lasso," and all four...


Hot Toys debuts Marvel Studios I Am Groot Season 2 Cosbi collection. Get ready for some wild and new misadventures with everyone's favorite Guardian of the Galaxy member, Groot. Hot Toys is back with a brand new Marvel Studios Cosbi Collection, I Am Groot Season 2. This fun collection captured some fun, cute, and lovable moments from the second season with a variety of mystery Cosbi's to collect.


Marvel layoffs; 'Star Trek' renewal, cancellation; 'Doctor Who' companion; 'Transformers One' trailer; Netflix cancellation; 'Aang' delayed. Showbiz Round-Up. Lots of movie and streamer news this week, which we round up here. Marvel laid off 15 employees in Marvel Entertainment in New York and Marvel Studios in Burbank last week, according to Deadline. 

Amazon confirms a second season of Fallout is on the way. Amazon has renewed its live-action Fallout show for a second season after branding the series a "hit." The show premiered on April 10 in over 240 countries and looks to have won over both critics and audiences around the world. The news means the transmedia wheel will keep on turning for the foreseeable future, with Fallout adding to the success...

‘Fast & Furious’ expansion pack for ‘Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged’ drops. Mattel has announced new “Fast & Furious” Saga content for “Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 – Turbocharged” in collaboration with Universal Products & Experiences. Now available, the “Fast & Furious” Expansion Pack includes four new turbo-charged vehicles and a themed environment. 

Hasbro inks deal with Sony for rights to Clue. Another beloved board game may be headed back to the big screen. According to reports from Variety and other Hollywood trade publications, Hasbro Entertainment has closed a deal with Sony’s TriStar Pictures and Sony Pictures Television for the film and TV rights for Clue. Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks also confirmed the news on the company’s earnings call on April 24.


Hasbro releases Disney ‘Stitch’ and ‘House of the Dragon’ Monopoly editions. Hasbro has announced two new Monopoly versions, Monopoly: House of the Dragon Edition, in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, and Monopoly: Disney Stitch Edition. The releases coincide with the forthcoming Season 2 of the HBO Original drama series “House of the Dragon,” set to premiere...


Horizon Group launches new StarWars Slime collection! May 4th is quickly approaching and Horizon Group USA and Lucasfilm have joined forces to introduce new Star Wars Slime Jars for rebels, Jedi’s, and franchise enthusiasts everywhere to celebrate with! Fans can blast off into a world of intergalactic creativity and fun with the force of STEAM., Sunlight Entertainment partner with Falling Forward Films for ‘Ryan’s World’ movie distribution. and Sunlight Entertainment will expand the theatrical release of the upcoming film Ryan’s World the Movie: Titan Universe Adventure through a new partnership with Falling Forward Films.


Mattel, Funboy partner for Hot Wheels pool floats: Five new inflatables join Funboy’s portfolio of pool offerings. Pool float maker Funboy has partnered with Mattel for new inflatables inspired by Hot Wheels. Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand is known for its long history of collectible scale cars, as well as tracks to race them on. 

Feld Motor Sports races to YouTube with Monster Jam streaming. Monster Jam is coming to YouTube streaming. Feld Motor Sports, a subsidiary of Feld Entertainment, is bringing the unscripted live events of Monster Jam to its YouTube channel. Monster Jam features truck drivers competing on dirt tracks, all hoping to secure championships through racing, stunts, and more. 


Disguise announces contract renewal for Hasbro rights. Disguise, Inc has announced the renewal of its licensing agreement with Hasbro, a longstanding licensor for the company. This renewed agreement establishes Disguise’s position as a key licensee, granting the company continued rights to design, market, manufacture, and distribute costumes and costume accessories throughout North America and LATAM. 


Tonies launches Black Panther figure. Black Panther is joining Tonies’ Marvels lineup. The Black Panther is headed to the Toniebox. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, Tonies are collectible figures featuring some of kids’ favorite characters in media. When these figures are placed on a Toniebox, they activate screen-free stories that engage kids with music and sound effects.


Jodie Comer to star in 28 Days Later sequel. Jodie Comer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ralph Fiennes have joined the cast of the 28 Days Later sequel. Danny Boyle and Alex Garland are set to direct and write the film again, which will be called 28 Years Later. The original 2002 film, which starred Cillian Murphy, saw the UK taken over by zombies. 


Monster High Skullector welcomes the Creature from the Black Lagoon. On Friday, April 26th at 9am, Mattel Creations, Mattel’s e-commerce and content platform for creators, collaborations, and innovators, will be releasing the newest Monster High Skullector doll, Creature From the Black Lagoon. In partnership with Universal Products & Experiences, Monster High is reimagining the iconic creature who...

Wow! Stuff unveils new Harry Potter line-up. Wow! Stuff is launching a number of new additions and updates to its Harry Potter collection of toys and gifts this year. Officially licensed by Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, the collection is aimed at kids, adult fans and collectors. Headlining the collection are the Lumos wands, made from resin for realism and incorporating Wow! Stuff’s eponymous...


Elf Labs launches with hundreds of trademarked iconic fairytale characters to redefine modern storytelling and entertainment. Elf Labs has amassed a portfolio of 400 copyrights and over 140 trademarks for the most beloved characters in history. Classic and reimagined renditions of Snow White, Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and more are part of the Elf Labs IP portfolio. 

The iconic emoji is coming to a physical location, thanks to an expanded deal between Emoji Co. and Unis Technology. The Emoji brand is known across several categories of products, entertainment, and more, with little yellow faces sporting a variety of expressions instantly recognizable to consumers.


The company has renewed an existing established agreement with Sega and has added additional products into the Sonic the Hedgehog collection. Heathside has announced that Sonic products will include board games, slime, 2D keychains, chess sets, surprise eggs, resin figures, collector chocolate with collector cards, stick ons, pull backs, head on high bounce balls and more.

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People of Play


Ann Kienzle's *play toy store in Chicago named one of the top 100 small businesses in the country by Yelp & NBC News tells the story! Way to go, Ann, you are rockin' Small Business Month! 

Toy Launch Podcast. HOW EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING SHAPES YOUNG MINDS: INSIGHTS FROM REISA SCHWARTZMAN. In the fast-paced world of toy design and education, there are innovators who are redefining the way children learn and play. One such trailblazer is Reisa Schwartzman, the founder of Griddly Kids, a brand that is dedicated to inspiring creativity and curiosity through STEM-based toys and games.


TOMY International announced that Jeff Jackson will be joining Fat Brain Toys as Executive Vice President effective immediately. Building upon their success, Jeff will be working alongside founders Mark and Karen Carson to further their vision for growing the Fat Brain brand. Jackson joins Fat Brain Toys as a seasoned executive in the toy industry. 

Paramount Global has ousted CEO Bob Bakish, setting up Brian Robbins (CEO of Paramount Pictures), Chris McCarthy (CEO of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios) and George Cheeks (CEO of CBS) to run the company jointly going forward. The three executives now make up the newly formed Office of the CEO and will work together with the board to develop a strategic plan, said Robbins during the...

Licensing industry veteran Robert Marick, who left his head of consumer products position at MGM Studios in January, has launched a new LA-based consulting firm called Marick Management Group (M2G). Its core services span business planning, entertainment licensing, global brand management and marketing & sales, leveraging Marick’s extensive consumer products skills and network to provide clients with roadmaps for breaking into new product categories ranging from toys and apparel, to location-based entertainment and video games. 

Kristofer Updike is settling into a new role as SVP of creative at Hidden Pigeon Company, where he will oversee the development of Mo Willems’ kids books into TV series and feature film concepts. Updike most recently served as VP of development for Peacock Kids and NBC Content, and he has developed and produced more than 900 half hrs of animated and live-action content for kids and families over...

Skybound Ent. has continued its executive hiring binge with the addition of two more sr execs, to help with mergers & acquisitions and a new loyalty program. Gregg Sulak, most recently CFO of Wondery, has joined the company as CFO, where he will be responsible for the finance and accounting activities of the company. Will Kassoy, who spent time as a consultant, as President of charity fundraising platform Omaze, and...

ICV2 INTERVIEW: MARVEL PRESIDENT DAN BUCKLEY, PART 1. On the State of Comics, Marvel and Kids, Superheroes' Declining Share, Improving Publishing. ICv2:  We’d like to start out with the big‑picture questions.  We want to talk about the market, but let's start with the medium.  What's your evaluation of the state of the comics medium? Dan Buckley:  It's in flux, but I think it's in a healthy place.

ICV2 INTERVIEW: MARVEL PRESIDENT DAN BUCKLEY, PART 2. On Direct Market Distribution, Marvel's Publishing Plans, Including a New Program for Kids, More. Last year there was a change in your reporting structure (see “Perlmutter Out”).  Has that changed what's going on in Marvel publishing at all? Dan Buckley:  No.  To be clear, I've been in some way, shape, or form reporting in to Kevin [Feige] since 2019.

MARVEL PRESIDENT DAN BUCKLEY'S COMICSPRO KEYNOTE ADDRESS. Transcript of Speech at Pittsburgh Meeting. "Howdy folks. Thank you for having me. And a special thank you to Jenn Haines, it’s been a pleasure meeting you, and we really appreciate what you’re doing here for the industry. I’m here today to remind you how essential retailers are to us, to the community of comic fans, and to the future of our industry...

*** The above posted after April 26th ***


Wondery UK hires ex-Spotify exec Chris Baughen as head of podcasts. The Amazon-owned co. also rolled out its Wondery+ service in the British market yesterday, signaling its intention to grow there with both moves. Wondery has commissioned several high-profile kids and family podcasts since Amazon acquired it in 2020, including Disney Frozen: Forces of Nature, ‘Tis The Grinch Holiday Podcast and Audible Original...


Epic Games has teamed up with Billie Eilish to bring the popular singer/songwriter into its Fortnite Festival music and rhythm game mode that lets users play licensed songs with friends or remix their own. Outfits, emotes and new tunes inspired by the Grammy-winning artist and her discography are unlockable until June 13. Eilish, who’s only 22, won an Oscar for Best Original Song in February with...


Mattel recruits three top-level TV execs and reports a static Q1. Heading up animation, live action and production respectively, Sidney Clifton, Amy Suh and Cory Bennett Lewis have joined the toyco's studio operations. As previously reported by Kidscreen earlier this month, executive producer Sidney Clifton (Slumberkins, Marvel’s animated Black Panther) has been named head of creative for animation.


Barbie can be anything, even a designer. Interview with Chris Down, who told us all about the collaboration between Mattel and Kartell. "It's my first Design Week. It was very constructive being around other creatives, listening to them. In these occasions, design wasn't just part of the conversation; it was an important part of the conversation,” he told us. How does the world's most beloved doll fit into this field? 


Southard Communications, a New York-based communications and public relations agency, celebrates its 30th anniversary, commemorating a legacy of impactful storytelling and media relations. The Southard 30th milestone is accentuated by a string of promotions. Exemplifying impeccable leadership and strategic insight that has been pivotal in driving the firm’s growth, Allison Katz is named SVP....

Neil Shinner announces retirement from Moose. After an illustrious 32-year career in toys, Neil Shinner will retire as CEO, UK and Europe for Moose Toys in June, as Emily Maclennan takes the helm. A highly respected and established leader at Moose, Neil has been instrumental in developing the capability of the UK and European teams, supercharging the company’s growth over the past five years as CEO.


Ubisoft appoints Cécile Russeil as new executive VP. Longtime Ubisoft veteran Cécile Russeil has now been promoted to the French studio's executive vice president. Per the press release, she'll primarily lead the company's teams focused on group synergy. Along with HR and legal, she will also head up the Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility division. 


Expansion for Rainbow Designs’ key and nationals account team. Rainbow Designs has announced the expansion of its Key and Nationals Account Team, as it welcomes Kristina Sundby to the Rainbow family. Kristina Sundby immigrated to the UK from Norway in 2020, and joins the team as a National Account manager, bringing strength and depth to the team with over seven years of retail experience...


Companies and Brands


Spin Master’s Toca Boca studio is entering the multiplayer domain with Toca Boca Days digital game, being released this year beginning this summer. This strategic expansion caters to the evolving needs of kids and tweens by providing an emotionally rewarding and safe multiplayer environment. Over the past decade, Toca Boca studio has been at the forefront of innovative gaming, emphasizing play, self-expression and...


New Toy Company Spotlight: Poco a Poco. Poco a poco is the hard-won realisation of a small, tight-knit team’s idea branched off from Sanyu Raito, led by wife and husband Shiho and Takashi. With over 70 years of manufacturing experience at our core, our mission is to pioneer a new era of products that not only enhance but also secure the well-being of future generations.

Peg Perego showed 8-year-old Jackson Laux around the Fort Wayne factory where John Deere ride-on toys are made. Jackson is a farm enthusiast who posts to the TikTok page Just a Jackson Thing, which has more than 350,000 followers. The local company invited Jackson to the factory after hearing about Jackson’s interest in farming and the John Deere brand of farming implements.


*** The above posted after April 26th ***


WHSmith has announced the opening of 30 more Toys R Us shop-in-shops by the end of its financial year in August. WHSmith opened nine Toys R Us concessions in 2023, which according to the retailer have performed well to date. The partnership between the two retailers was borne off the back of 2022’s launch of Toys R Us UK’s digital flagship ecommerce website – though rumours suggest this may...


Mattel, Mobil 1’s Hot Wheels Legends Tour returns. The 2024 tour includes two new stops and online submissions. The seventh annual Hot Wheels Legends Tour, presented by Mattel and Mobil 1, begins next month in Miami, Florida. During the tour, car builders will compete to have their custom car build immortalized as a 1:64 scale die-cast Hot Wheels car. 

Hasbro unveils new Galaxy Edition Furby. The new interactive Galaxy Edition Furby features five voice-activated modes, over 600 phrases, jokes and songs, and comes with an array of accessories. Hasbro has unveiled a brand new Furby Aurora Furbealis, enabling kids to create their own Northern Lights experience. 

Magnetic Attraction: MAGNA-TILES Lands at Walmart, Bringing ‘Meaningful Play’ to Families Nationwide”. Four fan-favorite MAGNA-TILES sets will debut at Walmart stores in May. "We’re proud to partner with Walmart, the largest retailer in the world, to bring the joy of Meaningful Play with MAGNA-TILES sets to the millions of U.S. families who visit their stores each week." -Michael Valenta, President of MAGNA-TILES.

Gray Matters Games Partners with Diverse Marketing to Bring Hit Party Games to the Specialty Toy & Gift Market. Gray Matters Games is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Diverse Marketing, a leading sales agency in the specialty toy & gift market. Over 60 of Diverse Marketing’s exceptional sales team members will cover 29 U.S. states and Gray Matters games’ will be featured at three of their showrooms...

AT&T has launched its first-ever tablet for two- to nine-year-olds to meet a demand from parents for technology products that can educate and entertain their kids.  The AT&T amiGO Jr. Tab is available starting today for US$165.99.  It comes with parental controls that can be set from a smartphone app, as well as free access to Google Kids Space—an age-appropriate mode offering teacher-approved apps, games and videos


Airfix details new additions to Quickbuild range. Airfix has introduced two new moulds to its Quickbuild kit range: the 1:35 scale Tiger I and Sherman Firefly tanks. The J6041 Tiger I Quickbuild tank is a highly revered armoured vehicle cherished by many and renowned as one of the most iconic tanks in history. 

Michaels is lowering prices on more than 5,000 of its most popular items to pre-pandemic levels. CEO Ashley Buchanan says the move is an effort to make its products accessible to as many customers as possible across key categories such as art supplies, kids projects/activity kits and seasonal items. A broad range of reductions have already been implemented, including up to 15% off paint, markers and pens; up to 20% off...


Games Workshop's new 'Warhammer 40,000 T'au Empire' range. Games Workshop will release a new range of Warhammer 40,000 products, including a Codex and miniatures, for the T’au Empire. Codex: T’au Empire will include detachments and datasheets for Fire Caste troops, auxiliaries, and a new Kroot range with flexible light skirmishers, along with minis galleries, Combat Patrol and Crusade campaign...


Cryptozoic to release trivia game. 'Everyone Else Thinks This Games is Awesome,' from Zach & Kelly Weinersmith. Cryptozoic Entertainment will release Everyone Else Thinks This Games Is Awesome, a new trivia game by Zach & Kelly Weinersmith, in June.  Zach and Kelly Weinersmith are bestselling authors and cartoonists, who created Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and Soonish.


Forging deals: Abacus Brands, HoloToyz enter distribution partnership. Another day, another deal as Abacus Brands continues its expansion. Last week, Abacus Brands announced its global partnership with Pixicade. Now, the deals continue with HoloToyz, a company sparking imagination through augmented reality. 


New Douglas Soft Cows and Critters recently spotted out West. The newest Home on the Range animals from Douglas Company are howling with fun. Highland Cows are going viral and so much more when it comes to the plush toy company and lifestyle gift creators true to life breeds. The fabric choices, the texture to create realism, it’s inspiring. There are eight new Home of the Range animals just introduced.


Early Learning Centre celebrates 50 years of learning through play. Early Learning Centre (ELC), is kicking off its 50th anniversary celebrations with the launch of three special edition products. Since 1974, ELC has been shaping the grown-ups of tomorrow. To mark its 50th birthday, the brand has unveiled three exclusive toys that have launched to coincide with the milestone anniversary. 


Mojo Fun now available through Faire. Faire offers smaller retailers easy access to thousands of brands as well as favourable payment terms and introductory discounts. Mojo Fun is delighted to announce that its product range is now available through the wholesale platform for independent brands, Faire.


Renegade brings back 'Risk 2210 A.D.' in May. Renegade will release a new edition of Risk 2210 A.D., the Avalon Hill classic, in May. The game features Risk gameplay with mechs, underwater and moon locations, and commanders.  Renegade picked up the rights to this game in an expansion of their license from Hasbro last fall. 

University Games hosts sales conference to introduce The Learning Journey. University Games held a Sales conference dedicated to The Learning Journey division, designed to provide support for retailers and establish the brand in the UK market. As the new The Learning Journey range hits shelves this month, University Games’ Sales team is ready to provide its retailers with top-tier support...

Breaking the Ice: Mattel’s Barbie Inspiring Women Series pays tribute to Kristi Yamaguchi. A new Barbie doll honors one of skating’s iconic figures.  Kristi Yamaguchi is the first Asian American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating. Yamaguchi paved the way for other female skaters, also serving as motivation for young girls to follow their dreams. 

John Adams celebrates Decora Girlz dolls collection launch. The new Decora Girlz brand is set to release a collection of 5″ and 11″ colorful dolls featuring their own style, super soft hair and an array of accessories to play with.  John Adams is celebrating its first big launch of the season as the firm reveals a huge marketing drive on the highly anticipated Decora Girlz dolls collection. 


Eolo makes eye contact with Pixel Hugs. Developed by Eolo Toys and its world-class design partner ToyZone, Pixel Hugs is billed as the newest sensation in the world of electronic pets, combining the latest technology with the timeless plush feature. More than just an ordinary puppy toy, Pixel Hugs is a new interactive best friend for kids. 


Games Workshop to release 'Warhammer 40,000 Darktide: The Miniatures Game' based on video game. Games Workshop will release Warhammer 40,000 Darktide: The Miniatures Game, based on the video game released for Xbox last year, the company announced. As in the video game, in the miniatures game a team of up to four players takes on intense linked missions to bring justice to traitorous...


Umbrellas In Agueda in tile laying game 'Agueda: City of Umbrellas' from 25th Century Games. The theme of an arts festival with colorful umbrellas was chosen by 25th Century Games for its new tile laying game, Agueda: City of Umbrellas. Players take the role of festival artists who try to balance the requests of the city, shops, and tourists to create the most attractive arrangement of umbrellas...

Schleich Expands ‘Share Your Stories’ Initiative While Preparing to Open 100th Flagship Retail Location in NA. Schleich, the world’s leading manufacturer of animal characters and playsets, is amplifying its Share Your Stories initiative. Since 2022, the brand that lets imaginations run wild and shapes storytellers for life has surprised and delighted thousands of kids who have shared story videos inspired...

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Millimages brand Molang is expanding into the world of gaming thanks to a new partnership with Player 2, an agency focused on gaming, esports, and digital entertainment. The collaboration aims to take advantage of Player 2’s experience in the gaming world, securing opportunities and products that bring Molang’s message of kindness into video games.


Video game adaptations keep coming as a hit indie shooter gets a movie. A movie based on El Paso, Elsewhere is in development. El Paso, Elsewhere, an indie third-person neo-noir shooter heavily inspired by Max Payne, is the latest video game getting a Hollywood adaptation. And while it’s surprising to see a smaller, indie game get a movie, El Paso, Elsewhere is a perfect candidate for a film adaptation. 


Alone in the Dark dev Pieces lays off staff following revival's release. Over a month after releasing Alone in the Dark, developer Pieces Interactive appears to be laying off an unknown number of staff. Environment artist Helena Hansen confirmed she was affected, saying her "heart breaks for myself and my coworkers right now." At time of writing, she's the only developer who's confirmed their status.

Microsoft is cutting jobs at Bethesda France. The redundancies are part of the 1,900 layoffs announced by Microsoft in January. Microsoft is laying off an unknown number of Bethesda France workers. Game Developer understands the reductions are part of the 1,900 layoffs that were announced by Microsoft back in January as part of the company's mandate to facilitate sustainable growth.

Can Tales of Kenzera: Zau unlock a new world of video game stories? "Every story begins at the end of another." These are the words that greet players when they boot up Abubakar Salim's debut video game - Tales of Kenzera: Zau. It's fitting because the British actor, seen in TV series Raised by Wolves and soon to appear in House of the Dragon, is speaking to BBC Newsbeat just days before its big release.

Can touchless tech create 'equitable' gaming? For many people, grabbing a mouse or games controller to operate their computer is second nature. However, for some disabled people, it can be a challenge, or even impossible. There are alternative input methods such as eye-tracking - but they often require specialized equipment. 


Fallout: Could Amazon's show turn TV viewers into gamers? Video game adaptations are a hot property in Hollywood. Fallout, a new Amazon Prime series based on the post-apocalyptic gaming franchise of the same name, has been thrilling reviewers and fans, and has been commissioned for a second season. 


How Hollywood fell in love with video games. “Fallout” is the latest in a successful run of adaptations. A new instalment of “Fallout”, a long-running series of video games, was released recently to rave reviews. Critics called the post-apocalyptic adventure a “rare gem” and an “absolute blast”. In its look and feel, the new “Fallout” is much like previous releases. 

Highlighted Press Releases

ACADEMICS & PARENTS ARE OVER THE MOON FOR THE BEDTIME GADGET THAT’S EDUTAINMENT AT ITS BEST. Multisensory Moonlite Named Academics’ Choice Awards™ 2024 Smart Media Winner In Recognition Of Mind-Building Excellence. Beaverton, OR (May 2, 2024) – Have you heard that a tuck in bed with an enchanting story by Moonlite ( now has the power to “stimulate the mind and provide potential for the student to fully develop higher order thinking skills.” So says the Academics’ Choice Awards™ led by leading thinkers and graduates from Princeton, Harvard and other top-ranking universities!


THERE’S A NEW BUZZWORD FOR CONSTRUCTION TOYS WITH A LITTLE TWIST: CONFLUXION. Discover The Newest Toy Category At Astra Featuring TECTI®, HyperTiles® & Nockles™ At Fun In Motion Toys Booths 804 & 809. Ft. Lauderdale, FL (May 1, 2024) – Clean up in Aisle 800 takes on a whole new meaning at this year’s Astra Marketplace. Retailers searching for something truly special to fill their 4th quarter shelves will be dazzled (again) as they fill up their order books with Fun In Motion Toys ( Look for them on both sides of the aisle at Booths 804 and 809 and get your hands on the brand new Nockles, the acclaimed TECTI, the beautiful, newly packaged HyperTiles and...

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


Licensing International announced the 2024 Hall of Fame inductees. The Hall of Fame and Rising Star Awards honor executives’ legacies, bodies of work, and unique contributions to the global brand licensing community. This year’s inductees are Joseph Kaminkow, Chief Innovation Officer, Pixie Dust at Aristocrat; Maca Rotter, President & CEO at La Panadería Licensing & Marketing; and Stu Seltzer, President at The Seltzer...


The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) hosted both lifestyle and licensing events in April, gathering global trend-setting creative products and services, and helping the industry seize business opportunities. Following the successful conclusion of Home InStyle and Fashion InStyle, the Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS) and Asian Licensing Conference (ALC) were also held at the HKCEC...

Disney will be headed back to the Annecy International Animation Film Festival this year where they will “unveil a handpicked selection of new releases that promise to bring fresh, captivating adventures to all the family”. This includes a screening of “Inside Out 2,” a sneak peek of “Moana 2,” a 30th anniversary screening of “The Lion King” and a celebration of 40 years of Disney Television Animation, which includes...


Bluey and Moon Girl are on this year’s Peabody shortlist. The prestigious television awards program is into its 84th edition, with a handful of well-known kids and teen-adjacent titles in the running for wins. Peabody revealed its 2024 nominees in two parts this week, with yesterday’s batch covering the Arts, Children’s and Interactive & Immersive categories.

Hobby game publishers, including Renegade Games Studios, Hachette Boardgames USA, and Capstone Games took the bulk of the slots in the five top Mensa Select Games for 2024, the organization announced.  The Mensa Select seal is awarded to games that are original in concept, challenging, well-designed, a good value for the price, and easy to comprehend and play.

*** The above posted after tBR started running on April 26th ***


The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced the election results for new officers on social media, revealing an all-female officer roster for the first time in the organization’s history.  Officers are board members elected by a vote of the overall board of directors.  The new board was constituted after the election by the members in later March.

On the heels of a strong Q1, Netflix is gearing up to make a big splash at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which takes place from June 9 to 15. The streamer is bringing a sizable number of kids and family features to the annual event, which is expected to welcome thousands of attendees. (It set a new record last year with nearly 16,000 badgeholders on the ground representing more than 100 countries.)


Lifetime Achievement TAGIE Award nominations are now open. People of Play (POP) is accepting Lifetime Achievement nominations from now until 1st June, in preparation for the 17th annual TAGIE Awards. Now entering its 17th year, the TAGIE Awards, presented by People of Play (POP), will once again honour the best and brightest innovators, designers, retailers, suppliers, PR and marketers in the toy and game industry.


Speakers announced for WiT Empowerment Day. Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) has announced WiT Empowerment Day, the organization’s annual event that helps women who want to take their business, brand or product ideas to new heights. The event will be held on Thursday, May 23, during Licensing Expo at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. 

Autumn Fair has announced the launch of a New Business Pavilion, designed to support small businesses and the next generation of makers and creators, helping put their products on the map and reach thousands of buyers nationwide. 100 New Business Pavilion ready-to-exhibit entry level price packages are available and include space at both Autumn Fair taking place from 1st – 4th September 2024...

Kids India 2024 launches startup pavilion. Spielwarenmesse eG’s 10th Kids India will take place from Sept. 12-14. Kids India offers attendees a full series of events, exhibitors, and more. Following a successful 2023 show, Kids India is preparing to put on its 10th show from Sept. 12-14 in Mumbai. This year’s events, organized by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, include a new Startup Pavilion designed...

There’s still time to enter BlogOn Toy Awards 2024. Those wishing to enter the BlogOn Toy Awards 2024 in one or more of the 24 categories have until 30th April to do so. The popular BlogOn Toy Awards are back for the 8th year with the first Summer Awards boasting some fantastic new categories to tie in with the summer theme.

BRANDmate 2024 to feature new exhibitors, networking opportunities. The third BRANDmate will take place June 19-20. BRANDmate is preparing to welcome attendees June 19-20 with panels, a revamped website, and a concert. Spielwarenmesse eG’s third BRANDmate will take place in the Fredenhagen industrial site in Offenbach, Germany.

Safety and Counterfeiting


The Toy Association shares essential tips for safe play this spring & summer season. Whether families are hanging out together at home or heading off on vacation, the spring and summer months are sure to be filled with plenty of outdoor playtime. The Toy Association is sharing top tips for outdoor play with parents and caregivers to ensure kids are playing safely. 


Sega Toys recalls cat robots in Japan: burning smell complaints also lead to sales suspension. Sega Toys' latest "KIMIT Ragdoll" line of pet cat robot toys has been recalled less than two months after its February 29th, 2024 release date, per an official Kimit press release. Japan Today reported on the existence of the released KIMIT Ragdoll White and Brown models on March 1st of this year, and pointed out...

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RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed

If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our readers. Archives can be found HERE


Richard Keats, founder of Kaywood Industries, died on April 7 at the age of 97, leaving behind a legacy of toy innovation. Keats was a U.S. Navy Veteran as well as a graduate of Brown University. Following his degree, Keats joined his father’s company — Buddy L Toys — in 1948. After his father’s retirement in 1976, Keats took over and ran the company until it was sold to SLM in 1990. This wasn’t the end of Keats’ toy industry career. With experience from his time at Buddy L, he founded Kaywood Industries and continued to design and invent new toys. The company went on to license products to industry leaders including Fisher-Price, Mattel, Hasbro, and Spin Master.  Products that saw success with Kaywood Industries include Brush Your Teeth Barney, Playtime Big Bird, Flatsy, MakeUp Mindy, and more. Keats attended Toy Fair and the Dallas Fall Toy Preview trade shows yearly until 2019, demonstrating his deep investment in the world of toys. The toy industry has lost a talented and passionate inventor and designer. Keats passed away peacefully, and celebrated his 97th birthday on April 1. 


Jack McAllister - December 13, 1926 – April 19, 2024. He proudly served his country as a Navy Veteran during World War Two. Jack was truly a jack of all trades. He worked for Coast to Coast Hardware in Robbinsdale for many years. He was a toy designer for Sifo Toys as well as for Centuri Rocket Company. He designed cereal box premiums for General Mills. Jack worked as an engraver at Jostens and was employed by North States Industries as a designer and machinist. He also worked at Priemier Plastics as a designer and mold fabricator and was a machinist at NW Swissmatics. Jack was the proud creator of the games of BUNKERBALL and Racehorse Checkers. He also made a seed a starter kit which he named Roly Rooter. He made beautiful "Lucky Birds" out of wood and porcelain which he sold at the community market.


TRINA ROBBINS - writer, Artist, Historian, Advocate for Comics for Women and Girls. - Trina Robbins grew up loving comics but came of age at a time when comics for girls and women had disappeared and the industry was dominated by men. She helped transform the medium by creating her own comics, publishing and mentoring other women cartoonists, and documenting the history of the women who had always been a part of the industry but were seldom mentioned in the standard texts.  READ More...


Jeremías Babini passed away "unexpectedly" over the weekend, according to collaborator Daniel Benmergui. The Argentinian developer worked with Benmergui on 2023's Storyteller as an artist and co-designer. They first teamed with musician Hernán Rozenwasser on 2017's Fidel Dungeon Rescue. "[Jeremías] he poured his humor into every character, every animation, every detail," wrote Benmergui. "He gave life to everything we did." Babini first got into games in 2010 as an animator at social game developer Atommica. In 2012, he worked at Heavy Boat (as an artist) and Ludomancy (art director). Come 2015, he co-found Wonbats in Buenos Aires. At Wonbats, he worked as an art director on a number of Cartoon Network titles. Those games, some of which are still playable, include Steven Universe: Sword Dancers and Regular Show: Demonic Naptime.

Pamela Osborne worked for 60 years at the family run Osborne’s Sports and Toys, which she owned, in Rushden. She died peacefully on March 25th at the age of 91, with her family noting that ‘her smile and witty personality has always lit up our little corner of the High Street.’

Osborne’s is a proud Toymaster member, and Will Osborne, Pamela’s son, who currently runs the toy store with his partner, Libby, said: “She had a good life, she had 91 good years. The family has  been overwhelmed by the positive response of love, stories and best wishes that we’ve had. A response like that is a great comfort for the family. We knew her and loved her, but it’s nice to know the customers did too, and the response has just re-enforced what we knew about her, and that so many people felt the same.”

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

Added Friday Morning Chicago Time. Check Back for Complete Lists.


Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​​​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US) 


Toyworld (UK)

  1. California Dreaming … it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Hasbro and Playmates partner on Power Rangers toy range

  3. Goliath acquires Lucky Duck Games

  4. Mojo Fun now available through Faire

  5. Hasbro reveals line-up inspired by Transformers One film

  6. Moose Toys releases new range ahead of Despicable Me 4

  7. Wow! Stuff unveils new Harry Potter line-up

  8. Neil Shinner announces retirement from Moose

  9. Mattel reports first quarter 2024 financial results

  10. Hasbro releases first quarter results Powered by Toyworld

  1. Hasbro to celebrate Star Wars Day with new products

  2. Hasbro and Playmates partner on Power Rangers toy range

  3. Bing extends partnership with NSPCC for Childhood Day Mile

  4. Heathside signs licence renewal for Sonic

  5. Lego reveals Despicable Me 4 range featuring new Mega Minions

  6. Third edition of Brandmate to welcome major new arrivals

  7. Moose Toys releases new range ahead of Despicable Me 4

  8. Wow! Stuff unveils new Harry Potter line-up

  9. More than 150 exhibitors confirmed for BLE

  10. Unis and Toikido to unveil Piñata Smashlings crane machine at Amusement Expo

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

WizKids Unveils 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Froghemoth Elder'
Embracer to Spin Off Asmodee
Rolling for Initiative -- More MAP and Cynthia Williams Resigns
Cocks on 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Universes Beyond'
Tabletop Games, Including 'Magic,' Up at Hasbro
'Cowboy Bebop' Promo Cards for 'Magic: The Gathering'
'D&D Icons of the Realms' for 'Quests from the Infinite Staircase'
Monolith Board Games Acquires Rackham Assets
Lucky Duck Games Acquired by Goliath
Hasbro Licenses Power Rangers Toys

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

Global Toy News

The Bugg Report (Australia)

The Toy Universe (Australia)


Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: New Trivia Game Announced, Courtisans Pre-Order
Cryptozoic Entertainment has announced a trivia game, Pandasaurus has a new game for pre-order, and Gigamic has announced a new racing game for kids.

Video of the Week 

Toy Hub Trivia: Naomi Brugnatelli, Hasbro

Naiomi sits down with the Toy Hub to answer some tough questions involving the toy industry.



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