the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is April 16 - 23, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

Articles are posted daily with the most recent at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 

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

Welcome to your briefing of the week's news...

Photo of Paul Rago and David Small, Co-Founders of Shoot the Moon and Lifetime Achievement Honorees at 2018 TAGIE Awards)

Happy Friday! 

 

This week Spin Master made a masterful moonshot and acquired the entire team from Shoot the Moon, which will now become Spin Master Bay Area Innovation Center (BAIC). Congratulations to this couple of creative companies!

 

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Thank you for reading the Bloom Report! 

 

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Female Powerhouse, Ruling the Realm of Animation: Catherine Winder - tBR Person of the Week 

Catherine Winder is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of Wind Sun Sky Entertainment, a multi-media production company pioneering the way on building creator-driven global franchises. Winder is a proven leader in production and development on a diverse slate of multi-platform media in all genres; including linear and interactive content, mobile apps, toy lines and more.

 

Winder started out working for Disney Animation in Tokyo, managing several series, including Rescue Rangers and Tale Spin. Throughout her whirlwind career, Winder has made her mark as a game changer, working on iconic brands with leading filmmakers and creators. Most recently, at WSS she adapted the Invincible comic book created by Robert Kirkman into the smash hit, animated series on Amazon Prime.

 

Looking back, her innovative spirit helped lead the charge on adapting the Angry Birds game into the global event hit film, The Angry Birds Movie and sequel. She also worked in hand with the Barbie executives at Mattel to develop a new look for the property’s home video.

Heard of Star Wars? Winder was the Executive Producer for Lucasfilm Animation, where she was responsible for taking the Star Wars brand into animation. Read More...

Storypod: Edutainment can be Screenless, and still Capture Children's Attentions - tBR Company of the Week

Screens are everywhere. Whether phone, television or school laptop, children are hard-pressed to enter a room that is screen-free.


Daniel Buelhoff, a serial entrepreneur and a seriously devoted dad (aka “dadrepreneur”), made a living in the hi-tech, screen-filled video game industry. One summer, he returned to his childhood home in Germany and uncovered his old audio-tapes filled with classic pre-recorded stories he had often listened to as a kid. Buelhoff recognized that kids were too engrossed in mindless screen-time, further missing out on the fundamentals of learning through playing, so he was determined to create a solution that would entertain kids while exploring valuable immersive content that captures their attention. It was through the rediscovery of his beloved tapes that he decided to take a 180° turn in his career and develop Storypod, the world’s first bilingual, audio edutainment platform that engages kids by way of interactive storytelling, game playing, trivia and special effects...all without the use of screens.

Buelhoff quickly got to work to create an experiential 360° speaker that is designed to thrill and excite children the way he had been entertained as a child by these tapes. More than just a passive storytelling box, Storypod engages kids while also expanding their cognitive and critical thinking skills through supported multifaceted features and buttons on the speaker.  Read More...

Financial & Legal News . . .

Australian retailer Funtastic plans to rebrand as Toys ‘R’ Us ANZ Although the rebrand decision still needs to be ratified by a shareholder vote, it seems likely to be approved. The change in identity follows the group’s acquisition of the Hobby Warehouse business last November, which brought the Toys ‘R’ Us licence under its control. The deal also prompted a major restructure at the business, with Hobby Warehouse ...

Monopoly: General Court narrows Hasbro’s trade mark protection and vetoes evergreening. On 21 April 2021, the General Court ruled on the practice of re-filing identical trade marks (known as evergreening) in the judgment of Hasbro, Inc. v European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), refusing Hasbro's appeal to overturn a decision partially invalidating its EU trade mark (EUTM) for "MONOPOLY" on...

Ever Given owner appeals ship’s seizure by Egypt. Disruption caused by the blockage in the Suez Canal is likely to be felt until the end of May say reports. The owner of the container vessel Ever Given, which blocked the Suez Canal for six day in March hitting global trade to the tune of over $1b, has filed an appeal before the Ismailia court against Egypt’s decision to seize the vessel and her cargo, according to the ship’s...

(the above posted after April 23rd)

A social media app that's truly safe for kids? Celebrities bet on Zigazoo. The short-form video platform launched last summer with a mission to develop healthy social media and streaming habits at an early age. It lets kids browse or participate in 30-second video challenges or activities created by zoos, museums, teachers, musicians and TV studios, encouraging them to answer questions such as "What's on your ...

TikTok sued for billions over use of children's data. TikTok is facing a legal challenge from former children's commissioner for England Anne Longfield over how it collects and uses children's data. The claim is being filed on behalf of millions of children in the UK and EU who have used the hugely popular video-sharing app. If successful, the children affected could each be owed thousands of pounds.

Hackers try to extort Apple after stealing files from company that makes its products. The high-profile attempt comes as the Biden. 

A hacker gang has stolen files from a company that manufactures Apple products and is openly trying to extort the tech giant in exchange for not leaking them. Apple declined to comment on whether it intended to pay. The hackers' extortion letter to the company remained ...

Container rates increase sharply as Suez fallout continues. According to shipping publication The Loadstar, there have been reports of what have been described as “sharp increases” in Asia-Europe container spot rates, as the fallout from the recent Suez Canal blockage has resulted in a shortage of both vessel and equipment capacity in Asia. According to Drewry’s WCI index, rates from Asia to North Europe have...

Gearbox, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple oppose Texas anti-trans law. Several games and tech companies are among those fighting back against proposed legislation in Texas that the group argues is discriminatory. The law at the heart of this is the Fair Sports for Women and Girls Act, or Texas Senate Bill 29, which passed in the state's senate last week. If passed, transgender public school students would ...

Multiverse raises $17m to fuel hybrid gaming platform. Funding will help the company expand its digital platform and content offering. US developer Multiverse has raised $17 million in a round of Series A funding. The round was supported by several executives across the industry, notably including Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Crunchyroll co-founder Kun Gao, and Oculus VR co-founder Nate Mitchell. 

Apogee Software reboots as Apogee Entertainment, vows to 'boost the odds' for indies. American publisher Apogee Software has relaunched as Apogee Entertainment and welcomed back original founder Scott Miller.  In its original incarnation, Apogee helped launch notable franchises like Duke Nukem, Prey, and Max Payne, and assisted a number of companies including Remedy Entertainment and id Software...

Report: Discord no longer in acquisition talks with Microsoft. Discord is no longer looking to sell, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. Sources close to the process tell the publication Discord has walked away from potential acquisition deals, including one that reportedly came from Microsoft. According to those sources, 

Apple will start enforcing the iPhone privacy change that Facebook is worried about next week. The next major update to the iPhone operating system, iOS 14.5, will be released “next week,” Apple said Tuesday. The detail was slipped into new product announcements Apple made Tuesday. IOS 14.5 has a lot of new features, but the one that’s being most closely watched is called ATT, or App Tracking ...

Mobile publisher and marketing platform AppLovin nets $2 billion through IPO. Mobile company AppLovin has raised $2 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) that valued the company at $28.6 billion.  MarketWatch reports the marketing platform turned publisher priced its IPO at $80 per share, and offered 22.5 million shares to raise $1.8 billion. Shareholder KKR Denali Holdings then offered 2.5 million shares ...

PUBG owner Krafton applies for preliminary approval ahead of potential IPO. Krafton, the video game holding company that owns PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, has applied for preliminary approval for an initial public offering (IPO) that could deliver a multi-billion dollar valuation. As highlighted by the Economic Times, the Korea Exchange -- which is the sole securities exchange operator in South Korea...

Studio Retail agrees sale of Findel Education in management buyout. Findel Education has been sold to management in £30m cash deal. The business has been sold to West Moorland 221 Ltd, a newly-formed company owned by investment funds managed by Endless. In addition to the acquisition price, the group has made available a working capital facility of £2m to Findel Education.

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

The Insights Family Issues 2021 Kids & Family Industry Report . . . . . Kids Titles Accounted for Nearly One-Third of 2020 Graphic Novel Sales . . . . . Kids' Graphic Novels: What to Watch Out for in 2021

(the above posted after April 23rd)

SUSTAINABILITY IN THE TOY AISLE: A TREND THAT’S HERE TO STAY . . . . . Is Retail’s Future In Bits Or Bricks? Yes! . . . . . These pandemic-related business strategies will last. . . . . . Riding the e-commerce wave during the pandemic . . . . . From shelf to screen: the dramatic evolution from toymakers to entertainment companies . . . . . Thanks to TikTok, fidgets are back and better than ever . . . . .  US game spending up 18% to $5.6 billion in March, says NPD . . . . . Earth Day roundup: Kidcos go green . . . . . Study: Kids biz optimistic, but bracing for change . . . . . How The Pandemic Has Changed The Toy Business And The Latest Trends In Toys . . . . Pre-school UK - How 2021 is shaping up . . . . . Games & Puzzles (UK) - The next move

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

JAKKS Pacific Reports Financial Results for Q1 2021 . . . .  Sainsbury's pre-tax profits fall 39% from impact of £485m Covid-related costs . . . . . Character Group unveils £6.1m profit for the first half as turnover increases by 44% . . . . .  WotC Segment 75% of Hasbro Profits in Q1 . . . . . Hasbro Reports First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

(the above posted after April 23rd)

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) forecasted to earn Q1 2021 earnings of $0.52 per share . . . . . Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) to Post FY2021 Earnings of $0.78 Per Share, Jefferies Financial Group Forecasts . . . . . Hasbro (HAS) Earnings Expected to Grow: Should You Buy? . . . . . 3 Toys & Games Stocks to Watch in a Prospering Industry . . . . . Cyberpunk 2077 dev CD Projekt estimates record revenue for 2020

Future Financial Reporting . . .

Spin Master Corp. will report its first quarter 2021 financial results after markets close on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Ronnen Harary, Co-Founder and Director, Max Rangel, Global President and Chief Executive Officer and Mark Segal, Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call for the investment community on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. (ET). The call-in numbers for participants are (647) 427-7450 or (888) 231-8191.  A live webcast of the call will be accessible via Spin Master's website at http://www.spinmaster.com/events.php. Following the call, both an audio recording and transcript of the call will be archived on the same website page for 12 months.

Nintendo reportedly expecting another record year for software, with a series of major games. Nintendo is reportedly expecting to ship 250 million units of software in its next fiscal year – comfortably beating its existing all-time records – thanks to a line-up of (mostly unconfirmed) blockbuster games. Per anonymous sources of Bloomberg, Nintendo has briefed some partners and suppliers on its expectations for April 2021 to March 2022, and set expectations of shipping 250 million games.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . .

Lots of kids and content outfits made it onto TIME's 100 Most Influential Companies list this year (TIME)  Which companies are shaping our future? That’s the question at the heart of our first ever TIME100 Most Influential Companies, a new list—and an expansion of our iconic TIME100 franchise—that highlights businesses making an extraordinary impact around the world. 

(the above posted after April 23rd)

John Baulch, ToyWorld (UK) - Bucking the trend…it’s the Friday Blog! As England and Wales continue to bask in sunshine and toy stores feel the benefit of being open once more, it’s reassuring to know that other parts of the UK and Ireland will be catching up next week – shops will be re-opening in Scotland on Monday 26th and in Northern Ireland on Friday 30th. 

TTPM, the leader in video product reviews for toys, baby, and pet gear today announced their Spring 2021 Most Wanted List featuring the hottest toys in three categories: outdoor, entertainment and imaginative play. “Our editorial team tests and reviews countless products each day. This year we’re seeing the most innovative in three big categories: outdoor, entertainment and imaginative play,.” said Jim Silver, CEO, TTPM. 

POP QUIZ WITH WENDY SMOLEN: MAY 2021. Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s never too early to start dreaming about hot toys and tinsel. Admit it: We all wish to produce (or snag!) that one must-have toy of the year. In sync with the Toy Book’s Holiday Toy Preview, this Pop! Quiz will challenge your memory of past playthings that drove parents and kids wild. Ready to reminisce?

The Toy Insider experts unveil 2021 Spring and Summer Gift GuideAfter a long winter at home, kids everywhere are ready to get outside and have fun during the warm, sunny days ahead. Today, the Toy Insider, the toy industry’s most influential organization, released its 2021 Spring & Summer Gift Guide online at thetoyinsider.com. With more than 240 toys from 130 toymakers across eight different categories, the ...

Toys for Tots will expand their year-round efforts by distributing one million toys, books, and games to families in need this spring and summer. Though primarily known as a Christmastime charity, they have recognized the current need to provide emotional support and deliver hope to children. With children losing in-person classroom learning due to COVID-19, the organization will focus donating STEAM-related toys...

Tom Hanks and the Entire ‘Toy Story’ Cast Had To Record All of Their Lines Twice. In a separate interview with Graham Bensinger, Hanks admitted that working on Toy Story was by far the most difficult job of his life.  “… As an actor, I will say that the hardest physical work I’ve ever done as an actor has been the recording of those movies,” Hanks said. “Because you cannot move. You have no costume to hide in. 

Meet The Adults Who Still Sleep With Security Blankets. Her pink dress is faded and a bit frayed. The glossy, hard surfaces of her arms, legs, and face are smudged with dark patches. One eye is discolored — a cloudy whitish-blue; the other is popping out of its socket. Her name is "Alice Doll," and she belongs to Kathleen Walsh (31), who openly acknowledges that Alice Doll is a mess, even if that doesn't make her any less special. 

Talkin’ Toys: VTech gives kids the tech they want. As a leader in the children’s electronics space and a pioneer in the children’s wearable technology category, VTech has always been at the forefront of innovation. We know that kids want to have the same cool technology as adults, but those devices aren’t designed for them. In order to tap into these trends, we look to adult tech for inspiration and then adapt it in smart...

Why I decided to go to a publisher after 10 months of single-handedly developing a game. Three years ago, I single-handedly developed an .io mobile game where you could endlessly run around the map and kill enemies with throwing weapons. I uploaded it to the store and it was relatively successful, even without any marketing support: it brought in about $3000 a month on organic traffic alone. 

Hot Wheels treadmill racing is a truly great form of motorsport. If you were browsing Reddit or TikTok over the weekend—and if the algorithms are primed to send wacky car stuff your way—you might've seen a video of a bunch of Hot Wheels cars duking it out on a moving treadmill in a strangely captivating last-man-standing race. Treadmill racing with tiny cars isn't a new thing, but for a time this weekend ...

Indianapolis shooting suspect obsessed with 'My Little Pony', posts about Applejack before rampage. Brandon Hole, the teen who killed eight people in a mass shooting at the Indianapolis FedEx facility on April 15, was reportedly obsessed with “My Little Pony.” Hole’s Facebook page had reportedly been filled with posts indicating he was a member of the “Bronies,” a community consisting mostly of adult men who...

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Back in the day: the video games we were playing in April 1981. Andrew Newton on the video games that were proving popular back in April of 1981 …April 1981 saw one of the latest snow storms in the UK (not to mention resulting floods) and Bucks Fizz winning the Eurovision Song Contest with Making Your Mind Up.  Maybe it was because of these two events that there wasn’t a huge amount of video games released ...

Pixelated Audio. The Pixelated Audio podcast explores the auditory delights that brought retro games to life through legacy video game soundtracks. Hosts Bryan Mosley and Gene Dreyband delve into the world of video game audio in bi-weekly episodes. The duo elevates awareness of how video game audio complements the imagery and action of gameplay. 

German Games Archive – Nürnberg, Germany. Located in Nürnberg, the German Games Archive is a repository of more than 30,000 board and table games dating from 1945 to the present. By its own estimates, the museum adds approximately 700 new titles into its database annually, with between 300 and 400 being physical additions to the collection.

Mr. Astro-Chimp from Dairy Queen (1961). On January 31, 1961, Ham the chimpanzee became the first primate to be launched into space. His sub-orbital flight took place aboard a Mercury Redstone rocket that was being used as part of America’s space program at the time.Later that year, the soft-serve ice cream chain, Dairy Queen, celebrated the milestone with the release of the Mr. Astro-Chimp doll. 

Happiness from Milton Bradley (1972). Released in 1972 by Milton Bradley, the Happiness Game is a throwback to the days of flower power and hippie love culture. Advertised as the “now” game in television and print advertising, it had very groovy overtones. Two to six players to move around the board, shedding their hang-ups and acquiring positive attributes such as love, faith, and friendship. 

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Jakks Pacific, Disguise Sign on for PAW Patrol: The Movie Toys and Costumes. Under a new deal with ViacomCBS Consumer Products, Jakks will release PAW Patrol: The Movie-inspired ride-ons, ball pits, tents, activity tables, music activity mats, and kids’ furniture. Additionally, Disguise will roll out a full range of PAW Patrol costumes, costume accessories, adaptive costumes, and trunk-or-treat kits just in time for Halloween.

Mattel enters Karma's World. Experiencing massive growth in its dolls segment, the toyco has signed a multi-year global licensing deal to create products inspired by the upcoming Netflix series. Mattel has inked a multi-year global licensing deal with 9 Story Media Group and Karma’s World Entertainment for upcoming Netflix series Karma’s World. Its consumer products program, which will include dolls, styling heads, roleplay ...

(the above posted after April 23rd)

JAKKS Pacific and SEGA of America renew their partnership for the classic & modern versions of the Sonic the Hedgehog Collection, with JAKKS to design, manufacture, market, and sell Sonic the Hedgehog branded toy product lines worldwide beginning in 2022. The renewed agreement includes rights to produce action figures, playsets, vehicles, plush and other collectibles. 

Crayola debuts Build-A-Bear collectionBuild-A-Bear Workshop and Crayola have teamed up for a Crayola Teddy and the new Crayola collection. The Crayola and Build-A-Bear Workshop collection has launched online and arrives in stores in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland and Australia. The Crayola Teddy has rainbow-striped fur, and a pattern is revealed on the bear’s paws when activated with water. 

Yoto partners with Ameet and LEGO to launch LEGO Duplo audio cards. Yoto, the audio platform for kids and firm behind the critically acclaimed and award-winning Yoto Player, has detailed a new partnership with AMEET Publishing and LEGO Duplo. Under the deal, AMEET will co-create a series of six new audio card packs to complement its well-established LEGO Duplo range. 

Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary Star Wars: The Clone Wars figures headed to Target. Hasbro is continuing its celebration of Lucasfilm‘s 50th Anniversary with another batch of commemorative action figures. Four Star Wars: The Black Series Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary figures inspired by Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be available this summer, exclusively at Target. 

Delicious branding lessons from family fun classic Candy Land. The classic board game Candy Land is one of the most beloved games in the world, with over 50 million copies sold since it was first introduced over 70 years ago. The game was designed by a teacher, Eleanor Abbott, in 1948 as she recovered in the hospital from another pandemic — the polio pandemic. 

The X-Men join 'Marvel United'. CMON and Spin Master Games have announced Marvel United:  X-Men, a new core set for the Marvel United line scheduled to release in May 2022. Marvel United:  X-Men adds mutant heroes and villains to Marvel United board game, launched last year by CMON and Spin Master games (see “Spin Master Games and CMON Combine Forces on ‘Marvel United’”).  

Universal Monsters rise up in new NECA action figure partnership. National Entertainment Collectibles Association – NECA – has detailed plans for a full line of Universal Monsters action figures developed in close partnership with Universal Brand Development to capture the look of the horror world’s most iconic figures. Frankenstein’s Monster will rise up this July, depicting the classic monster from the 1931 film Frankenstein ...

Jazwares has entered into a multi-year deal with Marvel to produce a new line of costumes and costume accessories, set to hit NA retailers in 2022. The announcement comes as Jazwares expands its offerings into the costume segment, with additional licenses expected in the months to come. The line will include an assortment of officially licensed costumes, costume accessories, and pet costumes from the Marvel...

LEGO expands its Nintendo partnership to bring Luigi into the LEGO Super Mario universe. Super Mario’s often-forgotten brother, Luigi, is stepping out of the shadows and into the LEGO Super Mario universe as the toymaker extends its partnership with Nintendo to unveil the LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Luigi Starter Course. Featuring an interactive LEGO Luigi figure, this is the latest extension of the popular LEGO...

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People . . . 

Stuff Meets: Amy Corbett. Lego designer and Lego Masters judge, Amy 'Brickmaster' Corbett reveals what it takes to build like a pro. It was exciting, it was wild, it was taking what my day job is to a whole new level. I’m an expert in Lego, I build every day, but going from running a design team, to being on TV was a different world.

“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes toy and entertainment attorney Scott Landsbaum to the show. Over the past 25 years, Landsbaum has represented intellectual property (IP) clients, including toy companies, entrepreneurs, inventors, designers, and artists across multiple industries.

Gibsons welcomes six new team members. The appointments follow a strong year of growth and expansion for the British games and puzzles company. Neil Hartley, Demi Newman, Jazmin Gray and Rachel Riddell join the team in the new roles of assistant accountant, customer service administrator, people & culture manager and sales supervisor. And as Adam Melville and Mark Bollen leave the company after many years of service, David Eastoe and Craig Marley join the team as head of finance and head of operations respectively.

(the above was posted April 23rd)

AZHELLE WADE: EMBRACING THE TOY LIFE: FINDING YOUR PLACE IN OUR WORLD OF PLAY.  “I didn’t choose the toy life. The toy life chose me.” That tends to be a common thread among most career “toy people.” A majority of the people working in the toy industry initially chose other careers or followed different dreams that somehow led them to the toy life.

Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton welcomes Radio Flyer‘s Chief Wagon Officer, Robert Pasin. Pasin is the grandson of Antonio Pasin, who in 1917 created The Liberty Coaster, a wooden wagon crafted in a one room workshop. Now, Robert leads the charge at Radio Flyer as the company continues to produce timeless toys for kids, including tricycles, scooters, go-karts, and the iconic little red wagon.

Genius Brands Intl has appointed Harold Chizick, co-founder ChizComm Ltd & ChizComm Beacon Media, to the new position of president, global content sales, marketing, and consumer products. Chizick will report directly to Genius Brands’ Chairman & CEO Andy Heyward. “Since acquiring ChizComm and ChizComm Beacon Media earlier this year, I have experienced firsthand the level of expertise....

Departing GameStop CEO to land $179 million on exit thanks to recent stock saga. GameStop CEO George Sherman announced his departure from the struggling retail giant this week and, according to some number crunching by the team at Reuters, is all set to depart with an extra $179 million in his pockets. According to a report from the publication, exiting CEO Sherman is set to receive a $179 million stock payout...

James Triptree launches toys2market. Based in the UK, toys2market will provide a broad range of services to toy and games manufacturers and suppliers. James is planning to work with both British and European suppliers who seek representation within the UK. Other services offered by toys2market will include overseeing national and key accounts. This will be done via a network of agents, which means the company ...

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan departs Blizzard after 19 yearsOverwatch game director and longtime Blizzard developer Jeff Kaplan is leaving the studio and handing the series' reins over to fellow Overwatch dev Aaron Keller. Kaplan's departure was announced by Blizzard in a blog introducing his replacement, and includes a brief note at the end from Kaplan himself thanking the teams that worked alongside ...

WildBrain has hired former Spin Master director Lorna Withrington as its new VP of development for animation. In newly created role, Withrington will lead the Toronto-based prodco’s efforts to create original animated IPs and new content for its existing brands. Reporting to EVP of content and current series Stephanie Betts, she now oversees director of development Todd Brian and development manager Holly Nichols.

Wow! Stuff expands team with new hires. The team is expanding to support ongoing development of the company portfolio as Wow! Stuff takes on more top tier licensed brands. Wow! Stuff has been recruiting consistently over the last year, despite the challenges and restrictions that Covid-19 has presented. The hires include: Ross Coffield, Teddy Edwards, Steve Carpenter, Chris Jobson, and Manmit Bansal.

Disney ups Jane Gould to new EVP role. Gould will now provide consumer insights to more Disney brands, as well as oversee scheduling strategy for ABC Entertainment originals and Disney Branded TV acquisitions.

'I'm A Compulsive Maker': These Toymakers Refuse To Give Up. Tom Karen, now 95, invented the Marble Run in the 1960s. He's still making toys today. Karen officially retired in 1999, but when we speak, the designer says he’s been working on new toys “during the last few days”. His passion for his craft has been alive since childhood, he says. 

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Companies, Brands . . .

The L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls Are Going on Their First Live Concert Tour. Following the massive success of the L.O.L. Surprise! dolls, MGA Entertainment (MGAE) is collaborating with Terrapin Station Entertainment to bring the characters to the stage for the brand’s first-ever live concert tour. Young fans will be able to see Lady Diva, Neonlicious, Swag, and the rest of the Surprise crew rocking out right before their eyes. 

GoNoodle, Tonies Join the Mindfulness Movement with Meditative Music and Audio Stories. Mindfulness has become an important skill for kids to learn and practice over the course of the pandemic, and one of the best ways to help them tune in to their emotions is by tuning up their music. GoNoodle and Tonies bring the best of both worlds together with the Mindfulness Starter Set Toniebox, which is a screen-free...

Far Out Toys Reveals Plans for a Live-action Glo-Up Girls Series. Far Out Toys’ Glo-Up Girls brand launch this summer will be supported by multiplatform content to reach kids and fans. In addition to the new collection of fashion dolls, The Glo Show will be a live-action reality series that will debut this July on YouTube to drive the emerging brand’s entertainment strategy this year.

Lockdown superhero children to get £5,000 in The Entertainer giveaway. Toy retailer to give vouchers to 250 superhero youngsters, with one lucky winner also winning a VIP shopping experience. The toy retailer is looking for children who have been superheroes during lockdown, demonstrated through activities such as helping their younger brothers and sisters with school work or supporting an elderly neighbour ...

Mattel UK supports indie retailers with dynamic digital marketing campaign  Running over a couple of months, the Mattel campaign will increase awareness and drive footfall to over 300 independent toy retailers. Activated through mobile display and Spotify, the innovative campaign will geo-target adults based on their live locations and proximity to their local toy store using a mix of dynamic audio & visual creatives.

Hasbro has announced that it is working on NFT technology to be used in the companies profile. The specific target is one of the most popular collectible card games, “Magic: The Gathering.” Ever since its introduction in 1993, “Magic: The Gathering” (MTG) has been a constant in the world of trading card games (TCGs). In the game, players collect cards via packs just like traditional sports cards would come in.

A report by Retail Insider says Disney will be closing all 18 of its retail store in Canada by the end of the summer. Two have already shuttered. According to the report, Disney made the move to re-evaluate its operations amid a “challenging time for retail and landlords in North America” as more consumers shift their shopping online. “Over the next year Disney will focus on providing a more seamless, personalized ...

Amazon launches tablet for older kids Expanding beyond preschoolers, the Fire Kids Pro for six- to 12-year-olds includes new features and content from National Geographic and LEGO. Priced betweenUS$99 and US$199, the tablet itself will feature voice and video calling functionality so users can chat with their friends. Kids can also request to download family-friendly apps like Minecraft, Zoom and Disney+, and ...

Aardman names head of training facility The Bristol-based animation studio has appointed Mark Simon Hewis to head up its Aardman Academy training facility in a new role designed to support and develop upcoming talent, and provide opportunities for students to connect with the animation industry.

Haba rebrands as Haba Familygroup In order to align itself internationally, the Haba family of companies has renamed itself Haba Familygroup. The Haba family of companies, headquartered in Bad Rodach, Germany, announced the rebranding at a press conference. Founded in 1938, the Haba group, which manufactures wooden toys, clothing and furniture, is celebrating its 83rd anniversary this year.

Schleich & 4-H Partner for Storytelling Contest. Schleich and 4-H announced the start of the “Create Your Story” contest, calling on kids everywhere to submit stories, with two finalists to be included in a “create your own adventure” video. In addition to the contest, Schleich will be introducing multiple product offerings online and at retail, proceeds from which will benefit 4-H youth.

Spin Master's Tech Deck Brand Becomes Official Sponsor of USA Skateboarding. Spin Master’s Tech Deck brand joins forces with USA Skateboarding as the sport makes its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.  Open to all U.S. citizens, the skateboarding finals are set but fingerboarders can post clips of themselves on social media to be judged by a panel of professional skateboarders.

McDonald's set to limit Pokémon Happy Meal toy purchases in UK. Scalpers caused chaos when they gobbled up supplies during the promotion in the US. The fast food giant is yet to confirm what the included Pokémon gift will be, though it is expected to be the same limited-run Pokémon cards it offered when the same promotion ran in the US in February.

A.B.Gee to distribute Spin Master ranges Already an official distributor for Hasbro, Mattel and Moose Toys amongst others, A.B.Gee is now able to offer Spin Master ranges to its customers. Distribution covers the whole of the UK and Ireland, with a combination of A.B.Gee’s own sales force and agent partnerships.

(the above posted after April 23rd)

The award-winning Shashibo puzzle toy has a new edition that’s perfect for Earth Day or any day. Shashibo Earth puts a globe-centric artistic spin on the magnetic transformation puzzle. Shashibo is powered by 36 rare Earth magnets and transforms into more than 70 shapes. Each 3-inch Shashibo cube features four art designs, creating a kaleidoscope effect when users open the cube and create shapes. 

PBS KIDS calls for literacy series pitches. The pubcaster is specifically hoping to connect with creators from underrepresented communities who have multi-platform preschool concepts to pitch. The US pubcaster wants to greenlight a series for kids ages three to five that it can extend across platforms including digital games, books, short videos and hands-on activities. 

TheToyAuthority's 23 Days of Play Giveaway is Now Open! TTPM‘s recently launched TikTok channel TheToyAuthority announces a 23 Days of Play giveaway. Between April 22 and May 14, you can enter for a chance to win a different prize each day. Unlock a prize daily by visiting the giveaway calendar each day, clicking the prize for that day, and providing your first name, last name, and email address to enter. 

Harry Potter store set to open in New York. The flagship store will open in June near the Flatiron Building at 935 Broadway. US Wizarding World fans are eagerly awaiting the opening of a new Harry Potter store, which will offer three floors of licensed Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products as well as themed experiences across 21,000 square feet of magical retail space.

Bandai unveils new Tamagotchi Pix  The new device takes the core of Tamagotchi play and further immerses users into the Tamagotchi universe with exciting new features. This device will be the first to feature a built-in camera that allows users to take pictures with their virtual pet and interact with it in new ways.

World Earth Day: Italian firm Mondo Toys introduces new sustainable outdoor lines. The Italian toy maker, Mondo Toys has unveiled its latest advance in the sustainable toy push with the launch of its BioBall and ReNewToys ranges, coinciding with the celebration of World Earth Day today (Thursday, April 22). In answer to the global impact of plastic pollution – and the increasing levels of plastic pollution within the ...

Zapf speaks to kids about single-use plastic for World Earth Day The manufacturer of Baby Annabell and Baby born has released a video highlighting children’s understanding of single-use plastics on the planet.  Zapf says the video makes it clear that children understand the impact single-use plastic has on our planet, with many of them voicing concerns about the safety of animals – including one young boy who urged...

Just Play, which manufactures licensed face masks for kids, will donate 1 million of its face masks through the end of the year to various organizations that support childrens’ livelihoods. The company has already donated more than 620,000 face masks to children’s hospitals in Texas, Colorodo, Los Angeles, and Orange County, in addition to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation in South Florida, ....

A year into its efforts to remove the use of virgin (non-recycled) plastics from its Bunch O Balloons brand, ZURU revealed that it has exceeded its goal by 57%. Last year, the company set a goal of removing 800 tons of virgin plastic from its water balloon line, but thanks to the use of recycled materials and increased orders for 2021, the company has marked a 1,200-ton reduction. 

Why Facebook won’t sell ads in its planned Instagram app for kids.  Facebook has kept mostly quiet about its plans to build a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13, which has already drawn the ire of parents, child advocates and U.S. lawmakers concerned with kids mental health and data privacy. But the company is willing to proclaim that the already-controversial app will not carry ads, despite...

HASBRO UNVEILS TOYS INSPIRED BY MARVEL STUDIOS’ ‘SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS’. Hasbro’s product line is geared toward satisfying both kids and collectors with action figures and roleplay items across several price points. The line includes 6-inch scale figures of Shang-Chi and Wenwu ($14.99 each), along with 12-inch Titan Hero Series figures ($9.99). 

Activision Blizzard donates $4 million to University of Michigan to establish esports minor. Housed in the University of Michigan School of Information, the multidisciplinary program will have an endowed chair and will commence in 2022. Esports are spectator events of organized video game competitions. University of Michigan will use Kotick’s $4 million gift to fund a professor to develop the program....

MATTEL FILMS PARTNERS WITH VIN DIESEL FOR ROCK ‘EM SOCK ‘EM ROBOTS MOVIE. Mattel Films is collaborating with Universal Pictures and Vin Diesel’s One Race Films on a live-action film based on the classic tabletop game, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Diesel (The Fast Saga, Guardians of the Galaxy) plans to star in the film and will produce alongside his sister, Samantha Vincent (The Fast Saga) while Kevin McKeon will lead the...

LEGOLAND introduces families to LEGO Braille Bricks with hopes to roll event plans out globally. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is introducing introducing visually impaired children to its new LEGO Braille Bricks for the first time with the launch of a series of special events for families and kids. The first of the LEGO Braille Bricks special events took place at one of Merlin Entertainments’ LEGOLAND Discovery Centres ...

Magic Box launches new vehicle concept with T-Racers  The T-Racers ‘Mix and race’ concept allows children to design and build the cars they want by mixing and matching vehicle parts. T-Racers are made of five different parts which can be interchanged, forming 500 possible combinations and allowing children to personalise their cars. 

Hasbro partners with Star Editions to launch online Personalised Monopoly shop. Hasbro has struck up a new partnership with the personalized giftware specialist, Star Editions, to launch a new online shop for the family gaming brand, Monopoly. The new site has now launched to feature an extensive range of customizable, Monopoly-themed products. 

LEGO unveils its largest and ‘most feature packed’ LEGO Star Wars R2-D2 to date. The LEGO Group has lifted the lid on its biggest and ‘most feature-packed’ LEGO Star Wars R2-D2 construction set to date, a new launch developed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm this year. Weighing in a 2,314 pieces, the new launch targets the adult LEGO builders and Star Wars core fan base, allowing them to recreate ...

Shang-Chi Funko Pops Officially Unveiled by Marvel. The merch machine for Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is heating up now that the first teaser for the upcoming film has launched. Yesterday, Hasbro unveiled the first wave of Marvel Legends Shang-Chi figures and toys, and Marvel has chimed in by debuting the first wave of Funko Pops. Note that the following reveals may include...

Mookie Toys appoints Norton PR to handle new product launches for 2021. As part of a strategic change of direction to refresh its PR function for 2021, Mookie Toys has appointed Norton PR to handle new product introductions and support existing lines in the UK. Spearheading a consumer PR drive across all the company’s key ranges including Outdoor, Yulu Toys, Silverlit and market-leading tie dye brand Tybo, ...

Level 99 Games will release 'Bullet(Heart)' into retail. Level 99 Games will release Bullet♥, a puzzle action board game, into retail stores on May 4. In this game, players assume the role of one of Earth’s most powerful Heroines to battle each other with excessive firepower.  They use actions to form Patterns, clear their board of bullets, and deliver punishing assaults to their opponents.  .

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Hit Walgreens as Minimates Mini-Figures. Marvel Minimates are celebrating 18 years this year, and the line is still going strong with waves based on Marvel comics, movies, animation, and now TV! The first-ever Minimates based on a Disney+ television series is available in Walgreens stores, and focused on the world of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier! Capturing four ...

Bandai unveils brand-new 'Digimon Card Game' booster set. Bandai unveiled Double Diamond [BT06], a new set for Digimon Card Game, expected to arrive in October for U.S. retail. The sixth booster set in this re-launch of Digimon CG includes the debut of Royal Knights in the game and more fan favorite Digimon to collect. It will feature Agumon (Bond of Frienship) and Gabumon (Bond of Friendship) from ... 

Destroy game components and build realms with 'Cutterland'. Ultra PRO Entertainment revealed Cutterland, a new cut-and-draft tile game by Hobby World, for release in June. Cutterland has truly "cutting-edge" game mechanics as it requires players to actually cut game components to create fantasy lands and score points. The goal of the game is slice and dice cards with scissors to build up attractive landsantic Games launches extra large ships for 'Armada'. Mantic Games launched the preorder of four Extra Large Ships, for use with Kings of War: Armada, which will release in May. Bigger is often better when it comes to firepower in miniatures games. These XL-size ships can serve as flagships of for the four different fleets they each represent. 

Players face off with Annihilus in next Marvel 'Legendary' expansion. Upper Deck will release Annihilation, a new expansion for Marvel Legendary deck-building game, in summer 2021. Annihilus, Lord of the Negative Zone, is heading to games of Legendary for this game's 25th expansion.  He has declared war on both heroes and villains causing them to work together in an effort to avoid total annihilation.  

Expand games of 'Western Legends' with 'Blood Money'. Kolossal Games revealed Western Legends: Blood Money, the second large expansion for Western Legends board game, for release in Q3. This expansion adds new of modules to tailor games of Western Legends (see "Matagot Will Release 'Western Legends' Into Trade").  

Wizkids will release two 'Magic: the Gathering' single-count monster packs. WizKids will release two single-count Magic: The Gathering Unpainted Miniatures packs, with their wave 15 offerings, which will be coming in July. These two monster packs have been solicited as Wave 15 Pack #8 and Wave 15 Pack #9. The figures have generic solicitation titles, which is likely due to these figures depicting unrevealed characters, ...

Czech Games edition relaunches 'Galaxy Trucker'. Czech Games Edition will release a new edition of Galaxy Trucker, the classic space cargo delivery game, in Summer 2021. Galaxy Trucker debuted back in 2007, and was released into the U.S. by Rio Grande Games (see "'Plugged In' Picks Five Boardgames"). It is a real-time tile-laying game where players are trying to build a spaceship from sewer pipes and fly across ..

Sawdust and Rainbows unveils latest wooden play space amid stellar sales. The indoor wooden play apparatus specialist, Sawdust and Rainbows has unveiled its latest launch to the market with the Tearmann playstand, a space designed to encourage young children to play and explore. Meaning ‘sanctuary’ in Irish, the Tearmann arrives in rainbow, pastel, and natural colourways and is made from sustainably...

Mattel Creations’ Shogun Masters Skeletor is a Japanese X Eternian mashupMattel Creations’ latest drop is the first-ever mashup of Masters of the Universe and the Japanese Shogun Warriors. In the 1970s, Mattel brought the massive Shogun Warriors figures to the U.S. and just a few years later launched the Masters of the Universe collection. 

The battle between Barbarians and Sayan Warriors explodes in 'Dragon Ball Super: Card Game'. Bandai announced Unison Warrior Series Supreme Rivalry [DBS-B13], a new booster set for Dragon Ball Super: Card Game, for release in May. Barbaric conquerors and Sayan warriors kick off an all-out war in Unison Warrior Series Supreme Rivalry booster set. This set features three special secret rares that, when aligned side-by-side, create linking, panoramic artwork.

Pottick Law Ad new as of Nov 2020.jpg

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

EA announces new Battlefield mobile game launching in 2022. The Battlefield series is headed to mobile devices. The hugely popular shooter franchise will make its debut on smartphones and tablets in a new game that’s set to release in 2022. The game will be developed by Industrial Toys in partnership with longtime Battlefield developer DICE, which is owned by Electronic Arts. 

Sony says its cloud gaming experience will 'be unique and only on PlayStation'Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan says the company is working on a cloud gaming experience that will "be unique and only on PlayStation." As reported by VGC (via a translated Nikkei interview), Ryan explained the company is waiting to announce its wider cloud strategy but is still "having conversations with [Microsoft] ...

Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister adds Multiplayer Horde Mode. Pixel Toys’ Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister was one of several virtual reality (VR) titles to arrive for Oculus Quest in time for Christmas 2020, enabling Warhammer fans to step into the war-torn universe and battle the forces of Chaos. Today, as part of the Oculus Gaming Showcase, Pixel Toys has announced the launch of its next major update,...

Steam's built-in Playtest feature is now live for all devsSteam now includes a built-in playtest feature that aims to take much of the legwork out of the usual playtesting process by baking a set of new features right into the same platform many devs already use to sell their games. The feature was first announced and launched into beta last November, promising developers a way to open up access to their ...

Call of Duty: Warzone now has 100 million players — as does Apex Legends. In the battle royale of battle royale games, there doesn’t need to be a single winner. Call of Duty: Warzone now has 100 million players, the same number Apex Legends achieved just a week ago. They can share a victory royale with Fortnite, with its 350 million-plus players (as of May 2020), as well as the original PlayerUnknown’s ... .

Gran Turismo will be featured in an Olympic competition this yearThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced a new series of virtual sporting events that will take place ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, called the Olympic Virtual Series. No, this doesn’t mean that League of Legends just became an Olympic sport — what’s happening is that the IOC is partnering with 5 international sports federations to host ...

Bandai Namco staff say California office relocation is 'essentially like a layoff'. Bandai Namco Entertainment America is shutting down its office in Santa Clara and relocating workers to a new office in Southern California. As reported by VentureBeat, the company said the switch is designed to improve collaboration between its digital and physical goods departments, but has only given employees until the end of May ...

Xbox owners can finally hop online in free-to-play games without Xbox Live GoldXbox Live Gold is no longer required to access online multiplayer in free-to-play titles on Xbox platforms. Earlier this year, Microsoft said it would stop forcing users to purchase Xbox Live Gold in order to play free-to-play titles online, acknowledging that it essentially made the games anything but free-to-play.  .

Call of Duty Warzone has topped 100 million players in just over a year. Call of Duty Warzone has amassed over 100 million players since launching in March last year. The free-to-play battle royale mode had surpassed 85 million players as of December 2020, meaning another 15 million have joined the fray since then.  Of course, it's worth noting that some players could have multiple accounts across different ...

Players can now bring Bitmoji stickers to the UNO Mobile Game. Mattel163, a mobile gaming joint venture between Mattel and NetEase, has launched a new update to bring Bitmoji to the UNO! mobile game. In partnership with Snap, UNO! players can showcase their use their custom Bitmoji avatar in UNO! mobile games and club chat for a personalized UNO! experience. .

Canal Toys launches Studio_Creator 2 Video Maker Kit with TikTok stars Brent and Lexi RiveraCanal Toys US has marked the launch of its new Studio_Creator 2 Video Maker Kit by partnering with the TikTok creators Brent and Lexi Rivera to reach Brent’s 37 million social media followers. The new kit has been developed to include everything kids need to be like their favourite influencers, including a ring light ...

Roblox to introduce content ratings for games to better restrict age-inappropriate contentVirtual gaming platform Roblox is developing content ratings for games and easier-to-use parental controls, the company’s chief privacy officer Remy Malan told The Wall Street Journal. Half of Roblox’s audience of more than 30 million daily users are kids under 13, but the platform has struggled at times to contain sexually ...

The Games Fund launches with $50M to support devs in US, EuropeA team of game industry investors and creators has launched a new $50 million fund with the goal of putting its resources behind game developers seeking investment and access to the expertise of established professionals in development, publishing, and more. The fund, helmed by managing partners Maria Kochmola and Ilya Eremeev, is ...

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

The Toy Association’s anti-counterfeiting efforts coincide with World Intellectual Property Day. As the global business community prepares to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, stopping toy counterfeits from entering the U.S. — and ending up in the hands of innocent children — continues to be a top priority for The Toy Association and its members. 

Spain. Nearly 50,000 pirated products seized in Badalona. Nearly 5,000 pirated products have been seized in Badalona when the Guardia Civil and the Urban Guard of Badalona intervened 47,000 counterfeit or contraband products in an operation against piracy in the town. Products such as textile masks and risky toys for children that are prohibited in the EU, and whose value amounts to €300,000...

Loud, louder, hearing damage: How parents can choose the right toys. The toy your child wants can't do anything except make loud noises? Then you probably shouldn't buy it. A child's ears are sensitive to noise, and in the worst case scenario the wrong toy can result in permanent damage. A seemingly harmless toy like a squeaky rubber duck or a whistle can reach up to 130 decibels in the immediate vicinity of the ear. 

Press Releases . . . 

PUZZLED ABOUT WHAT TO GIFT FOR MOTHER’S DAY? eeBoo KNOWS: IT’S MEMORABLE TIME TOGETHER. Giftwrap A Beautiful And Intelligent Puzzle For The Gardener, Traveler Or Birder To Create Special Memories With A Loved One In The Same Room Or from Afar.  Chances are if you ask a mom what she wants for Mother’s Day, she’ll say “just to spend time with you!” As a woman-owned and mother-run boutique lifestyle brand, the folks behind eeBoo and Piece & Love know exactly what she means. Plan some quality time on Sunday, May 9th piecing together a beautifully illustrated jigsaw puzzle. With so many to choose from at https://eeBoo.com pick the perfect theme to capture her interests ...

(the above posted after April 23rd)

Wallshoppe Launches New Barbie™ Wallpaper Collection, Designed in Collaboration with Mattel. Available exclusively through Wallshoppe, the Barbie™ x Wallshoppe collection features a wide variety of vintage designs inspired by the legacy of this ground-breaking doll. Barbie™ founder Ruth Handler created a doll to show girls they had choices - that they could be anything. Just as the original Barbie doll revolutionized the toy industry, 

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals

(ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and More) . . .

Informa Markets’ Global Licensing Group, organizers of Licensing Expo,  have made the decision to cancel the in-person event this year.

Instead, Licensing Expo — the world’s largest licensing event — will take place in a free-to-attend, fully virtual format, Aug. 24-26 in an effort to “allow more people to connect, learn, strike deals and discover new intellectual property (IP).” “We’ve heard from our industry, and the best ...

(the above posted after April 23rd)

New Exhibitor Package launched by Spielwarenmesse. Spielwarenmesse, the international business hub for the toy community, has unveiled a fresh offering for first time exhibitors set to attend the 2022 show from 2nd-6th February, in the form of a New Exhibitor Package. The package has been designed to help companies showcase their portfolio at the event. 

American Tabletop Awards 2021: The best board game winners. Here are the four winners and more recommended games from the third annual American Tabletop Awards. The last year encouraged families to find creative ways to have fun while staying indoors that went beyond just watching television and playing video games — and many households turned to board games for comfort and old-fashioned game nights....

ASTRA: SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT TOY STORES, MANUFACTURERS, AND REPS IN 2021. What does ASTRA) look like in 2021? Due to the success of ASTRA’s Summer Camp virtual event in 2020 and our members’ need for new products, ASTRA successfully completed its Winter Camp from Feb. 19-23.  We kicked off our camp by passing a virtual torch and lighting a campfire at the opening ceremony...

WOMEN IN TOYS’ 30TH ANNIVERSARY WONDER WOMEN AWARDS RESCHEDULED FOR TOY FAIR NEW YORK 2022. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues amid vaccine rollouts, the live event space is still on shaky ground with many organizations hitting the reset button with eyes on 2022. The latest move comes from Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT), which rescheduled its 30th Anniversary....

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 colleagues. Archives can be found HERE.

Kevin James Reeder, 64, of Champaign, IL died Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at home.  Kevin was proud to be a design educator and product designer. As a design educator, he was a professor at Stanford, Ohio State and Georgia Tech, finishing his career at the University of Illinois. He was the first professor to ever achieve tenure at Georgia Tech’s Industrial Design Department and for several years was ranked as a top design educator in the United States. As a product designer, he specialized in toy design and children’s anthropometrics, creating products for Discovery, Mattel and others. He holds several patents and his work is featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Peter Woods Toy World is sad to report that former Fence Club chairman and long time toy industry member Peter Woods passed away on 10th April. Peter died at home, surrounded by his family. He had suffered with declining health for the last nine months, and is survived by his wife Barbara and his three sons. The toy and licensing industries formed the backbone of Peter’s working life. From joining Disney in 1953, after working for both Warner Bros. and Republic Pictures, his career advanced through Ideal Toys, Western Publishing and Dekker, after which he worked on a freelance basis. Peter was chairman of the Fence Club in 1980, and is probably most remembered for setting up the annual golf tournament in 1979 in memory of Teddy Simmonds, who he knew well. At Disney, Peter’s boss, Eddie Davis, was one of the original members of the Fence Club, who founded the organisation with Teddy in 1960.

Terry Stephens Popular toy stalwart has passed away at the age of 85. Terry spent many years in the toy retail business, where he rose to become a director of C.T.S., Upper Thames Wholesalers and retail buying group Youngsters. Later in his career, Terry switched to the other side of the fence, where he spent his twilight toy trade years working on the sales side for Gibsons Games.

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Weekly Top Stories from Toy and Game Trade Magazines Worldwide . . . 

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

  1. TTPM Releases Coveted Spring 2021 Most Wanted List

  2. Jazwares Expands to Costumes with Marvel Deal

  3. 30th Anniversary Wonder Women Awards Rescheduled

  4. Squishmallows Rolls Out Hello Kitty and Friends Squad

  5. Toys for Tots & Good360 to Donate One Million Toys

  6. JAKKS Pacific & SEGA Renew Sonic Partnership

  7. Paul Caldera Joins Blue Plate Media Services 

  8. Stan Lee's Superhero Kindergarten Premieres April 23

  9. Petsafe Gears Up for Annual Contest to Fund Dog Parks

  10. Elinor Wonders Why Expands Global Reach

ToyWorld (UK)

1.    Bucking the trend…it’s the Friday Blog!

2.    Container rates increase sharply as Suez fallout continues

3.    Mattel unveils strong first quarter results

4.    Magic Box launches new vehicle concept with T-Racers

5.    Jazwares to enter the costume category

6.    Bandai unveils new Tamagotchi Pix

7.    Hammerson to reduce rent for retail tenants

8.    Canal teams up with influencers on its Studio Creator brand

9.    Harry Potter store set to open in New York

10.  Zapf speaks to kids about single-use plastic for World Earth Day

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture's (US)

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

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

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Greece Lightning Announced, New Edition of Galaxy Trucker
WizKids has announced a new racing game, Czech Games Edition will be releasing a new edition of Galaxy Trucker, and Lucky Duck Games is set to release Tranquility.

Video of the Week! 

With Baseball in Season...

Backyard Baseball was Never the Same After Wiffle Ball! | WTFF?

David A. and David N. Mullany invented Wiffle Ball and summers were changed forever. What could be more American than Wiffle Ball? Still made in the USA in Shelton, Conneticut, this is one of my absolute favorite playthings. Yet another father-son, summer time story of fantastic plastic.

This is the Wiffle Ball edition of Where's the Fun from?

Wiffle Ball.jpg

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher