the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is August 28 - September 4, 2020, Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted each day with newest articles at top of each news section. 

The previous week drops off each Friday when we send you highlights via email. 

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...

Happy Friday! 

For over a year, I've been writing the All-in-the-Family series for aNbMedia. I love our industry stories and am certain it all started with my toy printing press. I created hundreds of newsletters on that press when I was a kid. I'd love to hear your stories about how your toys and games influenced your life's work. I will put them in a story... or perhaps a new feature for the Bloom Report. We'll see where your stories take us. 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report! 

Mary

Holy plot twist, Batman!

 

We are living through quite the experience, am I right? We have had to adapt time and time again during the last 6 months, and that has been overwhelming for many of us. For me, the past 6 months have reminded me of the year before 6th grade when I decided to go to basketball camp. If you have ever gone to basketball camp as a novice, you might relate to that feeling of constantly being thrown balls that you need to catch and then wield down the court, the bouncing back and forth. The pivoting! Man, have I had to pivot these last few months!

 

We all have. So many things look different. Even the way we play, and play together.

 

My organization, the David L. Hoyt Education Foundation, is focused on helping people learn through play. Our mission is to support and encourage play-based, joyful learning. We’ve done some pretty cool stuff in the 5 years we have been in business. I could tell you about the time we took giant games to a school in rural Tanzania, or the day we set a Guinness World Record with Giant Word Winder at the Chicago Public Library, or how we’ve painted two giant word searches we installed out in the public for Chicagoans to enjoy. But I’m really excited about what’s next. Read More...

Matt Nuccio: “The other Italian family business” Design Edge - tBR Company of the Week

Matt Nuccio, 2019

I was fortunate to grow up in the toy business before it became the industry it is today. My father, Mark Nuccio, started his career as a paste-up mechanical artist working with Ideal Toys and Aurora before eventually becoming the vice president in charge of product development, packaging, and marketing at HG Toys. As a teenager, my parents started Design Edge out of the family garage on Long Island in New York. It was a family affair. My mother, in a leap of faith, left her art-teaching career behind to focus on illustration. My sister, at the time, a freshman at the School of Visual Arts took a semester off to help get Design Edge off the ground. I was a 14-year-old and drafted from day one. In the next few years, there would be no family vacations, as we would all sacrifice for the greater good that was Design Edge. …Or as we say, “the other Italian family business.”

In the late 1980s, early 90s, the toy industry was in a major transition. Our clients ranged from old school cigar-chomping “Toy Guys” to the new and cutting edge breakout companies like Toybiz, ToyMax, and JPI (soon to become Jakks Pacific).  Many of these companies worked out of the now-defunct International Toy Center (aka the Toy Building) located at the corner of 23rd Street and 5th Ave, across from the famous Flatiron in New York City. As a teenager, I was often asked to take the train and subway from Long Island to the Toy Building to deliver or pick up whatever was needed. This was NY’s Mayor Dinkins’ era. Crack was at its height, the subways were still covered with graffiti, and there was a chance of being mugged at seemingly every corner. And, while the city was gritty, the old cigar-chomping Toy Guys were grittier …and while these guys’ day-to-day business consisted of figuring out ways to screw everyone from the inventors to retailers and everyone in between out of money, they took to me and mentored me in ways that school or a corporate career never could. They broke the moving parts of the toy business down to their essentials: inventions, trends, manufacturing, sales. Read More...

Mark Nuccio, 1982

 

Financial & Legal News . . . 

Reliance Industries, owned by the Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is in talks with Amazon about selling a $20b stake in its retail arm, Reliance Retail Ventures. Reliance bought Hamleys toy store in May last year , in a deal worth nearly £70m, and announced a partnership with The Entertainer in January to bring to India a selection of action toys & figures, soft toys, art & craft sets, games & jigsaws, outdoor toys...

J.C. Penney on cusp of rescue deal with landlords. J.C. Penney Co Inc's landlords are nearing a deal to rescue the beleaguered department store chain from bankruptcy proceedings, averting a liquidation that would have threatened roughly 70,000 jobs and represented one of the most significant business collapses following the coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the matter said.

UK issues new Brexit guidance on manufactured goods. The UK government has issued new guidance for manufacturers, distributors and assessment bodies on placing manufactured goods on the UK and EU market at the end of the Brexit transition period. The guidance covers conformity assessment for manufactured goods including toys, electrical and electronic equipment, and personal protective equipment …

Amazon, which expects net sales between $87b and $93b in Q3, is hiking fees (in UK) so that sellers absorb the new tax. Amazon has said it will increase referral fees, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) fees, monthly FBA storage fees and Multichannel Fulfilment (MCF) fees by 2% in the UK to reflect the additional cost of a digital tax announced by the UK government. The online retailer, which has seen its sales and profits soar...

Indian toy industry to get a big push after PM Narendra Modi's digital strike against Chinese apps. New Delhi: After banning 200 Chinese mobile apps, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started taking steps to encourage the domestic toy industry by issuing Quality Control Order (QCO). The government has issued instructions for cluster development in various states and has also started providing the necessary...

(the above posted after September 4th)

Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime is cheaper and has gas discounts. The retail giant is offering free delivery from its 4,700 U.S. stores as it attempts to win over homebound consumers during the pandemic. Walmart said more than 160,000 items — including toys, electronics and groceries — will be eligible for free delivery under the new program.

Trump’s TikTok deal has hit a serious roadblock. TikTok’s high-profile search for a US buyer is hitting a roadblock after weeks of public negotiations and months of national security debates. A string of reports from Reuters, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal describes a growing stalemate over the algorithm behind TikTok’s For You page, arguably the most important piece of software the company has.

Canadian distributors merge. Two Montreal-based distributors are merging effective September 2, the companies announced, with changes in Canada but no impact on U.S. operations.  Game distributor Luma Games and toy and game distributor ILO307 will operate as ILO307 across both English and French-speaking Canada, and Luma Imports will continue to be the brand for the American market.

Rubie’s Costume Co. heads to the auction blockSubstantially all assets of Rubie’s Costume Co., which filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in April, are headed to the auction block. Qualified bids are being accepted through Sept. 16, with a Sale Hearing set to take place on Sept. 23 before the Honorable Alan S. Trust, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge.

Planeta Junior acquired a stake in ZAG Entertainment: interview to Ignacio Segura. Licensing International Italy interviewed Ignacio Segura, CEO of Planeta Junior. L.I. “You recently acquired a stake in ZAG Entertainment – the culmination of your excellent and longstanding relationship. How did this partnership come about?”

Sistema, Russia-China fund raise $281 mln from sale of toy retailer. Russian conglomerate Sistema said on Wednesday that it and the Russia-China Investment Fund had raised 20.7 billion roubles ($281 million) from the sale of 25% of shares in Russia’s biggest toy retailer Detsky Mir. The sale, which follows others by the partners this year and in 2019, sees them exit Detsky Mir entirely. It also makes Detsky Mir, which sells toys, baby food and other products, the first Russian company with a free float of 100%.

India’s toy industry can’t meet domestic demand, expectation... India’s toy industry – estimated to be worth just Rs 5,000 to 6,000 crore, making up less than 1% of the world market. It gets about 25% share of India’s toy market, the rest of it dominated by Chinese toys. If

you remove Made-in-China toys from the market, local manufacturers ..

Chinese 'copycats' of LEGO sentenced for copyright infringement. Nine people in Shanghai were sentenced up to six years in prison on Wednesday for infringing on the copyright of Danish toymaker LEGO, as China looks to take strict measures to protect intellectual property. The business' illegal turnover amounted to 330 million yuan ($48.31 million), Shanghai No.3 Intermediate People's Court said in their verdict.

The “Anti-Amazon” Alliance – Amazon has finally met its match. Amazon has finally met its match. And it’s all because of one simple reason: It finally has legitimate competition. Below, I’ll show you the three companies - what I call the "anti-Amazon" alliance - all coming for Amazon’s throat. All are rapidly stealing key parts of Amazon’s business. And all will prove to be much better investments in the coming years…

India: MSME ministry to support local toy industries. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will extend all possible help to local toy industries, said MSME minister Nitin Gadkari. The minister took to twitter on Sunday, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi batted for the local toy industry in his monthly radio program.

What does Walmart see in TikTok? Millions of young shoppers. Walmart may be the world’s largest retailer, but it has mostly failed in its efforts to break Amazon’s online dominance. Could TikTok, a fast-growing 3-year-old app filled with goofy videos, be the answer?

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .  

A cautious outlook for U.S. Toy Holiday sales . . . Amazon's explosive e-commerce growth could accelerate further.

(the above posted after September 4th)

Cloud gaming: Are game streaming services bad for the planet? 

Financial & Brokerage News . . . 

How will the market react to JAKKS Pacific, Inc. stock getting a bearish rating? . . . Hasbro stock gearing for a breakout here . . . Spin Master Corp. (TSE:TOY) Not Flying Under The Radar . . . Here's Why You Should Hold on to Hasbro (HAS) Stock Now . . . Hasbro vs Mattel: Which Toy Maker Is The Better Play Amid COVID-19?

Financial Reporting . . . 

Despite pandemic and its reboot, GameStop says it's ready for next-gen demand. Net sales for the three month period ending August 1, 2020 came in at $942 million for GameStop, down 26.7 percent year-over-year and complicated somewhat, according to GameStop, by the impending new console launches and store closures, either temporary due to COVID-19 or permanent due to its “optimization” plans. 

OnBuy’s ‘audacious Q4 marketing strategy’ sees £1m ITV deal and £5m for Q4 activity. The online marketplace, OnBuy, has detailed its most ‘audacious Q4 marketing strategy’ to date, having secured an £1m deal with ITV and set aside a further £5m marketing budget for Q4 this year. The move, it says, is part of a strategy to ‘massively expand its 8 million strong customer base and drive more sales for its sellers.’ 

(the above posted after September 4th)

LEGO sees first half sales and profits increases as Technic, Star Wars, Classic, and Harry Potter lead the charge. LEGO has also seen operating profit rise by 11 per cent compared to the same period last year, hitting DKr 3.9bn. This momentum, according to LEGO’s CEO Niels Christiansen has also continued into the first two months of the second half of the year, suggesting that the pandemic has made minimal...

UK: Online marketplace OnBuy sets new growth record of 24,000 per cent. OnBuy has revealed record growth figures of 24,000 per cent GMV growth for the end of this fiscal year. The firm has landed the impressive result just four years after first launching onto the scene. The latest figures cement OnBuy’s strong market position …

CMON chooses new auditorCMON Ltd. held an "Extraordinary General Meeting" of shareholders on August 27 and voted to appoint Zhonghui Anda CPA Limited as the company’s new auditor, one step toward a resumption in trading of the company’s stock.

Future Financial Reporting... 

Mattel Inc expected to announce Quarterly Sales of $1.46 billion. Wall Street brokerages expect Mattel Inc to announce $1.46 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Mattel posted sales of $1.48 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a negative year over year growth rate of 1.4%. The firm is expected to report its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, Nov...

$1.78 billion in sales expected for Hasbro, Inc. this quarterWall Street brokerages predict that Hasbro, Inc. will report $1.78 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Hasbro reported sales of $1.58 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 12.7%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, October 27th.

(the above posted after September 4th)

3 Reasons Target's and Walmart's growth will slow in the second half. The two retailers saw robust growth in their stores and even bigger growth for online sales, showing strength compared to Amazon. While the two big-box stores have thrived amid the coronavirus pandemic, there are reasons they'll likely see a pullback in growth over the next six months …

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . . 

The race for the Best Picture Oscar is changing. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new changes to the Best Picture Oscar nomination eligibility as part of its new inclusion standards in its Academy Aperture 2025 initiative. The new changes will be required in the Best Picture category beginning with the 96th Academy Awards, set to air in 2024. “The aperture must widen to reflect our diver...

Amazon's murky world of one-star reviews. Amazon's marketplace is being abused by independent sellers using one-star reviews to harm rivals, the BBC has been told. Newsnight spoke to a number of those affected who believe their sales have suffered as a consequence. A consumer rights champion now wants a UK watchdog to investigate further, as part of a probe into fake reviews that is already under way.

Amazon takes down a five-star fraud in the UK. Amazon’s top reviewers in the UK appear to have engaged in fraud, leaving thousands of five-star ratings in exchange for money or free products. The company took down 20,000 product reviews following an investigation by the Financial Times. Justin Fryer, the number one Amazon reviewer in the UK, left a five-star rating once every four hours on average in August...

Amazon unveils 2020 Toys We Love hot holiday toy list. The retail industry is placing increased focus on encouraging families to shop early and avoid crowds this holiday season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While big-box stores such as Walmart and Target have seen massive growth in e-commerce this year, Amazon remains the top player in that space and is making moves to get parents’ attention ahead of the holidays...

(the above posted after September 4th)

John Baulch from Toy Wolrd: Hope for the best… it’s the Friday Blog! Most people accepted a while ago that trade fairs were essentially off the menu for 2020, especially those events with an international visitor profile. The occasional, focused domestic show may yet survive (some suggest Deauville?), but in the main, toy community attention has switched to the fate of toy fairs in Q1 2021.

The September issue of Toy World magazine is out now. This issue includes a comprehensive feature on Collectible & Pocket Money toys, as well as the second part of Toy World’s special Show Off feature, this time focusing on independent retail suppliers. We also explore the changing nature of pre-Christmas marketing campaigns, as the lines between TV and everything else become increasingly blurred.

The secret of CoComelon: How one dad's hobby turned into America's most-watched YouTube channel. The brand makes an estimated $120m each year, according to the Wall Street Journal. CoComelon started out as a hobby for one Orange County, California couple fifteen years ago after they decided to make short animated videos as a way to entertain their sons.

Made in India toy brands that are on top of their game. From traditional Indian toys to innovative new board games, these toy makers are dishing out some top-notch stuff. To anyone asking if there are any Indian brands making toys that are fun, smart and sturdy, here are nine options to pick from …

Toys are building blocks—of culture as well as economy. In the early 1980s, my father’s colleague in the Indian Foreign Service CB Muthamma, the fiery Kodava who was the first woman to enter the civil services via examination gave me an unusual task. She wanted me to make some wooden building bricks that she wanted to present to her grand nephews and nieces. In her typically forthright way, she expressed anger at...

DC unmasks plans for ‘Batman Day’. DC has unveiled plans for the global celebration of Batman Day on Sept. 19. The celebration invites fans from around the world to participate in a wide variety of Batman-themed activities that honor the DC Superhero.

Chris James from Casual Games Revolution: News Flash: My Farm Shop Announced, 2021 Board Game Calendar, Pegasus Spiele has announced a new game, Scott King’s annual board game calendar Kickstarter has launched, and Hobby World has announced Furnace.
 

Remembering the toy industry's past . . . 

Teddy Bear Day: History and how to celebrate this day. Celebrated on September 9th consistently, Teddy Bear Day is an holiday in which individuals set time to recognize the special connection they have among themselves and their teddy bears. The teddy bear is one of the most famous toys for kids, and holds an extraordinary spot in numerous grown-ups hearts, as well.

Planet of the Apes from Milton Bradley (1974). Little did french author Pierre Boulle know his 1963 novel, La Planète des singes, would become the basis for a media franchise that would remain popular for decades. First came the 1968 American film adaptation featuring Charlton Heston, then a slew of merchandise that kept the adventure alive. One of the games it spawned is the Planet of the Apes board game released by...

(the above posted after September 4th)

Why retro toys like Barbie and Care Bears are flying off the shelves. Decades-old toy brands like Care Bears and Monopoly are flying off the shelves as parents turn to reliable hits from their own childhoods to keep their kids busy during the coronavirus, The Post has learned.

A brief history of online games. For most of human existence our ability to play together has been circumscribed by our physical connection with others in our immediate vicinity, a radiating circle of family, friends, and neighbors, spiced with an occasional get together with more …

100-year-old toys adorning Baroda palace restored.  Vadodara: Exquisitely carved and century-old wooden toys that were inspired by celebrated painter Raja Ravi Varma’s lithographs have been restored to their original form …

PlaytimeFun_540x250_BloomReport_Ad_2_SEL

Worldwide Licensing News . . .  

LEGO and Levi’s build new collection that turns fashion line into “a blank canvas for LEGO play”.  The worlds of fashion and toys have discovered an innovative way to combine through a new partnership between The LEGO Group and Levi’s and the introduction of the customisable baseplate, that will turn your pair of jeans “into a new blank canvas for LEGO play.” Exclusive to the collection, the collaboration...

Kellytoy expands Star Wars Squishmallows line with new characters. Kellytoy, a subsidiary of Jazwares’ dropped the news a short time ago in a galaxy not too far away that it would add Star Wars Squishmallows to its squad of huggable plush. The Toy Book exclusively revealed the first character, The Child Squishmallow, and now more huggable versions are joining in. In addition to The Child, families can take home their...

Playmobil’s Volkswagen line unites 2 classic German brands. Playmobil featuring Volkswagen (VW) will debut in January with a pair of iconic vehicles that are being presented as Playmobil miniatures for the first time. The VW Volkswagen T1 Camper Van will be joined by the VW Beetle, the classic family car that sold more than 21 million units to become VW’s best-selling model until the VW Golf surpassed it to take the top spot.

Wow! Stuff unveils the Peppa Pig Clever Car – a self-driving car with obstacle avoidance technology. Wow! Stuff is pushing the envelope of innovation in the licensed toy space once more, this time with the unveiling of the self-driving Peppa Pig car for pre-schoolers. Developed in partnership with Hasbro – the now owner of the eOne Peppa Pig IP – the Peppa Pig car features obstacle avoidance technology, meaning...

Xbox Series X launches on November 10th for $499. Microsoft is launching its Xbox Series X console on November 10th for $499. Preorders for the new console will begin on September 22nd, with the company also offering the Xbox Series X through its Xbox All Access program. Xbox All Access is a bundle that splits the cost of an Xbox console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and Xbox Live into monthly payments across 24 months.

Playmobil Playland: ‘Scooby-DOO!’ adventure in the Mystery Mansion PlaysetWelcome to the Playmobil Playland, where we take a peek inside those impressive blue boxes and see what treasures await within. Sometimes we’ll have step-by-step photos walking you through assembly, maybe we’ll discuss and review a particular set or theme, or maybe we’ll have an unboxing video. Playmobil’s newest addition...

Asmodee USA will release 'Peaky Blinders' board game into U.S. trade. Asmodee USA will release Peaky Blinders: Under New Management, a board game by Just Games, into U.S. trade on October 23. Peaky fans can now get a taste of Birmingham in the roaring twenties where the Shelby family battle other gangs for control of the city. Players can assume their own role in the gangster war, and accomplish missions to defeat...

WildBrain Spark to develop digital series based on Korean toy brand Super Binks. WildBrain Spark has secured a deal with the US-Korean production company Park Star Media to co-produce and launch a new digital superhero series, Super Binks. Originally created as a toy figurine range in Asia, Super Binks will now feature as a short form 2D animated series. WildBrain Spark will also handle the YouTube management...

Disguise debuts first-ever LEGO Star Wars Halloween costumesJakks Pacific‘s Disguise Inc. division is punching the hyperdrive to debut the first-ever line of LEGO Star Wars-inspired costumes, just in time for Halloween. The minifigure-style costumes will debut with Darth Vader and an Imperial Stormtrooper in kids sizes. Structured foam elements within each costume mimic the look of LEGO’s iconic minifigures.

WildBrain CPLG connects with new european partners for Line Friends. WildBrain CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies, has secured a raft of new deals in Europe on behalf of Line Friends’ brand Brown & Friends, featuring the brand’s signature characters Brown, Choco, Cony, Sally and others.

Games publisher Days of Wonder partners with Blizzard to launch Small World of Warcraft tabletop title. The board game publisher Days of Wonder has detailed the release of Small World of Warcraft, a new tabletop title that combines Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft universe with the mechanics of the game company’s Small World franchise.

Sony Pictures Consumer Products announces robust licensing program ahead of “The Boys” Season 2 premiere. Ahead of the highly-anticipated second season premiere of “The Boys” on September 4 on Amazon Prime Video, Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) is helping fans celebrate (or not celebrate) the ‘Supes’ with a robust line of consumer products offerings, including apparel, accessories, collectible toys...

Bing toy sales surge in UK as MV Sports and 8th Wonder join Golden Bear on licensing roster. Acamar Films’ hit pre-school series Bing has seen toy sales achieve huge growth at UK retail over the past year, with the NPD Group listing it within the top ten fastest growing toy licenses for the period of January to June 2020. The surge follows the launch the Golden Bear master toy line in 2019. Acamar Films is confident that...

Funko reveals 'Pop! Vinyl' figures featuring iconic Hasbro characters. Funko, Inc. revealed new Pop! Vinyl figures, featuring characters from iconic Hasbro game lines, for release in October. This new wave of Pop! Vinyls showcase true pop culture icons from the gaming and toy world. From classic board games, the wave will have Cavity Sam from Operation, Rock'Em Sock'Em Robot (Red) and Rock'Em Sock'Em Robot (Blue)...

(the above posted after September 4th)

Playmobil rolls out classic Volkswagen. Playmobil and Volkswagen (VW) have entered into a new licensing agreement for an iconic ride.

The Playmobil VW Volkswagen T1 Camper Van will arrive at retail in January. The famed German toymaker took to Facebook and Twitter for the reveal …

K-Swiss and Magic the Gathering collaborate for a uniquely magical reimagination of the Gstadd ’86: Magic. K-Swiss, the American heritage tennis brand, is proud to announce a legendary collaboration with collectible and digital collectible card game, Magic The Gathering. Introducing Magic: The Gathering x K-Swiss a limited edition sneaker …

Zuru teams with Fanbytes to bring 5 Surprise Mini Brands to the UK through TikTok campaign. The global toy firm Zuru is bringing miniature versions of favourite households brand to the UK and Ireland in the form of 5 Surprise Mini Brands, a range that has already launched to much success in the US and Canada. Zuru has now partnered with the Gen Z marketing experts Fanbytes to devise a three-phased Tik Tok campaign …

SkyRocket to bring Wow! Stuff’s Printable Face Masks to the U.S.. Skyrocket inked a deal with Wow! Stuff to bring its customizable, at-home printable face masks to the U.S. market. Under the new agreement, Skyrocket will exclusively market and distribute The Printable Face Mask under the SnapStyle brand in the U.S. Wow! Stuff launched the brand as The Printable Mask Co. in the UK earlier this month.

Miraculous plots toy shelf takeover. Ladybug and Cat Noir may be heroes, but at retail level, the crime-fighting duo are ready for supervillain-style world domination. ZAG has named new licensing partners and inked several renewals across multiple territories for its flagship brand Miraculous Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.

Wildbrain: Spark and Funrise Toys team up on digital-first content strategy for launch of new doll brand Bff Bright Fairy Friends. WildBrain Spark, the premium kids and family AVOD network and studio, has inked a deal with Funrise Toys to support the launch of the collectible doll brand BFF Bright Fairy Friends with a digital-first content strategy. With Funrise Toys, WildBrain Spark is producing over...

Vivid partners with pocket.watch to bring YouTube sensation Love, Diana toys and accessories to the UK. Vivid has partnered with the licensing and merchandising specialist, pocket.watch for the launch of a new toy line inspired by the latest YouTube sensation, Kids Diana Show. According to Tubefilter, the channel totals 5bn views a month across the globe. To support the global launch of the Kids Diana Show...

Hasbro Consumer Products Adds eOne Brands to WildBrain CPLG’s Representation in Benelux. After working with WildBrain CPLG Benelux since January 1, 2020, Hasbro is expanding the licensing agency’s rights to include the iconic eOne brands, following the recent integration of Hasbro and eOne.

Sambro partners with ViacomCBS and Pinkfong to launch Baby Shark arts & crafts and outdoor lines. Sambro International has detailed its new partnership with ViacomCBS Consumer Products and Pinkfong to produce and launch a range of children’s arts and crafts, novelty, and outdoor products inspired by the Baby Shark brand. The new range will include painting sets, doughs, and inflatable play products, and is...

Moose Toys, Warner Bros. team up for ‘Space Jam,’ ‘Tom & Jerry’ toys. Moose Toys inked a new licensing deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create toys based on the Looney Tunes franchise and two upcoming feature films. Under the new deal, Moose will produce action figures, collectibles, plush, and more based on Space Jam: A New Legacy and Tom and Jerry.

Zuru teams up with Kraft Heinz for 5 Surprise Mini Brands. Take a trip to the grocery store with ZURU‘s latest expansion for 5 Surprise Mini Brands with collectible versions of Kraft Heinz products. 5 Surprise Mini Brands Series 2 will feature more than 120 of Kraft Heinz’s most popular consumer products in the form of miniature, collectible toys.

Spotify, Riot Games press play for ‘League of Legends’. Spotify has officially teamed up with Riot Games for its first-ever esports partnership centered around “League of Legends.” The deal sees Spotify and Riot Games, the developer behind “League of Legends,” join forces for a first-of-its-kind multiyear agreement.

The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda Joins the Squishmallows SquadKellytoy — a subsidiary of Jazwares — entered into a new licensing deal with Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Co. to bring The Child (aka Baby Yoda) into its popular collection of soft, plush characters. Fans looking to add the lovable tike from a galaxy far, far away to their collections will find “the asset” exclusively at Walgreens stores in the U.S.

Mattel’s Hot Wheels reignites partnership with YouTube’s The F2. Hot Wheels has renewed its partnership with the YouTube superstars F2 Freestylers – the hosts of the biggest football YouTube platform in the world – to create a series of head to head challenges that merge football freestyling and the collectable car brand. Mattel first procured the partnership back in 2019.

Target launches Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Trading Outpost collection with mixed results. Last month Disney Parks announced a new partnership with American big-box store chain Target, wherein the retailer would be carrying an assortment of new and repackaged merchandise inspired by the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge themed lands under the “Trading Outpost” branding. It launched at Target stores nationwide...

Disney continues to capitalize on Galaxy’s Edge with games, merchandise, and moreWhen Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened at Disney DIS +0.5%land and Walt Disney World DIS +0.5% fans of the Star Wars franchise anxiously waited for hours to get into the land, pilot the Millennium Falcon, and drink Blue Milk. Now, a year after it debuted, Disney continues to capitalize on the success of the new land with in-world games...

People . . . 

Ian Edmunds leaves Toymaster. Ian has left after more than 20 years with the buying group. In an email to members, Chris Blatcher, chairman of the buying group, said: “I am writing to inform you that Ian Edmunds, managing director of Toymaster Ltd, has today left the company by mutual consent. I am sure that Toymaster members, suppliers and staff will join me in thanking Ian for over 20 years of dedicated service to the group and the toy industry in general.

Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Bruce Canner, president of sales, North America at Nikko Toys. Canner’s long career path includes stops at Remco, Tyco, Fisher-Price, Shelcore, Hit Toy, and Toy State before joining the relaunched Nikko last year. On the show, Canner and Albritton finally put to rest the debate on how to pronounce “Nikko” — the name behind some of the fastest RC cars on the market...

ZAG appoints MGA’s Lisa K Foster to vice president of licensing, North America. The announcement was made by Julian Zag, EVP, of global operations at the firm. In her new role, Foster will report directly to Kirk Bloomgarden, the company’s SVP of global licensing, and will work alongside Rebekah Belzer in her own new position as VP, new business and retail development. Both Foster and Belzer will work to develop...

David Norman (Goliath, Pressman Toy and JAX) interviewed by Thrive Global's Penny Bauder. Every year at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair my company participates in the Young Inventor Challenge. This is where we select great games made by kids and produce the best ones. So far, we have brought games made by three winners to the market. The last one, Betch Can’t! was invented by the kids of one of my friendly competitors in the industry. Of course, I had no idea! We just placed the game in Target and I expect it to be a hit. Strange to get a hit product from your competitor.

(the above posted after September 4th)

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton speaks with toy industry veteran Nancy Zwiers. Zwiers gained wide experience managing brands at Procter & Gamble before becoming the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Mattel for Barbie. She then founded the brand-building firm Funosophy before becoming executive vice president and CMO at Spin Master...

Ramsey Naito to lead Nickelodeon Animation. The former EVP of current series and development has been promoted to president. In this new role, she will oversee the network’s animation content across all formats and platforms, spanning linear, digital, TV movies, theatrical motion pictures and SVOD. Meanwhile, Nick India and International have partnered on their first co-pro.

Jane Ritson-Parsons has joined the board of directors of Flat River Group, the company announced.  Ritson-Parsons spent 25 years in management positions at Hasbro, capped with 10 years as Group Executive, Global Brand Marketing, a role in which she transformed multiple global brand marketing functions into one integrated global organization.  She was also President, Licensing at HIT Entertainment from 1989...

Emile Kalis on Moving Back to the Netherlands and More! Recently I moved back from the Seattle area to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, with my wife Alice and my two sons Maas and Cameron. Back in 2014 Identity Games started the distribution of Find It games in the US, out of our small office. The Find It office was in Monroe, close to Seattle, that’s why we ended up over there. The idea was to create new brands around...

ERIC LANG STEPS DOWN FROM HIS EXEC. ROLE AT CMON TO FOCUS ON DESIGN AND ACTIVISM. fter an incredible run in the executive ranks of CMON LTD, Eric M. Lang is stepping down from his day-to-day management role, making room in his schedule to focus on freelance game design as well as his growing involvement with activism. “The last three years have been fantastic, both professionally and personally," commented Eric. "Over the past few months, we drafted a long-term release plan with some truly great titles, which will continue to bear fruit...

Allen Wolf - You’re Pulling My Leg! I’m a game creator and also an author and a filmmaker. I featured my You’re Pulling My Leg! game prominently in my first movie, In My Sleep, which is now streaming on Amazon. I also featured the game in my first novel, Hooked, that will be released as a movie when the pandemic is over. I love that I can work in multiple mediums, and I’ve been able to feature my games in the...

Casey Karls, Co-Pilot of Wilder Games on Impractical Jokers and More! What advice can you give to young entrepreneurs who are working on a new toy or game idea? More than anything, you need to be relentless. Don't get caught up in the obstacles in front of you. You have to find a way around them. Most things aren't impossible, listen to yourself and carry on.

Stonemaier takes distribution brokerage in-house. Stonemaier Games is taking distribution brokerage, which it formerly outsourced to fellow St. Louis-based game company Greater than Games, in house. To handle the new work, Stonemaier is hiring former Greater than Game Account Manager Alex Schmidt (who handled the Stonemaier account for GTG) as Director of Sales.

Heather Welch - International Branding, Development and Play, Play, Play.  How did you get started in the industry? I’m what you would call a global citizen. Born in Australia, I was working as a business management teacher in Singapore before I joined Edx Education in Dubai. Interesting about this opportunity was the growth factor. Outside of the U.S., the types of playthings Edx Education offers were only available...

Harrison Brooks on ElevatorUp: Kid-invented, Kid-designed, Kid-marketed, Kid-shipped and Kid-loved! It is easy to learn, moves at a fast pace, and never gets old. The goal is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards. Higher Floor Cards can be played on top of lower floors. As the elevator rises to the Penthouse, special cards can make players Stuck, send you back Down to the Lobby, have the Doors Closed on you...

Companies . . . 

LEGO unveils the Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina made up of over 3,000 bricks and 21 minifigures. The LEGO Group has detailed the launch of its Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina building set, an extension of its popular LEGO Star Wars range that boasts a whopping more than 3,000 pieces and brings to life one of the most iconic locations from the original Star Wars trilogy. The new construction kit gives LEGO fans the chance to 

Moose Toys launches Oh! My GIF: GIFs Gone Live app to extend the Oh! My GIF experience. Toy company, Moose Toys, has launched the Oh! My GIF: GIFs Gone Live app, a  digital tool that allows consumers to extend their experience with the Oh! My GIF animated figurines (GIFbits) brand, which recreates internet GIFs, memes and stickers in toy form. Using augmented reality (AR) technology, the GIFs Gone Live app brings...

Warcradle Studios to launch ‘Bill & Ted’ gameWarcradle Studios have announced “Bill & Ted’s Riff In Time,” the official board game inspired by the “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” film franchise, in partnership with Creative Licensing. The new board game is set in the “Bill & Ted” universe and follows the duo as they set off through their next quest through time.

Delays on upcoming 'Magic: The Gathering' releases. Wizards of the Coast has announced additional delays on upcoming Magic: The Gathering releases due to "production issues." Shipments of Zendikar Rising, due for release on September 25, will arrive in two waves, the company said.  The first wave will arrive for the intended release date; a second wave will arrive in stores 7 to 10 days after launch.

Days of Wonder unleashes ‘Small World of Warcraft’. Days of Wonder is excited to announce the release of “Small World of Warcraft” in stores and online, including the Blizzard Gear Store. “Small World of Warcraft” is a new board game combining the “Small World” game mechanics with Blizzard Entertainment’s “Warcraft” universe. The game is set on Blizzard’s fantasy world of Azeroth, where the races of the Alliance and the...

Explore Peter Pan's enchanted isle in 'Neverland: A Fantasy Role-Playing Game Setting'. Andrews McMeel Publishing announced Neverland: A Fantasy Role-Playing Game Setting, designed by Andrew Kolb, for release on October 6. Take a quick flight to the world of Peter Pan and the lost boys and girls in this new roleplaying setting. Players can craft their own fantasy world with pirates, mermaids, and all sorts of fantasy fairy...

Steamforged Games unleashes 'Animal Adventures RPG Starter Set'Steamforged Games announced Animal Adventures RPG Starter Set, a new roleplaying game beginner set, for release on November 9. Following up on the success of Dungeons & Doggies and Cats & Catacombs, SFG introduces the Animal Adventures RPG Starter Set. It is a set is for the true beginner who wants to dive into spellbinding adventures with cats...

VTech expands baby, infant, toddler and Go! Go! Smart Wheels lines with delightful additions. VTech announced the availability of innovative new additions to its award-winning baby, infant and toddler collection and Go! Go! Smart Wheels line. The interactive new toys encourage play and discovery at home, offering children engaging play experiences.

Mattel brings home a fan-favorite Star Wars character. When Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker debuted last year, fans were quick to dub Babu Frik, a tiny, but highly skilled, droidsmith, as the movie’s true star. Mattel has released a plush version of the fan-favorite character, exclusively available to preorder from target.com. This 9-inch version of the character features a plush body and a sculpted vinyl head. 

McFarlane Toys' Teen Titans Cyborg figure is liveMcFarlane Toys continues to tear through the lineup of figures that they debuted at San Diego Comic-Con / Comic-Con@Home back in July with the release of the 7-inch Cyborg figure from the 2003 Teen Titans animated series. The figure includes an interchangeable hand, sonic cannon, base, and a collectible art card. Pre-orders for the figure are live here on Amazon for...

Kids’ audio system Tonies adds Disney’s Frozen, Cinderella, Toy Story and Finding Nemo to the fold. The children’s audio system Tonies has added a slate of Disney and Pixar characters to its lineup of licensed character Tonies, welcoming children’s favourites Frozen, Cinderella, Toy Story and Finding Nemo to the fold. The new characters will join the portfolio in October and November this year ahead of what the firm’s...

Management of Avalon Hill board game brand will move from Wizards of the Coast to Hasbro. Wizards of the Coast announced that the management of the Avalon Hill board game brand will move to their parent company Hasbro in January. Avalon Hill has been a quiet brand under WotC management for a while now, producing an average of one to two games per year since 2016. This brand encompasses evergreen titles...

Goliath’s Superthings blast into Meijer and Fred Meyer stores. Goliath’s SuperThings are expanding their presence in the U.S. The new range of miniature collectibles are everyday items that are transformed into superheroes and supervillains. Globally, SuperThings are known as SuperZings, which have already become an international hit. SuperZings is the No. 1 boys action figure line in Spain, and is the No. 2 collectible...

Mattel issues new Barbie doll to mark Day of the Dead. With Day of the Dead looming, toy-maker Mattel has announced the release of the 2020 version of Day of the Dead Barbie after last year’s debut edition sold out. The dolls and their clothing are exquisitely crafted, with an attention to detail that far surpasses that of a normal Barbie doll. And so does the price. These collectors’ editions are designed for adults...

Steamforged Games details 'Devil May Cry: The Bloody Palace' expansions. Steamforged Games Ltd. will release The Walking Arsenal, Devil Trigger, and The Alpha & The Omega expansions for Devil May Cry: The Bloody Palace, on October 26. The Walking Arsenal adds new enemies such as the Hell Caina, Pyrobat, and Hellbat for Devil Hunters to slay.  Players will be able to play as the popular Lady and take on the...

Games Workshop releases Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Lumineth Ream-Lords Collection and Battletome: Lumineth Realm-Lords. Games Workshop will release the Lumineth Ream-lords Collection and Battletome: Lumineth Realm-lords, miniatures and rulebook for use with Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, for release September 12. The Lumineth Ream-lords Collection was previewed earlier in the year at the Las... 

Wizards of the Coast to offer double the product ordered on select Magic: The Gathering Secret Lair drops for WPN Premium stores. Wizards of the Coast is offering double the product on select Magic the Gathering: Secret Lair drops to WPN Premium stores in return for accurate, on-time POS data. WotC has been adding new perks for its WPN Premium stores in 2020 as well as adapting the program to the...

Toys R Us restoring controversial LOL dolls to UAE shelves. Following an outcry from UAE parents regarding the inappropriate nature of markings on some LOL Surprise! Dolls, Toys R Us, the distributor for LOL across the MENA region, took the decision to remove the dolls from their shelves. However, after a thorough investigation of the LOL dolls sent to the region, Toys R Us says it is now putting them back out into...

The Flash races Red Death in this McFarlane Toys two-pack. McFarlane Toys continues their journey into the Dark Multiverse with another figure release. We have seen this set announced before but now pre-orders are here and full figure details have arrived. The Flash and Red Death are ready to race into action with this special two-pack that included the McFarlane Toys debut of Batman Earth -52. 

MGA Entertainment opens new offices in France, Italy, and Spain as toy firm sees continued international growth. MGA Entertainment has opened new offices in France, Italy, and Spain in a move that will see the global toy company assume direct representation and sales for its entire portfolio of products in Southern Europe. The move is part of the company’s ongoing mission to maintain its position as one of the...

Step2 expands U.S. manufacturing operations. The Step2 Co. is expanding its manufacturing base with its acquisition of manufacturing, distribution, and shipping assets for its new facility in Decatur, Georgia. Step2’s Decatur location opened this summer in an effort to meet increasing demand for the Ohio-based company’s signature line of rotationally molded toys and home products.

NINTENDO REVEALS SUPER MARIO 35TH ANNIVERSARY GAMES. Velan Studios and Nintendo revealed Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit today — one of many games announced at the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct Event — watch it below. With the mixed-reality game, players can turn any living space into the next great circuit. Players design and construct the routes in the real world and then race the digital...

Hasbro announced Guess Who? Hometown Helpers, a game that celebrates healthcare workers, first responders and everyday heroes that have helped foster strength and community during the global health pandemic. Available for pre-order now  It is a new take on the family-friendly classic game that shines a light on essential careers, including Mom, Dad, Firefighter, Teacher, Nurse, Mail Carrier, Police Officer, Doctor 

(the above posted after September 4th)

LEGO on track to open 120 new retail stores this year. The company has already opened a total of 46 retail stores in the first half of the year, of which 30 were in China. The LEGO Group CEO Niels Christiansen said: “While retail has been transformed during the past six months, we continue to see great opportunity for an omnichannel model. “We will continue to invest in upgrading our e-commerce capabilities to support...

Goliath Games Launches SuperThings This Month. Goliath wants superkids everywhere to get ready for the launch of SuperThings in Meijer and Fred Meyer locations this month! The leading international toy has been taking over the US, and SuperThings are searching for more superkids to join them in their quest! The small collectibles are designed like everyday objects, transformed into superheroes and supervillains!

Walmart changes toy testing routine, virtual testing is the new normal. Major retailer Walmart Inc has indicated it will be changing its annual toy testing routine as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new testing model that will be adopted will now take place virtually. Annually, Walmart usually gathers a group of kids at a conference center near its Arkansas headquarters to try out a broad collection of toys …

Crayola and Suzy explore how parents plan to navigate the 2020-2021 school year amid COVID-19 concerns. Suzy, a leading real-time consumer insights platform that provides “actionable insights at the speed of culture,” today announced findings from their most recent report that asked parents of school-aged children nationwide how they will undertake the new 2qaz2020-2021 school year during the COVID-19 ...

SmartMax launches latest expansion to its best-selling My First range. The award-winning pre-school magnetic construction sets brand, SmartMax, is expanding its My First collection with the launch of three new sets this summer. Joining the ever-growing line-up this season is the My First Vehicles, Animals, and Sounds & Senses, each designed for kids aged one to five.

Jakks Pacific debuts first Apex Legends action figure squad. Jakks Pacific is entering the battle royale with its first wave of 6-inch action figures inspired by Apex Legends. The reveal follows the news that the toymaker had inked a multiyear global licensing deal with Electronic Arts (EA) to become the master toy partner for the popular free-to-play game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Origin for PC.

Expand 'Marvel Vs System 2pcg' X-Men and Brotherhood Of Mutants teams with 'Freedom Force'. Upper Deck Entertainment will release Freedom Force, a new expansion for Marvel Vs. System 2PCG, for release on September 16. This is the second issue of the Omega Level Arc which was originally teased alongside Futures Past in August.

Classic Films Jigsaw Puzzles from Firebox. A new puzzle series from online retailer Firebox harkens back to vintage movie nights form the 1980s/90s. The initial set of puzzles consists of three iconic movies: The Breakfast Club, E.T., and Jaws. Each puzzle is 500-pieces and comes boxed in retro-styled VHS tape packaging, complete with a Blockbuster video logo.

US toy giant Walmart reveals its own top toy picks for Christmas 2020. The list, understandably features a large portion of Walmart exclusives, including lines from LEGO, Mattel, and Ryan’s World, but manages to span a spectrum of leading licenses, tech toys, interactive favourites, surprise toys, and those that promote screen-free play.

Walmart to allow virtual toy shopping for kids this Holiday Season. Walmart is letting kids to shop for their favorite toys virtually this holiday season, while also allowing them to virtually unbox, test and play with this season's hottest toys without leaving home, before placing an order. Kids can play and engage with hundreds of toys virtually from the aisles of Walmart starting today using the Walmart Wonder Lab …

Pikachu 'WHO are YOU?' toys announced, launching Fall 2020 in Japan. Sega Toys Co., Ltd. has announced Pikachu Scruff-a-Luv WHO are YOU? toys, set for release in Japan sometime during Fall 2020. Priced at ¥3800 (+ tax), soaking these fluffy round plushies in water reveals exactly who the creature is!

Toynamics kicks-starts Skip Hop distribution with retailer marketing support. Toynamics has begun its exclusive distribution of Skip Hop products to retailers across the UK and Ireland, delivering the pre-school brand’s products across seven categories including changing bags, on-the-go accessories, bath time, nursery gear, playtime, baby gyms, and the zoo toddler essentials.

Wizards of the Coast drops 'Magic: the Gathering's' release schedule for 2021.Wizards of the Coast revealed its 2021 Magic: The Gathering release schedule which will feature a Dungeons & Dragons crossover set. The 2021 release schedule features a few surprises, and the return of popular product lines to the Magic brand.

Dark Knights from McFarlane Toys invade in time for the holiday season. At the beginning of this year, the first wave of the DC Multiverse figures from McFarlane Toys were released. Last month during McFarlaneCon, the company’s own virtual event, McFarlane Toys previewed future figures for the DC Multiverse line that included the Dark Knights, twisted nightmare versions of Batman that debuted during the Dark Nights …

Bandai Namco announces worldwide release of Pac-Man 40th Anniversary jacket. Bandai Namco recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man, which was initially released in July 1980. The company has continued to roll out various anniversary merchandise to celebrate the long-running maze chase game series.

Sega Still Has Big Sonic the Hedgehog Announcements to Share. Sega has confirmed that a new Sonic game is in development, and it was assumed that it was going to be announced earlier this year. While that didn’t happen, Sega has stated that it still has big news to share, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to share it.

Hasbro Announces MarvelLegends Retro Collection Dr. Doom. With over 80 years of comic book and movie history, Marvel has become a cornerstone of fan collections around the world. With the Marvel Vintage X-Men Collection, fan favorite Marvel Comic Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe characters are designed with premium detail and articulation for posing and display in collections.

Pegasus Spiele unleashes 'Armata Strigoi'. Pegasus Spiele announced Armata Strigoi, a cooperative board game, for release on September 18. In Armata Strigoi , war between vampires and werewolves is arriving at a pivotal point, The last Vampire Master and his apprentice are hiding out in a fortress protected by undead creatures …

Bezier Games announces 'Silver Dagger'. Bezier Games announced Silver Dagger, the fourth stand-alone game in the Silver card game series, will be heading to retail this October. Silver Dagger adds 14 new roles and abilities to gameplay. It also adds new cards to help players protect their village …

The Pokemon Company International reveals 'Sword & Shield: Vivid Voltage'. The Pokemon Company International revealed Sword & Shield: Vivid Voltage, the latest expansion for the Pokemon Trading Card Game, for release on November 13. Sword & Shield: Vivid Voltage features recently discovered Mythical Pokemon Zarude as well as other highly-collectible cards such as Pikachu VMAX, Orbeetle VMAX, and Coalossal...

Moose Toys underlines mission to ‘keep ahead of the innovation curve’ with latest Christmas picks. Moose Toys is keeping ‘ahead of the innovation and design curve’ this season, as it unwraps a trio of new launches in the youth electronics and fashion dolls sectors. Squeakee the Balloon Dog, Gotta Go Flamingo and the fashion doll line FailFix are each tipped to be big numbers for the global toymaker this Christmas …

Games Workshop announces final expansion for 'Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress'. Games Workshop announced Ascension, the final expansion pack for Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress, for release on September 1.This last expansion for Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress introduces Guardian Drones as hostile enemies and adds a fresh challenge to The Quest.

Celebrate Power Rangers Day with Morphenomenal My Little Pony Crossover! In celebration of Power Rangers Day, this past Friday, Hasbro is releasing the latest in its My Little Pony Crossover Collection ponyverse – the Morphin Pink Pony!  The 4.5 inch figure combines the retro My Little Pony form with the design of the Power Rangers’ Mighty Morphin Pink Ranger. 

LeapFrog debuts new and preschool learning toys nationwide. LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. revealed the accessibility of innovative new additions to its award-winning baby and preschool collection. LeapFrog’s interesting, instructional toys encourage a kid’s natural interest and love of finding out with curriculum-based content that makes learning amazing, with innovative intros consisting of an interactive puppy, multiling...

LEGO’s New Harry Potter Diagon Alley set features all of the iconic shops. LEGO’s newest Harry Potter set heads straight into the iconic wizarding world location of Diagon Alley with more than 5,500 pieces of buildable magic. It includes all of the must-visit shops, such as Ollivanders, Flourish & Blotts, and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.

Iello USA reveals 'Zombie Teenz Evolution'. Iello USA revealed Zombie Teenz Evolution, a sequel board game to Zombie Kidz Evolution by Scorpion Masque (see "IELLO Fall Game Round-Up"), for release on November 12. Zombies are terrorizing the town, and a few teens have been charged with finding four ingredients that can create an antidote which will turn the zombies back to people.

Alias celebrates its 30th anniversary. Tactic Games is celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of its star titles, Alias. Created at a time when family party games were still far and few between in Finland, the title quickly became a hit and remains popular to this day. The game challenges players to explain words without using the word being explained, as their teammates try to guess and many words as they can in 60 seconds. 

Lion Rampant Imports inks distribution deal with Bananagrams. Lion Rampant Imports announced that it has inked an agreement with Bananagrams Inc. for the non-exclusive Canada-wide distribution rights to their full catalogue of tabletop games. This deal gives Lion Rampant the ability to offer the entire Bananagrams, Inc. portfolio to its network of Canadian toy and hobby retailers.

Modiphius Entertainment announces two new 'The Elder Scrolls' miniature packs. Modiphius Entertainment announced The Elder Scrolls Call to Arms Adventurer Followers and The Elder Scrolls Call to Arms Adventurer Allies, two new miniature packs, for release in September. Some of the most recognizable characters in Skyrim are finally coming to The Elder Scrolls Call to Arms miniatures game.

Lucky Duck launches 'Chronicles Of Crime - The Millennium Series'. Lucky Duck Games is taking its app-driven crime solving game Chronicles of Crime through a millennium-long tour of time starting with Chronicles of Crime: 1400, releasing in November. In Chronicles of Crime:  1400, the players collectively take up the role of Abelard Lavel, a Parisian knight living in the 15th Century who has the gift of prophesy.

Nintendo's next Mario Kart title is a mixed reality racer set in your living room. Determined to prove that we aren't in fact living in the worst timeline, Nintendo has just announced Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, a mixed reality Switch title that lets players build and race around real-world circuits using remote control karts. The game uses camera-enabled physical karts and course gate markers to allow players to construct...

Live on a farm without leaving the house in 'My Farm Shop'. Pegasus Spiele will release My Farm Shop, a family board game, for release in 2020. In My Farm Shop, players can simulate the farm life experience.

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

David Beckham's Guild Esports to float on London stock market. An e-sports company in which David Beckham owns a significant stake is seeking to raise £20m by listing its shares on the London Stock Exchange. Guild Esports will be the first in the UK to offer fans the chance to put money into backing its teams of gamers. The company plans to field teams in the global online games Fortnite, CS:GO, Rocket League and Fifa.

Epic Games accounts won’t be able to use Apple’s sign-in system as soon as September 11th. Apple’s “Sign In with Apple” login system will no longer work with Epic Games accounts as soon as September 11th, Epic said today. The new restriction is another casualty of Apple and Epic’s ongoing spat. If you currently use “Sign In with Apple” for your Epic account, Epic says you’ll need to update your account with new login...

NFL Superstars take a run in Subway Surfers. For the first time, NFL players will appear as playable characters in Subway Surfers through a new group licensing partnership, it was announced today by SYBO Games, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and OneTeam Partners (OneTeam). The endless runner mobile game crossed three billion downloads worldwide in August and was the No.1 most downloaded...

No More Robots and Game Devs of Color Expo launch $75,000 grant program. Descenders publisher No More Robots and the Game Devs of Color Expo (GDoC Expo) have joined forces to launch a $75,000 grant program. The program will award five grants worth $15,000 to "exceptional developers of color," who will also receive guidance and mentoring.

Fortnite special edition Nintendo Switch announced for Europe. Nintendo is releasing a new Fortnite-themed special edition Switch next month, via NintendoLife. The bundle includes yellow and blue Joy-Cons — the latter with the Battle Bus etched around the home button — and a dock that features various well-known Fortnite skins. The Switch tablet itself also has characters on the back. 

Assassin's Creed Valhalla bumps up release date to match next-gen Xbox launch. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is arriving a week earlier than previously announced on most platforms. Ubisoft announced that Valhalla, once slated for a November 17 launch, will now release on the recently-revealed Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X release date of November 10.

A closer look at Nvidia’s new RTX 3080. Nvidia is promising big things with the GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. “Twice the performance” of the RTX 2080 is perhaps the biggest claim of them all, with pledges of a PC gaming breakthrough. While we’re still putting the RTX 3080 through its paces, here’s a closer look at what the actual hardware looks like.

AMD’s next-generation Zen 3 CPUs and Radeon RX 6000 ‘Big Navi’ GPU will be revealed next month. Last week, Nvidia unveiled the $699 RTX 3080, which promises double the performance of the RTX 2080 for the same price when it releases next Thursday. Perhaps you’re already sold on that upgrade, but there is one reason you might want to wait: AMD will likely answer with its own competitor to the RTX 3000 series...

Apple is now seeking damages from Epic Games over breach of contractApple isn’t sitting idly by as the legal battle between it and Epic Games continues to gain momentum. The iPhone maker has now filed counterclaims against Epic Games accusing the company of breach of contract and asking the court to award Apple damages due to that alleged transgression. The exact size of those damages is unknown currently …

Nintendo boosting Switch production to meet consumer demand. Nintendo is increasing Switch production to 30 million units for the current fiscal year, according to a report from Bloomberg. People familiar with Nintendo's strategy claim the company is struggling to keep up with consumer demand despite raising production orders to 25 million units in August.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time demo will be available next week for those who pre-order the gameDeveloper Toys For Bob has revealed that those players who pre-order their digital copy of Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time will get access to the game's demo, which will become available next week. The announcement was made in a recent episode of the PlayStation Underground, and more information...

Xbox Game Pass is adding EA’s Play subscription service at no extra cost. Microsoft’s Netflix-like subscription service is getting a bit bigger. Today, the company announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Game Pass for PC subscribers will soon get an EA Play membership at no additional charge. Essentially, this means that if you shell out for Game Pass Ultimate or on PC, your subscription will also include access...

Google distances itself from Epic versus Apple legal dispute. Google is trying to distance itself from the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple. As judges attempt to determine whether Epic's dispute with Google is related to the Fortnite maker's other dispute with Apple, Google has advised the two cases "should not be related."

Epic is attempting to have Fortnite reinstated on the App Store. Epic Games will attempt to have Fortnite reinstated on the App Store by filling a preliminary injunction against Apple on September 28, 2020. It's the latest maneuver in an ongoing legal dispute between Epic and Apple, which began when Epic added an unsanctioned payment method to Fortnite on iOS, prompting Apple to remove the title from its marketplace for breaching platform guidelines.

Xbox Series S: Microsoft confirms price and release date. Microsoft has confirmed that it will release a second next-generation console after a leak prompted it to unveil the Xbox Series S. It said the machine would be the "smallest Xbox ever" when released on 10 November in the US. The machine is set to cost £250/$299/€249. It is £50 more than the lowest-priced version of the firm's existing Xbox One range. 

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a new Zelda action game for the Switch. The next Legend of Zelda adventure is coming very soon. Today, Nintendo revealed a new title called Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which will launch on the Switch this year. The game, which is being developed by Koei Tecmo, looks to be a successor of sorts to the original Hyrule Warriors from 2014. That game combined the massive battles...

PUBG cuts video game ties with Tencent in India after ban. The maker of the hit video game PlayerUnknown's Battleground (PUBG) has cut ties with Tencent in India after Delhi banned apps with links to China. PUBG Mobile was one of 118 Chinese apps that the Indian government blacklisted over national security concerns. Developer PUBG Corporation said it would take on publishing responsibilities in India in a bid to...

CI Games opens internal studio Hexworks to develop Lords of the Fallen 2. Polish developer-publisher CI Games has opened a new studio called Hexworks to work on action-RPGs, starting with Lords of the Fallen 2. Hexworks is the third developer to work on the project, which is currently slated for launch on next-gen consoles and PC. The sequel is being pitched as a 'dark fantasy' title with challenging Souls-like combat. 

Karaoke game Twitch Sings will shut down at the end of the year. Twitch Sings, the streaming platform’s live karaoke game, is shutting down, the company announced. The company says it decided to close down the game effective January 1st, 2021 in order to “invest in broader tools and services that will help support and grow the entire music community on Twitch.” It launched in April 2019, and let streamers choose a song...

The Witcher 3's next-gen debut promises free upgrade for current-gen owners. The Witcher 3 is joining the growing list of games that plan to bridge the generational gap, and notably the 5-year-old title isn’t charging current-gen owners a penny to upgrade to the next-gen version. CD Projekt Red announced it’s working on an upgraded version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that brings the game to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox...

Fall Guys to use Fortnite’s anti-cheat software. Popular video game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout will use the same anti-cheat system as Fortnite, its developer has announced. The UK company, Mediatonic, said the update would be implemented within the next two weeks. Since the game launched, in August, players have found ways to cheat, such as flying or running faster than the default settings.

Here’s what you need to run Crysis Remastered on PCAfter a two-month delay following an underwhelming trailer, Crysis Remastered is finally launching on PC, PS4, and Xbox One this month. Ahead of its release, Crytek has unveiled the system requirements needed to run the game on your computer, and shockingly you won’t need a supercomputer this time …

Minecraft is coming to PlayStation VR as a free upgrade later this month. Minecraft is getting a free upgrade making the game playable in PlayStation VR later this month, developer Mojang Studios announced in a blog post today. Fans have been asking for PSVR Minecraft for a while now. Although the ever-popular game is already available to play on various virtual reality platforms (it launched on the Oculus Rift back in...

(the above posted after September 4th)

This 84-Year-Old Gamer Has More Than 900,000 ‘Grandkids’. Shirley Curry has cultivated a following on YouTube with her charming videos of journeys through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Shirley Curry has clocked thousands of hours of gameplay since the 1990s. She’s been a gamer longer than many of today’s top competitors have been alive.

Apple says App Store appeals process is now live, so developers can start challenging decisions. Apple on Monday announced that its new App Store appeals process, first revealed at WWDC in June, is now live, meaning developers can challenge Apple over whether their app is in fact violating one of its guidelines. In addition to that, Apple says developers can also suggest changes to the App Store guidelines …

Activision allegedly forces Call of Duty cheat maker to end sales. Cheating in the PC versions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone has been a huge problem, but now, Activision appears to be cracking down on the people creating these exploits. CxCheat.net, a company known for making exploits in PC multiplayer games, says it will stop creating Call of Duty cheats because Activision threatened legal action.

Something Big Is Happening In ‘Fortnite’ Right Now. It appears that Epic Games will be making lots more changes lots more frequently to Fortnite in Season 4. The Marvel-themed season, which has introduced characters like Thor and Groot and She-Hulk, is off to a great start and it looks like things aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

Rizwan Virk Apple, Google or Facebook? The Fortnite lawsuit shows who's been getting too much love. Apple has been doing exactly what it always accused IBM and Microsoft of doing: stifling innovation, killing competition and hurting consumers. Now, finally, the glow may be starting to wear off as the curtain is being pulled back on some of Apple’s less-than-savory business practices …

The winner of Fall Guys’ two-week bidding war for an in-game costume is a four-way teamup. Brands and influencers have locked in a Twitter bidding war for the chance to get a branded costume added to Fall Guys since August 17th, and that bidding war came to an end today. G2 Esports, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Aim Lab, and Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, have emerged victorious as a team effort, pledging to donate...

AT&T no longer looking to sell off Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment parent company AT&T is reportedly no longer looking to sell off the video game development and publishing division. According to sources speaking to Bloomberg, one factor in the change of heart is the decision that WBIE might be considered too valuable to sell off.

This Game Boy Color is actually a portable Nintendo Wii and it’s so damn clean. Transforming classic video game consoles into on-the-go gadget gaming goodness is practically a time-honored tradition — I remember writing about Bacteria’s bulbous portable Nintendo 64 a decade ago. But @GingerOfMods new “Wii Boy Color” (via NintendoLife) is so clean, so compact, I just have to share it with you.

Unity debuts new tool to help devs submit games to multiple Android storefronts. Today the folks at Unity unveiled the Unity Distribution Portal, a new tool designed to help mobile game devs efficiently submit, monitor, and update their game across multiple Android storefronts around the world. This could be a big help for Unity devs who want to reach a broader audience on Android …

New PlayStation exclusives and first-party studios key in Sony's PlayStation strategy. Sony is doubling down on the strength of its PlayStation brand, and expecting those investments to pay dividends as it moves into the next console generation with the launch of the PlayStation 5 later this year. That continued focus is one of the core topics in Sony’s 2020 corporate report

Nvidia’s new RTX 3090 is a $1,499 monster GPU designed for 8K gamingNvidia might have just announced its RTX 3080 successor to the RTX 2080, but the company also had a surprise giant GPU ready: the RTX 3090. While the RTX 3080 will ship with 10GB of GDDR6X memory, the RTX 3090 ships with a huge 24GB of GDDR6X memory …

Pokémon Go will end support for older iOS and Android phones in October. If you still play Pokémon Go on a smartphone or tablet running Android 5.0 “Lollipop” or iOS 10 or 11, you’ll no longer be able to access the game when Niantic pushes an update in mid-October. The Pokémon Go Twitter account confirmed that two popular older phones also won’t make the cut: the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 …

China-linked mobile games including PUBG Mobile have been banned in India. The Government of India has banned over 100 mobile applications with links to China, including popular games like PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor. Many of those blocked titles have ties to Chinese companies including Tencent and Netease, which have established themselves as major players both within China and on the global market.

Interactive storytelling platform Dorian raises $3.25 million in funding. Interactive storytelling platform Dorian has raised $3.25 million through a seed funding round led by March Gaming. Dorian is being pitched as a "no-code platform that allows writers to turn fiction into interactive visual games" and generate revenue from their content.

Marvel's Avengers sets new beta download record on PlayStation. Following in the wake of news that Fall Guys has become the most downloaded PlayStation Plus game of all time, Square Enix has now announced that the beta for Marvel’s Avengers managed to set a PlayStation-wide record as well.

Big Fish Games lays off 250 staffBig Fish Games laid off a sizable portion of its staff today, a reduction an internal letter obtained by GeekWire says comes from a desire to pivot operations rather than concerns over company funds. Ultimately, around 250 people stand to lose their jobs in this round of layoffs.

Razer’s Naga Pro is a wireless modular gaming mouse with loads of buttons. Most gaming mice claim to work great for any type of game, regardless of their design and feature set. Razer’s new Naga Pro wireless mouse proves how well-suited it is for a variety of games with its modular, magnetically attached side button plates that make it a practical option for different genres, especially those that require multiple …

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 is the perfect remaster. For developers, revisiting a classic game has always been a tricky proposition. Games tend to age poorly - whether it’s the graphics, controls, or subject matter - and so they’re regularly rereleased in an attempt to update them for modern tastes. It’s a tricky balancing act. Change too much, and the game loses what made it interesting in the first place. Change too little...

Sweden's MAG Interactive acquires mobile trivia dev Sventertainment. Swedish mobile game company MAG Interactive is acquiring all shares of Sventertainment AB, developer of Swedish live trivia app Primetime, for SEK 20 million cash ($2.3 million). MAG Interactive is the company behind mobile trivia game QuizDuel. Primetime has a user base of about 100,000 daily active users

Planet Zoo dev Frontier has a new publishing label: Frontier Foundry. This week British game studio Frontier Developments launched its first third-party publishing label, Frontier Foundry, with the promise of already having signed five games to the label over the last year. This is a significant move for the 25-year-old company …

Apple removes Fortnite developer Epic from App Store. Apple has terminated Epic Games' account from its App Store amid a legal battle over in-app payments on the Fortnite game. Apple had already removed Fortnite from the store after the game offered a discount on its virtual currency for purchases made outside of the app, from which Apple receives a 30% cut.

Super Mario Bros. 35 turns classic Mario gameplay into a 35-person battle royale. Nintendo is turning the original Super Mario Bros. into a 35-player battle royale game called Super Mario Bros. 35, available on October 1st exclusively to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. all 35 players will play through a Mario level simultaneously until only one player is left standing.

New Animal Crossing content hits: Fall crafting materials and much more. Nintendo published a video today highlighting some of the new Animal Crossing content coming for fall. The new trailer outlines some of the major additions hitting an island near you, including new bugs and fish to catch, shellfish, crafting materials, recipes, and trinkets for your dwelling.

Ubisoft apologizes after Tom Clancy mobile game co-opts BLM movement. Ubisoft once again came under fire over the weekend, this time for using real-world imagery and situations as a backdrop for a new mobile game in a way that aligned the Black Lives Matter movement and protests with the game’s fictional terrorist group Umbra.

 

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . 

Testing specialists SGS gains China Compulsory Certification to help manufacturers sell toys into the region. SGS, has gained accreditation to test toys against the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) standard at its laboratory in Hong Kong. The development means that SGS can carry out testing against the CCC standards and guide manufacturers through the process in its facilities in China.

Alex’s Life Hack for keeping toys germ free. It is more important now than ever to keep as many germs away from the kiddos as possible! Did you know that most kids toys are actually dishwasher safe?! – they are!! So here’s the lifehack: simply put them in a laundry delicates bag and throw them right in the dishwasher. Dry- and back to the little ones they go!

India: Mandatory BIS Compliance for toy manufacturers & importers (Toys Quality Control Order, 2020). Pursuant to this Order, the toy manufacturers and Importer are under mandatory obligation to comply with the Bureau of Indian Standards ('BIS'), to meet the safety standards, while manufacturing and or importing the toys. From 1st September 2020, onwards it will be obligatory for the toy manufacturers/importers... 

(the above posted after September 4th)

All apps, social media, and online services for children must improve privacy or risk finesApps, social media platforms and other online services used by children will be required to improve their privacy protections or risk heavy financial penalties. A new statutory code, known as the Children’s Code, will force digital services to provide children aged up to 18-years-old with an automatic “baseline” of data protection...

BTHA responds to new CE mark guidance. On Monday, the Government announced that the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking – a new UK product marking – will be used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) once the UK leaves the EU on 31st December. However, to allow businesses time to adjust to the new requirements, they will still be able to use the CE marking until...

Ecowaste warns of toxic toys sold in market. An environmental health advocacy group on Tuesday renewed its call for safe and non-toxic toys when buying gifts for children, especially after discovering the continuous selling of toxic “shrilling chicken” toy in retail and online stores. It is a yellow squeezable plastic chicken toy imported from China that has been found to contain high concentrations of phthalates …

How to clean and disinfect children's toys. Children’s toys can be sources of germs. Children can play, throw, chew and even sleep with their toys meaning it is best to try to ensure they are cleaned every so often to prevent dirt and grime building up. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide to show you how to effectively clean and disinfect children’s toys.

India: Toy industry wants govt to extend time for BIS certification. Buoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking about their sector, officials of the Indian toy industry are asking the government to give some more time to get the certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards.

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Press Releases . . .

JAMBO BOOKS SUBSCRIBES TO EMPOWERING NOTION OF DIVERSIFYING HOUSEHOLD BOOKSHELVES WITH CHILDREN’S STORIES OF INCLUSION Monthly Jambo Book Box Subscriptions Jump 4000% As Families Grapple How Best To Combat Polarizing Views Of Racism For Kids Ages 0-13. — Once upon a time — before COVID, stay-at-home schooling and George Floyd’s death — there lived Runako and Mijha and their two daughters. They tried to read a fresh story to the girls every night as there were plenty of wonderful books, initially. But they became dismayed by the lack of diversity of the characters in those books. So, they created Jambo Books for families to showcase kids that looked like their own and who looked like their neighbors.

BELOVED BY GLOBE-TROTTING CELEBS, SAY BONJOUR TO LES DÉGLINGOS WHIMSICAL CORDUROY PALS. Cuddle Up With A Super Soft Flamingo, Hippo, Llama, Ostrich or Tiger That Arrives In A Tube, Perfect For Gift Giving Or Just Because.  What do celebs Angelina Jolie, Whoopi Goldberg and Vanessa Paradis have in common besides fame and fortune? They are fans of the whimsical French toy line Les Déglingos. Translated into English as “The Wackos”, this beloved European plush collection uses corduroy fabric to create crazy creatures. Now American families can find them at independent toy and specialty retail shops stateside thanks to importer TriAction Toys.

Uncanny Brands Releases Collection of Star Wars The Mandalorian™ Themed Pop Culture Appliances.   Uncanny Brands, a leader in pop culture licensed small appliances, is adding eight new products to its line this summer, featuring the Star Wars fan favorite the Child, from the hit Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. All items will all be available as of August 2020. Offerings include three exciting waffle makers, one unique...

(the above posted after September 4th)

Fat Brain Toys Celebrates Family Roots in Launching "Emery's Toy Box". Son of Co-Founders Finds Inspiration in New Baby Daughter. Fat Brain Toys, one of the nation's leading independent toy companies, continues its legacy of innovative play into a third generation with Emery's Toy Box, a toy review blog featuring the newest member of the Fat Brain Toys Family.

Moose Toys Unwraps Three New Must-Have Toys Ahead of the 2020 Holiday Season: Squeakee the Balloon Dog, Gotta Go Flamingo and FailFix. Launching the happy in holidays with the first-ever robotic balloon dog popping with personality, a hilarious pooping flamingo that's gotta go and messy hair don't care!

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

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

MIPCOM 2020 moves entirely online. Five weeks out from the start date, Reed Midem has pulled the plug on a physical MIPCOM—a key event in the kids entertainment industry calendar. The virtual event will have three components: MIPCOM Warm Up, MIPCOM Week and MIPCOM Follow Up+. Beginning October 5, MIPCOM Warm Up will include market intelligence sessions, content and finance briefings...

NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME REVEALS 2020 FINALISTS. Which toys will join the ranks of Mr. Potato Head, Barbie dolls, and Etch-A-Sketch as some of the most memorable toys of all time? The Strong today revealed the 12 finalists for induction into its National Toy Hall of Fame in November, including Baby Nancy, bingo, Breyer Horses, Jenga, Lite-Brite, Masters of the Universe, My Little Pony, Risk, sidewalk chalk, Sorry!,

Halloween Comicfest 2020 has collectible figures, but no comics. With what will likely be substantially reduced trick-or-treating for Halloween in the COVID era, Diamond Comic Distributors has substantially adapted Halloween ComicFest, an in-store event that normally includes special full-size comics produced especially for the event, as well as packs of mini-comics, which can be used instead of candy for trick-or-treaters.

Women in Toys introduces WIT Launch virtual programming seriesWomen in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) is looking toward the future with the debut of WIT Launch. WIT Launch is the latest educational programming series from the organization that champions the advancement of women through leadership, networking, and educational opportunities.

Registration for Kidscreen’s new digital event Kids of 2022 is now open. This series of research-driven presentations will run from October 20 to November 5 (with catch-up viewing available for two weeks following each session premiere). Every Tuesday and Thursday, kid culture experts will dive into new findings to help the industry understand the long-term impact the pandemic will have on kids. Kicking things off will be Cathy... 

(the above posted after September 4th)

IT’S OFFICIAL: TOY FAIR DALLAS IS CANCELED, TOY FAIR NEW YORK POSTPONED. Confirming months of rumors and rumblings, The Toy Association confirmed that it will not proceed with Toy Fair Dallas this year. The annual fall event was slated to take place at the Dallas Market Center (DMC) from Oct. 6-8. 

Hasbro announces the first ever Hasbro Pulse Con. The recent cancellations of bigger toy conventions like New York Comic Con and Toy Fair 2021 have been sad news. However, it looks like Hasbro is bringing the toys to the fans with their first ever Hasbro Pulse Con 2020. This convention will be covered on HasbroPulse for two days starting on September 25th and going until the 26th.

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Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide this Week . . .

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media's (US)

Toyworld (UK) 

  1. Hope for the best… it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. The September issue of Toy World is out now

  3. The 2020 Toy World Games & Puzzles supplement is out now

  4. BTHA responds to new CE mark guidance

  5. The Lego Group posts impressive first half results

  6. B&M to enter FTSE 100

  7. Toy Fair New York postponed

  8. Vivid and pocket.watch collaborate on Love, Diana

  9. Lego reveals its 2020 advent calendars

  10. Playmobil advent calendars now available

ICv2: THE BUSINESS OF GEEK CULTURE's (US)

 1.  WizKids Unveils Their Largest 'D&D' Dragon Miniature to Date!
  2.  Wizards of the Coast Drops 'Magic: The Gathering's' Release Schedule For 2021
  3.  WizKids Unveils Full-Size 'Magic: The Gathering' Planeswalker Figure
  4.  Eric Lang Leaves Executive Role at CMON
  5.  World According to Griepp - A Live Experiment in the Attention Economy
  6.  Two New 'Warhammer 40,000' Action Figures Unveiled
  7.  Rolling for Initiative -- Everyone Is Your Competitor
  8.  Canadian Distributors Merge
  9.  Konami Announces 'Legendary Duelists: Season 2' For 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG
10.  Stonemaier Takes Distribution Brokerage In-House

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month 

Toy & Hobby (Australia)

Week ending 4 September 

 

Week ending 28 August 

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

Video of the Week

Throwback to 2012

Phil Sage's (Hasbro) intro and Bruce Lund's Keynote for the TAGIEs!

“We are not mere creators of trinkets and insignificant baubles and playthings. We are the toymakers, the shamans, the wizards, the blacksmiths, the court jesters and sometimes even the town fool, and what we do – the toys that we create, contribute to the ever-evolving ever-advancing forward motion of the civilized world.” –Bruce Lund

 

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 Philphilip.bloom100@verizon.net   

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher