August 4-11, 2023
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
Happy Bloomin' Friday!
Yoga anyone? Amy Holden, who shared her hilarious business trip escapades a few weeks ago, is inviting you to Soul Mates Kids Yoga mindfulness and yoga events at the LA Previews. More info here.
Amy is also looking to connect int'l toy peeps who are 'stuck' in the U.S. for a week between the LA and NY shows. Perhaps a road trip to San Diego? Or other such hilarious escapades? People not stuck in the US are also welcome to join the fun… Amy's contact info is in her POP profile - give her a ping!
POP Week is November 1st- 5th! Register HERE, and then reserve your hotel room HERE! Join us for one or all of these awesome events: Inventor Pitch and Innovation Conference, Toy & Game Innovation Excellence Awards - the TAGIEs, Young Inventor Challenge, POP Roast of Rich Mazel, Toy Takedown (Inspired by Family Feud) with Brian Turtle, Tom Rushton and Matt Nuccio, PlayCHIC Influencer Event and the Chicago Toy & Game Fair.
Once you’ve got your POP Week plans locked up, our LA Previews Directory is ready! You can book a room through us to get into the directory so you can find and be found by the players you want to meet in LA.
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed!
The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.
“I seriously look forward to each Friday to learn most every update + more in the Industry. Priceless info! Thank you” -Michael Kohner, The Michael Kohner Corporation
"TBR is required reading for: inventors, manufacturers, retailers, marketers, suppliers, absolutely everyone!" - Robert Fuhrer, Founder, NEXTOY
Person of the Week - Barry Kudrowitz
Sparking Creativity - How Play & Humor Fuel Innovation & Design
I have always been fascinated with Disney World, specifically theme park rides. Growing up in Florida, we would visit the parks annually and it was my dream to work as an imagineer developing new types of immersive experiences. I was encouraged to study mechanical engineering as most people assumed ride design meant “roller coaster tracks” and not the more conceptual immersive theming.
After graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, I jumped at the opportunity to join the research lab of Prof. David Wallace at MIT who was initiating a collaboration with Hasbro to explore new types of projectile toy for the Nerf and Supersoaker brands. This collaboration with Hasbro became my Master’s thesis, An Exploration of Concepts for Projectile Toys: https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/49333. In this project, I prototyped farting balloons, foam grenades, LED darts, and laminar flow water guns. One of the concepts involved using a Hopper Popper (or hemi-spherical bi-stable spring) to launch foam balls. This eventually led to a utility patent and became the mechanism used inside the Nerf Atom Blaster which was on the market for 6 years.
In 2005, while working on this Hasbro project, Professor Wallace, Bill Fienup (a fellow grad student), and I also started a new course at MIT called “Toy Product Design.” This class is an introduction to design process where students worked on small cross-functional teams to design and develop new toy concepts. READ MORE...
Flexible Person of the Week - Amy Holden
SOUL MATES KIDS YOGA PRESENTS: YOGA AND MINDFULNESS SESSIONS AT LA FALL PREVIEWS
Soul Mates Kids Yoga is thrilled to announce a unique yoga and mindfulness event as part of the LA Fall Previews trade show.
This daily event, sponsored by World Alive S.L, will take place at the Sonesta Select LAX Hotel from 7am to 8am, offering participants an opportunity to experience the magic of yoga and mindfulness, facilitated by Kat Shaw and Amy Holden, the Soul Mates Kids Yoga event at LA Fall Previews offers a unique opportunity for attendees to engage in a morning of rejuvenating yoga and mindfulness. Kat Shaw, an internationally acclaimed yoga expert, usually conducts high-demand courses, but this event sponsored by World Alive S.L makes it accessible to all participants for free. The sessions are designed for individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and fitness levels, making it a welcoming and inclusive experience for everyone. The event will provide a serene and inspiring environment for industry colleagues and potential clients alike to explore the world of yoga and mindfulness together.
Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile!
Cartoon of the Week: This cartoon was sent by Robert Fuhrer. We think he chose the right door!
Lexophile Lovers: "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers!
(in Cynopsis this week) Irony alert: Zoom is requiring employees to head back to the office. “We believe that a structured hybrid approach — meaning employees that live near an office need to be on site two days a week to interact with their teams — is most effective for Zoom,” said Colleen Rodriguez, Zoom’s head of global PR. The plan will roll out in August and September. “We’ll continue to leverage the entire Zoom platform to keep our employees and dispersed teams connected and working efficiently,” added Rodriguez. Zoom follows tech companies Google, Apple and X in shepherding workers back to the office.
Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me! Mary
Financial and Legal
Starting next year, child influencers can sue if earnings aren’t set aside, says new Illinois law. Illinois is the first state in the U.S. to ensure child social media influencers are compensated for their work, according to Sen. David Koehler, of Peoria, who sponsored a bill that was signed into law and will go into effect on July 1, 2024.
Disney is shutting down its Singapore-based VFX and animation studio after nearly two decades, which is run by its subsidiaries Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). The shutdown will see approximately 300 jobs affected by the decision, with The House of Mouse citing economic conditions affecting the industry as a core factor for the studio’s closure. The move comes during Disney’s ongoing restructuring...
***The above posted after August 11th when tBR was circulated***
The private equity firm KKR has purchased Simon & Schuster, which in addition to being one of the largest publishers in the U.S. is also the largest distributor of graphic novels. Simon & Schuster Distribution Services distributes VIZ Media, BOOM! Studios, AWA, Oni Press, Mad Cave Studios, Andrews McMeel, and a host of other graphic novel publishers; it will add Image to its list in September.
Blue Ant Media has acquired fellow Toronto prodco marblemedia and its Distribution360 sales division, and the plan is to merge both companies’ production and distribution operations into one studio. Marblemedia execs Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg will head up this new business as co-presidents, reporting to Blue Ant CEO and co-founder Michael MacMillan. The bigger entity now includes marblemedia...
‘Barbie’ Banned in Kuwait, Accused of “Promoting Homosexuality” in Lebanon. While Warner Bros' hit movie may — finally — be coming out in Saudi Arabia, it faces a different fate in other Middle East countries. Bill Maher may have recently claimed that Warner Bros.’ blockbuster hit is Barbie is “man hating,” but in some corners of the Middle East it’s being accused of the opposite.
In an industry-first organization effort, VFX crew members at Marvel Studios are officially looking to unionize. Since its emergence in the 1970s, the VFX industry has largely functioned sans union, unlike other Hollywood talent groups such as writers and animators. Previous efforts to unionize have never really taken off, but this filing could mark a turning point for visual effects crews and “a historic first step...
Deflation: Why falling prices in China raise concerns. China's economy has slipped into deflation as consumer prices declined in July for the first time in more than two years. The official consumer price index, a measure of inflation, fell by 0.3% last month from a year earlier. Analysts said this increases pressure on the government to revive demand in the world's second largest economy.
China exports see biggest drop for three years. China's imports and exports fell more sharply than expected last month as weaker global demand threatened the recovery prospects of the world's second-largest economy. Official figures show that exports fell by 14.5% in July compared with a year earlier, while imports dropped 12.4%. The grim trade figures reinforce concerns that the country's economic growth could ...
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The global licensing industry generated more than US$340.8 billion in revenue last year from merchandise and services. In total, the industry grew 8% when compared to 2021 (US$315 billion), according to NY-based Licensing Int'l’s 8th annual Global Licensing Industry Study.
Embracer Group tabletop game segment Asmodee reported 20% top line growth, but declining margins and rising expenses in the company’s Fiscal Q1 (April- June). Asmodee sales increased to $292.9 million (converted form Swedish Krona at today’s exchange rate), from $245.2 million in the year ago quarter. Organic growth (i.e., not due to acquisition) was 9%, the company reported.
***The above posted after August 11th***
‘Barbie’ Reaches $1 Billion at the Box Office, Studio Says. No movie in Warner Bros. history has sold so many tickets so fast, the studio said of the movie directed by Greta Gerwig. In the history of Hollywood, very few people — 28 to be precise, all men — have had the sole directing credit on a billion-dollar movie. Make that 28 men and one woman: Greta Gerwig.
AMC Theatres Swings to Profit, But CEO Warns of “Potentially Severe Liquidity Hurdles” The third quarter of 2023 had kicked off well with 'Barbie,' 'Oppenheimer,' 'Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One and 'Sound of Freedom' playing on AMC screens amid a Hollywood box office recovery.
Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry
Barbie’ movie helps energize retail sales. Here's a look at some stats from Circana.
African SVOD set for take-off. In contrast with the tailing off of paid streaming growth in markets such as the US, African SVOD is set to grow rapidly in the coming years, according to Digital TV Research.
Next Year’s Paint Trends Are Looking a Lot like Barbenheimer, Sherwin-Williams Predicts. The temperature is warming up AND cooling down in the color direction.
Linear TV Falls Below 50 Percent of Viewing for First Time. Nielsen's monthly platform rankings show broadcast and cable making up less than half of all TV use.
August 14th BOX OFFICE REPORT; 'STAR WARS: AHSOKA,' 'THE CONTINENTAL' TRAILERS; AMC CASH CRUNCH WARNING; WRITERS, STUDIOS TALK; 'JURASSIC PARK' TO BE RE-RELEASED. Barbie won the box office for the fourth consecutive weekend, bringing its cumulative total to $526.3 million domestically and $1.18 billion worldwide, according to Deadline. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem had the #3 domestic box office take of $15.7 million and is now at $72.7 million domestically. The other comic-based film in theaters, the film adaptation of Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings, grossed $83,495 on 210 screens, and has a cumulative total of only $557,496
***The above posted after August 11th***
JULY 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELS - Spider-Man, Batman, Webtoons, 'Disney Twisted - Wonderland'
Top brands drive modest TCG growth in Spring 2023. Solid performances from the biggest TCG brands, along with a surging One Piece Card Game from Bandai and growth in some smaller brands all contributed to another season of collectible games growth in Spring.
Games Workshop slims down channel, 'Battletech' bulks up, 'D&D' declines in volatile spring for Minis. A swirl of trends shook up the miniatures business in hobby game stores in Spring 2023...
Spotlight on Plush toys. The Plush supercategory is currently up +11% in value, following two consecutive years of strong double-digit growth.
Stories, Comments, and Advice
Move Over, Monopoly! Here Are America’s Most Popular Board Games. Nearly 5,000 new board games were released in 2022 alone. The hobby has exploded in popularity over the yrs. Despite the emergence of new games, a timeless classic remains America's most popular board game: Chess. A recent study reveals the top 20 board games in the United States. The list is filled with classics like Monopoly, Clue, and Sorry
The iconic windmill from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is for sale for £9 million. Few film houses can be as instantly recognisable as Cobstone Mill in Buckinghamshire, its pretty black and white exterior standing out against the green countryside of the Chiltern Hills. Made famous by its appearance in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1968, where it served as the abode of the eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts...
The Surprising Key to Understanding the Barbie Film. It’s not Barbie herself. This article contains spoilers for the film Barbie. That idea—of products being reflections of our self-image, which is in turn affected by the products we purchase, creating a never-ending cycle—is heady, and one that will probably fly over the children seeing the film.
Banned in Kuwait, ‘Barbie’ Sparks Delight, and Anger, in Saudi Arabia. Denounced in some Middle Eastern countries for undermining traditional gender norms, the hit movie is finding an audience in Saudi Arabia, illustrating the region’s shifting political landscape. On Friday night, Mohammed al-Sayed donned a pale pink shirt and denim overalls to join a friend at a movie theater in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia...
He’s ‘just Ken’ but will the ‘Barbie’ movie change his popularity? As reflected in Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster movie that tackles the legacy Mattel’s famous doll, Barbie has always been more popular than Ken. For every Ken doll sold today, there’s generally eight to 10 Barbies sold, according to Jim Silver, a toy industry expert and CEO of review site of TTPM.
***The above posted after August 11th when tBR sent***
John Baulch, Toy World - We’re all going on a summer holiday …it’s the Friday Blog! After an underwhelming July, school summer holidays are now in full swing and thankfully the sun has found its way back to the UK, which will hopefully help retailers to clear their remaining summer stock in preparation for autumn winter. And unlike some (Southern) European countries, the toy trade doesn’t come to an abrupt halt...
Life in Plastic, It’s Fantastic - What Barbie’s Marketing Campaign Promised, How it Delivered, and Why it Matters. The Barbie team put together one of the most impressive marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen. With partnerships ranging from the perfect, plastic heel to chandelier earrings or pink purses in the Barbie x ALDO collection to a Hot Wheels Barbie convertible. There are partnerships you’d expect, like a new...
The ‘Barbie’ Movie Is A Massive PR Victory For Mattel, And Baby Names Prove It. I wrote previously that people who claimed Barbie was feminist propaganda were well off the mark. Rather, the film is an extended Mattel commercial, effectively rebranding Barbie as a toy of empowerment rather than unrealistic body and beauty standards. It seems to be working beyond even box office success. Searches for Barbie...
The Toy Book Top 10: The hottest stories of July 2023. Let’s just say that Mattel and Jazwares dominated July. We’re a week into August, and that means we’re a little late in posting our monthly roundup of the hottest stories for the previous month here at The Toy Book. A new phase in the Toy Book evolution took place as we quietly deployed our all-new website in anticipation of the holiday season and some great …
Serena William’s daughter’s doll qai qai gets new show -‘Dance with Qai Qai’. Universe, the team behind breakout animated hit Qai Qai, inspired by Serena Williams’ daughter Olympia’s favorite doll, is expanding the hit franchise with a brand-new show, Dance with Qai Qai. The new series comes as Qai Qai, which debuted on YouTube in January, has reached more than 32 million YouTube views, with an additional...
Monopoly, Play-Doh and all the other toys and games being turned into movies following the success of 'Barbie'. The "Barbie" movie is just the start of a new age of movies inspired by toys. 2023 has already been a big year for movies based on toys and games, with Greta Gerwig's box-office hit "Barbie," new adaptations of "Transformers" and "Dungeons and Dragons," and even a biopic about the creation of Beanie …
How Barbie has sustained as one of the most successful toy brands of all time. From her German fashion doll-inspired beginnings in the 1950s to breaking box office records in 2023, Campaign explores how Barbie has remained popular for the past six decades. Clever marketing or something else? This is Barbie’s world and we’re all just living in it. It’s certainly felt like that over the past few weeks as we’ve witnessed...
Dave Middleton reveals his top toys for Christmas. The successful indie retailer has settled upon what he thinks will be the top toys for Christmas 2023, with the list comprising big brands at a range of price points. Dave Middleton, the owner of Midco Toymaster, Midco Toy Planet and Freak Treats, has revealed his personal list of top toys for Christmas as suppliers and retailers alike begin turning their attentions...
$300,000 worth of TCG cards stolen from Gen Con 2023. UPDATE: Disney Lorcana unaffected by reported theft of pallet ahead of convention. Update: Ravensburger has now confirmed to Dicebreaker that Disney Lorcana was not affected by the theft; no Lorcana product was taken and availability of the TCG at Gen Con 2023 will not be impacted. Original story continues below Hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of trading card game cards were reportedly stolen in Indianapolis ahead of the US’ biggest board game convention, Gen Con …
Steve Reece's Toy Industry Journal - Q4 2022 was pretty horrible for the Toy & Game business overall, consumer sell through was really poor. The stock mkt listed companies reported double digit sales decreases year on year and inventory levels in warehouses and in retail soared leaving our industry with a significant inventory overhang heading into 2023. As we’ve moved further into 2023, there are some positive signs...
The Heroes of Gen Con!. With record-breaking attendance at Gen Con, many of our vendor partners were thrilled with the traffic and sales at the show–until they started running out of games! What happened next was a true Gen Con miracle with people across the country & across co. lines springing into action to save the show. It all began Friday afternoon when John Ferret of Smirk&Dagger approached PSi’s Megan Kanous...
Can You Solve the World’s First Crossword Puzzle? Hopefully you know a thing or two about the gomuti palm. Crossword puzzlers everywhere owe their thanks to Arthur Wynne, who in 1913 created what’s often cited as the world’s first crossword puzzle. There are a few notable differences between Wynne’s puzzle and those of today. His is a perfect diamond, rather than the asymmetrical designs of many modern grids...
Check your attic to see if your old Barbie could be worth a small fortune! There’s no denying it: Barbie is back. Thanks to the new Barbie movie, which is set to earn a whopping $1 billion during its first two weeks at the box office, the interest in Barbie and all things pink has skyrocketed. Not only are fans heading to theaters clad in Barbie-esque outfits, but there’s also been renewed interest in the dolls themselves.
The Definitive Ranking of Movie Monsters. Massive prehistoric sharks are about to return in ‘Meg 2,’ so our resident pop culture rankers set out to determine the greatest movie monster of them all. Before we get started, here are some parameters: We decided not to include movies that incorporate existing animals as monsters. In other words, the shark from Jaws is excluded, but the Megs from The Meg are fair game...
Summer Camp: Sun, Swimming, Archery. And Therapy. As the United States grapples with a mental-health crisis, summer camps are looking more closely at the children in their care. During the pandemic summers, many camp directors say, campers arrived with mental issues of a severity they had not seen before, exceeding the capacity of counselors in their teens and 20s.
In an Open Loft in Gowanus, Six Authors and Artists Collaborate and Commune. For the children’s book creators Doug Salati, Brian Floca, Sophie Blackall, Rowboat Watkins, Johnny Marciano and Dasha Tolstikova, the light-filled space has become much more than just a place to work. When Doug Salati won a Caldecott Medal this year for his children’s book “Hot Dog,” the five authors and illustrators with whom he shares...
History and Nostalgia
Hawaiian Punch from Mattel (1978). Released in 1978 by Mattel, the Hawaiian Punch board game had players racing to Pineapple Island under threat of squashes and splats along the way. Players started the game by molding their own pineapple pawns with a clay colour of their choice. This was accomplished by placing a portion of the clay into a hinged plastic mold designed to resemble a can of the Hawaiian Punch drink...
Live Drive from Mattel (1971). In 1971, Mattel released Live Drive, a driving simulator for children featuring six different types of vehicles. Operating on a single D-battery, the tabletop toy comprised a plastic dashboard outfitted with a steering wheel, gear shift, and various switches, dials, and gauges. To provide a more immersive driving experience, Live Drive came with a six-way picture board made out of plastic...
FIREBALL XL5 from Milton Bradley (1964). Released in 1964 by Milton Bradley, the Fireball XL5 board game was based on the British TV series of the same name that ran on ITV from 1962-1963. Set in the year 2062, the series documented the missions of the Earth spaceship Fireball XL5 and its commander, Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol. The game drew inspiration from the show’s sci-fi roots. .
"Heroes in a half shell": The tactile appeal of the original "Ninja Turtles" toys can't be beat. In 1987, when "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" first aired in syndication as a five-part animated miniseries, it served as the perfect advertising for a line of action figures and accessories to be released in conjunction, which was the name of the game at this time. Based on characters first introduced in thematically darker comic books ...
The original Optimus Prime toy from the 80s is getting a functional makeover. While the self-transforming Robosen toys of Optimus Prime are amazing, Takara Tomy is going back to the original toy from the 80s and overhauling its articulation and other features for a new release. As part of the new Missing Link line of toys, this version of Optimus Prime is pretty much visually identical to the toy we all owned back in the 80s.
10 children's toy lines that are based on R-rated movies. In the bygone era of the 1980s, cinema witnessed a peculiar and fascinating phenomenon that defied conventional marketing norms. Movies boasting R-rated mayhem, gritty violence, and mature themes were somehow entwined with the whimsical world of children's toys.
Licensing and Entertainment
Mattel announced that the all-new animated special, Polly Pocket: Sparkle Cove Adventure, from Mattel Television and WildBrain, will premiere on Netflix in the U.S. on August 21, 2023. The 66-minute adventure follows Polly as she learns the whimsical secrets of Sparkle Cove, the source of the magical pockite responsible for her power to shrink. Soon, Polly finds that her discovery isn’t as random as it seems, as she’s...
Starglow Media launches into the kids audio space. The company is looking to acquire and commission content for three- to 12-year-old listeners and their families. Starglow Media is looking to close a gap in the co-listening market with podcasts and audiobooks. Former UTA exec Jed Baker is the founder and CEO of the LA-based audio company, which officially launches today and specializes in multi-genre content...
French animation studio Millimages has tapped New York’s Licensing Street as its licensing agent in North America for its flagship preschool franchise, Molang. Licensing Street will oversee the development of Molang’s consumer products program and search for new partners for the preschool brand in the US. In the short term, the program will focus on plush, fashion, accessories, home and stationery...
Mattel Debuts More ‘Trolls’ Toys. New products for the upcoming film will release Oct. 1. Mattel is debuting new “Trolls” dolls across the portfolio from small dolls to American Girl accessories, inspired by the upcoming movie, “Trolls Brand Together.” The new products include: Mount Rageous Playset, Hair Pops Small Doll Assortment ...
9 Story Distribution is setting its sights on the lucrative genre of gaming content to build on its AVOD sales strategy. The Canadian company—with its distribution arm based in Dublin—has picked up Let’s Game and the 10 x 10-minute Challenge DanTDM for VOD distribution worldwide, excluding the UK and Ireland. \
Random House Children’s Books has partnered with MGA Entertainment-owned toyco The Little Tikes Company to launch a portable projector that’s all about promoting early literacy. The Little Tikes Story Dream Machine projector allows kids ages three to six to watch, listen and read bedtime stories. Each projector comes with three stories from Random House’s Little Golden Books collection...
Kid-centric audio platform Yoto has inked a key deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) to significantly expand its catalogue. Under the agreement, the London-based company will be able to access artists and music titles under the UMG umbrella for its ad-free and screen-free devices. Yoto provides more than 1,000 audio entertainment titles that are designed for young listeners, ranging from preschoolers to the...
***The above posted after August 11th***
Mattel announced Friday that fans of Kate McKinnon’s funky character from the hit Greta Gerwig-directed “Barbie” movie will soon be able to play with their own wacky doll. The film stars Margot Robbie as in the titular role of Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. And yes, she can do the splits. Weird Barbie comes in the same pink dress and green snakeskin boots McKinnon wore in the film. She also sports the...
Disney+ tests consumer products integration & unveils new LEGO special. The streamer is offering early access to Ahsoka merchandise via its shopDisney online store, and the Disney Princesses are getting a LEGO makeover. Disney+ is aiming to make it easier for US subscribers to purchase merch with a market test that gives users early access to new products in its online store.
PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 & DISNEY: A journey of discovery with Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh begins! Fans of all ages have excitedly been waiting for the new PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3 sets with popular Disney characters – now the first license within PLAYMOBIL‘s toddler portfolio is available: In six new, educative sets, Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse as well as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet are inviting children...
Mattel to release more ‘Barbie: The Movie’ products. Following the resounding box-office success of Barbie The Movie, Mattel continues introducing new products inspired by the film. The expanded collection includes dolls sporting outfits directly inspired by those seen in the film. Barbie: The Movie saw huge success in theaters, raking in more than $1 billion at the global box office, a record for a film directed...
I’m The Chef Too! is a company developing kits that incorporate STEAM concepts into baking, with either monthly subscription offerings or individual kits for sale. Each kit is designed to be friendly for kids to follow, recommended for ages 4-14. Now, Hasbro and I’m The Chef Too! have partnered up to offer customers branded baking experiences.
LA-based studio Viva Kids (The Amazing Maurice) is bringing its family-friendly movies to Chinese techco TCL’s smart TVs. TCL will roll out a streaming service with Viva content on its TVs and phones in North America this summer. Movies such as The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, StarDog and TurboCat, 100% Wolf (pictured) and Spy Cat will be available to TCL users.
WildBrain has signed a distribution deal with The Roku Channel that will see a pair of series roll out on the streaming service this yr. 5Bricks Animation Studio’s Tata and Kuma, which premiered on YouTube in 2022, is an animated series that follows the adventures of a dog and cat who are left at home alone while their owner goes to work. BBC Studios’ Princess Mirror-Belle is a live-action show based on...
Zapf Creation set to release Baby Born animated series. The new series will premiere on YouTube and Kidoodle.TV later this month. More toy brands join the world of animation! Baby Born is a doll brand featuring baby dolls, accessories, and playsets, with dolls designed for a variety of age groups from infancy to 4 and up. The brand, from Zapf Creation AG, has seen plenty of success, boasting 26 million dolls sold worldwide.
Mattel Adventure Park Set for 2024 Opening Featuring First-of-its-kind Hot Wheels Bone Shaker Rollercoaster. Pulse-pounding Hot Wheels rollercoasters and a life-size Barbie Beach House are just a few of the attractions underway at Mattel Adventure Park, which will become Arizona’s first fully themed indoor/outdoor amusement park upon opening in 2024.
Dr Seuss Enterprises prepares for brand licensing Europe. Dr Seuss Enterprises celebrates its 30th anniversary this year as a leading global children’s entertainment company, focusing on promoting literacy, education, self-confidence, and the wonderful possibilities of a child’s imagination through the works of Dr Seuss.
‘Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge’ winner inspires die-cast toy car. We’ve already covered Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge, the car makeover show from NBC that brought Mattel’s iconic Hot Wheels brand to a number of competitors hoping to make the next great car. Now, Season 1 of the show has finished and a winner has been crowned. Arushi Garg, a 38-year-old social media creator and mom from Houston...
Hasbro’s Lucasfilm team talk future of Star Wars and Indiana Jones toys. If you’ve ever wondered why there don’t seem to be as many Star Wars toys on the market as you might like, it’s not for lack of effort. The Lucasfilm team at Hasbro, who now have Indiana Jones toys to make as well as Star Wars, are working at maximum capacity. Which is why, for instance, you didn’t seen Hasbro Willow figures when the TV show came...
Zapf’s Baby born premieres new animated series. MGA Entertainment, in collaboration with Europe’s leading manufacturer of nurturing dolls, Zapf Creation AG, has announced the first-ever original animated series from beloved brand, Baby born. The nurturing doll brand, that parents trust and kids love, is a range of wholesome, inclusive and premium-quality dolls and playsets designed to encourage empathy and a world...
Rubies announces new licensed Wednesday costumes. Rubies has announced a new addition to its mammoth portfolio with an officially licensed dress-up collection for Wednesday, MGM’s record-breaking series on Netflix. Rubies has created a full range of costumes and accessories inspired by the hit series, including Wednesday’s Rave’N dress which she wore for the dance sequence which went viral on social media...
Dire Wolf announces 'Dune: Imperium' expansion, 'Uprising' will be a standalone sequel with team gameplay. Dire Wolf Digital announced Uprising, a new standalone sequel expansion for Dune: Imperium, for release in 2023. The new expansion will continue to balance military versus political intrigue strategies with new ways to create paths to victory.
Maestro Media offers up first look at 'Smurfs' and 'Hello Kitty' board games. Maestro Media offered up a first look at The Smurfs: Hidden Village and Hello Kitty: Day at the Park, which will both be coming in 2024. The new Smurfs board game was announced back in June 2023. It was developed by The Kaedema team, which also worked on Scorpion Masque's Dead Cells.
IMC Toys launches Cry Babies Magic Stars Fall 2023 toys. New product range for the doll brand enhances classic play patterns while also introducing products outside the doll category. IMC Toys has announced its latest lineup of Cry Babies nurturing and interactive toys for kids. While IMC Toys has a strong foothold in the special-feature nurturing dolls (SFND) and playset dolls and collectibles (PD&C) categories...
Curious Universe squeezes Squishmallows into portfolio. Dedicated to sourcing sustainable alternatives to traditional methods of production, design and packaging, Curious Universe has announced a new line of licensed Squishmallows Arts & Crafts products for 2023. With multiple industry accolades under its belt, including Toy of The Year 2022, Squishmallows continues to be a success story...
Tomy acquires worldwide rights to Mood Bears. Tomy will take Mood Bears global following its UK success, which includes attracting investment from all five dragons on the latest season of Dragon’s Den.Tomy Toys has signed a partnership agreement with Mood Bears, a female-founded toy brand that has captured the nation’s attention thanks to its success on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Jurassic Park’s classic dinosaurs stomp into Magic: The Gathering - Lost Caverns of Ixalan. Magic: The Gathering’s upcoming set Lost Caverns of Ixalan will include a series of Universes Beyond cards featuring the dinosaur designs and potentially other characters from the Jurassic Park film series. A piece of promotional art provided to Dicebreaker by Wizards of the Coast portrays the iconic scene from the 1993 Jurassic ...
Magic: The Gathering announces a fourth booster pack type releasing with Assassin’s Creed crossover. Magic: The Gathering will receive a fourth booster pack type designed for the previously announced Assassin’s Creed Universes Beyond set. Beyond Boosters will allow the popular trading card game publisher to design unique experiences to fit the crossover media property.
New generation of Bakugan brings anime action to fans. Spin Master has announced the launch of an all-new Bakugan series, introducing a revamped anime style, that will premiere on Pop TV in the UK in early September. Alongside the series’ fresh aesthetic, characters and storyline, fans will be able to immerse in the brawling action with a new spin on Bakugan toys, which have been engineered for great battling action.
Titan licenses fantasy Manga by 'Spider-Man: Fake Red' creator. Titan Manga has announced three new manga licenses: The Poetry of Ran, by Spider-Man: Fake Red creator Yusuke Ozawa; The Great Yokai War: Guardians, the manga adaptation of the 2021 film of the same name; and Tengen Hero Wars, an action/fantasy manga about a battle royale among the greatest warriors of history.
People of Play
Hasbro Entertainment Launch Marks a New Era in Storytelling. Hasbro Entertainment is led by a trio of former eOne execs, including Olivier Dumont as President with Zev Foreman and Gabriel Marano serving as Head of Film and Head of Television, respectively. Dumont previously led Family Brands at eOne while both Foreman and Marano were primarily focused on projects inspired by Hasbro intellectual prop....
Where is Ty Warner, the billionaire subject of ‘The Beanie Bubble‘, now? Here's how the Beanie Baby founder responded to the movie about his life. Have you ever wondered why the Beanie Babies had a heart-shaped tag with “TY” written on them? It's because of creator H. Ty Warner.
The iconic pellet-stuffed toys were designed by the toy manufacturer, who would go on to become a billionaire after the coveted...
Jonathan Schneider has joined the executive ranks of Invisible Universe as its first president of studios. To support the growth of the digital-first animation studio, he will help build new business verticals and also lead the adoption of new technologies—which includes motion capture, real-time rendering and AI-associated tools.
After working alongside her for years, a group of retired Mattel employees gathered to watch 'Barbie'. Sherrie Wilson, Connie Hibbert, Patricia Smith, Joyce Kelley and Karen Mazzoni met up recently to reminisce on their years working with Mattel ahead of the movie. Another friend, Cathy Tirabassi is a part of their small group, but was unable to attend. When they get together it is like no time has passed.
*** The above posted after tBR started sending August 11th ***
(Some of you may remember Dave Okada...) In Mak’s search for a design team who could execute the vision for Jilly, Mak came upon Dave Okada and his family. Dave Okada was a toy designer for the company, Kenner, and had experience working with the renowned filmmaker of the Star Wars franchise, George Lucas, to create figurines of the franchise’s characters. The Okadas were an intergenerational family with Okada’s Japanese-American roots tracing all the way to his granddaughter who is tri-racial, half-Black and a quarter White.
Veteran independent game company All Things Equal announces The Mid-Life Crisis Tour to launch Loaded Questions Greatest Hits and celebrate the 26th anniversary of the popular family and party game. Kicking-off in September 2023, inventor Eric Poses will set out on a 20-state tour, proving life is just a game with the brand that started it all – Loaded Questions.
University Games today announced the appointment of Margie Benford as General Manager, Puzzles and Mystery Games Division. Benford arrives at University Games from a Senior Global Sourcing position at Gap, Inc., Athleta brand. She brings with her leadership and expertise in end-to-end product leadership from Levi-Strauss, Macy’s and high growth brands including Betabrand.
CMON recruits Paolo Parente, Paul Dainton as new senior artists. Paolo Parente has been illustrating games since the 1990s, when he contributed to the Italian edition of The Middle-Earth Role Playing Game, before becoming art director for Mutant Chronicles. His work has also appeared in Magic: The Gathering. Paul Dainton has been a long-time contributor to Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000...
Claire Coekin steps into new role as Phil Hooper leaves Plus-Plus. Phil Hooper, managing director of Plus-Plus UK & Ireland, has made the decision to leave the company to take on a new role within the toy industry. Phil will remain in the position until the end of the month when Claire Coekin will step up to the role of commercial director, leading the UK & Ireland team from the 1st September.
Peers Hardy swells team with new sales agents. Five agents have joined the team and are bringing their expertise and close relationships with customers to help grow the Peers Hardy portfolio. Due to the growth of its character watch, jewellery and accessory collections, as well as the hugely successful launch of Wow Generation, Peers Hardy has expanded its team. Peitr Cutler (North), Hannah Stanion (Midlands), Jim...
Ravensburger appoints Disney Lorcana category and sales manager for the UK. Ravensburger UK has appointed Ben Lovell as the dedicated category and sales manager for its trading card game (TCG) business in the UK. Ben will oversee the imminent launch of Disney Lorcana at hobby stores on 18th August, followed by its global unveiling on Friday, 1st September.
Companies and Brands
Hasbro’s recent sale of the eOne film and TV business isn’t slowing the company’s content aspirations. The toy and game giant revealed the newly appointed leadership team of Hasbro Entertainment, a division focused on “leveraging Hasbro’s most valuable brands to develop and produce premium content across platforms for audiences of all ages.” This new division unites the company’s film, TV, animation, and digital...
Crayola is teaming up with location-based entertainment companies BrightColors and Kingsmen Xperience to build a new Crayola Experience entertainment center in Pigeon Forge, TN. The 30,000 sq-ft indoor attraction will launch in fall next yr and feature more than 20 hands-on activities for kids, including naming their original Crayola crayon, creating melted wax art and getting turned into their own coloring...
World Alive, the visionary toy company, proudly introduces Freak Marbles, its groundbreaking brand redefining marble play and collecting by making marbles cool again! The exciting launch is set for Spain and Portugal in September 2023, followed by a global expansion in 2024. Freak Marbles takes the classic marble game to new heights with unique characters, dynamic gameplay, and captivating designs.
Netflix expands its video game streaming services to TVs and computers. Beta tests for the streamer’s updated cloud gaming services roll out today to a limited number of subscribers in Canada and the UK. The first wave will focus on testing compatible TVs and will later expand to include computers running Windows and iOS-based operating systems in the coming weeks.
TOMY Itl’s Bebé Fuerte™, a new infant toy line created and designed by Robin Arzón, VP of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton, has arrived at Walmart and independent toy stores across the US. The New York Times bestselling author of children’s books Strong Mama, and its follow-up, Strong Baby, has brought her core belief in the power of movement for all ages to bear on the new line.
*** The above was posted after tBR started sending on August 11th ***
Carrera turns 60 - record year and new plans. The boss's cars also fly out of the curve. "I'm not that good, but I know how to do it," says Stefan Krings. From the point of view of children and motorsport fans, the man has a kind of dream job. He runs Carrera. For 60 years now, miniature versions of real racing cars and other types of cars have been racing around courses with spin-prone curves, kept on track - or not - by...
Walt Disney (DIS.N) has created a task force to study artificial intelligence and how it can be applied across the entertainment conglomerate, even as Hollywood writers and actors battle to limit the industry's exploitation of the technology. Launched earlier this year, before the Hollywood writers' strike, the group is looking to develop AI applications in-house as well as form partnerships with startups...
Hasbro is upgrading a fan-favorite NERF blaster for the biggest NERF fans. The company teamed up with Luke Goodman, a NERF-themed content creator also known as Out of Darts, to launch the NERF Pro Stryfe X Blaster, the first-ever NERF blaster that shoots half darts. The NERF Pro Stryfe X Blaster is an upgraded version of the original Stryfe blaster. Designed for teens ages 14 and up, the blaster features 30 AccuStrike...
In line with the release of its latest game, Doo Doo Kangaroo, Moose Games is launching a sweepstakes to send one family to California to clean up after kangaroos. The winner will take $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip with their family to San Diego in October to help take care of the kangaroos at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “While most kids might make their allowance taking their dog for a walk, feeding...
Dart Zone has added a new product to its line of Pro blasters — the Max Omnia Pro Blaster. It is the second flywheel blaster within the Pro line, and the first to be fully dedicated to operating with half-length darts. The Max Omnia Pro Blaster blasts half-length darts up to 125 feet and features a 15-round, half-length translucent dart cartridge.
Hasbro puts new twists on Monopoly and Clue in new games. The new games expand on original gameplay. Hasbro’s latest board games are turning classics on their head. Monopoly Chance and Clue Escape: The Midnight Hotel are both based on fan-favorite Hasbro games, but have new added elements for fresh gameplay. Monopoly Chance is a fast-paced game designed for kids ages 8 and up where players...
Exploding Kittens launches new card game. Exploding Kittens has announced the launch of its latest tabletop game, Exploding Kittens: Good vs. Evil, based on the franchise’s upcoming adult animated Netflix series, “Exploding Kittens.” This new standalone version of the company’s original card game was designed within the fictional world of the TV series.
Douglas launches winter-themed collection of bird plush. The collection features three realistic bird plush. Douglas is gearing up for the winter season with new collections of plush toys. The latest collection is the Winter Birds collection, which features three birds: Bertie the Blue Bird, Chipper the Chickadee, and Carmine the Cardinal. Each bird features a realistic design, matching the real-life colors of the bird species.
Radio Flyer to launch first retail store near Chicago. The store is scheduled to open this November. This November, Radio Flyer will open its first retail storefront, 106 years after the company invented the original Little Red Wagon. Located at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois, the store will carry the full line of Radio Flyer products along with more than 60 new items that will be available exclusively in-store.
USAopoly uses Alloy.ai to boost productivity and data analysis. The move led to financial savings and a sales boost. USAopoly, also known as The Op Games, is now using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data and plan for retail releases. Alloy.ai is cutting down on time when the company is collecting data so that it can better prepare analyses.
Crayola to launch content production studio. The studio is developing ‘The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian’ among other projects. Crayola is launching Crayola Studios, a new division dedicated to creating content for kids and families. The portfolio features a broad range of shows already in development. Each project explores the limitless possibilities of children’s creativity and leverages color...
McFarlane Toys to reintroduce SportsPicks action figures. The upcoming releases will include sports legends from the NFL, NHL, and more. McFarlane Toys is getting back in the game. Known for producing realistic action figures that span superhero franchises, video game series, and pop culture, the company revealed at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) that it will reintroduce sports players...
WowWee launches Fingerlings “Go Bananas for Friendship” campaign. The campaign comes with the wide release of a new wave of Fingerlings. WowWee is teaming up with YouTube stars Jordan and Salish Matter along with more than 100 other creators to launch the “Go Bananas for Friendship” campaign for Fingerlings. The campaign follows the core message of Fingerlings — Friendship @ Your Fingertips...
GUND unveils Spookley the Square Pumpkin plush line ahead of Toy Fair debut. Holiday Hill Farm and GUND — the plush division of Spin Master — have officially unveiled a first look at the new Spookley the Square Pumpkin plush line. At launch, the line includes 3- and 6-inch Spookley plush toys that will be available at select independent toy stores, specialty retailers, mass retailers, and GUND.com this fall.
Aqua Dragons are on fire. Aqua Dragons remains a brand of choice among parents and kids, and now new packaging and product developments will save both shelf-space and the planet. Over the past 28 years, Brainstorm has gained a reputation for developing products and forging supply partnerships that bring exciting and educational toys to children around the world, from gel ant habitats, 2-in-1 globes...
Happy times at Happy Line. New partnerships and initiatives have been announced by Happy Line Toys as the company celebrates its latest releases. Happy Line Toys has shared details of its new glow-in-the-dark plush Dream Beams, the latest in a string of developments and partnerships that have been designed to benefit children as well as toy retailers.
Cry Babies take to the Little City. IMC Toys’ best-selling special feature nurture doll brand, Cry Babies, has joined forces with mobile role-play specialists, Little City. Cry BabiesDelivering mobile role-play adventures for children aged under six years, Little City provides inclusive pretend-play experiences using bespoke backdrops and toys to explore.
Curious Universe teams up with Havas Entertainment. Curious Universe has announced a new partnership with Havas Entertainment. The collaboration marks a significant milestone for Curious Universe as the company embarks on a journey to expand its innovative new toy brands, Crystalverse and Cutesville.
Introducing goki – timeless German wooden toys now available in the US. The simplicity of playing with an open-ended German wooden toy continues to be a timeless classic that never loses its luster or appeal for children and parents alike. Toymaker goki brings its exquisite line of lovingly designed playthings for babies and kinder (German for children) stateside.
Horrified: Greek Monsters is basically a horror-themed Hades board game. The next iteration of the Horrified board game series sees players facing off against Greek mythological monsters. Horrified: Greek Monsters is an upcoming board game that transforms the original Horrified from its Gothic, Hammer Horror roots into a Grecian monster-slaying adventure.
Ready, set, go, go with new Go! Go! Smart Wheels toys from VTech. VTech announced the availability of new Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets, offering exciting track and vehicle play designed just for toddlers and preschoolers. The new Go! Go! Smart Wheels toys rev up first words and motor skills with innovative SmartPoint technology that drives development and imagination.
Hunter Price unveils Crayola ImagiPals. The innovative Crayola ImagiPals will hit UK and European markets later this year, bringing creative and imaginative collectible Crayola fun to retailers. Hunter Price International has unveiled a new product concept which will bring children’s imaginations to life through enchanting worlds of collectible character erasers.
Whirligig Toys expands with two new stores. The specialist ‘make and do’ retailer now has six stores in its portfolio as well as a revamped online store, with its new locations set to bolster Whirligig’s success. Whirligig Toys is to open two new branches of its creative toyshop this year, building its presence in the South East with new shops in Worthing and Horsham.
New 'Pokemon TCG: Charizard Ex Premium Collection' incoming. The Pokemon Company International will release Pokemon TCG: Charizard ex Premium Collection, a new boxed set, into retail on Ocotber 20, 2023. Trainers can now burn up their opponents with the newest version of the one of Pokemon's most popular characters, Charizard ex.
Renegade unveils 'Transformers Robo Rally' and a 'G.I.Joe' game using the 'Axis & Allies' Engine. Renegade Game Studios unveiled Transformers Robo Rally and G.I. JOE: Battle for the Arctic Circle, two new board games, for release into retail in 2024. Transformers and Robo Rally seem to be two IPs naturally made for one another. In this game, players will choose between six different Transformers robots to play.
Bandai takes 'Dragon Ball Super CG' to the next level with 'Fusion World'. Bandai announced Dragon Ball Super CG Fusion World, a new booster set and starter deck series, which will hit stores in February 2024. The Dragon Ball Super CG Fusion World features a super-aggressive card game experience which is enhanced by two systems of mechanics in the game.
Baby born’s new releases for autumn. This September, Baby born is making its mark in the collectible doll space with the launch of the brand-new pocket-money Baby born Minis, suitable for ages three and over. The new series sees six Mini Babies and six Sisters and Brother dolls available to discover, each with movable arms, legs and heads, and an array of interchangeable accessories, color-changing features and play...
MGA unveils latest Miniverse developments. MGA’s Miniverse Make It Mini Cafe Edition has been hugely successful since launching earlier this year, with the range named within the Top 50 Best Selling Items during week 28 in 2023. Since its launch earlier this year, MGA’s Miniverse, from MGA Entertainment, has seen incredible growth in the UK, driven by partnerships with some of the biggest crafting and Gen Z..
Renegade reveals 'Welcome To Night Vale Roleplaying Game'. Renegade Game Studios revealed Welcome to Night Vale Roleplaying Game, based on the popular podcast of the same name, which will arrive in 2024. Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast that started back in 2012 by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, and has now run for 11 seasons.
Christophe Raimbault’s ‘Redwood’ coming to retail. Sit Down! Games will release Redwood, game about nature photography designed by Christophe Raimbault (Colt Express), on October 1. In Redwood, the players are nature photographers trying to get the ultimate shot without disturbing the wildlife. Points are awarded for capturing plants and animals, which can move over the course of the game’s five rounds of play.
King’s Dilemma creators’ frantic co-op game Quicksand is like disarming a bomb against the clock, with sand timers. A new real-time co-op game hopes to bring the time pressure and tension of disarming a bomb to a frantic party game. The King’s Dilemma and Railroad Ink designers Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva’s Quicksand aims to replicate the feeling of disarming a trap, Indiana Jones-style...
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
Set to launch in 2024, the multiplayer title is set in the world of the fantasy series, which originally aired on Nick from 2005 to 2008. In the strategy game, players can interact, fight in battles, build cities, manage resources and, ultimately, prevent an evil spirit from taking over their world.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens update for Duel Links brings Rush Duels to mobile. Following the phenomenal success of the trading card game’s new format in its home of Japan, Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duels is set to debut outside Japan in the form of an additional mode within the popular Duel Links mobile game, as part of a major update coming to the free-to-play title on September 28th.
You can get the Pokémon Trading Card video game on Switch right now. Players can get their hands on the Pokémon Trading Card video game on Nintendo Switch right now. Originally released for the Game Boy Color in 1998 (2000 in US and Europe), Pokémon Trading Card Game is a video game that enables players to play a virtual version of the tabletop trading card game.
Guilty Gear Strive board game turns the video game fighter into a two-player throwdown on the tabletop. Fighting video game Guilty Gear Strive is headed to the tabletop in a new two-player board game built on the popular Exceed card system. Guilty Gear Strive: The Board Game adapts developer Arc System Works’ flashy 2021 2D fighter, which marked a deliberately more approachable take on the long-running franchise..
Highlighted Press Releases
WALMART EXPANDS ITS DIVERSITY IN THE BABY AISLE WITH POSITIVE PALS BLANKET DOLLS IN 3 SKIN TONES. Kids For Culture® Launches Fall Collection Of Enchanting Blanket Dolls, Soft Books & Activity Blanket That Introduce Self-Love & Self-Awareness Through Play. Nashville, TN (August 14, 2023) – When babies are taught that their ABC’s stand for Amazing, Believe and Change, you can bet they will grow up with a strong sense of self-love and self-awareness. Children’s brand Kids For Culture® has been creating positive affirmation playthings for children of all ethnicities and cultures from newborn to 5-years-old to give or to receive. One of their biggest fans is Walmart.
PSST: ON THE QUEST TO FIND A GIFT FOR EVERYONE ON THE LIST, JUST GO TO FIRESIDEGAMES.COM! Discover the Perfect Present for Tots, Cat Lovers, & All Game Lovers with One Click that Absolutely Brings Fun Home. Austin, TX (August 16, 2023) – Ah, the holidays! Fireside Games has a secret to share with all those Santa Helpers who dash through the malls and traffic week after week to lovingly pick out the ideal gift for a long list of loved ones. Don’t do it. Instead, while still in pjs and slippers, click on https://firesidegames.com where you’ll find a warehouse of cooperative, lightly tactical board, dice, and card games, in stock and ready to ship.
***The above posted after August 11th***
KIDS ALWAYS HAVE A BLAST WITH JAMM’D BLUETOOTH SPEAKER DESIGNED FOR AMAZING SOUND, GOOD LOOKS & LONG-LASTING PLAY. Jamm’d by Watchitude® $25 Bluetooth Speakers Now In Limited Edition Rainbow, Tie-Dye & Earthly Designs That Gets Everyone Up & Off The Couch. New Brunswick, NJ (August 1, 2023) – It’s hip to be square, just ask the kids! Square-shaped Jamm’d by Watchitude® Bluetooth Speakers ($25) is the kids way to pump up the jam that looks good, sounds great and lasts for 3 hours of wireless non-stop music. Function, form and beauty just for kids is a trademark of Watchitude®, the art-meets-toy maker. With this handsome little Bluetooth speaker that’s both lightweight and rechargeable, deciding where to have fun is unlimited! Look for them now at Watchitude.com.
Safety and Counterfeiting
RECALL: Baby monitors sold at Walmart, Toys ‘R’ Us pose fire risk. Philips Avent is recalling more than 13,000 baby monitors because of lithium-ion batteries found to overheat when charging, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Thursday. The CPSC reports the Philips Avent Digital Video Baby Monitor can pose a risk of burns and property damage because of the issue. Customers who have the monitors should immediately stop using them, according to the recall..
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
Wyclef Jean makes exclusive performance at Toy Fair TOTY Awards! Hips – and toys – don’t lie, the excitement is growing for the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, hosted by The Toy FoundationTM (TTF). Taking place Friday, September 29 at Cipriani’s 42nd Street to kickoff Toy Fair, the TOTY Awards will roll out the best of the best as it’s a night to celebrate the very best in the toy industry.
The Strong is hosting international conference on toy research. The ninth annual conference runs from Wednesday, Aug. 9 to Friday, Aug. 11. The association chose Rochester because of The Strong National Museum of Play, which recently unveiled a 90,000-square-foot expansion that includes cutting-edge interactive exhibits.
Spielwarenmesse World of Toys returns to Hong Kong, readies for New York premiere. World of Toys is hitting more trade shows! Following a successful run at the Tokyo Toy Show, the World of Toys Pavilion looks to upcoming shows in New York and Hong Kong. Spielwarenmesse eG, best known for the trade show of the same name, is readying itself for a World of Toys stand at the upcoming Toy Fair in New York...
The Toy Association releases Back-to-School STEAM Toy Shopping List. It’s back-to-school season! If you’re looking for toys that support your child’s education and help them hit those learning milestones, The Toy Association has released its “Back to School STEAM Toy Shopping List.” It which includes 25 officially accredited STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) toys for kids of all ages.
Micro Scooters showcased at Young V&A Museum. Co-designed with children and young people, the Young V&A is a free, national museum designed to showcase the power of creativity in children’s lives as they build new skills and develop the creative confidence needed to thrive in our fast-changing world. The new museum, which was seven years in the planning, had its grand opening in Bethnal Green in July 2023.
Konami crowns 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' World Champions across three categories. Konami Digital Entertainment has announced the winners of the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2023 competition’s three categories. Paulie Aronson of North America was the victor in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Main Event over runner-up Juan Mateo Augusto Renteria Pastor from Peru, and now holds the title of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG World Champion ...
Avatar RPG, Blade Runner RPG and Vaesen snatch multiple Ennie awards at Gen Con 2023. The winners of the 2023 Ennie Awards have been announced, with the Avatar RPG, Blade Runner RPG and Vaesen winning in multiple categories. The Ennie Awards are the most prestigious accolade a tabletop roleplaying game, expansion or accessory can be awarded.
Gen Con 2023 news: Gen Con attendance breaks 2019 record. Gen Con LLC. has broken their 2019 attendance record in 2023 and renewed their contract with the city of Indianapolis through 2030, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. Gen Con 2023 had over 70,000 unique attendees, which breaks the previous record of almost 70,000 unique attendees in 2019.
The story of one of the most epic Disney lines ever. 'Disney Lorcana' captured the zeitgeist of Gen Con 2023 through both fan fervor and a fiasco. Let it never be said that Disney fans don't enjoy waiting in line because Ravensburger's prerelease of Disney Lorcana at Gen Con 2023 more or less provided indisputable proof that they do; even when line conditions become difficult.
Yu-Gi-Oh! will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an event in Japan’s biggest stadium next February. For the first time since 1999, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game returns to Japan’s largest arena, as this past weekend’s World Championships brought news of the biggest event in Konami’s 25th anniversary celebrations yet: a major event to be held at Tokyo Dome on February 23rd and 24th 2024.
RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed
If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our readers. Archives can be found HERE
Paul Reubens, the actor best known for portraying Pee-wee Herman, died Sunday night after a private bout of cancer. He was 70.
“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” wrote Reubens in a statement posted to Instagram after his death. “I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”
“Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy and belief in the importance of kindness,” wrote Reubens’ estate in the caption. “Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit. A gifted and prolific talent, he will forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit.”
Reubens began his career in the 1970s after joining the Los Angeles live comedy troupe the Groundlings as an improvisational comedian and stage actor. In 1980, he launched “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” a stage production centered on a fictional character he had been developing for years. As Pee-wee became a beloved comic figure, Reubens’ show ran for five sold-out months, and he landed a special at HBO. Reubens also committed to the character in his interviews and public appearances.
In 1985, he teamed with Tim Burton on “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” the character’s feature film debut, which was a critical and commercial success. Reubens returned three years later for a follow-up film, “Big Top Pee-wee,” helmed by Randal Kleiser.
Klash Singh - HTI has been in touch with Toy World to share the sad news about its employee. Klash Singh, who passed away last week, was a popular member of the HTI team and most recently worked as a Sales manager for the company.
In a statement, the company said: “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you of the death of Klash, who passed away on Thursday 27th July 2023.
Klash spent over 20 years in the toy industry, being employed by HTI originally back in 2003 and moving on to spend nine years at Kandy Toys before returning to HTI in 2023.
Klash was 59 years old when she passed away. She had an infectious personality, enormous enthusiasm and passion. This was loved and admired by all, not just within the companies where she worked, but by all her customers past and present.
Klash will be sorely missed by all those who knew her. She was a very generous, considerate and kind lady. She leaves behind her partner Kevin, three children and three grandchildren, with another grandson on the way.”
HTI’s owner, John Hutt, commented: “Klash will be missed greatly and remembered dearly.”
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ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US)
- Games Workshop Slims Down Channel, 'BattleTech' Bulks Up, 'D&D' Declines
- 'D&D' Artist Tries to Slip AI Artwork by Wizards of the Coast
- WizKids Unveils 'HeroClix' Plans
- Funko Plans 30% Reduction in Products
- Gen Con 2023 News: Fantasy Flight Games Offers Up First Look at 'Star Wars: Unlimited' Prototype Cards
- OGL Mis-Step Shakes Up RPG Business
- Gen Con 2023 News: Gen Con Attendance Breaks 2019 Record
- Bandai takes 'Dragon Ball Super CG' to the Next Level
- WotC and Digital Gaming Down in Q2
- Gen Con 2023 News: 'Magic: The Gathering' Grand Theft at Gen Con 2023
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News Flash: New Horrified Game, Quicksand Announced
A new Horrified game has been announced, Horrible Guild has a new real-time cooperative game coming soon, and Space Cowboys will be releasing Unlock! Short Adventures.
Video of the Week
Gravenberch and Choupo-Moting play games for kids | The FC Bayern Gameshow
That Ryan Gravenberch and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting have steady feet, our guys have already proven many times - but what about their hands? In the popular skill games Doctor Bibber, Crocodile Doc and Jenga, you can see who is the more skilled of the two! Who can win this extraordinary duel?
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