August 12-19, 2022
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
Happy Bloomin’ Friday!
Our POP Marketing & PR Q3 Event: Activations, Awards & Plus-Ups - All You Need to Know! was a great success with over 100 companies registered from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Thailand, Israel, China (Hong Kong), Italy, Australia and the U.S. If you missed it, by next week we will have the panel videos posted for you to view.
Also next week we will be announcing our November and December events and we know you will be just as excited as we are!
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"I am a long-time reader and champion of the Bloom Report. The quantity of quality articles on so many different aspects of our industry is unmatched and I regularly share and discuss them with my management team as an important business tool."
- Jim Engle, President and Founder, Little Kids Inc.
"I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.
Not only do I read the Bloom Report every week, I make everyone important in the running of our company across the globe read it as well. -Dennis Callaghan, Tree Toys and Roo Games
Columnist - Nancy Zwiers
The Underestimated Power of Rest
I had a pretty hard-charging career over 40 years, and I prided myself on my busy productivity. Unfortunately, my unwillingness to regularly rest translated into several periods of burnout that lasted months and in one case a full year or more.
In 2010, after a major setback, I brought a do-or-die mentality to my entrepreneurial work at Funosophy. I ultimately did literally confront death the following year in the form of breast cancer that I believe was induced by chronic toxic stress levels (my whole body was in pain from rampant inflammation at the time). While I am a proud cancer survivor, I self-diagnosed PTSD from that the intense experience. This experience jolted me into a new chapter as I starting focusing on “vital activities” that enliven versus deplete (see my Bloom Report article, Vital Activities Enliven)
More recently, as EVP/CMO of Spin Master, I temporarily forgot those important lessons and took my hard-charging nature to new heights. Working in the PT time zone for a company headquartered in the ET time zone meant that 6:00 am PT meetings were commonplace (although to my credit, I did draw the line and declined to participate in a weekly standing meeting at 5:00am PT). I hired a personal driver so I could work during my 80-minute commute each way, interfacing with my Toronto and European-based colleagues in the morning and catching up on emails in the evening. Monthly for over three years, I would take the red eye from LA to Toronto on Sunday night, hit the office by 9:00am on Monday, work into the evenings at my hotel, and arrive home late Friday night.
When I finally made the decision to retire, I was physically and emotionally spent. It took me a full year to recover. READ MORE...
Person of the Week - Douglas Reuter, Inventor
SEQUENCE, Inventing, and Life Challenges
The toy and game industry has given me the life I could only dream of as a child. The efforts of people in the toy and game industry - the manufacturers especially - provide toy and game inventors the outlet – the opportunity - to get that next best invention in the hands of the public.
My claim to fame in the industry is that I am the inventor of the family board game SEQUENCE. It took four years to invent, three more to get it licensed and almost one more year before the first copy was sold in a store. More on that process later but first, a little history would be helpful.
I was the middle child of three boys – four years apart in age. We grew up in Minneapolis where winters are cold and playing games in a warm house was better than playing outside. So, we played a lot of games as kids. My two brothers were exceptionally intelligent and virtually had photographic memories. They took after my dad who skipped the third grade! My older brother got a degree in Nuclear Physics and my younger brother became a lawyer and later a Judge. I, on the other hand, had a creative mind. And, I was not averse to taking risks, which can be a dangerous mix.
If you asked a lot of my friends for a word or two to describe me, they would most likely say that Doug is a RULES guy. They would say he writes rules for the games he invents to ensure the games are played the way he intended them to be played. This life attribute came in handy while serving two terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives where I used all the rules available to me to my advantage and against opponents. READ MORE...
Don't forget to add your skills and expertise on your POP profile...
if you don't have a POP profile, you're probably missing great opportunities!
From a Major Cable Network Talent Booker: "We are working on a toy related docuseries. The series is focused on the entrepreneurial endeavors of our characters through interviews. Some of the topics we're interested in covering are the history of video games, action figures, toy designers, dolls/plush toys, building sets, puzzles and tech boosted toys. If any of these topics speak to you, please add the topics to your expertise in your POP Profile. We have discovered great contacts we are using in the series through POP and looking for more!"
"I highly recommend that if anyone in this industry wants to be found, they join POP and fill out the skills and expertise section of their POP Profiles. I've had companies and a major media network reach out to me for a show based on my skills and expertise after finding me on POP." - David Yakos, Founder of Streamline Design and Co-Owner of Salient Technologies
I recommend populating your skills and expertise as well as writing about subjects you love. People will discover you on POP - I was just asked to keynote for a big event! -Gert Garman
Financial and Legal
Hasbro Considers Sale or Restructuring of Entertainment Assets. The world's largest toy company spent $4 billion to move into Hollywood. Now it's having second thoughts. In August 2019, Hasbro Inc. announced it was paying about $4 billion to acquire Entertainment One (eOne), the Canadian media company best known for the kids’ TV series “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks.”
Walmart has reportedly cancelled ‘billions in orders’ due to overstocks as the retailer attempts to clear out inventory excess. Walmart has found itself with higher-than-usual stock levels, which the company says is a result of delayed orders from Q1 and Q2 that it has only recently taken delivery of. Together with current, existing orders, this means that Walmart’s warehouses and stockrooms are now overflowing. A shift by...
Asmodee’s parent co. Embracer Grp to acquire IP rights to the literary works Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. Embracer Group, through its wholly owned subsidiary Freemode has entered into an agreement to acquire Middle-earth Enterprises, a division of The Saul Zaentz Co., which owns a vast intellectual property catalogue and worldwide rights to motion pictures, video games, board games...
***The above posted after August 19th***
Meta, TikTok and Snap were each hit with a new lawsuit accusing them of fueling mental health disorders in teenage users. The plaintiffs are among a wave of parents and their children that are taking social media platforms to court arguing that the companies not only hook users but do so knowing the harms they pose. The lawsuits — the latest in a string of cases linking social media to mental health problems in minors...
Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Art Experience Company Cupixel Raises $5M Led by JOANN Stores. Cupixel, an experience start-up that brings the joy of creating art to everyone, announced that the company secured $5M in seed funding led by JOANN (NASDAQ:JOAN). The Cupixel app harnesses state-of-the-art AR and AI technologies and pairs it with innovative content, premium art materials,...
In its ongoing effort to achieve US$3 billion in savings within 2 yrs, Warner Bros. Discovery has laid off approximately 70 staffers at HBO and HBO Max, multiple media outlets are reporting. The cuts at the streamer represent 14% of its workforce. The unscripted and live-action family segments were hit the hardest, with sr HBO Max execs including Jennifer O’Connell (EVP of non-fiction and live-action) Michael Quigley...
US television giant Nexstar Media Group has signed an agreement with Discovery’s Warner Bros. TV and Paramount Global’s CBS Studios to acquire a majority stake in The CW. Set to close in Q3, the deal gives Nexstar a 75% share in the popular US channel, with its current co-owners each retaining a 12.5% stake and continuing to produce original content for the net’s lineup. Mark Pedowitz will remain in place as...
Mattel Inc sued the maker of Rap Snacks in Los Angeles federal court Thursday, alleging its Nicki Minaj-branded "Barbie-Que Honey Truffle" potato chips violate Mattel's trademark rights in the famous Barbie doll. Mattel said it never gave Rap Snacks Inc permission to use its trademarks. The toy maker asked the court for an order blocking Rap Snacks from using the "Barbie" name, as well as money damages...
Australia's Biggest Independent Game Studio Is Teetering on the Edge of Ruin. Allegations of fraud, a plummeting stock price and poor game sales have pushed Mighty Kingdom to the brink. From humble beginnings in 2010, Mighty Kingdom has grown to employ an army of over 160 game developers, artists, engineers and designers. The company is seen as a major success story, championing talent in Australia, building a...
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***The above posted after August 19th***
Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry
Top Kids YouTube Channel Views Up 15% This Year
Stories, Comments, and Advice
In China’s Version of ‘Minions’ Movie, Morality Triumphs. When their latest film, “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” opened in China last Friday, censors decided to impose some law and order. In the original version, the film’s two main villains make a bold escape, unpunished. But on Chinese social media, photographs of what appeared to be a jarringly different epilogue stitched into the credits section soon began to circulate...
SEVERAL COMPANIES ARE SWITCHING FROM CARGO VESSELS TO WOODEN SAILING SHIPS. "IT'S ACTUALLY MORE EXPENSIVE AND TAKES MORE TIME TO SHIP BY CONTAINER SHIP." Everything old is new again — at least in the cargo industry. This week, Insider reported that a handful of companies are ditching expensive cargo vessels that rely on fossil fuels and are switching back to good ol' sailing ships.
YouTube isn’t cool with videos of Tesla FSD beta testing on kids. YouTube removed two videos from its platform showing Tesla drivers using their own children to conduct vehicle safety tests. The tests were meant to prove that Tesla’s Autopilot and “full self-driving” (FSD) beta software — the automaker’s advanced driver assistance systems which have automated driving features but do not enable the cars to drive themselves...
UK Indie retailer Midco Toys unveils top predictions for Christmas. Midco owner Dave Middleton has decided to reveal the list now to help those consumers who are starting their Christmas shopping early. Speaking to Toy World, Dave explained that the list reflects “what we sell, which is a bit different to a lot of other retailers. Stranger Things has been massive for us all year, as have Squishmallows, Pokemon and Funko.
***The above posted after August 19th***
John Baulch, Toy World - On with the show…it’s the Friday Blog! We’re in the depths of summer, a time when hot news stories tend to be relatively few and far between. Things will hopefully kick up a gear – or preferably several gears – in a few weeks’ time. In the meantime, there have been some quite interesting developments around trade shows this week, so I’ll run through a few of those and attempt to provide some context.
Avatar Removed From Disney Plus With No Warning. James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi film Avatar has been quietly removed from Disney Plus ahead of the movie's re-release in theaters next month. Via Collider, Disney's choice to remove the film from the streaming service is most likely a purposeful tactic to encourage people to head back to the theater.
Streaming service HBO Max is planning to remove at least 36 titles, 20 of which are originals, from the platform, which could result in certain programming being unavailable to watch anywhere. As reported by Variety, a spokesperson for HBO Max said that the removal of the numerous programs is due to the planned merge of the platform with Discovery+.
Chasing Life Podcast. In this episode, Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks with Paul Dixon, toy industry expert, and play expert Dr. Stuart Brown, who has studied play for decades, and argues joyful activity is just as important as proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep. Discover why incorporating fun into your daily routine is an essential part of living a healthier and happier life.
After decades of protection, several notable properties will enter the public domain in 2024 and beyond. That means you can use them without having to pay a licensing fee. Most notably for the toy industry, these public domain characters include Mickey Mouse, Superman, Winnie the Pooh, Bambi, Batman, and Bugs Bunny.
US in ‘hangover’ stage as ‘reopening euphoria is ending’: Former Toys 'R' Us CEO. Former Toys 'R' Us CEO Gerald Storch argued on Wednesday that earnings from Walmart and Target serve as "great indicators" of the health of the U.S. economy. "During good times, Target does better because people like buying fancier stuff," he told "Varney & Co." on Wednesday, noting that he worked at the retailer for a long time.
FIFA 23 accidentally sells for six cents, EA will honor the mistake. FIFA 23 is currently up for pre-order around the world, and is supposed to be a full-price retail release. But in one particular market on one particular store, customers could get one hell of a bargain. Last month, anyone browsing the Epic Games Store in India would have seen that while the standard edition of FIFA 23 cost ₹3,499 (USD$44), ...
How toy libraries are finding shelf space in the industry. Recently, Matt Seidel was enjoying a make-belive dinner party with two toddlers, Elsa, and Baby Yoda. While this sounds unusual, this was a fairly typical day at work for Seidel, who had been invited to play pretend in a room filled with overflowing dress-up bins and wooden shelves stuffed with dozens of board games — all of which the young patrons at his table...
History and Nostalgia
Do you ever wonder who first thought of Big Wheels? Ray Lohr created the first version of the Big Wheel from tricycle parts that he re-assembled upside down. In the 1960s, designers at Louis Marx & Co. did the same, creating a tricycle that handled more like a racecar than a bike. Low to the ground, the Big Wheel allowed kids to pull skid-outs at high speeds, a perk that made them quite popular.
\Do you ever wonder who first thought of Rubber Duckies? The rubber duckie first appeared in the late 1800s, shortly after Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber. Surprisingly, the first rubber duckies didn’t float. In fact, they were solid, heavy, and intended as chew toys. Then in the 1930s, two separate rubber duckie bath toys were created, and the association between rubber duckies and bath time was born.
Blast from the past: 30 toys that defined the '80s. From talking stuffed animals to handheld video games, the toys of the time helped shape a generation. Some of the toys that defined the time have crazy stories about them. Take, for example, shopping for a Cabbage Patch Kids doll around Christmas in 1983, which meant parents were putting their safety at risk with the many riots that ensued, ...
Do you ever wonder who first thought of American Girl Dolls? American Girl dolls were created by educator and newscaster Pleasant Rowland. After a visit to historic Williamsburg, Virginia and a Christmas shopping trip for her nieces, Rowland was inspired to create her line of 18-inch dolls that each represented a different era of America’s past. The first three were Samantha, Kirsten, and Molly. Rowland first sold the dolls by direct mail and between September and December of 1986, American Girl dolls made $1.7 million.
***The above was posted after tBR sent on August 19th***
Do you ever wonder who first thought of Dominoes? Dominoes are a popular item that originated in China in the 1300s. They allow for a variety of games while testing skill and patience. The markings on dominoes are called pips – these originally represented the results of throwing two six-sided dice. However, in America today, we typically use European dominos, which differ from the Chinese versions because the ...
Hey Pa! There’s a Goat on the Roof from Parker Brothers. Jumping goats were center stage in Parker Brothers’ whimsical Hey Pa! There’s a Goat on the Roof board game. Released in 1966, players spun-and-moved to navigate a series of bizarre rules and collect the most tin cans before someone successfully jumped their goat onto the roof of a farmer’s barn.
Talking Teacher from Coleco. The Talking Teacher electronic learning toy was released in 1986 by Coleco. Marketed as “an electronic play center, programmed for hours of spelling and math learning fun”, Talking Teacher offered 10 play-and-learn activities, each with 5 skill levels. The blue plastic housing included an 8-character liquid display screen at the top of the unit, a speaker on the upper right, and ...
The mystery ancient toys puzzling archaeologists. The world's oldest toys date back thousands of years – but determining whether ancient children played with them, and how, remains a mystery archaeologists are piecing together. er the two decades that archaeologist Gus Van Beek excavated Tell Jemmeh, an Assyrian settlement inhabited from around 3,800 to 2,200 years ago, he recovered so many objects, ...
The 10 amazing 90s toys that could be worth thousands. LEGO, Beanie Babies, Furby - the 90s was great for amazing toys we all still have fond memories of. But while they're probably gathering dust in your loft, experts have revealed you could be sitting on a goldmine, as some of them are now worth thousands. Whether they're toys you just couldn't bring yourself to get rid of, or you're thinking of having a major clear-out...
BBC is tuning up its schedule with a commitment to broadcast family-friendly competition series The Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever. Featuring nine- to 14-yr-olds going head to head singing original songs, the event will simulcast on December 11 across CBBC, BBC One and BBC iPlayer. This aged-down version of a popular singing contest for adults launched in 2003, and kids from 39 different countries...
Caroline Mickler Limited has signed two new licenses for Novel Entertainment’s internationally renowned Horrid Henry brand. Winning Moves, a maker of international family favorite games, has launched a special Horrid Henry edition of the classic Top Trumps card game. Games, toys and arts and crafts developer John Adams Leisure, meanwhile, is planning a Horrid Henry version of its popular book-making studio Bookeez.
Toho International along with HUF Worldwide have officially launched a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by Japanese cinema’s world-famous King of the Monsters, Godzilla. Available now exclusively at Urban Outfitters as well as HUF retail and ecommerce stores, the apparel and skateboard collection features artwork by contemporary graphic artist Kosuke Kawamura.
Back to School with the Squirrels as Hey Duggee Returns for Fourth Season. Multi award-winning hit animation Hey Duggee will begin its fourth season on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer on 5 September as we learn all about the Squirrels’ first days at the Clubhouse. Five special episodes released daily on CBeebies will reveal what happened when each Squirrel visited Duggee for the very first time as children in England...
Productivity Media Partners with Wind Sun Sky Entertainment to Expand Media Strategy. Productivity Media, Inc (PMI), co-producers and financiers of high-quality original film and TV, is partnering with Wind Sun Sky Entertainment (WSS), pioneers in multi-platform digital entertainment, to expand its’ media footprint and innovative content offerings.
Wondery Reups Three Kids Podcasts. The studio is focused on growth in the co-listening space, and has put new seasons of Whose Amazing Life?, The Adventures of Cairo and Melon's House Party in the pipeline to achieve it. Seeking to meet a heightened demand for co-listening content since launching its Wondery Kids subscription service on Apple Podcasts last year, Amazon’s podcast studio has renewed kids and family...
Moonbug Entertainment has announced its distribution deal with The Walt Disney Company in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, expanding its partnership with Disney in multiple territories. Go Buster and Lellobee City Farm, both spin-off series of the world-renowned Little Baby Bum, will now be available on Disney+.
LA’s Toybox Labs has signed licensing deals with Universal and Paramount to develop two new ranges of printable toys for its namesake 3D printer. The Paramount partnership will result in 3D prints based on popular characters and environments from Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants franchise, and Toybox will work with Universal on a line of unique 8-Bit designs featuring Illumination’s Minions IP.
Miko, a consumer robotics company specialising in kids education and entertainment, has unveiled its Disney collaboration to customers in more than 140 countries. The latest edition of Miko will include animated storybooks featuring characters from Walt Disney Animation Studios‘ Moana, Frozen, The Lion King, Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story, Big Hero 6, and Coco, adding to its fast-growing kids content...
Dropping a few days before season five of karate-themed hit Cobra Kai starts streaming on Netflix, a new competition series from Warner Bros. Discovery is coming to Discovery+ next month. Kiddie Kai (six x 60 minutes) is produced by New York-based Hot Snakes Media and set in the “Blackbelt Byway,” a martial arts hot spot in the Southeast US. Following kids and their families through a season of training and...
Devolver Digital is growing internationally. The digital entertainment company signed several worldwide licensing partners for its popular video game, Fall Guys. The multiplayer party game will now partner with seven brands to bring new merchandise across the globe, including Moose Toys, Hasbro, Wow! Stuff, Bandai, Kotobukiya, Super Impulse, and ItemLab.
In conjunction with Hasbro, Bettinardi Golf is collaborating with one of America’s most iconic board games, Monopoly, which will combine Bettinardi’s superior American craftsmanship in golf with the beloved Mr. Monopoly, along with the timeless icons from the game. The assortment will feature a wide range of products that will launch online over the course of three days and include putters, wedges, headcovers, metal ...
Prime Video has announced the host and judges for their brand new series Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge. The series will be hosted by actress, producer, and Emmy award-winner Tamera Mowry-Housley, with critically acclaimed pastry chef Clarice Lam and accomplished cake designer and pastry chef Joshua John Russell as judges. The series will premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide...
Welcome to J Balvin’s token Madness! For August 2022, Hasbro and J Balvin have teamed up to create Monopoly: J Balvin Limited Edition. Balvin, who is known for his colorful style and smiley face design which he incorporates into this one-of-a-kind board, becomes the first globally recognized Latin star with his own Monopoly game.
Highly Spirited And LAPC Conjure Up Scarygirl Film. Based on an IP created by Aussie author and illustrator Nathan Jurevicius, the project will target a girl-skewing audience in the eight to 12 range. Production on the CG-animated feature film is currently underway in Queensland, and Scarygirl is expected to premiere in October 2023, distributed by Australia’s Madman Entertainment there and in New Zealand.
Success Of Moley Sparks New Prodco. Two Daughters Entertainment will build on the quirky animated show’s success with help from former Dreamworks Animation head Bonnie Arnold and a new sub-distribution deal in China. It’s not often that a mole gets international attention, but this week’s news that Moley creator James Reatchlous is launching a new UK-based production company with big Hollywood names did the trick.
Zoonicorn Dines Out On New CP Deals. The preschool brand has inked licensing deals with SRM Entertainment and E Graphic Design for home-based products featuring the design-friendly hybrid of unicorns and zebras. Zoonicorn launched stateside in 2015 as a plush toy and clothing line.
***The above was posted after August 19th***
Mattel is offering gearheads a first look at the future of the DeLorean Motor Co. The DeLorean Alpha5 is an all-new electric vehicle (EV) that will be officially showcased for the first time on the awards ramp at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during the 2022 edition of Monterey Car Week. Ahead of the grand reveal, Mattel debuted a 1:64-scale Hot Wheels version of the EV.
Mighty Jaxx, an award-winning future culture company, is spreading positivity with the release of the B Smiley collectible as part of The Smiley Company’s 50th-anniversary celebration. The Smiley Company enlisted renowned graffiti artist André Saraiva to reimagine the iconic Smiley logo through various collection releases, paying homage to the artists that have subverted the Smiley and marking the...
McDonalds Celebrates ‘Miraculous’ with a European Happy Meal Promotion, Featuring Sustainable Premiums. Award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG has signed a new agreement with McDonalds for a Miraculous Happy Meal Program that will span 40 European countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany, and Austria, and will feature a line of sustainable premiums.
PlaySide Studios and MGM Bring ‘Legally Blonde’ Game to Mobile Devices for its 21st Anniversary. Break away from the status quo and make a name for yourself in the legal world in Legally Blonde: The Game – live and available now across iOS and Android mobile devices globally. Blending captivating narrative, deep Match 3 puzzle mechanics and extensive character customization, Legally Blonde: The Game will have ...
Big Potato Games may be British, but the indie game maker has partnered with an iconic American institution - USPS - for its latest tabletop offering. In case you didn’t know, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a variety of licensed products, many of which are available from the online Postal Store.
Characters from Charles M. Schulz’ classic Peanuts comic strips are making their way to the world of Squishmallows, starting with Snoopy and Woodstock. The plush characters were first introduced last year as Knott’s Berry Farm/Cedar Point exclusives, except Woodstock had a slightly different look. Now the duo is available for everyone to buy, although like all Squishmallows hunters know, it still may be difficult to find...
Disguise has announced its complete line of character costumes and Funko Pop! masks based on hit series Stranger Things for autumn 2022. The range will include costumes for new characters from the show for both kids and adults including break-out fan favourite and Hellfire Club captain Eddie Munson, Argyle of Surfer Boy Pizza and the Hawkins Highschool Tigers team.
In celebration of the new Lego Harry Potter set, the Lego Group is offering fans the chance to play, build and stay on a real Lego Hogwarts Express train. The new Hogwarts Express Collector’s Edition measures 118cm long. Rich in details both inside and out, the model includes the steam engine, the coal car, the passenger car featuring light up bricks, and a spectacular replica of Platform 9 ¾, which...
MGA Ent. and Daewon Media have announced the signing of a multi-year, worldwide agreement for MGA to develop, produce and distribute a new video series based on the hit show from Daewon, Armored Saurus. The show mixes visual effects and live action. In addition to distribution rights (outside of South Korea, Japan, and China), the deal includes toy and merchandising rights.
The Rose, Barbie & Friends campaign brings together Rose Ayling-Ellis along with a cast of diverse models that reflect the new inclusive line of Barbie dolls. A Barbie doll with a behind-the-ear hearing aid, a Ken doll with vitiligo, a new Fashionista doll with prosthetic leg and a wheelchair Barbie doll have gone on sale across the UK. Strictly star & Eastenders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis is taking part in a new campaign...
Featuring the iconic humor of American comedian Jeff Foxworthy, PlayMonster is bringing fans of the original Relative Insanity party game a brand-new edition with all new set up and punchline cards to bring out the comedian in you and your friends! Folks, there’s a brand-new generation of exciting Relative Insanity questions and punch lines ready for your next big game night!
Jordan Ferney, curator of celebratory moments (Chief Happy Officer at Oh Happy Day) and color expert (mastermind behind Color Factory) teams up with Kinetic Sand as the latest Kinetic Creator. In celebration of mesmerizing medium Kinetic Sand, Jordan Ferney merges her love of parties, and penchant for color, orchestrating the ultimate playscape to inspire endless opportunities for creativity using the...
The Five Nights at Freddy’s video game franchise has inspired action figures, plush toys, and even Pop! Vinyl figures. Now, Funko is introducing its first Snaps! collection featuring animatronic characters from throughout the franchise, including Freddy Fazbear, Golden Freddy, Foxy, Bonnie, Toy Bonnie, Chica, Springtrap, and Baby.
Just in time for football season, Arcade1Up is launching NFL Blitz Legends — a new, home arcade cabinet that features a trio of remastered and updated NFL Blitz titles that are returning to the scene after 25 years. The cabinet features NFL Blitz, NFL Blitz ‘99, and NFL Blitz 2000: Gold Edition.
Irish distributor Monster Entertainment has sold five animated series to SVOD Kidstream and Condista-owned pay-TV channel Kids Street ahead of the fall market season. Kidstream picked up The Charlie Shepherd Show, with Fia’s Fairies, Storytime with Ms. Booksy, Zizi and Hannibal and Once Upon… My Story going to Kids Street. Monster is also planning to screen all five shows at MIPJunior (Oct 15-16) later this year.
The licensing agreement will see Nikko Toys bring out a range based on the motorsports team’s Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1 car. Nikko Toys has announced a new licensing programme and deal with global motorsports team M-Sport to bring its rally cars to the toy aisle. Cumbrian-based M-Sport was chosen to mastermind Ford’s assault on the FIA World Rally Championship, and Nikko Toys will be launching a new...
Funko, in partnership with Hasbro, will release a series of Digital Pop! NFTs based on “Power Rangers,” including Green Ranger, The Pumpkin Rapper, Zordon and more, on Droppp!, an NFT platform, on Aug. 23. Funko’s Digital Pop! line features non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, in the form of digital collectibles featuring Funko’s stylized figures. Standard and premium packs of the “Power Rangers” Digital Pop! series will be ...
Yoto, the audio platform for kids behind Yoto Player, and recently launched Yoto Mini, has collaborated with Paramount Consumer Products U.K. to welcome “PAW Patrol” titles to its audio library. In a first for the platform, the “PAW Patrol” licensed stories from the Spin Master Entertainment series starring Ryder, Marshall, Skye, Rocky, Chase, Zuma and Rubble.
People of Play
Adventure Media & Events LLC, publisher of the Toy Book, the Toy Report, the Toy Insider, and the Pop Insider, named James Zahn as editor-in-chief of the Toy Book effective immediately. The announcement was made by Laurie Schacht, CEO. Zahn previously served as deputy editor of the Toy Book, a position he held since March 2021.
AVOD platform Amazon Freevee (formerly IMDBtv) is promoting its content and programming co-heads, Ryan Pirozzi and Lauren Anderson, into top-level positions. At Amazon Studios, Anderson has been upped to head of AVOD original content and programming, with responsibility for Freevee and Prime Video’s FAST channels. Before joining the company, she served as chief content officer for NBCUniversal/Snapchat...
Paramount Consumer Products is growing its Web3 business. The global media and entertainment company tapped Misan Harriman to serve as its creative advisor for its Web3 business. In this new role, Harriman will bring his experience in the creation and collection of NFTs to advise on Paramount’s relationships in the Web3 space, as well as create his own collections for the company in the future.
Chicago toy and game designer reflects on career in new memoir 'A Game Maker's Life'. Jeffrey Breslow discusses his new memoir "A Game Maker's Life" and some of his most defining moments and creations.
An intrepid team of eight Winning Moves women is raising money for Sarcoma UK by undertaking the Welsh 3 Peaks challenge in memory of Alana, who died last year aged just 32. Claire Simon, Global Marketing manager at Winning Moves and a friend of Alana, told Toy World: “Last year, everyone at Winning Moves lost a wonderful colleague and friend too soon. Alana Duncan, who was a project manager at...
Flying Bark eyes anime & 2D with new creative director. LEGO: Monkie Kid director Sarah Harper will lead the company's expansion into original content and anime-influenced projects. With a remit to expand the company’s slate of originals, Harper will head up the After Bark production arm that launched in March to make animated content for teens and adults. She has been with Studio 100-owned Flying Bark since...
The Rock Father Podcast with James Zahn | Episode 2: Pumpkin Everything & Fighting the Too Sooners. This week, James Zahn discusses the not-so-early arrival of seasonal merchandise at retail — including Halloween and Christmas — and how the “too soon” crowd of complainers is back out in force. On the show, Zahn breaks down his experiences with the “too soon” crowd while working at Walmart and...
Nolan Bushnell needs no introduction. When he arrives at Two Bit Circus in downtown LA, I recognize him as soon as he steps out of his car: the grandfatherly goofball with a shock of white beard, tall and casual in a baseball cap and sneakers. It is a warehouse filled with gaming stations, baroque furniture, art installations and other sensory stimulants. A life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos awaits players—children and child-like...
***The above posted after August 19th***
“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Karen Kilpatrick of Kaypin Media and Genius Cat Books to the show. Kilpatrick helps brands and creatives navigate the publishing industry with a focus on creating kids’ books. On the show, Kilpatrick explains how telling nighttime stories to her kids sparked the idea for her business.
U.S Toy welcomes toy industry veteran Edde Martinez to its sales management team. Martinez assumes the role of director of specialty sales after 16 years at Toysmith and four years at Sunshine Sales. In his new role, Martinez will work alongside Christina Clayton, who also holds the position of director of specialty sales. Together they will help lead the sales growth with a focus on expanding U.S. Toy’s distribution ...
Darren Throop will step down as president and CEO of Entertainment One (eOne) at the end of 2022. Its parentco Hasbro announced Throop’s departure in a release, stating that his contract with the co. expires at the end of the year, and “transition details” will be announced prior to this. Throop’s exit is set to take place three years after Hasbro completed its US$3.8-billion acquisition of eOne at the end of 2019.
Kenya Barris is taking the yellow brick road to Oz for Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Wizard of Oz” remake. The creator of “Black-ish” is set to write and direct the reimagining, which is completely separate from New Line’s previously announced retelling of “The Wizard of Oz.” New Line’s version will be directed by Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen”) and is described as “fresh take” on Dorothy and the Land of Oz.
Toy World is pleased to welcome Suzie Sparkes to the team as Alakat Publishing goes from strength to strength. Suzie joins the company from Gameplan Europe, a consultancy directed towards child related consumer markets throughout Europe. Suzie worked as a research consultant at Gameplan, a wide ranging role which has given her a broad range of skills and invaluable experience of the toy industry, ...
Amy King has joined Hilco as the company’s national sales manager. King has more than 20 years of experience with major consumer packaged goods, having served the past three years with CandyRific as its director of sales for its western region. Prior to working with CandyRific, King served with Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Premier Nutrition and Kettle Foods. “Amy has spent years honing her skills in all...
Kidicraft bolsters team with two new appointments. Kidicraft has strengthened its team with the appointment of two new members. Keith Waite brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked as a sales agent in the Gift and Toy sectors for the past 16 years. This has given him the opportunity to work with a wide variety of retailers and wholesalers.
Companies and Brands
Micro Games of America, a division of MGA Entertainment (MGA), has announced the launch of its Kickstarter campaign to bring its new AR-enhanced tabletop game Haunt Your House, the first title in its new, proprietary App-Vanced Game series, to market. Combining the best of tabletop and AR gaming in an immersive and social experience for families and gaming enthusiasts alike, the beta version of the game...
New Pokémon Trading Card Game ‘Sword & Shield – Silver Tempest’ Expansion Coming Soon. The Pokémon Company International unveiled the latest expansion of the best-selling Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), Sword & Shield—Silver Tempest, coming to participating retailers around the world starting on Nov. 11, 2022.
Kids2 announced the launch of Baby Einstein Connectables, an innovative STEAM inspired line of multi-sensory, magnetic activity blocks that ignite baby’s curiosity. This latest Baby Einstein line is connectable, collectable and offers infinite possibilities for creative play and learning. “We know that there is a strong desire from parents for early exposure to STEAM learning. But when you stroll down the baby aisle, these type of...
Smart Teddy Lets Moms Vent with ‘Smart Teddy Mom Challenge’. What is your biggest parenting challenge? Is it getting kids to brush their teeth? Getting them to sleep? Learn their ABCs? Whatever it is, Smart Teddy, the interactive talking teddy bear, wants to know. In advance of Nat'l Teddy Bear Day, September 9th, Smart Teddy is calling on moms to share their biggest parenting challenge in the Smart Teddy Mom Challenge...
Disney Kicks off World Princess Week with Toys and Costumes Fit for Royalty. World Princess Week had its inaugural run last year as part of the Ultimate Princess Celebration. Now it’s back in full force with new toys and products meant to inspire fans to show their best Disney Princess qualities in their daily lives.
Dobble and GWR are joining forces and holding #TheGameTrain Day to make summer holiday travel more enjoyable for families, and to get ‘More People Playing More Games More Often’. #TheGameTrain, which launched yesterday, will see Asmodee game Dobble on the various Great Western Railway trains, travelling from Paddington to Oxford, Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway.
Mattel, Inc. and Mattel Children’s Foundation have announced that they are partnering with Save the Children to invest in the next generation. From Aug 28 through Oct 1, when shoppers purchase select Barbie, Matchbox, and Little People items at Target stores nationwide and online at Target.com, a portion of the retail price from each sale, up to a certain amount, will be donated by Mattel to Save the Children’s...
Republic Records Launches Kids Division. The newest label from the company with Drake, Ariana Grande, Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift on its roster will feature family-friendly artists and tunes. The new division, which opened its doors on August 19, is headed up by Bree Bowles, the company’s former VP of marketing and strategy.
Bandai UK has teamed up with The Entertainer to bring a splash of colour to the launch of its new True and The Rainbow Kingdom toy collection. The True costume character will kickstart its tour at the Braehead Shopping Centre in Glasgow this month, making its way into England and finally ending up at The Entertainer’s Brighton store in October.
Following success overseas, the Nebulous Stars magazine will be released quarterly and aimed at 7-10 yr olds. Nebulous Stars magazine will see the first issue dropping in Aug 2022. The UK roll-out means Nebulous Stars is now published in nine languages and available in 16 countries worldwide – Belgium, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norway, Slovenia, Spain,...
MGA Entertainment’s Fashion Doll brand Rainbow High has announced the launch of its Rainbow High Mini Accessories Studio. The first accessories line to join the Rainbow High portfolio since the brand first hit shelves in 2020, the new range lets fans of the brand collect over 50 fashionable accessories for their Rainbow High dolls.
An experiential destination built by WowWee just suffered a major setback. Months of work went up in flames as fire destroyed WowWee‘s Playhouse LA. The hands-on play experience at 454 North Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood was nearing completion when the accident occurred. According to Sydney Wiseman, VP of creative development and brand strategy at WowWee, the incident took place around 5...
The latest addition to the historical doll collection from Mattel‘s American Girl has arrived, and her story and development were spawned by a tweet from a fan who just happened to be a NY Times best-selling author. Claudie Wells celebrates the Harlem Renaissance with a backstory rooted in New York City, circa 1922.
Following the opening of its first U.S. location and a new flagship in South Korea this summer, Chinese retailer Pop Mart has planted its flag down under. The purveyor of original “art toys” opened its first full-line brick-and-mortar store in Australia this week at Chadstone — The Fashion Capital in Melbourne. The permanent location follows the success of a pop-up store, five Robo Shops, and an official digital storefront...
The LEGO Group just pulled back the curtain on the LEGO Ideas Motorized Lighthouse. The inspiration for the set comes from a 20-year-old LEGO fan from Canada, Sandro Quattrini. Quattrini submitted the original concept on the LEGO Ideas platform, where it received 10,000 votes. The LEGO Group then commissioned the concept to make it into a real set.
Pumpkin Spice season is here, and Build-A-Bear Workshop is getting in on the fun with the release of their very own Pumpkin Spice Bear! If you know someone who can’t get enough pumpkin spice lattes this fall, the Pumpkin Spice Bear is the perfect festive gift for them to fall in love with. Its pumpkin orange fur and sparkly gold paw pads create an unbearably cute solution for any caffeine fix!
10 Minutes With … Jazwares. License Global catches up with Sam Ferguson, vice president, global licensing, Jazwares, to talk about how brands keep innovating within the toy space and the appeal of the U.K. and European market. We’re one of the fastest growing toy companies on the planet, currently the industry’s #5 toy manufacturer in the U.S.*, with more than 1,000 employees across the world.
***The above posted after August 19th***
Wizards of the Coast has announced a new line-up of innovative releases for later this year and beyond during its Wizards Presents virtual event. These initiatives enhance Hasbro’s $2.1b games portfolio for players of all ages, which includes iconic fantasy brands Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast says that crossover opportunities with the film and book industries will also...
Panini is proud to announce the upcoming launch of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Sticker Collection, which hits shelves on Thursday 25th August. Top players, the best teams, the passion of fans around the globe, tradition and innovation are just some of the ingredients that make the FIFA World Cup the biggest and most exciting event in football, eagerly anticipated every four years.
Spin Master Entertainment’s Mighty Express episodes will be premiered for the first time on Tiny Pop from Thursday 1st Sept. 2022. The pre-school show Mighty Express from Spin Master Entertainment is set in a place called Tracksville which is a world run by kids and trains; a playful. quirky world of criss-crossed rail tracks. A team of trains and their kid buddies have to keep things moving and deliver their cargo ...
Moose Toys Celebrates 5 Toy of the Year 2022 Nominees in 5 Categories: Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball for Creative Toy of the Year, Magic Mixies Magic Mixlings for Collectible of the Year, Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Goo Shifters for Action Figure of the Year, Dance & Play Bluey and Little Live Pets Mama Surprise for Plush Toy of the Year.
Marky Sparky is pleased to announce the launch of its latest Faux Bow® PRO archery set, bringing archery anywhere, anytime. Making it accessible for all using its patented impact arrows featuring DOESNTMATTER™ Technology. Faux Bow® Pro brings with it the complete experience of traditional archery, minus the pointy tips and delicate arrows. The Faux Bow Pro uses an ultra-lightweight arrow that carries...
Handmade by Robots, the creator and producer of collectible vinyl figures, has announced a new distribution partnership with UK-based gift and collectibles company, Fanattik. A growing Handmade by Robots fanbase in the UK presented an opportunity to establish a local distribution partner to support increasing demand for product and directly supply retailers in the UK and Ireland.
Asmodee games will be available on trains, boats and planes this summer as the co. tries to ease stress for travelling families. A selection of the games that travellers will be able to enjoy this summer. Delays, cancellations, lost baggage, Covid and post-Brexit rules have combined to create chaotic travel conditions so far this yr, with travellers made to queue or sit around for hrs with little in the way of ...
eBay is teaming up with pop culture and lifestyle brand Funko to launch a new series of exclusive collectibles sold directly on their online shopping site. “With millions of sales of Funko products on our marketplace last year, we recognize that this incredibly engaged community of collectors are already shopping on eBay,” says Dawn Block, VP of collectibles, electronics, and home ...
Toy of the Year 2022 Finalist Miniland announces Together We Play Campaign. Miniland USA, Toy of the Year 2022 Finalists and makers of social emotional learning toys, including their award-winning Dolls with Down syndrome, has launched a powerful new initiative called Together We Play to encourage acceptance and inclusion among young children.
PBS KIDS Helps Kids Get Ready for New Friends and New Adventures this Back to School Season. Kids from coast-to-coast are heading back to school – and PBS KIDS is getting them ready for new friends and new adventures with content and resources designed to help students, teachers, and families as they make the transition back to school. The offerings include a range of tools for building confidence and social skills...
Fun In Motion Toys Ranks No. 281 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 Annual List. Today, Incorporated revealed that Fun In Motion Toys is number 281 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America. The list represents a one-of-a-kind look at the most successful companies within the economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent businesses. Facebook, Chobani, ...
New Trading Platform Monsoon Digital Launches to the Public. Monsoon Digital, a new collectible trading platform and content producer of digital collectibles, cards and artwork, has officially launched its public beta. The first wave of items featured on the platform are digital trading cards that feature licensed artwork from Zombicide, the flagship tabletop game by CMON Limited, international publisher and designer of...
Scentco, Inc. Launches New Bedtime Defenderz Plush Toys That Fight at Night, So Kids Sleep Tight! When it’s time for lights out, nightmares better watch out! Scentco Incorporated, a renowned U.S. toy designer and distributor, is pleased to announce the launch of Bedtime Defenderz, a new line of 10-inch plush toys and animated entertainment content designed to protect kids from the “bad guys” as they sleep.
The Pokémon Co. International is beginning a new philanthropic initiative. The company responsible for managing the Pokémon brand outside of Asia is donating a minimum of $25 million over the next five years. The donations will be given to a predetermined group of organizations that help to create equitable communities, support children, or both.
Spin Master scours the globe to find the next big thing in children’s entertainment. Each year, Spin Master evaluates more than 3,500 pitches for new toys, digital games, and entertainment content. The Toronto-based company has an internal innovation and design team dedicated to developing toy concepts, but it also recognizes that great ideas can come from anywhere. To find those creative breakthroughs...
Wizards of the Coast announced that they have partnered with R.R. Donnelley to provide WPN retailers access to customizable, print-on-demand point-of-purchase marketing materials. WotC has opened up a WPN Custom Marketing Materials Portal, which WPN Premium retailers have access to as the initial group of retailers able to use this new tool. Through this portal, WPN Premium retailers will be able to...
Toy World spoke to John Grice, managing director of Naylor Activity Tunnels, about the company’s growing range of durable products, which will help encourage physical play for many years. Tell us a bit about Naylor – what’s the company ethos, and what do you produce? We are a long-established UK manufacturer. Our product range, and the way in which we use technology, has evolved over the years in response...
Desi Dolls launches in FAO Schwarz, Selfridges London. Desi Dolls produces a range of faith-based toys representing the Muslim community, with huge potential to drive consumer spending around Ramadan and Eid. The range has been listed in the flagship FAO Schwarz Toy Shop in Selfridges, London, after buyers there contacted owner, Farzana Rahman. In what Farzana describes as a ‘dream transaction’, ...
Pudgy Penguins NFT prices surge after creator unveils IRL toys. Selected penguins from the long-standing collection are being turned into physical toys, causing the project’s floor to rise and sales to pump. Sales of Pudgy Penguin non-fungible tokens (NFT) heated up on Thursday after the project announced it would be licensing select NFTs to be made into physical toy collectibles.
Pandasaurus Games Aanounces 'The Fox Experiment'. Pandasaurus Games announced The Fox Experiment, a new roll-and-write game, which is coming to Kickstarter on September 6, 2022.This new board game by Wingspan designer Elizabeth Hargrave (see "'Wingspan'") and Jeff Fraser is inspired by a Russian fox domestication experiment conducted in the late 1950s.
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
Major PC modding sites Nexus Mods and ModDB have banned users for uploading anti-LGBTQ content they modded into Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. The bans specifically target mods that replaced every Pride flag with American flags. Nexus Mods wrote in a blog post yesterday that a modder created a sock puppet account named Mike Hawk to upload a mod that swapped out the Pride flags flying off a few buildings in the game with American flags.
Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit rights bought by video game super-publisher. The Embracer Group, who are slowly buying any and every video game publisher and studio on the market, just announced that they have purchased Middle-earth Enterprises, the company that owns the big-and-small-screen rights to most of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most important works, including Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Wordle’s upgraded Wordlebot has a new recommended starting word. The New York Times has made a few upgrades to its Wordle assistant WordleBot, and that includes a new recommended starting word: SLATE. Previously, it recommended CRANE, but now you might want to slate this new one into your repertoire.
Asmodee Digital rebrands itself as Twin Sails Interactive. Asmodee Digital is rebranding itself as Twin Sails Interactive. Announced today, the company will shift its focus towards releasing "original experiences," according to a press release, with an aim to "combine indie and double-A titles on premium platforms alongside industry leading partners."
Microsoft's Xbox One sold "less than half" of Sony's PlayStation 4. According to Microsoft, the sales of its Xbox One console were significantly behind that of Sony's PlayStation 4. In a series of Portuguese court documents given to Brazil's national regulator first spotted (and translated) by Game Luster, the Xbox maker said Sony's console sales far eclipsed its own.
Highlighted Press Releases
TANGLE® UPS THE GAME THIS SEMESTER WITH PHONE & FOOTBALL FUN FROM MORNING TO NIGHT. Get Kids To Always Pick Up With $10 Tangle® Phone Fidget™ Then Make It Friday Night Lights Every Day With $20 NightBall® Matrix Football. School days these days involve phones and football as much as French and Fine Arts! Tangle® has two creative tools to add to the back-to-school shopping list that are affordable and delightful for kids of all ages and abilities! Tangle® Phone Fidget™ ($10) is actually three phone accessories tangled together in vibrant colorways. Tangle® NightBall® Matrix Football ($20) is small enough to be a sure catch for the rookies. The light-up football means more moving outside, no matter how close it is to bedtime.
***the above posted after August 19th***
CREATEON® WELCOMES COCOMELON™ TO ITS KIDS LINE FOR A CREATIVE CONNECTION THAT REALLY CLICKS. Look For Three CoComelon Magna-Tiles® Structures® In August, The 10th Beloved License From CreateOn For Youthful Tinkering & Exploration. Wheeling, IL (August 16, 2022) – CoComelon fans have a new way to connect with the launch of three Magna-Tiles® Structures® from CreateOn this summer. The first to launch is Bedtime Songs ($49.95), magnetic blocks that feature JJ, Bingo, Tom Tom and YoYo. Each set features imagery from and story-etic lyrics of two popular songs from CoComelon’s library of nursery rhymes.
KOMARC ENCOURAGES KIDS TO PLAY WITH THEIR FOOD (ACTUALLY FLING IT) WITH SMACK THE SNACK ON JACK. Forget Pin The Tail, Throw Game-Piece Pretzel, Pizza, Bacon or Doughnut At 20 x 28” Jack, Who Sticks To Your Wall, Door Or Window. It’s Fast, Fun & Funny. Logan, UT (August 15, 2022) – When two-year-olds get frustrated or even angry, they throw tantrums. But what can you do if you’re eight or nine? Mental health experts say it is okay to physically throw something, safely. Komarc, makers of hilariously entertaining toys, suggest you Smack The Snack On Jack ($21.99) and laugh aloud while you are at it! No one can have the blues with Jack around.
HEALTHY ROOTS DOLLS NAMED FINALIST FOR CURLFRIENDS TRIO AS TOTY’S DOLL OF THE YEAR. The Nominees Are… Zoe, Gaïana & Marisol: The Girls With The Curls. Detroit, MI (August 15, 2022) — Healthy Roots Dolls, a rising black-owned toy startup, is making heads turn with the expansion of their Curlfriends line following the popularity of their first doll Zoe. Along with her two Curlfriends, Gaïana and Marisol, the trio was just named as a Finalist in the “Oscars” of the toy industry, in the Doll of the Year category by The Toy Association. Polls are now open to vote for the girls with the curls in the toy aisle. Vote for Healthy Roots Dolls here, today:
LITTLE KIDS, INC. STAFF BLOWS CELEBRATORY BUBBLES AS FÖMILATOR NAMED FINALIST FOR TOY OF THE YEAR. Voting Opens August 15 For This Outdoor Toy Of The Year Finalist That Sprays Thick Fluffy Foam That Kids of All Ages & Abilities Adore. Seekonk, MA (August 15, 2022) – There has always been something special about bubbles. Parent toy company Little Kids Inc., the number one bubble manufacturer in the U.S., is blasting triumphant fluffy foam at its headquarters as its newest outdoor product, Föm Mania Fömilator ($19.99 MSRP) nabs a spot on the Toy Of The Year 2022 ballot. Votes can be cast at https://toyawards.org/toyaward/custom/OutdoorToy.aspx.
Safety and Counterfeiting
Over Two Million Infant Swings and Rockers Recalled After Baby’s Death. Hanging straps on certain MamaRoo swing and RockaRoo rocker models posed a risk of strangulation to crawling infants. The company is offering free strap fasteners to consumers. The restraint straps on the MamaRoo swings and RockaRoo rockers hang below the seat while not in use, creating the possibility that crawling infants could get stuck in them, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
Urgent warning issued to parents to watch out for 'dangerous' kids toys flooding the UK from abroad. Parents have been urged not to buy replicas of a popular children's soft toy after a London council found them to be "potentially dangerous". Trading standard officers from Barking and Dagenham Council discovered fake versions of Huggy Wuggy toys were being sold at Barking Market.
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
The Games Industry Conference, a new B2B event, will launch in the UK in February 2023. Planned elements include an exhibit hall, B2B programming, and open networking. The show will be open to people with a business interest in tabletop games, including publishers, designers, distributors, retailers, buyers, manufacturers, and logistics and fulfillment companies. The show is a joint venture of the UK Games Expo...
The Big Christmas Press Show returns this September, and this year is bigger than ever. The toy industry always has a particularly large presence at the show, and companies including Moose, JoJo Maman Bébé, Sambro Toys, Schleich and Epoch will all come together under one roof to showcase to the media their hottest products and offerings for Christmas. CIJ Group is delighted to welcome back one of its biggest and...
Top Pokémon Competitors Crowned at the 2022 Pokémon World Championships for the TCG and Video Game. The 2022 Pokémon World Championships came to a close yesterday following four days of intense matches and friendly competition in London, UK. The best Trainers from around the world attended the annual event to take part in the premier tournament for Pokémon video games and the Pokémon ...
***The above posted after August 19th***
THE PLAY DATE COMES TO NEW YORK CITY ON MARCH 8, 2023 Adventure Media & Events, publisher of the industry-leading media outlets the Toy Book and the Toy Insider, and The Toy Association have pulled back the curtain on plans for The Play Date. The Play Date is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for toy companies to showcase...
The GAMA Board of Directors met on August 18 and elected new officers. The new officers and their associated companies are: President: Frank West, City of Games, Vice President: Grace Collins, Snowbrght Studios, Treasurer: Stephan Brissaud, Funko Games, Secretary: Monica Meyer Rasso, Meeple at Sea
The 2022 Pokémon World Championships kick off on August 18, 2022. The 2022 Pokémon World Championships, the premier competitive Pokémon event of the year, kicks off Thursday, August 18. Fans around the world can tune in to all the action with live broadcasts from The Pokémon Company International on Twitch. The livestreams from London, UK will feature...
The Toy Foundation Announces Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards Finalists for 2022. A magical crystal ball, a giant pyramid climbing tower, and the most diverse assortment of dolls ever are among the 122 innovative finalists for the 2022 September’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. A long-treasured event, The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) TOTY Awards celebrate the creativity of the toy and play community and recognize the industry’s...
The Harvey Awards have revealed this year’s nominations in six different categories, and for the first time since the awards were revamped in 2018, a board game has been nominated in the Best Adaptation from a Comic Book/Graphic Novel category: Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage “Game” board game, which is based on Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT and published by Dark Horse Comics.
The combined Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China trade show is gearing up to present a wide range of domestic and international exhibitors at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center from Aug. 18-20. The three concurrent fairs have been postponed several times due to an increase of COVID-19 cases. More than 1,000 brands and companies have signed up to showcase...
RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed
If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our colleagues. Archives can be found HERE.
Liz Goulet Dubois - It’s with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Liz Goulet Dubois,, one of Fred’s most prolific and influential product designers. Liz was instrumental in launching the Fred brand back in 2004 — helping define the brand language of fun and functional products and accessories. Many of Liz’s early designs have become cornerstones of the brand, and remain best-sellers today.
Along with designing some of Fred’s most beloved products, Liz also mentored the young designers that joined the Fred team over the years. She was wonderfully weird, and looked at the world through a different set of lenses - fostering the sense of whimsy and playfulness that has been the foundation of the brand.
Liz left the company back in 2018 to focus her efforts on writing and illustrating children’s books. She thankfully was able to see the publishing of her first book in a series, Duck and Cluck: That Egg Is Mine!, released this past January. The sequel is due to be released next spring. Visit duckandcluck.net for more information.
A scholarship fund has been set up in Liz’s name through The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for young authors/illustrators who are looking to break into the field.
Through the month of August, we will donate all profits from the sale of Liz’s collection of products on our site to her scholarship fund. https://www.genuinefred.com/.../designer-liz-goulet-dubois
Liz’s life revolved around being creative. Though it was cut short, the contributions she’s given to so many through her designs and illustrations live on.
She was loved, and will be missed.
Her Friends at Fred
Amparo Serrano, One of Mexico’s most successful artists and toymakers has - known to many fans as Amparín — died last week following an accident in her home outside of Mexico City. The 56-year-old artist and designer was the creator and founder of Distroller, the international company behind the colorful Neonate Babies, Chamoy & Amiguis, and Virgencita Plis brands. Serrano founded Distroller in 2004 and built a business that quickly expanded across toys, licensing, and entertainment. The Neonate Babies aka Ksi-Meritos became an international hit that led to the opening of a few experiential Distroller World stores in the U.S. While the stores closed on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic, Distroller has remained a popular direct-to-consumer toy brand and recently exhibited at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.
Travis Day. Travis Day, an Irvine-area game designer who spent over a decade at Blizzard Entertainment, has died at age 41. The news comes from his sister Rachel Day, a VFX artist and producer at Bonfire Studios. No cause of death was given.
Day's journey in the video game industry began at 2005 at Blizzard Entertainment, where he worked first as a customer service representative, then quality assurance tester. He would eventually become a game designer on World of Warcraft and system designer on Diablo III. He also worked on major expansions for both titles.
In 2018, he left Blizzard Entertainment and joined Phoenix Labs, working on Dauntless. According to his Twitter profile, he also spent time at Lightspeed LA, Tencent's Irvine-area game development studio.
Day's colleagues left kind words for him in response to the news shared by his sister Rachel. He was described as "a pleasure and chat to work with," and "a friend, colleague and caring individual who shared his life and insights with anyone who would listen."
For her part, Rachel Day said that "Travis was loved greatly by friends and family and will be deeply missed."
Richard Tait, 1964-2022: ‘Cranium’ inventor and serial entrepreneur was ‘the ultimate dreamer’. Tait passed away on Monday at his Bainbridge Island, Wash., home from “continued pulmonary complications due to COVID-19,” according to a Facebook post by his family, shared with GeekWire. News of his death was also shared in a note to staff from Valor Equity Partners Co-President Jonathan Shulkin. Tait had been a partner at Valor Siren Ventures since March 2019.
“It is with great sadness that Valor Equity Partners announces the death of our colleague and friend Richard Tait,” Shulkin wrote. “Our Valor community, as well as the many people that worked with Richard over the years, mourn his passing. He will be greatly missed.”
“He was a great dad,” Finn said in one video. “It was like having Willy Wonka for a father. I love him very much and I’m going to miss him a lot.”
Tait started at Microsoft in July 1988 and is credited with launching a series of new businesses at the tech giant. He helped pioneer client server computing in the company’s operating system division, ran the CD-ROM business with products like Encarta, and started a number of consumer-oriented online services including Carpoint, Sidewalk and others, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Tait was even the first boss of current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whom he helped recruit from Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s.
“Cranium” board game. (Hasbro Image)
It became one of the fastest-selling games in history and spawned a number of “Cranium”-branded follow-ups and related products. Gaming giant Hasbro bought “Cranium” for $77.5 million in 2008.
“We set out to create a brand that would give everyone the chance to shine,” Tait said at the time of the sale. “We’ve accomplished that and so much more, making history with great products that have won five Toy Industry Association Game of the Year awards.” READ MORE...
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- Asmodee, Dark Horse Parent Acquires Lord of the Rings, Hobbit IP Rights
- Avalon Hill Teases Upcoming 'HeroQuest' Products at Gen Con 2022
- Fantasy Flight Games Announces 'Star Wars: The Deck-Building Game'
- Wizards of the Coast Partners with R.R. Donnelley
- Games Workshop Launches New 'The Lord of the Rings' Miniatures Boxed Set
- Rolling for Initiative -- Comments I Would Be Happy to Never Hear Again
- Gen Con 2022 Preview: 'D&D' Miniatures, Figures, and Statues
- Privateer Press Announces New 'Warmachine MKIV' Starter Set
- Wizards of the Coast Offers Up a 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Festival in a Box'
- Renegade Game Studios Reveals New 'Power Rangers: Deck-building Game' Expansion
Nación Juguetes (Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile & Spain)
The Toy Universe by The Bugg Report (Australia)
News Flash: Point City Announced, Rock Paper Heroes Pre-Order
A new game from the team that designed Point Salad has been announced, Marvel: Rock Paper Heroes – Enter the Danger Room is currently available for pre-order, and Pandasaurus has announced The Fox Experiment.
To celebrate our Casual Game Revolution 10th anniversary, our Summer 2022 issue is available to download for FREE for a limited time. This is a great opportunity to share your love of board gaming with a friend! Please use our special promo link
Video of the Week
The Mystery Behind the Invention of Clue | Where's the Fun from?
Anthony E. Pratt had the idea for the game that would become Clue in 1944. Second only to Monopoly in worldwide sales, this is the story of a game that gave new meaning to the expression "Foul Play." This is the Clue Edition of Where's the Fun from? (WTFF)
Thank you for being a reader of the Bloom Report. — Mary and Graeme
Founding Editor and Publisher (1998-2020, Retired): Philip Bloom
We are honored to carry on Phil's 22 year legacy and continue the Bloom Report. Phil has been a mensch
and we've loved working with him. Here is a fun and interesting interview with Phil.
If you would like to reach Phil: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.
Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson
Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher
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