the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary
Below is August 20 - 27, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

Articles are posted daily with the most recent at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 
Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Welcome to your Weekly News Brief . . . 

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Happy Friday! 

Who’s YOUR drummer? The recent passing of the Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts prompted Tim Kilpin to ponder this: who keeps the rhythm through the chaos? And since chaos is a sure bet for the foreseeable future, we all need to recognize and honor the pacemakers in our own bands – they are the pulse that keeps us going.


​And the beat goes on…

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.

Mary

tBR Columnist Tim Kilpin:  Who's Your Drummer?

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Damn.  Charlie Watts.  In the macabre bingo game that is guessing who from the Rolling Stones would go next, did anyone think Keith would outlive Charlie?  Over the next few weeks, you will hear more of Charlie’s drumming than you’ve likely enjoyed for many years.  And it will not be enough.  Charlie Watts made music out of creative chaos for an entire generation.  It had a good beat.  You could dance to it.

 

David Hepworth, an outstanding writer and erudite rock scholar, has argued persuasively that the drummer is the only ‘unsackable’ member of any band.  If you care, I’d urge you to seek out his column on the topic.  It’s hilarious and spot on.

 

So.  Who’s your drummer?  Who on your team keeps the beat?  Who makes music out of chaos?  Who stays unflappable, in the pocket and on the groove when the rest of your day, week, year is turning to s#$t?  If you don’t know the answer to this question immediately, I’d encourage you to figure it out.   Read More . . . 

tBR Person of the Week: Josh Malone

THE AMERICA INVENTS ACT: A DECADE OF STOLEN DREAMS - SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

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My Bunch O Balloons Invention

I quit my corporate job in 2006 to become a full time inventor and entrepreneur. It was a huge investment and risk for my entire family. We gave up my salary as a process engineer, mortgaged our home, depleted our retirement fund, and deferred our children’s college fund. We knew that financial success was statistically unlikely, as most startups fail for a variety of reasons. But I believed that if I invented a commercially viable solution to the problems at hand I would secure ownership of that invention by a U.S. patent. Sadly I was mistaken. I never dreamed that so-called judges inside the Patent Office would take away my patent the moment I needed to use it.


My invention Bunch O Balloons solved a 63 year long problem of filling and sealing water balloons. The commercial embodiment is comprised of 35 balloons fastened to the ends of flexible tubes by tiny elastic rings, the other ends of tubes joined to a garden hose connector. Water flows down each of the tubes to simultaneously fill the balloons, and when the balloons are detached the elastic ring clinches the neck of the balloon shut. You can make 100 water balloons in a minute.

My life changed when I posted Bunch O Balloons on Kickstarter and raised $930,000 from 21,000 backers.

Read More . . . 

tBR Person of the Week: Hidden Role's David Yakos and Branson Faust chat with Mary Couzin

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Hidden Role Podcast, The Brains Behind Your Favorite Toys and Games!

 

In this episode, we talk to Mary Couzin, president and founder of ChiTAG, recently rebranded as People of Play. Her stewardship of the Toy and Game fair has shaped the industry for two decades, helping inventors to connect to publishers and retailers.

 

Learn the origins of ChiTAG, how she grew it into a vibrant trade show, and her advice for anyone entering the industry of play.

Read More . . .

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Financial & Legal News . . .

A record number of container ships are stuck waiting to enter California’s two largest ports as labor shortages and COVID-19 disruptions continue to roil a supply chain that’s being pushed to its limits ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. A total of 46 freight ships are at anchor or in a drift area waiting to enter the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Marine Exchange of Southern California...

China’s strict limits on how long minors can play online video games just got stricter. Chinese children and teenagers are barred from online gaming on school days, and limited to one hour a day on weekend and holiday evenings, under government rules issued Monday.

The rules, released by the National Press and Publication Administration, tightened restrictions from 2019 aimed at what the government...

Full border reopening between China and Hong Kong may be postponed until after the Beijing Winter Olympics  Multiple sources suggest that the border between Guangdong and HK will remain closed until March 2022.  As the HK government has previously stated that its first priority is to open the border with China, it is logical to assume that intl travel restrictions currently in place will not be lifted until after this date. 

WowCube raises $1.5M from Xsolla founder for its Rubik’s Cube-like game device. Cubios, the creator of the WowCube handheld gaming cube, has raised $1.5 million from the founder of Xsolla, Aleksandr Agapitov. The funding is part of a total of $4.5 million raised in the company’s latest round.

The Nacelle Co. Acquires Revell’s Power Lords Brand; Plans Toys, Comics, Animated Series.  The company behind Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us, the multiplatform A Toy Store Near You, and Behind The Attraction for Disney+ followed the recent news that it's acquired Ideal Toys' Robo Force brand with word that the Power Lords — produced by Revell in the 1980s — will join its portfolio.

(the above posted after August 27th)

Disney Store tie-up with Target to expand in time for Christmas  The US retailer has said that its Disney Store at Target concept will be rolled-out across a further 100+ locations. The news comes shortly after Disney announced in March that it planned to close at least 60 Disney retail stores in North America, about 20% of its worldwide total, as it revamped its digital shopping platforms to focus more on online sales. 

Tencent acquires CoComelon   The streamer now has five Moonbug shows in its lineup, broadening the prodco's reach significantly in China. The streamer acquired 180 episodes of the 3D-animated educational series in both English and Mandarin. CoComelon uses songs and nursery rhymes to teach kids basic concepts and activities such as getting ready for bed and why they should eat their vegetables.

Sainsbury’s could be next UK supermarket in line for private equity interest  According to reports, the US buyout firm Apollo is said to be taking an exploratory look at the Sainsbury’s business. Last week, the buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) gained the backing of the Morrisons board for its £7b offer to buy the UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain. 

Toys R Us: Toy brand could return to the UK after launching 400 new stores in the US. Toys R Us was founded in the US in 1957 before launching in the UK in the 1980s. The brand was much-loved by Britons across the country, but the fall of the high street and the rise of online shopping in recent years have seen many shops struggle to keep afloat. 

South Korea is axing its game curfew for minors. The South Korean government has announced its intent to roll back the country’s decade-old gaming curfew for young players. The ban should be lifted by the end of the year. Per The Korea Herald, this decision comes from the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.

California says Activision Blizzard is hampering suit, shredding documents. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed an update to its lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of stonewalling the state regulator and shredding documents relevant to its investigation. The court filing, first spotted by Axios, includes a broad swath of notable updates to the State of California’s case. 

Walmart launches delivery business to connect other local retailers with consumers. Walmart on Tuesday announced the launch of a delivery service called GoLocal, which will carry goods from other local retailers to consumers. The company said it expects to begin shipping by the end of 2021 and that the delivery fleet would include newer technologies, such as self-driving vehicles and drones. 

New Toys “R” Us owner plans expanded Canadian presence, improved website. New stores, new toys and a list of 100 ideas to grow the company. That’s what Doug Putman has in mind for Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us Canada once he finalizes a deal to acquire the retailer’s 81 locations. 

Epic claims that Google offered preferential treatment to keep devs on Play Store. In an unredacted copy of Epic’s antitrust suit against Google, Epic alleges that Google’s anticompetitive practices extend to offering special financial incentives to game and app developers to maintain their presence on the Google Play store. 

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Stories, Comments & Advice . . .

John Baulch, ToyWorld UK - Some bloke says …it’s the Friday Blog! The message about potential toy shortages and empty festive shelves reached new heights this week when, during a visit to Singapore, US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke not about unfolding events in Afghanistan or the latest pandemic-related developments, but about impending toy shortages in the US.

The Real Reason Kids Don’t Like School. Loneliness is a far bigger problem than a distaste for hard work. A tour through the research on learning and happiness reveals that kids’ feelings about school have less to do with age, race, or socioeconomic background than two basic factors: friendship and interest. Fortunately, with a little knowledge about both, we can make life better for all the students out there...

HOW TOY AND ENTERTAINMENT COMPANIES CAN BENEFIT FROM CREATING NON-FUNGIBLE TOKENS.  While the technology behind blockchain and cryptocurrency may seem daunting, the basic concept of an NFT is fairly simple to explain. The value of any collectible item comes from verifiable scarcity and, as we have started to live in an increasingly digital world, there hasn’t been a way to provide that for digital items...

When Geek Culture went Pop! | Kids Industries on how we’ve all adopted the geek market (without even realising) Aleksandra Szczerba, researcher at Kids Industries, explores the ubiquity of geek culture today, and the very real chance that if you’re reading this, you’ve long since become one. No longer constrained by the four walls of a dimly-lit basement or the stacks of a comic book store. 

Something magical happens behind the walls of Leith Toy Hospital. Incredible pictures show the detailed workings by specialists at a toy hospital - where around 100 precious teddies and dolls are restored a month. Started by Mari Jones, 30, in 2017, a team of eight staff specialise in plastics, ceramics, historical textiles - and there is even a doll hairstylist.

How much IP ownership is enough? A growing number of creators want more than the standard 5% and several new prodcos are promising a greater stake in order to attract talent and bring in more money. There are many different ways that a deal can be structured, but typically, if an independent creator pitches a concept to a production company or broadcaster, they’ll retain a 2% to 10% stake in the IP. 

Trade, Build, Settle: 25 Years of Catan. The global pandemic may have delayed 25th anniversary celebrations for the multiplayer board game, but it hasn’t delayed Catan’s transformation into a lifestyle brand.  Launched in 1995, Catan is a gaming phenomenon, and the past year has only reaffirmed the game’s importance to its millions of fans as time spent apart has highlighted the unique ability of boardgames...

Toy fads are getting bigger but shorter. You can be sure that we have passed peak Pop It toys because someone in his forties without kids is talking about it. Rather that a hit toy of the year or ever evolving versions of them, they appeared on TikTok as #popit in early 2021 and proceeded to generate almost 10 billion views of people playing with them. As their popularity began to rise, so did the orders. 

YouTuber accuses million-dollar retro game sales of being scams.  Vintage video games, like factory-sealed copies of The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System, have suddenly started selling for eye-popping prices, and a new video documentary claims potential fraud could be a big part of the reason why. 

Mysterious and super rare Nintendo Game & Watch discovered at auction. A Yahoo Auctions listing in Japan made headlines in the collecting community recently when it offered for purchase a Nintendo Game & Watch that was so rare many people were convinced it was fake. As Nintendo super-fan and author of the incredible History of Nintendo series of books...

Shoppers told to buy Christmas presents early amid Brexit shortages. Business groups have warned that a combination of Brexit, resulting in a mass exodus of HGV drivers, combined with pandemic-related staff shortages in manufacturing will mean there are shortages of goods this Christmas and urged consumers to get orders in “nice and early” this year or risk missing out. 

Computer Space and beyond: 50 years of gaming. What is now a multi-billion pound industry started out as a humble arcade machine created by a group of college students in 1971. Before then, playing video games had been a geeky pastime for small groups on university tech campuses, but in 1971, Nolan Bushnell, a student at the University of Utah, joined up with Jim Stein, a Stanford University researcher, to make a game. 

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Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Tutor Play Computer from TOMYIn 1984, TOMY released the Tutor Play Computer, an educational toy for preschool-age children to learn their ABCs, discover, and play grown-up. The blue and white plastic toy computer measured approximately 5″ x 6″ x 7″ and included two rows of six orange keys, a yellow space bar, red reset key, yellow rewind dial, and a series of graphics printed on a scroll housed inside.

Musingo from Mattel (1962). What would you get if you combined bingo with music? Musingo, the “surprise musical” game from Mattel! Two to four players roll a die to move red monkey markers around the outside of  bingo cards. Landing on a coin space yields a gold coin that can be cashed in later, when landing on a Musingo space, to “pay and play” the Musingo Man. 

Junior Chef See-It-Bake Oven from Argo Industries Corp. The popularity of Kenner’s Easy-Bake Oven toy line inspired some competing toy ovens in the late 1960s and 1970s. In 1971, Argo Industries launched a line of Junior Chef “See-It” toys that included the See-It-Bake Oven. Powered by a single 100-watt incandescent light bulb, the See-It-Bake Oven was constructed with a clear plastic top, allowin...

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

The World According to Grandpa goes liveIn addition to launching a stage show, the preschool series is expanding with an AVOD deal and a Welsh-language version. The stage show will feature puppetry and projection work to bring the hybrid 25 x 11-minute series to life. The World According to Grandpa premiered in November 2020 and explores the fantastical stories a grandfather tells his grandkids.

Sesame Street‘s latest collaboration is bringing the muppets to four-legged friends. BARK has a new limited edition collection of Sesame Street character dog toys — allowing Bark Box subscribers to choose between a free Elmo “pup-pet” toy, Big Bird rope tug toy, or Cookie Monster sandwich toy with crinkle and squeaker features. 

(the above posted after August 27th)

NCircle & Mill Creek pick up Mattel rights   The DVD and digital-on-demand deal includes several Barbie specials, as well as the new Thomas & Friends and Masters of the Universe series. Together, the indie companies will distribute DVD versions of several Mattel series and specials to retailers, as well as working on securing digital pay-per-view and on-demand deals for the brands.

Asmodee Entertainment teams with Ata-Boy to launch new collectable gifts inspired by CATANAsmodee Entertainment is continuing on its charge for the expanded merchandise arena, having partnered with Ata-Boy to bring its hit tabletop gaming title, CATAN to the collectable gift space. 

Nelvana Tapped to Rep Care Bears Licensing in Canada. Nelvana’s role includes securing new licensing deals and working with existing licensees on merchandise, publishing, and promotions in Canada for Care Bears, which is owned by Cloudco Ent. “Nelvana’s previous experience working with the Care Bears brand makes them the perfect licensing partner” ...

Dino Ranch Signs Additional License Partners. Boat Rocker, licensing agent for preschool series Dino Ranch, recently secured new license partners for the property across kids and family product categories. The latest licensees include Baby Boom Consumer Products for bedding, High Point Design for hosiery, and Kurt S. Adler for holiday decor in the U.S. and Canada.

ZAG Hits Miraculous Milestone for Licensing, Retail Business.  The entertainment powerhouse behind Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir says that its flagship brand hit a new milestone this week as it surpassed $1 billion in global retail sales. Now, ZAG is following up the North American debut of new products from ZAG Labs and Playmates toys with a new raft of licensing deals for the U.S.

Arcade1Up Jr. Launches with PAW Patrol, Pac-Man Cabinets.  Following the release of its Infinity Game Table at Best Buy this week, Tastemakers’ Arcade1Up revealed a deal with Spin Master Entertainment for a 3-foot retro arcade cabinet inspired by the famous pups from Adventure Bay. Arcade1Up Jr. PAW Patrol and Pac-Man cabinets are geared toward younger gamers ages 4 and up. 

Super7 Debuts The Simpsons Ultimates! Collection.  D’oh! Get ready to travel to the suburban land of Springfield with Super7’s new The Simpsons Ultimates! Figures. This highly anticipated first wave of figures is inspired by fan-favorite The Simpsons episodes, including “Deep Space Homer,” “Itchy & Scratchy Land,” and “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show.”

Octonauts Spin-off Is Heading to Netflix with Toys to Follow.  The Octonauts are an eight-member team of courageous underwater explorers who dive into action whenever there is trouble under the sea. Now, the team is heading out of the water to help land animals in a new spin-off series from Silvergate Media: Octonauts: Above & Beyond.

Like Nastya Gets a Toy Line from Jazwares, NFTs from Gary Vee. The empire of 7-year-old YouTube sensation Anastasia Radzinskaya — aka Like Nastya — just got bigger. In a partnership brokered by IMG, Like Nastya will come to toy aisles this fall with a full range of toys designed by Jazwares. Additionally, Nastya has a full collection of NFTs created in partnership with Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerNFT.

Hasbro expands partnership with PlayMonster   The toymakers will release new products based on the preschool brand Playskool in early 2022. This isn’t the first time Hasbro and Playmonster have worked together. Last year, the companies partnered on a line of toys based on classic ball brand KOOSH, and they also inked a licensing deal for Spirograph in 2019.

Mattel Partners with Etermax for Trivia Crack The Board Game. Mattel, together with etermax, an international tech company and creator of Trivia Crack and Word Crack, have announced the launch of Trivia Crack The Board Game. The launch of the interactive and fast-paced family trivia game comes along with an Instagram filter to challenge friends anywhere for free. 

Fortnite, Street Fighter, and Lord of the Rings all coming to Magic: The Gathering. Wizards of the Coast has detailed a full slate of new Magic: The Gathering products, including crossovers with the Fortnite and Street Fighter franchises, scheduled to land at retailers in 2022. Among a list of announcements, the team also revealed that the highly anticipated Magic: The Gathering animated series will be coming to Netflix...

Fluppy Dogs launches new cartoon, toys. Fluppy Dogs is releasing a “Fluffy Fluppy Dogs” cartoon series this fall, toward the end of October. The cartoon has an inclusive theme that embraces both humans and animals with special needs. The “Fluffy Fluppy Dogs” YouTube Channel will air every main episode and minisode for free, worldwide. Fluppy Dogs also has self-manufactured toys ready to go to market. 

YouTube sensation Like Nastya to launch first toy line with Jazwares. The YouTube sensation, Like Nastya, has detailed the autumn launch of her first toy line, a range developed by the international toy maker, Jazwares in a partnership brokered by the global licensing agency, IMG. The seven-year-old social media star’s toy line represents the latest expansion of Nastya’s universe in which Nastya and her parents play, learn...

Source Point to adapt Asmodee Games to comics. Source Point Press and Asmodee Entertainment have set up a licensing agreement that will allow Source Point to publish comics set in the worlds of three of Asmodee’s best-selling tabletop games: Legend of the Five Rings, Mysterium, and Pandemic. 

Rubies among latest herd of licensing partners for hit preschool series Dino RanchThe dress up and costumes specialist, Rubies has been listed among a suite of new US, Canadian, and EMEA licensing partners for the break out hit preschool series, Dino Ranch. Having launched in January, the popular preschool series has proved to be a hit with both audiences and licensees, with multiple deals...

Asmodee Entertainment to launch online merchandise stores for popular Fantasy Flight Games titles. Asmodee Entertainment has entered into a new licensing partnership with Event Merchandising Limited to launch a series of ‘one-stop-shops’ for fans of Fantasy Flight Games Studio’s Arkham Horror, Legend of the Five Rings, and Twilight Imperium across the world. Just the latest example of Asmodee Entertainment’s...

Elmo and Cookie Monster join the Tonies line-up as Sesame Street partners with the kids’ audio system. Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Addy Caddaby, a popular trio from the iconic preschool series, Sesame Street, will be making their way onto the children’s audio storytelling platform, Tonies thanks to a new partnership spanning the US, UK, Germany and more. 

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People . . . 

Mattel's CEO wants old toys to make new money. Mattel went through three chief executives in four years before Ynon Kreiz took the job in 2018. He stood the test of time in part because of a big bet: taking Mattel's toys to Hollywood. The toy giant is partnering with Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie to bring Barbie to life on the big screen, and creating films based on everything from UNO to Magic 8 Ball.

Hasbro announced that Jess Richardson was promoted to VP, global licensed consumer products — toys and games.  Richardson will lead a newly created global team to continue to mine the full Hasbro IP portfolio to accelerate Hasbro’s broad brand portfolio on a global scale in the Toy, Sporting Goods, and Game categories. Richardson will transition from his current position as Sr Director Category Licensing, N.A., Hardlines...

(the above posted after August 27th)

Up Country, Inc. Appoints Cynthia Barlow CEO. She previously worked with Up Country for six years, via her public relations and social media agency, NOBL Communications. She then joined the company in-house as vice president of marketing communications. She was responsible for the creation and launch of a new website for Up Country, expansion of its social media presence, and development of its products...

Spin Master chief executive officer Max Rangel talks brand strategy in the newest episode of The Licensing Mixtape, out now. From entertainment brands like "Paw Patrol" and "Bakugan" to global toy partnerships with the likes of DC, Max Rangel, chief executive officer, global president, Spin Master shares his view on the key pillars of Spin Master’s future.

Nickelodeon taps former HBO exec for SVP role  Former Game of Thrones and Westworld franchise-builder Sabrina Caluori will oversee launch strategy for the kidcaster's original shows and movies. Based in New York, Caluori reports to chief marketing officer Jenny Wall, and began in the role on August 24.

BBC Studios ups Suzy Raia to SVP   As SVP of consumer products and business development, she will head up licensing strategy for preschool brand Bluey in the US, Canada and LatAm. Based in New York, Raia started in her new role on August 23 and reports to chief commercial officer Tara Maitra.

Ashley Maidy joins Riot as head of global consumer products. Former managing partner of Maidy Management, Ashley Maidy joins Riot Games as head of global consumer products. Maidy previously served as vice president head of global licensing and partnerships for Activision from 2011 to 2020. In 2000, she held the position of president of licensing at Sony Pictures Entertainment...

Wondery recruits former WB exec for kids expansion  Nicole Blake will head up franchise development at the podcast studio, with a mandate to launch new kids content and expand its reach beyond audio. Based in LA, Blake started in her newly created role on August 23 and is already heading up several new shows that are currently in the works...

Bambola Toymaster’s John Testori appointed to Board of Directors of Toymaster Ltd. John Testori, the owner of the popular Jersey toy shop Bambola Toymaster, a long serving member of the UK toy buying group, is to be appointed to the Board of Directors of Toymaster Ltd as a non-executive director.  

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Companies, Brands . . .  

TikTok is expanding its in-app parental controls feature, Family Pairing, with educational resources designed to help parents better support their teenage users, the company announced morning. The pairing feature allows parents of teens aged 13 and older to connect their accounts with the child’s so the parent can set controls related to screen time use, who the teen can direct message...

Moose Toys Names Neil Patrick Harris as “Magic Ambassador” for Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron Launch.  The Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron is a new toy that comes with everything that kids need to conjure up some fun. Kids add water and are prompted by the cauldron to add a variety of mystical ingredients that foam, bubble, and help create the Mixie — an interactive, magical pet. 

Moose Toys announced the launch and pre-sale of its new Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron, which become available online and in-stores Oct. 1. Included with each toy are a cauldron, spell book, and potion-mixing ingredients. After adding water, children are prompted by the cauldron to add ingredients that will foam and bubble to help create their magic interactive Mixie pet — including sparkle for its eyes and a feather... 

WarnerMedia launches new family block  Featuring fresh Looney Tunes and holiday content, ACME Night will launch on Cartoon Network in Sept., before heading to HBO Max in 2022. Starting at 6 pm EST/PST on Sundays, the block aims to give families something to watch together. Named after the corp. featured in Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote segments of classic Warner Bros. series Looney Tunes, ACME Night will kick off ...

Disney ‘accelerating’ European focus with originals to hit 60 by 2024.  Disney+ is allowing the Mouse House to “put the afterburners” on its European production efforts according to its EMEA president, who used a keynote at SeriesMania to unveil the latest details of its upcoming slate from the region. Jan Koeppen, Disney’s EMEA president, said that while the company had been known for its “big stories”...

DreamWorks rolls out new Croods toon  The Croods: Family Tree will be the latest series from the studio to premiere simultaneously on Hulu and Peacock. The Croods: Family Tree revolves around two families struggling to live together on a farm during prehistoric times. Mark Banker (Go, Dog, Go!) and Todd Grimes (The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants) will serve as executive producers on the CG-animated comedy.

The Entertainer to celebrate 40th birthday with £27k giveaway  The toy retailer plans to give away gift vouchers to shoppers this weekend, as well as holding free parties in all of its stores. Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer, said: “This is a huge milestone for us. With every passing decade we’re grateful to all customers existing and new and we wanted to do something special to celebrate...

Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go to arrive on Milkshake! in November  All Engines Go is only the fourth major revamp ever for Thomas & Friends in the property's 75-year history. 

Board game pioneer CMON teams with Monsoon Digital for new foray into NFTs  The hit board game publisher, CMON Ltd has partnered with Monsoon Digital to launch a new series of digital products and promotional material using Monsoon’s soon-to-launch NFT trading platform. Slated to go live later this year, Monsoon will become the exclusive platform for CMON digital collectable items, cards, artwork, and games. 

Mattel's Play Lab expands into content  Going forward, the research arm will be heavily involved in developing both programming and toys. Historically, Play Lab focused on designing toys for Mattel’s brands based on observing its 2,000-strong preschool and parent panel. Moving forward, the research arm will work alongside the content teams and be heavily involved in developing shows, says Lisa Lohiser, Fisher-Price’s...

(the above posted after August 27th)

Peek-A-Roo combines pandas, kangaroos, and interactive surprises. Spin Master has officially launched Peek-A-Roo, an interactive plush toy that’s part panda and part kangaroo, with a pouch that magically reveals a baby inside. When kids press the toy’s foot, its pouch opens to reveal a mystery baby nuzzled inside. There are three possible animal babies overall. Peek-A-Roo also responds to touch with more than 150 sounds..

Netflix launches first games  Two Stranger Things mobile games are now available in Poland as part of the company's initial steps into the playable space. Earlier this year, Netflix announced its intention to produce games for subscribers, but few details were provided at the time. “We view gaming as another content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” ...

Funko increases seasonal presence in collaboration with Hallmark, Walmart. Over the past few years, Funko‘s increasing range of holiday-themed Pop! vinyl figures and other products have opened the doors to new opportunities to become a player in the seasonal category itself. Following news earlier this year that the Washington-based pop culture consumer products company inked a deal with Jakks Pacific’s...

The LEGO Foundation and KIRKBI offer $15.7m to support children in Haiti and Afghanistan. The LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group’s owners, KIRKBI have offered up 100 million Danish Kroner – the equivalent to $15.7m – to support vulnerable children in Haiti and Afghanistan with partners Unicef, the UN Refugee Agency, and Education Cannot Wait. 

ShopTalk Episode 14: Sloomoo Founders Karen Robinovitz & Sara Schiller. Founders of Sloomoo Slime Institute in NYC, Karen Robinovitz and Sara Schiller, join this episode of aNb Media’s ShopTalk to discuss how Sloomoo came to be, slime and mental health, types of slimes, and future plans for Sloomoo. PLUS, an EXCLUSIVE tour of Sloomoo Institute!

Melissa & Doug appoints DKB Toys & Distribution as UK distributor  The partnership will see DKB service over 2,000 UK customers for Melissa & Doug, which says demand for its product is going from strength to strength. Melissa & Doug will continue to service its key customers directly but DKB will pick up the extended customer base of over 2,000 UK customers from this summer onwards.

HUGE! Play Unveils Gamebud Talking Tom at Licensing Expo Virtual.  The digital doors to Licensing Expo Virtual are open and HUGE! Play just dropped the curtain on its new interactive toy. Based on Outfit7’s popular digital character, Gamebud Talking Tom is billed as “the world’s first audio-animatronic, smart game gear, which fuses gaming, interactive devices, and play into one packaged product.

Hasbro and Vrbo Partner to Offer a Stay at the NERF Lake House. Located in Grand Lake O’ Cherokees in Oklahoma, the lake house is outfitted with a fully-immersive NERF setting, including bucket ball, trampoline games, and NERF toys, blasters, and gear. The property sleeps 30, with 12 bathrooms, multiple living rooms, and wraparound decks with lake views.

Sunny Days Entertainment Debuts Honey Bee Acres Collection. Welcome to the sweetest town around! Sunny Days Entertainment launched Honey Bee Acres, a new toy line meant to inspire kids through storytelling, imagination, and creativity. This collection features miniature flocked animal characters, playsets, environments, and accessories.

Educational Insights’ Artie Max Is a Coding Robot That Draws.  A new coding robot draws inspiration from future programmers and makes sure the “A” remains in STEAM. Artie Max from Educational Insights is intended for kids ages 8 and up to learn advanced coding skills through STEAM learning.

YouTube Kids to Remove “Overly Commercial Content” and Paid Placements. A new challenge has opened in the ongoing battle for eyeballs on YouTube: a ban on “content with commercial elements” on the YouTube Kids app. Following a rollout of updated best practices for kids and family content and a new suite of safety and “digital wellbeing options for younger people” on YouTube and YouTube Kids...

The Toy Book Introduces “The Get List”.  Calling all toymakers: Do you have product in-stock in U.S. warehouses that’s ready to ship? If so, submit to The Get List — the Toy Book’s new free resource that connects retailers with manufacturers that have product available to “get” right now! The list will be updated with curated, in-stock items every Tuesday and Thursday. Get full details and submit your products here....

Moose Toys launches crafted soft doll range Dream Seekers to inspire girls to believe in themselves Moose Toys has unveiled a new line of crafted soft dolls designed to inspire girls to ‘believe in themselves and follow their dreams’ under the brand name Dream Seekers. As part of the launch campaign, the toy maker has partnered with Rebel Girls to create four mini episodes of its flagship podcast to inspire young

L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls to stage first ever UK live shows   The hugely popular dolls are going on a nationwide tour to support the upcoming L.O.L. Surprise! movie.  Tickets have just gone on sale for the L.O.L. Surprise! Live VIP Party, which kicks off in Sheffield in Nov. and features life-size versions of the dolls dancing and singing songs from the upcoming L.O.L. Surprise! movie. The tour is being staged in collaboration...

You can now browse the Disney Ultimate Princess Castle on Zillow. Hasbro and Zillow are teaming up to celebrate Disney’s “World Princess Week” by giving Disney fans and Zillow browsers the opportunity to take a look inside Hasbro’s Disney Princess Ultimate Celebration Castle. The listing includes fully furnished rooms and interior design. Browsers can check out the vintage appliances, big windows and the garden swing...

Bullseye’s Top Toys List is Back and Better than Ever, Plus Big Disney News.  The holidays will be here before you know it, and in true Target style, we’re dialing up the joy bigtime for the young and young-at-heart. Our fun-loving pup Bullseye is back with the 50 Top Toys of 2021 that’ll spark joy with toys and games for kids of all ages and fit a variety of budgets (gifts start at just $19.99). 

Spin Master’s Bakugan franchise will be the first to premiere a full-length series episode on the online platform Roblox. Bakugan is a global battling franchise consisting of an anime adventure series, toy line, card game, and video game. Spin Master announced the rollout of an extensive global consumer products program for the brand last year. 

LEGO continues Saudi Arabia expansion with new LEGO Store at Mall of Dhahran  The LEGO Group has opened its fifth official store in Saudi Arabia, having cut the ribbon on its new location within the Mall of Dhahran earlier this month, bringing LEGO fans a new 149sqm interactive retail space for families and kids. The new store welcomes visitors with a one-of-a-kind large-scale 3D mosaic of the map...

New Vuly Play Toy Inventor Program open for submissions   The Toy Inventor Program is open to entrants across the globe to submit a toy-related concept, idea, or design, not restricted to outdoor play. Offering toy inventors a platform to turn their ideas into a reality, Vuly Play has asked inventors to submit a detailed description of the invention listing; its purpose, how it works, what benefits it has, along with...

LEGO details launch of LEGO City Stuntz ‘a sensational new play experience’ for the LEGO CityLEGO has detailed the arrival of a ‘sensational new play experience’ within its LEGO City portfolio in the form of LEGO City Stuntz, a range designed to ‘expand the play theme to new heights and storylines.’ 

Hot property: The L.O.L. Surprise! OMG House of Surprises hits the marketReal estate is hot this year and one of the hottest properties just hit the market. MGA Entertainment (MGAE) officially launched The LOL OMG House of Surprises, the sprawling, 4-level, 10-room estate that will be at the top of L.O.L. Surprise! fans’ minds this fall. The dollhouse features an urban vibe and comes with 85 surprises for kids to discover. 

Mattel debuts new He-Man and The Masters of the Universe toys as first Netflix trailer lands. Mattel has lifted the lid on a new collection of toys and action figures inspired by the new animated Netflix series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, a CGI reinvention of the cult classic series that has been developed for a new generation of fans. 

The Wiggles adds members, launches new show Putting inclusivity at the front of its growth strategy, the 30-year-old group is doubling in size with four new Wiggles and YouTube series Fruit Salad TV.

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

Pokémon Go’s pandemic-era distance changes are here to stay. Niantic announced Wednesday that it’s going back on at least one of its controversial gameplay changes to Pokémon Go. The company is permanently increasing the distance you can be from the real-world locations of Pokéstops and Gyms and still interact with them. 

Midnight Suns is a new Marvel tactics RPG from XCOM studio Firaxis. Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a newly revealed tactical RPG from Firaxis Games that was just announced at Gamescom’s opening night event. The game is said to take place in the “darker side of the Marvel Universe,” and it will have players take on the role of a new hero, The Hunter (which Firaxis created with Marvel).

Microsoft to launch cloud gaming service on Xbox consoles. Microsoft is bringing its cloud gaming service to Xbox consoles later this year. The company announced that Xbox Cloud Gaming, which lets players stream games rather than having to install them onto a device, would arrive on its new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles as well as older Xbox One machines this holiday. 

Arcade1up Jr. launches with Paw Patrol, Pac-Man cabinetsFollowing the release of its Infinity Game Table at Best Buy this week, Tastemakers’ Arcade1Up revealed a deal with Spin Master Entertainment for a 3-foot retro arcade cabinet inspired by the famous pups from Adventure Bay. Arcade1Up Jr.

Twitch streamers plan to protest continuing lack of action on hate raids. A number of Twitch streamers are planning to turn their channels off on September 1st to protest Twitch’s continued slow response to a spike of bigoted harassment on the site. The protest is being organized by streamers like RekItRaven, using the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch.

Gamasutra is becoming Game Developer. Kris Graft is publisher of Gamasutra.We now have a brand new site! Go to www.gamedeveloper.com. This site will soon redirect. Gamasutra is becoming Game Developer. The time has come to respectfully lay to rest the name Gamasutra, a title that's been around for nearly 25 years and has become known as a leading resource and reference for game development and industry...

MGA takes next leap into video games with LOL Surprise Movie Night for Nintendo SwitchMGA Entertainment is preparing for its latest helping of video game action, teaming with the games publisher Nighthawk Interactive to launch LOL Surprise Movie Night exclusively to the Nintendo Switch. 

Roblox faces criticism for 'exploiting' young game developers. Game developers today are reacting strongly to a YouTube video posted by the channel People Make Games, in which host Quintin Smith argues that Roblox Corporation is taking advantage of young people trying to make games on the platform. In a 22-minute video, Smith lays out a number of concerns that young developers face when trying to make games...

Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

Razor recalling thousands of Hoverboards due to defective battery packsThousands of self-balancing scooters/hoverboards are being recalled due to a malfunctioning battery that can catch on fire. As a parent, this is not something you want to hear especially if your kid has the specific brand that is being recalled. I suppose I shouldn't refer to it as something only kids ride, I see plenty of adults scooting around my neighborhood on hoverboards too. 

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Highlighted Press Releases . . . 

SANTA’S NICE LIST IS GROWING THANKS TO PARENTS WHO TRUST GOODTIMER!  Kids Are Encouraged To Form Healthy Habits With This Electronic Educational Toy That Uses Positive Reinforcement, Tangible Incentives and Family Participation.  If you’re a parent you’re all too familiar with the stressful morning routine or the bedtime battle to get the kids up the stairs when it’s bedtime. With the holidays around the corner, it won’t be too long before Santa starts making his ‘Naughty or Nice’ list, and wouldn’t it be nice if there was a solution that encouraged kids to be ‘nice’ without the threat of getting coal in their stocking? This holiday season, try Goodtimer ($79.95 at gogoodtimer.com) and be amazed when your kids listen the first time and make good choices on their own!

(the above posted after August 27th)

Laser Pegs has launched a new website, making it easier to ship light-up bricks direct to people’s homes, and they’ve announced the upcoming release of their new Explorers Inc. Collection, which launches this September.  Laser Pegs is also running a sweepstakes on their website to celebrate this milestone, giving one family a $250 visa gift card and the complete Explorers Inc. Collection.

Spin Master is partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national organization of local chapters focused on providing youth with equal access to opportunities and experiences, donating a total of $275,000 USD to the non-profit in 2021 to further enhance art programming for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Zebra Partners Growing Leadership in Video Games, Tech, Toys and more. Global PR firm Zebra Partners, known for its work in gaming, new technologies and toys and family entertainment, is expanding its leadership team with the appointment of gaming PR veteran Johner Riehl to Vice President of Gaming and Content, and long-time Zebra executive Michele Spring Fajeau to Vice President of Family and Technology.

The Little Prince Collections Premiere in Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Novel's Publication in France. North American licensing agent Licensing Works! and SOGEX, the global Licensor for all right in and relating to The Little Prince / Le Petit Prince , are pleased to premier new collections featuring The Little Prince from over a dozen new licensees joining the N.A. roster of over 40 partners committed...

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards, Events & Festivals . . . 

WIT Appoints New Board Members for 2021. Women in Toys, Licensing, & Entertainment (WIT) announced the appointment of six new members to its Board of Directors for 2021. In January, four members were elected to serve their first term: Mattel EVP and chief people officer Amy Thompson; ViacomCBS SVP of retail sales and marketing Kristi Wasmer; Toy’n Around senior sales executive Michelle Weber; and...

Toy Association & Clamour's Holiday 2021 Influencer Choice List Now Accepting Submissions.  The Toy Association and Clamour are currently accepting submissions from toy companies for the Holiday 2021 Influencer Choice List. The list recognizes the top toys and games for the holiday season, as voted on by a select panel of toy and family influencers in the Clamour network.

Winners of License This! 2021 announced   The License This! competition comprises three categories: Character & Animation, Brand & Design, and Innovations & Product Innovation. This year’s License This! winners will receive a one-to-one consultation with members of the judging panel and competition sponsor WestEnd Software, a free-of-charge turnkey booth at Licensing Expo 2022, a one-year Licensing International ...

Las Vegas set to welcome back Licensing Expo in May  Licensing Expo returns in-person to Las Vegas from 24th -26th May, with the 2022 theme now confirmed. The in-person experience will deliver three days of face-to-face networking, supported by a robust online offering to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience following the successful Licensing Expo Virtual, which ended last week.

Toy Fair Dallas 2021 Is Canceled. It’s déjà vu for the toy industry as Toy Fair Dallas 2021 has been canceled. The Toy Association made the decision to pull the plug on this year’s show, originally slated to take place Oct. 5-7 due to concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. While this year was the show contracted for the Dallas Market Center, the Toy Association says that it anticipates new dates will be...

(the above posted after August 27th)

'Magic: The Gathering' store championships will make a return in 2021. Wizards of the Coast revealed that they will be supporting Store Championships for FLGS. The first Store Championships will be held on December 4-5, 2021. These events are intended to be run twice a year in FLGS through EventLink. 

Toy Shop UK reveals the 2021 Independent Toy Awards Winners  STEAM-inspired play, sustainability, and pop culture licensing have emerged as key themes among the winners of this year’s Independent Toy Awards, revealed this week by the awards’ organiser, Toy Shop UK. The 14th annual iteration of the coveted awards, the ITA have been established in order to showcase...

How the ICTI Ethical Toy Program provides supply chain stability in unstable times  Sarah Ng, the organisation’s communications manager, tells Toy World readers how the non-profit organisation's initiatives are helping members. The ICTI Ethical Toy Program (IETP)’s Remediation Program has been a great success. 

Hong Kong ‘Zero Covid’ strategy causes ongoing concern for international travellers  The Hong Kong government is currently holding firm in maintaining quarantine restrictions in a bid to stamp out Covid. This strategy has ongoing implications both for local businesses and international travellers from the toy community, who traditionally visit Hong Kong en masse at least twice a year...

It’s Christmas in August with Funko’s Festival of Fun.  It may only be August, but we’re giving you an excuse to blast “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and start dreaming of sugarplums because Funko just kicked off its “Festival of Fun,” aka two days full of new, holiday-themed product reveals.

ABC Kids Expo, Distoy Postponed as New Wave of COVID-19 Disruptions Begins. The spread of the COVID-19 delta variant and a global uptick in new cases has prompted a fresh wave of postponements in the live event space as ABC Kids Expo and Distoy make plans to move into 2022.

ABC Kids Expo, one of the biggest gatherings for baby gear and juvenile products...

PlayMonster, LEGO, and Crayola among 2021 Licensing International Excellence Awards winners PlayMonster, LEGO, Crayola, and Hasbro have all been named among the winners of the 2021 Licensing International Excellence Awards at a ceremony held via a virtual gathering during this week’s Licensing Expo Virtual. 

Spielwarenmesse lends its support to second bio!TOY Conference  Spielwarenmesse exhibitors are being offered a ticket discount for the two-day hybrid event, which centres on the sustainability of toys. The hybrid event, which takes place on 7th and 8th September, will highlight circular and bio-based plastics for sustainable toys and is organised by bioplastics Magazine and narocon Innovation Consulting.

Distoy cancelled for 2021  The 2021 show, which had originally been postponed to October, is the latest event to become a casualty of the ongoing problems facing international travel. Distoy organiser David Potter has confirmed to Toy World that the show will not go ahead as planned in October, explaining the rationale behind the decision . . . 

Hasbro’s two-day fan event Hasbro Pulse Con to make its return this October   Hasbro is promising fans across the US, Canada, and the UK the chance to celebrate its popular brands through brand panels, exclusive content, and over 50 new products reveals when its consumer facing online event, Hasbro Pulse Con makes its return this October. 

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RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed . . . If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our colleagues. Archives can be found HERE.

Philip Goodall,  The well-known independent retailer and former chairman of the BATR has passed away.  Philip was born in Ashburton, Devon in 1930. It was in the summer of 1940, watching RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes engaged in ariel dogfights with the Luftwaffe for the Battle of Britain, that his interest in flying was sparked. He completed his National Service in the RAF and decided to stay and train as a pilot, eventually joining Bomber Command. During his 25-year career in the RAF, he flew a wide range of planes which included co-piloting a Canberra in the first raid on the Suez Canal and the Vulcan, often with Nuclear armed missiles. The last jet plane he flew was Concorde, prior to it going into service. In 1975 he took retirement from the RAF. In the same year he and his wife Helen purchased an investment property in Thame which had been a family run cycle business. They were persuaded not to close the cycle shop and decided to run it themselves. At the same time, Helen came up with the idea of introducing toys and The Pied Pedaller was born. Toys quickly outperformed cycles and after 18 months, the store moved to a renovated former town cinema with two floors. Originally, the first floor was used for storage, but within five or six years both floors were retail space and with over 5000 sq ft, the Pied Pedaller was one of the largest independent toy shops in the country. Supported by the advice of experienced toy people, such as Paul Caspari of Robenau Toys, the Pied Pedaller joined the Andover based toy buying group, Concorde. Philip was a director of the group for several years before leaving to join Toymaster for a few years, before switching to Youngsters, with whom the business stayed.

Philip also joined the committee of the National Association of Toy Retailers (NATR), now the BATR, for which he was chairmen for five years.

According to Philip’s son Mark: “This was a particularly challenging time for the toy industry and the independent sector in particular, and Philip took his position as chair very seriously. It would be fair to say that he had a significant impact how the association was structured and succeeded over the following decades.” Philip’s chairman’s speech at the annual BATR Toy Fair dinner was always a not to be missed occasion, and often controversial. He also took great pleasure in writing a monthly article in the toy trade press for several years. In 1995, the business moved into outlet retailing, opening in Bicester Village and then rolling out into a dozen other outlet centres across southern England and Wales, under the Toyzone Banner. Philip retired from the business in 2004 and in the following years authored a book, titled ‘My target was Leningrad’, covering his years in the RAF and the Cold War strategy. 

Stuart Crawford  Toy World is sad to report that toy industry veteran Stuart passed away last week after a long illness. It is with great sadness that MV Sports and Leisure reports that the popular industry figure Stuart Crawford passed away on Thursday 19th August, aged 69, after a prolonged and debilitating illness. Stuart retired from MV in 2019 after 22 years with the company, having worked in the toy industry for over 40 years. After training at Nestle, Stuart’s first role in toys was in 1976 with Burbank Toys, then onto Acamas Toys in 1981, Pikit Toys in 1987, PMS in 1992 and MV in 1997. Stuart worked with all the major and independent retailers both past and present and was a champion of the independent retail trade in particular. He was perhaps best known for his role of national account controller at MV Sports. Speaking on behalf of MV, joint managing director Phil Ratcliffe said: “A larger than life character who wore his heart on his sleeve; nobody had a bad word to say about Stuart. Ever popular and widely respected, Stuart was always an honourable and trustworthy ambassador for the company.” “He was loyal to both the wider toy industry and MV, demonstrating  unwavering support to customers, agents, directors and staff,” added Phil. “Our thoughts are with his wife Marie and family. He will be very sadly missed; Stuart was such a lovely person and will be fondly remembered by everyone here.”

His contribution to the industry was recognised with a BTHA Golden Teddy Award in 2018.

Sudoku: Maki Kaji, puzzle enthusiast, dies aged 69. Maki Kaji, the Japanese man known as the "Godfather of Sudoku", has died at the age of 69. Kaji gave the number puzzle its name after publishing it in his magazine Nikoli in the 1980s. Since then the popular game - involving placing the numbers 1 to 9 in each row, column and square of a 9 by 9 grid - has spread around the globe. Tournaments take place across the world and it is estimated that millions play versions of the game each day.

Russell Dever, the vivacious and engaging founder of licensing agency, Those Licensing People, passed away on 11th August aged 62, having sadly taken his own life after a long battle with depression. Renowned for his passion in children’s entertainment and content, Russell’s affection for the genre led him to found the Leeds-based licensing agency in 2013. Over the last decade, his client portfolio has represented some of the world’s best-loved, classic children’s brands, which Russell rejuvenated with his boundless energy and enthusiasm for the industry he embraced. Clients he has represented include Sooty, The Magic Roundabout, Roobard & Custard, and The Little Prince. Russell’s personality shone at industry trade shows and events where he was a regular exhibitor and sponsor, with an unwavering support for the licensing community and those within it who became his friends, not just clients or contacts. Alongside his licensing business, Russell was also respected in the children’s broadcast industry, having created and produced a number of children’s TV series, including hit show Little Monsters. It was his success in children’s entertainment which led the creative entrepreneur to expand his career into the licensing industry, about which he became so passionate. At the time of his passing, Russell was working on several production projects to be showcased at upcoming trade shows. In 2017, his youngest daughter, Leah Dever, joined the business and will continue her father’s work with its existing clients.

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

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

  1. PlayMonster & Hasbro Partner Again in Playskool Deal

  2. Moose Toys Introduces Dream Seekers Dolls

  3. IMC Toys is Hiring a Director of Marketing 

  4. ABC Kids Expo Postponed to 2022

  5. Sunny Days Entertainment Unveils Honey Bee Acres

  6. Dino Ranch Signs Additional License Partners

  7. Hasbro Pulse Con Returns for 2021

  8. ShopTalk Episode 14: Sloomoo Founders Karen Robinovitz & Sara Schiller

  9. Miraculous Adds Licensees, Tops $1 Billion in Sales

  10. BBC Studios Promotes Suzy Raia to Lead Bluey Growth

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. Some bloke says …it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Distoy cancelled for 2021

  3. Hong Kong ‘Zero Covid’ strategy causes ongoing concern for international travellers

  4. Sainsbury’s could be next UK supermarket in line for private equity interest

  5. HMV owner Putman Investments to buy Toys R Us and Babies R Us Canada

  6. Melissa & Doug appoints DKB Toys & Distribution as UK distributor

  7. Exclusive: How the ICTI Ethical Toy Program provides supply chain stability in unstable times

  8. UK government rejects industry calls for temporary HGV driver visas  

  9. L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls to stage first ever UK live shows

  10. Amazon looks to address staff shortages with £1000 golden hello to new workers

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

WizKids Will Release a New 'Marvel HeroClix' 2021 Storyline Kit
Rolling for Initiative -- Extinction Level Event?
A Half Dozen Companies Break Ties with Broken Token
'Vampire: The Masquerade - Chapters' Heads for Distribution
Wizards of the Coast Unveils New 'Magic: The Gathering' 'D&D' and 'Masters' Sets
Wizards of the Coast Announces 2022 'Magic: The Gathering' Standard Sets
eBay Bans PWCC Trading Card Auctions Over 'Shill Bidding'
Upcoming 'Magic' 'Universes Beyond,' 'Secret Lairs' Revealed
Wizards of the Coast Announces Three More 'Magic: The Gathering' Releases
Toys 'R' Us Stores-Within-a-Store in 400 Macy's Department Stores

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

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

The Bugg Report (Australia)​​

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Dungeon Scrawlers Announced, Welcome to the Moon
WizKids has announced a real-time maze game, a new game in the Welcome To… series is coming soon, and Renegade Game Studios is running a sale through the end of the month.

Video of the Week! 

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After debuting on our POP Week Event Platform to over 13,700 viewers,  we have moved our panel discussions to YouTube and ar sharing them almost every week here on the Bloom Report! 

Design Trends – Products and Packaging

Moderator: Matt Nuccio (President, Design Edge)

Panelists: Chris Down (Chief Design Officer, Mattel), Jesse Falcon (Director of Merchandising, Marvel Entertainment), Fred Jordan (Sr Director of N.A. Design and Development, Magformers), Dawn Patmon (Designer Director, Hasbro Playmakers), Michael Sala (Senior Director Design, Spin Master))

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

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