August 26 - September 2, 2022
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
Happy Bloomin’ Friday!
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Inventor Pitches and Innovation Conference (includes POP Roast and Pub Night at Radio Flyer, TAGIEs at Epiphany Hall) November 17 -20
Toy & Game Int’l Excellence Awards (the TAGIEs) and After Party November 19 at the historic Epiphany Hall
Young Inventor Challenge November 19th at Radio Flyer
Holiday Toy and Game Fair with Girl Scout and Boy Scout indoor sleepovers December 10-11 in Rosemont a Chicago suburb adjacent to Chicago and near O'Hare airport
Wait! – There’s more! This year, part of the Inventor events will be in Chicago and hosted by Radio Flyer, the TAGIEs will be at the historic Epiphany Hall and in the coming years we’ll be hitting the road to different cities and featuring a different host company each year. As Angus Walker of Hasbro said, “It is analogous to the Olympics in bringing together people from all companies at one host company and city.”
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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
How Coachable Are You?
A life-long mentor, I decided during the pandemic to get certified as an Executive Coach. Now with more than 200 hours of coaching under my belt, I want to take moment to talk about my insights on coachability--what it means to be coachable.
First, mentoring is different than coaching. Mentoring is about giving advice and support. Conversely, coaching is about asking powerful—and sometimes challenging--questions to help my clients reach the answers and insights they need to reach new heights.
Some of my clients grow in more profound ways than others. What accounts for the difference is how coachable my clients are. So, what factors play into coachability?
Book Reviews by POP's Julia DeKorte
Toy Stories: The Secret Life of a Toy Designer, by Stefanie Eskander
After just about forty years in the toy industry, toy designer Stefanie Eskander shares what it’s like to see your own ideas come to life… on the shelf of a toy store! In Toy Stories: The Secret Life of a Toy Designer, Eskander takes readers through the numerous jobs she’s worked in the toy industry, including six companies and freelance work.
Self-described as the Queen of Cute and all things sweet, cuddly, adorable, and girly, Eskander is primarily a girls’ toy designer, and has worked on many dolls, accessories, plush toys, and playsets in her time as a designer. The book itself reflects her brand – from the pink heading colors to the pictures of dolls and other designs right down to the playful font! Having worked for Hasbro, Mattel, Toys R Us, Fisher-Price, Tonka, Spin Master, and herself for an extended amount of time, Eskander documents the many cross-country moves she’s made and all she’s learned in her different roles, including the introduction of digital art in the early 90s, when she had to learn how to use Photoshop and Illustrator.
Filled with original drawings and designers, photographs of toys, dolls, and playsets she helped design, and personal photos, the pictures themselves tell Eskander’s stories. Most interestingly, Eskander often includes her original sketch of different products as well as a photo of how they turned out after production to really demonstrate how much goes into the creation of a toy. Also included throughout the book are cheeky “secrets” in which Eskander shells out interesting facts and tidbits that only a company insider would know. READ MORE...
Industry Commentary - Tami Murphy
RGB, CMYK, and PANTONE: What does it all mean and why do I care?
In the most basic terms, RGB and CMYK are modes of mixing color used by graphic designers in creating product art. And you care because you want your product to look the way you designed it.
RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is used for digital graphics, it should not be used in printing. RGB is the optical color, that is, the color seen on the computer screen or mobile phone screen. Its color scale is 0-255, and because RGB is color light, the superposition of colors is getting more and more bright. When the three RGB color values are all 255, it will become white, in contrast when the three RGB color values are 0, it will become black.
Printing presses are typically set up for CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK) this is called process printing. CMYK is a color composed of colorants, its scale is 0-100, and the color overlay is darker and darker. In addition, CMYK has a standard color card for color matching, thus when printing multiple runs over time, the color should stay consistent. Think back to your days of finger painting and you wanted to paint the leaves of a tree green, to do that, your younger self mixed yellow and blue fingerpaints to create your green tree masterpiece. In CMYK, you would set the press at 100%C+0%M+100%Y+0%K, which is green on the color card, while pure black is always 0%C + 0%M + 0%Y + 100%K. This is the standard. READ MORE...
3 Truths and a Lie - Jim Wyatt
To be part of the game, all you need is a POP profile with your Fun Facts completed and let us know! We'll do the rest!
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
Banijay Kids and Family has acquired London-based Kindle Entertainment and Italian animation studio Movimenti Production. Kindle specializes in films for teen, YA and family audiences, while Movimenti largely produces animation, including family-friendly toons. Both companies will benefit from Banijay’s distribution division, and no changes are expected to either of their team and management structures...
The UK’s largest independent toy retailer, The Entertainer, is partnering with Tesco to open branded concessions in 35 Tesco stores across the country. The trial partnership will offer Tesco customers the chance to shop The Entertainer’s large range of products from leading brands such as Barbie, Lego, Marvel and Paw Patrol, as well as its exclusive range of great value Addo toys and products from the award-winning...
Ireland’s data privacy regulator has issued a record $402 million (€405 million) fine against social media powerhouse Instagram following an investigation that found it broke laws regulating the handling of children’s data online. Instagram parent Meta Platforms has said it will appeal the fine. The Irish investigation, which began in 2020, found that Instagram allowed child users aged between 13 and 17 to operate...
***The above posted after September 2nd***
Matalan says it has found it difficult to cope with ongoing trading challenges and has now engaged Lazard to find a buyer or an investor. The retailer’s founder and chairman John Hargreaves is reportedly working with advisors at Lazard to either find a buyer for the entire business or an investor to inject capital, according to The Sunday Times. Matalan has admitted struggling with inflationary pressures in recent months.
Sony is acquiring mobile game developer Savage Game Studios, the company announced on Monday. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Savage Game is joining a newly created PlayStation Studios Mobile Division, which will focus on creating games based on new and existing PlayStation IP. Sony says the new studio, which will operate independently from console game development, aims to reach new...
LA-based Invisible Universe, the studio behind digital-first IPs like Qai Qai and Clydeo, is testing out a “community-driven” approach to its latest project. On the heels of raising US$12 million in funding, the company has launched The R3al Metaverse, featuring five NFT-inspired characters living together.
California lawmakers have passed a bill that seeks to make apps and other online spaces safer for kids in the absence of robust federal standards. The bill, if signed into law, would impose a set of new protections for people under the age of 18 in California, potentially punishing tech companies with thousands in fines for every child affected by any violation.
Last Friday, the UK energy regulator Ofgem announced a huge rise in the energy price cap; as a result, starting in Oct., a typical household will pay £3,549 a year for gas and electricity, compared to the current £1,971 figure. There have also strong suggestions that the cap will rise again in Jan. and April 2023, which will inevitably put many people’s household finances under considerable strain and impact both consumer...
Animation Ireland is asking the Irish government for a long-term tax credit program to keep the country’s industry competitive and productive. It is asking the government to extend Ireland’s current tax credit scheme, (referred to by its regulatory code, Section 481) through to 2029. It is currently set to expire in 2024.
Toronto-based producer/investor Productivity Media has taken a minority stake in Vancouver’s Wind Sun Sky Entertainment and the two companies will collaborate to create new kids and family content together. The focus for both partners is on multiplatform animated series in the vein of WSS’s virtual summer camp brand Camp Bonkers, which launched in 2020 and offers music and arts & crafts programs for kids...
G.I. Joe Inventor Sues to Break Hasbro’s Kung-Fu Grip on Toy’s Copyright. Stanley A. Weston says that the rights to the military action figure should revert to him. In his complaint, Weston said that he signed a contract in 1964 with the company granting the company the copyright interests in the figures. But Weston claimed that the statutory period on the contract expires in 2020, at which point the copyrights...
UK competition regulator says Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal could "harm rivals". The Competition and Markets Authority, the UK's competition regulator, believes Microsoft's planned $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard could harm its rivals. The CMA says the proposed deal raises a number of competition concerns, and suggests it could warrant further investigation based on the evidence it has already received.
What Walmart and Target’s performance told us about retail for the rest of 2022. Few retailers have as wide and deep a view into the American consumer as Walmart and Target. Their combined sales in the U.S. totals out to nearly half a trillion dollars. With both physical and online stores, and merchandising that spans everything from clothing to televisions to dumbbells to organic coffee, and much more, Walmart and Target both function to some degree as barometers for the American consumer and the wider retail market.
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BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP STUFFS THE COFFERS WITH THE HIGHEST FIRST HALF REVENUES IN COMPANY HISTORY
Bed Bath & Beyond shares fall 21% after announcing it will close about 20% of stores, reduce its workforce, and may sell new shares
Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry
Rory Partis, director UK Toys & EuroToys NPD, delves into the licensed toy category, which is having a stellar year.
KEY TRENDS IN AUDIO STREAMING AND LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Rachael Simpson-Jones speaks to a selection of leading suppliers about how they’re making the most of the Games & Puzzles market this year.
Netflix is the most popular SVOD for kids between two and 17, but its competitors aren’t too far behind, MTM finds.
August 2022 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels
AUGUST 2022 NPD BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 KIDS GRAPHIC NOVELS
TOP 20 GRAPHIC NOVELS - AUGUST 2022 Sales Rankings (Units and Dollars) Based on Comic Store POS Data
***The above posted after tBR sent on September 2nd***
UK Toy shoppers return to the high street and out-of-town specialist retailers, says NPD. Parents continue to buy toys, but sales to grandparents and other relatives are down, data shows.
Top 50 most viewed U.S. YouTube channels • week of 08/28/2022
How to keep up with emerging NFT trends
LatAm Kids Are Worried About Bullying, Online Privacy
Netflix in the UK has joined Amazon Prime Video in claiming it will not be cutting spending, despite the cost of living crisis and its recent battles with subscriber declines.
Stories, Comments, and Advice
Bob Iger Assesses the Streaming Services: “I Don’t Think They’ll All Make It”. "Netflix is going to continue to thrive. They have some issues now, but they're not going away," the former Disney CEO said. Speaking at Vox Media’s Code Conference on Wednesday, Iger was optimistic about the future of Netflix, Apple TV+, Amazon and, naturally, Disney+, but was decidedly less so for competitors like Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max and Discovery+.
Toy World Exclusive: Etopia asks ‘how profitable is Amazon for your business?’ As Amazon increases its focus on profitability, Asha Bhalsod talks to Toy World about how brands can adapt their strategies in response. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen most consumer brands experience fantastic growth with Amazon but lately, increasing commercial demands and volatile market conditions have created challenges...
A Genius Cartoonist Believes Child’s Play Is Anything But Frivolous. "For a lot of people, being creative and making things can be a helpful way to deal with uncertainty, and college students today have to deal with so much uncertainty. Not just about where their lives might go after they finish school but also about things like the future of our politics and our planet. How do you see your students responding?
***The above posted after September 2nd***
John Baulch, Toy World UK - 11 years and counting …it’s the Friday Blog! Let’s start with some good news this week: according to the latest NPD research, specialist toy retailers represent the fastest growing retail channel for purchasing toys in the UK so far in 2022. Even better, ‘Toy Specialists’ is now the joint largest channel along with online-only retailers, accounting for 30% of all toy sales by value in the first half of the year. I
The Legacy of America's Most Remarkable Kid. At 14, he had just published his autobiography. He was making plans to expand his 350-acre farm to buy up surrounding farms to convert to regenerative agriculture. He was saving money to build a house for his parents and another for his autistic older brother. He was polishing a movie script and a series of children’s books teaching business literacy for kids. He was looking for a celebrity to endorse his line of luxury toiletries made from the milk of his goat herd. He was breeding heritage turkeys. He was writing guest essays for notable bloggers higher up the political food chain. And, in his spare time, he had the task of grading the road to his farm using the John Deere tractor he bought new for himself for his 11th birthday.
TTPM, the leader in video product reviews for toys, baby, and pet gear announced their Best of Baby 2022 List. The list features the best Baby Gear across 10 categories, designed to educate parents. “After countless hours of rigorous testing and inspection, these are the baby products parents can rely on to raise their baby with care. Parents depend on our expert team to help them make informed shopping decisions.” said Jim Silver, CEO, TTPM.
Walmart unwrapped its 2022 Top Toy List this week with 55 curated picks for the holiday season, more than half of which are exclusive to the retail giant. Top brands this year include LEGO, CoComelon, Jurassic World, Hot Wheels, L.O.L. Surprise!, PAW Patrol, Barbie, Magic Mixies, and more.
History and Nostalgia
Do you ever wonder who first thought of G.I. Joe? The first G.I. Joe action figure was initially referred to simply as an “action solider” and debuted in 1964. In 1975, the toy series was renamed the G.I. Joe Adventure Team to downplay associations with the Vietnam War, but for many children, G.I. Joe remained a soldier. The origins of G.I. Joe’s name have been debated, but the most commonly accepted explanation is that during World War I, American soldiers were referred to as “G.I.’s.”
***The above was posted after tBR was sent on September 2nd***
The Bizarre History of Dollhouses. Today’s dollhouses descended from 16th-century “baby houses.” Baby houses were made of cabinets divided into tiny compartments and were used to display miniature furniture and household accessories, all of which were finely made. They were exclusively for adults and were only found in the homes of very wealthy European ladies, who used the displays to show off their wealth and...
Mr. Mouth from Milton Bradley (1987). A famished frog demanded feeding in Milton Bradley’s now-classic Mr. Mouth game. Released in 1987, the reflex game relied on timing, velocity, and luck to fling tiny plastic flies into the mouth of the frog. Parental assistance was helpful when assembling the frog head, inserting the batteries, and affixing the labels to the arms that formed the game’s base.
Magic Slate Paper Saver Toys from Western Publishing (1950s). Magic Slate Paper Savers have entertained children for decades. The zero-tech tablets allowed children to draw and quickly erase their work repeatedly without needing to recharge between uses. Part of the toy’s appeal was its practical design. Each slate was constructed from rigid cardboard and contained a section of waxed paper (often black) ...
65 The Year to Go Gilbert! Two years before The A.C. Gilbert Company went out of business in 1967, it released 65 The Year to Go Gilbert, a catalogue promoting its active toy lines. Some highlights from the catalogue include the company’s popular American Flyer train sets were revamped to include “All Aboard” sets that came fully landscaped and pre-wired via a series of 17-inch square snap-together scenic panels.
Licensing and Entertainment
Venum & Rovio Team Up to Launch an Exclusive Angry Birds Collection. Venum, the world’s leading manufacturer of combat sports equipment and apparel, have announced its collaboration with Rovio Entertainment Corporation, the creator of Angry Birds, one of the world’s most downloaded mobile games. The collaboration, facilitated by Angry Birds’ global licensing agency IMG, introduces an exclusive line of...
Klingon Bird-of-Prey From Star Trek Comes to Playmobil. From October onwards, the Klingon Bird-of-Prey expands the Playmobil Star Trek universe and takes all fans on a journey through time. It is the authentic replica of the HMS Bounty, as she was christened by Dr. McCoy. On board: the notorious Klingon, Commander Kruge and his crew, Officer Maltz, Torg and other Klingons.
In anticipation of the Cobra Kai fifth season release on September 9, Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) announces a robust expansion to its Cobra Kai consumer products and licensing program, with new offerings from licensees including Vans, Hasbro, Century Martial Arts, Harper Collins and more.
PMI Ltd. inked a deal with SEGA and WildBrain to create a new range of novelty toys and games inspired by Sonic Prime, the new CG-animated Sonic the Hedgehog adventure series that’s set to debut on Netflix later this year. WildBrain CPLG brokered the deal on behalf of WildBrain and SEGA of America, the producers of the series, while Big Picture Licensing repped PMI.
Jakks Pacific is teaming up with Fred Rogers Productions and 9 Story Brands to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Emmy-winning PBS Kids show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood with a special edition plush toy. The 12-inch Cuddle Up Daniel Tiger 10th Anniversary Plush sports the character’s iconic red hoodie and a smile on his face.
On the heels of inking deals with Disney, Universal and Hasbro, interactive toy manufacturer tonies is building out its licensed portfolio with more preschool properties, courtesy of Moonbug Entertainment. The two companies have partnered up to launch a CoComelon sing-along toy for the Toniebox, a screen-free entertainment device that’s the backbone of tonies’ business. Based on CoComelon’s protagonist JJ...
London-based distributor Serious Kids has acquired worldwide sales rights to Doodle Productions’ preschool series Messy Goes to Okido ahead of its season three launch. The CG-animated series (104 x 11 minutes) relates the adventures of a curious monster and his friends as they try to answer science and art questions, like why the sky is blue and how images get on TV.
Classic preschool series Teletubbies is the latest kids IP getting a reboot treatment. Netflix has greenlit a 26 x 12-minute same-name live-actioner, with Andrew Davenport (co-creator and writer of the original series) attached. Production got underway this spring in Toronto at WildBrain, which owns the Teletubbies IP.
Cartoon Forum is saying “Hola!” to Spain this year, spotlighting the region at its annual pitchfest. Eight Spanish projects have been selected to present, all of them aimed at kids. Why Spain? With a population of around 50 million people who watch linear TV for four hours a day on average, it offers an opportunity to reach a lot of eyeballs, according to regional trade org Animation from Spain.
Paramount Global’s UK consumer products division has inked a licensing deal that will see London-based apparel company Unhidden produce its first-ever adaptive clothing collections for kids with and without disabilities. The first range will launch through the company’s e-commerce site on December 3 and is inspired by Spin Master’s CG-animated preschool series PAW Patrol. This will be followed by a second...
John Baulch, Toy World - Deliciously unpredictable …. it’s the Licensing Blog! One of the things I like most about the licensing arena is its delicious unpredictability: while it is inevitable that the big budget, heavily backed properties often triumph, the favourites don’t always win – and every year there are curveballs which many licensors, licensees and retailers just didn’t see coming.
As BLE approaches, the great and the good in the field of Licensing share the latest news and look ahead to upcoming developments for their properties. Andrew Carley, director of Global Licensing, BBC Studios believes the licensing landscape changed about three to four years ago. “The challenge for us now is working with partners and stakeholders to offer a more diverse experience than simply going shopping to buy...
The iconic U.S. Army soldier, Private Beetle Bailey, has made his way from Mort Walker’s legendary comic book and onto the reels in Lady Luck Games’ first-ever branded slot release Beetle Bailey, available now, in partnership with King Features Syndicate. This 4-reel, 81 ways to win slot transports players to Camp Swampy where Beetle Bailey is joined by a host of famous faces including Platoon Sergeant Orville...
Kirsty Guthrie of KJG Ltd, and Maggy Harris of BlueSkye Licensing are readying for their return to Brand Licensing Europe at ExCeL London from 20 – 22 Sept., where they will form part of The Independents’ Lounge. The BLE spotlight for the duo showcases their wide portfolio of well-established and successful brands covering a range of categories from preschool to food, movie icons to Kawaii, and authors to art.
Rocket Licensing Heads to BLE with Blockbuster Portfolio. As the licensing industry prepares to return to ExCeL London from 20th – 22nd Sept, for Brand Licensing Europe, Rocket Licensing is putting the finishing touches to its exciting offering of properties including iconic children’s brands like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Beano, The Elf on the Shelf and Little People, Big Dreams, along with pop culture kawaii brand Fuzzballs...
Caroline Mickler Limited will be at BLE 2022 with a range of brands that underline the diversity and originality of its portfolio. They include The Beatles, Yellow Submarine, Stanley Kubrick’s iconic films The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Masked Singer and The Masked Dancer, Fifty Shades of Grey, Horrid Henry, Toxic Waste Hazardously Sour Candy and...
Cool New Shows: Cartoon Forum Edition. What will this unique generation of kids want to watch in the next few years? Is it pasta delivery with a side of grit? Or a dog’s day in paradise turned upside down? From surreal to IRL, these six series are aiming to engage coming out of Toulouse.
Bulldog Licensing is readying its hand-picked portfolio of brands as the industry prepares to return to Brand Licensing Europe at ExCeL London, from the 20th – 22nd Sept. Consisting of iconic evergreen properties such as Care Bears, Popeye and Sesame Street, as well as British institution, the Royal Astronomical Society, new and exciting brands like Odo, Magic Mixies and Gus the Itsy Bitsy Knight, and key lifestyle names...
Hasbro and PlayMonster are excited to announce Spirograph is taking its classic spiral-design sets to new heights of creativity with a suite of exciting new launches this fall, including Spirograph 3D, the Spirograph Mandala Maker, Spirograph Cyclex Clips and Spirograph Cyclex Studio bringing much-anticipated licensed characters into the line for the first time!
Wilder Launches the Clueless Party Game. Take a spin down memory lane with the all-new Clueless Party Game by Wilder! The game let’s fans revisit key movie moments, with 4 themed mini-games and iconic pink fluffy pen. Take a trip to the mall in would you rather Life or Death type questions, answer Party Questions at the Valley Party, Debate your friends on hot topics in high school class, and play around...
UK Animation studio 3D Sparrow Group recently appointed licensing agency IMG to extend its pre-school property Booba. The agreement will see IMG further expand Booba’s global footprint across wider lifestyle categories for fans of the show to enjoy. Booba is broadcast worldwide on some of the biggest digital platforms, and IMG is looking for top tier partners to rollout toys, plush, collectibles, publishing and apparel, plus...
WWE Clash at the Castle hailed a success. From the moment I stepped off the train, it was obvious that the WWE juggernaut had rolled into town – literally and metaphorically. My first stop was Cardiff Castle, to experience the Smyths Toys pop-up activation, which featured a life-size version of Mattel’s Wrekkin’ Rig truck, along with activations involving other licensees including a Funko photo op and WWE2K22 gaming stations.
Moose Toys’ Heroes of Goo Jit Zu are venturing out of the toy aisle. In a new partnership with The Licensing Shop, the toy line will be extending into an array of consumer products, including publishing, apparel, confectionery, sleepwear and accessories. “It’s been incredible to see the growth in Heroes of Goo Jit Zu since launch,” says Menal McGrath, vice president, global licensing, Moose Toys.
***The above posted after September 2nd***
LG Electronics (LG) and Playmobil have struck a fun new partnership deal. LG will debut a line of LG-themed Playmobil Toys at IFA Berlin, the long-running consumer electronics and housewares trade show. The new range includes Playmobil figures and toy appliances that LG plans to offer at a series of events beginning next yr. The company says that the launch is part of its FUN (First, Unique, and New) focus on its customer...
Mouse in the House is the new IP from Character Options, which was inspired by the popular fairy door trend; a permanent display piece that sits against the skirting board. Kids can enter the Mouseville world through the multifaceted, micro-collectible toy line, aimed primarily at 4-9 year olds, which encourages them to build their own physical world of Mouse in the House in their own room.
Pop Mart x Chupa Chups Create a Magical World with Satyr Rory. Pop Mart, China’s leading creator and manufacturer of pop art toys, has teamed up with Perfetti Van Melle to create a playful collaboration that brings together the world of Chupa Chups with the popular character Satyr Rory, an adorable mythological creature of Korean designer Seulgie. This September the collectible range will be launched in China, including...
WildBrain Television Announces Three More Original Greenlights from Canadian Producers Exclusive to Family Channel. WildBrain Television, one of Canada’s most-loved kids’ and family broadcast networks, announces that Family Channel, its flagship broadcast network, has greenlit three new content projects across live-action and animation, in partnership with independent Canadian producers.
Italian broadcaster Boing, a joint venture between RTI Mediaset and Warner Bros. Discovery, has ordered the live-action game show Wild Things – kids edition for kids and families. The series is an adaptation of the Wild Things format, inspired by the classic kids book, Where the Wild Things Are, and is produced by France’s Banijay. In it, four teams compete doing various challenges in the forest, often wearing bulky...
Commissioned by BBC CBeebies and made by Alphablocks Ltd and Blue Zoo animation studios, the multi-award-winning creators of smash-hit shows Numberblocks and Alphablocks, Colourblocks helps young children dive into the world of colour. “With the third show in our ever-expanding learning universe, we fully expect to grow our audience of super-engaged learners and give them a confident on-ramp into the...
Canada’s Corus Entertainment is rebranding its kids and family streamer Nick+ as Teletoon+, based on the branding of its kids channel of the same name. The shift will take place on Sept. 1, and the new streamer will feature commercial-free and downloadable content. It will be offered through apps, cablecos and subscription services such as Prime Video for an additional $5.99 per month.
Apple TV+ has revealed its fall lineup of new content, featuring a robust kids lineup targeting the space between preschool and teen. Children make a big leap from preschool series to tween series without much in between and the streamer is filling that gap with 90′s-style series as inspiration, which families can enjoy together without anyone feeling like it is too young or too old.
Cowabunga! Playmates Toys Reissues Classic TMNT Toon Turtles. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been roaming toy departments for decades, and now a popular sub-line from 1993 is back at the Bullseye. The Classic Toon Turtles action figure four-pack comes in a TV-shaped box with figures that actually look like the characters as they appeared in the original cartoon series.
London-based CAKE has acquired international distribution rights to the YouTube original series Super Sema. UK- and Nairobi-based Kukua produces the 20 x five-minute CG-animated preschool series about twins who turn to science and technology to protect their African village from a villain and his army of robots. Actor Lupita N’Yong’o (Black Panther) executive produces.
Tonies has announced three new arrivals to the Toniebox. Fans of CoComelon can now enjoy JJ and CoComelon sharing stories and captivating songs. Each Tonie is suitable for age 3+ with content that is approximately 40 minutes long. Three brand new PJ Masks Tonies; Owlette, Catboy and Gekko are filled with superhero stories and songs.
Ravensburger has announced a collaboration with Disney to launch Disney Lorcana. This brand-new trading card game (TCG) will feature beloved Disney characters in both original and reimagined art styles that live in an all-new world with unique and magical gameplay. The game is slated for global release in autumn 2023.
IMC Toys Launches Cry Babies Magic Tears Licensing Program with Key Partners Including Bendon Publishing, Happy Threads and Intimo
This Fall, fans of Cry Babies Magic Tears will have even more to love as IMC Toys signs deals with three leading licensing partners to create products in the publishing, arts and crafts, daywear, nightwear, swimwear and luggage categories.
Bounce Partners with MGM to Launch ‘The Pink Panther and the Case of the Missing Diamond’ Interactive Outdoor Adventure. The Pink Panther Diamond has been stolen! Pink Panther remains one of the most iconic global franchises. Known for his suaveness and style, Pink Panther continues to attract new generations of fans around the globe. Now, in partnership with MGM, the Bounce app will give users...
Disney & Miko Announce Exclusive Collaboration. The magical worlds of Disney and Pixar have arrived on the Miko 3 robot. The collaboration is a historic first for the consumer robotics space and the latest indication that AI will play a growing role in the future of kids entertainment. Miko, a consumer robotics company specializing in kids education and entertainment, unveiled its Disney collaboration today to customers...
Tubby Todd Launches Eric Carle Themed Skincare Collection. World of Eric Carle has announced an exciting new partnership with Tubby Todd on its Limited Edition Sweet Apple Skincare Collection! The Collection features iconic Eric Carle illustrations from the classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar in a nostalgic, sweet apple scent.
VP Racing Expands Licensing Program in the UK and Europe with Kustom Yard. VP Racing Fuels, Incorporated, a global leader in performance fuels, lubricants, and additives, has announced that they have entered into a license agreement with Kustom Yard Limited, a UK-based licensee, and distributor of automotive lifestyle products, for an apparel, accessories and gift and novelty program for the European market.
Previous License This! winners, The Charmsters, have announced a licensing deal with cosmetics brand Winky Lux, launching on National Entrepreneur Day on Nov. 15. The likenesses of The Charmsters’ characters, Architect Aaliyah, Reporter Rita, Entrepreneur Ella, Coder Cora, Innovator Ivy and Blogger Bailey, will be featured on Winky Lux packaging.
UK-based Jetpack Distribution has inked deals with broadcasters in the UK and Europe for more than 760 half hours of content, with preschool series Chuggington leading the pack. IFC Media in Czech Republic and Slovakia, Danish pubcaster DR and Latvia pubcaster LTV all picked up various seasons of the CG-animated series about a young team of trains
Multiple prodcos are taking a horrifying trip to Zombie Town, a live-action adaptation of R.L. Stines’ 2012 tween mystery novel. Canada’s Trimuse Entertainment, India’s Toonz Media Group and LA-based Lookout Entertainment and Viva Pictures have all signed on as executive producers on the project, while Viva will also serve as the feature-length film’s distributor. Zombie Town is set to premiere in theaters across...
Rap icon Snoop Dogg has teamed up with producer Claude Brooks and singer-songwriter October London to create an animated online kids series that’s packed with (educational) hip hop rhymes. Doggyland—Kids Songs & Nursery Rhymes aims to develop social, emotional and cognitive abilities in preschoolers. Four episodes were released on the Doggyland YouTube channel this week, and a new one will drop weekly..
People of Play
PLAYMONSTER EXPANDS SALES TEAM TO GROW MASS, SPECIALTY, AND E-COMMERCE BUSINESS. “Our sales team is deeply committed to our partnership across all of our diverse retail channels,” says Tim Kilpin, CEO at PlayMonster. “We’re incredibly pleased to welcome the new team members and their added strengths to help maximize opportunity and growth across key accounts.”
G EDITIONS UNWRAPS BRIAN LEVANT’S ‘MY LIFE AND TOYS’. My Life and Toys is a compelling time capsule that shows off Levant’s museum-worthy collections, plus his autobiographical anecdotes convey decades of collecting passion through a career that has been influenced by pop culture and, in turn, gone on to influence pop culture itself.
Penguin Ventures, the licensing and consumer products team within Penguin Random House Children’s, has appointed Kelly Ball in a newly created role of head of Retail. Kelly will report to David Sprei, commercial director at Penguin Ventures, and will be responsible for driving commercial growth and brand presence across online and offline retail environments, securing opportunities for Ventures’ portfolio of iconic...
Eric Schrier has been named president of Disney Television Studios & business operations, Disney General Entertainment, as part of a senior exec reshuffle under Dana Walden. In her first exec changes since being appointed as DGE chairman in June, Walden has also promoted Craig Erwich to president of ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals and Shannon Ryan to president of marketing for DGE.
Moonbug has named Gina Costelloe as its head of distribution and originals for EMEA, Kidscreen has confirmed. She’s now in charge of the company’s sales and original content production in the region, managing a growing lineup of kids brands that includes CoCoMelon (pictured), Blippi and Oddbods.
***the above was posted after tBR was sent out on September 2nd***
Healthy Roots Dolls was featured this morning on CBS Mornings in a "Changing the Game" segment with Gayle King Founder Yelitsa Jean-Charles shares her inspiration for the dolls and her desire to create beautiful black dolls with natural hair to help today's children celebrate their curly hair. Gayle wished she had a doll like this growing up! The Healthy Roots Dolls' hair can be washed and styled and ...
Insight Editions is growing its company. The pop-culture publisher revealed a restructuring of its editorial, sales, and marketing departments. This shift is the latest in a year of strategic hiring, product development, and growth. To begin with, Vanessa Lopez — formally an executive at Insight Editions — has been promoted to vice president and co-publisher in recognition of her role in expanding the company’s licensing and...
Hasbro-owned multinational Entertainment One (eOne) has promoted Ben Megargel to SVP of development for unscripted TV. Upped from his previous role as VP, Megargel will continue to expand the company’s unscripted slate, including titles based on Hasbro IP. He originally joined the company in 2014 as director of development and has helped to create shows including BET+ docuseries The Impact ATL, ...
LA-based Funko has hired former Disney and Microsoft exec Dave Renke as its head of strategic initiatives Renke moves over to Funko from edtech company Age of Learning (owner of ABCMouse.com) and will launch and lead programs aimed at creating new content and commerce opportunities through partnerships and new products. Renke joins Funko in the midst of a broad expansion of the toyco’s product...
Moose Toys is celebrating another addition to its global team, with the appointment of Geraint Roberts as senior national account manager.Based in Cornwall, Geraint has already started his new role and is responsible for leading the Smyths account across both UK and Ireland, as well as the CE business.
Fun in Motion Toys is growing its leadership team. The toy company tapped Abner Silverio to join its team in a newly created position as vice president of product development. “Coming soon after being honored as #281 in the 2022 INC. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies, Abner is absolutely the right person at the right time,” says Kevin Daniels, founding president of Fun in Motion Toys.
A Farewell from Maddie Michalik, Editor, ToyBook. One brisk winter day in New York City, I was standing in a toy closet looking for a specific product. I was so amused and giddy that I was even inside something called a “toy closet,” filled with endless products that looked familiar and those I had yet to learn about. My task? I was looking for a Slinky to create an Instagram post. An eager intern wanting to impress, I searched...
Companies and Brands
Care Bears Celebrate their 40th Anniversary and Annual Day of Giving “Share Your Care Day” on September 9th. Cloudco Entertainment are celebrating the Care Bears 40th Anniversary and another year of sharing and caring on the brand’s nationally recognized “Share Your Care Day”, a Care Bears-inspired nationally recognized holiday that encourages all Care Bears fans to engage in actions that showcase love, friendship...
The Loyal Subjects Introduces Fashion Dolls With Purpose in ‘For Keeps Universe’. The Loyal Subjects is taking fashion dolls to the next level with For Keeps Universe as they promote acceptance, love, diversity and self-empowerment. Did you know one out of every five students report being bullied in America? With a statistic like that, there is no better time to promote kindness both at home and on the playground.
Melissa & Doug has made several improvements to its website to create a streamlined shopping experience for consumers. With a heavy focus on brand story and consumer experience, the enhanced website was redesigned in partnership with Tomorrow, on the Shopify platform. Improvements include a user-friendly mobile experience, increased user generated content and reviews, optimized site search...
Peppa Pig and her friends have arrived in Hangzhou to bring kids and families an immersive play experience with the introduction of the Peppa Pig Play Café. Hasbro and the China Leisure Development Co. partnered to open the café on the third floor of Hall B in the Binjiang Yintai Shopping Center. The café consists of six different Peppa Pig-themed locations that kids will recognize from the show, including Potato...
The Pokémon Company International has taken over Harrods’ toy floor for six weeks of summer fun which began on 17th August. With a host of exciting activities on offer for visitors to the world-famous department store in Knightsbridge, London, the Pokémon space has taken inspiration from the Pokémon World Championships, which were held in London for the very first time from 18th-21st August.
Business is purring along nicely for Exploding Kittens, with consumers keen to get on board with the company’s quirky party games. Joeri Hoste says that while the games market is currently “quite challenged”, with NPD showing it down around 5%, 2022 has been a very positive year for Exploding Kittens, with the company delivering a credible 25% growth year on year for bricks and mortar sales.
Basic Fun! inked a product development and distribution partnership with Golden Bear to bring Curlimals interactive plush pet toys to retailers in North America next year. “Basic Fun! is excited about this collaboration with the Golden Bear team to bring Curlimals to the North American market — we think the innovation in Curlimals will be a great addition to our expansive plush portfolio,” says Hugh Kennedy, SVP...
Big Lots is adding some Disney magic to its stores this month. The discount retailer struck a deal with The Walt Disney Co. for pop-up shops in each of its more than 1,440 stores. Now through Oct. 14, consumers can shop an array of toys, home décor, apparel, and accessories featuring popular characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm properties.
Hauck is repositioning itself in the baby and toy market with a new modern brand strategy and a changed logo. The rebranding positions the company as an appealing brand for first-time parents with ‘care’ not just being the brand essence, but a promise. The company’s website has been showing the new corporate design since the beginning of September, and the English and French sites will be adapted soon.
Mattel has announced the introduction of Bruno, the first autistic character in the Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go series and franchise. Mattel Television has developed Bruno in collaboration with organisations including the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and Easterseals Southern California, as well as autistic writers and spokespeople. Voiced by nine-year-old actor Elliott Garcia, who is himself autistic...
Ultra Power Battle Game Trending Among Kids and Collectors. Just a couple of months ago, Expand Your Mind LLC launched its Ultra Power Battle Game, proclaiming its new product as the best flippin’ game of the year, a play on words for the fun token collecting challenge strategy game. The lofty claim wasn’t just playing with phrases.
Trend Lab, LLC Introduces New My Tiny Moments Four-Piece Gift Baskets. Trend Lab, LLC is excited to announce the addition of two new four-piece gift baskets under their My Tiny Moments Brand, available for immediate delivery. The My Tiny Moments brand features a variety of great gifting sets that are trend-influenced and value priced.
Gibsons is relaunching Andrew McNeil’s classic tabletop strategy game Kingmaker with a Kickstarter campaign which starts this week. Although Kingmaker had been enjoyed by many for decades, the original game had some shortcomings and fans requested a new and improved version. Gibsons, along with Alan Paull of Surprised Stare Games, worked to resolve these issues, yet still retain the essence of ...
Toy World's Rachael Simpson-Jones speaks to Big Potato to find out what’s next for the fast-growing company and how it continues to chip away at the games market. The indie games company Big Potato has earned a reputation for developing decidedly different, family-friendly party games that are quick to learn and easy to play.
UK's PMI’s Omer Dekel outlines how the company is faring and how retailers can sustain interest in collectibles in the run up to Christmas. Keeping collectibles affordable is key to ensuring they remain protected from the cost-of-living crisis, according to PMI’s Omer Dekel. He tells Toy World that despite the challenging economic environment, PMI is doing well with the entry level price point for the majority of...
Moonbug has enjoyed a meteroic rise to fame with some of its properties quickly becoming among the biggest and most successful in the world. Moonbug's Simon Philips, MD Global Consumer Products, and Francesca Romana Gianesin, head of Consumer Products EMEA/ANZ, spoke to Toy World’s Rachael Simpson-Jones ahead of Moonbug’s debut BLE appearance, about the company’s CP strategy, growth plans and...
Toy World catches up with CEO of Maxx Group Michael Kwan to hear about the company’s ongoing bid to raise its profile in the toys market. Maxx Marketing has been around for 25 years now, establishing YuMe Toys in 2018 to develop its presence in the mainstream toy market, as well as its licensing agency, Licensing Matters Global (LMG), to leverage its licensing expertise.
Rachael Simpson-Jones caught up with Alex Green of Asmodee UK, to find out what’s driving sales and the impact of economic challenges on the Games market. Asmodee continues to expand on its already vast offering with new launches and distribution partnerships that offer retailers fresh new opportunities at every turn. However, the company is mindful of current market conditions.
The UK’s No. 1 nurturing doll brand, Baby Annabell, has announced a partnership with Zoe Blaskey, host of family podcast Motherkind, to launch a special series, Toddler Milestone Moments, as part of its annual Ask the Experts campaign. Now in its third year, Ask the Experts follows on from two previous campaigns which saw the brand team up with experts from the parenting space to share advice on important ...
Walt Disney Co. is exploring a membership program that could offer discounts or special perks to encourage customers to spend more on its streaming services, theme parks, resorts and merchandise. The program would be somewhat akin to Amazon Prime, which offers advantages such as free shipping, discounts at Whole Foods and a complementary streaming video service for a monthly or annual fee, the people said. Internally, some executives have referred to Disney’s initiative as “Disney Prime,” although that won’t be the name of the program...
Netflix has launched its third Animation Foundation program, this time in partnership with LA-based nonprofit Black N’ Animated to support creatives looking to break into the animation industry. The four-month program will launch on October 10 and will pair 50 participants with 20 to 25 mentors from Netflix Animation Studio.
***The above posted after tBR sent on September 2nd***
Mattel‘s Fisher-Price is getting into the festive fall season with its latest Little People Collector set. The Little People Collector Día de Muertos figure set honors the customs, symbols, and rituals of the time-honored holiday of remembrance that takes place on Nov. 1. The trio of 2.5-inch Little People figures comes in a colorful window display box. Each figure contains authentic design details, including calaveras (skulls)...
2022 is shaping up to be a good year for collectibles specialist Click Distribution and we hear how the pocket money segment of its core business has been particularly strong. There has been huge growth in Panini’s Premier League Adrenalyn X collection, while Panini’s World Cup sticker collection is also eagerly awaited, with more retailers for this range than ever before.
Grow Your Crew with Freeny’s Hidden Dissectibles – One Piece (Warlords Edition) from Mighty Jaxx. Award-winning future culture company Mighty Jaxx sets sail with Series 4 of their Freeny’s Hidden Dissectibles: One Piece (Warlords Edition). This collection of blindboxes features seven of the most powerful pirates in the world of One Piece including Kuma, Weevil, Doflamingo, Law, Buggy, Mihawk, and keep an eye out for...
From Bratz to L.O.L. Surprise!, MGA Entertainment has championed diverse and inclusive brands throughout its history. Bestselling brand Rainbow High has now launched its fourth series of dolls and features characters with albinism and vitiligo. In a campaign to celebrate the launch of this line and to highlight the importance of inclusivity in the toy industry generally, the brand has partnered with both Zebedee Talent...
Projecting its ambitions for the future, Magicbox has unveiled its new corporate image with an inspirational, animated logo that embodies the company’s vision to be fresh, fun and full of magic. The move comes as the company also announces its smart new headquarters in Barcelona. “The new animated Magicbox logo represents our number one aim to excite children though our toys,” said UK...
Toys ‘R’ Us Asia Debuts New Store Concept in Hong Kong. The new toy destination seeks to improve the shopping experience while focusing on child development and grouping toys by play category, rather than brand. New themed areas will include cars and vehicles, creative corner, and more.
Melissa & Doug Launches New Toys to Inspire Infant and Toddler Development. The collection of 16 infant and toddler toys is designed to inspire learning and development through open-ended play. The target demographic ranges from newborns to 2-year-olds and the toys feature a variety of shapes, textures, and themes designed for discovery and imagination
Basic Fun!, Hasbro, and Shaquille O’Neal will kick off a month-long Tonka Playcation promotion tomorrow with an event in New York City. The campaign, timed with Tonka’s 75th birthday, calls upon families to put down their screens and take a “Playcation” together with their favorite Tonka vehicles
Reydon Sports is exploring a hybrid of sport and toy lines through an innovative set of products from Franklin Sports. Reydon’s B2B model allows it to supply and service the world of retail via its UK distribution centre, and the company is now making a huge splash in Europe for the Franklin Sports brand. The 16+ SKU launch for Reydon has unveiled a collection of sporting product lines which fit perfectly into any toy, ...
Playmobil is extending its range of Fi?ures with new My Fi?ures play sets, which each come with a classic play scene and 6 disassembled figures to allow children to create and customise their own characters. Playmobil Fi?ures have always been popular with little ones, for their surprise element and the opportunity to build, create and customise each figure, allowing children to make any character they wish.
Spin Master is readying for a fun-filled holiday season beginning with five innovative toys making Walmart's 2022 Top Toy List. Spin Master's Kinetic Sand® Swirl N' Surprise™ Playset, Bakugan® Genesis Collection™ Pack, Purse Pets™ 'Glami-cone', PAW Patrol® Big Truck Pups Truck Stop HQ™ and Gabby's Dollhouse™ Gabby's Purrfect Dollhouse™ have all been selected to join the ranks of this year's most-wanted toys.
Retailers in the land down under will soon be able to stock Create A Castle products. The Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award-winning Create A Castle inked a distribution deal with TOMY Australia. Under the new deal, Create A Castle products will be available throughout Australia in time for the holiday season.
Boti is teaming up with sister company, Goodmark Europe, to distribute its product in the French market. Goodmark has a successful track record in launching multiple party and seasonal products in France. While celebrating its 10th anniversary with the most successful year since the company began, Nico Blauw, CEO of Boti, says the time is right to expand to France.”Together with our sister company Goodmark NV...
Moose Toys launched its newest addition to the Magic Mixies line, the Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball. This interactive toy features a spellcasting wand that lets kids have the power to wield magic as they create a Magic Mixie. With a wave of the wand, little wizards can give the Mixie its voice, color, fortune telling powers, and more.
The dudes and dudettes at PlayMonster are collaborating with PlayMonster's Dude Perfect again. The Beloit, Wisconsin-based toymaker inked a renewed deal with the popular YouTube stars to promote Koosh Flix Stix, one of the latest products to hit retail based on Hasbro’s long-running Koosh brand.
KESS ROLLS ITS DROP DOTS D20 INTO A KICKSTARTER HIT. Tabletop gaming fans will soon be able to roll a D20 unlike any other. Kess recently hit the Kickstarter funding goal for its Drop Dots D20 Jumbo Dice. The campaign, which at press time, still has three days to go, introduced gamers to a new take on the D20 (a 20-sided die system) that pairs the form and function of Kess’ spiky-but-soft Drop Dots with colorful, oversized dice.
TANGLE SERVES UP BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTIONS FOR FALL. Specialty retailers looking to score the interest of kids and budget-minded parents have some new options to consider from Tangle. The new Tangle Phone Fidget is priced at just $10 and functions as a 3-in-1 accessory. It’s a fidget, a phone stand, and a therapy device that can help calm and bring focus to kids, especially those with ADHD.
FOAM DART BLASTERS GO VIRTUAL IN ‘NERF ULTIMATE CHAMPIONSHIP’. Even in the virtual reality (VR) space, “it’s NERF or nothin.'” Following months of teasing, NERF Ultimate Championship has launched on Meta Quest 2. The VR title was developed in-house at Secret Location, a VR studio run by Hasbro’s Entertainment One (eOne) division. NERF Ultimate Championship invites players to form a squad and master...
TONIES EXPANDS LINEUP WITH CAR ORGANIZER, NEW CHARACTERS, At this summer’s ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Long Beach, California, the Tonies booth was hoppin’ with some early looks at new products for late summer and fall. The leader in screen-free audio experiences for kids has been a big hit at specialty toy stores and continues to expand its reach into the mass market.
Hasbro kicked off Power Rangers Day, Aug. 28, by revealing plans for the 30th season of its Power Rangers franchise through its entertainment studio, eOne. The news comes as the toy and entertainment giant wraps up Power Week, a celebration of the franchise packed with new toy reveals. The 30th season, Power Rangers: Cosmic Fury, begins filming this Fall in New Zealand and will debut in debut ...
Electric 2022 for Elenco and Snap Circuits with Anniversary Celebrations and TOTY Nominations. 2022 has been an exciting year for Elenco, with a big end-of-year planned. This year, Elenco has been celebrating 50 years in business as the pioneers and leaders of STEM learning, while Snap Circuits celebrates 20 years of teaching and encouraging kids through play.
Netflix has teamed up with Virginia-based disability advocacy group RespectAbility to launch a new program designed to give disabled TV writers, animators and executives some industry experience. The Children’s Content Lab will run online and in person (NY) from Oct. 17 to Nov. 17, providing training and networking opportunities to selected applicants who are pursuing a career in preschool and children’s TV.
As a part of its plan to invest in content that prepares young kids for the real world, educational app-maker Lingokids is using its new podcast programs to tackle life-skill topics such as career development and mental wellness. The Madrid-based company tells Kidscreen that recent in-house research helped it identify a demand for content that helps kids develop “21st-century skills.”
Macy's expanding Toys 'R' Us stores-within-a store. Macy’s will expand its partnership with Toys ‘R’ Us to include all of the 500+ stores in the U.S., the co. announced. The chain had previously announced that the program would be rolled out into an initial 400 stores. The expansion will be completed by Oct. 15, in time for the holiday season. The stores will range from 1,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet in flagship locations...
Red Raven Games will release 'Knight Fall' into retail. Red Raven Games will release Knight Fall, an asymmetrical team board game, into retail on September 21, 2022. In this game, players take control of either knights or demons vying for control over a sealed portal to the underworld in Thornmar Abbey.
Trick Or Treat Studios throws a 'Halloween Party'. Trick or Treat Studios will release Halloween Party, a new card game, into retail in 2022. Halloween Party was designed by Bruno Faidutti, the designer of Citadels (see "'Citadels'") and Dreadful Circu. In this game, players need to determine whether the person coming to their party is going to make their party a blast or kill the mood.
Z-Man Games reveals 'Challengers'. Z-Man Games revealed Challengers, a new dueling deck management game by 1 More Time Games and White Castle Games Agency, for release into retail in November 2022. In Challengers, players can draft over 70 character cards and build up their decks to do battle with other players in duels.
Renegade reignites their 'Fuse' game line. Renegade Game Studios reignited their line of FUSE games with FUSE Countdown, which will hit retail in Q4 2022. Kane Klenko's FUSE first came to market in 2015 as one of Renegade's first titles. FUSE Countdown reignites the line with a brand-new standalone expansion that can be played on its own or with the original game.
Capstone Games announces 'Rise'. Capstone Games announced Rise, a new economic city-building board game, for release into retail on November 8, 2022. In Rise, players seek to develop a city on both an economic and social level, all while nurturing the well-being of the citizens. The game features 10 unique double-sided tracks that indicate the advancement of the city.
Add a 'Weird Little Elf' to the holiday season stock. Atlas Games will release Weird Little Elf, a new seasonal family game, into retail in 2022. In Weird Little Elf, a terrible imp has invaded Santa's workshop to sabotage the toys and the elves need to figure out who is the imp and who is a loyal elf. Each player takes turns playing Santa, who asks the rest of the players questions from cards.
Disney will launch a new card game to go up against Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon. Disney may be the king of theme parks, streaming television, and major motion pictures, but when it comes to collectible card games, the House of Mouse must tread lightly. Magic: The Gathering and the Pokémon Trading Card Game have dominated the industry for decades, each a billion-dollar franchise in its own right.
Forbidden Games reveals 'Mosaic: A Story Of Civilization' for retail. Forbidden Games revealed Mosaic: A Story of Civilization, a new civilization-building game, which is currently on preorder. Mosaic: A Story of Civilization is a new game designed by Glenn Drover, who also designed Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery, Railways of the World, Raccoon Tycoon, and Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgam.
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
Sony and Tencent buy 30% stake in ‘Elden Ring’ maker FromSoftware. Sony and Tencent acquired a 30 percent stake of FromSoftware, the esteemed Japanese video game studio behind “Elden Ring” and the Dark Souls series, Wednesday. Kadokawa Corporation, the Tokyo-based media corporation that owns FromSoftware, announced in a news release that Sony and Tencent had both purchased significant shares in...
Facebook Gaming’s mobile app is shutting down later this year. The web-based version will remain online. Facebook’s Gaming app for iOS and Android is shutting down a little over two years after it launched. In a notice sent to users, Facebook says the app will no longer work or be available to download starting on October 28th, 2022.
Sony’s new PlayStation Studios Mobile team is making spinoff games for your phone. It’s acquiring Savage Game Studios to bolster its mobile efforts. As part of Sony’s push into mobile gaming, the company has formed a PlayStation Studios Mobile Division that will operate separately from console game development.
Meta's next VR headset confirmed for October release. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave an October release window for the company's upcoming VR headset. Speaking to Joe Rogan, Zuckerberg talked up the "big features" of the new headset, currently codenamed Project Cambria. The new headset, stated Zuckerberg, will have a greater focus on "social presence," and include eye and face-tracking.
Mario Kart: Next game could be 'victim of current title's success'. The most successful racing video game franchise of all time started with a simple concept. In 1992, Nintendo released Super Mario Kart on their Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) console. The game was produced by Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and followed the release of F-Zero - a well-received debut on the console for another popular...
Highlighted Press Releases
ENTICE BUDDING ARTISTS TO SCRIBBLE, DOODLE, PAINT & SCULPT WITH iHeartArt JR. Bright Stripes Introduces a Full Range of Premium, Perfectly-Proportioned Art Supplies For Preschoolers Featuring Caregivers’ Guides and A Rainbow Array of Materials For The Youngest Artists
Bloomfield, NJ – Bright Stripes believes there is no right or wrong way to create art. With the right tools, the benefits are extraordinary! Art encourages creativity and imaginative thinking, two skills that are increasingly linked with long-term professional success. Bright Stripes introduces a full range of iHeartArtJR creative kits for preschoolers blessed with chubby little fingers and big ideas!
***The above posted after September 2nd***
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.
Safety and Counterfeiting
Epoch Everlasting Play recalls Kidoozie™ Activity Desk toys due to entanglement and entrapment hazards. This recall involves the Kidoozie brand My First Activity Desk, a children’s toy that can be used in the crib, on a tabletop or on the floor. The toy has adjustable crib straps, four removable legs and requires batteries.
Huffy Corporation recalls Ride-On Toys due to fall and injury hazards. This recall involves Blue's Clues Foot to Floor Ride-on Toys. The ride-on toy is made with plush light blue fabric with spots and is in the shape of the cartoon dog character Blue’s Clues. The ride-on toy has four wheels and has handlebars tucked behind the dog’s ears. The ride-on toy is intended for toddlers 1-1/2 to 3 years old.
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
The wheels are turning for ToyFest 2023. Following the conclusion of its most well-attended show in two decades, the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) repositioned ToyFest (formerly ToyFest West) as a national trade show set to take place from Feb. 27 to March 3, 2023, at The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas.
Two leading figures from within the UK toy and licensing communities are hoping the auction of some Top Gun: Maverick movie memorabilia will help industry charity The Light Fund achieve its £250k English Channel Relay Swim Race 2022 fundraising goal. The Top Gun jacket bundle, which Mark Kingston and Wow Stuff’s Richard North hope to auction for around £5,000, comprises a Maverick Avirex Leather...
The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) has announced that Toy Fair 2023 has sold out four months ahead of the show opening, with all exhibition spaces including the Greenhouse, now with waiting lists. The prestigious annual show, which is back for its 69th year, is taking place from the 24th-26th January 2023 at Olympia London. With 250 exhibiting companies in attendance, occupying the Grand and...
Germany’s KiKA, France’s TF1 and Denmark’s DR Sales figure among the best-known of contenders for the 2022 Cartoon Tributes, awarded for outstanding achievement in Europe’s TV animation industry. France, followed by Spain, dominates Cartoon’s three categories of broadcaster, investor/distributor and producer of the year, which will be voted on by the about 1,000 delegates at this year’s Cartoon Forum,...
***the above was posted after September 2nd***
Alma Train Party at Grand Central Station in NYC a Big Success. Over the weekend, the Alma Train Party was held in Grand Central Station, inviting local families to show up and celebrate with Alma’s Way series creator Sonia Manzano. The event was a rousing success, seeing high attendance from children and their families. The special “block party”-like event featured activities and stations from some of the Bronx’s...
The Mölkky World Championships were organised last weekend in Samoëns, France in which almost 800 competitors participated. Mölkky is a skittle pin game similar to bowling or petanque and uses 12 wooden pins numbered one to 12 which are knocked down by a bigger pin – the Mölkky. The player to reach exactly 50 points wins. While some companies sell their own branded version of the game such as Finska...
Tonka celebrates 75th birthday with NYC playcation event. Basic Fun! and Hasbro are going BIG to celebrate Tonka’s 75th anniversary. The toy companies are hitting The Big Apple alongside Tonka spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal to formally launch the Tonka Playcation campaign. The initiative is the crowning moment for Tonka’s year-long 75th anniversary celebration and calls upon families to spend time together...
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.
Michael John Lyden, of Greendale, Wisconsin passed away Friday, August 26, 2022 peacefully at the age of 80. Born in Fall River, Massachusetts he spent his youth along the eastern corridor from Rhode Island to Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The toy industry was his heart and soul, along with the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle (done proudly only in pen) and endless books loaned from the library. He adored visiting zoos around the world, fascinated by Snowflake, the albino gorilla at the Barcelona zoo and Tandi & Khanya, the rare white lion cubs (along with generally most animals).
He adored long evenings at restaurants, discos, bars around the world, making new friends wherever he frequented. From Carlos & Charlie's in Hollywood to TJ's Piano Bar in Westport Connecticut, to most recently his daughter's wine bar in Greendale, Wisconsin, he was one to charm the socks off of anyone he met. Given the opportunity he'd gladly take you up on a well-made steak tartare with the perfect frites. He adored gushing stories about the golf courses he'd played or flying the Concord all while extending the evening with a sambuca and coffee, with exactly three beans for good fortune in life.
He loved regaling new friends and old with stories of his time spent in the toy industry, starting as a teenager as a stock clerk in the first Toys "R" Us in Virginia. From there he worked tirelessly and steadfastly to rise the ranks at Toys R Us, then to Mattel. At Mattel he led the development of Hot Wheels as Vice President of Boys Brands in El Segundo, California. At Tyco Toys in Mount Laurel, New Jersey he rose to President of Tyco US where along his journey he was instrumental in the creation of the legendary Garfield telephone of the 80s, and Tickle me Elmo of the 90s. His favorite times were spent at Toy Fair every year in New York City, and with his many dear colleagues he made over 50+ years in the industry.
He was the ultimate perfectionist, with a lust for life that is rarely encountered. He endeared himself to many throughout his broad and unique life around the world.
He was the proud father of daughters Kelly (Jeff), Megan and Jennifer (Jason); Grandfather of Russell, Jessica (Steve), Rachel (Brett), Elle, Sadie and Uma; Great-Grandfather of Zachary, Emilie, Madelyn, Nikolai, Hazel and Theo. He is survived by his sisters Frances (George) and Colleen. He is preceeded by his parents Francis and Evelyn (nee Lassonde) Lyden.
Ralph Eggleston, Longtime Pixar animator and the Oscar-winning director behind the 2000 short film For the Birds who also worked in the art departments of films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles — has died. Eggleston died in San Rafael, Calif., on Monday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, according to Variety. Pixar Animation Studios confirmed Eggleston's death in a statement released on Twitter Monday. "In memory of Ralph Eggleston — animator, director, art director, storyboard artist, writer, production designer, and our dear friend. Pixar and the world will be forever grateful," the studio tweeted. Among his colleagues, Jorge R. Gutierrez, director of The Book of Life, also honored the moviemaker with a tribute.
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