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August 5 - 12, 2022

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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

Happy Bloomin’ Friday! 

Last chance! TAGIE nominations must be in by midnight on August 15th! Everyone knows people and companies that deserve recognition for excellence and innovation - nominate them or yourself for a TAGIE - it is FREE and easy! CLICK HERE NOW!

 

RSVP (FREE) for the POP Marketing & PR Q3 Event: Activations, Awards & Plus-Ups - All You Need to Know! Last week I shared the speakers from the U.S. Toy & Game Awards panel. For that panel, we have a useful Guide to U.S. Toy and Game Awards prepared by Kaylie Easton of Litzky PR.  This week I'm sharing the speakers from the International Opportunities and 4th Quarter Activation & Plus-up panels. You'll receive solid information to take advantage of opportunities to help your business. Speakers on these panels include: 

Tammy SmithamElizabeth WernerDonna MooreChris Byrne, Marissa Silva, John BaulchFlorian Hess, Rebecca Deeming and Winchell Cheung.

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​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report. If you can't wait for the news to arrive each Friday, check out the new Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed and share with your colleagues! You can also comment on the posts in the News Feed! 

Mary

"I am a long-time reader and champion of the Bloom Report. The quantity of quality articles on so many different aspects of our industry  is unmatched and  I regularly share and discuss them with my management team as an important business tool." 

- Jim Engle, President and Founder, Little Kids Inc. 

"I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.

Not only do I read the Bloom Report every week, I make everyone important in the running of our company across the globe read it as well. -Dennis Callaghan, Tree Toys and Roo Games

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Industry Commentary - Jill Waller

People of Play Tribute to Richard Tait

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Many of you have likely heard by now the sad news of the passing of Richard Tait, Co-Founder, CEO and Grand Poobah of Cranium.

 

Richard was a singular light in this world, a true creative leader and inspirational force. If you were lucky enough to cross paths with him at the Cranium offices, in the halls of Javits (or the old Toy Building!), at the TOTY awards, or elsewhere, you probably know personally the uniquely intense and positive energy that Richard embodied.

 

On my first day of work at Cranium in 2001, he took me to pitch for a partnership deal with Getty Images for the photos in the Cranium Hoopla game. I thought I was going to a business meeting, but as I told my friends later, it felt like I was “sittin’ in church.” That day I realized I had gone to work for the most amazing evangelist of the human spirit. From day one it was so clear.

 

This sad news stirs deep feelings of gratitude and love for Richard, for Richard and Whit’s Cranium adventure, and for all the people I continue to share the Cranium journey with and am connected to because of Richard and Whit. I feel lucky and grateful to be a part of this club.

 

Working at Cranium was absolutely a seminal experience for me.   READ MORE...

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Industry Commentary - Kaylie Easton, Litzky PR

Your Guide to Toy & Game Awards

Kaylie Easton, vice president, LPR.webp

When you have a terrific toy or game on your hands, recognition from trusted industry organizations and top media outlets via award wins can help build credibility, boost reputation – and give you something to brag about!

 

Not sure where to start? Here’s a breakdown of the most popular, highly coveted product accolades across the toy industry...

 READ MORE...

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Industry Commentary - Jeffrey Jones

Licensing Your Invention

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I have spent the majority of my career in the toy industry with a focus on product development, marketing, innovation and process improvement.  To break it down I innovate, make stuff and sell/market it.

 

In the Toy Industry I suspect particularly more-so than many others, Professional Inventors play a critical role in the flow of product concepts that are the lifeblood of the Industry.  I have been fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to work with Inventors developing product (especially during my time at Tiger Electronics) and also have been the Inventor Relations Person for companies I have worked for.  I especially enjoyed this role as it afforded me the exposure to the amazing creativity and innovation that Inventors bring to the table.  It also opened my eyes to the harsh reality these people face when trying to license their concepts to Toy Companies. 

 

I looked back and tried to quantify just how steep this climb was and here is the data:

READ MORE...

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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!

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From a ​M​ajor ​C​able ​N​etwork​ 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 

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Financial and Legal

 

Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Art Experience Company Cupixel Raises $5M Led by JOANN Stores. Cupixel, an experience start-up that brings the joy of creating art to everyone, announced that the company secured $5M in seed funding led by JOANN (NASDAQ:JOAN). The Cupixel app harnesses state-of-the-art AR and AI technologies and pairs it with innovative content, premium art materials,...

In its ongoing effort to achieve US$3 billion in savings within 2 yrs, Warner Bros. Discovery has laid off approximately 70 staffers at HBO and HBO Max, multiple media outlets are reporting. The cuts at the streamer represent 14% of its workforce. The unscripted and live-action family segments were hit the hardest, with sr HBO Max execs including Jennifer O’Connell (EVP of non-fiction and live-action) Michael Quigley...

 

US television giant Nexstar Media Group has signed an agreement with Discovery’s Warner Bros. TV and Paramount Global’s CBS Studios to acquire a majority stake in The CW. Set to close in Q3, the deal gives Nexstar a 75% share in the popular US channel,  with its current co-owners each retaining a 12.5% stake and continuing to produce original content for the net’s lineup. Mark Pedowitz will remain in place as...

 

Mattel Inc sued the maker of Rap Snacks in Los Angeles federal court Thursday, alleging its Nicki Minaj-branded "Barbie-Que Honey Truffle" potato chips violate Mattel's trademark rights in the famous Barbie doll. Mattel said it never gave Rap Snacks Inc permission to use its trademarks. The toy maker asked the court for an order blocking Rap Snacks from using the "Barbie" name, as well as money damages...

 

Australia's Biggest Independent Game Studio Is Teetering on the Edge of Ruin.  Allegations of fraud, a plummeting stock price and poor game sales have pushed Mighty Kingdom to the brink. From humble beginnings in 2010, Mighty Kingdom has grown to employ an army of over 160 game developers, artists, engineers and designers. The company is seen as a major success story, championing talent in Australia, building a...

 

***The above posted after tBR started running on August 12th***

 

LA-based Invisible Universe has raised US$12 million in a star-studded round of funding that will help the animation studio produce more kids content for its digital-first catalogue. Seeking to build “the Pixar of the internet,” Invisible Universe partners with celebrities to create animated characters, initially launching them on social media, where they connect with fans and build a following. 

Spin Master is serious about building its digital gaming business, and its latest move towards this end-goal is an outright acquisition of Stockholm-based developer Nørdlight. Investment entity Spin Master Ventures became a minority stakeholder in Nørdlight last October, and the studio is currently developing a Rubik’s Cube puzzle game (pictured) for the Toronto-based entertainment company.

 

Sunman, the Turkish market leader in toy specialist retail, distribution and production, has acquired 100% of the shares of Romania’s largest toy brand, Noriel. Combining its 38 years of experience with Noriel, Sunman aims to strengthen its presence in international markets, to increase its product range and to reach a significant volume, especially in toy exports. 

 

From August 12th, Hong Kong will be reducing hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals to three days. This will be followed by four days of ‘medical surveillance’. While the new restrictions represent a slight improvement on the previous arrangements, many international business visitors will still feel that they present a barrier to travel. Under the new arrangements, travellers will be quarantined in designated hotels for 3...

 

Warner Bros. Discovery To Merge HBO Max, Discovery+. The as-yet-unnamed super-streamer will launch in the US next summer, and the company is planning further cuts to kids content, including animation. WBD’s goal is to hit 130 million global DTC subscribers and US$1 billion in total streaming earnings by 2025. The company closed Q2 with 92.1 million subscribers worldwide, an increase of 1.7 million over Q1.

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Visit the York-Jersey Underwriters website at www.toy-insurance.com

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Stories, Comments, and Advice

 

John Baulch, Toy World, Innocent until proven guilty …it’s the Friday Blog! I’m going to get the bad news out of the way first: despite last ditch attempts on Monday to avoid industrial action, the Unite union has apparently rejected the latest pay offer from the port of Felixstowe and strike action is scheduled to go ahead from the 21st- 29th August. The likelihood is that there will be significant disruption to services…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles History (in a Half-Shell). After nearly 40 years and a new Netflix film, a look at what continues to make these cartoon heroes so appealing. There’s a great episode of “The Simpsons” in which Roger Myers Jr., a cartoon producer who runs the hit show “Itchy & Scratchy,” attempts to introduce a new character into the series to rejuvenate declining ratings. Poochie, the sunglasses-wearing, surfboard...

The restructuring of the various Emmy Awards continues apace, with oversight of the Outstanding Game Show and Outstanding Host of a Game Show categories shifting from the Nat'l Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to the Television Academy. In Dec., the organizations shared that categories within the respective ceremonies would be realigned, with series competing based on genre and not ... 

 

Lego Is Actually the World’s Biggest Tire ManufacturerIf you’re thinking about the companies that make the most tires, your mind might jump to the likes of Bridgestone or Michelin, all stalwarts of the tire game that churn out millions every year. But, in fact, there is one manufacturer out there that makes millions more tires than the competition. That brand is, of course, Lego.

 

Bride Stuffed Build-A-Bear With Letters For Future Husband to Open On Wedding Day and His Reaction Is Beautiful. They were 15 when they started dating... Most relationships we're in as teenagers don't last — it can be heartbreaking at the time, but it's true. We grow up so much in high school and the years following that most of us are totally different people by the time we hit our mid to late 20s, and ...

 

John Lewis predicts top 10 Christmas toys. John Lewis is the first retailer to unveil its predictions for this year’s festive best-sellers with nostalgia a key trend. John Lewis has released its top tips for 2022, which it says have been decided upon after months of sourcing by the buying team and extensive trials by the young experts who make up the retailer’s Toy Testing Panel.

 

Dad invents flamethrower for kids to play with at home: ‘Best toy ever’Fun-loving Canadian dad Daniel Hashimoto successfully converted a household leaf blower into a flamethrower that his children use to “scorch” around their backyard. James, 11, and Sophia, 7, have declared it “the best toy ever” in a disarming video that’s now incinerating the internet. “To the children, it was not a deadly weapon, but more a dynamic and...

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History and Nostalgia

 

Do you ever wonder who first thought of Dominoes? Dominoes are a popular item that originated in China in the 1300s. They allow for a variety of games while testing skill and patience. The markings on dominoes are called pips – these originally represented the results of throwing two six-sided dice. However, in America today, we typically use European dominos, which differ from the Chinese versions because the ...

 

***The above posted after August 12th***

 

Water balloon battles are a favorite summer activity, but do you know the history behind these simple objects? In 1950, an English inventor named Edgar Ellington attempted to create a waterproof sock using latex and cotton. When he tested it by filling it with water, he noticed that some of the water started gushing out. Frustrated, he threw the water-filled sock onto the table, and it burst. This gave him the inspiration...

 

Do you ever wonder who first thought of Disc Golf? The first Saturday in August is designated as National Disc Golf Day, so we are taking a look at the history behind this unique sport. No one knows who the first person to play disc golf was. That’s because there have been many historical reports of isolated games. However, “Steady” Ed Headrick is considered the Father of Disc Golf. He patented the Disc Golf Pole Hole in 1975...

Mattel See ‘n Say Toys (1974). Mattel’s See ‘n Say educational toys first appeared on the scene in the mid-1960s. The talking toy re-purposed a mechanism in the company’s popular Chatty Cathy doll, with one key difference. While Cathy randomly spoke pre-recorded phrases when the string in her back was pulled, See ‘n Say Toys allowed the user to choose a phrase they wanted to hear via an adjustable pointer.

Stop Thief from Parker Brothers. “A crime is being committed…but where?” Released in 1979, Stop Thief was a cops-and-robbers-themed board game that used an electronic crime scanner to help players track down invisible thieves, make arrests, and collect the reward money.  GAMEPLAY: The object of the game was to be the first player to earn $2,500 by locating the criminals as they made their way around the board in...

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Licensing 

 

Mattel is offering gearheads a first look at the future of the DeLorean Motor Co. The DeLorean Alpha5 is an all-new electric vehicle (EV) that will be officially showcased for the first time on the awards ramp at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during the 2022 edition of Monterey Car Week. Ahead of the grand reveal, Mattel debuted a 1:64-scale Hot Wheels version of the EV.

 

Mighty Jaxx, an award-winning future culture company, is spreading positivity with the release of the B Smiley collectible as part of The Smiley Company’s 50th-anniversary celebration.  The Smiley Company enlisted renowned graffiti artist André Saraiva to reimagine the iconic Smiley logo through various collection releases, paying homage to the artists that have subverted the Smiley and marking the...

 

McDonalds Celebrates ‘Miraculous’ with a European Happy Meal Promotion, Featuring Sustainable Premiums. Award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG has signed a new agreement with McDonalds for a Miraculous Happy Meal Program that will span 40 European countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany, and Austria, and will feature a line of sustainable premiums.

PlaySide Studios and MGM Bring ‘Legally Blonde’ Game to Mobile Devices for its 21st Anniversary. Break away from the status quo and make a name for yourself in the legal world in Legally Blonde: The Game – live and available now across iOS and Android mobile devices globally. Blending captivating narrative, deep Match 3 puzzle mechanics and extensive character customization, Legally Blonde: The Game will have ...

 

Big Potato Games may be British, but the indie game maker has partnered with an iconic American institution - USPS -  for its latest tabletop offering. In case you didn’t know, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a variety of licensed products, many of which are available from the online Postal Store. 

 

Characters from Charles M. Schulz’ classic Peanuts comic strips are making their way to the world of Squishmallows, starting with Snoopy and Woodstock. The plush characters were first introduced last year as Knott’s Berry Farm/Cedar Point exclusives, except Woodstock had a slightly different look. Now the duo is available for everyone to buy, although like all Squishmallows hunters know, it still may be difficult to find...

 

Disguise has announced its complete line of character costumes and Funko Pop! masks based on hit series Stranger Things for autumn 2022The range will include costumes for new characters from the show for both kids and adults including break-out fan favourite and Hellfire Club captain Eddie Munson, Argyle of Surfer Boy Pizza and the Hawkins Highschool Tigers team. 

In celebration of the new Lego Harry Potter set, the Lego Group is offering fans the chance to play, build and stay on a real Lego Hogwarts Express train. The new Hogwarts Express Collector’s Edition measures 118cm long. Rich in details both inside and out, the model includes the steam engine, the coal car, the passenger car featuring light up bricks, and a spectacular replica of Platform 9 ¾, which...

MGA Ent. and Daewon Media have announced the signing of a multi-year, worldwide agreement for MGA to develop, produce and distribute a new video series based on the hit show from Daewon, Armored Saurus. The show mixes visual effects  and live action. In addition to distribution rights (outside of South Korea, Japan, and China), the deal includes toy and merchandising rights.

The Rose, Barbie & Friends campaign brings together Rose Ayling-Ellis along with a cast of diverse models that reflect the new inclusive line of Barbie dolls. A Barbie doll with a behind-the-ear hearing aid, a Ken doll with vitiligo, a new Fashionista doll with prosthetic leg and a wheelchair Barbie doll have gone on sale across the UK. Strictly star & Eastenders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis is taking part in a new campaign...

 

Featuring the iconic humor of American comedian Jeff Foxworthy, PlayMonster is bringing fans of the original Relative Insanity party game a brand-new edition with all new set up and punchline cards to bring out the comedian in you and your friends! Folks, there’s a brand-new generation of exciting Relative Insanity questions and punch lines ready for your next big game night! 

 

Jordan Ferney, curator of celebratory moments (Chief Happy Officer at Oh Happy Day) and color expert (mastermind behind Color Factory) teams up with Kinetic Sand as the latest Kinetic Creator. In celebration of mesmerizing medium Kinetic Sand, Jordan Ferney merges her love of parties, and penchant for color, orchestrating the ultimate playscape to inspire endless opportunities for creativity using the...

 

The Five Nights at Freddy’s video game franchise has inspired action figures, plush toys, and even Pop! Vinyl figures. Now, Funko is introducing its first Snaps! collection featuring animatronic characters from throughout the franchise, including Freddy Fazbear, Golden Freddy, Foxy, Bonnie, Toy Bonnie, Chica, Springtrap, and Baby. 

 

Just in time for football season, Arcade1Up is launching NFL Blitz Legends — a new, home arcade cabinet that features a trio of remastered and updated NFL Blitz titles that are returning to the scene after 25 years. The cabinet features NFL Blitz, NFL Blitz ‘99, and NFL Blitz 2000: Gold Edition.

 

Irish distributor Monster Entertainment has sold five animated series to SVOD Kidstream and Condista-owned pay-TV channel Kids Street ahead of the fall market season. Kidstream picked up The Charlie Shepherd Show, with Fia’s Fairies, Storytime with Ms. Booksy, Zizi and Hannibal and Once Upon… My Story going to Kids Street. Monster is also planning to screen all five shows at MIPJunior (Oct 15-16) later this year.

 

The licensing agreement will see Nikko Toys bring out a range based on the motorsports team’s  Ford Puma Hybrid Rally 1 car. Nikko Toys has announced a new licensing programme and deal with global motorsports team M-Sport to bring its rally cars to the toy aisle. Cumbrian-based M-Sport was chosen to mastermind Ford’s assault on the FIA World Rally Championship, and Nikko Toys will be launching a new...

 

Funko, in partnership with Hasbro, will release a series of Digital Pop! NFTs based on “Power Rangers,” including Green Ranger, The Pumpkin Rapper, Zordon and more, on Droppp!, an NFT platform, on Aug. 23.  Funko’s Digital Pop! line features non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, in the form of digital collectibles featuring Funko’s stylized figures. Standard and premium packs of the “Power Rangers” Digital Pop! series will be  ...

 

Yoto, the audio platform for kids behind Yoto Player, and recently launched Yoto Mini, has collaborated with Paramount Consumer Products U.K. to welcome “PAW Patrol” titles to its audio library. In a first for the platform, the “PAW Patrol” licensed stories from the Spin Master Entertainment series starring Ryder, Marshall, Skye, Rocky, Chase, Zuma and Rubble.   

 

***The above posted after August 12th***

 

Next year’s Carnival celebrations could feature more kids dressing up as dragons, knights, princesses and trolls, thanks to a new licensing deal between DeAPlaneta Entertainment and MOM Fun Company in Spain. MOM will be the first licensee to make consumer products based on Technicolor Animation’s CG-animated kids series Gus, the Itsy Bitsy Knight.

 

More than 700 episodes from Hasbro-owned studio Entertainment One are coming to the HappyKids AVOD platform. New series such as Power Rangers (season one - 60 x 22-minute episodes) and GI Joe (season one - 95 x 22-minute episodes) and fresh episodes of Transformers, My Little Pony and Ricky Zoom will launch throughout the remainder of the summer.

Fisher-Price , in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, is introducing its newest set of football stars, on and off the pitch, the “Ted Lasso:” Little People collector set.  The figure pack celebrates Ted Lasso and the AFC Richmond gang ahead of the 3rd season on Apple TV+.  This set includes 6 characters from the show: Rebecca Welton, Keeley Jones, Coach Beard, Roy Kent, Sam Obisanya and of course head... 

 

Nick Jonas is adding another accomplishment to his already-long resume: game collaborator. The 29-year-old singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as being one of the Jonas Brothers, has teamed up with Big Potato Games to reimagine his personal favorite game. Nick Jonas’ LINKEE, now available at AmazonTarget, and Walmart, is the ultimate fast-paced, quick-witted trivia game.

Britain’s pubcaster has acquired a package of new episodes and series from London-based Moonbug Entertainment for its iPlayer service. Preschool shows Blippi Wonders (season one – 26 x three-minute episodes), Little Baby Bum (300 x two-minute episodes), Gecko’s Garage (season one – 26 x two-minute episodes) and Lellobee City Farm (50 x two-minute episodes) will soon be available for the first time on the BBC...

 

Paramount has set a new release date for “Sonic the Hedgehog 3,” moving the video game adaptation to a release on December 20, 2024 while pushing back an untitled “Smurfs” musical to February 2025. The decision to move Sega’s famous blue speedster into the competitive holiday season shows how bullish Paramount is on the franchise, as the first “Sonic the Hedgehog” was released on Valentine’s Day weekend...

 

Nickelodeon Launches Global Search For Series.  The broadcaster is calling out for kids live-action and animated pitches from BIPOC and other underrepresented communities, with plans to put three into development. In collaboration with Rise Up Animation and Ghetto Film School, Nickelodeon has launched a new content accelerator that will send three concepts from underrepresented and early-stage creatives into...

 

Cuphead Rolls the Dice with New Partners, Agents, Merch, and Exclusive Social Content Ahead of New Cuphead Show! Episodes. Global gaming phenomenon Cuphead is celebrating a year of massive success, from debut of the acclaimed series The Cuphead Show! in Feb., to the June 30 release of the highly-anticipated video game expansion Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course — which has already reached at platinum... 

 

Dr. Seuss Enterprises Announces New Partnership with AtGames. AtGames, a leader in interactive entertainment products, has announced that classic Dr. Seuss properties will be featured in new virtual pinball tables for the AtGames Legends Arcade Family of products running on the Legends Arcade Platform. The Dr. Seuss properties that will be developed into innovative new original virtual pinball tables...

 

Brit toyco Toikido has partnered with Retail Monsterto roll out its new range of Piñata Smashlings products in North America next year. The launch will kick off with a Roblox game in summer 2023, followed by collectible cards from Topps and figurines, plush, playsets and piñata eggs containing Smashlings from Israeli toymaker PMI in the fall.

 

Amelia Fang Kidlit Franchise Set For TV Adaptation.  The vampiric middle-grade books, which have sold more than half a million copies in the UK, will make the jump to screens in a new comedy-adventure series. Laura Ellen Anderson’s Amelia Fang is looking to scare up some new fans in a 2D-animated comedy series and two specials. London-based CAKE has partnered with DCM Pictures (Bibi & Tina) to produce all three projects...

 

The World of EPI is set to introduce an exquisitely detailed line of collectible dolls based on the iconic characters from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”. Leading multicultural doll pioneer, Dr. Lisa Williams and World of EPI, authentically designed the Fresh Dolls Fierce collection in collaboration with Marvel to bring the strong, powerful and brilliant warrior characters from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther:...

 

Rachael Simpson-Jones spoke to Nat Southworth at KAP Toys about kawaii cats, Stranger Things fans and why a ‘nice thing’ can be everything. Cover star KAP Toys, which this year celebrates its 5th anniversary as a successful toy company and distributor, has unveiled a major step forward in its expansion plans – its first own-brand plush range, Fuzzballs.

 

NetEase Games and MGM have announced the first crossover event between NetEase Game’s mobile video game Vikingard and the studio’s hit television series Vikings. Debuting 23/August, the first in-game integration will feature thrilling content and exciting themed events related to season 1 of Vikings that allow players to experience the journey of the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok.

 

FIRST LOOK AT THE NACELLE CO.’S SECTAURS ACTION FIGURE LINE. “Sectaurs is a line with a great history, fantastic design, and a seemingly endless well of creative potential,” says Nacelle Co. Founder and CEO Brian Volk-Weiss. “For us, it was a no-brainer to jump into the revival of this property.”

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People of Play

“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Karen Kilpatrick of Kaypin Media and Genius Cat Books to the show. Kilpatrick helps brands and creatives navigate the publishing industry with a focus on creating kids’ books. On the show, Kilpatrick explains how telling nighttime stories to her kids sparked the idea for her business.

 

U.S Toy welcomes toy industry veteran Edde Martinez to its sales management team. Martinez assumes the role of director of specialty sales after 16 years at Toysmith and four years at Sunshine Sales.  In his new role, Martinez will work alongside Christina Clayton, who also holds the position of director of specialty sales. Together they will help lead the sales growth with a focus on expanding U.S. Toy’s distribution ...

Chasing Life Podcast. In this episode, Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks with Paul Dixon, toy industry expert, and play expert Dr. Stuart Brown, who has studied play for decades, and argues joyful activity is just as important as proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep. Discover why incorporating fun into your daily routine is an essential part of living a healthier and happier life. 

 

Darren Throop will step down as president and CEO of Entertainment One (eOne) at the end of 2022. Its parentco Hasbro announced Throop’s departure in a release, stating that his contract with the co. expires at the end of the year, and “transition details” will be announced prior to this. Throop’s exit is set to take place three years after Hasbro completed its US$3.8-billion acquisition of eOne at the end of 2019.

 

Kenya Barris is taking the yellow brick road to Oz for Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Wizard of Oz” remake. The creator of “Black-ish” is set to write and direct the reimagining, which is completely separate from New Line’s previously announced retelling of “The Wizard of Oz.” New Line’s version will be directed by Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen”) and is described as “fresh take” on Dorothy and the Land of Oz. 

Toy World is pleased to welcome Suzie Sparkes to the team as Alakat Publishing goes from strength to strength. Suzie joins the company from Gameplan Europe, a consultancy directed towards child related consumer markets throughout Europe. Suzie worked as a research consultant at Gameplan, a wide ranging role which has given her a broad range of skills and invaluable experience of the toy industry, ...

 

Amy King has joined Hilco as the company’s national sales manager. King has more than 20 years of experience with major consumer packaged goods, having served the past three years with CandyRific as its director of sales for its western region. Prior to working with CandyRific, King served with Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Premier Nutrition and Kettle Foods. “Amy has spent years honing her skills in all....

***The above posted after August 12th***

 

The Spanish toymaker behind the Cry Babies line has opened an Australian subsidiary and tapped toy industry veteran Matt Keighran to lead as its new vice president of sales and marketing. The company is following the same playbook in Oz that it used to build operations in the U.S., Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Germany, Portugal, and Hong Kong (China). Keighran joins the company from MGA Entertainment where he ...

Swerve is expanding its team with new hires, internal promotions, and newly created roles. “We’ve been diligent in adapting to industry trends and listening to our client needs which have contributed to the transformation of Swerve over the years,” says Swerve President and CEO Andrew Wagar. 

Helena Perheentupa has been named SVP of the ZAG Play Toy Division and is charged with developing new toys and complementary products for the LA-based company’s flagship franchise Miraculous, superhero adventure series Ghostforce (52 x 11 minutes)and upcoming CG-animated feature film Melody. In a release, Perheentupa says the division will continue to work closely with master toy partner Playmates and other...

 

Jack Peach is key lead innovation engineer at Mattel and the product innovation team support all of Mattel’s portfolio of brands. “Being an inventor, I’m most excited to see the sparkle in a kid’s eye when a toy does something unexpected, something ‘magical’. It is a shared experience driving imagination at their level and mine, encompassing ‘What if? Why not?’,” Peach said.

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Companies and Brands

Spin Master Entertainment’s Mighty Express episodes will be premiered for the first time on Tiny Pop from Thursday 1st Sept. 2022. The pre-school show Mighty Express from Spin Master Entertainment is set in a place called Tracksville which is a world run by kids and trains; a playful. quirky world of criss-crossed rail tracks. A team of trains and their kid buddies have to keep things moving and deliver their cargo ...

 

Moose Toys Celebrates 5 Toy of the Year 2022 Nominees in 5 Categories: Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball for Creative Toy of the Year, Magic Mixies Magic Mixlings for Collectible of the Year, Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Goo Shifters for Action Figure of the Year, Dance & Play Bluey and Little Live Pets Mama Surprise for Plush Toy of the Year.

 

Marky Sparky is pleased to announce the launch of its latest Faux Bow® PRO archery set, bringing archery anywhere, anytime. Making it accessible for all using its patented impact arrows featuring DOESNTMATTER™ Technology. Faux Bow® Pro brings with it the complete experience of traditional archery, minus the pointy tips and delicate arrows. The Faux Bow Pro uses an ultra-lightweight arrow that carries...

 

Handmade by Robots, the creator and producer of collectible vinyl figures, has announced a new distribution partnership with UK-based gift and collectibles company, Fanattik. A growing Handmade by Robots fanbase in the UK presented an opportunity to establish a local distribution partner to support increasing demand for product and directly supply retailers in the UK and Ireland.

 

Asmodee games will be available on trains, boats and planes this summer as the co. tries to ease stress for travelling families. A selection of the games that travellers will be able to enjoy this summer. Delays, cancellations, lost baggage, Covid and post-Brexit rules have combined to create chaotic travel conditions so far this yr, with travellers made to queue or sit around for hrs with little in the way of ...

 

eBay, the mult'l e-commerce company, is teaming up with pop culture and lifestyle brand Funko to launch a new series of exclusive collectibles sold directly on their online shopping site. “With millions of sales of Funko products on our marketplace last year, we recognize that this incredibly engaged community of collectors are already shopping on eBay,” says Dawn Block, VP of collectibles, electronics, and home ...

 

Toy of the Year 2022 Finalist Miniland announces Together We Play Campaign. Miniland USA, Toy of the Year 2022 Finalists and makers of social emotional learning toys, including their award-winning Dolls with Down syndrome, has launched a powerful new initiative called Together We Play to encourage acceptance and inclusion among young children.

 

PBS KIDS Helps Kids Get Ready for New Friends and New Adventures this Back to School Season. Kids from coast-to-coast are heading back to school – and PBS KIDS is getting them ready for new friends and new adventures with content and resources designed to help students, teachers, and families as they make the transition back to school. The offerings include a range of tools for building confidence and social skills...

 

Fun In Motion Toys Ranks No. 281 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 Annual List.  Today, Incorporated revealed that Fun In Motion Toys is number 281 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America. The list represents a one-of-a-kind look at the most successful companies within the economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent businesses. Facebook, Chobani, ...

 

New Trading Platform Monsoon Digital Launches to the Public. Monsoon Digital, a new collectible trading platform and content producer of digital collectibles, cards and artwork, has officially launched its public beta. The first wave of items featured on the platform are digital trading cards that feature licensed artwork from Zombicide, the flagship tabletop game by CMON Limited, international publisher and designer of...

 

Scentco, Inc. Launches New Bedtime Defenderz Plush Toys That Fight at Night, So Kids Sleep Tight! When it’s time for lights out, nightmares better watch out! Scentco Incorporated, a renowned U.S. toy designer and distributor, is pleased to announce the launch of Bedtime Defenderz, a new line of 10-inch plush toys and animated entertainment content designed to protect kids from the “bad guys” as they sleep.

 

The Pokémon Co. International is beginning a new philanthropic initiative. The company responsible for managing the Pokémon brand outside of Asia is donating a minimum of $25 million over the next five years. The donations will be given to a predetermined group of organizations that help to create equitable communities, support children, or both. 

 

Spin Master scours the globe to find the next big thing in children’s entertainment. Each year, Spin Master evaluates more than 3,500 pitches for new toys, digital games, and entertainment content. The Toronto-based company has an internal innovation and design team dedicated to developing toy concepts, but it also recognizes that great ideas can come from anywhere. To find those creative breakthroughs...

 

Wizards of the Coast announced that they have partnered with R.R. Donnelley to provide WPN retailers access to customizable, print-on-demand point-of-purchase marketing materials. WotC has opened up a WPN Custom Marketing Materials Portal, which WPN Premium retailers have access to as the initial group of retailers able to use this new tool. Through this portal, WPN Premium retailers will be able to...

 

Toy World spoke to John Grice, managing director of Naylor Activity Tunnels, about the company’s growing range of durable products, which will help encourage physical play for many years. Tell us a bit about Naylor – what’s the company ethos, and what do you produce? We are a long-established UK manufacturer. Our product range, and the way in which we use technology, has evolved over the years in response...

 

Desi Dolls launches in FAO Schwarz, Selfridges London. Desi Dolls produces a range of faith-based toys representing the Muslim community, with huge potential to drive consumer spending around Ramadan and Eid. The range has been listed in the flagship FAO Schwarz Toy Shop in Selfridges, London, after buyers there contacted owner, Farzana Rahman. In what Farzana describes as a ‘dream transaction’, ...

 

***The above posted after August 12th***

 

Following the success of the popular Let’s Go Cozy Coupe cartoon series, Little Tikes has brought the cast of the popular pre-school animation to life with a new range of collectible ride-on toys. Perfect for small hands, the range comprises a selection of mini vehicles based on the show’s fun-loving cast. Children can roll them along and push down to hear them squeak.

 

MGA Entertainment (MGAE) is going back to its roots for an upcoming project. The company behind L.O.L. Surprise!, Rainbow High, and Little Tikes is resurrecting its original name — Micro Games of America — for Haunt Your House, an “App-Vanced” game. MGAE previewed the augmented reality (AR)-enhanced tabletop hybrid game at Gen Con in Indianapolis last week where more than...

 

After months of speculation by pundits, Disney+ is finally sharing details about its new AVOD, which will launch in the US on December 8.  Operating in a cluttered streaming market and with inflation on the rise, Disney and Netflix have both made moves to create a lower-cost option with ads for consumers who don’t mind that viewing experience. The new tier will launch simultaneously on Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. 

 

The powerful price monitoring tool MAPP Trap has just launched InteliTips, a new system driven by proprietary machine learning algorithms and MAPP Trap’s expert knowledge base. InteliTips subscribers receive weekly emails that address changes to their ecommerce conditions. What makes InteliTips so intelligent? 

 

Lego is set to take fans and families on an immersive Mission to Mars in a free two-day event in London over the August bank holiday weekend. In Lego City Missions, cadets will board the spaceship before blasting off on a mission to Mars, where they will use their creativity and imaginations to solve problems, before being interviewed about their mission.

 

G.I. JOE: THE BADASSERY OF SERPENTOR AND MORE DECLASSIFIED INTEL FROM HASBRO. Last month, the Hasbro team made its return to Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) with a look at new toys and collectibles from several of its top brands. With SDCC sidelined for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the G.I. Joe Classified Series never got to have a proper push in San Diego following its launch in 2020.

The Squishmallows Gamer Squad Honors the Tech of Yesteryear. Technology is evolving so quickly nowadays, it’s hard to keep up. Before we had new iPhones and Nintendo Switches launching every year, we had our trusty brick cell phones, Game Boys, and cassette players of yesteryear. Jazwares is throwing it back to the good old days with a Squishmallows Gamer Squad featuring plush versions of retro devices.

 

Walmart has held discussions with major media companies about including streaming entertainment in its membership service, according to 3 people with knowledge of the conversations, part of an effort to extend its relationship with customers beyond its brick-and-mortar stores. In recent weeks, executives from Paramount, Disney and Comcast have spoken with Walmart, the people said, as the retailer ponders...

The LEGO Group is expanding its factories in the Americas.  This week, the global toy company officially opened an expansion at its factory in Monterrey. As part of a $500 million investment, this new expansion will increase production capacity in order to meet growing, long-term demand globally.  “Today marks an exciting milestone for our factory in Nuevo Leon; we are the largest LEGO manufacturing facility in the world...

 

A look inside the design center where Hot Wheels creates its timeless toy cars. The engineers can't just shrink down the real thing. Here's how they actually do it. During the height of the muscle car craze of the 1960s, Mattel co-founder Elliot Handler wanted to create toys that better reflected what was going on in the burgeoning hot rodding scene. 

 

As Posh Paws celebrates its 15th anniversary, Toy World catches up with Lauren Shipman to find out how the company has changed and where it is heading. Posh Paws has continued to grow and evolve with the changing retail landscape over the past 15 years, including looking at new ways to present its ranges during the pandemic when customers could rarely touch and feel products, and consumers were switching...

 

Tonies has released a new TV advertising campaign showcasing its Toniebox, the musical storybox for kids. The campaign, which took to the air from 8th August on Channel 4, ITV2, Sky and Sky Kids, among others, highlights that Tonies not only amazes kids but brings happiness to the whole family.

Lego unveils largest store in the world in London. The revamped Lego store is packed with customer experiences including a Personalisation Studio, along with models of British icons. The Lego Group opens its new-look Leicester Square store today, on its 90th birthday, with a raft of customer experiences that it says will be scalable for other stores. The revamped store in the middle of the tourist hot-spot is now...

 

World Play Day is the first-ever global LEGO celebration and it’s happening to honor the moment that Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen turned his attention to toymaking in 1932. World Play Day will feature a host of activities that families can take part in at home or at designated locations around the world. The company says that the activities are designed “to help families and communities find a quick...

 

FoxMind Launches Match Madness Duo at Gen Con and Receives Rave Reviews. It’s finally here, Match Madness Duo, the highly anticipated follow-up to the best-seller Match Madness from the award-winning toy and games manufacturer and distributor, FoxMind. Unveiled last week at Gen Con, the largest annual event dedicated to tabletop gaming and culture in North America, the new game did not disappoint....

 

NYC-Area Families Invited to Experience the Best of the Bronx at Free ‘Alma’s Way’ Alma Train Party at Grand Central StationIt’s The Alma Train Party! Join Fred Rogers Productions, the MTA, and Thirteen to celebrate Alma’s Way, the hit PBS KIDS series created by Sonia Manzano (the iconic “Maria” on Sesame Street) and the launch of the new digital game, The Alma Train. The special “block party”-like event will feature...

 

Sesame Workshop’s ‘Tamir on the Street’ YouTube Series Explores Family Traditions in New Episode. Sesame Workshop has released a new episode in the recently debuted web series, Tamir on the Street, available exclusively on Sesame Street’s YouTube channel. The series stars eight-year-old Sesame Street Muppet, Tamir as he creates his very own YouTube-style show where he learns more about the friends and...

 

Jack & June, a proud member of the Woodplay Playsets family of brands from Escalade Sports, announced its newest releases for 2022 in the outdoor play and leisure lines. The all-new Playhouse, Porch Swing, and Cedar Adirondack Chair provide more opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors. Since 2018, Jack & June has quickly become the backyard favorite, thanks to its wide range of easy-to-use, do-it-yourself ...

 

The Pokémon Company International has announced a new Pokémon animated special, Pokémon: The Arceus Chronicles is coming to Netflix this September. Inspired by the popular Pokémon Legends: Arceus video game, the special follows Ash, his Pikachu, and friends as they adventure and explore the Sinnoh region. 

This local card-game maker has already gone viral, and Nutt Heads is just getting started. When Chad Boyles wanted a kids version of the popular game Cards Against Humanity, he decided to create his own. The viral hit ended up launching Boyles into the card game business. “The game just went crazy,” Boyles said. In addition to landing his game, Kids Against Maturity, in top commercial retail outlets, 

 

Konami reveals Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG news. The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game (TCG) has gone from strength to strength in recent years. A large part its success can be attributed to fan-pleasing packs that have offered new ideas, beautiful designs and strong desirability among players. Collector’s tins have been a staple of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG since it first came to the West in 2002, and the 2022 Tin of the Pharaoh’s Gods will...

 

With annual CG confab SIGGRAPH slated to start Monday in Vancouver, DreamWorks Animation announced its intent to release its proprietary renderer, MoonRay, as open-source software later this year. MoonRay has been used on feature films such as How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Croods: A New Age, The Bad Guys and upcoming Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. “We are thrilled to share with the...

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development

The final total of PlayStation 4 console shipments worldwide is now at about 117.2 million as of March this year. Since then, Sony has stopped reporting the number of PS4 console shipments. Shipment numbers are different than the number of consoles actually sold, so there may be a discrepancy between the two. Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad notes that there are only several other video game consoles...

Overwatch League player learns he was fired via tweetThe support player was let go hours after his team tweeted a welcome for another support player. Getting fired is never fun, but it’s even worse when you find out via tweet. Sang-min “Myunb0ng” Seo, support player for New York’s Overwatch League team, found out he wasn’t going to be playing in this or any other week’s games when his organization bid farewell to...

Following the debut of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, it was only a matter of (apologies) time before the Pokémon anime started focusing on stories about the Sinnoh region’s distant past when it was first settled by humans. While animated shorts like Hisuian Snow have delved a bit into the Sinnoh region’s history by introducing new characters, the mainline anime’s about to give Ash Ketchum yet another crash course...

As Netflix continues to build out its portfolio of games, the streamer’s seeing less than 1 percent of its subscribers interact with them on a daily basis. According to data obtained by CNBC from app tracking group Apptopia, Netflix’s games average 1.7 million users per day, a sliver of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers globally.

Google seems to have a new feature in the works for its search engine: when you look for a video game, the search results will have a "Play" button to launch it in the cloud gaming service of your choice.  Google search is apparently offering buttons to launch games for several services, including Google Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Amazon Luna and Nvidia GeForce. The process is pretty seamless, as The Nerf...

Highlighted Press Releases

 

CREATEON® WELCOMES COCOMELON™ TO ITS KIDS LINE FOR A CREATIVE CONNECTION THAT REALLY CLICKS. Look For Three CoComelon Magna-Tiles® Structures® In August, The 10th Beloved License From CreateOn For Youthful Tinkering & Exploration. Wheeling, IL (August 16, 2022) – CoComelon fans have a new way to connect with the launch of three Magna-Tiles® Structures® from CreateOn this summer. The first to launch is Bedtime Songs ($49.95), magnetic blocks that feature JJ, Bingo, Tom Tom and YoYo. Each set features imagery from and story-etic lyrics of two popular songs from CoComelon’s library of nursery rhymes.

 

KOMARC ENCOURAGES KIDS TO PLAY WITH THEIR FOOD (ACTUALLY FLING IT) WITH SMACK THE SNACK ON JACK. Forget Pin The Tail, Throw Game-Piece Pretzel, Pizza, Bacon or Doughnut At 20 x 28” Jack, Who Sticks To Your Wall, Door Or Window. It’s Fast, Fun & Funny. Logan, UT (August 15, 2022) – When two-year-olds get frustrated or even angry, they throw tantrums. But what can you do if you’re eight or nine? Mental health experts say it is okay to physically throw something, safely. Komarc, makers of hilariously entertaining toys, suggest you Smack The Snack On Jack ($21.99) and laugh aloud while you are at it! No one can have the blues with Jack around.

 

HEALTHY ROOTS DOLLS NAMED FINALIST FOR CURLFRIENDS TRIO AS TOTY’S DOLL OF THE YEARThe Nominees Are… Zoe, Gaïana & Marisol: The Girls With The Curls. Detroit, MI (August 15, 2022) — Healthy Roots Dolls, a rising black-owned toy startup, is making heads turn with the expansion of their Curlfriends line following the popularity of their first doll Zoe. Along with her two Curlfriends, Gaïana and Marisol, the trio was just named as a Finalist in the “Oscars” of the toy industry, in the Doll of the Year category by The Toy Association. Polls are now open to vote for the girls with the curls in the toy aisle. Vote for Healthy Roots Dolls here, today:

 

LITTLE KIDS, INC. STAFF BLOWS CELEBRATORY BUBBLES AS FÖMILATOR NAMED FINALIST FOR TOY OF THE YEAR. Voting Opens August 15 For This Outdoor Toy Of The Year Finalist That Sprays Thick Fluffy Foam That Kids of All Ages & Abilities Adore. Seekonk, MA (August 15, 2022) – There has always been something special about bubbles. Parent toy company Little Kids Inc., the number one bubble manufacturer in the U.S., is blasting triumphant fluffy foam at its headquarters as its newest outdoor product, Föm Mania Fömilator ($19.99 MSRP) nabs a spot on the Toy Of The Year 2022 ballot. Votes can be cast at https://toyawards.org/toyaward/custom/OutdoorToy.aspx.

***The above was posted after August 12th***

HAS A FUN ASSIGNMENT BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS. Wipeout™ Dry Erase Protective Gear Is Perfect For Back-To-School By Scooter, Bike, Blades Or Boards As Students Personalize, Wear, Then Draw Again. Port Washington, NY (August 9, 2022) – Wipeout™ likes to remind parents this time of year that back-to-school shopping lists should have the three Ps – paper, pencil and pads. Knee pads, elbow pads and a bike helmet are a must when kids are scooting on the sidewalk and riding along bike paths. As moms and dads already know, protective gear only cushions the body if the child wears it. So, Wipeout came up with a creative way to ensure kids will want to show off their oh-so-cool gear since they get to decorate it themselves with the magic of dry erase markers. How’s that for their first 2022-2023 academic assignment?

 

HEAR THEY COME! SPOKESTER SENSES BIKE RIDERS APPROACHING AS SCHOOL TRAFFIC RESUMES. Accidents Happen When You Forget To Look Both Ways! Spokester Has Us On Alert For Cyclists With the Vroom Sound Of A Motorcycle. Midlothian, VA (August 9, 2022) – Is there a young pedal pusher in the house? The phrase “pedal pushers” derived from the style originally worn by cyclists in the ‘60s, because long pants could catch in bicycle chains. Whether deftly riding a two-wheeler or experimenting with training wheels, safety and cycling is a must. Beyond the potential skinned knee is the fear of not seeing or hearing a cyclist approaching. One $9.99 product, Spokester (https://spokester.com/), eliminates that worry and makes the young rider the coolest kid on the cul-de-sac!

 

THE CLASSIC PIGGY BANK GETS A PLAYFUL, ADORABLE UPGRADE WITH SAILOR TATTOO DECALS AND GOLD MARKER DETAILS ADORNING A FRENCHIE SAILOR DOG AND COOL KITTY! Save Those Pennies (Dimes And Quarters Too!) For A Rainy Day With Bright Stripes’ Frenchie And Kitty DIY Tattoo Ceramic Banks. Bloomfield, NJ (August 8, 2022) — Budding artists will be searching the couch cushions and coat pockets for spare coins to place inside their newest piece of work, Bright Stripes Tattoo a Frenchie Ceramic Bank and Tattoo a Kitty Ceramic Bank ($19.99). To coin a phrase, this little piggy bank has a fresh feel and look as a new generation of kids and tweens discover that saving can be enticing.

 

Safety and Counterfeiting

 

Over Two Million Infant Swings and Rockers Recalled After Baby’s Death.  Hanging straps on certain MamaRoo swing and RockaRoo rocker models posed a risk of strangulation to crawling infants. The company is offering free strap fasteners to consumers. The restraint straps on the MamaRoo swings and RockaRoo rockers hang below the seat while not in use, creating the possibility that crawling infants could get stuck in them, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

 

***The above posted after August 12th***

 

A rollercoaster crash at Legoland's theme park in Germany has hurt more than 30 people, at least one of whom has severe injuries. According to the park, the accident happened after two rollercoaster trains collided with each other.The incident took place on the Fire Dragon ride at the leisure resort, which is near Gunzburg in Bavaria. Legoland said it had immediately started a full investigation and the ride will be closed for the time being. The company said the accident happened after one rollercoaster train stopped and another train "did not stop...

 

What Companies Regulated by the FDA Need to Know About the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal agency that regulates the manufacture, distribution, and sale of consumer products in the United States. Specifically, the Commission is tasked with protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of injury associated with consumer products. CPSC does not regulate the safety of food, drugs, cosmetics, dietary supplements, or medical devices, and as a result, many companies that deal in these products incorrectly believe that CPSC's requirements cannot apply to them. 

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals

THE PLAY DATE COMES TO NEW YORK CITY ON MARCH 8, 2023 Adventure Media & Events, publisher of the industry-leading media outlets the Toy Book and the Toy Insider, and The Toy Association have pulled back the curtain on plans for The Play Date. The Play Date is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for toy companies to showcase...

 

The 2022 Pokémon World Championships kick off on August 18, 2022. The 2022 Pokémon World Championships, the premier competitive Pokémon event of the year, kicks off Thursday, August 18. Fans around the world can tune in to all the action with live broadcasts from The Pokémon Company International on Twitch. The livestreams from London, UK will feature...

 

The Toy Foundation Announces Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards Finalists for 2022. A magical crystal ball, a giant pyramid climbing tower, and the most diverse assortment of dolls ever are among the 122 innovative finalists for the 2022 September’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. A long-treasured event, The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) TOTY Awards celebrate the creativity of the toy and play community and recognize the industry’s...

 

The Harvey Awards have revealed this year’s nominations in six different categories, and for the first time since the awards were revamped in 2018, a board game has been nominated in the Best Adaptation from a Comic Book/Graphic Novel category: Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage “Game” board game, which is based on Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT and published by Dark Horse Comics. 

The combined Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China trade show is gearing up to present a wide range of domestic and international exhibitors at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center from Aug. 18-20. The three concurrent fairs have been postponed several times due to an increase of COVID-19 cases. More than 1,000 brands and companies have signed up to showcase...

 

***The above posted after August 12th***

 

ReedPop has become the benevolent Thanos of the convention world, gathering up new fan events like Infinity Stones to wield major power in the fan convention space. Today, the company — whose growing roster of shows includes NYComic Con, Star Wars Celebration, and E3 — revealed that it will partner with Wizards of the Coast to produce Magic 30, a three-day event celebrating all things Magic: The Gathering.

 

Kids India is making the trip to its trade show a bit easier for international visitors during a cruicial time for the Indian toy industry. According to Spielwarenmesse, the Indian toy market will increase 10-15% each year through 2024. The eighth edition of the event is taking place from September 15-17, 2022 at the Jio World Convention Center in Mumbai and gives visitors a chance to scout toys, kids’ products,...

People of Play announces new webinar series. The second in the People of Play’s webinar series will focus on Awards, 4th Quarter Activations, and International Opportunities in 2023. People of Play (POP) strives to provide the toy industry with a comprehensive networking and resource hub. After a successful first event that drew more than 100 industry professionals from five countries, the team has announced plans for the next in its POP quarterly series of webinars designed to educate and inspire public relations and brand/marketing professionals …

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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.

Richard Tait, 1964-2022: ‘Cranium’ inventor and serial entrepreneur was ‘the ultimate dreamer’. Tait passed away on Monday at his Bainbridge Island, Wash., home from “continued pulmonary complications due to COVID-19,” according to a Facebook post by his family, shared with GeekWire. News of his death was also shared in a note to staff from Valor Equity Partners Co-President Jonathan Shulkin. Tait had been a partner at Valor Siren Ventures since March 2019.

“It is with great sadness that Valor Equity Partners announces the death of our colleague and friend Richard Tait,” Shulkin wrote. “Our Valor community, as well as the many people that worked with Richard over the years, mourn his passing. He will be greatly missed.”

Tait’s son, Finn Tait, also posted TikTok videos and Instagram photos in which they remembered their father.

“He was a great dad,” Finn said in one video. “It was like having Willy Wonka for a father. I love him very much and I’m going to miss him a lot.”

Tait started at Microsoft in July 1988 and is credited with launching a series of new businesses at the tech giant. He helped pioneer client server computing in the company’s operating system division, ran the CD-ROM business with products like Encarta, and started a number of consumer-oriented online services including Carpoint, Sidewalk and others, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Tait was even the first boss of current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whom he helped recruit from Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s.

“Cranium” board game. (Hasbro Image)

But it was Tait’s decision to leave Microsoft in 1998 that would largely define his legacy, as he and fellow Microsoft executive Whit Alexander co-founded “Cranium.”

It became one of the fastest-selling games in history and spawned a number of “Cranium”-branded follow-ups and related products. Gaming giant Hasbro bought “Cranium” for $77.5 million in 2008.

“We set out to create a brand that would give everyone the chance to shine,” Tait said at the time of the sale. “We’ve accomplished that and so much more, making history with great products that have won five Toy Industry Association Game of the Year awards.” READ MORE...

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Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​

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1.           John Lewis predicts top 10 Christmas toys

2.           Lego unveils largest store in the world in London

3.           Hong Kong quarantine to be reduced

4.           Turkish toy company Sunman Group acquires Romanian toy brand Noriel

5.           Exclusive: KAP Toys adds Fuzzballs as company flourishes

6.           Toynamics UK & Ireland invests in Hape team

7.           New TV campaign from Tonies

8.           Moonbug announces new content deal with BBC

9.           CEO Andre Javes departs Toys R Us Asia

10.        I couldn’t have put it better myself…it’s the Friday Blog!

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US)

RPGs the 'Story of the Year'
WizKids Unveils 'Marvel: Age of Heroes X-Men'
Avalon Hill Reveals 'Dungeons & Dragons: The Yawning Portal' for Preorder
Gen Con Hosts Over 50,000 Attendees
Pandasaurus Goes Exclusive with Asmodee USA
Upper Deck Announces Major Licenses for 'Vs.' and 'Legendary'
Free League Reveals 'The Lord of the Rings RPG' for 5E
Asmodee to Distribute Games from BoardGameTables.com
Queen Games Will Release 'DragonQuest'
Steamforged Announces 'Rivet Wars: Reloaded'

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Casual Game Revolution

News Flash:   My Shelfie Announced, Loose Caboose! Released
Cranio Creations has announced a new game, Gamewright has released Loose Caboose!, and Parks is set to get a new expansion.

To celebrate our Casual Game Revolution 10th anniversary, our Summer 2022 issue is available to download for FREE for a limited time. This is a great opportunity to share your love of board gaming with a friend! Please use our special promo link

Video of the Week 

Breaking News

A new sport included in the Olympic Games:

the barefoot endurance march on Legos.

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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

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

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