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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!


Happy Hanukkah! 


"Nobody really ever leaves the toy business." It is my favorite holiday meme, maybe even my favorite meme period. It was one of the topics Tim Kilpin considered for his keynote at the TAGIE Awards (who better to talk about it!). Instead he shared "Why Does It Take So Long?", another great topic and we will share his keynote in the near future.


Next week we will be sharing Jeffrey Breslow's return to the toy business - you will love what he and Frank Adler are up to! On a sad note and not related, is the dissolution of BMT, the company he co-founded more than 30 years ago and retired from 17 years ago. 

It isn't too late to be part of our Holiday Gift Guide, just select as favorites one or two of your products in your POP profile and send us your POP profile url. We will add you immediately. Viewers can click on the arrows to see more products and learn more about you, so no worries about being limited to two! If you have any questions, just let us know. Happy to help! 


​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed!


  • The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.

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Azhelle Wade Chats with Rick Derr about...

How Get Your Products In Stores With A Pitch That Stands Out

Azhelle Wade and Rick Derr 2023 podcast_

In Q4 some toy entrepreneurs are feeling  FOMO, wishing that they made a bigger push to get into retail for this season. But don’t worry, your next big opportunity for sales is just around the corner. This week's episode is a treasure trove of insights for anyone struggling to get their toy or game products noticed by retailers. If you've been tirelessly pitching with little to no response, this episode is a turning point.

Discover the secrets of creating a standout pitch that captures the attention of toy store owners. This episode is especially timely as we explore the prime opportunity that lies in Q1 for pitching to specialty stores. Azhelle interviews Rick Derr, owner of Learning Express Lake Zurich, to dissect actual wholesale and retail email campaigns from toy companies and provide a laser-focused critique on improving pitches. Together, they delve into the critical elements of a successful pitch, from leveraging sales data to crafting a clear, compelling call to action.


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3 Truths and a Lie with Eric Poses, Owner/Inventor, All Things Equal

How well do you know your colleagues? Click HERE for answers. If you filled in your POP Profile Fun Facts and you aren't part of this game yet, let us know! 

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Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile! 

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Cartoon of the Week: Thank you to the person who wishes to remain anonymous for the funny cartoon this week! 

Lexophile Lovers:  "I hate funerals — I'm not a mourning person." Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes:

"Designing a toy is like composing a symphony, you want each element to harmonize with the others to create an unforgettable experience." - Will Wright, creator of The Sims

"A great toy should be 10% toy and 90% child." - Jesse Schell, author of The Art of Game Design

Toy Industry Word of Day: Destination Store  If you can think of a toy/game industry word not in our POPDictionary, add it and we will connect it to you POP profile, feature it here in an upcoming week and on POP's homepage! 

Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me!  Mary

Financial and Legal


Hasbro Reveals Plans to Cut 1,100 Employees, Close Providence Office. The toy titan continues facing off against a challenging retail environment by pulling the one lever that no company wants to. “The market headwinds we anticipated have proven to be stronger and more persistent than planned,” wrote Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks in the letter to his staff. “While we’re confident in the future of Hasbro, the current environment demands that we do more, even if these choices are some of the hardest we have to make.”

Toy manufacturer Haba is cutting around 500 jobs As part of a realignment, employees will be offered the opportunity to be taken on by a transfer company. Mario Wilhelm, MD of Haba Familygroup, announced this on Tuesday. The term of the transfer company should therefore be six months. In the future, around 1,000 people will be employed at the traditional company's headquarters in Bad Rodach, Upper Franconia.

***the above posted after December 8th ***

Epic win: Jury decides Google has illegal monopoly in app store fight. The jury decided Google’s sweetheart deals were too much. 3 yrs after Fortnite-maker Epic Games sued Apple and Google for allegedly running illegal app store monopolies, Epic has a win. The jury in Epic v. Google has delivered its verdict — and it found that Google turned its Google Play app store and Google Play Billing service into an illegal...

The European Union agreed on the details of the AI Act, a far-reaching set of rules for the people building and using artificial intelligence. It’s a milestone law that, lawmakers hope, will create a blueprint for the rest of the world. After mos. of debate about how to regulate companies like OpenAI, lawmakers from the EU’s three branches of government—the Parliament, Council, and Commission—spent more than...


*** The above posted after December 8th ***


CEOs Are Playing Hardball—to Make Stuffed Animals Softer and Softer. Toy makers are racing in a competition for the squishiest creatures in the hot plushies market.  ‘The more cuddly, the better’

Jazwares acquires Australian toy distributor Big Balloon. Jazwares is acquiring Big Balloon, an Australian toy distributor. Big Balloon Co-Founder Chris Loverso will serve as Managing Director of Jazwares Australia. “The acquisition of Big Balloon is an investment in our future global growth with a solid partner in the Australian market,” says Judd Zebersky, Founder and CEO of Jazwares.

Five Below was hit with a patent and trademark infringement lawsuit, along with retailer’s supplier and manufacturer, for allegedly creating and selling knockoffs of several toys. Spin-balls LLC, doing business as Fun In Motion Toys, notified Five Below, RMS Int'l USA Inc., and JM Manufacturing HK Ltd. twice about alleged infringement through Five Below’s Calmagami, Magic Cube and LED Poi Balls products, but...


Mastermind Toys to be Acquired by Unity Acquisitions; 18 Stores to Close. Following the news that Mastermind GP and Mastermind LP had filed for Creditor Protection ahead of the biggest shopping weekend of the year, the owners of Mastermind Toys have entered into an asset purchase agreement with Unity Acquisitions.


Toy developer Big On Toy Innovation (BOTI) has won its copyright infringement lawsuit against Toi-Toys. Toi-Toys was found guilty of manufacturing and distributing an imitation of BOTI’s Doctor Squish-Squishy Maker toy through the retail chain Action. The court has ruled that Toi-Toys is prohibited from further violating the copyrights of Squishy Maker, and must stop exploiting the commercial success of this product. 

California Targets without gender-neutral toys will be fined in 2024. Some California stores are just weeks away from having to implement a gender-neutral section for children or face a penalty of up to $500, under a new bill. In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation, titled Assembly Bill No. 1084, which will require some retail stores in the state to have a gender-neutral section for children...


Hollywood actors' union Sag-Aftra ratifies strike-ending contract. US actors union Sag-Aftra has ratified its contract with Hollywood studios, a month after a tentative deal was agreed. Although actors have already returned to work, the ratification formally ends the strike which began on 14 July. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) said 78% of members voted in favor of the multi-year contract. Turnout was 38%. Actors won $1bn...


Twitch leaving Korea due to "prohibitively expensive" operating costs. Twitch is shutting down its business in Korea and claims that operating in the region has become "prohibitively expensive." In a blog post announcing the move, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy said the streaming company will cease operations in Korea on February 27, 2024, and suggested that operating in the region is no longer sustainable. 


EA confirms layoffs at EA Sports WRC developer Codemasters. EA has laid off an unknown number of employees at UK studio Codemasters to meets its "evolving business needs and priorities." The publisher confirmed the news in a statement handed to IGN but didn't specify how many jobs have been cut. EA acquired Codemasters, known for developing racing franchises like Dirt, Grid, and F1, for $1.2 billion in 2021. 

Tinybuild is cutting jobs after an "incredibly challenging year". Hello Neighbor publisher Tinybuild is accelerating a cost reduction plan that will result in an unknown number of layoffs. The company broke the news in a trading update and explained it has been performing "below expectations" and must therefore take "accelerated cost action to re-align investments with expected revenues." 

Bungie at risk of full Sony takeover. The tumultuous saga at Bungie continues, with a new report from IGN claiming the studio may be completely taken over by Sony depending on the performance of June 2024's Destiny 2: The Final Shape. Sources speaking to the outlet explained that when Sony acquired the developer last year, Bungie was contractually obligated to meet certain financial goals.

Embracer lays off staff at Insurgency dev New World Interactive. The next developer to be affected by Embracer's run of layoffs is New World Interactive, creators of the Insurgency franchise. Following social media posts about reductions, an Embracer representative confirmed to The Verge the Denver-based studio saw "restructuring changes." 



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Financial Reporting


The Character Group has announced its results for the year ended 31st August 2023. After a strong second half, the group delivered a profit before tax of £4.7m on a turnover for the year of £122.6m (2022: £176.4m). 


Global Box Office: ‘Wonka’ Wins Weekend With Sweet $43.2M Overseas Opening

‘The Boy and the Heron’ and ‘Godzilla Minus One’ break box office records  Animation great Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” took the top spot, earning a record-breaking $12.8 million for its opening weekend...  It’s the first original anime film ever to top the domestic box office chart.

Ghostbusters ‘Two in the Box’ HasLab crosses final stretch goal, exceeds 20,000 backers


*** The above posted after December 8th ***


Macro numbers on early Holiday sales promising.  A record 200.4 million consumers shopped over the five day Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, easily beating NRF’s expectations of 182 million shoppers, and last year's record 196.7 million shoppers.


The competition is stiff for plush toys. Toy brands are making their products softer and cuter to capture the wallets of adult consumers. While toy sales are down 8% this year, plush toys are having a cushier outcome: Sales are up 4% and hit $1.7B in October, per The Wall Street Journal. At FAO Schwarz, plush toys make up 30%+ of the business.

GameStop says firing CEO was a "risk" after reporting quarterly $14.7 million operating loss. GameStop has acknowledged its decision to oust former president and CEO Matthew Furlong could backfire. 





Trends, Lists, Market Research, and State of the Industry

Wednesday and PAW Patrol were among Netflix’s most-viewed titles in 2023


ToysRus expects Indian market to be among the top 5 in next 4-5 years



*** The above posted after December 8th ***


TBI Tech & Analysis: Why 2024 will be a year of (modest) growth for the TV industry


New Report Reveals How The Marketing Of Toys Reinforces Gender Stereotypes

Barbie’s’ influence hasn’t slowed down. Pink Crocs and gender equality, anyone?

Santa is the “ultimate influencer,” according to a survey from Samsung Ads focused on holiday advertising. While discounts are the top reason viewers favor ad content (88%), capturing the holiday season (67%) was second, and was twice as effective as a celebrity endorsement during the holidays (25%).


NOVEMBER 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELSBroad Range of Author and Superhero Titles; Manga Sticks to Tried and True

TCGplayer Top 25 Sealed TCG Products chart analysis for November 2023

NOVEMBER 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 KIDS GRAPHIC NOVELS  'Five Nights at Freddy's' Gives 'Dog Man' Some Competition

NOVEMBER 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 ADULT GRAPHIC NOVELS  New manga, a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book, and Bill Watterson and John Kascht's The Mysteries all made the Top 20

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

E3 is dead. Is CES next? The biggest event on gaming's yearly calendar has given up its ghost.  E3’s demise wasn’t exactly shocking, since it hasn’t held a live, in-person event since 2019. But the closure of such a high-profile event has some people wondering: Is CES, the electronics industry’s most high-profile event, next on the chopping block? I don’t think so. Let’s explore why. 


*** The above posted after December 8th ***


John Baulch, Toy World - Money’s too tight to mention … it’s the Friday Blog! As discounting continues unabated at retail, I have come to the conclusion that the pricing bloodbath of the past few weeks has come from a very straightforward place: ultimately, I very much doubt it’s about ‘buying market share’ or driving sales of food & drink or other categories (the grocers are often accused of this, and whenever I...


Steeve Reece, The Toy Journal - Why Do Mass Market Retailers Run Such Aggressive Price Promotions On Toys & Games? It’s a recurring annual event in the Toy & Game business to see almost ludicrous price promotions from generalist Mass Market retailers offering products at substantial, and presumably not particularly profitable promotional prices. This represents a big problem for specialist Toy & Game retailers...

Why Barbie Made Forbes’ 2023 Power Women List. As governments roll back women’s rights, Barbie emerged as a symbol not only of female empowerment but the necessity of fighting to recapture power that’s been taken away. Barbie is the first-ever fictional character to be selected as one of Forbes’ most powerful women in the world, a list that otherwise includes 99 hardworking, flesh-and-blood founders, leaders and...

Meta and IBM form an AI Alliance, but to what end? Meta, on an open source tear, wants to spread its influence in the ongoing battle for AI mindshare. This morning, the social network announced that it’s teaming up with IBM, whose audience is decidedly more corporate and enterprise, to launch the AI Alliance, an industry body to support “open innovation” and “open science” in AI. So what will the AI Alliance...

Best Christmas gifts for board game lovers 2023. The festive season has once again rolled around and so has the panic to find the best Christmas gifts for board game lovers. Getting them another board game might be an option – whether they love co-op games or two-player games – but, then again, they could already have a large number of titles stacked on the shelves. 


How a toy becomes the coveted 'it' gift of the holiday season. Come time for presents, one product always rockets to the top of wish lists. How are these toys anointed as the year's must-haves? The year is 1996, and Tickle Me Elmo has incited panic across the US. A startlingly successful marketing campaign cemented the fuzzy plush as the must-have toy of the holiday season. 

Backstory: The fashionable roots of the Claris the Mouse kids’ book series. Author and Illustrator Megan Hess speaks to The Toy Book about crafting her hit series, ‘Claris: The Chicest Mouse in Paris’. Occasionally, a solution will come, almost as if on cue, to those who crave it. Sitting on a terrace of Le Bristol Hotel among the rooftops of Paris, Megan Hess had one such experience. 


10 new subcultures for marketers to consider when targeting Gen Z. Wake up, babe, new subcultures just dropped. Gen Zers can be hard to understand, making them tricky for marketers to target using traditional demographics. In fact, their “fluid and fragmented interests will make traditional audience segmentation obsolete,” according to Horizon Media. 

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History and Nostalgia


7 Toys That Stand the Test of Time. From LEGO to Slinky, Alum Toy Marketer Finds ‘What’s Old is Certainly New Again’. For Genna Rosenberg ’95, it was caring for her first Cabbage Patch Kid, Alma Bridgette, which she received when she was 8: “I adopted her and I remember changing her diaper and dressing her,” said Rosenberg, who does public relations and marketing for a range of toy companies. “She was...

Séance from Milton Bradley (1972). The Séance board game from Milton Bradley turns players into relatives of late Uncle Everett and gives them the chance to add to the fortune he left them. Designed for three to four players, ages seven to 14, Séance has player battle for items in Uncle Everett’s estate. The eccentric uncle left much of his fortune to his parrot, Zeke, with his remaining wealth distributed...


Put and Take from Schaper (1956). Released in 1956 by Schaper, the family-friendly Put and Take game allows players to spin and win. Based on a classic game of chance played as far back as the 1920s, Schaper’s rendition honours the game’s simple play pattern and objective. Players ante chips into a kitty and take turns spinning a multi-sided top. 


Vintage Toys & Games 2023 Holiday Gift Guide. Our annual Holiday Gift Guide features contemporary gifts inspired by classic toys and games. Click the name of each item to learn more, including where to purchase. ‘89 Batman Modular Utility Grapnel Set. Paragon FX Group replicates one of Batman’s greatest accessories with the limited-edition Modular Utility Grapnel Set. 


Meet the American who launched Cabbage Patch Kids, Xavier Roberts, dolls ignited Christmas shopping craze. Cabbage Patch Kids are 40 years old but remain America's most sensational toy story. The pudgy baby dolls ignited a first-of-its-kind consumer craze during the Christmas shopping season of 1983 — including toy store-aisle fist fights that put some people in the hospital and many parents on Santa’s naughty list. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

Morrison Entertainment Group (MEG) is gearing up to bring its ’90s collectible toy line Monster in My Pocket to life as a live-action TV series, partnering with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios (Cobra Kai, Bel-Air) and Altar Rock Pictures (founded by former Hasbro president Brian Goldner). Mattel alums Joe Morrison and John Weems launched the Monster in My Pocket brand with Matchbox in 1990.


*** The above posted after tBR started running December 8th ***


Ravensburger announces third 'Disney Lorcana' set. Ravensburger will launch Into the Inklands, the third set for Disney Lorcana TCG, in February.  The new set will introduce location cards, a new card type that features popular Disney story settings, including Motonui from Moana and the Jolly Roger from Peter Pan.  Some locations give bonuses when characters visit them and others provide benefits just by being in play. 


Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions boards Nacelle’s upcoming Roboforce animated series. Nacelle and Seven Bucks Productions, the multi-platform production company co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia and run by Hiram Garcia, are excited to announce a partnership to co-produce the upcoming RoboForce animated series. 


Mattel announced a multi-year licensing deal with Amazon MGM Studios to create and sell co-branded dolls and collector sets inspired by MGM Television’s Wednesday. Mattel says its Monster High and Little People Collector brands have much in common with Wednesday, having ‘a finger on the pulse of social trends and a commitment to inclusivity’. Both Monster High and Wednesday centre on high schools full of...

To kick off the new year, Disney will be staging Stateside theatrical releases for a trio of Pixar movies that were forced to go direct-to-streaming during the pandemic. Soul (2020), Luca (2021) and Turning Red (2022, pictured) are pegged for wide releases in US cinemas during the first few months of 2024.  This strategic move is designed to encourage audiences “to experience three Pixar films the way they were meant...

Wizards of the Coast has announced a partnership with publisher Ghostfire Gaming to bring two exciting new products to its digital toolset on D&D Beyond. Grim Hollow: Lairs of Etharis showcases twenty horror-fantasy adventures with more than 75 new monsters while Dungeons of Drakkenheim presents a full campaign set in a ruined city for players to explore created by the popular Dungeon Dudes YouTube channel.

Who says Happy Meals at McDonald's are just for kids? The popular fast-food chain is bringing back its adult Happy Meals with a new artsy box complete with a special toy to restaurants in Ohio on Dec. 11. This time, McDonalds is partnering with artist Kerwin Frost to bring back a bit of nostalgia with special chicken nugget-inspired toys while supplies last. The Kerwin Frost Box – the choice of 10-piece Chicken McNuggets or a...


Mattel and Warner Bros Pictures are joining forces with Faber to release of the Barbie Movie Screenplay, marking the first time the screenplay is available in print. The original screenplay of the film, written by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Greta Gerwig and 3-time Academy Award nominated writer and director Noah Baumbach, will be published by Faber and is available for pre-sale beginning Dec 1st.

BarkBox Launches National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Collection. BARK’s team of toy designers reimagined the Warner Bros. cult classic holiday film into hilarious dog toys such as a plush Clark Griswold and moose mug, cousin Eddie’s RV with a “Jelly of the Month Club” toy hidden inside, and even Aunt Bethany’s lime jello ready for dogs to rip into. Dogs that love a challenge, like cousin Eddie’s dog Snots...

Chinese animation studio Fantawild Animation has signed Spain’s DeAPlaneta Entertainment to manage media and digital rights in Europe, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and New Zealand for its latest series Adventurer Carly. The CG-animated show for kids ages six to 11 launched domestically this year on multiple Chinese channels and streaming platforms. 

French distributor Dandelooo has acquired exclusive worldwide sales rights to Marcel, Father Christmas (and the Little Pizza Delivery Boy). This 2D-animated holiday special is slated for a December 24 premiere on Canal+ and the myCANAL app  in France. Presented at last year’s Cartoon Forum, Marcel, Father Christmas (45 minutes) is produced by Xbo Films (The Boy and the Elephant and A Stone in the Shoe)...


Moonbug Entertainment and Toikido have unveiled their first collaboration project, PeaKeeBoo, an exciting new animation series for pre-school children and their families. The world of PeaKeeBoo is full of the wonderous sounds and visuals of nature, and home to a range of unique characters who are united in their love of fun and zest for life. It is inspired by the charm of the classic childhood game...

LEGO and Epic Games team up for ‘LEGO Fortnite’. The new game will launch in Fortnite later this week. LEGO is no stranger to the world of video games, but this new collaboration takes it to the next level. The LEGO Group and Epic Games are bringing a new world to Fortnite with LEGO Fortnite, a new survival crafting game housed inside Fortnite and the first play experience to come from the partnership. 


Starbreeze to publish game based on Dungeons & Dragons IP. Starbreeze Entertainment has announced it has licensed Dungeons & Dragons to be used in the upcoming Project Baxter game. Starbreeze is licensing the IP from Wizards of the Coast, the IP holder of Dungeons & Dragons and a division of Hasbro. The upcoming game is planned to be released in 2026, with Starbreeze acting both as developer and publisher. 


DeAPlaneta steps in to sell China’s Adventurer Carly. Chinese animation studio Fantawild Animation has signed Spain’s DeAPlaneta Entertainment to manage media and digital rights in Europe, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and New Zealand for its latest series Adventurer Carly. Although it has only aired in China so far, Adventurer Carly is already generating some global buzz.

Serious Kids has teamed up with Mercury Filmworks for the first time in a co-production deal for CG-animated special A Mouse Called Julian, which Serious will distribute globally. Both partners are planning to introduce the book-based project to buyers and investors at Kidscreen Summit in February in hopes of raising more financing. And Mercury is also developing a spinoff series. 

Nickelodeon has picked up a fourth season of stop-motion preschool series Kiri and Lou from its global distributor CAKE. Delivering in April 2024, the new batch of 26 episodes will premiere in the US on Nick Jr. next year. Season four will see feisty dinosaur Kiri and his best friend Lou learn how to manage their emotions, ranging from the joy of learning how to swim, to the fear of missing their friend’s birthday party. 

Spin Master Entertainment has signed a raft of new sales for three of its latest animated series. France 5 and Gallic streamer Okoo have booked an appointment to roll out Vida the Vet in Q2 2024, with Sweden’s SVT on deck to follow suit next September. This 2D-animated preschool series about a young animal doctor is slated to launch this month on DR TV (Denmark), Hop! (Israel) and Corus-owned Treehouse and StackTV...

Miniso opens first Singapore IP collection store. Lifestyle brand Miniso recently celebrated the reopening of its Singapore storefront. The renovated store, located in VivoCity Mall, is the brand’s first IP (intellectual property) Collection Store in Singapore. The store features various products, including characters from Sanrio, Disney, and more. 


These L.O.L. Surprise! Tots celebrate Hello Kitty’s 50th anniversary. Each tot includes seven surprises to unbox. MGA Entertainment, creator of L.O.L. Surprise!, has teamed up with Sanrio to honor the beloved character Hello Kitty in honor of her 50th anniversary in 2024. The newly released L.O.L. Surprise! Loves Hello Kitty Limited-Edition Collection features two L.O.L. Surprise! tots styled in their cutest...


Beaches Resorts partners with The Elf on the Shelf. A partnership between Beaches Resorts and The Elf on the Shelf is taking The Lumistella Company’s smash-hit intellectual property (IP) to hotels in the Caribbean this holiday season. These bookable, elven stays are set on the beaches of the Caribbean, where guests will be treated to experiences like turndown service for their elves ...


CAMP, Marriott Bonvoy introduce CAMP Club experiences to resorts and hotels. Marriott International’s portfolio of more than 30 hotel brands, Marriott Bonvoy, and CAMP will soon offer new, interactive programming at hotels and resorts around the world. The Marriott Bonvoy and CAMP collaboration will introduce CAMP Club experiences for toddlers and tweens at different Marriott locations. 

Brisbane to host Bluey’s World immersive experience. Bluey’s World, a ground-breaking immersive experience will open in August 2024, exclusive to Brisbane, Queensland. Visitors will journey through a recreation of Bluey’s renowned home via impressive (for real) life-size sets, interactive play and a mesmerising soundscape, inspired by much-loved Bluey episodes. 


‘Bedtime Defenderz’ animated series hits YouTube. Scentco is launching a Bedtime Defenderz animated series on YouTube inspired by the company’s collection of plush characters. Throughout the 12-episode series, the Bedtime Defenderz will go on adventures in Snoozeeland featuring Magnus, the leader; Bruno, the brawn; Lexi, the brains; Sonny, the scrapper; and Zigy, the comedic relief. 


'Marvel United: Spider-Geddon' heads to retail. CMON and Spin Master Games will release Marvel United: Spider-Geddon, a new board game by Spin Master Games, into retail in 2024. In this game, players will take on the roles of Spider-Heroes that travel across dimensions to save the innocent. Players will work together to thwart the master plan of Morlun to destroy the Spiderverse. 


Zuru unveils new Mini Brands collection in time for Christmas. As it continues to build on its miniature collectibles line, Zuru’s latest Mini Brands ranges hit UK shelves from today. In a pre-Christmas collectibles drive, Mini Brands Sneakers and Mini Brands Books introduce some of the most iconic global footwear brands and best-loved novels as miniature replicas. 


Care Bears and other classic toys are back in vogue, sparking ‘fist fights’ over licensing rights. An unsettled retail landscape means manufacturers are counting on tried-and-true nostalgia brands like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Furby, making it tougher than ever for entrepreneurs to get shares of the lucrative businesses. It took Jay Foreman an entire year to land Care Bears, winning the license to make collectible...


New 'G.I. Joe Mission Critical Expansion' incoming: 'Cobra Ascendant'. Renegade Game Studios will release Cobra Ascendant, a new G.I. JOE Mission Critical expansion, which will hit retail in April 2024. The new expansion introduces Serpentor, as a boss character, to the game. Serpentor also comes with the evil twins Tomax and Xamot as his lieutenants. 


WildBrain announces wave of new distribution deals for seasons 1 and 2 of animated series ‘Brave Bunnies’. WildBrain has secured a wave of international distribution deals for the beloved animated preschool series, Brave Bunnies. The news comes as producers WildBrain, Glowberry, Anima Kitchent and KidsMe launch a brand-new second season of the highly popular series, following last year’s announcement...


Super7 and Toho International team up on new Godzilla figure. A new kaiju figure is roaring its way into fans’ collections. Super7 and Toho International, the Japanese studio’s U.S.-based subsidiary, have collaborated on a new Godzilla figure. This new Godzilla, inspired by the character’s appearance in the new movie Godzilla Minus One, is part of the Toho Ultimates! line. 


Bonkers Toys teams up with the crafty Moriah Elizabeth for new plush. Kids can craft with a new plush friend by their side! With the help of Bonkers Toys, YouTube arts and crafts star Moriah Elizabeth is bringing her signature style to the soft world of plush. Bonkers Toys is known for its YouTube partnerships, helping develop toy lines for Ryan’s World, Lankybox, and Aphmau. 


Asmodee, Equinox Studio reveal new trading card game. Asmodee and Equinox Studio have revealed their latest project: Altered. In this new trading card game (TCG), players choose a faction and lead an expedition into the unknown. Altered features mysterious environments, colorful artwork, fast-paced gameplay, and a dreamlike world that channels emotions and positivity.


Wild Republic brings animal adventures to Kappa Toys at Mall of America. Most kids love to explore the outdoors and learn more about the world. Families can encourage their young explorers to embrace the wonders of nature with Wild Republic’s upcoming Nature Tunnel and Sensory Experience at the Kappa Toys store located in the Minnesota Mall of America. 


Niantic to debut ‘Monster Hunter Now: Fulminations in the Frost’. The second season of Monster Hunter Now will be released Dec. 7. This is the first content update to the augmented reality mobile game, a joint venture between Capcom and Pokémon GO developer Niantic, since its launch in September. Aside from the wintry landscape that Monster Hunter Now: Fulminations in the Frost introduces...


‘Pokémon Horizons: The Series’ premiering in the U.S. Feb. 23, 2024, on Netflix. The Pokémon Company International announced that the new Pokémon animated series, Pokémon Horizons: The Series, will premiere in the U.S. on Feb. 23, 2024, exclusively on Netflix. The highly anticipated series will arrive just in time for Trainers to tune in as part of Pokémon Day celebrations, the annual fan-focused...


Asmodee’s Star Wars: Unlimited TCG, an all-new trading card game, at a launch event last month. The TCG was created by Asmodee subsidiary Fantasy Flight Games, in partnership with Lucasfilm. The Star Wars: Unlimited game features iconic heroes, villains, ships and settings from all facets of the legendary Star Wars franchise, including movies, TV series, comics, video games and everything in between. 

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People of Play

The scientific hazards of being Santa Claus. With any occupation comes a risk of health and safety hazards. When it comes to being Santa Claus, the challenges are unique.


In Conversation: Jeff Kinney. Diary of a Wimpy Kid's multi-hyphenate creator sits down with Kidscreen to share some tips and tricks for nailing the page-to-screen translation. When it comes to a middle-schooler’s bookshelf, few 21st-century titles can hold a candle in terms of longevity to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Toy analyst and historian Chris Byrne answers the internet's burning questions about the toys. Do kids still play with action figures or are adult collectors fueling the industry? How did the pet rock become such a hot trend? What's his favorite toy fad? This toy expert answers all these questions and much more.

Fun and games: Jordan Goddard, owner of Indy Toy Lab named Innovator of the Year. In 2015, Jordan Goddard decided he wanted to create a special gift for the birthday of a team member who loved two pastimes: board games and prepping for the end of the world. So, Goddard enlisted his wife Mandy to help create a game. They ended up putting the game on Kickstarter. And the rest, as they say, is history.


*** The above posted after tBR started running on December 8th ***


Reiner Knizia is like royalty in the board game community. With more than 700 published games, spanning a 25-year career, he is one of, if not the most prolific board game designer in the world. “I have played games and loved games as long as I can think,” remembers Knizia. “When I was eight or nine years old, I created my first games just to experience new themes, new challenges, which I couldn't get on the market.”

The Family Behind the First Traditional Nutcracker Is Still Making Them. MARKUS FÜCHTNER WORKS THE LATHE in the workshop that doubles as his home—or maybe it’s his home that doubles as a workshop. The small, one-story building is set in the forested hills of Seiffen, near Germany’s border with Czechia, and has been used by his family of carpenters since 1786.

Meg Bellamy was working at Legoland when she was chosen to play Britain’s future queen in the Netflix series "The Crown". Now she’s on the brink of stardom. “I was crouched in costume among the bin lorries of a delivery car park at Legoland,” Ms. Bellamy, 21, said at a London hotel suite last month. “Until that point, my most regular acting gig had been playing a red plastic brick.”

Cookbook Media co-founder Rob Bencal partners with Relatable as executive licensing consultant. Relatable, the company behind What Do You Meme?, has partnered with Cookbook Media Co-Founder Rob Bencal to expand its licensing and brand partnerships. Bencal will serve as an Executive Licensing Consultant and help Relatable create opportunities and foster relationships with intellectual property (IP)...

Funrise appoints James Xuereb as European account manager for e-Commerce. James Xuereb has been appointed as the European account manager for Funrise’s e-Commerce team. James XuerebJames Xuereb joined the growing Funrise International team in November 2023 with 10 years of experience in planning and directing diverse e-Commerce businesses. 


Magformers welcomes Sangkeun Lee as new CEO. A new CEO is joining Magformers, bringing with him a wealth of experience in international business and management. Magformers is known for its magnetic construction sets made with BPA-free plastic and Rare Earth Neodymium magnets. The sets come with a variety of themes such as animals, aliens, a carnival, and more. 

A legacy of love, loyalty, and laughter. A natural optimist, toy inventor Eddy Goldfarb overcame early loss, financial hardships, and professional setbacks to become an independent inventor that created some of the most popular mechanical toys of the 20th century. Now a centenarian with nearly 300 patents to his name, Goldfarb credits his longevity to his love of tinkering and writing. (Thank you for sharing, Bea Pardo!)


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Companies and Brands


Sega Rebooting Retro Franchises Including Crazy Taxi and Streets of Rage as Gaming Corp Eyes Hollywood Expansion. The Japanese gaming giant announced the new initiative, which will “revive a number of IPs as all-new video games, developed for today’s audiences,” Dec. 7 at the Game Awards. Sega also showed the LAbaudience a trailer that previews footage of the new games, which are currently in development.


*** The above posted after tBR sent on December 8th ***


Design Edge, Celebrating 35 Years of Design Excellence in the Toy Industry. Design Edge was nominated for two and clinched their first prestigious TAGIE award. Their team won Most Innovative Art and Design Visuals, thanks to their collaboration with Spin Master. After being nominated several times, Matt didn’t think he would hear their name being called. “We've been nominated a ton of times and never won...

Following Hasbro’s Centennial Fan Choice Campaign, in which kids and their families voted on how $1 million would be donated to different charities, Toys for Tots won first place, and as a result Alan Hassenfeld and The Hassenfeld Family Foundation have donated $400,000 to the charity. More than 34,000 fans voted for their favorite charities during the campaign. Other charities that received donations...

Asmodee USA is pleased to announce a new, exclusive distribution partnership with Gray Matters Games, makers of hit party games like You Bet-Cha!, The Game of Wolf, Root Beer Float Challenge, and Ridiculous Expositions, as well as their newest titles, Wrong Answers Only and Word Wipeout. Through this partnership, Asmodee USA will immediately begin distributing Gray Matters Games across hobby stores and...


Mattel Launches American Girl Doll Inspired by Original Barbie. The new collector doll has already sold out of preorders. American Girl features a wide variety of 18-inch dolls, mainly geared toward young girls but also nostalgic kidult collectors. The brand’s doll characters have unique personalities, goals, and looks, much like Barbie dolls. Now, two titans of the doll world have come together for a new American Girl...

Lego and Golin have won the International category at The Drum Awards for PR. Here is the award-winning case study. In 2023, the LEGO Group wanted to establish an all-new ‘home-grown’ IP of its own to excite and amaze kids and families with original storytelling, LEGO DREAMZzz. The world of LEGO DREAMZzz would bring kid’s wildest dreams to life in truly fantastical fashion, but building love for a whole new IP...

Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the company’s “disciplined” push into video games, which began two years ago, has already yielded “a bunch of positives.” Operating margins, for one thing, have improved at Netflix from 4% to 20% since 2016, Sarandos said during a sit-down at the UBS Media and Communications Conference. Gaming is poised to contribute to that profitability, though Sarandos did not comment...

Scholastic Book Fairs will include all the titles in its "Celebrating Voices Collection" in its Spring 2024 book fairs, rather than setting them apart from the other books being offered.  All books will be delivered to all fairs, but the hosts can choose whether or not to offer all of them for sale. The largest book fair co. in the country faced criticism in Oct. 2023 for offering a selection of books by and about people of color...

Jumping with Jakks. The toy brand is everywhere – and for good reason. It’s not an understatement to say that JAKKS Pacific (and their costume division, Disguise) is everywhere. This year alone, the toy company signed deals to distribute toys for the upcoming “Sonic the Hedgehog” film, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and “The Little Mermaid.” These deals don’t include already existing deals with fellow licensing giants...

Hasbro reveals Amazon Toyland pop-up event in NYC. Hasbro is hosting an official Amazon Toyland holiday pop-up event in New York City. Showcasing a diverse collection of Hasbro’s top holiday toys available in Amazon’s storefront, this free special event will feature holiday-themed activities, photo opportunities, product displays, and more. 

'Magic: The Gathering - Murders at Karlov Manor' product line deets revealed. Wizards of the Coast revealed the product line details for Murders at Karlov Manor, a new Magic: The Gathering Standard set, for release on February 2, 2024. The first Standard set of 2024 features quite a few product changes. This set rings in the era of the Play Booster, which changes the lineup of product SKUs in a significant way. 


Hasbro celebrates ‘Peppa Pig’ 20th Anniversary with cinema party. Hasbro is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the hit series Peppa Pig with a cinema celebration. Peppa’s Cinema Party is a family-friendly event that will premiere new episodes and songs in theaters in February 2024. The event is an hour-long cinema celebration that features 10 never-before-seen episodes from Season 10. 


Hachette announces 'Flashback: Lucy'. Hachette Boardgames announced Flashback: Lucy, a new title in Scorpion Masque's Flashback series of games, which will release in March 2024. This deduction game runs on same Flashback mechanism from Flashback: Zombie Kidz.  In Flashback: Lucy, players assume the role of a young girl with strange powers.


The best Magic: The Gathering gifts for Christmas 2023. Magic: The Gathering refuses to let any of us rest, and 2023 has been a very strong year for the trading card game. With so many cards, sets and accessories out there, it can be hard to know the best MTG gift to get someone if they’re a fan of the game - or you’re trying to convert them. 


Dark Horse, Mattel celebrate ‘The Art of Masters of the Universe: Origins and Masterverse’. In the toy industry, product packaging can make or break a line, and in some cases, the artwork becomes just as important — and iconic — as the toys themselves. For more than 40 years, Mattel‘s Masters of the Universe (MOTU) franchise has been powering epic adventures for kids and collectors of all ages. 


Hasbro reveals second Peppa Pig theme park. Hasbro is rolling out a new theme park in partnership with Merlin Entertainment. Following the successful launch of the Peppa Pig Theme Park in Florida in 2022, North Richland Hills in Texas will host the second standalone theme park in the U.S. inspired by the Hasbro preschool franchise. 


LEGO Botanical Collection blooms with bouquet of roses. LEGO has unveiled its latest product in the LEGO Botanical Collection: the Lego Icons Bouquet of Roses. LEGO Icons Bouquet of Roses, the new Lego bouquet depicts a dozen red roses, including four in full bloom, four blooming and four in bud, plus a scattering of small white flowers. 


Pop Mart opens second permanent London location. Pop Mart is continuing its international expansion with a new permanent store location at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center in London. The China-based toy company is known for its variety of figure offerings, from original to licensed characters, mystery boxes, and more. 


Mattel reveals Lap Two of Daniel Arsham’s Hot Wheels collection. Daniel Arsham, a renowned artist passionate about eroded versions of contemporary objects, recently partnered with Mattel Creations to unveil a selection of Hot Wheels 1:64-scale models and accessories. These vehicles are being released across four drops, titled “Laps.” 


Diamond Book Distributors signs distribution deal with Goodman Games. Diamond Book Distributors has signed a worldwide distribution agreement with Goodman Games, a tabletop role playing game (RPG) publisher. Diamond Book Distributors will exclusively distribute Goodman Games products to North American and international book markets, while Diamond Comic Distributors...


Libertas Brands’ plans for Fuggler. In September, it was announced that licensing stalwart Mark Kingston had joined the newly formed Libertas Brands as CEO. The agency, co-founded by Stuart Grant, owns the exclusive rights to the Fuggler brand, and Mark’s sights are now firmly set on growing and expanding the Fuggler IP across a raft of new categories. 


Six new 'Cardfight!! Vanguard: Start Up Trial Decks' incoming from Bushiroad. Bushiroad will release six new Cardfight!! Vanguard: Start Up Trial Decks into retail on April 19, 2024. Each Trial Deck is centered around one of six factions in the game. The factions represented in this round of TDs are as follows: Dragon Empire, Dark States, Brandt Gate, Keter Sanctuary, Stoicheia, and Lyrical Monasterio. 


Heathside Trading announces distribution of Strawberry Shortcake. The Strawberry Shortcake brand returns for a new generation as Heathside Trading announces the distribution of a new range. Since its launch 45 years ago from a collection of berry patches, fragrances and dynamic, lovable characters, Strawberry Shortcake, from The Loyal Subjescts, has evolved into one of pop culture’s most enduring icons. 


Mojo Fun partners with Quercetti in exclusive distribution deal. Quercetti is an Italian company with 70 years’ experience creating exciting educational and creative toys for children of all ages with quality and value for money at the heart of its ethos. All products are 100% sustainably manufactured in Italy, including the eco-friendly plastics PlayBio and Play Eco+ product ranges. 


Plus-Plus partners with Tumble Tots. Plus-Plus is pleased to be forming a partnership with Tumble Tots this Christmas. Over 15,000 packs of Plus-Plus Big, will be given to Tumble Tots members in the run up to the seasonal festivities. Plus-Plus Big is specifically aimed at kids aged one to six years of age, but perfectly safe from birth, due to its BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic construction. 


ZURU opens flagship campus in Los Angeles. ZURU has opened its doors to a new flagship campus in El Segundo, California. The three two-story buildings on the campus house a 13,500-square-foot showroom, complete with 267 screens for guests to immerse themselves in, along with different departments including Toys, Edge, and Tech. 


MGA Entertainment releases 3 new Little Tikes toys. MGA Entertainment has released three new products under its Little Tikes brand, just in time for the holidays. The updated edition of the classic Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox ($59.99) features four seats and a smiling, cartoon turtle face. The Adventure Rover ($99.99) is a space-themed rideable toy for kids ages 18MOS+.


Back from the brink: Toys ‘R’ Us unveils flagship store. Toys “R” Us, the iconic toy retailer, is making headlines in the world of retail with the much-anticipated opening of its second mall-based flagship store, situated in the renowned Mall of America in Minnesota. Set to welcome eager shoppers on November 17, 2023, just in time for the festive season, this sprawling 11,000-square-foot store...


Steve Jackson Games unveils 2024 lineup of releases. Steve Jackson Games recently unveiled their 2024 lineup of releases. The 2024 release schedule for SJG features some new games, reprints of fan favorites, and of course, a variety of Munchkin expansions. Some of the more interesting points of note on this list of games include the new Groo: The Game and a new two-player starter set...

PhatMojo releases new ‘Pet Simulator’ toys alongside ‘Pet Simulator 99’ launch. PhatMojo has released new Pet Simulator toys, aligning with today’s launch of Pet Simulator 99. Players can currently find plush pets, minifigure pets, collector bundles, and more at retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart. The plush pets are inspired by figures from the new game...


Douglas’ latest plush dolls offer birthday and ballet fun. A year after Douglas launched its first Soft Dolls, the plush company is releasing two more Soft Dolls with different themes. These 13-inch plush dolls are designed for babies and kids of all ages to snuggle with. Jubilee the Birthday Doll is celebrating her birthday and is wearing a sparkly gold crown, a white dress with animals and birthday balloons on it...


Deddy Bears on the fright track: 300,000 sales within its first four months and has its second release coming in Q1. Toy World spoke with Gavin Lawler at Innov8 Creative Academy to hear about the formation of the “disruptive” Deddy Bears brand. The idea of Deddy Bears was born during the pandemic, but it wasn’t launched until February this year at the Spring Fair. 


Pegasus Spiele will release Reiner Knizia's 'Havalandi'. Pegasus Spiele will release Havalandi, a new Reiner Knizia game by Edition Spielwiese, into U.S. retail by January 2024. In this abstract strategy game, players are attempting to launch a fleet of hot air balloons into the sky to draw the attention of onlookers on the ground. 


Rio Grande Games reveals 'Shipyard 2E'. Rio Grande Games revealed Shipyard 2E, a shipbuilding game by Vladimir Suchy, which is coming soon to retail. Shipyard 2E was released into U.S. retail back in 2010 (see "Rio Grande").  In this game, players assume the roles of 19th Century shipbuilders.  They will hire crew, buy equipment, and build vessels worthy of the country's supreme navy.  

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development

Rockstar dropped the trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI ahead of schedule to counter a leak and confirmed the title will launch on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S in 2025. The trailer was slated to debut at 9 am ET on December 5 and was billed as one of the biggest video game announcements of the year (and arguably, the decade). Instead, Rockstar published the trailer at around midnight on December 4...

The first fruit of the partnership between Fornite-maker Epic Games and Lego is due out this week — along with a pair of other games within a game that expand Fortnite's horizons considerably. The hybrid Lego/Fortnite experience is billed as a "survival crafting LEGO adventure" and will debut this Thursday, Dec. 7. Lego Fortnite, which Epic describes as its own live service game, is designed for ages 10 and up...


Bandai Namco launches additional stores in the UK. Bandai Namco has launched new stores in the UK in Brighton, Ealing and Sheffield, with more launches planned in the new year. Bandai NamcoFollowing the successful launch of the first ever Bandai Namco Cross Store outside of Japan, and the recent Victoria Place brand store opening, a continued expansion of Bandai Namco brand stores...


GTA VI confirmed next-gen only, skipping PC at launch. Rockstar Games has confirmed that, at least at launch, the company’s long-awaited open-world crime sim, Grand Theft Auto VI, will launch on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 only, with no mention of a PC version. In a press release published on December 4, shortly after the company was forced to release the GTA 6 trailer early after it leaked...

GTA 6 fans are already making social media accounts based on the trailer. Following the leak (and subsequent official release) of Grand Theft Auto 6’s first trailer, fans have already taken to social media to gobble up handles matching the fictional ones depicted in Rockstar’s upcoming game. The full trailer showed off some faux social media clips that will likely play a role in the narrative...


6 board games like Grand Theft Auto to play while you wait for GTA 6’s release date. A new Grand Theft Auto game is on the way, with Rockstar’s recent announcement of the GTA 6 release date revealing that the immense crime-blockbuster video game series will see a new instalment in 2025. Now that fans know when Grand Theft Auto VI will release, it’s simply a case of passing the time until it arrives. 


GTA 6: Streams soar for 70s rocker Tom Petty thanks to trailer. If you're a gaming fan, you definitely won't have missed the long-awaited trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6. But you might not have recognized the teaser's soundtrack - a 1980s Tom Petty tune Love Is A Long Road. While the trailer has racked up more than 100 million views, the song has also seen a huge leap in streams. 


Breaking down the Grand Theft Auto VI 79 seconds. A trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI has finally been released by game developer Rockstar, after a low-quality copy leaked online. BBC Technology reporter Tom Gerken has broken down the trailer to see what the game could have to offer, including the first female protagonist in the franchise since the 1990s. 


Why weather in games is getting more realistic. If it's winter where you are, you might wonder why anyone would want to simulate the weather outside - but that's what many game developers are trying to do. In their mission to make more realistic and immersive experiences, more studios are making wet, wild and stormy conditions a part of the experience. 

Highlighted Press Releases

GUESS WHO RING’D IN THE NEW YEAR EARLY?  Tweens Let Their Fingers Do The Talking With 2024’s Watchitude® Reversible Silicone Rings Launching Two Weeks Ahead Of Schedule. New Brunswick, NJ (December 12, 2023) – If kids have a little allowance or Christmas cash saved up, they’re sure to head to their local toy store or go online to buy the just-launched Ring’d 4-pack ($12) by Watchitude®. The reversible silicone rings with simple messages such as Stop/Go, Dance/Cheer and OMG/LOL let tweens express themselves without uttering a word. The colorful one-size-fits-all ring can be had, one at a time, for just $5. They’re sure to be the cool, must-have accessory this winter!


*** The above posted after December 8th ***


KINDNESS FOR KIDS CAN NOW BE WRAPPED UP IN A BOW WITH THE HEARTBEATS LATEST HOLIDAY BOOKS. Two Seasonal Titles Now On Amazon Make The Perfect Last-Minute Present: Christmas With A Difference & A New Year Is Coming. Milan, Italy (December 6, 2023) – Have a heart. Being able to show positivity and kindness, even at a young age, is a trait every parent tries to instill.  One children’s book author has made it her mission to create a series of storybooks where it’s cool to be kind. Say hello to the Heartbeats featuring Henry and Henrietta. Their latest adventures coincide with the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Just in time for holiday giving are two titles, priced under $10: A New Year Is Coming and Christmas With A Difference. Find them both on Amazon.


DID YOU HEAR? STORYPOD HAS A HOLIDAY HAPPINESS GUARANTEE. The WOW Gift for December Giving Is A Learning Set Subscription That Arrives Every Three Months As Baby Grows To Toddler Then Preschooler. Miami, FL (December 1, 2023) – We’re not sure Santa ever announced a Holiday Happiness Guarantee but award-winning Storypod has! The magical audio-player built for kids just got even better with Learning Sets. This WOW gift idea is customized for a child’s development from Sleep & Playtime Learning Set (0-12 months old) to four quarterly specially curated sets for 1 to 5+ year olds. In all, Storypod has created 21 sets for birth to the end of the 5th year to nurture, inspire and build essential language skills with touch-to-play audio characters, board books, activity cards...


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Safety and Counterfeiting


Amazon, Target and Walmart to stop selling potentially deadly water beads marketed to kids. Major retailers including Amazon, Target and Walmart will stop selling water beads marketed to children amid calls for a ban on the colorful, water-absorbing balls sold as toys that can be potentially lethal if swallowed. 


*** The above posted after December 8th ***


December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month - choose wisely - that perfect toy might not be so perfect. Christmas is an exciting time of the year, especially for children, in anticipation of the toys they will receive from Santa, friends, and family, yet if not properly selected, toys chosen may cause injury even death. A report released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) titled ”Toy-Related-Deaths-and-Injuries...


Avoiding toy-related injuries during the holiday season. With holiday shopping in full swing, there's a new warning to think about when you hit the toy store. KDKA's Jessica Guay has some of the hidden hazards inside some toys. It's that time of year when toys fly off the store and online store shelves. 

‘Trouble in Toyland’ report highlights dangers associated with recalled and counterfeit toys. An estimated 209,500 toy-related injuries and 11 deaths were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2022, underscoring the need for consumers to be vigilant about protecting children from unsafe products. Teresa Murray, co-authored U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s ‘Trouble in Toyland 2023.’


Toy developer BOTI wins copyright infringement case. A counterfeit toy based on BOTI’s Doctor Squish-Squishy Maker has been pulled from shelves. Toy developer Big On Toy Innovation (BOTI) has won its copyright infringement lawsuit against Toi-Toys. Toi-Toys was found guilty of manufacturing and distributing an imitation of BOTI’s Doctor Squish-Squishy Maker toy through the retail chain Action. 

Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals

Licensing International and the Licensing International Foundation celebrated the induction of Pam Kaufman, Cindy Levitt, and Carole Postal to the Licensing International Hall of Fame. Held at Gotham Hall in New York City and hosted by CBS Saturday Morning co-host Dana Jacobson, the 2023 Hall of Fame Induction and Rising Star Awards event also honored the future of brand licensing, recognizing Rising Stars...


Golden Globes 2024 Nominations: ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’ in Front. “Barbie” led the nominations with nine, followed by “Oppenheimer” with eight. In the television categories, “Succession” had the most with nine. o many, the Golden Globe Awards are a perfect example of Hollywood’s two faces. In public, the entertainment capital plays along: It’s an honor just to be nominated, giggle tee-hee, this event is an...

The Children’s Media Foundation is planning to host a new event in London next March for UK buyers, producers and policymakers looking to generate solutions to industry challenges such as the kids content funding crisis and discoverability. This Children’s Media Summit is tentatively scheduled for March 24, and CMF editorial director Greg Childs has been laying the groundwork for it since the fall. 

Kidscreen’s Hot50 revealed. PBS KIDS made Hot50 history in broadcasting, while Cheeky Little Media, Titmouse, Headspace and Banijay Kids & Family joined our annual rankings for the first time. See who else was voted in! From Hollywood’s dual strikes, to deep content cuts in streaming, the kids entertainment industry had much more to grapple with in 2023 than usual.

Eminem, LEGO and a Big Bang: How Fortnite Ushered in a New Era With an Epic Live Event. On Dec. 2, Epic Games hosted its biggest live event ever, inviting players to participate in its very own Big Bang and create the Fortnite world anew. In the roughly 11-minute interactive event, viewers watched on as a giant asteroid transferred its energy to the map and catalyzed a cataclysmic explosion.

*** The above posted after tBR started running December 8th ***


Nuremberg Toy Fair all set for 2024. Spielwarenmesse returns attracting the biggest toy and game manufacturers, distributors and retailers to NürnbergMesse GmbH. The show consists of five packed days of networking, entertainment, product inspiration, trade deals and much, much more. Toy World spoke to Christian Ulrich, spokesperson for organizer Spielwarenmesse eG, about what makes the event ...


The Canadian Toy Association‘s (CTA) Toys for the North toy drive has reached an historic milestone. The Canadian toy industry has shattered previous records by donating $559,906 worth of toys to the Toys for the North toy drive this year. While there has been a steady increase in annual donations since 2019, this figure marks a significant leap from the $390,522 contributed in the previous year...

Register now for the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the 50th edition of Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, the 15th Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the 22nd Hong Kong International Stationery & School Supplies Fair will be held from 8th-11th January 2024 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Nominations are out for Kidscreen Awards 2024, and Disney has the most shortlisted entries this year, with a total of 27. Leading the charge is Disney Channel’s comic-book adaptation Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (pictured), which is up for Best New Series, Best Animated Series, Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie and Best Inclusivity in the kids programming category.


Toymaster, the independent buying group, has announced that its hugely popular Toymaster May show is sold out for 2024 when it once again returns to Harrogate.  In a press release circulated to the trade, Toymaster said: “All the stands for the May Show have been filled and we thank our suppliers for their continued support. We have over 100 suppliers exhibiting, offering all independent retailers attending a ...


Woman-owned and mother operated, sustainable lifestyle brand eeBoo received twenty-one new Oppenheim Toy Awards for the 2023 season – 18 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Awards and 3 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award is given to outstanding new products that enhance the lives of children, the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award is presented...

Spielwarenmesse 2024 unveils revamped Toys Go Green exhibition. Spielwarenmesse has unveiled its new, revamped Toys Go Green exhibition titled A Celebration of Sustainable Play and Industry Innovation. Toys Go GreenBuilding on the success of previous years, Spielwarenmesse 2024 and Sustainable Toys Action Consulting (STAC), which says it is the first and only sustainability consultancy specialising in toys...


The Toy Association reveals plans for leadership transition as Steve Pasierb plots exit in 2024. The winds of change are blowing within The Toy Association. Following the expiration of his contract in April, Toy Association President and CEO Steve Pasierb will exit the organization. Former VTech North America President Andy Keimach will assume the role of Interim President in the coming months as a Transition...


Tabletop Creators Summit returns in 2024 with more expert advice and networking for designers, publishers and industry pros. The Tabletop Creators Summit, Dicebreaker’s free event for designers, publishers and other members of the tabletop industry, will return to London next spring after a successful launch earlier this year. 

Tabletop Awards 2023 winners: this year’s best board games, RPGs, designers and publishers. This year’s Tabletop Awards have been revealed, celebrating this year’s highlights across the tabletop industry - from the games we’ve been playing to the talented designers, artists and teams behind them. 

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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 readers. Archives can be found HERE

Mark Kaplan (Neil Talbot shared this sad news) - We lost a toy industry veteran recently that we want to acknowledge.  Born 9/15/44 in The Bronx, NY, died 8/25/23 in Tarpon Springs, FL.  Mark was raised in Wantaugh, LI. He graduated from Hofstra University.  He is a 40+ year veteran of the toy biz. An industry he loved. Mark started working at Times Square Stores then Enchanted Village where he met his dear wife, Monica. Then, Jamesway where he achieved the position of merchandise manager. He moved on to Ames where he achieved the position of VP of merchandise. A big hearted man, LOYAL to those few close to him and to those who reported to him. A tough exterior with a soft heart. He was a Big Yankee’s fan. He named his two cats Derek and Jeter. He leaves his wife Monica, 2 daughters and a sister.


Marty Krofft, co-producer of iconic children’s television shows including “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Land of the Lost,” died Saturday afternoon in California, his representative announced. He was 86. Krofft died of kidney failure in Los Angeles surrounded by family and friends, his publicist B. Harlan Boll said in a statement. 

The producer, along with his brother, Sid Krofft, are known for their work creating hit children’s television shows that spanned several generations in the 1970s. The duo had been doing puppet shows when NBC asked them to produce a Saturday morning children’s series. That became “H.R. Pufnstuf,” which had established itself as a fan-favorite character from their live gigs. “Its success spawned a feature film, produced with Universal Pictures as a partner and distributor,” his representative wrote.


Jim Southworth. Baldur's Gate 3 developer Larian Studios announced the passing of one of its developers, Jim Southworth. He served as the animation lead for the game's cinematics. "Jim cared deeply about his team," Larian wrote, "and the results shone through in their work. He loved making games, and we loved making them with him. We're all going to miss him." Southworth first joined Larian in 2019 as Baldur's Gate 3 was in Early Access as an art lead through the third-party vendor Turbulenz Limited. He then became a part of the studio full-time in 2021 to lead production on its in-game cinematics. His career spanned multiple studios and games, including 2005's Blade II and EyeToy: Kinetic and 2016's PlayStation VR Worlds.

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Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​​​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)


aNb Media (US) 

​​Will add Friday morning.

Toyworld (UK)

  1. Forget about the price tag … it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Fence Club kicks off Christmas

  3. Last call for bumper Toy World January issue

  4. Exclusive: Nuremberg Toy Fair all set for 2024

  5. The Toymaster 2024 May show is officially sold out

  6. Steve Pasierb to step down from The Toy Association

  7. Disney Lorcana unveils Into the Inklands

  8. Mattel and Amazon MGM Studios announce Wednesday licensing partnership

  9. Funrise appoints James Xuereb as European account manager for e-Commerce

  10. Exclusive: December’s Talking Shop Powered by Toyworld

  1. Mattel and Amazon MGM Studios announce Wednesday licensing partnership

  2. Disney Lorcana unveils Into the Inklands

  3. Lisle Licensing seals deal with Mood Bears

  4. Peppa Pig celebrates 20th anniversary with Peppa’s Cinema Party

  5. Magic Light and BBC reveal exclusive Tabby McTat trailer

  6. Zuru unveils new Mini Brands collection in time for Christmas

  7. Heathside Trading announces distribution of Strawberry Shortcake

  8. L.O.L. Surprise! celebrates 50th anniversary of Hello Kitty with new collection

  9. Funko launches Loungefly pet accessory line

  10. Exclusive: Libertas Brands’ plans for Fuggler

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Big Four or Five TCGs Continue to Emerge; 'Disney Lorcana' Hits Pivotal Point in Early TCG Lifecycle
Amazon Applies Queue to 'Disney Lorcana: Rise of the Floodborn'
Wizards of the Coast Announces New Timeless 'Magic: The Gathering' Format
TCGplayer Top 25 Sealed Products (With Price Shifts) - November 2023
2024 'Dungeons & Dragons' Book Lineup Revealed
Wizards of the Coast Shakes Up 'Magic: The Gathering' Pioneer and Modern Formats
Asmodee Inks Agreement to Exclusively Distribute Equinox's 'Altered TCG'
Rolling for Initiative -- Holiday Sales Kickoff Without 'D&D: The Deck of Many Things'
Hachette Announces Two New Board Games
GameStop Cuts Loss on Sales Decline

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

The Bugg Report (Australia)


Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Age Of Wonders Planetfall Released, Flashback Lucy Announced
Arcane Wonders has released a new board game, a new game using the Flashback mechanics has been announced, and The Op has released Taboo: Disney Edition.

Video of the Week 

The Wonderfully Weird World of PEZ EXPLAINED!

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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:   

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

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we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

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