December 16 - 23, 2022
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
I love Scott Traylor's list of Best Industry Reads of 2022 in one of our featured articles below. It is incredible adn fascinating that he archived 4,000 articles in the past year to come up with the seven articles he thought worthy to share here with you.
Do you keep a list of articles that were meaningful to you? Send me a note and we'll share with our readers.
This is a wonderful time to pause and reflect on how grateful we are to call you a part of our community. Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.
Warm Wishes from Mary and the POP Team!
"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 & Founder, Little Kids Inc.
"I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.
Industry Commentary - Scott Traylor
One’s Journey for the Best Industry Reads of 2022
Another year, another collection of memories to think back on and grow from.
When working in the kids space that means looking back on another year of product launches, thoughts from conference speakers, and insights gleaned from industry articles.
Once we’re in the waning days of December, I like to take stock of experiences that moved me in the children’s product and media world. That includes the many articles, magazines, blog posts, and research reports I’ve read along the way. A long time ago I asked myself “What would it look like if I could somehow save all of these materials in one place? What could I learn? Would it be worth sharing with others? How could that body of knowledge be used?” I’m still trying to figure out how to answer that question, but in the meantime let me share one small first step forward with that experiment.
In the last year I’ve archived about 4,000 articles in a searchable, digital format. (Yes, the process of capturing so many articles could be described as an obsessive compulsive disorder I may need help for, but stay with me.) Most of these articles touch on something newsworthy related to kids. I’ve also tagged each article with a keyword. If an article is about the latest online teen social media game on TikTok I tag a PDF copy of that article with “teen”, “social”, “TikTok” and “game”. If an article is particularly appealing I might also include the tag “great”. So how many articles were deserving of the tag “great”? Just under 190 of the ~4,000 articles. Of those, how many are worth sharing with colleagues here? Just seven. READ MORE...
Industry Commentary - Amy Ansong
PLAY AREAS IN AIRPORTS AROUND THE WORLD
Do you ever go to airports and wonder what you are expected to do with all your free time? Well, your options are limited, no? You can read a book, listen to an audio book, eat cookies, eat overpriced gummy bears, or waste time sitting in an uncomfortable chair. Why waste your time doing that when you can walk around the airport and discover all of the fantastic play areas which exist inside the airports!!.
Did you know that play areas exist inside international airports?? The first time I saw one, I thought it was extraordinary and a unique thing.However, the more I travel, the more I am seeing more of these fantastic play areas. It is great that these areas are being built for kids and people who are young at heart.
In this series, “Play Areas in Airports around the World” I will document the various play areas which exist in airports around the world. READ MORE...
Financial and Legal
Naughty and Nice (R&D) Toy Cos. The list revealed that spending more on R&D was a poor gauge of companys’ innovativeness. Moreover, because most investors use R&D spending to gauge innovativeness, RQ identifies firms that fall below other investors’ radar. This is why the RQ50 portfolio historically outperforms the market. Since its the holiday season, let’s start with a toy co. which has made the RQ50 all 9 yrs...
3 Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility for Toy Companies. Corporate social responsibility is one of the hottest topics of the day, and it’s one the toy industry can’t afford to ignore. To ensure longevity and success, toy companies only have one choice to move forward. They have to adapt and embrace corporate social responsibility. But what does this mean, and most importantly, what are the benefits?
Amidst Atari's continued money struggles, its one-year CEO is looking to acquire the company outright. The offer, which runs through January 26, 2023, comes after Atari reported a "liquidity shortfall and additional financing requirements." For the first half of the 2022-2023 fiscal year, Atari had a loss of €5.4 million (or $5.7 million), up 54.2 percent from 2021-2022's €3.5 million ($3.7 million).
***The above posted after December 23rd***
Sailings from Asia to be cut dramatically post Chinese New Year. High inventory levels in Europe and the USA, coupled with uncertainty surrounding future consumer demand, has seen orders cancelled or postponed, resulting in Chinese factories preparing to shut down well ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday. Toy World has also seen video evidence emanating from China which suggests that Covid rates have spiked...
Microsoft-Activision deal: Gamers sue to stop merger. Microsoft faces legal action from 10 gamers to block its merger with Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard. The lawsuit filed in a US federal court says the $69bn (£56bn) deal by the Xbox console maker to purchase its rival will "create a monopoly in the video game industry". The complaint comes two weeks after US regulators filed a case...
Congress calls on publishers to address extremism in game communities. Axios published a draft of a letter from Congress going out to game publishers like Sony and Microsoft for information on how they respond to reports of extremist behavior in their online gaming communities. The letter, which was penned by Democratic senators such as Katie Porter (CA) and Lori Trahan (MA) and was sent out today, comes...
German ratings agency USK to issue warnings about loot boxes and chat features. German video game ratings agency USK will be implementing new assessment criteria in January 2023 that allows it to mark the inclusion of features such as loot boxes and voice chat in games. According to a translated press release, the new rules will allow it to supplement age ratings with information spotlighting in-game spending...
TOP COMICS BUSINESS STORIES OF 2022. Oh 2022, where did you go? All of a sudden, it's time to look in the rearview mirror for the highlights, lowlights and flashing red lights of the past 12 months. Here's my annual list of top stories from the world of comics publishing, licensing and media. North American comic sales top $2 billion. Let’s start off with the good news: it’s raining money! According to the annual...
Distroller World, a retail entertainment brand that exists to overwhelm the world with joy by pushing the limits of imagination and creativity through unique experiences and storytelling, will cease US operations effective Dec. 15, 2022 due to restructuring company strategies. Distroller first launched in the U.S. in 2017 with a brick and mortar in San Diego followed by locations in Houston and Glendale, CA.
The FTC has secured agreements requiring Epic Games to pay a total of $520 million in relief over allegations the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and deployed design tricks, known as dark patterns, to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases. The FTC’s action against Epic involves two separate record-breaking settlements.
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The Character Group announced results for the year ended 31st August 2022. The accounts show that group turnover in the year increased by +26% to £176.4m (2021: £140m) and delivered a profit before tax of £11.4m.
Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry
***The above posted after December 23rd***
'Avatar' Opens Big; Donald Glover Does 'Spider-Man' Universe; New 'Superman' Movie without Cavill, Who Goes to 'Warhammer 40K'; 'Across the Spider-verse' Trailer; 'Slime' Gets Date; 'Party & Prey' Gets Legendary Deal; New Miyazaki Movie
Stories, Comments, and Advice
Gizmodo's Favorite Toys of 2022. It's been a good year for putting lots of silly things on our desks and being satisfied by that. We love toys here at io9, and when we’re not writing about them, we’re probably playing with them. It’s been a killer year for cool nerdy collectibles, so here’s just a few of our favorite things we picked up in the proverbial toy aisle this past year.
Empathy key to Palos fourth grader's Inventor Challenge win. Three Palos area students won in their divisions after submitting games they created to the 17th Annual Young Inventor Challenge. Carrie Martinez, who taches the class at Palos West, said it’s about more than just making entertaining games. “Aside from being fun, engaging, and meaningful, the Young Inventor Challenge builds and reinforces sophisticated practices such as critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and leadership,” she said. “These essential skills are needed to be successful in the 21st century.”
We’re in a golden age of board games. It might be here to stay. “It is undeniable — they are gaining in popularity fast,” said Elan Lee, the creator of popular card game Exploding Kittens. The global board game market has an estimated value between $11 billion and $13.4 billion and is projected to grow by about 7-11% within the next 5 yrs, according to market research companies Technavio and Imarc.
Hot Wheels: Ten of the weirdest and most wonderful, Perhaps the most famous four-wheeled toy on the planet comes in many forms. Some costing $250k… Recently we dived into the world of Hot Wheels, exploring the creative process and the decisions behind the development of the world's most iconic and obsessively collected 'toy cars' – and the people behind them. Now, we're looking at 10 absolute favourites from the past...
The next toy creator could be a sixth grader. It's definitely not your average Toy Fair inside a school in Cardiff. In fact, sixth graders are creating what could be the next big hit. It is a school project months in the making.... research, elevator pitches and all!
Bored by board games? How your old favourites are fighting back. In a world filled with digital distractions, players’ attention spans are growing shorter. So manufacturers are making their games quicker and easier to win. The nation’s board game designers are facing a challenge greater than being able to afford a hotel on Park Lane in Monopoly. How to keep people’s attention on a pack of cards or a piece of cardboard,,,
It Was My Favorite Toy to Give to New Parents, Until It Went Away. The life cycle of a magical baby-soothing toy. I don’t remember who gave me the hard plastic bug with the mesmerizing light-up wings and the only infant-toy melody I’ve never gotten sick of. But I do remember how they described it: Like a drug for babies.
***The above posted after December 23rd***
John Baulch, Toy World (UK) - The best way to spread Christmas cheer…it’s the festive Blog! Why, it’s almost Christmas Day – the season of good cheer and goodwill to all men (except Jeremy Clarkson, obviously). A few hours from now, we’ll be heading off to celebrate with our loved ones, exhausted but happy. The Toy World team has worked long and hard throughout November and December to pull together a January...
10-year-old Cooper Dean creates 'Chicken Poo Bingo'. Two years ago, Cooper entered the "People of Play Young Inventor Challenge." It's an opportunity for young inventors around the country to pitch their game ideas to major companies, and Cooper was one of the winners. After that, toy company giant Goliath decided to manufacture the game and put it on shelves around the world.
The Best Gifts for 12-Year-Olds, According to Experts. The Strategist. While you might think the tween years all blend together, those who spend a lot of time with adolescents say that is not exactly the case. when it comes to choosing gifts for these not-yet-teenagers, your best bet is to let their interests be your guide. For those who may not have that time, though, we asked 24 experts (including actual 12-year-olds) to...
Kidscreen’s most-read stories of 2022. Prodcos dusting off beloved IPs and projects that spotlight inclusion attracted the most attention this year from Kidscreen readers (and the internet alike). Join us as we look back at our top-10 most-read stories. The return of Zodiac Kids’ Totally Spies! after eight years was Kidscreen.com’s most-read story of 2022, according to our analytics, a win that likely got a boost from both...
School principal goes all in as ‘Elf on the Shelf’. “I didn’t realize it was going to get this big,” she said. A TikTok video of her amassed nearly 8 million views. “Every day when they’re walking out, they say to me, ‘I can’t wait to see what the Elf is doing tomorrow,’” Hoeing said. She has even been taped to the wall.
The Best Board Games of 2022. Players of all ages will have to make room in their closets for these selections. It’s a safe bet that if you anticipated a new board game in 2020, it probably came out at the end of 2022. Kickstarter, the online fund-raising platform, has dominated the board game industry; it’s a place where designers can effectively find their audience before the game is even made.
A Generation of Gamers Started Out Playing Barbie Fashion Designer. "Pop culture, tells us," Mary Kenney writes, "that video games are the realm of boys, and only a few girls play games at all. But the evidence tells us another story." The monologue given by the presenter of the 2019 Writers Guild Award for Videogame Writing was so incredibly cringeworthy, it’s lodged in my skull for life, and I wasn’t even there.
Toys for Tots gave a toy bunny to a girl in need. She became a Marine. A 9-year-old Mariela Peña and her family were in their car on a California freeway when her mother broke the news that the young girl and her siblings shouldn’t expect much of a Christmas that year. The family of six had come to live with Peña’s aunt in San Jose, CA, earlier in 1986, having fled violence in Nicaragua amid the Sandinista Revolution.
Why Are Toys Ingrained In Our Culture? For many, the holiday season means gift giving. According to the American Retail Federation, the average American is set to spend more than $830 on gifts and other holiday items this year — with much of that being spent on toys. Toy spending topped $38 billion in the U.S. in 2021.
Once a Santa, always a Santa: An L.A. set decorator and seasonal Santa tells all. Almost 20 years since “Elf” became a holiday classic, it is almost impossible to see a Santa, any Santa, and not reenact, or at least think of, Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf utterly freaking out over seeing a department store Santa. Or Buddy’s horrified gasp of “You’re not Santa” when he realizes this is not the real deal.
A Nativity scene made with 900 Playmobil toys. Last Monday, the bishop of the diocese of Coria-Cáceres, in the far northeast of Extremadura (Spain), blessed a Nativity scene made from more than 900 Playmobil pieces. In a press release published by the diocese, Monsignor Jesús Pulido explained that he visited the Nativity scene with his 9-year-old nephew, “and it is an experience that I want to recommend to...
Why Hot Wheels are one of the most inflation-proof toys in American history. Inflation, the curse of our pocketbooks and the Federal Reserve, has hit almost every good in the U.S. But the price of a beloved toy has managed to hover around $1 — for more than 50 years. Hot Wheels are a retail oddity. They remain one of the most affordable toys in the country at a time when inflation is chipping away at savings ...
Are you a 'kidult'? More adults are buying toys for themselves in growing trend. Adults who buy toys for themselves have fueled the growth of a toy industry catering more and more to "kidults" looking to capture some carefree fun. A rising group of "kidults," or adults who buy toys for themselves, now makes up at least 25% of toy consumers and has the industry marketing more and more products to adults looking for some...
30 Years Later, Barry Levinson’s Toys Is Still A Strange Movie. Remember Toys starring Robin Williams? No? Well, it’s been 30 years since this forgotten curio was released at the height of Williams’ fame. Around this time, Williams had appeared in the critically lauded The Fisher King in 1991, Aladdin earlier in 1992 and would go on to appear in Mrs Doubtfire in 1993. Arguably, these few years feature some of Williams’...
The 12 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2023. 2023 is shaping up to be a huge year for gaming, with almost wall-to-wall releases coming out at least once a month, though in some instances more like once a week. The new year could potentially bring on record-breaking sales, although delays of some of the year’s biggest games are always on the table, given the crowded release schedule.
History and Nostalgia
Who first thought of Hess Trucks? In the 1930s, Leon Hess began delivering fuel to homes in New Jersey. By 1964, he owned an empire of gas stations and wanted to give his customers a gift as a sign of goodwill. To that end, he began selling toy trucks at his Hess gas stations. Hess insisted on high-quality craftsmanship and affordability. The very first Hess truck debuted in 1964 and was a replica of the company’s first B61...
***The aboved posted after December 23rd***
Who first thought of Jack-in-the-Box? The first Jack-in-the-Box toys began to appear in the 16th century and are thought to have evolved from squeak toys that first appeared in Europe in the 1500s. These early Jack-in-the-Box toys were often more scary than funny, but as attitudes towards children softened, the toys became cuter and less fearsome. Early manufacturers made the boxes out of wood, and later...
Tyco – Precision Engineered HO Scale Model Electric Trains (1959). Tyco Toys (the name is a portmanteau of Tyler Company after company founder John Tyler) began manufacturing HO Scale electric model trains in the 1930s, eventually becoming the largest and oldest company devoted exclusively to the manufacture of those trains in the United States.
Branded from Milton Bradley. Reputation management was center stage in Milton Bradley’s Branded. Released in 1966, the game was based on the TV series of the same name that ran on NBC from 1965-1966. With box art featuring the show’s star, Chuck Connors, the roll-and-move game saw players take on the fictional role of Jason McCord, a former United States Army cavalry captain who was court-martialed...
Licensing and Entertainment
Favourite characters to entertain Ukrainian refugee children on Sunflower TV this Christmas. Ukrainian refugee children will be able to watch popular British shows dubbed into Ukrainian on pop-up channel Sunflower TV this Christmas. A dedicated TV channel is screening a range of British children’s favourites, from Peppa Pig to Thomas & Friends, specially dubbed into Ukrainian, according to the i newspaper.
Flair GP is to introduce a new line of series-inspired toys from Gigantosaurus, the successful animated kids’ series which shows on Disney+, Netflix and Tiny Pop (UK). The brand new Gigantosaurus toy range is the result of a partnership between United Smile and Cyber Group Studios, producer of the blockbuster series. UK-based Brand-Ward, the kids IP consultancy and licensing agency, brokered the new...
For Ground Up International, the kids’ character fun continues in a big way in 2023. The New York-based footwear company, which already produces shoes for Disney, Nickelodeon, Star Wars and many others, announced it has eight new licensing partnerships set to launch in the coming year, with Bluey, Mattel, Hasbro, Chainsaw Man, Afro Unicorn, Miraculous Lady Bug, WWE and Billy’s Footwear.
The 50 Best Holiday Movies of All Time, Ranked. Ah yes, holiday movies. While you can legally watch them anytime of year, it only feels appropriate when the weather is chilly, the Christmas lights are twinkling, and the drinks are flowing. While there are hundreds and hundreds of holiday movies to choose from, which are considered the very best?
NBCUniversal has ordered Inspiration Station Africa, DreamWorks’ first live-action series set in South Africa. Aimed at kids ages six to 12, the series (six x 22 minutes) is hosted by two boys, Tanaka and Aaron, who discuss topical issues with other children from Johannesburg and Cape Town. The hosts will also explore the stories behind award-winning DreamWorks Animation series and films.
Magic Frame Animation and Creation Entertainment Media are targeting co-viewing audiences with film adaptations of a series of Christmas- and mystery-themed books. The two UK-based studios are developing a set of CG-animated fantasy movies based on Georges Alexander Vagan’s ongoing Paul Martin book series.
Reemsborko is pleased to announce its appointment as the UK licensing agency for Naruto, Naruto Shippuden and Boruto by TV TOKYO Corporation to grow the consumer products business in the UK. Naruto – the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The anime series began airing in the UK in 2006.
Paragon FX Group Brings Movie Magic Direct to Home with Film and TV Memorabilia. Ever wish you could own Batman’s Grapnel Launcher or how about One-eyed Willy’s Treasure Map from The Goonies? Maybe it was the Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz or John Hammond’s cane from Jurassic Park? Chances are, if you ever wanted it, Paragon FX Group makes it; or has it in some level of production.
Amazon Studios secures rights to ‘Warhammer 40K’ universe. Amazon Studios has secured rights to the intellectual property of “Warhammer 40,000,” owned by Games Workshop, for series, film and more. Actor Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel,” “Mission: Impossible”) is a longtime fan of the franchise and is attached as star and executive producer. Established almost 40 years ago, “Warhammer” has been expanding...
BBC Studios, VTech expand partnership for ‘Bluey’ toys. Launching in Q3 2023, the interactive range of electronic toys – including the brand’s first musical product – will feature characters from “Bluey” and land across the U.S., Mexico, Canada, France, Belgium, Spain, U.K. and Australia. The series’ new range consists of “Bluey’s” Keytar, Scooter Time “Bluey,” Shake It “Bluey,” Game Time laptop and the “Bluey” Fun and Games book.
Psyonix announces ‘Rocket League’ collaboration with Bugatti. Video game developer, Psyonix, is collaborating with luxury supercar maker Bugatti to announce that the Bugatti Centodieci will be available in “Rocket League” beginning Dec. 19. The Bugatti Centodieci Bundle will be available in the Item Shop and features the Bugatti Centodieci car, Bugatti Centodieci engine audio, Bugatti Centodieci wheels, Noire decal...
Amazon Games and Crystal Dynamics strike deal. Amazon Games and Crystal Dynamics (owned by Embracer Group) announced they have reached an agreement under which Crystal Dynamics will develop a new multiplatform “Tomb Raider” title, with Amazon Games providing full support and publishing the game globally. The as-yet-untitled new “Tomb Raider” game is a single-player, narrative-driven adventure...
People of Play
Cephalofair Games has hired Ross Thompson to become their new Marketing and Crowdfunding Manager. Thompson is an games industry veteran with 12 years of experience, and has worked for companies such as CMON, Soda Pop Miniatures, USAopoly, and IDW Publishing. He comes to Cephalofair after working as the Head of Trade Marketing at Steamforged Games. “Ross has so much experience with...
Stern Pinball is bringing in two new executives. Stern Pinball’s founder, Gary Stern, is stepping down as CEO, but is keeping his position as Chairman of the Board. He is being succeeded by Seth Davis, who is currently serving as President of the company. Davis previously worked on the executive team behind Disney+ and ESPN+ and in several positions throughout Disney’s Games department, including Head of ...
Simba Smoby Toys UK bolsters team ahead of 2023. Ben Hogg joins the Simba Smoby team as head of Marketing while Sophie Bryan takes up the role of brand manager. “Sadly, we also say goodbye to Mayur Pattni next month whose work as marketing manager over the past six years has certainly laid the foundations and will stand the new team in good stead. We wish him all the best for his next role.”
Just Play is adding to its leadership team with the appointment of Shari Mann as the company’s Head of International. Mann brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Just Play with almost 20 years in the toy industry focusing on international business. Mann started her toy career in 2003 working for Charlie Emby, co-CEO of Just Play, as the International Sales Manager at Play Along.
Toynamics UK & Ireland appoints new key account manager. Toynamics UK & Ireland has appointed Samia Waller as a new key account manager, with a focus on driving sales in selected key accounts, developing new business and nurturing existing customers. She will also cover eCommerce and education for Toynamics and be responsible for growing and developing business across Toynamics’ toy and nursery...
Companies and Brands
The Hot Wheels campaign, using ground-breaking technology, has been live in the main atrium in Westfield London and at King’s Cross station. Shoppers and travellers have been wowed by a Hot Wheels Christmas campaign, which uses holograms to bring the vehicles to life in a spectacular way. Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand teamed up with Disturbed Media Group to create an on-the-ground marketing experience...
HASBRO PLAYING WITH PURPOSE ESG REPORT GOES OVER PLANET, PLAY, PEOPLE, AND PRINCIPLES. Like many modern toy companies, Hasbro has committed in part to focusing on environmental and social policy within its company. The company’s latest environmental, social, and governance (ESG) progress report, Playing with Purpose, details advancement and plans from Hasbro ...
Mattel is bringing an in-game car from Hot Wheels Unleashed into the real world. In March, Mattel announced the winner of the Hot Wheels Unleashed Design Battle, a contest that received more than 10,000 entries to design a new version of the famous Rodger Dodger die-cast vehicle. To enter the contest, designers had to use Hot Wheels Unleashed’s Livery Editor to customize the vehicle. The winner, “Digigold,” ...
THE LEGO GROUP RELEASES REVISED PLANS FOR INNOVATION CAMPUS IN DENMARK. The LEGO Group recently broke ground on its planned expansion to its headquarters in Billund, Denmark. Now, the company has revealed newly revised plans for the process. The Innovation Campus will be the company’s third large campus area in Billund and will begin construction in 2024. The initial plan, to build an office building in ...
A Mini Moon Rover from the Toy Company That Created Transformers. Japan’s space agency, JAXA, hired Takara Tomy to design a rolling lunar robot called SORA-Q. It’s now en route to the moon. The private museum of Takara Tomy, the Japanese toy company responsible for Transformers, Beyblade, and Zoids, is filled with playthings from Christmases past. In a lovingly curated room in the company’s Tokyo...
VTech® and LeapFrog® announced their holiday lineups have received more than 80 industry awards from trusted parenting websites, toy industry experts, toy advisory boards and major retailers. Many new products received multiple awards across various toy testing programs and holiday lists, including VTech products My First Kidi™ Smartwatch, Level Up Gaming Chair™ and DJ Beat Boxer™, and from LeapFrog, My Pal...
Cra-Z-Art has teamed up with NBC’s Today Show to donate toys to children in need during the holiday season as part of the program’s annual Toy Drive. Cra-Z-Art will donate over $10,000 worth of their iconic and popular Snoopy Sno Cone Machines to several different charities that directly aid children. The item was recently featured on a “Today Show” segment about nostalgic holiday toys.
Hape Supports 10th Annual ‘Christmas with the Curry’s’ Holiday Event. The 10th Annual Christmas with the Curry’s kicked off the holiday season and spirit with a major charitable drive at Bridge Yard in Oakland, California, supporting 500 local Oakland families on Sunday, December 11th. Among the many charitable partners, Hape had the honor of supporting more than 2,000 participants with wrapped branded product...
Snuggle Puppy is thrilled to announce the launch of Snuggle Puppy HERO, a huggable friend designed to help with children’s anxiety, stress, or overstimulation. ”Since 1997, we’ve helped millions of animals around the world and receive incredible stories about the impact Snuggle Puppy has made on our four-legged friends, from dogs to cats, monkeys, and even bears”, said Rob Emery, Founder & CEO,...
Play like a champion with 'Pokemon TCG: 2022 World Championship Decks'. The Pokemon Company International will release four Pokemon TCG: 2022 World Championship Decks into retail on March 3, 2023. These decks are non-tournament legal replicas of the actual title contender's decks from the 2022 World Championships.
Melissa & Doug announces new sales coverage with OSS. Melissa & Doug is to part ways with UK distribution partner DKB Toys & Distribution, with OSS taking over the independent customer base for the wooden toy brand. Melissa & Doug said the revision to its sales strategy for independent customers will be effective from 1st January 2023, with sales into this market sector being handled by OSS...
Science4you to set up in the UK & Ireland. The move means the end of Science4you’s successful distribution partnership with Vivid Goliath over the last four years. After several years of partnership, Vivid Goliath and Science4you have mutually agreed that Science4you will take on the day-to-day sales and marketing of its brand in the UK & Ireland.
Konami announces 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Legendary Collection: 25th Anniversary Edition'. Also, Reprints Five Standalone Booster Sets for Release Over Summer 2023. Konami Digital Entertainment will release Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Legendary Collection: 25th Anniversary Edition, a new collection boxed set, which will hit stores on April 21, 2023.
DKL Beysal/Pat Avenue to distribute Eolo Toys’ Supermasked range. The Supermasked collectible range is targeted at children aged five and up and are based on the popular heroes vs. villains series. DKL Beysal, which will be known as Pat Avenue from 1st January 2023, has announced that it has become UK distribution partner for Eolo Toys’ Supermasked range in the UK and will be showing the collectibles...
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
RIP to these 14 games that died in 2022. There was a time, back in the day, where you’d just buy a finished game and played it. No day-one updates or extra patches—it was simple. These games couldn’t “die” because they simply…existed. But as MMOs and live-service games (or “games as a service”) began to proliferate, requiring online servers and constant support from developers to keep things up and...
Artdink's Triangle Strategy has sold 1 million copies. According to Square Enix, its tactical-RPG Triangle Strategy has sold 1 million copies since its release back in March for the Nintendo Switch and on PC in October. That's including both physical releases and digital downloads across Steam and the Nintendo eShop. When Triangle Strategy originally released on the Switch, it sold 800,000 copies within a few weeks, with. …
King's mobile Crash Bandicoot game shutting down in February 2023. King Mobile announced it'll be shutting down the phone game Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! on February 16, 2023. The developer's already preparing for its end by shutting down in-app purchases starting today (December 19, 2022). Rumors regarding the mobile game's fate were previously reported on by Crashy News, which ...
Highlighted Press Releases
OCEAN FRIENDS OCTOPUS, WHALE & DOLPHIN LOOK TO PRESCHOOLERS TO FIGHT PLASTIC POLLUTION. ‘Mission Ocean’ Launches December 1st From Adventerra Games Educational Eco Line Of Board Games That Kids Play, Learn Then Prep To Save The Planet. Boston, MA (December 1, 2022) – We’ve all heard of air and noise pollution. But if our ocean friends could talk, they would sound the alarm for plastic pollution! A new board game, Mission Ocean alerts youngsters to the everyday dangers of floating plastic in our waters. The empowering nature of the fun-to-play board game has been endorsed by the global nonprofit, The Ocean Cleanup. With a roll of the wooden dice — made from FSC-certified wood — kids can imagine collecting plastic waste floating in the waves and scooping it up onto their ship.
Safety and Counterfeiting
Smart Toys Are Still Hackable (We Just Don’t Talk About It). Conversations about the cyber risk of smart, connected playthings and electronics may have been on the back burner for Christmas and Hannukah, 2022. But there’s little reason to believe that any measurable improvement has been made in the cybersecurity or privacy protections of connected toys and personal electronics. If anything, the risk is growing, as the Internet of Things extends its reach to more families, communities and businesses.
***The above posted after December 23rd***
Do you have a recalled toy under the tree? Some are still being sold. Here's where. More than two dozen toys have been recalled this year, the most since 2013, but as of early December, at least eight were still being offered by third-party sellers according to a USA TODAY analysis, a potential danger to families shopping this holiday season. As of Nov. 3, 27 toy recalls had been issued in the U.S. this year, representing more than 1.3 million items pulled off shelves because they posed a danger or risk of injury. Yet, as recently as Dec. 8, several of the toys were still …
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
To celebrate the 250th Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, Konami Digital Entertainment will host simultaneous events on three continents the weekend of April 1-2, 2023, the company announced. Events will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, at the Agora Bogota Convention Center in Bogota, Columbia, and in London at ExCeL London. Participants will receive a Game Mat and Field Center Card; winners will...
***The above posted after December 23rd***
The Game Awards 2022 reached highest viewership in the show's history. According to Geoff Keighley, last week's Game Awards reached 103 million livestreams, marking the highest viewership in the award show's 9-year history. By his own metrics, that's up by 20 percent over the 85 million of 2021's Game Awards.
2022 Toy Retailer of the Year finalists. The winners of the prestigious Toy Retailer of the Year Awards along with other special BTHA awards will be announced on 23rd January. The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) has announced the finalists for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2022. The winners of these prestigious Toy Retailer of the Year Awards including Overall Toy Retailer of the Year for 2022 will be announced,...
Christmas just got toy-filled for even more kids! Toys for the North is a Canadian toy collection and distribution charity, born from a collaboration with distribution logistics company Thomson Terminals, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ‘O Division’, and the Canadian Toy Association. The charity has announced a huge increase in donated toys this year, up 170% from 2021, and an overall increase of 840%...
Toymaster has hailed its 12 Days of Christmas campaign a success following a busy period across its social media channels. The campaign is put together in partnership with the suppliers that have supported the independent toy buying group’s annual Christmas Window Feature, which members can install for free at their stores. Toymaster created 24 prize bundles featuring the brands included in the window and...
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.
Kevin Conroy, the voice actor best known for portraying DC Comics' Batman, passed away from cancer at the age of 66. The news was initially reported via Diane Pershing (the voice actor for Poison Ivy on Batman: The Animated Series), and later corroborated by Warner Bros. Animation.
"Our beloved voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, died yesterday," reads Pershing's post. "He's been ill for a while but he really put in a lot of time at the cons, to the joy of all of his fans. He will be sorely missed not just by the cast of the series but by his legion of fans all over the world."
Initially an actor for stage and television, Conroy rose to voice acting prominence with 1992's Batman: The Animated Series. That series ran four seasons, but he continued to voice the comic book character throughout its many spinoffs such as Batman Beyond and Justice League.
He would go on to voice Batman in nearly every animated DC project that featured the hero, and even got to play him in live action during the CW's adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths in 2019.
Outside of animation, Conroy went on to voice Batman in multiple video games, including Rocksteady's Batman Arkham and Netherrealm's Injustice franchises. His final role as Batman is in Player First Games' MultiVersus. And beyond Batman, his voice acting career included Lords of EverQuest, Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, and Max Payne 2.
In a statement from WB provided to press, Batman voice director Andrea Romano wrote: "Kevin was far more than an actor whom I had the pleasure of casting and directing – he was a dear friend for 30+ years whose kindness and generous spirit knew no boundaries. Kevin’s warm heart, delightfully deep laugh and pure love of life will be with me forever.”
“Kevin was perfection,” continued longtime Joker voice actor Mark Hamill. "I loved him like a brother. He truly cared for the people around him – his decency shone through everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke with him, my spirits were elevated.”
Conroy is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams and siblings Trisha and Tom Conroy.
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