the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is Dec 25 - 31, 2020. Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted daily with most recent at top of each section.   The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 

Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Welcome to your briefing of the week's news...

Happy New Year! 

This is a lite news week to no one's surprise! 

As you know, we're sharing our POP Week International Innovation panels, highlighting one each week in our Video of the Week section (end of this page). This week: Who, What, Where, Terms, Acronyms & More. A few industry veterans said they were surprised to learn a few bits.

You'll enjoy moderator Dougal Grimes (VP of Innovation and Inventor Relations-Games, Gund, Outdoor and Activities, Spin Master) and his colleagues and panelists Azhelle Wade (President, The Toy Coach), ), Greg Benassar (Licensing & New Business Director, Asmodee), Elizabeth Moody (SVP Business Development, 7 Towns) and Dan Rowan (Sr Director, Ultra Pro Ent.)

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report! May 2021 bring us all peace, health, happiness and in-person events! 

Mary

tBR Service of the Week - People of Play

Do you want to find people/companies/products and do you want to them to find you?

Of course you do! For $50/year, they can! Or, for $250/year, they can find you and you can find them, have access to premium content, enjoy the POP Pub, find information and make connections to further your business! 

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The POP platform/database is your access to vital and immediate connections! There are already over 400 profiles from our recent events and we've only just begun. Over the next month, we will be reaching out to my nearly 50,000 strong database and my 30,000 linkedin connections to join this platform which gives you the best of linkedin+IMDb+Match.com for the toy and game industry. 

 

People and companies are registering and new features are being added by the minute... what are you waiting for? We've got the most powerful platform in our industry! Join here:  www.peopleofplay.com 
 

tBR Company of the Week - Open the Joy

Open the Joy’s 2021 collection. Designed by therapists with the intention of developing emotional intelligence (EQ) in kids, Open the Joy has found a fun way of teaching kids important life skills such as empathy, forgiveness, self-awareness, and self-motivation under the guise of play. Additionally, every product in the line -- be it a simple pack of cards to a large rainy day activity box -- fosters family bonding through conversation starters, jokes, and creative activities.  

 

While much of the toy industry is focused on making kids smarter, Open the Joy is determined to make kids kinder. For every purchase made we donate to our sister non-profit (Spread the Joy) so that activity kits specifically for hospitalized children in need are delivered to their bedside. Together we’ve already delivered over 6,000 boxes in just 3 years. Parents and kids alike have been overjoyed, and we are on track to double that in 2021 alone. 

 

Keep an eye out for our mass market launch next year and be part of our rise to kindness! 

Financial & Legal News . . . 

Pent up savings, consumer confidence and vaccines offer retail sector brighter outlook for 2021, says think tank. Pent up savings, more confident consumers, and a successful vaccine roll-out will all contribute to a brighter outlook for the UK’s retail sector, experts from the KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank have suggested. The second half of the year could see some respite for the embattled retail sector, suggests the group, but has warned that much like 2020, fortunes would be mixed for different retail categories.

Toy shops blast government’s ‘derisory’ business grants as third lockdown threatens UK indie retailers. Independent toy retailers have blasted the UK government for under-serving the country’s small businesses, labelling the current grants offered to them in the face of yet more months of closure as “derisory.” The announcement of further restrictions and imposed nation-wide lockdowns across Scotland and England made this week, as well as plans to issue £4.6bn in relief funds has done little for the confidence of business owners.

Roblox secures fresh $520 million investment, outlines plans for direct listing. Roblox now intends to go public by way of a direct listing instead of an initial public offering (IPO) as previously reported. The lucrative game platform announced the anticipated direct listing in a brief press release. The company said it will commence the direct listing -- which differs from an IPO in that only existing, outstanding shares are sold without help from intermediaries -- upon completion of the SEC review process.

New lockdown sees complete closure of non essential retail throughout the UK All non essential retailers will now have to close under England's third national lockdown, which was announced by the Prime Minister last night. All areas of England and Scotland, except for the Scottish islands, moved into full lockdown from midnight. People can only leave their homes for essential medical needs, food shopping...

CD Projekt gearing up for 'vigorous action' against investor lawsuitCD Projekt, the parent company of CD Projekt Red which developed Cyberpunk 2077, has told investors it will mount a "vigorous defense" against a class action lawsuit filed over the game's release. In December the calamitous conditions around Cyberpunk 2077's release took a dire turn when Sony agreed to provide players refunds for the game on...

Govt launches ''Toycathon'' to make India global toy manufacturing hub. New Delhi, Jan 5 The government on Tuesday launched ''Toycathon'' -- a hackathon for students, teachers, experts and startups to crowdsource ideas for developing innovative toys and games based on Indian culture and ethos. India imports most of its toys and the government is working towards promoting the indigenous toy industry...

Nintendo acquires Luigi's Mansion 3 developer Next Level Games. Nintendo has acquired Luigi's Mansion 3 developer Next Level Games for an undisclosed fee. The Canadian studio has previously collaborated with Nintendo on a number of high-profile franchises including Luigi's Mansion, Super Mario Strikers, and Punch-Out, and also created Metroid Prime spin-off Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the 3DS. 

Pokemon Go maker Niantic acquires community platform Mayhem. Pokemon Go maker Niantic has acquired game community platform Mayhem for an undisclosed fee. The studio said the deal will allow it to create new ways for its community of players to connect and play. Mayhem was formed in 2017 and launched in 2019. The platform lets users to organise custom game formats, tournaments, leagues, and...

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . . 

Amazon's 2020 gaming best-sellers again led by gift cards, Switch games . . . Europeans say price-tag, discounts are most important when choosing games . . . UK Retail think tank optimistic for second half of 2021 . . . Mindfulness and detoxing through traditional toys will be ‘strong theme for 2021’, says Gibsons . . . Pro: Top 100 Comics - December 2020

Financial & Brokerage News . . . 

$1.57 Billion in Sales Expected for Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) This Quarter . . . Call of Duty: Mobile makes $14m in first week in China. Activision's mobile hit has now generated $644 million worldwide . . . Mattel: Entering 2021 with momentum . . . Hasbro (HAS) Down 11% YTD: Can the Stock Revive in 2021? . . . Can Mattel (MAT) Replicate '20 Performance in 2021?

Future Financial Reporting . . . 

Equities analysts predict that Mattel will announce earnings of $0.22 per share for current quarter, 5 analysts have issued estimates for Mattel's earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.30 and the lowest is $0.18. Mattel posted earnings of $0.11 per share in the same quarter last yr, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 100%. The firm is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results Feb. 11.

Amazon and Apple eye historic $100 billion in holiday quarter. The holiday season could be historic for two of the stock market’s biggest names, with sales that are expected to surpass a milestone that has rarely been reached in Wall Street history. Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are each expected to report revenue above $100 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 …

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . . 

Board Game Design Lab Podcast - Leslie Scott, desinger of Jenga, and Freddie Scott Vollrath, designer of Slappy Camper, discuss what all goes into designing and pitching games for the mass market. We talk about what makes a game “mass market,” getting games into museums, where to pitch game ideas, and more.

JoJo Siwa on Controversial ‘JoJo's Juice' Board Game Featuring ‘Inappropriate Content'JoJo Siwa is addressing the criticism over the controversial Nickelodeon board game "JoJo's Juice." The 17-year-old YouTube star, who has a young fanbase, took to Instagram and TikTok on Monday to shed some light on how the children's game ended up with "inappropriate" content for the targeted six and up audience.

Denmark launches children's TV show about man with giant penis. Critics condemn idea of animated series about a man who cannot control his penis, but others have backed it. The Danish equivalent of the BBC, DR, has a new animated series aimed at four- to eight-year-olds about John Dillermand, the man with the world’s longest penis who overcomes hardships and challenges with his record-breaking genitals.

The New Yorker Documentary - Inside the Workshop of a Classic-Toy Inventor, in “Eddy’s World”. In the short documentary “Eddy’s World”—directed by Lyn Goldfarb, Eddy’s daughter—we meet the toy inventor more than seventy years later, at the age of ninety-eight, still tinkering with machines and materials, inventing new gags at his home in a retirement community in California. A child of immigrants from...

Meet the Puzzle Makers of New York Times Games.  I heard about them from The New York Times's game designer, Sam Von Ehren. We were classmates at N.Y.U. I first saw Vertex when it was just ...

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Retro revival: New Fisher-Price toys for infants inspired by the '80s, '90s. Fisher-Price has launched a new series of toys children and their parents might equally enjoy. The new Laugh & Learn products are inspired by products from the 1980s and 1990s, aiming to lean into young parents' love of nostalgia and help them relive childhood memories. "At Fisher-Price, we’re always looking for ways to create playful connections

Chutes Away from Gabriel (1977) Chutes Away challenged players ages six and up to save the day as the pilot of a Coast Guard land and sea rescue plane. The mission was to drop a set of eight plastic parachutists into various scoring cups on a revolving terrain, accumulating points and rescuing survivors along the way. To successfully drop the parachutes on target, players used the game’s built-in reduction-lens viewfinder...

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Worldwide Licensing News . . . 

RMS International named puzzles partner for popular pre-school property Blippi. RMS International has been named among a raft of six new UK-based licensing partners for the popular pre-school property, Blippi, thanks to the latest efforts of the show’s licensing agency, The Point. 1888. Under the new deal, RMS International will work with the brand’s owner, Moonbug Entertainment, a leading name in pre-school and children’s...

Medicom Toys Taps H.R. Giger for BE@RBRICKS CollabThe late visual designer of “Alien” has been honored with a new BE@RBRICKS collection. Medicom Toy has signed a deal to leverage the work of visual designer H.R. Giger for a set of BE@RBRICKS. The collaboration features two monochromatic colorways of the figure, both of which are inversions of one another. H.R. Giger’s motifs — intricately drawn futuristic...

Dobble welcomes raft of new licensed editions for 2021. Dobble, Asmodee’s flagship game of speedy observation, will introduce four hotly anticipated licensed editions in 2021, with new titles for the popular Paw Patrol, Pixar, Marvel and Minions brands. The game, which tasks players with spotting the single matching image between two cards, has grown into a phenomenon in recent years, becoming the UK’s best-selling game...

The iconic Rubik’s Cube is coming off of its 40th anniversary with a big start to 2021. Deadline reports that Rubik’s Brand partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment Group and Endeavor Content to create a feature film inspired by Rubik’s Cube, the colorful puzzle toy invented by Ernő Rubik in 1974 and launched globally in 1980. Additionally, Hyde Park tapped Glassman Media to develop a Rubik’s Cube game show.

People . . . 

PMI’S OMER DEKEL TALKS INTERNATIONAL TOY DISTRIBUTION ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’. On the first show of the new year, Albritton welcomes Omer Dekel, vice president of international sales at PMI Ltd. Based in Tel Aviv, the family-owned company is Israel’s leader in manufacturing, marketing, and distributing licensed leisure products for kids, including toys, collectibles, publishing, back-to-school items, and...

'The Cube has his own voice': Erno Rubik and the story behind the iconic toy  Rubik was born towards the end of the second world war to an aircraft engineer father – “not a playful man” – and a poet mother whose “capacity for happiness” he said he inherited. It was just before Hungary was closed off from the west by the Iron Curtain. He loved puzzles as a child, and studied sculpture, architecture and the applied arts before...

Renegade Game Studios hires Matt Holland. Renegade Game Studios has hired Matt Holland to fill the position of Sales and Marketing Manager. Holland has been in the games industry since 2015, starting as demo team coordinator for Asmodee North America. Later in 2019, he was promoted to become their Community Coordinator. As Community Coordinator, he managed the Organized Play communities for game...

Minnesota teen builds games in honor of COVID-19 vaccine  Minnesota teen Josh Ternyak created COVID Invaders, an online game where you shoot tiny syringes at coronavirus particles. You have 30 seconds to destroy as many as possible. The game is Josh’s way of spreading awareness of the vaccine. It features serious Atari vibes and an original rap from Josh, 16. I wanted to build something that was unbiased and not offend...

John Baulch features on The Playground Podcast. John joined Richard Gottleib, Chris Byrne and The Toy Book's James Zahn for the popular podcast, which explored the events of 2020 and what lies ahead for the toy industry. 

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Companies . . . 

HASBRO LOOKS TO SPRING WITH NERF, SUPER SOAKER DINOSQUAD RANGE. A blanket of cold is sweeping the U.S. right now but Hasbro is looking ahead toward spring with its latest product launch. DinoSquad is a new extension of the NERF brand with a variety of foam dart blasters and Super Soakers that kids can add to the arsenal for backyard battle. The colorful new range is inspired by kid-favorite dinosaurs, including...

Moore From L.A.: What Fashion Brands Can Learn From Mattel and Toys. Mattel president and chief operating officer Richard Dickson on connecting product and content to pop culture, and how fashion brands can incorporate toys into their overall business. Mattel began collaborating with fashion designers on limited-edition Barbies in the Eighties. But Dickson, a veteran of Bloomingdale’s, The Estée Lauder Cos...

Asmodee USA will release 'Anansi' into U.S. retail. Asmodee USA will release Anansi, a trick-taking game by HeidelBAR Games, into U.S. retail on January 22. Anansi is a trick-taking card game by Cyril Blondel and Jim Dratwa in the same series of games as Spicy. Players need to take tricks to build stories (scoring piles), and please followers from the supply deck.

Complete deliveries to island-dwelling critters in 'Pebble Rock Delivery Service'. Skybound Games revealed Pebble Rock Delivery Service, a pick-up and deliver board game, which will hit stores in late January. In this family game, players race to pick up and deliver items to colorful creatures that live on islands. They assume the roles of one of four sea captains who need to plan their routes well to successful drop items...

Renegade Game Studios hires Matt Holland. Renegade Game Studios has hired Matt Holland to fill the position of Sales and Marketing Manager. Holland has been in the games industry since 2015, starting as demo team coordinator for Asmodee North America. Later in 2019, he was promoted to become their Community Coordinator. As Community Coordinator, he managed the Organized Play communities for game...

Adventurers can quest their way to fortune and fame in 'hack & Slash'. Steve Jackson Games revealed Hack & Slash, a quick play card game, for release in February 2021. In Hack & Slash, players join a guild of adventurers and take on quests for rewards. The quests consist of battles, rescues, and dungeon-crawling for treasure. Players choose a quest and roll dice to determine the outcome of each quest. 

'Parks Memories: Mountaineer' will hit stores in Q1. Keymaster Games will release PARKS Memories: Mountaineer, a strategic matching game, into stores in Q1. PARKS Memories: Mountaineer is a matching game that highlights the mountainous National Parks in the U.S. In this version of PARKS, the Parks tiles are placed face down, in a grid, across the table. 

Squishmallows Easter Squad delivers basketful of funEaster baskets and egg hunts will be a lot more fun and exciting this year with the new Squishmallows Easter squad from Kellytoy, a subsidiary of Jazwares, LLC. Delighting kids, tweens, collectors and toy lovers of all ages, fans have scooped up more than 65 million of the “chonky” and collectible Squishmallows since they launched—helping to make Kellytoy’s best-selling...

Robo Fish from ZURU swims back to retail. ZURU, the award-winning toy and consumer products company, announced today the return of Robo Fish, the hyper-realistic toy fish and one of the most popular toys of the last decade. The new Robo Fish incorporates ZURU’s advanced water-activated micro-robotic technology utilizing carbon sensors that allow it to come to life and swim as soon as it touches water.

Masters of The Universe Hot Wheels Character Cars bring Eternian style to the die-cast aisle. Following years of success with Hot Wheels Character Cars inspired by Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, Disney, and more, Mattel is tapping into its own intellectual property (IP) for a new range inspired by the Masters of the Universe franchise. The first wave of 1:64-scale Masters of the Universe Hot Wheels Character Cars...

Jazwares’ First Act brand gets a rhythmic reimagining for the new year. Jazwares’ musical brand, First Act, is ready to rock this new year with new products, a new anthem, and new content! For the past 20 years, First Act has gone through many transformations, but with the recent transition to remote learning for most kids, it seemed time for another — This time with an anthem to sing along to. 

LEGO dials up Education efforts with BricQ Motion launches and extended LEGO Braille Bricks roll-outNew developments from LEGO Education have seen the learning and education-focused arm of the Danish toy maker introduce two new, tech-free launches for hands-on STEAM learning in schools. Called BricQ Motion, the classroom sets include BricQ Motion Essential for kids aged six and upwards, and BricQ...

Games Workshop reveals 'Glutos Orscollion, Lord of Gluttony'. Games Workshop revealed Glutos Orscollion, Lord of Gluttony, a new command HQ model for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, for release in 2021. Glutos Orscollion is a talented sorcerer that practices the most despised of all the magical arts. He sits on his heavily adorned palanquin as his deformed servants cater to his every need. Orscollion is carried on the...

Arcane Wonders will release 'Sherlock 13' into U.S. trade. Arcane Wonders will release Sherlock 13, a card game by Korean publisher BoardM Factory, into U.S. Trade on January 27, 2021. Sherlock 13 is a deductive card game that was first published back in 2013 as Holmes 13. In this game, players assume the roles of detectives who are attempting to catch an infamous thief by the name of Arsene Lupin. 

Playmobil unveils two VW icons. One of the world’s most successful car manufacturers, VW, is teaming up with Playmobil, one of the largest toy producers in Germany, in a partnership that will see the release of two new models on 15th January. The original Camper Bus ‘Bulli’ from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the popular VW Beetle make their debut in Playmobil form this year. The two vehicle models were...

American Girl introduces 2021 Girl of the Year Kira BaileyMattel’s American Girl subsidiary is stepping into a new year by revealing its annual Girl of the Year doll. American Girl’s 2021 Girl of the Year is Kira Bailey, “a nurturing and inquisitive 10-year-old who cares deeply for animals and the environment.” In a two-book series from author Erin Teagan, kids follow Kira’s adventures as she travels from her home state of Michigan...

Square Enix announces new 'Final Fantasy TCG' set. Square Enix announced Opus XIII: Crystal Radiance, an expansion for Final Fantasy TCG, to release in March 26, 2021. This new set features brand-new Multi-Element combinations as well as a return of Multi-Element Forwards which first appeared in Opus XII: Crystal Awakening. There are a also new cards with elemental combinations that differ from those of the Multi-Element...

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

Xbox: The Oral History of an American Video Game Empire. The original product was ungainly, over-budget and nearly canceled. Here’s how it became a hit and reshaped an industry. The box looked like an old VCR, the controller was comically large, and it was made by one of the most boring companies on earth. Somehow, the Xbox triumphed and gave Microsoft Corp. the first—and last—successful video game console...

Number of mobile gamers increased 50% in the UK due to COVID-19. The mobile gaming audience also grew 28% in the US, representing 28 million new players. Facebook released its latest report about mobile gaming, analysing players' behaviours following the peak experienced in March 2020 due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. Germany, South Korea, the US, and the UK all saw a significant growth in their...

More than half of Americans turned to video games during lockdownWith 2020 consumed almost entirely by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of US residents turned to video games to fill the time. According to Nielsen company SuperData’s 2020 year in review, 55 percent of people picked up video games — out of boredom, to escape the real world, to socialize — during the first phase of lockdowns. 

Bandai Namco takes page from Sony to leverage intellectual property. TOKYO -- Bandai Namco is leveraging Mobile Suit Gundam and other intellectual property to boost company value. Since Bandai's 2005 merger with Namco, the company's market capitalization has topped that of America's toymakers, Hasbro and Mattel. It is now reviewing its vertical organization and moving away from reliance on external...

Minecraft Earth is going dark at the end of JuneMicrosoft-owned Mojang has made the call to close down its Minecraft AR game Minecraft Earth, ending the location-based game's run less than two years after first launch. Mojang says that the decision was driven by difficulties of the current pandemic, which has understandably knocked the wind out of the location based social play Minecraft Earth is built around. 

Blast ff with New Wave Toys’ Asteroids 1/6-Scale Mini Arcade Cabinet, out now. New Wave Toys launched Asteroids X RepliCade, a fully playable, limited edition, 12-inch-tall replica of Atari’s legendary arcade classic. This exciting release is now available for purchase on NewWaveToys.com for $119.99. Officially licensed by Atari, the Asteroids X RepliCade celebrates 40 years of the groundbreaking vector-based...

Digital games spending reached $127 billion in 2020. Free-to-play spending made up 78% of the total, but premium title revenue saw greater year-on-year growth. Digital games spending grew 12% year-over-year in 2020, reaching $127 billion across mobile, PC, and console. According to SuperData's year in review report, $73.8 billion of digital spending occurred on mobile, while $19.7 billion was on console and $33.1 billion...

Honor of Kings foresees a borderless, mobile future. TiMi Studios' Vincent Gao and Li Min explain why the company is making games for the players of tomorrow, not today. Despite being one of the most popular and highest-grossing games of all time, still topping mobile revenue charts five years after launch, Honor of Kings (also known under its Western release title, Arena of Valor) hasn't gotten quite the media buzz...

Analysing the major mobile game design and feature trends of 2020. GameRefinery's senior game analyst Wilhelm Voutilainen explores how the mobile industry adapted to the pandemic. At the end of every year, we always like to take a look at the past twelve months and see what's been happening in the world of mobile game features and design. 

Apple removes 39,000 games from the App Store in China. Apple pulled 39,000 games from its App Store in China on December 31, 2020, including NBA 2K20 and Assassin's Creed Identity. As reported by Reuters, the purge is the result of strict licensing regulations being ushered in by Chinese authorities and enforced by Apple. In total, 46,000 apps were affected including those 39,000 video games, with research...

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes rated for Nintendo Switch. The original LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has been rated by the ESRB for Nintendo Switch, indicating that it will soon be released on the platform. The original title was released all the way back in 2013, during the era of the Wii U. That age was a bad time for Nintendo, the Wii U underperformed to a shocking degree. 

Fall Guys, Doom and Cyberpunk represent 2020 in Steam's top earners of the yearValve has revealed the 12 biggest games on Steam by revenue in 2020, a group dominated by games that launched in 2018 or earlier. Within a broader "Best of 2020" article, Valve listed the 100 biggest games of the year by gross revenue, with the top dozen marked out in a "Platinum" category. 

Epic Games acquires shopping mall for new headquartersEpic Games announced the acquisition of Cary Towne Center, a shopping mall located in Cary, North Carolina, that it will convert into its new headquarters. In a blog post announcing the move, Epic said the new campus will open by 2024. The acquisition includes both the buildings and "recreational spaces," for a total surface area of 980,000 square feet and 87...

8 great Apple Arcade games for your new 2020 iPhone or iPad. This time last year, Apple Arcade was still a fledgling service, but one with a lot of potential. For $5 a month, you could get unlimited access to a big library of interesting games, the kind that no one really sells in the App Store anymore. It’s still not a place to find the latest blockbusters, but Arcade has steadily evolved into one of the best deals in gaming. 

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . 

Countless toys went untested by federal inspectors during the pandemic. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the decision to pull inspectors from ports all over the country for months during the pandemic was unanimous given the deadly threat of the virus.“CPSC, like everyone, had to deal with the life-threatening threat of COVID-19. Protecting the American public from dangerous consumer products...

Mandatory BIS norms for toys aimed at curbing low-quality importsNew Delhi. The government has made BIS quality standards mandatory for toys from January 1 to curb cheaper and low-quality imports, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday, even as he stressed that it does not want to stop overseas shipments or close international engagement. 

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Press Releases . . . 

Spin Master Completes Acquisition of Rubik's Cube®. Following the announcement of its intention to acquire Rubik's Brand Ltd, owner of the world-famous Rubik's Cube®, on October 27, 2020,  Spin Master Corp. (TSX: TOY) today announced it has completed the acquisition. Spin Master will continue the Rubik's brand legacy, with plans for further innovation across the entire Rubik's portfolio and expanded distribution through.

 

 

 

 

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals

(ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and More) . . . 

NY Toy Fair cancelled. As COVID-19 remains insufficiently resolved, The Toy Association has announced that it will not conduct an interim trade show in New York for 2021, which was previously planned to take place May 1 to 4. Plans for Toy Fair Dallas remain on course for October 2021 and providing an ongoing mix of physical and digital business opportunities for the industry will be the Association’s focus this...

Hong Kong Licensing Show and Conference move onlineIn light of the continuing global pandemic, the 19th HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS) and 10th Asian Licensing Conference (ALC), both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), will run as online events from 11 to 15 January 2021.HKILS Online brings together key industry players HKILS Online will gather some 250 exhibitors...

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment Opens 2021 Wonder Women Awards Nominations. Coinciding with WIT’s 30th Anniversary, the 2021 Wonder Women Awards are expected to be held for the first time in Los Angeles in late September 2021. “The WIT Wonder Women Awards celebrate the women whose exceptional achievements and successes have made a significant impact on our industry,” said Wonder Women...

Toyfest West set to resume in February 2022. After postponing ToyFest West’s 2021 dates, the Western Toy & Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) recently reevaluated this move, reaching the ultimate decision to cancel ToyFest West 2021 and resume in February 2022. Beginning in 1961, ToyFest West is the second-largest trade show of its kind in the U.S. and welcomes attendees from 47 states in addition...

Thames & Kosmos to host virtual showcase for 2021 portfolio of games and science kits. Thames & Kosmos is preparing to host its own virtual show room from January 15th to March 31st as the firm looks to connect with customers in new ways for 2021. Aligning itself with the ongoing lean into digital showcasing and with both the London Toy Fair cancelled and Spring Fair moving to a virtual @ Home platform ...

FUNKO TO REVEAL 2021 PRODUCTS DURING 2-WEEK, VIRTUAL FUNKO FAIR EVENT. This morning, Funko announced Funko Fair, a 2-week event that kicks off on Jan. 19. The virtual programming will provide a first look at Funko’s 2021 product lineup, featuring reveals from its Vinyl, SODA, and Paka Paka lines, as well as new items from Funko Games and Loungefly. A variety of licensing partners are set to join in, too...

Tabletop Alliance non-profit organization created to enhance educational and community programs. Bruce Brown, Joshua Isringhausen, and Mary "Fox" Marsden have founded a new non-profit organization, Tabletop Alliance, that focuses on using games in education.

This new non-profit organization is focused on enhancing educational and community programs through tabletop gaming. 

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. 

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Kelly Flock. Former Sony, LucasArts, and THQ executive Kelly Flock has passed away. A number of notable industry figures shared the news online, and paid tribute to Flock's leadership abilities and commitment to giving new voices a chance to shine. Flock spent decades working in the industry at a number of high-profile companies, holding several senior positions at Sony, including president and CEO of Sony Online Entertainment.

Oscar Koveleski, founder of the Auto World and Kidracer brands, died Monday (Dec. 28th) at the age of 88. In 1958, Koveleski — a race car driver and scale model enthusiast — launched Auto World as a mail-order store from the basement of a home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The operation, which initially placed ads in the back of magazines, became a popular catalog business and pioneered the hobby and specialty retail space through its extensive offerings of slot-racing cars and track sets, plastic model kits, R/C cars, building supplies, and other items from brands including TYCO, Aurora, Scalextric, and more. “At that time slot cars were a mainstream toy,” says slot car evangelist Dave Kennedy, former brand manager for Hornby Hobbies’ Scalextric/Airfix lines and former North American marketing manager at Carrera of America. “They became a staple toy in every mass-market store and catalog … everyone — and I mean everyone — that is in the business now follows in Oscar’s footsteps.”

Diana Green, a long time buying director of Greens Toymaster, passed away at home on 13th December after a short illness. Toy World is sad to report that Diana Green, a popular and well respected toy industry figure, passed away peacefully on Sunday 13th December after a short illness. Diana was a well known figure in the industry since the 1970s, having worked as buying director for Greens for much of this time. Working alongside her husband Geoff, Diana selected ranges for the Snowfold buying group’s FOB import programme, which supported members ranges and margins from the 1980’s. Later, she served as a member of Toymaster’s Merchandise Committee for many years, as the Greens Toymaster chain expanded to a total of 17 stores.

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Toy Trade Monthly Issues...

ToyWorld (UK) January Issue

The Toy Book Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards Special Edition

Casual Game Revolution

Kidscreen's most-read stories of 2020

Weekly Top Stories from Toy Trade Magazines Worldwide...

Adventure Media & Events (US)

​Toy Book - Looking Back at the Most-read Stories of 2020. 

aNb Media (US)

ToyWorld (UK)

​On Christmas Holiday

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

  1.  Games Workshop Teases 'Warhammer: The Old World' Factions
  2.  Play Out the Pacific War Campaign in 'Fire in the Sky'
  3.  Rolling for Initiative -- Notable Events (Besides the Epidemic) of 2020
  4.  Preview: 'Pathfinder Battles: Darklands Rising' Miniatures
  5.  Ares Games and Universal Brand Development End Their 'Battlestar Galactica' Licensing Agreement
  6.  Gem Mint 10 'Pokemon TCG' Charizard #4 Hologram Card Hits the Heritage Auction Block in January
  7.  High-Grade 'Magic: The Gathering Beta Edition' Black Lotus Card Up for Auction in January
  8.  Gamegenic Reveals Three New Premium Deck Boxes

  9.  Fend Off Dragons While Digging for Dice Combos in 'Dice Miner'
10.  Pegasus Spiele Will Release 'Spy Connection' into U.S. Trade

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

1. Iconic: MinaLima, the graphic design duo of the Harry Potter movies, opens up about the look and feel of the franchise

2. Kids Design Award Germany: Discover the clever winning product of a young female designer that helps kids keep order and have fun

3. Joys of fatherhood: Find out from a young German entrepreneur what it means to be a modern dad

4. ASS Altenburger: Read how the traditional German card and board games manufacturer makes a profit during lockdown

5. Scandi collaboration: Explore „Bygglek", the fun storage solution for every home made by Lego and Ikea

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

Video of the Week! 

Who, What, Where, Terms, Acronyms and Mo

The POP Week panels were aired on two separate platforms, there are slight changes to the version first aired on our website with over 12,000 viewers and on this

separate YouTube version we just uploaded

Who, What, Where, Terms, Acronyms & More

Moderator: Dougal Grimes (VP of Innovation and Inventor Relations-Games, Gund, Outdoor and Activities, Spin Master) with panelists: Azhelle Wade (President, The Toy Coach), ), Greg Benassar (Licensing & New Business Director, Asmodee), Elizabeth Moody (SVP Business Development, 7 Towns), Dan Rowan (Sr Director, Ultra Pro Ent.)

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher