the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is Feb. 26 - March 5, 2021. 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 Friday! 

Spring POP Week is a Huge Success! Over 1,000 profiles in our POP Database and growing, over 1,500 Pitches, 10 Interactive Q&A Sessions and 15 Panels. Today at 12 and 4pmCT, these two panels will be part of our Q&A Zoom Session - you are welcome to attend! Feel free to watch and hear these panels right now by clicking on them!

 

WHAT’S WORKING NOW! State of the Industry Q1 2021 International Panel

BREAKING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC WALL: Success Stories

Reyne Rice (ToyTrends). John Baulch (Toy World). Jacqueline Vong (Playology),

Rebecca Ash (Total Licensing), Armando Carreteros (Nación Juguetes) 

Information on this panel HERE. 

Survivor Island Podcast Series: Perspectives from Wall Street Q1 2021: Toy Trends
40+ Years of Combined Experience Analyzing the Toy Industry

Steph Wissink, Managing Director, Consumer Research, Jefferies and

Gerrick Johnson, Director, BMO Capital Markets 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report!

Mary

Dear Tim . . . Why Does It Take So Long? tBR Columnist Tim Kilpin Comments

From an anonymous toy inventor came this straightforward question… which I also read as a plaintive cry. I could almost hear him/her drawing out each word and rolling his/her eyes while saying it.

 

For those of you unfamiliar with the many challenges toy inventors face in getting their ideas seen, considered, and eventually sometimes even purchased by a toy company, this is a very fair question. The process is long, multi-stepped, and certainly for anyone on the outside waiting for some kind of smoke signal, frankly torturous.

 

Here, then, are 5 reasons why it does indeed take so long.

5. Companies See Hundreds, Even Thousands of Ideas: Each year, some of the best and most successful toys are awesome inventor creations. (I’m looking at you, Don Ullman and Jose Leal, creators of our truly cool Drone Home game.) But calling this a ‘needle in a haystack’ search does disservice to needles. Toy companies sift through hundreds, sometimes thousands of ideas every year. Even at the smaller shops, this is someone’s full-time job, but… Read More...

Draw, Wear, Erase, & Repeat: These shirts are the “Chalk of the Town” tBR Company of the Week

Moms to the rescue! The “mompreneurs” at Chalk of the Town are here to save us from cabin fever with their line of chalkboard apparel that can be instantly personalized, easily erased, and infinitely re-decorated. Now that’s something to “chalk” about!

 

Chalk of the Town is a woman-owned small business that makes unique reusable chalkboard products for kids and adults. They believe that customizing your own wearable masterpieces inspires confidence, creativity, and togetherness, and their user-friendly products empower any level of artist to design their own fabulous items, again and again.

 

Their best-selling products are their Chalk of the Town T-Shirt Kits. The soft, high-quality t-shirts feature a unique, reusable “chalkboard” surface on the front, letting anyone make a fashion statement. Read More...

Financial & Legal News . . .

Roblox Going Public, But Is It Good For The Public? The online platform Roblox is capturing the imagination. The platform that is meant for playing and creating video games is going public on March 10th. Their unique model of outsourcing game development to their players has helped the company reach a $29.5 billion valuation in a recent funding round. Roblox boasts 32.6 million daily active users and a jump ...

Amazon Vendor or Seller?  An Amazon Vendor and owner of a small UK toy company shares how they have made progress in negotiating trading terms with the online retailer. The writer of a Viewpoint column in Toy World, who wishes to remain anonymous, is the owner of a small UK toy company and was inspired to get in touch after having made some progress in negotiating tricky trading terms with Amazon.

California bill would eliminate "boys" and "girls" toy sections in stores. Barbie dolls and tea sets should occupy shelves in the same aisle as superhero action figures and remote-controlled cars under a new law proposed in California. Two lawmakers in the Golden State recently introduced a bill that would make the children's sections of department stores more gender-neutral. The measure would eliminate "boys"...

The European Commission approves Microsoft deal for Bethesda parent ZeniMax. The European Commission (EC) has approved Microsoft's seismic $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media. The deal was approved under the EU Merger Regulation after the EC concluded it wouldn't cause competition concerns given "the combined entity's limited market position upstream and the presence...

German legal reform to set new standards for loot boxes. The German Bundestag has passed a proposed reform to the country's youth protection law, which could result in new standards being applied to video games featuring loot boxes. According to a report from Der Spiegel, if the reforms receive approval from the Bundesrat [Federal Council], they could be enforced as early as this spring. .

Epic acquires Capturing RealityEpic Games' acquisition spree continued today as the company announced the addition of photogrammetry developer Capturing Reality. Capturing Reality is the developer of RealityCapture, software that generates 3D models based on images or laser scans. As with numerous other technological acquisitions of Epic's in recent years, Capturing Reality's work will be incorporated into the...

Hello Neighbor publisher TinyBuild goes public with $474 million valuation. TinyBuild has gone public on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market with a valuation of $474 million. According to a press release announcing the IPO, TinyBuild has become the largest U.S. company to ever go public on the AIM market. The Seattle-based studio is known for publishing titles including Party Hard, .

(the above posted after March 5th)

Private equity firm to acquire Michaels Stores. Michaels Stores are headed for new ownership. The Michaels Companies and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management Inc. revealed plans for an acquisition that will take Michaels private in a $5 billion deal. The Texas-based arts and crafts retailer made a bigger investment in toys beginning in October 2018 with the launch of its Michaels Kids website and an...

Valve, Blizzard, Bungie, and Riot vets raise $37.5 million to launch new studio. Industry veterans from Blizzard, Bungie, Riot Games, and Valve have raised $37.5 million to launch a new studio called Theorycraft Games. NetEase led the funding round into the nascent studio, and was joined by NEA, Bitkraft Ventures, Griffin Gaming Partners, and SISU Game Ventures. 

Government (India) says no extension on toy quality control order despite pleas from industry.  in a setback to the demands and requests of toymakers seeking an extension on the new quality control norms, union commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said the toy quality control order is here to stay and that there will not be an extension. The minister was speaking at The India Toy Fair that was held virtually...

2020 toy sales in Spain saved by the Three Kings. In an exclusive Viewpoint column, Sol Ostrovsky and Lorenzo de Benito discuss the toy market in Spain over the last year. Both experts in the Iberian toy market, Sol Ostrovsky has worked as a buyer for Universe of Imagination Spain/Portugal, Toys R Us Iberia, before moving on to be a category manager at Toys R Us in the US, while Lorenzo de Benito is a former...

'Fortnite' maker Epic Games just bought the studio behind streamer hit 'Fall Guys'. "Fortnite" creator Epic Games announced its latest acquisition on Tuesday afternoon: Mediatonic, the British studio behind "Fall Guys." The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Mediatonic has over 250 employees, and its headquarters are in London. 

Zynga acquires Echtra GamesSocial publisher buys Torchlight 3 developer to help bring existing mobile franchises to consoles and PC. Zynga today announced that it has acquired Torchlight 3 developer Echtra Games. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2016, the San Francisco-based Echtra has shipped just one game to date, last year's Torchlight 3. 

Apple vs. Epic judge confirms in-person trial will start on May 3. The U.S. District Judge overseeing the high-profile legal battle between Apple and Epic has confirmed the trial will begin on May 3, 2021 -- as previously indicated. As reported by MacRumors, the date was set during a management conference held on March 1. 

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

Preschoolers don't need parents to find content . . . . . FEBRUARY 2021 NPD BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELS

(the above posted after March 5th)

NRF expects U.S. retail sales to rise amid vaccine rollout . . . . . UK spending on video games reached £4.4 billion in 2020 . . . . . Results of Kidscreen’s Industry Survey . . . . . Toys in lockdown (UK) - latest NPD data . . . . . ACCELERATING CHANGE: COVID-19 PUSHES MATTEL, FUNKO, AND OTHERS TO PIVOT AND PREVAIL

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

John Lewis reports £517m loss and threatens further store closures . . . . . Lego posts double digit growth . . . . . Stock Wars: A Tale Of Two Toy Stories, Hasbro Vs. Mattel . . . . . Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) Shareholders Booked A 60% Gain In The Last Year

(the above posted after March 5th)

Hasbro, Inc. given average rating of "Buy" by analysts . . . . . Target Corporation reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2020 earnings . . . . . JAKKS Pacific Inc. soars 1.59% on March 02 . . . . . Hasbro CEO expects company can grow double digits in 2021 . . . . . Spin Master Q4, Full-Year Earnings Reflect a Crossroads of Emerging, Aging Brands

Future Financial Reporting . . .

$676.64 million in sales expected for Mattel, Inc.this quarter. Equities research analysts forecast that Mattel, Inc. will report sales of $676.64 million for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have made estimates for Mattel's earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $718.10 million and the lowest estimate coming in at $640.00 million. Mattel reported sales of $594.10 million during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 13.9%.

$1.20 billion in sales expected for Hasbro, Inc. this quarter. Equities research analysts expect that Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) will post sales of $1.20 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have provided estimates for Hasbro's earnings. The highest sales estimate is $1.26 billion and the lowest is $1.14 billion. Hasbro posted sales of $1.11 billion during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 8.1%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 5th.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . .

A Brief History of Sea-Monkeys. You probably had Sea-Monkeys as a kid without knowing anything about what they were or where they came from. The short version? The product was a get-rich-quick scheme that actually got someone rich quick. But the long version—which starts in a pet store and involves the Ku Klux Klan, a self-defense weapon, and a TV show starring Howie Mandel—is worth sticking around for.

‘17 is a prime number – eccentric’: how Numberblocks became a kids' TV hit. The CBeebies show saved parents struggling under lockdown by making maths fun. But how do its makers come up with their ideas – and what would happen if seven ate nine? When the first lockdown struck and schools closed, parents suddenly found themselves reassessing their approach to screen time. 

Escape Your Reality With Role-Playing Games. Let the good times roll, as old-school tabletop R.P.G.s have taken off online. Recently, a wizard, a druid, a cleric, a ranger, an artificer and a couple of bards met on Zoom. The bards fought. The druid baked cookies. The cleric, wearing nifty resin dragon horns, took hallucinogenic mushrooms. Together they explored candy-coated barracks, searching for an elusive ; cat jokes crowded the...

(the above posted after March 5th)

Rick Derr’s letter from America - This month, Rick Derr urges indies to create their own destiny, as he concludes his trilogy of Amazon columns and looks to how independent toy retail is likely to develop. After 20 years working at A.C. Nielsen/D&B Research Company, Rick opened the first Learning Express Toys franchise in the Chicago area in 1996, and then became a sub-franchiser, opening nine more stores. 

ToyWorld (UK) John Baulch's Friday Blog: One potato, two potato…it’s the Friday Blog! Lockdown has clearly gone on far too long. If you need evidence, look no further than controversial TV presenter Piers Morgan, who this week dedicated a section of his morning show to shouting at a toy potato. Poor Mr Potato Head had already attracted an avalanche of social media coverage, following Hasbro’s announcement that ...

How Female Executives Are Leading the International Streaming Business. Streaming heavyweights have big global aspirations, and they’re relying on a growing cadre of women to realize them. Female leaders abound at Netflix and Amazon Studios, where international programming initiatives are well underway, and they occupy top roles at Disney, ViacomCBS and HBO Max as the businesses expand globally. 

What are kids watching on HBO Max, Netflix & Disney+? As the streaming wars heat up (SVOD Paramount+ just entered the fray this week), there’s more content for kids to watch than ever before. But what are they actually tuning into? Using its proprietary analytics tool that tracks social media chatter, streams and downloads, Parrot Analytics has analyzed what’s trending on Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max in the kids...

Gotta cash 'em all: How Pokémon became the world's biggest games franchise. The five-minute intro to last week's Pokémon Presents broadcast perfectly demonstrated the sheer scale of the franchise as it stands today. Starting with the release of the original Pokémon Red and Green in Japan on February 27th, 1996, the rapid-fire montage breathlessly listed the myriad forms of entertainment, merchandise, event...

UK Indie retailers are ready when you are! Rachael Simpson-Jones spoke to independent retailers to find out how they have been coping over the latest lockdown and how they have been getting ready for reopening. When Rachael caught up with Dan Lovett, of Beccles Toy Box; Lee Borastero, of Kids Stuff Wells and Louise Anderson of John Anderson Toymaster, the ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown and retail reopening dates...

Toys are ditching gender, but it's really just a way to sell more toys. This decision accelerates a recent trend toward wider representation and inclusivity in consumer products for children. Producers of toys, books, movies and television programs for children have striven to portray people with different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and body types. Some of these products, including mainstream blockbusters such...

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . .

Moon Blast Off from Schaper (1970). “The winners blast off for Earth below, the loser doesn’t get to go.” Designed by Marvin Glass & Associates and released by Schaper in 1970, the Moon Blast Off game is set on the moon’s surface. Each of the game’s four players starts with a complement of five astronauts of a single color (red, yellow, blue, or green), and race to return their astronauts to Earth. .

The Wonderful World of Penny Brite from Topper Toys (1964)The Penny Brite doll was released in 1963 by Topper Toys, a subsidiary of Elizabeth, New Jersey-based toy manufacturer, Deluxe Reading. Penny was presented as a more wholesome alternative to Mattel’s Barbie Doll, which at the time was getting a bad rap in some parenting circles for being “too adult” for young children. 

Toys That Time Forgot Volume 3Author and toy enthusiast, Blake Wright, is back with Volume 3 of his popular book series  Toys That Time Forgot, which documents toys that were never released to the public. As with Volumes 1 and 2, Wright began with a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the latest edition. Toy Tales spoke with him about the upcoming publication and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected ...

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Jazwares, Epic Games Extend Fortnite Partnership Through 2025. Fortnite is planning to be around for many years to come. Epic Games and Jazwares have extended their licensing agreement for Fortnite toys and collectibles through 2025. IMG brokered the deal, which comes with some new terms starting next January when Jazwares becomes the exclusive toy partner for all Fortnite action figures, vehicles, playsets, and...

Beano Studios celebrates 70th anniversary of Dennis in 2021. A host of new licensed partnerships will join the franchise alongside the 70th anniversary celebrations, launching on Dennis’s birthday on 17th March. Beano Studios has announced a raft of new licensed deals and partners to celebrate 70 years since the first appearance of Dennis in the iconic Beano comic. 

DC, Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences and WarnerMedia are bringing the “Wonder” to International Women’s Day by launching a global celebration that honors the 80-year legacy of DC’s Champion of Truth and Warrior for Peace — Wonder Woman. Embracing the call to see the world through Wonder Woman’s eyes and to “Believe in Wonder,” the 80th Anniversary celebration illuminates the Super Hero’s timeless....

(the above posted after March 5th)

JRL Group and NHRA partner with Mattel for Hot Wheels. NHRA and Mattel® announced today their licensing partnership to develop collectible die-cast vehicles under the iconic Hot Wheels® brand, hitting stores in June. The new partnership will see die-cast versions of classic hot rods including a 1974 Chevrolet® Vega Pro Stock car and a 1971 Ford® Mustang® Funny Car. NHRA fans young and old can host their own...

EOLO Toys and Panini on board for new animated series and app game SuperMasked. EOLO Toys and Panini have been named among a portfolio of licensing partners already on board to launch exclusive toys and collectables based on an upcoming animated series and app game, SuperMasked. A joint venture between Maya Studio and EOLO’s own toy design house and motion graphics centre, Toy Zone, SuperMasked ...

Betty Crocker Partners with Barbie Dream Gap ProjectDriven by the belief that the kitchen is the original lab, where culinary science and personal expression fuel confidence and creativity in all makers, Betty Crocker introduces the BettyLab. Through this platform, Betty Crocker, along with a number of innovative partners, will offer resources, ideas and inspiration for people to learn and explore in their own kitchens. .

Schleich launches its first video game Horse Club Adventures with Wild River Games The Munich games developer, Wild River Games has partnered with the international toy company Schleich to launch the first video game title for its popular Horse Club franchise. The new title, Horse Club Adventures, will be an open-world game for children aged six to 12, allowing them to explore and roam freely across the terrain, 

General Mills: Lucky Charms Candy Land by Hasbro. Now parents are looking for more original, creative ways to make virtual holidays fun for the whole family. In addition to releasing limited-edition Green Milk Turn cereal, Lucky Charms partnered with Hasbro, Cold Stone Creamery, Crocs Jibbitz and even JibJab to help inspire more St. Patrick’s Day fun.

L.O.L. Surprise, Roblox tease game launchL.O.L. Surprise is joining forces with top digital gaming platform Roblox, creating a relationship with the first doll world of Roblox on a global level. Leading up to the L.O.L./Roblox consumer launch in April, fans will have the chance to play with and against their favorite gaming influencers, who will be taking them deep into the L.O.L./Roblox world and "testing" the game before it is...

Queen Rock Tour: the first official Queen game lands on mobile. Universal Music Group has announced their latest collaborative venture, bringing the rock band to mobile gaming for the first time. Created ahead of the 29-date European tour in 2022, the new play-along rhythm game "Queen: Rock Tour" marks the band's first arrival on to the mobile gaming scene, celebrates its 50th anniversary since completing its official...

WP Merchandise has launched a premium collection of Mortal Kombat 11 merchandise licensed by Warner Bros. The WP Merchandise company has launched an exclusive line of Mortal Kombat 11 plush characters. Five most popular characters are made at a high level of detail and maximum resemblance with their virtual prototypes. They will impress the most demanding collectors and fans. 

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People . . . 

Toy Family Series: Q&A with Dieter Strehl of Piatnik. "Our family entered the toy industry at the initiative of my great-great-grandfather Ferdinand Piatnik, born 1819 in Budapest. He was the son of Ignaz Piatnik, a clothes maker (as distinct from a tailor!) who also worked as a chamberlain for Count Nadasdy. Ferdinand learned the trade in Budapest working for a card maker named Johann Gravatz from 1835 onwards. In 1839 he passed his journeyman examination, and went to Vienna, where he joined Anton Moser, a Viennese card maker, who had established his business back in 1824. In 1843 Anton died, and Ferdinand, at 23 years old, took over the workshop, named it F. Piatnik and married the widow Josepha, born in 1794 and 25 years his senior. This was not an uncommon occurrence at the time, although it sounds very strange today."

Finn Arnesen resurfaces at Games Workshop In a newly created role, the former Hasbro Studios and Turner exec is tasked with leading the company's content development efforts. Reporting to EVP of global licensing Jon Gillard, Arnesen will initially be responsible for developing animated and live-action content based on the popular fantasy/sci-fi universe of Warhammer. 

A Saskatoon girl's imagined plush toy will be among those Ikea will manufacture and sell later this year. As part of an annual tradition, the Swedish retail giant invited kids from around the world to submit drawings for its Soft Toy Drawing Competition. Audrey, a nine-year-old from Saskatoon, is among five children whose drawings will be brought to life, according to a news release from Ikea. Audrey's "Sandwich Friends"...

Magic Box welcomes Jose Vicente Savall as global commercial & marketing director Jose Vicente Savall joins the company as it enjoys great success, spearheaded by the popular SuperThings brand.  Jose Vicente Savall brings with him a wealth of international toy industry experience. He worked at Hasbro for 28 years in various executive roles, including general manager of several regions: Iberia, Russia, Benelux, Nordic...

CAKE restructures, adds production arm. Tom van Waveren is stepping down, Ed Galton is taking over as CEO, and Rob Doherty has been promoted to lead a new production division and oversee several new hires. Between now and then, the company will expand to become the CAKE Group, complete with a CAKE Productions division to complement its existing CAKE Distribution arm.

Cardi B Releases Her Own Fashion Doll. Timed with Women’s History Month, multi-platinum recording artist and fashion icon, Cardi B, announced the upcoming release of her first limited edition fashion doll alongside Real Women Are, a new diverse and inclusive doll brand.

An experienced and risk-taking female entrepreneur, Cardi B inspired and created the doll in her outspoken, colorful and confident likeness.

ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) has appointed Jennifer Pang to lead its business in Greater China. Pang will be based in Hong Kong, reporting to Mark Kingston, Senior Vice President, International Licensing, VCP. Claire O’Connor, Vice President, Consumer Products & Retail Marketing, Asia Pacific, will exit the business. As Vice President and Head of Licensing, Greater China, Pang leads VCP’s overall licensing business... 

Discreet Arts Appoints President of New U.S. Operation.  Discreet Arts, a world-class animation studio headquartered in India, has opened a U.S. office in Burbank, California, with animation industry creative veteran, Steven Wendland, appointed as President. The announcement was made by Discreet Arts Founder & CEO Srikanth Pottekula. Under the leadership of Wendland, Discreet Arts USA will focus on the expansion...

(the above posted after March 5th)

TALKING GAMES WITH SPIN MASTER’S NICK METZLER ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’. Nick Metzler, incubation and new business specialist at Spin Master. Metzler has designed and marketed dozens of award-winning games, including Squashed, Marvel’s Wakanda Forever and Hail Hydra, Harry Potter Hedbanz, Battle of the Sexes, and many more. Metzler was the winner of the TAGIE Young Innovator of the Year Award in 2013 and Rising Star Innovator in 2018. He was also the back-to-back winner of the Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) in 2010 & 2011 and has supported YIC... 

Adventure Media and Events promotes James Zahn to deputy editor of The Toy BookAdventure Media and Events LLC, publisher of the Toy Book, the Toy Report, the Toy Insider, and the Pop Insider, named James Zahn as deputy editor of the Toy Book effective immediately. In addition to keeping the industry informed by writing daily news on toybook.com and print features for the Toy Book magazine, Zahn has expanded the brand’s reach and presence on social media.

ICV2 INTERVIEW: TOKYOPOP CEO STU LEVY Why Manga Should Be Bigger, Manga vs. Webtoon, The Past, the Future. We reached out to talk to Stu Levy of Tokyopop for Manga Week, and on the occasion of ICv2’s 20th anniversary.  Tokyopop was one of a handful of companies that supported us in our first year (see "20 Years Ago Today"), and Levy has a long history in the U.S. manga business.  

Vivid Goliath welcomes Ben Hogg as UK marketing manager. Vivid Goliath Group is pleased to announce that Ben Hogg has joined the UK team as the company’s marketing manager across the toys and games portfolio. Ben brings with him a wealth of marketing experience from his previous role at Asmodee UK, where he had worked for over ten years. 

An Interview with Spin Master's Brock McLaughlin – Adventures in Collecting. On this episode, Dave and Erik sit down with Spin Master Toys' Manager, Influencer and Talent Marketing, Brock McLaughlin to talk all things Batman, DC Heroes, one of the absolute creepiest toys we've ever seen, and SO MUCH more!

Sambro International appoints Paul Blackaby as new CEO. Sambro has announced the appointment of Paul Blackaby following the departure from the company of Tony Hicks. Toy manufacturer and distributor Sambro International Limited has announced the appointment of Paul Blackaby as its new chief executive officer. Former CEO Tony Hicks has left the company after less than two years in the role.

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Companies . . .

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has partnered with Toybox to allow fans to create their own toys at home, to enable audiences to print characters from across the Warner Bros. portfolio. Marked by many as a major step forward in the ongoing development and evolution of the 3D printing space and its implications for the future of the toy industry, the new partnership will allow Toybox fans the chance to print...

PlayMonster Charges Into STEAM with New Science4you Brand. PlayMonster is getting into a new category with the U.S. launch of Science4you, a proprietary line of science kits designed for kids ages 4 and up. The Wisconsin-based toymaker’s entry into STEAM begins with 12 kits across three age ranges and categories: Eco-Science, STEAM Science, and Creative Science.

PMI Ltd, YuMe Toys Named Global Distributors for Toikido’s Among Us Toys. The first wave of officially licensed Among Us toys is slated to launch in mid-May with a second wave scheduled to hit stores in June. Toikido inked deals with PMI Ltd and YuMe Toys to serve as key global distributors for the new line of toys inspired by InnerSloth’s massively successful video game. 

Disney Plus has officially surpassed 100 million subscribers, less than a year and a half after the streaming service launched. Executives announced the milestone during Disney’s annual shareholders meeting. The last time Disney gave an update on Disney Plus’ subscribers number was in February during its first quarter earnings; there, it announced that, as of January 2nd, 2021, there were just over 94 million

Build-A-Bear in production on feature film. Shooting for a fall premiere, Honey Girls will be the first content to come out of Build-A-Bear's production partnership with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Honey Girls is being produced by Foundation Media Partners, with Patrick Hughes producing and Build-A-Bear CEO Sharon Price John executive producing.

BBC Studios to take on BBC Children’s Productions. The British pubcaster has a five-year plan to increase BBC Studios' financial returns by 30%, and absorbing the in-house kids production team is part of it. BBC Children’s Productions will soon be under new management as it shifts from operating as a unit of the pubcaster, to being overseen by commercial arm BBC Studios. 

The future of YouTube’s preschool content. Recently hired as global head of preschool, Craig Hunter is looking to make his mark at the AVOD with what's left of its US$100-million kids content fund. Craig Hunter may have only started at YouTube a few weeks ago, but he has already been thrust into working on a busy slate and mapped out plans for where he’s going to take the AVOD giant’s preschool content in the future.

The House of Mouse is ready to sing a new tune with Eureka! Currently in production and set to premiere on Disney Junior later this year, this new music-driven animated series for preschoolers is about a young inventor living in prehistoric times. Eureka! is produced by Brown Bag Films, in association with Disney Junior. 

Waboba – keeping life funToy World spoke to Jordan Sullivan, director of fun at Waboba, about what makes the company’s range an attractive proposition for retailers. We asked Jordan about Waboba’s biggest strengths in the Outdoor category coming into 2021. “Our growing range includes the Wingman collection, the Voli paddle set and our newest creation, Airlyft, a hollow flying glider,” she explained. “We started out ...

Toikido and YuMe Toys announce international partnership for Among Us. YuMe Toys will distribute official Among Us branded toys across the US, Canada, EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan. Award-winning global toy brand YuMeToys has announced a new partnership with Toikido to distribute official Among Us branded toys internationally. Joining the previously announced partnership with PMI, which will distribute a variety....

Moose Toys, a leading innovator in the toy industry, was named the Walmart Toy Supplier of the Year Award. The award was presented during Walmart’s seventh annual Supplier Growth Forum, held virtually on March 3. During the event, Walmart shared the company’s strategic initiatives, key areas of focus and future growth strategies. “It is truly an honor to be recognized with this award by Walmart who continue...

(the above posted after March 5th)

After surviving Covid, I knew I had to help others”: This long-time toymaker is producing 100,000 masks a week. George Irwin has spent the last four decades making toys for kids. Last year, after contracting Covid, he realized he could use his manufacturing experience for the greater good. So far, he’s sold more than 10 million masks, and is pumping out 100,000 more per week from his Collingwood and Edmonton factories. 

MISSION: PLAY! BY MATTEL SET TO OPEN FIRST LOCATION IN EUROPE NEXT YEAR. In 2019, it seemed as if the race was on as several toymakers began investing in the live events and experience space. One big area of focus was Family Entertainment Centers (FEC) with both Mattel and Hasbro revealing partnerships to enter the arena. Now, Mattel’s partnership with iP2Development is finally taking shape....

LEGO takes fans into Hundred Acre Wood with latest Ideas project LEGO Winnie the Pooh The LEGO Group is taking a nostalgic walk through Hundred Acre Wood with the launch of its latest LEGO Ideas project, LEGO Winnie the Pooh, a set based on the original designs from LEGO builder Ben Adler. Taking inspiration from the tales of A.A. Milne’s adventures of Christopher Robin that have transported readers for...

Disney to close at least 60 North American stores. The 60 Disney stores represent 20% of the company's worldwide retail estate, as it switches to a focus on eCommerce. The company also is evaluating a significant reduction of stores in Europe, according to a spokesperson, although locations in Japan and China will not be affected.

Far Out Toys’ Glo-Up Girls Bring the TikTok Sensation to the Doll Aisle. Inspired by the massively viral world of makeover content that dominates social platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok — where #GlowUp already boasts more than 20 million views — the Glo-Up Girls are a new line of fashion dolls that are currently in production and headed for retail. 

Mattel’s Spirit Untamed Line Gallops Into Retail. As first revealed at Toy Fair New York last year, Mattel picked up the license for DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit franchise ahead of this summer’s Spirit Untamed. The new collection launched this week and includes dolls, horses, and playsets, along with Spirit Untamed-inspired versions of Mattel Games, including UNO, Stackin’ Apples, and more.

Hasbro Restructures Business Into Three Segments. As the toy, game, and family entertainment businesses continue to evolve and morph into one another, Hasbro is joining its competitors — including Mattel and Spin Master — in re-segmenting its business that more accurately represents what the company does. Hasbro is now divided into three new financial reporting segments: Consumer Products, Wizards of the....

Konami unveils a new booster set for 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG'. Konami Digital Entertainment unveiled King's Court, for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, which will release on June 25. This new 60-card booster set features World Premiere cards. These cards can be played in decks on their own or synergistically with the engine of an Egyptian God Card strategy. The rarity breakdown for this set is as follows: 10 Ultra Rares, 15 Super Rares...

Lucky Duck Games will release 'King Of 12' into U.S. retailLucky Duck Games will release King of 12, a fantasy card game, into U.S. retail in April. In this game, players compete to become the ruler of the Kingdom of 12, a realm ruled by someone who can manipulation the twelve-sided stones of power.  Each turn players secretly choose hidden characters, like The Oracle, The Sorcerer, or The Troublemakers, to affect...

Little Tikes digs into flourishing gardening market with Growing Garden launch. Little Tikes is encouraging kids to get their hands dirty this summer with the launch of its new Growing Garden brand, a range aimed as aspiring gardeners to get closer to nature. The true-to-life range will feature a watering can and gloves for tending to newly planted seeds, garden hand tools bag for storing the smaller gardening essentials...

Barbie reveals Clara Amfo doll ahead of International Womens DayBarbie has announced Clara Amfo as a UK Barbie Role Model by unveiling a one-of-a-kind doll created in her likeness, joining a line up of inspirational women and girls. One of the UK’s leading broadcasters, best known for hosting the 10am – 1pm BBC Radio 1 show, Clara Amfo is also host to her own successful podcast, This City, where famous friends...

COBI CEO ISSUES APOLOGY FOR CONSTRUCTION TOYS DEPICTING NAZI GERMANY; PULLS SETS FROM SALE. At the center of this week’s controversy were new additions to Polish toymaker COBI’s long-running Historical Collection that presented leaders and vehicles from Nazi Germany in building sets designed for kids ages 6 and up and collectors.

Fans of The Mandalorian take note, Mattel has created a life-sized floating Baby Yoda. And it is now up for auction on eBay. Yes, just when you thought you could not get enough of The Child aka Grogu, here comes this masterpiece from Mattel. The life-sized replica of The Child was created by Mattel Designer Michael Kadile. The final auction price will be channelled towards charity art organisation ProjectArt.

Exclusive: Rise up! The latest from Playmobil Rachael Simpson-Jones spoke to Jamie Dickinson, head of marketing at Playmobil, about the launch plans for Dino Rise, and what else the company has in store this year. Playmobil has entered 2021 full of positivity, having fared well during a challenging 12 months that left the company just as pleased with its own performance as that of the wider toy industry.

Moose Toys Wins Five Australian Toy Association Awards. Moose Toys took home five Australian Toy Association awards this week, including the 2021 Judges Choice Award for the Bluey Pool Time Playset and the 2021 Plush Product of the Year for the Bluey & Friends Basic Plush. The awards keep coming for Bluey, the loveable, six-year-old Blue Heeler, who turns everyday family life into endless, playful adventures. 

Exploding Kittens Launches First Two-Player, Strategic Board Game, Tacocat Spelled Backwards. Hit tabletop game creator, Exploding Kittens, today announced its first two-player board game, Tacocat Spelled Backwards, a palindrome-themed duel of wits and tactics that incorporates a fun balance of strategy, luck, and instinct. In a unique, friendly competition, opponents aim to outsmart one another in battles...

Hasbro is making Transformers and My Little Pony adaptations for Netflix. Hasbro is known for making action figures for Marvel and Disney films, but after acquiring Peppa Pig producer Entertainment One (eOne), it plans to make movies and TV shows out of its own toys and games. The company has announced a slew of new projects based on The Transformers, My Little Pony and other toys for...

Hasbro details new pre-school product offeringThe lines are the first Hasbro toys inspired by the beloved family-friendly brands following Hasbro’s acquisition of eOne in December 2019. At its recent Investor Event, the company said it was capitalizing on untapped potential for Hasbro brands in the pre-school market, with ranges for both Peppa Pig and PJ Masks set to launch in the second half 2021. 

Jakks Pacific is back in the Battle Royale with Apex Legends Series 3 action figuresFollowing the successful debut of its first two waves last fall, Jakks Pacific is jumping back into the Battle Royale with its third wave of 6-inch action figures inspired by Apex Legends. The Apex Legends Season 3 assortment includes Bloodhound in his Young Blood Legendary Skin, Pathfinder in Crash Test Rare Skin, and the debut of Mirage. 

Exit: The Sacred Temple joins Thames & Kosmos’ Exit range. Thames & Kosmos is thrilled to announce the arrival of Exit: The Sacred Temple, a new dimension to the popular Exit: The Game experience. “Earlier in the year, when we announced the March release of two new Exit puzzles, The Sacred Temple and The Deserted Lighthouse, pre-orders flooded in”, said Jo Drage, sales director. “This new dimension to the Exit range...

Steve Jackson Games unleashes a new 'Munchkin Apocalypse' expansion. Steve Jackson Games will release Munchkin Apocalypse: Kaiju, a new expansion for Munchkin Apocalypse, in June 2021. This new expansion for Munchkin Apocalypse (see "'Munchkin Apocalypse'") adds kaiju monsters to the mix. Some of the new monster names include clever puns on classic Godzilla enemies such as "Hamera" and "Rocky...

Calliope Games will release 'Enchanted Plumes' into the hobby channelCalliope Games will release Enchanted Plumes, a set collecting card game, into the hobby channel in 2021. In Enchanted Plumes, players try to assemble the plumes of magical peacocks. The plumes must be constructed in rows from top to bottom using multiple colors of Feather cards, and the cards must be of the of the same color from row to row. 

Very Puzzled launches latest line-up to encourage diversity into jigsaw puzzles marketVery Puzzled is continuing its mission to bring more diversity to the children’s market place with the launch of its latest collection of titles depicting some of the lesser explored areas within the jigsaw puzzles sector. Founded in 2017 by Patrick Adom, Very Puzzled launched onto the scene as a means of encouraging children to explore...

Alien: Fate of the Nostromo from Ravensburger. Sci-fi horror fans have a new co-op tabletop game from Ravensburger to add to their friends-and-family game nights. Based on the iconic film classic from 1979, Alien: Fate of the Nostromo allows up to five players to play one of the ship’s crew members: Ripley, Lambert, Parker, Brett, or Dallas. 

Roblox's strategy to focus on catering to older users. Roblox's strategy is to focus on attracting older users to the platform, the company said during its investor day on Friday.Chief business officer Craig Donato highlighted strategic growth areas for Roblox, as the company is preparing to go public in March though a direct listing. 44 % of Roblox's daily active users now being over the age of 13, he added. 

Modiphius Entertainment announces 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the Boardgame'. Modiphius Entertainment announced The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the Boardgame for release later 2021 pending a successful crowdfunding campaign on Gamefound. Modiphius will produce a Skyrim board game a year or so after the release of The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms miniatures game. 

Funko, Inc. drops a new wave of 'Wandavision' figures. Funko, Inc. announced three new Pop! vinyl figures, from the WandaVision TV series, coming soon to retailers. WandaVision is one of the hottest shows on television (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy -- Adventures In Streaming"), featuring new character reveals on a regular basis. In a recent episode, one of the most powerful witches in the MCU made...

Toynamics taps Playtime PR amid UK marketing plans to hit ‘biggest year of growth to date’. In its latest positioning for its ‘biggest year of growth to date,’ Toynamics UK and Ireland has tapped the award-winning communications agency, Playtime PR to strengthen its domestic marketing efforts. The move follows the appointment of Emma Damerell as the company’s head of marketing only last month, with...

Pottick Law Ad new as of Nov 2020.jpg

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

Twin sisters worth millions thanks to female gamers. Twin sisters in Japan have become multi-millionaires after floating their female-focused mobile games company on the stock market. Anna and Mizuki Nakajima's combined stake in Coly, the firm they founded, was worth around 15.2bn yen (£101m, $141.5m) when it launched last week. 

PS5 and Xbox Series sold 800,000 consoles in the UK last year. More than three million games consoles were sold in the UK last year, including over 450,000 PS5 machines, 310,000 Xbox Series consoles and 1.5 million Nintendo Switch devices. The latest data from charts providers GfK and GSD and released by the Entertainment Retailers Association reveals more in-depth information on the performance...

EA cancels new property Gaia after six years in development at EA MotiveEA has reportedly canceled a new property codenamed 'Gaia' after six years in development. The project was being worked on by Star Wars: Squadrons developer EA Motive, and was briefly teased during a video showcase at EA Play 2020. 

The Sinking City developer asks users not to buy its game on SteamThe Sinking City developer Frogwares has said the version of its game currently on Steam was not made by Frogwares. In a tweet posted today and shared over to the game's newsfeed on Steam, Frogwares is asking users not to purchase the game. "Frogwares has not created the version of [The Sinking City] that is today on sale on [Steam]. 

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is an open-world RPG coming to the SwitchAt a special live-streamed event today, The Pokémon Company revealed something fans having been waiting a long time for: an open-world Pokémon adventure. The next major entry in the franchise will be called Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and it looks to be a huge evolution of the long-running RPG formula. 

Stadia version of Terraria is back in production after developer reconciles with Google. Earlier this month, Terraria co-creator Andrew Spinks announced that his studio Re-Logic would cancel a Google Stadia port. However, the developer announced today that the Stadia port is now back in development. ”As you may have noticed, we had a ton of issues to kick off the year stemming from the locking-down...

New high score | Roblox is outpacing broadcast TV for audience reach – Kids Insights latestVideo gaming is setting a new high score for audience reach in the battle for eyeballs among streaming platforms, YouTube, and traditional broadcast TV, suggests the latest data from Kids Insights Media Mix Compass, and now is the time for toy brands to start paying closer attention. 

The Sinking City pulled from Steam after its own dev issues DMCA takedown. The Sinking City has been removed from Steam (again) amid an ongoing dispute between developer Frogwares and publisher Nacon. As reported by Vice, the horror title was seemingly pulled after Frogwares filed a DMCA takedown notice, effectively torpedoing its own game. The Sinking City can no longer be found on Steam...

Bandai Namco to withdraw from arcade game business in North America. Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. said Monday it will withdraw from its arcade game business in North America due to numerous closures of amusement facilities in the wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus. The company's U.S. unit Namco USA Inc. plans to transfer its 35 directly owned stores and 760 revenue-shared locations...

Aliens: Fireteam is a co-op shooter about surviving a Xenomorph attack. The next Alien video game will be cooperative. Today, developer Cold Iron Studios revealed Aliens: Fireteam, a multiplayer third-person shooter about surviving an onslaught of Xenomorphs set a few decades after the original Alien films. Fireteam is a class-based shooter — where players take on roles like gunner, demolisher, or technician — and...

Final Fantasy’s creator is back with a classic RPG made of incredible handcrafted dioramas. Fantasian has everything you’d expect from a new Hironobu Sakaguchi experience. The creator of the Final Fantasy series is once again making a roleplaying game that takes place in a lush fantasy world, features turn-based combat, and centers on a globe-spanning quest. 

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

Hundreds of hazardous horse toys destroyedMore than 500 ride-on horse toys have been destroyed after being seized at the Port of Felixstowe and deemed unsafe. A shipment of unsafe toy horses was seized at Port of Felixstowe - Credit: Suffolk Trading Standards. The shipment of 520 children's toys was imported from China and bound for a warehouse in Leicester. Officials said the importer was based in China, but with a London address and no VAT number. It is likely that the toys would have been sold on online marketplaces.

Press Releases . . . 

IN LIKE A LION OR OUT LIKE A LAMB? SOUTH BEACH BUBBLES HAVE KITS FOR HOWEVER THE WIND BLOWS No Matter The Forecast, Look To WOWmazing™ Giant Bubble Wands To Get Kids Moving With Three New Adventures: Unicorn, Space & Winter Editions  – Have you ever heard of the saying, "March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb"? It most likely comes from the position of the constellations Leo (a lion) and Aries (a ram, or lamb) in the night sky. But it does mimic March's changing weather as the seasons change from winter to spring. No matter the date on the calendar, kids and their friends they just want to get outside and play. South Beach Bubbles have them covered with three themed WOWmazing Kits -- Unicorn, Space and Winter Editions.

HUGGABLE PLUSH “CEMENTS” A CHILD’S FIRST LOVE FOR HESS TOY TRUCKSMy Plush Hess Truck 2021 Cement Mixer Gives A Surprise Light & Sound Show When Kids Activate With A Squeeze (Batteries Included!) Hess announced today the release of this year’s My Plush Hess Truck ($29.99) designed for the youngest member of the family – even newborns. With its friendly eyes and smiling front grille, a child’s first love for Hess Toy Trucks will be “cemented” with this newest release. The green Cement Mixer joins the cherished Hess Toy Truck collection that spans almost 60 years. Launched last year, the plush toy truck line from Hess immediately captured the hearts of tots, parents and grandparents. 

A Different Kind of Easter Egg and Sugar Treat. In unusual times, Griddly Games has an unusual idea for this year’s Easter basket. Griddly Games has an egg kit and a sugar kit that just might make Easter an egg-stra sweet day for science and craft fans. Griddly Games today announced that its egg-ceptional science + art activity kits, Just Add Egg and Just Add Sugar, fit into any Easter basket without the calories. 

(the above posted after March 5th)

Hasbro Named as One of the 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies for 10th Consecutive Year. Recognition honors those companies who understand the importance of leading, making hard but values-based decisions, and their overall commitment to integrity. Hasbro has been recognized for ten consecutive years and is one of only four honorees in the Consumer Products industry. In 2021, 135 honorees were recognized spanning 22 countries and 47 industries.

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals

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

BTHA welcomes Graham Canning as new chairman Andrew Laughton completes his term in office this month, and a new chairman and vice-chairman will step up. The association will welcome Graham Canning of VTech as the new chairman and Simon Pilkington of John Adams as the new vice-chairman, as planned. Graham has recently been serving as chairman of the Toy Trust Committee, the toy industry charity....

Potential date change on the cards for Distoy? Originally planned for June, the Distoy event’s website has been updated and now features a new date at the end of October this year. Toy World was contacted yesterday by several people from the toy community, pointing out that the home page of the Distoy website had been changed to show a new date for the event. None of the other website pages have yet been changed...

The Children’s Media Conference (CMC), now in its 18th year, will be virtual again for 2021, running from July 5-9 2021. With the theme ‘Together’, the conference will tackle the urgent issues facing the children’s media industry and the young audience. Following the success of the last year’s virtual conference, CMC 2021 has a packed agenda of webinars, keynotes and panels, playing host to a wide range of broadcasters...

(the above posted after March 5th)

For the second year in a row, there will not be a Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC). The SDCC team announced via an online statement that, due to a continuing concern for public health and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fan convention will not take place in person this July. “While we are buoyed by the rollout of the vaccine and the growing number of individuals being inoculated, it appears...

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.

Frank Thorne - He was 90 at the time of his death on March 7. Thorne started working in comics in 1948(!), but was best known for his work on Red Sonja, a character he started drawing in 1976, at a time when the character was being developed in the Robert E. Howard Conan universe by Barry Windsor-Smith and writer Roy Thomas.  Thorne provided most of the art for the Red Sonja solo series, which ran from 1977-1979. Thorne also created some of his own characters, including Ghita of Alizarr in an original graphic novel, Lann in Heavy Metal, Danger Rangerette in National Lampoon, and others. Thorne worked for Standard Comics and DC in addition to Marvel; did newspaper strips, including Perry Mason; wrote a number of books for Fantagraphics; and did magazine illustration work for Playboy, Hustler, High Times, and Vanity Fair.

Art Janis - It is with profound sadness the WowWee family announces passing of their Executive Vice President of Sales and dear friend Art Janis. An amazing friend to the Toy Industry, his warmth and good nature was felt by anyone and everyone he touched. The WowWee Family would like to share the following.

Dear Artie,

It has been an honor to have you in our lives. You were there from the very beginning, always positive, always smiling, always honest, always giving it your all….one of the “goodest” souls we have ever encountered.  Your loyalty to anyone you called friend was unwavering, you have always been our shining example of what it means to be decent, caring and most of all real.   We have so many loving memories of how you helped build and touch all our lives, including the succession of WowWee itself with the large fingerprint you have left both generationally on our family and everyone within our organization. We suspect the reason why your heart gave out is because you have given it to so many of us - it is the reason why you will never ever be out of our thoughts and out of our lives.  We know how phobic you were to being nothing less than the vibrant, never better attitude you always brought with you everywhere you went, and we take some comfort knowing that you would never want to exist without being able to operate at full capacity…. which is motoring through an airport while picking up dessert and a Coke, phone in hand watching the Yankees. Please know that you will be severely missed and never forgotten. 

Rest in peace our dear friend, uncle to the kids, loved by everyone at Wow Wee especially your HK brothers and sisters (Mark Ng, Fion, Gloria, Anita, Steven to name a few) and most of all your beautiful wife, Marina.

With much love always,

Your WowWee family

David Gold - Dave was with Ideal, Mattel, Spellbound Dolls and Just Play Toys. 

Darrell BurgeToy World is sad to report the passing of Hornby's Darrell Burge, well known for working extensively on the Airfix brand, who died suddenly on February 10th.  CEO of Hornby, Lyndon Davies, described the news as ‘very sad and very sudden’. He commented: “Darrell had Airfix running through his veins, working at Humbrol in Hull before he joined Hornby in Margate in 2006. Working with both the Airfix and the Humbrol brands, he was highly respected throughout the industry. He was full of fun and energy, many would have met with him at shows and events across the country. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Jane, his children Emily, Martin and Gavin and his granddaughter, Oriana.”

Darrell enjoyed a long and successful career at Hornby. As product manager at Airfix, he oversaw the revitalisation of Airfix products and the brand over the last decade and was a popular member of the Hornby team. His former colleagues have been quick to share their fond memories of working alongside Darrell over the years.

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Weekly Top Stories from Toy Trade Magazines Worldwide . . . 

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

  1. Moose Toys Wins Five Australian Toy Association Awards

  2. YuMe and ViacomCBS Ink Baby Shark Deal

  3. My Singing Monsters Fandemonium Show Announced

  4. Disney+ Acquires All Five Seasons of Miraculous

  5. Far Out Toys Reveals Glo-Up Girls

  6. Betty Crocker Partners with Barbie Dream Gap Project

  7. ViacomCBS Consumer Products Hires Jennifer Pang

  8. Squishville Launch Expands Squishmallows Brand

  9. Moose Toys Named Walmart Toy Supplier of the Year

  10. Glo Pals Adds Sesame Street Characters to Product Line

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. One potato, two potato…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. The March 21 edition of Toy World is out now

  3. Exclusive: Toys in lockdown – latest NPD data

  4. Sainsbury’s restructure puts 1150 jobs at risk

  5. Toikido partners with PMI for Among Us distribution

  6. Exclusive: Indie retailers are ready when you are!

  7. Exclusive: Rise up! The latest from Playmobil

  8. Exclusive: Rick Derr’s letter from America

  9. Moose Toys named Walmart Toy Supplier of the Year

  10. Barbie reveals Clara Amfo doll ahead of International Womens Day

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

  1.  WotC Makes More Money than Hasbro's Toy Business
  2.  Wizards of the Coast Unveils SpellTable Beta
  3.  Wizards of the Coast's 'Universes Beyond' Announcement Reveals Their Licensing Plans for 'Magic: The Gathering'
  4.  Rolling for Initiative -- Thoughts on Hasbro's Investor Day Announcements
  5.  Hasbro Drops Multiple Movie and TV Series Announcements on Investor Day
  6.  'Force of Will' Begins its 'Assault into the Demonic World'
  7.  Plaid Hat Revamps 'Summoner Wars'
  8.  Capstone Games Cuts Three Distributors
  9.  WizKids Unveils 'Greece Lightning'
10.  Funko, Inc. Drops a New Wave of 'WandaVision' Figures

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

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

Total Licensing

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Stardew Valley Board Game, Andor The Family Fantasy Game. A board game adaptation of Stardew Valley has been released, Thames & Kosmos has announced Andor: The Family Fantasy Game, and a new game in the Boss Monster series has been released.

Videos of the Week! 

Spring POP Week is a Huge Success!

Over 1,000 profiles in our POP Database and growing, over 1,500 Pitches, 10 Interactive Q&A Sessions and 15 Panels. Today at 12 and 4pmCT,  these two panels will be part of our Q&A Zoom Session - you are welcome to attend! Feel free to watch and hear these panels right now by clicking on them!

 

WHAT’S WORKING NOW!

State of the Industry Q1 2021 International Panel

BREAKING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC WALL: Success Stories

Reyne Rice (ToyTrends). John Baulch (Toy World). Jacqueline Vong (Playology), Rebecca Ash (Total Licensing), Armando Carreteros (Nación Juguetes) 

Information on this panel HERE. 

Survivor Island Podcast Series:

Perspectives from Wall Street Q1 2021: Toy Trends
40+ Years of Combined Experience Analyzing the Toy Industry

Steph Wissink, Managing Director, Consumer Research, Jefferies and

Gerrick Johnson, Director, BMO Capital Markets 

 

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