January 28 - February 4, 2022
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
Happy Bloomin’ Friday!
Thank you for all the wonderful messages about the new look for the Bloom Report. They weren't big changes . . . they were just enough.
In a 'normal' year I'd be eating Nuremberg sausages right now. Remember Hasbro's Mike Gray? He used to say they put little Nuremberg sausages on the pillows instead of chocolates. I miss the sausages . . . and the people even more!
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.
Columnist - Nancy Zwiers
Can We Talk About Pleasure?
What gives us pleasure?
One of the defining aspects of play is that it is never done for some extrinsic reward; rather we play for intrinsic reward—namely, emotional pleasure. Play is its own reward, not done in service of another goal. But did you know that there are actually two types of pleasure? And the toy industry excels at both types of pleasure when it succeeds in its mission to deliver play value.
Usually when we think of pleasure, we think of the most commonly understood type: “consummatory pleasure.” This type of pleasure occurs when we feel good after consuming something, like chocolate cake or a glass of fine red wine. But consummation can refer to any type of outcome, even one that we don’t eat or drink…and that is where play comes in. When we play, we experience consummatory pleasure. Play value is all about engendering consummatory pleasure.
Company of the Week
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Financial and Legal
Moonbug Entertainment Ltd., has announced the acquisition of Little Angel, one of the fastest-growing kids channels on YouTube. The Little Angel Network, which houses Little Angel and Little World, boasts more than 88 million subscribers on YouTube globally. Since 2019, the brand has seen its global viewership double. Moonbug plans to grow Little Angel exponentially by investing in content, expanding distribution...
Cyber Group Studios has bought a majority stake in Italian animation studio Graphilm Entertainment, just two weeks after acquiring UK-based prodco A Productions. Cyber Group and Graphilm are already co-producing two animated kids series together—action-comedy Alex Player, which has been commissioned by France Télévisions and Italian pubcaster RAI, and a new 2D-animated show called In the Middle.
SPIN MASTER SELLS OUTDOOR MANUFACTURING OPERATION, SELECT BRANDS TO COMFORT RESEARCH. The company also acquired select product lines from Spin Master’s outdoor portfolio including the Swim Noodle and Aquaria brands that were previously sold under Spin Master’s SwimWays label.
London-based Moonbug Entertainment is expanding its AVOD portfolio with the acquisition of Little Angel, a rapidly growing kids nursery rhyme YouTube network. This is Moonbug’s first acquisition since it was purchased by indie startup Candle Media last November, and it plans to invest in new Little Angel content and broaden the brand’s global distribution footprint.
Aussie Government Floats SVOD Content Requirements. Australia’s free-to-air TV business took a hit when many advertisers curtailed their spend during the pandemic, and this led to the government scrapping its quotas for children’s content, in turn making it harder for producers to make homegrown kids shows.
***the above posted after February 4th***
MARVEL ZOMBIES' TOPS $9 MILLION ON KICKSTARTER. The game (and expansions) raised $9,032, 583 from 28,974 backers, or $311.75 per backer; the Gigantic Galactus game piece helped draw backers to the higher pledge levels. Marvel Zombies raised the most ever for a CMON game, easily beating Zombicide: Green Horde, which raised just over $5 million
London-based Sandbox & Co acquired Brazilian edtech company PlayKids to expand its video-on-demand services, book offerings and reach in the LatAm market. PlayKids owns VOD platforms and apps aimed at preschoolers, including PlayKids – Cartoons and games and PlayKids Stories: Learn ABC, as well as a book subscription service called Leiturinha. Together, these offerings reach more than...
The omicron Covid variant has caused an explosion of Covid cases among longshoremen, slowing unloading and contributing to record congestion at California ports, according to the Pacific Maritime Association via The New York Times. More West Coast longshoremen contracted Covid in January than in all of last year, 1850 in January vs. 1624 in all of 2021, the Association told the Times.
Corus Entertainment has purchased a majority stake in Aircraft Pictures, the Toronto-based production company behind titles such as Family Channel series Holly Hobbie and the Oscar-nominated animated feature The Breadwinner. This investment will allow Aircraft to expand its capacity to develop, finance and produce premium content for the global marketplace, including a focus on international co-productions.
The New York Times Buys Wordle. The word game, released in October, has millions of daily users. Wordle was acquired from its creator, Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, for a price “in the low seven figures,” The Times said. The company said the game would initially remain free to new and existing players.
Sony Is Buying Bungie for $3.6 Billion in Latest Blockbuster Gaming Deal. The news comes just weeks after Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard. Bungie is best known for developing Halo—the mega-popular franchise that put Sony’s rival, Xbox, on the map—as well as the first-person shooter franchise Destiny.
Red-hot gaming market to breach $150 billion in deals, fundraising - report. After kicking off 2022 with 2 mega acquisitions, the video gaming sector is racing to a new record of $150 billion in deals, financing and IPOs this year, according to investment banking firm Drake Star Partners. In just the first few weeks of 2022, Microsoft Corp pitched nearly $70 billion for Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive bid $11 billion for Zynga.
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Wizards of the Coast booked $952 million in tabletop game sales in 2021, powering the co. to over $1 billion in total sales (incl. digital)
***the above was posted after February 4th***
Future Financial Reporting
Five analysts have made estimates for Mattel's earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $1.68 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.63 billion. Mattel posted sales of $1.63 billion during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 1.8%. The company is expected to report its next earnings report on Tuesday, February 8th.
Trends and Market Research
***the above posted after February 4th***
TOYS, TABLETOP GAMES HAVE BIG YEAR IN NPD-TRACKED RETAILERS IN 2021 - Games and Puzzles Supercategory Up 23% Since 2019
Stories, Comments, and Advice
Is the Metaverse Actually Safe for Brands and Consumers? A handful of engineers are shaping the virtual space, but are they keeping society’s best interests in mind? It has the potential to change life as we know it over the next few years, but there are some serious considerations marketers need to keep top of mind, alongside their excitement, for what lies ahead.
10 BLACK INNOVATORS WHO CHANGED THE GAMING INDUSTRY. The gaming industry is booming with consumers spending $44 billion in gaming software and services. Within the US, over 428,000 jobs are in the industry; however, only 2% of those job holders are Black. Those dismal numbers are disheartening when you consider the contributions that Black people have made within the gaming industry’s history as well as...
Latest study results show doll play encourages emotional understanding. Mattel’s Barbie brand and a team of neuroscientists at Cardiff University have released the latest findings from a multi-year study exploring the short and long-term developmental impacts of doll play. In the study’s second year, researchers investigated the importance of what kids say while they play. The latest research found children talked...
The Sinister Side of Board Games. I am a relatively rare kind of scholar. I study board games. There are many, many more academics who look at digital games. Those who focus on tabletop games are much fewer in number. I don’t regret my academic focus. Board games are an art form, an ancient, entrenched part of global cultures, a powerful way to learn, and a deep and immersive way to connect with others.
***the above posted after February 4th***
John Baulch, ToyWorld - 2022 – bring it on…it’s the Friday Blog! A week has passed since the London Toy Fair drew to a close. I got up at the crack of dawn last Friday to pen a Blog that I hoped would be a personal, honest and accurate reflection of the show, before settling down to enjoy the rest of my birthday with my family.
ToyWorld Exclusive: ‘not just playing when it comes to the planet’ says the TIE. An opinion piece by Catherine Van Reeth, director general of TIE, on how the organisation has engaged with policy makers on behalf of the industry on environmental sustainability issues. Even though the success of the world’s governments to come to meaningful decisions at the COP26 may be doubtful, their ambition for industry remains very...
An 8-Year-Old Wrote a Book and Hid It on a Library Shelf. It’s a Hit. Dillon Helbig, a second-grader from Idaho, wrote an 81-page book about his “Crismis” adventures. Now other children want to write stories. But he did not have a book deal. (He’s only in second grade, after all.) So when his grandmother took him to the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community Library in Boise at the end of December, he slipped the sole copy...
OPINION I The Insights Family on the future of cinema When kids and teenagers can access VOD via phones and tablets whenever they want and wherever they are, what can cinemas do to compete? Exploiting popular IPs, offering better value, harnessing the latest technology and enhancing – even personalising – the cinematic experience are all viable options, attest market intelligence experts The Insights Family. In
Letter from America – sustainable toys; a conundrum. In this month’s column, Rick Derr confesses that he finds selling green or sustainable toys a real conundrum. Rick begins by rounding up some highlights from Learning Express’s business in 2021 and giving us a quick forecast for Q1 2022.He then turns his attention to the worldwide green or sustainable toys market, which is growing at considerable CAGR.
Opinion - OF MAUS AND MEN: COMICS, CENSORSHIP AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. Last week in the wake of a Tennessee school board’s ill-conceived effort to remove Art Spiegelman’s award-winning Maus from its eighth-grade language arts curriculum over some objections to naughty language and drawings of naked mouse-people, I interviewed CBLDF Executive Director Jeff Trexler over on Forbes.
Big Tech Needs to Stop Trying to Make Their Metaverse Happen. From Microsoft to Meta, the race is on to sell an amorphous concept that no one really wants them to build. THE RACE IS on to cash in on the metaverse hype. Last week, Microsoft described its $68.7 billion takeover of gaming studio Activision Blizzard—a move that would have usually been interpreted as the Xbox maker simply expanding in the gaming sector...
New Amazon Prime Series Has 100% Perfect Rotten Tomatoes Score. The first 3 episodes of a new series on Amazon Prime Video has been released on the platform and it's already a big hit critically. The Legend of Vox Machina, an animated series adaptation of the first campaign of Critical Role, a web series starring a group of voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons, is currently sitting at a perfect 100% rating...
Minnie Mouse Exchanges Dress For Pantsuit And Sparks Uproar In The Twitterverse. As the world teeters on the brink of war in Ukraine, reels as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt, and continues to suffer from climate change, inflation, and supply chain shortages, the biggest news of the week came down to one thing: Minnie Mouse is changing her look.
2022 Could Be The Year Of Crypto & Consolidation. From mega-streamers that feature all types of services, to kidcos steering into the in-car entertainment market, SuperAwesome's Dylan Collins shares nine predictions about where the kids media biz could go this year. 1 - A crypto-reboot of a classic kids virtual world The astonishing growth of NFTs and crypto-gaming, which combine character-crafting and trading, seems...
Here's the story behind Sun-Man, the groundbreaking Black action figure that's joining the 'Masters of the Universe' franchise. He-Man may have the power of Grayskull, but only Sun-Man can harness the power of the sun. The groundbreaking Black action figure — which first hit toy store shelves in 1985 from Olmec Toys — is officially joining forces with Mattel's vintage toy line in time for the 40th anniversary of Masters of the Universe.
What next for Wordle and its fans? Wordle has become an internet phenomenon - without playing by many of the usual digital rules. Unashamedly simple, web-based rather than an app, and with a creator who did not want it to become addictive - even though many craved more than one puzzle a day - or weighed down by ads or data harvesting, it nevertheless amassed millions of users in just a few months...
History and Nostalgia
Ideal: Teddy’s Bears. The Ideal Novelty and Toy Company was born in 1907 in Brooklyn, NY. The company grew out of the demand for Teddy’s Bears that Rose and Morris Mitchtom had made in their home in late 1902/early 1903. Teddy’s Bears, or teddy bears as they soon began to be called, became more and more popular, especially after President Roosevelt used a teddy bear as his mascot during his 1904 presidential...
Bango! Bango! from Schaper. Released in 1963 by Schaper, Bango! Bango! is a manual dexterity game with a uniquely shaped game board. The molded plastic playing surface is H-shaped featuring a series of interior and exterior ramps. Twelve marbles (six white, six red) are loaded into the outside ramps, and each player chooses a side.
King Zor from Ideal. Designed by Marvin Glass & Associates and released in 1962 by Ideal Toy Company, King Zor was marketed as “the fighting dinosaur”. The playset came complete with a plastic King Zor dinosaur measuring 31 inches long and 12 inches tall, a dinosaur gun, five suction-tipped darts, and five yellow plastic missiles.
Old 17th century street toys discovered in staircase on display at Daventry Museum's childhood memories exhibition. The Harborough Hoard of 17th century toys was discovered in 1988 following structural alterations to Market Harborough Parish Church. The stairwell was unblocked after about 230 years and a large quantity of pottery fragments and wooden artefacts were found.
WarnerMedia Kids & Family is gearing up for the NBA All-Star weekend with a new comedy-driven sports special called Cartoon Network Special Edition: NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest Presented by Nike. The stars of Warner Bros. Animation’s popular CN superhero series Teen Titans GO! are on deck to host the half-hour special direct from TNT’s Inside the NBA studios. I
Hasbro Unveils New Wave of Marvel Legends X-Men Action Figures. This action figure line expands with seven new X-Men figures in total, each featuring outfits and sculpts inspired by their appearances in Marvel comic books. The new wave of super-articulated figures includes characters such as Wolverine, Siryn, Havok, Vulcan, Maggott, Darwin, and Sabretooth
Plush Haribo Bears Will Take Your Gummy Obsession to the Next Level. Jakks Pacific unveiled its new collection of squishy figures and plush inspired by the Haribo candy brand. The Haribo collection includes characters like Goldbear, Happy Cola, Red Goldbear, and more in a variety of sizes and price points.
JAKKS Pacific announced a new wave of Apex Legends collectible figures as well as Disguise’s new additions to their growing costume and roleplay line for 2022. This Spring, bring home the ten-inch Nessie plush and collectible six-inch scale action figures, and gear up for fall with new costumes from Disguise including adult Octane and Wraith and a child size Revenant.
Global sports company PUMA and MGA’s L.O.L. Surprise! have once again partnered for an exclusive collection, featuring L.O.L. Surprise-inspired artwork along with graphics showcasing several of their famed doll characters. Streetwear pieces including iconic PUMA footwear styles: Suedes and Cali Star – available in toddler, kids and junior sizing – get a playful makeover with sparkly, iridescent details and bold colors.
To celebrate the Chinese Year of the Tiger, ETRO launches an exclusive limited edition capsule collection dedicated to the heroic Tigress, a protagonist in the animated film DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda. Created in collaboration with Universal Brand Development and DreamWorks Animation, the collection of unisex fashion and accessories reinterprets the symbolism of the tiger in a playful and cheerful way...
Netflix Greenlights Pair Of DreamWorks Series. Set to premiere in 2023, book adaptation Not Quite Narwhal stars a narwhal/unicorn protagonist, while Dew Drop Diaries centers around a group of human-helping fairies. Not Quite Narwhal is based on a same-name book by Jessie Sima that Kidscreen recently wrote about as a hot TV adaptation prospect.
PLAYMONSTER ADDS ‘BLUEY’ LICENSE TO ITS ROSTER FOR NEW GAMES IN 2022. The toy company announced its new strategic licensing agreement with BBC Studios for 2022, bringing Australia’s favorite Blue Heeler pup, Bluey, to PlayMonster’s brands. Families in the U.S. can look forward to spreading their love for Bluey with Hasbro’s Spirograph and 9 Story Brands’ Colorforms.
Lego Group and McLaren Racing have come together to launch the Lego Technic version of the McLaren masterpiece. The Lego Technic McLaren Formula 1 Race Car plays homage to the team’s iconic 2021 season livery, while giving fans a glimpse of what they might expect from McLaren Racing’s new F1 season model. The car is fully modelled on the life-size version featuring a V6 cylinder engine with moving pistons...
WOWWEE, HASBRO MAKE A SPLASH WITH OUTDOOR TOYS INSPIRED BY CLASSIC GAMES. Following the success of the decidedly low-tech Pop2Play brand of heavy-duty, fold-flat cardboard slides and playhouses, WowWee is entering another new category, and they’re doing it with the support of an old ally: Hasbro.
ZAG Names Megalicense as Licensing Agent for Russia and CIS Region. Award-winning independent animation studio ZAG has signed Megalicense, the leading licensing agency across Russia and CIS, to represent its ZAG Heroez brand portfolio, headlined by the pop culture hit Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir. The announcement was made today by Julian Zag, EVP, Global Ops and Head of Consumer Products.
TVOKids Greenlights New Series With Disability Focus. Riley Rocket from BGM and Oasis Animation features a young superhero who saves the day with her rocket-powered wheelchair. Currently in production, the 30 x 11-minute series targets five- to seven-year-olds and follows Riley and her friends as they play in their band, morph into superheroes and save their town from threats with the help of Riley’s rocket-powered...
***the above posted after February 4th***
WildBrain and Jay Ward Productions have signed an agreement across distribution, production and licensing for the entire portfolio of classic Ward-owned IP that includes such legendary properties as George of the Jungle, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Dudley Do-Right, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Super Chicken and more. Under the agreement, WildBrain will add 788 episodes of Jay Ward Productions’ classic animation to...
UTA Tapped to Lead Licensing, Publishing for ‘Super Sema’. Following last year’s news that Just Play will take the lead as global master toy licensee for the series about an African kid superhero, UTA has come on board as the North American licensing and publishing agent. UTA is looking to build partnerships for Super Sema across publishing, apparel, home, and accessories in the months ahead.
PLAYMOBIL STRIKES DEAL WITH ANIME ‘NARUTO’. The German company inked a licensing deal to create 24 figures inspired by Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto Shippuden. An initial wave of 12 figures will be released on Sept. 30 followed by a second wave on Nov. 18. Playmobil plans to anchor its line with Naruto Uzumaki, the titular hero of the series.
Kidrobot has debuted its first Disney Vinyl Art Figures in collaboration with the entertainment icon. These new takes on classic Disney characters expand the scope of its existing Disney collection to the art vinyl medium, and are the first in a continuing creative line. The three Kidrobot Disney figures are currently available for pre-order on Kidrobot.com for an estimated Q4 2022 estimated delivery.
Apple TV+ is letting the dogs out next month in a new 3D-animated preschool series called Pretzel and the Puppies, which is based on a book series written and illustrated by the creators of Curious George. HarperCollins Productions (the publisher’s production arm) is behind the eight x 24-minute adaptation, with Toronto’s House of Cool handling the animation work.
E.T. comes home to celebrate 40th anniversary. Universal Brand Development (UBD) has unveiled plans to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 2022. UBD has lined up an extensive roster of global licensees that leverage the toyetic and kidult appeal of the property.
Flair GP and Aardman have signed a two-year deal to introduce new licensed lines to the Plasticine collection. The partnership will introduce two of Aardman’s animated characters to Flair’s popular heritage collection – Shaun the Sheep and Morph. The new lines will be available from July 2022. The first addition to the range will be the Plasticine Shaun the Sheep Farmyard Fun set, which allows kids to create...
Live-action Halo TV show release date revealed in new trailers. Paramount Plus debuted two new trailers for the long-awaited live-action Halo series, revealing its fast-approaching March 24th, 2022 release date. The first video is a one-minute teaser that previews the longer trailer originally set to debut during tonight’s AFC championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals ...
It Takes Two is being adapted for film and television. Hazelight Studios, the indie developer behind the action-adventure game It Takes Two, is working with dj2 Entertainment to adapt the title for film and television, according to a report from Variety. Pat Casey and Josh Miller, the screenwriters behind the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, are set to adapt the game, although no studio or network has been attached...
Marvel teams up with etermax to launch Marvel Trivia Crack Challenge. The international tech company behind Trivia Crack and Word Crack, etermax, is teaming up with Marvel Entertainment to present a free-to-use trivia experience on Instagram. Developed by etermax, the Marvel Trivia Crack Challenge invites fans in the U.S. to test their knowledge about several subjects in the Marvel Universe.
Super7 unleashes Bruce Lee figures. Super7 has partnered with the Bruce Lee Family Company to bring Lee into its world of ULTIMATES! and ReAction figures. The collaboration kicks off with Bruce Lee ULTIMATES! figures, honoring two of his looks. “The Challenger" showcases his yellow jumpsuit, while “The Warrior” variant features Bruce in his kung fu outfit.
Brand new toy launch from Boss Fight Studio – Power Stars! Power Stars are the action figures you always wanted as a kid, ready to make all your heroic dreams come true! These brand new 5” retro-feel action figures feature seven points of articulation and all the nostalgia. Featuring your favorite super heroes from King Features classic comics, collect them all to bring your favorite comics to life!
The Mandalorian Dark Trooper Attack LEGO set revealed. LEGO has now revealed a cool new set based on The Mandalorian TV show. This new set is called "Dark Trooper Attack". The set is based on Season 2 where Luke Skywalker, with green lightsaber, saves the heroes from the Dark Troopers. In this set, you get three Dark Troopers and one Luke Skywalker minifigure.
LEGO has revealed its Spring 2022 collection of Speed Champions sets, covering Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus and Aston Martin. Brace yourselves for temptation - LEGO has revealed its Spring 2022 Speed Champions collection, and there’s a lot of want going on. Having shifted the series to an eight-stud wide format from six studs a few years ago, these small but sweet sets became a lot less goofy looking ....
Batman Animated DC Direct figures return with McFarlane Toys. It was a sad day when DC Direct fell apart, and all of the upcoming collectibles lines were lost to the wind. However, last year McFarlane Toys announced the revival of DC Direct under their line and will continue bringing popular lines to fans.
People of Play
“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton welcomes Aaron Muderick, founder of Crazy Aaron’s, the co. behind Thinking Putty and Land of Dough. Crazy Aaron’s revolutionized the putty business and currently ships more than 30 unique colors to retailers and consumers around the world from its PA manufacturing facility. Aside from carrying the flag for U.S. manufacturing, Crazy Aaron’s employs individuals with disabilities.
In time for Black History Month, the Strong Museum of Play featured an interview with Jacob R. Miles III and several other people instrumental in leading and fostering diversity in the toy, play, and entertainment industries. Jacob was one of the first African American engineers to be employed by a major company in the toy industry. Since those early days, he has worked on some of the most recognized...
The House of Mouse has promoted Sarah Finn to SVP of production for Disney Television Animation. This new role has her leading all physical production for the Disney Television Animation studio’s content for Disney+, Disney Junior and Disney Channel. Finn reports to Meredith Roberts, SVP and GM of television animation for Disney Branded Television.
***the above posted after February 4th***
Hasbro has hired Microsoft executive Cynthia Williams as President of Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming, taking over when current WotC CEO Chris Cocks ascends to become CEO of Hasbro on Feb. 25, the company announced. Cocks came to his Wizards of the Coast CEO role from Microsoft in 2016. Williams has been at Microsoft for about 3.5 yrs as GM & VP, most recently of the Gaming Ecosystem Commercial Team.
Osmo from BYJU’S, announces Kar-Han Tan’s appointment as Head of Computer Vision and Machine Learning, effective immediately. With three decades leading teams in robotics and AI research and development, Tan will further the development of a world-class computer vision and AI platform that aids in the creation of new products, games, and devices incorporating gains made in deep learning technology.
ZAG has appointed former MGA Entertainment and Warner Bros. executive Carlotta Caracciolo as its first VP, Middle East and Africa, to oversee the company’s consumer products strategy in the region. The appointment was announced by Julian Zag, SVP Global Operations and Head of Consumer Products, to whom Caracciolo reports. Carlotta Caracciolo, in her new role at ZAG, will be based in Dubai and will focus...
History, Fashion, and G.I. Joes: An Interview with Hasbro's Emily Bader – Adventures in Collecting (podcast). This week, Dave and Erik jump back into the world of Hasbro with associate brand manager, Emily Bader. Find out about what's in store this year for Joes and which action figure is best suited to head into 2022 fashion week! No, we're not kidding.
Emily Catchpole joins Asmodee as new business development executive. Asmodee has announced that Emily Catchpole has joined the Asmodee National Sales team as new business development executive, working across national accounts and exploring new avenues to drive the company’s games into the hands of even more consumers.
Raft of new appointments at Simba Smoby Toys UK. The team has expanded to reflect the growth in business and meet demand for the company’s ranges, including the award-winning B-Kind Dolls. Simba Smoby Toys UK has strengthened its sales and marketing teams with a raft of new appointments. Sabine Dix has been promoted from senior national account manager to the role of head of sales, while Claire Hodgson has been recruited as national account manager and Rebecca Galligan as marketing consultant.
EA names Microsoft finance leader Chris Suh as its new CFO. Microsoft's cloud and AI group finance leader Chris Suh will replace Blake Jorgensen as EA's chief financial officer on March 1, 2022. Jorgensen joined EA in 2012 but last year announced plans to step down as CFO and COO after helping the publisher through a transitional process.
Companies and Brands
Introducing Israel-based Diamant Toys/Amav Enterprises, run by the third generation of the Diamant family and currently distributing to over 40 countries. While Omri Diamant, CEO of Diamant Toys, concedes it has been a challenging time for the collectibles sector during the pandemic, the company is on track for a great performance this year, with a portfolio of products which is proving to be hugely popular.
ADVENTERRA GAMES COMBINES ENVIRONMENTALISM AND PLAY. Founded in 2009, Adventerra Games has made a name for itself with its eco-friendly games for kids. The brand focuses on hot-button topics like climate change, food waste, renewable energy, and more. The Toy Book caught up with France Mer, director of marketing for Adventerra Games NA, to chat about the company’s mission statements...
Spin Master and CMON Launch Third Marvel Kickstarter Game With $9 Million Pledged. In One of The Most-Funded Kickstarter Campaigns for Tabletop Games of All Time. Most backed Zombicide Kickstarter of all time. #1 CMON Kickstarter of ALL TIME. #4 Tabletop Games Kickstarter of all time (of over 31,000 projects). #12 Kickstarter Project across all categories (of over 500,000 projects)
HOG WILD EMBRACES THE ABSURD TO FOCUS ON FUN. From its classic Poppers and Stickys to its expanding presence in the games category with a party game that asks “How many unicorn horns long is this table?” the company is always striving to make play fun and silly for kids and families. The Toy Book chatted with Hog Wild’s new vice president of sales and marketing, Steve Markey, about the company’s products...
Dantoy launches Blue Marine Toys, made from recycled maritime waste. In 2018, Dantoy launched its Bio-line, made from sugarcanes. This was followed in 2020 by the Green Bean line, comprising of products made from internal waste, and the company’s Take Back strategy in 2021, where damaged Dantoy products were collected to make new toys out of. Dantoy’s latest new toy line, Blue Marine Toys, is made from recycled...
Konami enters 2022 off the back of an exceptionally strong 12-month performance for its Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. The year saw record numbers of players participate in online duel events and a slew of impressive new product releases, meaning excitement for the year ahead, and the opportunities it presents, has never been higher. Toy World spoke to Dom Galizia, senior marketing manager at Konami, and Adrian Fox...
Schleich Kicks Off Springtime Musical Storytelling Contest with The Hippity Hops. Schleich is asking fans to channel their storytelling superpowers in a musical direction this spring. The leading manufacturer of animal characters and playsets that let kids’ imaginations run wild is seeking songs and stories that celebrate the magic of spring and Easter. Starting with a consumer call-for-entries which kicks off today...
Good Banana, designers of fun & whimsical products for kids’ play spaces, has debuted 16 new products for the fun-filled home in 2022. Its quest to enhance household hotspots comes hot on the heels of its popular Floor Floaties and other recent releases: Bed Tents, Kid’s Yoga Mats, Plush Lap Desks, Weighted Blankets and more. Just in time for Spring, Good Banana announces the following additions for 2022:
Douglas Introduces New PJ Pups for 2022. When it comes to the littles, cute PJ’s are a hot ticket item in the fashion world. Of course, every holiday has their line-up of matching jammies for the entire family, but cute jammies are not just for the holidays anymore. All year long, cute PJ’s continue to be a must-have.
Add Some Vroom, Vroom to the Neighborhood Bike Ride with Spokester. One of the most joyous milestones of being a parent is when your child learns to ride a bike! But for the child, the excitement is all about the accessories. And now, the noise! The Spokester bicycle noisemaker snaps on to the front fork of the bicycle and makes an undeniable motorcycle sound.
Sesame Workshop and MetLife Foundation announced a new phase of their seven-year partnership. “Dream, Save, Do: Financial Empowerment for Underserved Populations in Brazil and Mexico” expands on previous work and aims to build the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that will help families build financial health. The initiative will launch this month with a focus on historically disadvantaged groups...
The Kenya Doll Brand Celebrates 30 Years Growing Up Proud During Black History Month. Tyco Toy Company debuted during the New York International Toy Fair, with their first ethnic doll line, “Kenya.” She fast became the talk of Toy Fair, with press publications in Newsday (“She’s Black Like Me”), Ebony, Essence, NY Times, Jet and other publications. Would she succeed? How would doll buyers react?
Disney Branded TV’s New Slate Leans Into Fantasy & Adaptations. Projects from Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine, the Russo brothers and a new Goosebumps series are in the works for Disney+ and Disney Channels. Disney Branded Television is focusing on fantasy and partnering with some big-name talent as it gets to work on a new slate of original kids and family content for Disney+ and Disney Channels.
Rocket Mortgage's Super Bowl 56 Teaser Introduces Anna Kendrick to a Beloved Part of Her Childhood—Barbie. The 60-second ad will run in the second quarter on Sunday. Rocket Mortgage will return to the Super Bowl with its fifth ad since 2018, this time around featuring Anna Kendrick and Mattel’s Barbie as the Barbie Dreamhouse turns 60 this year.
Toikido - When Darran Garnham founded Toikido 15 months ago, he promised that own-IPs would follow soon after. True to his word, the first proudly adorns the front cover of this month’s Toy World – and it’s truly smashing. The Piñata Smashlings concept is simple enough; colourful piñatas battle it out to collect Smashlings – little collectible characters that magically live inside them – in a fun physics-based game...
Magic Box Toys has confirmed that it has begun phasing out plastic from its product packaging, including plastic elements such as blister packs and foil bags. The first range to feature more than 85% plastic-free packaging is the latest SuperThings series, Guardians of Kazoom, which launched on 21st January. The range, which offers kids 80+ new SuperThings characters to collect, sees foil bags and plastic packs replaced...
Zapf slashes single-use plastic production by 65 tonnes in one year. Zapf committed to plastic free packaging in 2021 and has since stopped using cable ties, viewing windows, plastic bags and blister packs in its new packaging. In the first year of its commitment to plastic free packagaing, Zapf Creation has cut production of single-use plastic by over 65 tonnes – the equivalent weight of ten African elephants.
BARBIE TEAMS UP WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY TO COMMEMORATE 60 YEARS OF THE BARBIE DREAMHOUSE . . . for a year-long collaboration to create more opportunities for kids and families to live in a place they can call their home. The Barbie brand is funding 60 projects and activations, including neighborhood revitalization, playhouse builds, critical home repairs, new construction, home preservation, and...
***the above posted after the Bloom Report posted on February 4th***
MATTEL CELEBRATES NPD TOP-RANKED BARBIE, HOT WHEELS BRANDS. For the second year in a row, NPD named Mattel’s Barbie brand as the top global toy property of the year while the company’s Hot Wheels brand raced into the No. 1 spot with its 1:64-scale mainline vehicle assortment securing its position as the top-selling toy around the world. Fisher-Price was ranked as the No. 5 global toy property for the year and UNO...
Exploding Kittens Launches Hand-to-hand Wombat Game on Kickstarter. The fiery felines from the Exploding Kittens game are making their way back to game night arenas, this time as menacing marsupials in the brand’s newest game, Hand-To-Hand Wombat. Back in 2015, Exploding Kittens launched on Kickstarter and amassed notable success.
LEGO IS GIVING HOSPITALS MRI SCANNER SETS TO EASE KIDS’ WORRIES. LEGO employee Erik Ullerlund Staehr had a great idea – to build a LEGO model of an MRI scanner that could help medical staff prepare children for treatment. This would reduce their anxiety and make their experience more playful and less scary. The MRI model is now being built by employees across the world to distribute to their local hospitals.
DC & Warner Bros. Consumer Products honor the artistic expression and contributions of Black comic creators, artists and characters by unveiling an incredible collection of new comics, books and merch for Black History Month. The company will also launch initiatives to support and develop Black creators and inspire a new generation of comic book professionals.
Ty celebrates Plush Toy of the Year at London Toy Fair win for Squish-A-Boo. Speaking to Toy World, Ty Warner, CEO & founder at Ty Inc, commented:” I’m delighted that the British Toy and Hobby Association has awarded the prestigious Plush Toy of the Year award to our Ty Squish-a-Boos. We appreciate this recognition and thank the retailers, especially our independent partners who we continue to support.
Wondery Kids Launches New BIPOC Podcast, ‘Adventures of Cairo’. For parents looking for kid-friendly podcasts to fill the void of screen-free entertainment with multicultural role models and life lessons, meet Cairo! Wondery, the largest independent podcast publisher in the world, announced the release of their newest kid-friendly podcast Adventures of Cairo.
Radio Flyer Introduces Hero Wagon for Children’s Hospitals to Use . To create the Hero Wagon, designers at Radio Flyer consulted with hospital staff to create features that can benefit both patients and staff in a hospital setting. This includes a patented one-hand folding design, a patent-pending IV pole bracket integrated into the wagon, and the use of wipe-clean, medical-grade fabric.
PLAYMOBIL reveals 5-year sustainability plan and Discover the Planet range. Horst Brandstätter Group, owners of the PLAYMOBIL and LECHUZA brands, has set itself ambitious corporate sustainability goals. By 2027, the group of companies is to be climate-neutral and responsible for zero greenhouse gas emissions. The Group is already involved in off-shore wind parks and is to invest around 50 million euros in climate...
Cyber Group Studios to Premiere Giganto Club on YouTube Kids Feb 3rd. Cyber Group Studios, best known for its award-winning preschool show Gigantosaurus, has partnered with YouTube to launch Giganto Club. Giganto Club is hosted by real-time animated dinos that engage viewers with awesome games, songs, and themed segments such as “Dino-news” and “Dino-guests.”
Flair - Hot off the win of a Hero Toy Award at London Toy Fair, Flair has unveiled its plans for new doll brand Unique Eyes. Flair will be supporting the brand with a comprehensive marketing plan for the collection, including TV advertising from late March, kids’ press, YouTube and parental influencers and TikTok, as well as range extensions for the second half.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Celebrates 25 Years of Furry Friendship. The plush brand and mall retailer has launched a yearlong celebration to commemorate its memorable moments and milestones from the past 25 years. The celebration includes an exclusive new line of furry friends, clothing, and accessories plus licensing partnerships, collaborations, and in-store activations planned for the months ahead.
Bandai America Launches 4 New Digimon X Colors. The Digimon X launched last year as an updated version of the original Digimon virtual pet toy that originally launched in the ‘90s. Recommended for kids ages 8 and up, the digital monster features a screen and three buttons, and the entire device is attached to a keychain so kids can take it on the go.
Cloud b, a brand of products and accessories designed to help parents and kids sleep better, is celebrating its 20th year. The brand’s products include soothing-sound plushies and nightlights, as well as the Light + Sound collection that combines both. These multi-sensory product collections are based on pediatric research and were created by Linda Suh, a young mom who wanted to give other new parents ...
Funko Teams up with GameStop, Make-A-Wish to Celebrate World Wish Day. The collaboration includes a new line of blue Funko Pop! Vinyl figures featuring an assortment of fan-favorite characters from Marvel, Disney, Lucasfilm, and Pixar. These Pops! With Purpose will include a charitable donation to Make-A-Wish with every purchase. In addition to the donations from sales, Funko will donate $150,000 to Make-A-Wish.
Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Welcomes Multicultural Rulers of the Sun. The Masters of the Universe (MOTU) brand kicks off its 40th anniversary celebration with new characters: The Rulers of the Sun. The diverse heroes will join MOTU across multiple toy lines this year, following last year’s introduction of the Black hero Sun-Man.
ZURU’s 5 Surprise Mini Brands: Disney Store Edition to Launch at Target. ZURU has reimagined some of the most popular toys from the Disney Store as miniature collectibles with a massive, cross-audience appeal for which kids, parents, and collectors of many fandoms and interests will be on the hunt. 5 Surprise Mini Brands: Disney Store Edition includes more than 70 miniature toy replicas s from Disney franchises and brands.
Diamond Comic Distributors marked its 40th anniversary on Tuesday, February 1, and the company plans to celebrate with special deals and commemorative items throughout the year. Baltimore, Maryland, comics retailer Steve Geppi took over the business and warehouse of failing distributor New Media/Irjax to form Diamond, starting out with 17 customers. Over the years, Diamond acquired a number of its competitors...
Douglas Launches New ‘Foodie Macaroon’ Plush for 2022. With each New Year comes the conversation of how to improve on your diet. It’s never fun, but it always takes place. Plush toy maker and lifestyle gift creator, Douglas Company, has decided to up the fun factor when it comes to a new year of food with their newest Foodie Macaroon introductions for 2022!
Elenco is celebrating a trio of milestones this year. The Illinois-based company behind the Snap Circuits line of building toys is planning a year of activations to celebrate 50 years of learning fun, 20 years of its flagship brand, and a trio of Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award nominations. Elenco was started in 1972 in the basement of founder Gil Cecchin, an electrical engineer that built the company by supplying circuit kits to educators...
Encantos Gets Into The NFT Game. The edutainment company is about to launch non-fungible tokens inspired by its preschool property Canticos, and is aiming to empower creators to build out their own IPs. Artist Susie Jaramillo (creator of the Canticos portfolio of characters) is behind this batch of NFTs, which will feature Kiki Chickie, one of the brand’s three lead characters, paying homage to female pop culture icons.
Irish fun-tech start up HoloToyz triumphed in Toy Fair’s Editors Choice Awards, taking second place in the vote. London Toy Fair saw more than 260 exhibiting companies launching new toys for the year ahead, and the young Irish toy company was deighted to come only second to Rainbow Designs’ Talking Paddington Bear in the Editors’s Choice Awards. Past winners of this prestigious award include Lego and Pokémon.
New launches for Hunter Price, including Giddy Kipper craft sets and Sunset Bay Club dolls. After a two-year build-up, Hunter Price will return to the Spring Fair at Birmingham’s NEC next week, to unveil its “most exciting toy and craft collections to date”. A host of new brands will be launched at the show, including Eco Planet Pals, a collection of plush characters and creatures that are all made from recycled plastic bottles.
MGA’s Rainbow High range welcomes Pacific Coast addition. The latest addition to the Rainbow High range, the Pacific Coast collection has been designed to inspire kids to #LetYourTrueColoursShine. MGA Entertainment has announced a new addition to its Rainbow High portfolio, the all-new Pacific Coast range. Launching this month, Pacific Coast will be the first summer themed collection from Rainbow High.
Catch 'em all with 'Pokemon' 'Die-Cast Poke Balls'. The Pokemon Company International and The Wand Company announced the new Die-Cast Poke Ball Replica Series, which will be released into retail throughout 2022. This new series of premium replicas will include the Heal Ball, Friend Ball, Quick Ball, and Cherish Ball. They feature detailed designs and paint decoration accurate to the Poke Balls seen on Pokemon.
Spin Master Entertainment’s Mighty Express lays news tracks worldwide. Spin Master Corp. announced content licensing deals for its CG animated preschool series Mighty Express. Continuing to expand the franchise’s global footprint, Mighty Express lays new tracks with broadcast networks POP UK (United Kingdom), SUPER RTL (Germany), TVP (Poland) and Tele-Quebec (Canada).
Pretzel Games announces 'Yak'. Pretzel Games announced Yak, a new economy-building board game by Michael Luu, which will hit stores in 2022. In Yak, players assume the roles of villager elders trying to build a stone tower to help guide merchants through the Himalayas. Players build their own stone tower by acquiring stones for foof from the merchants.
Nova bursts into 'Marvel Champions: The Card Game'. Fantasy Flight Games unveiled Nova Hero Pack, for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, which will hit stores in May 2022. Nova Hero Pack adds Sam Alexander, a boy who was recruited into the Nova Corps, to Marvel Champions: The Card Game. He rockets into battle as a new playable hero with 15 signature cards.
Steamforged Games reveal the Cover for Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game. Tabletop game creator and publisher, Steamforged Games, has unveiled the first look at and key details of the “Dark Souls” tabletop roleplaying game, coming this spring. Steamforged confirms that Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game will be a standalone RPG powered by fifth-edition rules enriched with unique “Dark Souls” mechanics.
Bloopies Fairies shine bright with a special water reveal. I always knew that fairies had magic, but what I didn’t know is that they love the water, too! Kids can see it for themselves with IMC Toys‘ latest collectible dolls, Bloopies Fairies. Designed for kids ages 3+, each Bloopies Fairies package provides an interactive, surprise unboxing experience. Bloopies Fairies are housed within a flower-shaped lantern that opens with a key.
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes have topped 13 million sales. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl have sold 13.97 million units combined since launching on November 19, 2021. The remake has become the ninth best-selling Switch title in history since launching just over two months ago, joining fellow Pokemon titles Let's Go Pikachu, Let's Go Eevee, Sword, and Shield in the top-selling charts.
Switch is Nintendo's biggest selling console of all time at 103.5m units. Nintendo has revealed that Switch has become its biggest selling console of all time at 103.54 million units shipped since its launch in March 2017. Confirmation of the milestone came as the platform holder updated its lifetime sales counts following its financial report for the latest quarter.
Riot’s latest League of Legends spinoff hits Netflix Games as a mobile exclusive. Netflix has announced that it’s adding two new titles to its small but steadily growing lineup of mobile games — including Riot’s newest League of Legends spinoff. Starting today, users can play Dungeon Dwarves and Hextech Mayhem on Android and iOS devices for free with a Netflix subscription.
Sony wants Bungie to help it launch 10 live service games by 2026. Sony intends to launch over 10 live service titles by 2026 with the help of Halo and Destiny creator Bungie. The PlayStation maker, which is in the process of acquiring Bungie for $3.6 billion, said it will work closely with the company to expand its roster of live service titles.
‘Popeye’ and ‘Angry Birds’ announce gaming partnership . Popeye the Sailorman and video game developer, Rovio Entertainment, have announced a partnership for a new, co-branded “Angry Birds Friends” x “Popeye” tournament in support of ocean clean-up organization, The SeaCleaners.
‘The Office: Somehow We Manage’ mobile game launches. East Side Games Group, a free-to-play mobile game group, in collaboration with Universal Games and Digital Platforms, announced the worldwide launch of “The Office: Somehow We Manage” on iOS and Android. The free-to-play idle game is inspired by NBC’s U.S. version of “The Office,” which is now streaming exclusively on Peacock.
The best wired or wireless gaming mouse you can buy. Finding the right gaming mouse amid all the options available can be a struggle. There are a lot of factors to consider, like how it looks, how it feels in the hand, the button selection and arrangement, the quality of its sensor, and whether you want a mouse that’s wireless or wired.
Activision QA VP: Unions could “hurt our ability to create great games”. Internal message from Christian Arends seems to discourage unionisation across publisher's studios. An Activision Blizzard leader has claimed unions could hinder the publisher from producing high-quality titles, as Raven Software workers continue to push for unionisation.
Report: The FTC will be reviewing Microsoft's mammoth Activision Blizzard deal. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be handling the U.S. antitrust review of Microsoft's staggering Activision Blizzard acquisition, according to a report from Bloomberg. The Xbox maker agreed to purchase Activision Blizzard, the company behind major franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, for $68.7 billion last month.
Safety and Counterfeiting
The dangers of counterfeit toys – and how to fight back against the fakers. The explosion of online retail sites, coupled with toy shortages, during the Covid pandemic led many consumers to unknowingly purchase counterfeit goods – toys that are not simply sub-standard, but in many cases, pose a threat to children’s safety. Here, Rachel Jones, CEO and founder of SnapDragon Monitoring, a company that helps protect...
Highlighted Press Releases
Bunny Hopkins™ launches new design of handmade in USA wooden toy for creative and active play. One foot in front of the other could be a metaphor for childhood exploration. It’s also the simple way to play with the six-piece Stepping Stones (from $69.00) set from Bunny Hopkins™, winner of the 2021 ASTRA Best Active Toy Award. These vibrant 100% Made in USA wooden circles are handcrafted by local craftsmen in its Atlanta, Georgia workshop. Each 10” large circle entices preschoolers and older kids to jump, spin or joyfully step as they imagine an obstacle course that gives a full body stretch!
ADD SOME VROOM, VROOM TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD BIKE RIDE WITH $9.99 SPOKESTER®. Featured on TODAY Show, Colorful (Or Black) Spokester Snaps On To A Child’s’ Bike For A Realistic Motorcycle Sound. One of the most joyous milestones of being a parent is when your child learns to ride a bike! But for the child, the excitement is all about the accessories. And now, the noise! The Spokester bicycle noisemaker ($9.99) snaps on to the front fork of the bicycle and makes an undeniable motorcycle sound. Boys and girls imagine they are riding the real thing. Parents are delighted to know they and others on the road or sidewalk can “hear” their child even if they can’t see them.
***the above posted after the Bloom Report posted on February 4th***
INFLUENCER OR CREATOR? MAKE-A-FORT ENGAGES KIDS IN 2022 WITH A NEW TEMPLATE FOR BUDDING BUILDERS. Introducing Creator Kits For The 8+ Crowd To Engineer A Step-By-Step Shark, Jet Or Perhaps Tank For a Family Project That’s Instagram Worthy! This is the year that award winning Make-A-Fort moves from being an influencer to having kids be the creator. The toymaker built its reputation last year for its knowledge and expertise on durable building structures that are intuitive and irresistible to kids of all ages. The company influenced a new generation of kids to skip the couch cushions and build a more durable and exciting fort.
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
Spanning the original dates for the fair from 2 to 6 Feb, Spielwarenmesse Digital proved highly popular among exhibitors and trade visitors who logged on to discover the latest trends, refresh their expertise in toys and exchange opinions and information. Over the 5 days, organiser Spielwarenmesse eG recorded 10,813 visitors from 82 different countries. The highly varied programme of presentations was a success, and...
New York Toy Fair organisers reportedly considering move. Following the cancellation of the 2021 and 2022 shows due to Covid, NY Toy Fair organisers are said to be considering a change of date and possibly location. The New York Post has reported that the sources have said one option is to move the annual trade show to the fall instead of its typical February date, with another option to relocate from NY altogether.
Disney, Netflix and Aardman all scored Oscar nominations in the animated film categories this year Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog,” a revisionist Western that uses a careworn genre to examine toxic masculinity, dominated the Academy Awards on Tuesday with 12 nods, the most of any film. It was followed closely behind by “Dune,” a sprawling adaptation of a popular sci-fi novel that was once believed to be unfilmable...
B&LIS and SiLC unite for European licensing conference in June. B&LIS will kick-off the two-day conference on 21st June and will spotlight retail and future trends through interactive panel discussions. These will tackle topics such as NFTs, the Metaverse, the ever-changing content landscape, breakthrough licensing categories and how to maximise opportunities at retail.
***the above posted after February 4th***
SPIELWARENMESSE REVEALS 2022 TOYAWARD WINNERS. A team of expert panelists narrowed down a host of submissions to just three finalists across five categories: Preschool (3-6 years), School Kids (6-10 years), Teenagers & Adults (10+ years), Startup, and Sustainability. Traditionally, a sixth category, Baby & Infant (0-3 years), is in the mix, but no products were submitted for consideration this year.
Istanbul International Toy Fair will be held at the Tüyap Fair and Congress Center for four days between March 17th-20th 2022 with the support of the OYDER (Association of Toyers). This year marks the fourth iteration of the show, which spans a huge range of categories including toys, baby products, costumes, model railways, sports equipment, bikes and scooters, and much more.
The NPD Group has announced the winners of this year’s global and Europe Toy Industry Performance Awards. The awards were given to the manufacturers or licence owners of Europe’s top gaining toy properties by category, as well as the top gaining toy property of the year, top global toy manufacturer, global top toy property, and global top selling toy, according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.
London Toy Fair returns with a successful show. Exhibitors and visitors alike were delighted to be back for the 68th annual Toy Fair this week. The 3-day event at Olympia London was the only dedicated toy fair that has been able to take place this year. Special measures were in operation due to Covid-19 to ensure the health and safety of all exhibitors and visitors attending the show, which saw 260 exhibiting companies unveil...
Engino opens B2B virtual fair for STEM toys buyers. Engino will present its new products for 2022 online, and invites buyers interested in the range to make a Virtual Showroom appointment now. Despite the challenges presented by being currently unable to meet many of its clients face to face, Engino says it is still excited to connect with the retail buying and education communities over next month.
Haba to host Virtual Spring Trade Fair 2022. Following positive feedback last year, the virtual spring trade fair format will offer the opportunity to see new products and conduct business meetings. Retailers, inventors, journalists and all toy and game industry colleagues are invited to participate in the Haba Virtual Spring Trade Fair 2022. Under the strapline “Our journey into the future continues”, from February 2nd-6th...
Psychonauts 2 wins Game of the Year at New York Game Awards 2022. The New York Game Awards 2022 crowned Psychonauts 2 as its game of the year. Double Fine's platformer also won an award for best world, while the studio's founder Tim Schafer was the recipient of the Andrew Yoon Legend Award. Sable and Resident Evil 4 VR each won two awards. Shedworks' title received prizes for best indie game and best music,...
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.
Actor John Galt - His work spanned movies, TV, and video games, had died at age 81. Developer/publisher 3D Realms shared news of his passing on Sunday. Galt had worked with 3D Realms on games like Shadow Warrior and the original Prey. He voiced main character Lo Wang in Shadow Warrior, and played Grandfather Enisi in Prey. His other video game credits included John Romero's Daikatana, Ion Storm's Deus Ex, and more.
On the silver screen, he provided the voice for President Lyndon B. Johnson in Forrest Gump and Oliver Stone's conspiracy film J.F.K. Galt's long acting career began in 1958, and he would make the jump to the world of television in 1974. In a 2019 interview with YouTube channel Jake The Voice, he explained that he landed the role of Lo Wang after doing monster voices for 3D Realms.
Bernard Smith - Toy World is sad to report that industry stalwart Bernard Smith has died aged 79, on 18th January after a short illness.
Bernard Smith enjoyed a long and successful career in toys, starting in 1967 when he took on the role of area sales manager at Mattel. He then built up his sales expertise with roles at Tonka, Peter Pan and JW Spears – a company he returned to as sales director in 1990. This was followed by further stints at Mattel, Kitfix Swallow, United Overseas, Upstarts and University Games.
Bernard decided to slow the pace a little in 2014, but loved the toy trade so much that he only managed semi-retirement and continued to keep his hand in as a sales agent for Rascals, a role he kept on until very recently.
At the Toymaster Show in May 2013, Bernard was recognised by his industry peers as the recipient of a Golden Teddy. His nomination described him as ‘honest, kind, trustworthy, hardworking, loyal and friendly – he brightens up the office with his great sense of humour.’
Friend and colleage Tom White shared a personal memory about the day: “Bernard’s face was a picture as his name was announced, and he froze in his chair from the complete shock of it!”
Bernard’s motto was to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and his co-workers said that customers ‘loved and respected him’. Over his many years in the trade, he trained and supported a vast number of sales executives throughout the industry, who found him a dependable source of support, even through times of change and challenge.
Bernard is survived by his wife Jo, son James, daughters Emma and Sara, stepsons Tom and Jack and nine grandchildren.
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