the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is Jan. 8-15, 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!

 

Life's a pitch! This week's POP Week International Innovation panel (link in our Video of the Week section at the end of this page) is Pitch like a Pro to Manufacturers and Retailers with moderator Tim Walsh (Co-Founder, Roo Games; Founder, The Playmakers) and panelists: Tanya Thompson (Director Global Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations for Gaming, Hasbro), Adam Hockerman (Vice President, New Business, PlayMonster), Leila Nosrati (Principal, Master Toy Advisors), David Winter (Head of New Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations, Jazwares), Gillian Ruan (Enterprise Innovation & Inventor Relations Manager, Mattel)

 

Next week we are announcing new innovative events! Watch this space! 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report!

Mary

tBR Person of the Week: Dave Kennedy - Slot Car Evangelist

I’m Dave Kennedy and I’ve been given the moniker of “ slot car evangelist. “

 

In the 60’s and 70’s slot cars were a main stream hobby and toy. But as the culture in the US changed, as the buying habits and play patterns changed slot cars were marginalized here in the US and nearly died as a hobby. Gone are the days of tv broadcasts of slot races on the evening talk shows and a slot car track in every small town across North America.

 

I’d been into slot racing since I was about 5 years old (I’m 50 now) and as one of the few people doing slot car marketing since 2007 I can tell you it’s been a hard road to travel.

 

The near death of the hobby in the mid 70’s here in the US means that we’ve lost several generations of children. The job of exposing parents now to the hobby means doing lots of basic, very “retail marketing” events to get controllers in the hands of kids and parents to show them the fun of racing scale miniature cars around a plastic, electrified slot track.  Read More...

tBR Service of the Week: People of Play

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

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

Many times a day someone reaches out to me asking me if I know some person or some company:

  • in some role

  • with certain skills

  • located in

  • that invented

  • that supplied

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  • Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

 

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

 

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

Financial & Legal News . . .

Chinese government encourages workers not to travel home for Chinese New Year Some Chinese factories may keep running during the Spring Festival holidays this year, as workers are incentivised to stay in order to curtail the spread of Covid across China. China’s week-long Spring Festival holidays are less than one month away. During this time, factories traditionally shut down for a couple of weeks as migrant...

European Commission fines Valve, others $9.4 million for 'geo-blocking' gamesThe European Commission has fined Valve and five major publishers a combined €7.8 million ($9.4 million) for breaching EU antitrust rules. The fines have been levied against Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media, and ZeniMax, who were all found to have engaged in "geo-blocking practices" by restricting cross-border...

Brexit charges start to hit British online sellers Estimates say up to 150,000 British sellers on Amazon and other online marketplaces have been affected by new Brexit charges. All UK exporters to the EU – including those who trade on platforms like Amazon and eBay – now have to contend with customs declarations and, in many cases, VAT registrations & tariffs, incurring extra charges that will impact their profit margins...

Fears grow of major price (UK)  rises due to increased shipping costs. Industry concerns about major price rises are now attracting media attention, as toy suppliers report ocean freight can outweigh the cost of the stock. BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money program and the BBC news website featured a story which quoted James Owen, owner of Outdoor Toys, who suggested that sky-high transport costs and port...

CD Projekt faces a second class-action lawsuit over Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt has confirmed receipt of another class-action lawsuit from a law firm representing its own investors. The Polish studio previously confirmed it was facing legal action from the New York-based Rosen Law Firm, which claims the company misled investors over Cyberpunk 2077-- in particular, the state of the game on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Games (multiplatform) investments reached $33.6bn in 2020 across 664 transactions. In its annual report, InvestGame highlighted that the US was predominant in the investment landscape last year, representing 36% of the total deal value, followed by China at 27%.Mergers and acquisitions represented $12.6 billion last year, across 219 deals. It was dominated by purchases from Tencent (23 M&A deals), Embracer...

Italian game company daVinci Editrice S.r.l. (a/k/a/ dV Giochi) is acquiring Ghenos S.r.l.  The combination will allow dV Giochi to expand its offerings, extend its commercial network, and merge the two companies’ teams. The companies are in different parts of the tabletop game market: dV Giochi, which publishes perennial hit card game Bang!, publishes games appealing to families and casual players...

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Visit the York-Jersey Underwriters website at www.toy-insurance.com

Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

Kids Insights – The direct approach: Will 2021 be the year for direct to consumer selling?  . . . Prepare for 2021 with new gaming audience insights . . . Top 10 Consumer Themes to Leverage in 2021 (Australia) . . . Chris Byrne - Inside the pandemic products trend . . . Full Year 2020 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Kids Graphic Novels . . . FULL YEAR 2020 NPD BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 ADULT GRAPHIC NOVELS WITH ACTUAL SALES . . . Nintendo Switch accounted for 87% of consoles sold in Japan last year | Japan Annual Report . . . 2020 sees record US games spending at $56.9bn | US Annual Report . . . Why toy renting is set to take off in 2021 . . . Mobile gaming up 9% among kids

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

Is Hasbro stock a buy?  . . . JAKKS Pacific Inc. soars 9.72% on January 19 . . .  Playtika IPO raises $1.88bn . . . IPO plans value Krafton at up to $27bn . . . Jefferies Financial Group Comments on Mattel, Inc.'s Q4 2020 Earnings

Future Financial Reporting . . .

Spin Master Corp. to Report Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results on March 1, 2021. Ronnen Harary, Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Mark Segal, Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call for the investment community on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. (ET).

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today announced that it plans to release its full year and fourth quarter 2020 financial results on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at approximately 4:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Following this, Mattel will host a conference call and webcast at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Hasbro to Webcast Feb 2021 Investor Events to include Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Earnings Conference Call on Feb 8th and a Virtual Investor Event on Feb 25th. Hasbro, Inc. announced that it will webcast its fourth quarter and full year 2020 earnings conference call on Monday, Feb 8, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, following the release of Hasbro's financial results. Certain financial and statistical information...

“Transformation at Hornby accelerates” as hobby firm is on track for 20 per cent Q3 sales increase. The hobby specialist, Hornby has said it expects to see between 15 to 20 per cent higher sales in the financial year ending March 31st, stating that the “transformation at Hornby continues to accelerate.” The model train company has issued early reports that its third quarter of the financial year...

Capcom raises forecasts thanks to growing digital salesCapcom has raised its full-year financial forecasts ahead of next week's Q3 results report, thanks to high digital sales of its games. The Japanese publisher previously announced on May 8 it expected net sales of ¥85 billion ($792.9 million), and both operating and ordinary income of ¥25.5 billion ($246.6 million) -- all of which were higher than the company's...

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

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . .

Inauguration to include programming aimed at kids along with a message from Jill Biden. The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced a lineup of television programming in the days leading up to the inauguration focused on getting families and their kids involved in the inauguration and the process of it all. On Wednesday, actress Keke Palmer is set to host an inaugural first: a curated livestream for youth...

Wastebuster calls on industry with Toy Take Back and Recycle to Read campaign. The environmental awareness platform, Wastebuster has partnered with Products of Change to bring together a cross-sector of stakeholders to share knowledge, resources, and finance, to develop an efficient, environmental, and sustainable means of recycling plastic toys.

NO TOY FAIR? NO PROBLEM. DON’T LET THE LACK OF TRADE SHOWS MEAN A LACK OF 2021 PRESS. Many brands seem to be under the impression that their yearlong media and influencer results hinge on Toy Fair New York. Yes, we have seen tremendous results from setting up thousands of media appointments on the Javits Center floor, erupting clouds of smoke from science lab demonstrations, landing on-site TV...

Standing up to Amazon – a successful trading terms strategy As a new trading year dawns, so do new trading terms with Amazon. Asha Bhalsod of Etopia Consultancy highlights the need for successful Amazon negotiation skills. With the pandemic bringing such strong growth in eCommerce, many toy manufacturers experienced double-digit growth through Amazon.

Would calls for an Amazon boycott harm small businesses? In her Viewpoint column, Amy reacts to reports that Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, has called for a boycott on Amazon in Spain, as similar calls for boycotts in other countries aim to prevent the dominance of the retail giant and protect smaller competitors. With over 9000 small businesses operating on the Amazon platform and 2000 of them in the Catalonia region...

Toy World - You are invited: suppliers present virtual showrooms Toy World caught up with suppliers that have been making inventive arrangements to present their new ranges over the traditional preview and trade fair season. With options ranging from video presentations and zoom appointments to PowerPoint presentations, digital cataloges and immersive tours, there are a whole host of ways for buyers to view...

Another Heritage Auction brings yet another record-setting sales number for 'Pokemon Tcg 1st Edition' sealed product. Heritage Auctions sold a Pokemon TCG 1st Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box at auction for a new record of $408,000 on January 15. The new year brings new highs as another sealed Pokemon TCG 1st Edition Base Set sold for an astronomical number, beating out the $360,000 sale that happened in...

The triumph of mobile core games heralds a demographic shift | Opinion. Perhaps the most striking nugget of data from what's been released thus far is a stat from mobile app tracking service App Annie, which reported that around two-thirds of the revenues from mobile games last year were from what it classified as "core games" -- titles like PUBG Mobile and Honour of Kings, which are competitively oriented, and...

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . .

Nerf Wrist Flyers from Parker Brothers (1977). As part of its continued expansion of the Nerf product line, Parker Brothers released Nerf Wrist Flyers in 1982. Marketed to children ages 5-12, the set included three pre-assembled delta-wing gliders and a wrist-mounted launcher. Each glider was decorated in a patriotic motif and was made of the same polyurethane foam as other Nerf products.

Egypt makes 'major discoveries' at Saqqara archaeological site. Egypt unveiled Sunday ancient treasures found at the Saqqara archaeological site south of Cairo. including sarcophagi over 3,000 years old. A stone sarcophagus was also found, as well as "a papyrus around five meters long containing the 17th chapter of the book of the dead... masks, wooden boats, games the ancient Egyptians used to play".

Where’s the Fun From? – Who Invented Slip ‘N’ Slide? In the latest installment from his YouTube series, Where’s the Fun From?, Guest Contributor Tim Walsh tells the story of a father who changed summers forever with the invention of a wet, yellow landing strip for airborne children, the Slip ’N’ Slide. Author, documentary filmmaker, and toy industry veteran Tim Walsh recently founded a new game company...

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

The Sanderson Witches are headed the hobby channel in Ravensburger's 'Hocus Pocus: The Game'Ravensburger NA announced that Hocus Pocus: The Game, a new board game based on the 1993 Disney movie, will be releasing into retail stores in February. This game was originally released into Target and onto Amazon back in 2020. 

IMG, Epic Games bring football to ‘Fortnite’. Epic Games and more than 20 top clubs around the world are celebrating global football in “Fortnite” via partnerships facilitated by IMG, “Fortnite’s” licensing representative. Starting Jan. 23, players can choose from 10 different variants of new “Kickoff Set” outfits to represent their favorite club in-game. Each outfit can be swapped to any of the 23 football clubs participating. 

Zag, Roblox ink ‘Miraculous’ game dealZag Games, the new games division launched in October 2020 by global independent animation studio Zag, has announced a partnership with Israel-based startup Toya to create its first game for the Roblox platform for the ZAG and ON kids & family (Mediawan Group) hit “Miraculous - Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.” Scheduled for release in April, the new “Miraculous Ladybug & Cat Noir” ...

What Do You Meme? Inks License Deal with SpongeBob  The fastest growing game company, What Do You Meme?, has inked a licensing deal with ViacomCBS for Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants property through 2022. The partnership will produce themed games under the flagship What Do You Meme? brand, as well as several pool floats under What Do You Meme?’s Iconic Floats line of inflatables. “SpongeBob...

UK licensing agency Brand-Ward eyes toys, games and more for pre-school series Pikwik Pack. The UK-based licensing agency, Brand-Ward, has been tapped to represent Guru Studio’s latest pre-school series, Pikwik Pack across the UK and Ireland, with a focus on consumer products including toys and games. The licensing firm already represents Guru Studio’s True and the Rainbow Kingdom and will now add Pikwik Pack...

Chefclub Kids bites into toys and play-sets market through Upyaa! partnership. The France-based digital culinary brand, Chefclub has partnered with Upyaa! to launch a new range of toys and games throughout Europe, enabling kids to engage with a collection of creative play-sets and undertake their own journey to becoming little chefs. The new sets will encourage kids to create their own ice cream, popsicles, and ...

Catering to the Community. The sudden rise of “Among Us” is only the most recent example of the speed at which the licensing community needs to react to a sudden pop culture phenomenon. The mobile game’s surge last summer – 42 million downloads between Aug. 1 and Sept. 14, accounting for 70% of its total since it launched in 2018 — was largely fueled by social media. .

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People . . . 

“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes University Games founder Bob Moog to the show for a discussion on the state of the games industry. Since its founding in 1985, University Games has been a staple game company with hits like Murder Mystery Party and 20 Questions. Additionally, Moog leverages popular licenses like Dogman, Pete and Cat, and The World Eric Carle to create great...

Inventor Adam Borton seeks students for Toy and Game School  Award-winning toy and game designer and inventor Adam Borton's Toy and Game School launches today and readers can access the online expertise at a special discounted rate. The online Toy and Game School will teach students about the toy and game industry and how to create a brand new, never-before-seen toyetic game.

Inventor Doug Reuter said the idea for "Sequence" came to him during a dream in the 1970s. He forced himself to get out of bed and write it down before he forgot. "Sequence" was released to the world in the early '80s before Reuter's other job as a lawmaker in St. Paul from 1997 to 2000. Goliath Games, which owns the rights to "Sequence," said it sold 1 million of the games worldwide in 2020, a 60% increase in sales...

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Companies . . .

Nearly three years after its acquisition of Interplay UK Ltd, Wisconsin-based PlayMonster is rebranding its UK outpost as PlayMonster.

No change to staffing or responsibilities will take place and UK Managing Director Adrian Whyles will continue reporting to PlayMonster CEO Bob Wann at the company’s Beloit, Wisconsin headquarters.

Hot Wheels Ultimate Drive-Thru heads to Six Flags Over Georgia. The Hot Wheels Monster Trucks fleet along with iconic rides from the Garage of Legends, giant robots, and some additional big surprises will make their east coast debut at Six Flags Over Georgia on Jan. 28. Created by Raycom-Legacy Content Co. in partnership with Mattel Inc., the special socially-distanced event allows families to experience a special...

Capstone Games will release two board game titles in April. Capstone Games will release a new edition of Glass Road and Juicy Fruits into U.S. trade in April. Uwe Rosenberg's classic resource management game Glass Road is headed back to retail courtesy of Captsone Games and Feverland. Previously, this game was launched in the U.S. by Z-Man Games. Juicy Fruits is a brand-new game tile placement game by...

Plan B Games unveils 'Equinox'. Plan B Games unveiled Equinox, a new board game by Reiner Knizia, for release into retail in June. This game is a re-themed version of Knizia's Colossal Arena with two new creatures, revised gameplay, and new art. In Equinox, forest creatures gather to write themselves into the legendary storybook, but there is only room for four stories to be added. .

Crawl through dungeons to become the new 'Keepers of the Questar'. Upper Deck announced Keepers of the Questar, a new dungeon-crawling board game, for release in Q1. In Keepers of the Questar, parties of adventurers compete to complete the Quest Masters' quests and become the new Keepers of the Questar. It is a one-on-one dungeon crawling game where both players assume the roles of both the party...

Playmates takes us back with retro TMNT 6-pack exclusivesPlaymates Toys is releasing two tubular six-pack box sets featuring your favorite heroes in a half-shell. The Previews-Exclusive Retro Rotocast Sewer Lair and Mutant Module are jam-packed with all your ninja favorites. Prepare to go back to 1988 because each action figure in the six-piece sets was recreated with its original body, and oversized Roto head, along with...

Waterline Toys introduces Skimbe four season disc toysAs winter sets in and warmer weather looms, Waterline Toys is introducing a new toy that can be used outdoors in all four seasons. SkimBe is a patented polyurethane disc that skims, skips, slides, and jumps across water, snow, ice, and other slick surfaces when thrown in a cross-body motion or with a flick of the wrist. SkimBe features a rocker bottom and comes in three...

VTech to launch green ELPs as part of ongoing sustainability commitment  VTech's ongoing efforts to develop eco-friendly products and packaging, plus recycling programmes demonstrate the company’s commitment to the 5-year Sustainability Plan unveiled in June 2020. VTech branded eco-friendly products include four new vehicles in the popular Go! Go! Smart Wheels series, all made from plant-based plastic, and...

LEGO Ideas hits the history books with the launch of the Medieval Blacksmith’s set. LEGO Ideas has been hitting the history books for the launch of its latest set, a Medieval Blacksmith’s house based on an original design by LEGO superfan, Clemens Fiedler. The design has been given the green light to enter production after it achieved over 10,000 votes on the LEGO set creation platform.

Bandai UK releases the Timber Tots Song amid ‘heavy investment plans’ for the retro ’70s toy line. Following the successful revival of the hit ’70s toy line, Timber Tots, Bandai UK has detailed plans for a round of heavy investment into the retro children’s brand, kicking things off with the release of the Timber Tots Nursery Rhyme. The new song has been created to inspire a new generation of young fans to create stories...

Wow! Stuff flashes to the beat with new Chibies. Chibies characters flash to the beat of any tune a child plays across any genre; K-pop, rock, pop, hip-hop, even classical. High-tech sound sensors embedded into the character listen to the music and react in real time, even synchronising with every other Chibie in the room. To activate the sound sensor, children simply ‘Nudge their Nose’. They can then play any music and...

Asmodee earmarks ‘massive year for Pokémon Trading Card Game’ as it readies 25th anniversary Shining Fates expansion. Asmodee UK has cited 2021 to be a ‘massive year for the Pokémon Trading Card Game’ which is gearing up top release the Shining Fates expansion, its first major product release in the year as the brand celebrates its milestone 25th anniversary this year. Despite the challenges of the pandemic,...

Para Bellum announces four 'Conquest: First Blood' Faction Taster sets. Para Bellum Wargames announced four Conquest: First Blood Faction Taster Sets, miniatures skirmish battle starter sets, for release on January 25. Conquest: First Blood is the skirmish battles version of the Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings mass combat, epic battle system (see "Para Bellum Draws 'First Blood' for 'Conquest'"). .

Madballs vs. Garbage Pail Kids face off in brand collab. Cloudco Entertainment, owner of the venerable-but-irreverent Madballs brand, and The Topps Company, owner of the renowned-yet-subversive Garbage Pail Kids brand (“GPK”), have teamed up for a collaboration that playfully pits classic 1980s icons and “co-heavyweights of gross” against one another. The collaboration will feature all-new 1980s inspired artwork...

PlayMonster builds on Snap Ships line with new sets. The epic and award-winning new construction line Snap Ships is enhancing its Build to Battle play with six new drone sets. Collect and combine the three Forge and the three Komplex sets to create the two unstoppable Fusion Builds! At its core, Snap Ships is a collectible, versatile, modular building system that allows kids to build multiple crafts. .

Asmodee USA will release 'Pakal' for U.S. trade. Asmodee USA will release Pakal, a real-time sliding-puzzle game by Cranio Creations, into U.S. trade on February 12.In Pakal, players are trying to forge a path through the jungle to claim the treasure at the end. Each player has a four-by-four grid with 15 mixed solid and clear blocks. At the beginning of each round of play, they reveal an objective cards and slide their blocks...

Luma gets Sit Down! Luma Imports has acquired exclusive English-language distribution rights to games for Belgian board game publisher Sit Down! for the U.S., the company announced.  Sit Down!’s key backlist title is Magic Maze, which was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres and has previously been distributed in the U.S. by Dude Games. Luma will handle new printings of Magic Maze and Magic Maze Kids, and support ...

KATY PERRY HEADLINES 'POKEMON' 25TH ANNIVERSARY  The Pokemon Company is launching a major celebration of the brand’s 25th

anniversary, including multiple music partnerships headlined by Katy Perry, video games, mobile apps, animation, merchandise, and more. The music collaborations come via an overall deal with Universal Music Group, and will include additional artists in addition to Perry, who touted...

The Lego Group launches Lego Bygge Hygge The Lego Bygge Hygge initiative has been designed to create not only an occasion, but an atmosphere, that can become part of a cosy, or "Hygge" family routine. Lego Bygge Hygge is all about the art of cosy building, inspired by the Danish ‘Hygge’ which acknowledges a feeling or moment as cosy or special, alongside the Danish word ‘Bygge’ which means building or...

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

Opera opens new video game division and confirms YoYo Games purchase. Opera has confirmed the purchase of GameMaker Studio creator YoYo Games, and explained the deal will form the basis for a new video game division called Opera Gaming. YoYo Games' previous owner Playtech revealed it had sold the company for $10 million earlier this week, but neglected to name the buyer. 

Thq Nordic, Feld Entertainment prep ‘Monster Jam Steel Titans 2’. The sequel to the popular video game, Monster Jam Steel Titans has been unveiled. THQ Nordic and Feld Entertainment released a video teaser for Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 as well as while confirming a March 2 release date for the high-octane title. Expanding on the first game, Monster Jam Steel Titans 2 will feature new fan-favorite trucks,...

FIFA 21 was Europe's best-selling boxed game in 2020. FIFA 21 was the best-selling physical game across the vast majority of Europe, according to a new report from GfK Entertainment. The evaluation is based on physical games sales across Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland...

Epic pledges $20 million for Fortnite esports in 2021. Fortnite developer Epic says that, for 2021, the game’s competitive scene will have a prize pool of $20 million. That’s a step up from last year’s total of $17 million — though it’s not as massive as the 2019 World Cup, where $30 million was on the line. The news comes as Epic provided details on the latest season of the Fortnite Champion Series, the game’s highest...

Nintendo Switch accounted for 87% of consoles sold in Japan last year | Japan Annual Report. Nearly 6 million Nintendo Switch consoles were sold in Japan last year, a rise of 30% over 2019. Nintendo dominated the market, with Switch devices accounting for 87% of all consoles sold last year (6.85 million machines were sold overall). The normal Switch version sold 3.9 million units, while the Switch Lite sold just over...

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

US environmental agency warns against Xbox Series X, PS5 energy consumption. The PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X each draw 160 to 200+ watts of electricity when used, which is higher than their predecessors and more power than a 60-inch TV. That's according to the US' Natural Resources Defense Council, which measured the energy consumed by next-gen consoles and today published a lengthy report on...

Playing it safe – Awareness is growing around the hygienic protection of toys. As the country continues to tackle a raging new strain of the Coronavirus, and the world continues its fight against the pandemic, it’s little surprise that company priorities have shifted towards heightened health and safety measures, not only in their practices but in the services and products they offer.

Press Releases . . .

POLAR ADVENTURE & HUNGRY BINS JOIN GAME FOCUS ON PRESCHOOL-LEVEL INTROS TO A GREEN LIFE. Youngest Eco-Citizens Discover Recycling and Disappearing Glacier Ice Through 15-Minute Rounds Of Memory And 3-D Roll & Move Challenges. Family game night has many benefits from strengthening relationships to being patient for your turn. Add to that list becoming a better eco-citizen with the launch of two new titles from Adventerra Games, the STEM.org-certified boardgame maker. Playing a round of Polar Adventure: Disappearing Ice ($24.99) and Hungry Bins: Learn to Recycle ($19.99) gets three- and four-year-olds to intuitively learn new behaviors that reduce their ecological footprints...

SPRING CLEANING WITH A TWIST: YOUNG BUG HUNTERS VACUUM, OBSERVE & RELEASE CRAWLY THINGS. Best Seller Bug Vacuum & Critter Barn Set Lets Kids Catch Little Creatures, See Nature Up Close Then Release Them, Away From House & Mom!  Ever notice how kids are the first to find an insect, sometimes indoors, thankfully mostly outdoors? In this season of spring cleaning, parents will be delighted to know there is a bug vacuum, part of the award-winning set from the Nature Bound™ line called Bug Hunter Set ($34.95). Kids can put on their khaki shorts and safari hat in search of nature’s smallest crawly creatures. Once gently scooped up, the bug rests in the set’s Critter Barn for tots to observe...

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals

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

Toy Association Releases “STEAM Toy Assessment Framework”  Help Companies Create Toys that Support STEAM Learning.  A new “STEAM Toy Assessment Framework,” provides a definitive answer with a three-step model and clearly defined rating criteria with learning goals for five distinct age groups. The report was created in collaboration with Dr. Amanda Gummer, CEO & founder of the Good Play Guide.

UK Toy Fair website provides info for would-be visitors of the show Visitors to the Toy Fair website can view a snapshot of product info from companies who were scheduled to exhibit this year. Although there is no physical show at Olympia this year, the organiser has instead provided an extended exhibitor listing on the Toy Fair website, for would be visitors of the show to look at companies that would have exhibited, in a...

VTech Named Official Toy Bank Sponsor for 2021.  VTech, a world leader in electronic learning products for children, has been named the official “Adopt-the-Pig” sponsor of The Toy Foundation’s Toy Bank for 2021. A longtime supporter of The Toy Foundation (TTF), VTech’s sponsorship includes a $10,000 donation to The Toy Bank, which delivers joy and comfort, through play, to vulnerable children and families.

Orchard Toys kicks off its Virtual Toy Fair with exclusive Toy Fair TV-style video. Orchard Toys has kicked off its Virtual Toy Fair in good humour with the launch of a video-skit starring the firm’s own sales director, Simon Prest, and Toy Fair TV presenter, Gavin Inskip. Produced to capture the levity of the London trade show in a year that sees the doors of the Olympia shuttered in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic...

Toy & Edu China and Licensing China will host digital-physical hybrid fairs this year. Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China will be offering a physical-digital hybrid fair experience this March with an online platform to support toy, baby product, and licensing companies exploring business opportunities in the region. The virtual marketplace will go hand in hand with the physical fairs that will be held...TRA’s Toy of the Year Awards winners announced This year's somewhat different awards reflect the unique and challenging trading conditions seen in 2020, and honour those companies that have kept UK families happy and entertained during the pandemic. Four outstanding categories played a big part in delivering this growth, all of which have outperformed the overall market. As such, the Toy Retailer’s Association selection...

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.

Kim Merrill, Chief Executive Officer Insignias Global, formerly of Uproar.

Steve Lightle.  Comic artist Steve Lightle has passed away due to cardiac arrest tied to COVID-19, his wife posted on his Facebook account.  He was 61. Lightle was best known for his time on Legion of Super-Heroes, on which he followed artist Keith Giffen in 1984, and for his brief run on the relaunch of Doom Patrol beginning in 1987. He was also a cover artist for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics over the years.

Dennis Watts  Toy World is sad to report that Dennis Watts passed away peacefully on Christmas Eve, following a long battle with illness. After a career in engineering design,  Dennis entered the toy industry in 1974, taking over his father Fred Watts’ toy shop in Melton Mowbray. Dennis acquired another local toy shop  in 1978  and from the two shop names, he formed the Arbon and Watts business. During the 90s and 00s, the retail stores won the Midlands region Toy Shop of the Year award on five separate occasions. In the mid 90s, Dennis created Mail Order Express – the idea behind the new operation was to work with selected supplier partners to carry entire ranges. In 1999, Mailorderexpress.com was launched online, leading to a massive expansion in the early 00s, as the company rode the wave of the initial internet boom.

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

Toy Trade Monthly Issues...

Weekly Top Stories from Toy Trade Magazines Worldwide...

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

  1. Laura Zebersky Named President of Jazwares

  2. Skoog Teams Up with Sesame Workshop

  3. Belliveau Appointed Hasbro Chief Purpose Officer

  4. Superhero La Borinqueña Flies Into Licensing

  5. PlayMonster Builds on Snap Ships Line with New Sets

  6. Boat Rocker Names Licensing Director for the Americas

  7. Cyber Group USA Bolsters Leadership Team

  8. Tapatio Partners for Hot New Merchandise

  9. Madballs vs. Garbage Pail Kids Face Off in Brand Collab

  10. Bluey: The Album Available to Stream January 22

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. Tale as old as time…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. UK toy market increases 5% in value during 2020

  3. Gulf Greetings General Trading, owner of The Toy Store, closes operations

  4. Toikido lands master toy deal for smash-hit game AmongUs

  5. Exclusive – Toys“R”Us Asia: leaning into 2021 with hope

  6. John Lewis halts click & collect to encourage shoppers to stay home

  7. Zapf details roll-out of plastic free packaging

  8. Toy community grapples with new challenges involved in shipping to Ireland

  9. Vivid Goliath brings home winning games for A/W 21

  10. Tomy Toomies unveils new Jurassic World pre-school line

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

 1.  Wizards of the Coast Releases New Information on 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Kaldheim' Packs
  2.  The Pokemon International Company Unveils 25th Anniversary Special 'First Partner Collector's Binder' and 'First Partner Packs'
  3.  The Last U.S. Video Store Chain Is Closing
  4.  Rolling for Initiative -- Three Predictions for 2021
  5.  Daiyu Details English Release of New TCG 'Gate Ruler'
  6.  Toy Association Cancels Toy Fair 2021
  7.  Games Workshop Previews the First Wave of 'Warhammer 40,000' Releases for 2021
  8.  Steve Jackson Games Unveils New Skull-Themed Gaming Accessories
  9.  GAMA Pushes Origins Game Fair Back Till Fall
10.  Renegade Game Studios Reveals Three 'Power Rangers' Expansions and a Pre-Painted Megazord Figure

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

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

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Umbra Via Pre-Order, Bluffaneer Released, Pandasaurus Games has a new game available for pre-order, Big G Creative has released a new dice bluffing game, and new game company Unexpected Games has announced The Initiative

Video of the Week! 

Pitch like a Pro to Manufacturers and Re

The POP Week panels were aired on two separate platforms, there are slight changes to the version first aired on our website with over 13,700 viewers and on this

separate YouTube version we just uploaded

 Pitch like a Pro to Manufacturers and Retailers with moderator Tim Walsh (Co-Founder, Roo Games; Founder, The Playmakers) Panelists: Tanya Thompson (Director Global Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations for Gaming, Hasbro), Adam Hockerman (Vice President of New Business, PlayMonster), Leila Nosrati (Principal, Master Toy Advisors), David Winter (Head of New Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations, Jazwares), Gillian Ruan (Enterprise Innovation and Inventor Relations Manager, Mattel)

 

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