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July 15 - 22, 2022

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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin’ Friday! 

There’s so much in happening now in our industry and we are here to help! Next week Michele Litzky and I will announce details on the POP Marketing & PR Q3 Event: Activations and Awards - All You Need to Know! You'll hear directly from the smart hosts and savvy organizers and be able to ask questions. 

​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report. If you can't wait for the news to arrive each Friday, check out the new Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed and share with your colleagues! You can also comment on the posts in the News Feed! 

Mary

"I am a long-time reader and champion of the Bloom Report. The quantity of quality articles on so many different aspects of our industry  is unmatched and  I regularly share and discuss them with my management team as an important business tool." 

- Jim Engle, President and Founder, Little Kids Inc. 

"I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.

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Industry Commentary - Amy Ansong

Disneyland Paris Celebrates 30 years

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Paris, France is known for many things, no? Wine, bread, classy Parisian fashion, and the list goes on and on. Did you also know that Paris, France is home to a Disneyland Park, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year? That is right—Disneyland Paris is celebrating this grand occasion and I travelled to Disneyland Paris to see what it had to offer.

 

Surprisingly, getting to Disneyland Paris was very easy. The hardest part was picking which date I wanted to attend the park. Disneyland Paris offers visits many options.  Visitors can choose to either visit Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios, or both. Once it is decided which park to visit, it is necessary to determine if the Disney ticket will be a dated or undated ticket. Knowing that I only had one day to visit the park, I purchased a dated ticket during the weekday (assuming I would avoid long wait times- boy was I wrong!). Before I go into depth about the wonderful world of Disney, it is important to note the wonderful world of the refund policy offered by Disney Paris. If one purchases a ticket in advance but has a need to cancel, the ticket will fully be refunded as long as the cancellation occurs three days before the anticipated admission date ( I actually cancelled my ticket once, so I have tested this policy, and it is 100% valid).

 

How does you get to Disneyland Paris, especially if you do not speak any French and have no intentions of renting a car to get to Disneyland Paris??   READ MORE...

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Don't forget to add your skills and expertise on your POP profile...

if you don't have a POP profile, you're probably missing great opportunities!

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From a ​M​ajor ​C​able ​N​etwork​ Talent Booker​: ​"​We are working on a toy related docuseries. The series is focused on the entrepreneurial endeavors of our characters through interviews. Some of the topics we're interested in covering are the history of video games, action figures, toy designers, dolls/plush toys, building sets, puzzles and tech boosted toys. If any of these topics speak to you, please add the topics to your expertise in your POP Profile. We have discovered great contacts we are using in the series through POP and looking for more!​"​

"I highly recommend that if anyone in this industry wants to be found, they join POP and fill out the skills and expertise section of their POP Profiles. I've had companies and a major media network reach out to me for a show based on my skills and expertise after finding me on POP." - David Yakos, Founder of Streamline Design and Co-Owner of Salient Technologies

I recommend populating your skills and expertise as well as writing about subjects you love. People will discover you on POP - I was just asked to keynote for a big event! -Gert Garman 

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3 Truths and a Lie of the Week - Curt Covert

To be part of the game, all you need is a POP profile with your Fun Facts completed and let us know! We'll do the rest! 

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Financial and Legal

TOYS ‘R’ US ANZ SECURES FUNDING TO SUPPORT UK LAUNCH. The company executed agreements for a $15 million senior term loan facility to support its entry into the UK and planned e-commerce launch this year. The debt funding deal is expected to close tomorrow. The loan will be used for the acquisition of inventory and to support operations and must be paid back within three years.

Target & Walmart reducing FOB orders in favour of domestic purchases? According to a report by Reuters, sky-high stock levels have prompted several leading US multi-category retailers to reappraise their buying strategies, placing a greater emphasis on domestic purchases rather than FOB orders. Last month, Target CEO Brian Cornell pledged in a blog post that the retailer would take “necessary actions” to...

Target puts the squeeze on suppliers after inventories pile up. Target CEO Brian Cornell pledged in a June blog post that the retailer would take necessary actions to adapt to a post-pandemic landscape, paring a record $15.1 billion in unsold merchandise. Behind the scenes, Target's actions this summer include putting pressure on its vendors, asking them to pick up the tab for transporting goods and requiring some...

 

Following the recent bankruptcy filing for the Green Swan-operated Toys “R” Us Iberia, a new deal is in place under which the flag will continue to fly for Geoffrey the Giraffe throughout Spain and Portugal. WHP Global, the parent company of Toys “R” Us (TRU), struck a long-term deal with the Italian PRG Retail Group in which PRG acquires the assets of the former TRU Iberia license through its subsidiaries in the region.

 

EAGLEMOSS HERO COLLECTOR REPORTEDLY GOES BANKRUPT. Update: The Eaglemoss websites are now down and show a “404 Page Not Found Error” and the phones have been disconnected.

***The above posted after July 22nd send of tBR***

 

Netflix is set to acquire Australia’s Animal Logic in a strategic move to build out its animation production capabilities and  add more animated films to its content offering. With studios in Vancouver and LA, Sydney-based Animal Logic’s animated projects include Happy Feet (pictured), The LEGO Movies and the Peter Rabbit films. And it’s no stranger to Netflix—Animal Logic is now animating Ron Howard’s The Shrinking...

Cinesite has acquired Montreal-based studio L’Atelier Animation to expand its production capacity and tap into Canada’s tax credits. CG specialist L’Atelier has produced projects including Netflix animated series Robozuna and the family-friendly feature film Fireheart with eOne Films, Main Journey and Caramel Films.

 

Workers are on strike and pickets are up at the 1190-room Hilton Bayfront adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center as San Diego Comic-Con opens today.  The strike, by Local 30 of hospitality union Unite Here, affects cleaning, front desk, bell-stand, restaurant, and other non-management employees at the hotel. 

Hacker steals internal Roblox documents in extortion attempt. A hacker has stolen a cache of internal documents from Roblox in a bid to extort the popular gaming platform. That's according to Motherboard, which reviewed a handful of documents and said they relate to some of the most popular Roblox games and creators. Roblox itself has confirmed the security breach in a statement to Motherboard and said...

 

Russian tech giants in talks to create a national game engine. The proposed development resource may take billions of Russian Rubles to fund. This month Russia's major tech firms have been in conversation with the government to develop a national game engine. As reported by PC Gamer, these talks for an alternative engine follow after game companies halted their businesses in the country -- in response...

Court dismisses class-action antitrust lawsuit against PlayStation Store. Sony Interactive Entertainment's motion to dismiss an antitrust class action over allegations of making the PlayStation Store a monopoly has been granted. Bloomberg Law reports Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California dismissed the case on Friday, saying the plaintiffs has failed to prove Sony violated the Sherman Act's...

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

Financial Reporting

 

SPIN MASTER CRUSHES ESTIMATES WITH 34% TOY REVENUE SPIKE IN Q2

 

JAKKS PACIFIC SCORES A WIN WITH HIGHEST Q2 SALES, OPERATING INCOME IN COMPANY HISTORY

 

Alphabet misses on earnings and revenue for second quarter

NBCU Earnings Rise, But Peacock Loss Hits $467M and Paid Subs Stall at 13M

Capcom says net sales dip is the result of dwindling major releases

 

Walmart issues profit warning citing cost of living challenges

 

***The above posted after July 22nd***

 

MATTEL SMASHES EARNINGS ESTIMATES IN Q2 AS TOY SALES SPIKE 20%

 

HASBRO KICKS OFF Q2 EARNINGS SEASON WITH GROWTH IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS, WIZARDS OF THE COAST

Netflix Lost 970,000 Subscribers in Q2, Beating Its Estimate by More Than 1 Million Subs

TikTok Starts Layoffs in Company-Wide Restructuring

 

Elden Ring, Pokémon Legends: Arceus drove European sales during the first half of 2022. Germany is the biggest games market in Europe this year.

 

 

Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry

 

Licensing International Releases Global Licensing Industry Study

 

The new C-suite: Retailers like Nordstrom and CVS are personalizing their org structures to meet industry shifts

 

The next TV trend could be loyalty rewards for fans

 

***The above posted after July 22nd***

 

Teens shun traditional news channels for TikTok and Instagram, Ofcom says

 

Toy World UK brings you a selection of the newest and most innovative Construction Toys building upon the category’s popularity this year. 

 

Hulu Is Driving More Streaming Subscribers to Disney Than Marvel or Star Wars

 

Toy manufacturers are launching products ‘with adults in mind,’ expert says

JUNE 2022 NPD BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELS. Superhero and Author Titles Get Boosts from Streaming

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

 

Dark Tower’s Redemption. How a legendary board-game failure became a thoroughly modern hit. “If I’d given a talk 5 yrs ago about what not to do in a game,” says game designer and Restoration Games co-founder Rob Daviau, “Return to Dark Tower checks every box. High price point? Check. Complicated rules? Check. Fidgety components? Check. The most complicated turn is your first one? Check.” When Daviau & Justin Jacobson... 

 

Chess robot grabs and breaks finger of seven-year-old opponent. Last week, according to Russian media outlets, a chess-playing robot, apparently unsettled by the quick responses of a seven-year-old boy, unceremoniously grabbed and broke his finger during a match at the Moscow Open. 

 

***The above was posted after July 22nd tBR send***

 

John Baulch, Toy World (UK) - The heat is on…it’s the Friday Blog! Warm enough for you? Thankfully we managed to dodge the wildfires in our neck of the woods, although I hear a few reps got uncomfortably close on motorway journeys earlier this week. I suspect the apocalyptic weather was both a blessing and curse for retailers: I had to go out to buy printer paper in the middle of the day on Tuesday  and the Asda car park...

Parents are eager to limit what their kids see and how long they spend on their devices, but many don’t know how to set up parental controls, according to new data from Kids Industries (Ki). The London-based research agency surveyed 2,001 parents of kids ages five to 15 in the US and UK. Overall, roughly a quarter of them (23%) don’t use any internet controls to protect their kids, despite feeling concerned about rising...

 

Design Edge: To License or Self Produce Your Toy Invention? My-my, how the world has changed since I came of age in the late ’80s, early ‘90s. 

Back then, I thought we had it all with 57 channels of cable television, a wireless phone in the kitchen, and my Walkman clipped on my hip. Cutting-edge technology was compact discs and the Nintendo NES. There were juggernaut toy brands like Cabbage Patch Kids, Transformers...

 

(For those of you traveling again.) World's best airlines for 2022, ranked by AirlineRatings.com. In the midst of this chaotic season of travel, Australia-based aviation safety and product rating agency AirlineRatings.com has released its annual round-up of the world's best airlines.

Nabbing the top spot for the second year in the row is Qatar Airways, with AirlineRatings.com stating this carrier's commitment...

One year ago, a seemingly unlikely merger took place within UC Santa Cruz’s Division of the Arts, one that fused together the Department of Theater Arts and the Art & Design: Games + Playable Media Program (AGPM). Renamed the Department of Performance, Play & Design (PPD), it is the only university department in the world to break the traditional silos of theater, dance, and games. 

 

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History and Nostalgia

 

The History and Evolution of the NERF Football. Neon foam—that's all Twister inventor and toy developer Reyn Guyer needed to launch NERF in 1969 under Parker Brothers. Dubbed 'the world's first indoor ball,' NERF was such an instant success that within a year, millions of NERF balls had been sold. Moms everywhere rejoiced. The four-inch polyurethane foam ball was made for playing without breaking.

 

Early Hackers Used Whistles From Cap’n Crunch Cereal Boxes. You can draw a line from the tiny toys to Apple Inc. CEREAL COMPANIES HAVE LONG USED box prizes as an inducement for children to nag parents into buying sugary breakfast food. From movie tie-in toys to video games on CD-ROM (remember Chex Quest?), cereal box baubles tend to be momentarily thrilling and then quickly forgotten. Except when they’re used for hacking.

 

Handy Andy Tool Sets from Skil-Craft Corporation (1950). Skil-Craft Corporation’s Handy Andy Tool Sets gave children access to small-scale, working versions of adult tools. The sets came in different sizes for different ages of young carpenters, and shipped in brightly colored lithographed metal boxes emblazoned with the Handy Andy mascot. 

 

Steve Canyon board game from Lowell Toy Mfg. (1959). Twelve years after the Steve Canyon comic strip debuted in newspapers, Lowell Toy Mfg. released the eponymous board game. The comic, created by cartoonist Milton Caniff, focused on the adventures of Steve Canyon, an Army Air Corps veteran who ran an air cargo transport business and later rejoined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. 

 

Morphy's August 9-10 Toys & Collectibles Auction yields bonanza of rare robots, space toys, banks and more. Many a great toy and bank collection is highlighted by rarities acquired from Morphy’s, which still holds the world record for the highest-grossing one-day toy auction of all time. Many would recall the record-setting event: Morphy’s 2007 sale of the legendary Stephen and Marilyn Steckbeck bank collection, which...

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Licensing 

 

Kilburn Live is partnering with LA-based game developer Rovio Entertainment to develop a new interactive stage show based on its Angry Birds mobile game, which has been downloaded more than five billion times, according to a press release.  Angry Birds Live: The Slingshot Adventure will feature several characters from the Angry Birds CG-animated feature films, including Red, Silver and Leonard, who embark...

 

Food Network star Molly Yeh is launching her first-ever kitchenware collection exclusively at Macy’sGirl Meets Farm by Molly Yeh puts the fun in functional with a bright, whimsical and timeless collection of products curated by Molly to showcase her signature style. The line features cookware, bakeware, kitchen storage, food prep, textiles, cutlery and serve ware. In addition, it includes the line of “parent and me” kids’ ...

The toy-adjacent trading card business continues to grow as hobby shops, specialty retailers, and mass retailers across the country embrace the pack-cracking culture... following recent deals with VeeFriends & Paramount, Fanatics Collectibles’ zerocool is amping up its position in the non-sport trading cards space by inking multiyear partnership deals with Netflix, Legendary Entertainment & filmmaker Kevin Smith.

 

NECA's New E.T. 40th Anniversary Figure Is Lit — Literally. This E.T. action figure is heartwarming — and not just because of that endearing smile. NECA’s E.T. 40th Anniversary 7-inch Scale Action Figure- Deluxe Ultimate E.T. with LED Chest is one of several new offerings designed to celebrate the titular character from Spielberg’s classic film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

 

JAKKS PACIFIC CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS IN JULY WITH CLARK GRISWOLD, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, SUPER MARIO REVEALS... we’re just five months away from Christmas and that means retailers of all sizes are stocking up for the holidays. While the formal reveal is happening here, attendees to the Jakks Pacific and Disguise panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) got a super-early sneak preview this past weekend.

 

LEGO is revving its engines. The toy company is partnering up with General Motors’ Chevrolet division to release its latest vintage car set, the LEGO Chevrolet Camaro Z28. The set is a detailed recreation of the muscle car and includes a working steering wheel, a detailed engine, and doors that open and close. 

 

New York-based IMG will now serve as Lionsgate’s exclusive global agency for consumer products. The two companies have set up a multi-year partnership that will see IMG develop licensing programs for Lionsgate’s TV shows and movies in multiple categories. Popular teen/YA film franchises The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games are covered under the deal, including their upcoming iterations.

 

Disney+ has picked up CG-animated preschool series Bing from London-based Acamar Films for its Italian content offering. The 104 x seven-minute series is scheduled to join the SVOD’s lineup starting on  August 24. It stars a young rabbit who begins to grow up and experience typical toddler things, like feeling sick and getting a first pet. The show is based on a range of preschool books written by Ted Dewan...

 

Kilburn Live has announced the opening of the new immersive attraction The Search For Snoopy: A Peanuts Adventure. Created alongside Peanuts Worldwide, the Adventure will take fans of Charles Schulz’s world-renowned comic strip on a one-of-a-kind adventure inside the Peanuts world at Hawaii’s Ala Moana Center.

 

In a multi-year agreement, IMG will work with Lionsgate to develop and expand strategic, multi-category consumer product programs for its blockbuster feature film franchises, including upcoming iterations of John Wick, The Hunger Games, Dirty Dancing, Expendables, and more. They will also focus on Lionsgate’s rich catalogue of television properties including Mad Men, Power, Orange is the New Black..

 

Mattel entered into a partnership deal with the legendary Tony Hawk to launch a new brand: Hot Wheels Skate. The new line is a reinvention of the fingerboard category using Hot Wheels design flair and with a goal of being inclusive to those of all experience levels. Walmart is the exclusive retail partner for the August launch, which will include Hot Wheels Skate Fingerboard and Shoe Assortments in single packs, ...

 

Falcon’s Beyond and BRON Studios Announce Partnership to Co-Develop & Produce Projects. Falcon’s Beyond, a leading fully integrated global entertainment development company specializing in intellectual property (IP) creation and expansion, has announced a strategic partnership with BRON Studios, a leading global media, technology, and award-winning production company, to co-develop and co-produce  ...

 

Jada Toys Expands Roster with New Capcom Action Figures and Convention Exclusives.  Jada Toys, leading manufacturer of premium collectibles, announces the expansion of its action figures product offerings with a new line of characters from some of the most loved entertainment properties at Capcom. 

 

Ravensburger is debuting a new puzzle collection in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products that will feature seven new puzzle lines based on beloved Warner Bros. franchises. The line will include popular films and animation classics such as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, Looney Tunes, and Tom & Jerry.

Romero Britto, artist and founder of the Happy Art Movement has teamed up with Hasbro for the release of four new Monopoly limited-edition artworks on canvas. The series highlights Mr. Monopoly in Britto’s patterns and colors, creating a journey through art for fans. Britto is the only authorized artist to create fine art for the Monopoly brand in addition to a special Miami Edition of the Monopoly board game.

 

Tonies and The Roald Dahl Story Company are partnering for the first time to bring three iconic stories to life in a new way. Kicking off the partnership is The Witches, narrated by actress and comedian Lolly Adefope. Kids can find out what happens when a small boy and his Norwegian grandmother take on the Grand High Witch in an attempt to thwart her wicked plans for children everywhere. 

 

Lisa Marks Associates is pleased to announce an unprecedented collab. between the beloved MoonPie brand and Finaflex. The 2 brands are teaming up to introduce Power Pie, a new protein snack inspired by the iconic MoonPie. Power Pie is a milk chocolate-covered, non-GMO, super-stacked protein snack built with all-natural ingredients that sandwich two soft & chewy cookies together with a creamy marshmallow...

 

The Point.1888 has been appointed by Pedigree to represent British fashion icon Sindy in the UK. The team will initially look to organise impressive celebrations to mark Sindy’s ‘60 Iconic Years’, a milestone taking place in September 2023. The heritage doll brand is aiming to be centre stage on top fashion runways as Pedigree looks to introduce contemporary and retro assets into the brand’s licensing programme. 

 

Spin Master inked a deal to develop a full range of toys inspired by the upcoming animated series, Firebuds. Created by Emmy Award-winner Craig Gerber (Sophia the First, Elena of Avalor), Firebuds is a music-filled series that follows the kids of first responders and their talking vehicle sidekicks as they learn what it means to be a real hero.

 

Sony Pictures Networks Targets India’s ‘New-Age Kid’ With Upcoming Shows. The company reveals four projects in the works at its production division, with plans for book adaptations and girl-skewing stories, says business head Leena Lele Dutta. After dipping its toe into content production with 2D-animated series Sudha Murty’s Stories of Wit and Magic, which launched on Netflix earlier this year, Sony...

 

***The aboved was posted after tBR started to send on July 22nd***

 

‘Powerpuff Girls,’ ‘Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends’ reboots in the works. New versions of two beloved Cartoon Network shows are in development, with the creator of both guiding them. Reboots of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends are in the works at Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe. Craig McCracken, who created both series, is attached to the two projects. 

Squishmallows and Pokémon Join Forces for an Epic Plush Collaboration. Jazwares, a leading global toy company, has announced that two of the toy industry’s top powerhouse brands are teaming up, Squishmallows and Pokémon! Exclusively revealed at San Diego Comic-Con, the new Squishmallows x Pokémon collection is a collaboration with The Pokémon Company Int'l, combining the loveable personalities of ...

 

In the ‘80s, two things were a futuristic dream, flying cars and a merger of the most popular toys: LEGO and Atari. We’re still waiting on the flying cars (Elon Musk, WYA?) but the LEGO Group is *finally* building up an Atari set, brick by brick. The set comes in celebration of Atari’s 50th Anniversary and is inspired by the four-switch revision of the Atari VCS/2600 that debuted in 1980.

 

Elon Musk and Mattel are blasting off with another collaboration following the success of Tesla-inspired toys and collectibles over the past few years.  Musk’s SpaceX inked a multi-year licensing deal with Mattel under which the El Segundo, California-based toymaker will create new products geared toward kids and collectors alike.

The Karma’s World dolls are finally here. Inspired by the entertainment media company started by rapper Ludacris, Karma’s World is an animated series on Netflix that tells the coming-of-age story of Karma Grant, an aspiring rapper. This doll collection is based on the series and features characters from the show.

 

Spin Master is making plans to bring a host of video game-themed products into the toy department. The company inked a multi-year licensing deal with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) under which Spin Master will serve as the global master toy licensing for the Sony PlayStation brand and first-party, SIE-owned PlayStation video game titles. The deal includes rights to produce a host of new products...

 

Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels, the first DLC expansion for Forza Horizon 5, is now available for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11 PCs, Cloud Gaming (Beta), and Steam. For the new expansion, Mattel teamed up with Playground Games to develop not just a series of new levels, but a brand-new, five-chapter Horizon Story: Hot Wheels: A History of Speed. In the game, players can experience some of the fastest...

The producers of Top Gun: Maverick and the upcoming Mission: Impossible sequels are teaming up with Mattel to bring an iconic toy brand to the big screen. Skydance and Mattel Inc. are developing Matchbox, the long-running real-world die-cast vehicle line, into a live-action motion picture. Screenwriter David Coggeshall (Paramount’s Orphan: First Kill), who previously skirted the toy realm by working on drafts of...

 

The 75th anniversary of Tonka is being celebrated in a very unique way. New Zealand Mint is offering a limited edition, 1oz rectangular coin that features the iconic Tonka Mighty Dump Truck. Just 1,947 pieces have been minted in honor of the company’s founding in Mound, Minnesota in 1947. Crafted in pure silver, the coin has been treated with an antiqued look accented by the Tonka truck in full color.

 

Novel Entertainment is teaming up with social enterprise Madlug to support the company’s mission to raise awareness of the value and worth of care experienced children, while helping them make their way with dignity. Under the collaboration, Novel Entertainment has donated its Horrid Henry brand to enable Madlug to create a backpack featuring the popular children’s entertainment property.

 

Los Angeles-based streetwear company DREAM Clothing is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Cloudco Entertainment’s beloved and iconic property, Care Bears, with limited-edition drops. The first planned clothing release was exclusively made for Pride month and launched on June 1. Subsequent limited-edition releases were dropped during the month of June and are continuing through July.

 

Discovery Channel, a member of the Warner Bros Discovery family of brands, is diving deep into Shark Week 2022 with merchandising partners. Airing Sunday, July 24 at 8:00PM ET/PT through Sunday, July 31 on Discovery Channel and discovery+ with an exciting lineup of 25 adrenaline-inducing original hours and original shark-themed programming, Shark Week, in its 34th year, is television’s longest-running...

 

Mattel has announced that its all-new animated children’s series Deepa & Anoop will debut on Netflix on August 16, 2022. Created by acclaimed Bollywood animator Munjal Shroff (Shortcut Safari), accomplished writer Lisa Goldman (Dragon Tales), and award-winning producer Heather Kenyon (Doki Adventures), Deepa & Anoop is Mattel Television’s first original series based on original intellectual property.

 

JAKKS Pacific has revealed Let’s Go, Yoshi, a perfect addition to any Super Mario collection. Standing at 12 inches tall, this figure has several interactive triggers and 13 points of articulation for tons of posing options. Kids and collectors ages 3 and up will have endless fun with Yoshi to activate his 20+ iconic sounds and music. Pat Yoshi’s nose to hear adorable sounds. Push down on Yoshi’s head for a super cool...

 

Guru Studio has partnered with TIME Studios to produce a new animated comedy series called Scoops about media literacy and misinformation recognition. Targeting 5--8 yrs, the show features Ellerby, an 8 yr-old girl who seeks the truth behind rumors circulating in her neighborhood with help from her best friend Olsen. Along the way, Ellerby uses journalistic news-gathering techniques to judge the credibility...

 

Thunderbird Distribution has come on board to distribute and manage consumer products globally for Mittens & Pants, an upcoming series featuring live animals from Toronto-based Windy Isle Entertainment. Under the deal, Thunderbird will sell the show worldwide, except in Canada and the UK, where it is already lined up to air on CBC Kids and Sky Kids this fall.

 

Gamisodes Remixes Inspector Gadget Into Gamified TV And NFTs CEO Davis Brimer explains why he thinks his company's mash-up of gaming, TV content and Web3 elements represents an entirely new media category, decked out in a nostalgic trench coat. Just like Inspector Gadget himself, the latest iteration of this eponymous IP is a cyborg, mixing high-tech and human elements to create a totally unique being.

 

Paramount Consumer Products UK held its annual Partner Showcase, including a surprise awards ceremony in London’s West End, returning for an in-person event for the first time since 2019. The event, organised by Paramount’s UK Consumer Products team, showcased upcoming franchise plans and celebrated partners’ outstanding collaboration from the past year, honouring key retailers, partners and licensees.

 

Spain’s Zinkia Entertainment (Pocoyo) is gearing up to bring its first original project in 15 years to TV screens, tackling the evergreen kid-favorite subject of dinosaurs. The prodco’s new series Yanco, Dina and the Dinosaurs has been ordered by Spanish pubcaster RTVE and will be broadcast on its kids channel Clan. Details of the premiere date and format have not been revealed yet.

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People of Play

Smart-toys to Celebrate 50th Anniversary in 2023 as Michael J Freeman Reflects on Journey. The 50th anniversary of the first toy robot is fast approaching. Inspired by his mother’s declaration that “kids love robots,” Michael J Freeman set out to create the prototype for the first ‘smart conversational toy’ in 1973. “A smart-toy has the ability to alter dialogue, make decisions, and change the mode and difficulty level of...

 

“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Chrissy Fagerholt of EAP Toys & Games to the show. EAP produces a range of games — including You Who?, Friend or Faux, and The Lunch Room Game — that pair a hint of strategy and humor into a play pattern that requires a little luck.

Be Super Creative Founder and Creative Director Delanie West has been named Director at Large by the Graphic Artists Guild, an organization uniting graphic designers, interactive designers, illustrators, animators, and photographers. The appointment follows a unanimous vote by the Guild’s national board of directors.

 

ASTRA welcomes back their new, and returning staff member, Katie Cooley (Marso). Katie will be working part-time as Education Coordinator at ASTRA, getting their education programming back on track! Katie graduated from Lake Forest College in Illinois with a degree in both Sociology and Communications. After of college, Katie started working for ASTRA as the Membership and Programs Coordinator.

Just Play announced the appt of Sujata Luther as the co.’s President. Sujata Luther has spent time consulting for Just Play and will assume a full-time role to support the growth and expansion of Just Play. In her new position, Luther will oversee the co.’s day-to-day operations. Just Play’s founders and current Co-Presidents, Geoffrey Greenberg and Charlie Emby, will transition to Co-CEOs, focusing on long-term strategic planning...

 

Douglas Bensimon and Edward Mejia have been elevated to VP of current series at Disney TV Animation, the animation studio within Disney Branded TV. The duo most recently served as executive directors of Disney TV Animation, which Bensimon and Mejia were appointed to in 2021 and 2020, respectively. They will both continue reporting to SVP of current series Khaki Jones.

 

***The above posted after July 22nd***

 

Mattel Appoints Mike DeLaet as Global Head of Digital Gaming. Mattel, Incorporated has announced that Mike DeLaet has been appointed Global Head of Digital Gaming, effective July 25. DeLaet brings more than two decades of gaming expertise to Mattel, most recently serving as SVP, Strategic Partnerships for Scopely, a global interactive entertainment and mobile-first games company.

 

ARCADE1UP EXPANDS LEADERSHIP TEAM WITH 3 NEW HIRES. Tom Lyons is joining Arcade1Up as CMO where he will oversee the company’s digital marketing, brand strategy, strategic partnerships, creative, communications, eCommerce, and social media. Adriana Vila Soto will serve at Arcade1Up as the SVP of marketing and strategic partnerships. Chris Cardenas is joining as the VP of sales...

 

ZAG has appointed Luca Bonecchi as the head of consumer products in Europe. Bonnechi was most recently a head of agent management at Acamar Films following a six-year career as vice president of licensing EMEA for Entertainment One (eOne).  Bonnechi will replace Helena Perheentupa who will be taking on a new senior management role with ZAG that has yet to be announced.

 

Meet the guys who design Lego sets for adult fans of the iconic toy bricks. During the recent Lego 90 Years Of Play media event at the toy company’s headquarters in Billund, Denmark, we spoke to Mike Psiaki and Milan Madge, the designers of the two Lego Icons sets, to get some insights into what it is like designing Lego sets for adults versus children.

 

‘Insurmountable’ obstacle pushed Hunter Sparagna to do whatever it takes to succeed. One-week contract to create an action figure led to full-time job at McFarlane Toys for VCUarts alum. When Hunter Sparagna was a kid, his older brother drew the entire Pokémon Sapphire Generation — the third generation of the Pokémon video game series circa 2002.

 

A Game Maker’s Life. JEFFREY BRESLOW, a preeminent toy and game inventor and designer, spent more than 41 years inventing toys and games since graduating with a BFA from the University of Illinois in industrial design. In 1976 at the age of 34, he became the youngest managing partner of Marvin Glass and Associates, the leading toy design company in the world.

Electronic Arts restructures technology team as CTO prepares to depart. Current head Ken Moss leaves next month, with Marija Radulovic-Nastic and Matt Thomlinson taking on new roles. Electronic Arts is overhauling its technology department, splitting the structure into two pillars, following the announcement of its chief technology officer's upcoming departure. In an SEC filing released yesterday ...

 

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Companies and Brands

 

In six years, Chefclub has established itself as a leading food entertainment brand and content creator for families, generating a whopping 2.5 billion monthly views, and 100 million subscribers. With half of its followers in the US and UK – Chefclub is thrilled to exhibit at Brand Licensing Europe for the first time!

 

Tangle Puts a Spin on Classic Toys with New Fidget Toys and a Nightball Volleyball Tangle is offering a new take on a classic toy that brings sea creatures to kids’ hands, expanding the Tangle fidget toy with an under-the-sea theme. Tangle is also launching a new, water-resistant volleyball that features LED lighting.

 

MGA Entertainment launched the L.O.L. Surprise Tweens Fashion Dolls last year as a new size in the L.O.L. Surprise brand that falls in between the smaller collectible dolls and the O.M.G. Fashion Dolls, both in size and relation. The Tweens are the big sisters to existing L.O.L. Surprise dolls, and younger sisters to the O.M.G. Dolls. 

 

Dude Perfect is Back to Show Off Exciting New Ways to Koosh with the PlayMonster Koosh Flix Stix. “Easy to pick up, hard to put down” once again drives the incredible success and popularity of PlayMonster’s Koosh with the new launch of its highly-anticipated Koosh Flix Stix. Hot off the heels of an incredible year in 2021, Koosh has been flying off shelves as well as around rooms and backyards everywhere.

 

The Pokémon Company International has announced an upcoming Halloween campaign inviting Trainers to incorporate Pokémon in their spooky celebrations with themed activations and merchandise across the franchise. To kick off the program, The Pokémon Company International revealed the new Pokémon Trading Card Game: Trick or Trade BOOster Bundle, providing parents and kids with a fun and innovative...

 

Douglas Adds More Dinosaurs and Unicorns to its Plush Pantheon. Calling all paleontologists and fans of fantastical times, Douglas has unearthed three new dinosaurs and discovered four new magical unicorns! Designed for ages 3 and up, Douglas’ newest Dinosaurs and Unicorns are expected on store shelves now. Douglas’ products are sold at specialty gift and toy stores in the USA and Canada.

 

Crayola has extended its long-standing US partnership with Retail Monster into the UK. Retail Monster will support Crayola at retail as its drives its consumer products programme across the UK, and will work closely with the brand to support its growing licensee partnerships in the UK to deliver innovative and impactful retail campaigns.

 

Hunter Products is setting its sights on North America.  Canspan BMG has been selected as the North American agency for Australian toy company Hunter Products. The two will partner to launch a variety of toy releases into the North American toy market, including Hunter Products’ newly released Big, Big Baby. 

 

With millions of Brits set to hit the roads for the summer holidays, Spin Master has partnered with Welcome Break for a special roadside treat. Just in time for the big getaway, travellers will be able to relax and have fun with a range of games at motorway pit stops. Spin Master games will be set up in various food courts in Welcome Break motorway service areas across the UK for families to enjoy as they break...

 

Roblox beefs up its developer tools as it looks to a future beyond games. By hiding the underlying complexity from less experienced developers and building a flexible new system for more technical users, Roblox is looking to move beyond games into other experiences like virtual concerts, commerce and more creative approaches.

 

Marvel Studios flooded the zone at Comic-Con today, announcing titles, casting or release dates on more than a dozen new movies that will form the Multiverse Saga, some of which had only been rumored up until now. To help sort it all out, here is a quick, no-nonsense list of the films Marvel Studios has coming out in the next three years for Phases 5 and 6 of the MCU — and beyond.

 

Last year, Funko officially became a $1 billion toy, collectible, and lifestyle company, but its entertainment aspirations have been looming large. Now, the company inked a deal with 10:10 Games to create a series of AAA video games, beginning with an action platformer set for release next year. Funko revealed its plans yesterday during its Hall H presentation at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC).

 

Vivid Goliath’s influencer campaign hits 2 million viewsThe partnership was brokered by talent management agency, Viral Talent, which identified SV2 as the perfect match for the Wahu brand, known for its high-quality outdoor products. The Wahu range, the leading outdoor brand in Australia is fronted by the hugely popular Phlat Ball, one of the UK’s biggest selling outdoor toys

 

SDCC: HASBRO CLARIFIES PLASTIC-FREE PACKAGING PLANS FOR SELECT ACTION FIGURE LINES. Following the Toy Book’s first-ever trends panel at the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Long Beach, California last month, one big question served up during the post-panel audience Q&A had to do with plastic-free packaging. Specifically, how Hasbro would handle the transition to windowless boxes for its 6-inch action figures...

 

The World of Barbie is hitting the road — literally. The ticketed, 30,000-square-foot interactive attraction from Mattel and Kilburn Live was first announced back in May and features life-sized installations and photo ops for families to enjoy. For the global debut, World of Barbie set up shop in a stand-alone space at Square One in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The exhibit opened today.

 

Cloudco Entertainment — owner of Care Bears — is celebrating 40 years of sharing and caring with a special 40th anniversary Care Bear, Care-a-lot Bear! She possesses the most magic and belly badge powers of all the bears, and knows that caring for others is the best way to spread kindness and love. 

 

SpongeBob SquarePants Universe Getting a Crossover Event. Kamp Koral and The Patrick Star Show are crossing over. SpongeBob SquarePants is about to get his very own Multiverse of Madness. Announced at San Diego Comic-Con, the hit Nickelodeon show will collide with its spin-offs, Kamp Koral and The Patrick Star Show for a one-off special – “The Tidal Zone”.

 

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that Facebook’s redesign will launch a new tab, called Feeds, in a move that mimics TikTok’s algorithm of chosen videos. The app’s redesign will split up users’ “home” sections into two parts: “Feeds,” which will showcase posts from friends, Pages groups in chronological order and the newly-coined “Home,” which will highlight recommended content based on the ...

 

***The above posted after tBR started sending on July 22nd***

 

MASTERMIND TOYS LAUNCHES PRIVATE BRAND. The retailer today officially launched its in-house, namesake private brand with Sarah Lowry at the helm as head of private brand. Lowry has experience launching Indigo Book & Music Inc.’s exclusive home brand, OUI, and growing the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Owned Brand portfolio, including the HBC Stripes Collection.

Toynamics UK & Ireland signs as exclusive UK distributor for Korko, a range of playful educational toys made from sustainable Portuguese cork.  There will be a range of Korko Block Sets available in the UK at launch, offering a choice of building block pack sizes. In the future, the range will be expanded to offer a wider collection of fun products, each with an exciting story to tell from the cork forest.

 

Upper Deck debuts Collect Forever, a new direct-to-consumer (D2C) collectibles distribution platform. Collect Forever is an outlet that fans can use to purchase, store, and trade every type of collectible.  The launch was announced at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) by Upper Deck President Hason Masherah who shared details...

 

At Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), Hasbro unveiled plans for the first of its new D&D toy lines: The Golden Archive Collection. This line follows the premium, 6-inch scale form factor made popular by other Hasbro lines, including Star Wars: The Black Series, the Marvel Legends Series, and the G.I. Joe Classified Series. Rooted in nearly 50 years of D&D lore, the line will feature characters, creatures, and ...

 

Best known for its sand and water toys, Dantoy is moving into tableware for kids with a range which has a focus on sustainability and children’s development. The toy manufacturer, which has been making toys for 58 years, says the range will encapsulate the same values and quality of its toys with a focus on children’s growing proficiency, motor skills development and hand-eye coordination.

 

Moose Toy's Mama Surprise is the newest addition to the Little Live Pets line of realistic toy pets that teach kids the importance of nurturing animals. This interactive guinea pig features more than 20 sounds and reactions that kids can activate by caring for her. When kids pet her and feed her toy celery, her heart will start to glow, signaling that it’s time to put Mama in her hutch, where she will welcome a new baby.

 

Hasbro dominates the water and foam dart blaster categories with Super Soaker and NERF, and now they’re targeting a new blaster medium: super absorbent polymer projectiles, or gel. The NERF Pro GelFire Mythic Full Auto Blaster fires hydrated super absorbent polymer rounds and is expected to be on store shelves by Nov. 1. According to Hasbro, its GelFire line includes “patented technology exclusive to NERF...

 

MultiPlast Systemsof Solon, Ohio, a manufacturer of renewable and sustainable packaging material (www.multiplastsystems.com), has announced that they will be expanding their manufacturing and application capabilities for its organic, degradable, resin additive for enhanced end-of-life sustainability for plastic packaging and products.

Fisher-Price UK supports Family Action’s Creating Happy Memories campaign. Gemma Atkinson junk modelling with daughter Mia. Actress, radio presenter and celebrity mum Gemma Atkinson and her three-year-old daughter, Mia, have helped to launch the Creating Happy Memories family-focused campaign from charity Family Action supported by Fisher-Price.

 

The Lego Group enlisted the help of celebrity photographer Rankin to celebrate 90 years of Lego with fans aged 1 to 90 years taking part in a special photo shoot. Hundreds of fans shared their stories of what Lego play means to them to be in with a chance of being photographed by Rankin, best known for his iconic celebrity portraits including the Spice Girls, David Bowie and The Queen.

 

Mattel Opens Its Vault to Revitalize Dormant Brands. The toymaker will reintroduce three toy lines this week at Comic-Con as part of a strategy to dig deeper into its intellectual property portfolio. Barbie is about to reunite with some old friends. Mattel, the maker of the popular fashion doll, is dusting off three dormant lines that have not been on toy shelves in decades: Major Matt Mason, Big Jim and Pulsar.

Henson Developing Activism-Focused Content. A new special and unscripted series engineered to teach kids about citizenship through puppets and comedy are in the prodco's pipeline. The Jim Henson Company is aiming to empower six- to 11-year-olds to be active citizens with a new puppet-led series and special. Citizen Squad is a live-action musical one-off that encourages kids to change the world for the better...

 

Mattel UK partners with Smyths on summer Barbie and Hot Wheels toursMattel has kicked off the holiday season with an immersive Barbie Dream Camper and dynamic Hot Wheels Hauler experience at its new Slough HQ. The Mattel UK team was out in force to celebrate the two iconic brands and get a taste of the experiences that will be touring round the country in the coming weeks, exciting kids and parents alike.

Macy’s is ready to welcome a new generation of Toys “R” Us kids to its stores in time for the holidays. The partnership between two storied retailers is kicking into high gear thanks to an expanded pact between Macy’s Inc. and Toys “R” Us owner WHP Global that will see Toys “R” Us in-store shops open in every Macy’s store across the U.S. The expanded agreement ups the location count from the 400 stores initially...

Amazon UK has announced plans to create a further 4,000 permanent jobs in the UK. This will bring the number of UK jobs offered by Amazon to 75,000. The new jobs will span a variety of roles including packing and shipping orders at fulfilment centres set to open in Wakefield and Knowsley, warehouse work, office work in London and Manchester, and technology roles in Edinburgh and Cambridge.

University Games debuts Tom Gates games range. UG has teamed up with the popular children’s brand to create an award-winning range of games and puzzles to be launched this mo. The new Tom Gates Monster Games Compendium includes 3 games packed with quintessential Tom Gates humour, creativity and doodling, scooped top honours at The London Toy Fair earlier this year, winning a Toy Fair Hero Toys Award. 

Norton PR says it is embarking on a new and exciting journey, bringing in a range of new hires in response to new business wins. Having grown exponentially over the last few months, the PR agency is introducing new members to its expanding team, bringing in expertise from a range of industries. The company is also re-launching it’s company website and comms channels to echo its values and broad client base.

Toy start-up Fabula has announced a partnership with Mumzworld in a move that will position the business among the top children’s brands in the Middle East. Nazneen Yasin, founder of Fabula Toys, told Toy World: “The Middle East is an extremely exciting market for us because it isn’t just thriving but constantly growing, offering numerous opportunities for an ambitious business like ours. 

 

National Geographic’s leading palaeontologist, discusses why dinosaurs continue to captivate kids and how he’s helped shape Tonies’ new dino-themed audio offering. Nazir, dinosaurs are perennially popular amongst small children – why do you think that is? Nazir Ibrahim

Dinosaurs are, in some ways, like the dragons of our mythology – but they are real. That certainly makes them irresistible to kids.

STEM toy brand Hexbug says it has reinvented the RC tuner car with the launch of the fully customisable Hexmods range in the UK. Designed to be authentic and engaging, children can experiment with different modifications to create a car of their own design. The new collection features two sets: Pro Series Elite and Pro Series Elite Raceway. With the Pro Series Elite set, children can enhance their creativity...

Hachette will release 'Oh Really?' Hachette Boardgames will release Oh Really?, a new party game, into retail on August 31, 2022. In this game, players attempt to guess their friends' order of preferences among five topics. They score points for accurately guessing the order of preferences per person. This game features 200 different topics to play with, an easy-to-learn ruleset and is an excellent icebreaker...

 

Investigate futuristic cases in 'Critical: Foundation'. Hachette Boardgames will release Critical: Foundation, a Sci-Fi casual roleplaying game, into retail on September 14, 2022. In this game, players take on the roles of agents investigating sensitive cases in the year 2035. The multinational corporations have completely taken over the world and have made nanotechnologies commonplace in this setting. Game sessions...

Dr. Finn's Games will release 'The Little Flower Shop Dice Game' into retail. Dr. Finn's Games will release The Little Flower Shop Dice Game, a new set collection game by Steve Finn, into retail in September 2022. In this light strategy game, based on 2018's The Little Flower Shop card game, players are spending the day at a flower shop arranging bouquets. 

 

Renegade Game Studios announces 'Wayfarers Of The South Tigris'. Renegade Game Studios announced Wayfarers of the South Tigris, a new exploration board game by Garphill Games, which will release into retail in Q4 2022. In Wayfarers of the South Tigris, players take on the roles of explorers, cartographers, and astronomers looking to map an area in the Abbasid Caliphate circa 820 AD. 

 

Fanhome, Universal team up for Knight Rider K.I.T.T. build-up model. Fanhome is embarking on a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Following a UK launch last year, Fanhome is releasing its Knight Rider subscription series build-up offering in the U.S. Fans can celebrate the 40th anniversary of Knight Rider with a 110-stage build. 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development

PlayVital has announced that its extensive line of premium products is now available for gamers around the world that seek the best video game accessories to improve their gaming life. Gaming is not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle. With a wide range of options for Nintendo Switch, PS5/PS4, Xbox and Steam Deck, PlayVital is poised to be a major force in the gaming industry.

‘Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels’ brings iconic rides to Xbox. Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels, the first DLC expansion for Forza Horizon 5, is now available for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11 PCs, Cloud Gaming (Beta), and Steam. For the new expansion, Mattel teamed up with Playground Games to develop not just a series of new levels, but a brand-new, five-chapter Horizon Story: Hot Wheels...

 

Minecraft owner bans in-game NFTs to discourage profiteering. Minecraft developer Mojang Studios is taking a strong stance against NFTs. In a blog post titled “Minecraft and NFTs,” the studio, which is owned by Microsoft, wrote that “integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow.” 

 

UK government won't regulate loot boxes, wants developers to police themselves. The UK government believes that children and young people shouldn't be allowed to purchase loot boxes without parental approval, but won't move to regulate the controversial monetization mechanic. Laying out its response to the call for evidence on loot boxes in video games it issued in June 2020, the UK Department...

 

Russian national team and clubs won't feature in FIFA 23. EA has confirmed that Russian clubs and the Russian national team won't be included in FIFA 23. In a statement handed to Eurogamer, the publisher said the decision was made to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine after the country was invaded by Russia with assistance from Belarus earlier this year. 

 

Nintendo tells people to stop using its ancient Wi-Fi tech over security fears. The year is 2022 and Nintendo has just issued at statement telling folks to stop using a Wi-Fi dongle it released in 2005. If, like me, it's hard for you to fathom just how long ago that was, Skyrim hadn't even come out yet and Guitar Hero was just about coming into vogue. 

Games spending down 10% to $26.3bn in H1 2022 | US monthly charts. US consumer spending decreased 11% to $4.3 billion this June 2022 compared to the same period last year, NPD reported in its monthly charts. Analyst Mat Piscatella noted a growth in subscription spending but it "could not offset declines in other areas of content spending, while hardware and accessory spending also dropped." 

Highlighted Press Releases

 

OUTDOORS OR IN, TANGLE® PETS AQUATIC COLLECTION BECKONS KIDS THIS SUMMER ALONG WITH NIGHTBALL® VOLLEYBALL.
Is It Any Wonder Learning Express Named Tangle, the Global Tactile Sensation For Generations, Among Its Top Two Sales Increase Winners?
South San Francisco, CA (July 21, 2022) — When your brand keeps pace, year after year in sales, that’s good news. But when your annual sales increase more than all of the competition on the toy shelves, that’s remarkable! Learning Express just awarded Tangle®, Inc. its prestigious Second Place 2022 Sales Increase Award. (For those curious, they were bested only by Kellytoy, makers of Squishmallows!)

 

Safety and Counterfeiting

 

UNDER FIRE: POLICE DEPARTMENTS TAKE AIM AT GROWING GEL BLASTER, BEAD BLASTER TOY CATEGORY. Last week, Hasbro made headlines after the company unveiled its NERF Pro GelFire Mythic blaster, its entry into a growing category of toy blasters that release projectile rounds made of super absorbent polymer (essentially, gel).

 

***The aboved posted after July 22nd***

 

Personal data of 69 million Neopets users is now up for sale after a data breach. Neopets, an aged website that lets users keep virtual pets and take care of them, just suffered a major data breach. Aside from the personal data of over 69 million users, the hacker was able to obtain the website’s source code. This isn’t the first time Neopets has faced a massive leak, but this time around, user data is currently being sold...

 

Toys R Us Inc. infringed the trademarks and copyrights of another toy-maker’s car and track set called “Magic Tracks,” a lawsuit filed Monday in New Jersey federal court alleges. The complaint said Toys R Us sold counterfeit Magic Tracks products at its retail store at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and other locations. Ontel Products Corp., which makes the Magic Tracks comprising...

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals

 

Hasbro Fans Expo 2022 Hong Kong - EarthSpark Premier, A Hero Is Born 2-Pack, More! Following the 2021 event, Fans in China will be enjoying another Hasbro Fans Expo this year. Just reveled on the official Hasbro HK socials is news of the event taking place in Hong Kong July 29th to August 2nd, 2022. These events held previously included numerous product displays and some exclusives for purchase.

 

Brand Licensing Europe Returns This Fall with New Online Platform.  Europe’s leading licensing and brand extension event returns in September for an in-person event in London with virtual days following the live event. In preparation for the event, BLE launched the brand directory and online planner to help attendees keep track of which brands will be in attendance and to promote networking opportunities 

 

A new PR agency has been announced as the BTHA confirms strong re-bookings for Toy Fair 2023 from both returnees and new exhibitors. Retail PR has been named the show’s new PR agency for Toy Fair 2023. Retail PR has great experience in trade exhibition PR, including The Big Christmas Press Show, as well as valuable knowledge of the industry in both the retail and toy sectors. 

 

TTPM and The Toy Authority Present The People's Play Awards: America's Wishlist.  Introducing an award program for the people, by the people! Finalists are chosen by top industry experts, including retailers, media and industry analysts. Consumers and influencers vote to decide the winners, making these the “toys most wanted” by toy fans of all ages for Holiday 2022. The best part? It's FREE to enter!

 

Spielwarenmesse is opening a few of its doors to consumers. The next Spielwarenmesse is set for Feb. 1 to Feb. 5 2023 and will set the direction of the toy industry for the upcoming year. The event creates a comprehensive overview of the industry and represents a variety of different sectors in the toy industry, including Model Railways and Model Construction.

 

UK Autumn Fair returns to the NEC Birmingham from 4th – 7th Sept., shining a spotlight on sustainability and focusing on brands which are committed to making positive changes via its Sustainability Trail which runs across all Home, Gift, Fashion, and Design & Source sectors.

The Kids, Toys and Play sector of the show will include companies such as Ty, One for Fun, University Games, Keel Toys, Spinning Poodle Games...

 

***The above was posted after July 22nd***

 

Now entering its 15th year, the TAGIE Awards, presented by People of Play (POP), will once again honor the best and brightest innovators, designers, retailers, suppliers and marketers in the toy and game industry in 2022. Each year, the TAGIEs bring together the many communities that make up the larger industry of play, including professionals and fans from all over the world. 

Andrew Laughton and Clive Jones were both honoured for their commitment to fundraising and dedication to the Toy Trust. Clive Jones.  The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) is delighted to have presented two Toy Trust Outstanding Contribution Awards, which are given to people who go above and beyond in raising funds for the Toy Trust and who complete great personal challenges.

SPIELWARENMESSE TAPS TOY BOOK EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MADDIE MICHALIK TO ITS TREND COMMITTEE. The international toy fair relies on the expertise of its TrendCommittee, a team that works together to find and identify relevant trend developments at their early stages. This international team is made up of market researchers, trend scouts, and journalists, and works to discover future-oriented trends... 

 

The BlogOn Toys Awards are back again for the sixth time, and are joining forces with Dr Gummer’s Good Play Guide on the official Demo ZoneRunning since 2017, the BlogOn Toy Awards are an ideal way for toy and game companies, be they big or small, to connect to UK-based influencers whilst raising product awareness within the media.

 

Following a two-year, digital detour to become “Sweet Suite @ Home,” the Toy Insider‘s Sweet Suite event returned to its original, live format last week. The legendary toy party thrown by the Toy Insider (like the Toy Book, published by Adventure Media & Events) welcomed top-tier press, media personalities, and digital influencers — including Instagram stars, TikTokers, and YouTube creators — for an epic night...

 

Hasbro Pulse Con 2022 will take place Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 in a virtual format. Other than the dates, nothing more has been revealed about the now-annual event, its programming, or its product offerings. On Hasbro‘s second quarter earnings call this week, the company revealed that its direct-to-consumer (D2C) business via Hasbro Pulse has grown more than 60% this year and has been positioned to be an important part...

 

How San Diego Comic-Con assembled its make-or-break return to a live (and masked) convention. After two virtual ComicCon@Home conventions and one mini “special edition” event last Thanksgiving, San Diego Comic-Con is finally returning for its first full-on, in-person con in three years. The team behind the biggest fan convention in North America says it’s “burning the midnight oil” to get ready for Comic-Con...

Announcing The 2022 Kidscreen Awards Winners! After dominating the shortlist with 20 nominated entries, Netflix took home the lion's share of trophies...and its preschool show Trash Truck scored the most wins by a single title. Animated preschool series Trash Truck (pictured) from Glen Keane Productions earned four trophies for the SVOD, making it the winningest show at the 13th-annual event.

 

Entries are now open for Brand Licensing Europe’s Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition, which boosts the profile of new brands, illustrators, inventors and product designers and helps them to successfully break into the $300b global licensing market. Entrants are invited to enter one of three categories. 

Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China will welcome more than 1,000 exhibitors to the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, August 5-7, 2022. Although the trio has pushed this specific convention back several times due to spikes in COVID-19 cases, they are set to hold the event in August and utilize online programming to make it as accessible as possible.

 

Europe’s leading event for licensing and brand extension, Brand Licensing Europe, has revealed a vibrant and inspiring yet practical content programme. There's something for everyone, with the line-up having been developed to further attendee knowledge about the opportunity that brand licensing presents.

 

The Spiel des Jahres jury has announced its choices, with games from AEG and Pegasus Spiele taking the two top prizes.  The prestigious Spiel des Jahres award went to Cascadia by Randy Flinn, published by AEG/Flatout/Kosmos. Other nominees were Scout from Oink Games, and Top Ten by Cocktail Games. The Kennerspiel des Jahres award went to Living Forest by Aske Christiansen, published by Pegasus Spiele.  

 

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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.

Richard Tait, 1964-2022: ‘Cranium’ inventor and serial entrepreneur was ‘the ultimate dreamer’. Tait passed away on Monday at his Bainbridge Island, Wash., home from “continued pulmonary complications due to COVID-19,” according to a Facebook post by his family, shared with GeekWire. News of his death was also shared in a note to staff from Valor Equity Partners Co-President Jonathan Shulkin. Tait had been a partner at Valor Siren Ventures since March 2019.

“It is with great sadness that Valor Equity Partners announces the death of our colleague and friend Richard Tait,” Shulkin wrote. “Our Valor community, as well as the many people that worked with Richard over the years, mourn his passing. He will be greatly missed.”

Tait’s son, Finn Tait, also posted TikTok videos and Instagram photos in which they remembered their father.

“He was a great dad,” Finn said in one video. “It was like having Willy Wonka for a father. I love him very much and I’m going to miss him a lot.”

Tait started at Microsoft in July 1988 and is credited with launching a series of new businesses at the tech giant. He helped pioneer client server computing in the company’s operating system division, ran the CD-ROM business with products like Encarta, and started a number of consumer-oriented online services including Carpoint, Sidewalk and others, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Tait was even the first boss of current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whom he helped recruit from Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s.

“Cranium” board game. (Hasbro Image)

But it was Tait’s decision to leave Microsoft in 1998 that would largely define his legacy, as he and fellow Microsoft executive Whit Alexander co-founded “Cranium.”

It became one of the fastest-selling games in history and spawned a number of “Cranium”-branded follow-ups and related products. Gaming giant Hasbro bought “Cranium” for $77.5 million in 2008.

“We set out to create a brand that would give everyone the chance to shine,” Tait said at the time of the sale. “We’ve accomplished that and so much more, making history with great products that have won five Toy Industry Association Game of the Year awards.” READ MORE...

 

Tony Mines, a founding father of modern Lego animation, has died at the age of 44 after a months-long battle with melanoma cancer.

Mines passed away peacefully on Saturday July 9, one day after his 44th birthday, in Florence Nightingale Hospice in Aylesbury, U.K., his sister Gill Mines told Cartoon Brew.

“Although we knew his cancer was incurable, it’s still heartbreaking for us all to lose him so young,” said Gill.

Mines was born on July 8, 1978, in Leighton Buzzard. Although Gill pointed out that he was technically from “the posh side” of Linslade. Mines was a Barnfield College graduate who later studied animation at Newport University, South Wales.

He was diagnosed with melanoma cancer on January 1, 2022, which was later confirmed incurable in February. His body didn’t respond well to treatment, and he received the terminal diagnosis in April. Mines spent his final months living with his sister and brother-in-law, who cared for him to the end.

“Tony was a creative genius from a very young age, a mesmerizing imagination, and had the most wicked sense of humor and infectious laugh,” Gill said of her big brother. “He was also kind, loving, and thoughtful. Tony was very pragmatic about his cancer diagnosis and spent his last few months with friends and family, whilst doing the thing he loved most, drawing and animating.”

Spite Your Face Productions, the company name of British animators and filmmakers Tony Mines and Tim Drage, was a pioneer in the Lego filmmaking movement of the early 21st century. Films such as ONE: A Space Odyssey and All of the Dead quickly quickly went “viral” before the term even existed. Stop-motion films featuring Lego and other brick toys had been around for decades, but the work done by Mines and his collaborators was groundbreaking and foundational for the Lego films, both official and fan-made, that can be found all across the internet today.

 

Alice Bergman, 'Strong and Fierce'. Alice Bergman, an early feminist, civil rights activist, and founder of the iconic Upper West Side toy store, West Side Kids, died peacefully on Saturday morning, her daughter Jennifer Bergman informed the community in an email. The cause was pneumonia. Alice was 86. “Friday, she had a good day,” Jennifer wrote. “She spoke to friends on the phone, spent time with each of us and talked about her goals. Both Les [Jen’s younger sister] and I were by her side when she died. Her body was so fragile, but her mind and spirit were strong and fierce.” 

Those words seemed to define Alice Bergman, who arrived on the Upper West Side in 1961. In 1971, she started a handmade toy company, called Toys for All Children, eschewing the then-standard blond, blue-eyed, male-dominated version of reality for a more ethnically diverse, non-sexist one.

“She made an African-American, woman-doctor puppet – in 1971!” Jennifer exulted. “She was way ahead of her time.”

In 1981, she opened West Side Kids.

“I haven’t really changed very much about the store since she retired in 2014,” Jennifer said. And why should she?

It is a beautiful, old space – brightly painted, covered from polished-wood floor to painted-tin ceiling with shelves and stacks of toys and books. (There’s even a copy of the Constitution!)

“My mother’s philosophy about toys was very strong,” Jennifer told WSR in an earlier interview. “Play is a child’s work, and toys are the tools for that work. You need the correct tools to grow into a creative, interesting adult.”

 

Bruce Reynolds, toy rep in Seattle. (Note from Mary - while at ASTRA I heard that Bruce passed, but I have not been able to find more information. If anyone has more information, please me know. Thank you.)

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