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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin' Friday! 


Since selling Endless Games, Kevin McNulty has been working on his autobiography with Mark Nuccio. They shared a draft with me - what a life! Kevin is one of the first people I met when I started in our fabulous industry as an inventor, and he helped me get a foothold. You never forget the people that help you get started. 

CONGRATULATIONS Mattel and Warner Brothers on the blockbuster that is Barbie! I'm already popping the popcorn for Lily Collins in Polly Pocket, Vin Diesel in Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and Tom Hanks in Major Matt Mason.


I wish Richard Dickson all the best, but I am sad he is leaving the toy business. He was a champion of the toy industry as a whole and of our POP Group. He delivered warm and inspiring keynotes at our November events , taped an unforgettable chat during the pandemic with three past Mattel Presidents: Jill Barad, Neil Friedman and Tom Kalinske, recorded a POPDuo with Robbie Brenner, and gave a charming interview with our Young Inventor Challenge Ambassador Kedar Narayan. He will be missed!

POP Week is November 1st- 5th! Register and reserve your hotel room NOW!  Inventor Pitch and Innovation Conference,  Toy & Game Innovation Awards - the TAGIEsYoung Inventor Challenge, POP Roast of Rich Mazel, Toy Takedown (Family Feud Inspired) with Brian Turtle, Tom Rushton and Matt Nuccio, PlayCHC and Chicago Toy & Game Fair. Once you’ve got those plans locked up, if you’re going to LA Previews, our Directory is ready! You can book a room through us to get into the directory and find the players you want to meet in LA.

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed!


  • The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.

  • “I seriously look forward to each Friday to learn most every update + more in the Industry. Priceless info! Thank you” -Michael Kohner, The Michael Kohner Corporation

  • "TBR is required reading for: inventors, manufacturers, retailers, marketers, suppliers, absolutely everyone!" - Robert Fuhrer, Founder, NEXTOY

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Person of the Week - Peter Wachtel 

This interview is from our My Classroom Series in our sister publication Play in Education News (PIE News)

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Teacher: Peter Wachtel

Grade/Subject: High School 9-12 Architecture & Product Innovation & Design

School: Adolfo Camarillo High School, Camarillo, CA

Interviewed by: Rebecca Horrace, PIE News Editor


Peter Wachtel is not just an educational play advocate, he’s a designer, inventor, educator, and a Guinness World Record holder! We were happy to snag an interview with him for this quarter’s My Classroom feature!


Can you tell us a bit about your Guinness World Record design and creation? 

We wanted to do something big, and everyone knows about Guinness World Records. Last year while at a Harbor Freight Tools for Schools “Let’s Build It” teacher idea get-together, we thought of the rough idea. Then I asked my students–what could we create, build and do that is World Wide, has cross collaboration, and includes skills, learning and talent built in. It was epic! More than 50 students used our 65 year-old gym bleachers from the school's basketball court to create the world’s largest charcuterie board. It had over 500 pounds of food, most of which was donated by families and local businesses.


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 Person of the Week - Ellen Lutwak

Barbie and Me

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I've known our 11 1/2" fashion diva / movie star on a first-name basis since she first arrived on the scene; I won the blonde beauty at the 1959 birthday party of the red-headed nephew of Ruth and Elliot Handler. His cousins, of course, were Barbara and Kenneth. 


Thus was my introduction to the world of Barbie. The svelte plastic figure in the classic black-and-white striped swimsuit commanded a place of honor on my bed atop my pink-and-white striped bedspread, and dethroned my Betsy Wetsy. My fashion-plate mother –an aspiring model before she married my aerospace engineer dad – was intrigued. 


I later learned that my treasured prize was a pre-production version, based on the shape of her ultra-arched eyebrows. My collectible beauty is neatly tucked away in my original –now collectible – faux patent leather case; alas, her sassy ponytail is a total mess. I didn't keep the box; who knew that Never Removed from Box (NRFB) would add value on eBay. Way too late. 


But how ironic! Ultimately, I was hired as a copywriter for the Mattel Packaging Group in 1990 – with Barbie as my muse for many of those years.


Journalism Majors Can Do Anything

A journalism major and political science minor (California State University, Northridge) who interned at the American Civil Liberties Union – with stints as an aerospace technical editor, a film publicist, and even a catalog writer for Frederick's of Hollywood, I answered an ad listed in the Classified Section of the Los Angeles Times, and after rounds of in-person interviews, I joined the Mattel family. We girls can do anything.      READ MORE...

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The Toy and Game Int'l Innovation Awards - The TAGIEs! 

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The Toy and Game International Excellence Awards Submissions close in just 7 days! Free and easy - less than a minute of your time.


Celebrate innovation and excellence by recognizing a colleague, PR agency, marketer, retailer, supplier, designer, inventor, game changer or yourself!

Don't Wait! Nominate Right HERE! 

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Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile! 

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Cartoon of the Week: Storm Trooper helmut upside down from Edward Gershowitz! Ed said that It reminded him of the old Lionel Leisure/Kiddie City slogan: “Turn a frown upside down.”

Quote of the Week: "Games are not just about winning or losing. They are the journey, the laughter, and the shared memories created along the way." - Reiner Knizia, prolific board game designer

Lexophile Lovers:  "Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too." Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers! 

Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me!  Mary


Toys Matter:  The Power of Playthings


From antiquities to AI, baby dolls to board games, character toys to card games, toys in museums to toys in the marketplace and much more, the 2023 International Toy Research Association World Conference is poised to shine a global spotlight on cutting edge toy research, design, and pedagogy.  The conference will be held 9-11 August, 2023 at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, USA and is open to interdisciplinary toy researchers, designers, students and industry professionals. 


With keynote speakers, workshops, symposia and more than 80 paper presentations by scholars from more than 20 countries across 6 continents the biggest challenge for conference participants is deciding between which presentations to attend. 


Registration fees are $425 ($225 for students).  Space at the conference is filling up fast, so reserve your spot today by registering through The Strong’s online click here.  The Hampton Inn and Suites in the Neighborhood of Play right across the street from the museum (101 South Union Street Rochester, NY 14607) is available at a special conference rate of $149/night +taxes. 1 585-450-3801


Founded in 1993, the International Toy Research Association is the longest running international research conference focused specifically on the wide, wide & wonderful world of toys & games. Learn more at:

More information about the Conference here! 



Financial and Legal

In a big win for Moonbug Entertainment, a California jury has awarded the company US$23.4 million in its copyright case against China’s Babybus for “blatantly copying” hundreds of CoComelon videos. Moonbug sued the Fuzhou-based company in 2021, alleging that it was infringing CoComelon’s copyright with its animated series Super JoJo. The case also claimed that hundreds of Babybus videos contained replicated...

Lionsgate Closing In On eOne Acquisition As Hasbro Q2 Earnings Call Nears. Speculation is intensifying that Lionsgate is getting closer to a deal to acquire the Hasbro-owned Entertainment One. The timing is not coincidental. Hasbro is set to report second-quarter 2023 earnings Thursday morning. The company’s CEO Chris Cocks had said in February that “we expect to have an update in the second quarter,” so he...


MyCelia Barbie? Mattel Target of Elaborate Hoax Mounted by Climate Activists, Daryl Hannah. A very convincing promotional campaign launched this morning with press releases, spoof websites playing on Mattel-owned URLs, phone numbers, a video starring actor and activist Daryl Hannah (Splash, Kill Bill), a phony product line, and user profiles on all the major social networks.

Chinese regulators have proposed rules that would limit the smartphone screen time of people under the age of 18 to a maximum of two hours per day. The radical draft rules laid out by the increasingly powerful Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) highlight Beijing’s desire to exert control over more parts of the country’s digital life. If the rules are brought into law, they could have implications for companies such as...

NY-based audio company Realm, best known for its adult-skewing fiction podcasts, has acquired Pinna to get into the kids & family part of this market. Pinna targets three- to 12-year-olds and has more than 150 original titles on its platform, including popular original series such as Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest and Opal Watson: Private Eye, as well as songs, audiobooks, interactive audio games and licensed podcasts.  


The ongoing restructuring within Funko will result in a workforce reduction involving approximately 180-200 employees. In a filing with the SEC this afternoon, the Washington-based company stated that it implemented the layoffs yesterday which represents 12-13% of the company’s workforce. Immediate charges in the $2.4-2.8 million range are expected to be felt in the third quarter due to one-time termination...

GameStop Corp., the struggling video game retailer, said CFO Diana Saadeh-Jajeh resigned, effective Aug. 11.  The company appointed Daniel Moore as interim principal accounting officer and interim principal financial officer, according to a statement Thursday. The resignation was not the result of any disagreement, GameStop said in a filing. Led by hedge fund billionaire Ryan Cohen, GameStop...

***The above posted after tBR ran on July 28th***


Mattel Reveals Leadership Changes as Richard Dickson Departs; Silverman, McKnight, Down Elevated to New Roles. The longtime exec moves on to Gap while new roles and expanded duties await other members of the Mattel family. Lisa McKnight, a 25-year Mattel veteran that has led the Barbie brand since 2016 and all of Dolls since 2019, has been promoted to EVP and Chief Brand Officer, overseeing all of Mattel’s toy...


GlobalComix has raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding round led by early-stage venture fund Point72.  The investment shows that in the wake of Amazon’s near-complete shutdown of digital comics pioneer comiXology as a separate entity early this year, the investors in GlobalComix believe there is opportunity in the now-vacated space for a comics market-facing digital comics company.

Belgium expands Tax Shelter initiative to cover game industry. The program will cover up to 33.7 percent gross of an eligible production budget. The European Commission has given Belgium the go-ahead to bolster its game industry by creating a tax shelter. The Belgian Tax Shelver initiative is a government-approved tax incentive designed to encourage the production of games in the country. 


UPS, Teamsters agree on new contract preventing threatened strike. UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing around 330,000 delivery drivers, have reached agreement on a new five-year labor contract, preventing a strike that had been threatened to begin when the current contract expires at the end of July. 


Ravensburger files motion to dismiss Disney Lorcana lawsuit. As reported by Dicebreaker, Ravensburger, which is due to launch the hotly anticipated trading card game Disney Lorcana next month, has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it by Upper Deck Entertainment. The dismissal is in response to legal proceedings initiated by Upper Deck last month in which the company alleged...


AMain Hobbies to acquire HobbyTown. New franchise opportunities are available in select markets. AMain Hobbies is set to acquire the hobby and specialty retail chain, HobbyTown, effective later this summer. The agreement will include the retailer’s headquarters and distribution center in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a result, AMain Hobbies will have three distribution centers, including its existing centers in Chico, California...

US economy beats expectations with spring surge. US economic growth picked up this spring, despite a slowdown in consumer spending. The world's largest economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.4% in the three months to June, accelerating from a rate of 2% in the prior quarter. That was far better than expected, lifted by a jump in business investment. Consumer spending increased at an annual rate of 1.6%, slowing...


Fed raises interest rates to highest in 22 years. The US central bank has raised interest rates to the highest level in 22 years as it fights to stabilize prices in the world's largest economy. The decision lifted the Federal Reserve's influential benchmark rate to a range of 5.25% to 5.5%. It marked the eleventh increase since early 2022, when the Fed started raising borrowing costs to try to cool the economy and ease price inflation. 


Amazon offers to change Marketplace rules to address CMA concerns. In response to concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Amazon has offered commitments not to use Marketplace seller data to its own advantage. The commitments aim to prevent Amazon from giving itself an unfair competitive advantage as well as ensure third-party sellers’ products have a fair chance of being prominently...


Capcom acquires Hi-Fi Rush support developer Swordcanes. Along with boasting about its strong 2023 so far, Capcom has gone and acquired developer Swordcanes. The purchase was listed at 8 million yen. The studio is best versed in animation and art (particularly in 3D), and has done support work on a number of titles over the years. 



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Financial Reporting

Box Office: ‘Barbie’ Dances to $775M Globally, Days Away From Joining Billion-Dollar Club. Barbenheimer is real as 'Oppenheimer' hits its own milestone in crossing $400 million worldwide. 


Jakks generated US$166.9 million in global net sales this quarter, representing a sharp 24.3% decline compared to the historic US$220.4 million it sold last year. Despite this negative result, the company reports that net sales for the whole first half of 2023 are still its second-highest in 15 years at US$274.4 million. 


Comcast’s revenue was up 1.7% to US$30.5 billion in Q2 compared to the year before, driven by the success of its theme park business and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Warner Bros. Discovery loses streaming subscribers in Q2. The company sustained a net loss of US$1.24 billion this quarter, and has also lost 1.8 million subscribers since Q1.


Box Office: ‘Elemental’ Weathers Summer Storm, Crosses $400M Globally. The Pixar movie started off alarmingly slow but has since made a comeback after enjoying one of the best multiples ever for the storied animation studio.

***The above posted after July 28th***


Mattel reiterates 2023 guidance as Q2 sales decline amid ‘Barbie’ movie craze. Hot off the global success of Barbie: The Movie last week, Mattel kicked off second quarter earnings season with news that net sales fell 12% to $1.08 billion. The company says that its Q2 earnings are in line with expectations as it believes the unusual retail correction is planted firmly in the rearview mirror.

Barbie toys 'flying off retail shelves:' Analyst lifts Mattel price target on upbeat Q3 trends after blockbuster boost.

Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” claimed the top spot with a massive $155 million in ticket sales from North American theaters from 4,243 locations, surpassing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (as well as every Marvel movie this year) as the biggest opening of the year and breaking the first weekend record for a film directed by a woman.

Comic retailers reported weak sales for Spring 2023 (Jan through Apr), and as is usually the case when comics (or any entertainment medium) has a sustained period of lackluster engagement, there’s general agreement that the problem is between the covers of the books...

Capcom boasts consistently strong mid-2023 quarter.

Xbox hardware stumbles as Game Pass delivers record Q4 engagement. Microsoft delivered a 1 percent increase, which represents an increase of $36 million. 

Zuckerberg acknowledges investor "discomfort" as Meta loses another $3.7B on Reality Labs. Reality Labs has now lost $7.7 billion during the current fiscal year. Meta's struggling Reality Labs segment, the mixed reality division that houses the company formerly known as Oculus and is crucial to the company's metaverse ambitions, is still losing billions of dollars each quarter. 

Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry

Authentic Brands Beats Out Warner Bros. and Mattel in List of Largest Global Licensors

Free-to-air channels in Australia aired 84% less local kids programming in 2022 than they did in 2019, and streamers aren’t picking up the slack.

Hobby game sales rose 7% in 2022...  Collectible games carried the category in dollars, while roleplaying games had the fastest growth rate (at smaller dollars).  All other subcategories were flat or down.

Stateside streamers are expected to earn US$10 billion in ad revenue by 2027



Amazon, Netflix and Paramount+ top new subscriber chart in Q2

***The above posted after July 28th***


Barbie breaks box office records

Studios Quietly Go on Hiring Spree for AI Specialist Jobs Amid Picket Line Anxiety. Netflix is hiring a $ 900,000-per-year AI product manager, Disney is looking for generative AI specialists, and Sony seeks an AI ethics expert, while the tech becomes a staple of SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild picket signs.

Three quarters, or 74%, of US TV homes now report owning a smart TV, up from 61% in 2020, according to Hub Entertainment Research.

Kids boost TV usage by 90% in June. The media research media outfit said that overall TV usage saw an increase in June due to schools closing for the summer holidays and kids spending more time at home.

Google said that more than 2 billion logged-in monthly users are watching YouTube Shorts, giving it an edge over competitors like TikTok and Instagram Reels. This number is up from 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users for YouTube Shorts announced last year.

REPORT: Kids and teens drive streaming decisions at home. Kids content needs are the top reason why parents subscribe, stick with and drop streaming services, a new report from SuperAwesome finds.


TikTok introduces text-only posts as Elon Musk rebrands Twitter as X. The video sharing platform will allow posts of up to 1,000 words, in a move it characterised as ‘expanding the boundaries of content creation’






Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

Post Malone has bought the one-of-a-kind Magic: The Gathering Card, Lord of the Rings' The One Ring, which was valued at $2 million. Though the owner of the One Ring card was previously unknown, a social media user called Brook Trafton shared a video of (presumably) themselves meeting Post Malone and selling the card. The 13-second clip doesn't show much but does see the rapper evaluating the card...

How to Beat Your Friends at Scrabble. Tips and tricks from elite players to help you score more points. Scrabble, like many board games, is very different when played at its highest level compared with what people are used to around their kitchen tables and in their living rooms. Many of the game’s top players have spent countless hours studying dictionaries and anagrams to best their opponents.


Apple TV+'s The Beanie Bubble Explores the True Story of the Women Behind the Beanie Baby Fad. In The Beanie Bubble, three women—Robbie, Sheila, and Maya—help turn Beanie Babies into the coveted products they became. It’s a fictional retelling, but is based on three real women—Patricia Roche, Faith McGowan, and Lina Trivedi—each of whom worked with Warner (played in the film by Zach Galifianakis) on the toy.


“Barbie” is running into censorship headaches in the Middle East. Leading regional exhibitor Vox Cinemas – which is Warner Bros.’ local distribution partner – has pushed back the release of the hit Greta Gerwig film to Aug. 31 after initially setting a July 19 rollout out date for “Barbie” in the Middle East that would have allowed local audiences to see the film two days before its U.S. release. The reason for the delay...

***The above posted after tBR ran on July 28th***


John Baulch, Toy World - Planes, trains and Barbie taxis… it’s the Friday Blog! It’s been another busy week of travelling, starting in Turkey with a flying visit to the country’s largest toy company Dolu to see its impressive new factory, and ending yesterday with a retail tour around London with the Mattel team. We spent a packed morning looking at the amazing activations for Barbie across leading stores of every shape and size...

John Lewis has announced its predictions for the top selling toys for Christmas this year. As the cost of living crisis shows no signs of slowing down, it is suggested that consumers start shopping for Christmas gifts early, in order to spread the cost. The list has been produced several weeks earlier than last year. The top ten list of toys has been compiled by the company’s buyers, after “months of sourcing and testing”...


Everyone here is called Ken! Inside BarbieCon, the huge Barbie event Mattel is keeping quiet. Amid the press coverage, however, one Barbie event drew surprisingly scant attention: the National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention (NBDCC). To year-round Barbie fans, it’s akin to Bonnaroo or Burning Man, an annual pilgrimage for five days of doll-centric celebration, which takes place in a different city every year. 

How Canada is a children’s TV powerhouse, from ‘You Can’t Do That On Television,’ to ‘Paw Patrol’. The children’s show Paw Patrol, launched by Spin Master Entertainment 10 years ago, is broadcast in more than 30 languages across nearly 180 countries and reaches 350 million households. Retail sales of Paw Patrol merchandise have surpassed US$14 billion. Yet, despite its huge international success, it isn’t celebrated...

How the ‘Barbie’ set designers created an oversize world for toys. “It was one of the most intellectually challenging films I’ve ever worked on,” says Sarah Greenwood, Barbie‘s production designer. Greenwood is a celebrated designer who, with longtime collaborator Katie Spencer, has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards for set and production design on such films as Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, and Beauty and the Beast. 

Barbiemania: How Warner Bros. and Mattel Painted the World Pink and Created Marketing Magic. From custom Crocs to a special Prada line to gay pride parade floats, Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' movie has attracted more than 100 promotional partners and generated countless headlines.  Barbie‘s release in theaters this weekend caps one of the most extensive and impressive extensive marketing campaigns in recent...

Kartoon Studios , through its controlling interest in Stan Lee Universe, LLC, has announced a total and near-instantaneous sell through of Stan Lee digital collectibles through its partnership with digital leader VeVe, on July 18. The total drop, of over 8,000 digital collectibles opened at 8am PST, and was sold out almost immediately. This news comes on the heels of a successful opening of the Stan Lee Exhibit...

8 best games based on toys. Some incredible toy properties have entered the gaming scene to provide some of the best games based on toys. Barbie's successful transition into movies sets a high standard for other toy-to-video game adaptations that have struggled to meet the same level of success. Army Men, Digimon, G.I. Joe, Hot Wheels, and Transformers are examples of toys that have successfully made...


Movies based on toys and games, ranked worst to best. Greta Gerwig's new Barbie film may be getting all of the attention this month, but it's far from the first film to attempt to bring a children's toy line to the big screen. While some of those adaptations have been dismissed as nothing more than feature-length toy commercials, others have been successful in spite of their origins. In the gallery on this page...


8 controversial or overlooked Barbie toys: From her pregnant Pal Midge to her pooping dog Tanner. Barbie has been a cultural phenomenon since the doll launched in 1959, but not every iteration of the Mattel icon and her friends has been a hit. Following the release of Greta Gerwig's Barbie, fans have been talking about some of the movie's hilarious nods to Barbie toys over the years that have either been ...


Vintage toy dealer: Prices for vintage 'Barbie' toys have peaked since movie release. A local toy-store owner tells KMOX Radio in St Louis that the opening of the new 'Barbie' movie has provided a, "huge resurgence," for a toy that had been, "languishing, for a while." Andy Tolch, owner of Andy's Toys in St Louis, says the wave may have already passed, "I tell people you gotta act quick. .


Barbie’s designer made missiles for Raytheon first as ‘Barbenheimer’ rocks box offices. A weapons engineer turned doll maker is the unexpected link to “Barbenheimer,” the affectionately dubbed duo from Warner Bros.′ “Barbie” and Universal’s “Oppenheimer.” The unlikely back-to-back summer marquee titles opened Friday following weeks of mania harping on the dissimilarities of the two films...


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History and Nostalgia


But Who Gets the Comic Books? When collectors die, their families face a lot of decisions, including what to do with a hundred Superman figurines. “More times than I can remember, a spouse or child has said to me, ‘If he wasn’t dead, I’d kill him all over again for leaving me with this mess,’” said Greg Rohan, the president of Heritage Auctions.


The Origins of 7 Famous Toys. Think back to holiday seasons and birthdays past — what was the toy you dreamed of unwrapping? Year after year, the “it” gift that every parent scrambles to find changes, from Cabbage Patch Dolls to Beanie Babies and Game Boys to Tamagotchis. While many are soon forgotten, others have stood the test of time. Discover how breakthrough experiments, bold innovation, and even bizarre...


***The above posted after tBR started running on July 28th***


Star Bird Command Base from Milton Bradley. In 1978, Milton Bradley released the Star Bird Command Base, a playset created to support the toy company’s electronic Star Bird spaceship released that same year. Promoted as an “action control center”, the Command Base playset introduced new elements and scenarios to the Star Bird universe. 

The board games of Sid Sackson. Serious game players may recognize the name Sid Sackson. A civil engineer by training, Sackson loved games of all kinds and collected—and played—huge numbers of them. His experience with games made him an expert when few others made careers out of gaming. Beyond his expertise in games and game play, he also invented games, many of which have stood the test of time...

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Licensing and Entertainment 


Global leader in the toys and games industry, Goliath, is partnering with Restoration Games (RG) to bring back the 1980s cult classic board game Crossbows & Catapults (C&C). Restoration Games is committed to reviving out-of-print gems from the 1960s - 1990s and reigniting nostalgic fun to board game nights. In less than one month, their Kickstarter campaign for the game garnered just under $1 million in support.


PBS KIDS is building some new tech into episodes of its upcoming series Lyla in the Loop where kids can talk to its main character, who will utilize AI to understand viewer responses and then respond. Ordered this past January and set to launch in February 2024, the 40 x 30-minute series for four to eights centers around a young girl who looks for creative ways to craft new things and learn along the way.

WildBrain has inked three new distribution deals with Amazon, loading up the e-commerce giant’s VOD platforms with more than 850 episodes of kids content from its considerable portfolio. Prime Video cherry-picked a total of 218 episodes to launch in Germany, including 90 eps of  WildBrain’s 2017 live-action Teletubbies series (90 x 15 minutes), as well as two seasons (14 and 15) and three 60-minute specials of the ...

Lion Forge Entertainment (Hair Love) and media agency dentsu are hooking up to create content for brands looking to build awareness and audience reach. The companies have inked a non-exclusive strategic partnership to co-develop and co-produce brand-centric films, TV series, shorts and digital content for dentsu’s global client roster, which includes Mattel, Crayola, Oreo and Hershey’s. 

Crayola is pulling back the curtain on its new kids content division, Crayola Studios, and its first project comes from former Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami’s production company. The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is an animated series based on Gen-Z Media’s sci-fi podcast of the same name. Crayola Studios and Zarghami’s NY-based MiMO Studios are co-developing the 52 x 11-minuter about an 8-yr-old...

Sony Pictures has made some significant release date shifts for its upcoming films, including “Kraven the Hunter” and “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.” The delays come as dual union strikes disrupt the day-to-day business of Hollywood, and the SAG-AFTRA conflict makes it particularly difficult to open major fall movies without the participation of star talent. 

Nickelodeon and CBS Sports are gearing up to score a touchdown when they deliver the first-ever alternate telecast of the Super Bowl for kids and families next year. The slime- and surprise-filled edition of Super Bowl LVIII will air exclusively on Nickelodeon on February 11, 2024, in tandem with CBS Sports’ coverage of the event on CBS and Paramount+. The show will feature special on-field graphics, virtual filters...

ABC Australia, WildBrain (Canada), Discovery Kids (Latin America) and France Télévisions have commissioned 9 Story Media Group’s new 2D-animated series Open Season: Call of Nature. Targeting kids ages six to 11, the toon kicks off with Boog the bear and Elliot the deer (the main characters in Sony Pictures Animation’s Open Season feature film franchise) discovering an abandoned summer camp.

Netflix has dropped the first look images and teaser trailer for Spy Kids: Armageddon which introduces Gina Rodriguez and Zachary Levi’s family. Robert Rodriguez, who created the original franchise, is behind the reboot of the new film that introduces the next gen of spies with Everly Carganilla as Patty Torrez and Connor Esterson as Tony Torrez. The preview shows the kids receiving a message from their mom...

Netflix rolled out three seasons of digital short series Om Nom Stories from Spanish game developer ZeptoLab on its global service today. With a total of 25 seasons to its name, Om Nom Stories first launched on YouTube in 2011, and has since racked up more than 15 million subscribers across all social media platforms. Episodes star a cute green monster who finds himself in random, comical situations. 


Expecting the Microsoft Activision Merger to Go Through, Hasbro Team Mentions the Possible Addition of Archived ‘Transformers’ Games to Xbox Game Pass. People really appreciated Hasbro’s statement as many of those classic games were on demand for a long time. If these games are included in the Game Pass, then Xbox can also attract a lot of Activision Blizzard fans. True or not, fans really appreciated these...


***The above posted after July 28th***


Disney, Pokémon, Mattel and More Named License Global’s Top Global Licensors in 2023 Report. License Global has reveals its highly anticipated annual study, The Top Global Licensors report. This year’s report totaled $273.4 billion in retail sales of licensed consumer products in 2022, with over 40 brands in the report seeing collective growth of more than $26 billion.


Moose Games secures licensing & global distribution rights for Do You Really Know Your Family? Moose Games, the gaming innovation division of award-winning Moose Toys, has announced that it has acquired the global rights to sell the best-selling family party game Do You Really Know Your Family? from ASM Games. Do You Really Know Your Family? is catered specifically toward families...

NBCUniversal’s DreamWorks Animation is getting its own area at the Universal Studios Orlando theme park. The space will include interactive games and attractions based on DreamWorks franchises such as Trolls, Kung-Fu Panda and Gabby’s Dollhouse. Set to open in 2024, the themed zone is being built in the KidZone section, which Universal Studios closed earlier this year.

Lily Collins is the ’90s micro-doll sensation in Mattel’s ‘Polly Pocket,’ with a script by Lena Dunham. After “Barbie” scored the biggest domestic opening weekend of 2023, earning an estimated $155 million in the United States and Canada, Mattel Films is eager to translate a rich toy line to cinema gold.


Coming hot off of Barbie‘s stellar opening weekend at theaters, Mattel has renewed its licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery’s consumer products division to continue as its toy licensee. The deal encompasses more than 50 of WBD’s brands and franchises, including the DC Comics universe, Batwheels, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. As part of the agreement, Mattel will manufacture and... 

Australia’s Moose Toys is amping up its action figure business with some “turtle power,” thanks to a new deal with Paramount Consumer Products to launch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys. As part of the licensing agreement, the Aussie toyco will roll out a new range of TMNT-branded Akedo Warriors (action figures that battle on a platform) to retailers across N.A. in time for the theatrical premiere...


Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies revealed over 20 minutes of new footage from upcoming animated movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and IGN was in the audience to take it all in. Here’s what we saw (spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem follow!). The footage kicked off with a clip IGN premiered last week in...

Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort shingle and Fubo are looking to bring a cult classic rodent franchise back to the small screen. The companies have joined Nacelle Company as co-producers on its previously announced revival series Biker Mice From Mars. No release date is set yet, but the toon will premiere on the Maximum Effort Channel—which launched in June as a joint partnership between Fubo and Reynolds’...

BBC Studios has partnered with Prime Video to bring a curated lineup of its kids programming to India. The companies launched the subscription-based Prime Video Channels BBC Kids and BBC Player in the region yesterday. BBC Kids is a standalone option targeting kids and family audiences, while BBC Player offers a broader catalogue that features BBC Kids content, as well as adult-skewing shows and movies.  

Nickelodeon and Spin Master Entertainment are doubling down on global preschool powerhouse PAW Patrol in its 10th anniversary year with season renewals of the top-rated series and its hit spinoff Rubble & Crew. The award-winning animated series PAW Patrol has been greenlit for an 11th season (26 half-hour episodes), while Rubble & Crew has been renewed for season two (26 half-hour episodes). 

The Premier League extends licensing partnership with EA Sports FC. No FIFA? No problem. The Premier League has signed a new multi-year partnership extension with EA Sports FC to continue supporting the franchise as a lead partner and official licensee. The move is a vote of confidence in EA's recently rebranded soccer simulation, which was known as FIFA until the publisher parted ways with its …


Ravensburger unveils free Disney Lorcana companion app. The official Disney Lorcana Trading Card Game Companion app has launched from Ravensburger, just ahead of the game’s highly anticipated retail launch in August. The free app is now available for iOS and Android devices and provides trading card game (TCG) players and collectors with a digital library of game cards and other curated information...

Jam City launches licensed DC puzzle game. Jam City has announced the worldwide launch of “DC Heroes & Villains,” the first action-packed puzzle role playing game that features Super Heroes and Super-Villains of the DC universe wrapped in an original storyline and set across legendary and landmark locations. 


Jazwares’ Harry Potter Squishmallows arrive this Fall. The Wizarding World-inspired line will begin hitting retail this October. A magical new Squishmallows Squad is on the way. During a panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), Jazwares formally unveiled Kellytoy’s first wave of Harry Potter Squishmallows. The line was previously shown to retailers last fall during The Toy Association’s preview event in Dallas. 


Squishmallows, VeeFriends partner for new plush offerings inspired by NFTs. Squishmallows is embracing Web3 with a collaboration bringing plush inspired by VeeFriends’ NFT characters. More and more toy companies are hopping on the NFT train, with offerings such as Masters of the Universe NFTs from Mattel and Cryptoys, PMI Kids’ World Pudgy Penguins, and more.


Glo Pals unveils new toys and refreshed friendly faces. Glo, the company behind the award-winning sensory water toys, Glo Pals, is refreshing their water-activated light-up toys this summer. The Glo Pal characters, Alex, Blair, Lumi, Pippa and Sammy have evolved, with new “facial” designs and personalities, adding even more fun to the bath time and water play. Light up cubes are also now made of 100% recycled plastic.

Kids Preferred announces its lineup for Fall 2023: DC & Wizarding World. Kids Preferred, in partnership with Warner Bros Discovery Global Consumer Products, is rolling out an infant and toddler collection to gently introduce the magic of the DC Universe and Harry Potter to Generation Alpha.


Hasbro’s eOne secures UK broadcast deal for Transformers: EarthSpark. Hasbro’s global entertainment studio, Entertainment One (eOne), has signed a new deal with BBC to broadcast season one of the Transformers: EarthSpark series in the UK.The first ten episodes will launch on 24th July on CBBC, from Monday to Thursday, and will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Gamegenic reveals new 'Star Wars: Unlimited TCG' accessories line. Gamegenic, in collaboration with Fantasy Flight Games and Lucasfilm Ltd., revealed a new Star Wars: Unlimited TCG accessories line. Earlier this year, Fantasy Flight Games announced a new Star Wars TCG coming in 2024.  The accessory line will feature products that help protect and display components for this game. 

Hasbro, Gramercy Products expand NERF dog brand with Glow Line. The new glow-in-the-dark dog toys are designed to make nighttime fetch a reality. As Gramercy Products celebrates 10 years of partnership with Hasbro, the company continues to expand its portfolio of offerings. The two recently unveiled the new NERF Dog Glow line, a series of products that let dog owners play with their pets in the dark. 


Moose Toys adds "Turtle Power" to rapidly growing licensing lineup, signs agreement with Paramount for sought-after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property. Moose Toys has acquired a license for Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Under the new licensing agreement, the toymaker's popular action-packed Akedo brand will be the first Moose Toys line of products to get the Ninja Turtle treatment. 


Image Comics heroes join 'Pocket Paragons'. Image Comics and Solis Game Studio have partnered to produce the Massive-Verse Fighting Card Game, using Solis’ Pocket Paragon game system.  The game is scheduled to launch next summer following a Kickstarter campaign later this year. Pocket Paragon is a fast-paced and portable card game that allows players to engage in head-to-head battles between characters. 

New 'Neopets' TCG coming from Upper Deck. Upper Deck has announced the Neopets Battledome Trading Card Game, timed to launch during Neopets’ 25th Anniversary in 2024. Neopets Battledome will be a two-player game that combines collectible cards and deck-building with a dice-based combat system.  

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People of Play

Barbie collector turned hobby into a 25-year design career at Mattel. Bill Greening is the principal designer for Barbie Signature at Mattel Toys. Not only does he create the infamous doll, but he has also been collecting Barbie since 1988 – a large number of them on display in his pink “Barbie room” in Long Beach

German figurine and playset manufacturer Schleich has appointed David Albert as President of Schleich North America. In this position, Albert will lead the team into its next phase and accelerate the company’s expansion in North America. The newly appointed president first joined Schleich in 2014. At a corporate level, Albert has led teams within Product Management, Strategic Business Development, and Global Analytics. 


***The above posted after tBR ran on July 28th***


Mattel’s Richard Dickson to depart toy giant – appointed President and CEO of Gap Inc. Gap Inc, the largest specialty apparel company in the US, with a portfolio that includes Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta, has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Richard Dickson as the company’s President and CEO, effective August 22, 2023. Richard will be leaving his position as President and COO of Mattel, Inc.


Just Play Welcomes Two New Executives to Business Development Team: Joel Berger and Jess Richardson join. Just Play, well known for its offerings across licenses, such as the collectible Disney Doorables, Hasbro’s Easy-Bake brand, and more, is continuing to grow. Joel Berger will be joining the company as SVP of Business Development and Jess Richardson as SVP of Global Licensing & Business Development.

People on the move: Flat River Group hires Danni Loe. Flat River Group has hired Danni Loe to become their new Hobby Product Marketing Manager. Loe is an industry veteran who has spent the last ten years working for a number of companies in the industry.  She most recently the Marketing Manager for Hachette Boardgames USA she spent a year and three months.  


Gibsons welcomes UK sales manager. Gibsons Games is delighted to welcome Tabitha Ward as sales manager, to lead its UK Sales team. Previously Sales director at Abrams & Chronicle, Tabitha was the driving force behind the company’s gift sales, recruiting and managing a team of specialist field agents and selling a wide range of brands including Galison, Ridley’s Games and Games Room...


Brainstorm says goodbye to retiring director. Brainstorm’s product director, Rosanne Kenealy, retired at the end of June after 35 yrs in the toy trade. Rosanne’ 35 years in the toy industry began at Spears in its Product team and then continued at Brainstorm. She was a founding director of Dowling Magnets Europe which formed in January 1995 and was a key member of the buyout team which took control of the...

Tim Mulhall joins Rubies as UK CEO. With over 25 years of experience in business transformation and sales growth, Tim Mulhall joins the designer, manufacturer and distributor of costumes and accessories to head up the UK organization. Rubies Masquerade Co. UK has announced the appointment of Tim Mulhall, previously of Hornby Hobbies, as its new CEO from 1st August. 

Nxt Gen Brand Marketing, a global Licensing Agency, is pleased to announce they have appointed Richard Glassman as the EVP of Sales. Glassman, brings over 30 years of experience in the Toy Industry as V.P. Licensing, Marketing and Product Development with leading Toy, Novelty and Entertainment companies located in the US, Hong Kong, and the U.K. 

Neymar, the world’s most expensive football superstar, has been spotted playing one the world’s best-selling board games: Sequence from Goliath Games. The famous Brazilian attacker was snapped enjoying some down time before the start of the new season as rumours continue to abound around his possible move away from PSG this Summer. 

A four-year-old girl is on a mission to bring smiles to underserved children in Chicagoland by helping them celebrate their birthday in a big way.  Emery, with assistance from her three-year-old sister Oliva, launched “Give Em Joy” which sends games and birthday cards to kids that need some extra cheer. Emery’s journey began when she celebrated her own fourth birthday. Following her party filled with family, friends and...


Ruth Handler Is the Key to Barbie. What To Know About the Doll’s Controversial Founder. When Greta Gerwig embarked upon her journey to create a story about a doll with no personality or inner life, she turned to Barbie’s history for inspiration. Mattel, Barbie’s parent company, led the filmmaker through an “immersion” experience—or Barbie bootcamp—that outlined the iconic doll’s long history, from her debut at...

Lake Tahoe for Ta-Tas, organized by Rachel Griffin. As a PR Person, this should come easy, but I am not much of a self promoter. LOL. That being said, I think most of you know I am a mermaid at heart and that I challenge myself intensely in the name of charity. Next month I will do it again! On August 20th, I will swim 12 miles across Lake Tahoe with my friend and Breast Cancer Survivor & Thrivor, Rachel Wells, to raises money for Breast Cancer research, patient care, advocacy and more. If you have a dollar to spare, I would love your support. ❤️


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Companies and Brands

Mattel is hiring a ‘Chief Uno Player’ to test its new game for $17,000—here’s how to apply. Ken’s job is beach. Now, yours can be UNO. Fresh off of “Barbie’s” massive success at the box office, Mattel is hoping to make waves once again by offering one lucky fan the opportunity to make thousands of dollars as its first-ever Chief UNO Player. Mattel’s job listing reads.


Kickstarter - Introducing Our AI Policy. The policy – which prioritizes transparency, credit, and consent – goes into effect on August 29. As a platform for creators, we have a responsibility to directly engage in this ongoing conversation and to establish, for the first time, a clear framework for how Kickstarter approaches projects that incorporate or build AI.


Spin Master Entertainment might be “revamping” the look of its popular anime franchise Bakugan this fall—but what isn’t changing is its approach of using Roblox as a launchpad. The first two episodes of Bakugan (in English and Japanese) will premiere on August 4 in Gamefam’s All-Star Tower Defense Roblox game—a month before the show’s TV rollout gets underway. Netflix is launching the...


***The above posted after July 28th***


Here's how the magic is made at the toy company that created Rubik's Cube and Hatchimals. Spin Master toys have been bringing joy for decades with classic toys like Rubik's Cube and winning over new audiences with modern creations like Hatchimals. Here's how they're trying to keep the playful spirit alive while entrancing new audiences. Dana Jacobson reports from Spin Master's headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

Glo, the company behind the award-winning sensory water toys, Glo Pals, is refreshing their water-activated light-up toys this summer. The Glo Pal characters, Alex, Blair, Lumi, Pippa and Sammy have evolved, with new “facial” designs and personalities, adding even more fun to the bath time and water play. Light up cubes are also now made of 100% recycled plastic.

LEGO Secures $2 Million Contract from Department of Defense for Robotics Education Program. This contract, as reported on the website, highlights LEGO’s commitment to integrating robotics into their products and toys for over a decade. LEGO’s educational program offers students the opportunity to learn about robotics and coding from an early age. One of their popular products, the LEGO Education BricQ...

Global edutech and multimedia company In KidZ is making change through play by launching newly-designed activity kits that expose children to the sites and uniqueness of an entirely new culture, one box at a time. In KidZ has introduced bold and vibrant newly-designed learning kits representing Australia, Black America, Dia de los Muertos, Guatemala, Italy, and France. The learning kits are filled with interactive...

Miniso expands after Times Square location smashes sales record. The company aims to open more than 20 new locations in the U.S. this year. Chinese lifestyle brand Miniso is reaching new heights in the U.S. The company revealed that its Times Square flagship store smashed sales records in comparison to the brand’s other locations. 


Sales of Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Goo Mobiles exceed expectations. Heavyweight marketing, TV and digital support, together with influencer reviews and YouTuber skits have resulted in incremental growth for the Heroes of Goo Jit Zu brand. Just weeks after launch in late June, Character Options has reported that new Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Goo Mobiles are driving very strong sales. 


Scorpion Masque announces 'Turbo Kidz'. Scorpion Masque announced Turbo Kidz, a new racing game designed by Emmanuel Gauvain, which will hit stores on September 6, 2023. In this game, players take on the roles of drivers attempting to navigate the race course blindly.  The driver covers their eyes and tries to draw a route on the track as fast as possible.  


'Battles Of Legend: Chapter 1' reprises 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' cards. Konami Digital Entertainment announced the Battles of Legend: Chapter 1 boxed set for the Yu-Gi-Oh!  Trading Card Game, releasing on February 23. Battles of Legend:  Chapter 1 offers reprint versions of cards drawn from Battles of Legend:  Light’s Revenge, Battles of Legend:  Relentless Revenge, Battles of Legend: Hero’s Revenge, and Battles of Legend:  Armageddon. 

Upper Deck reveals new 'Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game' deluxe expansion. Upper Deck revealed Ant-Man and Wasp, a new Deluxe Expansion for Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game, which hits stores on December 6, 2023. The new expansion features 200 cards that bring together characters from all three MCU Ant-Man films.  This set adds 8 new heroes including Ant-Man, Wasp, Cassie Lang and more. 


Flat River Group will release Iello's 'Get On Board: Paris & Rome'. Flat River Group will release Get on Board: Paris & Rome, a new board game by Iello Games, into U.S. retail on August 3, 2023. In this game, players are trying to build subway lines in two iconic cities: Paris and Rome.  They will need to optimize their lines to transport passengers, from one place to another, as quickly as possible. 

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG introduces its first new monster type in six years. The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game’s latest booster set has added the first new monster type to join the TCG since 2017. Duelist Nexus debuts Illusion monsters, tricksy creatures that live up to their name by being unable to directly defeat monsters in battle - while also being unable to be defeated in battle themselves - but instead offer other effects to help...


Hasbro teams up with Xplored to help integrate AI and multimedia technologies into their board games. Hasbro has partnered with Xplored to help integrate AI and multimedia technologies into their board games. Xplored is one of the recent pioneers in the tabletop games tech platform space, who are primarily known for their Teburu game system (see "Teburu").  


Zulily releases First Hot Holiday Toys List of the year. With five months left to go until the holidays, Zulily is launching its fourth annual Top 25 Holiday Toys list. The company is once again the first to get its annual list out after it launched its holiday toy list last July. According to Numerator, increasing cost of living and inflation will have a massive impact on the holiday toy market, with 65% of consumers planning to buy...


Kids can design mini trinkets in Make It Real’s Mini Pottery Studio. Summer is the great time for kids to find new ways of stimulating their mind. Kids can use Make It Real’s latest playset to create fun pottery designs in miniature! Designed for kids ages 8 and up, this arts and crafts set is a perfect way for tweens to disconnect from screens and reconnect with their inner artist. 


Gamelyn plotting 'Tiny Epic Crimes'. Gamelyn Games is adding a Noir-style mystery-solving game to its Tiny Epic series with the launch of Tiny Epic Crimes into distribution later this year, in the fourth quarter. In Tiny Epic Crimes, the players are given 48 hours to solve a terrible murder, using their crime-busting skills to identify and apprehend the culprit.  


'Tales from the Red Dragon Inn' heads to retail. Flat River Group will release Tales from the Red Dragon Inn, a new cooperative tactical game by SlugFest Games, into retail on August 3, 2023. This game features a scenario-driven campaign that starts with an explosion in the basement of the Red Dragon Inn.  


Jasco Games rebrands as UVS Games. Jasco Games has rebranded as UVS Games and announced new IPs for the UniVersus CCG system. The rebranding occurs as Jasco tries to open up a new chapter in their company's history.  Jasco Games has been around since 1998 and had primarily been known for their UniVersus Collectible Card Games. 

Two new 'Pokemon Tcg: Ex Battle Decks' incoming. The Pokemon Company International will release Kangaskhan and Greninja ex Battle Decks, for Pokemon TCG, which will hit stores on October 6, 2023. These new battle deck come with new powerful Pokemon ex that are ready to charge into battle. Kangaskhan ex can draw lots of cards and then deal lots of damage with Incessant Punching.  

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Exoprimal evolves to 1 million players in nearly two weeks. Capcom announced its newest game, Exoprimal, has hit 1 million players. The online shooter about mech pilots fighting dinosaurs released on July 14 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. Notably, it was a launch day title for Xbox Game Pass, which was likely a decent contributor to its player count. 

PlayStation 5 has now sold 40 million consoles worldwide, Sony has announced. By comparison, PlayStation 4 -- the fastest-selling PlayStation console to 40 million -- achieved the same feat two months quicker. The PS5 was severely impacted by component shortages, which meant Sony was unable to supply the demand for the system during the first two years on the market. The console is now in full supply.


Xbox just got a huge library of classic retro games. For a few years now, unbeknownst to many of us, a subscription service called Antstream Arcade has offered users legal streaming of hundreds of classic games, from arcade hits to gems for home platforms like Amiga, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum, among others. 

Quantum Error dev cancels PlayStation 4 version due to performance concerns. Developer TeamKill Media confirmed it would be canceling PlayStation 4 development of its upcoming game, Quantum Error. On Twitter, the developer said there was "no way" the last-gen version of the game would reach parity with the in-progress PlayStation 5 version.


CD Projekt Red laying off 100 workers after becoming "overstaffed". The Witcher and Cyberpunk developer CD Projekt Red is laying off 100 employees as a result of being "overstaffed." CD Projekt CEO Adam Kiciński said the layoffs represent around nine percent of the entire CD Projekt Red team, but are necessary as the studio looks to become "more agile and more effective." 

Highlighted Press Releases

KIDS ALWAYS HAVE A BLAST WITH JAMM’D BLUETOOTH SPEAKER DESIGNED FOR AMAZING SOUND, GOOD LOOKS & LONG-LASTING PLAY. Jamm’d by Watchitude® $25 Bluetooth Speakers Now In Limited Edition Rainbow, Tie-Dye & Earthly Designs That Gets Everyone Up & Off The Couch. New Brunswick, NJ (August 1, 2023) – It’s hip to be square, just ask the kids! Square-shaped Jamm’d by Watchitude® Bluetooth Speakers ($25) is the kids way to pump up the jam that looks good, sounds great and lasts for 3 hours of wireless non-stop music. Function, form and beauty just for kids is a trademark of Watchitude®, the art-meets-toy maker. With this handsome little Bluetooth speaker that’s both lightweight and rechargeable, deciding where to have fun is unlimited! Look for them now at


***The above posted after July 28th***


PARENTS ARE GOING GAGA FOR GOKI! KINDER PLAYROOM NOW STOCKING THESE ADORABLE GERMAN WOODEN TOYS. From Pram Chain Hedgehog & Owl to Hammer Bench or Moose Balancing Game, Expect to Get Asked, ‘Where’d You Get That?’ Charlotte, NC (July 27, 2023) — The simplicity of playing with an open-ended German wooden toy continues to be a timeless classic that never loses its luster or appeal for children and parents alike. Toymaker goki brings its exquisite line of lovingly designed playthings for babies and kinder (German for children) stateside. stocks over four dozen goki toys with must-have items like Touch Ring Elastic Bear ($12.50) or Moose Balancing Game ($23.95). These European crafted toys are affordable and adorable plus they offer eco-friendly screen-free play season after season.

WOULD YOU HUG A CACTUS? YES, SAYS MOOSH-MOOSH WHEN IT’S MAYA THE PLUSHIE WITHOUT THE PRICKLES. Moosh-Moosh Series 5 Is Now Available In A Dozen Soft & Squishy Personalities To Cuddle Or Stack From Dozer The Dalmatian To Taz The Koala & Now Maya!. Simi Valley, CA (July 26, 2023) – If you asked a kid to snuggle a pineapple or a cactus, would they do it? Absolutely, both retailers and parents agree–if they are Moosh-Moosh Series 5 pillow-y pals. The yellow pineapple with the green leafy top named Ana and the soft and friendly cactus with pretty red flowers named Maya are two of the dozen soft and squishy pillow plush toys from Moosh-Moosh. At $18.99, Ana and Maya and an armload of 12” x 8”x 6” pals are the perfect size and shape to comfort, to cuddle and to collect.


KIDS PREFERRED® ANNOUNCES ITS LINEUP FOR FALL 2023: DC & WIZARDING WORLD. President Larry Presser’s Strategic Yet Nimble Business Plan To License Warner Bros. Discovery Iconic Properties Introduces A New Generation of Kids Preferred Fans To Super Heroes & Wizards. East Windsor, NJ (July 25, 2023) – Kids Preferred®, in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, is rolling out an infant and toddler collection to gently introduce the magic of the DC Universe and Harry Potter™ to Generation Alpha. Zoomers to Boomers will be in awe of the cuddly and adorable plush, blankets, teethers and activity toys including My First Comic Book ($15) with a removable Batman and The Joker, peek-a-boo flaps and tactile ribbons. Can you say Kapow! Bonk! or Zowie!?

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Safety and Counterfeiting


Commission proposes clamp-down on hazardous chemicals in toys. EU toy safety rules should expand a generic ban on harmful chemicals to cover more hazard classes, the European Commission has proposed.


***The above posted after tBR ran on July 28th***


Barbie’s Big Screen Debut Lures Toy Scammers. According to LatentView Analytics, counterfeit toys generated over $32 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2019. LatentView says that a key driver of fake toy sales is online marketplaces and since their advent, “52% of toy brands have seen an increase in fake toys sold.” In the EU, a majority of goods seized at the border are counterfeit from online trade and online shopping.

FBI used Nintendo Switch to locate abducted child [Update]. The FBI used a Nintendo Switch console to locate an abducted 15-year-old girl, who had been missing for 11 days back in August 2022, Forbes reports. In a horrendous case involving kidnap and sexual exploitation, a teenage girl was found and rescued only after she logged online with her Nintendo Switch. 

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) proudly reveals the highly anticipated slate of finalists for the prestigious 2023 Wonder Women Awards. This esteemed recognition honors outstanding female executives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers, whose exceptional accomplishments have made a profound impact on the toy, licensing and entertainment industries.


Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) opens its online meeting platform as organisers confirm 190 exhibiting companies and thousands of retailers and manufacturers registered to attend. From today, anyone who is registered for BLE can use the online meetings platform to search for licence-ready brands spanning every category across entertainment, sports, gaming, heritage & non-profit, food & beverage, celebrity....


ToyFest announces dates for the 2024 show. The Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) announces the return of ToyFest to The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, March 3 – 5, 2024. The newly opened Expo Center in downtown Las Vegas served quite well for ToyFest the past two years. 


The Licensing Awards: The 2023 finalists in full. The Licensing Awards has once again attracted a phenomenal number of entries and nominations for 2023 across all the categories. Some 3,500 products were entered across the 11 Product awards categories, with the finalists being arrived at by some 250 retail buyers across the whole gamut of licensed and consumer products. 

Preshow Noël Toys & Games readies for November event. In four months time, Preshow Noël Toys & Games will see over 130 international suppliers come together with key buyers in Deauville, Normandy. Preshow Noël Toys & Games, a leading European event for 2024 Christmas collections, says it offers one of the best opportunities for purchasing decision-makers and retailers. 

Toy Trust fundraising benefits over 40 charities. The Toy Trust reports that, so far in 2023, in excess of £170,000 has been raised through industry fundraising. The year got off to a hugely successful start with the annual Media Auction achieving £107,100 during London Toy Fair in January. This was followed more recently by a brand-new initiative – May Mayhem, seeing the industry come together to raise...


NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2023 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS ARE OPEN! People of Play (POP) is Accepting TAGIE Award Nominations NOW Through August 4th. Now entering its 16th year, the TAGIE Awards, presented by People of Play (POP), will once again honor the best and brightest innovators, designers, retailers, suppliers, PR and marketers in the toy and game industry. 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. The TAGIEs are part of POP Week. This important recognition, honoring contribution, innovation, and spirit of community is the very heart of POP.

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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 readers. Archives can be found HERE

Paul Reubens, the actor best known for portraying Pee-wee Herman, died Sunday night after a private bout of cancer. He was 70.

“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” wrote Reubens in a statement posted to Instagram after his death. “I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”

“Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy and belief in the importance of kindness,” wrote Reubens’ estate in the caption. “Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit. A gifted and prolific talent, he will forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit.”

Reubens began his career in the 1970s after joining the Los Angeles live comedy troupe the Groundlings as an improvisational comedian and stage actor. In 1980, he launched “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” a stage production centered on a fictional character he had been developing for years. As Pee-wee became a beloved comic figure, Reubens’ show ran for five sold-out months, and he landed a special at HBO. Reubens also committed to the character in his interviews and public appearances.

In 1985, he teamed with Tim Burton on “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” the character’s feature film debut, which was a critical and commercial success. Reubens returned three years later for a follow-up film, “Big Top Pee-wee,” helmed by Randal Kleiser.


Jesse Horowitz - toy inventor loved by many. We are creating a POP profile page to show his wide impact on the toy industry. The following is what Howard Tarnoff posted on Linkedin: Jesse Horowitz passed away this past week while vacationing with family. He will be deeply missed by the many friends and family he impacted. To name just a few of his toy industry accomplishments, Jesse was the creator and designer of the JOHNNY EAGLE line, JOHNNY SPEED line, SILLY SAFARI game and SUZY CUTE doll. He conceived of the idea and helped in the development of STRETCH ARMSTRONG. He and his group were directly responsible for the creation of STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and CARE BEARS.

John GibsonVeteran developer and programming visonary John Gibson has passed away. As reported by Time Extension, Gibson started out creating games for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in the early '80s at Imagine Software. After Imagine went out of business, Gibson co-founded Liverpool-based studio Denton Designs and worked on projects such as Cosmic Wartoad and Gift from the Gods.

Gibson left Denton a few years later to join Psygnosis and became a key member of the company's Advanced Technology Group, where he made significant contributions to CD-ROM title Microcosm. According to MobyGames, Gibson remained at Psygnosis when the company was purchased by Sony but eventually moved to Warthog in 1998. Gibson would find his way back to Sony, however, with the seasoned developer joining Evolution Studios, which was subsequently acquired by the PlayStation maker 2007. At Sony, Gibson worked on titles including MotorStorm, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, MotorStorm: Apocalypse, and DriveClub. He spent two decades at the company. Tributes to Gibson have been pouring in on social media, with former colleague Paul Hughes describing him as a "legend of game development" and others highlighting his status as one of the "pioneers" of the UK game industry.


Liam Smyth - Director of Smyths Toys Superstores, along with three of his brothers. Liam Smyth has passed away at the age of 60. He died at the Mayo Hospice, Castlebar following a period of illness. Liam was one of the directors of the well known Smyth’s Toys retail chain, along with a number of his brothers.

Liam hailed from Claremorris, County Mayo, where the Smyths business began life as a newsagents. The company has since grown from its humble beginnings to become one of the largest toy retailers in Ireland and the UK. Liam worked as a director alongside Tony, Padraig and Thomas Smyth.

In 2018, Smyths acquired Toys R Us stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, re-branding the stores to Smyths and marking the start of the company’s expansion into mainland Europe. In 2022, this was furthered by the acquisition of French toy chain PicWicToys and stores opening in The Netherlands. Smyths now operates over 272 stores across six countries.

Tributes have been paid to Liam by the local Chamber of Commerce, where a spokesperson described him as a leading figure in the business life of the town. In a statement, members paid tribute to his tireless efforts to improve the economy and amenities there.

Liam was a proud supporter of Claremorris GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association). A statement from the club said his passing was a huge loss to the town: “Everyone associated with Mayo GAA would like to express their sincere sympathy on the untimely death of Liam Smyth, a proud Claremorris man and a great supporter of Mayo GAA over the years.”

The club said its academy squads benefited greatly from Liam’s support and added that “Liam always extended this support in a quiet and an unassuming way; his warmth and generosity extended to many other walks of life both locally and further afield.”

The Claremorris Chamber of Commerce statement added: “With his brothers Tony, Padraig and Tommie, together they accomplished what very few Irish businesses achieve, they grew one shop in a small town into a global giant. Liam wore that modestly. Regardless of how busy he was, he always found time for whatever cause or group needed assistance. He was one of a kind.”

Liam is survived by his wife Anne and their five sons: Alex, Ben, Harry, Josh and Sam. Toy World would like to add its condolences to them, and to Liam’s brothers Tony, Padraig, Thomas and Joe, his sister Maura and the extended Smyth family at this sad time.

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

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Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US) 

Toyworld (UK)

  1. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic …it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Ravensburger files motion to dismiss Disney Lorcana lawsuit

  3. Liam Smyth of Smyths Toys passes away

  4. MGA’s Miniverse hits Top 5 spot

  5. Moose Toys joins ranks of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles licensees

  6. Ravensburger unveils free Disney Lorcana companion app

  7. Sales of Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Goo Mobiles exceed expectations

  8. Tim Mulhall joins Rubies as UK CEO

  9. Gibsons welcomes UK sales manager

  10. Bandai unveils Gunpla and Banpresto windows at Hamleys Powered by Toyworld

  1. BLE’s online meetings platform opens

  2. Moose Toys joins ranks of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles licensees

  3. Mattel renews licensing partnership with Warner Bros.

  4. Acamar extends international distribution agreements for Bing

  5. Mattel unveils licensed Friends Polly Pocket compact

  6. Cartoon Network Game On! celebrates Shark Week

  7. Bandai unveils Gunpla and Banpresto windows at Hamleys

  8. Hasbro’s eOne secures UK broadcast deal for Transformers: EarthSpark

  9. Hey Duggee song released to celebrate FIFA Women’s World Cup

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Wizards of the Coast Introduces New 'Magic: The Gathering' Playtest Card Treatment
Jasco Games Rebrands as UVS Games
Review: 'Warhammer 40,000 Introductory Set' (Miniatures Game)
The JDS Perspective -- My First Look at 'Disney Lorcana' Physical Product
ICv2 Exclusive: Ravensbuger Reveals New 'Disney Lorcana' Song Cards
Paizo Moves Multiple RPG Book Releases to 2024
WizKids Unleashes 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Hydra Boxed Miniature'
Ravensburger Launches 'Disney Lorcana' App
Gamegenic Reveals New 'Star Wars: Unlimited TCG' Accessories Line
New 'Neopets' TCG Coming from Upper Deck

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

- Moose Toys signs deal with Paramount to license Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

- Hasbro partners with Xplored to integrate new technology into its board games

- Mattel and Warner Bros. Discovery Announce License Renewal

- Toys 'R' Us and Prénatal open their fourth shared store in Spain

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Sky Team Announced, Everything Ever Pre-Order
Scorpion Masqué has announced a new cooperative game, Floodgate Games has a new party game available for pre-order, and Paizo has announced a 30-minute board game set in the Pathfinder universe.

Video of the Week 

Tim Walsh: Ruth Handler's Doll that Conquered Hollywood.
The Barbie Edition of Where's the Fun from? | WTFF



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