the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary
Below is June 11 - 18, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

Articles are posted daily with the most recent at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 
Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Welcome to your briefing of the week's news...

2021 TAGIE image for video.jpg

Happy Friday! 

Don't wait, nominate! TAGIE Award nominations are open!  Are You an Innovator in Toy & Game Product Development, Marketing, PR, Retail, Design or Supplier? Nominate a colleague or nominate yourself!

Did you miss the TAGIE Awards last year? It’s not too late to watch!  Just click the video to the left. You'll see death-defying stunts, fun capers, heartfelt acceptance speeches from the top innovators in the world and more! Get involved this year!  Contact me here!

 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.

 

Mary

Dear Nancy... We have a great toy concept that we think appeals to kids of all ages—what are the advantages and disadvantages of targeting a large consumer segment like Kids 3+?  

tBR Columnist Nancy Zwiers Comments

A. In my experience working with entrepreneurs, one of the biggest issues I see on a regular basis is target audience definition. Most entrepreneurs tend to think their concept appeals to an over-broad segment of the consumer base—Kids 3+ for example.

 

First, its important to acknowledge that age grading—based on safety testing guidelines—is NOT your target consumer. Just because your product is safe for Kids aged 3+, that doesn’t mean that Kids 3+ should be your target audience.

 

In the U.S., for example, we have roughly 4 million kids per year of age—approximately 2 million girls and 2 million boys are born each year.  One approach to consumer targeting that appears attractive at first blush is that the larger the target audience, the larger the business opportunity. The problem with this is two-fold:

 

1)     Kids of different ages have different play urges—the more you zero in on the right target, the better your odds of success in delivering appeal and appropriate ergonomics. Based on brain development—and purchase patterns in the industry--the age segmentation that defines clear play preferences are as follows:  Read More . . . 

David Norman of Goliath Group: Christmas in July - tBR Person of the Week

I'm sitting in my xxth meeting with toy industry people talking about cost increases driven both by cost of goods and logistics. Most if not all suppliers have notified their retailers that prices are either increased or going to increase. At the same time, my company has over 100 containers filled with product, and we are struggling to find containerships to transport them despite agreements we have made in advance to mitigate this problem. We aren't alone in having this problem as every manufacturer I know seems to be in the same boat (or lack thereof ba dum tss). All of this is going to lead to inflation and product shortages at least by the fourth quarter. So my advice to consumers is to buy toys for Christmas now. Product is pretty readily available now and will likely be much more expensive and hard to find during the Holiday season.

So the bigger question is what happens to those of us in the toy industry this holiday season? There will definitely be product shortages and higher prices. I believe many toy manufacturers will feel the squeeze this season as we are paying more in operation expenses and are not being able to fully pass on the price increases to retailers. The price increases passed to retailers for toys and other products will be in turn passed to consumers and this will cause significant inflation. At some point this inflation will decrease consumer demand. Over a period of 6-12 months our logistics problems will reduce and we will be more or less back to normal with some ripple effects. Will this happen 6 months or 12 months -- that is the big question and I wish I had a crystal ball to figure it out.  Full Article and Profile 

Brian Turtle: 'Endless' Stories, Advice, Kevin Bacon and More! tBR Person of the Week

What is your claim to fame in the industry? Does it have anything to do with this story about you being pals with Kevin Bacon? How did you meet him?

I guess you could say my “Claim to Fame” would be that I was one of the guys who created the game The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. It was a fun little parlor game from the mid-nineties so I understand if you don’t know it. It was kind of a “stupid human trick” that got my college pals and I on shows like The Jon Stewart Show and Howard Stern which eventually led to a best-selling paperback and then a board game – which was our first product here at Endless Games!

 

So anyway, that is how I got to know Kevin Bacon; by making a game about him! We originally met on the Jon Stewart show where he was on to promote his 1995 film “Murder in the First”. We were on to demonstrate the method by which any actor in Hollywood could be connected to him. So, at first (as he has now had to discuss more than he ever thought he would have), he thought we were making fun of him. Thankfully he found this was not the case. We were just a couple of college guys who watched movies like JFK and Footloose and found that in 1994, Kevin Bacon was everywhere. As we described it in the game, he was “the center of the entertainment universe”. Whatever the case, I’m eternally grateful. Somebody with a bigger ego might have told us to go pound sand, but Kevin warmed up to the game and even wound up writing a rather hilarious prologue to that best-selling paperback (that’s now sadly out of print).  Read More . . . 

 

3 Truths and a Lie ad.png

Financial & Legal News . . .

PlayMonster Acquires Ann Williams Group. PlayMonster LLC is solidifying its place as a leader in the arts and crafts category. The company has acquired Michigan-based Ann Williams Group, a manufacturer of craft and activity kits for kids of all ages with distribution across key mass retailers and independent channels. Ann Williams Group brands, including Craft-tastic, Loopdedoo, CraftCrush, Loopdeloom, Sticker & Chill...

Wicked Uncle accuses Amazon of 'unfairly' improving its organic search results  The online gift specialist says it will request that Amazon stops using 'Wicked Uncle Toys' to drive click-throughs to its site - and that it isn't the only retailer affected. Mike O’Shea, founder of Wicked Uncle, told Toy World: “We had a lot of hassle in May from Amazon bidding on ‘Wicked Uncle’ for PPC [Pay-Per-Clicks, an internet advertising...

Electronic Arts to Acquire Warner Bros. Games’ Playdemic for $1.4B. The game maker is known for 'Golf Clash.' “Playdemic is a premier mobile gaming company founded in 2010 and known for its popular, award-winning game Golf Clash,” EA said on Wednesday. “Golf Clash is one of the leading mobile games in the U.S. and U.K. and has more than 80 million downloads globally to date.”

UK retail supply chain needs more drivers and warehouses. ParcelHero warns that the shortage of drivers has become critical, while the online shopping boom has created an urgent need for extra warehouse space. ParcelHero says the UK has a shortfall of around 70,000 drivers that could lead to delays, empty shelves and higher prices – not just in food retail, but right across the board.

Amazon (UK) under renewed fire over destruction of unsold stock. The UK Government is calling for action following an ITV News investigation that showed the online retail giant is still destroying millions of items of unsold stock a year, most of it new. Undercover filming carried out at the retailer’s Dunfermline fulfilment centre, one of 24 that operate across the UK, showed smart TVs, laptops, drones, hairdryers,...

Germany's 468 SPAC to acquire Boxine, the company behind the Tonies brand. It is reported that the deal will see the children's digital media and entertainment business change hands for around €1b. 468 SPAC has signed a letter of intent that includes raising €100m through private investment in public equity (PIPE) for Boxine, the children’s digital media and entertainment business which produces Tonies, the...

(the above was posted after June 18th)

Hasbro successfully warded off the efforts of successors to the designer of “The Game of Life” to take control of the board game’s copyright, with a ruling by the First Circuit. Bill Markham designed the game’s prototype in 1959 as a work for hire under the 1909 Copyright Act, and his successors in interest therefore don’t have the termination rights needed to reassert control over the copyright, the opinion by Judge Kermit V. Lipez said. The successors said that Markham was an author of the game under the 1976 Copyright Act, but the court refused to apply that act retroactively. Instead, it applied the instance and expense test under the 1909 Act. Reuben Klamer, whose business partner was Art Linkletter, came up with the concept for the game after talking to the Milton Bradley Co. about an idea to celebrate the company’s centennial, the court said. Klamer then approached Markham for help creating the actual components, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said.

Asia-Europe spot rates head for $20k as new China Covid problem unfolds. The new problem has prompted suggestions that the current shipping delays could persist for up to another 12 months. This would represent an astonishing 1,000% increase on the spot rate for the trade a year ago. In addition, transpacific routes will also be affected, with some Asia to US carriers now asking $17,000 per 40ft for US east coast ports.

Amazon likely to pass Walmart in U.S. sales next year to take first place. Amazon is likely to pass Walmart to become the largest retailer in the U.S. next year, according to research by JP Morgan reported by CNBC.  The reason is Amazon’s growth rate, with is much faster than Walmart’s; Amazon’s "Gross Merchandise Volume" grew at a 41% rate last year, while Walmart’s grew at a !0% rate according to the report.  

Satellite images show backlog of containers awaiting export at Port of Yantian after Covid outbreak. The backlog of containers stacking up at the Port of Yantian, the world’s fourth-largest container port, can be seen from space as a Covid-19 outbreak in the south China city of Shenzen, where the port is located, has delayed operations. Approximately 160,000 40-foot containers, the equivalent of 300,000 TEUs, or ...

PUBG owner Krafton looking to raise $5 billion through South Korean IPO. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds owner Krafton is looking to raise $5 billion through an incoming IPO, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The company, which was formerly known as Bluehole and owns Battlegrounds developer PUBG Studio, has filed to raise as much as 5.6 trillion won in a South Korean initial public offering that would ...

China console games market projected to approach $2.5bn by 2025 - Report. Niko Partners is projecting the Chinese console gaming market to grow through 2025. The research firm has released its China Console Games Market report, which found that the grey market and legal spending on console hardware and software would total $2.46 billion by 2025. Given the firm's 2020 assessment of $1.84 billion for the ...

Covid: Lockdown easing in England to be delayed by four weeksMost coronavirus rules will remain in place in England for another four weeks after the planned 21 June unlocking, government sources have told the BBC. Senior ministers have signed off on the decision to delay the lifting of all legal restrictions on social contact. That could mean capacity limits for sports, pubs and cinemas will remain, and nightclubs...

Jeff Tidball's Left Justified Llc. acquires Prolific GamesJeff Tidball's Left Justified LLC. has acquired Prolific Games. Prolific Games specializes satirical and parody games. Its primary product lineup includes Flapjacks & Sasquatches, Witch Slapped, Cultists & Cthulhu, and Pack Wars. Tidball bought the company from its owners, Bill Sininger and John Harris, who were looking to spend more time with their families... 

newyork-toy-600px-x-400px.jpg

 

Program Highlights

  • A++ rated insurer, $20 Billion in assets

  • Exceeds Wal-Mart and other leading retailers insurance requirements

  • Variable rate based on sales projections

  • Foreign & Domestic Liability coverage

  • Blanket additional insured vendors

  • Employee benefits liability

  • All certificates and claims handled in house

  • Quick quotation turnaround

  • Product recall expense $250,000 limit

 

Additional Coverage

  • Umbrella up to $50,000,000

  • Ocean Cargo & Property

  • Commercial Auto

  • Lead coverage

  • Intellectual properties (copyrights, trademarks, & patents)

  • Credit Insurance

  • US Customs Bond Insurance

  • Health Insurance

Call us today at 800-392-6958 (ext. 318)

for a free consultation and quotation for your business needs.

185 Newman Springs Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

Contact: Jason Welch: tel: 732-842-2012 (ext. 318), fax 732-530-7080, jawelch@york-jersey.com or Bob Witkin bobwitkin@york-jersey.com

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

Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

New Giraffe Insights research: international kids gifting behaviours . . . . . . Sesame: 42% of kids have experienced discrimination

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

Hornby pulls in first profit in nine years and promises “significantly more new releases” to come . . . . . . IDW PUBLISHING LOSES $508,000 in most recent quarter . . . . . Mattel Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz to Participate in Virtual Nasdaq 44th Investor Conference

Future Financial Reporting . . .

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) expected to announce earnings of $0.53 per share. Analysts predict that Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $0.53 for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have made estimates for Hasbro's earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.48 and the highest is $0.69. Hasbro posted earnings per share of $0.02 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2,550%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on July 26th.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . .

All UK Disney Stores except flagship rumoured to be closing. Disney has begun a store closure programme in the US and several stores in the UK have also already closed this year. The group announced in March that it planned to close at least 60 Disney retail stores in North America, about 20% of its worldwide total, as it revamped its digital shopping platforms to focus more on online sales.

You're Gonna Need a Bigger Toy Chest: LEGO Version of Jaws's Orca Could Become a Reality. The iconic boat from Jaws suffered a violent end—both in the 1975 film and in real life. If a new product idea proposed on LEGO.com comes to fruition, Jaws fans will get the chance to rebuild the ill-fated vessel at home. As Bloody Disgusting reports, a design featuring the Orca from Jaws is one of the most exciting LEGO Ideas...

Sustainability in the toy industry will not be achieved in one move, but through ‘consistent and incremental improvements’, as well as relentless innovation, is the message being promoted by the international toy maker, ZURU, ahead of the Sustainability in Licensing Conference this week.Speaking with ToyNews before the online conference kicks off on June 24th, Amelia Jory, global marketing manager for seasonal...

(the above posted after June 18th)

John Baulch, ToyWorld UK - When the ship hits the fan…it’s the Friday Blog!  I make no apologies for returning to the thorny subject of shipping this week: unsurprisingly, this ongoing issue is dominating most toy conversations at the moment. One of the few positives about the situation is that just about everyone is in the same boat…literally. This week has seen container rates spiraling once more, with prices on...

Jeff Goldblum Is Doing a Dungeons & Dragons Podcast, Which Is as Excellent as It Is Unfathomable. Yeah. So, Jeff Goldblum—the Jeff Goldblum, star of Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and so much more—is going to play Elven sorcerer Balmer in a Dungeons & Dragons podcast. This is a true statement of something that is going to happen in our reality, and I absolutely can’t wrap my head around it.

New research from Nickelodeon and OK Play shows that kids often default to racial stereotypes when it comes to who should play lead roles, and producers can help change this. Media content has the power to shape children’s perceptions of themselves and others. But if it acts as both a mirror and a window, then what exactly are kids seeing reflected in the shows they watch?

Opinion | Channel hopping: Netflix becomes latest global brand to adopt direct to consumer retailing. With Netflix becoming the latest global brand to adopt a direct to consumer model for its portfolio of licensed merchandise, consumer products, and original series brand extensions, industry insights and intelligence expert and seasoned market analyst, Utku Tansel takes a look at the ever-strengthening trend ...

The metaverse is taking over kids entertainment—here's what it is, and why you should care  When you think about it, Wonderland may have been the original ‘metaverse’. If that’s not a term you know, you’ll hear it a lot soon. The metaverse is a massive, immersive, global, always-on digital space where it’s possible to engage in all sorts of play, entertainment, communication, socializing, creative and commercial activities. 

Why the toy boom has been good for Monopoly maker Hasbro. In turbulent times, parents turn to toys to keep their kids happy. That has helped propel sales at some of the biggest toymakers in the U.S., including Hasbro, the largest producer of board games. Hasbro has more than 1,500 brands, including Monopoly, Play-Doh, Jenga and Transformers and designs and distributes toys for some of the biggest names in the...

How YouTube Unboxing Videos Helped Kids Take Over the Toy Industry. It’s “created a revolution, not an evolution,” says one media executive. While the videos might have seemed dull to adults, they hit on a core play pattern of discovery, according to Nancy Zwiers, the former chief marketing officer for toymaker Spin Master. “It just seemed kind of bizarre,” Zwiers said in the episode. “But then when I started thinking...

Untapped potential: how mobile gaming is gearing up for big changeHalf of all time spent online is through a mobile device, and global revenue from the mobile games segment is projected to hit $110 billion this year. That revenue is forecasted to grow even further - up to 10 percent to $161 billion by 2025 (according to Statista). 

Video games are "core to the future of Dungeons & Dragons". The popularity of Dungeons & Dragons is unlikely to be news to members of the games industry. Aside from the fact that it's hard keeping track of how many games professionals play it regularly themselves, there's a natural crossover between the audiences of tabletop RPGs and video games.

GoPopAd_BloomReport2021.jpg

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Barrel of Monkeys from Lakeside Toys (1965)Released in 1965 by Lakeside Toys, Barrel of Monkeys is a dexterity game for children ages three and up. The barrel-shaped packaging contains 12 plastic monkeys with elongated S-shaped arms. In the initial release, the simian set included three colours: four each of yellow, blue, and red monkeys. After dumping the monkeys onto a flat surface, one or more players attempted to build a chain by hooking monkeys together via their arms.

PlaytimeFun_540x250_BloomReport_Ad_3_SEL

Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Hasbro and Reebok combine forces to launch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers footwear collectionThe global entertainment powerhouse, Hasbro has partnered with Reebok to introduce a new collection of trainers based on the original ’90s television series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The new family footwear collection pairs some of Reebok’s iconic silhouettes with five of the original Power Rangers. 

Rovio Entertainment has secured exclusive rights to the Moomin brand to develop and publish Moomin video and mobile games, the first of which is expected to reach soft launch later this year. Rovio has also invested five million euros (roughly U.S. $5.9 million) into Gutsy Animations, the studio behind the series Moominvalley. The partnership between Rovio and Moomin brings together some of Finland’s most...

Target now has its own version of a Monopoly game. Instead of being rewarded for bold spending, the player who saves the most wins. Instead of buying properties and hotels, you fill a shopping basket with groceries, clothes, housewares or other items found at a Target store, and compete to see who can save the most at checkout. Players are encouraged to use the game’s version of the RedCard (the Target rewards credit...

Curiosity Ink Media and Cepia partner on new Cats vs. Pickles series. The partnership will enrich the popular collectible toy property with an animated Cats vs. Pickles series and a robust publishing programme. The companies say the partnership marks their respective forays into the lucrative and profitable worlds of content distribution and publishing, offering new revenue streams for both and unlocking the potential...

Iscream Unlocks the Magic with Care Bears Licensed Products. In collaboration with Cloudco Entertainment, Iscream will launch a new line of Care Bears-licensed lifestyle products and accessories this fall. The full line of products will feature bright colors, prints, and the Care Bears characters. Products will include plush sleeping bags and blankets, onesies and other children’s apparel, backpacks, luggage, pillows...

JAKKS Pacific Announces Multi-Year Contract Extension With BLACK+DECKER™ in North America. Under this agreement, JAKKS will continue to design, manufacture, market, and sell BLACK+DECKER toy work benches, tool sets, tools, housewares, and kitchen products in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. JAKKS’ current BLACK+DECKER branded toy product lines include best-sellers like the Tool Belt Set, Electric Power Drill...

(the above posted after June 18th)

Janod teams up with WWF to launch new eco-focused toy range for animal and nature loversThe French toy brand, Janod has embarked on a new collaboration with WWF for the launch of a new collection of toys designed to inspire and engage the next generation of animal and nature lovers. As part of the toy firm’s wider promise to help the planet, Janod is working alongside the environmental organisation to see the..

Wham-O Licenses Retro Toys to Winning Moves Games. “Winning Moves Games USA is proud to announce it has signed a licensing agreement with Anjar and Wham-O to bring back the classic versions of Frisbee, Super Ball, Hacky Sack, Trac Ball and many other classic Wham-O toys,” said Philip Orbanes Jr., President of Winning Moves Games USA. “For more than 25 years Winning Moves Games USA has built a positive reputation...

Gaming phenomenon Fall Guys joins Wow! Pods lineup  Fall Guys’ beans are set to become main characters of the new Wow! Pods range featuring the unique Swipe to Light function. The breakout gaming hit of 2020, Fall Guys quickly established itself as one of the most enjoyed multiplayer games available. 

WowWee’s Baby Shark’s Big Show toys make a splash on Amazon Prime Day. WowWee, Nickelodeon, and Pinkfong are launching a refreshed collection of toys inspired by Baby Shark’s Big Show! on Amazon Prime Day.Baby Shark’s Big Show! toys have exclusive items for every shark-tastic fan. The collection includes the original Song Cubes, as well as eight all-new Song Cubes, that feature fan-favorite characters...

LEGO launches first buildable sneaker in latest brand extension collab with Adidas. The LEGO Group has launched its first buildable sneaker, a LEGO brick building set based on the popular Adidas sneaker model, the Superstar. The move, a first in both the toy and streetwear space, is the latest development in the ongoing partnership between the Danish toy maker and Adidas Originals. 

‘Odo’ takes flight with Bulldog Licensing. Sixteen South has announced the signing of Bulldog Licensing as its global licensing agency for preschool series “Odo.” Scheduled to premiere on Channel 5’s Milkshake this summer and KiKA later in 2021, Bulldog Licensing has been appointed to bring “Odo” to life through consumer products. “We’ve always been big fans of Bulldog and are delighted they are taking ‘Odo’...

United Smile to launch ‘True and the Rainbow Kingdom’ toys. Guru Studio has announced it has tapped United Smile as its exclusive master toy partner for its preschool series, “True and the Rainbow Kingdom.” United Smile has partnered with distributors worldwide to create a product line that features a collection of figures, playsets, vehicles, plush and musical dolls based on the animated series. he global distributors...

Kid Trax Toys builds truck and tent toys with USPS. USPS and Kid Trax Toys have come together to introduce an interactive, ride-on USPS Mail Delivery Truck and USPS Post Office Tent. Launching on Amazon.com and KidTraxToys.com, the kid-size mail carrier features a mail slot, opening rear door, working headlights and horn. 

Capstone Games acquires license to publish 'Orleans' and expansions. Capstone Games has acquired the license to publish the English language editions of Orleans and its expansions from DLP Games. Orleans, a series of games produced by Reiner Stockhausen, was previously published in English by Tasty Minstrel Games. They will be releasing a new version of Orleans that includes the fifth player expansion in Sept. 

LEGO and ZURU to tackle sustainability topic at Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2021. Toymakers LEGO and ZURU will be among a panel of experts tackling the topic of sustainability in the licensing industry next week, alongside recycling and waste management leader RECOUP who believes the UK now has ‘the opportunity to be a world leader in plastic resource management.’

Discovery makes a splash with multiple licensing deals for Shark Week. As Shark Week lurks around the corner, merchandising partners are looking to take a big bite of this Discovery program’s hype with releases of apparel, accessories, toys, food, and more. Veteran partners such as Mattel, Bright Kingdom Development (BKD), and Dan Dee are returning to the Shark Week merchandising waters.

‘Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands’ debut licensing partners unveiled. “Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands,” the recently revealed fantasy game from Gearbox Entertainment and 2K set to launch in 2022, has announced its consumer products support program. “Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands” has onboarded a host of debut licensing partners across toys, collectibles, apparel, accessories, home goods, publishing and subscription boxes. 

nancy lombardi ad.540x250.jpg

People . . . 

Brian Robbins steps into expanded ViacomCBS role The president of kids and family entertainment for the company's domestic media networks is adding Paramount+ streaming responsibilities to his remit. In his newly expanded role, Robbins will also serve as chief content officer for kids and family programming at the burgeoning SVOD.

Halilit bolsters sales team with addition of Stephanie Malinowski. Stephanie's background in toys and gifts will prove a boon to the company as it seeks to increase its presence at retail in the north. Amy Wildman, Halilit sales manager, said: “Stephanie’s enthusiasm for our brands and the baby, toddler and pre-school markets that we reach is truly fantastic, and we’re excited to have her joining us at this time.

Kidicraft welcomes Katy Greenwood as company expands. Keeping it in the family, Katy will work alongside her father Roy Greenwood and the team, as Kidicraft moves to new premises. Katy’s appointment will serve to support the increased demand that the company is experiencing and ensure that it maintains its excellent levels of customer service.

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Patti and Jonathan Becker, the duo behind Anjar Co. and Becker Associates. Patti and Jonathan discuss their recent work building a new licensing program for Wham-O before sharing information on upcoming opportunities and an exclusive announcement.

Entertainment studio ZAG continues the expansion of its team in Latin America with the appointment of Melisa Fuhr as Licensing and Retail Director, South America. Fuhr will be responsible for licensing activities across South America. In Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia, she will oversee the efforts of ZAG’s licensing agency, IMC; while in Chile and Peru, Fuhr will work directly with licensees and retail....

Plum Play welcomes Lesley Whitehouse as product manager. With over 20 years' experience in the toy industry, Lesley will be responsible for facilitating the introduction of new items into the Plum Play portfolio. Lesley brings a wealth of experience to Plum Play, having spent over 16 years working for Toys R Us as lead buyer for Europe. Most recently, Lesley worked for Mothercare and the Entertainer as a senior buyer.

A Colorado family was so into board games, they made their own. Canoosh is designed for ages 8+, and plays with probabilities and luck. The Goekes had a problem to solve. As a family of avid board game players in Lakewood, they wanted to create a game that was both accessible and fun for all ages. They found inspiration in dice probability chart. “It’s funny, you don’t even think about two dice, you just roll them,” 12-yr-old...

(the above posted after June 18th)

Catherine Winder, CEO and exec producer of WSS, is leading a team of creatives launching the next gen of creator-driven multi-platform entertainment franchises. WSS brings IPs to life through leveraging new technologies in combination with the company’s world-building expertise. Its creative team was behind the hit Invincible along with Camp Bonkers and My Singing Monsters Fandemonium. “We produce in...

Spanish toymaker-turned-inventor creates 3D printed prosthetic arms. A toy designer with a passion for 3D printing is changing the lives of disabled children around with world with a line in tailor-made prostheses. Eight-year-old Juan Moyolema, born without the lower part of his left arm, was thrilled to receive a new hand from Madrid-based Ayudame3D.

Innovate Like A Boss with Perry The Inventor. Too many inventors fall in love with the idea. Pro inventors fall in love with the idea that others fall in love with. My guest today is Perry the Inventor, Perry Kaye, who has invented everything from the ShapeSHARK, a colored marker that allows children to cut paper into shapes simply by drawing them, to 3-D CAD software. He’s been awarded over 50 US and Foreign Patents, won...

Homeschool Together Podcast. Episode 105: Designing Games with Kim Vandenbroucke. Kim covered a wide range of current topics in the table top games industry such as differences between publishes here and abroad, how the industry is changing, inventor's names on boxes, trends, themes, mechanics,  rules, goals, playtesting, unicorns and much more. 

Wilton Bradley appoints Jeff Goldstein as country manager for the US and Canada. Jeff will be tasked with growing Wilton Bradley's sales across the US and Canada, and brings a wealth of industry experience to the role. Jeff, who will be based in New Jersey, brings a wealth of toy industry experience to Wilton Bradley having previously held senior sales positions with  Hasbro, Ohio Art and, more recently, Kid Station Toys.

Jazwares continues team expansion with appointment of new SVP of communications. The global toy maker, Jazwares has appointed a new senior vice president of communications in the form of Sara Rosales, an accomplished communications executive boasting 20 years toy industry experience. In her new role, Rosales will focus on corporate communications, brand public relations, the company’s philanthropic efforts...

Roger Howard retires from Casdon after 45 years of service. Roger Howard, one of the industry’s longest serving members, has stepped away from the toy chest this week – retiring from Casdon Toys after 45 years of service. Howard joined the team at Casdon in July 1976, when he was just 16. Starting as an office junior, Roger was put in charge of the warehouse and sales office after just a few years. 

WildBrain CPLG Names Jasen Wright VP, North AmericaBased in New York, Wright is reporting to WildBrain CPLG EVP and Managing Director, Maarten Weck. While focusing on WildBrain’s proprietary brands — including Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, Teletubbies, and Chip & Potato — Wright will also lead local growth of a wider portfolio of WildBrain CPLG brands and grow relationships with existing partners like Square Enix ...

KidsKnowBest, the creative agency with a focus on youth, is continuing its expansion with two new senior hires: Thomas Fink, who joins as data and AI consultant; and Helen Lockett, who takes up the role of associate research director.  It has also appointed Ed Hallinan Rhodes – a content marketer with 10-plus years’ industry experience – as strategy director.

Jo Carter from Two Owls Design on her career as toy designer. WHEN most kids want a new soft toy, they have to beg their parents to take them somewhere like Build-A-Bear Workshop. But Jo Carter’s boys simply have to persuade their mum to go to her studio at the bottom of the garden. The former Penketh High student has what some youngsters might call a dream job as a soft toy designer. With more than 20 years of...

540 x 250.gif.gif

Companies, Brands . . .

The Lego Group has shared a glimpse into the future of experiential retail as it opens its doors on a new store in NYC. The 7,175 sq ft, two story store on Fifth Avenue is the first Lego flagship store to feature an innovative new retail format, elements of which will be introduced to more than 100 stores worldwide in the coming year. The format is designed to create an immersive world of Lego bricks by blending unique 

Mattel is adding a brand new title to its lineup of classic games. Crossed Signals is a fast-paced active electronic game for up to four players ages 8 and up that Mattel says is “simple to learn but challenging to master.” The game features a pair of light sticks that players will follow via light and voice commands, moving them up, down, or shaking them around. Players will need to get on their feet as the speed...

Spin Master’s Gund brand is joining forces with Bluetooth tracking device Chipolo to help parents and children keep tabs on their plush toys. Now, for a limited time, when shoppers make a purchase of $50 or more from Gund.com, they will receive a free Chipolo Plus Bluetooth tracker to attach to their child’s favorite plush. If the toy goes missing, parents ring the tracker in the Chipolo app and listen for the tone to...

The LEGO Group Creates First LEGO Brick Prototype Made from Recycled Plastic. LEGO just took a big step in its efforts to make its products more sustainable. The company unveiled a new LEGO brick made entirely out of recycled plastic. This new prototype is the first brick made out of PET plastic from discarded bottles and the first to meet the company’s strict quality and safety standards.

WowWee Debuts Got2Glow Fairy Finder. Today, on International Fairy Day, WowWee launched its newest toy: the Got2Glow Fairy Finder. With the magical tech toy, kids can discover and collect more than 100 fairies. There are three different Got2Glow Fairy Finder jars to choose from — pink, blue, and an exclusive fuchsia glow-in-the-dark — and each comes with more than 30 fairies inside to discover.

Exploding Kittens Launches New Game, Exploding Minions. Marking the Company’s First Licensed Game, Illumination’s Global Phenomenon, Minions, Enter the Exploding Kittens Universe with New Illustrations by The Oatmeal. “We’re excited to combine one of the biggest card games with Illumination’s global pop-culture phenomenon, the Minions, to create a new family game night essential,” said Elan Lee, Co-Creator/CEO...

IMC Toys Combines Content & E-Commerce With New OTT Service. IMC Toys announced the upcoming launch of its Kitoons Over-The-Top (OTT) platform later this month, to combine content and e-commerce. While watching content from IMC Toys brands, viewers can see suggestions for related products and parents can place orders via purchase links.

Spin Master Prepares to Release More Than 30 New PAW Patrol: The Movie Toys. The PAW Patrol crew is heading to the big screen on Aug. 20 in Spin Master Entertainment’s PAW Patrol: The Movie, and Spin Master revealed there's even more puppy goodness coming fans' way with a new toy collection, available just in time to bring the canine stars right into viewers' homes.

Schleich’s Horse Club line has branched out into video games with the release of the new Horse Club Adventures game. Developed by Wild River Games and published by Merge in North America, the game brings players to the Lakeside Riding Stable from the Horse Club universe, where they interact with characters Hannah, Sarah, Lisa, Sofia, and their horses. The game offers over 40 quests, as well as side quests....

Character Options' Little Live Pets set for success this autumn/winter  As one of Character's leading brands, Little Live Pets will benefit from significant investment this year.   The range grew substantially last year, and is now firmly established as one of the leading Youth Electronics brands in the UK.

IETP's Sarah Ng on the most trusted responsible sourcing programme for toys. In this exclusive piece, Sarah Ng, the organisation’s communications manager, tells Toy World readers why the ICTI Ethical Toy Program remains as vital as it ever was. How effective and applicable is your responsible supply chain programme? Did you know that 75% of supply chain organisations say they have responsible or ethical...

L.O.L. Suprise! characters will hit the stage in a hologram concert tour coming to 44 U.S. cities this fall. L.O.L. Surprise! Live — Calling All B.B.’s, starring Lady Diva, Royal Bee, Neonlicious, and Swag, kicks off September 30 at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks, California. The tour will stop at venues in major cities across the country — including the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago...

(the above posted after June 18th)

Nickelodeon launches TMNT design competition  ViacomCBS Consumer Products has partnered with PROSPECT 100 to roll out new Ninja Turtles merch featuring artwork from a young creator. The contest is open to creators ages 16 to 25, and in addition to a US$7,000 cash prize, the winner’s original artwork will be featured on an official range of TMNT merchandise that’s set to launch globally on Amazon in August.

Mattel drives into NFTs with Hot Wheels Consumers can bid on three exclusive digital versions of Hot Wheels vehicles using cryptocurrency starting on June 22. They’ll take the form of three exclusive digital Hot Wheels cars that will be offered up at auction on the Mattel Creations e-commerce platform from June 22 to 29.

Smart Games unveils XXL versions of its best-selling brain bustersJump In, Squirrels Go Nuts and IQ Puzzler Pro are now available with larger boards and pieces, plus extra challenges to complete. Commenting on the launch of the new XXL games, Karen Clarke, UK brand director of Smart Toys and Games, said: “We are delighted to unveil our new XXL games  – the chunky pieces are super fun and ideal to play both indoors...

Jazwares subsidiary Kellytoy unveiled a new line-up of Squishmallows launching for Halloween. The squad features jack-o-lanterns, mummies, vampires, bats, ghosts, witches, and other creatures, available as five-inch, eight-inch, 12-inch, 16-inch, 20-inch, and 24-inch versions.

New this year are Detra the red octopus witch and Zelina the Day of the Dead-themed black cat. Other classic characters will be available...

IMC Toys signs second Nickelodeon partnership deal for Cry Babies Magic Tears  A UK TV and social media campaign will support the autumn/winter product launches for the popular doll range from IMC Toys. Designed to reinforce brand awareness and engagement, the Cry Babies Magic Tears content will continue to stream simultaneously across the Nickelodeon network in commercial airtime, and IMC Toys’ ...

THE FIRST-EVER MATTEL ADVENTURE PARK IS SET TO OPEN IN ARIZONA NEXT YEAR. A host of branded Family Entertainment Centers and other location-based entertainment experiences were in the works before the world was derailed. Now, following the plans for Mission Play! by Mattel — the first Mattel FEC in Europe — families in N.A. will soon have a destination where they can interact with their favorite toy brands...

Lego Mario’s next set has leaked and it’s a massive airship. A huge Lego Super Mario expansion set has been revealed early by Amazon Australia. The Lego Super Mario Bowser’s Airship was discovered on Amazon Australia yesterday and has since been pulled, but not before 9 to 5 Toys and Twitter users saved the images. Like the other Lego Super Mario expansion sets, Bowser’s Airship is designed to accompany the ...

Asmodee USA will distribute Super Meeple's English language games. Asmodee USA announced that they have inked an exclusive agreement with Super Meeple to distribute their catalog of English language games worldwide. Super Meeple is a Parisian company that was founded in 2014, and their catalog includes Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer's Tikal, which won the 1999 Spiel des Jahres and will be...

Konami reveals new premium gold set for 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG'Konami Digital Entertainment revealed Maximum Gold: El Dorado, for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, which will release in November 19. Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG brings back Gold Rare cards that have raised golden outlines, borders, symbols, and icons on popular cards, similar to the set produced last year. 

Guru Studio and United Smile take ‘True and The Rainbow Kingdom’ toy distribution overseas. Guru Studio’s True and the Rainbow Kingdom toys are riding the rainbow slide into retailers around the world with the help of United Smile. The product line features a collection of figures, playsets, puzzles, vehicles, plushes, and musical dolls based on the preschool series. 

L.O.L. Surprise! announces Tweens fashion dolls. The latest members to join the L.O.L. Surprise! family, the all-new L.O.L. Surprise! Tweens are positioned as ‘my first’ fashion doll collectibles and allow fans to unbox an entirely new size of L.O.L. Surprise! doll. Standing at 6.5”, Tweens sit in between L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls and O.M.G Fashion Dolls. Each Tweens doll comes with 15 surprises and reusable packaging that turns into a...

Big G Creative taps Ren Beanie PR to serve as agency of record. The company behind hit games, including Mega Mouth, Bye Felicia, and the recent Hide ‘N Cheek is getting a big PR push. Nashville-based Big G Creative tapped Ren Beanie PR to serve as its agency of record to craft a full multifaceted media and influencer campaigns to market current and future titles from its growing portfolio. “With our robust line-up of board...

Lucky Duck Games announces 'Kids Chronicles: Quest For The Moon Stones'. Lucky Duck Games announced Kids Chronicles: Quest for the Moon Stones, the first game in the Lucky Duck Kids line, for release into retail in Q4. Kids Chronicles: Quest for the Moon Stones is a cooperative game by the designer of Chronicles of Crime, David Cicurel (see "Lucky Duck Launches 'Chronicles of Crime - The Millennium Series'"). 

Nacelle Co. acquires Robo Force, plots relaunch of former Ideal Toys brandAnother crew of robotic warriors from the ’80s is powering up for a new generation. The Nacelle Co., producers of Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us, The Movies That Made Us, and the multiplatform A Toy Store Near You, are relaunching Robo Force, a transmedia property that originally debuted in 1984.

eOne expands PJ Masks distribution in AsiaCatboy, Owlette, and Gekko are suiting up for new adventures across Asia. Hasbro‘s Entertainment One (eOne) inked new distribution deals for PJ Masks in territories where kids are just discovering the trio of kid superheroes. “We’re excited to share PJ Masks with more audiences around the world,” says Monica Candiani, executive vice president of content sales, eOne. 

TGG Games will release 'Micro City 2E' into U.S. retail. TGG Games will release Micro City 2E, a pocket-sized city building game by Thistroy Games, into U.S. retail in October. Micro City 2E is a hand management game with a modular board that allows players to play a city-building game anywhere they go. The second edition of this game introduces two new game modes, and rules changes to the original game. 

Take a terrifying voyage on the Atlantic in 'Unfathomable'. Fantasy Flight Games announced Unfathomable, a new board game from the Arkham Horror Files Universe, for release in September. In 1913, the steamship SS Atlantica is two days out of port on the Atlantic Ocean.Suddenly, the passengers begin to have nightmare, and there are dark shapes following their ship beneath the waves. 

'Pokemon TCG' takes to the 'Evolving Skies'. The Pokemon Company International will release the Pokemon TCG: Sword & Shield - Evolving Skies expansion on August 27. Evolving Skies features the fan favorite Eevee and all of its Evolutions in the same expansion. Eevee’s Evolutions will appear in the expansion as both Pokemon V and Pokemon VMAX versions. 

Wyrd announces 'Vagrantsong'. Wyrd Miniatures announced Vagrantsong, a campaign board game, for release in Fall. In Vagrantsong, players assume the roles of Vagrants who are stuck on a ghost train. This game is a cooperative boss-battler where the players must work together to face their fears and defeat them. They must also uncover the mystery of the Silver Ferryman, and figure out to a way to get past the Haints ...

'Gudetama' floats in the nog of a 'Holiday' makeover. Renegade Game Studios and Oni Games will release Gudetama: A Tricky Egg Card Game - Holiday Edition, a trick-taking game, for release in September. Players can get in touch with their inner lazy egg again for this holiday edition of the hit card game, which was released last year. This version features holiday art from the graphic novels. 

Pottick Law Ad new as of Nov 2020.jpg

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

Facebook will start testing in-headset VR adverts in video gamesFacebook will soon begin testing in-headset VR advertisements in a small number of video games. The social media company, which owns VR hardware and software maker Oculus, said the first title to take part in the advertising "experiment" will be Resolution Games' virtual reality shooter, Blaston. 

Co-op adventure It Takes Two sells 2 million copies in under three months. Hazelight Studios' co-op adventure It Takes Two has sold 2 million copies in less than three months. The title launched on March 26 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S, and managed to eclipse 1 million sales within a month. Breaking the news on Twitter, Hazelight said the milestone indicated there's ...

Firefly Games teams up with Riva Technology and Entertainment to release a brand new L.O.L Surprise! mobile game in a licensing agreement with MGA EntertainmentFirefly Games Inc. announced today that they have partnered with MGA Entertainment to launch a global L.O.L Surprise!™ Room Makeover mobile game coming this summer on all iOS and Android devices. 

The surprising return of a forgotten Nintendo game. On the lists of “games you’ll likely never play,” one Nintendo game has made frequent appearances: Metroid Dread. The supposed sequel to the beloved Metroid Fusion, released on Game Boy Advance in 2002, was first rumored in early 2005 to be readying for launch on the then-new Nintendo DS. 

Pinkfong Baby Shark debuts in June 2021 as a mobile game. Baby Shark Games, a subsidiary of SmartStudy, has announced the launch of “Shark Blast,” a mobile puzzle game based on “Pinkfong Baby Shark,” on App Store and Google Play. “Shark Blast” features the underwater adventures of Pinkfong Baby Shark, along with its characters and music. 

The Atari VCS retro console gets its long-awaited retail releaseThe Atari VCS — a part-desktop PC, part-retro console modeled after the Atari 2600 — is finally available to buy at retail. Atari is selling the console via its own site while Best Buy and Micro Center also have their listings. This isn’t the first time the console has been available to the public (VGC notes that Indiegogo backers recently received their consoles) but...

The best wired or wireless gaming mouse you can buy. Finding the right gaming mouse amid all the options available can be a struggle. There are a lot of factors to consider, like how it looks, how it feels in the hand, the button selection and arrangement, the quality of its sensor, and whether you want a mouse that’s wireless or wired. These details, minor as they may seem, can have a major impact on your experience...

Nintendo brings back minigame mayhem with new WarioWare: Get It TogetherThe iconic minigame compilation, WarioWare is back, as Nintendo announces its latest sequel during E3’s Nintendo Direct: WarioWare: Get It Together! After its last title WarioWare Gold back in 2018, Wario is finally making a return for the first time on the Nintendo Switch. 

Here’s a first look at Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode. 343 Industries is back and ready to demo more Halo Infinite. Today at Microsoft’s Xbox + Bethesda showcase, we got a new look at the multiplayer side of Halo Infinite. The game will run at up to 120fps in this mode on the Xbox Series X, and offer classics like capture the flag mixed in with new abilities like using a grapple hook to pick up objects. 

Hades, one of 2020’s best games, is coming to Xbox and PlayStation on August 13th. Supergiant Games’ excellent roguelike Hades, which was one of the best games of 2020, is coming to Xbox and PlayStation consoles on August 13th. It will be available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, PS4, and PS5. And if you’re an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, you’ll have access to the game on August 13th as well. 

Guilty Gear Strive has topped 300,000 worldwide sales in three days. Guilty Gear Strive, the latest entry in Arc System Works' hybrid 2D-meets-3D fighting franchise, has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide in three days. The title was pitched by the Japanese studio as a "complete reconstruction of the franchise" and launched on June 11 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. 

It looks like Cyberpunk 2077 will return to the PlayStation Store this month. CD Projekt has given its investors a heads up via a regulatory announcement that the rumors are true: Cyberpunk 2077 is headed back to the PlayStation Store after almost exactly 6 months away. The company hasn't yet made a big announcement for its playerbase quite yet, but the notice states that Sony Interative Entertainment has...

ESL gaming, RiotPWR team for gaming hardware. E-sports company ESL Gaming has launched the first ESL controller for mobile phones, designed by RiotPWR, a mobile controller developer of mobile gaming hardware. The partnership with ESL and RiotPWR, brokered by ESL’s licensing agency Tinderbox, officially kicked-off earlier in 2021 with the announcement of the Rotor Riot Controller sponsorship of ESL’s...

Facebook expands Oculus Studios with BigBox VR acquisition. Virtual reality developer BigBox VR has been acquired by Oculus owner Facebook for an undisclosed fee. The Seattle-based studio is best known for developing VR battle royale title Population: One, which launched 9 months ago and has become one of the "top-performing titles" on the Oculus platform. Facebook, which purchased VR company Oculus for...

Pokemon Go maker Niantic is working on a real-world Transformers mobile game. Pokemon Go creator Niantic is working on a real-world Transformers mobile game called Transforme0rs: Heavy Metal. The developer has partnered with Hasbro and TOMY on the project, and said the game will be an augmented reality experience powered by the Niantic Lightship platform. 

Amazon’s game streaming service Luna is opening access to all Prime members June 21 and 22. Amazon is opening up access to its game streaming service Luna to all Amazon Prime members on June 21 and 22 (Amazon Prime Day). Previously, to test out Luna you had to request access or sign up from supported Fire TV devices. But for this limited-time only, any Prime subscribers in the mainland US will be able...

Microsoft announces Redfall, a vampire shooter from the team behind Dishonored. Microsoft ended its E3 2021 presentation with a brand-new title: Redfall, the latest release from Dishonored developer Arkane Studios. It’s a co-op shooter that looks a bit like Left 4 Dead, but with dangerous vampires in place of zombies. The game is being developed by Arkane’s studio in Austin, Texas, and it’s slated to launch in 2022.

Ubisoft announces Mario + Rabbids sequel for 2022. Ubisoft’s Mario and Rabbids crossover turn-based strategy game is getting a sequel for the Nintendo Switch: Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. Ubisoft revealed both a new cinematic trailer and a sneak peek at some gameplay on Saturday, as well as a launch date for sometime in 2022. 

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has clocked 20 million players. Over 20 million players have spent time with Respawn Entertainment’s single-player SoulsBourne-inspired Star Wars game. Respawn Entertainment today took to Twitter to announce that through purchases, subscription services, and free copies, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has picked up over 20 million players since its launch in 2019. 

Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

100,000 harmful toys are seized from Bahrain market. Nearly 100,000 toys harmful to children were seized from 20 shops across Bahrain last year, it has emerged. The directorate announced that merchants and importers must provide a GCC test-style inspection certificate for each model of toys, display the Gulf tracking code on the them (GCC Conformity Mark + QR Code) and submit a declaration of conformity. 

It’s far too easy for abusers to exploit smart toys and trackers. In a recent report, we looked at the security risks associated with wearable devices, as well as “smart toys” that can record children in their homes. We found a concerning lack of security – especially for devices aimed at children – which lack even the most basic cybersecurity precautions, leaving them open to abuse. F

Gel blasters toys in Western Australia - declared dangerous weapons to be outlawed from July 3. From July 3, gel blaster toys in Western Australia, which fire small gel balls, will be classed as prohibited weapons that no one can own. This new law will see WA going further than any other state in response to concerns about their resemblance to real firearms. 

Hundreds of toxic toys, hazardous infant walkers from China seized at Houston Seaport. From toxic play dinosaurs and plushees, to infant walkers and electronic learning boards, nearly 400 children’s toys from China containing hazardous chemicals and unsafe designs were seized at the Houston Seaport. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission...

Press Releases . . . 

TALK ABOUT PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE! WORST-CASE SCENARIO® CARD GAME DEBUTS AS ACTUAL PANDEMIC DISPERSES. All Things Equal Tabletop Game Inventor Brings Humor About Fear Factors To Family Game Night As Everyone Realizes It Could Always Be Worse!

Miami Beach, FL (June 16, 2021) – After more than a year of virtual learning, lockdowns and mask mandates, what could possibly be worse? How about having to tackle a champion sumo wrestle or being chased by a gorilla or oops, you super-glued your hands together? If you smiled at those crazy situations, you are ready to play The Worst-Case Scenario® Card Game ($19.99) available exclusively at Target and Target.com in July.

THIS SUMMER’S MINI COLLECTION FEATURES MINI VERSIONS OF VINTAGE HESS TOY TRUCKS. 2021 Mini Collection Includes An Amazing 5-In-One Toy Set Complete with Mini Racers At Just $29.99. Hess Toy Truck’s limited-edition Mini Collection ($29.99) tradition has launched, featuring highly detailed, small scale versions of classic holiday Hess Toy Trucks from the past. The 2021 little legends are on sale exclusively at HessToyTruck.com. This year, Hess reaches way back to the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s to their storied history of Christmas morning magic as kids unwrapped the must-have toy trucks. The 2021 Mini Collection features the 1968 Tanker Truck, the 1980 Training Van, and the 3-in-one 1997 Hess Toy Truck and Racers — for a combined total of five toys! The set boasts pre-installed batteries, chrome accents, articulated cabs, free-rolling wheels and three detachable display bases with name plates.

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards & Festivals . . . 

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

Wicked Vision, Learning Resources and Little Tikes among Outdoor Toy Awards 2021 winners  Wicked Vision, Learning Resources, Little Tikes, and ZURU have been named among the winners of this year’s Outdoor Toy Awards, an awards event hosted by Toyology that made its return this year to champion the best products for kids’ and families’ outdoor play activities. 

Kidscreen Summit 2022 heads back to Miami Kidscreen's annual event will take place in person from February 14-17, with an virtual companion event two weeks later. Getting the global kids entertainment industry back together again safely is the event’s top priority, and Kidscreen Summit 2022 will feature more outdoor meeting spaces, modified food & beverage services, and additional sanitizing and distancing protocols.

Play Creators Awards 2021 finalists. From innovative start-ups to big-brand household icons, the finalists for the Play Creators Awards 2021 will have to wait until 6th September to find out if they have won. Mojo Nation‘s Play Creators Awards celebrates figures in the toy and game design community that have excelled over the last 12 months, including in-house design teams as well as external invention studios and design partners.

(the above was posted after June 18th)

Best of E3 2021: CNET's favorite games from the show. Zelda and Elden Ring are just the beginning. The all-virtual E3 has wrapped, and there were plenty of big reveals and announcements. The major festivities started Thursday with Summer Game Fest, where Elden Ring was shown off, and finished Tuesday with Nintendo Direct, during which we got more than a glimpse of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Dragomino named winner of coveted Kinderspiel des Jahres 2021 The spin-off title of the popular Kingdomino tabletop gaming title, Dragomino, has been awarded the coveted Kinderspiel des Jahres 2021, part of the globally revered Spiel des Jahres or Game of the Year awards held in Germany. Developed by Bruno Cathala, Marie Fort, and Wilfried Fort, Dragomino is published by Pegasus Spiele and Blue Orange...

Spielwarenmesse's ToyAcademy to share toy expertise throughout the year  Launching on 17th June, the ToyAcademy will kick off with a presentation entitled 'Evolving retailing landscape – Challenges for traditional toy stores with the rise of e-commerce'.International experts will be invited to use this platform to give valuable insights into topics such as the retail trade, markets, digitalisation and sustainability.

UK Toy industry covers more than 26,000km for the Toy Trust’s Around the World in 80 Hours event  ...in excess of £20,000 has been raised... (by) Participants from across the industry representing everything from manufacturers to retailers and licensors came together with one aim – to cover the globe in distance covered through any activity that was non-motorised. Individuals ran, walked, swam, cycled, walked whilst hula hooping, paddle-boarded or kayaked, and some completed their stint on horseback.

Zapf, MGA, Sawdust and Rainbows, Mookie and many more celebrate Loved by Parents wins. The annual awards recognise best-in-class toys and games across categories ranging from wooden and outdoor toys to ride-ons. Widely considered a leading accolade by those who receive them, the awards are decided by parent testers who put all products through their paces before deciding on the winners.

The MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021 are now open for entry  MadeForMums, the UK’s No.1 site for toy reviews, has opened entries to the MadeForMums Toy Awards 2021. This year, there will be awards in over 35 categories, including Best Science/STEM Toy, Best First Bike, Best Board Game, Best Baby Sensory Toy, Best Wooden Toy and Best Stocking Filler. 

E3 2021: Gaming bonanza or a Covid-hit bore? It's perhaps no surprise that there were only a few genuinely new games announced at this year's E3 convention. Game development has been severely affected by Covid - as seen by the many delayed game releases recently, Press X to Continue reviewer Shay Thompson says this year's event had "a lot of padding". Her colleague Gav Murphy wonders if they couldn't have...

All the release dates | E3 2021. Lost track of the games announced at E3 and their launch windows? We round up all the release dates unveiled at the event. By the end of E3, all the games you have seen probably merged into one imprecise memory, leaving you with questions such as: what did [insert publisher here] show again? When does [insert game here] release? 

BAFTA YGD 2021 to honor young devs working in Unity, Unreal, Dreams, and more. The BAFTA Young Game Designers finalists for 2021 have been announced ahead of a virtual award ceremony on July 8, 2021.The YGD Awards are organised by BAFTA to celebrate and spotlight some of the best and brightest emerging talent in the UK games industry. BAFTA said this year's finalists were selected for their "creativity and vision...

PlaytimeFun_BubbleAd_FIN.jpg

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.

Michael NunnMichael was the third generation of the family to run the well-known Redgates store in Sheffield and chairman of White Rose Toys buying group. Toy World is sad to report that Michael Nunn has passed away peacefully, aged 93 . Michael was the third generation of the family to run the well-known Redgates store in Sheffield. Edwin Redgate opened the first store in Fargate in 1857, selling furs and sewing machines. From 1890 onwards ,Redgates sold fur pram covers and around this time, the first wheeled toys were introduced. The reputation of Redgates grew rapidly in the 1960s, when it became known in the trade as one of the best toy shops outside of London, often referred to as “the Hamleys of the North.” Michael worked in the business from 1948 to 1986, and was a key figure in the store’s move to its most-remembered location at Furnival Gate in the mid-1970s. In 1975, Redgates reached a milestone £1m turnover, which was a significant achievement at the time.

Having celebrated the company’s 125th birthday in 1982, Michael sold the business several years later to Zodiac Toys, which continued to run it for two years before it finally closed.  During his career, Michael travelled frequently to Nuremberg, where he originally met doll manufacturer Hans Gotz and started the agency agreement which still lasts to this day. The business has been run for many years by Michael’s son Antony, who married Hans’ daughter Silke Gotz. Michael’s grandson Patrick also works in the toy business, carrying on the family tradition.

Michael was chairman of White Rose Toys, a buying group consisting of 19 retailers which eventually became one of the founding cornerstones of Toymaster. He was also an active member of the Fence Club.

M. RICHARD ROBINSON, JR.  Scholastic Corporation Chairman and CEO, who had a profound influence on geek culture, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend, the company announced.  He was 84, but had been in excellent health and active in running the company, as he had for nearly 50 years, the company said. In his roles as President since 1974, CEO since 1975, and Chairman since 1982, Robinson built Scholastic into the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, with $1.6 billion in annual sales. Robinson made a momentous decision in 2004, when Scholastic entered the kids graphic novel business with its new Graphix imprint (see "Scholastic to Launch Graphic Novel Line").  With Scholastic leading the way, kids graphic novels became the largest part of the graphic novel business, bigger than manga, superheroes, or creator-owned graphic novels.  Big hits have included the Amulet and Bone series, adaptations of Babysitters Club, the work of Raina Telgemeier, and Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man. 

George R. Ditomassi, former Milton Bradley chairman and Hasbro executive, died on May 31 at the age of 86, it was reported by MassLive.

Ditomassi spent more than 40 years at Milton Bradley — both before and after it was acquired by Hasbro, Inc. in 1984 — where he worked to bring worldwide recognition to game brands including Candy Land, Life, and Chutes and Ladders. According to his obituary, Ditomassi’s career at Milton Bradley began when he joined the company as a production trainee in 1960. In 1970, he became Vice President of Milton Bradley and General Manager of the Whiting Division. In 1982, Ditomassi was elected to Milton Bradley’s Board of Directors, and in 1985 was promoted to President of Milton Bradley. In 1990, he was named Chairman of Milton Bradley and Chief Operating Officer, Games and International, at Hasbro, Inc. Between 1996 and 1997 he served as President of Hasbro International.

JOIN PEOPLE OF PLAY (POP) PlayBase

It's Linkedin + IMDb + Match + Wikipedia + Fiverr!

  • Display your entire portfolio, adding unlimited products, videos, photos, media, and more

  • An easy-setup Profile and a real real live helpful person to talk to if you have questions

  • Advanced Search for industry contacts by roles, skills, location, and more

  • Free POP Pub networking – just one connection can change your life!

  • FULL access to information of products, people, and companies

  • Exclusive discounts and events 

  • Classified Ads

  • Find person-to-hire based on skills (company membership)

  • Opportunity to Launch Advertisement Campaigns, targeting members of the industry (company membership)

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

PlaytimeFun_SprinklerAd_EmailVersion_REV

Weekly Top Stories from Toy and Game Trade Magazines Worldwide . . . 

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

  1. Toy Fair 2022 to Debut World of Toys Pavilion

  2. Wham-O Licenses Retro Toys to Winning Moves Games

  3. Shark Week Rolls Out 2021 Licensing Program this July

  4. IMG Acquires MENA-Based Agency 20too Licensing

  5. Ren Beanie to Lead Media Strategy for Big G Creative

  6. True and the Rainbow Kingdom Taps United Smile as Toy Partner

  7. WildBrain CPLG Names Jasen Wright as North America VP

  8. Squishmallows Announces New Halloween Characters

  9. Sinking Ship & Scott Brothers Tap Nelvana to Distribute New Show

  10. Licensing International Names Scholarship Recipients

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. When the ship hits the fan…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Asia-Europe spot rates head for $20k as new China Covid problem unfolds

  3. Toy industry covers more than 26,000km for the Toy Trust’s Around the World in 80 Hours event

  4. Gaming phenomenon Fall Guys joins Wow! Pods lineup

  5. L.O.L. Surprise! announces Tweens fashion dolls

  6. Wilton Bradley appoints Jeff Goldstein as country manager for the US and Canada

  7. Rubies unveils new Hello Summer campaign

  8. IMC Toys signs second Nickelodeon partnership deal for Cry Babies Magic Tears

  9. New Giraffe Insights research: international kids gifting behaviours

  10. Amazon blames social media for fake reviews

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

'Magic: The Gathering' 'Modern Horizons 2' Singles Prices Crash
Konami Reveals New Premium Gold Set for 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG'
Rolling for Initiative -- 'Dungeons & Dragons' and Three Reasons Why the Kids Are Alright
Take a Terrifying Voyage on the Atlantic in 'Unfathomable'
Amazon Likely to Pass Walmart in U.S. Sales Next Year to Take First Place
Wyrd Announces 'Vagrantsong'
Mantic Games Unveils Five Gothic-Themed 'Terrain Crates'
'Pokemon TCG' Takes to the 'Evolving Skies'
Three 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG' Releases Pushed Back
Hello Kitty and Gudetama Showcased in 'Sanrio and Nissan Cup Noodles POP!' Collection

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

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

The Game Face to Face, 25 Words or Less - Pandasaurus has released a new competitive version of The Game, The Op has a new party game out, and Kingdomino Origins is announced.

Video of the Week! 

TurboToyTime Father & Son PLAY PENCIL NOSE! / Draw Off!

Loads of fun! Pencil Nose was invented by Wendy Donner Harris of Random Games. In North America it is distributed by Fat Brain Toys. Outside North America Longshore and The Michael Kohner Corporation have distribution rights and are enjoying great success with companies such as Piatnik, John Adams and others.

 

Thank you for being a reader of the Bloom Report. — Mary and Graeme

 

Founding Editor and Publisher (1998-2020, Retired): Philip Bloom

We are honored to carry on Phil's 22 year legacy and continue the Bloom Report. Phil has been a mensch

and we've loved working with him. Here is a fun and interesting interview with Phil.

If you would like to reach Phil: philip.bloom100@verizon.net   

Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher