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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin' Friday! 


WooHoo! It is officially summer! That feeling of school's out and time for summer never really leaves one no matter how many years go by! And, of course, there is camp!


Well, we couldn't be more excited about camps. We have over 8,000 kids participating in our Happy Camper Live and ASTRA Retailer camps! We are loving our summer program. Thank you, Ahren Hoffman, for the intro to Happy Camper Live, who's 'Chief Camp Officer' and Founder, Allison Miller, we interview today. You'll love her legal world to camp world story. 

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


  • “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 - Allison Miller

Q&A with Founder and CEO of Happy Camper Live 

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Hi Allison! Can you share with the readers a little bit more about yourself and what led you to become the founder and CEO of Happy Camper Live?


I hold a bachelor’s degree from New York University and graduated cum laude from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. I spent my legal career as a litigation associate at one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms. In 1993, I was engaged by Sotheby’s, Inc. as in-house counsel. During my tenure there, I was progressively promoted to vice president and head of human resources.


One summer day in 1999, my husband picked me up from work with my three-year-old daughter and we headed to his childhood camp for our annual visit. On the drive, he talked about his dream to run a summer camp and implored me to run one with him, just like he did every year. However, that time, I finally said yes. Soon after this memorable weekend, I left the corporate world to pursue my husband’s dream.


A few months later, my husband and I became the Owners and Directors of Camp Starlight in Pennsylvania. It was quite a dramatic career change. I had minimal experience with summer camp, and I had not worked much with kids. In fact, I was a very homesick camper in my youth — an experience that proved helpful in supporting new kids during the first few days of camp.    READ MORE...

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Over 8,000 Campers! 

The People of Play and Happy Camper Live Partner to Bring the Young Inventor Challenge to the Summer Camp Scene

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POP and Happy Camper Live, the first 365-day online summer camp program offering hundreds of online and interactive activities for children, are excited to announce their partnership to bring the Young Inventor Challenge to the summer camp world.


The Young Inventor Challenge is a unique competition designed to inspire and encourage creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills in children aged 6-18 years old. The competition invites young inventors to submit their original toy or game designs, which are then mentored and judged by industry experts.


Through this partnership, the Young Inventor Challenge will now be a part of the Happy Camper Live experience, providing children with an exciting opportunity to showcase their creativity and compete against other young inventors from across the country. The competition will take place during the summer camp season, from June through August. All children can join in the fun this summer, even if they're not attending a participating camp where the Young Inventor Challenge is offered.  Read More! 

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

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Thank you Michael Kohner for the cartoon this week! 

Brain Teasers from Ivan Moscovich's, The Big Book of Brain Games

Last Week's Q:  Marble and glass. Can you lift a marble off a table using only a wine glass? (Hitting the marble in any way is not allowed, as this might break the glass.)

Last Week's A: Put the glass over the marble and move it so the marble starts to spin around inside the glass. Once the marble starts rotating, it will begin to rise above the table. When the marble is spinning fast enough, you can lift the glass off the table – and the marble will not drop immediately.

Quote of the Week: "In the world of toys, imagination is the only limit." - Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari

Lexophile Lovers:  A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.. - Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sending in!

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


Financial and Legal

Argos has closed the last 30 remaining stores in the Republic of Ireland following substantial losses and a business review. As reported in The Irish Times, Argos stores around the country closed their doors for the last time on Saturday 24th June, as the retailer ceased its operations in the Republic of Ireland. Argos announced in January that it would be closing all of its 34 stores in the region. 

Barbie or Burberry? Mattel says 'BRBY' trademark invites confusion. Mattel has asked the U.S. Trademark Office to reject British fashion house Burberry's proposed "BRBY" trademark, arguing it is likely to sow confusion with Mattel's famous Barbie brand. Mattel "certainly has a point that BRBY could phonetically sound like Barbie," said Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer who first posted the filing to Twitter on Wednesday.

***The above posted after June 23rd***


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Disney must face a New Jersey toy creator's lawsuit that claimed the co. violated her trademark rights with its character Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear from the blockbuster 2010 film "Toy Story 3." The justices threw out a lower court's ruling that Disney was protected against the lawsuit from Randice-Lisa Altschul's Diece-Lisa Industries by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment...

Webbed Sphere, Inc. will launch a line of games under the Mayfair Games trademark and shield logo, the company announced.  Mayfair ceased operations after selling its assets, including a controlling interest in Lookout Games, to Asmodee Group in 2018. With the trademarks abandoned, Webbed Sphere filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register and begin using the marks for hobby game products.  

Microsoft on Thursday will try to gain clearance to complete a $69 billion takeover of video game maker Activision Blizzard in a legal showdown with U.S. regulators that will reshape a pastime that’s bigger than the movie and music industries combined. The battle will pit Microsoft’s ambition to expand its video game imprint beyond its Xbox console against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s bid to block...

Toys R Us has unveiled plans to build one of the largest toy and baby stores in Australia as part of expansion plans that also include launching pop-up shops in more depart. stores around the world. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the company has launched an $8m capital raising, in hopes of generating cash for new growth plans including opening a 3000-sq-metre retail hub at its Melbourne HQ...

FTC uses Starfield to fuel block against Microsoft-Activision merger. The FTC thinks Starfield is proof of how Microsoft will handle games it could acquire from Activision Blizzard. In a new filing, the US regulator claims the Xbox maker's handling of Bethesda's upcoming RPG gives "powerful evidence" for its decision to file an injunction against the in-progress acquisition. 

UPS workers vote to strike, setting stage for biggest walkout since 1959. Members of the Teamsters union, which represents about 340,000 workers at the package delivery company, voted overwhelmingly on Friday to strike if no agreement is reached with UPS by the time the current contract expires on July 31. Some 97% of voting members approved a strike, although the voting turnout was not immediately known.

Interest rate rise expected after UK inflation shock. Interest rates are expected to rise again after UK inflation remained much higher than expected for the fourth month in a row. Inflation, which measures the rate of rising prices, stuck at 8.7% in May. The shock figure was driven by higher prices for flights and second-hand cars but supermarket food prices also continued to rise rapidly.


Amazon accused of tricking Prime customers. The US has accused Amazon of tricking customers into signing up for automatically renewing Prime subscriptions and making it difficult to cancel. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the country's consumer rights watchdog, made the claims in a lawsuit. It cited allegedly "manipulative" website designs. Amazon rejected the charges, calling them...



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Financial Reporting

Geek Showbiz Round Up: The Flash disappointed in its first weekend, opening to a $55.1 million domestic three-day gross, well under Warners’ $70-$75 million expectations, according to Deadline.  The decision to keep star Ezra Miller, who’s had a tough year, off the press circuit and the second tier character were likely factors depressing the gross.  Weekend grosses for other geek films included $$29.5 million for the first weekend of Pixar’s Elementals, $27.8 million for the third weekend of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, and $20 million for the second weekend of Transformers: Rise of the Beast.

US games and esports market worth $54bn in 2022. Latest report by PwC shows a 2.4% increase year-on-year


Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry

Barbiecore Is Surging Its Way into Home Décor and Interior Design 

The Summer of ‘Barbie’ Has Only Just Begun - WSJ

***The above posted after June 23rd***


Top toy trends from ASTRA 2023 Marketplace & Academy revealed.

Global Box Office to Grow by 27% During First Quarter of 2023, UNIC Reports

AI-powered teddy bears could read personalized bedtime stories to kids within 5 years, the boss of a major toy producer said


MAY 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELS  Instagram Comics, BL Manga, and the DC Pride Anthology Make the Charts


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Stories, Comments, and Advice

Teen Flying Drone Saves 2 Jeep Passengers Stranded in Flooded Sinkhole. "I said, 'What is that?' And I flew down over it and it's a car in the hole,” said Josh Logue. A Colorado teenager found more than what he expected when he set out to investigate recent flooding in Weld County. The teen went to get help from his neighbor Ryan Nuanes — an assistant fire chief at the Denver Fire Department. The pair then...


Mattel President Flew to London to Argue With Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig Over an Off-Brand ‘Barbie’ Scene: ‘The Nuance Isn’t There’ on the Page. While the scene in question was not disclosed, Dickson’s concern is further proof that the upcoming “Barbie” movie isn’t just a sanitized love letter to the famous doll. As the film’s trailer says point blank: “If you love Barbie, this movie is for you. If you hate Barbie, this...

Time Magazine Cover Story - How Barbie Came to Life. There’s plenty to consider about Barbie, but let’s start with her feet. Perfectly arched, but not quite demi-pointe—the ideal position to fit into any pump. They’re instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever played with the iconic doll. So when the trailer for the upcoming live-action Barbie movie opened with a shot of star Margot Robbie stepping out of Barbie’s marabou...

Greta Gerwig’s upcoming “Barbie” movie is reportedly rated PG-13 ― but the French poster for the Margot Robbie-Ryan Gosling flick makes it sound more like, well, a French sex comedy. The tag line on the film’s poster reads: “Elle peut tout faire. Lui, c’est juste Ken.” This can be translated as: “She can do everything. He’s just Ken.” Sounds innocuous, right? Well, The Hollywood Reporter says the phrase also allows for a...


***The above posted after June 23rd***


John Baulch, Toy World - Very superstitious …it’s the Friday Blog! A return to the office this week has allowed me to catch up with everything I’ve missed while I’ve been away, spreading the word about all the good stuff we’re doing here at Toy World and to prospective new partners across the globe (and some who work just down the road that I travelled 6000 miles to see. But hey, I still found it easier to catch up...

Steve Reece - Toy Journal - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & THE TOY BUSINESS: REALITY CHECK, REALITIES & PREDICTIONS. Just for the record, let’s get one thing out of the way - this article has not been written by artificial intelligence. I have written this article myself as a genuine if highly flawed human being. This is not one of those articles where you read through, and the last line says “and this was written by AI”. 

'Spider-verse' filmmakers were so wowed by a 14-yr-old's Lego trailer remake, they hired him. “It blew us all away, including some of the best animators in the world," producer Phil Miller told the New York Times. At just 14 years old, Preston Mutanga recreated the trailer for "Across the Spider-verse" using Legos and shared his creation on social media in January of 2023. He tagged the producers of the film and wrote, "I ...

Concerns over missing Titanic sub piloted by video game controller, ‘improvised’ parts. An extensive search and rescue operation continues Tuesday to locate a submersible that went missing during a mission to view the Titanic shipwreck, but many have become concerned with the seemingly improvised construction of the vessel.

AI in the Toy Industry: Changing the Way Kids Play. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been transforming various industries, and the toy industry is no exception. As technology continues to advance, AI is changing the way kids play, learn, and interact with their toys. From smart dolls that can hold conversations to robots that teach coding, AI-powered toys are revolutionizing the market and providing children with a new level of...

Why girl-driven media still matters. The entertainment landscape might be shifting (slowly) away from traditional gender binaries, but content that provides a nuanced reflection of the female experience is still critical for kids to see, say buyers and producers.  In a world that’s been trending away from binary codes, where does girl-centric content fit in?

TIKTOK AND YOUTUBE KEY TO REACHING THE U.S. HISPANIC AUDIENCE. The U.S. Hispanic market is a key focus for many entertainment companies. With a population of 62.6 million as of July 2021, Hispanics are the largest racial or ethnic minority in the States. Yet treating this diverse group as homogenous for strategic purposes will backfire immediately. There are many nuances to consider, including primary...

What Is The Meaning Of Humpty Dumpty? Inside The Origins Of The Popular Nursery Rhyme, From Rude Slang Words To King Richard III. The meaning of Humpty Dumpty has remained mysterious for centuries, but there are some possible historical explanations for the nursery rhyme.
Most people learned this popular nursery rhyme as children: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall/Humpty Dumpty had a great fall/All the king’s...

How park operators are enhancing LBE experiences. Live entertainment is returning full force in 2023 and Paramount, Falcon's Beyond and Kilburn Live execs break down how they're using tech, and story, to create thrilling attractions. Few industries were more challenged by the pandemic than location-based entertainment (LBE), with theme parks and pop-ups turning into ghost towns or closing altogether.

Consolidation and Creativity: Steve Velte on mergers and acquisitions in the toy industry. The toy industry has long been a vibrant and dynamic sector, capturing the hearts and imaginations of children worldwide. In recent years, mergers and acquisitions have become increasingly prevalent, reshaping the landscape of the toy industry.

What Disney Theme Parks Tell Us About Ourselves. An American History Museum exhibition looks at how the resorts have changed over time to reflect a broader image of what it means to be American. When the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History asked patrons for family photos taken at Disney theme parks last February, more than 30,000 shots came in. After a week and a half, staff had to shut submissions...


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History and Nostalgia


Bob Brechin has announced that My Palitoy Story: The History of a Famous British Toy Company, has been fully funded on Kickstarter   with just hours to go before the campaign closed to pledges. Researched and written by Bob Brechin – who was part of the creative team that saw the brand receive the epitaph ‘Toy of the Decade’ in 1980 – and designed by Brian Hickey, My Palitoy Story provides a comprehensive insight into one of the most iconic toy manufacturers of the 20th century.


***The above posted after June 23rd***


Rare Japanese robots & space vehicles dominate Milestone’s $700,000 Spring Premier Toy Auction. Several hundred absentee bids were already on the books by the time Milestone Auctions’ co-owner and principal auctioneer Miles King stepped up to the podium to officially open the Ohio company’s May 27 Spring Premier Toy Auction. 


Big Max and His Electronic Conveyor from Remco (1957). Released by Remco in 1957, Big Max and his Electronic Conveyor introduced children to the concept of automated conveyor belt systems. Constructed of high-impact plastic and measuring 12 x 12 x 8 ¼-inches high, the toy operated on four D-batteries and featured a 5 ½-inch tall robot figure called Big Max at its center. 


Mystic Skull: The Game of Voodoo from Ideal (1964). Released in 1964 by Ideal, the ominously titled Mystic Skull: The Game of Voodoo saw players take on the role of a “witch doctor” and cast hexes on their opponents. Using a combination of zombie, shrunken head, spider, and snake tokens, players attempted to fill their opponents’ Voodoo Dolls with pins while preventing their doll from being filled. 


5 high-tech toys that went too far, too fast. Blindly plunging forward in the name of progress, no matter the cost, is the modus operandi of most tech these days. They all heard Mark Zuckerberg’s “move fast and break things” motto and took it to heart, even when “things” turned out to be personal privacy and labor laws. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

Barbie, Her House and the American Dream. Take a stop-motion journey with the young, single homeowner of the Dreamhouse. Ken isn’t on the deed. Against all odds, Barbara Millicent Roberts bought her first home in 1962. Women were denied mortgage applications because of their sex or marital status at the time, but that didn’t stop her. The house was modest: a yellow-walled ranch home made of cardboard.

Sky is licensing a “paw-pular” IP to help its new interactive camera appeal to kids and families. The British broadcaster has launched a smart camera called Sky Live that connects to its two-year-old streaming TV Sky Glass. The device’s features include Watch Together, which allows multiple households to see and hear each other while watching content simultaneously, and interactive workout app Mvmnt. 

Project Runway Season 20 Episode 3 Recap: Thanks, It’s FAO Schwarz. The designers raid a toy store for their latest looks. Were I presented with this week’s Project Runway challenge—take $2,000 worth of toys and transform them into couture—and set loose in FAO Schwarz, I can almost guarantee any thought of the “unconventional materials” challenge would vanish from my mind. I would waltz out of that wonderland...


***The above posted after June 23rd***


Margot Robbie Takes AD Inside the Barbie Dreamhouse. Barbie’s Dreamhouse is no place for the bashful. “There are no walls and no doors,” says Greta Gerwig via email. “Dreamhouses assume that you never have anything you wish was private—there is no place to hide.” That layered domestic metaphor has proved rich fodder for the filmmaker, whose live-action homage to the iconic Mattel doll hits theaters July 21.

A Pajama-Clad Ryan Reynolds Reads You Bedtime Stories in His First Original Series for Fubo. Reynolds’ Maximum Effort production company announced the June 20 launch of Maximum Effort Channel on Fubo, which will feature the debut of the partnership’s first original show: “Bedtime Stories With Ryan.” According to the description of the 15-episode series, Reynolds “reads new and classic bedtime stories in an...

Toy World talks to Jack Sturman, Collector & Hobby channel brand manager at Bandai, to get the latest on the Action Figure market. Bandai’s Collector segment, encompassing all things manga, anime and pop-culture, is surging – thanks to changing perceptions among customers and end consumers alike. Jack tells Toy World what is driving sales for Bandai, which licences are coming to the forefront and how...


Panini has revealed the Official Sticker Collection for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Featuring all 32 nations competing to lift the coveted trophy, this new sticker collection from Panini will give collectors and fans an exciting lead-up to the action-packed tournament. Celebrating the women’s game, this vibrant and jam-packed sticker collection features 580 stickers to collect including 68 special stickers, some...

Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Launches Vital Hero Batman! Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Inc, in collaboration with Warner Bros Discovery Global Consumer Products, is officially releasing the second wave of the wearable active band, Vital Hero. With similar features to the Digimon collection, the latest version will be centered around DC’s fan favorite Super Hero, Batman. 

Spin Master has announced a raft of int'l broadcasting partners for its new animated series, Vida the Vet, set to debut this October. Vida the Vet follows 10-yr-old Vida, an animal doctor who nurtures the woodland creatures who live outside her home. Whether there’s a fox with a sprained paw, a turtle with an itchy toe or a tiger with an aching tooth, Vida is the vet for the job. With quick thinking, a doctor’s intuition...

During a Nintendo Direct on June 21,2023, The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo announced that Detective Pikachu Returns is scheduled to release exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 6, 2023. More details were also shared for The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, the upcoming downloadable content for the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet video games.

Stokke, the Norwegian leading children’s premium products co., best known for its iconic Tripp Trapp chair, is partnering with Disney to launch a selection of premium products and accessories on July 5th in celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary! From mealtime to bathtime to bedtime, Disney magic is captured in Disney and Stokke’s two new original patterns, “Mickey Signature” and “Mickey Celebration,”...

Scholastic expands licensing opportunities for ‘Eva The Owlet,’ ‘Stillwater,’ and ‘Clifford’. Scholastic Entertainment is launching new licensing programs attached to Apple TV+ streaming series Eva the Owlet and Stillwater. The company has also welcomed new licensees to its Clifford the Big Red Dog portfolio.nEva the Owlet’s new licensing program is seeking licensees in all categories for kids ages 3-7, such as toys, games...

Pinkfong’s Bebefinn surpasses 10 million YouTube subscribers, setting new company record. Baby Shark creator expands its empire on YouTube, earning its fourth Diamond Creator Award with its latest 3D animated series Bebefinn. bThe Pinkfong Co., the global family entertainment co. behind the cultural phenomenon Baby Shark, today announced that Bebefinn’s YouTube channel had surpassed 10 million...


Farshore scores publishing deal for ‘Trivial Pursuit’. Farshore has announced the acquisition of the English language rights for an official quiz book of “Trivial Pursuit,” the board game from Hasbro. The deal covers EMEA, ANZ and Asia.  Coming November 9, “Trivial Pursuit: The Ultimate Quiz Book” has over 2,000 questions from the Trivial Pursuit board game alongside fun facts, activities and challenges. 

New Miraculous Movie Volkswagen e-Beetle from Playmates Toys launches summer 2023. Miraculous Ladybug fashion dolls and a vehicle inspired by the highly anticipated animated feature Miraculous: Ladybug & Cat Noir, The Movie, will debut this summer from Playmates Toys and ZAG. The product rollout is timed to coincide with the film’s release on Netflix on July 28, 2023, and theatrically in France, Germany...


Disguise secures global costume rights to Rise of the Beasts. Disguise, Inc. has announced that is has secured the worldwide rights to design, market, manufacture and distribute costumes, costume accessories, inflatables, adaptive costumes and trunk-or-treat kits for Hasbro’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The latest instalment in the Transformers movie series from Hasbro premiered...


Animaccord’s ‘Masha and the Bear’ comes to Sandbox Kids streaming services. Animaccord, the entertainment company and animated studio, has partnered with Sandbox Kids, a provider of digital subscription content services for children, to launch the series Masha and the Bear on streaming services Hopster, Curious World, PlayKids, and Kidomi..


Character Options hosts Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles launch. The event showcased the complete collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem movie toys created by Playmates Toys, and distributed by Character. Under the railway arches, near the bank of the Thames, Character Options created a lair that perfectly set the scene for the launch of its epic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem...

Konami Cross Media NY awards latest Yu-Gi-Oh! toy and gaming licenses. Konami Cross Media NY, Inc, which manages the Yu-Gi-Oh! licensing rights outside of Asia, announced partnership agreements with TOMY International, Inc, Heathside Trading, Ltd, and Trade Invaders. The agreements will bring new Yu-Gi-Oh! product lines in the toy and game licensing categories, extending the brand’s visibility...


Mattel announces licensing partnerships ahead of ‘Barbie’ film. With the Summer of Barbie in full swing ahead of the release of Barbie on July 21, 2023, Mattel, Inc (NASDAQ: MAT) has announced several of its licensing partners for the film. Mattel will collaborate with key consumer, merchandise, and retail brands for exciting launches leading up to Barbie’s release. .


Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America launches Vital Hero Batman! Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Inc, in collaboration with Warner Bros Discovery Global Consumer Products, is officially releasing the second wave of the wearable active band, Vital Hero. With similar features to the Digimon collection, the latest version will be centered around DC’s fan favorite Super Hero, Batman. .


The Loyal Subjects and Wildbrain partner on a new line of Strawberry Shortcake toys. The Loyal Subjects Toy, a prominent collectibles/toy brand well-known the world round for high quality-best in class products, extraordinary detail, and diehard fans is delighted to announce a new licensing partnership with Wildbrain, featuring one of pop culture’s most loveable, adorable, irresistibly scented, wholesome, and...


WS Game Company creates custom-illustrated Monopoly Game for Hasbro 100th anniversary. WS Game Company, one of the few premium board game manufacturers with an authorized Hasbro license, has announced the debut of a limited-edition Monopoly game in honor of Hasbro’s 100th Anniversary.

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People of Play

Ryan Seacrest will replace Pat Sajak as host of “Wheel of Fortune” starting in 2024, Sony Pictures Television announced on Tuesday. Seacrest signed a multi-year deal and will also be a consulting producer on the show, according to the production company. “I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak,” Seacrest said. “I can say, along with the rest of America, that it’s been a privilege...

Ryan Seacrest isn’t the only one making “Wheel of Fortune” news. While the “American Idol” host prepares to take over for retiring Pat Sajak after next season, UK’s ITV is reviving the game show across the pond with Graham Norton (“The Graham Norton Show”) at the helm. The series aired from 1988-2001 on ITV. (Note from Mary: If you haven't watched The Graham Norton Show, I recommend. It helped me thru the pandemic.)

Get to Know Schylling’s New SVP of Sales, Vince Santore brings more than 32 yrs of experience focused in “transformational growth” and “forward-thinking management” to the post, per a release from the classic toy and novelty maker. Santore spent 19 of his 32 yrs in the industry with Spin Master where he received awards from the organization such as the 2013 Iron Man of the Year Award, 2009 Striving for...

***The above posted after June 26th***

Southern California resident smashes Rubik's Cube world record with 3.13-second solve. Max Park spent about 10 seconds studying the jumbled Rubik's Cube in front of him at the Pride in Long Beach World Cube Assn. competition last weekend. With a deep breath, steady hands and just 3.13 seconds, the 21-yr-old solved the colorful mind game with 43 quintillion possible combinations, aligning each side perfectly by color.

Eddy Goldfarb has a new book out!  It's Going to Be A BIG DAY. 101 100-Word Stories by a 101-Year-Old. Eddy is best known for inventing the Yakity-Yak ("chattering") Teeth, Stompers, KerPlunk, Vac-U-Form, Bubble Fun, and more than 800 classic toys over his 80-year career as an independent toy inventor. 

Toy Hub Trivia: Dougal Grimes, Vice President of Innovation and Inventor Relations at Spin Master. Dougal sits down with the Toy Hub to answer some tough questions involving the toy industry.

KAP Toys celebrates new team signing. The KAP Toys team has welcomed Andrea Hawker to the sales team following her extensive career stint of 29 years with MV Sports. Andrea joins the KAP Toys team as Sales manager, to increase the company’s levels of professional service to customers and support the continued growth of the business. KAP Toys represents products through a number of global partners...

Round 2 welcomes Richard Barry as CEO, Matthew Lynn as CFO. Round 2, a Praesidian Capital company known for its model kits and die-cast car collectibles, is welcoming two new hires to the team. Richard Barry will be serving as Chief Executive Officer and Matthew Lynn is joining as Chief Financial Officer. Barry previously served as the CEO of Tru Kids, parent to the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands. 


Wow Stuff bolsters sales team with new hire. India Bullock has joined Wow Stuff as senior national account manager, as the sales team continues to expand. India joined the company on Monday this week, bringing with her 18 years experience within the toy industry, most recently as a national account manager at Jakks Pacific. 


Funrise welcomes new national account manager. Jonathan Wheatstone has joined Funrise as National Account Manager UK/Ireland and started his position last week. As national account manager, Jonathan will be responsible for driving new business opportunities at Funrise UK and forging strong relationships across multiple national retail accounts including Asda, The Entertainer, Smyths, John Lewis, Ocado, ...


Christine Mccarthy steps down as Disney’s CFO, Kevin Lansberry named interim CFO. Christine McCarthy is stepping down from her role as Senior Executive VP and CCFO at The Walt Disney Co. and taking a family medical leave of absence. Disney veteran Kevin Lansberry, EVP and CFO of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, will serve as the company’s Interim CFO, effective July 1. 



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Companies and Brands

Ken Is Inviting Lucky Barbie Fans To Stay In Her Actual Dreamhouse. Ken has revamped the mega mansion with all of his favourite things – including rollerblading, an outside disco dance floor, and a guitar for serenading. Lucky guests will also be able to sunbathe and chillax by the infinity pool and rifle through Ken’s wardrobe to find the best beach outfits.

Adults are driving sales of the hottest toy on the market: Squishmallows. The fandom is often likened to the Beanie Baby craze — and on its way to be an enduring brand like Hello Kitty and Pokémon. In just a few years, the toy, which ranges in size from two to 24 inches and costs between $5.99 and $39.99, has surged in popularity with all age groups. According to Jazwares, which acquired Squishmallow parent co. KellyToy...


PopHeads Studios has added bold, new, eco-3D applications to its innovative product partnerships and says 2023 is proving a great success for the company due to this new way of working. Leading international retailers are placing initial orders with licensees in volumes exceeding 100k units, and with two more applications hot out of the studios, opportunities are opening up across the world.


Roblox wants to make it easier for companies to scale, learn and advertise on its popular gaming platform. At the Cannes Lions advertising festival on Wednesday, it unveiled the Roblox Partner Program, which is designed to connect brands with game developers, creators and ad companies that have experience reaching Roblox audiences. These partner companies will work with brands that are either new...


Tech startup KidsPod has launched a mobile app with podcasts for kids to fill a gap in the market. Targeting kids ages three to 13, the new KidsPod app has a catalogue of more than 300 podcasts on topics ranging from science to bedtime stories, including Brains on! (APM Studios), Wow in the World (Tinkercast), Greeking Out (National Geographic Kids) and The Past and the Curious (Mick Sullivan). In beta since April,...

***The above posted after June 23rd***


SmartGames invites consumers to ‘Travel Smart’ this summer. SmartGames has unveiled three new games perfect for the travel season: Plug & Play Ball, IQ Twins and Pole Position. The team at SmartGames, a worldwide leader in multi-level logic games, has unveiled three new and exciting games perfect for travel season. Plug & Play Ball, IQ Twins and Pole Position are sure to keep the whole family amused and occupied...

Through its annual Play It Forward Global Volunteer Week, Mattel is giving back to communities worldwide from June 19-23. A vast array of volunteer activities and projects are being undertaken by the company this week, starting at company headquarters in El Segundo, California and ranging from community beautification initiatives and tree-planting events to substantial donations to children’s charities and organizations. 

Mark your calendar: Prime Day returns this summer on July 11 and 12. Amazon, the retail and entertainment giant, has announced plans to host the 48-hour event, which is packed full of major savings. As with other years, 2023 will see toys and games heavily featured. Amazon will face fierce competition this year from companies such as Target, whose Target Circle Week event overlaps the same days, and Walmart, whose...

Hasbro has announced its support for the upcoming 2023 Special Olympics World Games, held in Berlin from June 17-25. The co. will sponsor the Athlete Lounges and provide its toys and games, including MonopolyClue, and Play-Doh for the “Hasbro Games Corner.” Hasbro’s long-standing global partnership with Special Olympics is grounded in shared values of the power of games to make the world a better place.

Yeti Snowbrawl from Lethal Chicken Games and Big Discoveries combines the action of a snowball fight with the strategy required to win a board game. Kids that love the Camping with Sasquatch Card Game won’t want to miss this!  Players must take on the roles of Yetis in a huge snowball fight. Each player gets a Yeti Lair tray and a stack of snowballs, with the goal of stacking 10.

Electronic Arts is splitting itself apart into two separate divisions. As part of its next business strategy, what was once EA Games is now EA Entertainment and EA Sports. Per CEO Andrew Wilson, this move will "further empower our creative teams so that we might realize our strategic vision. [...] These steps will accelerate our business, drive growth, and deliver long-term value for our people, our players and our communities." 

Kidicraft has announced the appointment of A.B. Gee to service UK retailers exclusively from 16th June 2023, with its Nostalgia, Hornby, Airfix, Corgi and Ye Olde Shoppe Brands. These brands have expanded significantly since 2020, and new designs and further brands are expected to be launched before the end of this year.


Scholastic is looking to get kids hooked on its latest book release by driving them to Roblox first. The NY-based publisher is launching Justin Weinberger’s tween novel Zombie Season on Sept. 5, and teasing the book with its first-ever Roblox game in August. In the book, a group of kids has to contend with a seasonal zombie invasion that happens every summer. One year, the zombies seem faster, stronger and smarter...

Roblox has officially announced a new program designed to engage with potential and existing partners such as Roblox developer studios, agencies, brands, and third-party sellers. The program will focus on four key areas: platform education, research and measurement, product/content innovation, and Immersive Ads.

Plus-Plus, the acclaimed Danish toy manufacturer renowned for its innovative and highly creative one-shape range, has partnered with Come Round, a leading word-of-mouth marketing agency, to amplify brand awareness through an extensive in-home marketing campaign across the UK. Two hundred meticulously-selected families were chosen to participate in the campaign, receiving selected Plus-Plus...

London based creative design studio Toikido, UEFA and Fanatics (UEFA EURO 2024 Master Licensee) have unveiled the official EURO2024 mascot in the birthplace of the teddy bear. Over the next two weeks, Children in UEFA’s Football in Schools programme will run a poll to decide the mascot’s name with fans also able to have their say on All stemming from the German word for bear, “Bär,” children and adults...

Rovio Entertainment has partnered with Washington-based game developer Legends of Learning to launch new Angry Birds games with a focus on education.  Based on the Angry Birds characters, the games will teach STEM concepts—such as force, collisions and how to measure angles—to kids ages five to 14. The Legends of Learning online platform will release the games this fall.

Diamond Select Toys reveals TMNT Minimates Technodrome Deluxe box set. There's certainly no shortage of new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys on the market these days, but Diamond Select Toys is doing something a bit different with its TMNT Minimates line. IGN can exclusively reveal the latest Minimates set, one that should appeal to anyone with a fondness for the classic animated series. 

Hasbro’s iconic Furby returns with a new look. One of the hottest toys of the ’90s and 2000s is making a comeback with a fresh new look. Furby, the phenomenon from Hasbro that took over the world upon its release in 1998, has returned. The next era of the cute, cool, and weird Furby interactive toy is available now in two colors: purple and coral. 


Zuru’s new mystery toys are full of surprises. ZURU is continuing the trend of innovative surprise toys with two new collections for kids to find in stores. Smashers Dino Island T-Rex Battles is the perfect gift for a kid who’s into dino action. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, the playset comes in packaging shaped like a T-Rex skull that kids have to smash open to reveal more than 50 surprises inside. 

LEGO partners with Gameloft to launch virtual gaming experience for kids. The LEGO Group is teaming up with Gameloft to bring an online LEGO gaming experience to kids. Heartlake Friendship Zone is a free interactive experience where kids can customize their own avatar and explore the world of LEGO Friends. In the video game, kids can interact with LEGO Friends characters, use emojis and pre-made chats to talk...

Douglas expands Softs line with new holiday plush. Douglas is expanding its collection of Softs plush for the holiday season with four new holiday-themed toys. Each Soft in the collection is a Mini Soft and features a holiday-themed hat, scarf, or other accessories to bring out the season. Fernie the fawn is 7 inches tall and features a red, green, and white bow over her ear along with brown hooves, big ears, and a white face. 

Jada Toys to debut Pink Slips at Homecoming event. Jada Toys is getting into gear. The company will debut its new line of die-cast collectible vehicles called Pink Slips at Jada: Homecoming in July. Jada Toys is teaming up with Hoonigan, Toyo Tires, Inozetek, and Meguiars to host the event at Ancillary Studios in Costa Mesa, California on July 8 from 7-10 p.m. ET. 

Hot Wheels Skate sponsors Tony Hawk’s Vert Alert and X Games. Hot Wheels Skate is sponsoring Tony Hawk’s Vert Alert: Road to X Games later this week in Salt Lake City, Utah and X Games California 2023 next month in Ventura. This year, Tony Hawk’s Vert Alert will serve as a qualifying event for X Games vert competitions.

Exploding Kittens reimagines Dobble as a chaotic, pancake-themed party game. A contemporary hit party game hopes to find new success amongst American audiences via aesthetic translation by Exploding Kittens, the team behind the recent Happy Salmon and Throw Throw Burrito redesigns.Anarchy Pancake is a new incarnation of the fast-paced and frenetic Dobble, also known as Spot It to US players. 


New Pokémon TCG expansion brings original 151 to Scarlet & Violet - including Kadabra. All of the original 151 Pokémon are coming to Paldea via a special expansion to the Pokémon Trading Card Game, including the reappearance of Kadabra after stage magician Uri Gellar dropped his lawsuit against the spoon-bending critter. Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet—151 will launch outside of Japan on September 22nd...


Sky Team’s tense, co-op cockpit simulator board game will hit the runway at Gen Con ahead of fall release. Would-be pilots looking to earn their cardboard wings can test out upcoming board game Sky Team at Gen Con Indy 2023. The cooperative cockpit simulator, which asks two players to successfully land a plane, is slated for a wider retail release later this year after a few convention appearances.


Kidicraft appoints A.B. Gee as UK distributor. With immediate effect, A.B. Gee will distribute Kidicraft brands to retailers throughout the UK, extending the company’s reach. Kidicraft has announced the appointment of A.B. Gee to service UK retailers exclusively from 16th June 2023, with its Nostalgia, Hornby, Airfix, Corgi and Ye Olde Shoppe Brands. 


Climate change charity’s deckbuilding game Carbon City Zero wants to set an eco example for the real world. A new deckbuilding game created in collaboration with a climate change charity will task players with working together to reduce carbon emissions to zero - hopefully setting an example for our real world.


Zuru unpackles the Snackles. With licensing a key mainstay of its overall business growth strategy, Zuru unveils Snackles, a new range of cute and collectible plush featuring some of the world’s hottest licensed snack brands. The award-winning toy manufacturer has collaborated with new partners and licences, tapping into the expanding plush trend to develop a line-up of super-soft velour characters featuring...

Build-A-Bear Workshop is furthering its reach in the United Kingdom with a new renovation and expansion of the Build-A-Bear location at Hamelys Regent Street in London. Hamleys Regent Street is a huge toy store dedicated to providing a unique retail experience to visiting kids, with opportunities to play in-store.

FAO Schwarz, New York’s well-known and well-loved toy store, is partnering with Universal Products & Experiences to become a Gabby’s Dollhouse destination for young fans this summer.  FAO Schwarz will be offering a large assortment of Gabby’s Dollhouse goods, including a necklace set from Tara Toy, Bluetooth headphones from Kid Designs, and more. 

OOLY, known for its craft and school supplies, is partnering with non-profit Kids for Peace as the official sponsor of 2024’s The Great Kindness Challenge. This global campaign aims to encourage kindness, promote emotional health, and prevent bullying. The challenge features a checklist with a number of acts of kindness kids can complete. 

'X-23 Hero Pack' claws its way into 'Marvel Champion: The Card Game'. Fantasy Flight Games unveiled X-23 Hero Pack, for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, which will hit retail in November 2023. X-23 is a clone of Wolverine that shares his ability to produce claws and heal. On the battlefield, these abilities essentially translate to her being able to absorb a lot damage and not back down in a fight.


'Crossbows & Catapults' reborn by Restoration Games. Restoration Games is partnering with Goliath Games to produce a new version of the 1980s hit game Crossbows & Catapults, scheduled for July 2024. Like other “restored” games, Restoration is recreating the game in an updated form from its original version. 


Warhammer 40k: Leviathan won’t go made-to-order to meet surging demand, Games Workshop confirms. Games Workshop doesn’t plan to switch Warhammer 40,000’s new flagship box of miniatures to a made-to-order model, despite an astonishing demand that emptied pre-order surplus within hours. 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Final Fantasy XVI: The Kotaku Review. A bold and risky pivot toward action for Square Enix’s beloved RPG franchise, Final Fantasy XVI is a stunning achievement that revitalizes the series for a new age—and it just may be the best the series has been in more than 20 years. nIn an era when so many developers try to emulate the open-world immersion mastered by Nintendo with recent Zelda games, FFXVI opts for something...

Everything at Nintendo's 40-min direct for 2023's big Switch Games. Hey, listen: You weren’t playing Zelda during that whole presentation were you? It’s okay. I don’t blame you. Well, whether you were elsewhere during Nintendo’s Direct presentation today or exploring the vast world of Hyrule, we’ve got the roundup of everything Nintendo showed off, including Pikmin 4 and much more.

Xbox Series X and Game Pass prices will increase in July. Within the next couple of months, Microsoft plans to increase the price of both the Xbox Series X and its Game Pass service. Xbox's communications head Kari Lopez told The Verge these prices have been made to "reflect the competitive conditions in each market.

Highlighted Press Releases

GAMA, PAL Awards, Mom’s Choice, NAPPA, Hot Diggity And Creative Child All Tout Castle Panic Titles As The Perfect Kick-off For Game Night

Austin, TX (June 26, 2023) – When toy industry pros go on a quest to uncover the best board games this season, one name continually pops up – Fireside Games with its library of cooperative, lightly tactical board games. This week five different toy entities tout Castle Panic Second Edition ($34.95), Castle Panic: Crowns and Quests Expansion ($29.95) and My First Castle Panic ($24.95) for the industry’s highest honors.

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Safety and Counterfeiting


Licensing International: The Fight Against Counterfeiting.  Some of the most innovative work being done by the licensing industry in the past year has actually been focused on presenting sales. That may seem counterintuitive, but it's crucial for the continued success of the global brand licensing business as part of the ongoing fight against counterfeiting.


***the above posted after June 24th***


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of 7.5 million Robo Alive Baby Shark toys due to a risk of impalement, laceration and puncture injuries in children. The problem has been specifically traced to small fins on bath and swim toys. When kids are playing with the toys in a bathtub or wading pool, they slip, fall and sometimes just sit on the shark's hard plastic fin and have suffered...

Amazon and eBay urgently recalling popular children's toys over choking and chemical fears. An urgent recall has been issued for popular childrens' toys sold on eBay and Amazon due to choking and chemical fears. Irish parents have been advised to get rid of several toys sold on Amazon, eBay and other online platforms. T

Urgent warning as kid’s toys on sale on UK high streets found to contain harmful chemicals 300 times the legal limit. KID'S toys containing dangerous levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals are being sold of UK high streets, officials have warned. Tests found plastic goods on offer in shops in Salford, Greater Manchester, with phthalates up to 300 times the legal limit. 

Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


BAFTA has today announced the four talented winners of this year’s Young Game Designers (YGD) competition, via a special digital ceremony hosted by actor, comedian and presenter Inel Tomlinson for the second year running. The 45 finalists were competing for one of two awards - the Game Concept Award which rewards the most unique and creative game ideas, and the Game Making Award for the most...


Attendance numbers for Origins Game Fair 2023, which were up 38%. Origins 2023 hosted 16,082 attendees from June 21-25, 2023. This is up from last year's attendance totals, which was 11,689 people, representing a steady return toward pre-pandemic attendance numbers. At the last pre-pandemic show in 2019, Origins drew 20,642 people , and the 2023 attendance was about 22% short of that number. The 2022 show...

***The above posted after June 23rd***


Licensing Expo, the global licensing event for intellectual property, collaborations, and brand extension, concluded June 15 in Las Vegas. The annual event, which is put on by Informa Markets Global Licensing Group and sponsored by Licensing Int'l, had nearly 12,000 attendees, which is a 13% increase from 2022’s total attendance. There were more than 1,150 retailers including buyers from Walmart, Toys “R” Us...

Brand Licensing Europe (BLE), a leading European trade show for licensing and brand extension, opens visitor registration today.  The event, which will take place Oct. 4-6 at ExCeL in London, brings together retailers, licensees, and manufacturers to network and spot trends. Businesses will be able to discover and secure deals with brands, characters, and images available for licensing. 

TOTY Awards to feature performance by Grammy-winning artist Wyclef Jean. Hips — and toys — don’t lie; industry excitement is growing for the 24th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, hosted by The Toy Foundation (TTF). Taking place on Friday, Sept. 29 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City to kick off Toy Fair, the TOTY Awards will roll out the best of the best in the toy industry. 


New Prague exhibition shows which toys are 'right' for children. A new exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague 1 that opens today will showcase the different types of toys available to children, and question which of them are most appropriate and beneficial for them. The exhibition runs until Sept. 10 and is free to access, according to the museum’s website.

Zmags, Toys ‘R’ Us execs to host digital experience webinar. Zmags and Toys “R” Us executives are teaming up to host a webinar on improving digital experiences to boost e-commerce sales. The panel, “Accelerating Content Experimentation to Drive Revenue Now (and Later),” will be co-hosted by Zmags Chief Technology Officer Ryan Breen and Toys “R” Us E-Commerce Operations Manager Rachel Sutherland.

Licensing International announces 2023 Hall of Fame inductees: Pam Kaufman, Cindy Levitt, and Carole Postal. Licensing International has announced the 2023 Hall of Fame inductees. The Hall of Fame honors executives’ legacies, bodies of work, and unique contributions to the licensing community. This year’s inductees are Pam Kaufman, CEO and President of International Markets, Global Consumer Products...


Winners of Outdoor Toy Awards announced. The winners of the Outdoor Toy Awards 2023 all received their gongs yesterday, after being crowned last weekend. There were 10 categories under scrutiny in the outdoor toy category, which were judged with the help of a large group of kids aged between 3-16. 

American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announces 2023 ASTRA Play Award winners. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, has officially announced the winners of its coveted ASTRA Play Awards at their annual Marketplace & Academy event in Columbus, OH. The renowned program is the only one of its kind where independent and neighborhood specialty toy retailers vote to select the products...

Magic Light Pictures’ Michael Rose receives OBE. Michael’s long career in the British animation industry began in the 1980s, when he ran the cinemas at the Watershed Media Centre and Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. There he helped stage the British Animation Festivals of 1987 and 1989, and was deputy chair of the Festival until 1995.


THE DIANA JONES AWARD COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES 2023 FINALISTS. Winner to Be Revealed at Gen Con in August. The Diana Jones Award for Excellence is Gaming is awarded to "...a game system or supplement, a magazine, a company, a designer, an event or convention, or any other entity that shows gaing at its absolute zenith."  

A three-day toy fair in India will begin on July 8 in the national capital, which is expected to see participation from about 5,000 buyers and industry players from at least 25 countries, the Toy Association of India said on Monday. The industry body said that CEOs of about 20 global sourcing companies, including Walmart and Lego, would also visit the fair.

VidCon is back and just around the corner! YouTube is excited to return as the title sponsor and exclusive livestream sponsor for VidCon Anaheim 2023, providing attendees with new content and experiential activations across all three of VidCon’s signature tracks, in addition to taking the stage to deliver the Industry Track keynote address.


The 2023 Core77 Design Awards Toys & Play honorees. The 2023 Core77 Design Awards Toys & Play category honors consumer products designed for children or adults for the purpose of activating play and creative exploration. Examples include: children's toys, board games, art supplies, DIY kits, educational toys, electronic toys, musical instruments, etc. educational toys, electronic toys, musical instruments, etc.

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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

Ron Stuart, President of Learning Wrap-ups passed on June 22nd, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend passed away on June 22, 2023 surrounded by his loving wife and family. Ron was a giant of a man, physically strong, vibrant, full of faith and always active. He was born in Ogden, Utah on September 2, 1953, the oldest son of Kenneth Fernelius and Marion Wolthuis Stuart. Dad had a fantastic childhood growing up in Uintah, Utah, playing his favorite sports, working alongside his father in the garden, and playing with his brothers and cousins. It was the best place to be a kid. He graduated from Bonneville High School in 1971 and served a full-time mission in the North Carolina-Virginia Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After returning home, he attended Weber State College, where he met Christine Fackrell, while participating in a musical production together. They were sealed for time and all eternity on February 12, 1976, in the Salt Lake Utah Temple by his mission president, whom he adored, Rex D. Pinegar. Together, Ron and Chris have raised four wonderful children who appreciate the love and example of their dedicated parents. Family was everything to Dad. Honoring each other Dad and Mom, worked tirelessly for our benefit instilling the values of hard work, dedication, tenacity, humor, patience, love, and faith. He taught by example and with involvement, coaching our teams, working side by side, mowing the lawn, digging in the garden, serving others, and taking us on work trips where he used the time for special teaching moments. We loved being able to call Dad for anything and are certain he was as good as two men for any job.
Sports were a huge part of Ron’s life. He had a passion for baseball, basketball, football, and golf. He was an all-state baseball player in high school and later a talented fastpitch softball pitcher and home-run hitter, playing on national teams. All his life he loved playing golf, fostering lifelong friendships and countless memories. Nothing was better than playing with, coaching, and cheering for his grandchildren in all their sporting events, music, and other activities.
His career with Learning Wrap-ups, the company he and his mother started in the early 1980’s, took him throughout the US and the world selling Wrap-ups. He was passionate about education, helping children master basic math facts. He was always enthusiastically developing additional products for the company and working with his brother Rich to make Learning Wrap-ups successful and provide employment opportunities for others. Dad was a brilliant businessman, but more important to him were the friendships and relationships he created while working.

Simon Hedge - (from John Baulch's blog) former Flair managing director Simon Hedge passed away this week at the tender age of 56. I know many of his former colleagues and industry friends were absolutely devastated to hear the news, as although it was no secret he was not well, things apparently deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks. Simon had most recently been working on a consultancy basis with Sinco Toys. Our sincerest condolences to his family.


JOHN ROMITA, SR. - Will Eisner Hall of Fame Marvel artist, art director, and character co-creator John Romita Sr. passed away June 12 in his sleep, according to a Tweet by his son, artist John Romita Jr.  He was 93.  Romita Sr. had a long and illustrious career as a comics artist, beginning in 1949 for Timely Comics, where he met a young Stan Lee.  He did work for Atlas and DC Comics, ending up at Marvel in 1965, where he learned by doing pencils over Jack Kirby layouts on Daredevil.

After Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko left Marvel in 1966, Romita began penciling Amazing Spider-Man with #39, redefining the look of the character and helping to establish the look of the Marvel universe.  His initial run on the title spanned an almost uninterrupted string of 56 issues and over 50 covers.  Romita took over as Marvel art director in 1973, a position he held until the late 1980s.  He continued to do covers, story art, and inks, with published work through the 00s.

While at Marvel Comics, Romita co-created characters Mary Jane Watson, the Punisher, and Wolverine.

"He is a legend in the art world and it would be my honor to follow in his footsteps," Romita Jr. said in his post.  "He was the greatest man I ever met."

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

Added Friday Morning Chicago Time. Check Back for Complete Lists.


Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

​Posts Friday morning.

aNb Media (US) 

​Posts Friday morning.

Toyworld (UK)

​Posts Friday morning. Powered by Toyworld

​Posts Friday morning.

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Dockworkers Settle, Teamsters Authorize UPS Strike
Battle the Froghemoth in 'Dungeons & Dragons: Onslaught'
Mayfair Games to Return
Pokemon Company International Announces 'Scarlet & Violet - 151'
The JDS Perspective -- So, Now I Can Trade in a Sol Ring for a Black Lotus?
'Dungeons & Dragons: Onslaught' Organized Play Support Kits Incoming
'Crossbows & Catapults' Reborn
Rolling for Initiative -- 'Tales' of Great 'Magic' Sales
The Queen of Naboo Enters the Fray in 'Star Wars: Shatterpoint'
Hasbro and Winning Moves Games Team Up for 'Monopoly Scrabble'

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

- FAMOSA will distribute the Gingantosaurus toy line in Spain

- Furby returns with a new look

- The Monopoly edition that celebrates the 100 years of Hasbro

IMC Toys expands its digital ecosystem with the video game: "Cry Babies Magic Tears: The Great Game"

- Purpose release toys line of All-Latino Fashion Dolls

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Anarchy Pancakes and The Chameleon Picture Edition Released
Exploding Kittens has released Anarchy Pancakes, Big Potato Games has released a new edition of their party game The Chameleon, and NorthStar Games has announced Eila and Something Shiny.

Video of the Week 

Toy Hub Trivia - James Howard



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

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

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