the Bloom Report

Toy Industry's #1 News Summary 

Below is June 20 - 26, 2020, Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted each day with newest articles at top of each news section. 

The previous week drops off each Friday when we send you highlights via email. 

Welcome to your Friday briefing of the week's news!

Thank you for the many congratulations on our first few publications of the Bloom Report. Phil Bloom built this into our industry’s #1 weekly industry news summary, and we plan to continue to grow its importance in the industry. 

In case you missed the last few issues...

After 22 years, the Bloom Report  has a new look and steward. It is our honor to carry on Philip Bloom’s legacy and continue this essential news source for the industry.  If you would like to reach Phil, his new email is:  We'd appreciate your feedback and welcome  advertisements so we can continue this service for free. Phil summarized this endeavor well when he said, "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!" 

Onward & Upward, 


Mary Couzin

Company of the Week: Big G Creative - Making Games in the Time of Corona

When the coronavirus started and the world shut down, we were busier than ever developing games from home. Because our operations team already worked remotely (Rob Stevens and Alex Kimerling in Nashville, Steven Anne in Chicago, me in Michigan), working from home wasn’t new for us. However, working from home, with our kids also at home, was definitely a new challenge.


We quickly learned how to balance work with homeschooling, and having our kids at home turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Just like that, we had in-house playtesters at our disposal 24/7. 


Our kids played an important role in developing our 2020 games and helped with every aspect of game design from gameplay to rules and content. (Thankfully, we were building family games and not adult party games!) Fortunately, Steven’s wife, Shannon, is an editor and Alex’s wife, Whitney, is an attorney, so they both contributed their time and talents as well. It was definitely a family affair! (Read more)

Person-of-the-Week: Dylan Collins: How Generation C will Reshape the Toy Industry...

Although relatively short in duration, Covid-19’s impact will define a generation of kids.


For the age band most impacted (6-16), the pandemic and its effects will define their generation, jolting them into a new way of thinking, acting, playing and socializing. Some of these behaviors are an acceleration of trends which were already in motion but others are completely new. Welcome to Generation C.


All disasters tend to make that generation of kids grow up faster. However, other changes are more subtle and every brand should pay attention to what’s happening: Generation C has influence and feels empowered. Like Covid-19 itself, we are just beginning to understand their impact.


Generation C are defined by a diverse range of traits and behaviors: (Read more)


Financial & Legal News . . . 

JUST PLAY ACQUIRES SLINKY AND SHRINKY DINKS BRANDS. Following the sudden disappearance of Alex Brands and the auction of its assets this spring, Just Play has acquired Slinky and Shrinky Dinks. New products from both brands will arrive at retail this fall, just in time for the holiday season. “For 75 years, Slinky has been one of the most popular and recognizable playthings around the world,” says Charlie Emby...

Ban on Chinese apps, including TikTok, surprises India content makersIndia's ban on 59 Chinese apps, including the TikTok and WeChat platforms, has left millions surprised and disappointed. The government said the apps were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order". TikTok denied sharing any data with the Chinese government. Beijing said...

V1 ANALYTICS PRESENTS A FASCINATING VISUAL LOOK AT THE EXPANSION AND COLLAPSE OF TOYS ‘R’ US. A new video from V1 Analytics is pushing the nostalgia buttons while also reminding the toy industry of some not-so-old wounds. The data visualizer offers a look at the growth, contraction, collapse, and seeds of rebirth that have been planted for Toys “R” Us in the U.S. Using multiple data sources, the video focuses...

(the above posted after June 26th)

Here's How Walmart is Placed Amid the Rising E-commerce RageThe world’s largest retailer saw its U.S. e-commerce sales surge as much as 74% in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, mainly on strength in grocery pickup and delivery, and the marketplace. The company notified that it saw an increased shift to online shopping, given the higher stay-at-home trends. Certainly, the company’s long-drawn...

Kohl’s says tie-up with Amazon ‘underscores’ importance of  stores. Kohl’s says its Amazon partnership is teaching the retailer a lot about its own stores, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. “It has opened our eyes ... that there are other roles a Kohl’s store can play to the American consumer,” Kohl’s chief technology officer Paul Gaffney said.

Amazon’s next big move? It should buy Macy’s. Reports of Amazon’s potential interest in a struggling retailer refuse to go away. The speculation is spurred by Amazon’s cash hoard—the e-commerce giant had roughly $27.2 billion of cash on hand as of March 31—and the fact that it bought Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion in 2017. Most recently, Amazon was linked to J.C. Penney...

Retail sales fall back in early June. Redbook Johnson reports chain store sales are down 1.4% M/M in June so far and decreased 6.1% Y/Y for the week ending June 20. Month-to-date sales are down 8.0% Y/Y through June 20. Looking ahead, retail sales are expected to improve incrementally on a monthly basis, but trail last year's levels.

Russia Investigates Toy Protests Against Vote on Putin’s Term Limits. Criminal investigators in St. Petersburg have attempted to question an activist who used children's toys to protest against a vote on constitutional amendments that would allow Putin to extend his rule into 2036. Sonya Ulyasheva, a spokeswoman for the Vesna democratic movement, had posted photographs of the toy protests as on offshoot...

Lone Echo developer Ready at Dawn acquired by FacebookThe Order: 1886 and Lone Echo developer Ready at Dawn has been acquired by Facebook for an undisclosed sum, and now joins the company’s Oculus Studios brand. Acquisitions have played a growing part in Facebook’s recent VR plans, with the company noting in that Oculus blog post that it is “exploring many ways to accelerate VR, and...

Target announced that it’s raising wages for its workers. Its peers will likely have to follow suit, argues Credit SuisseOn Wednesday, Target (ticker: TGT) said that it would permanently boost its starting wage for U.S. workers to $15, while also giving one-time bonuses to some hourly workers for their efforts during the pandemic. This will coincide with other benefits, including free virtual doctor visits...

Kowloon Nights launches $2 million game investment fund for Black creators. Global video game investment fund Kowloon Nights has launched a new $2 million fund dedicated to Black creators and studios working on PC and console projects. Any development studio that's majority-owned by black creators can apply to the initiative, which intends to deploy the $2 million without any limitations. 

Epic Games and Match Group join Spotify in protesting Apple’s App Store fees. More companies are vocalizing their support for an antitrust case against Apple filed in the EU yesterday. Both Match Group, the owner of dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, as well as Epic Games, which created Fortnite, issued statements last night in support.



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Trends, Market Research Reports . . . The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in June, after virtually no change in May . . . BRICK AND MORTAR RETAIL SALES EXPECTED TO DECLINE 14% IN 2020 As E-Commerce Grows 18% 

(the above was posted after June 26th)

Children, Technology & Play Research Report . . . THE LATEST TRENDS FROM LICENSING WEEK VIRTUAL . . . How COVID-19 is changing families 


Company Financial & Brokerage News . . . 

August 14th Options Now Available For Mattel (MAT) . . . Hasbro – Consensus Indicates Potential 28.8% Upside . . . Mattel Is Finally Playing to Win . . . Is Hasbro's Dividend Helping or Hurting the Company?

(the above was posted after June 26th)

EA Stock Is Rising as Videogame Sales Boom Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic . . . Target (TGT) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know . . . Here's Why You Should Hold on to Mattel (MAT) Stock for Now . . . Buy Alert: Hasbro Stock Could Be Headed Higher . . . Spotify stock soars on DC Comics, Kardashian podcast deals ... Jakks share price skyrockets after deal with EA announced . . . WHY MOMENTUM INVESTORS SHOULD WATCH HASBRO, INC. (HAS) . . . Walmart upgraded on revenue growth from new shoppers gained during coronavirus. . . . Is Spin Master a buy? . . . Hasbro – Consensus Indicates Potential 28.8% Upside . . . Mattel – Consensus Indicates Potential 5.0% Upside

Financial Reporting . . . 

Genius Brands International to retire all senior secured convertible debtGenius Brands, a global brand management company that creates, licenses, and broadcasts, multimedia entertainment content for children, becomes debt free and has $55 million in cash on the balance sheet.

Indigo loses $171 million in Q4 after taking large impairment, tax charges. Indigo Books & Music is reporting a surge in losses caused by non-cash charges in the quarter to fiscal year March 28. The Toronto-based book, gift and specialty toy retailer lost $171 million. Indigo attributed the higher loss to impairment and deferred tax charges along with the decision to pay staff wages until the end of March even though...

Future Financial Reporting... 

Spin Master Corp. to Report Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results on August 5, 2020. Ronnen Harary, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Mark Segal, Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call for the investment community on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.

Hasbro, Inc. announced that it will webcast its second quarter 2020 earnings conference call on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. ET, following the release of Hasbro's financial results. The webcast and the accompanying presentation slides will be available to investors and the media on Hasbro's Investor Relations home page at

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . . 

Mattel introduces anti-vaccine Barbie, sells out in California. There will be 4 dolls in total: Measles Barbie, Mumps Barbie, Rubella Barbie and Polio Barbie (complete with a wheelchair). “We are really hoping to corner the market on the science illiterate,” said Mattel Spokesman Ken Rothwell. “We know a lot of anti-vaccers are actually fairly wealthy as well as fairly stupid. In a nutshell, the perfect consumer.” (Note: article by Science, Health, Satire. A non-award winning online newspaper delivering the 47th best science satire on the web.)

Gaming the impossible: Jane McGonigal wants you to save the world. World-renowned game designer has the tools you need to regain confidence in times of chaos, visualize your future and create positive change. Climate change, a global pandemic, racial injustice … in the face of a society in turmoil, how can we as individuals take better control of our lives and the future? The answer might be found in video games.

Ubisoft Places Two Executives on Leave Following Misconduct AllegationsUbisoft Entertainment, one of the world’s largest video-game publishers, placed two executives and several employees on leave as part of a corporate investigation into misconduct allegations. The two high-ranking employees under scrutiny are Tommy François and Maxime Béland, both vice presidents in the group overseeing development of...

EA pledges to investigate allegations of abuse and support victims EA has asked employees to come forward if they've ever experienced abuse or harassment during their time at the company, telling them "these behaviors are never okay." The company said it has been shocked by the number of "disturbing stories around sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct" that have been shared online in recent weeks...

Roblox accounts hacked to support Donald Trump. Users of the online multiplayer game for children aged 9 to 14 complained their profiles were hacked with the message: “Ask your parents to vote for Trump this year!” and “MAGA2020”, an abbreviation of Make America Great Again.

Roblox has more than 100 million users worldwide. It is marketed at children aged between nine and 14.

Uno launches major social media campaign across TikTok and Instagram. Are you a Sore Loser, a Dodgy Dealer, a Victory Dancer, or do you simply make up your own rules to suit your game? Uno is celebrating the ‘four different types of player personalities'  through the launch of a new digital campaign. The campaign – titles #unowhoyouare – has identified the four different types of players ...

 The July issue of Toy World magazine is out and has a strong ‘reboot’ theme, timed to coincide with major lockdown easing and the reopening of non-essential retailers following a long, challenging three months of temporary closures and strict stay-at-home orders. Reflecting the optimism and positivity of the toy industry, the July issue features upbeat, forward-thinking views and opinion from contributors including...

QUIBI’S ‘LIFE-SIZE TOYS’ PAIRS EPIC STUNTS WITH RADIO FLYER, LEGO, THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE, MORE. Some classic toys are about to go big for the short-form content platform, Quibi. Originally slated to debut in MayLife-Size Toys will premiere July 6 with Nitro Circus ringleader Travis Pastrana playing host as iconic toys are transformed for epic stunts.

Disney’s deepfakes are getting closer to a big-screen debut. How close are deepfakes to being used in big-budget films and TV shows? Pretty damn close, if a new demo from Disney is anything to go by. In a video and paper being presented at a computer graphics conference this week, researchers from the House of Mouse show off what they say is the first photo-realistic deepfake at a megapixel resolution.

MOVIE TRAILERS: Official Trailer for 'Gamemaster' Doc About the Board Game Industry. "The worst thing you can do as a game designer is fall in love with one of your designs… which [does] not work." Gravitas Ventures has unveiled an official trailer for a documentary titled Gamemaster, marking the feature directorial debut of Charles Mruz. 

Uno launches #unowhoyouare brand campaignCard game Uno has launched an innovative new digital campaign that celebrates the different Uno player personalities. The #unowhoyouare campaign has identified four types of players – Victory Dancers, Dodgy Dealers, Sore Losers and Make Your Own Rules – and has created content to show all the different gameplay reactions. The campaign is an ambitious...

Barbie's new collection includes a doll with baby hairs, and fans are loving the inclusive hairstyle. Barbie launched a new collection of dolls with streetwear-inspired style and beauty looks. One of the dolls has styled baby hairs, which has caught the attention of fans online who are applauding the inclusive style. The new dolls are part of Barbie's BMR1959 line, which stands for Barbara Millicent Roberts...

(the above stories posted after June 26th)

John Baulch: Two metre or not two metre, that is the question…it’s the Friday Blog! This week has seen the announcement of the next step on the road to economic recovery: the relaxation of the two-metre distancing rule in England. As of 4th July, the new requirement is for shoppers to keep a distance of “at least one metre plus.” Nice touch of ambiguity there – I suspect that more cautious consumers...

LEGO partners with National Geographic for new ocean exploration kits, more. Today LEGO is expanding its lineup City kits in thanks to a partnership with National Geographic. Soon builders will be able to assemble a fleet of ships and other vehicles to surveil undersea life with a series of ocean exploration-themed creations. LEGO is also carrying the collaboration over to its Friend theme for a series of jungle rescue kits. 

Insomniac responds to allegations from former staff about culture of harassment. 

Insomniac has shared a statement in reply to a round of accusations made against multiple former and current members of the studio, saying in a tweet that it was aware of the complaints and took action based on that information. “We were aware of the allegations made in a former...

Twitch addresses sexual abuse allegations with permanent ban pledge. Twitch will permanently ban streamers who are found to have sexually abused or harassed people.​ In an update posted on the Twitch blog, the company said it's investigating a number of allegations involving Twitch streamers, and that it will "begin issuing permanent suspensions in line with out findings immediately."

Hasbro revs up new Transformers collectiblesHasbro has blessed us with high-end figures in the Star Wars Black Series and now it’s time for a new franchise to get a colorful collection. The Transformers R.E.D. Series — Robot Enhanced Design — is starting with Optimus Prime and Megatron and will be available for preorder on June 26 from Walmart

Jenga: Godzilla Extreme Edition from USAopoly. Jenga: Godzilla Extreme Edition combines two pop culture juggernauts into one nerve-wracking crossover game. Produced by USAopoly, the game box includes 54 hardwood Jenga blocks, an approach track, dice, a cardboard cutout of Godzilla himself, and rules. 

Big G Creative Invites Families to Say ‘Bye, Felicia!’ It doesn’t have to be Friday to utter the iconic “get lost” phrase from the ’90s.

Bye, Felicia! is a new party game from Big G Creative that incorporates the famous pop culture phrase into a fast-paced game of wild word associations for 3-8 players ages 12 and up. Designed by Peggy Brown

McFarlane Toys Unveils DC Multiverse Batman Figures  McFarlane Toys has unveiled four of different versions of the Caped Crusader based on two of its comic book series, Dark Nights: Metal and The Batman Who Laughs.

Dozens of women accuse video gaming titans of sexual misconduct. Four women leveled accusations of sexual misconduct against Chris Avellone, a critically acclaimed video game writer, leading one developer to end its cooperation with him and prompting him to part ways with another game in the works. A different woman accused Omeed Dariani, the CEO of Online Performers Group, a talent agency that ...

8 terrific sensory toys for kids with special needsAs the mom of a son with autism, ADHD, and epilepsy, I can’t even tell you how much money I wasted buying toys that my son had absolutely no interest in playing with. It wasn’t until I realized that my idea of play and his idea of play were drastically different, that I was able to start buying toys that truly made him happy.

My Little Pony fans are ready to admit they have a Nazi problem. Even a niche subculture built around magical cartoon horses is reckoning with racism. That sounds just as strange no matter how many times you say it. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a cartoon television show about friendship, compassion, and a group of magical horses with names such as Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy who live...

Toy billionaire deletes post slamming Black Lives Matter groupIsaac Larian, the billionaire head of the company behind LOL Surprise! dolls, has deleted his Twitter account and a post on LinkedIn after calling a freelance artist a “disgrace to Black people” and saying the Black Lives Matter organization is discriminatory toward Jewish people.

AAP offers guidance to combat digital advertising to childrenIt has never been more evident how dependent children and families are on technology than during COVID-19 lockdowns and school closures. Through digital media platforms and apps, children learn and socially connect, parents work and seek support, and everyone receives news and information …

GigaPets Are Back & They’re Better Than EverIn the 90s virtual pets were all the rage. We could never imagine how these types of toys would foreshadow our future in the digital age. Now GigaPets is making a comeback in a big way. This summer, GigaPets is proud to announce three new releases: GigaPetsAR, GigaPets Trolls and GigaPets Pixie. These new styles include all the features from their 90’s predecessors with...

TOYS AREN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE: ADULTS ARE REDISCOVERING THE JOY OF PLAY. The stereotype of 40-year-old men collecting toys — a phenomenon captured to perfection in a 2015 Saturday Night Live sketch in which collectors hoarded Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys with no intention of opening their packages to play with them — is slowly starting to fade. Instead, that image is being replaced...

STEAM toys can prepare kids for future careersSTEAM learning continues to be an important educational category for kids. Teaching them the skills they’ll need for success in 21st-century careers has been the mantra (and the packaging label) for several years. Many of the jobs for which we are now preparing Generation Z won’t exist by the time they enter the job market …

The June Issue of the Toy Book Is Here!   We are excited to share our June issue with you, including: The hottest new products,  roundtable discussion about the evolving specialty toy industry, how the toy industry as a whole is adapting to the new landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic, how specialty retailers are finding new ways to connect to consumers when they can’t meet in-store, also...

Remembering the toy industry's past . . . 

Jewel Magic from Mattel (1975). A 1975 dealer advertisement for Jewel Magic from Mattel. When loaded with beads, the Jewel Magic machine produced “oodles of baubles ‘n bangles” at the turn of its handle. Individual pieces could be linked together, allowing kids to create custom jewelry on the fly. Mattel included 600 beads and 100 links in each box. Refill kits were sold separately.

(the above posted after June 26th)

Backstory: Pac-Man — 40 Years of Chasing Ghosts and Gobbling Quarters. On May 22, 1980, engineers from Namco plugged in and powered up an arcade game with a mysterious yellow creature with an insatiable appetite for power pellets, fruit, and ghosts. Created by Toru Iwatani, Puck-Man was well-received by test audiences in Tokyo, and by mid-summer, the coin-op game was being played throughout Japan.

Slapsie from Wham-O (1978). Wham-O’s Slapsie was a plastic toy that combined elements of a slinky and castanets, emitting a series of clickety sounds as it moved. The toy consisted of 36 multi-coloured paddles that could be pulled apart and put back together to “make different fun things.” Slapsie was invented by Stanford professor, Alan Adler, the mastermind behind the Aerobie flying ring and the AeroPress coffee brewer. 

The Dollhouse Museum – Warsaw, PolandLocated within the Palace of Culture and Science in central Warsaw, The Dollhouse Museum is a private collection of dollhouses gathered  from around the world. Some of the items in the museum date back to the 19th century and include familiar structures such as churches, hospitals, schools, and homes.

How the Cozy Coupe became the best-selling car of all-timeIf you were a kid in the last 40 years, you probably have a Cozy Coupe memory. Growing up It seemed like they were everywhere. That's because they were. So how did this unassuming, foot-pedal-powered toy become one of the most popular toys of all time?


Worldwide Licensing News . . .  

Arcade1Up, Coleco Partner for Mini Arcade Machines. Two years, after its successful Kickstarter, Coleco has partnered with Arcade1Up to create new Mini Arcade units for nationwide sale, utilizing Arcade1Up’s retail and licensing connections. The successful campaign raised $71,246 — more than doubling its $30,000 goal. This campaign included Mini Arcade versions of two games: Rainbow Brite Journey to Rainbow and...

Minecraft cereal is coming this SummerFrom toys and clothing to books and party supplies, Minecraft-themed merchandise can be found all over the shelves. Soon it will make its debut in the cereal aisle in partnership with Kellogg’s. The Kellogg’s cereal has a cinnamon flavor, and it includes green, square-shaped marshmallows that represent the blocky creepers that players need to watch out for ...

Spin Master gets crafty with TikTok creatorsSpin Master inked a multi-category co-branding and licensing agreement with TikTok creators WeWearCute. The partnership will see tween-focused stationery, craft and activity products launch under Spin Master’s new inkFLUENCER brand.

The first two branded products will launch exclusively with Walmart in October, with additional items hitting shelves in 2021. 

Disability visibility: ToyLikeMe’s mission to change the children’s industry with MixMupsMixMups, the new stop-motion animated pre-school series created by #ToyLikeMe’s own Rebecca Atkinson comes with one mantra: There is always another way. Currently in production under the expertise at Raydar Media and an extended ‘dream team’ comprising some of the kids’ entertainment space’s most influential ...

Wow! Stuff has signed a licence with Magic Light Pictures for its full catalogue of brands including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Zog, and The Snail and the Whale – all creations based on books by the author and illustrator duo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The master toy deal is multi territory – products will be available in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, USA and Canada. From January 2021...

(the above posted after June 26th)

UK’s LittleConcepts names exclusive distributor for Candylab Toys range of toy cars. The UK distributor littleConcepts has detailed an ongoing and exclusive partnership with the Brooklyn-based toy company Candylab Toys to bring the firm’s range of around 60 stylised wooden toy cars to the UK and Ireland. The first stock is due to arrive in August this year …

Cloudco Ent. partners with J&M Brands to manage Care Bears in Benelux regionCloudco Entertainment signed an agency deal with J&M Brands to expand the Care Bears brand across Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, which are referred to together as Benelux.

ViacomCBS Brings The Smurfs to Nickelodeon. LAFIG Belgium and IMPS, global licensors for The Smurfs, are partnering with Nickelodeon for an update of the property aimed at a new generation of kids and families around the world. Under the new deal, Nickelodeon licensed global rights to the franchise …

JAKKS Pacific, announced a multi-year, global toy licensing deal with Electronic Arts Inc. to create an exclusive toy line based on the popular, free-to-play battle royale game, Apex Legends™. JAKKS has secured the worldwide rights to manufacture, market, and distribute action figures and accessories, plush, role-play, toy weapons and blasters, with a first wave of collectibles launching at retail this October.

Aardman announces Chicken Run sequel will be coming to Netflix.  The sequel to Chicken Run is expected to go into full production in 2021 and will be released globally by Netflix (excluding China). Chicken Run, which followed the antics of a group of chickens destined to become pie filling before being led to freedom by cockerel Rocky, remains the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time.

People, Companies, Organizations . . . 

Facebook  is no longer betting on Lasso, an app it launched a year and a half ago, to take on TikTok . The social juggernaut’s TikTok clone is shutting down on July 10, Lasso alerted users on Wednesday. Launched in late 2018, Lasso was seen as Facebook’s answer to TikTok that’s gained ground with young users, both in China and in the West. Lasso allowed users shoot up to 15-second long videos and overlay popular songs. 

Call of Duty: Warzone will soon offer 200-person matches. Popular battle royale shooter Call of Duty: Warzone is upping its already large 150-person lobbies to let 200 people compete in Quad mode contests, publisher Activision announced. Warzone’s large lobbies are one of many ways the game tries to differentiate itself from the increasingly crowded battle royale market. But after this update, if you’re playing... 

The Last of Us Part II sold over 4 million copies in three daysLaunched on June 19th, The Last of Us Part II has become the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive in history after selling over 4 million copies in three days to June 21st. The sequel launched on June 19 following a series of delays, some of which were caused by logistical issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic...

Amazon’s shooter Crucible goes back into closed beta after rocky launchAmazon-owned game studio Relentless is putting its free-to-play shooter Crucible back into a closed beta state after admitting it launched the game before it was ready. Colin Johanson says the focus is now on ”providing the best possible experience for our players as we continue to make the game better,” and so the game will be reverting back...

Cards Against Humanity workers are unionizing. Employees at Cards Against Humanity (CAH) are unionizing. In a statement posted on Twitter, workers said that they have sent a letter to CAH’s owners to voluntarily recognize their union. Cards Against Humanity employees have come forward over the past few weeks to talk about a long office culture of racist and sexist behavior...

Microsoft will ban Forza players who add the confederate flag to their digital carsMicrosoft updated its enforcement guidelines to have a zero-tolerance policy for any player using the confederate flag or other symbols that represent “notorious iconography” including swastikas will also be banned...

MGA Entertainment Introduces L.O.L. Surprise! J.K. Mini Fashion DollsSeries 1 of L.O.L. Surprise! J.K. mini fashion dolls includes four dolls who are little sisters to popular members of MGA Entertainment’s L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. fashion doll lineup. The dolls will debut to fans during a YouTube livestream on the L.O.L. Surprise! channel 

Wil Wheaton Joins Games by Bicycle as its First Global Board Game AmbassadorThe actor, writer, and board game enthusiast is best-known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Big Bang Theory, and as creator/producer of the web series, Tabletop. “My goal when we created Tabletop was to put more gamers into the world,” says Wheaton. “We’d do that by showing how fun and social gaming is...

Pixel Toys doubles its team during lockdownSince the Covid-19 outbreak began in late February, the independent UK games developer and publisher has continued to grow, increasing its team from 55 to 85 employees. Following the announcement of expansion plans earlier this year, which saw the opening of a second floor within its building, business has continued to thrive. In fact, while many UK businesses...

American Girl gets patriotic with Team USA lineThe line is a tribute to inspirational athletes, featuring gear and outfits fit for 18-inch dolls. The clothing and accessories cover six summer sports: gymnastics, soccer, swimming, track and field, softball, and beach volleyball. The collection also includes a Team USA Medal Ceremony Set and a kid-sized Team USA “Go for the Gold” T-shirt.

Jazwares Unveils Premium UFC CollectiblesJazwares is making waves with its new UFC Ultimate Series, a line of action figures and role-play collectibles showcasing some of the sport’s most popular fighters. The first wave of the line features both current and former UFC champions, including UFC lightweight champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones...

WowWee unleashes Power Treads all-surface vehiclesKids build and unleash custom vehicles that can be used with or without the included modular track system. Power Treads have received more than 6 million views on TikTok. “Power Treads gives you raw power, a customizable vehicle, and a modular building system,” says WowWee’s Chief Technology Officer Davin Sufer. 

Nickelodeon Readies Next Chapter of Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesNickelodeon and Point Grey Pictures are jointly announcing today that production will begin on an all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theatrical motion picture. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver to Create All-New Iteration of the Iconic Franchise and Its Chaotic Cast of Crime-Fighting Ninja Turtles.

Apple is reportedly canceling some Arcade contracts to focus on ‘engagement’Apple reportedly canceled several contracts for games set to launch on Arcade. Allegedly for the same reason: Apple wants new games that will keep players coming back to the service. For developers wondering where Apple’s bar for engagement currently lies, the report mentions that an Apple Arcade representative cited Grindstone...

Microsoft has announced that it's closing 83 of its Microsoft stores across the world, marking an exit from the retail space from the Windows (and Xbox) developer. According to a press release, this permanent closure follows a temporary one that began with the spread of COVID-19. With reopenings coming to a screeching halt across the country, it doesn't appear that Microsoft's sleek...

Leaked Microsoft document hints at second next-gen Xbox. Microsoft has been planning a second, cheaper and less power next-gen Xbox console. Codenamed Lockhart, it’s designed to take most of the key next-gen improvements found in the Xbox Series X and provide them at a lower price point for gaming at 1080p or 1440p. 

GOING HOG WILD WITH JOSH LOERZEL ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’. In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Josh Loerzel, vice president of sales and marketing at Hog Wild Toys. Loerzel, who recently took part in the Toy Book‘s Talkin’ Toys series, delves into his backstory which includes stints at Monkey Business, Zing, and Yulu before landing at Hog Wild.

Asmodee USA will distribute games from Italian game publisher Giochi Uniti International to the U.S. market beginning in August, the companies announced.  Giochi Uniti games are published under the Stratelibri brand in their home market, and include titles such as Kingsburg and Letters from Whitechapel. Upcoming games from the line include Bar Barians, a game of tavern brawling, Kingsburg: Roll...

World-renowned game designer Ravensburger has announced the launch of the WWE Legends Royal Rumble Card Game. This new game will be available via pre-order on Amazon and will officially release at retail stores across the nation on July 26th of this yearThis game aims to recreate the high-octane action of the Royal Rumble wrestling events of the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. company. With over ...

Dr Seuss Enterprises names new senior director of global marketing and global licensing manager. Dr. Seuss Enterprises has strengthened its senior team with the promotion of Shannon Spisak to senior director of global marketing and communications, and Jenna Marson to manager of global marketing and licensing. The moves come as the company continues to expand on its strategy to develop in-house talent. Plans Global Expansion of Emmy-Nominated Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, Announces Fourth Season, the studio behind global franchises from the YouTube stars and characters loved by Generation Alpha, unveiled plans to expand hit kids TV series Ryan’s Mystery Playdate to international markets, beginning with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited in Germany.’s gaming...

WeWearCute, popular TikTok content creators, have partnered with Spin Master Corp., a leading global children’s entertainment company, in a multi-category, co-brand and licensed products agreement. Under Spin Master’s new inkFLUENCER™ brand, a tween-focused stationery, craft and activities line inspired by fashion and influencers, WeWearCute will unveil two feature items exclusive to Walmart this October...

The Far East welcomes first Entertainer storeWorking with Kim Hin Joo (Malaysia) Bhd as its franchise partner for the territory, The Entertainer has opened its first store near Kuala Lumpur. Plans are already in place for further expansion across Malaysia before Christmas, with two more stores confirmed. The Entertainer operates in 10 other territories across the globe. 

(the above articles were post after June 26th)

These 13-Year-Old Board Game Creators Can Teach All Entrepreneurs a Thing or TwoLily Brown and Tait Hansen got an early crash course in how the business world works, and have some insights to share. (Comment from tBR Publisher: They are on  the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine this week! So exciting! Am I biased? You Betcha! -Mary)

Buffalo Games collaborates with NASA in launching Apollo-themed game. Buffalo Games is ready to launch a new board game tied into the Apollo missions. What made the project special was, Buffalo Games worked with NASA and received the space agency's blessing and insights.

Just as Buffalo Games learned with its jigsaw puzzles, it's a good time to be in the board game business. 

Tim Walsh of Roo Games - Focus on the Journey. I  began my toy career at Patch Products (now PlayMonster) as its VP of Product Development & Marketing in 1992 and was instrumental in taking that company from $3 million in sales to over $23 million in 7 years. My game designs and co-designs for that company included TriBond, Blurt, Mad Gab, ’N Sync Backstage Pass, and others. I just co-founded a new... 

Micha Hertzano, Micha Hertzano, President, Lemada Light Industries, I was at an early age helping out painting and packing games, so I guess it’s in my DNA. And I also have a great love for board games. We are always striving for new designs and technology, to give our customers the best game experience possible.  I can’t reveal it yet… it is pending IP protection.

Lana Li - Creator of Mythical Slyme. I love when young people approach me on social media or at live shows (I miss those!) to ask what has inspired me over the years, and some of the steps I took to become an entrepreneur, and ask for tips. Recently an 11-year-old girl from Costa Rica reached out to me with a proposal to expand Mythical Slyme to her country. I started young myself so I love to see that...

MGA Entertainment has today announced the appointment of Neil Bandtock as its new managing director for UK and Ireland. Neil will be in position from October this year, taking over from current MD, Andrew Laughton, who resigned earlier this year after 12 years in the position. Neil, who previously held the role of UK general manager at MGA between 2004-2008, will return to the business in October...

Roo Games Debuts New Name, Welcomes New Team. Getta1Games, the 4 year old game company with an award-winning lineup up of games sold in 12 countries, is getting a fresh new team and a fresh new name: Roo Games. “Australia is on our roots,” says Sales Director, Christina Callaghan, who was raised in Sydney. “Aussies love life and love to play. We are excited to bring that fun to Roo Games.”

Humble's 'Fight for Racial Justice' bundle has raised over $4.3M for charityThe 'Fight for Racial Justice' charity bundle launched by Humble earlier this month has ended with over $4,370,000 raised. The cash will be donated to organizations working towards racial equality, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Race Forward, and The Bail Project.

Ravensburger launches ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Jungle Cruise’ gameRavensburger has released two new licensed titles with “Back to the Future: Dice Through Time,” and “Disney Jungle Cruise Adventure Game. The new “Back to the Future” title is inspired by the classic movie series and includes film moments in a new game format. “Disney Jungle Cruise Adventure Game,” is based on Disney’s river boat attraction.

Kids2, Mary Meyer Stuffed Toys creates new Baby Einstein line. Kids2 and Mary Meyer Stuffed Toys have teamed to create a new line called Baby Einstein First Discoveries. New toys are inspired by four of Baby Einstein’s characters: Cal the Caterpillar, Neptune the Sea Turtle, Tinker the Tiger and Zen the Zebra.

Wizkids unveils D&D Icons of the Realms, Icewind Dale, Rime of the Frostmaiden miniatures. WizKids unveiled a wave of D&D Icons of the Realms: Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden miniatures for release in September.D&D fans can collect 45 Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden figures in this upcoming set. The figures come blind-packed with randomly sorted monsters and characters. 

Tonic Games Group is the new parent company of UK dev Mediatonic. Tonic Games Group has been announced as the new parent company of developers Mediatonic and Fortitude, and publishing label The Irregular Corporation. As it stands, Tonic Games Group consists of 300 people based in five studios and two publishing offices around the world. It's also partnered with third-party studios in 13 locations acros...

The Mad Titan invades Marvel: Crisis Protocol. Atomic Mass Games announced Thanos Character Pack, a new miniature set for Marvel: Crisis Protocol, for release in July. The Mad Titan is heading to Marvel: Crisis Protocol in search of the Infinity Gems. This character pack sets players up with all the materials necessary to battle against Thanos, the Mad Titan in their games of Marvel: Crisis Protocol.

Mattel Taps Ex-Campbell Soup Executive as New Finance Chief. Anthony DiSilvestro is slated to join the company next week as an adviser and assume the CFO role next month. Mattel, maker of Barbie and other toy brands, named a new finance chief after restating past earnings last year because of an accounting error.

Download the Summer 2020 Issue of Casual Game Insider. As a friend of ours, you can download a PDF of this issue for FREE for 2 weeks using this promotion link. Highlights: Silver Coin by Bezier Games offers new gameplay twists as the newest stand-alone game in the Silver series, save the world from a raging virus in 5 great titles from the Pandemic series, the "rock stars" of game design who forever changed the world...

Publisher Services Inc. has reduced the roster of hobby game distributors to which it sells products from its client publishers.  The new roster of distributors is ACD Distribution, Alliance Game Distributors, and Peachstate Hobby Distribution.  Absent from the list are former PSI customers GTS Distribution and Southern Hobby Supply. PSI did not respond to our request for information...

Cards Against Humanity statement. Starting on June 6, several of our former employees posted reports on social media about a toxic work environment in our Chicago office. Many of them centered on one of our eight co-founders, Max Temkin, who led that office. We immediately began an internal investigation …

The Entertainer appoints Pablo Badia to lead European growthTeal Group, the group behind UK toy retailer The Entertainer, has appointed Pablo Badia as country manager for Poly. Pablo has broad and extensive experience in leading senior teams at global brands such as Massimo Dutti, Camper, Carolina Herrera and Karen Millen as well as Children Worldwide Fashion (CWF), where ...

Crayola highlights inclusion and diversity with new collection Colors of the World crayons represent skin tones worldwide. Victor Casale collaborates with Crayola to create Colors of the World, a 24-count box of specially formulated crayons representing skin tones worldwide ...

Hasbro StarWars Fan first Monday product reveals Members of the Hasbro Star Wars brand and design team exclusively revealed several new Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 offerings, with the lineup including a third wave of Star Wars: The Black Series 40th Anniversary figures featuring characters such as Chewbacca, Boba Fett, and more, as well as a Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Carbon-Freezing Chamber Playset.

Ultra Pro to release new version of Cosmic CowsUltra PRO will release a new version Cosmic Cows, a bovine alien abduction game by Playroom Games, into retail in August. Cosmic Cows is a classic Playroom game (see "Playroom Makes Over Bestselling Game") where players take on the role of aliens that are trying to use their tractor beam to extract cows from Earth to win the Annual Extraterrestrial Cow-Pulling...

HASBRO KICKS THE G.I. JOE RELAUNCH INTO HIGH GEARFor more than a year and a half, Hasbro has been hard at work on a plan to relaunch the iconic G.I. Joe brand. Now, ahead of next week’s official launch of the new G.I. Joe: Classified Series action figure line, Hasbro kicked off its first-ever YO JOE! June campaign by opening a brand-new official website, and, for the first time, official social channels for the brand.

CHATTING WITH THE INDUSTRY Q&A 2020 The Toy Book spoke with specialty retailers and manufacturers about the latest trends, industry

happenings, and how business strategies are evolving in the specialty toy market. Click below to read their perspectives on trends, the evolving industry, and new products for 2020.

Facebook prepares to wage war over release of Gaming app on iOS There's a battle brewing between Apple and Facebook over on the iOS store. According to The New York Times, Apple has rejected Facebook's Facebook Gaming app for a fifth time since the social media network announced its existence in March. 

ViacomCBS names Yolanda Cochran  of live-action for kids.  The former Disney production VP Yolanda Cochran will oversee all aspects of production on Nickelodeon's films and series. Based in LA, Cochran reports to Megan Ring, ViacomCBS’s EVP of production. In the role she manages budgeting, scheduling, location scouting and staffing. She began at ViacomCBS in May.

Nintendo is reportedly cooling its commitment to mobile games.  Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa is said to have told Japanese media last month that the company was “not necessarily looking to continue releasing many new applications for the mobile market.” According to Bloomberg, Nintendo is disappointed by the revenues it’s achieved so far from titles such as Mario Kart Tour and Fire Emblem Heroes.

Tim Kilpin Named President of PlayMonster. When Tim Kilpin left Activision Blizzard last year, it was said that he planned on heading home to Wisconsin to “retire.” Well, retirement was short-lived as Kilpin is back in the game as president of Beloit-based PlayMonster LLC. Reporting to Chief PlayMonster Bob Wann, Kilpin will focus on expanding and accelerating PlayMonster’s business with an emphasis...

Hannah Mungo, the UK and Ireland director of consumer products at NBCUniversal is moving to a new post at Sutikki. The post says: “One chapter ends and another begins! After nearly 4 years setting up the NBCUniversal Brand Development UK business, building the team and working on some amazing power brands it’s time for the next step in my career.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Relative To Our Industry . . . 

How shut-in consumers turned mobile gaming into a $100-billion industry. Globally, daily "in-app" payments for mobile games have jumped 24 per cent since the pandemic began. But while the sector’s big listed groups such as Nintendo, Activision Blizzard and Take Two have enjoyed share price rises of more than 25 per cent since early March, a clutch of mobile gaming studios, many privately held, have enjoyed the real...

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another live event: the third annual Hot Wheels Legends Tour. The Tour kicked off on March 7 in Miami, with the first date standing as the only completed stop of the tour’s anticipated 18-date U.S. run. Additional dates were postponed, with a trial virtual run taking place on May 16 hosted by Hoonigan. Now, the remainder of the tour will go virtual. 

Disney has delayed Mulan for the second time this year, moving the film from July 24th to August 21st. The move follows Warner Bros.’ decision to delay Christopher Nolan’s Tenet for a second time from July 31st to August 12th. Disney doesn’t want to be the first studio to release a major film in the middle of a pandemic when the company is unsure of about how many people will show up. 

How Do Doctors Treating Coronavirus Relax? By Playing the Game ‘Pandemic’. The board game gives healthcare workers the chance to save the world in around 45 minutes; ‘stress relief.’ As associate medical director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network in North Carolina, Sonali Advani assists more than 50 hospitals in the Southeast on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Can A Board Game Help Us Understand The Pandemic We're Living Through? Board game designer Matt Leacock never expected to live through a pandemic when he created the board game, aptly named Pandemic, in 2007. Leacock began developing the game in 2004 after reading "The Hot Zone" during the SARS outbreak. He wanted to create a collaborative game where your opponent is not... 

(the above stories posted after June 26th)

Making sense of the new M&A landscapeMergers and acquisitions were shifting the industry before the pandemic, now COVID-19 has thrown a new wrench in the works. Can the industry plot a path forward? Like comic-book villain Galactus consuming planets for sustenance, Disney has swallowed up Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and key assets of 21st Century Fox. And with the content from these acquired studios, the company...

What Happens When Kids Don’t See Their Peers for MonthsSocialising is a crucial part of growing up. Relationships with peers are how kids learn about cooperation, trust, and loyalty, as well as how to not just receive support from their parents, but also give it to others. How are kids of different ages affected by a sudden pause on socialising with their friends and peers? 

Lingering COVID-19 pandemic now causes Nintendo Switch Lite to sell out. First, the coronavirus pandemic caused Nintendo's popular Switch mobile game console to sell out at retailers everywhere. Now, the lingering impact of stay-at-home orders is resulting in the cheaper version of the console being out of stock as well.

Toycos reinvent to cope with COVID-19IP owners and toymakers like Exploding Kittens, Kellytoy and Zuru are pivoting their manufacturing and shipping processes to overcome delays caused by the pandemic. In February, after hearing rumblings of problems in China, California game maker Exploding Kittens took a closer look at its manufacturing efforts. 

Toy Trends During Coronavirus Quarantine: Hot Toys, Games & Puzzles Parents Are Turning to During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  According to a new report, there's been a shift when it comes to playtime because of the pandemic to toys like Hotwheels, LEGOs, puzzles and '80s classics like Cabbage Patch dolls, Care Bears and the Rubik's Cube. 

How COVID-19 is changing family dynamicsThe terrible human toll of COVID-19 notwithstanding, quarantine has been a very good thing for the kids’ media industry. Ratings are up, viewership is spiking, and co-viewing has never been stronger. Of course, this good news is offset by a decline in advertising revenues.

Interview: Joel Silverman talks the success of ToyAid and the industry-wide fight against COVID-19“When the world went into lockdown,” Joel Silverman, CEO of KidsKnowBest and co-founder of the successful ToyAid campaign, begins, “I started to worry about the industry we are in. I thought, what can we do to make a difference? Is there a way to shine a light on this great industry?”

Amazon launches accelerator programme to provide UK small businesses and startups with digital tools to recover lost income during the coronavirus crisis. Launched in partnership with small business support network Enterprise Nation, the Amazon Small Business Accelerator will operate a free online training programme for 200,000 businesses.

Mixed reaction from retail bodies to relaxation of two metre distancing rule. BRC welcomes the move, while Usdaw opposes the revised ‘one metre plus’ rule. Announcing the move in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that that the two metre rule “effectively makes life impossible for large parts of the economy. Where it is possible to keep two metres apart people should – but...

Families playing the waiting game amid summer toy shortage Factors related to the coronavirus pandemic are causing shortages of pools, swing sets, bikes and other recreational equipment. Some families are opting to stay at home more due to the virus and canceling summer vacations. That means there's a big demand for pools, accessories and sandboxes for the backyard.

COVID-19: the battle persists. The toy industry continues to adapt in survival mode as the coronavirus challenges the retail landscape. Six months ago, the idea that a pandemic could happen on U.S. soil was something that few, if any, were considering. The “coronavirus” was tossed around as a problem that would stay overseas. Toy fair season kicked off in Hong Kong amid fears of disruption thanks to regional protests, but...

Minion toys from 'Despicable Me' ensure social distancing between movie fans in France. French movie fans ventured back into cinemas on Monday for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown, helped by a new safety feature: Minions placed at intervals in the seats to ensure social distancing is observed.

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . 

Amazon established a new Counterfeit Crimes Unit in an effort to crack down on counterfeiters and those selling counterfeit products on its site. The global, multi-disciplinary team is composed of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators and data analysts, who it says will “join Amazon’s extensive work to drive counterfeit to zero.” Amazon, which announced revenues of $75.4b in the first three months...

(the above posted after June 26th)

Bossing It: “My work to tackle unsafe toys is the most rewarding” – BTHA’s Natasha Crookes.  For the industry more generally, I worry about the unsafe toys we are finding on online platforms, how the reputable companies can compete with companies not making the right investment concerns me. It sounds a bit doom and gloom but my job is to monitor the issues for the industry.

AAP offers guidance to combat digital advertising to children. Marketing to youths no longer is confined to TV commercials and product placement in movies. Young minds now have to decode and resist marketing messages from favorite social media influencers, design “nudges” that encourage purchases and sharing of personal information, and invisible data collection …

TIE pushes for new laws for online marketplaces: toy safety concerns across EUA new report by Toy Industries of Europe has made the striking discovery that 97 per cent of almost 200 toys bought from third-party sellers on four online marketplaces in Europe did not comply with the strict EU toy safety regulations. The report also found that 76 per cent of those tested had defects that made them dangerous for children.

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Press Releases . . . 

GOOD VIBRATIONS: JAMMIN WITH YOU INVITES THE WHOLE FAMILY TO TURN UP THE LOVE EVERY FRIDAY. Celebrity Guests Pop Up Each Week In TGIF Free Summer Concert Series July 3 To August 7 With An Added Fundraiser For Life Is Good Playmakers. Wellesley, MA (July 2, 2020) – Do you recall the hit song, Put A Little Love in Your Heart? Music maestros at Jammin With You are following the song’s lyrics, “and the world will be a better place for you and me, just wait and see…” with a free summer concert series. Everyone in the house will be off the couch and on their feet dancin’, hummin’ and jammin’ with artists Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Mister G and Josh & the Jamtones to namedrop a few headliners. Parents will recognize Tim Kubart on the Friday, August 7 roster as a Grammy Award winner for Best Children’s Album.

TAGIE AWARD NOMINATIONS KICKS OFF WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF A NEW NAME, NEW CATEGORY AND NEW VIRTUAL PROGRAM. In the spirit and theme of “Celebration,” the TAGIE Awards will boldly continue this year by expanding its platform honoring the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry.  The Chicago Toy & Game Group is announcing a number of changes to make the toy and game industry’s preeminent design, innovation and marketing awards bigger and better than ever. First, in acknowledgement of the global reach the 13 year old program has attained, the TAGIEs will be renamed the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards. This slight name change reflects the support of people in over 150 countries that are a part of the Chicago Toy & Game Group’s community, whether online or in person. 

Spin Master Corp. is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Glass to its Board of Directors.  Kevin was most recently Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at CIBC from 2011 to 2019, where he was responsible for financial strategy, oversight, reporting and planning as well as the use and composition of CIBC's balance sheet resources. 

(the above posted after June 26th)

HAVE YOU SPOTTED THEM? EIGHT FUNGISAURS IDENTIFIED BY CLEVER KIDS AROUND THE WORLD. HAVE YOU SPOTTED THEM? EIGHT FUNGISAURS IDENTIFIED BY CLEVER KIDS AROUND THE WORLD. Genetically Engineered Dinosaur-Mushroom Hybrids Are The Cutest Collectibles Including C-Rex… A T-Rex Mash Up With A Woolly Chanterelle. Los Angeles, CA. What do you get when you genetically cross a Velociraptor dinosaur with a Chicken of the Woods mushroom? Why even ask? Because kids everywhere have discovered Fungisaurs ($10). These imaginative collectible toys expect to be the next-big-thing with kids ages 4 and up. The whole family will dive into the topics of nature, science and biodiversity once they interact with Fungisaurs. 

SUMMERTIME AND THE LEARNING IS EASY WITH FIVE EDUTAINING ‘STEAM’ GAMES FROM OjO. Movie Director Math Or Which Way? Coding Games Boost Kids’ Comprehension While Combating The Dreaded Summer Brain Drain New York, New York (June 22, 2020) – What did you do this summer? That’s the question most kids will hear when they return to classes in the fall. Imagine a teacher’s surprise when Junior proclaims, “I built my spatial awareness, imagination and collaboration skills thanks to OjO!” The suggestion is not that far-fetched as global toymaker OjO rolls out five inviting games that really do boost, in a fun way, STEAM skills for children ages 4 and up! OjO’s motto is simple – create smart games for future innovators.

THE LITTLE PRINCE LICENSEES CELEBRATE THE LITTLE PRINCE DAY WITH DONATIONS TO CHARITIES & SPECIAL EVENTS ACROSS N. A. The most-translated non-religious book in the world promotes the values of generosity and care for children on The Little Prince Day 2020. In the spirit of supporting children and families, the brand extends its relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities

Phone Pics Play Feature Role in Endless Games’ New Camera Roll GameThe new product is a traditional game that embraces technology use and the top trending VSCO girl demographic. For its new Camera Roll Game (MSRP $19.99 for 3 or more players ages 12+), Endless Games “app”-lies tween and teen screen time vanity into an interactive activity. Camera Roll is the game that has players engaged in quirky category challenges to quickly match a photo from their phone that best suits the title.

Saying goodbye has never been so fun! A new party game from Big G Creative, Bye, Felicia! incorporates the pop culture phrase in a fun and fast-paced game of wild word associations. For ages 12 and up and available now at Target, the game requires players to mind meld with friends and family to guess what others are thinking. Bye, Felicia! challenges great minds to think alike or at least guess how they think! Players have 30 seconds to list as many answers as they can before time runs out. The topics are random and range from...

Jazwares launches collectibles inspired by K-Pop superstars BLACKPINK. K-Pop sensation BLACKPINK is about to take center stage with an exciting new launch. In partnership with toy company Jazwares, the K-Pop superstars are  launching their first-ever collectible toy line. Available at Target and Amazon, the BLACKPINK collection features three debut products.

Exploding Kittens Launches First Word-Guessing Game - Poetry for Neanderthals. Exploding Kittens, the hit tabletop game creator, today announced the release of its latest card game, Poetry for Neanderthals, a word-guessing party game, where teams earn points by correctly figuring out words and phrases. The catch is that the "Neanderthal Poets" must only use single syllable words to describe the complex terms, or they get bopped with a 2-foot inflatable club. Simply put: you must speak good or get hit with stick.

Spielwarenmesse eG asks trade and industry about the crisis. The Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg attracts around 65,000 buyers and retailers and 2,800 manufacturers every year. To gauge how they are dealing with the global Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences, Spielwarenmesse eG, who organises the leading industry event, has conducted a representative survey among both visitors and exhibitors. 1,810 trade visitors from 42 countries and 548 companies from 48 countries took part in the survey which was carried out in spring.


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

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

CHICAGO TOY & GAME GROUP REINVENTS THE TAGIES AS THE TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS, keeping the TAGIE designation while broadening its scope to honor innovators, designers, and marketers in the toy and game industry. The change celebrates the international reach of the ChiTAG community, which includes members from more than 150 countries.

MIPCOM & MIPJunior to take place in person. After multiple shows were cancelled in response to the pandemic, Reed Midem is planning a hybrid physical and digital gathering for both events in October. The physical event will be a bit different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The French government is allowing trade shows and exhibitions with more than 5,000 attendees to take place as of September 1,

The organiser of the MCM London Comic Con, ReedPop, has announced that the October event has been cancelledCurrently the London ExCel Centre is still on standby as an emergency hospital. As the venue for MCM London Comic Con, the October show will not be able take place as planned.

The new Licensing International Small Business Global Grants Fund provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers across the globe.​ Licensing International is looking to lend a helping hand to the industry’s small business employers that are struggling during the COVID-19 outbreak with the launch of its Small Business Global Grants Fund. With small businesses making up 59 per cent of its membership...

Licensing Week Virtual hailed a success. Over 32,000 unique content views and 2,900 digital meetings took place across the five-day online event. The virtual conference and exhibition secured 4,477 attendees globally from the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico and more, while attendees included Build-A-Bear, Guess, Primark, Selfridges, Target and other world-renowned retailers. Some 2,933 virtual meetings...

'YU-GI-OH!' POSTPONES IN-STORE EVENTS INDEFINITELY Cancels National Championship, YCS. Konami has eliminated more events from its tournament and organized play schedule in response to the increase in daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the company announced.  Two tournament events have been canceled: the WCQ - National Championships, which had previously been postponed...

Autumn Fair, due to take place at the NEC in September, has been cancelled, a move which has been widely anticipated for some time. While there has been no official announcement as yet, several exhibitors have contacted Toy World to confirm that they have been told by a representative of the Hyve Group that the show will not take place in 2020,...

(the above posted after June 26th)

Licensing International has elected six new members to its Board of Directors, each taking up their post from July 1st this year. LMCA’s Alan Kravetz, Miller Kaplan’s Vincent Leoni, and Sesame Workshop’s Valerie Mitchell Johnston join Peanuts Worldwide’s Roz Nowicki, Encantos’ Steven Wolfe Pereira, and IMG’s Miki Yamamoto in taking up the new roles. On top of this, Jay Asher, partner at Brandgenuity...

Minecraft, King's Quest, Plus join World Video Game Hall of Fame. Four games have been selected to join the likes of Microsoft Solitaire and Halo in the Strong Museum of Play’s World Video Game Hall of Fame, marking the honorary video game exhibit’s fifth set of inductees.

The 5 biggest announcements from the EA Play Live 2020 This year, Electronic Arts, like many of the giant video game publishers, switched from what would normally have been a massive E3 press conference in Los Angeles to a virtual-only event called EA Play Live.

China moves vast trade fair online, but few buyers follow. The twice-a-year fair usually draws more than 180,000 foreign buyers and 25,000 Chinese vendors to the southern city of Guangzhou. With most foreign visitors barred from China, the event has transformed itself into an e-commerce platform with mini-shopping channels.

ASTRA members take on COVID-19. Weathering the rough times is nothing new for the retailers, manufacturers, and sales representatives who are members of ASTRA. Nimbleness is part of the ASTRA entrepreneurial DNA. Without lumbering, corporate hierarchies and with an ear to the ground in our local communities, we have always prided ourselves on our ability to make quick changes...

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Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide

aNb Media's (US)

Toyworld (UK) 


  1.  WizKids Unveils 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden' Miniatures
  2.  Cards Against Humanity Partner Departs
  3.  Gale Force Nine Unleashes New 'D&D Icewind Dale' Miniatures
  4.  Rolling for Initiative -- 5 Distributors Doing the Work of One and Free RPG Day 2020
 5.  Rest to Regain Spells in 'WizKids 4D Settings: Encampment'
  6.  The Frostmaiden Summons a Dark Winter in 'Dungeons & Dragons'
  7.  'D&D Icons of the Realms: Adult White Dragon' Takes Flight!
  8.  Create Underwater Kingdoms in 'Aquatica'
  9.  The Mad Titan Invades 'Marvel: Crisis Protocol'
10.  Ares Games Unleashes 'Masters of the Night'

Spielwarenmesse Magazine's (Germany) 

TOYS Magazine (Germany) 

Toy & Hobby (Australia) 

Tabletop Wire (US)

Video of the Week

Matt, Nico and Lucas Nuccio of Design Edge Get Young Inventors Pumped Up!

Young Inventor Spring Challenge Closes June 30th. Details Here! 


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


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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

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