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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!


Happy Bloomin' Friday! 

Last reminder! On April 8th we’re having one of our home-turf Chicagoland Get-Togethers, this time at Meier's Tavern! RSVP HERE 

We are getting together more get-togethers in the States and overseas… Here's the partial party plan so far! ​

We have many interesting and fun videos and podcasts in our industry, this week we are highlighting three of them! And it is easy to do a deep dive into their other features... I know I have! 

​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News FeedPlease support our work by advertising and/or setting up a POP profile.


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

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

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Person of the Week - Kim Vandenbroucke

The Life of a Serial Inventor, part of the Hidden Roles Series

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POP is a Proud Sponsor and Champion of Hidden Roles!!! 


Hidden Role: The Brains Behind your Favorite Games --- In this episode, we speak with Kim Vandenbroucke, Game Designer of the Year winner and inventor of games like Pigs on Trampolines, Split, Scattergories Categories, and countless more. She shares her story, insights into the industry, and the secrets to becoming a successful serial inventor. --- Check out Brainy Chick, Inc. 

Hidden Role Podcast is also available on most major podcast networks! Watch more interesting videos here


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Person of the Week - Randy Klimpert

UIA's Toy Hub Trivia!

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POP is a Proud Champion of Toy Hub Trivia!!! 


Randy Klimpert, VP of Design Games, Puzzle, Plush and Outdoor at Spin Master, sits down with the Toy Hub to answer some tough questions involving the toy industry.

To watch many more fun Toy Trivia videos, click here! 

Find UIA HERE: Find Toy Hub HERE:


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Podcast of the Week: Christopher Byrne's Playground Podcast

Thomas Deumier of Cloud B: Sleeping Your Way to Success

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For 22 years, Cloud B has been an innovator in bedtime products - adding fun, health and peace of mind to the nursery and the bedroom for both kids and parents. 

In this episode of the Playground Podcast, Chris talks to Thomas Deumier, CEO of PJ Distribution, parent company of Cloud B about innovation, building on what works, and staying the leader in a niche market. 

Chris recommends, "Listen to my anything-but-sleepy conversation with Thomas Deumier about the amazing stuff going on with Cloud B."

Click HERE! 

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

Cartoon of the Week: Thank you Boaz Coster for this week's cartoon. 

Lexophile Lovers:  "Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?" Thank you, Michael Kohner, for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes:

"Toys have the power to transport us to a world where anything is possible." - Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario and Zelda

Toy Industry Word of Day: Sprue submitted by Peggy Brown. If you can think of a toy/game industry word not in our POPDictionary, add it and we will connect it to you POP profile, feature it here in an upcoming week and on POP's homepage! 

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

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Only one ticket,

are you sure?    

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Financial and Legal

A feud has broken out between Italy and a German toy manufacturer over a jigsaw puzzle that bears the image of one of ­Leonardo da Vinci’s best-known drawings. The row centres on Vitruvian Man, Leonardo’s depiction of a naked man in two superimposed stances, his outstretched arms touching the sides of a circle and square. Dating from the late 15th century, the image, inspired by the writings of the...


YouTuber squad Dude Perfect scores US$100 million-plus investment. The family-friendly collective will use the funding from Highmount Capital to grow its sports-adjacent brand beyond traditional channels and build out its management team. Taking a page from the MrBeast playbook, American sports and comedy group Dude Perfect—which has built one of the biggest kids and family brands on YouTube...

*** The above posted after April 5th ***


In what’s being called a “collaborative and transformative global distribution partnership,” Abacus Brands and BitOGenius forged an alliance to take Pixicade, a brand that turns kids’ drawings into playable video games, to the next level. Beyond distribution, Abacus Brands is making a significant investment in the Pixicade brand.


The votes are in, and Disney has officially won its proxy fight, defeating activist investor Nelson Peltz’s campaign to shake up the company’s board of directors. In today’s annual shareholders meeting, it was announced that shareholders voted to elect Disney’s full slate of 12 nominees, including CEO Bob Iger. 


The Danish $25 billion family dynasty behind Lego got a bit richer last year as the toymaker dynasty boosted profits on the back of strong demand for its toys and theme parks, securing a successful power transition to its fourth-generation heirs. Kirkbi, a trust that looks after the Kirk Kristiansen family’s 75% share of Europe’s biggest toymaker, enjoyed net income of 11.3 billion kroner ($1.62 billion) in its portfolio, a 5.9%...

Spanish toy store chain Imaginarium has advised its customers via social media that all stores in Spain have closed, a few days after its website went offline.  ImaginariumThe company has announced that it is to close all its remaining outlets in Spain. Imaginarium had already vastly reduced its store estate in the country over recent years, following a challenging trading period.

Roblox asked a federal judge in California to dismiss a suit from two mothers who allege the platform allowed an illegal gambling ring to prey on their children. Instead, the judge has allowed the case to proceed — though some of the claims, including RICO allegations, have been dismissed. The company argued that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which prevents...

Paramount, home to one of Hollywood’s most storied movie studios as well as CBS and cable networks like Nickelodeon, has been discussing entering into exclusive talks with the media company Skydance for a potential deal, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions. Moving to exclusive talks would be a significant step forward in a process that has been shrouded in uncertainty for months.

Embracer freezes acquisition drive as its restructure program comes to an end. Nearly a year later and having just sold off Gearbox to Take-Two, Embracer has ended its monumental restructuring efforts. CEO Lars Wingefors confirmed its status during a recent investors call (spotted by RockPaperShotgun). The program first started in mid-June 2023 following the collapse of a $2 billion deal reportedly planned with Savvy Games. 

Amazon: Tech giant cuts hundreds of jobs in cloud computing unit. Technology giant Amazon has announced job cuts affecting hundreds of staff at its cloud computing business. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been growing and now represents 14% of Amazon's total revenue, according to its latest financial report. In January, Amazon axed hundreds of jobs across its subsidiaries Twitch, Prime Video and MGM studios.

FTC blocks facial recognition plans for game purchases. The FTC denied a proposal to use facial recognition technology to verify the age of anyone buying mature-rated games. Last year, it was reported the ESRB was teaming with SuperAwesome and Yoti on the Privacy-Protective Facial Age Estimation. The technology would've required adults to let their faces get scanned to confirm they're adults, in place of physical IDs.

Baltimore bridge: Alternative route to open for shipping. A temporary route for ships has opened near the collapsed Baltimore bridge, as part of what officials call an "enormous" recovery effort. Six people died after the Dali cargo ship struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge last week. Four bodies remain lost in the wreckage. Shipments have also been suspended at the port, one of the busiest in the US.

Country Garden: China property giant suspends shares in Hong Kong. Crisis-hit Chinese property developer Country Garden has suspended trade in its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after delaying the publication of its annual financial results. The firm said last week that it needed more time to collect information as it restructures its debts. 



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Financial Reporting

2023 saw CD Projekt's second-best financials in studio history. From January 1, 2023-December 31, 2023, the larger entity reached its second-best financials in its entire 29-year history. Consolidated revenue and net profit reached 1.230 billion ($308.17 million) and 481 million ($120.51 million) PLN, respectively. Individually, both went up by 29 percent and 39 percent from the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

TikTok has the highest in-app earnings in the world (again), beating YouTube, Disney, Tinder. TikTok’s $189 million from in-app revenue almost doubled the next-most-profitable app, YouTube, which only reached $111 million. In what is starting to be a bit of a broken record, TikTok was also the highest earning app in January and December of 2023.

REPORT: Agencies repped US$93 billion in licensed product sales last year. And the top 10 alone—including IMG, CAA, Beanstalk and WildBrain CPLG—accounted for US$69.9 billion.


Trends, Lists, Market Research, and State of the Industry

A New Taylor Swift Biography for Kids Hits the Bestsellers Chart (and It’s On Sale for $5)


‘Wish’ Hits 13.2 Million Views on Disney+ in Five Days






*** The above posted after April 5th ***


Toy World sat down with Nicole Sweeney, category manager – Boys & Outdoor Toys, to find out how Very is approaching 2024 and what makes it a retailer of choice among spending-savvy parents. “Toys, Electricals, Gifts and Beauty were the standout performers for us over the peak period, with Toys growing +8% and outpacing a really tough retail landscape,” she enthuses.

Rachael Simpson-Jones zoomed in on the Games and Puzzles category to see how it’s performing and where the best-sellers are.


Why streamers are shrinking their content libraries.


The Canadian TV and digital media industry is poised to benefit from US$262 million in investment that will be put up by the Canada Media Fund (CMF) in its 2024/2025 fiscal year

60 percent of playtime in 2023 went to 6-year-old or older games, new data shows


Miniatures the strongest Hobby Games category in 2023

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

John Baulch, Toy World - Ball of confusion … it’s the Friday Blog! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter – whether you were relaxing at home after a whirlwind first qtr or working hard in-store. Thankfully, it looks like High Street footfall was significantly up over the Easter weekend. I went into our local town centre on Saturday, and it was absolutely heaving – comfortably the busiest trading day since the week before Christmas. 

April’s Letter from America - In this month’s Toy World issue, Rick Derr of Learning Express Toys in the US, talks about the infant category in his store. While the infant market is a small proportion of overall business at Learning Express, Rick notes that gaining and keeping these customers is essential in the long term. “I receive more baby product inquiries and solicitations than any other category in the toy/gift...


The Disruption Report: More Supply Chain Concerns, BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE. On March 26 just before 1:30 in the morning, the cargo ship Dali rammed the Francis Scott Key Bridge outside Baltimore, dropping the massive 8,636-foot-long bridge into the harbor. As awful as this is, as expensive as it will be to repair, and as tragic as the loss of life is, the supply chain impact is not as likely to be as dreadful as some...

Chinese Toy Industry Poised to Overtake U.S. Market. The toy industry has been going so fast in the last two decades, not only with all related to it, but for the size of the market. At the beginning of 2000s it was so difficult to imagine that the primary market would not be the United States, but things are changing, and we must look to the East to find a rising market: China. And everything points that would be the leading sales...

Once Upon a Time, the World of Picture Books Came to Life. The tale behind a new museum of children’s literature is equal parts imagination, chutzpah and “The Little Engine That Could.” On a crisp Saturday morning that screamed for adventure, a former tin can factory in North Kansas City, Mo., thrummed with the sound of young people climbing, sliding, spinning, jumping, exploring and reading. Yes, reading. If you...


How the team behind Zelda made physics feel like magic. During a GDC 2024 talk, the developers on Tears of the Kingdom explained how they were able to blow players’ minds with the design philosophy of ‘multiplicative gameplay.’ The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a phenomenal game, praised for being able to improve and iterate upon Breath of the Wild. In the weeks after the game's...


Unleashing Creative Chaos in Toy Development. The Innovative Edge: How Small & Medium Toy Manufacturers Can Reinvent the Toy Box with Outsider Genius. While often in the shadow of larger brands, small and medium-sized firms possess a distinct advantage in this dynamic marketplace. By tapping into a network of seasoned inventors, engineers, and designers, these agile businesses can transform...

New research suggests some gamers' eyes see more FPS (frames per second). Ever wondered how pro gamers get so, well, pro? Sure, it’s the hours of grinding and practicing, mastering a game’s systems and applying them in competitive situations. And yeah, it’s the hours of learning and studying, returning to a game’s roots and watching the players that came before. But also, it may just be better eyeballs.


Games & Comics for Ukraine, and ComicsBooks for Kids!, are teaming to gather donations of games and comics to send to children, soldiers, and English students in Ukraine.  English is one of Ukraine’s official languages.  The organization is seeking donations of surplus inventory of games and comics from U.S. retailers, publishers, and distributors. Donated games and comics will be distributed to children in bomb shelters and hospitals, soldiers rehabilitating from …

How Bluey Became a $2 Billion Smash Hit—With an Uncertain Future. The Australian children’s show auteur Joe Brumm is at a crossroads: Keep growing, or end one of the best runs on TV. For this generation of kids, there’s Bluey, Brumm’s TV show about a family of anthropomorphic Australian blue heeler dogs. It was a hit as soon as it debuted in its home country in 2018.


How Meta’s global head of safety approaches online age verification.  Antigone Davis explains Meta’s push for laws making app store providers responsible for age verification, and why its Quest VR store is a model. Meta is prompting Quest 2 and 3 users to reenter their birthdays so that it can place accounts in the appropriate age experience as it tries to centralize age verification through its Quest store.

Thanks to hits like Wordle, The New York Times is now a gaming company. The New York Times might be best known for its long-running newspaper. But new data shows that thanks to popular games like Wordle, Strands, Connections, and more, the Times has quietly become a video game company that just so happens to have a newspaper subscription, too.  


China's ageing population: A demographic crisis is unfolding for Xi. Ask 72-yr-old farmer Huanchun Cao about his pension and he reacts with a throaty cackle. He sucks on his home-rolled cigarette, narrows his brow and tilts his head - as if the very question is absurd. "No, no, we don't have a pension," he says looking at his wife of more than 45 years. Mr Cao belongs to a generation that witnessed the birth of Communist China.


Trying to get your kids into board games? It's not about what you play, but how you play. Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield on how to share grown-up games with younger players. I have often been asked by parents what my favorite kids’ games are. I usually myself talk more about how I play rather than what games in particular I play.

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History and Nostalgia


Superman has leapt a world record in a single bound. An issue of Action Comic No. 1, which introduced the world to the Kryptonian hero, sold at auction for a record $6 million Thursday, making it the most valuable comic book in the world. It tops an issue of 1939’s Superman No. 1, which sold for $5.3 million in 2022. Before that, the most valuable comic in the world was a copy of 1962’s Amazing Fantasy No. 15, the first...


*** The above posted after April 5th ***


Did You Own It? Hasbro’s G.I. Joe Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Flagg.The highest graded U.S.S. Flagg has recently sold for $41,430 via LCG Auctions! **

You asked Santa to leave it for you under the tree on Christmas morning. But the fact is, you never received Hasbro’s G.I. Joe Aircraft Carrier the U.S.S. Flagg because it was simply too big to fit in jolly ole Saint Nick’s sleigh.

Vintage auction: Matchbox Vs. Dinky  April 13, 2024. We present the 2 Titans of die cast facing off in a terrific auction. Matchbox contains mint in box Mokos, regular wheels, MOYs, transitional Super Fasts and accessories. Dinky contains pre & postwar vehicles, accessories & personnel sets. Along with these will be promos and cast iron & tin toys.

Skill-It – The Frying Pan Maze from Milton Bradley. Released in 1966, Skill-It – The Frying Pan Maze was both a play on words and a skill-testing game from Milton Bradley. The game’s object was to guide a marble from the center to the edge and out the handle of the all-plastic game board. Successfully navigating the puzzle required players to rotate the cover of the pan and roll the marble through the maze beneath.

Coney Island Penny Machine from Remco. Released in 1959 by Remco, the Coney Island Penny Machine was a desktop version of the claw machines routinely found in arcades, traveling carnivals, and state fairs. Remco’s more portable version was made of high-impact plastic and measured 16-inches long x 11-inches wide x 13-inches high. 


Creator of Tetris reveals his 'cerebral' unreleased sequel called Tetris Reversed. In many ways, the original Tetris is one of the most timeless and approachable video games ever made. With its easy pick-up and play style and its iconic music, the classic puzzle game gets better with age, and even more recent generations are finding a lot to like with the original game. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

Designer Barbie furniture is a thing, and it’s incredibly cute. Kartell is releasing five doll-size, neon pink versions of its most iconic chairs in a collaboration with Mattel. Life in plastic just got a little more fantastic. Barbie’s dreamhouse, sold by the toy manufacturer Mattel, already comes with a two-story slide, a pool, and a pink elevator. Now, it can also feature designer furniture. 


Disney Sets ‘Toy Story 5,’ ‘Mandalorian & Grogu’ for 2026, Delays Live-Action ‘Moana’ by a Year. Jared Leto's 'Tron: Ares' also gets a date amid a slew of changes. Woody and Buzz have a date to return to theaters. Disney will release Pixar’s Toy Story 5 on June 19, 2026, the studio announced Friday. The studio also pushing Dwayne Johnson’s live-action remake of Moana by a year to July 10, 2026 (it was previously slated for...


The Wingfeather Saga, the largest crowd-funded animated series of all time, will be repped by Licensing Works! at Licensing Expo. In addition, Licensing Works! will also be representing several timeless brands that have been licensing stalwarts over the decades. Those brands include Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry from the Antoine de Saint- Exupéry Estate; The Little Prince and Friends...


Mattel has announced that their fan-favorite animated series Barbie: A Touch of Magic is returning for a second season. Premiering April 18 on Netflix, the 13 new episodes will follow Barbie “Brooklyn” Roberts and Barbie “Malibu” Roberts as they take on a new, mysterious adventure. When a magical crystal gem goes missing, Barbie and Barbie are on the case! Balancing their teenage lives in Malibu and their trips...


*** The above posted after tBR ran on April 5th ***


Hasbro and Horizon Group USA are partnering in a new Play-Doh licensing agreement. Horizon will produce and globally distribute Play-Doh air-dry clay, craft kits, and other alternative compound products. “The Play-Doh brand’s purpose is to elevate the value of imagination by allowing kids to truly shape their world through tactile and limitless play where the journey is treasured as much as the outcome,” says Tamara Grindrod...


The LEGO Group is dropping two new Despicable Me building sets ahead of the Despicable Me 4 launch in July. The LEGO Despicable Me 4 Minions and Gru’s Family Mansion ($99.99), designed for kids ages 8 and up, comes with 868 pieces and is complete with a sloping roof and a brightly colored tree house. The 839-piece LEGO Brick-Built Gru ($54.99), designed for kids ages 9 and up, features Gru...

Hasbro has announced a special cinema experience to celebrate four decades of the Transformers franchise with Till All Are One: Transformers 40th Anniversary Event. Honouring the brand’s legacy in bringing continuous action and adventure to fans of all ages, the theatrical event will provide limited screenings of episodes from the classic 1984 animated series The Transformers.

Mattel Television is set to develop a game show inspired by the game Whac-a-Mole. The toymaker is developing the series with “America’s Got Talent” producer Fremantle. Here is how Mattel is describing the series: The Whac-a-Mole game show will turn the iconic game into an elimination competition during which opposing teams will use their skill, strength and endurance to face off to become the ultimate...

Lego Film Boss Jill Wilfert Reflects on 10 Years of ‘The Lego Movie,’ How ‘Barbie’ Changed the Toy-to-Film Landscape and What to Expect From Their Universal Deal. Despite “Barbie’s” recent box office domination, the history of toy-to-film franchises has not always been easy. For Mattel and co, there was another toy that had to walk before “Barbie” could fly: Lego.

Frito-Lay Variety Packs and Hasbro launch new campaign and interactive game experience. Frito-Lay Variety Packs has teamed up with Hasbro. Now airing on TV, digital and social media platforms, the campaign brings a world of fun to life in a series of four spots. They follow families and friends as they enjoy Frito-Lay Variety Packs throughout their day while becoming immersed in a vibrant, life-sized world of popular...

According to the BBC’s annual plan for 2024/2025, total hours of first-run commissions for children’s channels CBBC and CBeebies will decline this year, but BBC Bitesize—the pubcaster’s online educational resource for four- to 16-year-olds—is poised for growth after securing a three-year, US$7.5-million top-up investment.

Paramount+ has removed 10 kids shows from its library, putting the streaming future of these titles in limbo. Animated series Rugrats (the 2021 remake), Blue’s Clues & You! (pictured), It’s Pony, Middlemost Post, Ollie’s Pack, Santiago of the Seas and Big Nate have been cut, along with  live-action titles Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, Are You Afraid of the Dark? (2019-2022) and That Girl Lay Lay. 

Moonbug Entertainment has partnered with Washington-based to try and solve the problem of measuring ad reach on connected-TV platforms in order to encourage more advertisers to carve out marketing spend for them. The companies will collaborate on measuring viewership data for Moonbug’s connected-TV apps, especially its Moonbug Kids channel, in order to gauge how many ad impressions...


Warner Bros.Games is hitting the ice with TNT Sports and the NHL to co-produce their first animated simulcast of a live pro hockey game. MultiVersus NHL Face-Off will air on April 14, featuring CG-animated players from the Colorado Avalanche and Las Vegas Golden Knights, plus iconic characters from the Warner Bros. Discovery brand catalogue including Batman, Bugs Bunny, Velma and Steven Universe.

Warner Bros. Discovery invites fans to turn April Fools into ACME Fools, a celebration of the Looney Tunes and their playful antics that have inspired both young and adult viewers for decades. The month-long celebration, which began on 1st April, kicks off with the ACME Bootcamp, the newest trend in high-performance fitness training inspired by the Looney Tunes. 

Dungeons & Dragons celebrates 50th with ‘Stumble Guys’. In honor of Dungeons & Dragons’ 50th anniversary, “Stumble Guys” and D&D fans will discover a fresh player archetype system and two new courses. In these, players can utilize skills and abilities to defeat enemies and role-play their path to victory. In this latest update, adventure seekers will dive into the Dungeons & Dragons class system, reimagined...

Novel Entertainment teams with Puzzle Post to develop Horrid Henry Escape Room-inspired puzzles. Novel Entertainment has partnered with Puzzle Post, founded by Bobbie Jackson and Will Hall, to develop two Horrid Henry escape room-inspired puzzles filled with frivolous fun, cool challenges and rich rewards! 

Hugimals World and The Joyful Heart Foundation have teamed up to release a new comforting pillow in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Hugimals World is known for its weighted stress-relieving stuffed animals, offering products to aid relaxation for kids and kidults alike. In partnership with the nonprofit The Joyful Heart Foundation, Hugimals World is now offering the limited edition The Heart to Hug...


Dav Pilkey’s ‘Dog Man: The Scarlet Shedder’ is global bestseller. The bestselling Dog Man graphic novel series by author and illustrator Dav Pilkey powers up to the #1 spot with Dog Man: The Scarlett Shedder topping bestseller lists worldwide. The newest title in the global publishing phenomenon is the #1 bestselling book overall (children’s and adult books combined) for its first week of on-sale in...


The Simpsons: JAKKS Pacific reveals new line of action figures and collectibles. The Simpsons franchise has been around for 35 years now, and there have been quite a few toys and collectibles inspired by everyone's favorite animated sitcom family. Now the franchise has found a new home with JAKKS Pacific.

PMI secures global licensing deal with Minecraft. PMI Kids’ World, renowned for its popular gaming and licensed collectibles, has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with the iconic gaming phenomenon, Minecraft. This strategic partnership aims to bring a new dimension to the collectibles industry, offering fans an immersive experience through a range of Minecraft themed impulse, plush, collectibles and...


Star Wars: Unlimited reveals second set – Shadows of the Galaxy. Fantasy Flight Games has revealed the next adventure in the Star Wars: Unlimited series, the Shadows of the Galaxy game, available via Asmodee. Following the resounding success of the inaugural set, by Asmodee subsidiary Fantasy Flight Games, the next set of the trading card game has been announced. 


Atari nabs Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 rights for up to $7 million. Atari has purchased the rights to Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 from Frontier Developments in a deal worth up to $7 million. The company currently manages the Rollercoaster Tycoon franchise under a "long-term licensing agreement" with series creator Chris Sawyer and is currently working to develop new titles, expand digital and physical distribution, and explore...


Disguise announces new worldwide costume program based on ‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’. Disguise, Inc, the global costume division of leading toy and consumer products manufacturer, JAKKS Pacific, Inc (NASDAQ:JAKK) has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Sony Pictures Consumer Products, for its costume division Disguise, to produce costumes based on the new film Ghostbusters...

Little Tikes Story Dream Machine announces exciting new collaborations with Universal, The World of Eric Carle, and More. The Little Tikes Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MGA Entertainment (MGA), one of the largest and fastest growing privately held toy and entertainment companies in the world, is continuing to take story time to all new heights with Little Tikes Story Dream Machine. 


You can own a life-size Megan for the cost of a PS5. No, this large-scale version of the doll from M3GAN won’t dance or talk, but it also won’t kill you. A new life-size replica of the robotic doll and star of 2022 horror hit M3GAN is now available to pre-order from collectible company NECA. The doll was revealed on April Fools, but this isn’t a joke or prank product. No, this doll is real and it’s also really expensive. 


Innov8 names licensing agents for Deddy Bears. Remarkable Brands has been named North American licensing agent for Deddy Bears, the collectible toys developed by Innov8 Creative Academy. Remarkable Brands joins Surge Licensing, which is working in partnership with Caroline Mickler Licensing in overseeing licensing for the brand in the U.K. and other international markets. 


‘Godzilla x Kong: New Empire’ roars to monstrous $80m box office opening, $194m globally. Enemies-turned-frenemies proved to be just what the Easter weekend box office needed. Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire opened to a monstrous $80 million at the domestic box office, well ahead of an expected $45 million to $55 million. 

'Godzilla X Kong' a monster; 'Gen V' star dies in accident; 'Star Trek 4' gets writer; 'Doctor Who' trailer; 'Spider-Verse' short film releases; Confluential Films to adapt 'Heist'. Showbiz Round-up. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the latest in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, had a monster opening weekend of $80 million in North America, according to Variety.  

MetaPals to launch Teletubbies digital friends. WildBrain CPLG is moving the Teletubbies into a brand-new tech category. The licensing agency has signed a deal with Singapore’s MetaPals to start rolling out a range of “digital companions” based on the legacy preschool brand on April 20. MetaPals launched in 2022 and specializes in providing virtual companionship through a browser extension that...

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People of Play


Emmy-nominated producer Sidney Clifton has joined Mattel in a new head of animation role that she started in yesterday. Clifton previously worked for 3.5 yrs at The Jim Henson Co. as a producer and SVP of animation and mixed media. And before that, she collaborated with Henson on Apple TV+ toon Harriet the Spy and animated series Lena!, based on author Karen Katz’s picture book The Colors of Us. 


*** The above posted after April 5th ***


TCG Toys takes on new VP of Global Sales amid 25th Anniversary. TCG Toys has named Lindsay Karbum as its new Vice President of Global Sales as the Toronto-based company celebrates its 25th anniversary. In this role, Karbum will focus on driving TCG’s key products, including Sure-Lox puzzles, Imaginmats playmates, and FleXfigs collectibles. Karbum previously led the sales team at Relatable (formerly What Do You Meme?)...


BBC Studios has promoted Murilo Hinojosa to the role of VP, Consumer Products & Commercial Partnerships, Latin America. Hinojosa first came to BBC Studios in 2021, and worked at the co. to grow the Bluey brand within Mexico and Latin America overall. Boasting more than 50 licensing deals secured, Hinojosa acquired new territorial agents and managed brand developments in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina... 

Skybound builds management team with hires, promotion. Skybound has expanded its management team with 5 new hires. Ben Abernathy has joined as Executive Editor; Blake Kobashigawa as Senior Director, Business Development. Alex Hargett is new Director, Brand, Editorial. Arune Singh has been promoted to VP, Brand, Editorial; Chris Paulson as EVP and General Manager of Games Publishing; Jeff Chaiken as SVP...


Square Enix adds Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth director and Octopath Traveler producer to executive staff. Square Enix has added five new members to its executive officer ranks that help dictate the company's direction and the games it makes. Among those inducted are Naoki Hamaguchi, who directed Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Tomoya Asano, producer on the Octopath Traveler games, was also promoted. 


Warner Bros. Discovery names Vikram Sharma Group VP, Head of Consumer Products, APAC. Sharma has worked at the co. for 5 yrs.  Sharma will report to Robert Oberschelp, Head of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, and part of the company’s Revenue & Strategy division helmed by Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer, Bruce Campbell.


Authentic Brands Group appoints Lim Mi-Kyoung as SVP, Head of Australia and New Zealand. Authentic Brands Group (Authentic), has appointed Lim Mi-Kyoung as SVP, Head of Australia and New Zealand. In her new role, Mi-Kyoung will oversee Authentic’s regional expansion, focusing on brand development and driving long-term growth.

The Laugh Factory Taps David Fuhrer as President; Makes a Play for TikTok. We’re close enough to April 1 that I get wary of any “news” that appears to be from out of nowhere, so when this hit my inbox I reached out to verify it myself: Blue Square Innovations Founder David Fuhrer has joined the legendary Laugh Factory as President. The prolific inventor and entrepreneur behind the licensing of more than 300 toys, games, and other products is jumping into the new gig with eyes on a real big catch: TikTok.



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Companies and Brands


Scrabble’s new board game lets everyone win—and Gen Z is going to love it. Mattel says the new version of the beloved word game will be less competitive, as younger players care less about winning. Scrabble is one of the oldest board games around. The beloved word game was invented in 1938, and it’s still played today—whether online or on coffee tables. But according to Mattel, the makers of Scrabble, the game...


¡Vámonos! Dora Is Back for a New Round of Exploring. Boots, Map, Swiper and Backpack all return too, in a new “Dora” that includes a lot more Latin music and Spanish language. Yet unlike the doll of last year’s blockbuster movie, the next pop-culture star who’s about to re-emerge isn’t a statuesque blonde in stiletto heels. She’s a pint-size Latina with sturdy sneakers and a trusty backpack. Welcome back, Dora.

SEGA of America is taking some of the spotlight away from Sonic the Hedgehog to launch a new marketing campaign focusing on his arch rival Shadow. The Fearless: Year of Shadow celebration kicks off this month as SEGA partners with the MotoGP motorsports championship to design and tour a new Shadow-themed motorcycle throughout the year. Decked out in the character’s iconic red and black colors...

Disney+ to expand password-sharing crackdown in June. Following in Netflix’s footsteps, the streamer will implement new measures in select markets to start, laying the groundwork for a worldwide rollout by fall. The crackdown has been in the works and on people’s lips for some time. Last August, Iger acknowledged that password-sharing among Disney+ subscribers was “significant” during the company’s Q3 earnings call.


MGA Entertainment has announced it is launching a new shopping destination for its brands, The MGA Shop. While MGA products will still be available at major retailers, the new site brings convenience and added benefits to its beloved and award-winning portfolio of brands, including L.O.L. Surprise!, Little Tikes, MGA’s Miniverse, Bratz, Rainbow High. The new site will also offer online-only exclusives and limited...

*** The above posted after tBR ran on April 5th ***


Build-A-Bear opened a Workshop location earlier this week at Windsor Royal Station, in Windsor, UK. The new store offers the signature Build-A-Bear Make-Your-Own experience, which includes stuffing plush animals, a heart ceremony, personalized birth certificates, and an assortment of products that appeal to all ages. 

Hasbro CEO on the future of 'Dungeons & Dragons' after 50th anniversary. “Dungeons & Dragons” turns 50 this year, and its owners plan to make games like it the core of their business. “If you look at ‘Dungeons & Dragons,’ if you look at our board games, more people are playing these games than ever before,” says Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks. “Our satisfaction rates, the happiness that players have, are higher than ever.”

LEGO launches long-term initiatives for Autism Acceptance Month. The LEGO Group, LEGO House and the Lego Foundation have announced a range of long-term initiatives to support and celebrate neurodivergent children and adults and mark the start of World Autism Acceptance Month. Colette Burke, chief commercial officer at the Lego Group, said: “We know the Lego System in Play is enjoyed by neurodivergent fans...

Do they still make pinball machines? They do, in a huge new factory near O’Hare — with most selling to the 1 percent. Due west of O’Hare International Airport, there is a neighborhood — formally, part of Elk Grove Village — that isn’t much of a neighborhood. It’s warehouses, drab gray offices. A company of 500 employees here makes one of Chicago’s greatest exports: pinball. Seth Davis is planning to erect a great big sign...

Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America has added new Ultraman figures and blind box items to its portfolio ahead of the Ultraman: Rising premiere. The new animated film will debut on Netflix on June 14, and customers can preorder products from the new collection now. 

Bandai’s Ultraman lineup includes the 5-inch Ultraman Sofvi Series, articulated 6-inch Ultraman Action Figures, 12-inch figures...

Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company Commemorates 30 Years of Unmatched Creativity and Quality. BHTB has delivered custom and licensed toys, gifts, and plush items for everyone seeking the cuddliest, softest, squishiest toys on the planet since its establishment in 1994. "We've remained dedicated to bringing joy to children and collectors for over 30 years. We collaborate with leading companies and studios to...


LEGO stores to become KultureCity Inclusive Certified this month. The LEGO Group is celebrating Autism Acceptance Month with several initiatives, including sensory inclusive certification from the KultureCity nonprofit. All LEGO stores within the U.S. and Canada will receive KultureCity certification this month. Once certified and supplied with sensory bags, the stores will have signage...


Bene Buddies encourage positive behaviors with fun rewards system. With these plush, kids can practice kindness, pet care, conservation, and more. Bene World’s plush collection, Bene Buddies, offers parents a new reward system to enforce social-emotional learning (SEL) and other positive behaviors. Bene Buddies come with a plush, a storybook lesson, and reward tokens. 


Desi Dolls pop up in Selfridges. A Desi Doll branded expanded pop up is underway within Selfridges FAO Schwarz toy department to coincide with Ramadan and Eid. The Desi Doll brand is currently featured in the main toy promotion area in Selfridges in London, Manchester and Birmingham and founder, Farzana Rahman, says it is making quite an impact. 


Top capsule-toy maker Bandai bets on huge market outside Japan. Bandai, the Japanese toymaker that’s enjoying a growth spurt for anime characters, collectible cat figurines and other miniature goods sold in plastic capsules, will open more stores abroad to capitalize on the boom. More than 80 new outlets are planned for Asia, Europe and the U.S. starting this month, with a focus on North America, the company said. 

Four new Bearabuddies from Bearaby Bring cozy comfort to adults. Bedtime keeps getting better! We already told you about the cuddly cute Bearabuddies from Bearaby. Much like the company’s other products, these weighted stuffed animals are designed to provide relaxation and stress relief to adults. Four new Bearabuddies are now here to help anyone and everyone slip into a stress-free sleep.

Napa Valley Toys enters licensing agreement with Franco Manufacturing for NightBuddies. Napa Valley Toys USA has partnered with preschool bedding provider Franco Manufacturing for NightBuddies, a collection of illuminated and heated kids toys. Through the partnership, facilitated by Cuesta Licensing, Napa Valley Toys can incorporate NightBuddies features into Franco Manufacturing’s preschool ...


Jazwares Vault launches with limited, exclusive goods for collectors. Jazwares is continuing efforts to expand and attract new customers across various categories, this time with the launch of an online shopping destination designed to offer exclusive and limited products to collectors. The new Jazwares Vault features figures that can’t be found anywhere else, all from fan-favorite brands. 


'The Massive-Verse Fighting Card Game' is headed to retail: Features Image Comics superheroes and villains. Solis Game Studio will release The Massive-Verse Fighting Card Game into retail in Q4 2024. This game was originally announced in 2023 as part of a partnership between Image Comics and Solis Game Studio. 


Renovate neighborhoods in 'Cities'. Devir Games will release Cities, a new city-building game by Steve Finn and Phil Walker-Harding, that will hit stores in August 2024. In Cities, city hall has asked players to renovate one of its neighborhoods. They will need acquire components to build new residences, office buildings, parks, recreational spaces, and new water features to make the neighborhood beautiful again.

Hasbro announces Wolverine and Deadpool figures part of Deadpool Legacy collection. Hasbro gave fans a look at the upcoming Marvel Legends Series Wolverine and Marvel Legends Series Deadpool! These 2024 Deadpool Legacy Marvel Legends Deadpool and Wolverine figures are based on their appearances in Deadpool 2.

Czech Games Edition unveils 'Seti: Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence'. Czech Games Edition unveiled SETI: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a new space exploration board game, that will hit retail in Q4 2024. In this game, designed by Tomas Holek, players will lead a science lab that has been put in charge of finding life beyond the planet Earth.

Miniso takes over Times Square with new Pop-Up. Miniso’s second NYC location offers customers licensed toys, plush, and more. Times Square has added another Miniso location to its retail offerings. Lifestyle brand Miniso‘s stores offer everything from office supplies to collectibles, and are especially popular for their surprise box products, with the brand celebrating Blind Box Carnvial last year. 

Reydon Sports’ new product catalogue is biggest yet. The new Reydon Sports catalogue, in conjunction with the company’s B2B portal, offers retailers of all types the opportunity to buy at discounted trade pricing. Reydon Sport’s latest product catalogue for 2024/25 is now available. At just under 500 pages, the new trade catalogue is the company’s biggest edition yet and showcases the full A-Z of Sports...


Bandai UK takes over reins of Breyer equestrian brand. Bandai UK has announced that it has been appointed as UK and ROI distributor for the equestrian toy brand, Breyer. Bandai will be relaunching some of the world’s finest collections of realistic equestrian models, toys and accessories back into the UK, with a primary focus on re-introducing ranges within the Traditional, Freedom Series, Stablemates and Mini ....


Smart Toys and Games brings mindfulness to the masses. SmartGames, a worldwide leader in multi-level logic games, is encouraging families to practise mindfulness through play. Thanks to the brand’s multi award-winning collection of fun and educational puzzle games, board games and fidget toys, all ages – from 1 to 99 – can add a dose of mindful play to everyday. 


A certain coyote and roadrunner from Looney Tunes race across a pair of new MTG cards. Magic: The Gathering’s long awaited wild west set, Outlaws of Thunder Junction is shaping up to be a party of familiar faces, both from within the popular trading card game’s universe and without. Old friends and (sexy) villains don cowboy hats, while plenty of cards make tall tale references, puns and flat-out groan worthy jokes.

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


New Tiger Woods Video Game Sets Sales Record. Tiger Woods may not have won a tournament on the PGA tour in nearly two years, and may have failed in his most recent attempt to win another green jacket at the Masters. However, the new video game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters has broken all sales records for the franchise. "Based on internal estimates, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 12: The Masters sold...

This year’s best video game April Fools’ jokes. April Fools’ Day 2024 is upon us. Fans and brands use the annual holiday for goofs and giggles and to share the shitposts they’ve been cooking up all year. Though the shitposts sometimes just kinda end up being shit, some of them are genuinely good jokes. This year, we decided to round up some of the best April Fools’ Day jokes in the video game industry...

Ubisoft lays off 45 employees to address 'market evolution'. 45 employees were laid off by Ubisoft on Friday. As spotted by Dead Game's Ethan Gach, the cuts hit the developer's global publishing teams to "enhance our collective efficiency." "These are not decisions taken lightly," wrote Ubisoft, "and we are providing comprehensive support for our impacted colleagues."


Certain Affinity lays off 25 workers in first-ever studio reduction. Halo Infinite co-developer Certain Affinity said it'll be laying off 25 members of its US-based staff. Most of those reductions will hit the business operations teams, said CEO Max Hoberman. He notably pointed out this as being the first instance of layoffs at the studio in its 17-year existence.

Content Warning opens to near-205K players, nets 6.2M owners at launch. There's a new Steam game going viral, and its name is Content Warning. Launching as a free-to-keep title on April 1, the co-op title saw nearly 204,440 concurrent players. Additionally, it was picked up by 6.2 million people (at time of writing). 


Xbox to add AI-powered chatbot as part of larger AI plans. A new report from the Verge claims Microsoft is working on an AI-powered chatbot for Xbox. This "Virtual Support Agent" (as Xbox puts it) will be an "embodied AI character" that effectively serves as customer support, like chatbots on other websites. It's said the VSA is part of a larger AI push inside of Xbox. 


Dragon's Dogma II sales reach 2.5 million in 2.5 weeks. Capcom's newest release, Dragon's Dogma II, has sold 2.5 million copies over two weeks after its release. The fantasy-RPG released March 22 for PlayStation 5, PC, and Xbox Series X|S. On PC, it was a hit within hours of launch, since it opened to 200,000 concurrent Steam players. 2012's Dragon's Dogma took a month to sell 1 million copies. 


PlayStation 2's console sales reportedly top 160M units. According to newly exited PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, the PlayStation 2 console has sold over 160 million units in the course of its lifetime. Guesting on the Official PlayStation Podcast, he disclosed the "high watermark" when asked about his PlayStation time during the 2000s. 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel celebrates 60m downloads. Konami Digital Entertainment has announced that Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has now surpassed 60m downloads worldwide. For just over two years, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has delivered thrilling cross-platform Dueling, stunning graphics that bring the cards to life and exciting new events and tournaments from month to month.


TikTok is bringing its dedicated STEM feed to Europe. As TikTok continues to face increased pressure in the U.S. and the U.K., the company is signaling its commitment to fostering educational content on its app. The company announced on Tuesday that it’s expanding its dedicated STEM feed across Europe, starting in the U.K. and Ireland, after first launching it in the U.S. last year. 


Highlighted Press Releases

PSSST: ASTRA BOOTH 2927 HAS FIVE TOP SECRET TOYS RETAILERS HAVE GOT TO SEE! Ask To Try Your Hands On These NEW Summer ‘24 Toys: GigaPets®, Gooblins™, Dissect-It® Rattlesnake, & Thumbler™ Wand. GigaPets® Bit Bunnies™Chicago, IL (April 10, 2024) – Retailers and specialty toy buyers are taking a road trip to St. Louis in June for ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy. They call it a “big toy family reunion” featuring the best and brightest in products, ideas and connections. One connection not to miss is the Rehkemper family business, Top Secret Toys™, at Booth 2927. As inventors, the Rehkempers’ firm created GigaPets® back in the 90’s and is excited to unveil the newest addition to the modern collection with the most advanced GigaPet yet, Bit Bunnies™. 


HERE’S SIX WATCHITUDE TRENDS TO ASSEMBLE FOR THE ULTIMATE SUMMER ’24 CAMP PACKING LIST. After Labeling Camper’s First + Last Name On Everything From Bug Spray To Swimsuits, Toss In Some Glamping With Jamm’d Bluetooth Speaker, Adventure Pack & More. New Brunswick, NJ (April 9, 2024) – Once the summer camp application is submitted, the packing list soon arrives. Watchitude, makers of fashion trends for kids, has a few suggestions to add to the ho-hum list of towels, socks, shorts & undies. How about a Jamm’d Bluetooth Speaker ($25) in twenty patterns to pump up the bunk before swim practice? Whether it’s Day Camp or Sleepaway this summer, a few nice-to-have items will...


*** The above posted after April 5th ***


LISTEN UP: THIS AUDIO PLAYER HITS THE TOY SHELF TRIFECTA WITH PRICE POINT, WHIMSY & VAST EDUCATIONAL LIBRARY. Thousands Of Real Reviews From Real Customers Make Storypod the Must-Have Product This Season For Kids From Birth To Elementary School. Miami, FL (April 2, 2024) – Specialty retailers and their network of buyers are the best curators on what kids want and/or what parents should offer them! As retailers are always on the hunt for the next-big-thing, they might want to listen to the thousands of reviews ( from real families about Storypod. This palm-size wonder engages kids with multisensory stories, music, and skill-building at every stage...


A DAZZLING MULTICOLOR LED LIGHT SHOW EMANATES FROM THE WRIST WITH WATCHITUDE’S GLOW WATCH. From Beehive, Ballerina & Butterfly To Shark Frenzy, Superhero Or Even Cereal, There’s A Glow Watch For Every Kid’s Mood. New Brunswick, NJ (April 1, 2024) – What was that? Be ready for kids and grownups to take a second look at your wrist as Glow Watches ($22) are the newest accessory that’s youthful and useful. Watchitude®, known for creative, vibrant, and exciting watches for kids ages 4 to 12 years old, offers something truly extraordinary – a wristwatch that projects a dazzling multicolor LED light show. With so many playful patterns, it might be hard to choose just one!

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


MIP London (February 24 to 27, 2025) is set to be a very different creature from MIPTV, with a focus on meeting spaces and networking over panels and stands, says Lucy Smith (pictured), RX France’s entertainment division director. Smith shared the first details about the new event yesterday at a presentation that took place during MIPTV’s final edition in Cannes.

‘Pokémon: Path to the Peak’ Nominated for Best Animation in 28th Annual Webby Awards. The Pokémon Company Int'l announced that the original animated series, Pokémon: Path to the Peak, has been nominated for Best Animation (Series & Channels) in the Video category in the 28th Annual Webby Awards. Pokémon: Path to the Peak follows Ava and her partner Pokémon, Oddish, on their journey to rise to the top of...

At the 2024 Licensing Expo, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will showcase a range of new initiatives including the roll out of new consumer product lines, breakthrough initiatives, new entertainment projects, as well as the growth of their longstanding portfolio partners. Below is a brief rundown of what Dr. Seuss Enterprises will be showcasing at Licensing Expo 2024...


*** The above posted after tBR started running on April 5th ***


The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has revealed its Play Awards finalists, chosen from more than 600 products submitted across numerous categories. Now, ASTRA’s Certified Play Experts have selected a list of products that will face off in the final selection of 2024’s Play Awards winners. There are 18 total categories. Each product was evaluated based on the criteria of newness, uniqueness...


Toy Foundation Expands its Reach. By ANDY KEIMACH, Interim President and CEO, The Toy Association. As many of you know, The Toy Foundation (TTF) is the philanthropic arm of The Toy Association and is the uniting force for small, medium, and large toy companies to deliver play to children in greatest need and advance the shared values and reputation of the toy industry.


GAMA has announced the winners of the election for its board of directors.  The previous holders of the seats were elected or appointed to serve for a two-year term, which ended March 31.  Most of the newly elected directors will serve until March 31, 2026; one Creator seat, which was elected to serve out the term of Grace Collins, will be held by the newly elected director until March 31, 2025.

Party with a Purpose: The Toy Foundation to open LA Fall Preview Week with fundraising event. The Toy Foundation will hold a fundraising event at TAO Los Angeles on Sept. 9 to kick off LA Fall Preview Week. LA Fall Preview Week, taking place Sept. 9-13, offers industry members sneak peeks into new insights and products for next year. Anyone in the industry can book showroom space in The Toy Association’s...

Dungeons & Dragons All Started In This Tiny Wisconsin Town. Since 2008, Lake Geneva has hosted Gary Con, a convention honoring the hometown hero who created the beloved game. Every March, barbarians, wizards, and bards descend on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. They gather to roll dice propelling them on epic quests, in search of treasure and glory. They battle monsters, combat evil, and foster friendships that last...

Precise TV is proud to launch a groundbreaking media wastage reduction solution for mobile and tablet gaming advertising (AD). With global toy and games sales expected to hit $130 billion by the end of 2024, we are delighted to firstly, invite you to attend our event in NYC on April 16th where we will be discussing gaming with the likes of Moose Toys and Warner Bros.

The Thailand Toy Expo 2024 Kicks Off April 4th. The theme this year is “New Fairy Tale”, and while the toys are clearly the centrepiece of the four-day expo, there are also other things to do. Attendees can join various workshops while others might want to participate in the cosplay competition happening on April 7. They’ll also have the opportunity to have a meet and greet with toy designers from popular brands.


Gamer survey in collaboration with GAMA. Nearly 20 years after a first survey of gamers by Ohio State University and GAMA in 2006, GAMA is collaborating on a second survey of gamers to look at players’ enjoyment, motivation, purchase behavior and other topics.  The new survey is being conducted by Dr. Ian Mercer of Farleigh Dickinson University and the Armchair Dragoons, and the full data...

Bafta Games Awards: Lara Croft voted most iconic character ever. Lara Croft has been named the most iconic video game character of all time to mark the 20th Bafta Games Awards. It's been 28 years since Tomb Raider introduced gamers to Lara and she's changed quite a bit in that time. "She's gone from being very pointy and childlike in drawing to very filmic," says Shelley Blond, the actress...


Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, Licensing China to welcome guests next week. Messe Frankfurt’s Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China shows are set to return April 8-10 at the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center. Building on the success of the 2023 shows, which saw a 40% increase in visitors from 2022, these fairs aim to provide even more opportunities to attendees. .


Yu-Gi-Oh! bans non-Japanese players from the TCG's Japan tournaments, even if they live in the country. The trading card game’s publisher, Konami, recently updated its competitive rules and restricted who can earn slots at the highest levels of play. The Rule change would deny non-native duelists from even competing at local store-level qualifiers...

Safety and Counterfeiting


Parents be warned: Popular children’s toy may have toxic ingredientsWater beads, the popular children’s toy, are back in the news after new safety warnings. Regulators say two brands contain a dangerous toxin. New warnings from the Consumer Product Safety Commission after they found high levels of acrylamide, a carcinogen, in two brands of water beads.

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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

Gleda M. Estes: A Pioneer in Model Rocketry and its Educational Opportunities. It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Gleda M. Estes, an icon in the field of rocketry and a champion for education throughout her life and career. Gleda passed away peacefully on March 30, 2024 at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to inspire generations to come.

Gleda Kane was born on March 4, 1932 to Lester and Anna Belle Kane in a farming community near Clarinda, Iowa. As the youngest of eight siblings, Gleda attended grade school at a nearby one-room schoolhouse and later moved to Clarinda, Iowa in 1946 to attend high school. During her high school years, she lived with the William C. Hemphill family, doing housekeeping, cooking and childcare for her room and board.

With plans to prepare herself for a career in nursing, she worked part time at the local hospital during her senior year in high school. Then, in the fall of 1950, she began her freshman year at Central College in McPherson, Kansas. It was in chemistry class at Central that Gleda met her husband, Vernon Estes. Gleda and Vern were married on May 16, 1951. They lived their early lives together in the Denver area where their three daughters Betty, Sharon and Linda were born. Together, they embarked on a remarkable journey, pioneering an innovative family business and ultimately shaping the landscape of model rocketry with the formation of Estes Industries, Inc. in 1958.

As a co-founder of Estes Industries, Gleda was Vern’s primary support and partner in their new business venture into the space-age hobby of model rocketry.  A modest mail order company in its infancy, Estes quickly grew along with the budding US Space Program in igniting the imagination of our country and contributing to technological advances needed to grow the hobby of rocketry. Her keen administrative skills and dedication complemented Vern’s technical ingenuity in the development of safe and affordable model rocket engines and model designs, making rocketry accessible to enthusiasts of all ages. Gleda’s contributions helped lay the foundation for the modern rocketry movement, inspiring countless individuals to reach for the stars.

It was Gleda who did much of the work as they got their small rocket company off the ground. She rolled body tubes, typeset and printed instructions, stitched the first Estes catalogs on her sewing machine, handled the bookkeeping, packed rocket kits, and processed and shipped orders.

Following the 1961 move to Penrose, Gleda managed the largest division at Estes Industries. It was her department that ensured kits were produced and shipped on time. She managed the mass mailings of catalogs, Model Rocket News, and other publications. It was her job to oversee the opening of the mail, and make sure each order was shipped out in the afternoon mail. Everyone at Estes knew that when it came to serving the everyday needs of customers, Gleda was the Boss. As Estes grew, so did Gleda’s division of the company. When Estes Industries was sold to the Damon Corporation in 1969, she was managing more than 150 employees. Read More...

Rich Rooney, PlayMonster Chief Operations & Logistics Officer, Passes Away, Aged 53. 

A longtime veteran of the toy industry, with history at Hasbro, Zizzle and Ridemakerz, Rich leaves behind an indelible and positive mark on the world of toys. 

Thoughts in remembrance of Rich can be shared here on the original post, and information of visitation and the memorial service can be found on Rich’s obituary page. 

See below for PlayMonster’s full statement on Rich and his impact:…

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of our beloved colleague and friend, Rich Rooney. Not only was he a valued member of our team – a beacon of positivity, dedication, and professionalism – but his unbridled love of toys was clear throughout his years with Hasbro, Zizzle, Ridemakerz, and of course, PlayMonster, all together making him a leader in his field.” 

“Rich joined PlayMonster as the Chief Operations & Logistics Officer a few years ago and made an immediate impact during his tenure thanks to his unique talents, passion, and unwavering commitment to every project. Yet, it was his infectious smile, quick wit, and overall warm nature that won over the hearts of many, and that we, his PlayMonster family, will continue to cherish. He touched the lives of everyone he encountered, leaving behind a legacy of warmth and compassion.”

 “As we mourn his loss, let us also celebrate the profound impact Rich had on our lives, our company, and the toy industry as a whole.”

 “Our thoughts and prayers are with Rich’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

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


Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​​​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US) 


Toyworld (UK)

  1. The April issue of Toy World is out now

  2. Funrise outlines Gazillion Bubbles campaign fixtures list

  3. Bandai UK takes over reins of Breyer equestrian brand

  4. Lego launches long-term initiatives for Autism Acceptance Month

  5. PMI secures global licensing deal with Minecraft

  6. Star Wars: Unlimited reveals second set – Shadows of the Galaxy

  7. Topps launches Official UEFA Euro 2024 sticker collection

  8. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel celebrates 60m downloads

  9. The Entertainer supports World Autism Acceptance Week

  10. iSpot to measure family viewing for Moonbug Powered by Toyworld

  1. BBC Studios Social invites pitches for digital first content

  2. Remarkable Brands named US licensing agent for Deddy Bears

  3. Hasbro and Horizon Group USA sign Play-Doh deal

  4. Warner Bros. announces ACME Fools celebration

  5. iSpot to measure family viewing for Moonbug

  6. Hasbro announces Transformers 40th anniversary event

  7. Star Wars: Unlimited reveals second set – Shadows of the Galaxy

  8. Lego, Illumination and Universal unveil new Despicable Me 4 sets

  9. World’s first Autism in Entertainment Conference to take place

  10. Mia and Me surpasses 1m subscribers in Brazil

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

'Red Ghost Dragon' Skulks its Way into 'D&D Icons of the Realms'
Miniatures the Strongest Hobby Games Category in 2023
WizKids Grows 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Undead Armies'
Ultra Pro Unveils New 'Magic: The Gathering' Commander Playmats
Gen Con Trade Day Announces Keynote Speaker
WizKids Will Release New 'Dungeons & Dragons Onslaught' Scenario Kit
Rolling for Initiative -- Miniatures Week (A Week Later)
Two New 'Dungeons & Dragons' 'Vecna: Eve of Ruin' Playmats Incoming
Ravensburger to Distribute 'Othello'
Czech Games Edition Unveils 'SETI: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence'

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

Global Toy News


The Bugg Report (Australia)

The Toy Universe (Australia)


Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Word Traveler Announced, Manhattan Project Coming Soon
A new party game has been announced from the designer of Decrypto, Asmodee will be releasing Manhattan Project: War Machine later this month, and Devir has announced a new city-building game.

Video of the Week 

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Young Inventor Challenge NBC TV segment that swept across the country.  

Young inventors bringing game and toy ideas to fruition. Some stand-out fourth graders put their creativity and critical thinking schools to use by creating their own toys and games.

Thank you to Mattel, Asmodee and The Op/USAopoly for recently signing on as sponsors for the 2024 Young Inventor Challenge and investing in the future of creative kids and our toy industry! Interesting in joining the movement and sponsoring the initiative, just let us know! 



It's Linkedin + IMDb + Wiki

"I highly recommend that if anyone in this industry wants to be found, they join POP and fill out the skills and expertise section of their POP Profiles. I've had companies and a major media network reach out to me for a show based on my skills and expertise."

David Yakos, Founder of Streamline Design and Owner of Salient Technologies

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

  • Easy-setup and a real live helpful person to talk to if you have questions

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

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

  • Access to information of products, people, and companies

  • Find person-to-hire based on skills, roles and expertise 

  • Ad campaigns, target members of the industry 

  • Exclusive discounts and events 

  • Classified Ads


What are you waiting for? We've got the most powerful platform in our industry!

Join here: 



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


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

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

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

If you would like to reach Phil:   

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know...

we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Do you have news to share? Send us a note! 

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