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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!


Happy Bloomin' Friday! 

The San Diego POP Get-Together this week was a blast! A great big THANK YOU to our sponsor of the evening The Op Games! Special thanks to all the die-hards who drove from LA to come and play with us!  Photos HERE

We’re about to spin again! 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! ​

​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.


  • "I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.

  • 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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  • If you are tired of these quotes, send me yours! 

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Person of the Week - Seven Town's Eleanor Black

Why You Should Always Try the Tea Cozy On

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Thank you, El, for taking time to answer some questions for our readers! What is it about the Toy and Game Industry that you love?

It might sound a little corny, but one of the things I love most is the visible effect it has on people when you say that you work in the Toy and Games Industry, it’s really quite visceral. There is this singular magical moment when you see them catapulted back to being a youngster. They almost always break into a grin and say ‘Really… I used to love’ and then continue to talk volubly and with fondness about their past playthings, possibly wondering where they have packed them away, and if they should dig them out again. It’s a marvellous a thing to mention your job, and have it make someone think about a happy memory. It’s something that is universally engaging and gives everyone something to talk about. Which I think is pretty special.

Do you have any special talents? 

Hmmm, I learned to juggle in a circus skills lesson whilst I was 13 at School, and I practice aerial silks. Although it’s a while since I practiced my boat climb. I have not managed to combine the two (yet) Do those count?

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Free from all the many and heavy responsibilities of childhood. Failing that, maybe a spy?


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

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Cartoon of the Week: Thank you Robert Fuhrer for this week's cartoon. 

Lexophile Lovers:  "A bicycle can't stand alone; it's just two tired." Thank you, Jerry Cleary, for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes:

"In the realm of toys and games, we don't grow older, we level up. And every level is a celebration of curiosity, imagination, and the joy of discovery." - Will Wright, creator of The Sims

Toy Industry Word of Day: Gatoring 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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Financial and Legal

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% increase from 2022 profits.


*** The above posted after March 29th ***


Baltimore bridge crash causes supply chain concerns. Concerns have been raised of a "ripple effect" on global supply chains after a container ship crashed into a bridge in the US city of Baltimore. The ship, named the Dali, hit a support column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early hours of Tuesday morning, causing it to collapse. The bridge spanned the entrance to the Port of Baltimore, the busiest port in the US...


International Day of Play to champion children’s right to play. Global partners, including Mattel, The Lego Group and Hasbro, have successfully called on the United Nations to adopt an International Day of Play. Play is a fundamental right for every child, as is the importance of play in helping children develop life-long skills. With only 30% of adults aware that play is a fundamental birth right adopted...

Disney and DeSantis allies end legal dispute over control of theme park. Allies of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney have reached a settlement agreement over how Walt Disney World is governed in the future. It comes after a judge ruled in January that it was legal for the state to make changes to the amusement theme park's district government. 

In a win against the misuse of AI, SAG-AFTRA members have approved new three-year television animation contracts that are the first to establish AI protections for voice actors.The actors’ union has ratified the 2023 Television Animation Agreement and the 2023 Basic Cable Animation Agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers by an overwhelming vote of 95.52% in favor.

Embracer sells Borderlands studio Gearbox for $460 million after acquiring it for $1.3 billion just 3 years ago. The deal includes the sale of Gearbox's Austin, Texas and Quebec, Montreal studios, as well as the franchise rights to the Borderlands, Tiny Tina, Homeworld, Risk of Rain, and Duke Nukem series.

Bids on Kansas City pedigree 'Action Comics' #1 fly past $5 million at Heritage Auctions in pre-auction bidding. The bid price on the Kansas City Pedigree Action Comics #1 has surpassed $5 million (including buyer's premium) in pre-auction bidding. The hammer is expected to drop on this comic at Heritage Auctions' April 4-7, 2024 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction, and it has already crushed the previous record...

Amazon invested a further $2.75 billion in growing AI power Anthropic on Wednesday, following through on the option it left open last September. The $1.25 billion it invested at the time must be producing results, or perhaps they’ve realized that there are no other horses available to back. The September deal put $1.25 billion into the company in exchange for a minority stake, and certain tit-for-tat...

Sega sells off Relic Entertainment, will axe 240 jobs. Sega is the latest publisher to lay off employees in the midst of an ongoing game industry contraction. The layoffs follow the high-profile cancellation of Hyenas at UK-based studio Creative Assembly. Hardlight and Creative Assembly are among the studios that will face layoffs. 



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Financial Reporting

GameStop sales declined nearly 20% in the holiday quarter, which missed expectations by $260 million.  The sales decline, from $2.2 billion in the Nov through Jan quarter was much sharper than declines in previous quarter; sales were down only 9.1% in the co’s fiscal Q3

AMC Entertainment Shares Plunge On Proposed Stock Sale As Chain Cites Soft Box Office, Cash Burn.

China Box Office: ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ Opens to $25.9M During Quiet Weekend. 'Dune: Part 2' climbed to $44.6 million, surpassing the China total of the first film in the franchise.

‘Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire’ Leads Box Office With $45 Million Debut


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

Why streamers are shrinking their content libraries.


*** The above posted after March 29th ***


Gamers spend 25% more time watching streaming TV than non-gamers do, The study, unveiled at IAB PlayFronts, found that gamers are open to ads and are constantly transitioning between playing games and watching streaming entertainment.

U.S. Ad Forecast for 2024 Raised on Improved Economic Outlook, Digital Media Momentum.

Under-18s in the US love McDonald’s and Amazon the most, A new brand affinity study from Kids Corp has the fastfood chain and online super-retailer on top with all ages, while toys give way to shoes and tech as kids grow up.

Top Miniatures lines – Fall 2023 for September through December.

Unlocking recent retail trends, from sales forecasts to tech impact. Last week, the retail economic indicators were cautiously optimistic, with decent growth predicted for US retail sales in 2024 and bright spots in UK consumer confidence in March.


Japan nappy maker shifts from babies to adults. A Japanese nappy maker has announced that it will stop producing diapers for babies in the country and, instead, focus on the market for adults. Oji Holdings is the latest firm to make such a shift in a rapidly ageing Japan, where birth rates are at a record low.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

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...

*** The above posted after March 29th ***


John Baulch, Toy World - Easter treats … it’s the Easter Blog! Easter is one of the more unusual annual holidays. It moves around the calendar, to the extent that no-one is ever sure when it falls from one year to the next. I also recently found out that different countries have different approaches to Easter when it comes to how much time and which days off work people have. Here in the UK, those of us who don’t...

Lego forces California police department to stop using toy heads to mask the identities of suspects after it went viral amid new social media rules for law agencies. Murrieta Police Department went viral with the humorous Instagram posts which substituted suspects' heads for their Lego equivalent, It was responding to a new California law banning the display of mugshots and suspect photos for non-violent crimes

Burbank residents recently saw a blast from the past - A vintage Toys "R" Us sign was spotted at an old Kmart store on San Fernando Blvd. Locals posted about the sign on social media. Some were wondering if the iconic company, which closed the last of its stores in 2021, was making a comeback. A worker at the location told Eyewitness News it's simply a bit of movie magic, and that it is part of a film set.


The Disruption Report: Daddy’s Home - BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE. The number of stay-at-home dads has ballooned in recent years. According to a Pew Research report, which analyzed U.S. census data. In 2023, approximately 18 percent of dads did not work outside the home and had primary responsibility for raising children. That’s up from 11 percent in 1989. That statistic, like most statistics, is limited, and you may...

Five Ways Small & Medium Sized Companies Can Compete with the Big Guys: Welcome to the battleground of innovation, where David meets Goliath in the world of toy and game manufacturing! In an industry dominated by colossal corporations, small and medium-sized manufacturers often find themselves fighting an uphill battle. But fear not, for the sling and stone of today’s marketplace are creativity and collaboration.

Video: Scuba diver finds Barbie in river, viral doll now up for auction. Ed Bieber, a Wisconsin man known as "Ed the Diver," has been cleaning local waterways for about five years, and his most recent find, a 1990s Barbie doll, has sparked an unexpected eBay auction. "Started out just picking up fishing lures on the banks and in the water, trying to get my own lures back and then it ended up eventually escalating...

Big brands could pivot easily if TikTok goes away. For many small businesses, it’s another story. If content creators and corporate executives made TikTok videos about the platform’s possible U.S. demise, disco diva Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” could supply the soundtrack. Sure, businesses that built strategies around TikTok and promote products there would prefer not to seek eyeballs on another app. 


We asked indies at Day of the Devs how to survive the game industry hellscape. The world of video games continues to treat developers big and small like interchangeable components in a dystopian corporate machine. Funding cuts, widespread layoffs, project cancellations, and the perplexing notion that video games should be made to appease shareholders rather than spread joy have decimated the game...


Are Hong Kong's days as a global business hub over? There is a new running joke in Hong Kong: locals mock their city for losing its status as the darling of global capital. As one joked, it is the newest Unesco world heritage site. A tough security law - Article 23 - that came into effect over the weekend has only renewed the underlying concerns. Authorities say it will protect the city and ensure stability, while critics...

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History and Nostalgia


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.

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...


*** The above posted after March 29th ***


Fifty years of Rubik’s Cube and earlier brain teasers. Invented by Ernö Rubik in 1974, The Rubik’s Cube needs no introduction. First called the Magic Cube, the toy really took off in 1980 when Ideal Toy Company changed the puzzle’s name and introduced it to the world. But before we celebrate Rubik’s Cube — possibly one of the greatest toys ever — let’s look at other solitary puzzles that came before...


Pretzel, the Pickup Pooch from Transogram. In 1963, Transogram released Pretzel, a mechanical pet that played a rudimentary form of fetch. Measuring approximately 18-inches long, Pretzel was fabricated of rigid plastic and made to resemble a cute puppy, albeit one branded with a pretzel on its right hindquarters. A simple motor was embedded in the body, providing battery-free operation. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

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...


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.

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...

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...


*** The above posted after March 29th ***


ThinkFun Sesame Street Zingo!, the most recent addition to the award-winning and best-selling Zingo! line, is now available for purchase on Amazon. Beloved by parents, kids, teachers and speech therapists alike, Zingo! brings fast-paced excitement and learning to the classic game of Bingo. Now with a Sesame Street twist, Sesame Street Zingo! introduces a new Cookie Monster Zinger – the Zingo! tile dispenser...

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) is partnering with Japan-based Toei Animation and Bird Studio to construct the world’s first Dragon Ball theme park in Riyadh. QIC will break ground on the project later this year.  The park will cover more than 500,000 square meters and feature more than 30 attractions that recreate scenes from the iconic anime and manga series. 

Dan Gemeinhart’s middle-grade novel The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is the latest kids book making a leap from page to screen. Henry Holt and Co. published this acclaimed title in 2019, and LA’s Walden Media—which is behind the Netflix book-based series The Baby-Sitters Club—quietly optioned it that same year. Now the screen adaptation is ramping up, with New York-based indie Killer Films...

Q&A: Scholastic & 9 Story aim for 360-degree franchise building with new investment. First up is a CG-animated take on The Magic School Bus while a Sixteen Souls adaptation kickstarts a live action development push. Since news of Scholastic’s US$186 million investment in 9 Story broke, SVP & GM of Scholastic Entertainment Caitlin Friedman and 9 Story Media Group’s chief strategy officer, Natalie Osborne, have been...

Prioritizing its production, University Games is escalating its efforts to meet the demand for the company’s fastest selling puzzle.  University Games’ Godzilla 3D Crystal Puzzle, a challenging, translucent gray and purple standing structure, is a prime example of the surging popularity for The King of the Monsters. “It’s not only our fastest selling puzzle, Godzilla is certain to be one of our best-selling ...

Lion Forge Entertainment (Hair Love) has secured the rights to adapt Canadian author Sarah Mlynowski’s popular tween book series Best Wishes. The St. Louis-based prodco is looking to develop multiple live-action films for streamers/platforms based on this NYT bestselling book series. Scholastic Press has so far released three Best Wishes titles since 2022, and a fourth is due out this November. 


BBC Studios Social, which commissioned more than 1,500 mins of original content last year, has put out an open pitching call for shorts that tie into its kids brands. The team is looking for original digital content centered around food and family fun for Bluey and activity-focused play for Hey Duggee. There’s also demand for younger-skewing shorts that tie into adult brands Top Gear and YouTube channel Funny Parts (53,000...

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 makes it possible for licensed characters to walk around on screen and...

The Jim Henson Company is developing its first-ever Fraggle Rock touring stage show and has appointed The Brad Simon Organization as the production’s exclusive booking agent. In Fraggle Rock LIVE, Gobo Fraggle will go an epic adventure with pals Mokey, Boober, Wembley and Red to unearth a long-lost relic called the Great Song Stone. The show is scheduled to tour the US next year and is intended for an all-ages ...

CBBC and German public broadcaster WDR have renewed Aardman’s popular stop-motion series Shaun the Sheep for a seventh season that will deliver in 2025, and the studio has already inked presales with ABC (Australia), SVT (Sweden), YLE (Finland), DR TV (Denmark), VRT Ketnet (Belgium) and NRK (Norway). 

Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk is kickflipping into kids TV through a new partnership with Montreal-based Laughing Dragon Studios for a 26 x 11-minute, 2D-animated series called Skatebirds. Currently in development, this concept for six to 11s explores the lives of four feathered friends (a chicken, an ostrich, a penguin and an emu) who share a passion for shredding. 

DreamWorks Animation and Universal Pictures are bringing The Bad Guys back to theaters with a CG-animated sequel in the works that will premiere on August 1, 2025. The first movie (pictured) earned US$250 million at the global box office with its story about five captured baddies who try to reform. The premise of the sequel sees them struggling to find acceptance as the good guys...

AVOD platform Tubi has scooped up the rights to family sitcom Gordita Chronicles (10 x 25 minutes), which has been homeless since it was canceled and removed from WBD’s streaming service Max in 2022. Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the show centers around a Dominican tween and her family, who move to Miami in the ’80s to pursue the American dream. 

Moonbug Entertainment is aging up its linear channel business with the launch of Blippi & Friends in the MENA region—and plans are already in the works to roll the kidsnet out globally. In partnership with Intigral—the media and advertising arm of Saudi Arabia’s stc Group—Blippi & Friends is now available on Jawwy TV and stc tv in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and UAE.

Italy’s Brand Cross has inked several new broadcast deals for its 2D-animated preschool series Leo’s World (22 x 12 minutes), which is about a boy on the autism spectrum. Latvia’s LTV (both seasons) and Switzerland’s RSI (season two) are both planning to launch the show in their regions on April 2 to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day. And Samsung TV+ (Korea), MTVA (Hungary) and beIN (MENA) are also ...


Paramount’s LBE division has partnered with Brazil’s Fan & Food Participacoes to develop the world’s first standalone SpongeBob SquarePants restaurant. Bob Esponja—Burguer & Restaurante is set to open its doors in San Paulo next month, featuring three different dining experiences inspired by Bikini Bottom: a Krusty Krab burger joint (144 seats), The Flying Dutchman’s Lounge (40 seats) and a more upscale...

“X-Men ’97” hit four million views in its first five days on Disney+. According to Disney, this marks the streamer’s most-watched Season 1 premiere for a full-length animated series since Marvel’s “What If…?” debuted in 2021, putting “X-Men ’97” ahead of shows including “Iwájú” and “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.” (Animated shorts, such as “Star Wars: Visions,” “I Am Groot” and “Zootopia+” are excluded from this...

Disney is conjuring up the next chapter in its Wizards of Waverly Place franchise with a new series called Wizards (working title) that picks up where one of Disney Channel’s most popular sitcoms left off. Disney Channel has greenlit Wizards, and Disney Branded Television is set to start production on it next month in LA. 

Hasbro strikes back with more Star Wars Dark Side Collectibles for Imperial March. Hasbro continues to celebrate Imperial March with collectibles inspired by some of the most notorious villains from the Star Wars franchise. The Star Wars Force N’ Telling Vader ($24.99 ) is the perfect dark side companion. The expressive Sith Lord predicts the future when fans ask a yes or no question before pressing its head. 


Atomic Mass Games will release new 'Star Wars: Shatterpoint' Squad Pack. 'That’s Good Business'. Atomic Mass Games will release That's Good Business Squad Pack, for Star Wars: Shatterpoint, into retail on April 5, 2024. The new squad pack features a legendary crew of pirates from the Clone Wars era. Hondo Ohnaka leads the Ohnaka Gang of outlaws onto the battlefield. 


'Transformers' trading cards for 40th Anniversary: From Dynamite Entertainment. Dynamite Entertainment will release a trading card set tied to the 40th anniversary of Hasbro's Transformers franchise, the companies announced.  The release is one part of a massive program from the toy giant that includes over 40 anniversary figures and an extensive list of licensed products from a wide range of licensees...


The Harlem Globetrotters sign with IMG for consumer products expansion in preparation for its centennial celebration in 2026. The World-Famous Harlem Globetrotters – the originators of basketball style, captured by dynamic athletes with unmatched skills, have signed with licensing giant IMG to further develop the brand in anticipation of their 100th anniversary milestone in 2026. 


Devolver Digital Partners with Oni Press to publish first ever Cult of the Lamb comics and graphic novels. Devolver Digital has partnered with Oni Press to create the first ever series of comics and graphic novels based on Massive Monster’s global video game phenomenon Cult of the Lamb. The pre-order campaign is currently causing a stir on Kickstarter where it racked up 1,400 followers in just 18 hours...


Jakks Pacific gives WonderCon panel audience first look at toys and collectibles inspired by The Simpsons. JAKKS Pacific announced their panel at WonderCon in Anaheim, CA, which will take place on Friday, March 29, 2024 from 5pm – 6pm in Room 213CD. During this panel, JAKKS Pacific is giving the audience a sneak peek of a brand-new line of toys and collectibles inspired by the beloved animated series, 


PAW Patrol spin-off Rubble & Crew drafts MLB superstar Aaron Judge for upcoming episode. Baseball enthusiasts and pup fans alike are in for a treat with the announcement that former American League MVP and Captain of the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, will appear in an upcoming episode of the popular preschool series Rubble & Crew, produced by Spin Master Entertainment. 


Mighty Jaxx launches ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ figures. The collection includes a variety of characters from the anime in mystery box packaging. Mighty Jaxx is partnering with the manga series Jujutsu Kaisen for a new collection of figures. Mighty Jaxx, known for its offerings in the world of collectible art toys, is releasing a new series of Jujutsu Kaisen figures online tomorrow. 


Warner Bros. partners with International Olympic Committee for Looney Tunes products. Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products inked a licensing agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to launch Olympics-themed products featuring Looney Tunes characters. Warner Bros. has also teamed up with eight National Olympic Committees, including the U.S., Italy, Australia...


New season of Polly Pocket animated series debuts on Netflix. A new season of Mattel Television Studios’ animated series Polly Pocket is set to arrive on Netflix. The first batch of 13, 11-minute episodes will premiere on 25th March, followed by an additional 13 episodes rolling out later this year. Season five follows Polly Pocket and her pals as they unlock their new pocket powers and explore new worlds...

Mattel’s Fisher-Price reveals Imaginext Star Wars Darth Vader Bot. The ultimate Star Wars villain is getting a robotic makeover. Mattel’s Fisher-Price brand has revealed a new interactive robot for young fans. The Imaginext Star Wars Darth Vader Bot stands at more than 2 feet tall and includes a disc launcher, an extendable Lightsaber accessory, and a Force-inspired ball launcher. 

LEGO Group, Epic Games release new Fortnite creator options. The LEGO Group and Epic Games have announced Fortnite creators around the world will now be able to design and build their own LEGO Islands within Fortnite, using LEGO elements. This will bring the LEGO System in Play and its endless creative possibilities to life in a digital setting. 

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People of Play


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.


Frank Gibeau, Darin Harris, Owen Mahoney join Hasbro’s board of directors. Alan Hassenfeld will step down from his role as Emeritus Chairman. Hasbro is seeing a shakeup in its Board of Directors, with new members joining as others retire or step down. The company has three new Board members: Frank Gibeau, President of Zynga; Darin Harris, CEO of Jack in the Box; and Owen Mahoney...


Former Zee Entertainment programming director Kalpana Malviya has joined full-service studio Amazing Animation in Mumbai as executive director of international, with the remit of taking the co. global. Based in NY, Malviya is working to secure clients and sign production partnerships with companies outside of India. Amazing Animation does CG and 2D animation as well as visual effects, with offices in Mumba...


Sesame Workshop names HR Veteran Dannette (Danni) Hill Chief People Officer. Sesame Workshop, the global impact nonprofit behind Sesame Street, named Dannette (Danni) Hill to the newly created role of Chief People Officer overseeing Human Resources functions. Hill will be responsible for leading a division that supports innovative best practices and organizational excellence. 


Grace Collins resigns from GAMA board: Snowbright Studio CEO served as Creative Director, Vice President, and Interim President. Grace Collins has resigned their position as a Creative Director from the GAMA Board. Collins, the CEO of Snowbright Studio, resigned on March 15, 2024 after serving on the board for two and a half years. 

University Games and Lagoon swell Sales and Marketing teams. Toby Hall, who joined University Games in 2021 as a Sales administrator, has now been promoted to Area Sales manager for the South-East region, joining the business’s nationwide-strong Sales team of the games, puzzles and gift specialists. Toby, who has worked hard to progress from Sales administrator to purchasing assistant, and now...


Fred Rogers Productions taps an ex-Disney exec to spearhead L&M. Fred Rogers Productions has appointed former Disney exec Katie Huber to unlock new brand partnerships as its first senior director of licensing. Her remit includes developing and executing global licensing strategies for all of FRP’s IPs, including preschool series Alma’s Way, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Donkey Hodie. 


Mighty Jaxx Group welcomes Matthew Buss as General Manager, Americas. The Mighty Jaxx Group is expanding its retail business in the Americas with a new General Manager. Buss is joining the Mighty Jaxx team as General Manager for the Americas. He previously served as the former General Manager of OnDemand at THG, Head of Sales U.S. at Eaglemoss, and more.


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Companies and Brands


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.”

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...

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...


*** The above posted after March 29th ***


Mego, a name steeped in toy industry history, is set to introduce their groundbreaking creation - the 2XL Cobot (companion robot), My2XL | AI Robot for Kids, which elevates interactive family fun to unprecedented heights. The 2XL will be available for purchase on Amazon starting March 25,. The 2XL is being introduced by Mego2, an evolution of Mego Toys, representing the dynamic growth of the co into the AI realm.


LEGO’s ‘Building Blocks’ for a Greener Future: $2.4M Carbon Removal Pact. The LEGO Group continues making strides toward reaching its sustainability goals. The LEGO Group, announced a $2.4 million agreement with Climeworks, a pioneering carbon-removal company, marking another step in the toy manufacturer’s commitment to environmental sustainability. 


Ravensburger to distribute Othello across U.S., Canada. Ravensburger will take on distribution beginning Aug. 1. Ravensburger, the publisher known for its jigsaw puzzles and board games, will be the new distributor of Othello, a strategy board game that has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Ravensburger will be distributing the game across the U.S. and Canada, beginning Aug. 1. 


Abacus Brands’ Cold Case VR invites budding sleuths to solve ‘The Case of the Fatal Follower’. The innovators at Abacus Brands are putting a virtual reality (VR) spin on the murder mystery games genre. Cold Case VR is a groundbreaking, immersive adventure in which players delve deep into the investigation of a cold case murder involving a popular influencer. 

Hot Wheels unveils Autism-friendly die cast car. Hot Wheels launches the Flippin Fast die cast with a design validated by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, encouraging infinite ways for fans to play. Mattel has announced the Hot Wheels Flippin Fast die-cast, a new vehicle designed to encourage an open-ended play experience, ahead of Autism Acceptance Month in April.


ToysRUs is expanding its retail presence with up to 24 airport stores. Toys R Us is set to open up to 24 new store locations in airports across the globe. This expansion taps into the travel retail market, offering a unique shopping experience for families on the go. The first of these innovative airport stores will debut in Terminal A at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, setting the stage for a...


Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet—Temporal Forces expansion launches with return of ACE SPEC cards. The Pokémon Company International has released the latest expansion in the best-selling Pokémon Trading Card Game, Scarlet & Violet—Temporal Forces, available beginning now at participating retailers worldwide, including Pokémon Center, the premier online destination for official Pokémon merchandise.

Wizards of the Coast updates deets on 'Magic: The Gathering - Outlaws of Thunder Junction'. Wizards of the Coast updated details on Magic: The Gathering - Outlaws of Thunder Junction, the next Premier booster set, which will hit stores on April 19, 2024. Several details about the set were outlined at MagicCon Chicago at the Wizards of the Coast's Preview Panel on Friday February 23, 2024, such as...

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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...

*** The above posted after March 29th ***


Marvel Games has partnered with Chinese developer NetEase Games to launch Marvel Rivals, a new licensed multiplayer title that pits the Earth’s mightiest heroes against their equally iconic villains. NetEase is crafting a storyline that will see the tyrannical Doctor Doom and his future self attempt to conquer various worlds in the Marvel multiverse. In each match, six online players will choose from 18 initial avatars...


Underdog League of Legends esports scene rocked by massive match-fixing allegations impacting two-thirds of players: "the stench of this will never leave". The League of Legends esports scene has been rocked by an alleged match-fixing scandal so large that it has affected every team in a regional league. 


Nintendo of America laying off contractors ahead of Switch 2 launch. Layoffs have come for nearly every developer since 2023, and Nintendo of America is now among those affected. Sources told the outlet the US arm of Nintendo is undergoing a "massive downsizing" that will see over 100 contractor layoffs. 


GameStop commits to layoffs despite concerns over business 'strain'. GameStop is laying off an unknown number of staff but admits the cuts might "strain" its existing resources. "As part of our strategic plan to achieve profitability, we have recently undertaken cost reduction measures and other initiatives to improve the efficiency of our operations, including initiatives to reduce headcount," it wrote. 


Knockout City dev Velan preparing to lay off nearly 50 after an abrupt project cancellation. Velan Studios is in the "early stages" of laying off members of its 121-person staff as part of a company reorganization. On Twitter, the New York developer explained an unnamed external partner abruptly canceled the project it was working on. Within the next 60 days, 46 employees will be let go. 


Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Skylanders developer is reportedly making a game with former owner Xbox shortly after going indie. Toys For Bob has reportedly signed a deal with its former corporate owners at Microsoft, only a few weeks after finding independence. The studio has been responsible for Skylanders, the most recent Spyro The Dragon remakes, and Crash Bandicoot 4, but...


Here's our first look at Fall Guys-inspired mobile game, Sonic Toys Party. Our first look at the gameplay of Sonic Toys Party – which is a Sonic and Fall Guys-esque mash-up – has popped up online. YouTuber The Sonic Show has shared an all-new Japanese trailer for the upcoming mobile game, which not only shows the high-octane gameplay, but also some of the game's monetisation systems...


Highlighted Press Releases

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!


*** The above posted after March 29th ***


WATCHITUDE SPRINGS FORWARD WITH EXPANDING DEMAND FROM U.S., EUROPE & MIDDLE EASTERN BUYERS. Slap, Tag’d, Glow And Step Counter Collection of Watches Wowed Retailers In The Opening Weeks Of 2024 From Atlanta & NETS to Spielwarenmesse & ToyFest

New Brunswick, NJ (March 19, 2024) –As buyers finally unpack their suitcases from a whirlwind of coast to coast and global trade shows, they all agree one thing. All the zooms in the world cannot make up for the in-person joy and connections created between buyers and manufacturers. Watchitude Co-Founders and brothers Albert and Dan Hakim attended numerous shows over eight weeks and brought home significant orders from not just U.S. retailers but markets in the Europe Union and the Middle East.

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


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.

*** The above posted after March 29th ***


Hasbro Women Innovators of Play returns. This year, Hasbro is partnering with Girl Up for its second Women Innovators of Play challenge and lineup of events, celebrating female and game innovators worldwide. Hasbro has announced its Hasbro Women Innovators of Play 2024 lineup of events, networking moments and other opportunities to celebrate and connect female toy and game innovators across the globe.


LA Fall Preview Updates: Q&A with The Toy Association’s Kimberly Carcone.  As anticipation builds for The Toy Association’s LA Fall Preview this September, Toy News Tuesday editors sat down with Kimberly Carcone, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association™, to catch up on all the news and buzz surrounding the marketplace.  How are plans shaping up for the LA Fall Preview? ...


Inaugural Autism in Entertainment Conference provides a pleasant breeze into Autism Acceptance Month. Come April 5, there is a baby breeze blowing through Bel Air, California, home of movie stars, palatial estates, and iconic museums. One of the latter — Skirball Culture Center — provides the setting for the first, small(ish) but mighty Autism in Entertainment Conference and its superstar celebrants.


Licensing Expo has unveiled the inaugural Licensing Expo Closing Night Party, which will feature a confirmed performance from Loud Luxury. Loud Luxury, the Canadian-born Los Angeles-based music duo of Andrew Fedyk and Joe De Paceon, is known for several independent releases and remixes, including the smash hit ‘Body’. Since its release, the duo has released other hit singles such as Love No More...


It’s the end of an era for MIPTV—and the dawn of a new one for MIP London. Event organizer RX France announced today that it will shutter its annual MIPTV market after hosting a final edition in Cannes next month from April 8 to 10. This last hurrah is expected to attract more than 130 exhibitors, as well as producers, distributors and buyers from 76 countries. 

INDX Toy & Gift announces heritage theme for 2024 event. The 2024 edition of INDX Toy & Gift will be held at Cranmore Park from Tuesday 3rd September to Wednesday 4th September 2024. This year’s event theme will be heritage, and will highlight key suppliers and beloved branded ranges cherished over generations, offering attendees a nostalgic journey through the exhibition space. 


Play with Purpose: Adventure Media & Events, The Toy Foundation join forces for 2024 events. Adventure Media & Events (AME), the toy industry’s leading media organization serving trade and consumer audiences across The Toy Book, The Toy Insider, and The Pop Insider, named The Toy Foundation (TTF) as the Social Responsibility Partner for its 2024 Toy Insider events in New York City. 


It’s Game Time: Why GAMA Expo is a must-attend event. A trade show that is literally all fun and games? Well, maybe there’s a lot of business too, but even that’s fun at GAMA Expo. GAMA Expo has all of the elements you’d expect from a trade show: a convention hall with rows of booths, retailers carrying overflowing bags of samples, and lots and lots of new products on display. 

Toy Fair exhibitor registration opens for 2025 show. Exhibitor applications for Toy Fair 2025 are now open via the Toy Fair website. Toy Fair offers the first opportunity of the year in the UK for manufacturers to showcase their products and ranges in person to a vast range of buyers, licensors, media and the wider industry, all under one roof. From small and start-up companies to large...


Licensing Expo opens upgraded meetings platform. Licensing Expo has officially opened its new and enhanced Meetings Platform for the upcoming annual event, which takes place from 21st-23rd May at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The Meetings Platform, first launched in 2016, is a critical part of the Licensing Expo experience, facilitating connections ahead of the event and helping visitors...


Thailand Toy Expo launches 2024 Hong Kong Pavilion. The Thailand Toy Expo — Hong Kong Pavilion (HK Pavilion) will return from April 4-7 at Centralworld in Bangkok, Thailand. The HK Pavilion was first launched in 2023 and highlighted Hong Kong’s art toy designers, creativity, and business opportunities. The Innovative Entrepreneur Association will showcase 20 leading art toy designers...


Dragon Ball: First theme park to be built in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has announced it will build a theme park based on the famed Japanese animated series Dragon Ball, sparking mixed reactions from fans. It will feature a 70m (229.6ft) dragon at its centre and at least 30 rides, the firm behind the project says. The park would be the world's first such attraction based on the popular media franchise.


Safety and Counterfeiting


Mattel’s Fisher-Price recalls Little People Mickey and Friends figures. Mattel’s Fisher-Price is voluntarily recalling two figures from its Little People Mickey and Friends set. In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Fisher-Price voluntarily recalls more than 200,000 units of the Donald Duck and Daisy Duck figures from the Little People Mickey and Friends set. 

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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.”

James M. (Jim) Ward, game designer, a member of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame for his contributions to Dungeons & Dragons and other games, has passed away, according to a post on his Facebook.  He was 72.
Ward was a friend of Gary Gygax from the very early days of Dungeons & Dragons development.  He and Rob Kuntz wrote Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes in 1976 for TSR, which was the first introduction of gods into the game.  He also is the creator of Metamorphosis Alpha, the first science fiction RPG, also published by TSR (see "Jim Ward's 'Metamorphosis Alpha'").  He worked at TSR for 20 years in a number of executive positions, and left in 1996.
Ward designed the Dragon Ball Z collectible card game, as well as helping with the Tomb Raider, Wheel of Time and Babylon 5 CCGs.  He founded the d20 company Fast Forward Entertainment with Timothy Brown, Lester Smith, John Danovich and Sean Everett (see "Fast Forward Takes Over Campaign").  He later joined Troll Lord Games as a writer and later the editor for Troll Lord's Castles & Crusades magazine, The Crusader Journal (see "Jim Ward Editor of 'Crusader'").
Ward had a series of health issues over the past 15 years.  He was diagnosed with a serious neurological disorder in 2010 (see "Jim Ward Fund Requests Donations"), and had a heart attack in 2014 (see "Jim Ward Suffers Heart Attack").
We knew Ward from his time at TSR in the 1980s and 90s, and found him to be a warm, funny man, and a gamer through and through.  We last saw him at a Gamehole Con in the late 2010s, and at that point he seemed little the worse for wear and definitely had the same warm heart.  Our condolences to his friends and family.

Mutsumi Inomata, a longtime illustrator and character designer for video games, passed away on March 10 at 63 years old. Per her official Twitter, her family held a private funeral, and a cause of death was not disclosed. "It happened so suddenly," wrote her sister. "She still has rough drafts, which I’m sure are still being worked on in heaven. Surrounded by her favorite cats, she’s surely creating more cute, strong-eyed characters."

Born December 23, 1960, Inomata is best known for her work on Bandai Namco's Tales games. Beginning with 1997's Tales of Destiny, she would work as a lead character designer on most mainline entries up to 2016's Tales of Berseria. While at Bandai Namco, she also briefly did character design for the Tekken series with Tekken 5, Tekken 6, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

Along with games, Inomata was a character designer or animator for anime. Those series ranged from City Hunter (and its sequel) to Sacred Seven and Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny.

Shigeichi Negishi, the entrepreneur who invented the world’s first karaoke machine, has died aged 100. Negishi, whose 1967 “Sparko Box” prototype is among several devices credited with ushering in Japan’s karaoke craze, died from natural causes in January. His death, which was made public last week, was confirmed to CNN by Shiro Kataoka, managing director of the All-Japan Karaoke Industrialist Association.

Born in 1923, Negishi founded and ran a company that assembled car stereos for automobile manufacturers in northern Tokyo. A regular listener to a singalong radio show broadcast in Japan at the time, he hooked a spare tape deck up to a microphone and mixing circuit so he could hear himself singing over music.

“When I asked the factory engineer, he said, ‘It’s easy,’” Negishi recalled in an account published by the All-Japan Karaoke Industrialist Association, an industry body for Japan’s karaoke operators. “So, I attached a microphone input terminal to the car stereo and created something like the prototype of a jukebox.”

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. Some might say … it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Easter treats … it’s the Easter Blog!

  3. Toy Fair exhibitor registration opens for 2025 show

  4. Character showcases collectibles at MegaCon Live

  5. Slime Party expands to bigger premises

  6. University Games and Lagoon swell Sales and Marketing teams

  7. International Day of Play to champion children’s right to play

  8. Hot Wheels unveils Autism-friendly die cast car

  9. INDX Toy & Gift announces heritage theme for 2024 event

  10. L.O.L. Surprise! has ‘smashing’ results with new campaign Powered by Toyworld

  1. New Beyblade series to launch for 25th anniversary

  2. Rubies welcomes Tom and Jerry to toddler dress-up range

  3. Licensing Expo opens upgraded meetings platform

  4. Beetlejuice returns with new teaser trailer

  5. Thomas & Friends Autistic friendly clothing launches at Tesco

  6. BBC Earth and Zynga announce new Words With Friends game

  7. Pip and Posy come to life at Bandai Namco Cross Store

  8. Moonbug launches Blippi & Friends MENA channel

  9. Countdown to Hong Kong International Licensing Show

  10. The Harlem Globetrotters signs with IMG

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Konami Unveils New 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG' Tin
AdeptiCon 2024 News: Catalyst Reveals New 'BattleTech' Products
Christophe Arnoult and Maud Decombe's Square One Capital Acquires Miniature Market
AdeptiCon 2024 News: Mantic Previews 'Halo: Flashpoint'
Miniatures Week Feature: Delving into RPG Encounter Miniatures Boxed Sets
Rolling for Initiative -- A Pair of Two-Week Windows and RIP Jim Ward
The JDS Perspective -- Chris Cocks, Dungeons, Dragons, AI and Wall Street
Top Miniatures Lines – Fall 2023
Converse Licenses 'Dungeons & Dragons' for New Kicks
ICv2 Miniatures Week 2024

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

Global Toy News


The Bugg Report (Australia)

The Toy Universe (Australia)


Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: 10 Days in the USA, Beacon Patrol Expansion
The Op has announced a new edition of 10 Days in the USA, Pandasaurus Games has announced an expansion for their cooperative game Beacon Patrol, and a mini version of Qawale has been released.

Video of the Week 

Toy Hub Trivia: Daryl Andrews



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