the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is March 5 - 12, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

Articles are posted daily with the most recent at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 

Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

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

Happy Friday! 

Counterfeits, Copycats and Infringers - a HUGE challenge for our toy industry! Christopher Tidwell (CEO Magformers) and Fred Jordan (Sr. Director of N.A. Design and Development, Magformers) explain the issue fully with examples.


This important panel was part of our Spring POP Week! We now have over 1,000 profiles in our POP Database and growing! POP Week generated 1,500 Pitches, 10 Interactive Q&A Sessions and 15 Panels. Join People of Play NOW!

 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report!

Mary

Dear Tim . . . Who Are OUR Front-Line Workers? tBR Columnist Tim Kilpin Comments

In an era where we are appropriately engaged in and concerned about the health and safety of essential front-line workers across many industries, I want to at least take the opportunity to thank a few toy industry folks who serve in some respects as our front-line workforce.

 

I’m talking, of course, about our Sales people and Retail Merchandisers.

 

Yes, the Design folks come up with the ideas, and the Marketing people try to wreck them (kidding! Just checking to see if you’re still with me.). But none of that work matters if the toys can’t actually get on shelf and be found by our consumers.

 

So let us thank our Sales teams – they have to make sense of all the product features, packaging, marketing plans, retail pricing, and (often late) ship dates. And then their work begins: do the items deliver the right net maintained margin, GMROI, and casepack productivity? Can I get a buyer appointment in time? Can I get package comps in time for the planogram room dates? Do the samples actually work? Is every one of the 2,000 pieces of data I need to set up the item in the retailer’s system actually accurate? Do I have A+ copy and feature videos ready?

Whew. I’m just getting going here.  Read More...

Elizabeth Werner: Toy and Child Lifestyle Expert - tBR Person of the Week

Who would have thought that going to law school would prepare you for a career as a toy pundit?

Certainly not Elizabeth Werner, one of the toy industry’s biggest cheerleaders. Her desire to help people and use her joy of research and communication has allowed her to become a national spokesperson for must-have products as they come to market.

 

Being in demand, you’ve seen her on The View, or perhaps Access Hollywood. If you’ve tuned in to QVC over the last 20 years (!) she’s a frequent guest host. TV segment producers love her, and publicists adore her as she’s a spokesperson in media tours, presenting products packaged with a fun topical theme to local affiliates and radio stations coast to coast.

 

Describing her in a word is impossible: she’s a TV personality, on-air toy saleswoman and lifestyle expert. One moment she’s interacting with Whoopie Goldberg on a Halloween Gadgets segment she named Tech or Treating. She’s dressed like Cher next to Whoopie’s Vampirina outfit.  Read More...

Financial & Legal News . . .

Little respite in ongoing container shortage. Toy companies have been concerned about the price of shipping containers since the start of the year, when prices were hiked massively to reflect the short-term supply and demand situation. There was also a suggestion that shipping companies were looking to make up the shortfall from the ongoing operational challenges in 2020. 

Hasbro Floats Sale of eOne Music Assets, Including Lumineers' Label & Death Row Records. The company is seeking a $600 million payday, according to sources. eOne's music assets -- which are being shopped by J.P. Morgan -- include ownership of the famed Death Row Records rap catalog, Dualtone Records, Canadian label Last Gang Records, the production music operation Audio Network, a small music ...

PlayMonster Continues Cross-category Expansion with BriteBrush Acquisition.  The jump from the toy department to the oral care aisle follows a year of success for BriteBrush, which was developed and launched by WowWee at Toy Fair New York (TFNY) last year. PlayMonster plans to expand the BriteBrush line of interactive toothbrushes for kids in an effort to continue merging fun with healthy habits

WHP Global, a brand acquisition and management firm based in NY,  announced it has acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids Inc., parent company to the iconic Toys“R”Us (“TRU”), Babies“R”Us, Geoffrey the Giraffe brands, and more than 20 established related consumer toy and baby brands. Toys”R”Us and Babies“R”Us generate over $2 billion in global retail sales annually through nearly 900 branded stores and ecommerce sites in over 25 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.

(the above posted after March 12th)

Roblox Going Public, But Is It Good For The Public? The online platform Roblox is capturing the imagination. The platform that is meant for playing and creating video games is going public on March 10th. Their unique model of outsourcing game development to their players has helped the company reach a $29.5 billion valuation in a recent funding round. Roblox boasts 32.6 million daily active users and a jump ...

Amazon Vendor or Seller?  An Amazon Vendor and owner of a small UK toy company shares how they have made progress in negotiating trading terms with the online retailer. The writer of a Viewpoint column in Toy World, who wishes to remain anonymous, is the owner of a small UK toy company and was inspired to get in touch after having made some progress in negotiating tricky trading terms with Amazon.

California bill would eliminate "boys" and "girls" toy sections in stores. Barbie dolls and tea sets should occupy shelves in the same aisle as superhero action figures and remote-controlled cars under a new law proposed in California. Two lawmakers in the Golden State recently introduced a bill that would make the children's sections of department stores more gender-neutral. The measure would eliminate "boys"...

Asmodee acquires Plan B Games. The Asmodee Group acquired Plan B Games, a publishing group based in Canada and Germany that includes four publishers: Next Move, Plan B Games, Pretzel Games, and Eggertspiele.“The Plan B group has demonstrated, year after year, its creativity and sense of aesthetics in creating highly successful games such as Azul, which will naturally find its place among our pillar...

The European Commission approves Microsoft deal for Bethesda parent ZeniMax. The European Commission (EC) has approved Microsoft's seismic $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media. The deal was approved under the EU Merger Regulation after the EC concluded it wouldn't cause competition concerns given "the combined entity's limited market position upstream and the presence...

German legal reform to set new standards for loot boxes. The German Bundestag has passed a proposed reform to the country's youth protection law, which could result in new standards being applied to video games featuring loot boxes. According to a report from Der Spiegel, if the reforms receive approval from the Bundesrat [Federal Council], they could be enforced as early as this spring. .

Epic acquires Capturing RealityEpic Games' acquisition spree continued today as the company announced the addition of photogrammetry developer Capturing Reality. Capturing Reality is the developer of RealityCapture, software that generates 3D models based on images or laser scans. As with numerous other technological acquisitions of Epic's in recent years, Capturing Reality's work will be incorporated into the...

Hello Neighbor publisher TinyBuild goes public with $474 million valuation. TinyBuild has gone public on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market with a valuation of $474 million. According to a press release announcing the IPO, TinyBuild has become the largest U.S. company to ever go public on the AIM market. The Seattle-based studio is known for publishing titles including Party Hard ...

Epic expands app store fight even further with new legal claim against Google in Australia. Epic Games on Wednesday expanded its worldwide legal fight against the dominant mobile app store operators with a new legal claim against Google in Australia. The claim accuses Google of “anti-competitive conduct breaches the Australian Consumer Law” and also accuses the search giant of violating the country’s...

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

U.S. video game sales spiked 35% in February . . . . . Toy Trends in China: A Conversation with John Tong & Jacqueline Vong

(the above posted after March 12th)

Spring into summer – a look at Outdoor Toys . . . . . Hong Kong-based toy manufacturers mull relocating to Philippines . . . . . Are we entering the new era of mobile social gaming? . . . . . Global esports, game streaming markets to reach $3.5b by 2025 - Juniper . . . . . Preschoolers don't need parents to find content . . . . . FEBRUARY 2021 NPD BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELS

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

Here’s One of the Best Canadian Stocks to Buy Right Now-Spin Master

(the above posted after March 12th)

Funko Q4 results reveal mixed fortunes . . . . . Party City reports fourth quarter and full year 2020 results . . . . . Roblox closes first day of trading with $38b market cap . . . . . The co-founder of Spin Master Corp., Anton Rabie, just bought 103% more shares . . . . . John Lewis reports £517m loss and threatens further store closures . . . . . Lego posts double digit growth . . . . . Stock Wars: A Tale Of Two Toy Stories, Hasbro Vs. Mattel . . . . . Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) Shareholders Booked A 60% Gain In The Last Year

Future Financial Reporting . . .

$676.64 million in sales expected for Mattel, Inc.this quarter. Equities research analysts forecast that Mattel, Inc. will report sales of $676.64 million for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have made estimates for Mattel's earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $718.10 million and the lowest estimate coming in at $640.00 million. Mattel reported sales of $594.10 million during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 13.9%.

$1.20 billion in sales expected for Hasbro, Inc. this quarter. Equities research analysts expect that Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) will post sales of $1.20 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have provided estimates for Hasbro's earnings. The highest sales estimate is $1.26 billion and the lowest is $1.14 billion. Hasbro posted sales of $1.11 billion during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 8.1%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 5th.

Hasbro, Inc. forecasted to post FY2024 earnings of $6.58 per shareHasbro, Inc. - Jefferies Financial Group issued their FY2024 earnings estimates for shares of Hasbro in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, March 9th. Jefferies Financial Group analyst S. Wissink forecasts that the company will post earnings per share of $6.58 for the year. 

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . .

Why it’s a problem that kids have been deprived of play during the pandemic. Part of the fallout from being cooped up inside for months on end and trying to avoid others during the coronavirus pandemic is that young children have not been allowed to play as much and in the ways to which they have been accustomed — and that’s a big problem for kids. Child development experts, such as Nancy Carlsson-Paige, have argued...

The First “Spirit Untamed” Trailer and It’s a Must Watch​. Did you miss it? Last weekend The Grammy Awards dropped the first trailer for the upcoming Spirit Untamed feature film and it has something extra special. In addition to bringing Lucky, Spirit, Prue and the rest of the gang back together, the trailer also features Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”––and it’s the only place you can listen. Haven’t seen it? Keep scrolling!

Rolling for Initiative -- 'Dungeons & Dragons' as Therapy This week, Scott Thorne explains how Dungeons & Dragons is being used to help treat adults getting therapy for substance abuse or other mental health issues. An article in our local newspaper once again reminded me just how far Dungeons & Dragons has come since the days of Jack Chick’s Dark Dungeons tract.  Although the store never had any protests in....

How this Nigerian entrepreneur founded a $10m toy company with just $30. At 18, Paul Orajiaka from the Nigerian Southern state of Warri was desperate to migrate to the United States for greener pastures. He was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he could only have a bright feature should he find his way to America. So desperate was he that he made several fruitless trips with his friends to the U.S. Embassy...

(tha above posted after March 12th)

John Baulch, ToyWorld (UK) - How do you measure a year?…it’s the Friday Blog! Next Tuesday, it will be one year to the day since the first UK lockdown began – 525,600 minutes, as they helpfully point out in the musical Rent. My Facebook memories over this past week have reminded me that I was still attending the theatre and visiting family just days before, when ‘normal life’ was still going on despite the ominous...

The End of The High Street As We Know It? By Peter Hollo. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. At this time every town had its high street. Even every village had its own small version of a high street. What you saw there was an assemblage of shops, selling products for almost every need. A colourful multitude of offers in a functioning environment. It was quite common for my family to go window shopping in the evenings ...

A Brief History of Sea-Monkeys. You probably had Sea-Monkeys as a kid without knowing anything about what they were or where they came from. The short version? The product was a get-rich-quick scheme that actually got someone rich quick. But the long version—which starts in a pet store and involves the Ku Klux Klan, a self-defense weapon, and a TV show starring Howie Mandel—is worth sticking around for.

‘17 is a prime number – eccentric’: how Numberblocks became a kids' TV hit. The CBeebies show saved parents struggling under lockdown by making maths fun. But how do its makers come up with their ideas – and what would happen if seven ate nine? When the first lockdown struck and schools closed, parents suddenly found themselves reassessing their approach to screen time. 

Escape Your Reality With Role-Playing Games. Let the good times roll, as old-school tabletop R.P.G.s have taken off online. Recently, a wizard, a druid, a cleric, a ranger, an artificer and a couple of bards met on Zoom. The bards fought. The druid baked cookies. The cleric, wearing nifty resin dragon horns, took hallucinogenic mushrooms. Together they explored candy-coated barracks, searching for an elusive ; cat jokes crowded the...

Barbie's sales are booming. Has the doll shed her controversial past? Barbie, though you’d never guess it by looking at her, turns 62 this month. First introduced to the world on March 9, 1959 at the American Toy Fair in New York City, the plastic icon stands only 11.5 inches tall but her celebrity is about as big as it gets. According to her parent company, Mattel, Barbie has over 99 percent brand awareness globally,...

Girls who play with ultrathin dolls more likely to have body image issues, study says. Ultrathin dolls could be detrimental to young girls' body image, a new study has shown. Researchers observed 5- to 9-year-olds playing with dolls of different body types and found girls who played with ultrathin dolls were more likely to want thin bodies, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Body Image. 

Passionate about vintage toys? The BBC is looking for collectors and experts for a new TV series. The BBC has put a call out to toy collectors as its nation-wide search for experts and specialists within the vintage toys and memorabilia sector continues. Issuing a journo request via ToyNews, BBC Studios is on the lookout for top specialists to act as on-screen guides for a new series that will immerse viewers into...

How an 8-year-old signed a $33,000 contract to play Fortnite on a professional team. At 8 years old, most of us were probably playing with our friends or being reminded to do our homework. However, that's not the case for all eight-year-olds — apparently, some are already on huge salaries. In December, California-born Joseph Deen signed a $33,000 contract with highly selective eSports team Team 33, the BBC reported. 

It was trains, trains and more trains in Weiss's online auction. Weiss Auctions’ first Toy & Train event for 2021, held online-only on February 24th, exceeded all expectations, especially in the exploding toy trains category, as 96 percent of all 500 lots found new owners in a sale that grossed around $200,000. It has inspired Philip Weiss, the owner of Weiss Auctions, to plan up to eight more train sales during this year. 

Weekly video game and trading card auctions kick off at Heritage AuctionsHeritage Auctions has launched weekly online auction for Video Games and Trading Card Games, with the first auction closing Tuesday, March 9. “We couldn't be more excited to premier this new weekly auction venue at Heritage!” said Valarie McLeckie, video game consignment director at Heritage Auctions.

Meet the 23-year-old who launched her own game company to teach people about systems of oppressionit was a game that sparked toiell washington’s interest in math. she’d been struggling with the subject in third grade, so much so that she was held back to repeat the year. but after discovering an online math game, she found herself engaging more and more with the work. the experience rooted in her a love...

Renowned toy and bank collection brings more than $3 million. The first auction of a world-renowned collection of antique toys and mechanical banks grossed more than $3 million at Bertoia Auctions.The March 5-6 sale was of items in the collection of Aaron and Abby Schroeder, which Bertoia said is “Considered one of the greatest toy and bank collections in existence. 

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

MASK (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) from Kenner (1985)Developed by Kenner in 1985, MASK (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) was a line of action figures and vehicles that initially tied into an animated television series of the same name. Led by founder and leader Matt Trakker, MASK did battle against a criminal organization known as VENOM. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem). 

Crissy Doll from Ideal (1969). Released in 1969 from Ideal, the Crissy Doll was a big and bold entry into the fashion doll scene, with the unique (at the time) ability to “grow” hair. Crissy stood approximately 18-inches tall and had a thick strand of adjustable hair in the top of her head. Children could lengthen Crissy’s auburn locks down to to floor-length by pulling on her hair, or shorten it by turning a nob on her back to...

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Jazwares, Epic Games Extend Fortnite Partnership Through 2025. Fortnite is planning to be around for many years to come. Epic Games and Jazwares have extended their licensing agreement for Fortnite toys and collectibles through 2025. IMG brokered the deal, which comes with some new terms starting next January when Jazwares becomes the exclusive toy partner for all Fortnite action figures, vehicles, playsets, and...

Beano Studios celebrates 70th anniversary of Dennis in 2021. A host of new licensed partnerships will join the franchise alongside the 70th anniversary celebrations, launching on Dennis’s birthday on 17th March. Beano Studios has announced a raft of new licensed deals and partners to celebrate 70 years since the first appearance of Dennis in the iconic Beano comic. 

DC, Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences and WarnerMedia are bringing the “Wonder” to International Women’s Day by launching a global celebration that honors the 80-year legacy of DC’s Champion of Truth and Warrior for Peace — Wonder Woman. Embracing the call to see the world through Wonder Woman’s eyes and to “Believe in Wonder,” the 80th Anniversary celebration illuminates the Super Hero’s timeless....

Funko Europe named Licensee of the Year at 2021 Licensing International France Awards. Funko Europe was named Licensee of the Year at the 2021 Licensing International France Awards last week, where the pop culture specialist brushed shoulders with some of the toy and entertainment space’s biggest names, including LEGO and Warner Bros. Consumer Products. 

Bachmann Europe unveils Thunderbirds model kits and Natural History Museum dinosaurs. The European hobby specialist, Bachmann Europe, has detailed a slew of new licensed releases with the launch of its Spring catalogue that includes buildable models from the classic Anderson Entertainment IP, Thunderbirds, and a new Natural History Museum range of dinosaurs. 

Crunchyroll announces winter slate of license partners. Global anime brand Crunchyroll is wrapping the first quarter of the new year with a full slate of licensing deals for a variety of anime series across categories including the smash-hit action series Jujutsu Kaisen, which was recently named the Anime of the Year at the fifth annual Anime Awards, the adorable Bananya and the Crunchyroll Original series The God of High..

Vlad & Niki Superhero Surprise hits shelves in June. The fabulous adventures of internet sensations Vlad & Niki land in the toy aisle as ZURU launches a complete unboxing experience with Vlad & Niki Superhero Surprise.  Capturing the joy & excitement that Vlad and Niki have brought to preschoolers, Vlad & Niki’s Superhero Surprise arrives at Target stores this June before rolling out to other mass retailers later in the summer.

Australia’s World first in-store Minecraft Scavenger Hunt a hit with fans at Big W stores. In a world first for Minecraft, thousands of Australian fans recently experienced the best-selling video game of all time like never before. The BIG W exclusive in-store Minecraft Scavenger Hunt game incorporated many of Minecraft’s favourite characters and was developed with challenges for players to explore, problem-solve and..

John Adams to launch new board games for The Cube and Lingo. John Adams will build on its existing TV game show range with the development of The Cube and Lingo board games. Developed in conjunction with All3Media International, both games will launch in summer 2021. Simon Pilkington, group managing director at John Adams Leisure commented: “We are well known for creating best-selling table-top ...

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People . . . 

Sesame Workshop creates new D&I role. Wanda Witherspoon, with 20 years of Sesame Workshop experience, will be the company's first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Witherspoon previously served as VP of public affairs and special events, but she will now focus on driving all of the not-for-profit company’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Interview with Elspeth Fawcett, Mother of 3 & Founder at Environmental Toy Company: Yummikeys. Yummikeys is a small, mum-owned business based in Scotland. We create environmentally sound, plastic-free toys and feeding necklaces, as well as keepsake necklaces. All products we make are fully carbon offset and made in an ethical manufacturer.

Melissa & Doug co-founder on confronting her depression. Melissa Bernstein, co-founder of toy company Melissa & Doug, seemed to have it all. The firm that she started in 1988 with her husband Doug grew into an iconic brand worth a billion dollars. But despite the trappings of success, Bernstein still experienced an existential depression. Now for the first time she's opening up about her lifelong mental health battle in a new...

(the above posted after March 13th)

Toy Family Series: Q&A with Dieter Strehl of Piatnik. "Our family entered the toy industry at the initiative of my great-great-grandfather Ferdinand Piatnik, born 1819 in Budapest. He was the son of Ignaz Piatnik, a clothes maker (as distinct from a tailor!) who also worked as a chamberlain for Count Nadasdy. Ferdinand learned the trade in Budapest working for a card maker named Johann Gravatz from 1835 onwards. In 1839 he passed his journeyman examination, and went to Vienna, where he joined Anton Moser, a Viennese card maker, who had established his business back in 1824. In 1843 Anton died, and Ferdinand, at 23 years old, took over the workshop, named it F. Piatnik and married the widow Josepha, born in 1794 and 25 years his senior. This was not an uncommon occurrence at the time, although it sounds very strange today."

Mattel Global Sustainability Head to Give Talk Next Week. Sustainability is becoming an imperative for businesses both large and small. But where do you start? Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Mattel’s Head of Global Sustainability, presents the business case for sustainability, explores the forces that will impact businesses in the future, and discusses the key product, packaging, and logistics considerations for the licensing community.

Finn Arnesen resurfaces at Games Workshop In a newly created role, the former Hasbro Studios and Turner exec is tasked with leading the company's content development efforts. Reporting to EVP of global licensing Jon Gillard, Arnesen will initially be responsible for developing animated and live-action content based on the popular fantasy/sci-fi universe of Warhammer. 

A Saskatoon girl's imagined plush toy will be among those Ikea will manufacture and sell later this year. As part of an annual tradition, the Swedish retail giant invited kids from around the world to submit drawings for its Soft Toy Drawing Competition. Audrey, a nine-year-old from Saskatoon, is among five children whose drawings will be brought to life, according to a news release from Ikea. Audrey's "Sandwich Friends"...

Magic Box welcomes Jose Vicente Savall as global commercial & marketing director Jose Vicente Savall joins the company as it enjoys great success, spearheaded by the popular SuperThings brand.  Jose Vicente Savall brings with him a wealth of international toy industry experience. He worked at Hasbro for 28 years in various executive roles, including general manager of several regions: Iberia, Russia, Benelux, Nordic...

CAKE restructures, adds production arm. Tom van Waveren is stepping down, Ed Galton is taking over as CEO, and Rob Doherty has been promoted to lead a new production division and oversee several new hires. Between now and then, the company will expand to become the CAKE Group, complete with a CAKE Productions division to complement its existing CAKE Distribution arm.

Cardi B Releases Her Own Fashion Doll. Timed with Women’s History Month, multi-platinum recording artist and fashion icon, Cardi B, announced the upcoming release of her first limited edition fashion doll alongside Real Women Are, a new diverse and inclusive doll brand.

An experienced and risk-taking female entrepreneur, Cardi B inspired and created the doll in her outspoken, colorful and confident likeness.

ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) has appointed Jennifer Pang to lead its business in Greater China. Pang will be based in Hong Kong, reporting to Mark Kingston, Senior Vice President, International Licensing, VCP. Claire O’Connor, Vice President, Consumer Products & Retail Marketing, Asia Pacific, will exit the business. As Vice President and Head of Licensing, Greater China, Pang leads VCP’s overall licensing business... 

Discreet Arts Appoints President of New U.S. Operation.  Discreet Arts, a world-class animation studio headquartered in India, has opened a U.S. office in Burbank, California, with animation industry creative veteran, Steven Wendland, appointed as President. The announcement was made by Discreet Arts Founder & CEO Srikanth Pottekula. Under the leadership of Wendland, Discreet Arts USA will focus on the expansion...

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Companies . . .

University Games to remove single use plastic from portfolio as part of its Taking Steps to Protect Our Planet push. UGis taking positive strides to improve their environmental impact in 2021, in its quest to be the most environmentally friendly games and puzzles company in the UK. As part of its plans, the games, puzzles and gift specialist has created a new ‘Taking Steps to Protect Our Planet’ logo that will help enforce

Mattel Teams up with Pizza Pizza and Pizza to Celebrate UNO in Canada. Canadian families can now order a hot pizza pie with a side order of UNO. Mattel entered into a partnership with Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 locations across Canada to offer a special UNO Combo featuring a co-branded UNO deck to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the popular card game. 

No Kiddin’ Around | Why Playmobil is taking the adult fan market seriously this year and beyond. It doesn’t take a DeLorean for a journey into your own past, but it certainly does help, as more and more toy companies are seeing audience numbers increase across their kidult product offering. Among them, is Playmobil, a company that is blazing a new trail with its expanded Back to the Future line-up this year.

How Waffles + Mochi found its puppeteers. With diversity in mind, Higher Ground had to broaden its search for talent way beyond the usual suspects, says Qadriyyah Shamsid-Deen. Significant headway has been made over the past year to improve diversity behind the scenes of the kids entertainment industry. But when Higher Ground Productions started casting its new series Waffles + Mochi, the studio realized...

Jazwares’ First Act to Sponsor Virtual #SchoolsGotTalent. ClassTag and Jazwares announced the second annual #SchoolsGotTalent virtual talent show, sponsored by Jazwares’ musical instrument brand, First Act. Bringing together ClassTag’s community of more than 25,000 schools and five million parents, the #SchoolsGotTalent contest invites children from across the nation to submit their talent performances for the...

Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest Announced for April 9, a brand-new collector-focused event. Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest brings collectors a schedule filled with exciting brand panels that will offer exclusive news and opportunities to secure their favorite products before anyone else, as well as special guest appearances including Henry Golding, star of the upcoming film Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins and cast members of the new series Power ...

Wow! Stuff unveils new Jurassic World lineup. Wow! Stuff continues to expand its roster of licensed brands with Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World franchise. Wow! Stuff’s new Jurassic World lineup features collectibles and flying toys based around the Pteranadon, one of the most popular flying dinosaurs with kids.

Hasbro is celebrating the 65th anniversary of Play-Doh by skipping to the end that most cans of the famous compound face: they get all mixed up. According to Hasbro, kids’ true colors likely end in muddy grey, and with that in mind, they’re ready to “bring parents face-to-face with their unavoidable, cringeworthy compound truth” with the very first can of pre-mixed Play-Doh Compound. 

Russian Cosmonaut Inspires Mattel to Create New Barbie Doll.  ​Kikina, who has worked for Roscosmos since 2016, said Mattel’s new creation will send a signal that with hard work, anyone can become a cosmonaut. "We don’t expect every girl, who play with this doll to become a cosmonaut. The most important thing is for them to understand that every girl has a choice, they can choose any profession they like"...

eOne announces new content plans for Peppa Pig. The new content plan for Peppa Pig includes 104 new episodes, ensuring a continuous pipeline of fresh content through to 2027. Hasbro’s global content studio, eOne, has outlined a new content plan for Peppa Pig which confirms that 104 x 5” episodes have been greenlit for production, ensuring a continuous pipeline of fresh content through to 2027.

This Toy Company Reopened Its Office. Here's What Its Employees Think. When Basic Fun! CEO Jay Foreman told his employees to come back to work last summer, not everyone was happy. Here's what their operation looks like today. A dozen years ago, Jay Foreman (below) started a company that makes toys, including classics like Tonka trucks, Care Bears, and Lincoln Logs. It’s called, appropriately, Basic Fun! 

Hasbro Gives Brand A Starring Role.  Since the 1990s, toy manufacturer Hasbro HAS +2.1% has promoted its Nerf brand of foam balls and dart blasters with the slogan “It’s Nerf or Nothin’. Now, Hasbro’s strategy for the brand could be described as “It’s Nerf in Everything.” As Hasbro seeks to transform itself from manufacturer to multi-dimensional and multimedia powerhouse with three operating units—digital, entertainment...

(the above posted after March 12th)

Hasbro Pulse officially launches in the UK. Hasbro, Inc. announced that the successful online destination for fans and collectors, Hasbro Pulse, which has previously only been available to consumers in the United States and Canada, has now officially launched a second site dedicated to consumers based in the UK. This platform serves as a source for Hasbro product offerings, news, and experiences for iconic Hasbro ...

Jakks Pacific unveils Super Mario 3d World Cat Mario 3-Pack. Following yesterday’s debut of the new Super Mario Deluxe Bowser’s Airship Playset, Jakks Pacific dropped another sneak-preview of an upcoming Super Mario product ahead of “Mar10 Day,” Nintendo‘s annual celebration of the Super Mario Bros. franchise on March 10. Today’s reveal is a Super Mario 3D World 3-Pack featuring 4-inch, articulated figures of ...

Rubik’s Perplexus Fusion 3 x 3 from Spin Master. Children’s entertainment company, Spin Master, marries two beloved 3D puzzle styles — Rubik’s Cube and Perplexus — to create a mind-twisting game experience. Rubik’s Perplexus Fusion 3 x 3 builds on the success and complexity of the Rubik’s Perplexus Hybrid 2 x 2. Housed in a transparent plastic cube reminiscent of the original Rubik’s Cube, the Rubik’s Perplexus ....

The growing trend | Little Tikes’ expectations of a sell-out season for its Outdoor offering, Growing Garden. Little Tikes is eyeing a sell-out season for its latest launch in the outdoor play sector, its collection of grow-you-own inspired products that tap directly into the current surge in consumer interest in exploring their own back gardens and digging into the ‘grow your own’ sector. 

The Insights people expands Kids Insights and Parents Insights into the Asia-Pacific region. Kids Insights and Parents Insights is established in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and Spain. The company provides kids, parents, and family market intelligence to clients including Amazon, BBC, Disney, F1, Kraft, Mattel, T-Mobile, Warner Bros., and more. 

Renegade Game Studios unveils 'Clank! In! Space!' expansion. Renegade Game Studios unveiled Clank! In! Space! Adventures: Pulsarcade, an expansion to Clank! In! Space!, coming to retail in July 2021! This expansion sends players on a quest to set high scores on Lord Eradikus' collection of vintage arcade cabinets and then battle the new settings on his ship. 

'Drax Hero Pack' is headed to 'Marvel Champions: The Card Game'. Fantasy Flight Games revealed Drax Hero Pack, for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, which will release in June. Drax joins the Guardians of the Galaxy as a brand-new playable hero that features 15 signature cards. His Hero Pack features a pre-built deck revolving around the Protection aspect. 

CMON will release 'A Song Of Ice & Fire: Greyjoy Starter Set'. CMON will release A Song of Ice & Fire: Greyjoy Starter Set, a brand-new miniatures set, on April 23. The House Greyjoy joins the battle with this new starter set revolving around raw combat potential. Their faction implements Tactic Cards that feature the Pillage mechanics. As they crush their foes, they gain Pillage tokens which can be used...

Mondo launches a new line of Marvel Mecha toysThe good folks at Mondo are always upping the game. And this time, they might have outdone themselves. The company—known for its pop-culture-centric limited-edition posters, vinyl soundtracks, apparel, and collectibles—just launched Marvel Mecha, The collaboration with Marvel combines Manga and Japanese Mecha designs from the ’80s and ’90s with iconic...

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has partnered with Toybox to allow fans to create their own toys at home, to enable audiences to print characters from across the Warner Bros. portfolio. Marked by many as a major step forward in the ongoing development and evolution of the 3D printing space and its implications for the future of the toy industry, the new partnership will allow Toybox fans the chance to print...

PlayMonster Charges Into STEAM with New Science4you Brand. PlayMonster is getting into a new category with the U.S. launch of Science4you, a proprietary line of science kits designed for kids ages 4 and up. The Wisconsin-based toymaker’s entry into STEAM begins with 12 kits across three age ranges and categories: Eco-Science, STEAM Science, and Creative Science.

PMI Ltd, YuMe Toys Named Global Distributors for Toikido’s Among Us Toys. The first wave of officially licensed Among Us toys is slated to launch in mid-May with a second wave scheduled to hit stores in June. Toikido inked deals with PMI Ltd and YuMe Toys to serve as key global distributors for the new line of toys inspired by InnerSloth’s massively successful video game. 

Disney Plus has officially surpassed 100 million subscribers, less than a year and a half after the streaming service launched. Executives announced the milestone during Disney’s annual shareholders meeting. The last time Disney gave an update on Disney Plus’ subscribers number was in February during its first quarter earnings; there, it announced that, as of January 2nd, 2021, there were just over 94 million

Build-A-Bear in production on feature film. Shooting for a fall premiere, Honey Girls will be the first content to come out of Build-A-Bear's production partnership with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Honey Girls is being produced by Foundation Media Partners, with Patrick Hughes producing and Build-A-Bear CEO Sharon Price John executive producing.

BBC Studios to take on BBC Children’s Productions. The British pubcaster has a five-year plan to increase BBC Studios' financial returns by 30%, and absorbing the in-house kids production team is part of it. BBC Children’s Productions will soon be under new management as it shifts from operating as a unit of the pubcaster, to being overseen by commercial arm BBC Studios. 

The future of YouTube’s preschool content. Recently hired as global head of preschool, Craig Hunter is looking to make his mark at the AVOD with what's left of its US$100-million kids content fund. Craig Hunter may have only started at YouTube a few weeks ago, but he has already been thrust into working on a busy slate and mapped out plans for where he’s going to take the AVOD giant’s preschool content in the future.

The House of Mouse is ready to sing a new tune with Eureka! Currently in production and set to premiere on Disney Junior later this year, this new music-driven animated series for preschoolers is about a young inventor living in prehistoric times. Eureka! is produced by Brown Bag Films, in association with Disney Junior. 

Waboba – keeping life funToy World spoke to Jordan Sullivan, director of fun at Waboba, about what makes the company’s range an attractive proposition for retailers. We asked Jordan about Waboba’s biggest strengths in the Outdoor category coming into 2021. “Our growing range includes the Wingman collection, the Voli paddle set and our newest creation, Airlyft, a hollow flying glider,” she explained. “We started out ...

Moose Toys, a leading innovator in the toy industry, was named the Walmart Toy Supplier of the Year Award. The award was presented during Walmart’s seventh annual Supplier Growth Forum, held virtually on March 3. During the event, Walmart shared the company’s strategic initiatives, key areas of focus and future growth strategies. “It is truly an honor to be recognized with this award by Walmart who continue...

Amelia Earhart is getting the LEGO treatmentTo celebrate International Women’s Day, LEGO has released a set featuring Amelia Earhart and her red Lockheed 5B Vega—the plane she flew across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932, making her the first woman to complete a transatlantic flight alone. As Brick Fanatics reports, LEGO designer Mel Caddick and her cohorts worked off actual blueprints of the aircraft to make sure the...

More Heroes and Enemies for 'Shadows of Brimstone'Flying Frog Productions continues to expand Shadows of Brimstone with four new Hero Packs releasing in April and May and the Shikarri Nomad Crusaders Enemy Pack also coming in May. Each Hero Pack features an iconic Old West style character class for the game, including miniatures for both male and female versions of the character. 

Wizkids unveils more 'Pathfinder Battles' collectible miniatures. WizKids unveiled Pathfinder Battles: Bestiary Unleashed and Pathfinder: Treerazer Premium Set, a new miniatures collectible sets for use with Pathfinder RPG, for release in July. Pathfinder Battles: Bestiary Unleashed offers 47 new monster miniatures for RPG players to collect. This blind-packed product come in two configurations: a Standard Booster...

Basic Fun! & Kroeger announce K’Nex distribution deal. Basic Fun!, a leading US toy and consumer products company, along with its K’Nex subsidiary, announce a distribution partnership with Kroeger, Inc. for all brands under the K’Nex banner for the specialty and independent markets in North America. Kroeger, Inc. will distribute the classic construction toy brands, K’Nex, Lincoln Logs, and Tinkertoy in this region...

Celebrate 15 years of European rail adventures with 'Ticket To Ride Europe: 15th Anniversary'. Asmodee USA announced Ticket to Ride Europe: 15th Anniversary, the classic rail game by Days of Wonder, for release this spring. Pack some bags and hop on the European Express with this deluxe, oversized anniversary version of Ticket to Ride Europe. .

New Lego Ideas Winnie the Pooh set unveiled. The Lego Ideas platform is a Lego initiative that takes new ideas that have been imagined and voted for by fans and turns them into reality. The latest project is a new Lego Ideas Winnie the Pooh set – based on original designs by Lego builder and superfan Ben Alder. Beneath a large oak tree, complete with beehives and bees, Pooh’s house takes centre stage and can...

Find The Cat in the Hat's friends in 'Dr. Seuss Picture Pairing Game'Funko Games announced Dr. Seuss Picture Pairing Game, a family game, for release in spring 2021.The Cat in the Hat and his friends are playing hide and seek, and players need to use their memory skills to find and match up various creatures. The game begins with 22 circle tiles placed face down on the tabletop, which have memorable Dr. Seuss...

Character Options launches raft of outdoor activity toys under Great Active Fun campaignCharacter Options has detailed the launch of a range of new activity toys for this spring as the toy firm looks to bring Great Active Fun to the forefront this Easter. Great Active Fun… Indoors and Out is the messaging behind a new marketing initiative that will see Character Options look to raise awareness of the raft of activity toys...

Wizards of the Coast unveils new deets on 'Modern Horizons 2'. Wizards of the Coast unveiled new details on the Modern Horizons 2 set which will be headed to stores on June 11. Modern Horizons 2 will be a non-Standard legal set that will feature cards playable in Modern, Commander, and Legacy. It will add more mechanics to these formats and offer up throwback cards for players to utilize in their decks. 

Big G Creative introduces Hide ‘N CheekBig G Creative continues its expansion into games for the whole family with the introduction of Hide ‘N Cheek. In Hide ‘N Cheek, players face off in an effort to become the chipmunk with the most nuts. Designed for players ages 6 and up, the four-player game will have families turning into chipmunks with custom masks that include expanding cheek pouches.

Lego plans hiring spree for digital growth driveDanish toy giant Lego plans to recruit hundreds of computer experts in the UK, Denmark and China to expand its digital games and online sales operation. In 2020, the company saw its fastest sales growth in five years, helped by locked-down families buying bigger Lego sets they could make together.

Jazwares’ latest collectible My Squishy Little Dumplings to hit UK in May. Jazwares has announced the launch of My Squishy Little Dumplings from WowWee. Predicted to be the hottest new collectible from the makers of Fingerlings, My Squishy Little Dumplings will be available in the UK from May. Kids can collect four adorable interactive characters, each with a big personality and cute accessories. 

Pandasaurus Games to publish English editions of Catch Up Games. Pandasaurus Games will publish English editions of The Loop and Wild Space, two titles from French game studio Catch Up Games, for release into the U.S. hobby channel in September. The Loop is a cooperative game in which players take on Dr. Faux, an evil genius. Wild Space is a combo-building card game where players are building a crew to...

Wizkids reveals 'D&D Icons of the Realms Miniatures: Snowbound'. WizKids revealed D&D Icons of the Realms Miniatures: Snowbound Huge Booster, Huge Booster 8 Ct. Brick, and Frost Giant and Mammoth Premium Set for release in June. This collectible miniatures set features 46 pre-painted figures from Snowbound and comes in two product configurations: the Huge Booster and the Huge Booster 8 Ct. Brick. .

Overflow an opponent's cauldron in 'Whirling Witchcraft'. Alderac Entertainment Group announced Whirling Witchcraft, a new board game, for release on August 20. In Whirling Witchcraft, players assume the roles of witches trying to complete recipes in their cauldrons. Each player has a nemesis witch, the player sitting to their right. The goal of the game is to overflow their nemesis's cauldron while being the first to clear...

Lucky Duck Games announces 'Destinies'. Lucky Duck Games announced Destinies, a new story-driven board game with app integrations, for release on May 27. Destinies is a story-driven board game that utilizes an app to help play out five scenarios. Players take on the roles of questing heroes as they discover and explore new parts of the world on tiles. Choices in the game have consequences that are meaningful...

Superman rounds out McFarlane Toys’ Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The team is now complete. Since Sunday, McFarlane Toys has unleashed official images of their Zack Snyder’s Justice League action figures in pairs. First came Steppenwolf and Darkseid, then Aquaman and Flash, followed by Batman and Cyborg. Since Wonder Woman came out last year already, that leaves only one. .

Pottick Law Ad new as of Nov 2020.jpg

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

Data center blaze wipes out Rust player data across 25 EU servers. A large amount of Rust player data has been lost after a fire broke out at the OVH data center in Strasbourg, France. Developer Facepunch broke the news earlier today, explaining that 25 of its European servers had been affected by the blaze. 

What do Stadia's struggles mean for game streaming? The closure of Stadia Games and Entertainment, Google's internal development team dedicated to creating exclusive content for the streaming service, was both a surprise and a disappointment. But the closure itself calls into question the promise of game streaming in general. Given how the technology has transformed music, film and TV, it's still possible...

Fortnite’s new season will kick off with an ‘explosive’ event. A new season of Fortnite is almost here, which can only mean one thing: a big in-game event. Today, Epic detailed what players can expect when season 6 of Fortnite’s second chapter kicks off. It sounds pretty ambitious and even includes a story-focused solo experience. .

Analyst: iOS games are 76% larger now than five years agoThe average file size for App Store-hosted games has hit 465 MB, marking a 76 percent increase in size over the last 5 years. This comes from data scrubbed by mobile analyst firm Sensor Tower based on the top 100 revenue generating games from 2016 to now. .

Six Days in Fallujah publisher now says the game is ‘inseparable from politics’. Nearly a month after distancing itself from political statements, the publisher of the controversial military shooter Six Days in Fallujah has backtracked and now says the events in the game are “inseparable from politics.” The game, which takes place during the Iraq War’s Second Battle of Fallujah, has come under scrutiny...

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

Europol’s crackdown on counterfeits seizes over €16 million worth of fake toys. Close to five million counterfeit toys have been seized by police and customs authorities worldwide in a crackdown organised by Europol over the recent festive season. Operation LUDUS, conducted with the support of OLAF and the EUIPO carried out nearly 5,000 inspections across 24 countries between October 19th 2020 and January...

Press Releases . . . 

eeBoo FILLS IN THE PIECES, WITH LOVE,TO CELEBRATE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH WITH EDUTAINING PUZZLES & GAMES. Spotlighting Women’s History Month: From Jane Austen’s Book Club and Viva La Vida Frida Kahlo 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzles to Children’s Votes For Women 100 Piece Puzzle. If you don’t know eeBoo and eeBoo Piece & Love, you should. Woman-owned and mother-run for over 25 years, eeBoo is a lifestyle brand that prominently features female artists and illustrators from around the world, environmentally sustainable vibrant design, and fresh themes to celebrate this monthˆInternational Women’s Day and Women’s History Month!

(the above posted after March 12th)

IN LIKE A LION OR OUT LIKE A LAMB? SOUTH BEACH BUBBLES HAVE KITS FOR HOWEVER THE WIND BLOWS No Matter The Forecast, Look To WOWmazing™ Giant Bubble Wands To Get Kids Moving With Three New Adventures: Unicorn, Space & Winter Editions  – Have you ever heard of the saying, "March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb"? It most likely comes from the position of the constellations Leo (a lion) and Aries (a ram, or lamb) in the night sky. But it does mimic March's changing weather as the seasons change from winter to spring. No matter the date on the calendar, kids and their friends they just want to get outside and play. South Beach Bubbles have them covered with three themed WOWmazing Kits -- Unicorn, Space and Winter Editions.

HUGGABLE PLUSH “CEMENTS” A CHILD’S FIRST LOVE FOR HESS TOY TRUCKSMy Plush Hess Truck 2021 Cement Mixer Gives A Surprise Light & Sound Show When Kids Activate With A Squeeze (Batteries Included!) Hess announced today the release of this year’s My Plush Hess Truck ($29.99) designed for the youngest member of the family – even newborns. With its friendly eyes and smiling front grille, a child’s first love for Hess Toy Trucks will be “cemented” with this newest release. The green Cement Mixer joins the cherished Hess Toy Truck collection that spans almost 60 years. Launched last year, the plush toy truck line from Hess immediately captured the hearts of tots, parents and grandparents. 

Jabuka, the new word game with the coffee theme, is giving the Easter Bunny a new twist on options to fill baskets this year. Hopping on an idea to add games to the Easter deliveries, Jabuka is the big treat that is the right size to lay nicely next to the decorated eggs and chocolate bunnies. Jabuka is packaged in a neat, eco-friendly cloth bag and at about five-inches and weighing just a few ounces, it just fits...

A Different Kind of Easter Egg and Sugar Treat. In unusual times, Griddly Games has an unusual idea for this year’s Easter basket. Griddly Games has an egg kit and a sugar kit that just might make Easter an egg-stra sweet day for science and craft fans. Griddly Games today announced that its egg-ceptional science + art activity kits, Just Add Egg and Just Add Sugar, fit into any Easter basket without the calories. 

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals

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

GEN CON PUSHED BACK, FORMAT NOW INCLUDES FLGS POP-UPS. September Becomes a Marathon of Major Game Shows. After postponing Gen Con badge registration and event submission earlier this year (see "Gen Con Pushes Back Badge Registration and Event Submission"), Gen Con LLC. has decided to move the entire event from August 5-8, 2021 to September 16-19, 2021 and convert it to a hybrid live/online format.

(the above posted after March 12th)

Toymaster show cancelled Restrictions on travel and gatherings mean the buying group has pushed its annual show back to 2022. As a result of this, the Toymaster board has decided that the May Show will not take place in 2021, and the next show will be at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate May 17-19th 2022.

BTHA welcomes Graham Canning as new chairman Andrew Laughton completes his term in office this month, and a new chairman and vice-chairman will step up. The association will welcome Graham Canning of VTech as the new chairman and Simon Pilkington of John Adams as the new vice-chairman, as planned. Graham has recently been serving as chairman of the Toy Trust Committee, the toy industry charity....

Potential date change on the cards for Distoy? Originally planned for June, the Distoy event’s website has been updated and now features a new date at the end of October this year. Toy World was contacted yesterday by several people from the toy community, pointing out that the home page of the Distoy website had been changed to show a new date for the event. None of the other website pages have yet been changed...

The Children’s Media Conference (CMC), now in its 18th year, will be virtual again for 2021, running from July 5-9 2021. With the theme ‘Together’, the conference will tackle the urgent issues facing the children’s media industry and the young audience. Following the success of the last year’s virtual conference, CMC 2021 has a packed agenda of webinars, keynotes and panels, playing host to a wide range of broadcasters...

DesignerCon returns in 2021 with in-person show: the largest art & toy convention in the US releases dates. After a convention made possible by innovative virtual programming, DesignerCon is thrilled to announce their return to an in-person model in 2021! From November 12th-14th the largest Art and Toy convention in the United States is back at the Anaheim Convention center. 

RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed . . . If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our colleagues. Archives can be found HERE.

Gerry Crown - Founder of Crown & Andrews (Australia). Passed away March 12th, 2021 peacefully in his sleep. To learn more about Gerry, watch this conversation between Adi Golad and Gerry Crown that took place October 2020. 

Lou Ottens, the Dutch inventor of the cassette tape passed away at the age of 94. Ottens was an engineer at Philips, which reports that more than 100 billion cassette tapes have been sold worldwide.

Frank Thorne - He was 90 at the time of his death on March 7. Thorne started working in comics in 1948(!), but was best known for his work on Red Sonja, a character he started drawing in 1976, at a time when the character was being developed in the Robert E. Howard Conan universe by Barry Windsor-Smith and writer Roy Thomas.  Thorne provided most of the art for the Red Sonja solo series, which ran from 1977-1979. Thorne also created some of his own characters, including Ghita of Alizarr in an original graphic novel, Lann in Heavy Metal, Danger Rangerette in National Lampoon, and others. Thorne worked for Standard Comics and DC in addition to Marvel; did newspaper strips, including Perry Mason; wrote a number of books for Fantagraphics; and did magazine illustration work for Playboy, Hustler, High Times, and Vanity Fair.

Art Janis - It is with profound sadness the WowWee family announces passing of their Executive Vice President of Sales and dear friend Art Janis. An amazing friend to the Toy Industry, his warmth and good nature was felt by anyone and everyone he touched. The WowWee Family would like to share the following.

Dear Artie,

It has been an honor to have you in our lives. You were there from the very beginning, always positive, always smiling, always honest, always giving it your all….one of the “goodest” souls we have ever encountered.  Your loyalty to anyone you called friend was unwavering, you have always been our shining example of what it means to be decent, caring and most of all real.   We have so many loving memories of how you helped build and touch all our lives, including the succession of WowWee itself with the large fingerprint you have left both generationally on our family and everyone within our organization. We suspect the reason why your heart gave out is because you have given it to so many of us - it is the reason why you will never ever be out of our thoughts and out of our lives.  We know how phobic you were to being nothing less than the vibrant, never better attitude you always brought with you everywhere you went, and we take some comfort knowing that you would never want to exist without being able to operate at full capacity…. which is motoring through an airport while picking up dessert and a Coke, phone in hand watching the Yankees. Please know that you will be severely missed and never forgotten. 

Rest in peace our dear friend, uncle to the kids, loved by everyone at Wow Wee especially your HK brothers and sisters (Mark Ng, Fion, Gloria, Anita, Steven to name a few) and most of all your beautiful wife, Marina.

With much love always,

Your WowWee family

.

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Weekly Top Stories from Toy Trade Magazines Worldwide . . . 

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

  1. Basic Fun! & Kroeger Announce K'Nex Distribution Deal

  2. LEGO Reports Strong Growth in 2020

  3. Crunchyroll Announces Winter Slate of License Partners

  4. Moose Toys Hits the Trifecta with Three Top Toys in 2020

  5. Toy Association Announces New Board Members

  6. DC, Warner Bros. Celebrate 80 Years of Wonder Woman

  7. Vlad & Niki Superhero Surprise Hits Shelves in June

  8. 'Blank Slate' Reimagines Sesame Street Characters

  9. Hasbro Pulse Officially Launches in the UK

  10. Feature: The New World of Play is Among Us

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. How do you measure a year?…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Lego posts double digit growth as families build together during lockdown

  3. Date change on the cards for Distoy (updated)

  4. Magic Box welcomes Jose Vicente Savall as global commercial & marketing director

  5. New phase of growth for Skyrocket Toys

  6. Exclusive – Amazon Vendor or Seller?

  7. BTHA welcomes Graham Canning as new chairman

  8. Minions sequel release delayed until 2022

  9. Alex Global Products returns to UK thanks to DKB

  10. Exclusive: Waboba – keeping life fun

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

  1.  TCGplayer Top 25 Sealed TCG Products - February 2021
2.  Lackluster 'Magic: The Gathering' Standard Sales Give 'Pokemon TCG' a Big Win in February
3.  WizKids Unveils More 'Pathfinder Battles' Collectible Miniatures
4.  WizKids Reveals 'D&D Icons of the Realms Miniatures: Snowbound'
5.  Wizards of the Coast Unveils New Deets on 'Modern Horizons 2'
6.  Rolling for Initiative -- 'Pokemon TCG' and the Anchoring Heuristic

  7.  Disney Closing 20% of North America Stores
8.  TCGplayer and Legend Story Studios Sell 'Flesh and Blood: Monarch' First Edition
9.  Privateer Press Unveils Four New 'Monsterpocalypse' Miniatures Sets
10.  Find The Cat in the Hat's Friends in 'Dr. Seuss Picture Pairing Game'

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

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

Total Licensing

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Ready, Steady, Worm! Pre-order, Asmodee Acquires Plan B Games
River Horse has a new Labyrinth-themed game available for pre-order, Asmodee has acquired the company behind Azul, and Renegade Game Studios has announced a new Clank! In! Space! expansion.

Video of the Week! 

Counterfeits, Copycats and Infringers - a HUGE challenge for our toy industry! Christopher Tidwell (CEO Magformers) and Fred Jordan (Sr. Director of N.A. Design and Development, Magformers) explain the issue fully with examples.


This important panel was part of our Spring POP WeekWe now have over 1,000 profiles in our POP Database and growing! POP Week generated 1,500 Pitches, 10 Interactive Q&A Sessions and 15 Panels. Join People of Play NOW!

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher