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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin' Friday! 

Another DISTOY in the books! Brian Weiss, President of Goliath N.A. and Global Toys remarked, "Quiet, but effective. Some great innovation that will find its way to customer's wishlists." Great to see many of you at our DISTOY POP Pub Event Wednesday night. We raised a nice sum for the UK Toy Trust. We will share details and photos next week - thank you to all who contributed, congrats to the winners of the adorable French Bulldogs (plush, of course, donated by Michael Kohner) and thank you to our generous sponsors showcased and hats off to the DISTOY Pub Committee: Lizzy MoodyEleanor BlackHannah Palfrey and yours truly.

ASTRA is next week! Looking forward to seeing many of you in St. Louis! I'll be at the Young Inventor Challenge table with Ahren Hoffman. Stop by and find out more about our Young Inventor Challenge Neighborhood Toy Store Day Edition.

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


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The Toy Association is ready to enter a new era under the leadership and guidance of toy industry veteran, Greg Ahearn, who will join as President & CEO on June 1st. During the months of June and July, I will be fully transitioning my interim leadership responsibilities to Greg.


Greg has a long history in the toy industry, holding executive roles at both small and large manufacturers including Mattel, OddzOn, Hasbro, and LeapFrog, as well as Toys“R”Us on the retail side. Outside the toy space, Greg’s experience extends to Uber Technologies and as co-president at Davis Elen Advertising. His broad range of expertise covers everything from brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce to brand building, marketing, digital media, licensing and more.


Earlier this week, I sat down with Greg to talk about his plans for The Toy Association and his perspectives on the industry.  

Andy: Greg, welcome to The Toy Association. I know the Association and its members will be in excellent hands under your leadership. What are some of your top priorities in your first weeks and months at the Association?


Greg: Thanks Andy. I appreciate the warm welcome from you and especially from people throughout the toy world since the announcement.    READ MORE...

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Podcast of Week - Hidden Roles:

Connie Vogelmann designed Apiary & Wyrmspan

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Connie Vogelmann is lightning in a bottle! Apiary & Wyrmspan were both among the top 20 hottest games on Board Game Geek... and they are her first games! In today's episode she shares her game design process, shines a light on the magic of bee waggle dances, and gives some excellent advice for new game designers. --- Hidden Role Podcast is also available on most major podcast networks!  READ MORE...

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

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Cartoon of the Week: Thank you, Bob Fuhrer, for the funny cartoon this week! 

Paraprosdokian Lovers:  "You’re not completely useless, you can always serve as a bad example."

Memorable Quotes:  "Always remember your ABC's. Always Be Creative." -Andrew Perlmutter quoting Funko's Mike Becker, 2023 POP Inventor Pitch & Innovation Conference Keynote

Toy Industry Word of Day:  Rollbot submitted by J.L. Allyn 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 owner of Wordle is legally challenging a geography-based spinoff called Worldle. In the filing, the New York Times, which purchased Wordle for a seven figure sum in 2022, accuses its near-namesake of "creating confusion" and attempting to capitalise on "the enormous goodwill” associated with its own brand. But the creator of Worldle, software developer Kory McDonald, is vowing to fight back on the grounds that there...


Disney will continue to be a collaborator to ‘help sustain’ the UK industry, having revealed it has spent £3.5bn on local production in the last five years. In a keynote speech at the Deloitte and Enders Media & Telecoms 2024 and Beyond Conference this morning, EMEA president Jan Koeppen noted the US giant is “ambitious to keep growing” but that it would be in conjunction with its industry peers.

WEBTOON Entertainment to go public. The storytelling platform operator, which is backed by South Korea’s Naver, has filed for an IPO in the US. The number of shares that will be issued—and their pricing—have yet to be determined. But parentco Naver, a South Korean internet conglom, plans to continue controlling the company after the IPO.

*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 31st ***


Elon Musk‘s artificial intelligence startup has raised a huge Series B funding round. The company, xAI, says that it has secured $6 billion in a new round of funding that values it at $24 billion. Investors in the round include Fidelity, Valor Equity Partners, Vy Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and Kingdom Holding, and others. A $6 billion funding round is an astonishingly large...


The Australian Federal Government has named children’s entertainer Simon Pryce Commonwealth representative to the Australian Children’s Television Foundation Board for a three-year term. Pryce is best known for his work in the long-running children’s musical group The Wiggles, whom he joined as a performer in 2002 before taking on the role of the Red Wiggle in 2013, following Murray Cook’s departure.

Deadline reported this week that DreamWorks Animation and Hasbro were in talks to create a combined family entertainment co. that would be called DreamWorks-Hasbro, and said the deal is at least 60 days away from being finalized. But according to Variety, citing sources, those talks are now over. The sources say that the reason the talks ended was because of the unfavorable reception Wall Street gave the...

Uvalde families sue Meta, Activision and Daniel Defense for ‘grooming’ Robb Elementary shooter. The lawsuit refers to the social media company, video game maker and gun manufacturer as an “unholy trinity” that convert alienated teenage boys into mass shooters. The families of most of the Robb Elementary School shooting victims filed wrongful death lawsuits Friday against companies they refer to as an “unholy trinity”...

If you own a YouTube channel for kids and families that earns at least US$500,000 in annual revenue and are looking to grow, then Electrify Video Partners wants to connect. That’s the message from the London-based company, which raised US$85 million from private equity fund Capital D in September to scale the production and distribution of YouTube channels that fit its model.



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Financial Reporting


Polish game developer CD Projekt posts 44% first-quarter profit jump

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

Global e-commerce sales are expected to reach US$6.8 trillion by 2028. Forrester's new report forecasts that online sales will account for 24% of the world's purchases in the next five years, with the US and APAC driving this growth.


Wirecutter - 5 Offline Games We Love for Camping (That Are Also Great for the Backyard)

U.S. Toy Sales Still Up 38% Over 2019 as Decline Slows, Adult Consumer Segment Grows, Circana Says. The U.S. toy industry might be turning a corner from slowing sales.

TV ratings data analyst Nielsen is pioneering a new service for measuring the performance of FAST channels, with Lionsgate on board as a first client. 

A new report from Ampere Analysis has revealed a steep rise in anime interest developing in what some might consider to be a surprising international region. 


*** The above posted after tBR circulated May 31st ***


Families Can Now Shop “Influencer Choice List” Presented by Toy Association & Powered by Clamour.


ABC Kids Expo Reveals Top Industry Trends at 2024 Show. From colors and materials to safety and innovation, the ABC Kids Expo team offers the latest trends in kids categories.


BBC embarks on an on-screen diversity review.


Entertainment Industry “Undergoing Once-In-A-Generation Changes” As LA’s Share Of Film & TV Employment Fell By 8% During Strikes, Study Finds.

CoComelon episodes were watched more than 200m times in the second half of 2023, from July to December. The show’s eighth season alone was the most-watched children’s show, ranking No. 8 overall.


World Series of Licensing Q&A: Steve Rad, Abacus Brands. The CEO of Abacus Brands talks licensing with The Toy Book…


World Series of Licensing Q&A: Anthony Marks, Fanattik. The Managing Director of Fanattik talks licensing with The Toy Book…

World Series of Licensing Q&A: Anita Castellar, FanGirl Consulting & Brand Management. The Founder of FanGirl Consulting & Brand Management talks licensing trends with The Toy Book…


World Series of Licensing Q&A: Helena Perheentupa, Wyncor. The COO of Wyncor talks licensing with The Toy Book…

World Series of Licensing Q&A: Jenn Nuccio, Evil JENNpire Management. The industry vet talks licensing with The Toy Book…

World Series of Licensing Q&A: Russell Binder, Striker Entertainment. The Founder of Striker Entertainment talks brand-building and licensing trends with The Toy Book…


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Stories, Comments, and Advice

John Baulch, Toy World - You pays your money … it’s the Friday Blog!  I have just returned from spending two days at this year’s Distoy show in London. Ahead of the event, there was a lot of chatter on social media, with some people having strong opinions about what was going to happen, even before a metaphorical ball was kicked.

The Engagement-Profitability Link: How Engaged Employees Drive Business Success. Acey Holmes, through her work with BoredLess, transforms corporate cultures and enriches employee experiences by seamlessly incorporating flexibility, purpose, psychological safety, and inclusion into the essence of work through Play and flow. 


ToyBook Editor: What Happens in Vegas… A recap of a very toyetic Licensing Expo. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a week since the doors to Licensing Expo 2024 opened at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For three days (or longer, thanks to the appropriately-Vegas pre-show events and afterparties), executives from all corners of the consumer products space gathered at the intersection of physical and digital products...


Beyond the Mainstream: Alternatives to your favorite board games. Game bloggers and YouTubers often say, “If you like this board game, you should try this (other) one.” Games fall into categories, usually broad and overlapping, but related. If one enjoys a word-based game such as Scrabble, for example, there are hundreds of other word games you might like to try. 


Brands Built on Play: License Global celebrates the importance of play in the world of brand licensing and extension. The concept of play has changed. Today, play is immersive, digital, interactive, family-oriented and interconnected across various platforms. Play not only sits at the heart of cognitive development and family dynamics but resides at the center of global brand identities for multi-billion-dollar companies. 


ASTRA’s Insights: It’s all about balance. What makes a store relevant to the families it serves? In the toy world, kids are the ones whose eyes light up when they receive a gift or enter a toy store holding the hand of a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or good friend. But what exactly is it that sparks that moment of pure joy? Is it finding products that are new, of great quality, and have high play value? 


“Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe”: The Dark Theories—and Racist History—Behind the Childhood Rhyme. One of the theories about the counting-out rhyme involves human sacrifice.  common way for kids to decide who’s the undesirable “it” in a game of tag is to use the counting-out rhyme “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” (sometimes spelled “eenie, meenie, miny, moe”). You’ve probably just completed the verse in your head...


The surprising link between packaging and the toy industry’s success. Packaging is the unassuming hero behind the toy industry's triumphs as these seemingly mundane shells wield profound influence and shape the industry's fortunes. In the vibrant realm of toys, where imagination reigns supreme and play knows no bounds, there exists an often-overlooked factor that …




History and Nostalgia


Chinese checkers was invented in Germany. Contrary to its name, however, Chinese checkers has nothing to do with China — it’s a variation of a game called Halma (meaning “jump” in Greek). Halma features a square board, and a star-shaped version was invented in Germany around 1880. Originally called Stern-Halma, the star-shaped game was published by the German game and puzzle company Ravensburger in 1892. 


*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 31st ***


11 of the Most Valuable Transformers Toys From the ‘80s. They might be robots in disguise, but there‘s no disguising how valuable these G1 Transformers are among collectors. Long before Michael Bay‘s wildly successful film series came stomping into theaters and changed the way audiences view movies about toys, Transformers were just action figures that ‘80s kids couldn‘t help but obsess over. 


Road Devils from Remco (1972). Released in 1972, Remco’s Road Devils were a line of futuristic-looking stunt-driving race cars equipped with high-speed “gyro-motors.” Each Road Devil was propelled by a hand-held Power Injector containing a Launching Ramp and a Cranking Gear used to lock the car in place. Once locked in, the gyro-motor could be revved up by turning the hand crank. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 


CICABOOM announces unmissable news for its Boomez and Elastikorps brands: the acquisition of important manga licenses, the creation of the Naruto board game, and the Heropop line. Cicaboom has created several winning brands over the years, such as Boomez and Elastikorps. The company is about to launch a series of novelties for 2024, mainly related to the acquisition of popular manga licenses.


Cloudco Entertainment has renewed its agreement with Nevada-based Bay Laurel Advisors to develop location-based entertainment activations and partnerships for its iconic Care Bears franchise. Building on a deal that was originally struck in 2021, Bay Laurel will continue to oversee the Care Bears LBE strategy and business across theme parks, family entertainment centers, dining, retail activations and hospitality. 


Golden Bear Toys has been named as the master toy licensee for the new animated pre-school series PeaKeeBoo, created by Toikido. The world of PeaKeeBoo has been described as a ‘nature-inspired show all about play and friendship’, and is home to a range of unique characters who are united in their love of fun and zest for life.


(Hasbro's) Lite Brite: Worlds of Wonder, which was licensed and developed by Secret Location, is coming to Illuminarium in Las Vegas. The 60-min. show will take visitors to 3 Lite-Brite worlds: an ocean, a forest with dinosaurs, and a futuristic city. The show’s offerings also include physical Lite-Brite building stations, 12 digital activations, and a retail experience. The move is part of a wave of location-based experiences...


Spin Master puts its finger on the pulse of Japanese Anime culture with the launch of Punirunes, an unexpectedly squishy digital pet. Spin Master Corp., unveils today plans to distribute Punirunes, a squishy digital pet that has captivated fans of Japanese anime culture. First brought to market in 2021 by Japanese toy company Takara Tomy, Spin Master will expand distribution to more global markets as fervent...

In the wake of last week’s Licensing Expo event, Jazwares has inked a series of deals with Paramount Global, including the acquisition of master toy rights to Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise. The Florida-based manufacturer will make and distribute new Avatar toys, vehicles, dolls, plush and playsets to retailers worldwide next year. 

Funko is adding to its line of Bitty Pop! figures with characters from a fan-favorite animated Nickelodeon series. Funko Bitty Pop! figures are miniaturized versions of the popular collectible Funko Pop! figures. Less than an inch tall, each Bitty Pop! figure is packaged in a hard acrylic case with a detachable bottom lid that doubles as a display base. The newest addition to Funko’s line of tiny collectibles includes characters...


Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children’s Books are entrusting a group of new voices in the children’s publishing space to bring Ted Geisel’s unpublished sketches and illustrations to life in the first books of a new original book line called Seuss Studios. Florida-based Lala Watkins is the author and illustrator behind the inaugural title HELLO, SUN!, a day-in-the-life story about a worm, his friends...    

Hasbro unveils new My Little Pony x Beauty Creations products at Licensing Expo 2024. Innovative beauty brand Beauty Creations Cosmetics and leading toy and game company Hasbro have signed a license for a collaboration with the iconic heritage brand, My Little Pony. The My Little Pony x Beauty Creations Cosmetics collection is a fun and colorful collaboration that made its debut at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas...

Finnish developer Supercell has tapped WildBrain CPLG to represent global licensing rights (excluding China) for its mobile game brand Brawl Stars. The cross-category representation deal will cover toys, apparel, publishing, gifting, collectibles, consumables and housewares.  Brawl Stars, which rolled out in 2018 on iOS and Android, is a multiplayer shooter game where players battle each other...

Legendary studio and anime industry leader Toei Animation Inc together with its North America agent Crunchyroll, LLC announced today their most recent licensing gains for the Dragon Ball franchise. During the last 12 months, Toei Animation and Crunchyroll executed a total of 45 agreements for the Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super properties – consisting of 18 new licenses and 27 license renewals.

Microsoft’s Mojang Studios has just revealed that it’s developing a new CG-animated Minecraft series in partnership with Netflix and WildBrain to celebrate the game’s 15th anniversary. No plot details were available at press time, but Netflix says the show will feature an original story and introduce new characters to the gaming franchise. 

In a major MENA content power-play, Dubai’s OSN has acquired exclusive regional rights to TV shows and feature films from Warner Bros. Discovery’s expansive library that were previously held by Qatar’s BeIN. This new multi-year agreement covers first premiere rights to all new Warner Bros. Pictures films (following their theatrical releases), including recent hits Wonka, Barbie...

The line where the sky meets the sea is calling Moana once again, as Disney has released the first trailer for its highly-anticipated “Moana” sequel. The trailer sees the return of Moana and Maui, voiced by Auliʻi Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson, respectively, on another oceanic adventure. According to its official description, “Moana 2” reunites “Moana and Maui three years later for an expansive new voyage alongside...

Paramount Consumer Products & Experiences has partnered with Lion Star Hospitality to build Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Orlando, which will open in 2026. This new Nick-branded destination for kids and families is located in Kissimmee, Florida and boasts 400 hotel rooms and condo units inspired by iconic Paramount kids franchises such as SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Dora and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

Kids Preferred’s latest Disney plush collection stars everyone’s favorite chaotic blue alien, Stitch, and his pink companion, Angel. There are five snuggly toys in the collection: a Stitch Sensory Blanky and Angel Sensory Blanky, both of which feature crinkling texture and a BPA-free teether; a 15-inch plush version of Angel that stands up on its own; a snuggly Stitch blanky that features a plush Stitch head with a cozy blue...

LEGO releases six new Minecraft sets. LEGO is celebrating 15 years of Minecraft with six brand-new block-based sets featuring themes including Pirate Ship Voyage, Cherry Blossom Garden and Wolf Stronghold. To mark the fifteenth anniversary of Minecraft, which was originally released in 2009, the LEGO Group is unveiling six brand-new LEGO Minecraft sets. 


Banijay Kids & Family secures licensing agents and plush deal for Mr Bean. Banijay Kids & Family, a global leader in children’s entertainment behind hit shows such as “Totally Spies!,” has announced it is representing the worldwide licensing and merchandising rights for the Mr Bean brand. It has secured three international agents and confirmed a deal for a plush collectible with consumer products …


The LEGO Group unveils ‘Legend of Zelda’ set. The first LEGO Legend of Zelda set features two designs. The LEGO Group is launching its first-ever set from The Legend of Zelda franchise: the Great Deku Tree 2-in-1 set. The 2,500-piece kidult set has two buildable options inspired by the Great Deku Tree as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

McFarlane Toys to launch Marvel Comics figures: The figures will be released this summer. McFarlane Toys will release a full collection of posed figures featuring Marvel characters. McFarlane Toys already has a large portfolio of figures across various franchises, including DC, Demon Slayer, Game of Thrones, and more. The newest addition to its offerings will be a series of figures inspired by characters from Marvel Comics.


WildBrain secures new licensing deals for Carmen Sandiego. Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Securing new product deals thanks to WildBrain CPLG! WildBrain is further expanding across consumer categories with HarperCollins Productions’ Carmen Sandiego franchise. The new Carmen Sandiego Tonies figure includes an audio story featuring Carmen traveling the globe on a series of mysterious missions. 


Hasbro unveils new Star Wars and Marvel action figures. Hasbro Pulse, Hasbro’s online destination for fans and collectors, has unveiled a series of new action figures ideal for Star Wars and Marvel enthusiasts. Fans now have the chance to collect previously released figures from The Black Series, returning in Archive window box packaging.


Toei Animation, Crunchyroll secure new licensing deals for Dragon Ball franchise. The anime franchise will partner with Jazwares, Hallmark Cards, and more. Dragon Ball is getting a number of new licensing partners, thanks to efforts from Toei Animation and its North American agent Crunchyroll. 


Supercell expands partnership with WildBrain for ‘Brawl Stars’ cross-category licensing. Supercell is bringing the brawl to retail shelves thanks to an updated and expanded licensing partnership with WildBrain CPLG. WildBrain will represent the global licensing rights, exclusive of China, for Brawl Stars.

Skybound Tabletop, Dire Wolf launch Invincible: The Hero-Building Game. The new strategy board game is available for preorder now. Amazon Prime series Invincible has inspired a new strategy board game from Skybound Tabletop and Dire Wolf. The Invincible series, as well as the comic series it’s based on, is known for its fresh take on the superhero genre. 

Merrythought introduces Paddington Classic Edition: New hand-made teddy bear is inspired by the original Paddington. Britain’s oldest remaining teddy bear manufacturer has announced the newest addition to its portfolio, one that arrives with a resurgence of nostalgia. Inspired by the original Paddington illustrations by Peggy Fortnum, Merrythought has created a teddy bear collectible...

Unearth 'Beetlejuice' with new 'Warner Bros. HeroClix Iconix' set. WizKids will release Warners Bros. HeroClix Iconix: Beetlejuice It's Showtime into retail in October 2024. ow Beetlejuice fans can add a miniature prankster to their own model town (just like in the movie) with this new set. Afterward, they can take this new HeroClix figure onto the HeroClix battlefield and have him duke it out with heroes.


New board game partner and TV reboot in the works for beloved 80’s game show ‘Talk About’. Breaking news ahead of National Game Show Day from the inaugural Quiz Show Expo is that the beloved 80’s and 90’s hit family game show ‘Talk About’, created by multi-Emmy-nominated game show phenom, Mark Maxwell-Smith, is readying a worldwide comeback. 

First touring interactive Minecraft Experience set to open in Dallas September 20, 2024. For the first time ever, the Minecraft community will have their chance to experience a real-world, immersive, interactive Minecraft adventure. To celebrate Minecraft’s 15th anniversary, Experience MOD and Mojang Studios announced Minecraft Experience: Villager Rescue, which is set to debut in Dallas on September 20, 2024...


Nightcrawler teleports into 'Marvel Champions: The Card Game'. Fantasy Flight Games will release Nightcrawler Hero Pack, for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, into retail on September 20, 2024. The newest Hero Pack for Marvel Champions features Kurt Wagner, aka Nightcrawler, and his bamf-ing mutant powers.  


New CGI Winx Club series gets Netflix premiere & master toy partners. Rainbow Studios’ new CGI animated Winx Club series has been slated by Netflix to premiere globally in 2025, and Playmates Toys and Giochi Preziosi have been appointed master toy partners for the new show. Playmates and Giochi Preziosi will split global distribution of an all-new collection of fashion dolls, accessories...


IDW to publish 'American Girl' graphic novels with new mysteries and reimagined versions of original books. IDW and Mattel are launching a line of American Girl graphic novels that will have two types of stories: Original mysteries that span the past and the present, kicking off with Julie and the Blue Guitar, and new takes on the original American Girl chapter books, starting with Meet Josefina.

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People of Play

Daron announced that toy industry veteran, Vinnie D’Alleva, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer.  Acquired by Chaver Capital Partners and Greyrock Capital Group in 2022, Daron has been on the search for a CEO to manage their portfolio of licensed aviation and transportation-related toys, souvenirs, and collectibles.

PJ Lewis. SVP, global head, action figures and Fisher-Price Entertainment, Mattel, and License Global discuss one of the top toy and entertainment company’s latest and greatest. “My mandate is our action figure category, of which most is licensed brands,” says Lewis. “Some big news while we’re here at Licensing Expo is the ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Minecraft’ product lines for the films coming next year. 

'I Met A Hot Wheels Designer': Inside The World Of Toy Car Creations. We spoke with Hot Wheels designer Charlie Angulo, who is living every little kid's dream. The 2024 edition of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour kicked off in Miami this month and was nothing short of spectacular. As a lifelong car enthusiast, attending this fun-filled event brought out the inner child in me. 

Latest episode of "The Sustainable Toy Podcast" is with Rudy Valenta the VP of Americas at Plan Toys. Rudy is an entrepreneur, an adventure seeker, and an eternal optimist. He is extremely passionate about product development, sustainability, and interacting directly with his community. Plan Toys was founded in 1981 and was the first toy company to use reclaimed rubberwood for their toys and for the last 30+ years.

‘Jim Henson Idea Man’: In a Joyful Weirdo, Lessons for Young Artists. This Ron Howard documentary doesn’t ignore the Muppet mastermind’s faults, but the tribute has a lot to teach creators everywhere. I don’t need to tell you that Jim Henson’s work is ubiquitous and beloved, foundational to childhood across several generations of “Sesame Street” watchers and stretching far beyond. It’s so important...


*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 31st ***


Corolle has announced the appointment of Nathalie Gard as managing director. After graduating from the École de Commerce of the Institut Supérieur de Gestion de Paris, Nathalie Gard joined Corolle in Langeais in 1997. She initially worked there as a controller and from 2004 as a financial manager. In 2022, she was promoted to director of Administration and Finance. 


Nex, the motion technology company behind the award-winning active play system, Nex Playground, announced the growth of its leadership team and advisory board, appointing Tom Kang as President and Stephen Saiz as VP of Publishing. Tom joins Nex after leading Immersive Commerce at Walmart as VP, GM and Officer. Prior to that, Tom held senior leadership positions at Amazon Games, Amazon...


Longtime Southern Hobby Distribution President Chris Austin is retiring this week, the company announced.  Austin became President on the retirement of his father, Jim Austin, which occurred in the early 2010s; prior to that he was Vice President, and has been with company since its founding in 1991. Southern Hobby Distribution CEO Kevin Isaacson, who joined the company in that role as it was acquired by Entrust Global...

Libbie Doherty is leaving ABC Australia. It's the end of a 9 yr tenure for Doherty, who spearheaded the broadcaster's kids slate and oversaw acclaimed shows like Bluey and First Day. While Doherty’s next professional move is not yet known, she said, “I am incredibly passionate about public service media and the ABC, and I am excited to see what this dream team will do for the most important audience-our kids.” 

Guru Studio elevates leadership team with new hires, promotions. Guru Studio, a leading family and kids’ entertainment company behind hits like PAW Patrol, has added and promoted several individuals to its leadership team: Jasmine Gard as its VP of Finance; Kwan Ho Lee as Controller; Daniel Rattner as VP of Brand Strategy and Growth; and Jennifer Oppenheimer as Senior Manager, International Sales & Licensing.

As his retirement looms, Bruno Gallone contacted Toy World in order to pass on a message to the industry. He writes: “I wanted to take the time to say thank you to the toy industry for making the last 24 years the best and most memorable of my working life. I have loved being involved and being part of such a vibrant and fun industry. Deep down, we are all still kids at heart, and being part of seeing all the fabulous new toys...

US streamer and studio FilmRise has expanded CFO Johnny Holden‘s role with new responsibilities as chief strategy officer. He will work closely with CEO Danny Fisher to strengthen the company’s presence in the streaming market, as well as continuing to oversee its financial operations, which he has done since joining in 2020. 

Toronto’s Kids Can Press has appointed Naseem Hrab to oversee the entire business as publisher. Hrab was previously a Canadian Children’s Book Centre librarian and has also authored kids books such as the Ira Crumb series and Weekend Dad. She’s been working at KCP for 15 years, most recently as an associate publisher of creative.


Companies and Brands


How Spin Master is Revolutionizing the Future of Play. Learn about the future of play with Ben Dermer, Senior VP of New Brands & Inventor Relations at Spin Master! In our latest episode of Tomorrow's World Today, we explore the journey of toy innovation and the cutting-edge technology that's shaping the fun and excitement of tomorrow's toys.


*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 31st ***


Jazwares has been named in the prestigious fourth annual Time100 Most Influential Companies list, which highlights companies making an extraordinary impact worldwide. “At Jazwares, we’re passionate about bringing imagination to reality through multigenerational brands such as Squishmallows and our unparalleled commitment to giving back to the communities where we work and play,” said Judd Zebersky, founder...


Following a successful 35-store trial, The Entertainer is now rolling out its curated toy zones to all UK Tesco stores and several larger stores in ROI. Toy World’s John Baulch and Rachael Simpson-Jones paid a visit to The Entertainer’s Amersham HQ to find out more about the rollout’s progress – and address some of the rumours that have been swirling around the toy industry – with the help of Andrew Murphy...


To celebrate the launch of the Barbie Mysteries: The Great Horse Chase, Mattel is unveiling the Dance & Show Horse along with dolls for Malibu and Brooklyn. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, the Dance & Show Horse ($39.99) features Tornado as an interactive friend. The horse makes more than 20 sounds, blinks, dances, and more and comes with accessories that kids can use to style its mane. 


The Op Games unveiled DaDaDa, a new cooperative party game, which will hit retail in July 2024. DaDaDa is a language building game where players are cooperatively creating a language  from a group of different icons and sounds. Players will have to categorize the different icons underneath the sounds while only speaking those sounds to each other.


Walmart’s 3D e-commerce platform Realm is the retailer’s latest metaverse bet.​​ Imagine a ‘90s shopping mall but digitized and fantastical, filled with cartoon avatars, saturated colors and objects you might otherwise find for sale at your local Walmart. Launched on Wednesday, the new e-commerce platform from the world’s largest retailer lets people shop digital doubles of select products sold at real-life Walmart stores...

Doly lets you generate 3D product videos from your iPhone. AniML, the French startup behind a new 3D capture app called Doly, wants to create the Photoroom of product videos, sort of. If you’re selling sneakers on an online marketplace or need to create Instagram ads for your direct-to-consumer wares, Doly helps you generate 3D models with your phone and turn them into professional-looking product videos.


Mattel will close a factory in Canada after shutting down two plants in Asia, as the toymaker reduces its manufacturing footprint to cut costs, the Wall Street Journal said on Sunday. The maker of Barbie dolls closed its manufacturing sites in China and Indonesia last year and will shut a facility in Canada sometime this year, the newspaper said. The closure of the Mega Bloks factory in Montreal, Canada...


Bandai Namco Expands the Tamaverse with Tamagotchi Uni Wave Two. Following last summer’s release of Tamagotchi Uni, Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America is  this new release combines the innovative features of the first wave with new and exciting experiences. Alongside new shells and bands, these devices feature limited-edition characters and mini-games. 

Ridley’s Games launches new editions of Selfish board game. The new editions include the Star Wars Edition, Disney Villains Edition, Marvel Edition, and more. Ridley’s Games, a subsidiary of Chronicle Books, is launching new editions of the board game Selfish. Selfish, “the card game where only the ruthless survive,” is a strategy game that asks players to look out for themselves first.


SmartMax launches magnetic My First Stacking Rings. SmartMax, the brand behind the award-winning pre-school magnetic construction sets, has unveiled its latest toy in its best-selling My First range: My First Stacking Rings, a classic toy for little ones, with a magnetic twist. Pre-school kids can experience stacking and balancing in a new way with this cute and colorful take on the childhood classic toy. 


ACD Games Day 2024 news: Catalyst launches more 'Battletech': Two new 'Force Manuals' and a Miniatures pack line. Catalyst Game Labs launched new BattleTech products at ACD Games Day 2024. The first products revealed were Force Manual: Kurita and Force Manual: Davion.  Each manual is written to give players an idea of the 'mechs that these two factions use during different time periods of the BattleTech timeline.  

Osprey announces 'Katmai: The Bears of Brook River'. Osprey Games will release Katmai: The Bears of Brook River, a new card game by Peter Ridgeway with illustrations by Tom Lopez, into retail on February 27, 2025. In this card game, players will place hungry brown bears in the Katmai wilderness of Alaska next to advantageous fishing spots along Brooks River.


Nintendo to open its second US store in 2025. Japanese video game giant Nintendo is gearing up to expand its international retail footprint next year by opening its second official US storefront in San Francisco, California. The new store, called Nintendo San Francisco, will be located in the city’s iconic Union Square commercial hub. 


'Forest Shuffle' ascends The Alps with new 'Alpine' expansion from Lookout Games. Lookout Games will release Forest Shuffle: Alpine, a new expansion by KOSCH, into retail on June 14, 2024. This expansion adds onto the set collection game that kicked off Lookout's Greenline label at Spiel Essen 2023. The expansion heads to the mountain forests of the Alps to find new plants, animals, and mushrooms.


This NJ-based toy company is rooted in Hindu culture. Here's how it's found success. Avani Modi Sarkar and her older brother Viral Modi had something special to celebrate in 2017. Their daughters were born one week apart. Not long after, Modi Toys was born. Viral Modi, 46, would go out shopping for plush toys inspired by their Hindu culture, and come home empty-handed, said Avani Modi Sarkar.


Renegade Game Studios reveals updated edition of 'Nexus Ops'. Renegade Game Studios revealed Nexus Ops, an updated version of the classic Avalon Hill sci-fi game, which will hit the streets in August 2024. Nexus Ops has changed hands a few times since it was first published in 2005. In 2011, an edition was released by Fantasy Flight Games, and the board game eventually made it into the hands of Renegade...


Yu-Gi-Oh! 25th Anniversary Rarity Collection II out now. Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.’s highly anticipated 25th Anniversary Rarity Collection II is out now for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG in Europe and Oceania. The 25th Anniversary Rarity Collection II features 79 of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG’s most popular cards. Just like the first 25th Anniversary Rarity Collection, every single card is available in seven stunning rarities. 


'Elestrals TCG' incoming. 1E starters, boosters and 'Frostfall' expansion to hit retail. Elestrals will release Elestrals TCG starters and booster boxes into retail in June 2024. Elestrals TCG is a new game that was funded on Kickstarter initially, bringing in $1,470,355 from 7,530 backers (about $195 per backer). 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


StoryToys, LEGO Group, Hasbro release LEGO DUPLO ‘Peppa Pig’ App. StoryToys has announced the launch of its “LEGO DUPLO Peppa Pig” app, with Peppa Pig and her friends and family in the colorful world of LEGO DUPLO. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play, in time for Peppa’s 20th anniversary. 


YouTube launches in-app Playables arcade. Video platform YouTube is entering games through a new avenue: a free arcade of games that can be played directly in the app. Dubbed "Playables," the feature was first reported last summer shortly ahead of public testing. After a limited rollout in select countries, it's now getting a full launch over the next few months. 

Toys for Bob is now officially an independent studio. Recent Crash Bandicoot and Spyro developers Toys for Bob have celebrated becoming an independent studio today on social media platform X. The company managed to negotiate with Microsoft when the tech monolith purchased Activision-Blizzard and are now finally independent.

Microsoft confirms Call of Duty is heading to Xbox Game Pass. It's official: the next installment in the Call of Duty franchise will be heading to Xbox Game Pass at launch. Microsoft has confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will be available on Xbox Game Pass on "day one," ending speculation as to whether of not the series will be bundled into the subscription service. 


Dragon's Dogma II has sold 3 million copies in 2 months. Capcom's fantasy-RPG Dragon's Dogma II is a little over two months old, and it's now sold over three million copies. That puts it not too far off from Street Fighter 6's 3.3 million copies (as of March 31, 2024). Dragon's Dogma II released in late March, and sold 2.5 million copies within the same timeframe. 

Gameloft Romania cuts 136 jobs and closes Cluj studio. Gameloft Romania is shuttering its Cluj studio and laying off 136 employees. The company confirmed the news in a statement issued to Game Developer and explained the closure follows a review of its production capacities. "As a company, we need to constantly review our production capacities...


Highlighted Press Releases

Cardboard Edison announces that Crowded Frontier has won this year’s Cardboard Edison Award for unpublished board game designs. In Crowded Frontier, designed by Myles Wallace, players travel west to claim prime real estate that has been offered up by the government. They work together to harvest resources more efficiently while scheming to seize control of the most valuable land plots by...


KIDS PREFERRED INVITES PARENTS TO BRING OHANA INTO THE NURSERY WITH DISNEY BABY’S STITCH & ANGEL. As Lilo Says, “Ohana Means Family,” And These Snuggly Blankies, Plush & Activity Toys Bring Smiles, Giggles And Wonder To The Newest Member. East Windsor, NJ (May 30, 2024)– Fans of Disney’s Lilo and Stitch animated series are always rooting for the little troublemaker with the big heart, a blue big-eyed extraterrestrial named Stitch.  Extraterrestrial Angel, pretty in pink, is the playful companion to Stitch’s mayhem. Together they are the newest iconic Disney characters to join Kids Preferred’s 2024 Catalog of plushy playthings.

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Safety and Counterfeiting


New EU rules on toy safety move a step closer. The Council of the EU has adopted its position (negotiating mandate) on the toy safety regulation that updates the rules to protect children from risks related to the use of toys. While the current legislation makes EU toy safety rules among the strictest in the world, the proposed legislation aims to increase protection from harmful chemicals (e.g. endocrine disruptors)...

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Associations, Foundations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


The world’s first Autism in Entertainment Conference – a single-day confab at Skirball Cultural Center in LA – ignited new ideas and action toward neuro-inclusive hiring practices. At the forefront were recognizable names from the world of playthings. A cornucopia of general and breakout sessions packed the Friday, April 5 eight-hour program. All assemblies united work-ready attendees on the spectrum...


Annual animation pitchfest Cartoon Forum has announced its 2024 lineup of projects, with a total of 75 series/specials making the cut this year from 107 submissions. Kids & family content represents roughly three-quarters of the selection—nearly 63% of projects fall into the children’s category (which includes tweens and bridge audiences), followed by adult/teen content (23%), preschool (7%) and family (7%).

*** The above posted after May 31st when tBR circulated ***


The Toy Foundation has invited toy companies to donate to its own toy bank ahead of International Day of Play. In celebration of International Day of Play and to give toy companies an opportunity to work together to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children have access to play, The Toy Foundation is inviting companies to donate toys to The Toy Bank.

Distoy pub event to raise funds for The Toy Trust. The What’s Up Distoy? evening is being held at The Buckingham Arms pub, conveniently located close to the current Distoy event. Providing a fun, social event as well as fundraising for The Toy Trust, the evening is being organised by the team at People of Play. There will be an array of appetisers and decorations generously donated by the sponsors of the event. 


The buzz is getting louder each day for The Toy Association’s LA Fall Preview, including the marquee networking event taking place on Tuesday, September 10. All toy industry professionals are invited to attend and encouraged to register. Held on the second day of the Association’s dedicated market week (September 9 to 13), the LA Fall Preview Networking Party will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Otis College...

Games for Change announced the winners of the 2024 G4C Student Challenge, an award-winning game design program and competition that invites middle and high school students to design games that promote real-world change. The Challenge, which over the last nine years has become the largest student-facing game design challenge in the U.S., provides students and educators with new and...

The Canadian kids entertainment industry came out in full force and fancy dress to celebrate standout content at the 2024 Canadian Screen Awards, which took place in two parts yesterday at Toronto’s CBC headquarters. Hosted by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television as part of its ongoing Canadian Screen Week event, craft awards were presented in the afternoon, followed by an evening gala...

The awards ceremony for the 60th edition of the Prix Jeunesse International took place yesterday in Munich, where projects from the UK did particularly well. In the non-fiction section, Sky Kids documentary Save Our Wildlife (28 minutes) won the Prize of the German Children’s Jury (seven to 10), while the Prize of the International Youth Jury (11 to 15) went to BBC Studios’ Deadly Mission Shark (10 x 30 minutes). 

Registration is live for Autumn Fair 2024. Registration is now live for Autumn Fair, the UK’s largest seasonal showcase for Home, Gift & Fashion with over 800 brands confirmed and ready to sell. Autumn Fair, which takes place on the 1st – 4th September at NEC Birmingham, has announced that over 25% of the exhibitor line-up is new and over 30% are exclusive to the show…


Prototypes to Play: Registration opens for Spielwarenmesse’s Game Inventors Convention. Spielwarenmesse will run from Jan. 28-Feb. 1, and with it comes the Game Inventors Convention. The Game Inventors Convention will have its third iteration on Friday, Jan. 31, during the Spielwarenmesse trade show. 


The Toy Book Pulse of Play Awards arrive in ‘25! There is no toy industry awards program like this one! The Toy Book has been on the Pulse of Play as the leading trade publication serving the North American toy industry since 1984. This year, to celebrate its 40th anniversary of its first print edition, The Toy Book reveals plans for the inaugural Pulse of Play Awards - a celebration of the individuals, companies...

The Moose Happy Kids Foundation Gives Back, Playfully. Creating supperhappy kids worldwide. Think back to your childhood when you opened a birthday or holiday gift that you had been pining for. Do you remember the happiness you felt? Moose Toys describes feelings similar to this as “Superhappy” and aims to make all kids — no matter their circumstances — feel that way. The co. has always been involved in ...


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


Clive WoosterToy World is very sad to report that Clive Wooster passed away unexpectedly at home on Saturday, 18th May, with his beloved wife Heather by his side. Friend and colleague, Nikki Jeffery, shared that Clive Ralph Wooster, who passed away at the age of 69, dedicated his entire career to the toy industry, beginning at Fisher Price where he spent several years honing his skills – and sales patter. His career saw him taking on various influential roles in sales. In the 90s, Clive ran The First Years until RC2/Learning Curve acquired it in 2004, when he became managing director. He continued to lead during periods of significant change and oversaw the European transition into Tomy when it acquired RC2 in 2011. Clive later chose to join smaller, close-knit companies, enjoying many fulfilling years as a country manager for Famosa and more recently, working with Geomagworld. In January this year, he decided to step back to spend more time with his family and further pursue his passion for motor racing. Well-known within the industry for his kindness, humour and endless stories, Clive’s presence ensured that any room was filled with laughter and conversation. He was approachable and always willing to help. Clive inspired many through his mentorship and formed strong relationships with colleagues across the companies he worked for over the years. Many from his First Years and RC2 days remained close friends and will miss him dearly.


Salvatore Anthony Mucaro of Fernandina Beach FL passed away peacefully on May 16, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of love, strength, and cherished memories. Salvatore was born in The Bronx, NY to Nicola Mucciacciaro and Christina Mucciacciaro (Nee DiMangano) on December 13th, 1934. He was the middle child of the family, and loved his two siblings, older sister Maria (McGuckin)and younger brother Mario Mucaro and their families dearly. Some of Salvatore's favorite childhood hobbies included building balsa wood model airplanes, playing street hockey and stick ball and racing pigeons. Salvatore worked in the toy industry from 1967 until his semi-retirement in 2010. He worked for such noteworthy companies as Remco Toys, Aurora Products Corporation, Mego Toy Corp., Ideal Toy Corp. and Coleco Toys, before starting his own development company Studio Geppetto with longtime friend and coworker John MacNett. He has several toy design patents and designed several successful toys in his long career as a package designer and toy designer. 


Shelly Morick - former Mattel sales executive. December 21st, 1937 - May 7th, 2024.

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

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Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​​​​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

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  1. Après le déluge… it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. The June issue of Toy World is out now

  3. Bruno Gallone set to begin retirement

  4. Get involved in the July issue of Toy World

  5. Lego releases six new Minecraft sets

  6. Clive Wooster’s family shares funeral details

  7. Jazwares signs master licensing agreement with Paramount for Avatar: The Last Airbender

  8. Yu-Gi-Oh! 25th Anniversary Rarity Collection II out now

  9. Carl Lawrence wins Toy World Fantasy League for second time

  10. Registration is live for Autumn Fair 2024 Powered by Toyworld

  1. CoComelon revealed as most-watched kids show on Netflix

  2. CBeebies immersive experience to open in Westfield London

  3. Licensing International announces new board members

  4. Jazwares signs master licensing agreement with Paramount for Avatar: The Last Airbender

  5. Minecraft’s first touring interactive experience set to open in 2024

  6. Hasbro and Secret Location bring Lite-Brite to life

  7. Lego releases six new Minecraft sets

  8. Lego Duplo Peppa Pig mobile app available now

  9. Shaun the Sheep comes to Northumberland National Park this summer

  10. Series two of Odo lands on Milkshake! next week

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

WizKids Reveals New 'Pathfinder Battles' Dragon Miniature
'Magic: The Gathering' Designers Rebrand 'Tribal' Again in 'Modern Horizons 3'
ACD Games Day 2024 News: Catalyst Launches More 'BattleTech'
Fantasy Flight Games Unveils New Deets on Next 'Star Wars: Unlimited' Set
Rolling for Initiative -- Former WotC CEO Gets New Gig
'Elestrals TCG' Incoming
Renegade Game Studios Reveals Updated Edition of 'Nexus Ops'
Licensing Show News: Comic Licenses Announced
'Mork Borg' Action Figures Hit Kickstarter
ACD Games Day 2024 News: FanRoll Reveals 'D&D Signature Series'

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

Global Toy News

The Bugg Report (Australia)

The Toy Universe (Australia)


Casual Game Revolution

Video of the Week 

Westley Ciaramella sits down with the Toy Hub to answer some tough questions involving the toy industry.



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