the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary
Below is May 28 - June 4, 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...

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Happy Friday! 

Last night we hosted our second monthly POP Pub virtual gathering (the first Thursday of every month - mark your calendars for next month!). Of the many topics covered, plans to attend which events the remainder of the year was top of the list. Some on the zoom were making plans and some were holding back  Similarly, I have a survey running of our past Fair and Innovation Conference attendees/exhibitors. Although there are a few days to go, it is looking like 70% - 75% prefer in-person and will attend if we host. My guess is that this number will be higher if we ask again in a month or two and I hope it is because for events there needs to be a certain level of participation to be successful.

 

On a personal note regarding travel and in-person, last night was the first time I've seen my daughter since December of 2019. Not only was it beyond joyful to see and hug her, it immediately felt like all was back to normal again... almost like the pandemic didn't happen. Life as usual... it was glorious. 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report! 

 

Mary

Dear Nancy, We are a small company and we trying to build our brand with kids. What are some things to keep in mind for success?  tBR Columnist Nancy Zwiers Comments

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Q. We are a small company and we trying to build our brand with kids. What are some things to keep in mind for success?

A. You are right to think about your brand as it has been proven that brand equity correlates with greater pricing power and profitability. With no brand equity, you are, in fact, a commodity--with constant downward pricing pressure. Further, in the world of toys and games, a brand delivers credibility with the Trade and parents, lowering purchase risk. Finally, achieving brand status helps you create visibility and critical mass at retail.

Branding is powerful, but with kids branding has its own set of challenges. 

 

Consistency vs. Newness

One definition of brand is “a promise made to the consumer and kept consistently over time.” But we know kids crave a constant stream of newness. If you are making and keeping the same promise over time, how do you deliver newness? The key is to understand your brand’s core essence (as a basic promise), keep that essence constant and intact over time, but innovate all other aspects of the marketing mix—product, packaging, merchandising, advertising, content, etc.

For example, when we worked on the amazing Barbie® brand in the 90’s, the brand essence was “embodying little girls’ dreams and aspirations.” Every year we launched hundreds of new products, supported by diverse marketing efforts…but the essence remained at the core of everything.

Read More...

 

SKY CASTLE TOYS LAUNCHES; INDUSTRY VETS NELSON & LOERZEL READY TO ‘WOW’ THE INDUSTRY WITH LET’S GLOW STUDIO - tBR Company of the Week

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Sky Castle Toys™ (www.SkyCastleToys.com) was founded by Lev Nelson and Josh Loerzel in August 2020 in the midst of the global pandemic. The long-time friends and coworkers took the leap to starting a toy company, a dream they had shared and discussed for years. The name "Sky Castle" is actually an ode to Josh's house where he and Lev lived in the Pacific Northwest mountains of Oregon during their time working at Zing. It was there that the dream of building a company together blossomed and has now become a reality.

 

They set out to build a company on three basic principles: innovation, integrity and entertainment. They also knew the key to success in the toy industry was appreciating the maxim: “You’re only as good as your next best idea.” A constant flow of disruptive toy ideas, ideally based on popular trends, would be their foundation for long-term success. “Early on, we knew we had to be dedicated to delivering WOW moments for kids and parents that are irresistible to play again and share with friends,” said Lev.

Josh and Lev also see integrity as core to their vision and mission. From their experience in the industry, they both understood how important it is to build relationships for the long-term. 

Finally, entertainment was always at the heart of every toy brand they had previously launched. So the partners knew that understanding how to entertain consumers was just as important as the toys themselves.

This vision was years in the making. The partners originally met working on the Zing brand of toys, an outdoor toy company based in Hong Kong with offices in Portland, Oregon. There they helped develop and launch award-winning brands like Stikbot, Wet Head, Glove-A-Bubble and others.

Read More...

Mary Lenehan: “Jack-of-All-Trades-Master-of-Some”- tBR Person of the Week

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What exactly do you do in the industry?

Short story: I design and develop products and packaging - concept to shelf; mostly children’s products and adult collectibles. General title: “Jack-of-All-Trades-Master-of-Some”

Reality: My role and title shifts depending on the group or client I am working with, but falls roughly into a couple of categories: execution and management.

On the execution end of things I research, render, design and plan for manufacturing. Though I often work in concert with others, I can single-handedly create concept designs, graphics, packaging and specifications for manufacturing lots of different items. I have specialized in cute, soft and organic forms for a long time, but there isn't much I can’t draw, especially for toy/kid markets. So, unless there's a need for 3D engineering or detailed sculpting up front, I function as a kind of one-stop-shop for PD services.

The management end of my work - which I also love - comes into play when I’m shepherding individual or revolving lines of products, or a complex project like a new brand or refresh, especially in a narrow time frame - then it’s imperative to know how, when and with whom to collaborate. I’ve been really lucky to be able to work with an amazing array of talented specialists and colleagues in lots of roles when schedule or concept requires a team to succeed.

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

According to my family, my biggest impact was suggesting that the wooden Thomas the Tank Engine characters should have their names put on them! ; D As the mother of 2 small boys who were huge fans, I could never keep ALL those guys straight! I knew lots of other moms that were glad for that ‘innovation’ too! LOL

Other than that - I had a hand in SpikeBall and Giga Pets, which most will recognize. 

Read More...

Financial & Legal News . . .

Tablez set to rebrand Toys R Us stores in India. The news from Tablez comes a day after Flipkart announced plans to sell Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands online in India after acquiring licensing rights. Tablez is said to be in the process of rebranding existing stores, while converting them into a new kids and baby retail format and launching its own proprietary retail brand by the end of this year. 

Indian Toys R Us rights secured by Flipkart and Ace Turtle The deal means consumers in the region will now be able to buy both brands online, pitting Flipkart Group against Reliance Brands, the Indian owner of Hamleys. The Reliance Brands subsidiary operates a chain of 88 Hamleys franchise stores.

Target and Walmart online sales events to start 24 hours before Prime Day The US retail giants have both announced digital sales events geared to give Amazon's Prime Day a run for its money. Both start on 20th June, the day before Amazon’s highly anticipated Prime Day, which this year starts earlier than ever before on 21st June and will last for 48 hours.

China's Guangdong region sees factories cut power usage as hot weather strains grid  The move represents yet another challenge to toy production, as many toy factories are located in the province. Several cities in China’s southern province Guangdong have apparently asked factories to curb power usage by suspending operations for hours or even days, as a combination of high factory and hot weather have...

(the above posted after June 4th)

WarnerMedia & Discovery lay out next steps for merger. Warner Bros. Discovery is planning to focus on "pure play" content, and HBO Max has rolled out its AVOD tier.  Assuming all goes well on the regulatory front, the new conglom will be known as Warner Bros. Discovery, which was chosen to “honor, celebrate and elevate” both companies’ brands, according to Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Warner Bros. 

Goliath acquires Ztringz and Magic Twisty makers Fun Promotion from Toi-Toys International  Goliath has acquired Fun Promotion, creator of Ztringz and Magic Twisty, from Toi-Toys International in its latest move to bolster its international brand portfolio. Fun Promotion has been creating innovative, novelty toys for kids of all ages since 1978 and is best known for the creation of Magic Twisty – a product that, to date,

Major Chinese port closes after Covid outbreak Yantian Port in Shenzen closed on Friday, adding to ongoing supply chain challenges in the Far East. Yantian is one of the busiest ports in the world, serving about 100 ships a week, while Shenzen is the heart of the toy manufacturing base in China.

Take-Two acquires Top Eleven developer Nordeus in $378 million deal. Take-Two Interactive has acquired Top Eleven developer Nordeus in a deal worth up to $378 million. Based in Serbia, Nordeus is a mobile studio best known for developing and publishing soccer management game Top Eleven, which currently boasts over 240 million registered users, but has also worked on other titles including Heroic and Golden Boot.

ROM pirate takes on Nintendo sans lawyer, gets told to pay $2.1M in damages. Nintendo has been awarded a $2.1 million summary judgement against the owner and operator of now-shuttered pirate site RomUniverse. As reported by Torrentfreak, US District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall sided with Nintendo after finding that RomUniverse, which offered illegal access to a number of Nintendo titles for a ...

Tencent reportedly sued over Honor of Kings. A Chinese public interest group today said it is suing Tencent over its game Honor of Kings, according to a Reuters report. Beijing Teenagers Law Aid and Research Center claimed to have filed the lawsuit today, saying, "game characters' clothing is too revealing, while there is a lot of ... low-taste content that is inappropriate for teenagers on its website and forums." 

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

 Baby boom - the UK infant toy market . . . . . . Toy Industry E-Commerce Sales Spike 16% in China . . . . . . U.S. Toy Industry Sales Spike 27% in the First 4 Months of 2021 . . . . . . Spokes People | How has the children’s bikes market evolved in recent years? . . . . . May retail sales increase the strongest since pandemic . . . . . The NPD Group Reports on First Quarter 2021 Toy Industry e-commerce Sales in China . . . . . Free wheelin' - a look at wheeled toys . . . . . . Talking Shop UK – just popping to the toyshop

(the above posted after June 4th)

How toycos are shifting to reach new demos . . . . . Crafty ideas - a look at the arts & crafts sector . . . . . . NPD Group: Four trends to watch in the coming months . . . . . Matchbox joins LEGO and Hasbro in environmental initiatives within the toy industry . . . . . The kidult market comes of age . . . . . Demand for kids shows with AAPI characters is up . . . . . THE SCIENCE OF PLAY: WHY KIDS PLAY THE WAY THEY DO: PART 2 . . . . . THE RISE OF GAMING IN KIDS’ INCREASINGLY FRAGMENTED ECOSYSTEM . . . . . Kids' concern about health and wellness grows

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

Hasbro named to Fortune 500 list . . . . . JAKKS Pacific announces successful completion of debt refinancing . . . . . Bed Bath & Beyond saw shares jump over 60% yesterday, its shares are soaring to infinity...and Beyond. (We had to.) . . . . . UK's B&M hails “exceptional year” as sales and profits climb . . . . . CD Projekt profits take a hit as Cyberpunk 2077 remains delisted on PlayStation . . . . . EA generated $1.6 billion in revenue last year from just Ultimate Team modes . . . . . A taxing look at EA's annual report | This Week in Business

Future Financial Reporting . . .

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) expected to announce earnings of $0.53 per share. Analysts predict that Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $0.53 for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have made estimates for Hasbro's earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.48 and the highest is $0.69. Hasbro posted earnings per share of $0.02 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2,550%. The company is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on July 26th.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . .

An Amazon hybrid model - the best of both worlds?  Asha Bhalsod of Etopia Consultancy responds to a column from our (ToyWorld UK) March issue on whether it is better to be an Amazon Vendor or Seller. “The hybrid model is a concept that has been around for many years but has become a more favourable way of working with Amazon recently,” she explains. “Amazon has notoriously been treated as a second-tier...

Zoom meetings aren’t fun any more and workers have had enough — here’s what some companies are doing to help. Multiple studies suggest the “Zoom fatigue” legions of office workers are feeling is real. Legal and accounting firms, consultancies, banks and other companies whose employees dispersed from downtown towers to apartments and basement offices, are now implementing measures to fight that fatigue.

Behind the scenes with India’s boardgame creators. In 2018, Phalgun Polepalli and Shwetha Badarinath could not find a single person to make dice, much to their dismay. “Dice were practically invented in India; but all major boardgame manufacturing these days is in China. It took us a long time to find a woodworker who could make what we needed,” recalls Phalgun over a phone call from Bengaluru.

National Yo-Yo Day: Some Fun Facts About The Toy. Every year on June 6, we celebrate National Yo-Yo Day. It coincides with the birthday of Chicago businessman Donald F. Duncan Sr, who in the 1930s, got into the yo-yo business. Yo-Yo was first sold in the US by Pedro Flores, a Philippine immigrant. In the 1920s, Flores began making the toy in America and was fascinated by how people here took to the toy. 

(the above posted after June 4th)

John Baulch, ToyWorld UK - My ship isn't coming in…. it’s the Friday Blog! A week ago, I wasn’t aware of Yantian Port in Shenzen. I have subsequently found out that it is the largest single container terminal in the world, responsible for handling around 25% of China’s trade with the USA, as well as being an important staging post for China to Europe shipping. The reason I now know so much about Yantian is because it...

Exclusive: Letter from America - prepping for the holidays. This month, Rick Derr of Learning Express Toys, Lake Zurich, explains why early planning for the festive season is more important than ever this year. Planning for the holidays, particularly November and December, when over 40% of toy sales traditionally take place. Rick believes Christmas 2021 will be somewhat different to previous years, for a number of reasons. 

Real-World Education in an Unreal World. When advisor Peter Wachtel received a 2019 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence and a $50,0000 cash award for his school, he set to work overhauling Adolfo Camarillo (Calif.) High School’s career and technical education programs with new technology that would foster his students’ creativity. Little did he know that same technology would....

HOW THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESHAPED BOARD GAME DEVELOPMENT. This became the reality of developing board games following the onset of the pandemic last spring. Board game creators — like nearly every other company in the toy industry and beyond — faced a host of new challenges and changes as a direct result of the global health crisis.  

Cogs’ worth | Meet the scientists on a mission ‘for a better STEM toy market’. A team of STEM toy specialists is calling for a major rethink from toy companies and their approach to developing products for the educational toy market, citing that ‘too many today begin by offering their own solutions first.’ Upper Story is the US team behind an endeavor to encourage new strategies in the development of STEM toys by better...

Go read this story about the rise and fall of a $77 million game cheating empire. Free-to-play games are hugely successful (in 2020, PUBG Mobile reportedly made $2.8 billion in China alone), but that success attracts unscrupulous developers who earn their own small fortunes helping players cheat. If you’ve ever wanted a peek inside that kind of operation before it implodes, Motherboard’s feature on the rise and fall of an infamous game cheating ring …

Diversity and merchandising in the Marvel Cinematic Universe“Avengers: Endgame” dramatically altered the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by breaking apart the Avengers team either through death or attrition. Iron Man sacrificed himself for the greater good, as did Natasha Romanov (Black Widow), while Captain America (Steve Rogers) retired to an alternate time to reunite with his one true love, Peggy Carter. 

11 year old business owner curating STEM learning toys. 11-year-old Owner and Founder of STEM Powered Kits, Alaina Davis, is on a mission to make STEM more exciting and accessible for all youth. Davis started to most sought after Learning Toy company that sells curated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) kits paired with complementary instructional videos. 

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Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Arcade Mania from Milton Bradley (1983). Released in 1983 by Milton Bradley, Arcade Mania unites two popular forms of gameplay — board games and arcade games — into one fast-paced, colourful, and boisterous experience. Created for three or four players, the game box contains a battery-operated handheld electronic arcade machine (referred to as The Machine), 4 game slides, a cardboard game board, four plastic …

Toys: 100 Years of All-American Toy Ads. Toys: 100 Years of All-American Toy Ads, a new book from German publisher, Taschen, offers a century-size snapshot of advertising in the toy industry. Over the course of 528 pages, co-authors Jim Heimann and Steven Heller bring readers along on “a stroll down the aisles of America’s toy store.” The book is organized chronologically and provides a nostalgic mix of still-iconic toys and ...

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Save the City in Super-style with DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power for Nintendo Switch. The DC Super Hero Girls are flying into the Nintendo Switch in their new video game: DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power. Based on the Cartoon Network animated series DC Super Hero Girls, this game follows famous DC heroines and supervillains on exciting crime-fighting and high school adventures in Metropolis.

HEADSTART BRINGS RYAN’S WORLD INTO THE BLASTER AISLE WITH RYAN’S DART TAG RANGE. Headstart Toys teamed up with pocket.watch — the company behind digital-first brands, including Love, Diana — to bring the popular YouTuber into the foam blaster aisle. Ryan’s Dart Tag is a new range of blasters for kids ages 8 and up launched earlier this month at Big W in Australia. The line debuts in the U.S....

(the above posted after June 4th)

Ninja Life Hacks Selects Fun World to Create Costume Collections. Best-selling children’s book series Ninja Life Hacks is partnering with Fun World to create a line of gender-neutral costumes launching in May 2022, tied to National Mental Wellness Month. The costumes extend the tools for social/emotional learning beyond the Ninja Life Hacks book pages. The Ninja Life Hacks Costumes create fun role play while....

VTech joins BBC Studios’ global licensing programme for Bluey with role play, e-books and more. BBC Studios has agreed a multi-territory licensing deal with VTech to produce electronic role play toys based on its multi-award winning children’s TV property, Bluey. Marking the latest expansion of the series’ global licensing programme, VTech’s initial Bluey range will feature popular characters from the series and lines...

Brick by brick: Tetris builds new licensing roster with Wildbrain CPLG. WildBrain CPLG is bringing “Tetris” to a raft of categories including apparel, back-to-school accessories, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and homeware.  One of the key appointments behind this new stable of European licensing deals, Zara will create a collection of men’s T-shirts with designs inspired by the colorful brand. 

Never Wrong Toys appointed master toy licensee for Genius Brands’ ‘Rainbow Rangers’. Never Wrong Toys — the makers of Laser Pegs — inked a deal with Genius Brands International Inc. to serve as global master toy partner for the animated series, Rainbow Rangers. The series about a team of girls who serve as “Earth’s first responders” is currently streaming on Genius Brands’ Kartoon Channel! and will debut on Netflix...

LEGO Space Stars 1000-piece puzzle from Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books has unveiled a new LEGO puzzle for fans of the iconic LEGO Space theme. The 1,000-piece puzzle stands 25-inches wide by 20-inches tall when built. It depicts eight multi-coloured astronaut minifigures in the foreground, flanked by two vintage spaceship sets — 497 Galaxy Explorer and 6980 Galaxy Commander — in the background. 

Thanos attacks in newest 'Marvel Champions: The Card Game' expansion. Fantasy Flight Games announced The Mad Titan's Shadow, a new campaign expansion for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, which will release in August. This third campaign expansion for Marvel Champions: The Card Game has the heroes of the galaxy up against the forces of Thanos wielding a new Infinity Stone deck. 

Funko Games will release 'Marvel Battleworld: Treachery at Twilight'. Funko Games will release Marvel Battleworld: Treachery at Twilight, the second series for its Marvel Battleworld game line. Marvel Battleworld: Treachery at Twilight allows players to work together as their favorite heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat Thanos. 

Funko, Disguise ink multiyear licensing deal for Pop! Masks collection. Funkoween is in full effect and this year, Funko — the maker of pop culture-infused toys, collectibles, and lifestyle products — is marking the occasion by jumping into another new category: Costumes and dress-up. Disguise Inc. — the costume division of Jakks Pacific — inked a multi-year licensing deal with Funko to design, market, manufacture, and ...

Lego, Dodge team up for Speed Champions Top Fuel dragster building set. For the first time ever, a Top Fuel Dragster is joining the LEGO Speed Champions series. The LEGO Group and Dodge have joined forces on their second LEGO Speed Champions collaboration following a 2019 release that presented buildable versions of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and the 1970 Dodge Charger R/T. 

Gel Blaster goes gold with Floyd Mayweather X Gel Blaster Surge collaboration. The blaster aisle is getting a powerful upgrade. Gel Blaster LLC — the company behind the popular backyard blasters that fire eco-friendly, water-based “Gellets” — teamed up with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and his TMT (The Money Team) lifestyle brand for a limited edition release. The Gel Blaster Surge Mayweather Edition features...

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People . . . 

The Roachy Fund is pleased to announce Harrison Brooks has been awarded the 2021 Roachy Fund Scholarship. The Fund reviewed numerous applications from many very talented young people and felt Harrison embodied the spirit and energy of the fund’s namesake, Alan Roach.  Harrison continued to endear himself to The Roachy Fund, when he claimed “after reading your email, I screamed Yahtzee! I am honored that you chose me as this year’s recipient for the Roachy Fund Scholarship. I aspire to continue spreading Alan’s philosophy of Making Art & Playing Games as I enter college and the world beyond.” (Note from Mary, "As Harrison is an integral part of our CHITAG/POP team, we are especially excited for his receiving this prestigious and meaningful award!"

WarnerMedia has brought in Melissa Lim as head of content acquisitions and co-productions for its kids networks in Asia Pacific. Her purview will cover POGO, Cartoon Network and Boomerang across the region. Lim takes over for Hoyoung Jung, who left in April to join Netflix as manager of original animation for kids and family, based in Tokyo. She will also help  cultivate HBO GO in Southeast Asia, giving input on...

Jimmy Fallon is turning his bestselling children’s books into an animated series with DreamWorks AnimationThe “Tonight Show” host will executive produce the preschool series based on his two books “Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada” and “Everything is Mama.” The show will be set in an imaginative world of animals that celebrates all the special things that make a family unique.  

Eddie Gamarra has been brought in as VP of literary affairs for Nickelodeon and Awesomeness. In this newly created role, he’s responsible for sourcing and assessing books at every publishing stage in order to decide what to option and develop. Based in LA, Gamarra will be looking for literary works that can be turned into both live-action and animated TV shows and movies. He reports to Shauna Phelan and Zack Olin, who...

Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Adam Borton, founder of Creating Unique Toys and newly launched Toy &Game School — a digital education platform is designed to teach students the fundamentals of the toy and game industry. On the show, Albritton and Borton discuss the choice to explore the toy industry in their college studies and the curriculum...

The Entertainer’s Gary Grant | “A family business is a different kind of business” With a universe of toys at his disposal, and the entirety of the children’s entertainment market at his fingertips; you’d assume grandfatherhood was just another day at the office for Gary Grant, founder of the UK toy shop The Entertainer. As any doting grandparent would attest, the role comes with some pretty basic blueprints; say yes to...

(the above posted after June 4th)

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Paula Monteiro, head of marketing for Wikitude. Wikitude is the worlds leading augmented reality (AR) software development kit with over 1 billion installs. On the show, Monteiro discusses how her background with the United Nations and education gives her a unique perspective on the kids’ space...

Former eOne exec takes over preschool content at BBC. Kate Morton is leaving her post as content strategy director of eOne's family brands to join the Beeb this summer as head of commissioning and acquisitions for kids ages zero to six. Morton will report to BBC Children’s and Education director Patricia Hidalgo, who started in her role last year

Toy Influence – a consultancy with a European focusSenior toy industry figure Yann Fresnel will use his extensive experience to help companies develop their European business. Yann is a French national, is multilingual (English, German, Portuguese and Spanish) and has held senior positions at Smoby, Newell Brands, Berg Toys and Smartrike, where he has successfully driven sales and expanded distribution.

CD Projekt has named Gabriel Amatangelo as the new game director for Cyberpunk 2077. The news comes after Cyberpunk's former game director Adam Badowski stepped down to focus on other leadership duties at the Polish company.  As reported by Reuters, Amatangelo joined CD Projekt in January 2020 as a creative director, and will now lead development on the title's upcoming expansion. 

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Companies, Brands . . .

Spin Master Introduces The Future of Play Scholarship. Spin Master has announced a new initiative to support the education and career advancement of individuals from underrepresented communities in the fields of toys, entertainment, and digital games. The company has committed investing up to $100,000 annually in financial aid, as well as mentorship and on-the-job experience. Spin Master will grant eight...

PlayShifu Launches Virtual Board Game Platform Tacto. PlayShifu has launched the first-ever “phygital” board game platform, Tacto, based on innovative technology and augmented reality (AI) that turns screen time into family time. Using iPads, kids can utilize real figurines to access the virtual gameplay on Tacto’s platform.

LEGO goes vintage with its latest LEGO Ideas launch, the LEGO Ideas Typewriter  LEGO has unveiled the latest building set to launch via its LEGO Ideas platform, a classic Typewriter building set that will transport LEGO fans to a bygone era as they reconstruct the vintage styled ornament. The LEGO Ideas Typewriter was designed by the UK LEGO fan, Steve Guinness from Chester, who saw the project advance …

Mattel launches sustainable new Barbie Loves the Ocean range  The new Barbie Loves the Ocean range is the brand's first fashion doll collection to be made from recycled ocean-bound plastic. “This Barbie launch is another addition to Mattel’s growing portfolio of purpose-driven brands, which inspire environmental consciousness with our consumer as a key focus,” said Richard Dickson, president and COO, Mattel.

Cartoon Network orders its first African superhero series Ridwan Moshood's prize-winning short Garbage Boy and Trash Can is being produced as a full series in collaboration with Baboon and the African Animation Network. Created by Nigerian animator Ridwan Moshood, the 10 x 2.5-minute comedy-driven toon is about a boy with imaginary superpowers who fights for justice with his trusty sidekick.

WeCool Toys, the company behind the Compound Kings and Activity Kings brands, has entered into a licensing deal with Mattel to develop a new line of Barbie and Hot Wheels branded compounds and activities. WeCool Toys will feature the brands in a variety of new dough sets and activity sets that will launch under the Compound Kings and Activity Kings lines this fall. Compound Kings and Activity Kings are sold...

The how behind the Wow! at Wow! Stuff Rachael Simpson- Jones spoke to Wow! Stuff CEO Richard North about the company’s plans for the second half of 2021, and his often unorthodox approach to business. Wow! Stuff has enjoyed a strong first half of the year, with a raft of new appointments under its belt, multiple new licences signed, and all-encompassing marketing plans that will see more consumers than ever...

IP Push Helps Drive Mattel’s Transformation. “There’s no question that the new Mattel is very different from what the company was just a few short years ago,” Kreiz said during a June 2 webcast. “The biggest change is that we transitioned from being a toy manufacturing company into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.” Kreiz also cited Mattel’s latest financial metrics, including substantial growth in EBITDA and gross...

Casdon Toys celebrates its 75th anniversary   With role-play at the heart of Casdon, the company is launching a ‘Helping out in the Home Corner’ initiative this month to coincide with its anniversary. Casdon Toys celebrate its 75th anniversary this month. Launched on 8th June 1946 by Thomas Cassidy, the family of toymakers continues to inspire imaginative and creative play for children via its range of well-known....

Kidz Bop & LEGO VIDIYO Premiere Music Video Collaboration. Kidz Bop’s 20th anniversary celebrations this year continue with a joint Kidz Bop and LEGO VIDIYO video series and fan sweepstakes. Two new videos launch from the collaboration this month. In the first, called “Behind the Scenes with LEGO VIDIYO,” Kidz Bop Kids Alana and Ayden show how they direct their own music video by scanning in their Bandmates...

(the above posted after June 4th)

The Insights Family forges alliance with InspiredConsumer to tap 50 million US families for research  The kids, parents, and family market research outfit, The Insights Family, has forged a new partnership with InspiredConsumer, a US youth experiential marketing agency, to ‘transform the research sector in the United States.’ Operating the largest and most singular community centre network across the US...

The Entertainer’s Big Toy Rehoming returns as year-round campaign   The initiative, which will run in all 171 stores nationwide, aims to give toys a new lease of life while reducing the waste going to landfill. Since its first launch in 2019, The Big Toy Rehoming campaign has successfully found a new home for over 40,000 toys – the equivalent to over 20 tonnes of waste.

Magnetic attraction | Magformers on reinvigorating a category and inspiring a generation through STEM. Five years ago, you’d have been pretty hard pressed to find a dominant name within a magnetic construction toy space that had, for some time previously, been subject to a period of languid sales and docile interest. In 2016, however, something happened to the market that shook it up with an injection of the...

Sesame, Headspace partner on new podcastThe partnership includes 11 Goodnight, World! eps focused on mindfulness and meditation, as well as several new board books for preschoolers. Each episode includes a story narrated by a Muppet from Sesame Street, a meditation exercise led by a Headspace reader, and a soundscape of music and relaxing sounds inspired by locations like Big Bird’s nest and Abby Cadabby’s fairy...

TALKIN’ TOYS: FAT BRAIN TOYS ADDS DEPTH TO THE FIDGET CRAZE. From babies looking for something to fiddle with to teens hoping to go viral on social media, the popularity of fidget toys is at an all-time high. The Toy Book spoke with the company’s president and co-founder Mark Carson to discuss how Squigz and Dimpl go beyond any fleeting social media trend. Toy Book: Fidget toys and sensory toys are everywhere...

Polly Pockets Are Making a Comeback and They Are Just as Good as You RememberThink of them as the original tiny home. If you think back to your childhood and consider some of your favorite playthings, you may recall a distinctive toy crafted from smooth, pastel-colored plastic that opened up to unveil an entire world within, complete with swinging refrigerator doors, pull-out beds, lit-up pavilions, and moving ice...

Konami – taking the King of Games crown. Dom Galizia and Enrico Tassinari of Konami Digital Entertainment speak to Rachael Simpson-Jones about the importance of the Yu-Gi Oh! community, marketing, events and its plans for the year ahead. The manga franchise Yu-Gi-Oh! continues to make waves across on-demand streaming services, mobile gaming and consumer products categories, including the licensed Yu-Gi-Oh! ...

LEGO is branching out into a new type of content with the launch of its three-part Ninja Vlogs, marking the first time the company has used motion capture and real-time rendering.  This collection of 3D-animated vlog-style videos sees characters from the LEGO Ninjago series fighting dangerous monsters and meeting new friends. Kids ages six to 12 watching live at home can interact with the videos and contribute...

Mattel reaches pay equity and updates diversity and inclusion goals. Last year, Mattel hit a major milestone in its diversity and inclusion goals by achieving 100% equity for its employees performing similar work in positions across the U.S. The company issued an update on its progress and goals across a variety of points as it looks ahead to creating a work environment that fosters equality, inclusion, and ...

Melissa & Doug launch its first-ever brand campaign ‘Timeless Toys. Endless Possibilities’. Melissa & Doug launched its first-ever brand campaign today: “Timeless Toys. Endless Possibilities.” The purpose-driven toy brand prides itself on inspiring kids to explore the world around them with a wide-range of hands-on, screen-free toys. 

Oni and Renegade announce a new 'Love Letter' game. Oni Games and Renegade Game Studios announced Love Letter: Princess Princess Ever After, which will release on October 1. Renegade's collaboration with Oni Games on board games made from Katie O'Neill IPs continues with a new edition of Love Letter. This version of the classic AEG game is set in the world of Princess Princess Ever After, and players need to find ...

Hasbro's new Ghostbusters line features the best toy toilet ever made. During the '80s, Kenner produced a line of Ghostbusters toys based on the original Real Ghostbusters cartoon. Now, Hasbro is re-releasing select toys from the line at Walmart. This includes the greatest toy toilet ever made, Fearsome Flush. The Real Ghostbusters Kenner line was known for some out-of-the-box figures, like a football player that...

Target kicks off Summer with Deal Days promotion. The big three are going at it on the cusp of the summer solstice. Target is joining the fray alongside Walmart (Deals for Days) and Amazon (Prime Day) with the return of its Deal Days promotion. The digital sale event takes place June 20-22, 2021. Target Corp. promises big discounts across multiple categories, including limited-time deals in toys and games. 

Walmart rolls out Deals for Days Summer kick off promotionWalmart‘s Deals for Days promotion is back. The retail giant will offer “Black Friday-like savings” with “online-only deals, special store-only savings, and Rollbacks on items available in-store and online across a variety of categories. While specifics are set to be revealed, toys and games will have a bit of the spotlight. Walmart’s entry into the summer kick-off ...

Amazon sets Prime Day dates. Amazon has announced the dates for its Prime Day sales event, moving them earlier than in the Covid-altered schedule last year or in previous years.  The Prime Day event will be held June 21 and 22.  The normal schedule would put the event in mid-July. Amazon promises over 2 million special prices for online shoppers, with more than a million deals from third-party sellers.

Capstone Games reveals 'Riftforce'Capstone Games revealed Riftforce, a new two player duel card game, for release in September. Riftforce, designed by Carlo Bortolini and illustrated by Miguel Coimbra, is a card game where two players battle each other with guild decks. The game begins by players drafting four of the ten different guilds. Each guild has unique abilities, and create different synergies with different guilds. 

Force of Will, Inc. announces 'The Seventh'. Force of Will, Inc. announced that The Seventh, the fourth installment of the Saga Cluster for the Force of Will Trading Card Game, will release on August 27. The Seventh will feature 97 new cards. Stores that are able to do so may host pre-release events on August 20 using the Force of Will TCG: The Seventh Pre-release Kit. Each kit contains 72 booster packs, 12 copies ...

Radio Flyer’s new adult E-bike line Flyer is breaking the cycle. Radio Flyer is shifting gears. The 104-year old maker of the iconic Little Red Wagon unveiled their first-ever product line just for adults, aptly named Flyer. Flyer joins the eco-friendly market as a new line of e-bikes and e-scooters that makes it easy to combine sustainability and micro-mobility at an affordable price. The Flyer line has two e-bikes — including ...

Konami reveals all-foil 'Battles of Legends 2021' set for 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. Konami Digital Entertainment revealed Battles of Legend 2021 and Hidden Arsenal: Chapter 1, for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, which will both hit stores in Q4. Battles of Legend 2021 booster set add cards from the first 6 Yu-Gi-Oh! animated series to the mix. This is an all-foil set with nearly 60 new cards and more than 30 reprints. 

Jay@Play launches Vibe Girls doll collection. Jay@Play’s new doll line Vibe Girls is hitting store shelves this week. The colorful fashion doll collection hopes to empower kids to share good vibes with their friends, family, and community. There are six dolls for kids to collect, and each 8-inch, articulated doll has its own “vibe” for kids to aspire or relate to: Emma (kindness), Allison (animal), Mia (ocean), Sophia (happy), ...

Mattel stomps into Jurassic World with new ‘Camp Cretaceous’ dinosaurs. As the new hybrid dinosaur Scorpius Rex comes roaring to center stage in Netflix’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 3, so does its replica action figure to retail shelves. Mattel and Universal Brand Development are also bringing back the aquatic Mosasaurus from the 2015 film Jurassic World in this new product lineup. 

Sky Castle Toys launches content creation craft kit Letsglow Studio. This July, Sky Castle Toys will introduce the LetsGlow Studio, a content-creation craft kit designed for users to light up any social content they create — from photos to TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram videos. The magic is in the patented LetsGlow accessories that use reflective material that shines bright in front of LED lights. 

Playmonster deals a full house for Five Crowns’ 25th anniversaryIt looks like game night might be in the cards this month. PlayMonster’s Five Crowns, the five-suited rummy card game everyone and their grandmother loves to play, is commemorating its 25th anniversary this June with a special anniversary edition. Decked out in a new limited edition box, the Fives Crowns 25th Anniversary Edition features 116 cards, ...

Jazwares unleashes AEW Wrestling Buddies plush, Unmatched, and Unrivaled Collection action figures. Jazwares and All Elite Wrestling (AEW) got rowdy during the long holiday weekend with the debut of new toys and collectibles during the AEW Double or Nothing Fan Fest. During the event, which preceded Sunday’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view, Jazwares dropped the curtain on its new line of Wrestling Buddies...

Games Workshop previews 'Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Dominion'Games Workshop previewed Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Dominion, a new two player starter box, which will be coming soon to preorder. Dominion comes with two full armies, each featuring multiple units and a Leader. This set features the Stormcast Eternals versus the Krulboyz Orruks, and it includes the full Core Book 3E with an exclusive cover. 

Defeat the monsters of Bikini Bottom in 'Munchkin: Spongebob Squarepants'The Op announced Munchkin: SpongeBob SquarePants, a new game based on Munchkin by Steve Jackson Games, for release on July 20. Munchkin dives into Bikini Bottom for a battle under the sea. This version of Steve Jackson Games’ classic role-playing card game features the characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, like Spongebob, ...

LEGO teases a sequel to LEGO DimensionsA cryptic new announcement teaser from LEGO seems to be hinting at a sequel to the toys-to-life video game LEGO Dimensions. A new video teases a sequel to the game LEGO Dimensions may be announced soon. LEGO posted a short video to Twitter featuring a LEGO brick and an upcoming announcement date. 

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

Future Today, Tankee partner on original series EXCLUSIVE: The new Minecraft and Roblox gaming-led shows should help Future Today's OTT platform HappyKids stand out from the competition, says David Di Lorenzo. Both 13-episode comedies will launch exclusively on Future Today’s HappyKids OTT platform in July or August. Minecraft Boss Battles and Roblox Recess Extreme are geared to kids ages six to 12 and...

(the above posted after June 4th)

Fortnite is getting updated visuals on PC alongside season 7 launchFortnite is getting a visual boost on PC very soon. As part of the upcoming Chapter 2: Season 7, which will launch on June 8th, the PC version of the game is getting a new “epic” graphical setting. Epic says it will include “new and enhanced effects plus improved post-processing features and shadow quality.”

Kongregate teams with Nickelodeon to announce Spongebob’s Idle Adventures, an undersea romp coming this summer to mobile. Kongregate, a leading developer of mobile free-to-play games, today announced their latest title in development, SpongeBob’s Idle Adventures, coming this summer to mobile devices. In partnership with Nickelodeon, the game will take players on an underwater adventure...

Knockout City hits 5 million players during ten-day free trial. EA and Velan Studios' extreme dodge ball brawler Knockout City has attracted the attention of at least 5 million players during a free event spanning the first ten days of its launch, and ahead of the game's freshly announced shift to a free-to-start model. Knockout City launched on May 21 as a premium, $19.99 game on PC and consoles, though curious...

Riot Games plans to join in on the mobile FPS boom with a mobile version of Valorant. Riot Games is bringing its free-to-play competitive FPS Vaolrant to mobile and joining a growing list major developers taking their shooters from consoles and PC over to iOS and Android. Riot hasn't yet said much about the mobile version of Valorant beyond the fact that it's in development, but it's understandable why Riot...

Dark Horse Comics opens video game division, wants to work with 'top' studios. Dark Horse Comics has opened a new video game division called Dark Horse Games. As reported by VentureBeat, Dark Horse Games will operate out of two main offices in Oregon and Shanghai, and will look to create titles through licensing partnerships with third-party developers and its own in-house teams. 

Monster Hunter Rise has shipped 7 million copies in two months. Monster Hunter Rise has shipped over 7 million copies since launching on the Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021. Developer Capcom announced the milestone on the official Monster Hunter Twitter account, having previously revealed the title had shipped over 4 million copies in under a week.  

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Epic vs Apple

What next from Epic vs Apple? | PodcastThe GamesIndustry.biz team discusses the high-profile anti-trust case between Epic Games and Apple, joined by special guest Tom Buscaglia of law firm The Game Attorney. Buscaglia -- who has previously contributed to our weekly 'in review' roundups of the trial -- gives us insight into some of more interesting aspects of the court proceedings and the arguments both sides makes. The conversation covers the long wait for a ruling and why that ruling will be far from final, the impact this case will have had on …

Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

Advisory - Health Canada warns of Xing da Toy magnet sets that pose serious and potentially life-threatening risksHealth Canada is warning Canadians of the serious danger posed by two magnet sets, Xing da Toy Circular Magnets and Xing da Toy Oval Magnets sold in Canada. These sets contain small, powerful magnets that can be easily swallowed by children of all ages resulting in potentially serious adverse effects on their health.

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Press Releases . . . 

THIS SUMMER’S MINI COLLECTION FEATURES MINI VERSIONS OF VINTAGE HESS TOY TRUCKS. 2021 Mini Collection Includes An Amazing 5-In-One Toy Set Complete with Mini Racers At Just $29.99. Hess Toy Truck’s limited-edition Mini Collection ($29.99) tradition has launched, featuring highly detailed, small scale versions of classic holiday Hess Toy Trucks from the past. The 2021 little legends are on sale exclusively at HessToyTruck.com. This year, Hess reaches way back to the 1960s, 1980s and 1990s to their storied history of Christmas morning magic as kids unwrapped the must-have toy trucks. The 2021 Mini Collection features the 1968 Tanker Truck, the 1980 Training Van, and the 3-in-one 1997 Hess Toy Truck and Racers — for a combined total of five toys! The set boasts pre-installed batteries, chrome accents, articulated cabs, free-rolling wheels and three detachable display bases with name plates.

HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT HOSTING GAME NIGHT? SCORE A WIN WITH THIS HIGHSPEED PARTY GAME. Sold Exclusively At Target, Each Round Of Second Thoughts™ Presses Players To Be Witty And Wise But Not Take Too Long. (As Time Is Not On Their Side)! – When it’s your night to host Game Night, the pressure is on to find something fun, fast paced and memorable. Shoppers browsing the toy aisle at Target have the perfect recommendation – with “no second thoughts after buying this game” as one happy consumer reviewed on Target.com. Second Thoughts™ ($17.99) from The Good Game Company asks players to be quick thinkers or fast talkers when it’s their team’s turn. Whichever side you take, the laughs are guaranteed.

Romero Britto and Hasbro Launch an Official Monopoly™ Art Collaboration  Romero Britto, internationally renowned artist, and founder of the Happy Art Movement has teamed up with Hasbro for the release of four new MONOPOLY limited edition artworks on canvas. The series highlights the iconic MR. MONOPOLY in Britto's playful vibrant patterns and colors creating a fun journey through art that every fan can enjoy.

(the above posted after June 4th)

MasterPieces Adds Three New Licenses. New Products Feature Smokey Bear, U.S. Navy, and Mossy Oak.  Signing agreements with The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service for Smokey Bear property; outdoor lifestyle brand, Mossy Oak, and The U.S. Department of Defense for the U.S. Navy license, MasterPieces has several new puzzles set to arrive this summer. Annually recognized as a Global Licensee Leader, 

Spin Master Entertainment, In Association with Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures, Announces Adam Levine to Perform New Original Song for the Upcoming PAW Patrol: The Movie™.  Titled "Good Mood", the new original song was written by Shellback, Savan Kotecha, Oscar Görres and Adam Levine; produced by Shellback from MXM Productions and Oscar Görres for Wolf Cousins Productions; executive produced by Savan Kotecha and performed by Adam Levine. 

Winning Moves Games USA Looking To Expand Portfolio.  If you are a business owner with a great game, puzzle, toy (or line) and you are looking for the right partner to help take on the heavy lifting, reach out to us. Under a licensing deal, Winning Moves Games USA would take over production, inventory, forecasting, warehousing and sales. You could continue to develop new products or you could pass the entire process...

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

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

The Global Licensing Group has announced its first round of exhibiting companies confirmed for Licensing Expo Virtual taking place August 24-26, in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International. The more than 100 exhibitors will include Endemol Shine Group, IMG Worldwide, Crayola, Jazwares, Joester Loria Group, JPatton, Spin Master, MGM Studios, Pokémon Company International...

(the above posted after June 4th)

The Creative Play Awards 2021 are open for entries  The Creative Play Awards promote the value of creative play in children’s development with products independently tested by parents, early years professionals and teachers. Testing will take place in early autumn, with products independently tested by parents, childcarers, home educators, early years, nursery and primary school settings.

The Lego Group to hold first ever Lego Con with free digital eventLego Con will let fans discover the latest Lego news, see master builders at work and connect with other fans globally during the livestream. The event, which will also showcase Lego’s new products, will be hosted and livestreamed directly from Lego House in Billund, Denmark on June 26th, 2021 at 5pm-7pm BST, 6pm-8pm CEST and 9am-11am PST.

Toy Association Promotes Kimberly Carcone to Senior Vice President of Global Market Events. Carcone is a seasoned professional with nearly 30 years of experience in non-profit and corporate event management, marketing, and publishing in both New York City and Washington, D.C. She joined The Toy Association in 2007 and served most recently as vice president of market events. Over the past 14 years, she received....

ASTRA: A SNEAK PEEK AT UPCOMING PROGRAMMING AND EVENTSAt the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), we have weathered the storm of the past year and are excited to turn our focus toward the programs and offerings that are the cornerstones of our organization. These events and activities are an important means of engagement and connection for ASTRA members.

Bidding farewell to Spielwarenmesse eG: Ernst Kick and Dr. Hans-Juergen Richter step down from the Executive Board at the end of June. Ernst Kick was appointed CEO in 2002. During his term in office, he has driven the cooperative forward whilst reinforcing the leading position of the Spielwarenmesse. His many achievements include the reorganisation of the trade fair's structure so that it would provide...

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

M. RICHARD ROBINSON, JR.  Scholastic Corporation Chairman and CEO, who had a profound influence on geek culture, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend, the company announced.  He was 84, but had been in excellent health and active in running the company, as he had for nearly 50 years, the company said. In his roles as President since 1974, CEO since 1975, and Chairman since 1982, Robinson built Scholastic into the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, with $1.6 billion in annual sales. Robinson made a momentous decision in 2004, when Scholastic entered the kids graphic novel business with its new Graphix imprint (see "Scholastic to Launch Graphic Novel Line").  With Scholastic leading the way, kids graphic novels became the largest part of the graphic novel business, bigger than manga, superheroes, or creator-owned graphic novels.  Big hits have included the Amulet and Bone series, adaptations of Babysitters Club, the work of Raina Telgemeier, and Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man. 

George R. Ditomassi, former Milton Bradley chairman and Hasbro executive, died on May 31 at the age of 86, it was reported by MassLive.

Ditomassi spent more than 40 years at Milton Bradley — both before and after it was acquired by Hasbro, Inc. in 1984 — where he worked to bring worldwide recognition to game brands including Candy Land, Life, and Chutes and Ladders. According to his obituary, Ditomassi’s career at Milton Bradley began when he joined the company as a production trainee in 1960. In 1970, he became Vice President of Milton Bradley and General Manager of the Whiting Division. In 1982, Ditomassi was elected to Milton Bradley’s Board of Directors, and in 1985 was promoted to President of Milton Bradley. In 1990, he was named Chairman of Milton Bradley and Chief Operating Officer, Games and International, at Hasbro, Inc. Between 1996 and 1997 he served as President of Hasbro International.

Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, died on May 23rd aged 91. A statement issued by the family read: “In the light of the moon, holding on to a good star, a painter is now travelling across the night sky.” Carle’s most famous book published in 1969 tells the story of a caterpillar with a giant appetite and has sold more than 50 million copies around the world and translated in 62 languages. His family said Eric Carle had died in Northampton, Massachusetts, from kidney failure. 

Michael LovelandMichael spent his whole career in the toy business until his retirement a few years ago, notably with Bandai, where he played a pivotal role in the formation of the UK operation back in 1982. Tasked by the Japanese parent company to set up a UK subsidiary, Michael and his brother Nigel successfully established the operation with its first UK office in Guildford. Michael went on to become Bandai’s European marketing director, and was part of the team that first brought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the UK and European markets, having brokered a deal with Playmates Toys. Michael was also instrumental in Bandai becoming the original distributor of the Nintendo range of electronic and video games. Michael was also involved with both the British Toy and Hobby Association and the Toy industries of Europe throughout his career, serving as an active Board member in both organisations.

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Weekly Top Stories from Toy and Game Trade Magazines Worldwide . . . 

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. My ship isn’t coming in…. it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Major Chinese port closes after Covid outbreak

  3. The June issue of Toy World is out now

  4. Exclusive: Konami – taking the King of Games crown

  5. Goliath acquires Fun Promotion from Toi-Toys International

  6. Melissa & Doug launches Timeless Toys Endless Possibilities brand campaign

  7. B&M hails “exceptional year” as sales and profits climb

  8. Amazon Prime Day dates confirmed for June

  9. Exclusive: The kidult market comes of age

  10. Exclusive: Import Services with a smile

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

Publishers Announce Physical Presence at Gen Con Indy 2021

Wizards of the Coast Releases a 'Magic: The Gathering Booster Selling Guide'
Wizards of the Coast Offers Advice for Returning to In-Store 'Magic: The Gathering' Play
Add Cavernous Features to RPG Encounters with New 'WarLock Tiles Accessory' Packs
Funko Games Will Release 'Marvel Battleworld: Treachery At Twilight'
Rolling for Initiative -- Reaching College Students Via Social Media
Three New Pokemon Video Games, Museum Hosts Tabletop Game Conference, Site Adds Game Review Aggregation Feature
Dark Horse Announces Gaming and Digital Division
- The Op Announces 'Monopoly: Dungeons & Dragons'
Ultra Pro Heads for Middle-earth

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

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

The Game Face to Face, 25 Words or Less - Pandasaurus has released a new competitive version of The Game, The Op has a new party game out, and Kingdomino Origins is announced.

Video of the Week! 

Partnerships w Fast Food and More CHITAG

Partnerships with Fast Food and More!

After debuting on our POP Week Event Platform to over 13,700 viewers,  we have moved our panel discussions to YouTube and ar sharing them almost every week here on the Bloom Report! 

Moderator: Lisa Wuennemann (Master Marketing Monster, PlayMonster)

Panelists: Tracy Dudkiewicz (President, TAP Marketing), Hayley Woodward (Head Of Global Marketing, Rubik's Brand),

Michael Edelstein (VP, Director Brand Partnerships, The Marketing Store),

Jill Collins (Licensing, Promotions and Retail Partnerships, Licensing Works),

Nathan Measom (Manager of Corporate & Influencer Partnerships, Best Friends Animal Society)

 

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

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