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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

Happy Bloomin' Friday! 

We spend 30 hours a week publishing the Bloom Report. I'm asking you to take a minute and watch THIS video. If you are a true toy person, this will be the best feel-good video you'll watch this week. If it isn't, I'll refund your subscription to tBR. No questions asked. 

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Hi, Tracey! Thank you for taking time to chat. Although we've known one another a long time, there are still questions unasked! What is it about the Toy and Game Industry that you love?

The people! It’s like a family…but better!

What has kept you motivated to stay in the toy industry?

I am not sure if you can define it as motivation but when I even think about possibly doing something else it ends up to be a fleeting thought and quicky dismissed. Like in the Godfather, you can’t really get out, it just pulls. You. Back. in.

How do you recharge or take a break? 

Some may say the spa, beach, cabin…I say rollercoasters!! Clears my mind like nothing else. As an annual passholder for Universal Studios Orlando, I’ve been known to schedule day-long layovers to get my faves in and reset but long weekends and week-long stays there are a true recharge.


What words describe how you think or how your brain works? 

You know the sounds when you used to fast forward a cassette tape of VHS tape? That sound is my brain most of the time, there is no perfect word to describe that.

What was your favorite project to date? 

Working on Perplexus with the PlaSmart team. Took it all the way to a TOTY. It was a super fun project from beginning to end with loads of adventure and great success. Best part was in-store events and consumer shows like CHITAG and ESSEN where we were really able to see the joy at play. Its home is with Spin Master now and it still brings a smile to my face when I see it on a store shelf or even better – in a child’s hands.   READ MORE...

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Person of Week - Toy Association's Andy Keimach

The Toy Industry Hall of Fame - Nominations Open!

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The Toy Industry Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions and provided impactful service to the toy industry throughout their careers. The Toy Association is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2025 Toy Industry Hall of Fame are now open through June 7.


The Toy Industry Hall of Fame was established in 1984, and every year since, members of the industry have proudly nominated hundreds of people who have made their mark on the industry and created a love of play in the hearts of children of all ages. I invite you to learn about each of the past inductees – from toy inventors to toy retailers – on the Hall of Fame website, where you can also find detailed nomination criteria.


Members of the toy community will come together to honor the 2025 Hall of Fame inductees at the annual Toy of the Year® (TOTY®) Awards on Friday, February 28, and the inductees’ legacies will live on in a special installation at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.


Last week, The Toy Association and Toy Foundation boards of directors, alongside executive staff members, and special guest, Alan Hassenfeld, had the pleasure of holding our board meetings at The Strong.

We were able to tour the museum in between discussions and see the Hall of Fame installation first-hand – for many of us, it was our first time seeing the exhibit, which lives alongside the National Toy Hall of Fame and showcases the toys beloved by generations and the industry trailblazers who helped bring many of those toys to life.


During the visit, Sharon Price John, chair of The Toy Association board and president & CEO of Build A Bear Workshop, paid tribute to the major donors that made the impressive Hall of Fame exhibit possible...  READ MORE...

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Think Fun's Rachele Harmuth

Increasing Challenges with MESH Helps

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MESH Helps started with a question, “How can we strengthen the skills kids need for their mental, emotional, and social health and build resilience through play?”. ThinkFun inaugurated this initiative in partnership with resilience expert, Dr. Deborah Gilboa who prepared research and built the MESH White Paper.


MESH Helps is proud to be a nonprofit organization as of December 2023 with a mission to help kids build resilience through play.


This weekly column will share insights on MESH Accreditation and provide details on the MESH play patterns to select and submit products for evaluation during the pre-order sale through May 17, 2024. This week’s column share’s insights on one of four play patterns: increasing challenges.

Providing opportunities for kids to face and understand challenges is important to help process and overcome hardship. Children face new and growing challenges at every age and stage of development which is why kids need to take on tasks and activities that encourage competence to increase their confidence for resilience. Each challenge - environmental, activity-based, educational, etc. - is a building block rather than a stumbling block for kids to grow from experiences big and small.


Increasing Challenges as defined by MESH encourages the skills needed to adapt and comprehend which are critical skills of mental, emotional, and social health.  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, Debbie Labinger, for the funny cartoon this week! 

Lexophile Lovers:  "I’m friends with 25 letters of the alphabet. I don’t know why."  Thank you, Jerry Cleary, for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes: “If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?" -Steven Wright, Comedian

Toy Industry Word of Day:  Parallel Marketing   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


Statement From Jochanan Golad, CEO, Goliath Group. Pressman, part of the Goliath Group, would like to address and correct certain statements made publicly in trade publications, and privately to various of our customers, regarding a purported transfer of the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Rummikub in N.A. Please know that Pressman still holds the exclusive licensing rights to Rummikub in the United States and Canada, which it has held for over 45 years. 

Kidtech startup SuperAwesome has raised an additional $17 million in funding, which includes a new strategic investment from Microsoft's venture fund, M12. Others participating in the round include existing investors Mayfair Equity, Hoxton Ventures and Ibis, along with other angels. To date, SuperAwesome has raised $37 million in outside investment. SuperAwesome has been tapping into the need for more...

Shares of DreamWorks Animation surged in pre-market trading Thursday after news broke that the film studio and Hasbro are in talks to merge. DreamWorks Animation shares soared more than 20% to over $27. The company had closed trading Wednesday at $22.37. Hasbro’s stock took a hit, however, dropping 2.12% to $56.24 before markets opened. Under the proposed deal, Hasbro would pay roughly $35 a share...

KidKraft, the brand known for wooden playsets and outdoor play structures, has filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. KidKraft made the value-maximizing move to effectuate its sale to Backyard Products, a company with several outdoor brands under its umbrella.


*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 10th ***


Could water beads be banned in the US under new bill? ‘Esther’s Law’ bill, introduced this week to the US Senate, proposes a ban on the sale of water beads designed or marketed as children’s toys, sensory tools or educational or art materials. Water beads are capable of absorbing large volumes of liquid, meaning they can swell to large sizes and block airways and gastrointestinal tracts, as well as auditory and nasal passages.


The Writers Guild of Canada and the Canadian Media Producers Association have reached an agreement in principle for a new IPA (Independent Production Agreement). Both orgs announced earlier this morning that they have settled on terms for a new three-year deal, bringing more than six months of negotiations over key labor issues such as fair compensation and protection from AI to a close.  

The Toy Association™ Champions Small Businesses Year-Round. Dear toy industry colleagues, Small Business Week (April 28 to May 4) is a time to celebrate the backbone of our economy. Innovation and creativity drive our industry, yet small businesses often face daunting challenges. This is where The Toy Association’s global government and regulatory affairs team plays a vital role, working 365 days a year to provide crucial advocacy and assistance to support and unify the industry.



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Financial Reporting

The Game Manufacturer’s Association showed profits for 2022 and 2021 after a big loss in 2020, despite ongoing pandemic impacts to revenues.  GAMA showed a $31,000 profit in 2022 on revenues of $849,000, with expenses of $818,000


*** Te above posted after tBR circulated May 10th ***


Spin Master Q1 revenue spiked 16.5% to $316.2 million, up from $271.4 million in the same period last year. A bright sign for the overall health of the toy industry is that Spin Master says that revenue in its Toys segment spiked 21.5% in Q1 followed by a 16.5% gain in Entertainment. Digital Games fell 3.2%. Gross product sales in toys grew by 22.1% in Q1. Excluding Melissa & Doug, sales saw a modest 0.5% increase.

Funko Taps Ex-Wizards of the Coast President Cynthia Williams  as CEO; Reports Q1 Earnings. Net sales in Q1 fell approximately 14.38% to $215.7 million compared to $251.9 million during the same period last year. Gross profit and margin nearly doubled, with profit spiking to $86.3 million (gross margin of 40%) versus $49.6 million (19.7% gross margin) in Q1 of 2023.

Disney topped Wall Street forecasts for its fiscal 2nd qtr and inched closer to the long-awaited milestone of streaming profitability.  Revenue for the qtr ended March 30 increased to $22.1 billion from $21.8 billion in the yr-earlier period. Excluding items, diluted earnings per share for the quarter increased to $1.21 from 93 cents. Analysts had been expecting revenue of $20.53 billion and earnings per share of $1.02.


Warner Bros. Discovery released its Q1 earnings with a news announcement that it has partnered with key competitor Disney on a new US streaming bundle that will include Disney+ Hulu and Max. The company generated US$9.96 billion in revenue this quarter, which is a 7% drop from Q1 2023. But its net losses were also down by 10%, from US$1.07 billion to US$966 million.  

The Character Group Board is pleased to report an increase in pre-tax profit to £2.1m from £0.5m for half year results to 29th Feb 2024. The increase in profit is despite the turnover remaining constant at £57.6m.

Box Office: ‘Garfield’ Scratches Up $22 Million Overseas Ahead of Domestic Debut

EA reports annual net revenues of $7.56 billion amid layoff spree. EA, the sprawling publisher that laid off 5 percent of its workforce in February, has reported net bookings of $7.43 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2024.


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


Streamers ad tiers reach 75% of US households. Due to rising prices for individual services, there's also a lot more demand brewing for SVOD bundling options, says Circana.

Aussie nets spent 74% less on kids content in 2022/2023. And these commercial channels invested zero dollars in children's drama programming, according to a new report from government agency ACMA.


*** The above posted after tBR circulated May 10th ***


‘Knuckles’ Paramount+ Series Sets Platform Record With Over 4 Million Hours Viewed

Emilie Erktan, senior account manager, Toys UK at Circana, looked at changing consumer purchasing habits.

New survey says 92 mins is the ideal movie length for American audiences. Movies that hit the mark include “Beetlejuice” and “Toy Story 2”

19 toys and trinkets to stock for music festival season. Music festival season is upon us, and we’re getting in the groove with toys that fit any festival display. 

Toy World’s Marianna Casal takes a look at how the Dolls & Collectibles category has evolved and how suppliers ensure their products remain relevant in a crowded market.

Toy exports fall 14% after hitting peak in 2021-22. NEW DELHI: India’s toy exports have hit the slow lane after showing spectacular rise since FY215. After touching a peak of $177 million in FY22, exports of toys have been declining ever since. As per the data collated by the Global Trade Research Institute (GTRI), toy exports have come down to $152 million in FY24. Simultaneously, there has been a rise in imports. 



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Stories, Comments, and Advice

Why a German publisher made a board game about Chicago's sewers. Raising Chicago introduces players to an underexplored part of Chicago's early history. The game's transatlantic journey reflects global shifts in the booming board gaming market. When Matt Wolfe first learned that wombats poop cubes, he thought it was the perfect premise for a board game – and it turns out he was right. 

*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 10th ***


John Baulch, Toy World UK - R.E.S.P.E.C.T… it’s the Friday Blog! It’s been an interesting week, full of contrasts. I’ve spent a wonderful few days in Florence with Italian content studio Diaframma, watching first-hand how a modern media ad is created. It’s a fascinating process, infinitely more technical and complex than I suspect many people realise (if you thought green screen was cutting edge, think again), and I’ll be sharing...


The Disruption Report: Shopping About to Tip? BY CHRISTOPHER BYRNE. On my recent trip to Shenzhen, it’s clear that lifestyle retailing may have the potential to seriously change how people shop. Just as in the 1970s when the enclosed mall became a main focus for communities and shopping, what’s being called “experiential retailing” is set to change it all up again.


Steve Reece - The Toy Journal. Toy Industry Growth Opportunities INDIA. WITH MATURE TOY MARKETS IN WESTERN COUNTRIES AND DROPPING BIRTH RATES, WHERE IS THE GROWTH COMING FROM? Birth rates are low and dropping in many major Toy & Game markets – China, Japan, Korea, Germany, the UK…I could go on and on. And obviously when fewer children are born, there are less kids to buy Toys for. 

Got an Idea for a Toy? Toymakers Want to Hear From You. Companies like Lego and Mattel have divisions that seek out design concepts directly from collectors and other highly dedicated fan bases. Near the end of 2022, Lucas Bolt, an environmental artist and Lego enthusiast in Amsterdam, was working on a design for a Lego set the company had crowdsourced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dungeons...

Nishant Shah, Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra and Shubham Bhandari from Economic Laws Practice (ELP) share advice on entering the Indian toy market, which is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.97% to reach USD 4.4b by 2032. `Being one of the fastest-growing economies, the Indian middle class represents a rapidly expanding segment of the population, with Indian families investing heavily in education.

Disney and Warner to bundle streaming services. Walt Disney and Warner Bros Discovery say they will start to offer a bundle of the Disney+, Hulu and Max streaming services to customers in the US this summer. The new package will be available to customers on all three streaming platforms. 


Could Ofcom ban social media for under-18s? People under 18 could be banned from using social media apps including TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat if the tech firms don’t follow new Ofcom rules to protect children. But what is Ofcom and why does it want to change what people see online? Here’s a quick guide to get you up to speed. 

'Magic: The Gathering' Black Lotus card sells for $3 million. CGC Cards announced that an Alpha Edition Black Lotus sold for $3 million in a private sale.  This particular Alpha Black Lotus is the only copy of this card graded CGC Pristine 10. CGC announced the sale. The sale occurred privately between Adam Cai of Pristine Collectibles and a buyer who was not revealed.  




History and Nostalgia


Mr. Mad from Ideal (1970). It was marble mayhem with the 1970 release of Mr. Mad from Ideal. The multi-player game challenged players to be the first to unload their marbles into Mr. Mad, a plastic robot with a penchant for flinging them back onto the playing surface when accidentally triggered. To start a game, each player selected one of the four available cups and placed it in front of them along...


Instant TV from Remco. In 1967, Remco took a page from Wham-O’s over-the-top playbook and released Instant TV, a wacky toy that was more marketing sizzle than steak. Heavily advertised on television at the time (naturally), Instant TV promoted the opportunity to see yourself on screen in full colour, without the need for batteries or a wired connection.

American Metals Specialties Corporation (AMSCO) – 1961 Catalog. During its hey-day, American Metal Specialties Corporation (AMSCO) of Hatboro, Pennsylvania, was one of the nation’s top ten toy manufacturers. The company’s guiding philosophy was that “kids like to play grown-up.” As exemplified in this catalog from 1961, the company developed realistic toys in every detail but scaled down to...

7 most valuable He-Man & Masters of the Universe toys from your childhood. By the power of Grayskull, these valuable Masters of the Universe toys have conquered the auction world. If you didn’t grow up on deliciously cheesy 1980s cartoons, then you probably know Masters of the Universe best for the laughing rainbow He-Man gif and the "until we meet again" Skeletor meme. 


Beware the Spider from Ideal (1980). Released in 1980, Ideal’s Beware the Spider is a test of nerves, skill, and possibly even arachnophobia. Taking a page from Operation’s playbook, Beware the Spider uses two C-batteries to power a silver, conductive web on which various multi-colored plastic spiders are placed. A larger felt spider is situated next to the web and overlooks the gameboard.


Godzilla Game from Mattel (1978). Published by Mattel in 1978, the Godzilla Game infused playtime with chance and suspense as players anxiously awaited Godzilla’s attack. The object of the game was to evade Godzilla as he raided the galaxies in search of spaceships to devour. With a spring-loaded Godzilla lying in wait inside an asteroid (the game platform), players secured their spaceships to the rotating wheel. 


ZZZoom-It from Mattel. In 1970, Mattel released ZZZoom-IT, a glorified slingshot designed to resemble an oversized hand-held gun. Each ZZZoom-It could be loaded with up to six 2½-inch plastic discs that resembled miniature frisbees. Individual discs were launched by pulling back on the arm on the side of the gun until it clicked in place, which created suitable tension on the attached rubber band.


Perfection from Lakeside -1973, Perfection was a family-friendly tabletop action game that mixed manual dexterity, visual perception, and the thrill of a timed race. The game’s object was to place as many plastic geometric forms as possible in their corresponding holes in the game cabinet before running out of time. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

WowWee® and Hasbro® continue their work together in 2024 with nostalgia-infused outdoor toys that will make a splash and inspire the whole family to join in the summer fun. In 2023, the two companies put a fresh spin on classic favorites – MONOPOLY SPLASH, under license from HASBRO GAMING, won Outdoor Toy of the Year (TOTY) in 2023 and was recently named a Finalist for Best Licensed Product – Toys, Games...


Imax is going big for 2025, unveiling that it will release at least 14 titles in its “filmed for Imax” slate, features shot on Imax film or Imax-certified cameras, more than double that of any previous year. Among the highlights going out on the wide-screen format will be Disney’s Captain America: Brave New World, The Fantastic Four, and Tron: Ares; Warner Bros.’ still-untitled Ryan Coogler/Michael B. Jordan feature and...

Oni Press will launch a new four-issue Sesame Street comic series in August.  This will be the first release under the new license for Oni.  APE Entertainment was the most recent comics licensee for Sesame Street; a handful of comics were released in late 2015 and early 2016. Sesame Street #1 will be a 24-page comic written by Joey Esposito, with art by Austin Baechle.

Uplift Games and WowWee are announcing a new global licensing partnership to bring digital pets to life in the real world with the all new Adopt Me! x Fingerlings. Debuting at Licensing Expo in the Uplift Games booth, the line features 2 pets from the “Adopt Me!” game.  “We’re thrilled to offer ‘Adopt Me!’ fans an all new way to play with their pets,” says Andrew Yanofsky, head, marketing and operations, WowWee. 

American Licorice Company has appointed Perpetual Licensing to create brand licensing programs for its Sour Punch and Red Vines candy brands. The American Licorice Company was founded in Chicago more than a century ago, tantalizing the tastebuds of licorice fans since 1914, and known for developing fun and innovative new products.


Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Kids is aging down the Charlie’s Angels franchise with a new Portuguese-language series for tweens in development. The studio will co-produce this live-actioner with Floresta, an SPT-owned outfit based in São Paulo that’s behind regional Brazilian kids shows like Use Sua Voz (Max/Cartoon Network) and Bugados (Gloob).


Dan Dee International has acquired global master toy rights to tween lifestyle brand SMOKO, which revolves around taking small breaks in the day to relax and have fun with its plush characters. The companies will collaborate on the design of a new consumer products range spanning plush, collectibles, home decor and seasonal gift items

*** The above posted after tBR circulated May 10th ***


Aiming to get more kids hooked on creative writing, Paramount Pictures has teamed up with SF-based nonprofit 826 National to publish three anthologies of short stories written by students inspired by the studio’s upcoming family movie IF. IF is a passion project driven by filmmaker, actor and writer John Krasinski (The Office) that centers around a pair of kids (voiced by Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming) who...


New Jersey’s Horizon Group USA has just released the first products to come out of its new licensing deal with Lucasfilm for STEM-based activity kits based on the iconic sci-fi brand from a galaxy far, far away. Horizon’s Star Wars SLIMYGLOOP tactile slime jars delivered to North American retailers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble in time for May the 4th last week.

Olipop Released a Barbie-Inspired Soda, and It’s Reportedly Outselling Eggs. Barbie, that eternal icon who has held down over 250 jobs and owns at least two dozen houses, turns 65 this year. To commemorate this major milestone, the toymakers at Mattel have planned several limited-edition releases, like a line of dolls based on “Global Storytellers” including actor Viola Davis, singer Shania Twain, and film director Lila Avilés. 

Topps has today released the next instalment of its partnership with global Topps brand ambassador, José Mourinho. Marking the launch of the Topps UEFA Euro 2024 Match Attax cards and sticker collections, the videos see the ‘Special One’ star in a mockumentary-style office marketing meeting in which his team present outlandish ideas to promote the Topps UEFA Euro 2024 collectibles.

Giving fans of its biggest franchises more content access points to engage with, Nickelodeon is launching four new preschool podcasts produced by Paramount Audio this month: three originals and one renewal. First up on May 13 is Dora’s Recipe for Adventure, a culinary adventure podcast that finds Dora and her monkey bestie Boots searching the rainforest for missing ingredients to make some of Dora’s...

DreamWorks Animation and LA’s Story Kitchen have inked a first-look agreement to collaboratively mine the high-in-demand content well of gaming IPs. Under the deal, Story Kitchen will hunt the marketplace for “exciting” and “iconic” video game properties with strong potential for screen adaptation as per Deadline—and DreamWorks will evaluate optioning their movie rights. 

In an effort to evolve with the changing viewing habits of its all-ages audience and boost discoverability, ABC Australia is overhauling its channel portfolio, introducing new nets ABC Family and ABC Entertains plus four digital streams for kids in June. With a focus on co-viewing content, ABC Family will replace general entertainment channel ABC TV Plus, creating a new destination for older kids and their parents. 

Indie game developer Mob Entertainment has inked a deal with children’s publisher Scholastic to expand its horror video game franchise Poppy Playtime into several different book formats. The multi-year agreement kicks off this week with the release of a Poppy Playtime Orientation Notebook at retailers across North America. 

NY’s Trustbridge Entertainment has acquired the rights to adapt American author Marc J. Gregson’s YA-skewing fantasy book series Sky’s End into a feature film franchise. Work on the project is already underway between Trustbridge and Antoine Fuqua’s Hill District Media studio (Bullet Train and Michael). Trustbridge president and former Boat Rocker Media EVP of kids and family Bob Higgins is attached ...

Tencent Video, one of China’s most popular streaming platforms with 117 million subscribers, is looking for partners to put its animated series in front of a global audience. The streamer has built up a significant portfolio of teen and YA animated content in recent years, consisting of both original titles and adaptations of web novels and video games. The shows, available on Tencent’s Cartoon Channel, have made it the...

BBC Studios Kids & Family is developing a new live-action series called Anisha Accidental Detective with British-Indian actor Archie Panjabi. Aimed at ages seven-plus, this 10-episode project tags along as its tween protagonist works to find her Uncle Tony, who disappears mere days before his big Bollywood-style wedding. 

British manufacturer Imagine8 has revealed a new range of licensed Bluey accessories that will be rolling out to retailers across the EMEA region later this year. Aimed at preschoolers, the collection naturally features the iconic blue heeler pup on hats, keychains, backpacks, jewelry, gloves and scarves. But Imagine8 is also manufacturing a matching line for Bluey’s younger sister Bingo in a move to broaden...

Due to high global demand for its content, Banijay Kids & Family has rolled out 12 new YouTube channels categorized by genre, as well as rebranding its whole YouTube channel portfolio as ZeeKay. Most of the new channels focus on themes including British cartoons, anime, action, music, arts, sport, animals and challenges, with curated content from popular Banijay shows such as Totally Spies!, Mr Bean: The...

Weigel Broadcasting is gearing up to launch MeTV Toons, a new US channel that curates retro animated content from several of the entertainment industry’s biggest studios and distributors. This 24-hour linear net will start airing on June 25, with a companion FAST channel available on select streaming services. Warner Bros. Discovery—one of the venture’s key content partners—has licensed out a package of...

Angry Birds Mystery Island, the new animated original series featuring new characters from Rovio Entertainment, is set to debut the first eight episodes simultaneously on Amazon Kids+ and Prime Video on Tuesday, 21st May. The trailer gives a sneak peek of what fans can expect from the talented cast as they give a voice to three new hatchling characters: Mia, Rosie, Buddy plus a foreign-exchange piglet named...

Disney-owned BabyTV, which runs 24/7 commercial-free programming for babies and toddlers, is adding four new original series to its 2024 lineup. First up on June 3 is Bug ‘N’ Play (30 x five minutes), a 2D-animated series about three bug friends (pictured) who learn to problem-solve while playing with forgotten toys in their yard. Launching on August 5 is a 30 x five-minute show called Travelers, featuring...

Germany’s Studio 100 International and Caligari Film are teaming up to co-produce a new CG-animated kids movie called Dougie Dolittle (80 minutes). Aimed at eight to 12s and families, the film is about a teen boy with a major case of zoophobia who suddenly discovers that he can speak to animals. He must somehow overcome his fears in order to help his new animal pals take down an evil pet food company.

Penguin Ventures and Orchard Toys extend Peter Rabbit license. Following the successful UK launch of Orchard Toys’ new The World of Peter Rabbit collection, Penguin Ventures, the licensing and consumer products team at Penguin Random House Children’s UK, is extending the license to cover 20 additional global markets. 


The Op Games launches Monopoly: One Piece edition based on hit anime series. The Op Games, the board game and puzzle publisher behind iconic licensed games and best-selling party games Telestrations, Blank Slate, and Hues and Cues, has launched a brand-new official version of the world’s most popular family board game – Monopoly: One Piece Edition.

Aniplex of America lists new Demon Slayer collaborations ahead of Licensing Expo: New figures from Bandai Namco and McFarlane Toys are expected. Ahead of the season four premiere of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Aniplex of America has revealed several upcoming collaborations featuring the Demon Slayer franchise. 


Finally, Cal Kestis from Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is getting a LEGO minifig. After online rumors (and a cameo in a teaser video), it’s official: Later this year Cal Kestis, the main character from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and its sequel Jedi: Survivor, is getting his very own LEGO miniature character figure, aka a minifig. 


The Powerpuff Girls return - fueled by Sugar, Spice… and Chemical X! Sugar, spice, and everything nice!  Those are the famous ingredients needed to make the perfect little girl.  But in the city of Townsville, Professor Utonium added a little extra to that famous recipe when some Chemical X was thrown into the concoction.

'Masters of the Universe' feature news; live action 'Scooby-Doo'; 'Knuckles,' 'Fallout' in the record books; trailers for 'The Acolyte,' 'The Boys' S4, and 'The Fairly Oddparents: A New Wish'. Showbiz Round-Up. The Masters of the Universe live-action feature has moved to Amazon MGM Studios, and a release date has been set as June 5, 2026 according to Deadline.  


Hasbro launches new collectibles for Star Wars Day. In celebration of Star Wars Day on May 4, Hasbro has released six Star Wars-themed collectibles. Star Wars: The Vintage Collection X-Wing Pilot 4-Pack, Star Wars: The Black Series Darth Sidious, Super Battle Droid, Yoda & Clone Commander Gree, The Phantom Menace 3-Pack, and the Retro Collection Episode II & Episode III Multipack...


Horizon Group USA launches Star Wars STEM activity collection. Horizon Group USA is ready for May the 4th and is launching a new collection of Star Wars-themed STEM activities. The Star Wars Slime Jars ($8.99) are each inspired by iconic characters from the franchise including the Mandalorian, Grogu, Darth Vader, and Stormtroopers.


MOTU heads to the big screen in 2026. Laika’s Travis Knight will direct the film. Mattel’s long-awaited Masters of the Universe (MOTU) movie finally has a release date. According to reports from The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and other Hollywood trade publications, Amazon MGM listed the movie’s worldwide theatrical release as June 5, 2026. 


Just Play releases ‘Inside Out 2’ toy line. Just Play has released a new line of toys ahead of the release of Disney and Pixar's "Inside Out 2." The film sequel returns to the mind of now-teenager Riley just as headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new Emotions. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, who've long been running a successful operation...


TCGPlayer Top 25 Sealed Products (With Price Shifts) – April 2024: 'Outlaw Junction' tops chart in big month for 'Magic: The Gathering'. Magic: The Gathering - Outlaws of Thunder Junction, which was released in mid-April, took two of the top three slots, three of the Top 10, and five of the top 25 slots on the April 2024 TCGplayer Top 25 Sealed Products chart, which ranks the most active products on the platform ...

Rubies partners with Acamar for Bing collection. Rubies has announced a brand-new addition to its pre-school property range by partnering with Acamar Films, to bring an everyday dress-up collection for the company’s multi-award-winning Bing animation. With designs already in development, the new Bing range is designed for everyday role-play and will be available to pre-order...

Moose Toys announces partnership with WWE. Ahead of the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas this month, Moose Toys has announced a new global partnership with World Wresting Entertainment (WWE) for a series of Heroes of Goo Jit Zu (HGJZ) stretchy action figures, launching in August 2024. Four of WWE’s biggest Superstars — John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Roman Reigns and The American Nightmare Cody Rhodes...


Fisher-Price unveils ‘Harry Potter’ Little People line. Fisher-Price, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, is heading to Hogwarts with the unveiling of the latest addition to the Little People Collector line – The Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets sets. The first two collector sets (of four to come) have Harry Potter characters shrunk down into classic 2.5-inch Little People form.


Emoji Co. names Cronus Global as exclusive licensing agent. Emoji Co., known for its immediately recognizable Emoji brand, has appointed Cronus Global as its exclusive licensing agency representing the brand in the U.S. and Canada. The Emoji brand has more than 25,000 designs, with its popular icons used frequently in communications across various platforms. 


Scopely expands Stumble Guys consumer products program. Stumble Guys is expanding across the entertainment landscape with a new line of toys from PMI Kids World and more ways to play the global game sensation. Building upon a community of tens of millions of players, the franchise is ready to line up additional partners and enter new categories to complement the Stumble Guys video game...


‘Extraction’ director tapped for Matchbox movie. Mattel’s next flick is taking the toy company from the Dreamhouse to the matchbox. According to a report from Deadline (which has since been confirmed by Mattel), Sam Hargrave, the director of the first two installments of the Extraction film franchise at Netflix, has been named as the director for the upcoming Matchbox movie from Skydance and Mattel Films. 

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People of Play

Spanish toy industry mainstay Santiago Guerra Lopez has been tapped to manage Jazware's first Southern European facility, which will begin rolling out toys regionally next year. The house of Squishmallows is looking to significantly expand its European business by opening a new office and factory in Bilbao, Spain, joining existing regional facilities in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands. 


Hidden Pigeon Company makes two more hires. Former Spin Master/Mattel exec Tori Cook has joined as SVP of franchise management to spearhead a licensing push, while Paula Allen comes in to consult on publishing. On the heels of bringing in new CEO Karen Miller in January and creative SVP Kristofer Updike last month, LA-based Hidden Pigeon Company is apparently still on a hiring spree to build a team...

As it gears up to deliver fantasy musical pic Spellbound to Netflix later this year, Skydance Animation has hired former Blue Sky Studios GM Bruce Anderson as head of production. Chronicling a young girl’s quest to break a spell that has divided her kingdom, Spellbound will be the first Skydance movie to come out of its multiyear deal with Netflix, which also gained exclusive access to the studio’s full catalogue of...


A licensing industry stalwart, Paul Bufton brings his decades of experience with Rovio, Warner Bros. and, most recently, Universal to bear in the formation of Licensed Ltd. The respected licensing professional Paul Bufton has announced the formation of Licensed Ltd, a new consultancy that aims to bring beloved brands to their committed fans in new and meaningful ways.

*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 10th ***


Cynthia Williams has been tapped to lead Funko as CEO and will serve on its Board of Directors. Interim CEO Michael Lunsford will remain in command until that date. Williams joins the company from Hasbro where she most recently served as President of Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro Games. The seasoned exec also held roles at Microsoft and Amazon.


Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks joins 'Money Movers' to discuss Hasbro's recent strategic turnaround and what's clicking for the company. Toys will always be an important part of our business.

TOMY International announced that Julie Gwaltney has been appointed Vice President of the Toy Division. Julie has over 30 years’ experience in the toy industry, most recently holding the position of TOMY International’s Senior Director of Toys. “We are happy to have Julie assume this role and bring her expertise across additional categories,” said Greg Kilrea, President of TOMY International. 

Mattel appoints Karen Ancira Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer. Mattel, Inc. announced today that Karen Ancira has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer for the company, effective May 15, 2024. Ms. Ancira will report to Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO of Mattel. Joining Mattel following 11 years with Yum! Brands, Ms. Ancira was most recently...

HOW LICENSING AND INNOVATION DRIVE SUCCESS IN TOYS: THE CREATEON STORY WITH STEVE ROSEN. In a special episode of Toy Business Unbox, host Jason Hsieh delves into the inspiring journey of CreateOn, a co. that stands at the forefront of this ever-evolving market. Steve Rosen, the president of CreateOn, shares his experiences and insights into the world of toys, highlighting the critical role of licensing, creativity...


Clinton Sparks Podcast:  Nolan Bushnell, the creator behind Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, shares his insights into innovation and entrepreneurship such as: Esports and NFTs are shaping the future of the gaming industry, Explore the intersection of esports and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Discover the potential impact of NFTs on the esports ecosystem, and more.

Moonbug Entertainment has hired former Paramount International VP of content distribution sales Manuel Reveiz to run its new Miami office, the company’s first-ever Latin American headquarters. As head of distribution and partnerships, Reveiz will be responsible for continuing Moonbug’s growth in the region, bringing top brands including CoComelon, Blippi and Little Angel to more families...

Warner Bros. Animation is undergoing a leadership shift, with EVP and GM Ed Adams gearing up to retire in September after 15 years with the studio. When he does, most of Adams’ responsibilities will be absorbed into Matt Matzkin’s role as EVP of business operations and production at Warner Bros. Unscripted Television.


British prodco Blink Industries has recruited Courtney Arumugam as its new executive producer of animation and development. Based in London, Arumugam started last week and announced the news in a LinkedIn post. She’s coming off a two-year EP stint at LEGO Group, where she oversaw the creative development of short- and long-form content. 

‘The Prince of Play': North TX man created iconic toys that shaped childhoods of millions. “May the Fourth be with you,” get ready to hear that a lot this Saturday as the annual celebration for fans of all things Star Wars. To celebrate, Heritage Auctions is taking bids on an extremely rare prototype of a Star Wars action figure of the character Boba Fett which is expected to sell for more than $250,000. The man who created this toy...


Companies and Brands


Hasbro Named One of the Civic 50 Most Community-Minded Companies for 12th Consecutive Year. Hasbro makes a social impact in communities by providing Access to Play to underserved and historically marginalized communities, delivering Play Relief in times of crisis and uncertainty, and upskilling the next gen of Play Makers. In 2023, Hasbro's initiatives positively impacted over 3.9 million individuals worldwide.


I shipped my pants?…. Pocket jerky?…. Man glitter? These are just a few of the random a$$ phrases you’ll be hearing slipped into conversations as Gray Matters launches their new hit party game, Slip It In! More than a game, it's a social experience that can be played anytime, anywhere and transforms boring chitchat into hilarious quests to insert random phrases into conversations. 

Toysmith, the leading distributor of toys and gifts in the US, is thrilled to announce a dynamic new partnership with Anne McGilvray & Company (AMCI). This strategic collaboration brings together two industry leaders to further expand market reach and enhance customer experience. Toysmith serves over 15,000 independent retailers and over 150 key accounts nationwide with its extensive portfolio...

*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 10th ***


American Girl’s rebrand is full of clever, doll-sized details. The moment Pentagram partner Emily Oberman’s team got the call that they’d be working on a brand refresh for American Girl, she says “a primal scream went through the office.” The designers, who were part of an all-female team for the project, were American Girl superfans. has announced that it will launch a new dedicated store in Ireland in 2025, to enhance the retail experience for new and existing customers. While many people in Ireland already shop on Amazon stores in other countries, the new Ireland store will offer a localised shopping experience, so customers can get what they value most – a wide selection of over 100m products, including even more from Irish...

Following stops in LA (Nov.) and Chicago (May), the Bluey x CAMP retail experience is heading to Boston this summer for the third leg of its US tour. Originally designed by NY-based retailer CAMP and BBC Studios last year, the experience features a 5,000-sq-foot recreation of Bluey’s home for kids and families to explore. It’s due to launch on July 19 in CAMP’s flagship Burlington Mall store, where it will run until the end of Oct. 


New Hasbro TRANSFORMERS ONE products revealed. Experience the epic origins of legendary TRANSFORMERS robots with this Power Flip Optimus Prime (Orion Pax) action figure! Inspired by the heroic journey of Optimus Prime depicted in the TRANSFORMERS ONE movie, this toy converts between 4 different modes: Orion Pax, Cybertronian Truck toy, Optimus Prime figure, and Ultimate Optimus Prime. 

LEGO introduces LEGO DreamZzz Season 2, new dream initiative. Nine new LEGO DreamZzz products will hit retailers in August. The LEGO Group’s animated series LEGO DreamZzz will air the first episodes of its two-part second season on May 17. LEGO DreamZzz is the series that centers around LEGO teens who fight to keep Dream World, a magical land that can be accessed when sleeping...


Bicycle Playing Cards teams up with America’s Got Talent sensation Anna DeGuzman as official brand ambassador. Bicycle Playing Cards, the bestselling and most widely used playing card brand for over 135 years, is proud to announce its official Brand Ambassador partnership with star magician Anna DeGuzman.

Introducing Confluxion: Fun in Motion’s latest innovation set for ASTRA Marketplace & Academy debut. Fun In Motion Toys, known for its innovative creations, has unveiled a new category of construction toys: “Confluxion,” building toys that move and flex. The toys will be featured in aisle 800 of ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. 

Wow! Stuff adds Magna-Tiles for the U.K. Magnetic building sets brand, Magna-Tiles, is expanding and has appointed Wow! Stuff as its new sales, distribution and marketing partner for the U.K. “Their fun culture and consumer-centric approach to new products and brand-building really drew us to the Magna-Tiles brand,” says Dawn Lavalette, managing director, Wow! Stuff.

Miniso opens doors to IP Store at American Dream Mall. The store features licensed products from Disney, Barbie, Minions, and more. Last weekend, on May 3, Miniso unveiled its first IP Collection Store in the U.S. at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The grand opening, which was attended by The Toy Book and its sister publication, The Pop Insider, featured a swimming pool-themed...


New 'Dominion' expansion; 'Rising Sun' coming this summer. Rio Grande Games will release Dominion: Rising Sun, a new expansion for the venerable deckbuilding game, this summer.  This 16th expansion to Dominion takes players to the East with 300 cards, with 25 new Kingdom card piles.  Shadow cards and Prophecies that will happen and change everything are included, and Debt and Events return.


Renegade's limited deluxe edition of 'Robo Rally 30th Anniversary Edition'. Renegade will release Robo Rally: 30th Anniversary Edition, a limited deluxe edition of the classic game, with upgraded components and support for play by up to 8 players. Deluxe components include dual-layered player boards, wooden tokens, metal priority token, four new double-sided game boards, and improved, painted minis.  

New 'Warhammer 40,000: Combat Patrol - Chaos Space Marines' unbound! Games Workshop will release Combat Patrol - Chaos Space Marines, a new boxed set for Warhammer 40,000, which will hit preorder May 11, 2024. The long-awaited Codex will be followed up by this brand-new Combat Patrol that allows players to build up an army quick and play.


Get a 'Ticket to Ride' to Iberia and South Korea. Days of Wonder will release Ticket to Ride Iberia & South Korea, a new expansion for the evergreen classic, in June.  The new expansion includes new maps from different continents, offering a variety of play environments and styles. In the Iberia map, players collect and maximize sets of Festival cards as their network expands in competition...


Capstone to launch 'Bus: Complete Edition'. Capstone Games and Splotter Spellen will launch Bus: Complete Edition, with upgraded components, in Q3.  The Complete Edition features all wooden game pieces, including wooden discs for all of the building locations (home, office, and pub) and a wooden Start Player Bus.

Games Workshop raises prices for third year in a row. Price changes will affect miniatures products, but not paints. Games Workshop has announced that it will raise its prices on products starting June 10, 2024. For the third year in a row, Warhammer products will become more expensive. 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Netflix has unveiled a digital theme park on Roblox. Featuring IPs such as Stranger Things, One Piece and Miraculous, Nextworld is lining up games, easter eggs and viewing parties to attract fans. Fans can collect in-game currency and wearables/items (like a Demogorgon plushie or a One Piece flag) for decorating their fan pods and inviting friends to come hang out virtually.


*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 10th ***


Japanese video-game maker Nintendo said Tuesday that it will make an announcement about a successor to its Switch home console sometime before March 2025. In reporting its financial results, Nintendo gave no details about the announcement, including about whether it would launch that successor product during this fiscal year, or just announce its plans for it.


Marvel Studios has teamed up with San Francisco’s ILM Immersive for an upcoming mixed-reality project called What If…? – An Immersive Story. Billed as the “first-ever interactive Disney+ Original story,” this hour-long experience will eventually be available as an exclusive app on the Apple Vision Pro—a new AR/VR headset that hit the market back in Feb 2024—although no release date has been ...

Walmart is expanding its relationship with Roblox to offer the platform’s 70 million daily users the ability to purchase real-world items within games. A new e-commerce feature launched last week as a pilot update to the retailer’s Walmart Discovered Roblox experience. When US-based players over the age of 13 enter the game, it now features a shop area where they can purchase three curated products. 


Paladin Studios laying off 45 workers and shutting down. Dutch co-development studio Paladin Studios has closed its doors after 19 years. The company shared the news on its website and explained it failed to launch enough work to cover its burn-rate over the past few months. Paladin was established in 2005 and worked on a litany of console, PC, and mobile projects including Cut The Rope Remastered...


Pokémon Go co-dev Very Very Spaceship lays off staff. Various staff members were laid off at Very Very Spaceship, the Seattle-based studio that handles "tentpole features" for Pokémon Go. While specific numbers haven't been revealed, those affected include producers, recruiters, and artists, who have reportedly been at VVS for three-to-five years. 

EA considering in-game ads (because it went so well last time). Electronic Arts, the publisher of most sports games on the market, Battlefield, Mass Effect, and plenty of other huge franchises, is considering putting ads inside its video games as another source of revenue. This isn’t the first time the company has done this, but given how poorly it’s gone in the past, I’m surprised EA is still giving it thought. 


After buying up studios, Xbox says it doesn't have the resources to run them. After shutting down multiple Bethesda studios, Xbox and Bethesda leadership held a town hall meeting with staff to discuss the closures, explaining that the company’s studios had been spread too thin and that it wanted to focus on fewer projects moving forward.

Prytania Media continues shutdown procession with Dawon Entertainment closure. Triple-A cohort Prytania Media has continued its spate of studio closures by shuttering Dawon Entertainment. Dawon only opened its doors in August 2023 but in a post on Linkedin announced it will shut down on May 10, 2024. The Dawon shuttering marks the third studio closure in three months for Prytania. 


Microsoft axes four game studios including Hi-Fi Rush developer. Microsoft is shutting four studios, including Tango Gameworks, the developers of Bafta award-winning Hi-Fi Rush. The Tokyo studio is being closed alongside Texas-based Arkane Austin and Canadian developer Alpha Dog Studios. Wisconsin-based Roundhouse Games will be absorbed into Elder Scrolls Online developer ZeniMax Online Studios. 

Shin Megami Tensei 5: JRPG joins Download Festival. This summer's Download Festival has added a new act to its line-up. It's not another band though, but the Japanese role-playing video game Shin Megami Tensei 5: Vengeance. An "immersive experience" will let festival-goers play the game on-site in Leicestershire, battling demons in a post-apocalyptic world. 


Nintendo expects the Switch to become its best-selling console ever. The Nintendo Switch might be entering its golden years, but Nintendo believes the console will make history in the current fiscal year. The Japanese company expects the Switch to sell another 13.5 million units before April 2025. 


Highlighted Press Releases

HERE’S THE STORY: DISCOVER MAGICAL AUDIO MOMENTS AT ABC KIDS EXPO® BOOTH 571 (SCREEN FREE!)  Storypod Has The A For Audio, B For Bedtime Bliss And C For Curated Content At THE Trade Show For The Juvenile Products Industry. Miami, FL (May 10, 2024) – The hunt is on in Las Vegas from May 15 to 17 to uncover something so special for tots that customers will say thank you! We know the story ( and have the happy ending from thousands of consumers! Discover Storypod at Booth 571 at ABC Kids Expo®. Here specialty retailers, sales reps and baby store owners can play with the palm-size wonder that engages kids with multisensory stories, music, and skill-building at every stage through magical touch-to-play yarn audio characters, books, trivia cards and more!

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Safety and Counterfeiting


The Toy Association shares essential tips for safe play this spring & summer season. Whether families are hanging out together at home or heading off on vacation, the spring and summer months are sure to be filled with plenty of outdoor playtime. The Toy Association is sharing top tips for outdoor play with parents and caregivers to ensure kids are playing safely. 


Sega Toys recalls cat robots in Japan: burning smell complaints also lead to sales suspension. Sega Toys' latest "KIMIT Ragdoll" line of pet cat robot toys has been recalled less than two months after its February 29th, 2024 release date, per an official Kimit press release. Japan Today reported on the existence of the released KIMIT Ragdoll White and Brown models on March 1st of this year, and pointed out...

Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


The toy industry’s year-round product donations to The Toy Bank, a key program of The Toy Foundation (TTF), allowed the team to gather warehoused product and send truckloads of toys and emergency response supplies within 48 hrs to Omaha, Nebraska and Sulphur, Oklahoma to impact thousands of children and families in each location ravaged by dozens of tornadoes, leaving communities destroyed.

“Bluey,” “The Bear,” “Reservation Dogs,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “The Last of Us” and “Jury Duty” are among the series set to receive this year’s Peabody Award, the org was set to announce on Thursday morning. The Peabody Awards’ board of 32 jurors have selected 34 winners, all of which received unanimous vote from TV, podcast/radio and web/digital nominees in entertainment, children’s/youth...


*** The above posted after tBR circulated on May 10th ***


Ahead of the inaugural International Day of Play on June 11, The Toy Association is sharing resources biweekly from its Genius of Play initiative for play professionals to share with their networks. These resources are free to use and help to promote the importance of play in child development and offer guidance on fostering play-based learning experiences.

GAMA has moved the dates of GAMA Expo two weeks to avoid conflict with Toy Fair’s dates, which were overlapping several days of the GAMA show, the organization announced.  The 2024 dates for GAMA Expo are moving from March 3-6, 2025 two weeks earlier to February 23-27, with Toy Fair running March 1-4.  This will allow exhibitors and attendees to do both shows, with a (short) gap in between.


Toy World spoke with Toymaster about its enhanced focus on retailer-supplier relationships, the opportunities ahead for indies and what its new office space offers members and suppliers. The Toymaster head office, located in Northampton, has been revamped. Previously, the 17-strong Toymaster team was located on the ground floor, now the team has been moved upstairs, and downstairs has been transformed...

Sambro has been recognised for its excellence in International Trade with the King’s Award for Enterprise. A total of 257 awards are made, with five companies being recognised with two awards. Paul Blackaby, Sambro CEO, said: “To be honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise is a milestone achievement for Sambro and the highest honour that we could receive for a UK business. 

Nominations open for 2025 Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The toy community is invited to submit nominees for induction into the 2025 Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Consideration for the Hall of Fame is open to living individuals who have made outstanding contributions and/or provided impactful service to the toy industry and The Toy Association throughout their careers. 

The Fence Club has cemented its position as a force for good, with the organisation celebrating its record fundraising achievements in 2023. As it continues to evolve, The Fence Club is remaining true to its original purpose – representing all sides of the fence of the UK toy industry. The Fence Club’s 44 members, plus 47 retired Wall members, bring together a mix of influential figures in the toy sector...

The Toy Foundation, University of Richmond honor Richard Gottlieb’s memory with grant. The Toy Foundation has joined forces with The University of Richmond to offer the Richard Gottlieb Toy Entrepreneurship Grant, honoring the late toy industry titan. The new grant will support University of Richmond students who are part of The Toy Foundation’s Talent Pipeline program...

BTHA celebrates 80 years. In the first part of this two-part special, a raft of current BTHA representatives discuss their roles and what it’s like to work for such a beloved organisation. Roland Earl, Phil Ratcliffe, Simon Pilkington, Kerri Atherton, Jerry Burnie OBE and Majen Immink spoke about their time at the British Toy & Hobby Association, including how it has developed, how it supports its members and...

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RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed

If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our readers. Archives can be found HERE


Shelly Morick - former Mattel sales executive. More information to come. 


Rob Auerbach - Tribute from CandyRific:  "It is with heavy hearts we write you that Rob Auerbach, Owner and CEO of CandyRific, passed away the morning of May 7, 2024.  An industry icon, Rob was a toy and novelty candy creator for more than 40 years with many historic items reaching the market. He founded CandyRific in 2000 with partners, Michael and Paul Roberts, steering it to be the global industry leader it is today.  A leader of licensing and branding in the candy industry, Rob’s passion was bringing great licenses and brands to products, making them amazing and enjoyable for everyone.
Rob founded Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets in 1977.  Those who knew him knew of his love for thoroughbred racing and he attended the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4.  Above all things, Rob loved his family.  He was the most positive person you could ever meet. Rob was a gifted storyteller with a great sense of humor, and he made everyone feel happier just being around him.
Our hearts go out to his wife, Pumpkin, daughters, Summer and Star, and all who loved him. He will be missed by all of us at CandyRific and Hilco Sweets, and we are grateful to have called him a friend. 


Walter Frederick Morrison, the inventor of the plastic flying discs that eventually became known as the Frisbee, died at his Utah home on Tuesday. He was 90 and is survived by three children. For decades, Morrison's creation has been an integral part of American life. Sure, there have been other flying toys, like the Aerobie or the Flip N Flyer, but even these seem less like competitors and more like slightly-modified versions of the original toy, sort of like weird second cousins. Frisbees, whose sales have passed 200 million units, are as American as baseball, apple pie, or fireworks on the Fourth of July.


Richard Keats, founder of Kaywood Industries, died on April 7 at the age of 97, leaving behind a legacy of toy innovation. Keats was a U.S. Navy Veteran as well as a graduate of Brown University. Following his degree, Keats joined his father’s company — Buddy L Toys — in 1948. After his father’s retirement in 1976, Keats took over and ran the company until it was sold to SLM in 1990. This wasn’t the end of Keats’ toy industry career. With experience from his time at Buddy L, he founded Kaywood Industries and continued to design and invent new toys. The company went on to license products to industry leaders including Fisher-Price, Mattel, Hasbro, and Spin Master.  Products that saw success with Kaywood Industries include Brush Your Teeth Barney, Playtime Big Bird, Flatsy, MakeUp Mindy, and more. Keats attended Toy Fair and the Dallas Fall Toy Preview trade shows yearly until 2019, demonstrating his deep investment in the world of toys. The toy industry has lost a talented and passionate inventor and designer. Keats passed away peacefully, and celebrated his 97th birthday on April 1. 


Jack McAllister - December 13, 1926 – April 19, 2024. He proudly served his country as a Navy Veteran during World War Two. Jack was truly a jack of all trades. He worked for Coast to Coast Hardware in Robbinsdale for many years. He was a toy designer for Sifo Toys as well as for Centuri Rocket Company. He designed cereal box premiums for General Mills. Jack worked as an engraver at Jostens and was employed by North States Industries as a designer and machinist. He also worked at Priemier Plastics as a designer and mold fabricator and was a machinist at NW Swissmatics. Jack was the proud creator of the games of BUNKERBALL and Racehorse Checkers. He also made a seed a starter kit which he named Roly Rooter. He made beautiful "Lucky Birds" out of wood and porcelain which he sold at the community market.

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

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


Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​​​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US) 


Toyworld (UK) Powered by Toyworld

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Wizards of the Coast Updates 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Bloomburrow' Release Deets
WizKids to Release 'D&D' 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Trophy Plaque
TCGPlayer Top 25 Sealed Products (With Price Shifts) – April 2024
'Arkham Horror RPG' from Edge Studio
Games Workshop Raises Prices for Third Year in a Row
'Magic: The Gathering' Black Lotus Card Sells for $3 Million
VIZ Licenses 'Magic: The Gathering' Manga
Renegade's Limited Deluxe Edition of 'Robo Rally'
FanRoll's New 'Red Dragon Plush Bag' Feasts on Dice
GAMA Moves 2025 Expo Dates

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 

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John Cleese - What Makes Creative People Different?

The most creative people have the ability to play! Watch and find out more! 



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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

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

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