November 10 - 24, 2022
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
Happy Thankful Friday!
As we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the States, I am thankful for each of you who reads and/or contributes to our Bloom Report, attends our events, is a member of POP, advertises, sponsors and shares our social posts.
The center of Toy Universe was in Chicago last week, and if you missed it, you missed a LOT! Our Pitch and Innovation Conference and Young Inventor Challenge and were better than ever! The TAGIE Awards was an historic night of celebration attended by over 560 people in person and via livestream from 20+ countries. (press release) The TAGIEs stand apart from other awards because we celebrate YOU… the people behind the products and services that make our industry so very special. It is an honor to bring everyone together and commemorate the importance and foster camaraderie in the hearts and souls of our industry.
What's next? The Chicago Toy & Game Fair! Just two weeks from now! Exhibit, attend, meet your consumers (biggest focus group in the wild), learn and have fun!
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report. If you can't wait for the news to arrive each Friday, check out the new Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed and share with your colleagues! You can also comment on the posts in the News Feed!
Onward and Upward!
"I am a long-time reader and champion of the Bloom Report. The quantity of quality articles on so many different aspects of our industry is unmatched and I regularly share and discuss them with my management team as an important business tool." - Jim Engle, President & Founder, Little Kids Inc.
"I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.
Columnist - Nancy Zwiers
Collaborative Invention: A Lower Risk Way to Invent
Imagine how we can grow the industry with a larger pool of successful inventors!
It can take a lot of time and money to take an idea from a vision in one’s mind to a compelling piece of tangible expression that is truly license-able.
The quickest, cheapest forms of tangible expression (2-D renderings) aren’t often compelling enough to make the sale. Creating a works-like model helps. Creating a looks-like/works-like model is even better. Creating a fully fleshed out brand that leaves less to the imagination is even better--and what’s more, a brand invention helps establish a longer tail of royalties versus a one-off feature. All it takes is time, money, and an impressively multi-dimensional skill set.
Many would-be inventors make a few attempts to get their ideas into the invention marketplace, but often give up because it is too costly, too time-consuming, and too risky. Further, even if you’re successful, the rewards are too delayed.
Working on a speculative basis is fine if you don’t need to make a living at the same time. For this reason, I expect there are many ideas rolling around in freelancers’ heads, needing a home, while they focus on making a living with work-for-hire projects.
Book Review by Julia DeKorte
"A Century of American Toys & Games. The Story of Pressman Toy"
A Century of American Toys & Games: The Story of Pressman Toy by Jim Pressman and Donna Pressman along with Alan Axelrod is a brilliant celebration of a toy company that has not only brought joy to children all over the world but has made history in numerous different ways.
The Story of Pressman Toy covers the complete history of the company, beginning in the 1800’s with Abraham, Jack Pressman’s father, who left central Europe to escape from the antisemitic regimes that plagued the area to come to New York, where he opened a small variety store. Jack became hooked on the toy business, and after a brief stint in the army, joined the North American Toy Company, which soon became J. Pressman & Company.
The large hardcover in Pressman Toy’s signature red is the perfect coffee table book. Broken up into 17 chapters, each chronologically covering an era of the company’s history, the story of Pressman Toy is told in both words and pictures. The book includes ads dating back to the 1920s, large images of the different toys and games produced and sold by the company, and personal mementos, including photos, letters, and newspaper clippings.
This book takes readers on a journey through time, as Pressman Toy navigates the Great Depression, World War II, a love story, the premature death of its founder, and the groundbreaking leadership of Lynn Pressman before Jim took over, running the company for over thirty years before selling it to Goliath Games in 2014. A heartwarming tale of a family company finding success over the course of a century, The Story of Pressman Toy is not one you want to miss. READ MORE...
Industry Commentary - Arch Anderson
Becoming a Monster: The Return of Monster High
I wasn’t much of a doll kid growing up in the 90s. I was too busy saving up my Tooth Fairy gifts for little plastic creatures and coveting my friends’ Jurassic Park dinosaurs.
Barbie’s permanently pointed feet, general lack of articulation, and inability to stand on her own frustrated me. As a teen, the doll began to draw my ire for its unrealistic body type. Surely this was the cause of my discomfort in my own skin! When MGA Entertainment unleashed Bratz onto the scene with their smoochy noseless faces and hip-hugging midriff-baring fashion, I started taking up two seats on the bus because I was beside myself.
Fast forward to 2011. I’m in my twenties. The big thing in dolls is now Mattel’s runaway runway hit Monster High, featuring characters that are somehow much skinnier and more impossible than Barbie. Their vespid torsos are curved in a painful-looking but oddly flattering way. It’s the catwalk ideal cast in plastic. They tower on legs that stretch out from their short skirts into next month, standing permanently en pointe on chunky, outlandish high heels.
But there’s more: They’re articulated for posing. Their co-ords are straight out of a fashion designer’s sketchbook, taking inspiration from 1980s gothic and punk fashion. Some have fur, some have fins, many have fangs painted onto their bright pouty lips. They have animal ears and big glossy-looking eyes that remind me of the anime characters I’ve come to love. The toy line urges its fans to “Be unique. Be yourself. Be a monster.”
I am smitten. These ghouls slay. READ MORE...
Industry Commentary - Lisa & Mark Burginger, Qubits Toy
Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch
One day, while hard at work bringing our toy business back to normal after COVID, we came across a request for participants on an online investment TV show. Entrepreneur Magazine owns the rights to the show and provides the distribution platform and audience.The show is called Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch and the casting company working on it is one we were familiar with since our family had worked for them on several Disney Commercials and as background actors on Iron Man 3 which was also filmed in Miami.
We looked at each other and asked ourselves, “ Do we want to go onto another investment show? “. After all, we previously appeared on ABC Shark Tank in 2010. Would there be any benefit from another show of this type? It will only be shown on the internet via YouTube. Would anyone see it and get motivated by our toy product? Our answers were “no” and “probably not”, but since we were trying to build back our momentum and could easily drive to the studio we were happy enough to send in the application.
Soon after we were contacted to conduct a Skype interview with the producers of the show. It seemed that the show was interested in our toy. The Skype interview went well because the producer said we represent a married couple who are both working on a small company. That was unique in their eyes. "We had a special chemistry." Read More...
Financial and Legal
The Walt Disney Co. has officially acquired 100 percent of BAMTech, the streaming video technology company that it acquired majority ownership of in 2017 from Major League Baseball. According to a footnote in the company’s annual report, which it filed Tuesday, Disney paid Major League Baseball $900 million for its 15 percent stake in the company, now known as “Disney Streaming,” earlier in November.
This Nerf Blaster Battle Is Being Fought In The Courts And Toy Aisles. Toy giant HasbroHAS +1.1% is in a blaster battle with a scrappy toy startup that says it won’t give up without a fight. The startup, Austin, TX-based Gel Blaster, Inc., could prove to have more ammunition for the battle than Hasbro expected.
***The above posted after November 25th***
BOB IGER RETURNS TO DISNEY AS CEO. In February 2020, Iger announced plans to step down as CEO with plans to stay on as executive chairman through the end of 2021. Bob Chapek, a 27-year Disney vet, stepped into the role of CEO at that time. Over the past two years, Disney’s business structure has been realigned as Chapek’s reign has been marred by controversy and diminishing returns despite subscriber growth...
Toronto’s Brunico Communications, the publishing and events company behind entertainment industry brands Kidscreen and Realscreen, has emerged as the stalking-horse bidder for “certain” NATPE assets, which have been up for sale since it filed for creditor protection in October citing COVID-related event cancellations that left it unable to pay its bills.
Hasbro to sell eOne TV, but keep Family Brands, Unaffected by the move is eOne’s Family Brands and its crown jewel Peppa Pig, the billion-dollar franchise that attracted Hasbro’s interest in the first place. Peppa has been earmarked as a priority IP for the toyco, along with other heavyweights such as My Little Pony, Transformers, Play-Doh, Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering.
It’s likely not the last piece in this puzzle, but Spin Master has bought Canada’s 4D Brands International in a move to further expand its product offering in the games category. The sale is likely to close in January, and then the plan is for 4D founder Shaun Sakdinan to join Spin Master as senior design director.
Penguin Random House’s deal to buy Simon & Schuster, a rival publisher, is close to collapsing after Simon & Schuster’s parent company decided to allow the purchase agreement to expire, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke anonymously to discuss confidential deliberations. The deal was already in peril after a federal judge last month blocked the sale from going forward on antitrust grounds.
An antitrust lawsuit has been brought against The Walt Disney Company in a case that targets the entertainment monolith’s dual role as a content supplier and distributor in business dealings. Disney operates Hulu, the country’s second-largest live-streaming pay TV provider, while also controlling ESPN. The proposed class action accuses Disney of managing the businesses as a single entity, claiming that the...
UK faces biggest fall in living standards on record. The UK faces its biggest drop in living standards on record as the surging cost of living eats into people's wages.The government's forecaster said that household incomes - once rising prices were taken into account - would dive by 7% in the next few years. It also expects the number of people who are unemployed to rise by more than 500,000.
U.S. toy industry sales spike 4% in Q3. The U.S. toy industry continues to grow despite the challenges of inflation. On the heels of Target’s third quarter earnings call this morning in which the retailer noted the expected upswing in demand for toys heading into the holiday shopping season following “deceleration” in October, new data from The NPD Group has emerged for Q3.
Year-to-date spending on videogames falls 7% as hardware sales drop 10% in October. U.S. consumer spending on video game content, hardware and accessories totaled $4.3 billion during October 2022, flat when compared to a year ago. Growth in digital sales and subscriptions for console and PC video game content, driven in large part by the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, was offset by declines in mobile...
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***The above posted after November 25th***
Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry
Geek Showbiz Round-Up - 'BLACK PANTHER' WINS 3RD WEEKEND; 'AVATAR' TRAILERS; 'BLADE' MOVIE REJUVENATED; HARRISON FORD GETS YOUNGER FOR 'INDY 5'; NEW 'DOCTOR WHO' COMPANION; SECOND 'DUNE: SISTERHOOD' SHOWRUNNER EXITS
Searches for Black Friday discounts on Walmart surged 386% year over year, leapfrogging rival retailer Amazon, which last year ranked first in Captify’s survey of most searched retailers on Black Friday. This year, the world’s largest e-commerce company ranked fourth, behind Target and Kohl’s, respectively.
***The above posted after November 25th***
Stories, Comments, and Advice
Fatherhood changes men’s brains, according to before-and-after MRI scans. The time fathers devote to child care every week has tripled over the past 50 years in the United States. The increase in fathers’ involvement in child rearing is even steeper in countries that have expanded paid paternity leave or created incentives for fathers to take leave, such as Germany, Spain, Sweden and Iceland. And a growing body of research finds that children with engaged fathers do better on a range of outcomes, including physical health and cognitive performance.
Where Does All the Cardboard Come From? Entire forests and enormous factories running 24/7 can barely keep up with demand. This is how the cardboard economy works. Before it was the cardboard on your doorstep, it was coarse brown paper, and before it was paper, it was a river of hot pulp, and before it was a river, it was a tree. Probably a Pinus taeda, or loblolly pine, a slender conifer native to the SE United States.
Every country's favorite toys. Gone are the days of writing Christmas lists by hand. With the internet enabled on seemingly every device, kids only need to take to Google to track down the exact URL of their desired toy in time for Santa’s visit — and let’s be honest, they’re probably better at it than grown-ups. Toys aren’t just for kids, though: one study found that 58% of adults in the U.S. have bought a toy for themselves.
Video games for dogs aim to help aging canine brains. A U.K.-based startup called Joipaw is serious about making video games for dogs.
Why it matters: What might sound like a joke is actually a project that could have health benefits for dogs’ brains. What’s happening: Joipaw’s games, which are still being prototyped, run on a custom saliva-resistant touch-screen console that the canine competitors play with their snouts.
Top 10 tips for bringing your board game to market. There are 3 recurring interactions many board games professionals have with the broader public when it comes to board games: Firstly, board games make a comeback (every Christmas!) if you listen to lazy journalists. Secondly, when you mention that you work in the world of board games some people ask: ‘does anyone still buy board games anymore’ ...
French luxury brand Balenciaga apologized for its advertising campaign that showed two young children posing with bears wearing BDSM-style harnesses and featured court documents that mentioned “virtual child porn.” Balenciaga says it’s investigating how ads featuring “unsettling documents” became part of a campaign involving children.
***The above posted after November 25th***
John Baulch, Toy World - Irony alert …it’s the Friday Blog! Another lively week out at the retail coalface, which may yet turn even more lively as the dreaded/golden opportunity (delete as applicable) Black Friday weekend is upon us. The toy community will no doubt be keeping a close eye on pricing across the market, as the post-pandemic landscape sees retailers adopting a far more aggressive promotional pricing strategy...
‘They want toys to get their children into Harvard’: have we been getting playthings all wrong? For decades we’ve been using toys to cram learning into playtime – and toys have been marketed as tools to turn children into prosperous, high-achieving adults. Is it time for a rethink? The week my eldest son finished nursery, I decided to clear out the playroom where he had spent much of his young life forming bonds with...
FROM THE TOY BOOK EDITOR: TURKEY TIME AND THE RETURN OF THE KING. The return of Bob Iger is one of those classic “What If?” scenarios that didn’t seem possible even though departing CEO Bob Chapek’s reign was tumultuous, if not controversial, at times. Disney’s entire culture seems to have been upended over the past 2.5 years, first by the COVID-19 pandemic, and again by Chapek’s leadership decisions.
BRINGING SUSTAINABILITY TO SOURCING STRATEGIES. As a specialist responsible sourcing program in the global supply chain, we at ICTI are frequently answering questions about how to improve supply chain sustainability and engage suppliers. In recent years, we’ve been receiving more environment-focused questions, such as, “How can I measure the social and environmental impacts of my supply chain?” and...
POP QUIZ WITH WENDY SMOLEN: NOVEMBER 2022. The toy industry has never been short on innovation, consistently disrupting the status quo with next-gen ideas; state-of-the art technology; visionary retail plans; unique partnerships; and, of course, products that changed the way kids play. Test your knowledge of some of the industry’s most game-changing toys in this month’s Pop Quiz!
Hot Toy Or Not? Now Is When The Toy Game Gets Serious. The holiday game they’ve been prepping for since last year is about to get real with the start of the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales. While the toy industry has become less dependent on the fourth quarter over the past decade, the holiday season still is the main event.
The Royal Game of Ur: How to Play the Oldest Board Game on Record. For 4,600 years, a mysterious game slept in the dust of southern Iraq, largely forgotten. The passion of a museum curator and the hunger of young Iraqis for their cultural history may bring it back.
WHY THE OCULUS RIFT INVENTOR MADE A VR HEADSET THAT CAN KILL YOU. Oculus inventor, Palmer Luckey, created a modified Quest Pro that can kill you if you die in a VR game. PALMER LUCKEY, the creator of the Oculus Rift and other virtual reality technology that now serves as the backbone of Meta's mission to build the metaverse, has made a VR headset that can kill.
PACKAGE DESIGN GOES SEASONAL. The bells are jingling and stores are filled with holiday-themed products once again. As spending increases during the holiday season, it’s no wonder many manufacturers try to capture their share of sales with holiday-specific campaigns. For us toy industry folks, this is our time to shine...
The term “kidult” is a portmanteau that represents adults full of big kid energy. From dropping serious cash on designer dolls and action figures to spending free time at board game cafes or playing video games with friends, it is quite common for adults to incorporate play into their everyday lives.
John Baulch, Toy World UK - Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring*…it’s the Friday Blog! Those Blog readers who know me personally will hopefully appreciate that I am generally a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, especially when it comes to the fortunes of the toy trade. This year has definitely tested my positivity at times, but I still believe that we have everything to play for over the next five weeks.
What is behind the big tech companies' job cuts? The first sign of job cuts at Amazon came from LinkedIn posts from laid-off employees. Then, Amazon's devices boss, Dave Limp, announced: "It pains me... We will lose talented Amazonians from the devices & services org". Across the tech industry, at firms like Twitter, Meta, Coinbase and Snap, workers have announced they are "seeking new opportunities".
Supporting diversity and inclusion in toys and games. For the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community, what does it mean to bring diversity and inclusion (D&I) into the toy and game industry? The answer is both simple and complicated: It takes many parties working together to level the playing field. Retailers need to be committed to filling their shelves with products from BIPOC-owned businesses...
The STEM generation. A look at the growth of STEM toys and the trends propelling this educational toy boom. STEM is trending again — and in a big way. Toys that teach kids about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are finally getting their due, according to Abacus Brands CEO Steve Rad. Parents, he says, are prioritizing learning through play. But this isn’t just talk: The data backs up Rad’s claim of a STEM...
The collectibles evolution: business is booming as categories begin to blur. When it comes to innovation in the toy industry, the conversation often moves toward products for the youngest members of the family or kids that are aging out of traditional toys and jumping into the tech-fueled tween and teen years. We look at how kids play and learn, and how toys and games can play a crucial role in human development.
Teletubbies: The bizarre kids' TV show that swept the world. Teletubbies turns 25 this year, and now has a new Netflix reboot on the way. What made this colourful and strange world so appealing to children – and so controversial, asks Timmy Fisher. In March 1998 more than 1,500 television bigwigs from 82 different countries descended on the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.
History and Nostalgia
It’s thought that kites first appeared in China around 3,000 years ago. These early versions are thought to have been made of silk and bamboo. The earliest written account of kite flying dates to approximately 200 BC in China, when a Chinese general used a kite to help him determine the distance his troops needed to tunnel in order to get under a city’s walls.
***The above was posted after November 25***
Who first thought of Bubbles? While soap dates back to ancient times, the earliest paintings of children playing with bubbles date to the 17th century, about a century after Europeans began to manufacture higher quality varieties of soap. In the 19th century, London’s A. & F. Pears used a John Everett Millais painting featuring a child playing with bubbles to advertise their soaps, suggesting that this practice was already...
Who first thought of Paper Airplanes? The origins of paper airplanes are debated by historians, but we do know about certain touchpoints. The ancient Chinese invented the kite using papyrus paper, Leonardo DaVinci wrote about constructing a flying machine out of parchment, and Sir George Cayley built kite-like gliders out of linen in the early 19th century. Early attempts at constructing flying machines fascinated...
Earthquake Tower from Remco (1976). Advertised as the “world’s tallest playset” at over 5 feet tall, Earthquake Tower from Remco capitalized on the public’s fascination with the disaster films produced in the 1970s, such as The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Earthquake (1974), The Towering Inferno (1974), and others.
Strawberry Shortcake Berry-Go-Round from Parker Brothers (1981). Released in 1981 by Parker Brothers, the Strawberry Shortcake Berry-Go-Round game appealed to young fans of the whimsical characters first created by American Greetings in the 1970s. The color-matching game challenged players to acquire the characters represented on their game boards in an effort to be the first to complete their board.
Licensing and Entertainment
Six Playmobil 1.2.3 play sets inspired by Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet, will be launched in summer 2023. News announced today has revealed that Playmobil’s toddler product portfolio is to welcome a raft of fan-favourite Disney characters following the inking of a deal between the licensor and the Playmobil 1.2.3 brand.
Tonies has teamed up with Calm, a leading mental health brand and app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation, to launch a special edition Creative-Tonie, preloaded with mindfulness activities, breathwork meditations and Sleep Stories, which the team says is perfect for navigating the chaotic countdown to Christmas.
Baby Shark swims into NFTs with Toekenz. Pinkfong's IP will debut as a blockchain-based game on Toekenz's upcoming NFT platform, joining brands from Boat Rocker and Mattel. South Korea’s Pinkfong Company has inked a licensing agreement that will see its flagship Baby Shark IP featured on Toekenz Collectibles’ upcoming platform that gamifies NFTs. Toekenz will develop and introduce a blockchain Baby Shark game...
***The above posted after November 25th***
Tonies and Disney have teamed up for the festive season with a joint commercial. Together, they have produced a delightful advert dedicated to Tonies as an extension of Disney’s global From Our Family To Yours campaign to showcase the magic and joy when playing with favourite Disney characters as Tonies. Shelly Sundag, head of Global Brand at Tonies, commented: “This is a special moment for us...
Spin Master and Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol, the incredibly popular kids’ TV series, is getting its first spinoff on Feb. 3. Rubble & Crew will focus on the construction dog Rubble. “As a proud member of the PAW Patrol, Rubble has stolen the hearts of preschoolers around the world with his loyal, optimistic nature and penchant for treats,” says Jennifer Dodge, Spin Master’s president of entertainment and executive Producer.
Paramount Consumer Products is getting into the holiday spirit. The company teamed up with Target to launch an exclusive range of products tied to the CBS Original holiday special, Reindeer in Here. The special is inspired by author Adam Reed’s Christmas book from a few years back that was originally sold with a companion plush toy.
TCG Entertainment, a leader in live entertainment and touring productions, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment, have announced global box office hit The Batman as the first in the all-new DC In Concert series presented by MGP Live.
Combining the acclaimed feature film with a live symphony performing the score, The Batman In Concert is scheduled to debut on 18th March...
Mercer Mayer, the beloved kid’s author behind books like There’s an Alligator Under My Bed and the Little Critter books, is teaming up with digital media writer and producer John Sansevere to breathe new life into his catalog of stories through a new business called Twelve/30. “I’ve been publishing stories for over 55 years, adventures inspired from my childhood or my children’s childhoods, and now I get
PROPERTY PROFILE: NICKELODEON’S ‘SANTIAGO OF THE SEAS’ STRIKES GOLD. Pirates, beware! There’s a new matey setting sail on the high seas — and he’s not your average buccaneer. Eight-year-old Santiago “Santi” Montes is the brave and kind-hearted pirate taking center stage in Nickelodeon’s Santiago of the Seas. Now in its second season, the animated preschool series follows Santiago as he embarks...
It wasn’t supposed to arrive until Black Friday, but the new season of A Toy Store Near You is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.The Toy Book and The Pop Insider have your exclusive first look at the trailer for the fifth season of the series from The Nacelle Co. — the studio behind The Toys That Made Us (Netflix), Behind The Attraction (Disney+), and the recent Icons Unearthed (Vice TV).
Blippi co-star Meekah gets spin-off show, costume and doll. MeekahThe Blippi franchise, which has been inspiring curiosity in millions of pre-schoolers around the world, is further expanding its reach with an increased investment in Meekah, Blippi’s best buddy. Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, is spinning off the Meekah character with a dedicated YouTube channel, merchandise items, a music album and...
Powerhouse battle franchise Beyblade, with support from Japanese IP specialist ADK Emotions NY Inc and Hasbro, continues to attract some of the world’s best-known entertainment brands with upcoming collaborations with WWE, Roblox and Anime NYC set to boost its international reach via in-person and live-stream streaming events and new digital platforms.
Winning Moves UK has announced that it has sold out of its World Football Stars Guess Who and Top Trumps Specials lines as hype for the FIFA Qatar World Cup continues to build. The two products – which form a part of a larger World Football Stars range including the likes of Top Trumps Match, Top Trumps Quiz, Monopoly and a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle – will be replenished over the coming weeks, Winning Moves...
Next-gen approaches to finding new IPs. We all know that a great idea can come from anywhere, but the scale of content creation today is so vast that determining which ideas have potential for expansion—and which don’t—is daunting and complex. Kidscreen spoke with three digital-first companies to get a read on their strategies for finding new IPs and monetizing them in as many ways as possible.
Canadian pubcaster TVOKids has partnered with Ottawa’s Big Jump Entertainment to develop a new 2D-animated series called Griffin and Turner, which shines a spotlight on Down syndrome. The show will center around two real brothers—one of whom (Turner) has Down syndrome—who are featured in a series of videos available on the Special Books by Special Kids YouTube channel (3.3 million subscribers).
Genius Brands Int'l is planning a wide consumer products program around the Stan Lee Universe that will kick off with a direct-to-retail range of print-on-demand apparel from Hot Topic next month to coincide with the late comic book creator’s 100th birthday. Genius has been busy building up a roster of licensing partners for this ancillary push, including collectibles manufacturers Funko, Sideshow and Iron Studios
Writer and producer Craig Gerber (Elena of Avalor) is refreshing fantasy preschool franchise Sofia the First under his newly extended overall development deal with Disney Branded TV. Gerber created the IP and is currently working on a spinoff series that’s set in the same kingdom as the Sofia the First series (pictured), which aired on Disney Junior from 2013 to 2018. The franchise originally launched in 2012...
'WAKANDA FOREVER' BREAKS RECORD; 'STAR WARS' FILM GETS MARVEL DIRECTOR; 'JOHN WICK 4' TRAILER; 'INDIANA JONES' TV SERIES; 'AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER' AND 'SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS' GET DATES; THE MATRIX'S TRINITY IN 'STAR WARS'. November marches on, getting ever closer to Black Friday. More Hollywood news has arrived, and it's time for a round-up!
TCG Toys, announced that it has entered into a multi-category licensing agreement with WildBrain for Strawberry Shortcake and Boat Rocker’s Dino Ranch, for its growing lineup of licensed Bend-Ems, SURE-LOX and Megamat, among other brands. TCG Toys will introduce an assortment of Strawberry Shortcake products based on the perennial favorite for nearly 50 years, Strawberry Shortcake...
Hasbro and Basic Fun! ink global master toy license. Relaunch of the Littlest Pet Shop brand will begin in 2024. Basic Fun!, a global marketer of toys and consumer products, announced a master toy license agreement with Hasbro for the Littlest Pet Shop brand. Basic Fun! is expected to manufacture and distribute Littlest Pet Shop collectible figures, playsets and accessories to retailers worldwide as early as 2024.
People of Play
Farzana Rahman, founder and CEO of the Desi Doll Company, has won the Businesswoman of the Year Award at the Islam Channel Business Awards. Farzana received the award on Friday 18th November in a ceremony at the Hilton Metropole, London which was hosted by BBC’s Asad Ahmad. The Islam Channel Business Awards was attended by over 1,000 esteemed figures including business leaders, ...
***The above posted after November 25th***
PROJECT GENIUS CEO BRANDI PINSKER TALKS BRAINTEASERS ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’. Project Genius is a Texas-based crew of “thinkers, tinkers, and inventors” that creates brainteasers and games. Pinsker previously served as a buyer at Go! Retail Group’s Calendar Club and is an expert in games, puzzles, and gifts.
Endemol Shine North America’s SVP, Tamaya Petteway will take on oversight of the studio’s Licensing team for a second time and industry veteran Chris Lucero has joined the Banijay owned studio as executive director of Licensing Partnerships. Tamaya has been with Endemol Shine North America since 2015 and most recently served as senior vice president of Brand and Digital Partnerships.
Rubies Masquerade has announced the appointment of Justin McGiffin, who will join the company as head of Licensing to manage and develop its impressive portfolio. Justin brings to his new role a wealth of experience, having held previous positions at The Walt Disney Company and Jakks Pacific. Most recently, Justin was licensing director Sales at Rovio Entertainment, which Rubies says makes him ‘an ideal fit for the role’
Will Ferrell Discusses His Role as Mattel CEO in 'Barbie' Movie: 'Loving Homage to the Brand'. Greta Gerwig's Barbie opens in theaters on July 21, 2023. "It's a loving homage to the brand and, at the same time, couldn't be more satirical," Ferrell said. "Just an amazing comment on male patriarchy and women in society and why Barbie's criticized and yet why every little girl still wants to play with Barbie."
Meet Reiner Knizia: The man who’s designed over 700 board games. Reiner Knizia is like royalty in the board game community. With more than 700 published games, spanning a 25-year career, he is one of, if not the ...
TALKIN’ TOYS: DIAFRAMMA’S JEHAN HINDO ON A BIG YEAR IN TOY ADVERTISING AND WHAT’S COMING IN 2023. The Italian studio has been serving the toy industry for more than 40 years, creating memorable commercials for iconic brands and toys. Known for its creative team, wide array of services, and vast storytelling ability, Diaframma continues to evolve with the latest technology and an investment in its people.
INDUSTRY VET LAUNCHES THINK BRILLIANTLY. There’s a new agency on the block that’s ready to connect with toy and game industry clients. Think Brilliantly is a boutique marketing and creative agency founded by industry veteran Analei Samasei’a, the former longtime marketing manager at Yvolution USA. Samasei’a has assembled a team with public relations, marketing, and design capabilities across the U.S., Europe, ...
The Jim Henson Company has recruited former Mattel TV and Disney Junior manager Gabe Monje-Paulson to serve as its new director of children’s TV. Monje-Paulson joined the LA-based company earlier this month, and will oversee the development of new live-action and animated projects. He reports to Henson’s president of television Halle Stanford.
BBC Studios Kids & Family is building out its leadership ranks with the hire of Edward Barnieh and a key promotion for Alexandra McGrail. Barnieh starts in his new role as VP of development on November 21. He’ll provide creative direction to the division’s development production team to ensure that its slate of projects anticipates the needs of a rapidly shifting market.
This 22-year-old product designer created toys to help visually impaired babies enjoy their food. While most of us take eating for granted, many visually impaired babies develop an aversion to mushy or slimy foods. CNA Women speaks to Lim Jin Ying about how inclusive design can help such babies and children overcome these and other common barriers.
Indianapolis teachers won national game show, patent-pending with Spin Master. On the season finale of PBS’ Make48,The Mallorys worked on a new prototype of their national competition-winning game that brought home $10,000 and the Kid’s Choice Award. Don’t Wet Your Pants was created last spring after the team of Purdue Polytechnic High School teachers advanced from Indianapolis’ regional competition to nationals.
Ash Ketchum becomes the top Pokémon master he always wanted to be 25 years later. Ash Ketchum set off on a journey from his humble beginnings in Pallet Town to become the very best like no one ever was. Over two decades later, he's now a Pokémon world champion. Ash emerged victorious in the Pokémon World Coronation Series in the latest episode of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series that was released...
Kassandra O’Brien will reunite with Harold and Jennifer Chizick as senior vice president of marketing at the newly formed ChizSix Marketing & Media. O’Brien has more than a decade of experience in marketing toys, kids’ entertainment, and consumer goods throughout North America. She joins chief marketing officer Talya Gaborieau to round out the agency’s launch team.
TALKIN’ TOYS: TAKING A PEEK UNDER THE HOOD OF INTEK TOYS’ HOT WHEELS RANGE WITH RONEN DZIENCIOLSKI. Since 1968, Mattel‘s Hot Wheels brand has been revving up the fun for generations of kids and collectors. According to The NPD Group, Hot Wheels consistently ranks as the No. 1 toy in the world with millions of its 1:64-scale “mainline” die-cast vehicles sold each year.
Carol Rapp will assume joint responsibility for the organisation and ongoing development of Spiel alongside Dominique Metzler and Florian Hess. Spiel. Friedhelm Merz Verlag, a subsidiary of Spielwarenmesse eG, has announced a new appointment: the two existing directors, Dominique Metzler and Florian Hess, are being joined by an additional director, Carol Rapp.
Hein Meurer becomes Sambro Europe’s new head of Business Development. The appointment further strengthens Sambro Europe’s senior team as the company continues its ‘strong growth trajectory’. Customer relationship expert Hein Meurer has been appointed Sambro Europe‘s head of Business Development. In his new role, Hein will focus on the toy company’s business development strategies and the opening of new...
Former Asmodee head of U.S. distribution Andre Kieren now consulting for Funforge. Former Asmodee USA Head of U.S. Distribution Andre Kieren has entered into a consulting relationship with Funforge, Sarl through his new entity Kieren Consulting LLC, while in his new role at Asmodee subsidiary Miniature Market. Kieren’s role with Funforge is to grow sales of the company’s games in the U.S.
Companies and Brands
Sustainability is on the minds of many consumers, and therefore in the plans of many companies. The toy industry is the most plastic-intensive industry in the world, so efforts to increase recycling and other eco-friendly measures are becoming more and more necessary. Following this trend, VTech and LeapFrog have expanded their relationship with the international recycler TerraCycle to set up toy recycling...
For the 13th consecutive year, Pacers Sports Entertainment and Jakks Pacific are teaming up to distribute toys to kids across the state of Indiana. The mission kicks off Pacers’ annual Season of Giving, delivered by Papa Johns, and incorporates the efforts of almost a hundred organizations in the community.
Hasbro and Paramount Pictures unleashed a first look at director Steven Caple Jr’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the latest live-action film in the long-running franchise. The new film continues the “period” storyline set up in Bumblebee as the Autobots, Decepticons, and Maxmimals face off in a globetrotting adventure in the early 1990s.
DoorDash is delivering toys this holiday season. Spin Master teamed up with the delivery service to offer on-demand delivery of toys and games in a pilot program timed to the season of giving. Under the new deal, DoorDash drivers can deliver a dozen different Spin Master toys, games, and activities to consumers in multiple cities across 20 states.
BBC Studios has sent the Hey Duggee Transforming Duggee Rocket Toy by Golden Bear beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and into space. The Transforming Duggee 2 in 1 Space Rocket Toy is made by Golden Bear Toys, BBC Studios’ master toy partner for Hey Duggee Kids and Family. The toy travelled into space attached to a stratospheric balloon, powered by Hydrogen gas, which is a sustainable alternative to Helium.
Numberblocks has released its very first Christmas song and single, How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas?, with a large proportion of profit going to Children in Need. The Greatest Showman actress and singer Keala Settle will perform in a special festive video on YouTube for the song and Elle Cato, who recently toured with Van Morrison, will lend her voice for the single release
Amazon is looking to make bedtime a more engaging experience. Its new “Create with Alexa” AI feature lets kids craft original 2D-animated stories that can then be played on Amazon’s interactive Echo Show display. To get the storytelling underway, “Alexa” prompts kids ages four to eight to pick a theme, name their characters and give them simple personality traits (like mysterious or silly).
***The above posted after November 25th***
Snakes & Lattes Inc. Awarded 2022’s Most Innovative Retailer of the Year at Industry Prestigious Annual TAGIE Awards, Beating Out Well-Known Industry Giants. The annual TAGIE awards held in Chicago, IL are a significant industry showcase. Other nominees in the category included well-known names: Disney (Star Wars), Barnes and Noble, F.A.O. Schwarz, and Hasbro Pulse.
Bluey flies high in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. In the same week as the parade, Bluey’s Big Play made its theatrical debut and members of the voice cast appeared on The Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon. Bluey helped Americans welcome the holiday season as part of NY’s 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The giant helium Bluey balloon was specially created for the event and was a staggering 51 ft long, 37 ft wide, 52 ft tall...
Mattel’s Monster High, the popular brand featuring the kids of famous monsters, is getting spooky new content. The first season of Nickelodeon and Mattel Television’s Monster High premiered Oct. 28, but a second season has already been announced. The quick turnaround is likely due to the success of the first, which is reported to have received nearly 4 million viewers,
Fun In Motion Toys was honored to have its Shashibo and Mozi toys both selected by the Autism Network for its prestigious 2022 Autism Toy & Gift Guide. The announcement was made by Kevin Daniels, President and Co-Founder of the company. For Shashibo, given the Autism Network’s “Adult Boredom Buster” Award, it’s the latest accolade for America’s #1 fidget toy. Mozi, often described as being like a Slinky for your...
Mattel has announced the launch of its own Digital Collectibles (NFT) Marketplace on Mattel Creations, the company’s collector and direct-to-consumer platform. Series 4 of the Hot Wheels NFT Garage, set for release on December 15th, will be the first offering to launch on the new marketplace. The Mattel Creations Digital Collectibles Marketplace is built on the Flow blockchain, a fast, decentralized and eco-friendly...
PRESSMAN TOY CORP. CELEBRATES A CENTURY OF FUN. Since 1922, Pressman Toy Corp. has been creating classic toys and games that have been enjoyed by families around the world. The family-owned company was founded by Jack Pressman who led the business until his death in 1959. Pressman’s wife, Lynn, took the helm as president and continued to evolve the business through licensing, marketing, and advertising...
Wow! Stuff is entering the outdoor toys market with a unique and multi-patent take on an established toy play pattern. New HYPR Rockets feature three child safe soft tipped rockets that are launched by stomping on the included air pad. A patent system for a switch on the rocket’s platform allows the child to choose Turbo or non-Turbo modes, sending the rockets to incredible heights.
Amscan International rebrands as Wonder. Global celebrations group Amscan International has rebranded as Wonder and announced a revenue target of £500m by 2026. The Milton Keynes-based designer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler and retailer of party products currently has a turnover in excess of £300m, which is up +40% on the previous year. The rebrand is a key element of the group’s continued...
MOOSE GAMES ACQUIRES DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS FOR NINE ARCHES. The newly launched gaming division of Moose Toys is getting experiential.
Moose Games acquired the global distribution rights for Nine Arches, a “curiously daring game of adventures” that encourages offline, real-world experiences. The deal brings the Nine Arches Legacy Edition, Travel Edition, and all future games into the Moose Games portfolio.
Innovative Toymaker Moose Toys Boasts #1, 2, 3 and 4 Spots in Special Feature Plush Category. Moose Toys, a leading innovator in the toy industry, is dominating in the Special Feature Plush Category with its toys taking the top four spots — Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball, Little Live Pets Mama Surprise, last year’s top mega hit Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron, and Dance and Play Bluey, respectively — according to NPD.
Standard Poker Co, a new technology-enabled home poker set by SPC Innovation Solutions Inc, has just launched on Kickstarter. Poker fans now have the opportunity to join the revolution of the thousand-year-old game with early-bird access to the most innovative poker set for at-home use with friends and family. The Standard Poker Co set features technological advancements such as RFID-enabled chips, Bluetooth...
Mattel releases new Scrabble Trap Tiles edition. With the launch of Scrabble Trap Tiles, Mattel has revealed over half of Brits admit to sabotaging board games at Christmas. With nearly six in 10 adults admitting to bending the rules or even sabotage when playing board games at Christmas, Mattel has unveiled the perfect game for people who prefer bending the rules to following them.
Disney embarks on cost-saving measures to meet 2024 targets. On the heels of releasing its Q4 and full-year financial results, the House of Mouse has announced cuts to content and marketing budgets, hiring freezes and other measures to boost the bottom line. Disney is working on a cost-cutting plan that will have an impact on budgets, staffing structures and hiring as part of a broader mission to achieve Disney+ profitability ...
Build-A-Bear Workshop Launches New ‘The Office’ Collection. Looking for the perfect gift for The Office fan in your life? Well, you’re in luck! Build-A-Bear Workshop has just launched their new collection inspired by The Office and all its iconic characters. Relive all your favorite scenes from The Office with gifts and collectibles from the newest collection! Make your bear the World’s Best Boss in the Michael Scott costume or...
KIDQUEST: CONNECTING FAMILIES, ONE QUESTION AT A TIME. There’s no doubt that parents have heard this question from their kids before. Little ones are inquisitive, always wondering what time it is, or are we there yet? In the best cases, this hunger for information never subsides — it’s human nature to wonder about the world.
ZAG HOSTS INAUGURAL BRAND SUMMIT IN MEXICO CITY. The toy and entertainment business is booming in Latin America, and ZAG has big plans. This week, the company welcomed guests to its first brand summit at Teatro Centenario Coyoacan in Mexico City. At the event, new partners were introduced as ZAG showcased its growing brands, including Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Ghostforce, and...
Wild Republic, the toy company best known for its variety of stuffed animals, is opening a new headquarters in Independence, Ohio. The move will take the company around 12 miles away from its original headquarters in Twinsburg, Ohio. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, to officially open the new space.
Macy’s is leading the department store resurgence. The iconic retailer unpacked its third quarter earnings today, and while sales fell slightly when compared to 2021, business is up over the pre-pandemic benchmark of 2019. The results from the company, which says it’s in much better financial health than it was prior to the pandemic, show a shift in digital traffic back to physical, an improved supply chain, and stronger ...
FLYING INTO THE FUTURE: HOW INNOVATION IS REINVENTING RADIO FLYER. At its core, the 105-year-old Radio Flyer is powered by innovation in its DNA. Founded in 1917 as the Liberty Coaster Co. by Italian immigrant Antonio Pasin, the company has followed a path of continuous evolution from the wooden coaster wagons of the original Liberty Line to the introduction of the famed Little Red Wagon and beyond.
ChizSix Marketing & Media is wasting no time in ramping up operations. The new agency, founded by industry veterans Harold and Jennifer Chizick, has added AtGames to its client roster. ChizSix is leading digital advertising for AtGames’ 2022 holiday campaign. The new campaign, “Legends Level Up,” is intended to raise awareness for the AtGames Legends Arcade Family of products. T
Zigazoo, a kids’ social network, revealed the efforts being taken by kids on the platform to raise thousands of dollars for Save The Children’s “Get Fed Up” campaign, a program that works to end child hunger. In partnership with the Mattel Children’s Foundation, Crazy Aaron’s, and AmazonSmile, $5 for the first 1,000 children who complete each and every Zigazoo task will be donated to the campaign.
Magicbox is ramping up its marketing campaign in the final weeks of the year for collectible brands KookyLoos, SuperThings and T-Racers. Prime time TV and inventive social campaigns will be at the forefront of activity to support retailers right through until Christmas. Spearheading the drive will be a TV campaign for all three brands which, in addition to the expected children’s TVRS, will be targeting family ...
Grand Prix International (GPI) has launched a new manufacturing program assisting BIPOC and Women-owned toy & game businesses to bring their products to market. The new initiative allows young and growing businesses to accept mass-market retail purchase orders that previously would have been a financial challenge to accept. GPI has created a Mass Market Manufacturing Program that provides extended...
Smart Teddy, the connected plush toy brand, is pleased to announce a new line of ‘Early Learning’ sets. The new line of cards featuring Amazing Animals, All My Emotions and Numbers, will create additional educational content in new and innovative ways. Each card contains an electronic tag and with a tap of Smart Teddy’s ‘Super Paw,’ the plush will read the card aloud and explain the rules, promoting independent play...
Moose Toys has announced that it is running a campaign for its new board game Clipology on Netflix’s Basic with ads, the streaming service’s new reduced-fee platform. “At Moose, we are thrilled to be a participant in the launch of Netflix’s Basics with ads,” said David Norman, general manager at Clipology. “Keep an eye out for our new campaign for Clipology as you’re enjoying the premium streaming experience.”
Racoon Tycoon Hits Store Shelves in Time for Holiday 2022. Earlier this year, when University Games acquired Forbidden Games, the deal included Racoon Tycoon, an elegant tabletop strategy game designed with a vintage art appearance. Raccoon Tycoon, a successful game in the hobby channel, has just the right amount of “next-step” complexity to allow casual players to commit to a strategic game play experience.
KAPPA TOYS, TOKIDOKI PLAN HOLIDAY POP-UP EXPERIENCE. The new location is set to open on Nov. 19 and will feature an array of giftable toys and collectibles along with photo ops and a life-sized, toy-themed Gingerbread House. “We are excited to unlock a new facet of Kappa Toys for our fans to experience,” says Lizzy Newsome, Kappa Toys founder. “Going all in on the holiday theme is a natural fit for a toy store, and we...
LEGO releasing Eiffel Tower set that's nearly five feet tall. Last year, LEGO released their longest-ever set, the HMS Titanic. So this year, they have decided to go breaking records on the vertical plane, announcing an Eiffel Tower set that is comically tall. While the Titanic was made up of 9,090 pieces and was 135cm (54") long, the Eiffel Tower is even bigger, standing 149cm (58.5") tall, and being made of 10,001 pieces.
Pressman Toy Corporation celebrates a century of toys and games. Pressman Toy Corporation, one of the world’s oldest family-owned toy and game companies, is celebrating 100 years of family playtime. Over the past century, the American company has seen great success with many of its best-selling games, including Rummikub and Mastermind. In addition, Pressman has paved the way for empowering women as leaders...
Trefl Puzzles are now available in U.S. Following a big reveal at The Toy Association’s 2023 Preview and 2022 Holiday Market in Dallas this fall, Trefl has officially entered the U.S. market. “Although Trefl was founded in 1985 in a tiny basement in Poland and is now one of the leading European jigsaw puzzle companies, it feels so surreal to be jumping across the pond and sharing our innovative and fun designs with families...
Plus-Plus to open UK & Ireland subsidiary. Following success in the US and Nordic markets, where Plus-Plus operates a direct to market model, the company has confirmed its move to develop one of Europe’s biggest markets with the opening of a UK & Ireland subsidiary from January 2023. To head up the new company, Plus-Plus has appointed experienced toy industry executive, Phil Hooper, as managing director...
Become a master gardener with 'Gartenbau'. 25th Century games will release Gartenbau, a new board game, into retail on November 30, 2022. In this game, players take on the role of gardeners looking to earn Prestige Points for horticultural achievements. To gain points, players must navigate three levels of tile-laying and use their green thumbs to grow a well-balanced, mature garden before the growing season ends.
Funforge to release 'Tokaido Duo'. Funforge will be releasing Tokaido Duo, an all-new two-player game about pilgrimages in Japan designed by Tokaido’s creator Antoine Bauza, later this month. Similar to 2012’s original Tokaido, the new Tokaido Duo invites players to travel through Japan, exploring the island of Shikoku and visiting interesting locations along the way such as temples, gardens, and hot springs.
Sherlock Holmes investigates murder in next 'Picture Perfect' expansion. Arcane Wonders revealed Picture Perfect: The Sherlock Expansion for release into retail on November 30, 2022. In Picture Perfect: The Sherlock Expansion, someone has been murdered at the party and Sherlock Holmes is brought in to identify the murderer.
Lucky Duck announces two new board games. Lucky Duck Games announced two new board games, My Shelfie and Nimalia, which will be shipping in Q1 2023. In My Shelfie, players have just gotten a new bookshelf and need to organize it to take the perfect shelfie picture. Players must draft item tiles from a Living Room board and carefully create straight lines of adjacent tiles on the shelf.
The LEGO Group expands headquarters. The LEGO Group just broke ground on another expansion to its headquarters in Billund, Denmark. The new building will bring together 1,900 employees, including engineers and quality assurers, from across seven locations. The space will include new offices, laboratories, test facilities, tool shops, and molding areas.
Bananagrams launches Signature Edition to celebrate 15th anniversary. Bananagrams is releasing a deluxe, new design for the game to celebrate 15 years of fun. The Bananagrams Signature Edition is the same game kids know and love, but so much fancier. There are 144 letter tiles in a warm brown color with gold lettering and 10 luxe tiles featuring a Bananagrams logo. Players can use the luxe tiles to represent any letter.
Flying into the future: how innovation is reinventing Radio Flyer. On the west side of Chicago, major innovation is taking place inside a storied facility amid the echoes of toy industry history. At its core, the 105-year-old Radio Flyer is powered by innovation in its DNA. Founded in 1917 as the Liberty Coaster Co. by Italian immigrant Antonio Pasin, the company has followed a path of continuous evolution from the wooden...
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
‘Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising’ video game launched by Game Mill. GameMill has obtained the license for “Cobra Kai” for video games, releasing “Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising” for the holiday season. The game includes 28 playable characters from the show’s roster, multiple dojos to train at, multiple fight locations and voice talent from the show. Fans can play both offline and online with global players.
Xbox automatically banned 4 million accounts for cheating or botting in 2022. Microsoft recently published an Xbox transparency report that offers some details on how it moderated its online services during the first six months of 2022. According to the publisher’s report, most enforcements were “proactive,” which means that Xbox issued a ban (in most cases) before anyone had reported that an account...
Highlighted Press Releases
SANTA & EUROPEAN TOY LOVERS REJOICE: GOKI IS NOW STATESIDE & UNVEILED ITS TOP 12 WOODEN TOYS. These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things: Cogwheel Game, Rain Stick, T-Rex, Dump Truck, Rainbow Building Blocks, Lion, Pagoda Marble Game, Farm Puzzle. Charlotte, NC (November , 2022) — Lions, dinos and games, oh my! The holidays just got a little sweeter for American children as German toymaker goki comes stateside with a US-based warehouse brimming with marvelous wooden toys. Roar with delight with Lion ($17.89) or Tyrannosaurus Rex ($16.79) or marvel at the Pagoda marble game ($29.79). To narrow things down from its Holiday 2022 toy catalog that runs 160 pages long (!) goki reveals its favorite Top 12 wooden toys to order now from Amazon or at specialty toy and neighborhood gift stores. Prices start at just $9.99!
Award-winning New Zealand entrepreneurs Anthea Madill and Helen Townsend are shining a light on the global toy industry’s impact on climate change by establishing World Sustainable Toy Day. The global toy industry is the most plastic intensive in the world with 40 tonnes of plastic used for every $1 million revenue. It produces 1 million tonnes of waste annually and 90% of toys are made from petroleum releasing CO2 equivalent to that absorbed by 1 billion trees. Not only that, 80% of toys are shipped across the world adding another 20% to toys’ carbon emissions.
Safety and Counterfeiting
Parents beware: Dangerous, recalled toys are still on sale. Parents shopping for their kids this holiday season need to be alert and carefully examine toys before they buy them because recalled and counterfeit toys are being sold online, a consumer report said Thursday. The 37th annual “Trouble in Toyland” toy safety report by Washington-based US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) warned parents...
World Against Toys Causing Harm lists '10 worst toys' for holiday season. World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc. on Wednesday revealed its 50th annual nominees for the “10 worst toys” of 2022. Toy safety remains a critical concern during this holiday season, as evidenced by recent recalls, injuries, and the wide range of potential hazards found in toys available for purchase, the group said.
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
PEOPLE OF PLAY ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS OF THE 17TH ANNUAL YOUNG INVENTOR CHALLENGE. In-Person Judging And The Awards Ceremony Took Place at Radio Flyer Headquarters in Chicago. What do a Flibbertigibbet, Chicken Scratch and a Water Bottle Maze all have in common? They were all among the top place finishers at People of Play’s 17th Annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) held on November 19th at Radio Flyer Headquarters in Chicago.
The winners of this year’s BAFTA Children & Young People Awards have been announced at a ceremony in London, with BBC shows landing six of the 14 awards and Apple TV+ receiving four. Magic Light Pictures’ The Snail and the Whale (shown on BBC) won the BAFTA for Animation, and Max Lang and Daniel Snaddon were awarded in the Director category. The Snail and the Whale had already been named...
Streamers rule Kidscreen Awards nominations. AppleTV+, Amazon and Sesame Workshop are in the running for a raft of trophies, but no company is up for more than Netflix, which has three noms alone for its hit series Heartstopper. For the third year in a row, Netflix has grabbed the lion’s share of Kidscreen Awards nominations, with a total of 13 shortlisted entries. Nipping at the streamer’s heels is Sesame Workshop...
***The above posted after November 25th***
PEOPLE OF PLAY ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF THE TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS (THE TAGIES). More than 300 people from 20 countries gathered under the lights at the Epiphany Center for the Arts in Chicago, and another 260 via livestream, to celebrate and honor the winners of People of Play’s Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (The TAGIEs). The event, which was back in person for the first time in two years, was sponsored by Disney, Oxford Games, Mattel, The Michael Kohner Corporation, Hasbro, TOMY, Longshore, Nextoy, Spin Master, Super Impulse, Backdrop.com, Peggy Brown Creative and Barry and Jason.
Winners of the 2022 Creative Play Awards announced. Sponsored and organised by Creative Steps magazine, the 2022 Creative Play Awards promote creative play as a vital component of child development. The awards recognise the best products available to enhance creative development in young children and the factors which are beneficial to the consumer when making purchasing decisions.
Tickets go on sale today for the 2023 Spielwarenmesse, which takes place in Nuremberg from 1st-5th Feb. Trade visitors can now secure their access to the 2023 Spielwarenmesse, for which exhibitors from 66 different countries have already registered. From 1st to 5th February 2023, the Spirit of Play will be brought to life at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre. Spielwarenmesse champions product variety, new products...
Fan Frenzy: How convention toys are lighting up demand. Comic-Cons are back, and companies like Jazwares and Mattel are ramping up show-exclusive product strategies to build brand equity and consumer loyalty with their super-fans. After 3 years of canceled and scaled-back events, fan conventions are returning in full force, drawing crowds of more than 100,000 back to San Diego and NY for their Comic-Cons.
The Toy Foundation awarded Squishmallows by Jazwares both the Toy of the Year and People’s Choice awards at the 23rd Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Celebration. The awards add to a big year for Squishmallows, including new licensed products like Squishmallows Monopoly, Squishmallows puzzles, and Pokémon Squishmallows.
Get on board with Astra: The Toy Boat sets sail in February. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is gearing up to take on the high seas. ASTRA Toy Boat will officially set sail from Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 20, 2023. Guests will tour around the Bahamas while checking out the latest toys and games, and return to shore on Feb. 24.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Call of Duty: Vanguard soundtracks among 2023 Grammy nominees. Earlier this year, the Recording Academy announced a new Grammy category dedicated to score soundtracks for interactive media, including video games. Those awards for the 2023 Grammys have been revealed, and with it the nominees for best video game music.
Dad’s Choice Awards winners 2022. The 2022 Dad’s Choice winners were chosen for creativity, fun, value for money and impressed a selection of Dad testers and their children. The Dad’s Choice Awards panel has been putting toys through their paces across the UK. The 2022 winners were chosen because each had creativity, fun factor, value for money and impressed a selection of Dad testers and their children.
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.
Kevin Conroy, the voice actor best known for portraying DC Comics' Batman, passed away from cancer at the age of 66. The news was initially reported via Diane Pershing (the voice actor for Poison Ivy on Batman: The Animated Series), and later corroborated by Warner Bros. Animation.
"Our beloved voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, died yesterday," reads Pershing's post. "He's been ill for a while but he really put in a lot of time at the cons, to the joy of all of his fans. He will be sorely missed not just by the cast of the series but by his legion of fans all over the world."
Initially an actor for stage and television, Conroy rose to voice acting prominence with 1992's Batman: The Animated Series. That series ran four seasons, but he continued to voice the comic book character throughout its many spinoffs such as Batman Beyond and Justice League.
He would go on to voice Batman in nearly every animated DC project that featured the hero, and even got to play him in live action during the CW's adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths in 2019.
Outside of animation, Conroy went on to voice Batman in multiple video games, including Rocksteady's Batman Arkham and Netherrealm's Injustice franchises. His final role as Batman is in Player First Games' MultiVersus. And beyond Batman, his voice acting career included Lords of EverQuest, Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, and Max Payne 2.
In a statement from WB provided to press, Batman voice director Andrea Romano wrote: "Kevin was far more than an actor whom I had the pleasure of casting and directing – he was a dear friend for 30+ years whose kindness and generous spirit knew no boundaries. Kevin’s warm heart, delightfully deep laugh and pure love of life will be with me forever.”
“Kevin was perfection,” continued longtime Joker voice actor Mark Hamill. "I loved him like a brother. He truly cared for the people around him – his decency shone through everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke with him, my spirits were elevated.”
Conroy is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams and siblings Trisha and Tom Conroy.
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- Add More 'WizKids Dungeon Dressings' to 'D&D' Encounters
Nación Juguetes (Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile & Spain)
The Toy Universe by The Bugg Report and The Bugg Report(Australia)
Video of the Week
Midco Toys and Learning Express enjoy friendly rivalry ahead of England USA #Qatar World Cup match
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: email@example.com
Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.
Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson
Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher
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