the Bloom Report

Toy & Game Industry's #1 News Summary Globally
Below is Nov 12 - 19, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted daily with the most recent at top of each section and previous week drops off on Friday when we email you highlights. 
Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Welcome to your Weekly News Brief . . . 

Happy Friday! 

WOW! POP Week has been EXTRAORDINARY! ​If you missed the POP Duo Keynotes, they are free and live right here on the POP homepage! Be sure and watch!

I really miss being in person with everyone. Tim Walsh gathered event photos thru the years in the above fun compilation that is bound to put a smile on your face. You might just see yourself in them! 

 

Tonight the stars will shine bright at the TAGIEs - The Toy & Game International Excellence Awards!!!  We’ll celebrate stellar talent across our industry worldwide with entertainment, heartfelt stories, and memorable moments together. Wait! Encore! Saturday the 20th, we host the Young Inventor Challenge! These kids are amazing... you will love their Awards Show... and it is free to watch right here on the POP homepage! 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report,

Mary

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POP Week's first POP Duo Keynote shared million-dollar takeaways from Richard Dickson and Robbie Brenner comparing the worlds of toys, brands and films. Watch on POP's hompage!

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POP Week's second POP Duo Keynote starred David Fuhrer and Shawn Green, who 'knocked it out of the ballpark' on so many levels. Watch on POP's hompage!

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Financial & Legal News . . .

Beanie Babies airlifted from Chinese factories to O’Hare to circumvent shipping backlogs in time for the holidays. With his Beanie Babies stuck at sea aboard a flotilla of slow boats from China, Chicago billionaire Ty Warner has taken to the skies to circumvent the ongoing shipping crisis, booking entire cargo planes to get his signature stuffed animals home for the holidays. If only Buckley the Deer and Lola the Llama....

New details shed light on Amazon UK Visa credit dispute.  The online retailer announced on Wednesday that it will stop accepting Visa credit card payments in the UK from 19th January. According to headforpoints.com, the root of the issue stems from the fact purchases made on Amazon UK are actually bought from Amazon Europe Core SARL (or a related company), based in Luxembourg. 

Suppliers and consumers react with shock as Amazon UK stops Visa credit purchases.   The online retailer Amazon will stop accepting payments made on Visa credit cards in Jan., citing 'high fees'. It has been noted that while it’s dispute with Visa goes back some months, Amazon has a much closer relationship with Mastercard: in 2017 it launched the Amazon Platinum Mastercard, which offers customers rewards and...

Asda trial partnership with The Entertainer to end in 22   Asda suppliers have been notified that the trial of The Entertainer aisles, which started a year ago, will be winding down over the next few months. Following a successful trial partnership between The Entertainer and Asda to manage toy departments within Asda stores, it has been agreed that the concept will not roll out any further.

The NPD Group: consumer spending across video game hardware, content, and accessories spiked 16% in Oct to a record $4.4B for the month. For the first 10 months of 2021, gamers spent $46.7 billion, a 12% gain versus the same period last year.

The new console generation continues to fuel growth for the industry with hardware sales up 82% in October for a 53% year-to-date gain. 

MACY’S TOY SALES DOUBLE IN EARLY DAYS OF TOYS ‘R’ US PARTNERSHIP. While the big return for Toys “R” Us (TRU) is being planned for next year when experiential, TRU-branded toy departments will open in more than 400 Macy’s stores, early results are looking good. During its third quarter earnings call this morning, Macy’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette explained that toys and games are helping to fill the gap on...

Some savvy Americans are capitalizing on supply chain shortages by flipping toys.  When Steve Morrow of Phoenix, Arizona, first started hearing about global supply chain issues last summer, and the impact this could have on consumer goods over the holidays, he bought $10,000 worth of toys to sell in the secondary market. Among them: several Lego sets, Magic Mixies Magical Misting Cauldrons, Nerf HALO Blasters, video game controllers, Cabbage Patch Kids Baby Dolls, Mandalorian action figures, Frozen Sing-Along boom boxes, five different sets of Pokémon cards, and Ken and Barbie Dia De Muertos dolls.

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Stories, Comments & Advice . . .

10 best Barbie dolls to gift to kids in 2021 (with links!). If you’ve got a kid to buy for who loves Barbie, you might be overwhelmed right now with the variety of options available. How do you know which doll your kid would like? How can you find an affordable doll or playset that will keep your child entertained for hours? I’ve compiled a list below of the 10 best Barbie dolls (in my opinion) to gift to kids this season. 

The Game Aisle - Holiday Picks 2021. Can you believe it’s almost December already??!!  So it’s time for my holiday picks.  Admittedly, as I started my list earlier in the year I was thinking that availability was going to be an issue and I was right!  These on the list are all available now (the day I’m hitting the publish button).  If you really want anything — on this list or not, I’d say get it soon just to be safe! Picks are from youngest to oldest hope you find something that’s the perfect gift.

What if McDonald’s ditched all plastic in Happy Meals? This designer created a gorgeous alternative.  McDonald’s is moving toward more eco-friendly Happy Meals, but one Malaysian designer totally reimagined the iconic boxes. McDonald’s says it’s making efforts to make its Happy Meals greener. In September, it announced that it would reduce fossil fuel-based plastic in its Happy Meal toys by 90% by 2025.

TikTok’s Next Big Move? To Become Facebook.  ByteDance, the Chinese company behind TikTok and Douyin, has global ambitions to challenge Meta’s universe.  THE EMAIL HIT staff inboxes on a Tuesday in early November. With it came a significant change to ByteDance, the Chinese company behind the hit app TikTok and its domestic counterpart, Douyin.

Cinemark Puts Theater Chain Rivals on Notice: Why Not Carry Netflix Films?  The major exhibitor ​​put aside old grievances and carried ‘Red Notice’ in hundreds of locations in a pandemic-era team-up, but AMC and Regal aren’t on board. Netflix no longer is public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of at least one mega-theater circuit — Cinemark. On Nov. 12, without revealing actual numbers, the exhibitor gushed in a press release...

Can she be my grandma too?? German grandmother Rita Ebel builds colorful LEGO wheelchair ramps outside local shops to raise awareness and help others. She’s now known locally as “Lego Oma” or Lego Grandma. (Die Lego-Oma Rita Ebel).  Rita has been using a wheelchair ever since she was injured in a car accident 25 years ago - but she found it hard to access all the all shops and cafes in her hometown of Hanau, Germany - and that’s how she got the idea to build simple wheelchair ramps out of Legos.

Time's Best Toys of 2021.  The best toys of 2021 keep the magic of childhood alive with technology, special effects, and good old-fashioned fun. With Magic Mixies, kids mix up a potion and—poof!—summon a new stuffed pet. LEGO Vidiyo Party lets kids create a music video in real time, wherever they are, through the power of virtual reality. And the Spirograph Animator reinvents a beloved classic toy, using a light show....

(the above posted after November 19th)

John Baulch, ToyWold UK - It’s all kicking off…it’s the Friday Blog!  I’ve spent most of this week at Excel for the BLE event – another successful step on the road to trade show recovery. The licensing community has always been a sociable bunch, favouring a face-to-face approach to doing business. So, it was no surprise that people enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to meet up in person once more, leading to a buoyant....

Santa’s Top Toy Sellers This Year Are Influencers.  Influencers, and the videos they post on TikTok, YouTube and other social media platforms have replaced Saturday morning cartoons as the way to market toys to kids. Last year, due to the pandemic, the hours kids spent watching YouTube and TikTok videos jumped and toy makers saw such a surge in influencer-driven toy sales that many have permanently shifted...

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Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Early Hackers Used Whistles From Cap’n Crunch Cereal Boxes.  You can draw a line from the tiny toys to Apple. CEREAL COMPANIES HAVE LONG USED box prizes as an inducement for children to nag parents into buying sugary breakfast food. From movie tie-in toys to video games on CD-ROM, cereal box baubles tend to be momentarily thrilling and then quickly forgotten. Except when they’re used for hacking.

(the above posted after Nov. 19th)

Spudsie the Hot Potato Game from Ohio Art (1966). Manufactured Hot Potato games have adorned store shelves since the 1950s. In 1966, Ohio Art threw its hat in the ring with the release of Spudsie, the Hot Potato Game. Ohio Art’s version was a red plastic hand-held “potato” with a painted-on face and goofy smile. Spudsie stood about 7-inches tall and was light enough to be easily tossed about by groups of children. A knob in the toy’s back allowed for one of five different time settings to be chosen.

“The Toys That Built America” New Four-Part Series Premieres Nov. 28 @ 9/8c. The HISTORY® Channel unboxes the next installment of its popular “That Built” franchise with the new four-part docuseries “The Toys That Built America” chronicling the toy titans whose imaginations soared to build billion-dollar empires, the rivalries that gave rise to the modern toy industry and the history of the visionaries behind iconic products like Monopoly® and G.I. Joe®.

Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Bring Your Favorite Neopets Home with the First Plush Collection in 10 Years.  Neopets fans have been patiently waiting for the announcement of a Neopets toy line ever since JumpStart Games began to give neopets.com a mobile-friendly makeover last year, bringing the ‘90s-era virtual pet website into the modern age. Well, the wait is finally over as Neopets, JumpStart, and Carlin West Agency announce ...

Hasbro’s Lite-Brite Goes Magenta for T-Mobile Partnership.  The iconic Lite-Brite toy is getting a special edition for the holiday season. Hasbro teamed up with T-Mobile for a special edition of the classic toy that transforms the experience using 184 magenta lite pegs and a collection of wireless-themed templates. The Lite-Brite T-Mobile Edition is produced by Basic Fun! under license from Hasbro and is available...

NERF Minecraft Blasters Are Now at Walmart.  Hasbro and Minecraft are building a new partnership to create an exciting line of blasters. The block-breaking line of NERF Minecraft blasters features the Minecraft Pillager’s Crossbow and the Minecraft Dungeons Stormlander. The line launched at Walmart this week. 

Spin Master inked a deal with Glowberry to serve as the global master toy licensee for the Ukrainian studio’s Brave Bunnies.  The animated preschool series from Glowberry and Spanish animation studio Anima follows the Brave Bunnies family as they explore the world around them with a focus on socialization and being inclusive and accepting of others around them. 

Netflix takes a slice of Strawberry Shortcake  Berry in the Big City is headed to the SVOD next year, with WildBrain also inking new licensing deals for both the refreshed and classic versions of the brand. Netflix has picked up WildBrain’s new 2D-animated Strawberry Shortcake series Berry in the Big City for a spring 2022 drop.

(the above posted after Nov. 19th)

Minions make movie return next summer with raft of toy partnerships   Universal Brand Development is preparing for the return of Illumination's iconic characters with a host of partnerships including Mattel and Lego. The fourth installment features Illumination’s Minions in The Rise of Gru, which is set for release in July 2022. Toys from the popular franchise will feature new look action figures, construction sets...

Chip and Potato locks in master toy partner.  On the heels of a season-three pickup at Netflix, WildBrain has tapped JAKKS Pacific to manage the 2D-animated preschool show's toy business globally. The LA-based toyco is readying a consumer products program that will include plush, figures, playsets and role play items when it hits shelves in North America, the UK and Australia starting in fall 2022.

Crayola Positions Itself for Growth Within the Location-Based Entertainment Industry.  Crayola LLC announced today that the premier children’s creativity brand is actively seeking partners around the world to license and develop new iterations of its location-based entertainment (LBE) venue—Crayola Experience, a larger-than-life, immersive, and interactive family destination.

Encantos, 3Pas ink development deal  The first IP to come out of the collaboration will encompass an animated series, consumer products, publishing and interactive experiences.  The first project to come out of the collaboration centers around a confident, street-smart boy who unwittingly gets into sticky situations, and then must rely on his humor and wits to get out of them. 

Numberblocks success adds up to global master toy deal for Learning Resources.  Momentum builds following launch of best-selling Numberblocks MathLink Cubes Activity Sets, with licensee Learning Resources granted worldwide master toy deal from 2022. BAFTA award-winning Numberblocks teaches children how numbers work with fun characters and engaging narratives outlining basic maths skills...

Jazwares, the master toy manufacturing partner for Pokémon, has extended the agreement with The Pokémon Company int'l, to add further direct distribution rights to its existing list of territories, which include USA, Canada & Mexico.  As of January 2022, distribution of the Jazwares line will transition from Character Options in the UK and Ireland to the local Jazwares team. 

JAKKS PACIFIC, MOONBUG REVEAL COCOMELON SEASONAL PRODUCTS IN DEVELOPMENT. Based on a deal announced earlier this year with Moonbug Entertainment to become the North American seasonal toy partner for CoComelon, Jakks Pacific is currently developing themed furniture, ball pits, trampolines, and dance mats to be released next spring.

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People . . . 

Disney Television Animation has added two new VPs of development, Lisa Fragner and Elizabeth Waybright Taylor  to oversee its pipeline of content for Disney+ and Disney Channel. Former Blue Sky Studios exec Lisa Fragner has joined Disney TVA to build Disney+’s content slate as one of the new development VPs. Based in NY, she reports to Emily Hart, SVP of animation development for Disney Branded Television. 

He Didn't Invent Toys, but He's the Genius We Can Thank for Them.  Kahn is not a toy inventor, but he's the man responsible for seeking the next great toy from all corners of the planet—from the Babyland General Hospital, in Cleveland, Georgia, in 1982 to the Pocket Monsters sweeping Tokyo in 1997. You'll more familiarly know those toys as Cabbage Patch Kids and Pokémon, and, yes, Kahn is the one who brought them to the US masses.

(the above posted after Nov. 19th)

“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton welcomes Paul Weibel, manager of consumer sales at Trend Enterprises.  Over the course of his career, Weibel, a former sea captain, has held positions at a variety of toy and game companies, including MindWare, The Manhattan Toy, Asmodee, Hansa Creation, and Magnetic Poetry. At Trend Enterprises, Weibel is leading sales as the company seeks to carve a unique niche...

Oregon Trail game history: An interview with the inventor, Don Rawitsch. - Slate Magazine. Fifty years ago this winter, a young student teacher by the name of Don Rawitsch introduced his eighth grade American history class to a computer game on westward expansion that he had developed along with his colleagues Bill Heinemann and Paul Dillenberger. 

ZAG animation studio has established an anti-piracy department, supported by two new appointments. Julian Zag, EVP of global operations and head of global consumer products, will lead the anti-piracy efforts. Meanwhile, Marie-Claire Trinh Van Hi and Bei Zhou will join the company as global brand protection analysts. They will report to vice president of global e-commerce, Christophe Vallade...

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Companies, Brands . . .  

McFarlane Toys tapped Headstart International to be its distribution partner in Australia and New Zealand. Stock will become available via Headstart starting January 2022.  McFarlane Toys is a U.S. action figure manufacturer, founded by comic book creator Todd McFarlane. He established the company in 1994 to create and sell action figures based on his comic book character, Spawn.

As pandemic sales wane, Peloton turns to gaming to keep its momentum. Peloton’s pandemic bubble is beginning to burst. Earlier this month, the wildly popular at-home cycling brand, which had a surge in sales during covid-19 lockdowns, had its stock plunge by about 35 % as revenue projections soured and its bricks-and-mortar competitor Planet Fitness announced gym memberships had nearly returned to...

Just Play, WaterBabies Team up with charity: water to Fund Water Projects in Developing Countries.  Just Play partnered with charity: water, a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to developing countries, for an initiative that seeks to fund 250 water well projects in developing countries. The initiative began this summer with a portion of proceeds from the sale of each WaterBabies doll...

MGA Entertainment Enters Electric Vehicle Market.  MGA Entertainment (MGAE) is looking beyond L.O.L. Surprise! and Little Tikes in an effort to conquer a new market. MGAE sped into the Electric Vehicle (EV) market this week with the launch of its VIRO Motors EV Café Racer. The electric mini-bike designed for ages 13 and up has a 7-mile range.

Bandai Celebrates Tamagotchi’s 25th Anniversary by Bringing Back an Old Favorite.  The popular 90s toy has remained in the zeitgeist due to its sense of nostalgia, the emotional connection to virtual pets, and new releases and collaborations. To celebrate the big day, Bandai is releasing an Amazon-exclusive Original Tamagotchi, featuring a unique, pastel iridescent design.

The Nacelle Co. Unwraps A Toy Store Near You Season 4 on Christmas Day.  Santa’s about to deliver a big bag of toyetic content. On Christmas Day, Dec. 25, The Nacelle Co. — the studio behind The Toys That Made Us (Netflix) — will debut five new episodes of A Toy Store Near You on Amazon Prime Video. The series looks at independent toy stores and the stories behind the people that run them.

Spin Master’s CEO Ronnen Harary spent nearly 30 years building a toy powerhouse. Now he’s going to the next level with digital games. Launched 27 years ago on the back of a sock head stuffed with sawdust and grass seeds—pause here and try to imagine a humbler beginning than Spin Master’s first product, Earth Buddy—Canada’s whizbangiest children’s entertainment company has become a global powerhouse. 

EOne’s Michael Lombardo On Hasbro-Owned Company’s TV Strategy: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ And ‘Power Rangers’ Universes, ‘Monopoly’ Game Show & More.  In one of their first major moves after Entertainment One’s $4 billion acquisition by toy maker Hasbro was completed in early 2020, Entertainment One’s President and CEO Darren Throop and President of Film and Television Steve Bertram set out to find a Head of Television. 

Warner Bros. Animation enters the podcast arena.  Listen up, folks! Looney Tunes Presents: Bugs & Daffy’s Thanksgiving Road Trip is the first podcast series from the studio. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Looney Tunes Presents: Bugs & Daffy’s Thanksgiving Road Trip is a four-part original comedy series targeted at families. It will follow the classic cartoon characters on a pitfall-laden roadtrip mission to make ducks...

Mulberry Bush celebrates 25th birthday. Family mail order company Mulberry Bush has grown steadily since its launch acquiring a number of businesses along the way. The Sussex-based family business, which offers traditional and innovative toys, gifts and games, was established in 1996 by Jonathan and Shirley Copeland and is now led by son and managing director Paul. 

PAW Patrol toys will come to life through augmented reality (AR), thanks to a new partnership between Spin Master and Poplar Studio.

A new feature for Facebook via SparkAR, allows fans to imagine how toys inspired by the preschool entertainment franchise — like the Ultimate City Tower and Marshall’s Transforming City Firetruck — would appear in their homes.

(the above posted after November 19th morning send of tBR)

Nickelodeon is channeling some holiday spirit into the launch of a new new pop/R&B girl group. Formed in collaboration with Roc Nation co-founder Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith and Jay Brown Productions, Good Newz Girls released its first EP today.  The holiday-themed album Winter Getaway is now available on all music streaming platforms and includes classic tracks like “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells,” as well as new...

In a deal brokered by distributor Serious Kids, WarnerMedia EMEA has picked up animated preschool series Spookies from German prodco Wolkenlenker to air on its Cartoonito linear channel and HBO Max streaming platform in the region.  The CG-animated series will be delivered in 2023/2024. Set in Castle Ravenrock, Spookies (78 x seven minutes) stars three wee ghosts who discover something new....

Disney Branded TV puts Hailey On It  Produced by Disney Television Animation, the newly greenlit comedy-adventure series is created and exec produced by Devin Bunje and Nick Stanton. The comedy-adventure centers around a risk-averse hero who’s tasked with saving the world by completing every item on a long list of challenging tasks.

Funko Takes Steps Toward Sustainability with How2Recycle.  The massive success of Funko‘s Pop! Vinyl figures equals a lot of packaging. Now, in an effort to move toward a more sustainable future, Funko has joined How2Recycle to show its fans how to properly dispose of the outer cardboard boxes that many of its products come packed in.

The Toy Book’s Get List Connects Retailers and Manufacturers with In-Stock, Fast-Ship Toys and Games!  In an effort to connect retailers to manufacturers to keep shelves stocked — especially amid trade show cancellations — the Toy Book introduces The Get List, a curated list of in-stock products that retailers can get fast from U.S. warehouses. Browse the list early and often to see the latest products...

Hasbro partners with LeVar Burton on new game show   The Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: TNG star will host a new series based on the toyco's popular Trivial Pursuit board game. LBE’s namesake, actor LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), will host and serve as executive producer on the series, which is currently in development at eOne. 

Stampede Ventures, UTA launch HappyNest  Headed by former MGA exec Sadaf Cohen Muncy, the incubator will provide creators with development funding and help them maintain control of their IPs. As prodcos and creators debate how much IP ownership is enough, LA-based companies Stampede Ventures and United Talent Agency have launched an indie animation incubator to help artists maintain creative ...

Sesame launches special to celebrate API community   See Us Coming Together: A Sesame Street Special will also introduce Korean American Muppet Ji-Young when it premieres on November 25. This new one-off celebrates the diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities, and will premiere on Nov 25 across platforms including Cartoonito on HBO Max, PBS KIDS, and Sesame’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels.

Nickelodeon orders 2 new shows   The kidcaster is doubling down on comedy and adventure with its first Intergalactic Shorts Program series order and a book adaptation. Nickelodeon has given the greenlight to two new animated series, Rock, Paper, Scissors and Max & the Midknights. Nickelodeon Animation Studio will produce both series. No release date or episode length for the projects have been announced yet.

Hasbro launches Learn with Peppa preschool program.  The early education initiative will kick off with an app in 2022, before expanding with an 80-title publishing range and plans for interactive experiences. Developed in house and set to launch in 2022, the learning app is designed for kids ages three to five, and will feature educational activities with a focus on reading, writing, exploration and creativity.

Mattel rolled into The LA Auto Show to drop the curtain on the new Barbie Extra Convertible. The life-sized version of the vehicle from Barbie designer Judy Choi was created by Mattel‘s vehicle team. The unveiling was timed to the launch of the toy version which is available at Walmart this holiday season.

Universal continues Jurassic World legacy ahead of 22 movie release   Following another colossal year for the franchise, Universal has readied a T.Rex sized footprint for Jurassic World Dominion. “The new film is about as big as it gets for the franchise which continues to deliver after almost three decades,” said Paul Bufton, VP of EMEA NBCUniversal Brand Development.

Simba Smoby to launch B-Kind dolls in the UK   An eco-conscious doll line designed to promote kindness, B-Kind has been well-received among consumers in the US and is now arriving at UK retailers. Built around compassion and kindness, Jada Toys’ B-Kind collection is making its US autumn/winter debut online and on-shelf exclusively at Walmart.

FAO Schwarz (UK) launches on M&S.com and in selected stores   Initially in 20 stores, the FAO Schwarz bespoke offering has been launched by 'Brands at M&S' in time for the festive season. The M&S store openings are the first time the heritage toy brand has been available on local UK high streets, with locations from Cardiff to Cheltenham included in the store roll out.

Moomin will be ramping up its offerings to fans throughout North America.  King Features Syndicate recently signed a deal with California clothing and accessories brand, Just Peachy, building on Moomin’s licensing program. Just Peachy will manufacture a line of Moomin-branded apparel, accessories, and novelty items — including hoodies, sweatshirts, bags, and woven throw blankets.

Hasbro will expand its line of Beyblade toys, inspired by the upcoming Beyblade Burst QuadDrive series premiering next month.  Season six of ADK Emotions NY Inc.’s Beyblade Burst series, Beyblade Burst QuadDrive debuts on Disney XD and DisneyNOW on December 4, 2021. It consists of 26 episodes that are 22 minutes each.  Among the new toys based on the series, Hasbro introduced the Beyblade Burst QuadDrive ...

Big G Creative announced that they will have seven titles included in Walgreens' first ever games endcaps, one of which is their upcoming Hangry game that releases in mid-November.  Big G will have a total of seven games featured in this new endcap:  Bluffaneer, Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents, Kraft Heinz Variety Game Pack, Mega Mouth, Bye, Felicia!, their recently released No Filter, and Hangry. Hangry and No Filter...

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

Nerf Legends' Launch Trailer Shows Off An Arsenal Of Blasters And Customization Options.  Nerf Legends launches tomorrow, November 19, for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. To celebrate, a brand-new launch trailer has been released showing off exactly what players can expect when they jump into the fast-paced FPS to become the ultimate Nerf legend.

Matthew Lillard Will Return As Shaggy In MultiVersus, Upcoming WB Brawler.  MultiVersus certainly has a star-studded voice cast. The rumors were true! Warner Brothers was indeed working on a brand new brawler called MultiVersus to compete with Smash Bros. and Nickelodeon's All-Star Brawl. It'll feature iconic WB characters like Bugs Bunny, Batman, Tom & Jerry, and Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, and it'll be launching sometime next year.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Thinks Platform Monopolies Prevent The Mobile Metaverse.  According to Sweeney, it’s Apple and Google’s fault we don’t already have a metaverse. Ever since Facebook rebranded to go all-in on the “metaverse,” everyone seems to be talking about these weird, nebulous social constructs. Microsoft seems to think that you need to make everything into VR before you can have a metaverse, while Facebook thinks it has less to do with VR and more to do with shared social spaces that let you do anything you want.

Warner Bros. Finally Confirms MultiVersus Is Real And Will Be Free To Play.  Earlier this year a leak suggested Warner Bros. was working on a Smash Bros. Style game that would pit some of its most iconic characters against one another. The chance to finally find out who would win a battle between Shaggy and Batman, or if Tom and Jerry have what it takes to bring down Arya Stark. Well, it turns out those leaks were accurate, and Warner Bros. Games has finally caved and officially announced the project.

Playing Video Games Better For Children's Mental Health Than Media Multitasking, Study Says. My mum always used to tell me off for spending too much time playing video games - but now I make money writing about them, so I showed her. Parents all over the world are worried about how much time their kids spend sat in front of screens playing, but a new study shows that the virtual toys aren't as bad for kids as parents might think - they can even be beneficial.

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Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

WALMART REMOVES LISTING FOR KIDS’ TOY THAT SINGS ABOUT COCAINE.  Ania Tanner, a grandmother from Ontario, Canada, was shocked when an innocent-looking dancing cactus toy she bought for her granddaughter at Walmart started swearing and singing about doing cocaine in Polish, CTV News reports.

(the above posted after Nov. 19th)

Toy safety: Holiday shoppers urged to avoid knock-off products, unfamiliar retailers. Experts are warning parents and families to be aware of where their kids’ toys are coming from this holiday season to help avoid any toy-related injuries. With some toys in short supply amid pandemic-related shipping and supply chain issues, shoppers might turn to unfamiliar online retailers to get gifts in time for the holidays -- but...

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Highlighted Press Releases . . . 

NORTH POLE APPLAUDS TOYMAKER’S MISSION TO FIX SUPPLY CHAIN JAM IN THE NICK OF “TYME” Beloved Ty Beanie Babies Continually Airlifted to O’Hare From Overseas for Affordable ($5 -$10) And Cuddly Christmas or Hanukkah Gift Giving Oak Brook, IL (November 16, 2021) Ty Warner, owner of the largest manufacturer of soft toys in the world, has financed more than 150 air shipment flights since October, and the shipments continue. With typical cargo flight costing anywhere from $1.5 to $2 million dollars, business pages are full of articles about the exorbitant cost of shipping sparking price increases. That is not the case with Ty as they are proceeding without any price increases (https://shop.ty.com/).

GIFTWRAPPING CREATIVITY, EMPATHY & CURIOSITY IN ONE BOX–EEBOO IS THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.  Here’s A Top 5 Gift List To Inspire! Click On eeBoo.com For Every Age And Stage Of Life For Female Founded And Sustainably Sourced Puzzles, Games, Toys & Gifts.  New York, NY (November 15, 2021) – Holidays conjure up memories of children, parents and grandparents gathered together playing games or doing puzzles as a family. Gifting an educational game or puzzle from eeBoo (eeBoo.com) will inspire creativity and curiosity today and because their products are so sturdily crafted of heavy recycled board, they can be handed down from family to family.

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

The TIE, BTHA and Toy World partner on supply chain panel discussion  At a time when toy companies are meeting new supply chain challenges, the British Toy & Hobby Association, Toy World Magazine and Toy Industries of Europe are teaming up to bring readers an informative panel discussion that will look into the future and rethink what’s possible on 10th December at 14.00 GMT (15.00 CET). 

BLE reveals Kelvyn Gardner License This! winners  Last Friday saw nine finalists battle it out at BLE, which took place at Excel, to win one of 3 Kelvyn Gardner License This! awards.  The winners of the 2021 Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition were announced at Brand Licensing Europe on Friday, after 9 finalists took part in three pitches that the organisers said were full of creativity, inspiration, laughter and emotion.

Winners of Dad's Choice Awards 2021 announced  Eleven winners have been honoured in this year's Dad's Choice Awards 2021, while a number of companies have been Highly Commended or Commended for their toys.  With just over a month to go until Christmas Day, Dad’s Choice Awards has announced its 11 Top Winners for 2021, saying each of the winning products ‘grabbed the attention of the testers’. A

MIPTV 2022 returns to in-person format  After a two-year pause, the annual TV market heads back to the Palais next April. The 59th annual global market will be hosted in Cannes from April 4 to 6 next year, introducing a reformatted three-day schedule that rolls MIP Formats and MIP Doc into the main MIPTV program, and presents all three at the Palais des Festivals.

Winners of 2021 Creative Play Awards announced   The awards recognise those products that enhance creative development in young children and benefit consumers when making purchasing decisions. The Creative Play Awards are sponsored and organised by Creative Steps magazine, which promotes creative play as vital in a child’s development. John Hopley, editor of Creative Steps, commented: “Now in their 14th year, ...

(the above posted after Nov. 19th)

Spielwarenmesse online: Toy Trends’ Reyne Rice highlights 2022’s hottest toys  The pre-Christmas period includes some of the busiest weeks for retail sales. The toys and brands that will be in strong demand in 2021 are the subject of the latest Toy Academy presentation from the Spielwarenmesse. In her video, US-based Reyne Rice tackles “Top Trending Toy Topics – Holiday 2021: Toys, Games and Kids Tech”.

Bill Nye to Cut Opening Ceremony Ribbon at Toy Fair New York. Bill Nye the Science Guy is coming to Toy Fair! On Feb. 19, Nye will help kick off Toy Fair New York at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m., taking place at the Crystal Palace 3B entrance of the Javits Center. The Toy Association is hinting that more special guests may show up on the Toy Fair show floor.

Children's Emmys get a standalone competition  Along with breaking off from the Daytime Emmys, new categories in animation may be added in response to record growth in kids and family entries, says Adam Sharp. With kids and family content entries increasing by 23% over the last two years—making it the fastest-growing daytime awards genre in that period—the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) is...

Inspire the Next Generation of Licensing Professionals.  The Licensing International Scholarship Program awards grants between $2,500 and $10,000 (or local equivalent) to deserving individuals who are interested in a career in brand licensing seeking education in business, e-commerce, marketing, design, engineering, entrepreneurial studies and other brand licensing industry-related programs.

2021 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS ANNOUNCE COMMITTEE SELECTED AWARD RECIPIENTS.  Lifetime Achievement, Game Changers of the Year, and Hassenfeld Family Initiatives Humanitarian Award to be Honored at Virtual TAGIE Ceremony on November 19, 2021. 

Lifetime Achievement:

  • Tom Kalinske,  Executive Chairman at Mixed Dimensions and former CEO of Sega America, Leapfrog and Mattel

  • Michele Litzky, Founder of Litzky Public Relations (LPR) 

  • The Pressman Family, Accepted by Jim Pressman, Past President of The Pressman Toy Company

Hassenfeld Family Initiatives Humanitarian Award:

  • Jan-Maurits Duparc, Chief Creation at Identity Games

Game changers of the year:

  • Megan Kanous, Director of Business Development, PSI

  • Azhelle Wade, The Toy Coach Podcast Season II

  • Josslynne Welch and Litzky PR, President of Litzky PR

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

Douglas Thomson The Toy Association reports that Douglas Thomson, former president of the Toy Manufacturers of America (TMA) — the organization that became The Toy Association — has died.  The Bronx-born executive joined the TMA as president in 1978 and led the organization in consumer safety and policy, public relations, and philanthropy. He was also a founder of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) Toy Design Department. Thomson died at his Savannah, Georgia home on Oct. 22 at the age of 97. According to The Toy Association, Thomson’s family is encouraging donations to be made to the Dartmouth College Fund in his name.

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

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. It’s all kicking off…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. New details shed light on Amazon Visa credit dispute

  3. Asda trial partnership with The Entertainer to end in 22

  4. Jazwares extends Pokémon master toy rights

  5. Hamleys partners with GOSH for Christmas fundraising push

  6. Get involved in the bumper January issue of Toy World

  7. FAO Schwarz launches on M&S.com and in selected stores

  8. Numberblocks success adds up to global master toy deal for Learning Resources

  9. Simba Smoby to launch B-Kind dolls in the UK

  10. Universal continues Jurassic World legacy ahead of 22 movie release

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

Witness the Greatest Show in Rathe with the Next 'Flesh and Blood' Set
Some Good News on Supply Chain Congestion
Diamond, Alliance Ransomware Update
Diamond, Alliance Update Retailers on Delays Due to Ransomware Attack
Rolling for Initiative -- JIT, ROE, and the Pretty Overblown Trucker Shortage
IP Owners vs. Fans: From Animations to Cakes
More Adorable 'D&D Phunny Plush' Toys Revealed
Wizards of the Coasts Releases More Info on 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Innistrad: Double Feature'
Archon Studio Announces 'Fantasy Starter Set'
Games Workshop Reveals Five 'LotR' Miniatures Sets

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

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Edition 39

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Unlock! Game Adventures, Fluxx Remixx
Space Cowboys has announced a new Unlock! pack, Looney Labs has announced a new Fluxx, and Pandasaurus has started their Black Friday sale.

Video of the Week! 

Hidden Role Podcast: Egils Grasmanis Co-Invented ICECOOL!

For nearly two decades, Egils Grasmanis has turned game publisher Brain Games into an international success, and he co-invented the worldwide hit ICECOOL. What does it take to become the first successful game publisher in Latvia? Learn that and more in today's episode!

Meme of the Week!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

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