the Bloom Report
Toy & Game Industry's #1 News Summary Globally
Below is Nov 19 - 26, 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 . . .
If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you were able to spend it with your loved ones and had some fun with products made by you or your colleagues... and were able to sneak in a tryptophan induced nap.
POP Week was a huge success! Thank you to all who were a part of the events! If you missed the POP Duo Keynotes, the TAGIEs or the Young Inventor Challenge Awards, they are free and live right here on the POP homepage! They will be there until the end of the month, at which time they will be moved to our POP Wiki.
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report,
Financial & Legal News . . .
President Biden Hosts Roundtable with Leading Retailers About Holiday Shopping, Stocked Shelves and Overcoming Supply Chain Challenges. In addition to discussing the holiday shopping season, the President also noted the progress made at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which have seen an over 40% drop in the number of long dwelling containers, an important sign that velocity and fluidity are coming back. Black Friday sales were up 30% compared to last year and we are in the midst of a retail boom with retail sales up double digits every month in 2021 compared to the previous year. In October retail sales were up 15 percent compared to last year.
A ‘Simpsons’ Episode Lampooned Chinese Censorship. In Hong Kong, It Vanished. The episode mocked both Mao Zedong and the government’s efforts to suppress memory of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Other episodes of the show are available on Disney+, which made its much-anticipated debut in HK this month. But in season 16, the archive skips directly from episode 11 to episode 13, omitting...
A Game Designer in Beijing Bought Toy Guns. China Imprisoned Him. San Cheng bought toy guns online as props for video game design. Then the police arrived, and he was jailed under China’s strict but messy gun laws. When the police swarmed into San Cheng’s apartment in Beijing late at night and accused him of illegally buying guns, he was sure it was a mix-up.
Mattel Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz has attended a White House roundtable meeting with President Biden and leading U.S. CEOs to discuss supply chain and the holiday shopping season in the U.S. Mr. Kreiz said: “I was encouraged by President Biden’s commitment to support the private sector in mitigating supply chain disruptions, including in particular port congestion. Mattel appreciates …
Selfridges owners closing in on agreement to sell department store. It is being widely reported that Selfridges owners, the Weston family, have agreed financial terms with Thailand-based Central Group. According to widespread media reports, department store Selfridges is on the verge of being sold to Thailand’s Central Group. The Weston family have been searching for a buyer since the summer and are thought...
Who Bought What? Netflix’s 2021 buying round-up, From big moves like the Roald Dahl acquisition to greenlighting fresh titles from studios including Boat Rocker and OddBot—here's a Kidscreen breakdown of the streamer's content investment activity this year. Netflix has added an eclectic mix of content from established brands like My Little Pony and Barbie this year, as well as fresh new concepts like...
Flat River Group continues its expansion with another acquisition. The distributor of toys, games, and other consumer products revealed plans to grow its gaming business with the acquisition of Greater Than Games, a St. Louis-based tabletop game publisher, design house, and consolidator. “We are deeply connected to the board game industry as it is one of our strongest vendor categories,” says Flat River Group
(the above posted after November 26th)
California docks see ‘significant progress’ with supply chain backlog, port chief says. The executive director of the Port of Long Beach said Wednesday that the twin ports in California are making “significant progress” in addressing the backlog of cargo ships and containers. “I think we’re moving forward with some progress and hopefully, as we move into the next six months we’re going to continue to mitigate the scenario that we’re seeing here,” Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach told CNBC
Toymakers are working around the clock to overcome supply chain snags. The journey of Tonka’s Mighty Dump Truck toy from its Asian factory to U.S. stores offers a window into what it takes for a small toymaker to survive 2021. What used to cost $2 to transport the classic toy by boat from China to Los Angeles is now up to $12, representing half the sticker price.
Report: Tencent suspended from updating or launching apps in China. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has reportedly barred Tencent from updating or launching apps in the country. According to the South China Morning Post, app store and platform operators have been told to enforce the ban, which is being described as "temporary administrative guidance."
PlayStation faces gender discrimination lawsuit from former staffer. Sony is facing a suit alleging pay disparity, wrongful termination, and other instances of gender-based discrimination. As Axios reports, a former IT staffer filed suit in California district court yesterday. The suit, filed in California’s northern district, is brought by Emma Majo.
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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .
Number of UK preschoolers joining organized group activities has risen by 10% . . . . . . Mattel Seeing Strong Toy Demand, Won't Raise Prices . . . . . . . UK Black Friday - the verdict . . . . . . . Benchmark Study - Board Game Licensing Contract Terms . . . . . . 3 in 4 parents think holiday shopping is harder than an Olympic sport!
(the above posted after November 26th)
State of Kids' Privacy Report 2021 . . . . . . . Sales of Halloween costumes haunted by pre-pandemic levels. . . . . . Sub-Saharan African gamers have grown from 77m to 186m in six years . . . . . . Experts predict +19% surge in UK footfall on Black Friday weekend . . . . . . . Streaming Platforms Use Black Friday Deals to Boost Sluggish Subscriber Growth . . . . . . . . Young People On How The Pandemic Changed Them
Financial & Brokerage News . . .
Lego unveils exceptionally strong first-half results . . . . . . . Why Is Hasbro (HAS) Up 5.1% Since Last Earnings Report? . . . . . . . Outdoor Toys acquired by Gartenhaus . . . . . . . CUDO brings in 6-figure funding . . . . . . Genius Brands International to acquire a 28.6% stake in Germany’s Your Family Entertainment (YFE) for US$6.8 million.
(the above posted after November 26th)
Niantic raises $300m at a $9bn valuation for "real-world metaverse" . . . . . . Enthusiast Gaming acquires U.GG parent company in $45m deal . . . . . . Epic Games buys Rock Band developer Harmonix, who will now work on Fortnite . . . . . . . Disney plans to spend nearly US$33 billion in 2022, according to its recent SEC report (TBI Vision)
Future Financial Reporting . . .
Stories, Comments & Advice . . .
IT’S TIME FOR ADVERTISING MEASUREMENT TO MEASURE UP. When the Media Rating Council (MRC) removed Nielsen’s accreditation, the media community collectively became a “shaking my head” meme captioned with, "Not today Nielsen, not today.” The MRC decision, made on behalf of its voting members, underscored the inevitable: Choice and diversification of measurement models is a mandate for the future.
Are Instagram’s Aesthetic Moms Hindering Kids’ Development? Taupe and cream nurseries are in vogue right now. They’re beautifully beige, but some worry they might be bad for babies. Something strange has happened to nurseries, and it is perhaps best illustrated by a vintage sewing pattern from 1988. Here, the ideal abode for a babe features a matching pillow cover, diaper holder, and changing pad made of garish...
Confessions of a Comic Book Guy... columnist Steve Bennett reviews the 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and talks recent showbiz announcements regarding MST3K and Star Trek Prodigy. After last year's COVID-19 scaled-down, virtual in-name-only, bare-bones, better than nothing parade with its “pre-taped presentations” and no crowds; the actual parade was back this year, and it sure seems like it was missed. The 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade drew “a total of 25.4 million total viewers and a 6.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic...
Toy community reacts with dismay at Argos ‘panic’ Black Friday event The retailer instigated a last-minute sale, offering 20% discount off a wide range of toys on Black Friday, even though many items were out of stock. Many observers had predicted that this year’s Black Friday event would not be adopted enthusiastically by toy retailers, due to a combination of potential stock shortages and the need to avoid margin erosion,,,
‘A safe haven’: how Dungeons & Dragons is slaying social anxiety. The world’s most successful role-playing game could provide a home amid the chaos for those struggling with post-lockdown angst. As pandemic restrictions lift across Australia and more face-to-face activities resume, socialising can be a source of profound anxiety for many people. But what if, when you met up with others, you don’t have to be yourself?
This Edmonton couple had Lego date nights. Now they work for the toy giant. For first dates, some couples go to the movies, attend concerts or have a romantic dinner by candlelight. Edmonton's Laura and Chris Perron built Lego. The couple started dating several years ago while enrolled in the University of Alberta's industrial design program. The pair turned to Lego as it was a fun and interactive date...
(the above posted after November 26th)
John Baulch, ToyWorld UK - Is everything OK…it’s the Friday Blog! Some of you may remember that we attempted to arrange a shipping webinar back in the summer, which unfortunately had to be cancelled. I learnt a couple of valuable lessons: first, giving advanced technology to a freight forwarding salesperson working from home with dodgy broadband is like putting a learner driver in a Formula One car – it isn’t going to end well.
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....
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.
Great Gears from Tomy (1982). Released in 1982 from Tomy, the Great Gears mechanical puzzle was both challenging and stylish. The 4.5-inch x 4.5-inch game comprised seven gears placed in a hexagonal arrangement – one gear in the centre and the remaining six gears positioned around it. Each gear held up to six metal ball-bearings in a series of pockets cut into its edge.
“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 . . .
Uncanny Brands Catches the Pokémon for a New Kitchen Appliance Range. Pikachu waffle maker, we choose you! Uncanny Brands, a company known for offering kitchen appliances featuring fan-favorite characters, has a new partner — Pokémon. The company’s initial lineup of Pokémon products will be available this month from a variety of retailers.
Mattel Partners with PUMA for ‘Masters of the Universe: Revelation’ Sneakers. Mattel‘s licensing game has the power when it comes to Masters of the Universe. PUMA inked a deal with the toy and entertainment company for a limited edition run of sneakers inspired by Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Foot Locker is the exclusive retail destination for the collaboration.
Playmobil Teases Knight Rider 40th Anniversary Set. Playmobil is taking a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Timed with the 40th anniversary of NBCUniversal’s Knight Rider next year, Playmobil took to social media to tease the unmistakable form of the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am that was made famous as the Knight Industries Two Thousand, best known as KITT.
Jakks Pacific Reveals Plans for Jurassic World Seasonal and Outdoor Collection. Jurassic times call for Jurassic measures. Jakks Pacific announced a new Jurassic World line of seasonal and outdoor products in the United States and Canada. The line will feature Jurassic World-themed kids’ furniture, activities, and toys, and is set to be released sometime next year.
MGA Entertainment Inks Master Licensing Deal for ‘Pui Pui Molcar’. Hailing from Japan and produced by director Tomoki Misato, Pui Pui Molcar is a series of stop-motion anime shorts. Already an international hit, Pui Pui Molcar is available on Netflix, TV Tokyo, and can be seen on YouTube. The series posits a world where guinea pigs (pronounced “molmotto” in Japanese) are turned into cars.
Luxury family pajama brand Posh Peanut has teamed up with historic NYC landmark and toy hub FAO Schwarz to create a new line of pajamas! These limited edition FAO Schwarz X Posh pajama sets for babies, kids and adults are available for purchase on Posh Peanut’s website, and will only be up while supplies last.
The Bratz Pack are back, and this time they’re teaming up with GCDS! Bringing a dose of early 2000s glamor and Y2K nostalgia into a modern context, GCDS and MGA Entertainment have created a capsule of Bratz-inspired clothing and accessories. The collection includes two core Bratz characters styled by GCDS in iconic looks from their runway show. The capsule evokes themes of inclusivity and self-expression...
Spread Group has signed with award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG for a global licensing agreement. Under this new agreement, Spread Group will provide a print-on-demand collection for the globally successful animated series MiraculousTM – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir™ created by ZAG and co-produced with ON kids & family (Mediawan). Kids and young adults’ apparel and accessories...
Aardman has announced the launch of its newest IP, a series for 1- to 3-year-olds called The Very Small Creatures. The Very Small Creatures, the first spin-off from the studio’s hugely popular Morph series, follows the adventures of five toddler-like clay creatures who explore a child’s play area when no one’s around – learning about their physical world, themselves and each other. The 20×3″ colourful and characterful...
Mattel‘s licensing game has the power when it comes to Masters of the Universe. PUMA inked a deal with the toy and entertainment company for a limited edition run of sneakers inspired by Masters of the Universe: Revelation, the Netflix animated series from showrunner Kevin Smith. Beginning today, Foot Locker is the exclusive destination for the He-Man Clyde and Skeletor Suede sneakers.
(the above posted after November 26th)
Kids books ripe for adaptation—tweens/YA. Tired romantic tropes are being reimagined in these older-skewing titles that are ready for page-to-screen translation. There’s a longstanding tradition of success in taking stories for children from page to screen—just ask Harry Potter or Thomas the Tank Engine. Add to that a heightened demand for new kids content from streamers like Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+, which is...
Kids books ripe for adaptation—3 to 7 Focused on big issues like belonging and being a good friend, these titles for younger readers are all prime candidates for a page-to-screen translation. here’s a longstanding tradition of success in taking stories for children from page to screen—just ask Harry Potter or Thomas the Tank Engine. Add to that a heightened demand for new kids content from streamers like Netflix, Disney+...
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.
Asmodee USA will release 'The Queen's Gambit' board game. Asmodee USA will release The Queen's Gambit, a board game by Mixlore, into U.S. retail on December 10, 2021. The Queen's Gambit took Netflix by storm last year as one of their breakout limited series hits. The series was so popular that it even caused a bump in sales of chess sets for the 2020 holiday season.
WildBrain appoints JAKKS Pacific as master global toy partner for Chip & Potato. WildBrain has appointed JAKKS Pacific, the leading toy and consumer products manufacturer, as master global toy partner for its hit animated preschool brand, Chip & Potato. Additionally, Netflix has picked up Season 3 of Chip & Potato (20 x 11’) plus three seasonal specials (3 x 22’).
Asmodee Entertainment partners with SD Toys for jigsaw puzzles. SD Toys and Asmodee Entertainment have entered a licensing partnership to produce jigsaw puzzles for some of Asmodee’s best-known IPs – Dobble, Legend of the Five Rings, Terrinoth: Legends, Twilight Imperium, Arkham Horror, and KeyForge. The deal reflects Asmodee Entertainment’s push to expand their merchandise partnerships.
ViacomCBS Consumer Products UK announces deals for Paw Patrol, Baby Shark and Blue’s Clues. ViacomCBS Consumer Products UK has announced a clutch of new and renewed partnerships for its Nick Jr. preschool properties, Pinkfong Baby Shark (created by SmartStudy), PAW Patrol (produced by Spin Master Entertainment) and Blue’s Clues & You!. T
JAKKS Pacific renews global rights to ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’. JAKKS Pacific has announced a multi-year renewal with Fred Rogers Productions and 9 Story Brands for rights to children’s brand and PBS KIDS series “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” Under the agreement, JAKKS will continue to design, manufacture, market and sell figures, plush, role-play items and vehicles for the preschool brand.
Asmodee announces partnership with Just Funky for CATAN merchandise. Asmodee Entertainment, a platform of games publisher and distributor Asmodee, has entered into an agreement with Just Funky for a range of fan-focused homewares and accessories based on the successful CATAN tabletop gaming brand. Just Funky plans to release a diverse range of products that will allow CATAN fans to display ...
Learning Resources secures global master toy licence deal for Numberblocks. Learning Resources has partnered with Alphablocks to bring the Numberblocks characters from the screen into classrooms and family homes across a wide range of toy categories, as the result of a global master licensing agreement brokered by Larkshead Licensing Ltd. Learning Resources and its sister company, hand2mind, will expand the...
People . . .
After 15 yrs at Nickelodeon Australia, Hugh Baldwin is set to leave the ViacomCBS-owned kidsnet at the end of the year. In a statement to Kidscreen, he attributed the departure to the ongoing ViacomCBS merger and the successful launch of Paramount+ in the region. “The last couple of years, in particular, have been really great for me; it has been a fulfilling period, but the sands are shifting so it’s time for a change.”
Exile is best known for its work in the adult drama genre (notably, Netflix series El Chapo), but as chairman of Exile Kids, Davis will lead a significant expansion into children’s brand-building through original IP development and acquisitions..
Collinsons brothers win ‘Golden Teddies’ for toy industry work. Two Harrogate brothers who have carried on the work of their grandfather and father have won a top award for their lifetime of work in the toy industry. Mark and Paul Collinson got involved in the industry early on at seven-year-olds when their father Ian Collinson showed them the ropes.
She started earlier this month and will lead creative marketing, brand and content initiatives to bolster the Boston-based company’s move into original IPs and larger-scale projects. Augustinos had most recently been working as a freelance production consultant, but she previously...
After two years focusing on adult animation at NBCUniversal, Isabel Bailin has joined Frederator Studios as director of development. She is taking over for Nikki Price, who was the former director of development. In this new role, Bailin will work to expand the New York-based prodco’s portfolio of original animated programming for kids and adults, as well as exploring new content opportunities for its existing brands.
Her dream was to be a Muppeteer. Her Korean American ‘Sesame Street’ character just made history. Kathleen Kim is the woman behind Ji-Young, the first Asian American muppet. We spoke to them about their Thanksgiving debut. There’s one more kid who can tell you how to get to Sesame Street. The children’s show is introducing its first Asian American character in its 52-year history on Thanksgiving...
Mattel has named former LEGO exec Glenn Abell as SVP of MEGA and global head of its construction category. Reporting to president and COO Richard Dickson, Abell starts in the role today and will oversee MEGA SVP Bisma Ansari. Abell joins Mattel from Moose Toys, where he served as president and GM. But before that, he spent 16 yrs with The LEGO, exiting the company in 2018 as VP and head of global e-commerce.
(the above posted after November 26th)
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.
Netflix hires VP of game studios. Netflix has appointed former president of games at Scopely, Amir Rahimi, as vice president of its game studios. Rahimi worked at Scopely for almost two years, having previously been SVP and Los Angeles general manager at FoxNext, the VR and theme park unit of 20th Century Fox. Rahimi's previous experiences also included three years at Zynga and seven years at EA.
Companies, Brands . . .
PlayMonster Unleashes New Additions to the Snap Ships Fleet. The Snap Ships fleet is expanding this holiday season. Wisconsin-based PlayMonster added six new modular building sets to its extensive Snap Ships collection. At the pinnacle stands the all-new Claymore CR-76 Combat Transport — a mighty spacecraft that features a bay area that holds and releases two miniature mechs for ground battle.
Headstart International Preps Recyclings Collectibles Range. Following the successful global launch of its Resoftables range of eco-friendly plush, Headstart Int'l is prepping another new toy line that repurposes plastic waste into new playthings. Recyclings is a full range of collectible toys that are made from 70% recycled plastic. Set to be released in seasons, the first batch includes more than 90 cute and colorful characters
ZURU Set to Debut 5 Surprise Mini Fashion Collectibles at Walmart. ZURU is set to unleash a stylish new addition to its growing 5 Surprise line while continuing its path toward sustainability. On Dec. 26, Walmart stores in the U.S. will be the first to offer 5 Surprise Mini Fashion collectibles. The new range features more than 40 fabric fashion bags and accessories for kids to collect.
Toys for Tots Now Accepts Cryptocurrency Donations. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a 501©(3) organization whose mission is to send a message of hope to less fortunate children at Christmas time, and during times of crisis or natural disaster, is excited to announce that it has started accepting donations in the form of Cryptocurrency.
Kinetic Sand and Artist Dan Lam to Drop NFT Series: “Please Do Touch the Art” Kinetic Sand from Spin Master, and artist Dan Lam announced an NFT (non-fungible token) series to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national organization of local Clubs focused on providing youth with equal access to opportunities and experiences.
TOYS ‘R’ US TO OPEN 2-STORY FLAGSHIP STORE AT AMERICAN DREAM. HP Global — the parent company of the Toys “R” Us (TRU) and Babies “R” Us brands — confirmed the swirling buzz that its first TRU flagship location will open its doors at the American Dream retail and entertainment center in Bergen County, New Jersey. The sprawling, two-level store with a slide, cafe, and ice cream parlor will open in mid-December...
Tomy announced as European distribution partner for Orchard Toys. Orchard Toys says it is looking forward to being able to expand its brand across Europe after agreeing a distribution agreement with Tomy. The educational, games and jigsaws manufacturer is looking to replicate the success it has seen in the UK with a company, it says, that can offer regional distribution and local infrastructure.
John Adams seeks ‘Board Director’ (dress code: PJs) Board game-loving Brits can live the dream this festive season, as UK-based toy and games company John Adams is searching for someone to stay at home in their pyjamas and play board games all day long. Getting stuck into a family game is a key part of the Christmas festivities, and to make this year even more entertaining, one lucky games enthusiast is being offered...
Spin Master Entertainment and Nickelodeon Movies greenlit a second PAW Patrol animated feature film, following the release of the first one, PAW Patrol: The Movie, earlier this year. Entitled PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, the film will be distributed by Paramount Pictures and released in theaters on Oct 13, 2023. Also in the works is a TV series spin-off based on one of the main characters from the PAW Patrol preschool...
Far Out Toys is looking to kick out the jams. Following the launch of its Far Out Studios division this summer, the company behind Crash Racers and GLO-Up Girls is entering the music industry with a new division, Far Out Records. The label’s first release, “Give a Little GLO” arrived on Thanksgiving day. The single from McKenzi Brooke, a singer and social media star with a combined 12 million fans across YouTube, Instagram...
Barbie is the most diverse doll you can buy, says Mattel boss - The Telegraph Barbie is the most diverse doll you can buy, says Mattel boss. Ynon Kreiz says the toy maker's most famous brand is 'very much the flag carrier in terms of diversity and empowerment’.
(the above posted after November 26th)
What Mattel is doing to get toys to stores faster. With the overwhelming majority of toys purchased in the United States shipped from overseas, major retailers and manufacturers are preparing parents for an unfortunate fact this Christmas: Their intended purchases may not be available in stores. This is due to the supply chain logjams occurring at shipping ports all around the world.
Hasbro progresses sustainability goals with Potato Head pledging that the iconic Potato Head line will be made with 100% plant-based or renewable materials by 2024. Potato Head currently uses plastic-free packaging, and Hasbro says it is on track to transition all new products in its portfolio to such packaging by end of 2022, in an industry-leading move that will reduce the co's use of virgin plastic by an estimated 19.5m lbs...
Netflix has partnered with Spotify to create a dedicated ‘Netflix Hub’ on the music streaming platform. In a joint statement, the companies said that the hub will provide a single destination for official soundtracks, playlists, and podcasts related to Netflix shows, along with exclusive Spotify content. The first noteworthy launch for this hub is an enhanced album experience for Western movie The Harder They Fall, which...
IME Studios plugs into NFTs for new kids show. Pablo Stanley's Robotos collection is getting an animated series as part of the studio's strategy to find new sources for IPs, says Maria Perez-Brown. The prodco has teamed up with artist Pablo Stanley to bring his Robotos NFT collection to screen. The series is currently in development, but no additional details were available at press time.
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.
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.
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.
Yoto announces launch of Yoto Mini. Yoto, the audio platform for kids behind the critically acclaimed and award-winning Yoto Player, has announced the launch of Yoto Mini, its latest connected speaker for children. The petite and portable Yoto Mini lets kids listen without limits, giving them the freedom to safely enjoy their favourite audio on the move. Y
Add even more zombies with 'Munchkin: Undead'. Steve Jackson Games unveiled Munchkin: Undead, a new mini-expansion for the Munchkin card game, for release on December 15. Zombies are generally a staple of most fantasy adventure games. Munchkin Undead adds 15 more monsters, curses, and items to dungeons.
Luma reboots 'Dungeon Fighter'. Luma Imports rebooted Dungeon Fighter 2E, a new version of the classic dexterity game by Horrible Guild, for release in Q1 2022. Dungeon Fighter is a cooperative dexterity game where players throw dice at a target in different way to defeat monsters as they traverse a dungeon. Players will explore the dungeon, gather treasure, and fight monsters in this brand-new version of the classic game.
Bachman Europe announces three new product launches. Three new products are joining the Bachman Europe offering, with two available now and the third slated for Spring 2022. Following the success of the Toyway 1:12 scale MK1 Chopper bike models, Bachmann Europe has released new Chopper & Hopper Rider figures.
Rubies swings into action with Spider-Man: No Way Home costumes. With Spider-Man: No Way Home out in cinemas on 17 December, Rubies have unmasked their latest costume designs for everyone’s favorite neighborhood Spider-Man from the highly anticipated film. Multiple costumes are being released in time to tie-in with the outfits seen in the film, and in anticipation of Christmas gifting.
Games Workshop unleashes two 'Warhammer 40,000' assault group bundles. Games Workshop unleashed Strike Force Icefang and Bonebreakaz of Krongar, two new assault group bundles for Warhammer 40,00, onto preorder for a limited time from November 23 to November 30. Strike Force Icefang features an assault group of Space Wolves that fights in support of Ragnar Blackmane.
Bandai celebrates Tamagotchi’s 25th anniversary by bringing back an old favorite. Tamagotchi is turning 25 — feel old yet? Bandai America is celebrating Tamagotchi’s 25th anniversary! 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.
'Lockup' expands with 'Breakout'. Thunderworks Games has announced Lockup: Breakout, an expansion for its fantasy prison worker placement game, with release set for March. Like the Origins Award-nominated base game Lockup: Breakout is set in the fantasy world prison of Kulbak, in which gangs of Dragul, gnolls, kobolds, and other nefarious types vie for influence and reputation among the prison population. T
Hasbro announces Peppa Pig early years learning programme “Learn with Peppa”. Hasbro has announced “Learn with Peppa” – a major new brand extension to help promote early-years learning. Towards the end of 2022, the programme will kick off with Hasbro’s in-house developed learning app. The offering will expand in January 2023 through an extensive publishing programme with Ladybird, an imprint of ..
Hasbro reveals ‘Beyblade Burst Quaddrive’ toy line. ADK Emotions NY has announced the debut of “Beyblade Burst Quaddrive,” season six of the “Beyblade Burst” series. The new season features 26 22-minute episodes. The storylines will be reflected in the expansion of the toy line from Hasbro. The new product line is highlighted by Hasbro’s “Beyblade Burst Quaddrive” Cosmic Vector Battle Set.
Video Games, Gaming Hardware & Game Development News . . .
Atari to sink up to $3.5 million into retro game streaming platform Antstream. Retro game streaming platform Antstream has received a fresh infusion of funding from Atari in order to continue expanding. The sum includes an initial investment of $500,000, but could reach $3.5 million down the road.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy's original versions are being re-listed. Rockstar Games has announced that it's re-listing original versions of the three Grand Theft Auto games that were included in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition. The original versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will soon be purchasable on the Rockstar Store as a bundle.
Amid calls for CEO resignation, Activision Blizzard announces a workplace committee. In the fight against ongoing allegations of harassment, discrimination, and complaints of insufficient action to address such allegations, Activision Blizzard’s board of directors has announced that the publisher is forming a new committee.
Activision board forms anti-harassment committee after backing alleged harasser Kotick. The Activision Blizzard board of directors, which only last week backed alleged harasser and company CEO Bobby Kotick, has established a 'Workplace Responsibility Committee' to combat harassment and discrimination. Activision Blizzard is attempting to reform its workplace culture after a tsunami of misconduct allegations ...
Report: Kotick would consider leaving Activision Blizzard if he fails to fix culture issues. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has reportedly told senior managers he will consider departing the Call of Duty publisher if he's unable to quickly remedy the company's culture issues. According to a Wall Street Journal report, which spoke with people familiar with the matter, the long-serving chief exec made those remarks during...
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.
'Children at risk of serious injury' from toys bought from third-party online toy sellers. Of 255 toys selected, 88 per cent were illegal to sell in the UK whilst 48 per cent were categorised as unsafe. People have been urged to be cautious when buying toys online. A study by Chartered Trading Standards (CTSI), The British Toy and Hobby Association, and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) found ...
Bad toys: What, and how, not to buy for the 2021 holiday season. Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized hundreds of Lagori 7 Stones toys, a popular game in which kids toss a ball at seven stacked, square stones to knock them down. A lab analysis found the toys were coated in lead, cadmium and barium — heavy metals that can impair the brain and nervous system, make breathing difficult and lead to …
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 . . .
UKMums.TV has announced the winners of the five categories in the 2021 Mums Choice Awards, now in its seventh year. The Mums Choice Awards programme is designed to give mums a clear insight into what products in the market are favoured by their peers. Organised and published by parental publication UKMums.TV, the awards are separated into five categories: Best Toy, New Baby Must-Haves...
The European Film Awards scheduled to have been held in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 11 will no longer take place as an in-person event. The 34th European Film Awards ceremony was previously re-formatted as a distanced live event, with attendance limited to nominees and award recipients. “Due to the ongoing and unexpected developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Film Academy has decided...
For a second year in a row, Netflix has nabbed the most Kidscreen Awards nominations with a total of 20 shortlisted entries. Following close behind is ViacomCBS with 15—more than double the seven nominations it received in 2021. And PBS KIDS is also up there with 11 shortlisted entries, including a Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie nod for PBS KIDS Talk About: Race and Racism.
BTHA reassures industry on Toy Fair safety. Although there are no changes to guidance for large indoor events such as Toy Fair, the team is working closely with Olympia to safeguard the health and safety of participants. Toy World has received the following statement from Majen Immink, director of Fairs & Special Events at the BTHA, regarding London Toy Fair, which takes place from Tues 25th – Thurs 27th Jan 2022:
The 72nd Spielwarenmesse Int'l Toy Fair is set to take place Feb. 2-6, 2022, in Nuremberg, Germany, and Spielwarenmesse eG says it’s been working with local health departments to craft a robust array of safety protocols for the event. The news comes just as the latest concerning COVID-19 variant — dubbed Omicron — has begun to spread globally.
(the above posted after November 26th)
Winners of the highly-esteemed TAGIE Awards (TAGIEs) have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs honor the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. The TAGIE Awards are part of People of Play Week (November 15-20) which includes the Toy & Game International Innovation Summit, POP Duo Keynotes Legends & Leaders, Networking in the POP Pub Rooms, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, and the Young Inventor Challenge. The 2021 TAGIE Awards were presented during the virtual awards ceremony on November 19. This year’s winners are . . .
People of Play (POP) are honored to announce the winners of the 2021 Young Inventor Challenge. POP received hundreds of entries from kids around the country. The level of talent and ingenuity exceeded expectations by far. Winners were officially announced on November 20th during the virtual Awards Ceremony. Every year the YIC invites kids ages six to eighteen years old from around the world, to dig into their entrepreneurial spirit to develop a unique toy or game.
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’.
Combined Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, And Licensing China event focuses on digital elements in 2022. The combined Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China trade show — taking place from March 30 to April 1 at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center — will continue to incorporate digital components.
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, ...
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.
Sarah Ross - formerly Zynga's vice president of global communications, has died. The news was broken by GamesBeat, which spotted messages from friends and family under a status on Ross' Facebook page. Ross had been working for Zynga for almost three years, having joined from mobile developer Jam City, where she held the same position for over two years. She also previously held marketing roles at mobile games developer Backflip Studios, as well as firms such as Yahoo, TechCrunch and Flipagram. Ross was the driving force behind Zynga's social impact campaign Play Apart Together, which encouraged people to observe social distancing guidelines during the pandemic and stay in touch by playing games with their friends. The campaign secured support from over 40 major games companies and the World Health Organisation, and gained more than 4.7 billion consumer media impressions from around the world. Other campaigns Ross worked on include the Breast Cancer Awareness Month initiative #WordsWithHope. In a message to GamesBeat, Zynga president Bernard Kim said: "The entire Zynga family was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Sarah Ross. Working with Sarah was a privilege. "We were in constant awe of her ingenuity, drive and compassion. Her mind and sheer will brought to reality incredible campaigns... She always went above and beyond and put others above herself. "Her work at Zynga was groundbreaking and we'll miss her every day." In a tweet, Kim added: "Sarah was a force of nature at work and an incredible friend. We had amazing times together and I learned so much from her."
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 . . .
Adventure Media & Events (US)
aNb Media (US)
ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture's (US)
- Wizards of the Coast Doubles the Number of 'Magic' 'Secretversary' Sets for 2021
- Games Workshop Reveals Six new 'Warhammer 40,000' Boxed Sets
- The Buy Store: A New Way to Source Collectible Inventory
- Fight the 'Battle in Balin's Tomb'
- Rolling for Initiative -- Lairs, Vows and Multiverses
- 'Magic: The Gathering' Holiday Promo Heads to WPN Stores
- Diamond Operations Returning to Normal, Alliance Shipping Priority Items
- Games Workshop Unleashes Two 'Warhammer 40,000' Assault Group Bundles
- Wizards of the Coast Unleashes 'Magic' MSCHF'
- Asmodee USA Will Release 'The Queen's Gambit' Board Game
Nación Juguetes (Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile & Spain)
TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month
The Bugg Report (Australia)
Video of the Week!
Hidden Role Podcast: Reyn Guyer invented Nerf and Twister!
With Twister, Nerf, and decades of experience under his belt, Reyn Guyer is one of the most respected inventors in the industry of play. In this episode, we dive deep into the his stories and knowledge to learn where ideas come from and how to make them a reality.
Meme of the Week!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.
Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson
Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher