the Bloom Report
Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary
Below is Nov 20-27, 2020. Click Here for Last Week
Articles posted daily with most recent at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights.
Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom
Welcome to your briefing of the week's news...
For those of you who celebrate American Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoyed a lovely holiday with your loved ones whether in person or in cyberspace. I'm thankful for a day to focus on good things that happened this year, my family, colleagues and friends. I’m grateful that Phil Bloom founded the Bloom Report, and we’re keeping it going, for our readers and for the many people and companies that helped make POP Week such a success. The toy industry needed something special during this tough time, and we delivered. This Thanksgiving, we have many thanks to give!
And... for your feel good holiday weekend video, check out the reaction of one of our Young Inventor Challenge winners – it’s pure joy!
tBR Person of the Week - Sue Warfield: There is no Typical Work Day – Especially Now!
What is your claim to fame in the industry?
My passion for not just the toy industry, but for manufacturers that are new and or long term that work with the independent toys stores and sales reps and understand the value all segments bring to the importance of play in all our lives – all ages.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
In the late 70’s (I am dating myself) I took it upon myself when working in a chain of independently owned retail stores, to add toys and games for all ages into the mix. This led me to Toy Fair and then joining ASTRA.
What are you working on now?
As interim president of ASTRA I am working on re-examining and re-inventing how we can better serve our members within a new physical and financial landscape. Read More....
tBR Person of the Week - Janine Halloran: Humans are Biologically Wired to Play
As a child and adolescent therapist, I get to play for a living. I love it when I meet new clients, and I get to hear what kind of things they enjoy, what games they like, how they spend their free time - in other words, how they play. And even though it may seem a little strange, I talk a lot about play with my teen clients too. I love getting to know their play styles because I know how essential it is throughout the lifespan and how beneficial it is for everyone, including adolescents.
Between schoolwork, college admissions pressure, worrying about what's going on social media, and conﬂicts with family or friends, it's no wonder teens overall are more stressed out and anxious these days. And it's hard to escape that stress and anxiety. If there's a huge ﬁght happening with friends, just because they're not in the same space anymore doesn't mean they can block out the argument. The ﬁght can follow them via social media or apps or on a group message. Read More...
Financial & Legal News . . .
32% of U.S. Consumers Bought Toys During Black Friday Weekend. The annual five-day Thursday-Monday shopping event has evolved this year. Despite the continued COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers still turned out at physical retailers, albeit in smaller numbers as a seismic shift to online shopping finally took place
Chinese toymaker Pop Mart, a Disney, Universal Studios partner, launches US$590 million IPO to fund expansion. Pop Mart International Group, one of China’s largest trendy toymakers, aims to raise HK$4.57 billion (US$590 million) via a Hong Kong stock market listing to fund its expansion. The Beijing-based company plans to sell 135.7 million new shares to global investors, of which 16.3 million shares will be offered...
32% of U.S. consumers bought toys during Black Friday weekend. According to data provided by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics as part of their annual Thanksgiving shopping survey, an estimated 186.4 million consumers shopped during the big holiday kick-off weekend. Among those surveyed, 32% said that they purchased toys.
Walmart ditches online shipping minimum for Walmart+ to better compete with Amazon Prime. Walmart said it will drop its online shipping minimum for customers who belong to its membership program, Walmart+. Starting Friday, Walmart+ members will get free next-day and two-day shipping — even if they have just one item from the company’s website in their basket. Walmart typically requires customers to...
Roblox cleared for launch in China. Roblox is officially heading to China, having gained two licenses from the nation's regulators. The hugely popular kids game is one of 42 approvals, alongside four Switch games.
Black Friday 2020 online shopping surges 22% to record $9 billion, Adobe says. Spending online on Black Friday this year surged nearly 22% to hit a new record, according to data from Adobe Analytics, as the Covid pandemic pushed more people to shop from the sofa and avoid crowded stores and malls. Consumers spent $9 billion on the web the day after Thanksgiving, up 21.6% year over year.
UK mobile game spending reaches new single-day record on Black Friday. The UK's single-day mobile gaming revenue hit a new all-time high on Black Friday, reaching a total of $6.5 million according to data shared by Sensor Tower. This number is up 16% year-over-year from last year's Black Friday, which saw $5.6 million in mobile player spending.
ByteDance gets another extension from US government for TikTok sale. The Trump administration has once again extended the deadline for ByteDance to sell video sharing platform TikTok’s business in the US, Reuters reported. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has given China-based ByteDance until December 4th to either sell or spin out its US business.
Black Friday physical game sales drop 20% over 2019 l UK Boxed Sales. Last week was one of the biggest retail sales periods of the year in the form of Black Friday, and more than 1 million boxed games were sold in the UK over the 7 days. It's a big number, but it's still 20% down on last year's 1.3 million sales.
Crown prince of Saudi Arabia's foundation to buy 51% stake in SNK. The Mohammad bin Salman Charity Foundation is set to take a controlling stake in Japanese games firm SNK. The not-for-profit organization has invested around 813 million riyals ($223 million) in SNK, which gives it a 33.3% stake in the company, valuing the company at $669 million.
Acquisition of Toys R Us Australia by Funtastic is completed. The Australian eCommerce retailers, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Hobby Warehouse and Mittoni, have been acquired by the Funtastic Group, including the acquisition of new shares in the company under the underwritten placement and conversion of existing debt to equity.
Shops to be allowed to open 24/7 in December and January Communities secretary Robert Jenrick says he plans to remove the usual lengthy application process for extended hours in order to boost trade. Communities secretary Robert Jenrick will remove the bureaucracy surrounding extended-hour trading applications, he announced in the Daily Telegraph. Retailers usually have to submit themselves to a lengthy and time...
Spin Master Gets Partial New Trial in $9.5 Million Toy IP Fight An Illinois federal district judge threw out part of Rehco LLC’s nearly $9.5 million win in a contract and patent infringement case against children’s toy maker Spin Master Ltd. U.S. District Judge John R. Blakey ordered a new trial on Rehco’s claim that Spin Master breached a license agreement by failing to pay royalties on the Havoc Heli, a toy helicopter.
12,000 jobs at risk as Debenhams stores set to close. Debenhams stores are now set to close as final efforts to rescue the department store chain fall through. Debenhams fell into administration for the second time back in April. Hopes had rested on a rescue bid from JD Sports, who then pulled out of the deal. With all 124 shops likely to close, all 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs.
(the above posted after November 27th)
Buffalo Games acquires puzzle manufacturer Ceaco. Buffalo Business First reported that board game and puzzle manufacturer Buffalo Games, based in Buffalo, New York, has secured a deal to acquire Massachusetts-based jigsaw puzzle company Ceaco as well as Ceaco’s contract manufacturer, Edaron Inc. Ceaco will continue to operate mostly as a standalone business.
Learning platform Kahoot acquires language game dev Drops for $50 million. Game-based learning platform Kahoot has acquired language game developer Drops for up to $50 million. The deal will see Kahoot purchase 100 percent of the shares in Drops for an initial $31 million on a cash and debt-free basis, with an additional $19 million due to be paid out if certain performance targets are met.
British Retail Consortium welcomes reopening of non-essential retail. The government has devised a new Covid-19 winter plan, to ensure that current national restrictions can be lifted on December 2nd. As part of the new measures, announced on Monday, non-essential retailers that had to close earlier this month will be permitted to reopen.
Rise in shoppers planning to stay local this year, as “support for indies has never been so important” With the Prime Minister’s confirmation that all non-essential shops will be able to reopen across England when the nation-wide lockdown lifts on December 2nd playing like music to many a retailer’s ears amid the essential Christmas shopping period, independent toy shops are rallying the...
Amazon announces plans to delay Black Friday in France It is hoped that the move will give local shopkeepers in France who currently remain in a national lockdown a sales boost ahead of Christmas. The online retail giant, alongside other leading French retailers like Carrefour, will now not launch any Black Friday sales until 4th December, when stores impacted by the national lockdown will be open...
Non-essential retail to close in Northern Ireland as second lockdown approaches. Northern Ireland will shut all non-essential retail, pubs and restaurants for two weeks from 27th November in order to supress the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the health service from being overwhelmed. Before the announcement, the country was set to come out of a limited circuit-breaker lockdown.
Nintendo axes fan-run Smash tournament over online play mod. Nintendo has ordered the shutdown of a fan-run online Super Smash Bros. tournament over the use of a homebrew mod meant to enable online play for Super Smash Bros. Melee. Community-run tournament The Big House has announced that Nintendo has issued a cease-and-desist order.
Seattle mobile studio Lightfox nets $3.3 million to bring debut title to market. Seattle-based mobile developer Lightfox Games has secured $3.3 million in seed funding to bring its debut title, Super Battle League, to market. The investment round was led by March Gaming, with participation from Hiro Capital and 1Up Ventures.
Nintendo lawsuit takes aim at yet another Nintendo Switch hack seller. Nintendo of America has filed a lawsuit against the Amazon seller Le Hoang Minh, accusing them facilitating copyright infringement by using and peddling tech that opens the system up to play pirated games.
Piranha Games acquired by Enad Global 7. Swedish gaming group, Enad Global 7 (EG7), is adding to its assortment of gaming companies as the group today announced the acquisition of Mechwarrior studio Piranha Games for $24.1 million with $48.6 million more contingent on performance.
Stories & Comments . . .
The Black Panther reference you missed in Netflix's Jingle Jangle. As one in a long list of Christmas movies arriving on Netflix this season, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is vying to become a new classic. With a nearly all-Black cast, the film tells the magical tale of the genius toy inventor Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker), who loses hope when his work is stolen from him — only to have his cheery granddaughter Journey...
Holiday toy supplies at risk amid southern California port jam. Some of the hottest toys this year — from LOL Surprise dolls to Tonka trucks — are languishing in shipping containers at big ports in Southern California, with delays loading them onto trucks spurring doubts that they’ll make it to retailers in time for Christmas.
Super Nintendo World opens on February 4th with AR Mario Kart rollercoaster. Universal Studios Japan has announced an opening date for its long-awaited Nintendo-themed area. The Super Nintendo Land zone will open at the Osaka theme park on February 4th, 2021. That’s actually a little earlier than expected.
JouéClub's 2020 Christmas catalogue calls on shoppers to 'Rebuild Beirut' The retailer's catalogue carries a strong message of hope and resilience following what has been a particularly challenging year for the people of Beirut. Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, has suffered a particularly challenging and traumatic year. Not only have its citizens battled the global Covid-19 pandemic, but on 4th August it was devastated...
I received several emails regarding last week’s column, and a couple of them brought up yet another possibility (see "Rolling for Initiative -- Of Cauldrons and Lawsuits"). Hasbro might be cleaning up loose ends in preparation for selling off WotC. Consider the following points:
The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2020. Tested and reviewed by engineers, these top picks make coding, robotics and engineering more accessible than ever. Each year, Purdue University’s INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering turns into a toy testing laboratory as faculty and students run mounds of toys, books and games through their paces. The highest rated products earn a coveted spot...
(the above posted after November 28th)
PEOPLE OF PLAY ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 2020 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS (THE TAGIES).
During an epic 90-minute virtual show presented by Spin Master, winners hailing from around the world including the United States, Uruguay, Canada, Hungary, Israel and the United Kingdom, were announced in 8 categories. In the show’s opener, host Karri Bean, Senior Licensing Manager, LEGO at Disney Consumer Products, soared onto the stage thanks to some high-flying “aeronautical engineering” by Robert Victor...
Young Inventor Challenge Award Winners Announced. Once again, young inventors around the world have made their mark on the toy and game industry with their humor, spunk and creativity, all of which was very evident in the first ever Young Inventor Awards Show from People of Play (POP), formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group. The show debuted on Saturday, Nov 21st at 10am CT and is still showing now at the virtual CHITAG Fair which can be found at chitag.com/2020-fair-stages. YIC Director Jazmine Darden almost “missed” the show, but thanks...
John Baulch - ToyWorld (UK) Time to make the magic happen …it’s the Friday Blog! By the time you read this, if you’re based in the UK, you will know which of the infamous tiers you are now located in. Ahead of the announcement, I imagined a process somewhat akin to the televised draw for the next round of the FA Cup: “So it’s Ian Wright to draw the location ball, and Roy Keane to draw the Tier ball.
“Retailers are the biggest drivers for social and industry change,” says Lottie Dolls’ Ian Harkin Retailers are the biggest driver for social change across the toy industry, but they have to first realise their own power to do so, is the message being issued to the UK and European toy shops by the inclusive and representative doll brand, Lottie. Talking to ToyNews about the step changes that the industry needs
Game store in mall shooting - we interview Gordon Lugauer. Last Friday, November 20, a teenager shot eight people, none fatally, at the upscale Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee suburb Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. A Board Game Barrister store, one of several in the Milwaukee area, is located at the end of the mall where the shooting occurred.
Dad’s Choice Awards 2020 winners revealed The Dad's Choice Awards entries offer inspiration for parents unsure what to buy their kids this Christmas. With more entries than ever before, the annual Dad’s Choice Awards testers have spent weeks putting top toys through their paces and have announced its Twelve Top Winners for 2020
OnBuy encourages Britain to support indie retailers this Black Friday and Christmas through its eCommerce platform. The UK-based online marketplace, OnBuy.com, is ‘encouraging the British public to support independent retailers this Black Friday and beyond’ through its own eCommerce platform, as the business marks the launch of its first major national TV advertising campaign.
Covid has invaded our kids’ pretend play. Experts say it’s a good thing. Kelly Morse entered her 4-year-old son’s pretend doctor’s office one day last April and asked him how she was doing. She was taken aback when he examined her with his toy stethoscope and responded, solemnly, “Not well, you’ve got coronavirus.”
Can't Find A Chess Set? You Can Thank 'The Queen's Gambit' For That Who could've predicted chess sets might become as difficult to find as toilet paper during the early weeks of the pandemic? Not Gerrick Johnson. The toy analyst with BMO Capital Markets found himself stymied while searching for a particular Cardinal chess set a few weeks ago. "It was sold out everywhere I went," he says. Sales of chess sets have skyrocketed, says Mary Higbe, director of marketing at Goliath Games.
Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . .
Barbie Beauty Center from Mattel (1972). Released in 1972 by Mattel, the Barbie Beauty Center combined two childhood favourites: Barbie and dress-up play. Some assembly was required with this toy. The box contained Barbie’s head, a pink plastic tray, and a neck to which Barbie’s head needed to be manually affixed.
Where’s the Fun From? – Who Invented Silly Putty? In the latest installment of his YouTube series, Where’s the Fun From?, Tim Walsh tells the story of the moment when Silicone Oil and Boric Acid met in 1943, spawning a bouncing baby ball that became Silly Putty and changed the toy world forever.
Matchbox 1983… A New Beginning Catalog. In 1953, Lesney Products released a set of 1:64 scale die-cast cars that were an immediate sales success and became the company’s first 1-75 Matchbox series. Increased competition and a recession forced the company into bankruptcy in 1982, where Universal Toys purchased them.
(the above posted after November 27th)
Barnstormer from MARX (1975). Released in 1975 by MARX Games, Barnstormer players must combine their physical reflexes with intuitive guesswork. Players compete to build a flight tower one block at a time in the unpredictable flight path of a circling biplane.
Heritage Auctions sets a new record sale price for a sealed 'Pokemon 1st Edition' Booster Box. Heritage Auctions sold a Pokemon 1st Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box at auction for a whopping $360,000. The prices for rare Pokemon sealed products just keep climbing higher.
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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .
The growth in co-viewing is here to stay . . . Home Help: How the pandemic has seen toy companies transition into support networks for families . . . Survey finds gaming by Americans over 45 has spiked in 2020 . . . Holiday trends to watch: Adult Play-Doh; stores that ship
(the above posted after November 27th)
Financial & Brokerage News . . .
Why Is Hasbro (HAS) Up 8.2% Since Last Earnings Report? . . . Mattel (MAT) Up 16.4% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue? . . . The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Activision Blizzard, Glu Mobile, Mattel, JAKKS Pacific and . . . Roblox moves toward IPO, discloses revenue and net losses for last three years
Financial Reporting . . .
Crowded field of racers drives Codemasters revenues up. F1 2020, Fast & Furious Crossroads, and Project Cars 3 more than double publisher's sales in final earnings report before expected Take-Two acquisition. For the six months ended September 30, Codemasters reported revenues up 102% to £80.5 million, with after-tax profits up 97% to £19.9 million.
The Witcher 3 is the bedrock of CD Projekt Red's financials one last time. The Polish firm records a modest rise in revenue in the last full quarter before Cyberpunk 2077. In the three month period ending September 30, 2020, the Polish firm earned PLN 105 million ($28 million), up 13% over the same quarter last year.
Future Financial Reporting . . .
Amazon and Apple eye historic $100 billion in holiday quarter. The holiday season could be historic for two of the stock market’s biggest names, with sales that are expected to surpass a milestone that has rarely been reached in Wall Street history. Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are each expected to report revenue above $100 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 …
Worldwide Licensing News . . .
Mattel Announces multi-year global licensing agreement with PGS Ent and Technicolor Animation for “Gus – The Itsy Bitsy Knight”. Mattel hast has entered into a multi-year global licensing agreement with PGS Entertainment, the award-winning kids entertainment distributor, for the upcoming animated preschool series, produced and owned by Technicolor Animation Productions, “Gus – The Itsy Bitsy Knight.”
Pop culture toy specialist Boss Fight Studio to launch Popeye the Sailor action figures. The pop culture specialist and action figures aficionado, Boss Fight Studio has struck up a new partnership with King Features Syndicate to create and launch a range of action figures and collectables based on Popeye the Sailor comics and cartoons.
Mattel and Sanrio partnership to launch new toy and accessory line across Amazon and Smyths Toys in the UK. Mattel and the lifestyle brand Sanrio are kicking off their new partnership with the launch of a new toy and accessory collection featuring Hello Kitty, My Melody, and Badtz Maru across Amazon and Smyths Toys in the UK from January 2021.
Plug-in Media eyes toy partners as its pre-school hit Tee and Mo returns to CBeebies. Plug-in Media is eyeing potential toy partners for its popular pre-school property, Tee and Mo, an animated monkey duo that made its return to CBeebies last month with the premiere of Big Boots Birthday: A Tee and Mo Mini Musical.
General Mills debuts Sesame Street Cereal, Bringing ABCs and 123s to the breakfast bowl. Breakfast just got more fun, delicious, and educational with the launch of Sesame Street Cereal, made by General Mills. The new cereal, which will begin to appear on store shelves in January, supports growing bodies with many essential nutrients and engages curious young minds with activities and stories.
Apple greenlights ‘Tetris’ movie. Apple announced that “Tetris: The Movie” will join its growing lineup of films. The drama tells the story of the creation of Tetris born from the imagination of computer programmer Alexey Pajitnov, during the fall of the Iron curtain in the USSR.
Dynacraft, Warner Bros. team up for Harry Potter, Looney Tunes wheeled goods. Dynacraft inked a new deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create new rides inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Looney Tunes. The partnership includes a Harry Potter bicycle that features the iconic Gryffindor House color scheme and stripes.
Neopets unveils merchandise program. JumpStart Games has announced a new official Neopets merchandise licensing program based on the brand and gaming franchise. Not only will the licensees be creating physical merchandise but fans will also receive codes with purchase of select merchandise which ties into their Neopets’ gaming experiences.
The Wand Company teams with Pokémon for replica Poké Balls. The Pokémon Company International and The Wand Company are collaborating on the first-ever die-cast Poke Ball replica series – featuring the Poke Ball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball and Premier Ball – for launch in 2021. The replica comes equipped with proximity-sensing technology.
Home Run Games and Ultra Pro license 'Frogger'. Home Run Games and Ultra PRO International has licensed the Frogger video game brand from Konami Cross Media NY, Inc. The Frogger license is headed to the hobby trade market. Home Run Games plans to produce a line of playing card decks.
Brand Central announces delicious partnerships for Kraft Heinz. The Kraft Heinz Company, together with its exclusive licensing agency Brand Central, continues to expand its iconic brands into new trend forward merchandise categories as it scales its consumer products program.
Wallace & Gromit maker Aardman partners with Bandai Namco on new game franchise. British animation studio Aardman has joined forces with Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe to develop a brand new game franchise. Aardman is best known for its use of stop-motion clay animation.
Flair Just Play signs licensing deal with pocket.watch for Love, Diana. Flair Just Play has announced a further licensing deal with pocket.watch, the studio behind the successful Ryan’s World franchise, among other popular properties. Launching for spring 2021 in the UK and Ireland, Flair Just Play will be introducing a roleplay collection inspired by the latest YouTube sensation, Kids Diana Show.
Spin Master and GUND to roll out board game and new plush lines for Silvergate’s Hilda. Silvergate Media has detailed a tranche of new partners for its popular animated series, Hilda, that includes not only a direct to retail partnership with the pop culture specialist, Forbidden Planet, but the series’ first board game courtesy of Spin Master and an extension of its successful plush line with GUND.
(the above posted after November 27th)
Spin Master heads to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Following the recent success of its DC Comics and Batman lines, Spin Master Corp. has extended its licensing partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP). Spin Master inked a new deal with WBCP to serve as the new toy licensee for the Wizarding World franchise.
YWOW Game signs Swizzels brand to its Mini Puzzles collectable puzzles range. YWOW Games is continuing its mission to ‘revolutionise the games and puzzles industry’ through a new partnership with Swizzles for a range of Swizzles puzzles. It’s part of the company’s ongoing plans to bring household brands to the collectable jigsaw puzzles market.
Lego partners with Ferrari for latest Lego Technic launch. The Lego Group has revealed the latest model to line up on the grid, the Lego Technic Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51”. Having delivered prestigious wins in the world’s toughest endurance races, the racetrack icon is replicated in minute detail.
LEGO Art grows its mosaic-building ‘relaxation’ portfolio with Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests sets. The LEGO Group is growing its LEGO Art portfolio with the launch of a range of Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests sets, designed to give Harry Potter fans and adult LEGO builders the chance to display their house allegiances. The new 2D tile mosaic wall art sets each allow Harry Potter enthusiasts to build one of four different,,,
Kangaru hops into licensing with Alita’s Brand Bar. Kangaru LLC, maker of innovative toys and stationery, and Alita’s Brand Bar, brand building agency, have aligned to build a best-in-class global licensing program. New products are underway for 2021-2022 and specific licenses will be announced over the coming weeks.
Paw Patrol swings into backyards with Swurfer. With production ramping up on next year’s PAW Patrol: The Movie, ViacomCBS and Spin Master have been extending the licensing program for the popular Nickelodeon series into new categories. The team of heroic pups is swinging into backyards this fall with a new line of swing sets from Flybar‘s Swurfer brand.
8th Wonder, Paul Lamond Games, TOMY and Toniebox join UK toy partners for In the Night Garden. WildBrain CPLG has signed a raft of new UK toy partners for the popular pre-school property, In the Night Garden, including 8th Wonder, Paul Lamond Games, TOMY, Grabo Balloons and the children’s audio platform, Toniebox.
Sutikki to develop animated and live action series based on the Digital Dream Labs’ hit Cozmo robot. The children’s entertainment company, Sutikki – best known for the popular UK series, Moon & Me – has inked a new partnership with the US-based educational technology company, Digital Dream Labs, to create, develop and distribute an animated series and live action content based on the robot duo Cozmo and...
LEGO’s dream to be “a playground of prototyping sustainable alternatives” for licensing partners. The LEGO Group has outlined its plans to bring its sustainable efforts into the firm’s wider LEGO licensing business through an overhaul of its product development and packaging, and to be a “playground of prototyping sustainable alternatives for its portfolio of licensing partners.”
Anderson Entertainment signs new licensing agreement with ITV Studio. Anderson Entertainment, a content production company set up by the late Gerry Anderson, has signed a new licence agreement with ITV Studios. Headed up by Gerry’s son Jamie, a writer and producer, the company develops its own IP and projects from Gerry Anderson’s personal archive, as well as managing Gerry Anderson’s estate and existing...
Bulldog Licensing grows Kindi Kids program with two new partners. Leading European agency, Bulldog Licensing, has announced two new deals for leading toy company, Moose Toys’ preschool doll brand Kindi Kids, as it reaches an enormous 82 million views on YouTube.
On the EDGE Conservation eyes plush toys move for its virtual influencer YouTube series. On the EDGE Conservation, a charitable foundation dedicated to the promotion of biodiversity and conservation, has outlined its ‘ambitious plans’ to build its IP portfolio, that include bringing the stars of its new digital YouTube series to the toy and plush aisles.
Disney joins Craft Buddy’s licensed portfolio for 2021. Available in a range of kits and sets across Craft Buddy’s established Crystal Art range, the new designs will bring a touch of magic to the collection for UK Disney and Crystal Art fans aged 8+. Crystal Art sets enable adults and children to create wall art, cards, notebooks and more.
People . . .
FROM UPWORDS TO RYAN’S WORLD: ELLIOT RUDELL TALKS TOY AND GAME DESIGN ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’. Rudell Design has been in business since 1975 and has been responsible for the development and licensing of products that have generated millions for the toy industry. The success of Rudell’s toys and games, including Splash Out, Upwards, Wet Head, GeoTrax, GlowDome, and Weebles led to his induction...
Nintendo hacker Ryan Hernandez sentenced to three years in prison following guilty plea. Ryan Hernandez, the hacker who pled guilty to stealing information about the Nintendo Switch prior to its release, has been sentenced to three years in prison. The sentencing follows a plea agreement originally proposed in January 2020. In addition to prison time, Hernandez will also be required to pay Nintendo $259,323 in....
(the above posted after November 26th)
Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin is departing the company. Twitch co-founder and former COO Kevin Lin is leaving the streaming giant after nearly 13 years. Lin served as COO from April 2008 to January 2018, and since then has worked as the company's chief revenue office and Asia-Pacific managing director, while also overseeing culture, strategy, and innovation.
DKL-Beysal welcomes Sharon Gaskin. DKL-Beysal has announced that Sharon Gaskin will be joining the company on 1st December as national account manager. In October, the company – which distributes ranges such as Hama Beads, Breyer and construction toy Plus-Plus in the UK – celebrated its one year anniversary as DKL-Beysal.
Warner Bros. promotes two kids and family execs Amy Friedman takes charge of kids and family strategy, with Sundance Feniger leading digital enterprise efforts.
Companies . . .
Hasbro mixes My Little Pony with other iconic toy brands for retro figures. Hasbro has mixed this iconic toy horse brand with some of its other classic toys. The result? Some retro-style ponies that are must-haves for toy lovers. Hasbro Pulse has launched two new retro My Little Pony collectible figures, one inspired by Twister and the other inspired by Lite Brite.
Asmodee sees ‘huge increase in demand’ for In for a Penny board game as TV’s Ant and Dec play over Instagram. Asmodee UK is reporting a ‘huge increase in demand’ for its licensed family board game In for a Penny, after the title took centre stage in an Instagram video posted by TV presenters Ant and Dec showcased the gameplay to their some 4.2 million viewers earlier this week.
LEGO reignites Jeep partnership to unveil the LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler. The LEGO Group has reignited a licensing partnership with Jeep to launch the latest LEGO Technic model, the one-of-a-kind Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, designed to emulate the look, design and off-road capabilities of the real-life vehicle.
LEGO’s Collectible minifigure Series 21 arrives with an Aztec warrior, centaur, more. LEGO is taking the wraps off its latest roster of collectible minifigures with 12 new characters. As one of its most diverse selections yet, this time around, fans will be able to expand their collections with everything from a centaur archer to beekeeper, Aztec warrior, violinist, and more.
Mastermind Toys Play Preview Invites Toymakers, Inventors to Pitch New Products. With the annual Toy Fair season shifting out of winter due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, retailers and toymakers alike continue to evolve the manner in which new products are being brought to market, and that means getting creative. Canada's Mastermind Toys is throwing open the doors for all toymakers, inventors, and distributors...
The Entertainer re-introduces its Christmas Quiet Hours at stores across the UK In a move to make Christmas shopping accessible for everyone, The Entertainer has re-introduced its Christmas Quiet Hours, an initiative that will take place every day throughout December across its 171 UK stores. The campaign aims to create a calmer shopping environment for autistic people and for any shoppers who find the hustle...
Barbie celebrates Britain’s youngest Olympian, 12-year-old skateboarder and surfer Sky Brown. The 12 year old professional skateboarder and surfer, Sky Brown, has been unveiled as the latest Barbie Role Model as the iconic fashion doll brand revealed its new, one-of-a-kind doll created in her likeness. Toy maker Mattel chose to immortalize the young sportswoman to highlight the boundaries that she has already...
Logic games and puzzles are on the rise as Smart Toys & Games sees sales double over 2020. Robert Hutchins 2 hours ago Highlight, Media & PR 288 Views. The puzzle and logic game specialist, Smart Toys and Games is ushering in a new era for the gaming market, having seen sales double over the course of 2020 for its portfolio of cognitive-thinking games and puzzles.
‘STEM toys will have an invaluable role to play in a post-pandemic world’, says Osmo CEO. With the likelihood that schools and universities will begin to ‘adopt a more hybrid model’ of offline and online learning in the coming months, experts in the educational toy sector have suggested that a post-pandemic world will see a greater value placed on STEM toys and STEM learning.
Funko launches first original toy range The Snapsies line features heads and bodies that kids can mix and match, and comes after a difficult financial year for the toyco, which usually relies on licensing. Everything is clicking into place for Funko, which is launching its first original toys after experiencing massive success with kids of all ages through its POP! figure ranges.
Exclusive: Gary and Duncan Grant on The Entertainer’s partnership projects. Founder and executive chairman Gary Grant, and deputy chairman Duncan Grant, tell readers about the retailer's latest partnerships in this article, written before yesterday's Debenhams news. In October, The Entertainer announced that it was entering into an exclusive trial partnership with Asda to take over the running of the grocer’s...
Lego's super-expensive new set already sold out - despite having no Cyber Monday deal. At the same time as the official Lego Black Friday deals kicked off on November 27, the brand released its eye-wateringly-expensive new set, and despite the lack of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday Lego deal on it, the kit has sold out. This new set is the Lego Creator Colosseum, and that set will cost you a knee-shaking $549.99.
Hasbro teams up with World Taekwondo Federation for PJ Masks Campaign. Hasbro has announced a multi-territory partnership that will see PJ Masks join forces with the World Taekwondo Federation for a new partnership designed to engage children around the world in taekwondo via an engaging collaborative campaign.
Haba set for growth in UK market. The German-based toy manufacturer plans to build on its presence in the UK toy market by officially appointing Amaroni as the British sales distributor for Haba toys and games from the end of 2020 onwards. Over the last year, Amaroni has been the UK sales agent for Haba and will now take the next steps towards further business growth.
Micro launches new ECO range of children’s scooters made from recycled fishing nets. The international toy company Micro Mobility and its Micro Kickboard business has sourced materials from the maritime industry for the launch of its latest range of children’s scooters constructed from recycled fishing nets. Headquartered in Switzerland, Micro Mobility has launched several pro-environmental projects since setting...
Lion Rampant Imports reveals 'The Ghosts of Castle Turnwall' for North American trade. Lion Rampant Imports revealed that they will release The Ghosts of Castle TurnWall into North American retail in January 2021. The Ghosts of Castle TurnWall is a family board game by Zoch Verlag that won the 2019 innoSPIEL award for using magnets to create the illusion that ghosts in the game move through walls.
Modiphius Entertainment reveals two new 'Star Trek Adventures Klingon Empire' accessories. Modiphius Entertainment revealed Star Trek Adventures Klingon Empire Gamemaster Toolkit and Dice Set, for use with the Star Trek Adventures RPG, to release in February 2021. The Toolkit comes with all of reference tools a GM would need to run a game.
Force of Will, Inc. announces 'The Magic Stone War - Zero'. Force of Will, Inc. announced The Magic Stone War - Zero, a new set for Force of Will Trading Card Game, for release into retail on February 26, 2021. This set will feature the six sages of the past series appearing as rulers as well as a reappearance of the Cthulhu.
Kids Table Board Games unveils 'Fossilis'. Kids Table Board Games unveiled Fossilis, a paleontology board game, for release in December. In Fossilis, players assume the roles of paleontologists trying to uncover fossils from a tile 3D dig site.
STEAM toy maker Twin Science and its mission to shape the way manufacturers and consumers view toys. The STEAM toy and construction kit specialist, Twin Science, has outlined its mission to shape the way both toy makers and consumers view toys by acting to ‘connect humanitarian values with 21st Century education.’ It’s part of the firm’s central message of making toys that empower children, regardless of...
“The empowerment movement and consumer expectation around it will only increase”, says Mattel. Mattel has underlined its commitment to being ‘a more purpose driven’ toy company and brand through the continued roll-out of toys and dolls that reinforce positive messages of empowerment among children. The global toy maker has solidified its position amid insight that indicates empowerment....
PLUS-PLUS BOKS ARE A NEW WAY FOR ADULTS TO PLAY. Over the past few years, a growing market for play experiences geared toward adults has emerged and the latest offering from Plus-Plus aims to build upon that. Boks (“box” in Danish) is a new construction set based around a wooden platform that both holds Plus-Plus’ unique, plus-shaped building pieces and serves as a building platform.
(the above posted after November 26th)
Nintendo Was a WILDLY Different Company Before Video Games. Nintendo has had its hands in various business ventures, ranging from traditional playing cards to ramen noodles. Some of their past endeavors even involved sleazy "love hotels" and the infamous crime organizations!
Hasbro makes some noise with Peppa Pig. Hasbro is launching a series of Peppa Pig audio stories on digital streaming platforms including Amazon Prime, Apple Music and Spotify. The 10 stories are inspired by some of the show’s most popular episodes, with titles including “Whistling,” “Nursery Rhymes” and “Pirate Treasure.” Beginning today, two English-language episodes will bow every two weeks, and they’ll...
Renegade Game Studios teases a 'Kids on Bikes' board game. Renegade Game Studios teased The Snallygaster Situation, a Kids on Bikes board game, coming to retail in 2021. Renegade is apparently following up on their line of Kids on Bikes roleplaying games by taking the brand to the board game space.
GolfWords LLC presents GolfWords – where golf and word games meet! GolfWords combines putting and word creation; invented by David L. Hoyt, the world's leading word game creator (Jumble, WordSearch World Traveler, etc.) and PGA teaching professional Don Parker. Players putt balls to letters on the mat and will get points for each letter they land on. The goal is to spell the highest-scoring word possible.
Wizkids unveils 'Quick-Pick' units for retailers. WizKids unveiled its new Quick-Pick units for their Wave 14 releases expected in March 2021. To ease initial launch pressures of picking and choosing miniatures, WizKids is offering a new way for retailers to select lots of miniatures from their unpainted fantasy lines.
Wizards of the Coast announces a 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Secretversary' Superdrop. Wizards of the Coast announced the Secret Lair: Secretversary Superdrop, drop sets featuring popular Magic: The Gathering artists, for direct sale from November 30 to December 14. It's been about one year since WotC headed down the road of releasing drop sets.
Hasbro Unveils New GI JOE: CLASSIFIED Action Figures for Flint and Lady Jaye Hasbro has revealed two new G.I. Joe: Classified action figures, and they include Flint and Lady Jaye. This G.I. Joe Classified Series 6-Inch Lady Jaye Action Figure comes ready for action, with multiple points of articulation for high poseability and character-inspired accessories.
Surge in demand for STEM toys and science kits ‘will continue well into 2021’ says Thames & Kosmos. Parents looking to help their children catch up on terms of missed education this year will continue to fuel the demand for STEM and educational toys well into 2021, is the message that sector specialist, Thames & Kosmos is promoting as the firm releases details of a restocked portfolio of science kits in order...
Wizkids reveals a massive $349.99 inn miniatures set for 'D&D Icons of the Realms'! WizKids revealed The Yawning Portal Inn, a premium miniatures set for D&D Icons of the Realms, which will release in April 2021. The Yawning Portal Inn is a colossal premium miniatures set that features the famous tavern from Waterdeep.
JUNKO sees sell-out success on Amazon and online as demand ‘goes through the roof’ for eco-STEM range. JUNKO, the eco-conscious arts and crafts range that can turn waste into toys, has experienced a week of sell-out sales across Amazon and a surge in online orders across its own website; a direct impact, the company states, of its prime time appearance on ITV’s How to Spend it Well at Christmas, last week.
TOMY taps into home fitness trend with the launch of new card game Active Snap. TOMY is tapping into the surge in home fitness and active family play trend of the pandemic this year with the introduction of a new card game designed to combine competitive fun with keeping fit. Called Active Snap, the new card game will help keep families fit as it aims to encourage players up on to their feet and to be active.
FAO Schwarz launches new in-store and online holiday experiences. FAO Schwarz is taking centre stage in a whole new way at the toy store’s iconic flagship in New York City at Rockefeller Plaza, as well as delivering the theatre of the in-store experience to homes everywhere with a newly relaunched FAO.com.
Gibsons redoubles efforts to meet ongoing widespread puzzle demand. The company has thanked customers for their patience while it works hard to get things back to normal, reassuring puzzle enthusiasts that the team and is doing its very best to supply product “that can bring you joy during this difficult time.”
Mookie Toys brings Scuttlebug, Scramblebug ride-ons to the U.S. Following their U.S. debut at Toy Fair New York last February, a pair of UK hits have officially arrived in the States. Scuttlebug and Scramblebug preschool ride-on toys — known affectionately as “the Bugs” — have been an evergreen part of the Mookie Toys lineup in the UK since 2014.
Asmodee USA unveils 'Jungle Speed (Eco Pack)' for release into U.S. trade. Asmodee USA unveiled Jungle Speed (Eco Pack), a matching game by Zygomatic, for release into U.S. trade on December 4. This new edition of Jungle Speed features eco-conceived packaging that is made without use of plastic.
Plus-Plus debuts BOKS building set for adults. Plus-Plus, creator of the unique plus-shaped construction toy with endless possibilities, has created BOKS, a new building set for older kids and adults. Part storage container, part room décor, and all open-ended creativity, BOKS is a wooden platform that both holds Plus-Plus pieces and serves as a base on which to build.
The Sock Game joins Asmodee’s Family Games range. Asmodee is pleased to announce the arrival of The Sock Game into its Family Games range, with a fresh new look for 2021. The game, which was first made available at retail in 2018, is simple to play; team-mates rummage around a sock full of objects to find a nominated piece.
New video unveiled to mark Cluedo Liars launch. Tipped to be a popular choice for consumers this Christmas, Cluedo Liars Edition Game from Hasbro Gaming is available to buy now. Line of Duty star, Martin Compston, has put his detective skills to the test in a new video marking the launch of Hasbro’s Cluedo Liars, a twist on the classic whodunnit board game.
Video Games, Gaming Hardware and Game Development News . . .
JAKKS announces apex Legends Challenge for gamers. JAKKS Pacific, Inc. and its media agency partner Blue Plate Media Services, teamed up with Playwire, the leading revenue amplification platform for publishers; and Overwolf to bring the 2020 “Legends Challenge” to Apex Legends gamers in the United States.
Zoom and Among Us dominate Apple’s most downloaded charts in 2020. 2020 was a year when people around the world were forced to find new ways to connect, and that trend is clearly visible when you look at the most downloaded apps on Apple hardware. And two names in particular stand out: video chat tool Zoom and social game Among Us.
The Mandalorian is the perfect Fortnite character. Anyone who buys the battle pass for the new season of Fortnite gets a nice initial bonus: a playable version of none other than the Mandalorian himself. He unlocks right away, and in many ways, he’s in keeping with the game’s recent strategy of focusing on branded tie-ins.
Travis Scott's Fortnite show reportedly earned him $20 million. Travis Scott's virtual concert in Fortnite was big, in a variety of ways. Scott himself appeared as a towering behemoth during the event, which attracted a record concurrent player count for Fornite of 12.3 million.
Nintendo Switch update lets you share screenshots to your phone or PC. Nintendo has released a new firmware update for the Switch, and for once it actually adds some features to the console’s barebones OS. The biggest one is a new way to share screenshots and videos directly to your smartphone by scanning a QR code.
L.O.L. Surprise! Remix: We Rule The World Video Game Is Coming. L.O.L.Surprise! is here with the perfect holiday gift for your child. Just in time for the holiday season the makers of the hit L.O.L.Surprise! toys have created a new video game exclusively for the Nintendo Switch!
Fortnite's Season 4 finale attracted a record 15.3 million concurrent players. Fortnite's latest season ending event pulled in a record 15.3 million concurrent players, according to developer Epic. The company shared the milestone in a tweet, where it revealed that 3.4 million people also watched the event unfold on YouTube Gaming and Twitch.
VR spending to pass $1bn in 2020. A total of 6.4 million VR headsets will be sold in 2020, with the VR market reaching $1.1 billion in content spending this year. According to the latest research by market analyst firm Omdia, VR content revenue will reach $4 billion in 2025 -- 90% of which will be from games by then.
Countdown to Space Invaders Forever 11th Dec. TAITO and ININ Games are proud to announce the sensational Space Invaders Forever that will be released on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation4 both through the Nintendo eShop and PlayStation Store as well as boxed versions in retail on December 11th. Space Invaders Forever will be released in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Remote work is here to stay -- but it won't be cheap or easy. This week, Square Enix's Japanese operations announced that the remote working arrangements put into place to cope with COVID-19 are being made permanent. It's unlikely that this will be the last such announcement; many companies around the industry are grappling with the question of what to do regarding remote work.
Marvel's Avengers fails to meet Square Enix sales targets. Square Enix has explained that sales of Marvel's Avengers were lower than expected, and that the advertising push for the title also proved costly. "Sales of [the game] were lower than we had expected and unable to completely offset the amortization of the game’s development costs," they commented.
Fall Guys developer Mediatonic opens new UK studio. Fall Guys developer Mediatonic is opening a new UK studio in Leamington Spa. The office will be led by company vice president of art, Phil Warner, and will be hiring staff across a "wide range of disciplines."
(the above posted after November 27th)
Rockstar is turning Red Dead Online into a standalone game. Rockstar is launching Red Dead Online, the online multiplayer portion of Red Dead Redemption 2, as a standalone game on December 1, 2020. It's a move that underlines the value of the games-as-a-service model that's been so successful for Rockstar.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin tops 500,000 digital sales and shipments. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin has surpassed 500,000 shipments and digital sales in under a month, according to publisher Marvelous. The Japanese company broke the news in a press release (translated via Gematsu), and revealed that total includes worldwide shipments and digital sales.
Google says it’s got 400 games in the pipeline for Stadia. Google has around 400 games on the way for its Stadia game streaming service, according to Jack Buser, the service’s director of games. Buser said that the company has “a roadmap of about 400 games in development from 200 developers” for the service.
The Ted Dabney Experience. The Ted Dabney Experience podcast features long-form conversations with insiders from the golden age of the coin-operated video game industry. Dabney is a legendary figure in the video game industry — he co-founded Atari with Nolan Bushnell in 1972.
Epic Games, NFL hit the gridiron with ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Rocket League’. Epic Games have extended its partnership with the NFL to bring new digital content to “Fortnite” and “Rocket League.” Starting Nov. 25, new Gridiron Gang Outfits will be available in “Fortnite's” in-game shop. Outfits will come in the form of redesigned NFL uniforms for all 32 NFL teams.
TikTok developer launches publishing arm and casual gaming platform. TikTok creator ByteDance announced the creation of its publishing arm, Pixmain, as well as the launch of its gaming platform, Danjuan Games. The developer unveiled Pixmain at the WePlay Game Expo in Shanghai earlier this month.
Scalpers and bots reportedly driving PS5 shortages. A new report has thrown the impact of scalpers and bots on PlayStation 5's launch into sharp relief. One UK-based group, CrepChiefNotify, told the site its 12 members had collectively purchased close to 2,472 PS5 units in recent weeks, plus "just under 1,000" when pre-orders first opened in September.
Game Workers Unite UK rebrands to IWGB Game Workers. The UK branch of international trade union Game Workers Unite has rebranded to IWGB Game Workers. The organisation made the announcement on Twitter, saying the name change follows a decision made during its AGM earlier this year, in an attempt to "update [its] image."
PAC-MAN chomps his way onto Stadia with PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle from Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. today launched PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle exclusively on Stadia. Square off against 63 other players and become the last PAC-MAN standing as everyone chomps and winds their way through the largest multiplayer PAC-MAN game ever developed.
Bioware and Ubisoft veterans create Yellow Brick Games. A group of industry veterans from the likes of Bioware and Ubisoft founded independent studio Yellow Brick Games.
Controller use on Steam has doubled in past two years. Mouse-and-keyboard may be the traditional weapon of choice for PC gamers, but Valve has found game pads are increasingly common on Steam. Valve sees game pad use among PC players top 90% in genres like skateboarding games.
HBO’s The Last of Us TV show is actually happening. HBO’s upcoming TV adaptation of The Last of Us just took a big step forward in actually happening. Per the official synopsis, the TV series seems to be adapting the first game in the series
Mattel Brings new extreme driving game to Roblox Hot Wheels Open World. Mattel, Inc. and Gamefam, a fully dedicated Roblox game studio, have partnered to bring the high-octane stunting, racing, and collecting action of Hot Wheels to the Roblox platform.
Pokémon Go restores social distancing benefits to the game. Niantic has announced that it will restore a number of bonuses to Pokémon Go that had previously been added to the game to facilitate safe play during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microsoft and Apple working on Xbox Series X controller support for iPhones and iPads. Microsoft and Apple are working together so the new Xbox Series X and Series S controllers will work on iPhones and iPads. Currently, the new controllers are not officially supported in iOS or iPadOS, but Apple says “Microsoft and Apple are working together to bring compatibility for the Xbox Series X controller to customers in a...
Google Stadia is coming to iOS officially as a web app. Google on Thursday announced iOS support for its Stadia cloud gaming service, following in the footsteps of Microsoft in turning to the mobile web to circumvent Apple’s App Store restrictions. Google says it has been building a progressive web app version of Stadia that will run in the mobile version of Apple’s Safari browser.
Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . .
BTHA joins forces with OPSS for Christmas toy safety campaign. A Christmas online toy safety campaign has been launched by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), working in partnership with the British Toy & Hobby Association, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust.
(the above posted after November 27th)
Safe toy tips for the 2020 holiday season. Approximately 50 percent of all United States toy purchases are made between Black Friday and Christmas. The American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division (ATSPA) and Safe Kids Pennsylvania want to ensure a merry and safe holiday season.
10 most dangerous toys of 2020; Calico Critters and Star Wars ‘Darksaber’ make the list, Boston-based WATCH safety group says. A Calico Critters set, a Star Wars Mandalorian “Darksaber,” a Marvel Avengers Black Panther claw: What these 2020 toys have in common is that they are among 10 considered to be the most dangerous for children.
Christmas shopping: Top safety tips for parents as 51,000 unsafe toys destroyed by CPCC. The CPCC have destroyed 51,000 toys that were deemed unsafe or non-compliant this year. These products included soft toys, teddy bears, toy guns, inflatable toys with small parts and battery-operated toy dogs. The risks ranged from potential choke hazards to chemical issues and contravened several toy safety regulations.
Press Releases . . .
NEWEST (AND CUTEST) ADVENTERRA GAMES TEACH PRESCHOOLERS HOW TO RESPECT OUR PLANET. Three Enticing Ecological Puzzles and Memory Games Introduce Today’s Toddlers to How to Save Our Animals, Water, & Earth. Boston, MA (December 1, 2020) – Ever hear the expression, you’re never too young to make an impact? Adventerra Games, the STEM.org-certified boardgame maker, launches a captivating line of environmental games for today’s toddlers. Saving Water, Respect the Earth, and Animals at Risk! (each $14.99) require no reading, just curiosity through play. After an entertaining round with puzzle pieces or matching picture cards, tots will begin a lifelong love – hence protection...
(the above posted after November 27th)
BRIGHT STRIPES OFFERS SPA-LIKE EXPERIENCES, WITH A TOUCH OF SPARKLE, JUST FOR TWEENS. Beauty Rescue Kit, Hair Chalk And Rainbow Festival Body Art Gets Ages 8-12 Saying Ahh To Spa*rkle Line’s Under $20 Pampering Presents. Bloomfield, NJ (November 22, 2020) – The magical years between little girl and teenager are full of exploration and expression. Suddenly hair, nails and skincare deserve some serious attention. Bright Stripes, a creative DIY site for kids of all stripes, introduces Spa*rkle where spa and beauty kits come in a rainbow of colors! Those blue haired ladies of the past were on to something!
FROLIC THROUGH SHAREWOOD FOREST WITH FIVE SNUGGLY PLUSH ANIMALS PLUS EIMMIE, ALLIE & KAYLIE. Kids Discover Sharing And Kindness When Playdates Include Aria The Alpaca, Brie The Bunny, Fiona The Fox, Sofie The Sloth & Piper The Unicorn – Rainbows and unicorns really do exist when youngsters venture into Sharewood Forest, the newest 18” plush doll collection from the toymakers at plushible.com and eimmie.com. Each of the eight Sharewood Forest Friends ($24.99 special seasonal price) come dressed in their one-of-a-kind adventure outfit that includes a pair of comfy pajamas with a sleeping mask. Unfolding the attached packaging reveals an enchanting bonus...
FROGGY’S LAIR INTRODUCES KIDS TO NATURE AND NURTURE WITH CAPTIVATING BIOSPHERE. Low Maintenance Froggy’s Lair Wins Holiday 2020 Honor From The National Parenting Center & A Nod From 2020 National Parenting Products Awards. Aurora, CO (November 24, 2020) – Who’s in your bubble this holiday season? Two nationally recognized parental boards highly recommend adding a pair of African Dwarf Frogs to your household. Froggy’s Lair ($69.95) was named both a 2020 National Parenting Products Awards (NAPPA) Winner and a Holiday 2020 Seal of Approval by The National Parenting Center. Parents shopping for the perfect family gift can hop right to it!
Jabuka: The Gift that is a Blend of Coffee and Games ☕ The gift for the coffee lover and word nerd in your life. JABUKA is the new rotating letter word game that’s brewing up a lot of fun for coffee lovers this holiday. Martin Russocki, inventor of JABUKA, explained, “When I got the idea for Jabuka, I was in a coffee shop fiddling with a coffee bean at my table, while I was waiting for my beverage. I witnessed how....
News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals
(ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and More) . . .
ASTRA Marketplace & Academy 2021 Shifts to August. Originally scheduled for June 6-9, the annual event will now take place from August 5-8, 2021 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. According to ASTRA, the decision was made “after many conversations with stakeholders and ASTRA members” with a focus on “creating a safe and healthy environment for attendees.
Toy & Edu China reports first signs of a recovering Chinese toy market as sector spies growth. Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China, and Licensing China are each reporting the first signs of recovery for a strong Chinese toy market that was hit at the start of the year, along with the rest of the world, by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
GAMA makes more changes to the Origins Awards for the 2020/2021 cycle. The Games Manufacturer's Association made major changes to the Origins Awards categories for the 2020/2021 cycle. GAMA received a total of 300 submissions for 2019/2020 cycle, up from 81 in 2018/2019, and has decided to split up the board game and roleplaying game categories to have multiple categories by genre.
OnBuy named eCommerce Company of the Year at 2020 UK Business Tech Awards. The online marketplace, OnBuy.com has been named eCommerce Company of the Year in the 2020 UK Business Tech Awards. The awards were created to celebrate the best tech businesses from around the UK, with awards being presented to the most innovative and exceptional.
Dad’s Choice Awards 2020 winners revealed. With more entries than ever before, the annual Dad’s Choice Awards testers have spent weeks putting top toys through their paces and have announced its Twelve Top Winners for 2020.
(the above posted after November 27th)
Spielwarenmesse introduces BrandNew – a virtual platform in place of 2021’s postponed toy fair. Spielwarenmesse has detailed the launch of a digital platform through which toy companies from around the world can showcase their new releases to the trade. Called Spielwarenmesse BrandNew, the new service will be offered in place of the postponed Nuremberg toy fair.
2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Five Recap. The fifth and final day of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit focused on trends and the future of play.
2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Four Recap. Day four of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit focused on marketing, PR, and social media.
2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Three Recap. Day three of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit focused on entertainment tie-ins within the toy, game, and play industries.
2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Two Recap. Day two of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit organized by People of Play (formerly Chicago Toy & Game Group) focused on the retail side of the toy, game, and play industries.
Mums Choice Awards results announced. UKMums.TV has announced the winners of the Mums Choice Awards 2020. Now in its sixth 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.
2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day One Recap. A powerhouse roster of keynote speakers and industry panelists kicked off the annual Toy & Game International Innovation Summit on Monday, November 16. View the full Summit agenda.
Beyblade Burst crowns its virtual Beymaster Invitational Ultimate Champion. Beyblade Burst, the popular global brand and physical spinning top toy range, has crowned the ultimate champion of its first all-digital Beymaster Invitational, an event that ran throughout October and pitted 12 Beyblade influencers against one another in a virtual worldwide competition.
Obituaries - Remembering Those that have Passed . . .
Jimmy Hunter, the founder of Hunter Toys, passed away on November 14th, 2020. Jimmy took on the role of BTHA Chairman from 2000-2002 and was heavily involved for many years with both Toy Fair and the BTHA’s ‘Value of Play’ initiatives. He was the champion for Total Fun, the consumer event held in the early 2000s, while he was also the brainchild behind the longstanding Golden Teddy awards. His daughter Sally Hunter, who has followed in Jimmy’s footsteps by building a long and successful career the toy trade, told Toy World: “The fact that the Golden Teddy awards are still being presented so many years later gives me goosebumps.
Simon Holdsworth, Managing Director at Thos Holdsworth & Sons Ltd, passed away on November 14th, 2020. "Many of our staff have worked alongside Simon for more than 20 years. Words like mentor, great boss, good friend, awesome storyteller, gregarious, quick witted, dynamic, proud, demanding, knowledgeable and tireless are just some of their comments. He is, and always will be our champion! Our legacy for Simon is to keep the company running smoothly and exemplify the excellence that he demanded from us each and every day. There will be many memories, and no doubt a number of stories from your time spent with Simon, perhaps encouraged by his favourite tipple of a G&T or a wee glass of Grand Marnier! In the coming weeks, I hope that we get the chance to remember the good times and raise a glass in his honour." - Fleur Tisdale,
Toy Trade Monthly Issues...
eplay - November Issue
ToyWorld (UK) - December Issue
Weekly Top Stories from Toy Trade Magazines Worldwide...
Adventure Media & Events (US)
aNb Media (US)
ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture's (US)
1. Gale Force Nine Sues Wizards of the Coast
2. Rolling for Initiative -- Of Cauldrons and Lawsuits
3. WizKids Reveals a Massive $349.99 Inn Miniatures Set for 'D&D Icons of the Realms'!
4. WizKids Unveils 'Quick-Pick' Units for Retailers
5. Fill the Inn with 'Friendly Faces' for 'D&D' Campaigns
6. Game Store in Mall Shooting - We Interview Gordon Lugauer
7. Wizards of the Coast Announces a 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Secretversary' Superdrop
8. Heritage Auctions Sets a New Record Sale Price for a Sealed 'Pokemon 1st Edition' Booster Box
9. Capstone Games' New Fair Trade Coffee-Themed Board Game Comes with Over 650 Components
10. The Spice Will Flow in a New 'Dune' RPG
TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month
Nación Juguetes (Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile & Spain)
Video of the Week!
If you didn't watch at the top, or if you, did, this is worth a second watch! Experience the joy of pure joy of winning after putting forth a lot of effort!
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:
Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.
Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson
Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher