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November 24 - December 1, 2023

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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Holidays!


December already! It is crazy that we've been prepping for the fourth quarter all year and here we are in the middle of it! 

It isn't too late to be part of our Holiday Gift Guide, just select as favorites one or two of your products in your POP profile and send us your POP profile url. We will add you immediately.  Viewers can click on the arrows to see more products and learn more about you, so no worries about being limited to two! If you have any questions, just let us know. Happy to help! 


At our Chicago Toy & Game Fair, we have an annual "You Can Play Forever" where Fair attendees fill out a form sharing with us where they heard about the Fair, demographic information and their favorite toys and games from the Fair. From this form, we compile the Top Ten Toys and Games at the Fair. You can see who our Fair attendees chose this year HERE


​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed!


  • The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.

  • “I seriously look forward to each Friday to learn most every update + more in the Industry. Priceless info! Thank you” -Michael Kohner, The Michael Kohner Corporation

  • "TBR is required reading for: inventors, manufacturers, retailers, marketers, suppliers, absolutely everyone!" - Robert Fuhrer, Founder, NEXTOY

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Industry Commentary - Azhelle Wade

AI and the Future of Toy Invention

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The toy industry is constantly evolving, and with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), the process of inventing new toys is changing rapidly. AI can be used to speed up the toy invention process by automating many of the tasks involved in creating a new toy. AI tools can be used to research the market, generate ideas for new toys, visualize those ideas, and create pitches for toy companies. So let’s break down how AI can be used to assist in the toy creation process, starting from toy market research and leading to pitching that idea.


AI for Toy Market Research

The journey of toy invention begins with a deep understanding of the aspirations and desires of children. Traditionally, this involved delving into vast troves of data, attending industry events, and conducting surveys – a time-consuming and labor-intensive endeavor. AI, however, has emerged as an indispensable partner, streamlining this process into a seamless exploration of trends and opportunities.


AI tools can be used to scour the internet for data on toy sales, consumer trends, and popular toy categories. This data can then be analyzed to identify trends and opportunities in the market. For example, AI can be used to identify which types of toys are selling well, which demographics are buying the most toys, and which trends are emerging in the toy industry.


Google Bard is a powerful tool that can be used to assist in toy market research. READ MORE...

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POP's Entertainment Reviewer - Julia DeKorte

Zapwired by Hal Ross

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Now I’ve read a lot of books about toys, games, creators of toys and games, and the like, but I’ve never read anything like Zapwired! Written by Hal Ross, Zapwired is a fast-paced thriller about a game distributor who unwillingly gets involved in the weaponization of the groundbreaking toy he’s about to put on the market, called Zapwired.


Blair Anderson is a divorced father-of-one to his beloved daughter and is a successful game distributor at the head of his own company. He is very excited to bring his new game to market, when he receives a visit from a member of a secret government agency, who tells him he needs to switch the manufacturer of Zapwired to a different company, because the current manufacturer is linked to terrorist organizations. Anderson is skeptical at first, and doesn’t know who to trust, but after his daughter is kidnapped, he is willing to do anything to get her back.

This book was really fun to read, and very unique. Readers can truly get inside of Blair’s head and understand how he feels and what causes him to make the decisions he does, and you can’t help but root for him. The pace of the book was quick, which was great, because I was itching to know what would happen next.  READ MORE....

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3 Truths and a Lie with Dougal Grimes, VP of Innovation & Inventor Relations-Games, Gund, Outdoor & Activities

How well do you know your colleagues? Click HERE for answers. If you filled in your POP Profile Fun Facts and you aren't part of this game yet, let us know! 

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Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile! 

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Cartoon of the Week: Thank you to Robert Fuhrer for the funny cartoon this week! 

Lexophile Lovers:  "When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds." Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes:

"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute." -George Bernard Shaw

"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." -George Bernard Shaw

Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me!  Mary

Financial and Legal


CEOs Are Playing Hardball—to Make Stuffed Animals Softer and Softer. Toy makers are racing in a competition for the squishiest creatures in the hot plushies market.  ‘The more cuddly, the better’

Five Below was hit with a patent and trademark infringement lawsuit, along with retailer’s supplier and manufacturer, for allegedly creating and selling knockoffs of several toys. Spin-balls LLC, doing business as Fun In Motion Toys, notified Five Below, RMS Int'l USA Inc., and JM Manufacturing HK Ltd. twice about alleged infringement through Five Below’s Calmagami, Magic Cube and LED Poi Balls products, but...


Mastermind Toys to be Acquired by Unity Acquisitions; 18 Stores to Close. Following the news that Mastermind GP and Mastermind LP had filed for Creditor Protection ahead of the biggest shopping weekend of the year, the owners of Mastermind Toys have entered into an asset purchase agreement with Unity Acquisitions.


Toy developer Big On Toy Innovation (BOTI) has won its copyright infringement lawsuit against Toi-Toys. Toi-Toys was found guilty of manufacturing and distributing an imitation of BOTI’s Doctor Squish-Squishy Maker toy through the retail chain Action. The court has ruled that Toi-Toys is prohibited from further violating the copyrights of Squishy Maker, and must stop exploiting the commercial success of this product. 


*** The above posted after December 1st ***


Paladone struck a deal to acquire WeCool Toys, the New Jersey-based company behind Compound Kings and a wide array of slime, compounds, activity sets, R/C vehicles, and more. WeCool Toys was founded by industry vets Jeff Osnato and Ross Alber in 2016 and has grown to include thousands of products across multiple categories sold in 35 countries.


Remote animation workers are joining the collective call for union recognition, following a big year in general for labor solidarity in Hollywood. Yesterday, 10 workers at Walt Disney Animation Studios—structured in a unit known as the Traveling Lab—filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. The employees reside in six different US states, working remotely for the studio behind films...


Escalating costs and delays caused by the Panama Canal’s worst drought for 70 years are affecting the world’s supply chains in the run up to Christmas. Delivery company ParcelHero reports that the ongoing drought crisis will inevitably lead to increased costs and ongoing delays this Christmas. The amount of goods carried by vessels using the canal has been massively reduced and there are now severe cuts...

Biden plans to use cold-war era law in attempt to lower US prices. Defense Production Act of 1950, passed to streamline production during Korean war, was last used during Covid pandemic. The White House has announced it plans to use a cold-war era law to ease supply chain issues that the administration argues are contributing to higher inflation – a key electoral challenge to Joe Biden’s re-election chances next year as pollin...


Unity is eliminating 265 jobs and terminating Weta FX partnership. Engine maker Unity will cut around 3.8 percent of its global workforce, totalling 265 roles, after ending an agreement with digital effects company Weta FX. As reported by Reuters, Unity is terminating the 'professional services' agreement it signed with Weta FX after purchasing the company's VFX tools and development division in 2021. 


Embracer lays off 50 employees at Chorus developer Fishlabs. More layoffs have befallen Embracer subsidiaries, this time at German developer Fishlabs. Ex-staff revealed they've been laid off from the studio, and sources speaking to VGC claim 50 employees (out of a total headcount of 120) have been let go overall. Embracer CEO Lars Wingfors claimed there was a "lack of approval and financing" for a Fishlabs ...

Dicebreaker’s owner ReedPop is “investigating” a potential sale of its gaming websites. ReedPop, the owner of events including PAX Unplugged and a host of gaming websites, including us here at Dicebreaker, is looking at selling its digital business. That includes Dicebreaker - which is why we’re letting you know - as well as our video game sibling sites Eurogamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, VG247 and 


TikTok maker ByteDance is restructuring its video game business. TikTok maker ByteDance is restructuring its video game business to deliver "long-term strategic growth." Reuters is reporting the Chinese company plans to shut down its Nuverse gaming brand and exit the mainstream game market. Nuverse is the parent company of studios including Mobile Legends: Bang Bang developer Moonton and Houchi Shoujo...


Canada’s Mastermind Toys under creditor protection. Mastermind Toys has announced that it has sought and obtained an initial order for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the CCAA) from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) in Toronto. At the moment, all 66 Mastermind Toys stores across Canada remain open for business and all current sales and holiday promotions...


Dueling comments on dueling lawsuits from Forbidden Games and University Games. After dueling near-simultaneous lawsuits were filed in late October over a dispute related to University Games’ acquisition of Forbidden Games, we reached out to both companies for comment on the suits that were filed against them..



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Financial Reporting


Americans Spend a Record Amount on Thanksgiving Shopping. What Did They Buy?


Profits rise at Smyths Toys in Ireland. Pre-tax profits at the Irish division of Smyths increased by 22.5% to €5.33m last year. Recently filed accounts for Smyths Toys Ltd show revenues for its Irish operation increased by €49m or 22.5%, from €217.56m to €266.66m.

Five Below, Inc. announces Third Quarter fiscal 2023 financial results. Net sales increased by 14.2% to $736.4 million from $645.0 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2022; comparable sales increased by 2.5% versus the third quarter of fiscal 2022. The Company opened 74 new stores and ended the quarter with 1,481 stores in 43 states. This represents an increase in stores of 14.6% from the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2022. Operating income was $16.1 million compared to $20.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2022.





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

TBI Tech & Analysis: Why 2024 will be a year of (modest) growth for the TV industry


New Report Reveals How The Marketing Of Toys Reinforces Gender Stereotypes

Barbie’s’ influence hasn’t slowed down. Pink Crocs and gender equality, anyone?

Santa is the “ultimate influencer,” according to a survey from Samsung Ads focused on holiday advertising. While discounts are the top reason viewers favor ad content (88%), capturing the holiday season (67%) was second, and was twice as effective as a celebrity endorsement during the holidays (25%).

NOVEMBER 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELSBroad Range of Author and Superhero Titles; Manga Sticks to Tried and True

NOVEMBER 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 KIDS GRAPHIC NOVELS  'Five Nights at Freddy's' Gives 'Dog Man' Some Competition

NOVEMBER 2023 CIRCANA BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 ADULT GRAPHIC NOVELS  New manga, a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book, and Bill Watterson and John Kascht's The Mysteries all made the Top 20

*** The above posted after December 1st ***

Tweens/teens shape the gaming tastes of their younger siblings. US research company KidSay has found that five- to seven-year-olds are 75% more likely to pick up new games played by their older brothers and sisters.


Collectible Christmas Ornaments for the 2023 Holiday Season from Hallmark, Breyer, Lego and Beyond


If you have any questions whether the Barbicore trend is continuing, you just need to look to the eleven Academy Awards predictions for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film (including Best Picture, Director, Actress and Costume Designer) and Assouline’s new oversized coffee table book with text by the uber-talented author Susan Shapiro.

REPORT: Multiplatform sports content drives tween fandom. We Are Family's latest study draws on insights shared by more than 4,300 seven- to 12-year-olds from North America, Europe and Asia.


A record-breaking weekend at retail ushers in the holiday season amid toy industry uncertainty. Retail is booming, but will that lead to consumer excitement for toys? 


Did Black Friday boost UK retail footfall? According to data from MRI Software, formerly Springboard, at midday last Friday, footfall across all retail destinations was up 7.1% on the previous week, as shoppers turned out to hunt for Black Friday deals. 


U.S. sales of toys and games down through 2023. Sales of games and toys in the U.S. are down 8% through the first nine months of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022, based on data from the market research firm Circana. 


US shoppers set for cheapest holiday toys, coats and dresses in years. The battleground for retailers this U.S. holiday season is over merchandise priced at $35 and less, setting the stage for the cheapest shopping period in years for TVs, toys, dresses, and sporting goods...


Toy imports down, but still at pre-COVID levels. Despite shaky economic conditions heading into the new year, the 2023 holiday retail season is shaping up to be jolly. National Retail Federation expects holiday spending to reach record levels during November and December...

Looking for an escape, more adults are buying childhood toys. The number of adults buying toys for themselves increased by 14% from September 2022 to September 2023, according to data from market research group Circana. But adults aren’t just buying themselves new toys, many are looking to rebuild their old childhood collections. That’s because people are more nostalgic during stressful times.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

Why Barbie Made Forbes’ 2023 Power Women List. As governments roll back women’s rights, Barbie emerged as a symbol not only of female empowerment but the necessity of fighting to recapture power that’s been taken away. Barbie is the first-ever fictional character to be selected as one of Forbes’ most powerful women in the world, a list that otherwise includes 99 hardworking, flesh-and-blood founders, leaders and...

Meta and IBM form an AI Alliance, but to what end? Meta, on an open source tear, wants to spread its influence in the ongoing battle for AI mindshare. This morning, the social network announced that it’s teaming up with IBM, whose audience is decidedly more corporate and enterprise, to launch the AI Alliance, an industry body to support “open innovation” and “open science” in AI. So what will the AI Alliance...

*** The above posted after December 1st ***


John Baulch, Tow World - Forget about the price tag … it’s the Friday Blog! As we head into the final stretch, the industry remains laser-focused on getting the most out of the festive season (or just on making it to the end of the year, depending on your perspective). Black Friday weekend has come and gone, and typical of this unpredictable year, the results were decidedly mixed. There is a general feeling that...


Bob Iger Criticizes Disney’s Moves Under Chapek: ‘I Was Disappointed in What I Was Seeing’. Iger also addresses Disney pullback from X after Elon Musk's endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theory. He said Disney’s current CEO succession planning process “is robust right now” and added that he will “definitely” exit as chief executive when his recently extended contract is up at the end of 2026.


Steve Reece - Toy Industry Journal - The Massive Volume Driving Potential Of Off Shelf Placement In Retail. FOOTFALL: THE LIFEBLOOD OF PHYSICAL RETAIL. You will have seen really good retail stores who flounder and fail because their location denies them access to the same number of passing eyeballs as their weaker competitor located in a better place. Footfall is everything for physical retail.


Kids want digital currency and subscriptions more than new games this Xmas. The children don’t care about your Halos and your Starfields, they want Vbucks and Robux. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has revealed new data showing kids want video game-related gifts more than anything else this holiday season. 


The Late Late Toy Show showcases this year’s top toys. One of the most-watched programs of the year on Irish television, being featured on the Late Late Toy Show can lead to a major boost in sales, as KAP Toys discovered. The Late Late Toy Show is an annual, special edition of the Irish chat show The Late Late Show.

Golden quarter: will toys be top of the list this Christmas? Toys and games were once the kings of Christmas. Before children had their eyes on the latest iPhone or tablet, on Christmas Eve their heads hit the pillow dreaming of Mr Frosty, Stretch Armstrong or Bop It! That’s not to say kids don’t still want toys – the parents among us know they want for pretty much everything – but toys and games don’t set off quite the same Christmas...


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History and Nostalgia


7 Toys That Stand the Test of Time. From LEGO to Slinky, Alum Toy Marketer Finds ‘What’s Old is Certainly New Again’. For Genna Rosenberg ’95, it was caring for her first Cabbage Patch Kid, Alma Bridgette, which she received when she was 8: “I adopted her and I remember changing her diaper and dressing her,” said Rosenberg, who does public relations and marketing for a range of toy companies. “She was...


*** The above posted after December 1st ***


10 Iconic Collectibles From the Film “A Christmas Story”. Who needs a giant leg lamp when you can have collectibles from the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story?” Ok, maybe we can have both. But which items from the iconic 1983 film do we most want to find under the tree on Christmas morning next to an official Red Ryder? We take a look at 10 great collectibles dedicated to “A Christmas Story.”

A Short History of Kobe Toys starting 1868 in Japan.  Ron Rosen is a long-time collector of vintage toys, in particular wooden toys and a student of the history of Kobe Toys. He is also a member of the Antique Toy Collectors America. Here he describes the history of this super-interesting toy line and we are very pleased to report that he plans to add the approximately 75 different types of Kobe Toys to hobbyDB.



Farm Families from Milton Bradley (1996), The Farming Game from Weekend Farmer Company (1979), Agricola from Lookout Games (2007). Perhaps surprisingly in an era of rapidly evolving technology, farming is a well-represented theme in table games made for all ages and skills. Farming games have always been with us. Gaming fads come and go, but some common themes endure.

Live-n-Learn Play Boot from Matchbox (1977). Released in 1977 from Matchbox, the Live-n-Learn Play Boot was a playset that encouraged children to create scenarios for a family that lived in a colorful and cozy plastic boot. The central feature of the toy was a plastic replica of a boot completed with laces. 


Inside the Cabbage Patch Kids frenzy and Black Friday riots of 1983. For those who were of a certain (young) age in 1983, there’s no need to recount the phenomenon of Cabbage Patch Kids. They took the toy world by storm when they first hit the market, creating an instant obsession among kids wanting to “adopt” a scrunchy-faced, soft doll that came with adoption papers and a backstory. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

Mattel announced a multi-year licensing deal with Amazon MGM Studios to create and sell co-branded dolls and collector sets inspired by MGM Television’s Wednesday. Mattel says its Monster High and Little People Collector brands have much in common with Wednesday, having ‘a finger on the pulse of social trends and a commitment to inclusivity’. Both Monster High and Wednesday centre on high schools full of...

To kick off the new year, Disney will be staging Stateside theatrical releases for a trio of Pixar movies that were forced to go direct-to-streaming during the pandemic. Soul (2020), Luca (2021) and Turning Red (2022, pictured) are pegged for wide releases in US cinemas during the first few months of 2024.  This strategic move is designed to encourage audiences “to experience three Pixar films the way they were meant...

Who says Happy Meals at McDonald's are just for kids? The popular fast-food chain is bringing back its adult Happy Meals with a new artsy box complete with a special toy to restaurants in Ohio on Dec. 11. This time, McDonalds is partnering with artist Kerwin Frost to bring back a bit of nostalgia with special chicken nugget-inspired toys while supplies last. The Kerwin Frost Box – the choice of 10-piece Chicken McNuggets or a...


Mattel and Warner Bros Pictures are joining forces with Faber to release of the Barbie Movie Screenplay, marking the first time the screenplay is available in print. The original screenplay of the film, written by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Greta Gerwig and 3-time Academy Award nominated writer and director Noah Baumbach, will be published by Faber and is available for pre-sale beginning Dec 1st.

Chinese animation studio Fantawild Animation has signed Spain’s DeAPlaneta Entertainment to manage media and digital rights in Europe, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and New Zealand for its latest series Adventurer Carly. The CG-animated show for kids ages six to 11 launched domestically this year on multiple Chinese channels and streaming platforms. 

French distributor Dandelooo has acquired exclusive worldwide sales rights to Marcel, Father Christmas (and the Little Pizza Delivery Boy). This 2D-animated holiday special is slated for a December 24 premiere on Canal+ and the myCANAL app  in France. Presented at last year’s Cartoon Forum, Marcel, Father Christmas (45 minutes) is produced by Xbo Films (The Boy and the Elephant and A Stone in the Shoe)...

*** The above posted after December 1st ***


Hasbro, Super7 Strike Deal for G.I. Joe O-Ring Action Figure Relaunch. Retailers can look for the new range next fall. Next year marks the 60th anniversary of Hasbro‘s G.I. Joe brand, and already some big news is starting to emerge. After years of rumors and rumblings — including a alleged deal that failed to materialize during Toy Fair back in 2020 — the 3.75-inch O-Ring G.I. Joe figures are making a comeback.

Jay@Play to distribute Gigantosaurus toys in the US. United Smile's range of playthings for the dino-themed IP from Cyber Group will stomp onto US retail shelves early next year. Jay@Play is working on establishing itself as a toy gateway into the US market. It signed a similar deal in October with United Smile to roll out Zoonicorn products there next year, as well as inking a US distribution agreement in July with...


Hasbro has announced that Peppa and her family and friends will return to screens, premiering in the US on Nick Jr. on 4th Dec. at 7 p.m. EST.  Season 10 introduces viewers to Granny Sheep for the very first time, voiced by actress Sandra Dickinson, who moves in with Suzy Sheep and Mummy Sheep. This new character and narrative serve as a representation of the first multi-generational household in the Peppa Pig series.

Mattel reveals fashion model Claudia Schiffer Barbie. A global fashion icon is getting the Barbie doll treatment. Claudia Schiffer, a legendary supermodel and entrepreneur who rose to fame in the ’90s, is the latest person to have a Barbie doll created based on her. Schiffer’s chic signature style still influences celebrities and tastemakers today.

Social media sensation Moriah Elizabeth, has partnered with Bonkers Toys to launch a mystery plush set inspired by the characters that have charmed millions of fans. The Moriah Elizabeth 6” Mystery Plush Series 1 hits mass retail for the first time and is now available at Walmart stores nationwide. The mystery plush comes in vibrant colors and soft material, and includes many of Moriah’s beloved characters...

Asmodee’s Star Wars: Unlimited TGC. The TCG was created by Asmodee subsidiary Fantasy Flight Games, in partnership with Lucasfilm. The Star Wars: Unlimited game features iconic heroes, villains, ships and settings from all facets of the legendary Star Wars franchise, including movies, TV series, comics, video games and everything in between. 

Nacelle’s ‘A Toy Store Near You’ Season 6 Debuts on Christmas Eve.  The studio and consumer products company behind The Toys That Made Us and The Movies That Made Us (Netflix), Behind The Attraction (Disney+), Icons Unearthed (Vice TV, Amazon Prime Video), and the relaunch of toy and entertainment brands including Robo Force...

Playview Brands, a toy company home to gallery-worthy collections of puzzles, is giving art admirers a new appreciation for renowned artists’ work with an ever growing line of jigsaw partnerships. Aiming to elevate the experience of puzzle-solving to an art form in itself, Playview’s collaborations with creatives range from painters to digital artists, and continue to expand piece by piece!

WildBrain has secured a wave of international distribution deals for the beloved animated preschool series, Brave Bunnies. The news comes as producers WildBrain, Glowberry, Anima Kitchent and KidsMe launch a brand-new second season of the highly popular series, following last year’s announcement of their global partnership on the brand.

The new, Ash-less Pokémon Anime is finally getting its English dub. The Pokémon anime is entering a new era after sunsetting longtime protagonists Ash and Pikachu earlier this year. The newest series, Pokémon Horizons, follows heroes Liko and Roy, and has been airing in Japan since April. After an excruciating wait, it’s finally making its way to the west with an English dub. 


Asha and Star come to the Toniebox. Now that kids have finally visited Rosas while watching Disney’s Wish, they don’t want the story to end! Tonies is keeping Asha’s story going with a new tonie figure featuring Asha and her friend, Star. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, Tonies are collectible figures featuring some of kids’ favorite characters from their favorite movies, TV shows, and other stories. 


Little Trainers get ready to catch Clefairy and Teddiursa Squishmallows. A new bedtime buddy perfect for Pokémon trainers! Jazwares‘ Squishmallows are already beloved by kids everywhere for their super soft squishiness, making them the ideal cuddling plush. Add the already adorable Squishmallows to the world of Pokémon and what do you get? 

Hasbro enhances licensed products offerings with Icecat. Hasbro and Icecat have collaborated on creating product content for licensed brands Peppa Pig, My Little Pony and Transformers. Product content for Hasbro’s brands is available for its channel partners on the Icecat platform, free of charge. Hasbro has now enhanced its licensed product offerings with Icecat Enhanced Product Stories. 


Spin Master’s Unicorn Academy secures top spot on Netflix. Spin Master’s Unicorn Academy which launched this month has quickly earned its place on the kids most watched list on Netflix. The magical fantasy adventure series has racked up more than 30m hours of watch time since first airing on 2nd November. Supporting a broad, multi-platform approach to franchise building, Spin Master Entertainment...


Hot Toys unveils Cobb Vanth collectible figure. Sideshow and Hot Toys have just launched the Cobb Vanth 1/6 scale collectible figure inspired by Timothy Olyphant’s role in Star Wars: The Mandalorian. As the sole marshal of Mos Pelgo, a small town on Tatooine, Cobb Vanth earned the trust of his townsfolk as a capable peacekeeper and leader. 


Hasbro reveals additions to ‘Star Wars’ Black Series and Vintage Collections. Two Star Wars collectible lines by Hasbro, The Black Series and The Vintage Collection, will grow next year as new figures are introduced to each line. Both additions are inspired by Star Wars: Ahsoka. The Black Series will expand with the addition of the Black Series Clone Trooper Lieutenant & 332nd Ahsoka’s Clone Trooper. 


DeaPlaneta Entertainment acquires rights of ‘Bugsbot Ignition’ and its spin-off ‘Bugsbot G. DeAPlaneta Entertainment and South Korean leading media company Cocktail Media have reached an agreement to distribute the kid’s animated HIT series Bugsbot Ignition and its spin-off, the short-form animation series Bugsbot G outside of Asia where it has become a real phenomenon. 


Exploding Kittens’ Netflix show transforms the popular party game into a battle of biblical proportions. Give me two dozen entries on a list of tabletop RPGs and board games to option as an animated series, and I don’t think I would pick popular party game Exploding Kittens. Someone at Netflix disagrees because The Oatmeal’s card game of naughty cats is coming to the streaming platform in 2024. 


Sandbox Group launches Smurfs educational App. Sandbox Group and IMPS, the worldwide licensor of The Smurfs, have launched a new educational kids app, "The Smurfs - Educational Games." The new game celebrates the 65th anniversary of the classic cartoon. Young fans can explore the Smurfs' Village and play 10 different mini-games covering a range of different learning areas. 


Funrise launches new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga skate RC toy. Funrise has a new remote-controlled toy featuring favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (TMNT) Raphael. TMNT is seeing a continued resurgence in product launches thanks in part to the release of the animated film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. 


Master Replicas brings back Doctor Who statue line. The collection will include 1:21 and 1:6 scale statues, TARDIS consoles and vehicles based on 60 years of Doctor Who, through a license deal with BBC Studios. Master Replicas has announced that it has acquired the rights to continue the Doctor Who Figurine Collection, one of the longest-running and most successful Doctor Who collections ever released. 


The Marvels’ box office flop marks the end of an era for the studio’s winning formula–and the beginning of a new one for Hollywood’s workers. The Marvels opened this month with the lowest box-office numbers of any of the 33 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While that obviously isn’t good news for Marvel Studios, it’s not as if its producers suddenly forgot how to make entertaining movies...


BARK, a leading global omnichannel dog brand with a mission to make all dogs happy, in partnership with Warner Bros Discovery Global Consumer Products, announced it is launching a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation BarkBox and Super Chewer box to celebrate the “hap-hap-happiest” time of year with our dogs. 

WizKids unveils three 'Star Trek Attack Wing' expansions. The two Star Trek: Voyager packs offer up new ships and cards for games of Star Trek Attack Wing. Adversaries of the Delta Quadrant is a faction pack for independent ships that comes with a Hirogen Warship, Nerada-Type, Numiri Patrol Ship, and a Vidiian Battlecruiser as well as adds new upgrade cards such as the Isokinetic Cannon and Refractive Shielding. 

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People of Play

Reiner Knizia is like royalty in the board game community. With more than 700 published games, spanning a 25-year career, he is one of, if not the most prolific board game designer in the world. “I have played games and loved games as long as I can think,” remembers Knizia. “When I was eight or nine years old, I created my first games just to experience new themes, new challenges, which I couldn't get on the market.”

The Family Behind the First Traditional Nutcracker Is Still Making Them. MARKUS FÜCHTNER WORKS THE LATHE in the workshop that doubles as his home—or maybe it’s his home that doubles as a workshop. The small, one-story building is set in the forested hills of Seiffen, near Germany’s border with Czechia, and has been used by his family of carpenters since 1786.

A legacy of love, loyalty, and laughter. A natural optimist, toy inventor Eddy Goldfarb overcame early loss, financial hardships, and professional setbacks to become an independent inventor that created some of the most popular mechanical toys of the 20th century. Now a centenarian with nearly 300 patents to his name, Goldfarb credits his longevity to his love of tinkering and writing. (Thank you for sharing, Bea Pardo!)

*** The above posted after December 1st ***


Moonbug appoints Peter Stone as first ever chief Marketing officer. A nine-year Netflix veteran with a background in marketing for some of the world’s leading studios, Peter Stone will be based in Moonbug’s London office. Moonbug’s growing brands continue to see significant expansion, with Blippi entering the Roblox world, Morphle soon launching on Disney+ and Disney Junior, and the new CoComelon show...

Neil Patrick Harris made a solo player game titled Box One - An incredible adventure game filled with puzzles, riddles, secrets, and surprises. FOR YOU ALONE! A game uniquely designed to challenge only ONE person - and it seems that person is you! And only you. Can you crack the code and solve Box ONE?

With an Artist’s Help, Paddington Can Go Anywhere. For nearly 1,000 straight days, Jason Chou has inserted Paddington, the anthropomorphized bear, into absurd situations. He has no plans to stop. Paddington is the busiest bear in Hollywood. While fans wait another year for the 3rd installment of his film franchise, Paddington has found time for roles opposite Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hanks and Robert De Niro. 


Crayola colors in its licensing team.  Anna Roca has come aboard to spearhead partnerships and an expansion in LatAm and Mexico, joining other recent CP team hires Thomas Dimech and Gabby Munoz. All four execs report to Warren Schorr, SVP of Crayola’s business development, global licensing and experiences team. 

PlayMonster Group announced that Brian Fitzharris has joined PlayMonster as the new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). With an impressive background in the toy industry, Fitzharris brings a wealth of experience that will undoubtedly strengthen PlayMonster’s global market position and enhance both client and vendor relationships. In this new role, he will be responsible for driving the growth and success of...


Toy World expands editorial team. Two new assistant editors, Caroline Tonks and Gabriela Jimenez Garcia, will be working alongside Toy World editor Rachael Simpson-Jones and Marianna Casal. A graduate of Indiana University, Caroline is a trained ballerina who has also completed a master’s degree with Merit in the MA Magazine Journalism programme at City, University of London. 


Bev Cochrane joins Halilit as national account manager. Halilit has announced that Bev Cochrane has joined the company as national account manager. Bev CochraneWith lots of industry experience, Bev Cochrane joins Halilit at a time of growth for the company. Halilit has recently announced that it is taking on the distribution of Buki France’s range of educational and activity toys, following its latest brand launch...


Sambro strengthens UK sales team with new hires. Sambro International has strengthened its commercial sales team with several new hires and internal moves to help boost the company’s UK sales operations. Richard Dinham, who joined Sambro earlier this year as business development director, has been promoted to UK sales director and will now head up the UK national account management team...


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Companies and Brands


Design Edge, Celebrating 35 Years of Design Excellence in the Toy Industry. Design Edge was nominated for two and clinched their first prestigious TAGIE award. Their team won Most Innovative Art and Design Visuals, thanks to their collaboration with Spin Master. After being nominated several times, Matt didn’t think he would hear their name being called. “We've been nominated a ton of times and never won...


Asmodee USA is pleased to announce a new, exclusive distribution partnership with Gray Matters Games, makers of hit party games like You Bet-Cha!, The Game of Wolf, Root Beer Float Challenge, and Ridiculous Expositions, as well as their newest titles, Wrong Answers Only and Word Wipeout. Through this partnership, Asmodee USA will immediately begin distributing Gray Matters Games across hobby stores and...


Mattel Launches American Girl Doll Inspired by Original Barbie. The new collector doll has already sold out of preorders. American Girl features a wide variety of 18-inch dolls, mainly geared toward young girls but also nostalgic kidult collectors. The brand’s doll characters have unique personalities, goals, and looks, much like Barbie dolls. Now, two titans of the doll world have come together for a new American Girl...

Lego and Golin have won the International category at The Drum Awards for PR. Here is the award-winning case study. In 2023, the LEGO Group wanted to establish an all-new ‘home-grown’ IP of its own to excite and amaze kids and families with original storytelling, LEGO DREAMZzz. The world of LEGO DREAMZzz would bring kid’s wildest dreams to life in truly fantastical fashion, but building love for a whole new IP...

Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the company’s “disciplined” push into video games, which began two years ago, has already yielded “a bunch of positives.” Operating margins, for one thing, have improved at Netflix from 4% to 20% since 2016, Sarandos said during a sit-down at the UBS Media and Communications Conference. Gaming is poised to contribute to that profitability, though Sarandos did not comment...

Scholastic Book Fairs will include all the titles in its "Celebrating Voices Collection" in its Spring 2024 book fairs, rather than setting them apart from the other books being offered.  All books will be delivered to all fairs, but the hosts can choose whether or not to offer all of them for sale. The largest book fair co. in the country faced criticism in Oct. 2023 for offering a selection of books by and about people of color...

Jumping with Jakks. The toy brand is everywhere – and for good reason. It’s not an understatement to say that JAKKS Pacific (and their costume division, Disguise) is everywhere. This year alone, the toy company signed deals to distribute toys for the upcoming “Sonic the Hedgehog” film, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and “The Little Mermaid.” These deals don’t include already existing deals with fellow licensing giants...

*** The above posted after December 1st ***


Cards Against Humanity mocks X and TikTok by launching its own social platform. If X, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram have all felt less than safe lately, now there’s a new option where the chances for misinformation and controversy are lowr.Cards Against Humanity has created Yowza, a new social network where users can perform...

Hasbro,  in collaboration with Amazon announced a free pop-up event in New York City to help families kick-off the enchanting holiday celebrations alongside their favorite Hasbro brands and characters. Showcasing a diverse selection of Hasbro’s top holiday toys now available in Amazon’s store (Hasbro Toyland), the special event will feature fun-filled holiday-themed activities, photo opportunities...

Wizards of the Coast has announced a partnership with publisher Ghostfire Gaming to bring two exciting new products to its digital toolset on D&D Beyond. Grim Hollow: Lairs of Etharis showcases twenty horror-fantasy adventures with more than 75 new monsters while Dungeons of Drakkenheim presents a full campaign set in a ruined city for players to explore created by the popular Dungeon Dudes...

Wild Republic is pleased to announce the grand opening of a brand new, glow-in-the-dark immersive experience developed for Kappa Toys in Minnesota at the Mall of America. Wild Republic developed this unique encounter to connect families and nature together, offering an engaging sensory experience complete with glow-in-the-dark and light-up plush creatures.

Following the launch of this year’s annual Disney Ultimate Toy Drive, Disney and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation have continued calling for toy donations through the shopDisney store. Honoring the long history of collaboration between the two organizations, Disney recently revealed a new grant that will contribute toys to kids in need across the U.S. To celebrate 75 years of collaboration with Toys for Tots...

Ravensburger launches UK’s tallest GraviTrax marble run. Ravensburger has partnered with award-winning science presenter, Greg Foot. The collaboration has led to the creation of the UK’s tallest GraviTrax marble run. The gravity-defying structure, measuring an impressive three metres high, showcased the open-ended nature of the GraviTrax system and was unveiled at Eureka! National Children’s Museum in Halifax.


Curious Universe’s phenomenal five-year growth. Toy World’s Marianna Casal sat down with Curious Universe’s John Styring and David Martin to hear about their vision for Crystalverse and Cutesville. John, the company’s CEO, clearly isn’t a man to do anything by halves. Curious Universe emerged after his previous company, Igloo Books, was sold in 2014.

How $150 million Radio Flyer makes sustainable red wagons. Radio Flyer says it has put more than 1 billion "wheels" on the road. Increasingly, its toys — including the iconic little red wagon — are becoming more sustainable. The 106-year-old company has systematically eliminated almost all polyvinyl chloride (PVC) across its $150 million (sales) product portfolio, which also includes scooters, tricycles, electric bikes for...

Steamforged reveals new 'Dark Souls: The Board Game' core set. Steamforged Games revealed The Sunless City, a new Dark Souls: The Board Game core set, which is currently on preorder. Six years after the initial Dark Souls: The Board Game release Steamforged offers up a new core set with a refreshed rules set.

Ares Games will open up preorders for 'Kings and Lords opf Middle-Earth LE'. Ares Games will open up preorders for Kings and Lords of Middle-earth Limited Edition, a deluxe expansion boxed set, on December 1, 2023. This set is a deluxe edition that contains the War of the Ring 2E board game content from both Kings of Middle-earth and Lords of Middle-earth. 

Circana reports Moose Toys’ original products reach No. 1. Moose Toys’ original innovations had a successful October. The toy company boasts two No. 1 hits from last month, according to Circana data. Cookeez Makery was the No. 1 top growing new brand¹ for the month within the total market, while Beast Lab captured No. 1 Action Figure Playset & Accessories in its first full month of sales on shelves...


It’s the back of the net for Golden Bear’s Soccer Bot. Golden Bear Toys is celebrating the unprecedented success of its 2023 launch Smart Ball Indoor Soccer Bot, which has become a sell-out line weeks ahead of the peak festive season. The latest incarnation of the SmartBall range, the Soccer Bot is unique because it has been designed to play with indoors, using the latest smart sensor technology...


Lucky Duck Games will release 'Divinus' into U.S. retail. Lucky Duck Games will release Divinus, a new tile-laying game by Filip Milunski, into U.S. retail on March 29, 2024. Divinus was originally launched through Gamefound back in 2021. It is a competitive tile-laying legacy game with digital components where players take on the roles of demigods looking to ascend to a new pantheon. 


Jay@Play to distribute Gigantosaurus toys in the US. France’s Cyber Group Studios and master toy partner United Smile have tapped Hong Kong-based Jay@Play as their US distributor for the Gigantosaurus play line. Jay@Play will roll out United Smile’s products for the IP to retailers across the country early next year. 


The Sidemen co-create new card game Hit Send. Hit Send, the high risk game of text roulette, is a new card game co-created by the Sidemen. With a combined following of 240m fans, the Sidemen’s supporters tune in daily to watch them play games on their YouTube channels Sidemen and MoreSidemen, which rake in tens of millions of views per week. 


Games Workshop announces brand-new 'Warhammer Age Of Sigmar' boxed set. Games Workshop announced Flesh-eater Courts Army Set, a new boxed set for Warhammer Age of Sigmar, that will be on preorder on December 3, 2023. The Flesh-Eater Courts are going to war in this brand-new boxed set that features 25 completely new plastic miniatures. 


Final chapter of 'Micromacro: Crime City' series heads to preorder. Pegasus Spiele has placed MicroMacro: Crime City - Showdown, a standalone board game, onto preorder for U.S. retail. This is the fourth and last part of the MicroMacro: Crime City series of cooperative detective games. The fourth game comes with a new city as well as 16 cases for players to solve.

Ares Games will release 'Stalingrad Roads'. Ares Games will release Stalingrad Roads: Battle on the Edge of the Abyss, a classic wargame from Nuts! Publishing, into retail in January 2024. Stalingrad Roads simulates the 1942-43 winter campaign on the Soviet South Front in WWII. Players take command of either Soviet Union or German troops and battle their way to victory through major and minor offensives.

Douglas reveals 6 new Sshlumpies for babies. Douglas Co. is introducing six new Sshlumpies, a long-time favorite for infants. Sshlumpies are 17-inch long plushies that are purposely under-stuffed so they are more blanket-like in design except for their plush heads. Each one has a variety of textured fabrics and an embroidered face. There is also a signature embroidery on the bottom right corner of each plush. 


LEGO expands sustainable packaging efforts. The LEGO Group is continuing its ongoing endeavor to phase out single-use plastic from its packaging and replace it with sustainable, recyclable paper. This process started this year in Europe and Asia and will start rolling out in the Americas next year. 


KAP Toys lands Beano toys range nationally. KAP Toys’ range of Beano toys has been launched nationally with Sainsburys. Kap ToysBeano branded FSDUs appeared from the 21st September in 415 stores across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This was a move by KAP Toys to secure listings of Beano toys wherever Beano comics and annuals are sold. 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development

Rockstar dropped the trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI ahead of schedule to counter a leak and confirmed the title will launch on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S in 2025. The trailer was slated to debut at 9 am ET on December 5 and was billed as one of the biggest video game announcements of the year (and arguably, the decade). Instead, Rockstar published the trailer at around midnight on December 4...

The first fruit of the partnership between Fornite-maker Epic Games and Lego is due out this week — along with a pair of other games within a game that expand Fortnite's horizons considerably. The hybrid Lego/Fortnite experience is billed as a "survival crafting LEGO adventure" and will debut this Thursday, Dec. 7. Lego Fortnite, which Epic describes as its own live service game, is designed for ages 10 and up...


*** The above posted after December 1st ***


Sony and NCSoft form "global partnership" focused on console and mobile games. Guild Wars 2 publisher NCSoft has formed a "strategic global business partnership" with Sony Interactive Entertainment. With the partnership signed by respective CEOs Taekjin Kim and the departing Jim Ryan, the two companies team on "various global businesses, including mobile." 


Ghostrunner II hacks and slashes to $6 million in revenue. One More Level's Ghostrunner II has made $6 million (or 24.4 million PLN) in revenue. According to a translated post from, the sequel to the 2020 first-person action game hit this nearly a full week after its late October release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. 


24 Entertainment's Naraka: Bladepoint hits 40 million players. The martial arts battle royale Naraka: Bladepoint has now reached a milestone of 40 million players, according to publisher NetEase. CEO Ding Lei revealed the news during the company's latest earnings conference, saying the benchmark covers PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox One. 


Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty sold 4.3 million copies in two months. Within two months of release, Cyberpunk 2077: The Phantom Liberty hit 4.3 million copies sold, according to CD Projekt's CFO Piotr Nielubowicz. In the company's financial breakdown for the third quarter of fiscal 2023, he revealed the expansion was the main driver for the 443 million PLN (or $112.74 million) in revenue made between...

Scopely’s ‘Monopoly Go!’ app surpasses $1 billion in annual revenue. Monopoly Go!, a mobile game available in the App store and on Google Play, has surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue. The app by Scopely is inspired by the classic Hasbro board game Monopoly and launched earlier this year. It has also received a nomination for mobile game of the year and has consistent monthly earnings exceeding $200 million. 


Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto trilogy is stealing away to Netflix. Netflix has another sizable addition to its games lineup with Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. The remastered collection is coming to Netflix Games on December 14 via iOS and Android, as well as the streamer's native mobile app. 


Ubisoft is giving Beyond Good & Evil a 20th anniversary remaster. Beyond Good & Evil turned 20 years old earlier this month, and to celebrate the occasion, it's being remastered for the current generation. Ubisoft announced a 20th anniversary edition for the 2003 cult classic set to come out early next year and presumably PlayStation 5, PC, and Xbox Series X|S.

How the creators of ‘Bluey’ took a different marketing approach to the show’s video game moment. The creators of “Bluey” are hoping to use a new video game to bring the popular children’s cartoon to a wider audience. Nov. 15 marked the release of “Bluey: The Videogame,” the first major console video game based on the popular Australian television show. 


Box Office: Disney’s ‘Wish’ fizzles, ‘Napoleon’ beats expectations as ‘Hunger Games’ lands on top again. “Wish,” the studio’s newest animated adventure, was projected to land on top of box office charts over the Thanksgiving holiday. Instead, ticket sales fell short of expectations with a weak $19.5 million over the traditional weekend and $31.7 million over the five days, and the film tumbled to third place behind...

Highlighted Press Releases

KINDNESS FOR KIDS CAN NOW BE WRAPPED UP IN A BOW WITH THE HEARTBEATS LATEST HOLIDAY BOOKS. Two Seasonal Titles Now On Amazon Make The Perfect Last-Minute Present: Christmas With A Difference & A New Year Is Coming. Milan, Italy (December 6, 2023) – Have a heart. Being able to show positivity and kindness, even at a young age, is a trait every parent tries to instill.  One children’s book author has made it her mission to create a series of storybooks where it’s cool to be kind. Say hello to the Heartbeats featuring Henry and Henrietta. Their latest adventures coincide with the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Just in time for holiday giving are two titles, priced under $10: A New Year Is Coming and Christmas With A Difference. Find them both on Amazon.


DID YOU HEAR? STORYPOD HAS A HOLIDAY HAPPINESS GUARANTEE. The WOW Gift for December Giving Is A Learning Set Subscription That Arrives Every Three Months As Baby Grows To Toddler Then Preschooler. Miami, FL (December 1, 2023) – We’re not sure Santa ever announced a Holiday Happiness Guarantee but award-winning Storypod has! The magical audio-player built for kids just got even better with Learning Sets. This WOW gift idea is customized for a child’s development from Sleep & Playtime Learning Set (0-12 months old) to four quarterly specially curated sets for 1 to 5+ year olds. In all, Storypod has created 21 sets for birth to the end of the 5th year to nurture, inspire and build essential language skills with touch-to-play audio characters, board books, activity cards...


*** The above posted after December 1st ***


GOKI AWARDED THE GERMAN SUSTAINABILITY AWARD 2024 IN RECOGNITION OF ITS NEARLY 20-YEAR COMMITMENT TO REFORESTATION EFFORTS IN GERMANY. Charlotte, NC (November 29, 2023) – goki is being honored with the German Sustainability Award 2024, the first toy company ever to receive this coveted award. It is presented in collaboration with Germany’s Federal Government, the Council for Sustainable Development, and other high-ranking representatives from business, municipalities, and research institutions. The jury particularly acknowledges the company’s long-standing commitment to reforestation and its social engagement. The ceremonial award ceremony took place on November 23 in Düsseldorf, with the participation of Federal Environment Minister Steffie Lemke, Defense Minister Bernd Pistorius and Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Anchor for CNN, among others.


THIS HOLIDAY SEASON UNLOCK A SHARED LOVE OF THE GAME WITH AWARD-WINNING FUTURE FANS FOOTBALL. Teach The Concepts Of Football To Young Kids. With The Future Fans Storybook-Led Experience. Columbus, OH (November 29, 2023)— Mike Schroder, co-founder of Future Fans, is aiming to make other football families’ dreams come true this holiday season. His award-winning new game Future Fans Football brings families together around learning the sport so they share the love of being fans, just like it did for Schroder and his family.


TICK-TOCK: LAST MINUTE IDEAS FOR EVERY KID ON THE LIST TO WRAP UP OR STOCKING-STUFF. Tag’d Trackable Watch From Watchitude® Is In Stock & Ready To Ship For Hanukkah (December 7-14), Christmas or Secret Santa Exchange. New Brunswick, NJ (November 27, 2023) – Can sprinkles give your kids more autonomy in 2024? Yes, says Watchitude, makers of the $22 Tag’d Trackable Watch – Sprinkles! The candy-colored slap band style digital watch hides a secret that gives parents a watchful eye (no pun intended) as kids keep track of time. Mom or Dad simply slip their Apple® Airtag™ (not included) underneath the watch face. Kids boast a stylish cool watch to show off to their friends.


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Safety and Counterfeiting


Fat Brain Toys Announces Top Five Counterfeited Toys of 2023.   As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, Fat Brain Toys is putting out a word of caution to all toy buyers. Finding a good deal on a toy could be putting your child in real danger. With the proliferation of third-party marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and Temu, the barrier to entering the U.S. toy market has been eliminated and has opened the flood gates to counterfeit and knock-off toys coming from questionable resellers.


Ahead of holidays, health officials highlight dangerous toys. The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and local health officials recently warned parents of the dangers posed by “smart toys” and devices that collect and store data. Several BayCare Health System representatives joined U.S. Rep Kathy Castor Nov. 22 to discuss the latest Trouble in Toyland report. The 2023 report focuses on threats presented by gifts with microphones, cameras, location trackers and artificial intelligence (AI). It also highlights choking hazards, recalled and counterfeit toys.

Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals

Register now for the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the 50th edition of Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, the 15th Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the 22nd Hong Kong International Stationery & School Supplies Fair will be held from 8th-11th January 2024 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Nominations are out for Kidscreen Awards 2024, and Disney has the most shortlisted entries this year, with a total of 27. Leading the charge is Disney Channel’s comic-book adaptation Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (pictured), which is up for Best New Series, Best Animated Series, Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie and Best Inclusivity in the kids programming category.


Toymaster, the independent buying group, has announced that its hugely popular Toymaster May show is sold out for 2024 when it once again returns to Harrogate.  In a press release circulated to the trade, Toymaster said: “All the stands for the May Show have been filled and we thank our suppliers for their continued support. We have over 100 suppliers exhibiting, offering all independent retailers attending a ...


*** The above posted after December 1st ***


Wizards of the Coast announced the location for MagicCon Chicago, an event for Magic: The Gathering, which will take place on February 23-25, 2024. The event will take place at the McCormick Place Lakeside Center in  Chicago, Illinois.  Along with the event location, WotC also announced the new promos available for the event.  A new Counterspell promo card will be included with badge purchase.


International pavilions well supported at Spielwarenmesse. The international pavilions at the Spielwarenmesse are the full-service package for new attendees and experienced exhibitors at the fair. They offer participants the opportunity to present their businesses and products in a compact way to the toy sector. 

Target held an open air 2023 Holiday Wonderland for NY citizens and families to attend. The event was packed with activities and opportunities to earn treats, target gift cards, swag, and more! Attractions included a full display of hot upcoming Target toys for holiday 2023, a miniature target check out counter and photo opp, a Nintendo booth with competitive Mario Kart, and a demo of the highly anticipated...


Spring Fair announces major upgrade to show experiences. Spring Fair has announced a major upgrade to its content experience for the show taking place in Birmingham next February. Spring FairSpring Fair is one of the UK’s most popular, diverse and trend led marketplaces for home, gift, fashion and everyday, and bills itself as one of retail’s definitive wholesale shopping destinations. 


Gamescom is branching off to Brazil in June 2024. Next year, Gamescom will be spinning up a new event set in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Appropriately dubbed Gamescom Latam, it'll run from June 26, 2024 to June 30 and provide "a unique opportunity for gaming fans and for the digital entertainment industry from Brazil, the whole Latin America and beyond."


The 2023 Creative Play Awards results have been announced. Creative Steps magazine has announced that the results of the prestigious 2023 Creative Play Awards have now been collated. The Winners and Highly Commended entries have been published within the Winter issue of Creative Steps magazine, as well as on and across all its social media platforms. 

Tickets now available for Spielwarenmesse 2024. From today, buyers and retailers can secure their tickets to the Spielwarenmesse, which opens its doors from 30th January to 3rd February 2024. These tickets include travel on local public transport in the Nuremberg, Fürth and Stein city area. For the entire duration of the fair, retailers and buyers will therefore be able to travel quickly and easily to the exhibition centre. 


Honkai: Star Rail leads Google Play's Best of 2023 awards. The end of the year means "best of" time, and Google has unveiled its list of the best Google Play games and apps for 2023. For the former category, the top spot goes to Honkai: Star Rail from Genshin Impact developer MiHoYo. In its write-up of the role-playing game, Google Play VP Sam Bright commended the game for its "excellent depth of content, stunning...


Game Awards honorees demand show acknowledge Gaza humanitarian crisis. Every year The Game Awards acknowledges a Future Class, a collection of burgeoning young members of the industry that its director, Emily Bouchoc, and others have deemed “represent the bright, bold, and inclusive future for video games.” 

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RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed

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

Mark Kaplan (Neil Talbot shared this sad news) - We lost a toy industry veteran recently that we want to acknowledge.  Born 9/15/44 in The Bronx, NY, died 8/25/23 in Tarpon Springs, FL.  Mark was raised in Wantaugh, LI. He graduated from Hofstra University.  He is a 40+ year veteran of the toy biz. An industry he loved. Mark started working at Times Square Stores then Enchanted Village where he met his dear wife, Monica. Then, Jamesway where he achieved the position of merchandise manager. He moved on to Ames where he achieved the position of VP of merchandise. A big hearted man, LOYAL to those few close to him and to those who reported to him. A tough exterior with a soft heart. He was a Big Yankee’s fan. He named his two cats Derek and Jeter. He leaves his wife Monica, 2 daughters and a sister.


Marty Krofft, co-producer of iconic children’s television shows including “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Land of the Lost,” died Saturday afternoon in California, his representative announced. He was 86. Krofft died of kidney failure in Los Angeles surrounded by family and friends, his publicist B. Harlan Boll said in a statement. 

The producer, along with his brother, Sid Krofft, are known for their work creating hit children’s television shows that spanned several generations in the 1970s. The duo had been doing puppet shows when NBC asked them to produce a Saturday morning children’s series. That became “H.R. Pufnstuf,” which had established itself as a fan-favorite character from their live gigs. “Its success spawned a feature film, produced with Universal Pictures as a partner and distributor,” his representative wrote.


Jim Southworth. Baldur's Gate 3 developer Larian Studios announced the passing of one of its developers, Jim Southworth. He served as the animation lead for the game's cinematics. "Jim cared deeply about his team," Larian wrote, "and the results shone through in their work. He loved making games, and we loved making them with him. We're all going to miss him." Southworth first joined Larian in 2019 as Baldur's Gate 3 was in Early Access as an art lead through the third-party vendor Turbulenz Limited. He then became a part of the studio full-time in 2021 to lead production on its in-game cinematics. His career spanned multiple studios and games, including 2005's Blade II and EyeToy: Kinetic and 2016's PlayStation VR Worlds.

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

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


Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US) 

Toyworld (UK)

  1. The price isn’t right… it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. The December issue of Toy World is out now

  3. KAP Toys lands Beano toys range nationally

  4. Profits rise at Smyths Toys in Ireland

  5. The Sidemen co-create new card game Hit Send

  6. The Late Late Toy Show showcases this year’s top toys

  7. Toy World expands editorial team

  8. Exclusive: Asmodee’s Star Wars: Unlimited TGC

  9. Tickets now available for Spielwarenmesse 2024

  10. Exclusive: Curious Universe’s phenomenal five-year growth Powered by Toyworld

  1. Master Replicas brings back Doctor Who statue line

  2. Bing’s Christmas special set for widest-ever nationwide cinema release

  3. Spin Master’s Unicorn Academy secures top spot on Netflix

  4. Peppa Pig returns for season 10 with new character, Granny Sheep

  5. Acamar Films and HarperCollins renew Bing partnership

  6. Paramount and Adairs partner on Paw Patrol kids range

  7. The Smeds and the Smoos wins International Emmy Award

  8. Bluey expands presence in the Middle East

  9. Hasbro enhances licensed products offerings with Icecat

  10. MeteoHeroes broadcast growth continues in Asia, Africa and Europe

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Paizo Reveals More Details on 'Pathfinder 2E: Player Core 2'
Games Workshop Announces Brand-New 'Warhammer Age of Sigmar' Boxed Set
WizKids Unveils Three 'Star Trek Attack Wing' Expansions
Steamforged Games Gets 'Street Masters'
'Warhammer 40,000' is in for 'Da Red Gobbo's Surprise'
Arcane Tinmen Reveals New 'Dragon Shield: Superman' and 'Supergirl' Brushed Art Sleeves
Dueling Comments on Dueling Lawsuits
MagicCon Chicago Location Announced
Rolling for Initiative -- Giving Thanks
Renegade Game Studios Unveils 'Kids on Bikes 2E'

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

Sandbox Group celebrates the 65th anniversary of The Smurfs with a new educational game

Kids Corp has partnered with IPG Mediabrands to bring a revolutionary change in U18 advertising in Mexico.

Fat Brain Toys has released a list of its most frequently counterfeited toys for the year 2023.

The Madrid Costume Museum is currently celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Nancy doll.

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Paramount and Adairs Partner on PAWfect PAW Patrol Kids Range for the Holiday Season

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Challengers Beach Cup Released, Love Letter Bridgerton Announced
Challengers! Beach Cup is now available in the U.S., a Bridgerton version of Love Letter has been announced, and The Op has a new board game in the works.

Video of the Week 

Hidden Roles Podcast:

Dougal & Keith Grimes on AI in game design and

the importance of play (and sibling rivalries)!



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