the Bloom Report

Toy & Game Industry's #1 News Summary Globally
Below is October 1 - 8, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

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

Welcome to your Weekly News Brief . . . 

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Happy Friday! 

Alicia AlexanderDan Klitsner, and I invite you to mentor/judge the kids who participate in our Young Inventor Challenge. When you answer just a few questions to provide these kids with feedback, many will gain confidence and return next year with better toy and game concepts. You would be joining generous toy execs such as Adam Hocherman, Brendan Boyle and Francesco Lercari, and as many of our judges tell us, you’ll get more out of the experience than you give. Join the fun, give back, and change a kid’s life!

 

More info HERE or email Alicia HERE

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.

Mary

tBR Columnist Tim Kilpin: What’s Your Problem with Candy Corn?

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Look, I know it tastes like sugared wax and turns your tongue orange.  But ‘tis the season – we’ve turned that big metaphorical corner, heading toward the heart of the holidays.  And even though I recently turned 61, I still have the diet of an 11-year-old.  So candy corn it is.  It’s the gateway drug to gingerbread.  Best time of the year. 

 

Up here in the North Country, the wind has shifted, the leaves are turning, and store shelves are happily stacked high with…well, nope.  Shelves are empty, pretty much.  That supply chain death gauntlet we ran all summer, it’s only gotten worse.  There are 73 ships currently anchored off the coast of Los Angeles.  Desperate purveyors plot feverishly to hire helicopters that will pluck their containers from the massive floating warehouse in the Pacific.    The recent backlog of train cars into Joliet, Illinois snaked through the countryside for 25 miles.

 

There’s no question that some products, even some new brands, will not make it to store shelves (or ecomm warehouses) on time this year. Read More . . .  

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tBR People of the Week:

Anna Gilbertso and Alana Aamodt, their Momentix Motion Kit and Their Passion for Play

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What was the Ah-ha moment that led you to the Toy and Game industry? 

 

[Alana] I loved Rube Goldberg machines (chain reactions) as a kid. I had to invent one for my fifth grade science class and despite notebooks full of ideas, I struggled to build them with duct tape and cardboard. That memory really stuck with me, and it’s part of why I went on to study physics. 

 

When I met Anna in college and we started talking about the culture of science and the ways that pushes girls and women out of the field, we had this moment where we realized how rube goldberg machines could be an antidote to that. That was the beginning of a long journey that led us to Momentix, the business we run now. Over the course of a few years, we’ve been developing a kit that helps kids upcycle their forgotten toys and old projects into rube goldberg machines. 

 

The reason chain reactions were an ah-ha moment is because they are this really organic way of practicing resilience, problem-solving, and divergent thinking--all skills linked to increased diversity in STEM. It’s been exhausting but exciting.  Read More . . . 

tBR Persons of the Week: Scott Pease and Jeff Swenty, co-inventors of Snap Ships

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What exactly do you do in the industry?
Scott: Jeff and I try to invent digital and physical toy and game concepts that we can turn into innovative products. With Snap Ships we started inventing a board game with modular components, dropped the game part and focused on making an awesome construction toy, and now we’re turning the toys back into a tabletop game.


What is your claim to fame in the industry?
Scott: Prior to working on toys, I worked in the video game industry for 20 years, most of which I spent helping run a studio named Neversoft (a division of Activision). Jeff and I worked on some pretty massive franchises: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Guitar Hero, and Call of Duty - 18 titles in all, which combined to sell over 100 million units.


What are you working on now?

Scott: We’re working on Snap Ships Tactics - a tabletop game system for the Snap Ships toys.  Read More . . . 

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Financial & Legal News . . .

Hasbro announced the passing of its longtime chairman and CEO Brian D. Goldner.  “Since joining the Company more than two decades ago, Brian has been the heart and soul of Hasbro. As a charismatic and passionate leader in both the play and entertainment industries, Brian’s work brought joy and laughter to children and families around the world,” said interim CEO Rich Stoddart. “His visionary leadership, kindness, and generosity made him beloved by the Hasbro community and everyone he touched. On behalf of the Hasbro family, we extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, and entire family.” 

The Nacelle Co. Acquires Marx Toys Brand.  The Nacelle Co. has acquired the Marx Toys brand from Jay Horowitz of American Classic Toy and has plans to revamp and revitalize the company, its name, and some of its iconic properties. Immediate efforts include books and lifestyle products while film and TV projects loom on the horizon.

Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to Operate 24/7 The Biden Administration has stepped in to address delays and congestion across the transportation supply chain. The administration and leadership from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have announced that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will begin operating 24/7.

Congestion at Felixstowe, UK’s largest container port, reaches critical level. The congestion has reached the stage where the port’s management is seriously considering turning ships away. With only 10 weeks until Christmas, the UK’s largest container port Felixstowe is struggling to cope with the volume of cargo arriving. Reports suggest that the site has become severely congested, due in part to a shortage...

California will require large retailers to provide gender-neutral toy sections.  California became the first state in the nation Saturday to adopt a law requiring large retail stores to provide gender-neutral toy sections under a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The new law, which takes effect in 2024, says that retail stores with 500 or more employees must sell some toys and child-care products outside of areas...

(the above posted after October 8th)

Amazon CEO says games could become its biggest entertainment category. The chief exec of Amazon believes that video games will become a crucial pillar in its business, eventually outpacing music and video content. Andy Jassy spoke at yesterday's GeekWire Summit, and discussed various aspects of the company, including its ongoing push into games.

A former Facebook product manager told Congress that the company's products harm children and stoke division, while Facebook execs hide research about the social network's risks to keep its business humming.  Frances Haugen, speaking to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, said Facebook needs to be subject to the same kind of government regulation that covers Big Tobacco....

Did the U.S.-China trade war just reignite? One of the major headaches of 2019 and 2020 is showing signs of a comeback: the trade war between the U.S. and China. Following years of on-again-off-again tariff threats from both countries — some of which did have a negative impact on the toy industry — the Phase One Trade Agreement was signed in January 2020 signaling a cooling between parties. 

Amazon rolls out early Black Friday deals to jump-start holiday shopping. Amazon is rolling out “Black Friday-worthy” deals in a bid to hook early holiday shoppers, the company announced Monday. Amazon said it’s offering “deep discounts across every category,” including fashion, electronics, home goods and toys. New deals will be added to the site daily. 

Chinese regulators warn devs over depictions of morality, gender, and history. Chinese regulators are reportedly clamping down on how morality, gender, and history are depicted in video games. According to a leaked memo from an internal training course organized by China's state-backed game association, obtained by the South China Morning Post, developers are being told to adhere to increasingly strict...

The supply chain saga continues: the toy industry faces its most complex challenge yet. This holiday season, there’s pretty much only one question on everyone’s mind: “Where is my product?” With just a little more than two months to go until Christmas and an exceptionally early Hanukkah this year (kicking off on Nov. 28, just two days after Black Friday), the outlook for a successful holiday season continues...

Christmas at risk as supply chain ‘disaster’ only gets worse. It’s the beginning of October, just the start of what the retail world simply calls “peak.” But the industry is already in various forms of panic that usually don’t take hold until the weeks before Christmas. Early in the year, the hope was that the bottlenecks that gummed up the global supply chain in 2020 would be mostly cleared by now. 

Canada: Toy advisory ahead of Christmas issued by trade agencyThe Canadian Toy Association is advising Canadian consumers to shop earlier for holiday toys this season due to anticipated inventory shortages resulting from global supply chain issues. “If there’s a must have item on your child’s wish list, we are encouraging all Canadian families to shop earlier for toys this year, and to not wait until late November...

Supply chain disruptions are affecting Kickstarter projects–here's what to knowWe know there are creators on Kickstarter who are seeing the effects of this disruption begin to take hold in ways that are altering the timelines they're planning for upcoming projects—or causing fulfillment delays for projects already underway. 

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

Talking Shop, Sam Giltrow caught up with Toys N Tuck, Osborne Sports & Toys, Roys Toys and Toys Galore . . . . . . September 2021 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels . . . . . .  Sports score big with European kids

(the above posted after October 8th)

Analysts predict further supply chain pricing challenges for ‘22 . . . . . . U.S. toy industry sales get a boost. U.S. toy industry sales increased by 19% from January-June 2021, growing $1.7 billion to a total of $11 billion . . . . . . Toy Association Unveils Hot Holiday Toy Trends . . . . . . Diamond Top 400 Graphic Novels--August 2021 . . . . . .  Diamond Top 400 Comics--August 2021 . . . . . . Premium Playing Cards Booming as Impulse Items . . . . . . Top 20 Graphic Novels - September 2021 . . . . . .  Top 50 Comics - September 2021 . . . . . . Worldwide esports viewership will grow to 519 million by 2024 - Report

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

SEL X STEAM EdTech company, MEandMine, receives $2.1 Million in seed round funding . . . . . Apple estimated to earn more from gaming than Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo . . . . . .  Smyths Toys UK & NI revenue holds steady . . . . . .  Honor of Kings breaks $10bn in lifetime revenue

Future Financial Reporting . . .

Mattel announced that it plans to release its third quarter 2021 financial results on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at approximately 4:05 p.m. ET. Following this, Mattel will host a conference call and webcast at 5:00 p.m. ET. The conference call will be webcast on Mattel's Investor Relations website, https://investors.mattel.com. To listen to the live call, log on to the website at least 10 minutes early to register, download and install any necessary audio software. An archive of the webcast will be available on the Company's website for 90 days and may be accessed beginning approximately two hours after the completion of the live call. A telephonic replay of the call will be available beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time the evening of the call until Thursday, Oct 28, 2021 and may be accessed by dialing +1-404-537-3406. The passcode is 6941839.

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Stories, Comments & Advice . . .

Selfridges unveils its top Christmas toys for 2021.  The retailer says Christmas-related online searches are 225% ahead of forecast as excitement for the festive season builds and customers shop early. Selfridges has revealed its pick of the toys it believes will be topping kids’ letters to Father Christmas this year, with a number of household names making the list. The retailer’s predictions for the best-selling toys ...

Letter from America with Rick Derr.  This month, Rick reveals lessons learned from the pandemic, looking at physical toy stores and how he believes their future is guaranteed.  Rick opened the first Learning Express Toys franchise in the Chicago area in 1996, and then became a sub-franchiser, opening nine more stores.  “Over the last decade or so, we all have questioned at one time or another whether physical brick...

(the above posted after October 8th)

John Baulch, ToyWorld (UK) - Sign of the times…it’s the Friday Blog! The BTHA’s latest safety campaign went public this week. Still Toying with Children’s Safety (with emphasis on the word still) highlighted yet again that the online platforms have done little to address the problem of unsafe toys being listed by third-party vendors, while proving themselves to be incredibly slow to remove unsafe toys from sale. 

Robosen Optimus Prime Toy Review: Probably The Most Amazing Toy Ever Made. Back when Hasbro revealed the existence of a self-transforming Optimus Prime toy from the original Transformers, many couldn’t believe their eyes. Well, it’s here and very real as well as being entirely amazing. To give a bit of context to the design itself, Optimus Prime as we know him is the leader of the Autobots in the ...

Streaming into sales: how streaming services impact the toy industry. It’s been nearly 15 years since Netflix first started to offer its subscribers a library of online video content for a flat monthly fee, introducing a new way to watch TV and movies that would ultimately eclipse — or more accurately, obliterate — its existing DVD-by-mail rental service. Today, content streaming is still a hot topic. 

Backstory: Pokémon turns 25As a kid, Satoshi Tajiri spent his days catching bugs and insects in his backyard in Japan. As an adult, he turned this innocent, adventurous fun into a game that took over the world. It’s now been 25 years since the first Pokémon game hit kids’ Nintendo Game Boys on Feb. 27, 1996.

Packaging feelings for kids’ mental well-beingPackaging plays a critical role in conveying toys’ emotional benefits. It’s been a very difficult year and a half for all of us since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. During that time, we — as a global society — have had to endure a magnitude of challenges, from annoying inconveniences to heart-wrenching tragedies. 

TCGPlayer Top 25 Sealed Products (with price shifts) - September 2021. The Tales of Aria Booster Box (1st Edition) from the Flesh and Blood TCG was the most actively bought and sold sealed TCG product in September 2021, according to the TCGplayer chart of the Top 25 Sealed TCG Products.  

Why is everyone talking about ‘Squid Game’? If you’ve been on social media over the past few weeks, you’ll have noticed that Netflix has another inescapable hit on its hands with their new show Squid Game. The Crown or Bridgerton, however, it is not. Created by the acclaimed South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game is a bracingly violent thriller series that has drawn comparisons to The Hunger Games...

What the 2021 holiday season may look like for the toy industry. By Gerrick Johnson, senior analyst, BMO Capital Markets. Though many folks in the toy industry know who I am, few know what I actually do. I am an equity research analyst for BMO Capital Markets and, in a nutshell, I make stock recommendations to institutional investors (mutual, hedge, and pension funds).  

Car thieves arrested after using $27,000 'Game Boy'. A gang of British car thieves have been arrested after being caught using a device disguised as a Nintendo Game Boy, which was designed to bypass the security systems on modern cars. As the BBC reports, the device, worth around £20,000 (USD$27,000), is able to not just get past a car’s security system, but also start the engine as well. 

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Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Spinwelder from MattelIn 1974, Mattel released Spinwelder, a welding toy that children could use to construct various vehicles. The plastic welder attached to a 6-volt lantern battery to join plastic parts together using “harmless friction heat.” In addition to bonding plastic pieces, Spinwelder could also be used to attach plastic rivets, providing kids with another type of building technique. 

Where’s the Fun From? How school teacher Eleanor Abbott invented Candy Land during a pandemic. In this installment from his YouTube series, Where’s the Fun From?, author, documentary filmmaker, and toy industry veteran Tim Walshdiscuss how school teacher Eleanor Abbott invented Candy Land, one of the world’s most popular games, during a pandemic that occurred more than 71 years ago.

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

WowWee is launching a line of collectible dolls inspired by hit Roblox game Twilight Daycare. The toymaker’s partnership with Gamefam, the LA-based developer/publisher of 20 games for Roblox, marks a significant switch in its efforts to take advantage of the wildly popular platform. WowWee initially viewed Roblox primarily as a marketing channel for its own brands, but VP of brand developmt & creative strategy Sydney...

Corus Ent’s Nelvana is looking to reach millennial and GenZ fans of Max & Ruby via a new licensed apparel line from Juniper Creates.  The Max & Ruby Remix Collection consists of tops, overalls, oversized fashion earrings, and a Max & Ruby blanket sweater.  “Millennials and Gen Zs all over the world have fond memories of watching Max & Ruby as preschoolers,” said head of Nelvana Enterprises Mellany Masterson. 

Several broadcasters have picked up a new 2D-animated adaptation of The Little Prince from Paris-based production company ON kids & family and the Saint-Exupéry-d’Agay Estate.  Currently in production, The Little Prince and Friends will air on France Télévisions, WDR (Germany), RAI (Italy) and Gloob (Brazil) in 2023. The 52 x 11-min series is aimed at four- to 7-yr-olds and will see the Little Prince set off on a spaceship...

Peacock, Hulu pick up another Dragon spinoff. Set in modern times, DreamWorks Animation's Dragons: The Nine Realms will drop simultaneously on both streamers on December 23. It’s set in a scientific research facility, where a group of outsider kids discovers the truth about where dragons have been hiding all these years.

Spin Master Champions New League of Legends Collection. Spin Master launches the first of its collection as the global master toy licensee for Riot Games’ League of Legends, the most-played PC game in the world. A mainstay in the multiplayer online battle arena, League of Legends is a team-based, strategy game where two teams of five powerful champions face off to conquer the other’s base.

(the above posted after October 8th)

Crayola enters into new Bluey partnership The deal covers the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the UK where the Bluey range will be available in January 2022. Crayola has signed a multi-territory licensing deal for stationery, arts, crafts and colouring packs, further expanding the global licensing portfolio for multi-award-winning property, 

Disney Channels U.S. acquires ZAG Heroez’ CGI action-comedy series GhostforceAward-winning global independent animation studio ZAG has licensed its action-comedy series Ghostforce to Disney Channels U.S. Created and produced by Jeremy Zag, the supernatural series for kids aged 6–10 follows 3 junior-high school students who form a secret team to defend their city from the ghastly ghouls haunting it. Ghostforce..

Schleich teams up with National Geographic Kids for new play sets.  The multi-year partnership will produce play sets to encourage children to be enthusiastic about nature conservation through play. With nature and environmental matters high on the agenda for many families, German toy manufacturer Schleich and National Geographic Kids have collaborated to launch a series of new play sets designed to get children...

Jakks Pacific Releases Line for Disney’s Encanto.  This comprehensive line will celebrate Disney’s new family ensemble, as well as key moments and songs from the movie, with toys that kids can use to recreate their favorite scenes. The Encanto line will include interactive playsets, such as the Magical Casa Madrigal, Singing Mirabel and Magic Butterfly doll, Sing and Play Mirabel doll, Mirabel and Isabela fashion doll assortment...

Super Impulse, License 2 Play ink licensing deals for Toxic Waste Candy. Candy brands are hot right now and Surge Brands Inc. — a sister company to Surge Licensing — just inked a raft of new deals to extend Candy Dynamics’ Toxic Waste into other consumer products categories, including toys and collectibles. 

Rubies to bring Numberblocks characters to life with new costume license. Rubies has welcomed yet another impressive license to their extensive portfolio with the announcement that the company is the official dress-up licensee for children’s TV show Numberblocks, One of the biggest shows on television and online, 

Mattel Creations announces the Hot Wheels x Gucci Cadillac Seville. Mattel Creations, the design collaboration and direct-to-consumer platform of Mattel Inc, is adding to its growing list of creators with a unique Hot Wheels collectible to mark high-end fashion house Gucci’s 100th anniversary. The limited-edition Hot Wheels x Gucci Cadillac Seville, inspired by a scale model of the legendary Seville by Gucci Cadillac,...

‘Chuggington’ to release toy line. Herschend Entertainment Studios, which produces and distributes “Chuggington” globally, and Alpha Group U.S., the wholly owned subsidiary of Alpha (Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co.), will create a line of toys based on the preschool series, “Chuggington: Tales from the Rails.”  

Dead Heads rejoice! Fun In Motion release Grateful Dead themed Shashibo magnetic puzzle cubes. Fun In Motion Toys has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Rhino Records to produce a collection of Shashibo magnetic puzzle cubes featuring the iconic artwork of celebrated band Grateful Dead.

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People . . . 

ZAG promotes Lisa K Foster to SVP, Licensing, North America.  As award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG continues to build a robust consumer products programme for flagship brand Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, the company is elevating North American Licensing VP Lisa K Foster to the role of Senior Vice President, Licensing, to manage the company’s portfolio of brands under...

Kidscreen’s sister publication Playback has confirmed that Jason Badal has been named VP and GM of Disney+ in Canada.  The role will leverage Badal’s expertise in consumer products and leading multinational companies, but no additional details about his portfolio of responsibilities were available at press time. Badal announced on LinkedIn that he had departed Shopify on September 24, after...

Flat River Group promoted Dan Myers to vice president of purchasing and business development. Myers joined the company in March from WeCool Toys where he served as global sales director. Flat River is a a distributor of toys, games, and other consumer products in addition to serving as a full-service provider of warehousing and fulfillment for a variety of e-commerce retailers, is strengthening its buying team. 

Hasbro, Inc. Chairman and CEO Brian D. Goldner is taking a medical leave of absence, effective immediately with Rich Stoddart appointed interim CEO. The news follows last year’s disclosure that Goldner had been undergoing continued medical care following treatment for cancer in 2014. “After careful consideration, I have decided to take a medical leave to focus on my health,” Goldner says. “I feel confident knowing ...

Hasbro, today announced the hiring of Carrie Ratner as Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Communications. In this strategic role, Ratner will be responsible for leading Hasbro’s external and internal corporate communications and storytelling strategy with Hasbro’s brands and purpose at the center. She will direct Hasbro’s corporate communications team and will assume responsibility for Hasbro’s external media...

(the above posted after the Bloom Report sent Friday monring on October 8th)

In this week’s  “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton welcomes Doug Putman, the new owner of Toys “R” Us Canada and Babies “R” Us Canada. Putman’s latest venture places the iconic retailer into a portfolio that includes Everest Toys, Sunrise Records, Alex Global Products, and FYE. On the show, Albritton asks Putman about his backstory and what drives him to purchase...

Both sides now – HTI’s Richard Hollis.  Toy World spoke to Richard about his new role at HTI and how the company’s licensing strategy continues to evolve with him at the helm. In March, HTI announced that licensing stalwart Richard Hollis would be taking over the role of licensing manager from Michelle Dalziel, shifting his extensive experience as a licensor, with companies including the BBC and DreamWorks, to the other...

Bardel gets new CEO & COO.  Former EVP of development Tina Chow will lead the studio, while Richard Grieve oversees operations as COO.

Italian parentco Rainbow has promoted Tina Chow (pictured right) and Richard Grieve (pictured left) to head up its Canadian animation studio Bardel Entertainment. Effective this month, Chow takes over as CEO, while Grieve will serve as COO.  A five-year Bardel veteran, Chow...

Less than a month after his promotion to CEO, Brian Robbins has started a leadership shake-up at Paramount Pictures, bringing in Nickelodeon Animation head Ramsey Naito to replace Mireille Soria as animation president for the ViacomCBS motion picture group. This comes less than a week after Emma Watts exited her role as president of Paramount Pictures. Paramount did not give a reason for the departure...

USPT interview Debbie Sterling, founder of GoldieBloxGrowing up, Debbie’s favorite subjects were math and art, but she didn’t realize her creativity and knack for numbers would set her up for a successful engineering career. In fact, she didn’t even know what engineering was until college. Now, she’s made it her mission to introduce young girls to engineering concepts in fun and engaging ways through GoldieBlox...

Casdon Toys continues expansion with another new senior hire. Casdon Toys is expanding its team further with the appointment of Kate Watson as UK National Account Manager. A familiar face in the toy industry, Kate has previously held positions with Schleich UK and Hasbro, and brings a wealth of experience to the role at Casdon, where she will have responsibility for managing all national accounts for the brand.

EA promotes Laura Miele to COO, making her one of the most powerful women in gaming. Electronic Arts is promoting chief studios officer Laura Miele to chief operating officer, the company announced Thursday. The change is a big promotion for Miele, who already had significant leadership at the company overseeing 25 different studios. 

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Companies, Brands . . .  

Disney+ focuses on anime with APAC slate.  Disney is mounting a major new campaign in the Asia-Pacific streaming wars, announcing 18 new local-language originals that will be produced in the next year for its SVODs in the region. The new projects hail from Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, China and Australia, spanning series and films in genres including anime, comedy, fantasy, drama, science-fiction, documentaries...

Build the Ship of Dreams with the Massive LEGO Titanic.  One of the most iconic vessels of all time is joining the LEGO fleet. The LEGO Group created an authentic, 9,090-piece replica of the RMS Titanic, the legendary ship that sank during its maiden voyage in April 1912. Geared toward the growing market of adult builders and collectors, the massive model measures 52-inches in length and contains several sections that....

Mattel's Masters of the Universe: Revelation Part 2 Brings Savage He-Man to the Action Aisle. After leaving fans — and the fate of He-Man — hanging with a cliffhanger ending in July, Masters of the Universe: Revelation Part 2 will debut on Netflix on November 23. Alongside the series comes some new additions to the growing Masterverse line of action figures.

ViacomCBS, RECUR Team up for Fan-based NFT Platform. Soon, you’ll be able to collect and trade some of your favorite TV shows as NFTs. ViacomCBS Inc. has partnered with leading non-fungible token (NFT) company RECUR to create a platform in which fans can buy, collect, and trade NFTs as digital products. Fans of ViacomCBS’ portfolio of brands will have access to the company’s catalog, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central...

Jazwares and its subsidiary Kellytoy have surpassed 100 million Squishmallow plushes sold, and they’re marking the milestone with a limited edition special release.  Hans, one of the core characters from the original Squishmallows squad, returns as two different 16-inch styles this week. “Hans with Golden Details” is the classic brown Squishmallow with gold trim, top hat, and bowtie. 

Walmart has introduced a Netflix hub on Walmart.com, which now serves as the largest dedicated online shopping platform for Netflix merchandise in the U.S. It also marks Netflix’s first digital storefront with a national retailer.  Fans who visit the hub will be able to find toys, game, collectibles, apparel, stationery, bedding, and more consumer products available for purchase, based on Netflix’s top properties....

Toy World brings you an exclusive Barbie Special, in conjunction with Mattel’s Barbie Licensing team, with highlights from the yr so far and a peek into the future.  As the brand records 5 years of year-on-year growth, 2021 looks set to be another record-breaking period. The Consumer Products range is enjoying the same success, seeing double digit growth yr to date.  Helen Genia, Consumer Products Licensing Leader...

Going above and beyond with Octonauts.  Silvergate’s Octonauts: Above & Beyond arrived on Netflix on 7th September, introducing audiences to new characters, new vehicles and new environments as the intrepid crew takes its adventures onto land for the first time ever. A week after the release, Toy World spoke to Lisa Macdonald, senior vice president CP and TV Sales, North America, EMEA, Aus/NZ, Silvergate Media...

Smyths Toys Superstores has unveiled a magical new board games campaign in collaboration with Hasbro Gaming.  The creative campaign captures all the fun of iconic Hasbro board games as Smyths Toys’ beloved brand character, Oscar, gets competitive. The story follows Oscar on a journey through a world of larger-than-life Hasbro board games, animated by McCann Manchester Animation House. 

Lego addresses gender stereotypes. Informed by its latest research, The Lego Group launches its ‘Ready for Girls’ campaign to celebrate girls who rebuild the story of old-fashioned gender norms. New research commissioned by The Lego Group reveals that while today’s girls feel increasingly confident in engaging in all types of play and creative activities, they remain held back by society’s ingrained gender stereotypes...

TIME Celebrates International Day of the Girl with LEGO and Barbie.  On Oct. 11, TIME will celebrate International Day of the Girl by launching two exciting partnerships with LEGO and Mattel’s Barbie.  Red Border by TIME (TIME’s branded content studio) has partnered with LEGO for International Day of the Girl to highlight inspirational girls and young women who are doing amazing things in the world. 

(the above was posted after october 8th)

Mattel Television’s animated series Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go is headed to new channels across the world. Mattel has secured new distribution deals with Nick Jr. (U.K.), WarnerMedia (EMEA), WarnerMedia (LatAm), TF1 (France), Noga (Israel), and FPT TV (Vietnam). Longstanding Thomas content partners that have signed on to distribute the show include Milkshake (U.K.), Televisa (Mexico), TV Cultura (Brazil), ...

In celebration of World Space Week, YouTube Originals has teamed up with US VP and head of Nat'l Space Council Kamala Harris on a new special for kids and families. Get Curious with Vice President Harris is produced by Canada’s Sinking Ship Entertainment and tags along with the VP and several students as they explore space themes through activities like a fieldtrip to the U.S.Naval Observatory...

Knowledge Network preps first original kids show. Epic Story Media, Groupe Media TFO and the pubcaster are co-producing Luna, Chip & Inkie Adventure Rangers Go, which will premiere in April 2022. Luna, Chip & Inkie Adventure Rangers Go is based on the network’s long-time mascots (an owl, beaver and octopus trio), and will follow along as the characters find creative solutions to solve problems for their neighbors...

Hasbro Releases New Version of Mahjong. Mahjong is a tile-based game that originated in China in the 1800s. A modern-day married couple, Jennifer Guo and Adam Szakacs, are looking to connect their Chinese and Jewish cultures with a new variation on the classic game, called Not Your Ma’s Jong.

Neil Patrick Harris Unveils Moose Toys’ Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron at CAMP.  One of the hottest toys of the holiday season made its debut in New York City. Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris unveiled the power of Moose Toys’ Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron at CAMP‘s Columbus Circle store. 

L.O.L. Surprise! The Movie will be released in the UK on Netflix, supported by a Movie Magic range. Bringing together the worlds of toy and entertainment, a Movie Magic theme is featured in L.O.L. Surprise! The Movie, available to watch on Netflix from Friday 8th October. Fans will see their favourite characters embark on an adventure across the B.B. verse filled with music, dance and lots of surprises along the way .

Bonkers Toys Introduces Aphmau MeeMeows Mystery Plush Collectibles.  A new line of collectibles is on the prowl at Walmart. Bonkers Toys unleashed its first wave of Aphmau MeeMeows Mystery Plush this week — the first retail toys created in partnership with the top female gaming star on YouTube

Zeptolab preps Om Nom preschool spinoff.  EXCLUSIVE: The decade-old gaming brand is getting its first preschool series and podcast through new partnerships with Storytime and Pinna. In an effort to reach a new generation of kids, Zeptolab is spinning off a popular character from its Cut the Rope gaming IP to star in a new original series and podcast. Introduced more than a decade ago in a series of physics-based puzzle...

Peacock greenlights pair of preschool originals.  Dark Slope is producing CG-animated Babble Bop!, while Sky and Peacock are collaborating on their second kids series The Makery. US streamer Peacock is expanding its kids programming offering with two new preschool series, Babble Bop! and The Makery. Set to drop in Dec., music-focused Babble Bop! is a 72 x 2.5-minute series that will be delivered in half-hour blocks. 

ToyTopic introduces ‘serious portfolio’.  Toy World caught up with Ashley Holman of ToyTopic to hear about his brand new venture and why the time was right to launch a new toy company.  “It’s been a whirlwind year,” Ashley told us. He isn’t exaggerating. The new business, which was set up just as the pandemic hit, has not only signed a multi-territory licence agreement with Hasbro for its flagship Peppa Pig property...

Tesco’s toy buyers have revealed their top picks for this Christmas to give parents some insight into what’s been popular in toys this year.  As the countdown to the big day begins in earnest, Tesco has offered a bit of help to those making a start on their Christmas lists.  The supermarket reported an impressive 400% increase in demand for board games and kidult toys during lockdown, and buyers believe that...

Amazon has announced the opening of its first non-food store in the UK, to range around 2,000 of its highest-rated lines. The 3,500 sq ft store opens in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford today (October 6th) and will carry around 2,000 of the online retailer’s most popular and best-rated products. Named ‘Amazon 4-star’, the store’s inventory will be made up of items that have been given more than 4 stars...

HUGE! Play launches first toy.  Conceived and launched during the pandemic, the toyco's first AI product starts delivering DTC next month, says Kevin Mowrer.  HUGE! Play is making sure its first-ever product will be in kids’ hands in time for the holidays. As many manufacturers and retailers continue to struggle with ongoing delays in the shipping industry, the US-based toyco is guaranteeing that its newly launched...

Holly Hobbie switches commissioning broadcasters.  BYUtv is taking over from Hulu in the US for future episodes, and Disney Channel has picked up the first three seasons of the show stateside.  As Cloudco Entertainment wraps production on the third season of Holly Hobbie for Hulu, it’s changing commissioning broadcasters for future episodes.

Sesame Workshop is expanding its “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” program with new resources and content to help families create routines, build flexibility and cope with change. The new video sees the four-year-old Sesame character learning how to manage her fear of the dark by drawing what she’s afraid of. It’s accompanied by printable activity and coloring sheets to help children develop...

‘Gridopolis’ Among 10 Tabletop Games to Earn 2021 Mensa Select® Seal. Winners were recognized for being “original in concept, challenging, and well designed”.  Awarded annually by a judging panel of Mensa members, the Mensa Select seal indicates that a game is distinctive, challenging, and thoughtfully designed. Additional criteria include good value for the price, easy to comprehend and play, and fun factor. 

SMF Toytown confirms new board structure.  An email has been sent to all Toytown stores, announcing the ‘semi-retirement’ of MD, Alan Simpson, and detailing the new board structure. Following the news of Brian Simpson’s return to the family business, the email sent to all SMF Toytown stores advises that the new board structure is effective immediately. Although Alan is taking a step back, he will retain the title...

Netflix continues to expand its preschool lineup with four new CG-animated series orders and a pair of renewals. The streamer has picked up Mattel Television’s Deepa & Anoop (pictured), a music-driven series starring seven-year-old Deepa and her color-changing elephant Anoop as they help guests at her family’s bed and breakfast. 

Build the ship of dreams with the massive LEGO Titanic. One of the most iconic vessels of all time is joining the LEGO fleet. The LEGO Group created an authentic, 9,090-piece replica of the RMS Titanic, the legendary ship that sank during its maiden voyage in April 1912. Geared toward the growing market of adult builders and collectors, the massive model measures 52-inches in length and contains...

Italy: FAO Schwarz toy store opening in Milan. A world made entirely of toys. It is not only the plot of one of the four Toy Stories but also what can be seen in the store that the historic brand FAO Schwarz, known for its iconic store in New York City, will open in Milan in Piazza Cordusio. The mega games store will be located in the heart of the city in an ancient building in Piazza Cordusio...

LEGO Group launches Doom the Gloom to help families become “digitally smart”The LEGO Group has launched a new programme of fun interactive guides, games and play activities designed to help parents raise digitally smart families. At a time when we are spending more time online than ever before, the new experiences explore and promote a better understanding of key digital citizenship skills...

Hoist the sails and ransack 'Jamaica'. Asmodee USA will release Jamaica, a new family strategy game by Space Cowboys, into U.S. retail on November 26. In Jamaica, players engage in a Henry Morgan's Great Challenge, a pirate race in honor of his nomination as Governor of Jamaica. The players assume control of pirate ships, and race around the island in an attempt to fill their holds with gold. 

Be the big fish in Wizkids' 'Squid Inc.' Next April, WizKids will launch Squid Inc., a game about office politics in the ocean’s largest corporation. In Squid Inc., players try to ascend the corporate ladder by creatively hiring prospective employees and using their abilities to arrange promotions or sabotage the efforts of their rivals.  

Petersen Games announces 'Call of Cthulhu Terror Paths'. Petersen Games announced Call of Cthulhu Terror Paths, a new board game, which is expected to release in 2022.Sandy Petersen is headed back to the depths of the proverbial well, as he re-activates his age-old ties with Chaosium Inc. to produce a Call of Cthulhu-licensed board game. 

Schleich teams up with National Geographic Kids for new play sets. With nature and environmental matters high on the agenda for many families, German toy manufacturer Schleich and National Geographic Kids have collaborated to launch a series of new play sets designed to get children excited about conservation through play. 

WowWee adds two new Squishies to the My Squishy Littles collection. WowWee is releasing two new My Squishy Littles characters for double the fun. Mel the Marshmallow and Peace the Peach each have their own unique outfits and looks to add to the collection of Squishy Little Dumplings. Mel the Marshmallow is an Amazon-exclusive addition to the My Squishy Littles collection.

Make it a cool Yule with Endless Games’ newest release, Hip Town. The latest pop culture board game from Endless Games is Hip Town, a fun – and very funny – take on hipster culture. Suitable for trendsetters ages 13+, Hip Town sees players compete to create the trendiest neighborhood in Hip Town, where it takes style, street smarts and a sense of humour to beat fellow developers. 

Hasbro is rereleasing the original . America Marvel Legends figure to celebrate 20 years. Back in 2002, long before any fans were using the phrase “The Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Toybiz released the very first Marvel Legends collectibles, recreating popular characters from Marvel Comics. Hasbro picked up the production of Marvel Legends after buying out Toybiz in 2006 and now, almost 20 years after it first debuted...

Barbie defies gravity: iconic doll enjoys “space” flight to encourage girls into STEM careers. Mattel’s Barbie is partnering with the European Space Agency (ESA) and its only active European female astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to celebrate ‘Women in Space’ and inspire girls everywhere to see the STEM field as a viable career option. The collaboration sees Samantha’s doll sent on a Zero-G flight and educational...

MGA expands Na! Na! Na! Surprise range this Autumn. Na! Na! Na! Surprise was the first soft-bodied articulated doll to launch and this will be the 5th series. Fans can unbox and meet six new characters who each come with a stylish outfit and shoes, as well as a wearable, quilted metallic, clip-on pom purse.

Peek inside the magic of ‘Gabby’s Dollhouse’. It’s every kid’s dream to dive head-first into their toy dollhouse to explore a world of possibilities in every miniature room. Kitty enthusiast Gabby and her plush pal Pandy Paws are living that dream in Gabby’s Dollhouse, a DreamWorks Animation preschool series with two seasons on Netflix. 

Genius Games will release 'Cellulose' into retail. Genius Games will release Cellulose: A Plant Cell Biology Game into U.S. retail. They also unveiled First in Flight, a game chronicling man's first attempts at flying. Cellulose: A Plant Cell Biology Game is a worker placement, engine-building game where players compete over the resources used to make photosynthesis occur. 

Reiner Knizia's 'Sumatra' is headed to U.S. retail. Asmodee USA will bring Sumatra, an expedition game published by Ludonova, to U.S. retail on November 12. In Sumatra, players join an expedition to the largest volcanic island in Indonesia. They will traverse the island in an effort to explore its sites. Each site provides useful information tiles that they will have to include in their travel logs. 

Far Out Toys roars into Talladega for the Nascar Yellawood 500. After getting red-flagged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Far Out Toys is rejoining NASCAR this weekend for the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. On Sunday, October 3, the NASCAR Kid Zone fueled by Adventure Force will be the go-to spot for kids to check out some of the latest Adventure Force Crash Racers track sets. 

Asmodee and Z-Man Games launch World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King – A Pandemic System Board Game. Blending the fun of the cooperative Pandemic gameplay system with the thrill of epic World of Warcraft quests for a gripping tabletop experience, Asmodee and Z-Man Games’ World of Warcraft®: Wrath of the Lich King® – A Pandemic System Board Game invites players to become heroes of Azeroth ...

Osprey announces 'Brian Boru: High King Of Ireland'. Osprey Games announced Brian Boru: High King of Ireland, a historical board game by Peer Sylvester, for release on November 11. In Brian Boru: High King of Ireland, players seek to unite Ireland under their rule through might, cunning, and matrimony. They will forge alliances to fend off Vikings, build monasteries, and rally towns and villages to their cause. 

Steve Jackson Games announces price increase. Steve Jackson Games announced a price increase on Munchkin, Zombie Dice, and Illuminati products, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. These price increases are due to increased overhead, manufacturing, and shipping costs. The new price increases will affect Munchkin Core Sets which will have their MSRPs go from $24.95 to $29.95, and Munchkin Deluxe Sets,...

PMI enters fidget toy market following deal with Mejjjet PTY of Zzzopa fame. Leading toy design, manufacturing and distribution company PMI has signed an agreement with Australian-based Mejjjet PTY for the purchase of new spinning sensation, the Zzzopa Fidget Spinner Ball Brand. With the signing of the deal, PMI enters the world of fidget toys, taking a new spin on the trend that blew away fidgeters of all ages...

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

EA could rename the FIFA franchise after almost three decades. EA is contemplating dropping the 'FIFA' name from its popular soccer franchise after almost three decades. The name has been attached to the sports sim since 1993 when FIFA International Soccer was released. The series has become a genre mainstay in the years since, spawning annual releases and spin-offs including FIFA Street and tournament …

Massive mod gives Super Mario Sunshine another chance to shine. A bunch of the Super Mario Sunshine modding community got together to make their favorite game even better. The result is Super Mario Eclipse, a massive mod that expands Mario’s Isle Delfino adventure with new moves, new worlds, new playable characters, and a whole new story. 

Xbox head explains console shortages will continue into 2022. It’s likely that if you are reading these words on this website, you already know how hard it can be to get your hands on the new consoles. Well, I’ve got some bad news straight from Xbox VP of gaming Phil Spencer: Finding a console ain’t getting easier anytime soon. As spotted and transcribed by VGC, Phil Spencer spoke to The Wrap recently and explained...

The Epic Games Store is getting a new achievements system. A new achievements system called 'Epic Achievements' is being added to the Epic Games Store next week. Although the marketplace already had a 'developer achievements' system in place, which was operated by devs themselves, the new offering will be more similar to achievement systems on other platforms. 

Massive Facebook outage brings down gaming in its wake. Facebook could not be more down right now. As the world gets a taste of the alternative reality where Mark Zuckerberg played sports in college, we’re also learning just how much of our lives are entangled in the Facebook empire. As far as gaming goes, if you were hoping to pick up that new game on Oculus VR, you might be wishing you’d gone ...

Windows 11 will hobble gaming performance by default on some prebuilt PCs. Despite Microsoft's claims that "if you're a gamer, Windows 11 was made for you" you will need to watch out for future prebuilt PCs with the new OS factory installed. That's because the Big M is enabling more security features in PCs by default, and one in particular can seriously tank gaming performance. In our testing...

Twitch Hack

Twitch says 'malicious third party' was behind hack. Twitch has just issued an update, following on from yesterday’s major attack on the service which resulted in the theft and then public posting of, among other things, the platform’s source code. According to their ongoing investigation, “a malicious third party” is responsible. Described by those responsible as “part one” of “an extremely poggers leak…

Twitch says 'no indication' login details were exposed during recent data leak. Twitch has provided more updates after confirming a "security incident" that seemingly exposed reams of data including platform source code and creator payout reports. Hours after news of the leak began the circulate, the company issued a brief statement confirming there had been "a breach." .

Report: Twitch is hacked and its source code is in the wild [Update]. According to a report by VGC, an anonymous hacker has posted a 125GB torrent link containing, well, all of Twitch, including its source code and commit history going back to the start. The leak also contains streamers’ incomes since 2019, and information that suggests the Amazon-owned streaming platform’s Steam rival Vapor may really exist. 

Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

Strong start for BTHA’s Still Toying with Children’s Safety campaign. The toy community is encouraged to support the campaign and sign the petition, which could see the situation debated in Parliament. Despite a busy news week, the BTHA’s new Still Toying with Children’s Safety campaign got off to a strong start yesterday. BBC One consumer campaigning series Rip Off Britain featured the story prominently...

Almost HALF the toys sold by third-party sellers on online marketplaces could be lethal to kids, says shocking new report. Nearly half the toys tested in a recent study that were purchased from third-party sellers via online marketplaces could choke, strangle, burn, poison and electrocute children, according to a shocking new report commissioned by the British Toy and Hobby Association.  

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Highlighted Press Releases . . . 

YOU’LL NEVER HEAR “WE’RE BORED” WHEN YOU MAKE THEIR DAY WITH MAKE-A-FORT KITS. Durable and Reusable Explorer Kit Will Stand Up To Playtime.  (And Save The Couch Cushions For You!) – Raise your hand if you’ve ever positioned the couch pillows on the floor to become walls topped by a roof of blankets. Suddenly there’s a secret entrance to crawl through. There’s something magical about an indoor fort that brings joy to every child. Take that thought and ratchet it up a notch with Make-A-Fort Explorer Kits at https://www.makeafort.fun.

(the aboved posted after October 8th)

EEBOO HAS THE PERFECT PIECES TO SOLVE EVERY PUZZLING HOLIDAY GIFT LIST.  Edutaining Puzzles, Games & Gift Ideas for Every Age and Stage Are In Stock and Ready to Wrap from eeBoo and Pieces & Love Collections.   The hunt is on this season for high-quality and thoughtfully designed presents for all generations. Lifestyle brand and toy manufacturer eeBoo announces its Top Ten gifts that are in stock and simply beautiful. Everything the eeBoo makes is designed to inspire and support a lifetime of empathy, creativity, and curiosity.

SHOPPING FOR SOMEONE ON SANTA’S GOOD LIST? (HE FILLS HIS SLED WITH THE GOOD GAME COMPANY). Santa Suggests Giftwrapping The Fast and Frenzied game of Not It!™ For Anyone On Your List That Enjoys A Quick Challenge And Hearty Laughter.  When friends or family gather this holiday season, who doesn’t love a good time of game playing? The Good Game Company puts a twist on the roll of the dice with Not It! (v1.0) a fast and frenzied fun for everyone! Just don’t expect Grandma to go easy on the kids… or vice versa!

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

Spielwarenmesse highlights sustainability with Toys go Green area.  The Toys go Green area will host four themed ‘islands’, each offering visitors an insight into the materials and innovation that go into sustainable toys.  With sustainability remaining a significant and much-discussed topic worldwide, Spielwarenmesse’s 13-member strong International TrendCommittee has identified it as a ‘mega trend’ ...

MIPCOM news you can use. The deals are flowing in Cannes this week, including plenty of acquisitions, Superprod's first deal with Nick International and Atlantyca's foray into live action. MIPCOM and MIP Junior are in full swing this week, and industry news is coming in steadily as companies reconnect in person and online. Check out this Kidscreen roundup of all the hot deals happening at market, and shows...

The Toy Association and Clamour‘s “Best of Holiday 2021″ Influencer Choice List is here. Highlighting top toys and games chosen by influencers in the Clamour network, the list will help families complete their holiday shopping early this year amid global supply chain bottlenecks and toy shortages.

UK parenting site MadeForMums has announced the winners of the MadeForMums Toy Award 2021, as judged by kids, recommended by parents and approved by experts.  Ranging from a £3.99 fidget toy to a £300 play set, this year’s winners include toys from well known brands such as Barbie, Thomas & Friends, Peppa Pig, CoComelon, Bluey, Playmobil and L.O.L! Surprise. 

30 Years SAZ – A Success Story! In 1991, twelve game designers founded the Game Designers Association (SAZ). In the following 30 years, it has become a powerful interest group with 550 members from 21 countries, which also has a political impact. Its successes are impressive. Today, game designers have a stronger position vis-à-vis publishers and can act with greater confidence.

Toy World spoke to Anna Knight, VP Licensing, Informa Markets, about Brand Licensing Europe’s much anticipated return to Excel

London from 17th-19th Nov., which will see the licensing industry gather under one roof again for the first time in a very long time. Anna told us that the team is really excited to welcome everyone back: “It will have been two years since BLE was last held in-person and it’ll be the first time...

(the above posted after October 8th)

Calling All Whizkids! People Of Play’s Annual Young Inventor Challenge Kicks Off.  The Young Inventor Challenge is blasting off 2021 with their newly awarded STEM.org Accredited™ Educational Experience Trustmark, and several new winning categories. People of Play (POP) is gearing up to kickoff the annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC). This year’s contest is sponsored by toy giants; Goliath, Mattel, HABA, New Key Pet, LLC, and Crazy Aaron’s.  The YIC provides an outlet for young inventors to create, present and connect with toy industry professionals to receive professional critiques and guidance.

Be the Very Best at the 2022 Play! Pokémon Championship Series.  Next year, trainers from around the world will be invited to compete in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG); the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games; the Pokkén Tournament DX video game; and, for the first time, Pokémon Go to prove they’re the very best and for the chance to win millions in prizes. 

Over 80 toys and initiatives were submitted to the Play For Change Awards in the categories Empowerment, Sustainability and Future Skills.

Gold winners in the Empowerment Category – Miniland S.A. for Miniland Dolls with Down Syndrome. Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has unveiled the winners of the 2021 Play for Change Awards. TIE created the Play for Change Awards in 2020 to recognise the inspirational efforts....

Winners of BlogOn Toy Awards announced With more entries than ever before, votes were made by both in person and virtual judges, who awarded multiple Blogger’s Choice winners. The BlogOn Toy Awards employed a hybrid voting system that included virtual voters using live video demonstrations and in person voting at the BlogOn conference held last weekend. T

The BTHA has released the findings of a 2021 online marketplace toy safety investigation, showing that despite years of campaigning, dangerous toys are still being sold on online marketplaces. This time, 255 toys sold on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and Wish were randomly selected, inspected and tested, with a whopping 88% found to be illegal and 48% unsafe for a child to play with. 

The Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg: far more than just a trade fair. Off to Nuremberg! That’s the slogan for the Spielwarenmesse, where the international toy industry will gather from Feb. 2-6, 2022. It’s almost hard to believe that we will have endured 730 long days of waiting before meeting again at Germany’s Nuremberg Exhibition Center. 

Unpacking wins Game of the Year at 2021 Australian Game Developer Awards. Witch Beam's Unpacking won Game of the Year at the 2021 Australian Game Developer Awards, one of two honors the game received. Organizing trade group Interactive Games & Entertainment Association also awarded Unpacking the Excellence in Accessibility Award. 

Pokemon Company Int'l drops deets on 2022 'Play! Pokemon' championship series. The Pokemon Company International dropped new details regarding the 2022 Play! Pokemon Championship series. The Play! Pokemon Championship Series brings Trainers together from around the world in a series of Regional, International, and Special events that will determine the Pokemon World Champion. 

NYCC: Funko reveals virtual convention plans. With mere days to go before New York Comic Con (NYCC) kicks off, the Funko team — who will not be attending the show in person this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — has revealed plans for the company’s virtual NYCC offerings. Funko’s Virtual Con NYCC 2021 will officially take place on Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. PT with a variety of shared exclusives. 

The Game Awards will take place in December. The 2021 edition of The Game Awards, the annual Oscars-like award show for video games, will take place on December 9th. The show will take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and unlike last year, there will be an in-person audience — though it will be an invite-only event. 

ToyFest West moves to a new venue for 2022. The Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) will celebrate its diamond anniversary with ToyFest West taking place in a new location next year. The relocated event will take place March 9-11, 2022 at The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, a new tradeshow facility.

VOTING NOW OPEN FOR THE 2021 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS - the TAGIEs.  People of Play (POP) are now accepting votes for the innovative and inspiring TAGIE nominees. Vote for your favorites HERE through October 31st. Chicago, IL - September 24 - Finalists for the prestigious TAGIE Awards have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs honor the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. The 2021 TAGIE Awards are presented by Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products with sponsors Mattel, Oxford Games, The Michael Kohner Corporation,  Goliath, Radio Flyer, PlayMonster, Nextoy, and Kite and Rocket.

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

Mikael NermarkLongtime Starbreeze executive Mikael Nermark has passed away at age 50. Nermark served as Starbreeze Studios' CEO and president twice during his 11 years at the Payday publisher, first in 2011 and then again in 2018 following a five-year run as the company's COO. Before stepping down and CEO and president last year, Nermark oversaw much of Starbreeze's reconstruction process as it sought to recover from financial hardship and regain long-term stability. Loved ones shared word of his passing in a LinkedIn post over the weekend, prompting an outpouring of memories and kind words from colleagues and friends. "Mikael have fought against his cancer for a year, and he have fought hard. His strength under the circumstances is truly inspirational and gives us all a perspective on life," reads the post written by Avalanche Studios co-founder Christofer Sundberg and Starbreeze global marketing director Pelle Sunnerot. "He lived every day like it mattered because it does and that is something we should all take with us as we honor his memory. His laugh, his guidance to us who have worked with him, his calm, his knowledge, his humor, and his voice will be with us forever. Gone, but never forgotten."

David Watt  passed away earlier this month (Sept). Born in Ballymena in Northern Ireland in 1944, David worked for Lego from 1975 until 1999 as area sales manager in Northern Ireland, calling on independent retailers as well as some national accounts. Over his 24 years at Lego, David achieved the accolade of Top Salesman multiple times, winning the coveted Silver Lego Brick trophy with his name engraved. David will be remembered fondly by customers and colleagues alike, who describe him as full of passion and integrity for his work, with a great sense of humour. He lived for ‘the brick’ and was incredibly proud to work for Lego, taking great pride in what he achieved working for the group. Many of his customers knew him as the ‘Lego Man’.

Sir Clive Sinclair. Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor and entrepreneur who was instrumental in bringing home computers to the masses, has died on Thursday 16th after a long illness at the age of 81. Sir Clive Sinclair's contributions to the world extend beyond gaming, so prolific were his inventions. But as games professionals and enthusiasts alike expressed their sadness at news of his passing last week, it's clear the impact he had on the industry -- especially in the UK -- was profound and a key pillar to his legacy. Best known in the gaming world for his ZX consoles -- the ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum -- Sir Clive Sinclair provided the platform for many a developer to start their career. It wasn't just their capabilities, but also their affordability, with a ZX80 priced at less than £100. Sinclair believed in a future where every household was home to a computer, and his games consoles helped prove that could become a reality. Tributes have already been paid across social media, but we reached out to notable developers from the time, industry veterans familiar with his work, and other games professionals to share their thoughts on the life and legacy of Sir Clive Sinclair

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

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. Sign of the times…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. The October issue of Toy World is out now

  3. Tesco unveils top ten toys for Christmas

  4. Smyths Toys UK & NI revenue holds steady

  5. Strong start for BTHA’s Still Toying with Children’s Safety campaign

  6. SMF Toytown confirms new board structure

  7. Analysts predict further supply chain pricing challenges for ‘22

  8. Winners of Play for Change Awards 2021 revealed

  9. L.O.L. Surprise! The Movie brings Movie Magic to the silver screen

  10. Amazon to sell toys from physical store at Bluewater

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

WizKids Announces Another Gargantuan $399.99 'D&D Icons of the Realms' Figure
Rolling for Initiative -- Supply Chains, Postal Woes, and RIP Terry K. Amthor
WizKids Reveals Two 'D&D Idols of the Realms' Sets
WizKids Reveals New 'Magic: The Gathering Premium Figures'

Steve Jackson Games Announces Price Increase

Wizards of the Coast Adds New Deets for 'Magic's' 'Double Feature'
Premium Playing Cards Booming as Impulse Items
TCGplayer Top 25 Sealed Products (with Price Shifts) - September 2021
Gamegenic Announces 'Games Lair 600+'
Asmodee Will Release the Definitive Edition of Classic 'Kingsburg'

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

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Rolling Realms Pre-Order, Detective Rummy Announced
Stonemaier Games has a new roll and write coming soon, WizKids has announced Detective Rummy, and Space Base will be getting a new expansion next year.

 

Video of the Week! 

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Hidden Role:  Dan Klitsner Bop-It

Dan Klitsner breaks down his creative process and takes us on a Bop It journey.

The beloved toy is fast approaching its 25th anniversary (at the time of this release). How did he take Bop It from an idea bopping around in his head to a real product that has resonated with people for a quarter century?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

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