the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is October 2 - 9, 2020, Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted each day with newest articles at top of each news section. 

The previous week drops off each Friday when we send you highlights via email. 

Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know...

we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Welcome to your briefing of the week's news...

Happy Friday! BIG NEWS! CONGRATULATIONS PHIL BLOOM! 

'Our' Phil Bloom is being inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in February for inventing and building the Bloom Report into what it is today - the #1 News Summary Worldwide for our industry. Phil is a pioneer in the news world and in the toy industry! Well deserved! In case you missed it, here is an interview we did with Phil several months ago. Philip Bloom - The Man in the Iconic Sweater Reveals Almost All

 

In more good news, my first email this morning was BMO Capital's Gerrick Johnson summarizing his Toy Scout Report with: "...we think will be the biggest and best holiday season ever for kids." Gerrick will be joining Stephanie Wissink (Piper Jaffray) on a panel moderated by Alan Hassenfeld (Hasbro) for our Int'l Innovation Summit. The panel is titled: Post U.S. Election - What's Next? Register for our Summit to find out! Their panel is one of 35 panels that are a mix of thought provoking, insightful, content packed and fun panels! 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report and enjoy the weekend! 

Mary

Robert Pasin, Chief Wagon Officer at Radio Flyer - tbr Person-of-the-Week

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2020 and its role in the Radio Flyer story

As business leaders, we are often asked to tell our companies’ origin stories. Over the years, you tailor and refine your story, adding and swapping in anecdotes and highlights along the way. As the head of Radio Flyer, a 103-year-old brand, I’ve found there is a lot of material to choose from – both good and bad – that helps communicate our story.

I always start with mention of my grandfather, who founded this iconic brand over a century ago as an incredibly successful first-generation American immigrant. But, I don’t shy away from the not-so-nice parts of the story, either. When I took over, Radio Flyer was in a dark place. Sales were stagnant and company culture was non-existent. As a super green corporate executive, I can sum it up in what I now call my biggest “Oh Sh*t” moment. We were meeting with Toys ‘R Us, which was our most important customer at the time. Right in front of me, the DMM asked his team why he was scheduled to meet with me – Radio Flyer wasn’t even on his radar. This is how I frame the turning point in our story. Read More...

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E-Blox: Emerging Leader in Educational Electronic Toys and Products - tBR Company-of-the-Week

E-Blox is an emerging leader in educational electronic toys and products that engage children to Learn by BuildingTM. Based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, E-Blox was launched in 2016 by Art Seymour and his sons James and Joseph after more than 90+ years of combined experience as entrepreneurs, inventors, and designers in the educational toys and wireless industries. “Our Mission at E-Blox is to bring educational toys to the industry that are tons of fun that kids build themselves while growing their knowledge in the sciences and arts and equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century--and beyond!”, says Art Seymour, CEO for E-Blox.

Read More...

 

Financial & Legal News . . . 

Roblox quietly submits draft registration for proposed public offeringRoblox has submitted a draft registration statement for a proposed public offering, effectively confirming it intends to go public.A Reuters report published earlier this month claimed Roblox, which runs a popular game creation platform (also called Roblox), was working with investment banks to list on the U.S. stock market in 2021.

Nintendo issues cease and desist against influencer and adult entertainer Pokeprincxss. Nintendo took legal action against a social media influencer over references to the Pokémon brand in her name and merchandise. Digitalprincxss -- formerly known as Pokeprincxss -- started using the latter handle eight years ago, and has produced a lot of content centred around Pokémon and Nintendo products.

Tencent proceeds with Huya and DouYu merger. Chinese live streaming platforms Huya and DouYu have entered an agreement to merge. As a result of the merger, which is expected to close during the first half of 2021, DouYu will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Huya. The deal was mediated by Tencent, which is a majority owner of Huya and also has a 38% stake in DouYu.

Hamleys owner Reliance Industries drops out of the race for UK department chain Debenhams. The Reliance Industries owner and richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, has dropped out of the race to buy Debenhams, the Sunday Times has reported over the weekend, having emerged only last month as one of the possible suitors for the UK department store chain.

Epic vs. Apple judge warns of 'serious ramifications' for console makers. The legal battle between Apple and Epic Games over the former's decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store over a breach of platform guidelines could have "serious ramifications for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and their game platforms."

Kids vs. Zombies dev Donut Lab raises $1.6 million. Russia-based Donut Lab, creator of the in-development mobile game Kids vs. Zombies, has raised $1.6 million in funding, VentureBeat reports. Game investment firm Level-Up out of Luxembourg led the round. Kids vs. Zombies is currently on Google Play in early access, and will eventually release on iOS.

Embracer Group issues new shares to raise money for future acquisitions. Embracer Group has completed the issue of 35,689,907 new Class B shares in its company, bringing in over SEK 5.75 billion ($648 million) toward future acquisitions. Alongside the issuance, the company's co-founders have opted to sell over 9 million existing shares at the same price, bringing in proceeds of SEK 5.78 million ($652,000).

Victor Caddy, partner at Wynne-Jones IP, looks at how Brexit will affect the global toy industry, and the steps businesses need to take to protect themselves, both before and after the changes take place. Once the divorce becomes final, there will be effects on intellectual property rights, particularly trademarks and designs, as well as on  licence agreements. Many of the changes will affect the global toy industry...

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .  

3 reasons why holiday toy sales will be huge this year . . . How e-commerce in China eclipsed $1.5 trillion in sales . . . Not delivering: USPS plays games with package delivery as holiday season looms . . . Black Friday deals for days: Walmart is trying to avoid crowds this year . . . The new kickoff to the holiday season – Prime Day? . . . Reaching holiday shoppers in the new normal with mobile messaging . . . Amazon Prime Day mania will crush dying retailers . . .  Shoppers in the UK have started their Christmas shopping earlier than ever this year, resulting in the best monthly growth for over a decade 

Financial & Brokerage News . . . 

JAKKS Pacific Inc. plunges 6.4% on October 13 . . . Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT): When Will It Breakeven? . . .Q3 2020 EPS estimates for Hasbro, Inc. lowered by analyst.

Financial Reporting . . . 

Tencent takes "a major stake" in GTFO studio 10 Chambers. Tencent has invested in the Swedish game developer, 10 Chambers. Founded in Stockholm in 2015, 10 Chambers is principally known as the creator of GTFO, a cooperative first-person shooter currently in Early Access.…

Future Financial Reporting... 

Mattel earnings information. Mattel has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, October 22nd, 2020. Mattel will be holding an earnings conference call on Thursday, October 22nd.  Interested parties can register for or listen to the call using this link.

Hasbro earnings information. Hasbro has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Monday, October 26th, 2020. Hasbro will be holding an earnings conference call on Monday, October 26th. Interested parties can register for or listen to the call using this link.

Jakks Pacific earnings information. JAKKS Pacific has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, November 5th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Spin Master earnings information. Spin Master has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Zynga earnings information. Zynga has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Electronic Arts earnings information. Electronic Arts has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, November 5th, 2020.

Amazon.com earnings information. Amazon.com has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Target earnings information. Target has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Mattel earnings information. Mattel has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, Oct 22nd, 2020. Mattel will be holding an earnings conference call on Thursday, October 22nd.  Interested parties can register for or listen to the call using this link.

Hasbro earnings information. Hasbro has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Monday, October 26th, 2020. Hasbro will be holding an earnings conference call on Monday, October 26th. Interested parties can register for or listen to the call using this link.

Jakks Pacific earnings information. JAKKS Pacific has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, November 5th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Spin Master earnings information. Spin Master has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Zynga earnings information. Zynga has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Electronic Arts earnings information. Electronic Arts has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, November 5th, 2020.

Amazon.com earnings information. Amazon.com has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Target earnings information. Target has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . . 

Toy Family Series: The Albert Family - Mary Couzin:  "Although sadly I didn’t meet Richard and Michael’s parents, based on their description of their parents, the apples did not fall far from the Albert family tree! Working with Richard and Michael on this article was great fun as they are comedic, big hearted, and savvy business people who love this business and their family. This is the feel good read of your October!"

Design Edge: A Year Without Travel By the time I was 24 years-old, the furthest I had been from my home on Long Island, New York was to visit my grandparents in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. However, 10 years later, at 34 I had been around the world so many times, that twice I had to have pages added to my passport…and almost all of that was for work. The toy industry is a global business with a trade show circuit that annually...

The Toy Coach: Why the Global Pandemic is Evening Out the Toy Industry Playing Field - When I look at my upcoming 2021 toy trade show calendar, all I see is red. COVID-19 rocked the toy industry, throwing off decades of habitual in-person trade show behavior and forcing it all either online or into nonexistence. Our biggest trade shows are postponed now, and they’ve been pushed back so far in my calendar that in my mind...

Chris Tidwell, Magformers: Home is Where the Heart (and Work!) Is - 2020 is certainly the most unusual and unexpected year i have faced. At the start of the year, our top issues seemed to be: a potential toy tariff; presentations to retailers focused against new product launches, as we hoped to gain additional shelf space; and which key items we would market. All this changed as the global pandemic took hold of our nation. 

2020 State of the Toy Industry - Many early predictions about what was in store for the toy industry in 2020 have been totally upended since COVID-19 hit. In spite of it all, the first half of the year saw strong sales growth in the toys and games market. Nothing is certain going into the holiday shopping season and 2021, but manufacturers have learned how to adapt quickly and prepare for the unexpected to keep business...

Hamleys reveals its top toys for Christmas This Christmas will see more inter-generational play and classic toys that create magical moments to bring people of all ages together, according to Hamleys top buyers, who have unveiled their hot predictions for the 2020 festive season.

Whilst there’s new interactive and educational tech such as the pre-school Rollin’ Rovee with nearly 200 songs, sounds and phrases, and tablet...

Farm-themed toys and the farm retail channel bring play to the heartland and beyond. At Toy Fair New York Last Year, a quick swing through just a few exhibitor booths revealed hints of an emerging growth trend in an evergreen, classic category of timeless play: farm-themed toys. Often overlooked, toys with agricultural roots are everywhere, and in the past two years, the offerings have greatly expanded at retail.

PACKING A PUNCH WITH TOY PACKAGING ONLINE. It’s no surprise that consumers are doing more of their shopping online now than ever before. Online shopping was already prevalent for many categories prior to the pandemic, but the shift to online retail became significant once stores selling nonessential items began closing back in March. This change in behavior early on during the pandemic happened purely out of...

Fanbytes explains how toy brands can go viral on TikTok. The Gen Z agency Fanbytes takes Toy World readers behind the scenes of its TikTok campaigns for IMC Toys, Rubik's and Zuru. Toy brands have been slow in leveraging the potential of TikTok, but with its 800m monthly active users and average daily watch time of 45 minutes, and as the home to a large majority of Gen Z video consumers, Fanbytes says the platform should...

Will FAO Schwarz make Target a bigger player in toys? Target, showing no intention of ceding ground in the toys category this holiday season, announced a new collaboration with FAO Schwarz and the introduction of its largest Bullseye’s Top Toys list ever. The FAO Schwarz collaboration includes a 70-piece toy collection available exclusively at Target. FAO Schwarz’s New York City flagship, which reopened under new owners at...

Cardboard Common Sense: Caring for a Game Collection – Part 1: Introduction. Would you call yourself a collector? And how do you store them, to keep them as fresh as possible—and ready for the next game? This post serves as an introduction to some of the most basic rules for caring for and storing games—and any paper-based plaything.

Cardboard Common Sense: Caring for a Game Collection – Part 2: Environment. Sunlight is sneaky. We don’t necessarily think about it when we’re laying out furniture, such as game storage shelves, in a room. But it should be one of our main concerns. The sun gives us infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light—all harmful to printed paper artifacts and other materials common to game contents and boxes.

Cardboard Common Sense: Caring for a Game Collection – Part 3: Handling. Remember your gamer friend Karen and her plate of Hot Pockets? You’ve just smeared tomato sauce all over an Exploding Kitten card. And your greasy hands are wreaking havoc just by holding them, not to mention playing. Safe handling of game equipment just takes a bit of common sense.

Indie Insight: Wigwam Toys talks the consumers’ rediscovery of community on the high street. Having met at college through a shared love of Fine Art, the Wigwam Toys team comprises collectors, crafts-people, bibliophiles, and big kids at heart, all of whom have their own role to play in the eclectic mix that this little Brighton independent toy shop has to offer. Times were, Wigwam Toys was an essential stopping off point for...

Let's play: learning Arabic, one Lego brick at a time. In a quiet corner of a Cairo suburb, Ghada Wali crouches down on the ceramic tiled floor of her family home, creating patterns with Lego blocks. The 30-year old hasn’t raided her old toy box in a fit of nostalgia. Rather, she’s putting the finishing touches on her award-winning graphic design learning method …

Opinion – Evolution theory: life after lockdown and the reasons to be cheerful. Now that we can plan for the challenges coming out of the pandemic, suggests Kids Brand Insights’ Steve Reece, there is no reason for 2021 not to be a successful year for the toy and licensing industries. The good news among all that is happening now is that humans adapt.

UK National Videogame Museum receives £400,000 grantThe UK National Videogame Museum received a grant from the Arts Council of England's Culture Recovery Fund to help it survive the pandemic. GamesIndustry.biz has been told the museum received £400,000, which will guarantee that the NVM can continue to operate until spring 2021.

Retaining and fostering women in the games industry. Victoria Setian gave a GDC Summer talk addressing how to fight discriminatory attitudes in the workplace and develop female talent into leadership.

Barbie confronts racism in viral video and shows how to be a White ally. Barbie sat down for a real talk about racism with her good friend Nikki in the Dreamhouse -- and nothing was off limits. The pair unpacked White privilege, the struggles of racial bias and what it means to be a true ally in the latest episode of YouTube's "Barbie Vlogs."A one-minute clip quickly went viral this week on Twitter, garnering 3.4 million views.

Creating a bigger picture: Very Puzzled and its mission to bring diversity to the jigsaw puzzles aisle. Following the birth of his daughter and the realisation that the toy industry was in need of better representation and diversity within its product roll-out, Patrick Adom sprung onto the jigsaw puzzle scene with Very Puzzled. ToyNews talks to the entrepreneur about the importance of exploring cultures through play and the...

The Entertainer enters into exclusive partnership with Asda. A trial will start next February across five Asda stores which will see The Entertainer taking over the running of the retailer’s toy departments, as part of a wider project which will see the grocer partner with a host of brand specialists. 

Toys return to Debenhams – and The Entertainer is behind the move. Eight months later, toys have returned to Debenhams– but with no buying team to curate the range, people in the toy community have been speculating as to how it had all been pulled together.

Toy World can now reveal that The Entertainer is behind the ‘Toys at Debenhams’ departments. The retailer will be responsible for ranging toys...

In depth: Outdoor Learning, the future of play, and the potential for the toy space. A letter signed by 32 environmental and youth organisations, including The Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth has propelled the conversation around Outdoor Learning and the impact it has on children’s education, resilience, and mental wellbeing back into the mainstream media.

 

Remembering the toy industry's past . . . 

Mattel celebrates 90 years of Fisher-Price with a virtual toy museum. A new dose of toy history has arrived on Instagram. To celebrate the 90-year legacy of its iconic Fisher-Price brand, Mattel opened the virtual doors to the Fisher-Price Toy Museum. The experience features more than 90 different curated exhibits that were created by artist, set designer, and photographer Leila Fakouri to have an authentic museum feel.

LEGO Minifigure A Visual History New Edition now available in the US. LEGO Minifigure A Visual History New Edition is now available in the US, complete with an exclusive orange Space minifigure. The updated and expanded encyclopaedia launched in the UK on October 1, but US fans have had to wait a little longer. This updated edition highlights the best minifigures from every year since 1978.

Roman era toys unearthed in Western Turkey. Artifacts including toys and coins have been found during excavation in an ancient city in western Turkey. The findings in the 5,000-year-old ancient city of Becin in Mugla's Milas district sheds light on the socio-economic and cultural life of the era. Toys, rings, bracelets, necklaces and coins belonging to the Hellenistic, Ottoman, Roman, and Byzantine period were found in the …

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .  

Tomy named master toy licensee for Disney, Locksmith Animation’s ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’. TOMY International is prepping a new line of toys based on Ron’s Gone Wrong, an upcoming animated feature from Locksmith Animation that will be released by Disney’s 20th Century Studios. Ron’s Gone Wrong is the story of an unpopular tween named Barney who is introduced to walking, talking, digitally connected devices called...

Licensing Special: Products of Change and the sustainability of toys. From a staple of the licensing and merchandising industry to becoming the face for the sweeping change rumbling through it and the minds of consumers across the UK, Helena Mansell Stopher is the director of Products of Change, a platform on a mission to bring sustainability into the heart of the consumer products space.

Big G Creative brings Kraft Heinz to the game aisle. Big G Creative is bringing some classic foods to the game aisle with a new Kraft Heinz Variety Game Pack, featuring fun packaging based on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Heinz Ketchup, and JELL-O. The trio of family-friendly games are designed for kids ages 8 and up, and they all require two or more players for approximately 20 minutes of gameplay each.

Netflix takes Lumistella’s elf beyond the shelf. Netflix has signed a seven-figure deal to develop original TV and film content based on the Elf on the Shelf brand from Atlanta-based publisher The Lumistella Company. Under the deal, Netflix will create animated and live-action programming aimed at preschoolers and families based on Lumistella’s portfolio of brands, including Elf on the Shelf, Elf Pets and Elf Mates.

‘Crash Bandicoot 4’ unleashes licensing program. New partners have been announced for the recently released title of “Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time” – a true sequel to the  original “Crash Bandicoot” trilogy. Now, fans can WUMP to the next level and celebrate the Crash franchise’s big moment through a wide range of new licensed products including apparel, art, collectibles and more.

Playmobil reveals ‘Scooby Doo!’ ‘Countdown to Halloween’. Playmobil has announced that fans of “Scooby Doo!” can now watch an official "Countdown to Halloween" for the entire month of October. The event will include a mausoleum, a myriad of Halloween-themed movies, music, arts and crafts and interactive games all playable on television sets.

Zag inks new licensing agent for ‘Miraculous,’ ‘Power Players’ in Australasia. Licensing for popular ZAG Heroez characters is expanding into Australia and New Zealand. Merchantwise Licensing will act as the agent for Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir and Power Players in the region.

 

People . . . 

In memoriam Satish Pillalmarri, Co-President of North Star Games. On the 9th October, Satish lost his battle with cancer. He was beloved by so many of us in the toy and game industry. And with good reason. Small in stature, but a giant of a man. Shabash Satish. This reflection by Luke Warren.

Fonda Snyder to take Battat beyond toys. Former 9 Story Media Group and Disney Channel alum Fonda Snyder has joined Montreal toyco Battat as EVP of its newly formed entertainment division. Snyder will lead creative development, packaging and production on adaptations of Battat’s toy brands, including Our Generation, Li’l Woodzeez and Glitter Girls.

TALKIN’ TOYS: EAGLEMOSS HERO COLLECTOR EXPANDS ITS U.S. REACH. Over the past 45 years, Eaglemoss has grown from a leading publisher of subscription-based partwork collections into a multifaceted publisher and maker of officially licensed books, toys, collectibles, and crafts. For some insight into where the company is headed, the Toy Book caught up with Matthew Buss, national director of retail sales at Eaglemoss Hero...

Golden Bear expands team with new hires. Becs Henchey, Tracy Griffiths and Saskia Hamilton join Golden Bear as the company enters the next stage of its expansion plans. Golden Bear is expanding its 50-strong team in Telford with the recruitment of three key members of staff who will help to drive further growth over the coming years.

Azure Media expands team with new hire. Azure Media has announced a new addition to its expanding AV team with the recruitment of Natalie Christy. Natalie joins Azure Media having spent the past five years working at Disney Media Sales and Partnerships, and brings with her a wealth of experience across the media and toy sectors.

Buyer Emma Carden joins BargainMax.co.ukBargainMax.co.uk, the specialist online discount toy retailer, has announced the appointment of Emma Carden as its new buyer. The online retailer, which yesterday unveiled the results of a survey on the top toy brands for Christmas, has enjoyed a stellar year, seeing impressive growth on its website in the last quarter, with sales up 118% and profit up 148% on last year.

Unknown number of layoffs at GameSpot following Red Ventures deal. An unknown number of GameSpot employees have been laid off following its acquisition by Red Ventures. GameSpot senior social producer Ashley Oh, branded content editor Will Fulton, Australian editor and senior video producer Edmond Tran, host and producer Jess McDonell, and producer Tony Wilson all announced their departures on Twitter...

Fonda Snyder to take Battat beyond toys. The former Disney Channel, Cookie Jar and Alchemy Ink alum is joining the toyco to adapt its brands for TV and films. Former 9 Story Media Group and Disney Channel alum Fonda Snyder has joined Montreal toyco Battat as EVP of its newly formed entertainment division. Snyder will lead creative development, packaging and production on adaptations of Battat’s toy brands...

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Companies . . . 

Toys and Tales recognised on global stage as TAGIE finalist. Australian independent retailer Toys and Tales has been recognized on the global stage in the Chicago Toy and Game Group's TAGIE Awards. The retailer is one of ten finalists in the Most Innovative Retailer Award and is the only Australian to make an appearance in the category. Owner Elizabeth Milford told Toy & Hobby Retailer that the business is thrilled to be...

Company Profile: IMC Toys - In 2018, IMC Toys made a name for itself in the blind, collectible and baby doll category with the launch of evergreen lines, Cry Babies and Cry Babies Magic Tears. In two years, their North American business experienced a more than 300% life in sales and 400 million media impressions, becoming a toy box staple. Now, with the launch of its latest line - VIP Pets - IMC aims to create a content...

Company Profile: Nesstoy - In 2017 NessToy first launched its brand, ArmoGear, aiming to make at-home laser tag possible an affordable option for families. The company sought to deliver a fully loaded and arcade-style version of laser tag that could be played anywhere, at any time, Laser Battle was born, and became a customer favorite, winning a 2018 Independent Toy Award from Toy Shop UK.

Lego unveils first addition to Mindstorms range in seven years. For over two decades, Lego Mindstorms has inspired those of all ages to test and build their confidence with technology through play. By combining the Lego building system with robotic and coding elements, builders can create anything they can imagine, while developing the STEM skills that 7 in 10 parents say are essential to their child’s future success.

Hasbro Named One of America’s Most JUST Companies by Forbes and JUST Capital. Today Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) was named one of America’s Most JUST Companies, recognized for its commitment to serving its workers, customers, communities, the environment and shareholders in the annual Forbes JUST 100 list published by Forbes and JUST Capital. The list is published annually to showcase the companies...

LEARNING RESOURCES GOES FROM A TO Z WITH ‘BUILDING SOMEONE AMAZING’ BRAND CAMPAIGN. Learning Resources has reached the halfway point in its monthlong “Building Someone Amazing” brand campaign. Launched on Oct. 1, the social media effort is highlighting 26 names from A to Z while encouraging participants to share and follow the unique traits that make someone amazing such as “Amazing, Artistic...

Pride over profit: How Wow! Stuff is leading the exciting new wave of toy innovators (and revolutionising sustainable toys). Separated by the miles between us, yet sitting face to face Zoom-style with the Wow! Stuff CEO Richard North, sustainability within the toy industry has become the major topic of conversation. The toy and gadget entrepreneur is deep into another one of his mantras; having us picture him on his deathbed,

Revell to supply Carrera brand to UK and Ireland retail from January 2021. Revell has confirmed that it will be supplying the renowned Carrera brand to UK and Ireland retailers from next year. This is the latest development for the toy brand following its acquisition by Revell owner, Quantum Capita Partners.

Kids Insights expands its children’s market intelligence operations into Russia and China. This week marks yet further international expansion for the kids market intelligence specialist, Kids Insights, as the group takes its services into the Russian and Chinese markets. The creation of Kids Insights Russia and Kids Insights China follows the launch of the brand into Australia and Canada back in July.

Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Celebrates X-Men 20th Anniversary With The Best Movies & Comics Figures. This year, the X-Men film franchise, under the now-defunct 20th Century Fox, reached its 20th birthday and as the greatest celebration to the franchise that has entertained us with modern classics over the past two decades, including X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Deadpool ...

'Catan: Starfarers 5-6 Players Extension' is coming soon to retail stores. Catan Studios announced that Catan: Starfarers 5-6 Players Extension, for use with Catan: Starfarers, is coming to retail in Q4. This extension to the Catan: Starfarers base game adds up to two additional players. It also adds new player pieces, motherships, and additional space sectors …

Wizkids unveils 'Starfinder Battles: Planets of Peril' miniatures set. WizKids unveiled Starfinder Battles: Planets of Peril miniatures set for release in March 2021. The base product for Planets of Peril is a miniatures set of 32 new Starfinder Battles figures for use with Starfinder RPG. Each miniature comes pre-painted and features a highly-detailed plastic sculpt.

Scout Comics launches Tracker Collectibles. Scout Comics & Entertainment, Inc. announced the launch of Tracker Collectibles, a new collectible toy company. Scout is joining forces with Peter Goral, creator of the Phantom Starkiller and Count Draco Knuckleduster brands, who will spearhead Tracker Collectibles as CEO and head of Scout's new merchandise division.

Gargants thunder their way across on the 'Warhammer: Age of Sigmar' landscape. Games Workshop announced Battletome: Sons of Behemat as well as four Gargant miniature kits, for use with Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, that will hit stores on October 17. Gargants have arrived to rip down castle walls and reshape the Age of Sigmar landscape in the wake of their giant footsteps.

Leapfrog launches ‘Blue’s Clues & You!’ line. Kids can nurture their love of learning with their favorite pal from Nickelodeon with LeapFrog‘s new Blue’s Clues & You line of toys. The remake of Blue’s Clues has a whole new generation of preschoolers discovering clues and learning in every episode. With the new toys that go with the show, kids will play along with the series with a variety of different products.

eOne takes the reins on Hasbro’s content efforts. Hasbro and Entertainment One are saddling up for a new era together, starting with My Little Pony. Following its acquisition by Hasbro in December 2019, eOne has been appointed as the toyco’s global entertainment arm, with responsibility for content and distribution moving forward.

Braille Skateboarding sees toy debut success as YouTube brand nears one million fingerboards sold. The leading skateboarding YouTube channel, Braille Skateboarding, is celebrating its foray into international toy aisles, having found UK retail success with Smyths Toys Superstores and a global sell-through that sees it on track to hit one million fingerboards sold by the end of 2020. 

Waxwork Records brings Universal Monsters portfolio to the toys and collectables market. The US underground and pop culture company Waxwork Records has made its first foray into the toys and collectables market with the launch of Spinatures that kicks off with a partnership with Universal and the studio’s classic horror portfolio. Aimed at the adult collector market, the new Spinatures launch is a collection of highly...

Asmodee USA unveils 'No Mercy For Monsters' to hit U.S. retail in November. Asmodee USA unveiled No Mercy For Monsters, a cooperative family game, to hit U.S. retail on November 6. In No Mercy For Monsters, players take on the roles of kids who are attempting to prevent a monster invasion of their home while their family is out to dinner.

'Hunt A Killer' murder mystery scenario comes to U.S. retail. Hunt A Killer will release Hunt A Killer: Death at the Dive Bar, a murder mystery scenario, in Q4. In Hunt A Killer: Death at the Dive Bar, players investigate a murder at a local dive bar.

Cmon unveils another wave of House Baratheon miniatures for 'A Song Of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game'. CMON unveiled Baratheon Sentinels, Stag Knights, and Champions of the Stag, new miniatures expansion sets for A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game, into trade on November 13. The Baratheon Sentinels Unit Box features a simple and effective melee unit for House Baratheon commanders.

Ultra Pro unveils 'Florida Man' board gameUltra PRO unveiled Florida Man, a true or false guessing game by JJACKD Games, for release in November. Florida Man is making headlines again, and it's up to players to figure out which ones are true and which are false.

'Yu-Gi-Oh! Tcg' dives into a 'Blazing Vortex' of 'Armed Dragons'. Konami Digital Entertainment unveiled Blazing Vortex, a booster set for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, for release on February 5. Blazing Vortex adds 100 new cards to the mix, and it features a reimaged version of Chazz Princeton’s “Armed Dragon” cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX animated series.

Wham-O, Critical Content set to develop live-action content for TV including ‘Slip ‘N Slide Island’. The maker of iconic toys such as the Frisbee, Hula Hoop, and Slip ‘N Slide just inked a TV deal. Through a pack with Critical Content, properties from Wham-O will be developed into live-action TV content starting with Slip ‘N Slide Island (working title).  The unscripted competition series will posit contestants against one …

Kids Insights expands its children’s market intelligence operations into Russia and China. This week marks yet further int'l expansion for the kids market intelligence specialist, Kids Insights, as the group takes its services into the Russian and Chinese markets. The creation of Kids Insights Russia and Kids Insights China follows the launch of the brand into Australia and Canada back in July. With the addition of Russia...

Disney is doubling down on direct-to-consumer. The Walt Disney Company has announced a strategic reorganization of its media and entertainment segments in order to accelerate its streaming efforts. The new structure will see the company focus on developing and producing original content for its streaming services as fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect its parks, experiences and products...

Kidz Toyz Launches Full Line of Blue’s Clues & You! Musical Instruments. What’s better than Blue and Josh making music on the hit Nickelodeon show, Blue’s Clues & You!? Children making music along with them. Nickelodeon and Kidz Toyz HK have partnered to create fun-filled music with keyboards, drum sets, ukuleles, and the famous guitar that Josh plays in every episode.

Pay $150 for an artist’s Magic 8-Ball? For the new Mattel Creations, ‘it is certain.’  Mattel, the $4 billion toy giant, has launched Mattel Creations, an e-commerce and content site for grown-up toy collectors with an avid appreciation of Mattel’s rich 75-year history, from Barbie to Chatty Cathy to Hot Wheels to Slime to Masters of the Universe and more. “We’re going to feature limited-edition, curated items—collaborations with amazing pop-culture artists, both past and present—and really offer a peek into the creative process,” says Mattel president Richard Dickson in a phone interview...

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

These are the Xbox Series X games that will include next-gen optimizations at launch. Microsoft is revealing a “selection” of new and cross-gen Xbox Series X games that will be available at launch with optimizations for both the Series X and Series S consoles. While the company isn’t revealing exactly what will be optimized in every title, we should expect to see a mixture of improvements including better load times and...

Survey: 35% of gamers have a subscription service. Marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners released a report titled "The Global Gaming Study: The Future of Subscriptions" suggesting that subscription gaming services have already been embraced by a significant chunk of the market, but have plenty of room to grow.

Twitch continues to lead in game streaming, but YouTube and Facebook are growing. In 2020, the growth of streaming has accelerated. According to the latest data from Streamlabs, the streaming industry has grown some 91.8% year-over-year, with 7.46 billion hours of content watched across all the major platforms.
‘PAC-MAN GEO’ from Bandai Namco Entertainment Is Now Rolling Out Worldwide on iOS and Android. PAC-MAN GEO (Free) from Bandai Namco Entertainment was recently revealed as a geographical entertainment game for iOS and Android. It is built using the Google Maps platform and is aiming to be a geographical information experience inside a game. Information from Google Maps will be used to let players create their own stages …

Blue’s World of Warcraft themed Yeti mic has voice filters to make you sound like an orc. Logitech subsidiary Blue Microphones has announced a new World of Warcraft special edition of its Yeti X microphone. As well as a gold-and-gray color scheme inspired by the MMORPG, the USB microphone also includes a host of audio samples taken from the game’s upcoming Shadowlands expansion and voice modulation…

Unity launches Game Growth Program. Unity has announced it is launching the Game Growth Program, an accelerator program focused on mobile free-to-play titles made by independent studios. The program will provide chosen developers with access to technology, resources, and funding for user acquisition to scale their games, alongside a team of Unity developers.

Analyst predicts Switch will outsell PS5, Xbox Series X/S this Christmas. Nintendo Switch is likely to be the best-selling console in the US during the all-important holiday season. That's according to games industry analyst Mat Piscatella of the NPD Group, who posted a list of predictions for the end of year period to the group's website.

Ni No Kuni dev Level-5 winds down North American presence. Level-5 has reportedly wound down its game development efforts in the West, with a recent GamesIndustry report revealing that both Level-5 Interational America and Level-5 Abby have lost most of their workforce to layoffs in the last year.

Amazon cancels free-to-play shooter Crucible. The development team behind Crucible, Amazon Game Studios’ effort to break into the free-to-play multiplayer shooter genre, announced Friday evening it would halt development of the game after years of work. Amazon has been attempting a push into video game development with limited success thus far and Crucible’s cancellation is another setback for the company.

Razer’s first gaming chair is a curvier Secretlab Omega / Titan with fancy lumbar support. For its very first gaming chair, it looks like Razer decided to largely copy one of today’s oft-cited favorites: the new $499 Razer Iskur is a dead ringer for the similarly-priced Secretlab Omega and Titan. You can compare the design, the recline mechanism, the stitching — heck, just look at those nigh-identical 4D armrests below...

Staff say Twitch has a chronic problem with racism, sexism, and indifference. “Nobody ever really took responsibility for anything and there was nobody to go to if you were threatened, or felt threatened, or were harmed in some way.” One of several Twitch employees speaking to GamesIndustry argues that reports of inappropriate behavior weren't properly handled during their time at Twitch.

Gaming will be a frontline in China's censorship drive | Opinion. China's censorious tendencies have begun to creep overseas through commercial pressure, and games companies are in the authorities' sights.

Report: Microsoft will deploy browser workaround to bring Game Pass to iOS. Microsoft will bring Xbox Game Pass to iOS devices by implementing a "direct browser-based solution," according to leaked comments from Xbox chief Phil Spencer. As reported by Business Insider, which spoke with "two people with direct knowledge of [Spencer's] comments," the Xbox boss explained that Game Pass will "absolutely end…

 

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . 

York Jersey: Be Reassured When Your Toys Are Insured - Just as important as toys are to building blocks of childhood, so too is product liability insurance (PLI), to toy makers. Though far less fun, PLI proivides financial stability to toy manufacturers so they can keep creating new and innovative toys for our youngest generation. All major USA retailers (including Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Costco), require...

EU Commission adopts new chemicals strategy towards toxic-free environment. The European Commission on Wednesday adopted the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. The Strategy is the first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal. This includes prohibiting the use of the most harmful chemicals in consumer products such as toys …

New BTHA report finds unsafe toys are still being sold via 3P online sellers. ‘Don’t Toy With Children’s Safety’, a new report for MPs, reveals more than half of the toys tested from online marketplaces could cause serious injury or death to children. Despite repeated warnings from the British Toy and Hobby Association, unsafe toys, which could cause serious harm to children, are reportedly still being sold via third-party...

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Press Releases . . .

University Games Murder Mystery Party Case Files available now! Local authorities are enlisting the public’s help today to solve the cold case murder of famed winemaker Cary Underwood of Underwood Cellars. Underwood disappeared 25 years ago, and a murder scene was uncovered after the Napa earthquake. Bob Moog, Chief Investigator of University Games said, “there are over 50 pieces of evidence waiting to be...

Hasbro today announced the launch of the NERF House sequel - NERF House X, a high energy digital series featuring renowned athletes including Julian Edelman, Klay Thompson and Sky Brown along with musician Diplo and the Mayor of Flavortown, Guy Fieri. Jointly produced by Julian Edelman’s production company (Coast Productions) and his business partner Assaf Swissa's creative studio (Superdigital), the series... 

Hasbro Children's Hospital Completes New Healing Garden and Playground. he space was made possible by donor support and generous gifts to the Every Child, Every Day campaign, and partners Starlight Children's Foundation, CVS Pharmacy, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and TerraCycle. "We know there's a correlation between spending time outside and the healing journey for children – that a place for respite brings... 

Colorado-Based Yoee Baby Sees Early Success at Target.com. The revolutionary baby toy continues to see steady business growth and garner admiration from parents and scientists alike. Yoee Baby, the award-winning interactive baby toy designed for playing together from Day One, recently surpassed another milestone by joining Target’s online marketplace.

Jabuka Adapts for Hybrid and Homeschool Edu-tainment.  School isn’t exactly the same this year. So, while innovative teaching methods become the norm, why shouldn’t a twisted letter game become a home school goto? “Well, we were looking to build the ‘buzz’ about our new word game, but we hadn’t really intended for Jabuka to become a school supply,” quipped Martin Russocki, inventor of JABUKA.

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals  . . .

(ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and more) 

ICV2 ANNOUNCES ICV2 INSIDER TALKS 2020 - LIVESTREAM - a virtual event for professionals in the business of geek culture with data, strategies and inspiration for the COVID era, on October 28 and 29, the company announced.  "The times are challenging, but both hobby games and comics and graphic novels are proving to be surprisingly resilient due to the creativity and inventiveness of the response," ICv2 CEO Milton...

Gibsons to host virtual trade show. With many 2021 trade shows now cancelled or postponed as a result of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, Gibsons has announced it will be hosting its own virtual event in 2021. The virtual show will take the form of an online conference and will give buyers the opportunity to partake in a private showcase of Gibsons’ new products releases, have one-to-one meetings with the Gibsons team...

Kidscreen Summit 2021 goes virtual. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Kidscreen's annual event will take place online from February 8 to March 5, putting business networking front and center. The event kicks off with a market week focused on bringing the industry together to do business. There will be scheduled pitching opportunities, several networking formats, discussions, mentoring, screenings, expert advice...

January Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair postponed. Following consultation with industry representatives and key stakeholders, it has been decided that the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and the Baby Products Fair will now be held in April. In a statement on the website, the show organiser, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said: “In view of the pandemic situation, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region... 

Giraffe Insights recognized as 2020 Achievement in Insight and Research Award Winner. The kids, youth and family specialist research agency Giraffe Insights has been awarded a 2020 Confirmit AIR (Achievement in Insight and Research) Award in the Project and Innovation category. The company says the recognition 'stands as a testament to Giraffe Insights’ dedication and success in delivering outstanding...

L.A. Comic-Con gets cancelled. L.A. Comic-Con has announced that it has cancelled its event rescheduled for December 11-13, 2020. This comes only a few weeks after the organizers declared that they would be the first in-person convention to happen in the state of California since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide this Week . . .

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media's (US)

  1.  Mattel Launches Mattel Creations to Celebrate 75 Years of Creativity

  2. Zulily Unveils First-Ever Top Holiday Toys List and 'Pandemic Play' Series

  3. Spin Master Launches New Preschool App, Gabby's Dollhouse, Based on Netflix Series

  4. Firefly Reunited with Paul Frank

  5. Squishmallows Named 2020 Best Toy of the Year by Learning Express

  6. ToyFest West Postpones the March 2021 Show

  7. Pikwik Pack Arrives on Disney Junior November 7

  8. Paddington Toys Launch with PhatMojo

  9. YouTube Like Nastya Brings Content to Life With First Toys, Apparel, and Accessories 

  10. eOne Racks Up Broadcast Deals for My Little Pony: Pony Life 

Toyworld (UK) 

1.            Don’t want to miss a thing …it’s the Friday Blog!

2.            Smyths reveals its Top 10 Toys for Christmas

3.            The Entertainer announces Lowest Price Guarantee for Christmas 2020

4.            Sale of Rubie’s is approved

5.            ATA transitions Australian Toy, Hobby & Licensing Fair 2021 to online-only event

6.            US Toy Association announces May 2021 date for Toy Fair NY

7.            Made in India – The opportunities & challenges behind the label

8.            IMC Toys’ VIP Pets TikTok campaign goes viral

9.            Mattel and 2Dux partner on Thomas & Friends feature film

10.          Cineworld confirms cinema closures in UK and US

ICv2: THE BUSINESS OF GEEK CULTURE's (US)

  1.  Wizards of Coast Pushes Back Entire Launch Schedule for 'Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends'
  2.  Origins Awards 2020 Winners Unveiled
  3.  WizKids Will Celebrate 80 Years of 'Wonder Woman' with a New 'HeroClix' Set
  4.  WizKids Reveals 'Marvel HeroClix: Fantastic Four Future Foundation' Set
  5.  Preview: 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Secret Lair X The Walking Dead' Contents and Images
  6.  CMON Will Release 'Mother of Dragons' Miniatures Set Into Trade
  7.  Rolling for Initiative -- 'Magic: The Gathering' or Origins Awards News? Which to Discuss First?
  8.  WizKids Will Release a New Wave of 'Marvel HeroClix Deep Cuts Unpainted Miniatures'
  9.  Funko Unveils 'DC Comics Pop!' Holiday-Themed Figures
10.  'Kings of War: Armada' Faction Boat Miniature Images

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month 

Toy & Hobby (Australia)

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

Video of the Week

Gotta love the people in our industry - even big company owners have fun! 

Ken Lewis from 4Kidz sent me this video. Do you know who this bug eyed person is? He promises a rare game signed to someone who guesses. Send him or me a note if you think you know who it is. Fun!  

 

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