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

Robert In Wagon_Cropped_2020.jpg

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...

One Registration Gives You: Int'l Innovation Summit, TAGIEs, POP's Got Talent, 1 yr POPPro Membership. Early Discount Ends Soon!

Bundled Events Package Gives You:

International Innovations Summit with more than 35 panels and more Presidents than the US has had since 1776! Almost 200 speakers and opportunities to network virtually.

Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIEs) have stunts, animations, heartwarming segments and sold gold entertainment. 

POP's Got Talents - You'll witness your colleagues doing death defying stunts! 

One year membership to POPPro platform debuting soon. The network where you can find people, products and companies. 

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...

(the above posted after October 9th)

Blackhatters’ tea party – questionable techniques from Amazon sellers. In a Viewpoint column for Toy World, international sales expert Thierry Bourret shares some of the practices of more dubious Amazon sellers, or 'blackhatters'. There has been much written about Amazon’s challenges with fake, dangerous and non-compliant products sold on its marketplace. But that is not the only issue sellers face on the platform.

Target joins forces with FAO Schwarz for holiday season toy domination.  The discount retailer said Thursday it will join forces with iconic toy seller FAO Schwarz for an exclusive 70-piece toy collection at all of its 1,900 stores and online. It marks the first time the two retailers have worked together. The collection will debut later this month. As an added wrinkle, the well-known FAO Schwarz store in New York City will carry...

Toymakers and retailers in France have signed a new government charter committing to make children's toys gender neutral. Ahead of the Christmas shopping season, toy manufacturers, retailers and advertisers have signed up to an Economy Ministry charter that aims to end the practice of designating toys as 'for girls' and 'for boys'. The charter follows a long consultation with people in the toy industry, parliamentarians...

Amazon Prime Day boycott: U.S. workers chase EU successes. It seems to be a recurring anniversary; every Prime Day–the annual sales event exclusively for Amazon Prime members–Amazon workers take the opportunity to protest against working conditions and wages. But after several successes in Europe, American workers are more optimistic about making an impact–and many are calling for consumers to boycott Prime,,,

Euro zone retail sales stronger than expected in August. Euro zone retail sales were much stronger than expected in August due to a sharp surge of online purchases and increased clothing sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic, although July sales were revised downwards, data showed on Monday. Retail sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro jumped 4.4% month-on-month in August for a 3.7% year-on-year gain, beating...

Thunderful Group acquires UK developer Coatsink for $29.8 million. Nordic development and publishing group Thunderful has fully acquired Shadow Point and Phogs! developer Coatsink Software for an initial £23 million ($29.8 million). The deal will see Thunderful pay an initial £11.5 million ($14.9 million) in cash and £11.5 million ($14.9 million) in newly issued ordinary shares for the UK studio.

Rubie’s Costume Co. officially emerges from bankruptcy under new ownership. The 70-year legacy of the Rubie’s Costume Co. continues as the company emerges from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy under new ownership. On Friday afternoon, the sale of Rubie’s and several of its related entities officially closed. The deal was approved on Sept. 21 by the Honorable Alan S. Trust, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of NY.

University Games acquires Lagoon Group from Asmodee. The company purchased The Lagoon Group from Asmodee and will begin shipping select Lagoon products to retailers in the U.S. and Canada today. “I have admired Lagoon Games and its product line since first meeting Lagoon’s founder Simon Meluish in the 1990s on a trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand,” says Bob Moog, University Games president and co-founder...

Roblox reportedly is preparing to go public. Roblox is reportedly preparing to go public on the US stock market early next year. According to sources speaking to CNBC, the children's game and creation platform expects to double its most recent valuation, from $4 billion to $8 billion.

TikTok's US ban is on hold. What comes next? TikTok averted a ban in the United States last week when a federal judge ruled that Washington couldn't block it from app stores just yet. The short-form video app is still accessible, but its fate in the country is far from certain.

newyork-toy-600px-x-400px.jpg

 

Program Highlights

  • A++ rated insurer, $20 Billion in assets

  • Exceeds Wal-Mart and other leading retailers insurance requirements

  • Variable rate based on sales projections

  • Foreign & Domestic Liability coverage

  • Blanket additional insured vendors

  • Employee benefits liability

  • All certificates and claims handled in house

  • Quick quotation turnaround

  • Product recall expense $250,000 limit

 

Additional Coverage

  • Umbrella up to $50,000,000

  • Ocean Cargo & Property

  • Commercial Auto

  • Lead coverage

  • Intellectual properties (copyrights, trademarks, & patents)

  • Credit Insurance

  • US Customs Bond Insurance

  • Health Insurance

Call us today at 800-392-6958 (ext. 318)

for a free consultation and quotation for your business needs.

185 Newman Springs Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

Contact: Jason Welch: tel: 732-842-2012 (ext. 318), fax 732-530-7080, jawelch@york-jersey.com

or Bob Witkin bobwitkin@york-jersey.com

Visit the York-Jersey Underwriters website at www.toy-insurance.com

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 

(the above posted after October 9th)

Top 500 Comics--August 2020 . . . Newzoo reduces its esports market forecast for 2020 for the third time . . . There's an Acquisition Frenzy in Video Games. Activision Blizzard Shouldn't Join In . . . 3 reasons why holiday toy sales will be huge this year . . . NRF chief economist says holiday forecasting is a puzzle with missing pieces . . . Independent retailers share their plans and predictions for Q4

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.

(the above posted after October 9th)

Riot Games shuts Sydney office and scraps OPL esports league . . . Activision Blizzard closing France office

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. 

(the above posted after October 9th)

John Baulch (ToyWorld UK): Don’t want to miss a thing …it’s the Friday Blog!   From Mary: I enjoy John's blog and loved this from today:

"I noticed a great story in the Irish press this week: huge queues had formed outside several branches of Smyths Toys, as rumours spread of an impending lockdown which would see all but essential stores forced to close. The first thing those shoppers thought about wasn’t toilet roll, pasta or three different types of flour: it was their kids, and the worry that they may not be able to get hold of the toys they want. This instinctive behaviour reinforces the age-old toy community adage that parents will do whatever they can to give their kids a happy Christmas. And after the year we’ve had, who could blame them?" So, while uncertainty rages around us, the toy industry is just getting on with doing what it does best – spreading a little joy and happiness. In strange, unpredictable times, it is nice to hang on to that very simple thought.

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. “For 2021, things look set to remain challenging, but at least now we have time to adapt, and above all, consumer demand for toys has not reduced.”

What made Target’s top holiday toy list? Target is unwrapping its list of the top toys for this year’s holiday season. Many of the featured products are focused on keeping kids moving or helping them feel connected, themes that will likely become even more important as many regions go into lockdown again in response to the second wave of COVID-19.

The real story of Slinky is headed to the big screen. As the 75th anniversary of the iconic Slinky brand winds to a close, the true story behind the classic toy is set to be told in theaters everywhere. Variety reports that filmmaker Tamra Davis (Billy Madison, CB4) will direct from a screenplay by Chris Siverston (Shattered Memories), Ann Carli, and Cristina Curbelo.

‘Connecting with human truth’: CMOs at Lego and GSK discuss customer-centricity. On day two of the Festival of Marketing 2020, Ashley Friedlein, founder of Econsultancy and Guild, chaired a discussion with the CMOs of two leading global companies – Tamara Rogers, CMO at GSK, and Julia Goldin, Global CMO at Lego – all about the subject of customer-centricity.

A very Covid Christmas: Mall Santas will see kids from behind plexiglass snowglobes. While the pandemic won't keep Santa Claus from making an appearance at the mall or at Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, don't count on touching Santa, hugging Santa, or having the kids sit on his lap this year. Some mall operators are even offering Zoom calls with Santa instead of in-person visits.

LEGO, Disney and Marvel named in Bargain Max’s most in demand toy brands for Christmas 2020. LEGO, Disney, and Marvel have come in at the top three most expected and in-demand toy brands for Christmas, according to the results of a new survey from the online discount toy retailer, Bargain Max. The retailer surveyed more than 2,500 parents ahead of this year’s big festive season to get a grasp on the shopping ...

Toy Story: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head. In 1995, Toy Story first arrived to explore the exciting concept of toys who can talk, move, and think autonomously. After three sequel movies and several short animations, the characters of the Disney-Pixar franchise are still an important part of pop culture. Toy Story didn't try to reinvent the wheel with all its animations as several of them were depictions ...

Hocus Pocus Is Back In Theaters Right Now And Apparently Crushing It. The beloved Disney Halloween classic starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy was re-released in 2,570 theaters around the United States this weekend. According to Deadline, it’s estimated to rake in between $1.6 and $1.8 million dollars, enough to make it the second highest grossing film in the country, behind Tenet.

Collector spotlight: Fred Weichmann. Fred Weichmann collects diecast vehicles (among other objects) and has celebrities autograph them for a one-of-a-kind collection. Here, Weichmann shares details about his collecting adventures and explains how his passion led him to meet Adam West, Frank Gorshin, Van Williams, Larry Dixon, and other recognizable personalities.

Smyths reveals its Top 10 Toys for Christmas. The highly anticipated list includes new Paw Patrol, Pokémon and L.O.L. Surprise! toys, alongside classic brands such as Monopoly, Barbie, WWE and Lego. "We are excited to announce our Top 10 Toys for Christmas, and it was a difficult choice again this year," said Sinead Byrne, joint head of marketing at Smyths Toys.

Chris James's Casual Gamer: Wonder Woman 1984 Card Game Announced, Super-Skill Pinball 4-Cade Released
Cryptozoic has announced a Wonder Woman card game, WizKids has released a roll-and-write game, and Lucky Duck Games has announced a new game for later this month.

 

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 …

(the above posted after October 9th)

Séance from Milton Bradley (1972). The Séance board game from Milton Bradley turns players into relatives of late Uncle Everett and gives them the chance to add to the fortune he left them. Designed for three to four players, ages seven to 14, Séance has player battle for items in Uncle Everett’s estate.

Betty Crocker Juicer/Blender from Kenner (1980)Long before whipping up a batch of kale smoothies became all the rage, Kenner released the Betty Crocker Juicer/Blender. Geared toward children ages 8 and up, the Juicer/Blender looked and worked like the adult-sized version that kids saw in their parents’ kitchen.

Look at the toys popular in Ireland 20 years ago with these Smyths Christmas catalogues from 1993 to 2010. We've gotten our hands on every Smyths catalogue from 1993 all the way up to 2010 for a nostalgic look at Christmas toys. The catalogue is a permanent fixture in many households nowadays with all the toys, games and gadgets available in the festive season.

PlaytimeFun_540x250_BloomReport_Ad_2_SEL

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.

(the above posted after October 9th)

Best-selling book Prisoners of Geography eyes board games, strategy games, quizzes and puzzles in edutainment licensing move. Board games, strategy games, quizzes, and puzzles will be top of the bill for a new licensing programme centered on the Sunday Times best-selling books Prisoners of Geography, as the publishing house Elliott & Thompson look to develop a family edutainment brand around the title.

Asmodee’s Aconyte Books reveals publishing plans for hit board game IP Zombicide and Terraforming Mars. Aconyte Books, the fiction imprint and publishing arm of Asmodee Entertainment, has detailed a raft of new partnerships with some of the leading names in tabletop gaming to develop a series of novels set within the worlds of a selection of the most critically acclaimed board games.

Flair Just Play signs high impact sponsorship deal with Nickelodeon’s Slimefest. Flair Just Play has signed a high impact sponsorship deal with Nickelodeon for this year’s Best of Slimefest show that will place the firm’s Hairdorables front and centre of the show’s coverage next month. The move comes as the latest in Flair’s 2020 marketing drive for the brand.

Jazwares to launch dolls, toys, and more for latest YouTube sensation Like Nastya. The next six months will witness the global launch of a new line of toys based on and inspired by the current YouTube sensation, Anastasia (Nastya) Radzinskaya, lead by the leading toy company, Jazwares. The new range will encompass the first Like Nastya doll land in January 2021, followed by toys, games, dress-up, role-play and more.

Oh, goody! Hasbro and Urban Outfitters launch exclusive Peppa Pig collection. Hasbro, Inc. announced that Peppa Pig is jumping into Urban Outfitters with an all-new exclusive collection including vinyl, tech accessories, apparel and more.  The collection will be available on www.urbanoutfitters.com and in stores starting this week.

PhatMojo offers first look at new Paddington plush, vehicles and figures. PhatMojo has today released a first look at its new Paddington toy line, a range comprised of figures, plush, vehicles, and play-sets that will be available this month. Driven by the TV show, The Adventures of Paddington, currently airing on Nickelodeon’s networks worldwide, Paddington, according to the firm via a press release, has seen a surge of love from the global pre-school audience.

Spin Master launches new licensed preschool app Gabby’s Dollhouse. Spin Master is excited to launch Gabby’s Dollhouse app in collaboration with Universal. Based on DreamWorks Animation’s all-new Netflix original preschool series set to debut on November 3rd and developed by Spin Master Digital Studio,

Jazwares adds ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ X-Men to Zōteki collectibles line. Following its launch with an Avengers collection, Jazwares just expanded the Zōteki collectibles line with two new licenses: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Marvel’s X-Men. All of these collectibles will be available later this month, exclusively in Target stores.

A game for every gamer: how Asmodee is bringing its massive portfolio to licensingAsmodee Group is bringing its wide-ranging catalogue of tabletop-game franchises to the licensing field through its Asmodee Entertainment division and they’re looking for partners at this year’s Festival of Licensing.

Asmodee brings its much loved board game artwork to life in Artovision partnership. Asmodee Entertainment has signed a new licensing partnership with Artovision to bring to life several of its tabletop gaming properties through Artovision’s innovative multi-dimensional art collectables. Under the deal, Artovision will develop pieces inspired by the artwork of Catan, Arkham Horror, Twilight Imperium, KeyForge, and...

Moose Toys and Ravensburger to lead UK retail charge for BBC Studio’s pre-school hit Bluey. BBC Studio’s popular pre-school animated series, Bluey is making its mark on the UK consumer products space with a new raft of licensees spanning toys, apparel, bedding and accessories as the series makes its arrival on Disney+ this year. Bluey has already been met with a ‘phenomenal response’ in Australia and the US.

Playmobil details additions to Scooby-Doo range. Playmobil has revealed its latest additions to the best-selling Scooby-Doo range, just in time for Halloween. The six spooky new sets each come complete with Scooby-Doo figure wearing a unique hat and Ghost Cards which can be used with the Mystery Machine, released in May, to project and identify each spectral character.

Licensing special: Licensing International UK’s Graham Saltmarsh on the new shape of things to come. One month into his new position as MD of Licensing International’s UK division, the licensing industry stalwart Graham Saltmarsh has already begun to cook the plans with which he aims to give the organization the shake-up that the year 2020 has required of it. Whether it’s the proposed introduction of master classes...

‘My Little Pony: Pony Life’ gallops into new global broadcast dealsThe new adventures of the Mane 6 (Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy) will soon be available worldwide. Hasbro’s global entertainment studio Entertainment One (eOne) inked new deals with global broadcast partners for My Little Pony: Pony Life, a new 40-episode series that “explores the funny side of friendship...

Mattel Films is developing a ‘Thomas & Friends’ live-action film. Mattel Inc. and 2Dux² are developing a new live-action/animated feature film inspired by Thomas & Friends. Mattel Films will co-produce with filmmaker Marc Forster (Christopher Robin, Quantum of Solace, Monster’s Ball), who will also direct, and Renée Wolfe (Christopher Robin, All I See Is You), co-founder and co-CEO of 2Dux². Mattel Films‘ Robbie Brenner...

Funko unveils 'Dc Comics Pop!' holiday-themed figuresThe holidays are just around the corner, and it's time to start thinking about gift items to carry. Funko is releasing fun DC Comics Pop! holiday-themed figures, much like they did with Marvel characters in years past.

 

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...

(the above posted after October 9th)

Rubik's Cube Inventor Writes A New Book: It's Full Of Twists And Turns. Hungarian architect Ernő Rubik takes play very seriously — and suggests we could all lighten up. "Most people are taking most of the things too seriously," he says. "They really can't enjoy life because of that." If Rubik's name sounds familiar that's because he's the inventor of the Rubik's Cube — that fun (and frustrating) colorful cube puzzle.

10 Minutes with Casey Collins of Hasbro. License Global catches up with Casey Collins, senior vice president and general manager, global consumer products, Hasbro, during Festival of Licensing.  It’s no secret that Hasbro is one of the biggest names in the toy industry and one of the biggest names in licensing. Their products are everywhere and they’re a trusted source for consumers all over the world.

Hasbro president and COO John Frascotti announces plans to retire from the firm next MarchHasbro’s president and chief operating officer, John Frascotti, has revealed his plans to retire from his current position with the global toy company when his contract comes to an end on March 31, 2021. Frascotti will remain employed by the company for one year in the role of special advisor to the CEO, Brian Goldner.

HABA USA has appointed Willie Wilkov its new CEO and Managing Director for North America, the company announced.  In addition to growing the core toys and games business, Wilkov will be charged with building connections with the company’s other divisions, which include apparel, furniture, and educational products. Wilkov has an ecomm and marketing background.  He served most recently as VP-Digital....

RYAN HAMILTON OF PLUS-PLUS TALKS TOYS ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’. In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Ryan Hamilton, head of product development at Plus-Plus A/S and head of operations at Plus-Plus USA, makers of open-ended construction toys loved by kids and grownups alike.

Renegade Game Studios has added Elisa Teague as Senior Producer, heading up the company’s expanding line of roleplaying games.  The company is staffing for a larger RPG pipeline as it adds licenses (see "Renegade Game Studios Licenses More Hasbro Brands for Games"), and has announced plans for a Power Rangers RPG. Teague has worked on over 100 games in her 20+ years in the tabletop games business, including...

Toy Marketer Roger Shiffman Unleashed Furby and Giga Pets. ‘Grown-up kid’ relied on his instincts and ability to outmaneuver industry giants. Roger Shiffman was perfectly cast as the public face of a toy company, Tiger Electronics Inc., maker of Furby, Giga Pets and other hits of the 1980s and 1990s. He had a jungle of curly brown hair and a cherubic expression that prompted the Chicago Tribune to describe him as a grown...

Obituary: Jack Wolff. Jack Wolff passed away on Friday 2nd October 2020 at the age of 82. Jack was a much-loved figure within the toy trade.

Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta will leave the company at the end of 2020. Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta will depart the company at the end of 2020 after more than four years at the helm. Levoranta has spent over eight years at the Angry Birds maker, initially joining as chief legal officer in June 2012, before making the switch to head of sales in March 2015. She was eventually named CEO in January 2016, but will now be leaving the...

Craft Buddy expands UK operation following strong growth. Following a period of strong growth, both in the UK and internationally, Craft Buddy has announced the opening of a second warehouse in Chesham, Bucks, five minutes’ drive from its headquarters. Craft Buddy is also expanding its sales team with the appointment of Danielle Bell as account manager.

ZAG gets in the game with new division. The LA-based animation studio is pressing play on a new business division, launching ZAG Games & Interactive Experiences to turn its properties into offerings for mobile, PC, online, consoles, VR, AR and apps.Elinor Schops has been tapped as VP of the new division. Based in Israel, she joins the team from game developer and publisher CrazyLabs, where she served as VP of business...

Paul Frank returns to Firefly Brand Management. Saban Brands’ Paul Frank is back with a familiar agent. Firefly Brand Management has been named as the non-exclusive North American agency of record for the brand in categories including toys and games, publishing, party goods, stationery, jewelry, food and beverage, sporting goods, and cross-collaborations.

Activision Blizzard esports CEO Pete Vlastelica is stepping down. Activision Blizzard esports CEO and Overwatch League commissioner Pete Vlastelica is stepping down after little over a year. As reported by Variety, Vlastelica is taking on a new position within the company, and will officially vacate the role following next week's Overwatch League Grand Finals.

POP-WebBanner01-540x250.png

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...

(the above posted after October 9th)

MATTEL LAUNCHES MATTEL CREATIONS TO CELEBRATE 75 YEARS OF CREATIVITY. (by RICHARD DICKSON, president and chief operating officer, Mattel) It all began in a garage, with the words Mattel Creations painted above it. This was our birthplace of ideas that inspired the creativity of generations and created the toys that have transcended toyboxes to influence pop culture. Working within it, were the creators...

Thames & Kosmos welcomes The Lost Words and new Exit titles to its games range. Thames & Kosmos UK has announced the arrival of The Lost Words – Card Game, based on the stunning book by best-selling author Robert Macfarlane, and the acclaimed Illustrator of over 40 beloved classics, Jackie Morris. Retailing for £13.50 RRP, The Lost Words is simple enough for ages 8+ to play, but strategic enough to keep adults...

Big G Creative expands party game offerings with Mega Mouth. Big G Creative just launched a new party game that puts players’ lip-reading skills to the test. Players take turns holding up a plastic magnifier up to their mouth, then silently mouthing words listed on a category card. Hilarity ensues as their teammates try to guess the clues just by reading their super-sized lips.

Trouble: On the Moon edition from Hasbro. In honor of World Space Week (October 4-10), Hasbro released a new On the Mood edition of the classic game, Trouble. It’s part of Hasbro Gaming division’s new space capsule collection, which also includes Monopoly Space and Battleship Outer Space.

Asmodee USA reveals 'Trails Of Tucana' for release into the U.S. hobby channel. Asmodee USA revealed Trails of Tucana, a flip-and-write game by Aporta Games and Matagot, for release into the U.S. hobby channel on November 11. Trails of Tucana is a flip-and-write game where players are given a map of the island Tucana, and must draw trails between neighboring terrain.

CMON will release 'Mother of Dragons' miniatures set into trade. CMON will release Mother of Dragons, a new miniatures expansion set for A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game, into trade on November 27. The Targaryen faction is almost defined by their unique relationship with dragons as both living war machines and companions.

IDW Games announces 'Galaxy Hunters' for trade. IDW Games announced Galaxy Hunters, a worker placement game, for release into trade on January 29. In Galaxy Hunters, players become mercenary battle mech pilots sent out by the Megacorporations to hunt down mutants for harvesting.

Kohl’s debuts holiday Toy Shop. Kohl’s is getting into the holiday spirit with the launch of its expanded seasonal toy department. Kohl’s Toy Shop features curated assortments of toys based on age and interests across categories including dolls, collectibles, vehicles and action figures, arts and crafts, STEM, construction, and gaming.

MATTEL AND BUDGE STUDIOS LAUNCH A HOT WHEELS MOBILE GAME. A new racing and track-building Hot Wheels mobile game has arrived.

Mattel and Budge Studios — creator of the mobile games Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures and Thomas & Friends: Go Go Thomas — have officially launched Hot Wheels Unlimited, a racing and track-building game for iOS and Android devices. Players can roll into Hot Wheels City...

IMC Toys says its first TikTok campaign has gone viral, smashing all projected targets. The influencer campaign, which was implemented this month to raise awareness of the company’s new VIP Pets range, delivered 10x the estimated views, amassing over 5.7m. This was in addition to double the amount of click-throughs and 6x more engagement in comparison with similar campaigns.

The Entertainer announces Lowest Price Guarantee for Christmas 2020. Following a challenging year, The Entertainer is determined to help its customers have an smooth Christmas and has introduced its Lowest Price Guarantee, a new initiative that gives customers peace of mind that they are getting the very best deal on toy purchases now. If prices are reduced before Christmas on over 2,000 toys, The Entertainer will refund...

Combining Power: Hasbro and eOne’s 2021 Plans. What the Hasbro and eOne merger means for blockbuster entertainment for 2021. Executives from Hasbro and eOne shared news on upcoming releases as well as plans to evolve its consumer products line amid shelter-at-place orders at the Festival of Licensing live panel, "Hasbro + eOne: Fueling Franchises Together," which is available now on-demand. 

Mattel and production company 2Dux² have announced plans to develop a feature film based on Thomas & Friends, the global franchise about the iconic blue engine. Mattel Films and 2Dux² will bring Thomas & Friends to life through a four-quadrant family adventure that blends live-action and animation. Mattel Films will co-produce the film alongside Marc Forster (Christopher Robin, World War Z, Monster's Ball), who... 

Hasbro’s Mr. Potato Head goes green. Another classic toy has been reinvented with the future in mind. Hasbro‘s Mr. Potato Head Goes Green figure and accessories are made from sustainable plant-based plastic derived from sugarcane. The 15-piece set comes in “virtually plastic-free” Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper packaging.

Dino-Riders are back from Mattel as a EE exclusive. The Dino-Riders are back as Mattel announced the Entertainment Earth exclusive figure set. If you don't remember, Dino-Riders started with an animated series to promote the Tyco toy line. The series was short-lived with only 14 episodes but left a mark many kids.

Asmodee USA brings 'Glasgow' to U.S. trade. Asmodee USA will release Glasgow, a resource management game by Lookout Games, into U.S. trade on November 11. Glasgow is a tile-laying, resource management game by Mandela Fernandez-Grandon where two players compete to become the most successful merchant in the city.

Pandasaurus Games will release 'Robots' into the U.S. hobby market. Pandasaurus Games will release Robots, a Kinderspiel des Jahres nominated guessing game by Reinhard Staupe, into the U.S. hobby market on October 14. In Robots, one player takes on the role of an imaginary robot and the other players team up to take turns moving it between objects.

Wizards of the Coast pushes back entire launch schedule for 'Magic the Gathering: Commander Legends'. Wizards of the Coast announced that they have pushed back the entire launch schedule for Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic production challenges. Commander Legends products were originally scheduled for a prerelease on October 30 with a full-retail release set for...

Spin Master launches Present Pets for Christmas 2020. Spin Master has revealed its newest imaginative toy packed with innovation; Present Pets puppies, interactive pets with an unboxing experience. Inspired by the childhood dream of being gifted a puppy in a bow-topped box, these soft interactive puppies are wrapped in an unboxing experience.

Asmodee USA unveils 'Patchwork: Winter Edition' for U.S.trade. Asmodee USA unveiled Patchwork: Winter Edition, a holiday-themed English edition of the Patchwork quilting game, which will release on November 11. Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a quilter? Lookout Games has this covered with their new version of their classic Patchwork quilting game by Uwe Rosenberg.

Be Amazing! breaks collectibles ice. A storm is coming, but Be Amazing! Toys is ready for the snow. Best known for its STEM-focused activity kits, the toymaker plowed into the collectibles category in September with its Snow Pets brand. The range features eight winter-friendly animals contained in spheres filled with snow powder, a compound that expands and feels cool to the touch when watered.

Pocket.Watch’s ‘Love, Diana’ debuts new toy line. Pocket.watch announced the new Love, Diana — Princess of Play consumer product line, which is available exclusively at Walmart today. The line is inspired by the widely popular YouTuber Diana, who collected 5 billion views across her 14 channels since August alone. Diana is considered a global influence with her content available in nine languages and her universal message...

Thames & Kosmos predicts surge in sales for its Three Detective series as stock lands in the UK. Thames & Kosmos UK is expecting to see a surge in sales of its popular Three Detective series of forensic science play-sets in the run-up to Christmas, having seen the range hit new levels of popularity during the UK’s lockdown period earlier this year. With its best-selling Master Detective Toolkit now back in stock, the UK...

Funko Games reveals three new tabletop titles for the holidays. Funko Games revealed three new tabletop titles on the way for the holidays, including two based on some popular brand names. First off, they introduced two new additions to the Disney card game Something Wild as we're now getting versions featuring The Little Mermaid and Toy Story. Both of which are stocking-stuffer sized. Meanwhile, they also revealed...

Vivid details plans of TikTok campaign for Escape Room: The Game 2. To support the launch of Escape Room: The Game 2 and new expansion packs, Vivid has announced collaborations with a number of TikTok creators that will celebrate the different personalities involved when trying to solve an Escape Room. The campaign, developed in partnership with Norton PR and the team at KidsKnowBest, provides amusing insight into...

Squishmallows bring touch to direct-to-consumers. Squishmallows, the ridiculously soft plush brand from LA-based Kellytoy Worldwide, was built for the brick-and- mortar retail experience. Seeing an entire wall of those squeezable characters has proven to be tantalizing to kids—and, let’s face it, to a lot of adults, too. But in a post-pandemic world—one where parents are hyper-aware of what their children are touching...

Greenlight Collectibles adjusts 2021 plans amid trade show upheaval. As it stands right now, 2021 is already shaping up to be a direct sequel to 2020. With uncertainty looming regarding the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its global economic impact, members of the toy industry are evolving their businesses to operate in a world without the traditional trade show season. Indiana-based GreenLight Collectibles...

Walmart signs trio of drone deals as it races to play catch-up with Amazon. Walmart has struck deals with three drone operators to test how the technology could be used for on-demand deliveries and to help it better compete with Amazon. It is testing different drone uses, from dropping off groceries to delivering Covid-19 at-home test kits.

Lego names its Young Explorer competition winner. The competition asked children to get creative and build adventurous nature scenes using only Lego Bricks and Figures, and the great outdoors. Eight-year-old Lexi from Immingham, Lincolnshire, has been crowned the ultimate Lego Young Explorer after taking part in a competition that saw thousands of kids across the UK get creative in the outdoors...

Barbie version of Susan B. Anthony is here. Toward the end of her life, in explaining her rationale for never marrying, Susan B. Anthony said she wanted to avoid becoming a man’s “drudge or a doll.” More than 100 years after her death, she’s become a doll — a literal doll, a Barbie doll. On Monday, Mattel launches its Susan B. Anthony doll as part of its Barbie Inspiring Women Doll line, which “pays tribute to incredible...

A Blast from the Past to Help You Fight off those Pesky Ghosts. Who you gonna call?!  Usually, the answer would be Ghostbusters, obviously.  Now, however, you don’t even need to make the call because you can handle those pesky ghosts yourself.  Well, maybe your kids can.

In order for you and your family to be ready for all those ghostly encounters this Halloween season, Hasbro will be releasing the Kenner Classics

Two new Hamleys stores to open. Hamleys has announced the opening of two new stores. The first, located at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, opened its doors yesterday. The second will be opening at Trinity Leeds, though a date for this has not yet been confirmed.

Pottick-Ad-High-Res-01.jpg

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…

(the above posted after October 9th)

The Nuraphone headphones are getting a gaming microphone attachment. The company behind the $399 Nuraphone Bluetooth hearing-correcting headphones have made a new gaming microphone accessory that effectively makes the wireless headphones wired. The microphone can be used with PCs, Macs, mobile devices, the Nintendo Switch, and modern console controllers.

Mortal Kombat 11 has topped 8 million sales in under two yearsMortal Kombat 11 has sold more than 8 million copies since launching in March 2019, according to developer NetherRealm. NetherRealm creative director Ed Boon broke the news on Twitter, and teased an announcement relating to the future of the game later this week.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars was Japan's biggest-selling game in September.     Super Mario 3D All-Stars was comfortably the best-selling game in Japan last month, fending off competition from other new releases such as Marvel's Avengers.   That's according to Famitsu's latest monthly charts …

Crash Bandicoot 4 narrowly beats Star Wars Squadrons to No.1 l UK Boxed Charts. Activision's Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time beat EA's Star Wars Squadrons to No.1 this week, with just 1,000 boxed sales separating the two games. The latest Crash Bandicoot title follows the successful remakes of the first three Crash games.

Ubisoft survey reveals that 25 percent of employees have seen or experienced workplace misconductUbisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has published the results of an employee survey undertaken by the company over the summer following allegations of endemic harassment and toxicity, and the results are eye-opening. In the anonymous survey of nearly 14,000 employees, one in four respondents said that they had...

Google Play delays 30% cut in India to 2022Google will be delaying the implementation of its mandatory 30% cut on the Play Store in India to March 2022. The policy will still go ahead as planned in other territories, but Purnima Kochikar, director of business development of games and applications at Google Play, said the tech giant was setting up "listening sessions with leading Indian startups to understand their concerns...

Facebook Gaming surpassed one billion hours watched in Q3. After a significant leap in streaming hours watched due to pandemic-related lockdowns, viewership for Q3 appears to be steadying somewhat, though YouTube and Facebook Gaming continue to see gains.

Sony expects PS5 to sell more than 7m units by April. Sony Interactive Entertainment expects that PlayStation 5 to shift more than seven million units by the end of the current financial year. In an interview with Korean site Naver, via Google Translate, president and CEO Jim Ryan predicted the console would "sell more in its first fiscal year than [we] sold in the first fiscal year at the time of [the] PS4 launch."

SteelSeries’ new Arctis 7-series headsets use a USB-C wireless dongleSteelSeries has announced two new versions of its Arctis 7 wireless gaming headset, releasing in time for the Xbox Series X / S and the PS5 to launch. The Arctis 7X has a black and green design catered toward the Xbox Series X / S and Xbox One. The other is called the Arctis 7P, and it’s an all-white headset that will look better paired with the PlayStation 5.

Sky more than doubles installs in three months. Sky: Children of the Light is taking off, as Thatgamecompany today announced the iOS and Android free-to-play game has been downloaded 50 million times worldwide. That shows significant momentum for the game, as it was just three months ago that TGC announced it had reached 20 million installs after a year of availability.

Hardware launches and pre-orders desperately need a shake-up | Opinion. Retailers and manufacturers have failed consumers with the botched, badly-managed launches of consoles and graphics cards in recent weeks

Corsair’s new K100 gaming keyboard has a fantastic, multi-purpose dial. Corsair’s new $229.99 K100 is currently the company’s most expensive mechanical gaming keyboard. What lends to the high cost, in part, is the handy iCue control dial at its top left, which is so fun to use.

Nvidia delays RTX 3070 launch to October 29th. Nvidia has delayed the launch of its upcoming GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card so there’s more stock available on launch day. In a blog post, the company admitted that the news “may be disappointing” to some, but said, “this shift will help our global partners get more graphics cards into the hands of gamers on launch day.” The graphics card will now launch on October 29th...

How an obscure 2018 computer game became a global phenomenon overnight. One of the most popular video games in the world today had almost no players a few months ago. Among Us, a party game that launched in June 2018, has now been downloaded more than 100 million times, according to its US-based developer, InnerSloth. Over 60 million users play the game each day. The game peaked at 3.8 million...ng offering...

 

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...

(the above posted after October 9th)

Funskool become first toy manufacturer to get BIS certification. MRF Group's Funskool India on Wednesday said it has become the first Indian toy manufacturer to get certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards for Safety for electric toys. It has received certification IS 15644 for the manufacturing plant based in Goa.

Peggy Brown Consulting Ad 540x250 pxl.jp

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. 

(the above posted after October 9th)

The esteemed inductees into the 2021 Toy Industry Hall of Fame: William C. Killgallon – who transformed the Etch A Sketch into a household name; Pleasant T. Rowland – the trailblazer who founded American Girl; and the late Margarete Steiff – inspiring inventor of the world's first stuffed animal, and Phillip Bloom, founder of "The Bloom Report," was inducted for his work as a respected toy news pioneer. (Congrats, Phil!)

CLUB EIMMIE MONTHLY PLAYTIME PACKS PROMPTS EVERYONE TO GET ALL DOLLED UP, ADORABLY. Gingerbread Baking Set, One Of Dozens Of Open-Ended Play Adventures Sized Perfectly For A Girl And Her 18” Dolls, Makes THE Perfect Present. What could be better than unwrapping a gift from Grandma this December? Getting an adventure delivered from Grandma every month with Club Eimmie ($12.99 introductory offer, then $19.99/mo.)! Little girls who indulge in imaginative play with their 18” doll pals will be inspired with fresh outfits, accessories or playsets sized perfectly for dolly. Sometimes there’s a matching outfit for the big girl!

Tiny Love Introduces Wonder Buddies, the New Toy Designed to Promote Developmental Growth in Toddlers. Dorel Juvenile, a segment of Dorel Industries (TSX: DII.B, DII.A) and the world's largest juvenile products manufacturer, has announced today the launch of Wonder Buddies, a new and innovative toddler toy under the Tiny Love brand.

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.

(the above posted after October 9th)

People of Play kicks off 15th annual Young Inventor Challenge under new leadership. People of Play (POP), formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group, kicked off its 15th annual Young Inventor Challenge with a new leader at the helm. 3D printing innovator and educator Jazmine Darden, founder of IAMEARHERO assumes the role of program director. Mattel, Magformers, Goliath, and Hasbro are sponsoring the event alongside The United Inventors Association and Female Strong.

Winners announced for 2020 License This! competition. Prizes for this year’s two License This! winners include a free exhibition stand at BLE 2021 and one year’s membership to Licensing International. Two new brands have been crowned this year’s winners of the global License This! competition, sponsored by Wynne-Jones. 

League of Geeks named Studio of the Year at Australian Game Developer AwardsLeague of Geeks was named Studio of the Year at the Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDA) this week. The Melbourne-based developer signed a publishing deal with Private Division in July for its second project -- the first being the hit digital card game, Armello.

Fat Brain Toys announces the winner of their 2020 Kidventor Challenge, a toy and game invention contest for kidsFat Brain Toys, one of the nation's leading independent toy companies, today announced the winner of their Kidventor Challenge for 2020. The Kidventor Challenge invites children ages six to thirteen to submit toy or game ideas for the chance to have their concept commercially produced and sold...

Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle puzzle takes Bloggers Choice as BlogOn Toy Awards reveals 2020 winners. University Games’ Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle 3D Puzzle has taken home the Blogger Choice Award for 2020, a choice reflective of the boom the puzzles market that has seen since the UK was subjected to lockdown restriction this year. The award was given at this year’s BlogOn Toy Awards, which this year, revealed...

Lego names its Young Explorer competition winnerThe competition asked children to get creative and build adventurous nature scenes using only Lego Bricks and Figures, and the great outdoors. Eight-year-old Lexi from Immingham, Lincolnshire, has been crowned the ultimate Lego Young Explorer after taking part in a competition that saw thousands of kids across the UK get creative in the outdoors over the summer...

War Child UK hosting 'Game of the Girl' panel to spotlight women in gamesWar Child UK is hosting a 'Game Of The Girl' panel on October 7, 2020, to celebrate and support International Day of the Girl. The charity, which provides assistance to children in areas experiencing conflict around the world, explained the free event will offer insights into how women working in the games industry are celebrated, challenged,...

ToyFest West Postpones 2021 Show. Ahead of the 60th anniversary year of the Western Toy & Hobby Representatives Association, the WTHRA Board of Directors and ToyFest Slate of Officers have decided to postpone the annual ToyFest West Trade show, originally set for March of 2021. New show dates will be set for later in the year.

TOY FAIR NEW YORK SET TO RETURN IN MAY 2021. The Toy Association will bring the industry back together this spring for Toy Fair New York, taking place May 1-4, 2021 at the Javits Center. “The Toy Association’s trade events effectively and efficiently help members and the industry do more business more often, whether large- or small-scale,” Pasierb says. “We canvassed our primary audience of retail buyers and toy sellers...

Record breaking BLE kicks off tomorrow as part of Festival of Licensing. Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) 2020 opens its virtual doors at 9am on Tuesday 6th October as part of Festival of Licensing. According to the organisers, the event is already breaking records: 11,000 meeting requests have been made since the platform opened just two weeks ago, and Global Licensing Group is expecting this figure to rise exponentially...

ORIGINS AWARDS 2020 WINNERS UNVEILED. Along with Hall of Fame Inductees. The Academy of Adventure Game Arts & Design announced the winners of the 46th annual Origins Awards. The winners are traditionally announced at a gala ceremony on the Saturday night of Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio, which was cancelled this year due to COVID-19 concerns

SCORE Banner ad.jpg

 

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