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October 21 - 28, 2022

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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin’ Friday! 

Deadlines!

TAGIE Voting ends October 31st. Press Release HERE!

Young Inventor Challenge Registration ends October 31st. (All materials due by November 7th.)

And... here is a link to more upcoming events! 

 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report. If you can't wait for the news to arrive each Friday, check out the new Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed and share with your colleagues! You can also comment on the posts in the News Feed! 

Mary

"I am a long-time reader and champion of the Bloom Report. The quantity of quality articles on so many different aspects of our industry  is unmatched and  I regularly share and discuss them with my management team as an important business tool."  - Jim Engle, President & Founder, Little Kids Inc. 

"I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.

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Rest in Play - Dr. Stevanne Auerbach

Tribute by Jacqueline Fulmer, Ph.D., Director of Omnidoll Research

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Pioneering mass media toy reviewer and early childhood studies author, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., known to her readers and viewers as “Dr. Toy,” passed away in San Lorenzo, CA, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at age 84, due to complications from stroke. 

 

Stevanne Auerbach was an accomplished speaker, consultant, and author, who had trained in child development and special education. Her works ranged from the esoteric: editing volumes on early childhood studies; to the practical: handbooks on the Peace Corps, careers in Home Economics, physical education for differently abled children, and the search for quality childcare; to the creative: a children’s book (The Alphabet Tree, 1988), a novel (The Contest, 2009), a book of poetry (Petals, 1973), and a screenplay. Her title, “Dr. Toy,” dated to her first assignment with Creative Playthings in 1968, where she developed its first education marketing program. She became one of the first mass media “toy reviewers,” evaluating toys, publishing articles, and appearing on radio and television in American markets from coast to coast, from 1986 to 2018. When her distinctive gold foil “Dr. Toy Award” stickers appeared on retail products, consumers would know that they were purchasing a quality toy that would enrich their children’s lives.    

READ MORE... 

Share a story or a tribute to Stevanne on this page 

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Book Review by POP's Julia DeKorte

The Big Book of Brain Games by Ivan Moscovich

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Test out your problem-solving skills with Ivan Moscovich’s “The Big Book of Brain Games: 1,000 PlayThinks of Art, Mathematics & Science,” a comprehensive catalog of puzzles, riddles, mental games, and thought experiments. Divided into 14 categories including logic and probability, curves and circles, and patterns, Moscovich’s hefty book has a challenge for every mind.

Colorfully created with an abundance of visuals, “The Big Book of Brain Games” has 1,000 puzzles to choose from, all ranked in varying degrees of difficulty. Also interspersed throughout the book are quotes from famous mathematicians, scientists, and artists, as well as text boxes that offer explanations of different concepts, ranging from ancient theories to more modern discoveries.

 READ MORE...

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POP's First POP ROAST! 

To be Roasted: Matt Nuccio; Host/Referee Brian Turtle

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We know what you’re thinking… roasting Matt Nuccio is low hanging fruit... but we are going to go with the strongest possible candidate for our inaugural POP Roast. Matt was reluctant at first, but said if it helped put a few smiles on the faces of colleagues,  he would take one for the team and sit in the hot seat. Thank you, Matt! 

Then, of course, the best possible host to keep the heat turned up is Matt’s old friend Brian Turtle. Thank you Brian!

Thanks also to Goliath for sponsoring the event, and Radio Flyer for allowing us to grill in their fabulous venue. 

This will be fun! Join us! The POP Roast is part of POP Innovation Week

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Financial and Legal

 

Australian indie Princess Pictures has acquired the Dublin-based animation studio Boulder Media from Hasbro. The move is part of an effort to expand Princess’s production services capacity for its own and third-party content and to start developing Irish projects. Among Boulder’s roster of projects are My Little Pony for Paramount Pictures and Netflix, Memento Mori for RTÉ, Danger Mouse for Fremantle,...

 

Kids2, Inc announced the acquisition of the assets of Baby Dream Company Inc, adding the Baby Dream Machine as its latest and newest addition to the Ingenuity brand portfolio. Sleep is a huge parenting frustration, especially for parents Bart Lipski and Natalie Rebot. In their journey to find better sleep for their daughter, they worked with the sleep trainers and industry sleep experts to develop a product...

 

Netflix is continuing to expand its gaming operations, this time acquiring Seattle-based developer Spry Fox. The formerly independent developer, known for releases like Alphabear and Cozy Grove, becomes Netflix's sixth in-house games studio.  "Their unique approach to game development and success with titles like Triple Town, Alphabear and Cozy Grove will help accelerate our creative development in another beloved...

The U.S. Department of Justice has won its suit to block the merger of book publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, and U.S. District Court Judge Florence Y. Pan has issued an order enjoining the companies from combining.  "The Court finds that the United States has shown that 'the effect of [the proposed merger] may be substantially to lessen competition' in the market for the U.S. ...

 

***The above posted after October 27th***

 

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has acquired Oscar- and Emmy-winning virtual production, visualization, and vfx company Pixomondo. Details: Under the terms of the deal, Sony now owns 100% of Pixomondo, which joins Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Innovation Studios in expanding the company’s vfx and virtual production capabilities. Sony was particularly attracted to Pixomondo virtual production...

 

Wilko has called in advisers as the company explores cost-cutting and restructuring options in an effort to improve its balance sheet. The high street retailer, which includes a toy department among both its in store and online offerings, is reportedly seeking cost-cutting and restructuring options right across the business. Advisers from Teneo have been engaged to assess options for the retailer.

 

US economy resilient despite rising prices. The US economy has held up better than expected, as shoppers keep spending despite rising prices and higher borrowing costs. The economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.6% in the three months ended in September, returning to growth after two quarters of decline. The better-than-expected figure is one of the last major economic readings before US midterm elections next month. 

 

Elon Musk claims he's buying Twitter to 'help humanity'. Elon Musk claims that he is buying Twitter to "help humanity" as the billionaire set out his aims for taking over the social media platform. In a tweet, Mr. Musk said he didn't buy the firm "to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love". The entrepreneur has until Friday to complete a $44bn (£38bn) takeover of Twitter or risk going to trial. 

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Financial Reporting

 

SPIN MASTER HITS A SNAG IN Q3 BUT TOYS ARE UP 12.7% YEAR-TO-DATE

 

JAKKS PACIFIC ROCKS Q3 WITH 56% SPIKE IN TOYS, CONSUMER PRODUCTS SALES

Sony Pictures’ Q2 Profit Dips To $202M; Full-Year Forecast Increases

 

***The above posted after October 27th***

 

Mattel reported Q3 earnings that reflect net sales of $1.75 billion, strong, but flat compared to the same period last year. 

Amazon Posts 15% Q3 Sales Bump but Misses Revenue Targets and Warns of Q4 Slowdown, Touts ‘Rings of Power’ Viewing

 

‘Black Adam’ Powers To $67M Opening, Dwayne Johnson’s Best Opening As A Leading Man 

NBCUniversal Third-Quarter Earnings Rise, Peacock Loss Hits $614M, Comcast Takes $8.6B Sky Charges

Spotify Reaches 456 Million Total Monthly Users in Q3, up 20% Year Over Year and Topping Expectations

 

For Q4 2022, Corus saw a 6% decrease in revenues – compared to a 4% increase across the full year.

The Very Group announces increase in sales and profits

Capcom sales slide in second quarter, but it predicts stronger revenue for 2022.

Meta: Shares in Facebook owner dive 20% as investors lose faith.

Xbox Game Pass is "profitable," accounts for 15 percent of content and services revenue

Microsoft Q1 2023: profits and Windows down but Xbox and devices up

 

Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry

 

LEGO PLAY WELL REPORT SAYS ADULTS NEED NEW WAYS TO RELAX

 

UK Retailers predict mixed fortunes for Q4 Barclays Corporate Banking data has revealed that value and discount retailers are confident of a strong Q4, despite customers feeling the effects of the cost of living crisis.

 

***The above posted after October 27th***

 

A wave of demographic, tech and lifestyle trends has redefined how kids express their interests—and savvy creators should take note.

 

James Zahn, ToyBook - TOY INDUSTRY EARNINGS AND THE HOLIDAY RUSH

 

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

 

10 Fascinating Facts About Lego—From World Records to David Beckham’s Obsession, Over the last 90 years, Lego has become the largest toy maker in the world. Did you know it’s also the largest manufacturer of tires? IF YOU BUILD IT, they will come—that’s always been true for baseball fields and it is starting to feel like an apt motto for Lego A/S, which celebrated its 90th birthday on Aug. 10.

 

Professional Cornhole Has a Cheating Scandal Called BagGate. Officials talk of new regulations to root out illegally sized bags. Fans are reeling: ‘The dirty underbelly is being exposed.’ Perhaps the greatest controversy in the history of the sport of cornhole unfolded in August at the 2022 American Cornhole League World Championships, in Rock Hill, S.C. Was the No. 1 ranked doubles team using illegal beanbags?

 

Steve Reece - TOY SOURCING: THE NEXT 10 YEARS – CHANGES, CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES. Toy Sourcing has become a fairly straightforward process over the last couple of decades with a number of factories in China becoming the core suppliers to most toy companies. In many ways it would be a much simpler world if things stayed as they were with China remaining the dominant hub with strong efficiency, ...

 

JAMES ZAHN: FLIPPING THE CALENDAR FROM FALL TO FESTIVE FOR NEIGHBORHOOD TOY STORE MONTH. As I type these words, the reality is setting in that in just a few hours, kids of all ages will walk the streets in search of tricks and treats. Yes, Halloween is on a Monday this year, and while local ordinances may have pulled trick-or-treating ahead into the weekend for some families, October 31 is still a special day...

 

Neighborhood Toy Stores Have Reasons To Celebrate This Holiday Season. Amy Saldanha already knows this will be a good holiday season for her two toy stores in MN. “Families are in search of joy more than ever,” said Saldanha, CEO and founder of the Kiddywampus stores located in the Minneapolis suburbs of Hopkins and Chanhassen. Her stores are already beating results for 2019, the last pre-pandemic holiday season.

The Happy Meal inventor says McDonald’s didn’t want it at first. McDonald’s said this week that it sold half of its new Happy Meals geared toward adults in just four days. But four decades ago, when the first Happy Meal debuted, the company didn’t quite get it. Bernstein, whose ad agency ran marketing for McDonald’s (MCD) in several cities, had been working with McDonald’s for a decade before the Happy Meal debuted.

 

The Newest Card-Carrying Members of AARP: 20-Somethings. Youthful AARP members respect their elders’ access to discounts to cope with inflation. ‘Our daughter is an old soul. She now has the card to prove it.’ Some people dread receiving their AARP card in the mail. These young people can’t wait. They shamelessly flash their cards at restaurants, often confusing the wait staff and amazing and embarrassing their friends and family.

 

***The above posted after tBR started running on October 28th***

 

John Baulch, Toy World - Buy, buy baby…it’s the Friday Blog! Are we ready for some good news? Well, let me try to find a few positives to focus on from this week’s developments in the toy trade and beyond. First up, the hopelessly inept government of the past six weeks seems to have been replaced by a calmer version, with the pound and financial markets recovering slightly as a result. Consumers may not have been fully...

 

These NYC Halloween Dog Festival Costumes Will Make Your Day. The 32rd annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Festival took place this Saturday. Even if you're not the biggest Halloween fan, you just can't hate on the annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Festival. Every year, dogs of all shapes and sizes strut down the street flaunting some brilliant and oftentimes hilarious Halloween costumes.

A new Star Wars film is in the works, with prolific scribe Damon Lindelof co-writing the script and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy directing, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter. Lindelof’s involvement in a Star Wars feature has long been rumored, with Ms. Marvel director Obaid-Chinoy’s involvement a new development first reported Sunday night by Deadline.

How Therapists Are Using Tabletop Games to Help People. AS TABLETOP ROLE-PLAYING games (or TTRPGs) continue to grow in popularity, mental health professionals have been adapting them to enhance their practices. In a therapeutic setting, TTRPGs like Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) give clients a safe space to explore everything from gender to social skills—and have fun while doing it. Adam Davis founded Game to Grow ...

 

Kids who play video games score higher on brain function tests.  Kids who play video games have better memory and better control over their motor skills than kids who don’t, according to a new study looking at adolescent brain function. Video games might not be responsible for those differences — the study can’t say what the causes are — but the findings add to a bigger body of work showing gamers have better...

YouTube's impact on kid-driven purchases, and kids' early dive into the metaverse. We all know that kids heavily influence their parents’ purchases. And when it comes to influencing the kids themselves, it seems that nothing beats YouTube. Or so confirms the latest survey of kids and their parents conducted by COPPA-certified YouTube ad platform Precise TV and kids’ research firm Giraffe Insights. 

 

Xbox’s Phil Spencer says the metaverse is a ‘poorly built video game’. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s CEO of gaming, is the latest tech exec to take a shot at Meta’s vision of the metaverse. When asked his definition of the metaverse, Spencer described it as “a poorly built video game” at the WSJ Tech Live conference today, as seen at about the 1:12 mark of this video (embedded above). 

 

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History and Nostalgia

 

How Toys Changed After World War II. The ascendance of plastics and television forever changed the industry. World War II gave rise to countless innovations that would change American life for decades to come—from the rugged Jeep, to mass-produced penicillin, to the terrifying atomic bomb. But, ironically enough, few U.S. industries were more profoundly affected by the war than the toy business.

 

History of Jacks - one of the oldest and most widespread toys in the world. Archeologists have found evidence of early jacks in ancient Egyptian murals. Archeologists also believe that even Cro-Magnon parents may have encouraged their children to play a primitive version of jacks on cave floors to increase hand-eye coordination! It’s thought that ancient Egyptian children played a game very similar to jacks called...

Talking Silly Sentence Maker from Fisher-Price. Released in 1995 from Fisher-Price, the Talking Silly Sentence Maker allowed children to begin to master language by combining words and phrases in fun, audible ways. In this video, Dave from the Lucky Penny Shop YouTube channel puts the Talking Silly Sentence Maker through its paces. 

Electric Quiz Games from Remco. In 1968, Remco released a series of electric quiz games with printed circuit boards to challenge players with a series of trivia questions and answers. All Electric Quiz Games shared a uniform setup and required a single AA-battery. A double-sided cardboard game card was placed on top of the circuit board that was integrated into the game’s packaging. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

 

The Loyal Subjects has expanded their popular BST AXN (pronounced Best Action) lineup just in time for the holidays. The latest BST AXN launch expands on the success of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property and is sure to captivate multi-generational fans. BST AXN is the ultimate action figure mashup, representing everything from anime, action/adventure, Sci-Fi, entertainment, and nostalgic characters. 

 

US AVOD platform The Roku Channel is launching the first Spanish-language section on its kids and families service to meet high demand from audiences. Roku already has a Spanish offering for older viewers called Espacio Latino, which includes original and acquired content. Now it’s taking the same approach to serving a younger demo. Available this month as a new kids and family hub option, it features...

 

Afro Unicorn, a licensed character brand founded by April Showers that helps to spread representation in the toy industry, is partnering with Walmart to introduce a new holiday collection. The collection includes a “Unique the Unicorn” plush toy — newly dressed in a red and green scarf — a Holiday Magic Unicorn Advent Calendar, and Afro Unicorn Reward Stickers. 

 

THE NACELLE CO. UNLEASHES THE GREAT GARLOO.  The Great Garloo first hit the scene in 1961 at the height of the sci-fi boom. Marx Toys’ 2-foot-tall remote-controlled Great Garloo was a thing of mystery that kids had to have and demand was fueled by a TV commercial in which the narrator asked: “Garloo the Mighty. Garloo the Untamed. Garloo the Terrible, Who can stop it? Who can control this monstrous creature?” 

 

SPIN MASTER, MONSTER JAM SET GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR LARGEST DISPLAY OF MONSTER TRUCK TOYS. Feld Entertainment’s Monster Jam and its master toy partner Spin Master achieved a Guinness World Record at an Oct. 29 event, with 10,005 monster truck toys in a mosaic displaying the Monster Jam logo.

 

Sakar International is partnering with Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, to create a licensed line of skateboards and helmets based on the popular game. Intended to encourage fans to stay adventurous both in and out of the game, gamers can choose from ready-to-ride skateboard models, individual decks, and protective helmets in a variety of designs and styles.

 

An assortment of famous Hasbro toy and game brands will be featured across theme parks in Saudi Arabia.  The Al Hokair Group, a tourism and hospitality company, inked a licensing deal with Hasbro to launch Playocity, powered by Hasbro.  The parks will include attractions based on brands including TransformersMy Little PonyMonopoly, and more.

 

To celebrate 40 yrs of The Snowman and 10 yrs of The Snowman and the Snowdog film adaptations, Penguin Ventures (the licensing and consumer products division of Penguin Random House Children’s) has partnered with ODEON to bring the festive films to cinemas nationwide this winter. The hour-long theatrical screening will offer families the chance to experience the magic of The World of The Snowman...

 

Brand Central and their network of leading global subagents have been rapidly closing licensing partners around the globe. Bored of Directors offers a collection of top Bored Ape Yacht Club apes featuring a variety of aesthetics and personalities under one umbrella brand. With a full suite of apes, trend forward style guide, and retail partnerships lining up, Bored of Directors is going bananas.

 

Sesame Workshop and Quest Diagnostics has announced a new nationwide program to address health and well-being inequities among young children, particularly in low-income, rural, and marginalized communities. The pandemic has had wide-ranging and lingering effects on children’s health, with many missing routine and preventive healthcare check-ups.

 

CandyRific, in collaboration with Lucasfilm, has created Star Wars Classic-themed Character Candy Fans, inspired by Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Stormtrooper, and Yoda characters. These character fans will be available for shipping in December 2022. Star Wars Classic-themed Character Candy Fans – Push the button and feel a burst of cool air from these lovable Star Wars-themed Character Candy Fans. 

 

Jurassic World : The Legacy of Isla Nublar Roars into Retail from Funko Games and Prospero Hall. Everyone can live dangerously and build their own dinosaur park with Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar from the clever minds at Prospero Hall and Funko Games. Initially launched on Kickstarter, the highly anticipated legacy, campaign-style board game is now widely available for the first time at retail stores nationwide.

 

Germany’s Kiddinx Media is expanding the reach of audio entertainment IP Bibi & Tina outside its domestic market through a new deal with Warner Music Group, which will distribute the podcast episodes in English-speaking territories, and work with German distributor Zebralution on maximizing opportunities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Bibi & Tina launched in 1991 as a radio series for kids ages...

 

LA-based FAST channel manager OTTera has inked a deal with Smurfs brand owners LAFIG Belgium and IMPS to launch two channels featuring the iconic blue characters on connected TVs worldwide. Smurfs TV and Spanish-language channel Los Pitufos will debut globally in Q4 (although Smurfs TV won’t be available in North America due to licensing restrictions). They will both feature more than 500 episodes...

 

***The above posted after October 27th***

 

Calm launches series of Roald Dahl audio stories. The meditation and sleep app has signed a multi-year deal with the Roald Dahl Story Company, and will kick off the partnership with an adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Kids are about to get tucked in at night with visions of chocolate waterfalls and candy-flavored wallpaper in their heads. 

Tonies announces new releases including Olaf, Disney Pixar’s Coco, James and the Giant Peach and more. The new line-up comes just as parents, grandparents and caregivers begin shopping for Christmas. Pinky Laing, Partnership & PR manager at Tonies said: “We’re thrilled to introduce our exciting line-up of new Tonies joining the gang this month. Our partnership with Roald Dahl continues, and there’s a double...

 

WildBrain has secured worldwide distribution rights for seasons one and two of the brand-new 2D-animated comedy-adventure series, Saving Me. Produced by Montreal’s Sphere Animation in partnership with BYUtv, the series is currently available for delivery. What would you tell your 11-yr-old self if you had the chance? Saving Me is the story of a tech billionaire from the distant future who has messed up...

 

ZAG has signed with famed Italian Chocolatier Ferrero for a European multi-territory in-store fall promotion for its flagship property, Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, commencing October 2022, across its Kinder Surprise Maxi 100g eggs.  The announcement was made by Jeremy Zag, Founder and CEO, ZAG. Brokered by ZAG and DeAPlaneta Entertainment, ZAG’s Miraculous Spanish co-production partner...

BBC AND DISNEY BRANDED TELEVISION JOIN FORCES ON DOCTOR WHO. Disney+ To Become New Global Home For Upcoming Seasons Of Doctor Who Outside The UK & IrelandBBC Continues As Doctor Who's Exclusive Home In The UKNew Episodes Will Premiere on the BBC and Disney+ in late 2023.

Mighty Jaxx Further Builds out its MightyVerse, Developing First Metaverse Experience Alongside Sideshow and other Global Players. Mighty Jaxx, an award-winning future culture company that designs and produces phygital collectibles, announced their Spooky Season experience. The MightyVerse Presents: Spooky Season enhanced brand experience will begin Oct 28th and run through Nov 11th...

 

Lisle Licensing, the UK merchandising agent for video game brand Tetris, has focused its efforts on securing new partners and renewing successful existing partnerships for the brand during 2022. Lisle says enthusiasm and consumer interest in Tetris remains high, demonstrating the continuing popularity for gaming, which fits perfectly with the brand’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

 

Addo Play has entered into a three-year agreement with Spin Master, as an official licensee of the Fuggler brand in worldwide territories.  Alongside continued sales to retailers in the UK, Canada and Australia, Fugglers will be available on Amazon, specialty channels and collector sites in the US from Q4 through distributor ESKA, with more territories planned to follow. This licensing agreement covers Fuggler plush...

 

Mattel celebrates 40 years of E.T. with new collectible plush. E.T. has charmed audiences of all ages since it was first released back in 1982, with this year marking four decades since the movie and its loveable alien first landed. The beloved 80s blockbuster E.T. returns to UK cinemas this year to charm a new generation of moviegoers, as well as allowing older generations to relive the nostalgia of the blockbuster movie.

 

Barbie: Epic Road Trip is the first Netflix special from the Barbie franchise as part of a multi-year content partnership between Mattel Television and Netflix. Barbie: Epic Road TripDebuting globally on Netflix yesterday (25th October), Barbie: Epic Road Trip is the first interactive special for the world-famous Mattel IP.

 

Asmodee and ITV partner on new I’m a Celeb jungle game. Based upon I’m A Celebrity…, Jungle Hat Dunny Star Hammock is based on Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza and tasks players with completing ‘trials’. A simple, no fuss and easy-to-play card game, Jungle Hat Dunny Star Hammock is inspired by the ever popular Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, which fans have described as ‘filled to the brim with hand-slapping mayhem’. 

 

Coming off of its recent Emmy Award win for Outstanding Short Documentary for Through Our Eyes, Sesame Workshop, the producers behind Sesame Street, announced the start of Season Two production of the docuseries. Through Our Eyes is an intimate and inspiring journey into the lives of American families, from the perspective of children themselves as they navigate formidable yet all-too-common...

 

Mattel announced that it has renewed its licensing partnership with The Pokémon Company International in the building sets category. Through the agreement, Mattel will continue to produce its popular Pokémon toys and building sets under its MEGA property. As a partner to The Pokémon Company International and by way of its MEGA brand, Mattel has over the years produced buildable characters, playsets, building...

 

Following the success of Monster High The Movie, Nickelodeon and Mattel Television announced that they have greenlit a sequel to the live-action movie musical. Based on the iconic Mattel franchise about the children of famous monsters and creatures, the feature-length TV movie will begin production in January in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and will air on Nickelodeon and stream on Paramount+ in 2023

 

Make-A-Fort has announced a partnership with Minecraft, one of the most popular games in the world, and a major source of joy for millions of players. Since Minecraft was released, people of all ages have happily spent hours gathering, crafting and building with friends. This holiday season kids can finally walk and crawl inside a Minecraft Explorer Kit available for order now in the US and Canada at www.makeafort.fun.

 

Academy Award-nominated French animation studio Xilam Animation has secured a wave of new int'l broadcast deals for its hit CGI preschool comedy Oggy Oggy following the success of the show’s first season on Netflix since it debuted globally in Aug 2021. The new broadcast partners for Oggy Oggy include Clan/RTVE (Spain), RTS (French-speaking Switzerland), Hop! (Israel), Sony YAY! (India), Daekyo TV (South...

 

Following a successful partnership surrounding the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla brand universe earlier this year, Ubisoft and global technology company, Fabacus, are again joining forces in celebration of the Assassin’s Creed 15th anniversary, in a deal brokered by IMG. As part of a six-month celebration of activity of one of the most beloved game series of the last decade, Fabacus and Ubisoft will be working...

 

Robosen Robotics announced that they have once again collaborated with Hasbro to create an awe-inspiring, interactive Transformers robot – the new Elite Optimus Prime. Fans of the original cartoon and blockbuster movies can now enjoy bringing to life the leader of the Autobots with this collectible robot featuring advanced programmable capabilities, voice-activated interactions and state-of-the-art...

 

Toynamics celebrates success of Nanoblock licensing.  Toynamics has seen Nanoblock go from strength to strength in the UK, thanks largely to its successful licensing programme for the brand. The world’s smallest micro-sized building block (4mm x 4mm x 5mm) lets children and kidults aged 12+ construct amazingly detailed and realistic three-dimensional creations, which are fun to build, display and collect.

Studio 100 locks in more distribution for its Heidi pic. Film distributors from Europe and the Middle East have signed on for the upcoming adaptation of the classic novel, which will premiere theatrically in 2024. Heidi—Rescue of the Lynx is aimed at kids ages five to 10 and their families. It’s slated for a 2024 release, with Belgium’s Fabrique Fantastique (Sir Mouse) on board as a co-producer.

From toys to apparel, BBC Studios is ensuring its hit preschool property Bluey has a presence in every consumer products category, welcoming 12 new licensees to the fold that will roll out products this year and next. The CP program’s latest partners in the US are Ground Up (footwear), Little Kids (outdoor toys), Megatoys (seasonal gift sets), PTI (Easter baskets), Spirit Halloween (costumes and accessories), ...

The popular entertainment brand Gracie’s Corner signed with digital-creator management firm Underscore Talent and global talent, entertainment, and sports company UTA “Gracie’s Corner,” an animated world created by 10-year-old Graceyn “Gracie” Hollingsworth and her educator parents, was designed to entertain and educate kids through music, dance, and creativity. 

 

Netflix has bought seasons two, 3 and 4 of the preschool series Molang from French animation studio Millimages. The SVOD, which had already acquired the first season in 2019, will launch the next 3 worldwide on Nov 1. With a total of five seasons so far, Molang stars a rabbit—who is gender-neutral with no nationality—and a shy chick who sometimes needs help seeing the bright side of life. Together they deal with...

 

Brit free-to-air channel Tiny POP has picked up Billy the Cowboy Hamster from French distributor Dandelooo. The 2D-animated series (52 x 11 minutes) follows along with Billy as he roams the Wild West in search of thrills and cowboy adventures with his earthworm and ferret sidekicks. Dandelooo’s studio OoOlala is co-producing the project with Belgium-based Digital Graphix, Atmosphere Media and pubcaster RTBF.

 

Collectibles giant Funko and UK-based 10:10 Games have signed a deal with NBCUniversal to incorporate characters and locations from its catalogue of films and movies into the upcoming video game Funko Fusion.  The new action game has a AAA budget (a category that starts at US$50 million), and is set in a world made up of different NBCUniversal brands. 

Holiday Hill Farm, Gund ink multiyear plush licensing deal. Holiday Hill Farm and Spin Master‘s Gund division inked a multiyear licensing pact under which Gund will create and distribute premium plush in all sizes based on characters including Spookley the Square Pumpkin and his holiday friends Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens, Lyla the Love Bug, JellyBean the Easter Chick, and Beacon the Firefly. 

Wimpy Kid inks licensing deals for expansion into games, puzzles. The company behind the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is on a mission toward brand expansion. Wimpy Kid Inc. dropped the curtain on a refreshed licensing program this week that includes new partners, including The Op Games | usaopoly, Go! Toys and Games, and Trevco. Under the deals, new Wimpy Kid-branded games, puzzles, and apparel will ...

 

Zoo Tycoon is getting a bright, cheery board game adaptation. Zoo Tycoon has been a management gaming mainstay for over two decades now, and quite frankly I’m shocked and appalled that it has taken this long for someone to be allowed to make a board game about it. There are too many adaptations with monsters and plastic minis holding swords, and far too few for games where you just get to build nice things...

Warner Bros. Games and DC launch ‘Gotham Knights’. Warner Bros. Games and DC Comics have announced “Gotham Knights,” the new open-world, third-person action role-playing game (RPG), is now available for PlayStation 5 (PS5), Xbox Series X|S and PC and is playable either solo or as a two-player online cooperative (co-op) experience. Developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal, “Gotham Knights” features...

Lupita Nyong’o releases ‘Super Sema’ talking doll with Just Play. One super actress is using her influence to take a digital property into the physical world. In partnership with Just Play, Lupita Nyong’o touted the release of the first ever doll for the YouTube Originals animated series Super Sema, which follows the world-changing adventures of extraordinary young African girl Sema. Executive-produced by Nyong’o,...

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People of Play

 

Azhelle Wade, The Toy Coach -  EPISODE #149: BACK IN PERSON! THE PEOPLE OF PLAY INNOVATION CONFERENCE. Finally, this beloved toy and game innovation conference returns in person. The People of Play Innovation Conference is the largest global innovation conference in the toy and game world, welcoming over 50 companies from across 17 countries to review pitches from students, new inventors, and professional...

Following months of speculation, Harold and Jennifer Chizick are tapping into more than two decades of toy industry and marketing experience to launch their new company, ChizSix Marketing & Media. ChizSix is a full-service agency that the Chizicks say “brings a modern and playful approach to integrated brand marketing that resonates with North American families and consumers.”

 

The Toy Book chatted with Carrie Scanlan, ToyFest show director, and members of the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) to learn more about the first show under the new moniker, taking place Feb. 27-March 3 in Las Vegas’ World Market Center.

The Toy Book: What was the thinking behind the major move? Was it to fill in the gap left behind by Toy Fair’s move to September?

 

***the above posted after October 27th***

 

Talkin’ Toys: A new focus on youth mental health with ThinkFun’s Rachele Harmuth. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way kids play — and the industry is taking notice and working on ways to adjust its development processes. Instead of focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), one company is suggesting that it’s time to focus on kids’ mental, emotional, and social mental health (MESH). 

The Jumbodiset Group has announced the retirement of two highly regarded and long serving Galt leaders – managing director John McDonnell and sales director Clive Robinson – as Jacqueline Taylor Foo takes up the role of GM. John McDonnell retires after 26 years, as Jaqueline Taylor Foo takes up the role of general manager

 

Fred Rogers Productions has named Mallory Mbalia to the newly created position of Director of Learning and Education. In her new role, Mbalia will work to expand the company’s “neighborhood” of educational partners and advisors as well as collaborate with its production; marketing, communications, and engagement; fundraising; and licensing teams. She reports to President & CEO Paul Siefken.

 

Warner Bros. Pictures has named longtime executive Jesse Ehrman as head of production and development. In the new role, he will oversee a slate of upcoming kids films, including Coyote vs. Acme and several Mattel movies. Upped from an EVP position, Ehrman has been with the studio for 16 years. His EP credits include films such as Scoob! and Tom & Jerry (pictured), as well as an upcoming Sesame Street movie.

 

Distribution Solutions, a leading Distribution and Fulfillment Operation is excited to announce the recent hire of Bruce Sawinski who will be the Vice President of Sales and Purchasing. Mr. Sawinski has worked in the E-commerce industry for over 10 years, most recently as Director of Purchasing for a large 1P E-commerce company. In his new role as Vice President of Sales and Purchasing, Mr. Sawinski will join...

TALKIN’ TOYS: A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH RUBIK’S CUBE INVENTOR ERNŐ RUBIK. In partnership with CAMP, Spin Master hosted Twist, Turn, Learn: Meet Ernő Rubik, a New York City-based event that allowed kids and toy enthusiasts to meet the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube: Professor Ernő Rubik

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Companies and Brands

 

U.S. subscribers to the Disney+ streaming service will be able to purchase new Star Wars lightsabers, Black Panther masks and other merchandise starting on Tuesday, a week ahead of the general public, Walt Disney Co said in statement. The company described the offering as a limited test of an additional benefit for streaming customers looking to grab coveted products created for the holiday shopping season.

 

YouTube will start selling subscription streaming services operated by third-parties, taking on Amazon and Roku in the space. The streaming platform on Tuesday said it will launch what it is calling “Primetime Channels,” allowing users to subscribe to streaming services through their platform. Among the streaming services available at launch are Paramount+, Starz, AMC+, Showtime and ViX+, with NBA ...

 

Announcing its list as ‘great news for parents’, Tesco says its buyers have selected 10 top toys for Christmas that offer affordability as well as excellent play value. The retailer notes that demand for electronic toys has recently pushed the average price of a main Christmas gift for youngsters up to between £60 and £90. However, Tesco’s toy experts have chosen their top 10 based not only on current popularity...

 

Droyd, a manufacturer of kids’ rideables, recently debuted the Weeler and Blipper just in time for the holiday season. Both models are motorized bikes designed for kids — but with parents in mind — and feature a sporty, retro design. The Weeler is geared toward younger novice riders, ages 6-12, while the Blipper is designed for kids ages 13 and up for a more advanced experience.

 

WOW! STUFF PLOTS EXPANSION OF REAL FX TOY LINE. The British company, which sells the Real FX Baby Blue in the U.S. through a partnership with Jakks Pacific, plans to release an array of Real FX toys in the Robotic/Interactive Playmates class of The NPD Group’s Youth Electronics Supercategory.

 

Hasbro unveiled its Transformers Generations Holiday Optimus Prime, a special-edition action figure/vehicle combo that will roll out just in time for the holidays. Designed for kids ages 8 and up, the heroic Autobot leader has been redesigned with holiday-inspired details, including green-tinted windows, snowy deco, candy cane stripes, and a Santa Autobots logo. The action figure converts from a robot to an...

 

Magformers is kicking off the season early this year to support children and families in need with its “Merry Magformers” Buy, Get, and Give campaign. Beginning today, with every purchase of the Magformers Designer Carnival 46-piece set and/or the Tileblox Rainbow 20-piece set on magformers.com, the company will donate one to The Ronald McDonald House Charities Detroit.

 

ThinkFun Announces “MESH Helps” Task Force. ThinkFun published a comprehensive report that examines the mental health challenges facing today’s children and teens, and underscores the importance of building MESH (Mental, Emotional and Social Health) skills to build resilience and protect their mental health. The report, titled “Building Products with MESH in Mind,” encourages stakeholders in the games and toys industry...

 

MeteoHeroes – Saving Planet Earth’ Video Game Now on Sale in Physical Format. Following the digital launch in February of the first-ever MeteoHeroes video game on PlayStation and PC (STEAM platform), Mondo TV Studios, part of Mondo TV Group, one of the largest European producers and distributors of animated content, has announced the arrival of the game MeteoHeroes – Saving Planet Earth in physical format.

 

Marvel Snap Earns $2 Million In First Week, Becomes #1 iPhone Game in US and Canada. Marvel Snap ends its first week at the top of the iPhone App Store in the US and Canada, raking in 5.3 million downloads and $2 million in revenue. Nuverse and Second Dinner Studios' digital collectible card game Marvel Snap earned over $2 million in its first week, topping the App Store's gaming category in the USA and Canada.

 

The LeapFrog Magic Adventures Microscope offers children aged 5+ the chance to make new discoveries, enjoy tiny worlds, and explore the microscopic environment around them. Officially launched by TV presenter and nature lover Naomi Wilkinson at The Science Museum, London, mini scientists and budding explorers were encouraged to discover miniature worlds and learn about the human body, minerals...

Sambro International has partnered with Wastebuster and Products of Change to become the most recent toy company to join the growing membership of the Recycle to Read programme. The Recycle to Read initiative works with organisations and schools across the UK to facilitate the recycling and the re-use of toys, small electrical items and textiles. Participating schools and communities are then rewarded...

 

***The above posted after October 27th***

 

Fans gather for 40th anniversary screening of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Fans and influencers celebrated the iconic movie with a special showing of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial at London’s Prince Charles Cinema. At Sunday’s immersive event to mark 40 years since the release of Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, cinema-goers had the opportunity to don a red hoodie and...

 

Disney commits US$1 million to Exceptional Minds. The media giant’s multi-year grant will support neurodiverse talent through the nonprofit’s technical training and career development programs. While the technical component covers areas like animation, CG-gaming and VFX, the professional readiness training includes portfolio creation, interviewing and career planning.

DKL Beysal has confirmed that it has mutually agreed with Danish company Plus-Plus to end the distribution arrangement this year. Managing director Terry Crew confirmed that DKL Beysal will continue to support the Plus-Plus line until December 31st. Thereafter, Plus-Plus will work directly within the UK market. DKL Beysal manufactures and distributes a variety of fun and unique product ranges. 

Netflix and RespectAbility have announced the 15 kids TV writers, animators and execs with disabilities who have been selected to take part in their first-ever Children’s Content Lab. The Lab, which began on October 17 and runs until November 17, features networking and learning sessions designed to give up-and-coming talent the opportunity to get more industry experience.

 

Advertisers will no longer be able to reach kids under age 13 on Roblox, Kidscreen has confirmed. The popular gaming platform that has more than 50 million active daily users—around half (47%) of whom are 12 or younger—has committed to blocking these kids from seeing new ad campaigns, sponsored experiences or items and user ads.

 

LuvBug Learning proudly announces the launch of their Social Emotional gaming platform, empowering children 4 to 11 to face both the virtual and actual world. Over 70% of parents are concerned about the impact of technology on children. Moreover, parents are looking for answers to safely introduce children to technology. “LuvBug uses social-emotional learning, to disarm the digital revolution, promoting happy...

 

Little Tikes Introduces Newest, Hottest Toys Available for the Upcoming Holiday Season. The Little Tikes Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of MGA Entertainment (MGA), one of the world’s largest and fastest growing privately held toy and entertainment companies, is proud to share new products from its parent-trusted and kid-loved brand, Little Tikes, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

 

Brighton Zoo will combine the creative firepower of industry stalwarts Dominic Minns and Juliet Tzabar and their award-winning Brighton team with the resources of Blue Zoo, to create a regional powerhouse of animation. The idea behind the new Brighton studio is to provide a space outside of London for flexible hybrid working, where artists can get together in an environment where they can produce... 

 

Just in time for a season of indoor crafts and activities, PlayMonster announces the launch of their newest Crafty Cakes and Little Knitty Bittys brands for families looking to create fantastic decorative cake designs, or adorable yarn outfits for an animal friend! Whatever your crafting interests, if you love adorable crafts, you’ll love these! Crafty Cakes and Little Knitty Bittys are set to introduce a world of exciting activities...

 

FAO Schwarz, NYC’s most iconic toy store and the oldest toy store in the U.S., celebrated 160 years of toys and inspiring awe and discovery in October, and everyone was invited! At their flagship store at Rockefeller Center, FAO Schwarz hosted a free, family-friendly event on Saturday, October 8 to celebrate FAO Schwarz Day with the most epic birthday party. The celebration took  over Rockefeller Plaza...

 

Snakes & Lattes Inc. Announces Nomination at Industry Prestigious Annual TAGIE Awards Alongside Disney, Hasbro and Barnes & Noble. The annual TAGIE awards held in Chicago are a significant industry showcase. There are 9 categories and many household names are in the lists of nominees. It is an honor to be a finalist in the ‘Most Innovative Retailer’ category along with other industry giants such as Disney (Star Wars)...

 

Podcast creator Fool & Scholar Productions is pivoting from its usual adult target demo to deliver its first-ever kids audio drama podcast with a consumer products approach focused on interactivityAimed at kids ages three to 12, The Boar Knight  chronicles the adventures of a wild boar, a gnome and a dwarf, who face dangers in the magical kingdom where they live more or less harmoniously.

 

All a-board: families travelling by ferry can enjoy Asmodee games. Wightlink Ferry passengers can choose from a carefully curated selection of some of Asmodee’s most popular family friendly games. Dobble, one of Asmodee’s most popular games, and Wightlink are joining forces in a bid to make ferry travel to and from the Isle of Wight even more enjoyable for families, and to get ‘More People Playing More Games More Often’...

 

After being launched in 2001, MGA Entertainment’s millennial property Bratz is celebrating its 21st birthday with all the passion for fashion the brand has maintained throughout the years. While the property has been rebranded and relaunched a few times during the line’s life span, today the gals are as popular as ever. 

 

LEGO Group unveils a new generation of LEGO Friends. After a decade on the market, the LEGO Group has reimagined its Friends Universe. With the introduction of new diverse characters, kids are enabled to feel truly represented during play. This next generation is specifically designed to celebrate the diverse friendships found in the modern world.

WeVeel partners with young influencers for new toy collection. These toys may have been inspired by Instagram antics, but they are firmly rooted in the real world. WeVeel — a manufacturer and distributor of party, stationery, craft, and toy products — is taking advantage of the age of the influencer by launching The Influencer Initiative, a product design collective with today’s top social media influencers that creates...

 

Crafty Games presents 'Tabriz'. Crafty Games is producing Tabriz, scheduled to release in November 2023. Tabriz was designed by Randy Flynn, designer of the Spiel des Jahres-winning Cascadia. Tabriz transports players to the Persian market city of the same name to become carpet weavers competing for fame and fortune.  Players work to complete commissions, working their way up the social ladder...

 

Hachette explores the 'Movie Mind'. On December 7, Hachette Boardgames will release Movie Mind, a new visually-oriented trivia game from the Gigamic studio. In Movie Mind, players form teams and race to answer a series of five color-coded questions about movies before the timer runs out in order to earn points.  To help them along the way, they can search for clues in the game’s deck of illustrated cards.  

 

Games Workshop unveils next 'Warhammer Age of Sigmar' 'Warcry' boxed set. Games Workshop unveiled Sundered Fate, the next Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Warcry boxed set, which will be coming soon to preorder. Sundered Fate dives deeper into the heart of the Gnarlwood (see "Gnarlwood'") with two brand new warbands. 

 

Pandasaurus Games announces 'Splitter'. Pandasaurus Games announced Splitter, a new dice game, for release into retail on November 21, 2022. Splitter is a dice game featuring simple rules and a dash of symmetry. Two dice are rolled each round, and the players at the table write the results on their page in an attempt to group the same numbers together on their personal score sheet. 

Pop Mart expands Australian presence to Sydney. Move aside Melbourne, Pop Mart is dropping a pin in another major Australian city: Sydney. Chinese retailer Pop Mart opened its second location down under at Westfield Sydney in Sydney’s central business district. The pop-up shop combines the chain’s Robo Shop and retail store together, enabling consumers the opportunity to have a one-stop-shop offline...

 

Fat Brain Toys celebrates 20th anniversary. Fat Brain Toys is gearing up to celebrate two decades of fun. Launched on Halloween in 2002, Fat Brain Toys is now approaching its 20-yr anniversary as one of the most renowned direct-to-consumer toy companies in America. The co-founders, Mark and Karen Carson, started the company in honor of their 10-year-old son, Adam, in their basement. Adam is currently the lead industrial...

 

AEG unveils 'Shake That City'. Alderac Entertainment Group unveiled Shake That City, a new tile-laying game, which will be headed to Kickstarter in Q4 2022. In Shake That City, players become city planners trying to build up the best city block. Players shake up patterns of cubes by using a unique Cube Shaker component that randomizes the wooden blocks. 

Gohero, Atomic Toybox Entertainment partner on new property and toy line. Get ready to meet Zappy, the mysterious laser boy of space, from the land of the Forgotten Future. GoHero, makers of pop culture collectibles, partnered with Atomic Toybox Entertainment, producers of animation and live-action entertainment brands, for the launch of new property and toy line Forgotten Future. 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development

Microsoft says Xbox price increases are coming. Many of us are living through an inflationary crisis the likes of which haven’t been seen for decades, meaning the price of pretty much everything—from clothes to power to food—has gone through the roof over the last 12 months. Video games are no exception. We’ve already seen unprecedented moves like the PlayStation 5 increasing in price two years after release...

 

Microsoft wants in on the next Chinese hit. Inspired by the success of MiHoYo's Genshin Impact on mobile, PC, and PlayStation, Microsoft is looking secure games from Chinese developers for Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft will reportedly be making a more active effort to acquire games from Chinese developers.

 

Microsoft says more than 20 million people have used Xbox Cloud Gaming. More than 20 million people have streamed games using Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Tuesday during the company’s first-quarter fiscal 2023 earnings call. That’s double the 10 million figure Microsoft shared earlier this year, just before Epic Games and Microsoft partnered up to bring Fortnite to Xbox Cloud Gaming. 

 

Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile gaming store to take on Apple and Google. Microsoft is building an Xbox mobile store to directly offer games on mobile devices, challenging Apple and Google. The software giant first hinted at a “next-generation” store it would “build for games” earlier this year but has now quietly revealed details of the plans in filings with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

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Highlighted Press Releases

SHOUT! KIDS PRESENTS – HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ANIMATED FEATURE MAKES ITS U.S. DEBUT! AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON. DIRECTED BY JOSÉ ZELADA AND RICHARD CLAUS. SPECTACULAR MOVIE ADVENTURE LAUNCHES ON NOVEMBER 29, 2022.  This holiday season, families and world travelers are invited to journey to a tropical paradise in South America and be enchanted by the exciting adventure of a brave young girl, Ainbo, and the splendor of the Amazon – the fragrant flora, exotic animals, and ancient trees hanging above – in the new animated feature AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON. While mesmerized by the awe-inspiring beauty and mystique of the Amazon Rainforest, be inspired by the film’s powerful message about the importance of protecting our environment and the Amazon’s diverse species.

 

***The above posted after October 27th***

 

MINING FOR A “BIG” HOLIDAY GIFT FOR AGES 8 & UP? MAKE-A-FORT HAS REAL-WORLD MINECRAFT KITS!  Move The Couch, Alert The Cat As Kids Get To Build On The Rec Room Floor An Actual Mineshaft, Villager House, Cave or First Night House!  Andover, Kansas (October 26, 2022)– Today, Make-A-Fort announced a partnership with Minecraft, one of the most popular games in the world, and a major source of joy for millions of fans. Since Minecraft was released, people of all ages have happily spent hours gathering, crafting and building with friends. This holiday season kids can finally walk and crawl inside a Minecraft Explorer Kit ($99.99) available for order now in the US and Canada at https://www.makeafort.fun.

 

GOOD TIDINGS WE BRING TO YOU AND YOUR KIN: CREATEON® HAS HANDS ON FUN FOR EVERYONE! Got A Four & A Forty-Four-Year Old? Giftwrap Magna-Tiles® Structures® Gifts From CoComelon To Daniel Tiger To Custom Photo Tiles! Wheeling, IL (October 24, 2022) – The merry sounds of the holidays in the home can range widely from Dr. Seuss’s® How The Grinch Stole Christmas! to The Beatles. Every age and every stage have their favorite way to relax and recharge. CreateOn’s colorful creation studio has an exciting assortment of screen-free gifts to wow every person on your list, conveniently, at https://www.createon.com.

 

Safety and Counterfeiting

 

A Tesla Cyberquad modeled for children was recalled after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) decided the toy vehicle did not meet safety standards. The CPSC issued the recall on Thursday, stating that the Cyberquad “fails to comply with the federal mandatory safety standard requirements for youth ATVs.” The Cyberquad also did not have a “CPSC-approved ATV action plan,” which includes safety requirements and measures, and is required to “manufacture, import, sell, or distribute ATVs.”

***The above was posted after tBR sent on October 28th***

 

ZAG’s Investment in Brand Protection Removes Over $100 million in Counterfeit Product Listings for Flagship Brand ‘Miraculous’
Award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG has prevented counterfeit Miraculous products valued at $113 million+ from entering the global marketplace in the twelve months since establishing a zero-tolerance anti-piracy department. The announcement was made by Jeremy Zag, Founder and CEO, ZAG.

 

Amazon Expands Efforts to Stop the Source of Fake Reviews With New Legal Actions Worldwide. Amazon has continued to expand its legal efforts to shut down fake review brokers, filing its first criminal complaint in Italy and its first lawsuit in Spain. These two legal proceedings, plus 10 other new lawsuits recently launched in the U.S., target bad actors that operate more than 11,000 websites and social media groups that...

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals

The Toy Authority, the leader in short form video focused on toys, announced that voting is now open for the People’s Play Awards. Comprised of 17 categories, finalists were independently selected by top industry experts. Calling on the most important audience, The Toy Authority is now asking consumers to choose their favorites in each category, creating the ultimate list for this holiday season.

 

The UK independent buying group Toymaster has announced, on behalf of its board, that it has a new Member Committee. Previously, the group had two committees: Marketing and Merchandise. However, the Toymaster Board has agreed to amalgamate these into a single committee, henceforce known as the Member Committee. The new Member Committee is made up of the following people...

***the above posted after October 27th***

 

THE 15TH ANNUAL TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS (THE TAGIES) PRESENTED BY PEOPLE OF PLAY IS BACK AND IN PERSON FOR “THE GREAT RECONNECT” IN A STUNNING NEW VENUE WITH AN INCREDIBLE LINEUP OF HONOREES, SURPRISES AND ENTERTAINMENT.  

Kantaro Tomiyama, Chairman and CEO of TOMY, Alan Hassenfeld, former chairman of Hasbro, and Leslie Scott, the inventor of Jenga will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards .

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced this year’s nominations for its prestigious Children and Young People Awards. The BBC continues to be the heavyweight contender, with 11 nominations for CBBC, 10 for CBeebies and four for BBC One. But Netflix has 10 nominations and is well positioned to compete this year. 

Godzilla Day Returns on November 3 with Monster-Sized Experiences and Offerings. “A living nuclear weapon destined to walk the Earth forever; indestructible.” (Godzilla, 1985) Toho International, the Japanese studio’s U.S.- based subsidiary that has brought global sensation Godzilla to life, announced its plans for Godzilla Day 2022 with a slate of monster-sized experiences and offerings for fans to enjoy.  

THE TOY FOUNDATION, CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION REVEAL 2022 GRANTEES. The selected projects are designed to improve pediatric care through the healing power of play at hospitals that serve communities of the greatest need. This is the second year that The Toy Foundation is partnering with the Children’s Hospital Association to carry out the program.


Licensing International, the leading trade organization for the global brand licensing industry, has named Delivering Good as its charity of choice for product donations. Delivering Good is a non-profit organization that provides people in crisis with new merchandise donated by manufacturers and retailers. Since 1985, Delivering Good has distributed $3 billion in clothing, home goods, toys, furniture, books, and other...

 

The Play Creators Festival will move from September to June due to the busy autumn calendar, compounded by the moving of Toy Fair New York. Mojo Nation has announced it has moved its annual Play Creators Festival from its usual September slot to June for 2023, due to the date change for Toy Fair New York.

Spielwarenmesse EG, Licensing Sector come together at Brandmate. Two German entities are pooling their power to put on a magnitudinous event. The conceptual events of Spielwarenmesse EG’s planned Licensing-X trade fair are being combined with BRANDmate to form the basis of a licensing business and collaboration event. This will bring together the skills of the Nuremberg-based fair and marketing services provider with those of the organizers of a cross-sector B2B networking event covering collaboration, partnerships, and licensing …

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RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed

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

Stevanne Auerbach aka Dr. Toy (Tribute by Jacqueline Fulmer, Ph.D., Director of Omnidoll Research.)  Pioneering mass media toy reviewer and early childhood studies author, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., known to her readers and viewers as “Dr. Toy,” passed away in San Lorenzo, CA, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at age 84, due to complications from stroke. 

Stevanne Auerbach was an accomplished speaker, consultant, and author, who had trained in child development and special education. Her works ranged from the esoteric: editing volumes on early childhood studies; to the practical: handbooks on the Peace Corps, careers in Home Economics, physical education for differently abled children, and the search for quality childcare; to the creative: a children’s book (The Alphabet Tree, 1988), a novel (The Contest, 2009), a book of poetry (Petals, 1973), and a screenplay. Her title, “Dr. Toy,” dated to her first assignment with Creative Playthings in 1968, where she developed its first education marketing program. She became one of the first mass media “toy reviewers,” evaluating toys, publishing articles, and appearing on radio and television in American markets from coast to coast, from 1986 to 2018. When her distinctive gold foil “Dr. Toy Award” stickers appeared on retail products, consumers would know that they were purchasing a quality toy that would enrich their children’s lives.

To have known Stevanne was to experience her enthusiasm for the value of play in everyone’s lives and her generosity in helping people at every stage of their lives.

Stevanne is survived by her husband Ralph Whitten, daughter Amy Beth Auerbach, grandson Josiah Metz, and sister Judy Schwartz (Martin Schwartz).

Stevanne was born to Jeane Sydney Rosen Stockheim and Nathan Carl Stockheim on September 22, 1938, in New York City. She was raised in Juniper Park in Middle Village, a newly developed neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City. Her mother spent most of her career working in public health, and her father worked as a firefighter and math and science teacher.   READ MORE...

Rieko Kodama. Skies of Arcadia producer and team leader on the original Phantasy Star games Rieko Kodama has passed away at age 58. According to a Sega statement to IGN, Kodama passed away in five months ago in May 2022. No cause of death was given.

Word of Kodama's possible death began to spread after owners of Sega's Mega Drive Mini II retro console noticed her inclusion in the console's credits, which stated "In Memory of Rieko Kodama." In response to queries about the message, Sega Producer Yosuke Okunari confirmed fan suspicions, writing "as you understand it. We respected her."

Kodama's three-decade career in video games (which she began under the name Phoenix Rie) spanned multiple console generations and game genres. She is often credited for being a trailblazing artist, director, and producer in an era when women's contributions to the video game industry were less-recognized.

Her early games at Sega included work on games llike Champion Boxing, Sega Ninja, and Quartet. Her art appeared in several landmark Sega titles including Altered Beast and Sonic the Hedgehog. Most recently, she produced the Sega Ages series of classic game ports on Nintendo Switch. Many of those ports brought games she helped create to modern audiences.

In 2019, the organizers of Game Developers Conference (disclaimer: our sibling organization) honored Kodama with the Pioneer award. In a message where she accepted the award, she gave thanks fellow Sega collaborators like Yoshiki Kawasaki for supporting her in her career.

In a rare interview with Kotaku around the same time period, Kodama reflected on the success of Skies of Arcadia, which has remained a cult classic among fans of Japanese Role-Playing Games. "Portrayal of dark worlds was certainly what was trending in Japan at the time, but our team preferred to create an optimistic protagonist who explored the world," she said in reflection. "[That] gave birth to Skies of Arcadia’s scenario and characters."

With Kodama's passing, the video game industry has lost one of the few women who has been a constant presence from the console industry's early days all the way into the modern era. Even fewer have worked on so many titles that would inspire game developers around the globe.

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​will post Friday morning

Toyworld (UK)

  1. I didn’t see that coming…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Toys R Us signs exclusive UK sub-licence agreement with WHSmith

  3. Amazon reveals its Top 10 Toys for Christmas

  4. Mattel reports third quarter results

  5. The Very Group announces increase in sales and profits

  6. SMF Toytown opens new Coventry store

  7. Nickelodeon and Mattel Television greenlight Monster High movie sequel

  8. Interactive special Barbie: Epic Road Trip to air on Netflix

  9. Funrise announces launch of TMNT toy cars

  10. Toynamics celebrates success of Nanoblock licensing

Licensing.biz Powered by Toyworld

  1. Moonbug announces first channel deal for CoComelon in France

  2. Studiocanal renews Nickelodeon deal for season 3 of The Adventures of Paddington

  3. Lisle Licensing puts together new deals for Tetris

  4. Mattel renews Pokémon licensing agreement for Mega

  5. BBC Studios adds 12 partners to Bluey’s North America licensing programme

  6. Spielwarenmesse joins leading licensing players for Brandmate

  7. Penguin celebrates The World of The Snowman with Odeon

  8. Mattel celebrates 40 years of E.T. with new collectible plush

  9. Interactive special Barbie: Epic Road Trip to air on Netflix

  10. Funrise announces launch of TMNT toy cars

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US)

Wizards of the Coast Reveals 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Phyrexia: All Will Be One' Product Line Deets
Asmodee Announces Acquisition of VR Group

Rolling for Initiative - Games Gift Guide 2022
Diamond Select NYCC 2022 Reveals
Wizards of the Coast Reveals 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Secret Lair: Extra Life 2022'
Stock the Gift of Roleplaying this Year
Q Workshop Reveals 'RPG Starter Kit'
Science Fiction Wargame with 'Lion Rampant' Rules
Miniatures Gifts for the Discerning Hobbyist
Games Workshop Announces 'Combat Patrol: Leagues of Votann'

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

The Toy Universe by The Bugg Report and The Bugg Report(Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Shake That City Announced, Hickory Dickory Pre-Order
AEG has announced a new board game, Plaid Hat Games has a new game available for pre-order, and two companies are having Halloween game sales.

Video of the Week 

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Welcome to the  Future POP Ad.png

 

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

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

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