the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is Oct. 23 - 30, 2020, Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted each day with newest articles at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 

Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

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

Happy Friday! 

We all miss the shows where we can see one another and connect. As a producer of virtual events coming up, people have been asking me repeatedly how we are going to handle the networking, the social aspect. I've spent hundreds of hours over the past 7 months on just this one piece of the show and we just figured it out! It will be a labyrinth of themed zoom rooms accessible via a simple click on a map of what's behind each image. No additional passwords, no typing in urls,  A daily map of what is inside each room such as the speakers from a panel that day, industry topics, company hospitality room, rooms with names of libations for those wishing to just kick back and talk about their day with colleagues. You could tell colleagues to meet you in the Guinness room at 7pm, enjoy at chat with them and then click over to another room, perhaps a panel from earlier in the day to meet a speaker or visit another group of colleagues who chose the Jenga room to meet... if you are super social, visit all the rooms to see what's happening! Easiest networking you'll experience virtually! Join us and see for yourself!

The only thing I can compare this process to is building a ship while you are sailing it or building a plane while you are flying it. 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report! 

Mary​​

Sahad Rivera Sonda: On Design, Journeys, and Alligators – tBR Person of the Week

Think about when you are happiest or when you feel your “youest” you. What are you doing? For me, creating things with my hands, designing, measuring, and building, is where I’ve always felt at home, full of joy and the magic of possibilities.

 

I can still remember being four years old and constructing cardboard mansions for my Barbies (complete with specially designed props and furniture that I sculpted out of clay). The ability to create absolutely anything that I could imagine felt like a superpower. Like many defining moments, I didn’t realize that through this simple play, I was already taking what would be the first steps in my journey toward becoming a toy designer. Twenty years later, I’m still using these same materials (along with some pretty intense computer software) to create mockups and models of real toys that kids play with around the world! Looking back now, it’s hard to believe how much has changed since those early days.

 

I grew up in a small town in the south of Mexico. When I say small, I mean it was the kind of town where everyone worked at the same place, or owned their own business providing contract work to. . .that same place. The entire town was a little island of industry surrounded by rainforest. The river flooded in the rainy season and it was a common sight to see alligators walking down the street. It was so humid and fertile, you could pick a piece of fruit off a tree, and a new one would start growing wherever you tossed the core. It was a beautiful and special place to live, but needless to say, it was not the type of town where people frequently dreamed big dreams and then pursued those dreams across international borders.  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. 

Phil Albritton: “Delivering Christmas”: PowerKid Podcast - tBR Company of the Week

I wore a stocking for my first photograph.

On the evening of December 25th, 1976, the nurses wrapped me up like a present to have my picture taken for the front page of the Jacksonville Times. When I was a boy, I was told that Santa Claus had delivered me to my parents – is it any wonder I wanted to follow in the big man’s footsteps and become a toymaker? Truly, I owe my motivation to my parents. My mother was an innovative 2nd grade teacher, and my father was a talented public speaker with a passion for comics and toys.

From them, I learned that playtime is not frivolous but precious. I grew up to pursue a degree in Marketing and Media Arts, where I focused my every paper and project on the toy industry. If I had a marketing essay due, I wrote about how Todd McFarlane was shaking-up the action figure aisle. If the assignment were to shoot a commercial, I loaded-up on Kenner Batman toys and made miniature sets from scratch.

Although it seemed like my fate was sealed, the fact is that it takes years of perseverance and hard work to stay in the game. Read More...

Financial & Legal News . . . 

Sega Sammy sells off arcade business as COVID takes its toll. Sega Sammy, the holdings company above game maker Sega, has sold its amusement center business to Genda, citing significant losses due to COVID-19 as one of the key reasons behind the sale. The deal sees Sega Sammy selling off 85.1 percent of its shares in Sega Entertainment, its amusement center subsidiary.

Bandai Namco AtGames lawsuit dismissed. A Bandai Namco AtGames lawsuit has been dismissed a little over a year after it was first filed, once again allowing AtGames to produce retro consoles featuring Pac-Man games. AtGames is one of the many companies around the world that produces standalone retro consoles with built-in games …

Ten risks associated with the new EU Digital Content Directive. Legal expert Sebastian Schwiddessen breaks down how buggy games at launch, shutting titles down early and more can violate consumers' rights. With the new EU Digital Content Directive the legislative landscape is changing and becomes more challenging.

Judge rejects Google's attempt to push Epic case to October 2022. Google's suggestion of dealing with the lawsuit it faces from Epic Games in two years' time has been rejected. Judge James Donato, who is overseeing the case, told both Epic and Google that such a delay in starting the case would be unacceptable.

Tencent leads $25 million investment in Avakin Life dev Lockwood Publishing. Tencent has led a $25 million investment into Avakin Life developer Lockwood Publishing, according to GamesBeat. Avakin Life is a 3D virtual world that allows players to be anything and anyone" by creating and customizing an avatar, designing and building their "dream house," and socializing with others.

Hundreds of Argos stores to closeSainsbury's has also announced 3,500 job cuts, both from its Argos stores and its own in-store food counters, as its posts a £137m half-year loss. Some 420 stand-alone Argos stores have been earmarked for closure by March 2024 according to owner Sainsbury’s. The supermarket chain has, however, announced intentions to open 150 new Argos outlets within Sainsbury’s stores.

Covid-19: PM announces four-week England lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a second national lockdown for England to prevent a "medical and moral disaster" for the NHS. He said Christmas may be "very different" but he hoped taking action now would mean families can gather. Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will have to close for four weeks from Thursday, he said.

The Lego Group helps Builder's Journey dev Light Brick go independent. The Lego Group has spun off Builder's Journey developer Light Brick Studio into an independent studio.  The company originally established Light Brick as an in-house studio, but through a "spin-out collaboration" between itself and its investment arm Lego Ventures is now allowing the developer to go independent.

Mighty Mojo acquires Cortex Toys. The latest wave of mergers and acquisitions continues with news that Mighty Mojo Inc. has acquired Cortex Toys. Mighty Mojo Toys launched during Toy Fair New York with plans to offer a variety of licensed products, including party-in-a-box, pool inflatables, watches, and more across multiple categories beginning next year.

UK toy stores report pre-lockdown sales surgeRapidly rising infections and hospitalisations have necessitated a second lockdown in England, which comes into force for four weeks from Thursday 5th November. The new measures will force the closure of all ‘non-essential’ retailers, with the timing leaving many retailers frustrated at the potential impact on the retail industry during the golden quarter.

Belgium suspends sale of clothing, kitchen utensils and toys in supermarketsSupermarkets and related businesses allowed to remain open will not be able to sell goods usually available in other stores closed as a result of measures against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  The measure affects mainly toys, kitchen utensils and clothing.

Curve Digital acquires For the King developer IronOak Games. UK publisher Curve Digital has purchased For the King developer IronOak Games for an undisclosed fee.  Based in Vancouver, IronOak launched For the King in 2017 with the help of Curve, which published the roguelike tabletop adventure on PC and consoles.

Use of Humvees in Call of Duty franchise games not infringement. According to a group of curious law professors, the Humvee has been featured in over 1,000 movies and shows. But the maker of Humvees thought the inclusion of its military vehicles in the wildly successful Call of Duty video games infringed on its trademark rights …

Sony to buy Crunchyroll for over $957 million. The Tokyo-based electronics giant is reportedly going into the final round of negotiations to buy Crunchyroll. According to Nikkei Asia, the acquisition could cost Sony over 100 billion yen ($957 million). This comes as Sony obtained the exclusive right to negotiate for the popular anime streaming service.

Stillfront acquires collectible card game developer Everguild for $1.37 million. Swedish game company Stillfront Group has purchased indie studio Everguild Limited to expand into the collectible card game (CCG) genre. The deal will see Stillfront acquire 100 percent of the shares in Everguild for an upfront payment of £1.06 million ($1.37 million).

Zuru and Toi-Toys end three year litigation as European toy maker agrees not to sell Water Bombs. The European toy company, Toi-Toys has agreed to cease all trade on its Water Bombs product in 48 countries around the globe, including the USA and member states of the EU, following the conclusion of a dispute between its operations and the global toymaker, Zuru.

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 . . . 

Five trends in consumer behavior that could impact end-of-year retail . . . U.S. retail sales rebound, but Covid-19 remains a threat, NRF says . . .   Toy companies cutting back on plastic to reduce waste . . . Exclusive: toy stores report pre-lockdown sales surge . . . U.S. TOY INDUSTRY GREW 19% IN FIRST THREE QUARTERS OF 2020 . . . Newzoo raises its annual games industry forecast for 2020 once again

Financial & Brokerage News . . . 

JAKKS Pacific Inc. soars 21.05% on November 03 . . . Pokémon Go's 2020 revenues estimated at $1bn so far.

Financial Reporting . . .  

Zynga posts record quarterly revenues, bookings. Zynga today reported its financial results for the third quarter, including the best revenue and bookings numbers in company history. For the third quarter, Zynga reported revenues up 46% year-over-year to $503 million and bookings up 59% to $628 million.

Switch driving growth at Nintendo as console nears 70 million sales. The sky is blue, water is wet, and the Switch is still a huge growth driver for Nintendo. According to the company's fiscal report for the six months ended September 30, 2020, net sales rose by 73.3 percent year-on-year to 769.5 billion yen ($7.4 billion), while profits increased by 234 percent to 213.1 billion yen ($2.05 billion) over that same period.

Jakks Pacific’s Q3 results exceed expectations as total sales take a dip to $242.3m. Despite a sales decline of around $38 million year over year to $242.3 million, the US based toy maker JAKKS Pacific has chalked its third quarter results up to a win, having exceeded expectations for sales, gross margin, and operating income.

Amazon reports strong Q3 results as profits tripleThe company’s revenues of $96.15b were better than analysts expected and net income increased to $6.3b in Q3, compared with net income of $2.1b at the same time last year. Amazon’s cloud-services unit, Amazon Web Services, reported net sales of $11.6b for the quarter, up 29% year over year.

Big gains in Hasbro Gaming in Q3. Sales in Hasbro’s total gaming category, including both its Hasbro Gaming brand portfolio and the games in its Franchise Brands portfolio (Magic: The Gathering and Monopoly), were up 21% to $543 million in Q3 from $449 million in Q3 2019, the company announced with its earnings report this week.  Hasbro’s gaming category sales in the first three quarters of 2020 were up 11% despite...

Digital and catalog sales continue to drive growth at Capcom. Digital game sales are driving net sales and profits at Capcom, which just released its fiscal report for the six months ended September 30, 2020. According to the report, consolidated net sales rose by 12.8 percent year-on-year to 42.1 billion yen ($402.7 million) while profits increased by 32 percent to 12.9 billion yen ($123.4 million).

Live games keep cash flow steady as Ubisoft readies for big launches. For the six months ending September 30, 2020, Ubisoft reported €754.7 million (~$881.2 million) in net bookings, up 14 percent from the same period last year. As always, and no doubt helped along by the current pandemic, the bulk of those net bookings, €655.4 million (~$765.2 million) came from digital sources.

Call of Duty drives Activision Blizzard revenues up 52% year-over-year. Activision Blizzard reported its third quarter earnings today, with the company's performance driven largely by the Call of Duty franchise. For the third quarter, Activision Blizzard reported net revenues up 52% to $1.95 billion, with net income nearly tripling to $604 million.

Future Financial Reporting... 

Amazon and Apple eye historic $100 billion in holiday quarter. The holiday season could be historic for two of the stock market’s biggest names, with sales that are expected to surpass a milestone that has rarely been reached in Wall Street history. Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are each expected to report revenue above $100 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 …

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . . 

Evolve your 2021 marketing strategyAs the year comes to an end, the toy industry is typically gearing up for toy fairs, planning showroom space and samples, and setting up appointments. It’s how we wrap the year and ring in a new one. 2021 will begin quite differently than in years past, meaning that we must operate differently and evolve the way we communicate with customers and consumers.

Parents Magazine Reveals hot holiday toy picks, debuts Parents X Toy Insider Holiday Hub. Meredith Corp.’s Parents magazine is rolling out a ton of holiday toy content, including its Best Toys for Kids of 2020 list. The Best Toys list includes 45 top toys as selected by the Parents magazine editors and is featured in the December issue of Parents magazine.

The risk of Christmas online shopping meltdown. Derek O’Carroll, CEO, Brightpearl discusses the impact lockdown could have on online shopping during the festive period – and why some families may not be getting their Christmas gifts on time. The BRC is warning that there is now a real risk of a Christmas trade meltdown, with online shopping networks failing to cope with the huge increase in Christmas trade.

Overriding the Amazon default: how can independent toy shops survive Lockdown II? The online-meets-physical retailing solution, Click and Collect has been the saviour of many independent toy shops over the course of the year, helping local businesses negotiate closed doors and a locked-in nation as the fight against coronavirus ensued …

NRF chief economist says strong retail sales growth 'points to the resiliency of consumers'. Retail sales have largely recovered from the pandemic heading into the holiday season but the growing number of coronavirus cases remains a threat and additional federal stimulus could help keep the economy on track, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said …

How Barbie turned into a cultural icon. Barbie has become an icon of the toy industry unlike few others. the toy has been a mainstay of toy aisles and children’s wish lists since 1959. From its icon collaborations to its diverse variety of dolls, the Barbie brand has become a multigenerational fan favorite.

10 great movies based on real-life toys. While video game movies might be the next big genre, considering the slew of release dates based around console games, there's another genre that has been turning out great films for many years and that's those set around toys and board games.

Ghoulish games: Board gaming’s undying relationship with the horror genre. It’s a perennial favourite among the gaming enthusiast, from zombie hordes and haunted mansions, to murderous slashers and the escape room scene – the horror genre (or spooky, gothic, spine-tingling – whatever you want to call it) it all just seems to work on the board game platform.

Exclusive: Evolution, not revolution - Toy World sat down with Paul Reader. Toy World sat down with Toymaster's marketing director, Paul Reader, to find out his hopes for the months (and years) ahead, and how 2020 is likely to pan out after what’s been a rollercoaster year. Toymaster, the independent buying group, has undergone some substantial changes this year...

Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia Game's Launch Trailer Streamed. Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developer WayForward revealed the launch trailer for their Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia game for Nintendo Switch on Thursday. The game will launch in U.S. on November 3 and in Japan on November 5. Nintendo describes the game: Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia is an all-new action role....

The November issue of Toy World is out now. The November 2020 issue of Toy World is available to read online now. s another year fast approaches, this issue looks ahead at the all-important Q1 period, with a dedicated feature highlighting the up and coming ranges set to launch between Boxing Day 2020 and Easter 2021. Plus, with outdoor items seeing major success over summer, and big-box outdoor products....

Remembering the toy industry's past . . . 

Blythe from Kenner. Released in 1972 by Kenner, Blythe was a line of fashion dolls and accessories created by Allison Katzman, a toy designer at Marvin Glass and Associates. Intended as a competitor to Mattel’s Barbie fashion doll and inspired by Betty Boop, Blythe (all four dolls in the...

Plakie Toys. Frank M. Hoover thought outside the box. The Youngstown resident started using plastic compounds to manufacture automobile gearshifts in the 1930s. His son, Dean, played with a series of plastic samples Hoover strung together on a chain. He began a new toy company...

PlaytimeFun_540x250_BloomReport_Ad_2_SEL

Worldwide Licensing News . . .  

MLGPC inks first-look licensing deal with the Nacelle Co. The company behind The Toys That Made Us and A Toy Store Near You is looking for more toys that could come to the screen. Toronto-based licensing agency, MLGPC inked a one-year, first-look deal with The Nacelle Co. to identify toy properties for its development and production slate.

HoloToyz partners with Intertoy for global launch of AR range. Following success at Spielwarenmesse 2020, HoloToyz – a business new to the toy industry – is launching a range of temporary tattoos, stickers, childrens’ books, wall decals, watches and clocks that come to life in 3D through augmented reality technology.

Licenses play starring role in TOTY nominations. Entertainment, character and brand licenses are prominent players among the 117 finalists announced by The Toy Association for the 2021 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award. More than 20 of the nominated toys carry licenses, and a host of the other nominees are based on toy and corporate brands that are widely licensed out …

LEGO goes digital with Dots. LEGO is making its Animal Crossing debut with a new Dots range in partnership with Nintendo. To kick things off, Animal Crossing rolled out a range of Halloween Dots patterns for spooky things like ghosts and bats to decorate players’ virtual islands and homes.

Sony Pictures Consumer Products celebrates Ghostbusters brand with slate of licensed products. Sony Pictures Consumer Products invites fans to gear up and bust ghosts this Halloween with a slate of new licensed products celebrating the classic Ghostbusters brand.  Spanning categories including interactive, apparel, costumes, crafts, gaming toys, collectibles and more, the Ghostbusters consumer products program...

Bandai teams with Sanrio to launch Hello Kitty Tamagotchi. Bandai UK’s Tamagotchi is joining forces with the ever-popular Hello Kitty to allow users to enlist the help of the iconic Sanrio character to raise and nurture their digital pets. ‘It’s everything that is familiar to people who have played with Bandai’s virtual pet gadgets,’ says the firm, ‘but with added cuteness of Hello Kitty.’

Electronic Arts and UFC extend multi-year partnership to bring more great games to fight fans around the world. Electronic Arts  and UFC announced a multi-year renewal of their partnership to continue to deliver authentic, innovative, and thrilling mixed martial arts (MMA) games. Millions of players worldwide for years to come will get to compete in the virtual octagon through the EA SPORTS UFC franchise, which was first...

Bing brings in the IP protection experts Incopro as global demand for products continues to surge. Acamar Films has partnered with the brand protection experts Incopro to ensure the safety of its Bing products and live events as well as safeguard the trust of its consumers as the global demand for the pre-school property continues to surge.

Need for Speed No Limits’ goes mad with Madballs. Firemonkeys Studio, an Australian-based studio of Electronic Arts (EA), and ‘80s toys Madballs, owned by Cloudco Entertainment, are launching a limited-time partnership in “Need for Speed No Limits,” the mobile edition of the popular racing franchise.

 

People . . . 

Doug Wadleigh, David Norman to lead Goliath toy and gaming divisions. Goliath is making moves to bolster growth in the coming years by launching newly formed toy & game divisions. Former Mattel exec Doug Wadleigh has joined as global president of the new toy division. Goliath President David Norman will continue in his current role while taking on the additional role of global president of Goliath Gaming.

Giraffe Insights welcomes Lucy Irving as insight manager . Leading kids, youth and family specialist research agency, Giraffe Insights, has appointed Lucy Irving as insight manager. Giraffe Insights conducts bespoke research for brands globally alongside running award winning syndicated research studies ‘Kids and the Screen: Changing the Channel’ and ‘Little Voices’.

Sondra Mansfield Talks Chalk of the Town on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’ - In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Chalk of the Town‘s Chief Chalking Officer Sondra Mansfield. In recent years, Chalk of the Town has taken social media by storm with a line of products that kids and families use to design and style their own t-shirts, totes, and patches with water-based...

Hasbro appoints Laurel J. Richie to board of directors. Hasbro, Inc. today announced the appointment of Laurel J. Richie as an independent director to its Board of Directors. Ms. Richie is the former President of the Women’s National Basketball Association LLC (“WNBA”).

Wilton Bradley expands sales team with two new appointmentsFollowing a summer of record-breaking sales, the sales team at Wilton Bradley continues to grow with two new appointments. Pete Minch and John White join the team in the roles of national accounts managers. They will be responsible for the company’s development plans and will report to sales director, Ross Bradley.

Acclaim Entertainment co-founder forms new publisher Accelerate Games. Acclaim Entertainment co-founder and former CEO, Greg Fischbach, has established Accelerate Games, a new publisher with a focus on cultivating brands and building lasting franchises.

The company will specialize in publishing indie titles, and will offer a range of services including global publishing, distribution, and marketing... 

Jazwares promotes Jonny Taylor and welcomes Holly Oldham. As part of its on-going European growth strategy, Jazwares  has promoted Jonny Taylor to senior vice president, Europe and appointed Holly Oldham as managing director, UK & Nordics.

Companies . . . 

VTECH, LEAPFROG PARTNER WITH TERRACYCLE FOR ELECTRONIC TOY RECYCLING. “By partnering with TerraCycle, we are making it easier for parents to recycle electronic toys while making inroads to our ongoing sustainability goals for VTech and LeapFrog,” says Andy Keimach, president, VTech Electronics North America.

Finding the right piece of the puzzle – Rick Derr of Learning ExpressRick shares with Toy World readers his experiences as a specialist toy retailer in the US, in the first of a series of regular columns. After 20 years working at A. C. Nielsen/D&B Research Company, Richard Derr opened the first Learning Express Toys franchise in 1996 in the Chicago area, and then became a sub-franchiser, opening nine more stores. 

PLAYMONSTER RELAUNCHES THE ORIGINAL KOOSH. A staple of classic play is getting a full relaunch in time for its 35th anniversary. Wisconsin-based PlayMonster LLC inked a deal with Hasbro to bring the original Koosh back to retail next fall. Originally launched in 1986, Koosh won millions of fans with its signature item: a ball comprised of thousands of rubber filaments that kids of all ages can kick, bounce, jiggle, roll and...

Toy maker Mattel discloses ransomware attack. US toymaker Mattel revealed today that it suffered a ransomware attack that crippled some business functions, but the company says it recovered from the attack with no significant financial losses. The incident took place on July 28, according to a 10-Q quarterly form the company filed with the US Securities Exchange Commission earlier today.

Why 2020 has been the year for Zimpli Kids to make its biggest changes. Zimpli Kids is ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with a growing number of toy companies tackling the sustainability issue head on in the pursuit of a greener industry and a mission to work in unison with a greener environment. “2020 was the year that Zimpli decided to make some big changes to do our bit for the environment,” Zimpli Kids’ head of... 'Ghosts from the Past' return to 'Yu-Gi-Oh! Tcg'. Konami Digital Entertainment announced Ghosts From the Past, a new foil collector's booster set, for release on March 26, 2021.Ghosts From the Past is a 136-card foil collector’s set that features 9 popular themes from the past as well as two brand-new themes.

John Lewis to lay off 1,500 head office staff It has also been announced that finance executive director Patrick Lewis is resigning. John Lewis has announced its intention to cut 1,500 jobs at its head office, a move which it says is part of its five-year turnaround scheme. The redundancies will be completed by April 2021. Affected staff are currently being consulted about the layoffs; where possible, John Lewis says it will seek to re...

McFarlane Toys launches The Witcher action figures. If you like cool action figures based on popular video game franchises, chances are you are very familiar with McFarlane Toys. And now they've been at it again, as they've just announced on Facebook that they are about to launch a collection of action figures based on the Netflix version of The Witcher

'Scarlet Witch' casts a spell over 'Marvel Champions: Card Game'Fantasy Flight Games will release Scarlet Witch Hero Pack and Scarlet Witch Game Mat, for use with Marvel Champions: Card Game, in January. The Scarlet Witch Hero Pack adds Wanda Maximoff to games of Marvel Champions.

Sunny Bunnies plush secures major retail commitment for 2021 as pre-school series lands on UK channels. The popular pre-school IP Sunny Bunnies has secured further commitment to its feature plush range with major UK supermarket chains, department stores, and online retailers through 2021, including the likes of Argos, Tesco, Amazon, and other independent toy retailers. The commitment follows news that...

Dungeons & Dragons live-action tv show in development from Hasbro. Hasbro is developing a live-action Dungeons & Dragons television show. The tabletop role-playing game is published by Wizards of the Coast, which Hasbro bought in 1999. Hasbro also has a live-action Dungeons & Dragons film in the works …

Monopoly: Pixar Edition has themed properties like Andy's Toy Chest and Monsters, Inc. Calling all fans of Toy Story, Onward, and Monsters, Inc!: a brand-new Pixar-themed edition of Monopoly is hitting the shelves, and we have a feeling your kids are gonna love it! Designed for players ages 8 and up, families will make their way around the game board by snagging properties like Nemo's Anemone and Andy's Room.

Games and puzzles specialist Gibsons launches Card Game for Rebel Girls. Gibsons has extended its licensing partnership with the team behind the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls book series to introduce its latest offering to celebrate history’s queens, activists, scientists, artists and sporting champions with the Card Game for Rebel Girls.

Wizards of the Coast reveals new retailer release information for 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Kaldheim'. Wizards of the Coast revealed a series of dates relevant to the release of Kaldheim, a new expansion for Magic: The Gathering. WotC has officially opened retailer scheduling for the next Standard expansion for Magic: The Gathering, Kaldheim. The set has thus been revealed to be a Viking-inspired plane that features new Gods

Ultra Pro announces new version of 'Snorta!' Ultra PRO announced a new edition of Snorta!, an animal sound-making game by Playroom, for release in November. Snorta! is a mad race to match cards, and then be the first player to blurt out animal noises.

‘Buy now, pay later’ option brought into The Entertainer and ELC as toy shop becomes among the first to adopt KlarnaThe UK family owned high street toy retailer, The Entertainer, has become the first major toy retailer to offer Klarna as a payment option to all online consumers shopping across its thetoyshop.com and elc.co.uk platforms, allowing customers to buy now and pay later in regular installments.

Funko expands 'Marvel Battleworld'. Funko, Inc. has announced two expansions for its Marvel Battleworld:  Mystery of the Thanostones collectible game, both releasing into the hobby channel in November:  Thanos Ship Showdown and Travel Portal – Gold Ultron.

The sustainability of Clementoni: “We must get consumers to realise the intrinsic value of toys”. It’s a challenge that Clementoni has presented to the toy industry, and one to rise to before the ‘small window of opportunity’ disappears entirely: Get consumers to realise the intrinsic value of toys and games to society, or suffer a catastrophic loss in the fight for a sustainable future. Clementoni has labelled...

Pottick-Ad-High-Res-01.jpg

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

Bringing more franchises to mobile is Activision Blizzard's biggest opportunity, says COO. Mobile is, so far, going well for Activision Blizzard but its current dabblings on the platform, which include Call of Duty: Mobile and its 300 million worldwide downloads, are only the beginning. Top Activision Blizzard execs talked about their vision for the massive company’s future on mobile …

Reports of Watch Dogs Legion source code leak prompts Ubisoft investigation. Ubisoft has launched an investigation into a potential Watch Dogs Legion source code leak. As reported by DSOGaming, a ransomware group called 'Egregor' has seemingly obtained the source code for Watch Dogs Legions after accessing Ubisoft's internal network.

League of Legends spinoff Ruined King will launch on consoles in ‘early 2021’. Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, the upcoming single-player League of Legends spinoff that will see the franchise debut on consoles for the first time, has released its first (albeit, vague) bits of information. It’ll launch sometime in “early 2021” …

Tencent-owned Honor of Kings is recording 100 million average daily active users. Tencent's flagship mobile title Honor of Kings has recorded 100 million average daily active users over the past year. The mobile MOBA, which is incredibly popular in Tencent's homeland of China, is developed by Tencent subsidiary Timi Studios and launched five years ago.

The next Fortnite event "will change the future" of the game according to new leakFortnite's creative director has reportedly said that the game's next major event "will change the future" of Epic's battle royale.  Donald Mustard's comments were made on a closed Zoom call hosted by Geoff Keighley, with details shared by Fortnite leaker FireMonkey.

PlayStation boss suggests the 'meaningful' future of VR is still years away. PlayStation chief Jim Ryan is bullish about the mainstream potential of VR technology, including the company's own PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset -- which had sold over 5 million units as of January 2020.

Activision-Blizzard needs to hire 2,000 people to meet production demands. Activision-Blizzard has plans to hire over 2,000 people to meet upcoming production demands, according to CEO Bobby Kotick. This need to staff up comes just a year and a half after the company laid off over 800 people at the same time that it announced a year of record revenue.

Annapurna, the most exciting indie publisher around, is making its own games. Annapurna, an independent media production company best known for producing award-winning video games and films, is forming an in-house game development studio to create its own projects.

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . 

Hundreds of unsafe items seized from Manchester trader. Toys being sold were also found to have excessive amounts of phthalates – a substance which if ingested in large quantities can cause hormonal imbalances and is also linked to child asthma …

Peggy Brown Consulting Ad 540x250 pxl.jp

Press Releases . . .

ask EINSTEIN™ ELECTRONIC FLASH CARDS ARE A GENIUS WAY TO PROD YOUNG SCHOLARS. Kids Can Quiz Themselves In Math, Science & Nature, Letters & Numbers, Animals & Dinos With Einstein the Mouse And His Brain-Scanning Helmet. Parker, CO (November 2, 2020) – There’s one smart mouse that moms won’t mind in the house. Dr. STEM™ Toys introduces Einstein, the world’s smartest animal, who can test kids in their knowledge of animals, colors, math and nature with the flip of a flash card. ask Einstein ($19.99) electronic flash cards are a fun way to fill up a preschooler’s brain with facts and figures that can be retained for a lifetime.

Goliath Strengthens Its Management Team With Big Additions. Doug Wadleigh has joined Goliath as its Global President of its newly formed Toy Division. David Norman, who cofounded Goliath’s fast-growing North American office in 2008, will continue as President, with the additional responsibility of Global President of Goliath's newly formed Gaming Division. David Norman, who cofounded Goliath’s fast-growing North American office in 2008, will continue as President and add the additional responsibility of Global President of its newly formed Gaming Division. Doug Wadleigh has joined Goliath as its Global President of its newly formed Toy Division. In this position he will amplify current global hit brands like Vet Squad and Animagic, as well as top shelf distribution brands such as Crayola, Ryan’s World and Squeezamals.

Irwin Toy - Trebor Rx Corp. to commence production of PRO+ Dual Respirator masks in Ontario, a break-through innovation in PPE technology. As North America continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening the economy intensifies the need for a safe medical-grade PPE solution that is cost-efficient, readily available, and comfortable while alleviating waste sent to landfills. Trebor Rx, a new venture co-founded by Canadian trailblazer George Irwin of Irwin Toy, is proud to fill that void with the launch of PRO+ Dual Respirator masks, a technology that....

Project Anime Holds First-Ever Virtual Event November 17 & 18.  THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF JAPANESE ANIMATION (SPJA) is thrilled to announce Project Anime: Global 2020, a virtual experience. With the ever-growing worldwide interest in Japanese pop culture, the business conference helps educate, inspire, and support event organizers and global entertainment companies as they navigate the nuances...

TOY FORECAST FOR 2021: CREEPY-COOL IS HOT AGAIN WITH THE RETURN OF BOGLINS®. Drool™, Vlobb™ and Dwork™ Are Ready to Explode On Scene in 2021 As New Outrageous Boglins Creatures are Set to Once Again Come Alive In Kids’ Hands! Holly Springs, NC (October 30, 2020) – Kids in the late 1980s gravitated to one of the coolest toy lines ever that became a monster hit. Toy forecasters are predicting Boglins’ success in an all new line of toy figures by TriAction Toys manufactured in their original size and packaging (cages) for Spring 2021. Boglins will surely inspire and capture the imagination of both collectors and social media engaged kids of today. Look for the all new Boglins to be stars of Tik Tok, Instagram...

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

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

2020 National Toy Hall of Fame inductees. The newest inductees to the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York were announced on November 5. Three objects of play received the honor: Baby Nancy, Sidewalk Chalk, and Jenga.

Twitch announces a virtual TwitchCon next week. The pandemic has taken many things from the world — but mostly it’s stolen events. Every hang is a potential death sentence. Thankfully, Twitch, at least, has gone virtual: it announced today that its flagship conference, TwitchCon, will be happening online this year. Oh, and it’s not called TwitchCon. It’s now GlitchCon, and it’s happening on November 14th.

Spring Fair 2021 cancelled The organiser says Autumn Fair, which is slated to take place 5th-8th September 2021, is still on track to go ahead. n an email, Julie Driscoll, managing director – UK Retail, said: “Due to new UK government restrictions on the reopening of business conferences and exhibition halls, we have had to make the difficult decision that Spring Fair 2021 will no longer take place in February 2021.

SCORE Banner ad.jpg

 

Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide this Week . . .

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media's (US)

  1. TikTok and Shopify Announce E-Commerce Partnership

  2. TTPM Announces Favorite New Games List for 2020 Holiday Season

  3. Spin Master to Acquire Rubik’s Cube

  4. Hasbro Reports Third Quarter Financial Results

  5. Jazwares Named Global Master Toy Partner for Smurfs

  6. Shaquille O’Neal to Star In and Executive Produce Children’s Series, Shaq’s Garage

  7. Basic Fun! Launches New Tonka Campaign with Brand Spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal

  8. Jenna Boyd Partners with The Cartel to Launch Production Company Field Day Entertainment

  9. Luki Lab Unveils Holiday Toys for 2020 Season

  10. Dr. Seuss Enterprises and American Eagle Team Up for Grinch-Themed Holiday Line

Toyworld (UK) 

1.            A better class of problem …it’s the Friday Blog!

2.            The November issue of Toy World is out now

3.            DreamToys announces top 12 toys for Christmas 2020

4.            The 2020 DreamToys list in full

5.            Potential change of date for Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2022

6.            Spin Master to acquire Rubik’s Cube

7.            Warnings for Christmas supply chain chaos as peak trading season beckons

8.            Hornby sales surge as more take up hobbies in lockdown

9.            Simba Dickie Group to acquire the majority stake in Exit Toys

10.          Post-Brexit VAT rules set to cause significant impact on trading

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

  1.  'Adult Red Dragon Premium Figure' Unleashes its Fury on 'D&D Icons of the Realms'
  2.  IDW Launches 'Dragon Ball Z: The Board Game Saga'
  3.  More 'D&D Icons of the Realms' Hero Minis Coming
  4.  Rolling For Initiative -- Musings on MAP and the Prisoner's Dilemma
  5.  Geek Retreat Plans 100 Stores in the Next Two Years
  6.  FFG Reimagines 'Descent' as 'Legends of the Dark'
  7.  R.I.P. Lenard Lakofka
  8.  New Monster Two-Packs For 'D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures' Coming in March

  9.  Gifts Week: Top Ten Gifts for Card and Miniatures Gamers
10.  Critical Role Ventures into Tabletop Publishing

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month 

  • After Corona: What do customers want?

  • Fair & sustainable: Germany’s toy industry takes responsibility

  • Counterfeit toys: How a parody award makes plagiarists look like fools

  • Biopolymers: The stuff future toys are made of

  • SPIEL.digital: The world’s biggest analogue games fair dares to go digital

Toy & Hobby (Australia)

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

​​

Video of the Week

Tim Walsh put together this sweet video! I teared up watching it. 

 

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