October 27 - November 10, 2023
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
JoAnn McLaughlin welcomed The Anima Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus. They performed the parody "I'd Like to Teach the World to Play in Perfect Harmony" on the TAGIE Awards' stage dressed as Spider Kids. It was "spider' tingling awesome!
Happy Bloomin' Friday!
If you noticed the Bloom Report took a hiatus last week, thanks for being a regular tBR reader! We hope you missed it terribly and trust you will now actively support it with POP memberships, ads, and sponsorships of POP events. Because you read the Bloom Report, you know that all the biggest news in our universe was being made live in Chicago during every part of POP Week, and WOW! What a Bloomin’ success it was! The Inventor Conference and Pitch Event was absolutely electric! Thanks Andrew Perlmutter and Dr. Michelle Thaller for inspirational and extra-terrestrially mind-boggling keynotes.
The Young Inventor Challenge, PlayCHIC and the whole Chicago Toy and Game Fair were smash hits, bouncing back big after having all the events either virtual or split-up on the calendar since 2019. Nadine Senhert and our whole team rocked the block! Thanks for your years of dedication. Way too many other people to thank, but you know who you are, and we love you!
The crown jewel of the week was the TAGIE Awards, where the stars of the industry beamed bright and sparkly! The TAGIES brought meaningful recognition to so many creatives and loads of genuine fellowship and pride were shared by all in attendance. Tim Kilpin delivered a keynote that zeroed in on the soul of every toymaker that was both heartfelt and rousing. Mega congratulations to Jill Barad and Rouben Terzian for the lifetimes of achievement both of you have brought to kids, companies, and commerce the world over. Thank you, Jeffrey Breslow for a heartfelt introduction to both Jill and Roeben.
If you missed the Bloom Report last week, you probably weren’t at POP Week, because nobody at POP week had a moment without something awesome happening. We missed you, but really, you missed the best week of the Toy & Game year. We’re already planning next year, so plan to be there, bring all your friends and be so involved that you don’t even notice when the Bloom Report skips a week!
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here and on the Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed!
The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.
“I seriously look forward to each Friday to learn most every update + more in the Industry. Priceless info! Thank you” -Michael Kohner, The Michael Kohner Corporation
"TBR is required reading for: inventors, manufacturers, retailers, marketers, suppliers, absolutely everyone!" - Robert Fuhrer, Founder, NEXTOY
People of the Week - The Op's David Blanchard
Normal is Boring
Hey David! Great to see you at POP Week! Thank you for taking time to chat with us. What are your roles and responsibilities in our industry?
I have been very fortunate to work on many sides of the toy and game industry over the last 17 years. I started as a project manager overseeing the production and logistics for dozens of game companies over the years and also held various roles in product development, sales, and marketing for GPI’s former sister company, The Haywire Group. When Haywire was sold to University Games in 2018 I transitioned back to GPI as the VP of Business Development where I oversaw the formation of the Design & Development Department. During that time I invented and co-designed several games, many of which were licensed to GPI clients and other publishers. After leaving GPI and forming the consulting agency Good Egg Creative Co., I got an amazing opportunity to join Usaopoly (The Op) and I am now the Director of Family/Party Games.
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
I have several, really. I wouldn’t be surprised if my coworkers had a betting pool for how many times I’d say, “Let’s f’n go!” or “Pressure makes diamonds!” and “Don’t bleed before the bullet hits!” in a given week. But the saying that defines a lot of what I believe in is “Work backwards.” I’ve found that doing so can resolve conflict and unlock creativity. For example, instead of starting with a blank canvas, try starting with a great product name, price point & packaging idea and work backward to figure out the appropriate theme, age range, and play mechanics. It might lead you to places you wouldn't have gone otherwise. READ MORE...
The Pencil Grip's Brand Ambassador of the Month
Kaitlyn Edington, also known as "Art with Mrs. E"
Tell us a little about yourself! What is the inspiration behind your Instagram page?
Hi! My name is Kaitlyn Edington, also known as "Art with Mrs. E" and I am a certified K-12 art teacher in the Pittsburgh area with 15 years of classroom experience at the elementary level. I started my Instagram back in 2015 as a way to advocate for my art project as well as showcase my students' artwork & connect with families in my school community. I had no idea that I would end up connecting with so many other art teachers, teachers, and art enthusiasts from around the world in this process. Sometimes being an art teacher can feel a bit like you're on an island if you are the only one at your school, so for me, Instagram has really become a special community of amazing art educators who are passionate about helping each other, sharing ideas, and are just generally supportive of one another. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this wonderful, creative online community.
Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile!
Cartoon of the Week: Thank you, Michael Kohner, for the funny cartoon this week!
Lexophile Lovers: "I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now." Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers!
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” - Will Rogers
“Keep reaching. Keep seeking. Keep using your abilities to bring out the best in those around you, and let them bring out the best in you.” - Bill Nye
Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me! Mary
Financial and Legal
Barbie trademarks in China: Is it ‘Kenough’? Mattel has had a great summer, making Barbie popular again with new generations through its first Barbie movie. It even made a new cultural…
***The above posted after the Bloom Report sent on November 10th***
SAG-AFTRA has unanimously voted to approve a tentative deal with studio association AMPTP that it says is valued at more than US$1 billion. The agreement includes pay increases, protections against AI and a first-ever streaming participation bonus. It’s also raising pension and health benefit caps and increasing the pay scale for background actors. SAG-AFTRA will share full contract details after the union’s...
Fortnite maker Epic Games takes Google to court. The maker of the popular video game Fortnite has begun its legal battle with Google in a San Francisco court. The firm accused Google of acting as a monopoly - charging 30% commission on in-app purchases on Google Play store. Epic Games accused Google of turning its back on its "Don't be Evil" motto, which the company coined when it was founded in 1998.
Tomy UK announces acquisition of Drumond Park portfolio. Tomy UK, Co., a subsidiary of Tomy Company, has confirmed it has completed the acquisition of the UK games portfolio of Drumond Park, a privately-held developer of market leading board games for adults and children. The acquisition by Tomy brings the perennial best sellers Articulate! and The Logo Board Game, plus a variety of additional Drumond...
Maersk cuts 10,000 jobs as shipping demand falls. One of the world's biggest shipping firms is to cut 3,500 more jobs due to lower freight rates and demand. AP Moller-Maersk already cut 6,500 roles earlier this year as part of "rigorous cost containment measures" but said more redundancies were needed.
Former Kotaku staffers launch independent game and culture website Aftermath. A group of former Koktau writers have reunited to launch new video game website, Aftermath. The worker-owned media company was co-founded by Nathan Grayson, Gita Jackson, Riley MacLeod, and Luke Plunkett, who'll work with featured contributors Chris Person and Alex Jaffe and a roster of freelance writers to deliver breaking news...r.
Economic Watch: China's pop toy market maintains rapid growth. At the end of October, China's trendy toy maker Pop Mart reported over 35 percent year-on-year growth in overall earnings in the third quarter this year. Of the total, earnings in the Chinese mainland increased by more than 25 percent, and overseas earnings surged by more than 120 percent from a year earlier.
KKR completes purchase of Simon & Schuster for $1.62 billion. The global investment firm KKR completed its purchase of the book publisher Simon & Schuster from previous parent company Paramount on October 30, 2023. The $1.62 billion all-cash transaction was announced last August and makes S&S an independent private company, unique among the Big 5 U.S. publishers.
Online Safety Bill: divisive internet rules become law. After years of debate, the government's controversial Online Safety Bill, which aims to make the internet safer for children, has become law. It seeks to force tech firms to take more responsibility for the content on their platforms. Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said it "ensures the online safety of British society not only now, but for decades to come."
US economy grows at fastest pace in nearly two years. The US economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter of the year, helped by a tight jobs market and consumer spending. The economy expanded at an annual rate of 4.9% in the July to September period, according to the government's first estimate. It marked the biggest rise seen since the last three months of 2021.
Biden administration orders AI safety analysis, labor market research. The Biden administration has given its first executive order for artificial intelligence. Per CNBC, this represents "the strongest set of actions any government in the world has ever taken on AI safety, security, and trust," according to White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed.
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B&M reported strong trading in all of its stores and is now on course to have 1,200 UK outlets thanks to acquiring multiple premises from Wilko. B&M has raised its full-year profit guidance after posting a 16.1% rise in first half core earnings. For the six months to 23rd September, group revenue climbed to £2.55b, an increase of 10.4% on the previous year.
Disney released its Q4 and full-year earnings reports, and the fiscal picture looks positive. Total annual revenue for 2023 was up by 7% to US$88.9 billion, driven largely by growth in the company’s entertainment and experiences businesses.
Spin Master’s toy sales spiked in Q3, but Holiday uncertainty looms. Revenue of $710. 2 million marks a 13.8% increase over Q3 last year with big gains across all three of the company’s reporting sectors, dubbed “creative centers.” Revenue increased 71.4% in Entertainment, 30.9% in Digital Games, and 8.9% in toys.
Mattel confident of a strong Q4 as power brands come to the fore. Anyone associated with the toy and licensing business will know just what a stellar year Mattel is enjoying. Riding the crest of the wave after this summer’s Barbie Movie was both critically acclaimed and hugely popular with cinema-going audiences across the world, the company is looking forward to continued …
Warner Bros. Discovery, grappling with billions of dollars in debt as a result of the 2022 merger that created it, saw the box-office success of “Barbie” offset by a 12% decline in advertising at its portfolio of TV networks. The owner of CNN, the Warner Bros. studio and the Max streaming service said its net loss narrowed to $417 million, compared with nearly $2.31 billion in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose just 2%, to nearly $9.98 billion from $9.82 billion in the year-earlier period.
Nintendo raises fiscal forecast after Switch passes 132 million lifetime sales. The Nintendo Switch has sold 132.46 million units across its entire lifetime, and rising sales during the last quarter have prompted Nintendo to increase its fiscal forecast for the current fiscal year.
Epic Games admits in court that its PC Store Still Isn't Profitable. During the first day of the Epic v. Google legal showdown over app store fees, both companies gave their opening statements and began poking at each other’s witnesses. And during the day, Epic admitted that its digital PC game store still isn’t profitable.
Funko beats expectations in Q3 amid operational improvements, 14.4% sales slide. While a double-digit decline in sales would usually be cause for alarm, Funko‘s third quarter earnings reflect the challenges of the overall toy industry this year paired with a welcome overhaul in the company’s operations. Funko’s net sales slid 14.4% to $312.9 million in Q3 versus $365.6 million in the same period last year.
JAKKS Pacific sees gains in action play & collectibles amid slowing retail environment in Q3. The company says that net sales for the quarter came in at $309.7 million, a 4% decline versus the same period last year. Its toys and consumer products business decreased 9% while Disguise, its costumes division, saw a 19% increase in sales as Halloween spending returned to a more traditional pace.
Ubisoft "overperforms" in Q2, sees record first half for 2023-2024 fiscal year. Its newest report notes that the developer's second quarter earnings were €554.8 million (or $584.07 million), "well above" initial projections of €350 million. Larger net bookings for the first half came to €822.4 million, up 17.6 percent from the €699.4 million of the 2022-2023 first half.
Amazon profits triple following strong Q3. Profits for the retailer rocketed to £8.2b ($9.9b) in the three months to 30th September, up from £2.4b ($2.9b) a year ago. Sales jumped 13% to £118b ($143.1b) in the third quarter, boosted by a 16% increase in international revenue to £26.5b ($32.1b). The results follow a robust set of Q2 results earlier this year, which surpassed last year’s Q2 profits.
Sambro celebrates 25 years with latest results. The business, which proudly celebrated 25 years in May 2022, has gone from strength to strength in terms of products, brands and financial performance recording an increase of over 20% in group sales from 2021 (£61.4m, an increase of 20.4% on 2021 £51.0m) and increase in group EBITDA £4.2m, an increase of 500% on 2021 £0.7m).
Trends, Lists, Market Research, and State of the Industry
What to look out for in Q1. Toy World takes a look at some of the upcoming ranges arriving between Boxing Day and Easter and asks leading suppliers how they’re supporting retail partners during the period.
Stories, Comments, and Advice
John Baulch, Toy World - Venceremos… it’s the Friday Blog! Never has the phrase ‘yesterday has gone’ been more appropriate. Forget about the September and October Circana data (for now at least, there will be plenty of time for post-mortems later) – it’s all about what happens in the next six weeks. The stakes are sky high: around a third of the toy market’s annual turnover is likely to be concentrated in this narrow time...
Rick Derr – Letter from America. American toy store owner Rick looks ahead to predict what a profitable Indie Toy Shop might look like in 5-10 years’ time. “Big retailers and major companies pay consultants a lot of money to predict the future. Do they know any more than those of us that are in the business and have actually been in the trenches every day for years? I think not. So, without charging you any money or fees, here is my vision of the future…
‘The Marvels’ review: Saving the galaxy with the bling ring: Brie Larson, Tayonah Parris and Iman Vellani. “The Marvels” is a movie about a fashion accessory collector who covets a complete set of forearm bling — 4 glowing bracelets, known as Quantum Bands — so, as the fearsome leader of the Kree alien race, she can start tearing the galaxy a new one. “The Marvels” also concerns the 3 women, Marvels all, determined...
Nostalgia marketing explained: Everything you already know. Everyone has objects and experiences that bring back cherished memories and transport them back to a time associated with joy or comforting familiarity. That feeling is nostalgia, a word of Greek origin, which roughly translates to homecoming sorrow. Everyone experiences this emotion, and everyone experiences it a little differently.
The size of the secondary market for Star Wars merch. First, we have to define what we are looking for. The secondary market for Star Wars merchandise consists of old-fashioned Collectibles, like the early Kenner figures but also of pencils or T-Shirts with Yoda on them – objects that just are more interesting with a pop culture twist.
Horror games: Is the genre in a golden age? "Whaddaya buyin', stranger?" If 2023's videogame sales charts are anything to go by, the answer is "horror games". Resident Evil 4 Remake and Dead Space are among the top sellers this year, in a crowded field for quality titles. And Sam Lake, writer of recent big release Alan Wake 2, told BBC Newsbeat the sequel had pivoted further into horror because he believes the genre...
Pokémon Go creator John Hanke says it's not game over for the app. For decades now, fans of Pokémon have been on a mission to "catch 'em all". Crazes have followed the cute creatures since they first launched on Nintendo's Game Boy in 1996 - with their surprise success sparking a global frenzy dubbed "Pokémania".
History and Nostalgia
The Creature from the Black Lagoon Mystery Game. Released in 1963 from Hasbro, The Creature from the Black Lagoon Mystery Game immersed players in a cardboard version of the murky habitat that was home to the same amphibious entity that frightened moviegoers in the 1954 movie.
Séance from Milton Bradley (1972). The Séance board game from Milton Bradley turns players into relatives of late Uncle Everett and gives them the chance to add to the fortune he left them. Designed for three to four players, ages seven to 14, Séance has player battle for items in Uncle Everett’s estate.
7 of the most valuable Polly Pocket toys from the ‘90s and beyond. Once considered Barbie’s biggest toy rival back in the 1990s, Polly Pocket was a must-have for Millennials growing up; even Gen Z eventually got in on the playtime fun. The tiny toy was first designed in 1983 by Chris Wiggs, who opted to make a doll house for his daughter in a powder compact case.
17 of the most memorable toys from the 1970s that are still available today. The ’70s saw the release of the very first Atari home gaming console, which was priced at a whopping $199. While that doesn’t sound super expensive, it adjusts to over $1,000 today. The console came with two joysticks, a pair of paddles, and a two-player game called Combat. Nerf balls made their debut in 1969 and rose to fame in the ’70s.
Licensing and Entertainment
PBS KIDS has commissioned Fuzzytown Productions and Spiffy Pictures to produce Carl the Collector, its first series featuring a cast of characters who are on the autism spectrum. Set for a fall 2024 premiere, this 2D-animated concept for four- to eight-year-olds was created by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Zachariah OHora (My Cousin Momo).
Mattel Creations, the company’s design collaboration and direct-to-consumer platform, is adding to its growing list of creators with a UNO collaboration with design company, Kartell. Componibili UNO, a limited-edition iteration, comprises a four-element version of Kartell’s Componibili, featuring white bodies adorned with the hole-grip doors in hues that include red, yellow, green and blue.
***The above posted after November 10th***
Spin Master and Candle Media’s Moonbug have inked a deal for a strategic global alliance spanning kids’ content, products, and experiences. The new agreement taps into the capabilities of both cos. with a focus on growing the intellectual property in their portfolios through a mix of licensing, production, and media placements. Under the deal, Spin Master will take the lead as global master toy licensee for...
Guess Joy is hard at work for Pixar fans, because “Inside Out 2” has just dropped its first trailer. “Inside Out 2” is the sequel to 2015’s animated coming-of-age film “Inside Out.” The first film centered on 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and the five emotions in her brain, led by a star-studded cast: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader) and Anger (Lewis Black). In the sequel...
The Ghostbusters are back with an icy new mission. The first teaser trailer for Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire debuted on Wednesday, seeing the return of Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace and Finn Wolfhard from 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Original stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts are also teased as returning in the first glimpse. The cast also includes Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt,...
Hasbro to open Nerf Action-Xperience (NAX) in Beijing.NAX unlocks a new way to experience the Nerf brand for fans of all ages and will be followed by other locations throughout China in 2025. Kingsmen Creatives has announced that Kingsmen Xperience, its US location-based entertainment focused subsidiary, and Max-Matching Entertainments have formed a strategic partnership to bring the globally...
Apple TV+ has commissioned its first CG-animated Peanuts feature film from WildBrain and Peanuts Worldwide. The original movie will see Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang meet new friends when they leave their small town and head into the big city. WildBrain is planning to start production in 2024.
Legend of Zelda: Nintendo & Sony making live-action film. Nintendo and Sony Pictures are making a live-action film of the beloved video game series The Legend of Zelda. Renowned video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Avi Arad of the Spider-Man trilogy will co-produce, with The Maze Runner's Wes Ball directing. There is no word yet on who will make up the cast, or the plot of the film.
Etta Loves x Keith Haring launches new sensory collection for babies and toddlers. The three bath toys in the collection are meticulously crafted to be safe, soft, and visually stimulating, ensuring that every bath time becomes an educational and sensory experience for children. The bath toys focus on Haring’s iconic Baby, Dog and Heart artworks and come in a beautiful, co-branded box.
Heathside to release licensed Foundation line. Heathside Trading has signed an agreement with Skydance to launch a consumer products line based on the global hit television series Foundation. The Foundation product line will include die-cast ships and prop replicas along with resin figures and busts. The agreement was facilitated by Skydance Animation’s global licensing representative IMG as well as KJG.
Cry Babies reveals first NA collaboration with Disney featuring favorite Disney characters. IMC Toys, the company known globally for its Cry Babies line of nurturing dolls that’s been a top seller since 2018, is set to bring some of the most beloved children’s cartoon characters to life with an all-new collaboration.
The Traitors set to return for series three. As excitement builds for series two of The Traitors, and sales of the board game from Goliath Games continue to flourish, a third series has been greenlit. The Traitors will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer for series three and applications are open for potential gameplayers. This announcement comes ahead of the hotly anticipated second series which is coming soon.
JAKKS Pacific introduces ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’ toys to Macy’s Toys ‘R’ Us shops. Fred Rogers Productions, the children’s educational media organization behind Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and 9 Story Brands, its worldwide licensing agent for the brand, have secured a new retail program for the property in partnership with JAKKS Pacific and retail marketing agency Licensing Street.
Kids Preferred partners with Sesame Workshop for infant toys. Kids Preferred has inked a licensing agreement with Sesame Workshop for a line of toys for infants and toddlers inspired by the beloved kids’ show Sesame Street. The collection will include plush toys, developmental toys, soft books, jack-in-the-boxes, and wooden toys featuring iconic Sesame Street characters.
Theodora S.T.E.A.M. Girls dolls launch to inspire young girls in STEAM. Gayle Keller, the author of the international bestselling book, Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, has announced the launch of her line of dolls, Theodora S.T.E.A.M. Girls. On a mission to bring female empowerment to young girls, the Theodora S.T.E.A.M.
MGA’s Miniverse serves up Make It Mini Food Holiday collection. MGA Entertainment is bringing holiday cheer with mini seasonal delights from MGA’s Miniverse, its booming miniature collectible brand. The collection has been recognized for its virality across social media as well as its prominence in the cultural zeitgeist.
Funko unveils Five Nights at Freddy’s product range. Fans of the beloved Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise have a new reason to celebrate, as the highly anticipated film adaptation has been spooking audiences in UK cinemas since October 25th. In tandem with this milestone event and strong opening for the film, Funko has unveiled an extensive range of products promising spine-tingling thrills and animatronic horrors.
JAKKS Pacific announces new global agreement with SEGA of America for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. JAKKS Pacific, Inc. and its costume division, Disguise, announced a multi-year partnership with SEGA of America, Inc. for Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Paramount Pictures’ feature film set to release on December 20, 2024.
The LEGO Group launches highly-anticipated the LEGO Icons Natural History Museum set. The LEGO Group announced the release of its highly anticipated building theme, the LEGO Icons Natural History Museum Set. With 4,104 pieces, this museum building set is LEGO’s largest modular set by piece count.
Spin Master’s Unicorn Academy arrives on Netflix. The Unicorn Academy series is adapted from The New York Times bestselling books originated and published by Nosy Crow, written by Julie Sykes. Spin Master’s new, fantasy-adventure children’s franchise, Unicorn Academy, is now available to watch, with a 72-minute movie premiere event and eight 22-minute episodes premiering globally on Netflix in 30 languages...
MGA Entertainment’s Miniverse releases replica of Buddy the Elf’s Candy Spaghetti. MGA Entertainment’s Miniverse, the popular miniature collectibles brand, is celebrating the holiday season and the 20th anniversary of the holiday classic Elf with the Mini Buddy the Elf Candy Spaghetti dish.
Nelvana & Toikido launch ‘Piñata Smashlings’ shorts on YouTube. Corus Entertainment’s animation and kids’ content studio Nelvana and London-based entertainment company Toikido have teamed up to crack into the world of Piñata Smashlings in a colorful batch of six new animated shorts on Nelvana’s ‘Keep It Weird’ YouTube channel. Based on the popular Roblox game, the shorts are also being featured on...
First look at Shadow's debut Sonic LEGO set launching 2024. Turns out that not only are video game movies good now, but people also want to recreate scenes from their favorite games using Lego. Much like the movies, Mario has been the most successful in that particular arena. Nintendo tested the Lego waters in 2020 and now you can build almost the entire Mushroom Kingdom out of toy bricks.
Funko announces partnership with Candide in Brazil. Funko formed a strategic partnership with leading Brazil toy distributor, Candide Indústria e Comércio LTDA. The deal marks a significant milestone in Funko’s global expansion efforts as the company continues to bring its beloved products including the iconic Pop!, Bitty Pop! and Funko Games to fans around the world.
Princess Sam Consumer Products appoints Tanya Visano as agent for Tara Duncan in Canada and Mexico. Princess Sam Consumer Products (PSCP) has announced that it has appointed a licensing agent for the children’s animated adventure-comedy-fantasy hit Tara Duncan in two key markets: Canada and Mexico.
Despite negative reviews, Five Nights At Freddy’s film killing at the box office. After just one weekend in theaters, Five Nights At Freddy’s is already breaking records and racking up an impressive $130 million at the global box office since releasing on October 27 to less-than-stellar reviews. Following years of rumors and development, the long-anticipated Five Nights At Freddy’s movie is finally out.
Fat Brain Toys steps into the realm of children's lit to bring a best-selling book series to life. Fat Brain Toys, one of the nation's leading specialty toy companies, announces the release of their new game Make That Most Magnificent Thing The Game. Based on the best-selling books The Most Magnificent Thing and The Most Magnificent Idea by author and illustrator Ashley Spires, the game lets kids step...
Zoonicorn licensees United Smile and Jay@Play forge strategic alliance for US Market. Zoonicorn master toy licensee United Smile has forged a strategic alliance with fellow licensee Jay@Play, whereby Jay@Play will serve as its exclusive Zoonicorn distributor for the US market. United Smile will leverage Jay@Plays’s extensive retail relationships and market position as it rolls out a range of branded Zoonicorn products...
Nelvana inks multiple international distribution deals for the hit preschool series ‘Builder Brothers Dream Factory’. Nelvana has secured multiple global distribution deals for the 3D animated preschool series Builder Brothers Dream Factory (40x11min), including with ITV for the new streaming platform ITVX in the UK.
AMC International Networks explolres Omens Studios’ Leo the Wildlife Ranger. Award-winning animation company Omens Studios has secured new international sales for its award-winning 3D animated adventure series Leo the Wildlife Ranger. Additionally, the company is expanding its popular gaming app for the property, with the launch of new modules.
Hasbro announces continued partnership with Takara Tomy and ADK Emotions NY to launch Beyblade X. Hasbro, Inc. announces that it has renewed its long-standing partnership with TOMY Company, T-Licensing Inc and ADK Emotions NY to launch Beyblade X, the next generation of Beyblade products.
Gamefam, Spin Master and Monster Jam collaborate on new Roblox experience. Gamefam, the leading metaverse game developer and strategist, and Spin Master, a leading global children’s entertainment company, and Monster Jam has unveiled their second in-game integration within Gamefam’s ever-popular Car Dealership Tycoon.
'My Little Pony' is on a 'collision course' with the 'Transformers'. Renegade Game Studios will release Collision Course, a new crossover expansion for My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria, into retail on October 31, 2023. The new expansion brings the MLP and Transformers universes together again. Magical mayhem transports the Transformers into Equestria where the Decepticons team up with the Pony villains.
Asmodee inks deal with Friendly Skeleton to distribute their games. Asmodee has inked a deal with Friendly Skeleton to distribute their games hobby, specialty, mass market, and toy & gift retailers. This non-exclusive agreement adds Friendly Skeleton select titles to the Asmodee distribution catalog. Titles featured in this agreement are MonsDRAWsity, Trash Talk, Crystallo, Claim, Hands, and Fantastic Factories.
People of Play
Hilary Key, owner of The Toy Chest in Nashville, has been awarded Most Innovative Retailer of the Year as part of the Toy and Game International Excellence Awards. The TAGIEs, now in its 16th year, honor the most innovative inventors, designers, suppliers, retailers, marketers and PR teams in the international toy and game industry. Event sponsors include Disney, Mattel, Hasbro and ASTRA.
Former head of drama development at Disney’s 20th Television Michelle Mendelovitz has been named head of Mattel Television Studios. In her new role, Mendelovitz will oversee the development, production, and distribution of Mattel’s slate of episodic content on broadcast and streaming globally. She will report to Mattel executive vice president and chief franchise officer Josh Silverman.
Inventor Of LeapFrog Teaches Granddaughter Using His Original Prototype. Michael Wood was an attorney, but he named the invention that made him famous after a childhood game — Leap Frog. When he had difficulty teaching his son to read, Michael developed a solution that later became a product known as the LeapFrog Phonics Desk. The Phonics Desk became LeapFrog’s first product and hit the market in 1995, before...
Bop It Inventor Dan Klitsner: Utilizing The Culturally Iconic Creation As a Force For Good. For many Millennials and Gen Zers around the world, the Bop It is one of the most memorable iconic games of their childhood. Due to this notoriety the Bop It has recently been nominated to be inducted into the prestigious Toy Hall of Fame. The Bop It was invented by Dan Klitsner and was first released in 1997.
The Children’s Media Association’s Scott Traylor recently talked to Sago Mini founder and GM Jason Krogh about the changing business of making apps for children, and how companies can succeed in a very competitive market that barely existed when he started his company 10 years ago.
The latest exhibition at the Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity, titled Toys & Play, celebrates the joyful exploration of games that have impacted the imaginative minds of Charles and Ray Eames. By inviting viewers into a realm of whimsy and innovation, this exhibition offers a distinct peek into how toys influenced the design process of these iconic figures. For them, play wasn’t simply about enjoyment; rather, it ...
***the above posted after November 10th***
Rainbow Group names new COO. Thomas J. Ciampa has been appointed chief operating officer of the Rainbow Group, the independent, Italian-owned entertainment company. The Rainbow Group reaches screens around the world with an outstanding portfolio of titles and licences through its studios Rainbow, Rainbow CGI, Bardel Entertainment Canada and Colorado Film.
McCormick junior Harrison Brooks was nominated for the 2023 Toy and Game International Excellence Awards’ Rising Star of the Year earlier last month. Brooks and McCormick junior Cameron Briskin created the football-themed card game, called Fourth Down. This is not the first nomination for Brooks, a 2020 Young Inventor of the Year finalist for his first game, ElevatorUp. “I know I’ve grown a lot and learned...
WildBrain appoints Nick Gawne as CFO and realigns executive team. WildBrain Ltd. announced senior leadership changes and a streamlined business structure under a focused strategy designed to optimize its existing 360° IP management expertise and drive the growth of key WildBrain and partner franchises across its core capabilities of Content Creation, Audience Engagement and Global Licensing.
Former Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter pledges shares to Peltz in new Disney board fight. Former Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, who is Disney’s largest shareholder as a result of the sale of Marvel to Disney, has given voting power over his shares to Nelson Peltz’s Trian Partners, which is preparing to mount another board fight against the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Disney appoints Hugh Johnston as its Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. The Walt Disney Co. recently selected Hugh Johnston to serve as its Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective Dec. 4. Johnston will join The Walt Disney Co. after holding several positions over three decades at PepsiCo, including Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer.
Funrise, Inc is pleased to announce that Kelly Woon, VP of North America Sales will be inducted into the Canadian Toy Association (CTA) Hall of Fame for her outstanding contribution and lasting impact on the toy industry. Kelly's passion about building teams with an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to strong retail partnerships has played a key role in her 2-year tenure as a member of the Canadian Toy Association Board...
National Parenting Product Awards: Meet: Mary Couzin, Inventor of People at Play and the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. 1. Please tell us a little about your career path and how you ended up in the toy industry? I’d worked in many different industries before finding the toy industry – my tribe. A friend was working at Western Publishing (later purchased by Hasbro). He would share stories about toy and game inventors...
YuMe Toys taps Ryan Kravontka as global marketing director. Maxx Group’s YuMe Toys is eyeing growth in the near future. The company tapped Ryan Kravontka to serve as its Global Marketing Director with plans to leverage his entertainment expertise to power the company’s evolution in the years ahead. Kravontka previously served as Senior Director of Business Development and Strategy at XX Artists...
StickTogether appoints Bill Benda as its consumer national sales manager. StickTogether Products, the company behind Puzzle Face, has appointed toy industry veteran Bill Benda as its Consumer National Sales Manager. Benda will be responsible for helping grow the company’s recently launched Puzzle Face, a puzzle line in which consumers can create multiple recognizable faces with one 300-piece...
Warner Bros. Discovery Global Brands gets new leadership. Warner Bros. Discovery Global Brands, Franchises, and Experiences is getting an overhaul. Pam Lifford, President of Global Brands, Franchises, and Experiences is stepping back from her role to focus on her family. Lifford joined Warner Bros. in 2016 as President of Consumer Products and is credited with developing the organization into a global...
Bureau Veritas welcomes Nik Hallam as business development manager. Toy industry stalwart Nik Hallam joins Bureau Veritas to help launch its new UK Technical Competence Centre, in the role of business development manager. Following more than 20 years as a salesman in the world of toys and kids’ products, working with the likes of Bebe Confort, Bright Power and Youngsters World, Nik took a short break...
Tesco UK chief executive steps down. Jason Tarry will leave Tesco in March, to be succeeded by Matthew Barnes, who has held several senior positions at Aldi. Tesco will welcome former Aldi boss Matthew Barnes to take over the role of UK chief executive as Jason Tarry steps down from the business after 33 years. Jason has been in his current position for the last six years, and is set to leave the company in March 2024.
Companies and Brands
Radio Flyer is banking on bricks-and-mortar in Schaumburg, where the little red wagon maker will open the first retail location in its 106-year history. Radio Flyer will sell stroller wagons, tricycles, scooters, go-karts and bikes from the 15,000-square-foot location on the first floor of Woodfield Mall, which is set to open Friday. The store will also feature a racetrack and a bike shop where shoppers can test ride products.
The Barbie Inspiring Women series grows with the new Wilma Mankiller doll. The Wilma Mankiller doll is the newest addition to the Barbie Inspiring Women series! The new Barbie doll resembles Wilma Mankiller, the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She was an advocate for social justice and a social worker dedicated to empowering indigenous communities.
SmartGames, a worldwide leader in multi-level logic games, introduces Dress Code, a fun game bursting with 80 picture challenges to keep young minds amused for hours and their brains ticking – come rain or shine. In the company’s latest new puzzle game, players need to dress the figurines correctly depending on the weather.
Furblets are full of compact Furby fun. You know and love Furby, the interactive, fuzzy creature that has now spanned generations. Now, Hasbro is shrinking down the Furby fun and launching Furblets, mini Furby creatures with all the personality! Designed for kids ages 6 and up, there are six Furblets in the collection: Hip-bop, Luv-lee, Mello-nee, Ooh-koo, Pix-elle, and Ray-vee.
LEGO reveals Marvel Avengers Tower set. The tower comes with 31 minifigures — the most ever included in one LEGO set. The LEGO Group is reaching new heights with the largest ever set in its Marvel collection. In 1963, the debut issue of The Avengers comic book was released and Earth’s Mightiest Superheroes assembled for the first time.
Eolo Toys reopens Hong Kong showroom. Eolo Toys has reopened its permanent showroom in Hong Kong. The toy company, which has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, hosted an opening event to celebrate the achievement. With more than 60 international guests in attendance, this opening party was a celebration of the work that has led the company to where it is now.
Taboo: Disney Edition tests kids’ knowledge from Mickey to Mufasa. How well do your kids know Disney? Many kids think that they know everything there is to know about Disney, but do they really? The Op | USAopoly’s latest Disney game is Taboo: Disney Edition, a game that will put kids’ knowledge of Disney movies, characters, and objects to the test.
Wizkids unveils two more 'Pathfinder Battles' boxed miniatures. WizKids unveiled two more boxed miniatures for Pathfinder Battles, which will release into retail in April 2024. The first of the two miniatures will be a Gholdako. This monster is a monstrous mummified cyclops, which usually stands guard over tombs to prevent grave robbing.
Sugarfina makes childhood dreams come true with Candy Land collaboration. Luxury candy brand, Sugarfina, has collaborated with Hasbro, a leading toy and game company, to make a sweet new version of the iconic Candy Land board game. Complete with gourmet candies from the fancy candy maker, the Candy Land x Sugarfina Candy Board Game is a keepsake collector’s item you’ll enjoy long after the candy is gone.
Toys ‘R’ Us Asia unwraps the Holidays for Gen Z. As Generation Z continues to age out of getting toys for the holidays, Toys “R” Us Asia is catering its retail holiday plans to this group. The company has teamed up with the artist duo Craig & Karl to design experiences that combine fashion and fun for Gen Z.
Sanrio launches Hello Kitty 50th Anniversary celebrations for 2024. Sanrio is kicking things into high gear as it prepares to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 50th anniversary with digital promotions starting this month, including a collaboration with Global DJ Steve Aoki. Sanrio will also introduce an augmented reality (AR) app, new animated shorts on TikTok, monthly promotions in My Hello Kitty Cafe on Roblox...
‘Spidey and His Amazing Friends’ is joining the Tonies club. Spidey and his friends are swinging into the tonies collection! These Spider-Man tonies were already available in a Walmart-exclusive Spidey and His Amazing Friends bundle, but now kids can get their favorite Spider-Person individually.
Tonies launches Today with Tonies podcast. Tonies, the audio platform for children, has announced the launch of a new daily podcast for kids called Today with Tonies. The perfect way to start the day, listeners will be treated to fresh and exciting new content every day of the year. The podcast is aimed at school children and is available on the new Today with Tonies Clever Tonie, priced at £11.99.
McFarlane Toys announces Batman & Robin action figures. McFarlane Toys has announced its new line of figures based on the Batman & Robin movie including a build-a-figure Mr. Freeze. The Dark Knight battles his greatest threats yet: cold-hearted Mr. Freeze, venomous Poison Ivy and the unstoppable brute known only as Bane.
Ravensburger will release 'Mycelia' into retail. Ravensburger will release Mycelia, a new deck-building game, into retail on December 1, 2023. In Mycelia, designed by Daniel Greiner, players try to recruit fungi forest dwellers to go on missions to bring dewdrops back to the Shrine of Life. Each player, on their turn, tries to improve their deck by adding new characters to their deck.
Incredible Group launches new toy line celebrating iconic Jellybean candies. The Incredible Group, a licensing and marketing firm, has just announced the launch of a new toy line featuring items that are inspired by the Jelly Belly® candy brand. These licensed toys and collectibles include a range of squishy toys that are shaped like Jelly Belly jellybeans and which are available in a range of sizes and colors.
Hot Wheels Legends Tour to name sixth winner next weekend. Hot Wheels Legends Tour, the traveling show designed for gearheads to show off their custom cars, is ready to crown its sixth winner, whose vehicle will be immortalized as a 1:64-scale Hot Wheels die-cast vehicle. There are 10 finalists this year from the U.S., the U.K., Poland, Germany, France, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Mexico.
Wizards of the Coast announces 'Magic: The Gathering' 'The Lost Caverns of Ixalan' delay. Wizards of the Coast announced delays and limited availability for certain Magic: The Gathering - The Lost Caverns of Ixalan products. This product line was set to hit retail on November 10, 2023. Some retailers will not be able to take full advantage of their The Lost Caverns of Ixalan prerelease sales as WotC revealed...
Mattel follows viral hoodie success with new doll packed with Ken-ergy. Mattel is leveraging its direct-to-consumer platform to deliver a new doll straight from the Mojo Dojo Casa House. Mattel Creations unleashed its Ken-ergy with the Kenough Doll, the latest entry into the Barbie: The Movie collection.
Sambro’s “best year ever”. Publisher John Baulch visited Sambro’s Bury headquarters to ChatGPT will soon let an AI teach you board game rules. Teaching your game night group how to play the latest board game is hardly ever an enjoyable task, but would you relegate that work to an AI script? OpenAI recently introduced a suite of tools that allow the public to create their own AI agents, and board game rules...
Melissa & Doug is teaming up with CAMP for NYC Pop-Up Event. Melissa & Doug and CAMP are teaming up to host a pretend play-based event at one of CAMP’s NYC locations. The Let’s Play Pizza Party is a part of Melissa & Doug’s 35th-anniversary celebrations and is being held at CAMP’s Columbus Circle location on Saturday, Nov. 4.
PMI appoints Click Distribution as distributor for Stumble Guys. In what has been dubbed a partnership that just “Clicks”, PMI Kid’s World (Stumble Guys Master Toy Partner) has teamed up with Click Distribution (UK) Ltd as its exclusive toy distribution partner to bring the Stumble Guys Master Toy line to the UK and Ireland. PMI Kids’ World has recently partnered with the team behind the mega-popular Stumble Guys game...
Cubicle 7 reveals New 'Warhammer 40,000 TTRPG' boxed set: 'Wrath & Glory Starter Set'. Cubicle 7 revealed Wrath & Glory Starter Set, for Warhammer 40,000 TTRPG, which will hit stores in Q1 2024. The new starter set comes with everything players need to play a game of Warhammer 40,000 TTRPG. It comes with Traitor’s Hymn, a 48-page adventure set that teaches players the game with no prep required.
Japanime Games announces 'Heart of Crown 2E'. Japanime Games announced Heart of Crown 2E, a new edition of deck-building game from Japon Brand, which will be coming to Kickstarter soon. This game is coming up on its 10th anniversary, and Japanime is celebrating this event by launching a Kickstarter for the new edition.
Sophia Webster designs L.O.L. Surprise! doll. When L.O.L. Surprise! approached Sophia Webster for this collaboration, she jumped at the opportunity. Sophia was already familiar with the dolls thanks to her daughters being big fans. She says that, even before becoming a mother, she has always understood the potency of imaginary characters and dolls, particularly those with a hyper-feminine aesthetic.
Asmodee unveils 'Gensmak!': new trivia party game. Asmodee unveiled Gensmak!, a new trivia game, which is headed for retail in Q4 2023. This game was first teased in an ICv2 exclusive interview with Asmodee USA's General Manager Julien Sharp (see "Julien Sharp"). This unique trivia game pits different generations against each other in nostalgic battle of wits.
Capstone Games announces 'Boonlake: Artifacts'. Capstone Games announced Boonlake: Artifacts, a new board game expansion, which will hit retail in November 2023. Boonlake, designed by Alexander Pfister, was originally released in 2021 (see "'Boonlake'"). The expansion, Artifacts, adds a new Lake board to the game.
Invest in 'Dutch Intercity' rails in new train game by Rio Grande Games. Rio Grande Games will release Dutch InterCity, a new train game, which will hit retail in Q4 2023. Holland has been a major country for international business dating back to the days of the Dutch East India company, but their rail system was fashioned in a way so that Dutch businesses could compete with each other.
LEGO specialty store to open in Prescott, Arizona. The store will sell both new and used LEGO sets. A new specialty retailer dedicated to LEGO is opening up in Prescott, Arizona. John’s Box of Bricks will be selling both new and used LEGO building sets and minifigures. The new store is owned and operated by John Donovan, a local CPA and business executive, and his family.
Hasbro introduces shuffleboard-style game Monopoly Knockout. Hasbro has unveiled an action-packed edition of Monopoly that works similarly to shuffleboard. Monopoly Knockout is a new family party game full of sliding tokens and grabbing cash. Players take turns in rounds, sliding their tokens down the three-foot long gameboard and trying to land them on properties.
‘Schleich Dinosaurs: Mission Dino Camp’ extends the toymaker’s presence in the video game space. Schleich and Wild River Games are teaming up again, this time with a video game themed around the German toymaker’s dinosaurs. Schleich Dinosaurs: Mission Dino Camp invites players to explore a vast Amazon jungle and discover dinosaurs along the way.
Hasbro’s direct-to-consumer business spikes 57% amid ‘Ghostbusters’ HasLab success. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) business from Hasbro is already well-established, with online stores such as Hasbro Pulse targeting adult collectors with figures, prop replicas, and more. The company is expanding this even further with a series of crowdfunding campaigns under the HasLab brand available through the Hasbro Pulse website.
Establish better trade networks in new version of 'Yokohama'. Synapses Games will release Yokohama, a new version of the strategic board game designed by Hisashi Hayashi, into retail in August 2024. Synapse's classic game about the trials of trade in Japan's Meiji era comes to back to market again.
New 'Robo Rally' expansion incoming. Renegade Game Studios will release Thrills and Spills, a new Robo Rally expansion, into retail in March 2024. This new expansion includes 3 new double-sided game boards. These boards introduce flamers, oil slicks, and portals to the mix, making for a more challenging course. The expansion also has 5 new upgrade cards.
New 'Pokemon' 'League Battle Deck' heads to retail. The Pokemon Company International will release League Battle Deck: Miraidon Ex, a new pre-constructed deck, into retail on November 17, 2023. The newest League Battles Deck features Miraidon ex and Regieleki VMAX. This 60-card deck comes ready-to-play with an array of Pokemon and Trainer cards themed around these characters.
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
CATAN – Console Edition from Dovetail Games coming to Nintendo Switch on November 9th. Console Edition is making its way to the Nintendo Switch! Starting on November 9, 2023, Nintendo Switch owners will be able to play the hugely popular board game with friends and family on the couch, online or on the move – all on the board that comes to life.
‘Schleich Dinosaurs: Mission Dino Camp’ extends the toymaker’s presence in the video game space. Schleich and Wild River Games are teaming up again, this time with a video game themed around the German toymaker’s dinosaurs. Schleich Dinosaurs: Mission Dino Camp invites players to explore a vast Amazon jungle and discover dinosaurs along the way.
Mortal Kombat 1 has fought its way to nearly 3 million copies sold. NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 1 is nearing the 3 million mark, according to Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav. During the company's newest earnings call, he revealed the fighting game has sold quite well since its mid-September release for the PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.
PlayStation 5 on track to sell 25 million units this year. Sony has said the PlayStation 5 remains on track to sell 25 million units during the current fiscal year. According to the company's financial report for the second quarter ended September 30, 2023, PS5 hardware sales for the quarter increased by 25 percent year-on-year to 4.9 million units, which Sony described as "basically in-line with our expectations."
Marvel's Spider Man 2 tops 5 million sales amid Sony first-party slump. Insomniac's web-slinging sequel, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Sony shared the milestone in its latest fiscal report, where it claimed the PlayStation 5 exclusive had become a "big hit". The game initially topped 2.5 million sales in three days, and has now more than doubled that total.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder hits 4.3 million sales in two weeks. Super Mario Bros. Wonder sold 4.3 million units within two weeks of launch, according to Nintendo. The company shared the milestone as part of its latest corporate management policy briefing and noted that Wonder has become the fastest-selling Super Mario title in history.
Fortnite delivers biggest day in history amid layoffs at Epic Games. Epic's decision to bring back the original Fortnite island to kick off a new "Fortnite OG" event has delivered a record-breaking surge in players. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the studio said November 4, 2023, was the "biggest day in Fortnite's history with over 44.7 million players jumping in and 102 million hours of play."
That's the end of Activision Blizzard's $120 million Overwatch League. Activision Blizzard has confirmed the end of the Overwatch League, its massive bet to cash in on the rise of esports with an NFL-style franchise system. It will reportedly pay the 20 teams involved $120 million as everyone quietly parts ways from what was reportedly a financial debacle—despite its cultural impact for fans of Overwatch and beyond.
Rockstar plans to unveil Grand Theft Auto VI this week. Rockstar Games could unveil Grand Theft Auto VI this week, according to a report from Bloomberg. People familiar with the studio's plans claim the next instalment in the hugely successful franchise, which continues to deliver the goods for parent company Take Two Interactive despite launching over a decade ago, could be revealed before the week is out.
Assassin’s Creed publisher continues to downsize, lays off more staff. In a year full of video game layoffs, Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft Montreal is the latest to get hit by ongoing cuts. The publisher confirmed to Kotaku that it will layoff 98 people across its Canadian offices today as part of a “reorganization” of its general and administrative teams, Ubisoft IT, and Ubisoft’s SFX studio Hybride which was involved...
PlayStation is losing the reason its Share button exists. PlayStation 5 is ditching its integration with Twitter, the social media platform recently rebranded as “X” after Elon Musk bought it for $44 billion and then promptly crashed it into a brick wall like a dad coming home from a mid-life crisis bender in his brand-new Ferrari. Nintendo Switch will soon be the only gaming console you can still tweet from.
Roblox players say pro-Palestinian games are being taken down. Two weeks ago, hundreds of Roblox players jumped into a custom game that let them take part in a pro-Palestine march. The game, which appeared to have been organized by Malaysian Roblox players, was made in response to the escalating violence in the Middle East.
Fortnite's OG season fuels 'biggest day in game's history'. Fortnite's makers say the game had the biggest day in its history over the weekend. The battle royale blaster regularly changes up its arenas and has transported players back to its original island setting for its latest. Publisher Epic Games says 44.7 million players logged a total 102 million hours of play in new season Fortnite OG on Saturday.
Neopets is under new management and planning a comeback in a vastly different era of gaming. Moving abroad can be a lonely experience. For Dominic Law, moving from Canada to Hong Kong at 9-years-old in 1996 — before calls over Wi-Fi were widespread — meant that contacting friends was nearly impossible.
Outright Games launches the ‘Jumanji: Wild Adventures’ video game for console and PC. Outright Games just released Jumanji: Wild Adventures, an adventure video game inspired by the popular Jumanji film franchise. Players can explore jungles, encounter exotic animals, and battle dangerous enemies in this action-packed game.
Highlighted Press Releases
PAW PATROL™ TO THE RESCUE! CHASE IS ON THE CASE AS NEWEST STORYPOD CRAFTIE. Miami, FL— The paw-sibilities of finding a magical gift for the tots on your list just got better with the announcement of Storypod’s newest collaboration with PAW Patrol™. Just in time for holiday giving, PAW Patrol is just one of three upcoming product developments with Paramount Consumer Products. Look for a rollout of three PAW Patrol Crafties with Book, Token and a branded Storypod Sleeve now through 2024. Blue’s Clues & You! and Bubble Guppies licenses will also expand Storypod’s Crafties Collection for months to come for kids ages 3- to 5-years old. Now, kids can hear engaging stories and songs from breakfast to bedtime without ever turning on a screen.
***The above posted after November 10th***
KIDS FOR CULTURE® REVEALS ITS TOP 3 TODDLER GIFTS TO BUY NOW TO INSTILL A HEALTHY SENSE OF SELF. Tis The Season For Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa Shopping & These Adorable and Affordable Presents Are In Stock In The Neighborhood. Nashville, TN (November 9, 2023) – Don’t just say it but show it. That’s the concept behind Kids For Culture’s vast collections of baby, toddler and preschool products that foster the joy of being a little different — in hair, skin tone, even language and lifestyle scenes. Diversity and the richness it brings is sprinkled into every gift idea from bath and board books to dolls and activity blankets.
KIDSTUFF PUBLIC RELATIONS’ CLIENTS GARNER 35% OF CLAMOUR’S HOLIDAY 2023 TOY & GAME FAVORITES. Who Influences The Toy Influencers? Thousand Oaks, CA (November 9, 2023) – Out of thousands of entries, the nation’s leading digital influencers picked just 21 toys and games for the Clamour Best of Holiday 2023 Influencer Choice List. Six of those novel winners were KidStuff Public Relations’ clients who made quite the impression in New York City during last month’s International Toy Fair.
Safety and Counterfeiting
The Toy Association launches Toy Safety Awareness Month with tips for parents. November is Toy Safety Awareness Month and The Toy Association is setting out to help families keep kids safe with tips and tricks to make it through the holiday season. The Toy Association is warning shoppers about counterfeits, which aren’t held to the same safety standards as real toys.
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
With Barbie Dominating the Grammys, Can the Oscars Be Next? Four songs from the film’s blockbuster soundtrack earned Grammy nominations—but the Oscars will make it a bit trickier. Barbie’s having a blowout party with planned choreography and a bespoke song at this year’s Grammys, and we’re all invited. Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster was a dominant force among this year’s Grammy nominees, announced ...
***the above posted after November 10th***
People of Play names 2023 Toy & Game International Excellence award winners. People of Play‘s (POP) Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards recently concluded, resulting in nine winners across several categories. The event also honored Game Changers and Lifetime Achievement Award winners. The TAGIEs celebrates toy and game industry leaders across numerous categories. The awards aim to celebrate great achievements within the toy industry, including innovation and invention. The annual event also recognizes industry …
Palos 118 Students Win at 2023 Young Inventor Challenge. Students from Palos East and West Elementaries participated in the event on November 4th and 5th in Chicago. Students from Palos East and West Elementaries participated in the event on November 4th and 5th in Chicago. The program gives students ages 6 to18 an opportunity to develop and pitch their original inventions to toy and game companies...
Newsweek - The Young Inventor Challenge: Illuminating the STEM Brilliance of Tomorrow's Toy Architects If you're in the market for other STEM events that mirror the enriching experience of the YIC, identifying the hallmarks of a compelling educational contest is key. Leading People of Play (POP), formerly known as The Chicago Toy & Game Group (CHITAG), Mary, in concert with a dedicated team she acknowledges as ...
Canadian Toy Association celebrates industry excellence with 2023 Hall of Fame inductees. The Canadian Toy Association (CTA) is pleased to announce the 2023 inductees into the Canadian Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Jon Levy, Founder of Mastermind, Paule Rancourt, Managing Director of KID Toy and Kelly Woon, VP of North America Sales of Funrise, will be showcased and awarded for their contributions to the industry...
Spielwarenmesse reveals lineup of toy business forum speakers. A group of international speakers will be bringing the trade audience up to date in the Toy Business Forum at Spielwarenmesse from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, 2024. In the Toy Business Forum, speakers from a diverse range of fields will deliver industry expertise and discuss trends in toys and retail.
Dad testers select Dad’s Choice Awards 2023 winners. The 2023 Dad’s Choice Awards winners impressed a selection of Dad testers and their children with their creativity, fun and value for money. With just under two months until Christmas Day, the Dads Choice Awards entries help parents pick out Christmas presents with the confidence that they’ve already made the grade.
ToyFest reveals 2024 WTHRA Hall of Fame inductees. ToyFest has named its 2024 Western Toy & Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) Hall of Fame inductees. Previously a regional toy show for specialty retailers based in Pomona, California, ToyFest has since evolved into a national show in Las Vegas that utilizes both permanent showrooms and temporary booths at the World Market Center Las Vegas.
Free tickets on offer for Istanbul Toy Fair. The exhibition, in partnership with Oyder, takes place from 6th-9th March 2024, at the Tüyap Fair and Congress Center in Istanbul. The free tickets will cover all four days of the event. Visitors to the Istanbul Toy Fair will have the opportunity to explore the hottest trends in the toy sector and stay updated with new releases.
Spielwarenmesse 2024 to be yet another unmissable event. At the recent UK Spielwarenmesse Dialogue, attended by Toy World and other toy trade media representatives, Christian Ulrich revealed how next year’s show is shaping up.Spielwarenmesse 2024, which takes place from 30th January to 3rd February, marks the second iteration of the hugely popular European show since lockdown and the 73rd...
2023 Toy Retailer of the Year Awards opens applications. Retailers can submit self-nominations and a panel of experts will propose candidates for the Retailer of the Year Awards which will be presented during Toy Fair. The British Toy & Hobby Association, organizers of the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards has announced that the 2023 retailer application process is now open. Retailers can compete nationally...
Toys for Tots launches 2023 holiday campaign. Toys for Tots is kicking off its campaign once more, with hopes to beat records again. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a non-profit run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Each Christmas, the Toys for Tots campaign distributes toys to children whose families otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them.
The Strong National Museum of Play to debut ‘War Toys: Ukraine’ exhibit. The exhibit will feature artwork from Ukrainian children impacted by the conflict. The Strong National Museum, a museum dedicated to the history and exploration of play, is the first museum to host War Toys: Ukraine, an exhibit that explores the impact of the armed conflict on kids.
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 readers. Archives can be found HERE
Richard Gottlieb - From Chris Byrne: "It is with great sadness that I'm letting you know that my dear friend and colleague Richard Gottlieb died last night.
Richard struggled with ALS and approached his illness with grace and good humor.
I knew Richard for many years, but it was in the past four doing The Playground Podcast that we really got to know one another. We shared an abiding love for the toy industry, children, and child development. We also shared a love for literature, especially 19th Century novels, poetry, and Shakespeare that we loved talking about--as well as being able to quote classic Looney Tunes cartoons to one another. Off mic, Richard always made me laugh, and his sometimes-quirky, always mordant humor was a constant delight.
Richard had a huge heart, loved his wife, Wendy and of course his kids and grand kids. He took great pleasure in one grandson's approach to play and loved watching that.
We've lost a really great man who devoted his life to helping others and who took great joy in life. As Houseman wrote:
"Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town."
He will be missed. We're all a little richer for having known him, and his loss will be deeply felt."
Global Toy News Mourns the Loss of founder Richard Gottlieb
On October 26th Richard lost his battle with ALS which he had fought for roughly 2 years. He slogged through language slurring, then no language and using an electronic voice, then a feeding tube to eat and finally in the last few weeks deep double pneumonia that was too much for him to overcome. Throughout the ordeal, he maintained his sense of humor saying when asked to do a chore, “I have a disease, you know” and never lost his interest in others.
Born in Hampton, Virginia, he went to the University of Richmond and then started with Southern Distributers in 1971, he was with them until 1984 when he joined Western Publishing Company and traveled all over the United States selling books and other products. In 1990 he went to Cadaco and then in 1994 he moved to New York City and launched Global Toy News in 2007 which he wrote for weekly until 2 weeks ago. He also started Global Toy Experts with his former client, then colleague and friend, Steve Velte doing Expert Witness work, mergers and acquisitions and all things toys.
Richard was a big personality and he loved life, he loved people and he loved the toy industry. When we met over 7 years ago, since I am an educator, I was so taken with his fascinating career choice which I soon came to understand was his life blood. We talked about toys and games and their usage constantly. We often played games, especially word games which we played daily challenging each other to be better. He was a wordsmith and a book lover, reading constantly.
Richard had a highly creative mind, he loved all aspects of the toy business from the creation, the manufacturing, the marketing, the selling, the packaging- the whole shebang. Over the 25 years he did this he traveled to Texas, California, China, Germany and other places to speak about, write about and celebrate the business of toys. He met the most wonderful people from all corners of the world, a small portion of whom I was lucky enough to meet too, and he spoke about the many ideas, the friendships, the joy these toys, the toy companies big and small and, the toy people brought children. He was fascinated with all the possible ideas for their implementation at home and in schools. His advice when asked what toys to buy a child was always the same: Buy them something that you love and that has meaning to you and they will love it.
Earlier this month Richard was at The New York Toy Fair where so many of you said hello, came to find him, met with him and told him how meaningful he was to the industry. This meant the world to him and he felt the love and the respect and was both touched and gratified. We celebrated his 76th birthday a week later, so he exited elegantly with touchpoints from family, friends and colleagues earlier this month.
We were working on a book together with Chris Byrne about the toys famous people played with as children and the career paths they chose, and in his honor, we will continue that work.
Thank you all for making his world so full, he fed off your ideas, your energy and your wisdom.
He always wanted to be interesting and interested and that he was.
This article was written by Wendy Levey (Richard’s Wife)
David A. Miller, 91, died in Rye, NY on October 24, 2023. A long-time resident of White Plains, NY, he is survived by his wife of 69 years, Elizabeth (Dubitzky), children Alison Gjersvik (Gilbert), Susan, David A., Jr. (Karen), Nancy, and Deborah Sindell (Matt), grandchildren Elizabeth, Rachel, Benjamin, Matthew, David A., III (Trey), Chloe, Paige, Sam and Charlie, brother Richard J. (Judy) and sister-in-law Mildred Dubitzky. Graduate of University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) and NYU Law School and served in the Coast Guard. Co-founder with his brother of Eden Toys, a leading toy manufacturer, and later president of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and chairman of the International Council of Toy Industries. He was inducted in the TIA Hall of Fame and served on the boards of Blythedale Childrens Hospital and Head Start White Plains and advised FIT's Toy Design Program. Board member of JCC White Plains (Kol Ami). A quiet formidable presence. Donations in his memory can be made to Blythedale Children's Hospital.
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