the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is Oct. 30 - Nov. 6, 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! 

What a week! Thought I'd go light and entertaining and introduce you to the nominees for the TAGIE Toy Innovator of the Year! You just can't help but smile watching this video! 

 

Join us for the TAGIE Awards , and then stay for the after party: POP's Got Talent! - a spectacular event showcasing crazy acts of real live People of Play! Pro inventor brothers Bob and David Fuhrer will be your hilarious hosts, so get your tickets now! 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report! 

Mary​​

Mastermind Toys - tBR Company of the Week

Ever wonder how Canada’s Authority on Play creates their iconic, highly-anticipated gift guide? Mastermind Toys shares the behind-the-scenes on how their expert toys curators make their best picks and how their creative team brings it to life on the pages and in-store.

 

Mastermind Toys started as a “smart, little toy store” in Toronto, Canada in 1984, selling educational software for home computers. Since then, we’ve grown to be the nation’s largest specialty toy and children’s book retailer with 68 stores across Canada. Each store is uniquely designed to encourage a sense of wonder and be a place where curiosity guides kids—and kids-at-heart—to new discoveries.

 

At Mastermind Toys, we take play very seriously because we believe deeply that “Play is Kids’ Work.” We have developed our Why Kids Play model, which is the foundation for selecting every toy, game, puzzle, and book we sell in our stores and online. Our toy and book curators are industry-leading merchants that deliver the best selection of products based on age and learning stage, and lead thinking on development, education, and play patterns in the industry.  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. 

Emanuele Briano talks about The "Game Designers Association" (SAZ) - tBR Company of the Week

The "Game Designers Association" (SAZ) represents the interests of game designers to the public as well as to publishers and other work users. It supports game designers and campaigns for a stronger recognition of games as a cultural property in our society.

The SAZ is a strong community with many advantages for its members. Founded in 1991 in Germany, it now represents more than 500 members all over the world. SAZ is gaining an international character through its multitude of members from other countries. SAZ-Italia, which was founded in 2017, is a good example of this.

The counseling of our members and the promotion of the exchange of experience are an important focus. This includes, if required, negotiations with publishers for fair contractual conditions. Read More...

Financial & Legal News . . . 

Toy and game distributor Flat River Group has acquired Optimum Fulfillment, a wholesale distributor, like Flat River, specializing in ecomm customers, the company announced.  Based in Peru, Illinois, Optimum Fulfillment sells toys, games, and other consumer products to online retailers including Amazon, Kohls.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, and others.  The acquisition will give Flat River "enhanced combined 

EU regulators slap Amazon with anti-trust charges A two year investigation has found that Amazon used data to gain an edge over merchants using its platform, just weeks before the retailer's Black Friday event. The allegations against Amazon include that it ‘systematically’ collects data from independent companies and vendors, and uses the data to gain an edge over them.

TikTok asks Donald Trump: 'Are we still banned?' Chinese video service TikTok has begun a legal challenge against the Trump administration over plans to shut it down in the US on 12 November. President Donald Trump ordered a ban on new downloads of the viral video service on that date unless ByteDance was purchased by a US firm.

Chronicle Books acquires Wild + Wolf’s Ridley’s Games, Petit Collage, and Games Room brands. Chronicle Books has detailed the acquisition of Wild + Wolf’s three signature games and toy brand: Petit Collage, Ridley’s Games, and Games Room in a deal that spans around 350 active skus and more than 10,000 retail partners across 60 countries. New products will continue to be produced under the Petit Collage, Ridley...

U.S. retail imports hit new peak season record heading into the holidays. Retailers across the U.S. have replenished their inventories and are well stocked for the holiday season. According to the latest monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, the U.S. may have set new records for the “peak season” of retail shipping.

Microsoft holding acquisition talks with a number of Japanese developers. Microsoft is courting a number of Japanese game studios with a view to expanding its first-party offering, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The company is apparently looking to expand its footprint in Japan by acquiring local studios, and has been holding private talks with a number of big and small developers.

Sega Sammy calls for 650 staff to voluntarily retire. Sega Sammy has issued a call for hundreds of employees to take voluntary retirement as it attempts to weather the impact of the ongoing pandemic on its business.

Judge dismisses Apple's claim of theft in Epic caseThe judge overseeing the dispute between Apple and Epic has dismissed the former's claim of theft. Apple filed a countersuit back in September following Epic's antitrust lawsuit the month before.

Enthusiast Gaming plans to list on NASDAQGames media and esports firm Enthusiast Game is preparing to list its common shares on the NASDAQ Capital Market. The company has filed the registration form and statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . . 

Half of US and UK players want more diverse characters in games . . . What Comes Next? Predictions for the Future of the Toy Industry . . . Third quarter 2020 U.S. consumer spend on video game products shattered previous record highs . . . The NPD Group's global Q4 update . . . Canadian Toy Industry Grew 12% During First Three Quarters of 2020

Financial & Brokerage News . . . 

Mattel CEO: Barbie, Hot Wheels, 'are resonating' with consumers during pandemic . . . Yahoo Finance Presents: Ynon Kreiz

Financial Reporting . . .  

Spin Master releases Q3 financial results Gross product sales and revenue are up, driven by categories including Action & Construction, Games & Puzzles, and Outdoor. Strong performances in Boys Action & Construction, Activities, Games & Puzzles and Plush saw the company increase its gross product sales +0.7% for the quarter to $587.4m. In Activities, Games & Puzzles and Plush, sales increased by $20.1m or 13.2% to $172.5m...

VTech Announces 2020/2021 Interim Results. Higher profit on stable revenue and improved gross margin. Group revenue for the six months ended 30 September 2020 was US$1,123.6 million, compared to US$1,124.1 million in the same period last year. Higher sales in Europe were offset by lower sales in North America, Asia Pacific and Other Regions.

Nexon posts its best Q3 ever thanks to mobile revenue surge. MapleStory publisher Nexon just posted its best Q3 ever, with revenue up 52% year-over-year to ¥79.4 billion ($754 million). Mobile game revenue accounted for 42% of the total, up 140% year-over-year thanks to three titles exceeding the company's expectations for the quarter …

PGC Digital: Mattel and NetEase joint venture Mattel163 achieves 600% revenue growth in two years. Mattel and NetEase's joint venture Mattel163 has grown its revenue by 600 per cent over the last two years. Founded in 2018, Mattel163 was created by the US toymaker and Chinese developer to utilise popular IP for mobile experiences. The studio has developed two games in two years: both new iterations of the popular card games UNO and Phase 10.

Australia: Toys a "standout" for Big W F21 first quarter sales. Woolworths Group has released its first quarter F21 results, reporting that toys were key sales boosters at Woolworths and Big W. The retail giant reported that Woolworths Supermarkets sales in the quarter jumped 13.4% to $11.6 billion, while Big W saw sales increase 20.4% to $1,115 million.

Covid-19: Nintendo profits triple as games boom continues. Japanese gaming giant Nintendo's profits are soaring as a coronavirus boom in video games continues. The industry has been enjoying runaway sales during the pandemic as lockdowns and restrictions on movement have left many looking for entertainment. Sales of Nintendo's Switch console helped profits to more than triple in the half year to end of September.

Live games continue to lead at Take-Two as recurrent consumer spend jumps 56%. GAAP net revenue came in at $841.1 million for the quarter, down from $857.8 million during the same period last year though recurrent consumer spending (virtual currency, ad-ons, and in-game purchases) actually rose 56 percent year-over-year and made up the bulk (59 percent) of that earlier net revenue figure.

Mobile games set new quarterly revenue record at Konami. According to the Japanese company's fiscal report for the six months ended September 2020, revenues in the segment rose by 31.8 percent year-on-year to 88.3 billion yen ($854.2 million), while operating profit increased by 65.2 percent to 30.9 billion yen ($298.9 million).

Sega Sammy struggling to weather the pandemic despite strong game salesAccording to the company's fiscal report for the six months ended September 30, 2020, consolidated net sales fell by 33.4 percent year-on-year to 110.2 billion yen ($1.06 billion). Profits also evaporated, with Sega instead reporting a loss of 21.7 billion yen ($209.4 million).

EA Play crosses 6.5 million paying subscribersElectronic Arts’s freshly rebranded subscription game library EA Play has officially crossed 6.5 million paying subscribers since EA introduced the program as EA Access six years back. That 6.5 million represents a major push from EA to give its digital services suite a fresh coat of paint and make the EA Play subscription in particular enticing.

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 . . . 

Are big retailers exploiting lockdown loopholes? Retailers and supermarkets have been accused of taking advantage of lockdown loopholes for Christmas trading while other stores remain closed. Homeware chain The Range has been encouraging consumers in England to "Shop Christmas in-store and online".

Movies based on toys that never happenedMovies based on toys aren't as common a subgenre as movies based on books, comics, or TV shows, but that doesn't mean they can't drum up big business. The live-action Transformers movies, for example, have grossed $4.8 billion worldwide, while the LEGO movies have grossed $1.09 billion worldwide. For every hit movie based on a toy, however, there is a legendary box office bomb.

Video games emerging as valuable youth marketing tool: Enthusiast CEO. If advertisers want to meaningfully engage with young people, video games could prove to be key, according to the head of a Canadian gaming company. "One of the hardest things to do as an advertiser is to find Gen-Z's and millennials,” Adrian Montgomery, chief executive officer of digital media company Enthusiast Gaming Inc., said in an interview...

The Toy Insider shares top tips for holiday toy shopping during the pandemic. Consumer shopping habits have changed dramatically this year thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including a surge in online shopping and month-long Black Friday sales at major retailers. The experts at the Toy Insider share their top tips on shopping for toys amid the pandemic and preparing for the next few months indoors.

Product of the pandemic: How has Covid-19 influenced change over the pre-school sector? There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed the dynamic of toy selling this year. With families up and down the country now locked in for lockdown a second time around, and in that all-important run-up to Christmas, the consumer’s taste in toys has certainly become a product of circumstance.

The Hot Wheels Legends Tour goes live from Jay Leno’s garage. It’s been a year of evolution, and the third annual Hot Wheels Legends Tour was quick to treat COVID-19 as a minor speed bump on the road to finding the next real-life ride to immortalize as a 1:64-scale die-cast vehicle. The pandemic-fueled stay-at-home orders arrived just following the Tour’s first stop in Miami …

Heritage Auctions puts another 'Pokemon 1st Edition' sealed Booster Box on the block. The Pokemon TCG collector insanity rages on as another Pokemon 1st Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box has hit the auction block and is already at $260,000 as of the publication of this article ($312,000 with the buyer's premium).  That represents roughly at 30% mark up from the box purchased by Logan Paul for $198,000 back in... 

Brands, Place, Space: Lockdown learnings from Generation Media. Just under eight months ago we entered an extraordinary, unknown world, in which the simple act of a handshake became antisocial and toilet roll became a scarcity overnight. ‘The new normal’ has become a cliché since the spring, but as we enter the second lockdown period it’s worth looking back at what the advertising industry has learned, and how toy brands...

Remembering the toy industry's past . . . 

15 weirdest ever Batman movie tie-in toys. The Dark Knight has inspired some baffling toys over the course of his movie career. Since 1939, he has consistently been one of the most popular characters in comics, being considered one of the Big Three of DC (along with Superman and Wonder Woman,) crossing and blurring lines between comics, animation, books, movies, and merchandise.

Wooly Willy Magnetic Toy from Smethport Specialty Co. (1955). The Wooly Willy Magnetic Drawing set proves the wisdom of the adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The toy was initially brought to market in 1955 and remains virtually unchanged today, with more than 75 million copies sold along the way.

(the above posted after November 6th)

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...

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .  

Mattel and Sanrio announce Barbie x Hello Kitty collaboration A new consumer products line is set to roll out across EMEA from early next year. The collaboration will include the creation of a colourful, contemporary product line aimed at both children and adults, tapping into the playful and fun nature of both brands. The full range will include accessories, apparel, health and beauty and footwear, with a softlines focus...

ACCO Brands accelerates strategic shift toward consumer products; announces agreement to acquire licensed videogames accessories supplier PowerA. ACCO Brands signed an agreement to acquire licensed videgames accessories supplier PowerA. PowerA has has accessories licenses for Minecraft, Pokemon, Overwatch and others.

Build-A-Bear Workshop inks slate of new deals. Build-A-Bear Workshop has added four new deals to its licensing program with new partnerships from Wheels with Dynacraft, Magna-Tiles magnetic building sets from CreateOn, 5 Surprise Toy Mini Brand Collectables from Zuru and Dough, Construction and Playsets by Gener8.

How COVID-19 rocked Hollywood’s $125 billion licensing and consumer product cash cow. Much like other best-laid plans in 2020, the consumer product pipeline was ravaged by the coronavirus. Licensing rights to major films and streaming intellectual property generated $124.8 billion in revenue in 2019, according to a global study from trade organization Licensing International.

Remarkable Brands inks new licensing deals for Doug the Pug. The licensing program for a four-legged social media superstar is growing. Remarkable Brands inked new deals for Doug the Pug, a canine celebrity with more than 18 million followers across his social media accounts.

the two have come together in the consumer products space.

RedwoodVentures and Moonlite World announce licensing agreementRedwoodVentures, the fast-growing global leader in children’s products, announced an exclusive global licensing agreement with Moonlite World, Inc., the worldwide leader in story time technology through mobile phones.

LEGO unveils its most detailed Ghostbusters ECTO-1 to date ahead of Ghostbusters: Afterlife film. The LEGO Group has revealed its largest and ‘most detailed’ recreation of the Ghostbusters ECTO-1 vehicle ever to be realised in brick form, months ahead of the release of the 2021 film Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The new, buildable version of the classic car is ‘crammed full of authentic details’ …

People . . . 

People of Play's Jazmine Darden Talks Young Inventors Challenge on the 'Power Kid Podcast' In the first of two special episodes of the “Power Kid Podcast” this week, host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with IAMEARHERO founder Jazmine Darden, newly minted program director for People of Play’s (POP) 15th annual Young Inventor Challenge. POP, formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group, will launch its annual Toy and Game International Innovation Summit and a virtual edition of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) next week.

Bugg Report - We Speak to Brendan Santamaria — CEO at Seafolly. We learnt recently that one of the all-time Iconic Australian brands, Seafolly, had moved into administration off the back of the on-going global Pandemic. Since being founded in 1975 by Peter Halas at Bondi Beach, it has become a global beacon for fashionable swimwear and lifestyle clothing. As the fashion industry continues to be impacted by consumer...

Student trailblazes in toy-making industry Self-proclaimed tinkerer and Iovine and Young student Jennifer Ellis first started her toy making journey while working at the Innovation Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. After noticing the different ways students around her used technology to create interesting gadgets, she wanted her four-year-old daughter to learn more about science, math...

Tru Kids Brands has appointed Brian Maeda (pictured) as chief business development officer. In the newly created role, Maeda is responsible for expanding and managing the company’s brand portfolio, and he will also serve as the primary point of contact for all international licensing partners. After filing for bankruptcy protection in September 2017 and shuttering its US operations in March 2018, Toys “R” Us....

Gary Marsh takes on new role in Disney’s restructure. As the company flips its attention to streaming, the former president of Disney Channels takes the helm as president and CCO of the newly formed Disney Branded Television unit. Moving forward, Disney will separate content creation from distribution and commercialization. Rice’s team has been rebranded as Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE), and is...

PEOPLE OF PLAY’S MARY COUZIN TALKS CHITAG AND BEYOND ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’In the second of two special episodes of the “Power Kid Podcast” this week, host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Mary Couzin, founder of People of Play (POP), formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group. Next week, POP will launch its annual weeklong toy industry event starting with the 2020 Toy and Game ...

Scooby-Doo co-creator Ken Spears dies aged 82. Spears, who created the animated characters alongside his creative partner Joe Ruby, died of complications from Lewy body dementia. Their original show, Scooby Doo, Where Are You!, only ran for two series from 1969-1970, but established a template that spawned 50 years of stories. Spears' death comes three months after that of his co-creator, Ruby.

Former Xbox trust and safety head Angela Hession joins Twitch. Angela Hession, once the head of trust and safety for Xbox, has joined the team at Twitch to head up the streaming giant's own VP of trust and safety. Twitch calls the hire an extension of its own efforts to bolster its internal trust and safety forces …

TRU Kids Brands expands leadership team with former WWE, Ferrero execs. The owner of the Toys “R” Us brand has added a pair of executives to its ranks as it looks toward the future. New Jersey-based Tru Kids Brands welcomes back former Toys “R” Us executive Anand Shah as general counsel with Brian Maeda joining the company as chief business development officer.

Creative agency Summer Day Media teams with Toyologist Peter Jenkinson for toy industry venture. The creative powerhouse, Summer Day Media, has joined forces with Toyologist, Peter Jenkinson as it looks to develop new business opportunities across the toy industry. Founded by Alistair Bendyshe-Brown, Summer Day Media is an agency known for its branding and creative work on some of the biggest names in the toy...

Companies . . . 

The Good Toy Guide responds to consumer demand with eCommerce solution The first wave of brands on board with the Good Toy Guide’s evolution includes Learning Resources, Hornby Hobbies, Geomag, Galt Toys and Trends. The Good Toy Guide, founded by Dr Amanda Gummer, has expanded its business to offer a one-stop-shop for users, in preparation for the busy festive season.

HASBRO’S NERF TURKEY VORTEX SPIRALS HOME FOR THANKSGIVING. Created as part of a collaboration between Concepts and Nike for the TurDUNKen fashion capsule collection, the NERF Turkey Vortex will be sold separately through Hasbro Pulse while supplies last beginning Saturday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. EST. The entire capsule collection is available at the Concepts flagship stores in Boston and New York City and online.

Mattel Creations is continuing its fusion of toys and art with the debut of MEGA Collabs, a new collection that pairs iconic artists with MEGA Builders to create exclusive collectibles. MEGA Collabs will debut with a project from graphic artist and collectible pioneer Frank Kozik.

Kozik rose to fame in the early ’90s by creating unique concert posters for rock acts including Nirvana, Melvins, Gwar, the Beastie Boys, and more.

Asmodee USA will release 'Fake That!' into U.S. trade. Asmodee USA will release Fake That!, a new quiz game, into U.S. trade on December 4. In Fake That!, players ask each other zany questions while trying to guess whether their opponents answers are true or false.

Mattel Creations, Frank Kozik team up for Mega Collabs launch. Mattel Creations is continuing its fusion of toys and art with the debut of MEGA Collabs, a new collection that pairs iconic artists with MEGA Builders to create exclusive collectibles. MEGA Collabs will debut with a project from graphic artist and collectible pioneer Frank Kozik.

Cra-Z-Art opens first international sales office in Manchester as it eyes European growth. The popular arts and crafts kits, puzzles, and school supplies manufacturer, Cra-Z-Art has opened its first international sales office in Manchester as the company continues to see steady international growth. The new office will be headed up by the toy industry sales veteran, Oliver Williams.

Lucky Duck Games will release 'It's A Wonderful World: War or Peace' into U.S. trade. Lucky Duck Games will release It's a Wonderful World: War or Peace, an expansion for It's a Wonderful World, in Q1 of 2021. This expansion contains six scenarios that let players make choices that will tip the balance of the It's a Wonderful World  story towards either peace or World War.

Dantoy’s new Green Bean toy line will ‘push boundaries of consumer perception’ and eco toys. The Danish toy maker, Dantoy is looking to push the boundaries of both product development and consumer perception with the launch of its latest sustainable-developed toy line, Green Bean; a range of toys created directly from the waste material of the toy company’s own toy production methods.

Funko unveils new 'Pop! Funko Masters of The Universe' figures. Funko unveiled a wave of Pop! Masters of the Universe vinyl figures for release in December. Masters of the Universe fever is ramping up again as a new RPG is in the works and Kevin Smith is firing up a new animated series.

Try to speak words good in 'Poetry for Neanderthals'Exploding Kittens will release Poetry for Neanderthals, a family word game, into retail on January 1. In Poetry for Neanderthals, players form teams and attempt to earn points by guessing words and phrases utters by the other Neanderthal Poets.

Jazwares to launch the UK’s first plush play-sets this December with Squishville. Jazwares is looking to break the mold in the UK’s plush market with the launch of Squishville, an extension of the popular Squishmallows brand that brings the first all-plush play-sets to the UK retail scene this December. The colourful and squishy brand extension follows the international success of its Squishmallows plush range.

PAC-MAN: The Card Game. First released by Namco in 1980, Pac-Man was an immediate hit with gamers and an entry point for many new video-game enthusiasts. Now, UK-based Steamforged Games brings the arcade hit to tabletops in the form of a new card game aptly titled, PAC-MAN: The Card Game.

‘I’m A Girly’ European fashion dolls make U.S. debut. I’M A GIRLY, a new line of collectible fashion dolls focused on empowering young girls and boys to play creatively and help to find their own style, has launched in the U.S. following its incredible success in Europe and in Canada.

Super7 adds ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ to Reaction Figures line. Halloween may be over for this year, but in Halloweentown, it’s Halloween every day! And Super7 is bringing fans a little bit of Halloweentown with new The Nightmare Before Christmas ReAction figures.

Unlock gems in an old castle with 'Clever Keys'. HABA USA announced Clever Keys, a press-your-luck memory game, for release on February 11. In Clever Keys, players attempt to unlock a stockpile of gemstones from a treasure trove located in the middle of an old castle.

THE TOY COACH, TINKERTINI TEAM UP TO FACILITATE PITCHING TO MAJOR TOYMAKERS. Budding toy creators now have a new path to pitching that could help put new toys on the fast track to retail. The Toy Coach and TinkerTini are joining forces to offer graduates of the Toy Creators Academy instant access to pitch their ideas directly to major toymakers through the Tinkerly Innovation Platform.

Disneyland to Furlough More Employees, Including Executives. Major Southern California theme parks remain in a stalemate with Gov. Gavin Newsom over reopening. Disneyland on Monday instituted more furloughs as the Southern California theme park resort remains shuttered.

According to a memo from Disneyland President Ken Potrock obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the additional furloughs impact an...

This Teddy Bear Company Has Been Around For 140 Years  Founded in 1880, Steiff is the manufacturer of high-end toys and collectibles. The original founder, Margarete Steiff, was recently inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. In this week’s Q&A, we discuss this achievement with Steiff Spokesperson Liza Marques Grando and learn what’s ahead for the toy company. Q: Congrats on the Toy Hall of Fame induction for Founder...

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

PUBG Mobile plans to re-launch in India with new game and $100 million investment. The PUBG Corporation says it plans to launch a new PUBG Mobile game in India, after being banned in the country in September due to the mobile app’s links to China’s Tencent. At the time of its ban, the game was India’s top downloaded title, with some 50 million users.

PS5 media remote hands-on: simple, streamlined, safe. In comparison to the PlayStation 5 itself — a big hulking mass of a game console — the PS5-branded media remote is very conservative. It does pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a media remote and not much more, but at least it’ll match your new games machine.

Epic Games and Disney expand collaboration with new Disney+ offer. Epic announces a special offering for Fortniteplayers. From November 11 through December 31, 2020, Fortnite players age 18+ who make a real-money purchase in-game and who are new subscribers to Disney+ can receive up to two months of service.

EA looks to revamp its mobile biz to tap into an 'unbelievable exponential opportunity'.  Like other major leaders in the video game space, Electronic Arts is hard at work plotting its own expansion into mobile games. The company is no stranger to the platform, and has heavy hitters like a mobile Apex Legends and future FIFA titles already on the way.

Codemasters: UK games firm to sell to Take-TwoVeteran British video game company Codemasters has confirmed it plans to sell to US giant Take-Two. Codemasters is best known for its racing games, including the Dirt Rally series and Formula 1 licences.

Fortnite set to return to iPhones via Nvidia cloud gaming service. Owners of iPhones and iPads could soon be able to play Fortnite again, via a cloud service, the BBC has discovered. Nvidia has developed a version of its GeForce cloud gaming service that runs in the mobile web browser Safari.

Capcom hacked in latest cyber-attack on game-makers. Video game-maker Capcom said its computer systems were hacked earlier this week, in the latest cyber-attack to hit the games industry. The Japanese firm is behind major franchises such as Resident Evil, Street Fighter, and Mega Man.

‘WWE Undefeated’ mobile game announced for iOS, Android. Animoca Brands subsidiary nWay has announced that “WWE Undefeated,” the latest WWE mobile game featuring real-time head-to-head competition, will release worldwide on Dec. 3 for iOS and Android devices. Featuring WWE Superstars and Legends, “WWE Undefeated” blends action with real-time strategy gameplay.

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . 

Smyths toy stores recall swing set sold to hundreds of Irish customers over child injury risk. Smyths toy stores are recalling one of their swing sets after a fault in the product may cause injury to children. Some 741 affected products have been sold in Ireland.

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Press Releases . . .

Larktale, An Innovative Baby Gear Brand, Enters The Kid's Toy Industry With The All New scoobi ...Larktale, a rapidly growing baby gear brand that gives active parents the ability to easily integrate their baby into everyday life, is proud to announce the launch of their new kid's toy, the scoobi™ 5-in-1 Convertible Scooter.

STORY TIME CHESS CHECKMATES ALL OTHER GAMES WITH A COVETED TOY OF THE YEAR NOMINATION. Unique Chess Set Teaches Children 3+ to Play Using Stories Brooklyn, NY (November 10, 2020) – “King Chomper has a big belly so he moves very slowly, in fact one step at a time.” Children hearing this tale quickly discover when playing the iconic game of chess that the king can move only one square at a time. Story Time Chess ($49.99), using silly stories, vibrant illustrations, custom chess pieces and a unique chessboard has won the hearts of The Toy Association and snagged a shot at the highest prize of all with a finalist spot in the 2021 Toy Of The Year (TOTY) competition.

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

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

GAMA cancels Expo 2021 in Reno. The Game Manufacturers Association will not hold GAMA Expo, its annual trade show, in Reno next March due to Covid concerns, the organization announced.  The 2020 show was held as the coronavirus was starting to take hold in the U.S., one of the last trade shows of any kind in the U.S. this year.

Women In Toys' 30th Annual Wonder Women Awards Moves to Los Angeles Back in February, nearly 900 members of the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries were gathered in New York City as Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) pulled back the curtain on the 2020 Wonder Women Award Winners at the sold-out 16th Annual WIT Wonder Women Awards. The vibrant celebration dinner honors the best and... 

The 2020 Creative Play Awards results revealed The results of the Creative Play Awards recognise products which enhance creative development in young children. The awards are sponsored and organised by Creative Steps magazine, which promotes creative play as vital in a child’s development. The results of these awards recognise the  products which enhance creative development in young children and are... 

REEDPOP RESCHEDULES TWO MAJOR SHOWS PLANNED FOR MARCH 2021 To December. ReedPop has rescheduled two major comic conventions originally planned for March 2021 to December, citing Covid concerns. Emerald City Comic Con, originally scheduled for the weekend of March 4, 2021, will now be held December 2-5, 2021.  The 2020 event was one of the first to fall to the coronavirus pandemic; it was...

Calling all heroes: enter the BTHA Toy Retailer of the Year Awards This year's awards have a strong emphasis on retailers or employees that have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus crisis. There’s a little less than three weeks left to enter the BTHA Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2020, with entries set to close on 27th November.

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Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide this Week . . .

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media's (US)

1. The NPD Group: U.S. Toy Industry Saw 19% Growth in First Three Quarters of 2020

2. JAKKS Pacific Reports Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results

3. The Toy Association Unveils 2021 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award Finalists

4. TriAction Toys to Bring Back Boglins’ in 2021

5. PlayMonster’s 5 Second Rule Game Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

6. Goliath Strengthens its Management Team With New Additions

7. Llama Llama Merchandise Launches at Kohl’s

8. Meredith Corporation Names Evolution USA as North America, Australia, and New  Zealand Licensing Agency for LIFE

9. Moxie & Co. and Hunt A Killer Forge Brand Partnership

10. Jane Goodall Confirmed to Keynote Kidscreen Summit Virtual

Toyworld (UK) 

  1. Always look on the bright side of life… it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Hundreds of Argos stores to close

  3. First look at Smyths Toys Superstores new 2020 brand ad

  4. John Lewis to lay off 1,500 head office staff

  5. Exclusive: Mattel’s Sanjay Luthra reaffirms commitment to toy retail partners

  6. Jazwares promotes Jonny Taylor and welcomes Holly Oldham

  7. Exclusive: toy stores report pre-lockdown sales surge

  8. Toy retailers reassure customers toys will be available throughout lockdown

  9. Spring Fair 2021 cancelled

  10. Asmodee set to take AsmoFair to ‘the next level’ in January

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

  1. Wizards of the Coast Unveils a Jeweled Lotus Card for 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Commander Legends'!

  2. Hasbro Developing 'D&D' TV, More
  3. 'Flesh and Blood: Welcome to Rathe' Alpha Edition Booster Box Sells for $1499.99 on eBay!
  4. Top Ten Board Game Gifts for the Holidays – 2020
  5. Big Gains in Hasbro Gaming in Q3
  6. WizKids Will Release 'D&D Icons of the Realms Miniatures: Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden' Papercraft Sets
  7. Rolling For Initiative -- Getting in the Spirit Again
  8. Wizards of the Coast Reveals New Retailer Release Information for 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Kaldheim'
  9. Games Workshop Unveils New 'Warhammer 40,000' 'Space Wolves' Set
10. Funko Expands 'Marvel Battleworld'

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)

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Video of the Week

The Story Behind POP's Got Talent! 

Bob Fuhrer, a professional inventor and on our TAGIE Awards Committee, suggested an after party to the TAGIEs: POP's Got Talent. He then recruited the talent, all crazy entertaining acts of real People of Play, including his brother, David, to co-host. They are hilarious! Get your tickets now to the most entertaining show in our industry: TAGIEs + POP's Got Talent = Solid Gold Entertainment! 

TICKETS are only $50! Or get an All Event Pass (Conference+TAGIEs+POP's Got Talent) for just $350! 

 

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