the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is Oct. 9 - 16, 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! 

Serendipity, karma, call it what you may, but it brought us our new Young Inventor Challenge Director. 

Every year we welcome some exceptional students and innovators not part of our industry to our November events as our guests. Last year our Director of Operations, Nadine Sehnert,  brought Jazmine Darden, a 3D printing specialist from Minneapolis to our Conferences and Jaz fell in love with our industry. Because of her background teaching kids, she enjoyed helping Alicia Alexander with the Young Inventor Challenge. Fast forward to this fall and Alicia is on-boarding Jaz as our new Director of the Young Inventor Challenge. Huge thank you to Alicia for taking us to a new level by incorporating industry mentors for the kids and more and is still involved as is Leila Nosrati, who headed up our Spring Challenge (thank you, Leila). Both are thrilled to have Jaz taking the reins. 

Thank you to Mattel, Magformers, Goliath and Hasbro for making the Young Inventor Challenge possible. We've had over a thousand of kids participate over the years, a dozen kids get licensed and at least one enter our wonderful toy industry. We are passionate about these kids and excited Jaz joined our team!

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report and enjoy the weekend! 

Mary​​

Scott Landsbaum: The Toy Lawyer?! What’s the Toy Lawyer?? tBR Person of the Week

Well, it’s either that inflatable lawyer you bop to get out your frustrations, or it’s me, Scott Landsbaum. I’ve worked in the toy industry for over 20 years helping toy and premium companies, inventors, agents and consultants.

 

People often ask me what’s the most cost-effective way of working with a lawyer. If you’re not accustomed to working with attorneys, hourly billing can be off-putting and concerning. Here’s my advice for getting the most from your lawyer: First, hire a lawyer who knows your industry (a big theme here!). You don’t want to spend a lot of your lawyers’ time and your money educating them about how your business works. In addition, that learning curve means your lawyer isn’t being as efficient as they would be in their own area of expertise. You don’t want me to set up your family trust, that’s for sure. Second, understand your lawyer’s style. Do they fight every point or do they strategically target key issues. If your attorney is determined to contest every sentence, your deals will take longer and cost more. Last, and this is a mistake I see over and over, talk to your lawyer early in the deal. Often a client thinks they’re saving money by waiting until the paperwork shows up. But by not bringing their lawyer into the early negotiations, they can get locked into a mistake that’s difficult to unwind or omit a key deal term that now needs to be added at a time when the other side thinks the deal is done. You’ll get the biggest bang for the buck at the early stages of a deal.  Read More...

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

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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. 

Kathy Ceceri: How Great STEAM Kits Inspire Invention - tBR Person-of-the-Week

I’ve taught Maker-style enrichment programs for kids for over a decade, and I’ve written about teaching kids STEAM concepts at home for even longer. My books show readers how to make light-up paper designs and develop their own video games. And my workshops (like my upcoming Build BOTS! online workshop for Maker Camp) let kids design and build working projects, using just a few basic electronics and everyday stuff.

 

During the pandemic, I’ve heard from parents and teachers who are eager to find resources that can get children excited about science, technology, engineering, art, and math – and make it fun! That’s why I’m always on the lookout for ways to encourage kids to think up their own inventions, like CHITAG’s Young Inventor Challenge.

 

To me, invention combines the energy and creativity of making art with the practicality and attention to detail of engineering. And letting kids test out and refine their wild ideas into a marketable product is a great way to teach STEAM! Read More...

 

Financial & Legal News . . . 

EA facing Canadian class action lawsuit over loot boxes. Electronic Arts is facing more legal action over its use of loot boxes and other randomised monetisation mechanics. The latest is a class action lawsuit filed in Canada on September 30 by joint plaintiffs Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore.

Demand for China's toys up amid pandemic. China’s exports of toys and children's products increased by 9.6 percent between July and September this year despite the novel coronavirus pandemic. Liang Mei, president of China Toy & Juvenile Products Association, said though sales were down in the first and second quarters they had rebounded since July with rising overseas demand.

China welcomes Pakistan decision to lift ban on Tik TokChina has welcomed the decision to lift ban on Tik Tok after receiving assurance that the company would block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immortality. “We have noted the relevant report. The Chinese government always maintains the companies operating overseas should strictly abide by international law and local rules,” ...

Email addresses may have been exposed in Barnes & Noble cyber attackBook chain Barnes & Noble has suffered a cyber security attack, possibly exposing email addresses and other data on customers. The company sent an email to customers last Thursday, saying that it had learned on October 10 that there had been “unauthorized and unlawful access to certain Barnes & Noble corporate systems.”

Was Amazon Prime Day 2020 a disappointment? The 2-day shopping event may have been been the first since 2015 to not return. rowth. Reports indicate that Amazon Prime Day 2020 has been a decidedly more lacklustre affair than analysts had predicted, with website traffic data and muted language surrounding the event indicating the retailer’s disappointment.

TOMY Acquires Fat Brain Holdings. TOMY International, Inc., the subsidiary of TOMY Company, Ltd., responsible for North America, South America, Europe and Australia, and a leading global designer, producer and marketer of a broad range of innovative, high-quality toys, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Fat Brain Holdings LLC. Fat Brain, located in Elkhorn, Nebraska, is a privately-held...

U.S. court agrees to expedite government TikTok app store ban appeal. A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday agreed to fast-track a Justice Department appeal of a ruling blocking the government from banning new TikTok downloads from U.S. app stores.

Business spending data shows there could be possible upside surprise in retail sales. Consumers continued to shop a lot, driving online sales sharply higher, and spending dollars at home remodeling stores, general merchandise retailers and grocery stores. September retail sales are expected to be strong, rising 0.7% and edging above the level consumers spent a year ago, but business-to-business spending data...

BRC launches nationwide campaign to encourage early Christmas shopping. The British Retail Consortium has announced a new national campaign to encourage the general public to begin Christmas shopping earlier, as an attempt to help spread demand for the peak shopping season. ‘Shop early, start wrapping, enjoy Christmas’ is designed to mirror the government’s coronavirus guidelines used throughout 2020.

Total Video Game Industry Spending Rises 10% in September. Consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories reached $4.3 billion in September 2020, a 10 percent increase when compared to a year ago. Mobile, hardware, and accessories were among the largest growth segments. Year-to-date spending totaled $33.7 billion, 21 percent higher than the same time period in 2019.

Growth in UK games industry fastest ever recordedGrowth in the UK games industry has been faster in 2019/2020 than it's ever been since trade association TIGA started doing annual reports in 2007/08. TIGA's latest report, released today, reported a 12.2% annualised growth rate in terms of creative staff in development studios, with the headcount growing from 14,353 to 16,836 from November 2018 to April 2020.

China-owned mobile studio Playtika is chasing an IPO in the U.S. China-owned social and mobile games company Playtika is looking to go public in the United States. Reuters is reporting that the company has confidentially submitted paperwork to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

JAKKS Pacific reaches agreement with lenders for covenant relief until March 2022 and partial pre-payment of term loan.  JAKKS Pacific, Inc. has reached an agreement with holders of its term loan Wells Fargo, holder of its revolving credit facility to receive a waiver on its EBITDA covenant until March 31, 2022. The term loan previously had a covenant requiring trailing 12-month EBITDA to be at least $34 million.

The UK’s geek culture retailer, Geek Retreat, has detailed its plans to open 100 new stores on high streets across the country over the space of the next two years, part of its own plans to ‘breathe new life into town centres.’ The move follows the rapid rise in the popularity of the pop culture scene among consumers today, one that has given rise to the success of the Marvel franchise or the likes of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

TikTok is driving massive toy sales as play dates become less frequent during pandemic. Social media influencers were the fourth-most cited reason for someone making a toy purchase. More than 100 million Americans are monthly active users of TikTok. With that many eyeballs, it’s no wonder that toy companies are partnering with content creators to showcase products on the app. A number of toy companies have...

(the above posted after October 16th)

Roblox quietly submits draft registration for proposed public offeringRoblox has submitted a draft registration statement for a proposed public offering, effectively confirming it intends to go public.A Reuters report published earlier this month claimed Roblox, which runs a popular game creation platform (also called Roblox), was working with investment banks to list on the U.S. stock market in 2021.

Nintendo issues cease and desist against influencer and adult entertainer Pokeprincxss. Nintendo took legal action against a social media influencer over references to the Pokémon brand in her name and merchandise. Digitalprincxss -- formerly known as Pokeprincxss -- started using the latter handle eight years ago, and has produced a lot of content centred around Pokémon and Nintendo products.

Tencent proceeds with Huya and DouYu merger. Chinese live streaming platforms Huya and DouYu have entered an agreement to merge. As a result of the merger, which is expected to close during the first half of 2021, DouYu will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Huya. The deal was mediated by Tencent, which is a majority owner of Huya and also has a 38% stake in DouYu.

Hamleys owner Reliance Industries drops out of the race for UK department chain Debenhams. The Reliance Industries owner and richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, has dropped out of the race to buy Debenhams, the Sunday Times has reported over the weekend, having emerged only last month as one of the possible suitors for the UK department store chain.

Epic vs. Apple judge warns of 'serious ramifications' for console makers. The legal battle between Apple and Epic Games over the former's decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store over a breach of platform guidelines could have "serious ramifications for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and their game platforms."

Kids vs. Zombies dev Donut Lab raises $1.6 million. Russia-based Donut Lab, creator of the in-development mobile game Kids vs. Zombies, has raised $1.6 million in funding, VentureBeat reports. Game investment firm Level-Up out of Luxembourg led the round. Kids vs. Zombies is currently on Google Play in early access, and will eventually release on iOS.

Embracer Group issues new shares to raise money for future acquisitions. Embracer Group has completed the issue of 35,689,907 new Class B shares in its company, bringing in over SEK 5.75 billion ($648 million) toward future acquisitions. Alongside the issuance, the company's co-founders have opted to sell over 9 million existing shares at the same price, bringing in proceeds of SEK 5.78 million ($652,000).

Victor Caddy, partner at Wynne-Jones IP, looks at how Brexit will affect the global toy industry, and the steps businesses need to take to protect themselves, both before and after the changes take place. Once the divorce becomes final, there will be effects on intellectual property rights, particularly trademarks and designs, as well as on  licence agreements. Many of the changes will affect the global toy industry...

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .  

Unlock Marketing: The world of marketing post COVID – 19 . . . Adapting your brand to fit kids’ new routines . . . Imagine STEM without the “T” . . . On the heels of Amazon Prime Day’s success, more Black Friday-like deals are starting . . . Meet Gen C: How COVID-19 could define this generation . . . Canadian Toy Industry Continues to Experience Unprecedented Sales Increases as Consumers

(the above posted after October 16th)

3 reasons why holiday toy sales will be huge this year . . . How e-commerce in China eclipsed $1.5 trillion in sales . . . Not delivering: USPS plays games with package delivery as holiday season looms . . . Black Friday deals for days: Walmart is trying to avoid crowds this year . . . The new kickoff to the holiday season – Prime Day? . . . Reaching holiday shoppers in the new normal with mobile messaging . . . Amazon Prime Day mania will crush dying retailers . . .  Shoppers in the UK have started their Christmas shopping earlier than ever this year, resulting in the best monthly growth for over a decade 

Financial & Brokerage News . . . 

Factors Setting the Tone for Hasbro's (HAS) Q3 Earnings . . . FY2020 EPS estimates for Spin Master Corp. . . . Hasbro (HAS) Expected to Beat Earnings Estimates: Can the Stock Move Higher? . . . Factors Setting the Tone for Mattel's (MAT) Q3 Earnings

(the above posted after October 16th)

JAKKS Pacific Inc. plunges 6.4% on October 13 . . . Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT): When Will It Breakeven? . . .Q3 2020 EPS estimates for Hasbro, Inc. lowered by analyst.

Financial Reporting . . .  

Tencent takes "a major stake" in GTFO studio 10 Chambers. Tencent has invested in the Swedish game developer, 10 Chambers. Founded in Stockholm in 2015, 10 Chambers is principally known as the creator of GTFO, a cooperative first-person shooter currently in Early Access.…

Future Financial Reporting... 

Mattel earnings information. Mattel has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, October 22nd, 2020. Mattel will be holding an earnings conference call on Thursday, October 22nd.  Interested parties can register for or listen to the call...

Hasbro earnings information. Hasbro has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Monday, October 26th, 2020. Hasbro will be holding an earnings conference call on Monday, October 26th. Interested parties can register for or listen to the call using this link.

Jakks Pacific earnings information. JAKKS Pacific has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, November 5th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Spin Master earnings information. Spin Master has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Zynga earnings information. Zynga has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Electronic Arts earnings information. Electronic Arts has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, November 5th, 2020.

Amazon.com earnings information. Amazon.com has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Target earnings information. Target has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Mattel earnings information. Mattel has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, Oct 22nd, 2020. Mattel will be holding an earnings conference call on Thursday, October 22nd.  Interested parties can register for or listen to the call using this link.

Hasbro earnings information. Hasbro has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Monday, October 26th, 2020. Hasbro will be holding an earnings conference call on Monday, October 26th. Interested parties can register for or listen to the call using this link.

Jakks Pacific earnings information. JAKKS Pacific has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, November 5th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Spin Master earnings information. Spin Master has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Zynga earnings information. Zynga has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Electronic Arts earnings information. Electronic Arts has confirmed that its next quarterly earnings report will be published on Thursday, November 5th, 2020.

Amazon.com earnings information. Amazon.com has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Target earnings information. Target has not formally confirmed its next earnings publication date, but the company's estimated earnings date is Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 based off prior year's report dates.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories & Comments . . . 

People of Play (POP) Announces Entertainment Line Up for First-Ever ‘POP’s Got Talent’. People of Play, formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group, is once again shining the spotlight on the creativity of inventors with the premiere of POP’s Got Talent, a virtual show that will air immediately following the Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIEs) on Friday, November 20th. The TAGIEs and POP’s Got Talent...

Amazon to pay consumers for their shopping data. Amazon has launched a new program to gain information about users' purchasing activity beyond on its own website, a post from the eCommerce giant states, through monetary incentives. Named the Amazon Shopper Panel, it will pay users in exchange for the data and answering some short surveys.

Raising the bar: can toys — and intellectual property — die? Like a toy, IP is not a living thing. It cannot die, but it can expire, be canceled, be invalidated, or end in some other fashion. Some IP can — theoretically — exist indefinitely. Other forms of IP have limited duration. Those differences must be understood and considered when protecting your valuable IP.

ShopDisney.com and Disney Store unveil Top 15 Toys for 2020 holiday season. ShopDisney.com |Disney store revealed its 2020 Top 15 Holiday Toys list. This marks the third year the retailer is sharing a list of holiday must-haves for Disney fans, families, and gift-givers alike. As families spend more time at home and parents need to get creative, toys play a more important role than ever.

Toy retailers react to latest Covid measures in Wales and Ireland. Retailers in Ireland will enter one of the strictest lockdowns – Level 5 – seen in Europe for six weeks from midnight tonight (Wednesday 21st October), while Wales will trigger a two week ‘Firebreak’ from Friday, as part of the latest measures to curb rising numbers of coronavirus infections in the UK.

Eco-friendly plush finds spot alongside LEGO Mario in Selfridges’ top toy picks for Christmas 2020. Keel Toys’ sustainable range of eco-friendly plush animals has found itself rubbing shoulders with the familiar Top Toys for Christmas picks such as LEGO Mario, VTech’s Kidizoom and Spin Master’s Present Pets this year, as Selfridges puts its own spin the predicted top sellers for the 202 festive season.

Coronavirus latest: Panic buying grips Dublin as shops see massive queues before six week shutdownShops were mobbed today as panic buyers grabbed clothes, toys and other items before the country shuts down for six weeks on Wednesday night. Wind, rain and traffic jams did little to deter determined shoppers who battled the elements to get one final shopping spree in.

Aldi limits number of Christmas toys customers can purchase. Aldi has announced that it will be limiting customer purchases to one of certain Christmas toys that go on sale tomorrow, 22 October, 2020 Customers will only be able to purchase one unit of Aldi’s Large Wooden Toy Kitchen - Pink, Large Wooden Toy Kitchen - Grey, Premium Toy Kitchen, Toy Vanity Table, Stool and Access, Wooden Dolls House, Wooden...

(the above posted after October 16th)

Toy Family Series: The Albert Family - Mary Couzin:  "Although sadly I didn’t meet Richard and Michael’s parents, based on their description of their parents, the apples did not fall far from the Albert family tree! Working with Richard and Michael on this article was great fun as they are comedic, big hearted, and savvy business people who love this business and their family. This is the feel good read of your October!"

John Baulch, ToyWorld (UK) - Tier Four fears…it’s the Friday Blog! I was driving home from the office a couple of weeks ago when I said to my wife: “Gary Grant has been very quiet recently. I do hope The Entertainer is doing ok.” Based on the latest developments this week, The Entertainer is clearly doing more than OK. In hindsight, his temporary low profile was obviously a by-product of being rather busy, landing...

Design Edge: A Year Without Travel By the time I was 24 years-old, the furthest I had been from my home on Long Island, New York was to visit my grandparents in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. However, 10 years later, at 34 I had been around the world so many times, that twice I had to have pages added to my passport…and almost all of that was for work. The toy industry is a global business with a trade show circuit that annually...

The Toy Coach: Why the Global Pandemic is Evening Out the Toy Industry Playing Field - When I look at my upcoming 2021 toy trade show calendar, all I see is red. COVID-19 rocked the toy industry, throwing off decades of habitual in-person trade show behavior and forcing it all either online or into nonexistence. Our biggest trade shows are postponed now, and they’ve been pushed back so far in my calendar that in my mind...

Chris Tidwell, Magformers: Home is Where the Heart (and Work!) Is - 2020 is certainly the most unusual and unexpected year i have faced. At the start of the year, our top issues seemed to be: a potential toy tariff; presentations to retailers focused against new product launches, as we hoped to gain additional shelf space; and which key items we would market. All this changed as the global pandemic took hold of our nation. 

2020 State of the Toy Industry - Many early predictions about what was in store for the toy industry in 2020 have been totally upended since COVID-19 hit. In spite of it all, the first half of the year saw strong sales growth in the toys and games market. Nothing is certain going into the holiday shopping season and 2021, but manufacturers have learned how to adapt quickly and prepare for the unexpected to keep business...

Hamleys reveals its top toys for Christmas This Christmas will see more inter-generational play and classic toys that create magical moments to bring people of all ages together, according to Hamleys top buyers, who have unveiled their hot predictions for the 2020 festive season.

Whilst there’s new interactive and educational tech such as the pre-school Rollin’ Rovee with nearly 200 songs, sounds and phrases, and tablet...

Farm-themed toys and the farm retail channel bring play to the heartland and beyond. At Toy Fair New York Last Year, a quick swing through just a few exhibitor booths revealed hints of an emerging growth trend in an evergreen, classic category of timeless play: farm-themed toys. Often overlooked, toys with agricultural roots are everywhere, and in the past two years, the offerings have greatly expanded at retail.

PACKING A PUNCH WITH TOY PACKAGING ONLINE. It’s no surprise that consumers are doing more of their shopping online now than ever before. Online shopping was already prevalent for many categories prior to the pandemic, but the shift to online retail became significant once stores selling nonessential items began closing back in March. This change in behavior early on during the pandemic happened purely out of...

Fanbytes explains how toy brands can go viral on TikTok. The Gen Z agency Fanbytes takes Toy World readers behind the scenes of its TikTok campaigns for IMC Toys, Rubik's and Zuru. Toy brands have been slow in leveraging the potential of TikTok, but with its 800m monthly active users and average daily watch time of 45 minutes, and as the home to a large majority of Gen Z video consumers, Fanbytes says the platform should...

Will FAO Schwarz make Target a bigger player in toys? Target, showing no intention of ceding ground in the toys category this holiday season, announced a new collaboration with FAO Schwarz and the introduction of its largest Bullseye’s Top Toys list ever. The FAO Schwarz collaboration includes a 70-piece toy collection available exclusively at Target. FAO Schwarz’s New York City flagship, which reopened under new owners at...

Cardboard Common Sense: Caring for a Game Collection – Part 1: Introduction. Would you call yourself a collector? And how do you store them, to keep them as fresh as possible—and ready for the next game? This post serves as an introduction to some of the most basic rules for caring for and storing games—and any paper-based plaything.

Cardboard Common Sense: Caring for a Game Collection – Part 2: Environment. Sunlight is sneaky. We don’t necessarily think about it when we’re laying out furniture, such as game storage shelves, in a room. But it should be one of our main concerns. The sun gives us infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light—all harmful to printed paper artifacts and other materials common to game contents and boxes.

Cardboard Common Sense: Caring for a Game Collection – Part 3: Handling. Remember your gamer friend Karen and her plate of Hot Pockets? You’ve just smeared tomato sauce all over an Exploding Kitten card. And your greasy hands are wreaking havoc just by holding them, not to mention playing. Safe handling of game equipment just takes a bit of common sense.

Indie Insight: Wigwam Toys talks the consumers’ rediscovery of community on the high street. Having met at college through a shared love of Fine Art, the Wigwam Toys team comprises collectors, crafts-people, bibliophiles, and big kids at heart, all of whom have their own role to play in the eclectic mix that this little Brighton independent toy shop has to offer. Times were, Wigwam Toys was an essential stopping off point for...

Let's play: learning Arabic, one Lego brick at a time. In a quiet corner of a Cairo suburb, Ghada Wali crouches down on the ceramic tiled floor of her family home, creating patterns with Lego blocks. The 30-year old hasn’t raided her old toy box in a fit of nostalgia. Rather, she’s putting the finishing touches on her award-winning graphic design learning method …

Opinion – Evolution theory: life after lockdown and the reasons to be cheerful. Now that we can plan for the challenges coming out of the pandemic, suggests Kids Brand Insights’ Steve Reece, there is no reason for 2021 not to be a successful year for the toy and licensing industries. The good news among all that is happening now is that humans adapt.

UK National Videogame Museum receives £400,000 grantThe UK National Videogame Museum received a grant from the Arts Council of England's Culture Recovery Fund to help it survive the pandemic. GamesIndustry.biz has been told the museum received £400,000, which will guarantee that the NVM can continue to operate until spring 2021.

Retaining and fostering women in the games industry. Victoria Setian gave a GDC Summer talk addressing how to fight discriminatory attitudes in the workplace and develop female talent into leadership.

Barbie confronts racism in viral video and shows how to be a White ally. Barbie sat down for a real talk about racism with her good friend Nikki in the Dreamhouse -- and nothing was off limits. The pair unpacked White privilege, the struggles of racial bias and what it means to be a true ally in the latest episode of YouTube's "Barbie Vlogs."A one-minute clip quickly went viral this week on Twitter, garnering 3.4 million views.

Creating a bigger picture: Very Puzzled and its mission to bring diversity to the jigsaw puzzles aisle. Following the birth of his daughter and the realisation that the toy industry was in need of better representation and diversity within its product roll-out, Patrick Adom sprung onto the jigsaw puzzle scene with Very Puzzled. ToyNews talks to the entrepreneur about the importance of exploring cultures through play and the...

The Entertainer enters into exclusive partnership with Asda. A trial will start next February across five Asda stores which will see The Entertainer taking over the running of the retailer’s toy departments, as part of a wider project which will see the grocer partner with a host of brand specialists. 

Toys return to Debenhams – and The Entertainer is behind the move. Eight months later, toys have returned to Debenhams– but with no buying team to curate the range, people in the toy community have been speculating as to how it had all been pulled together.

Toy World can now reveal that The Entertainer is behind the ‘Toys at Debenhams’ departments. The retailer will be responsible for ranging toys...

In depth: Outdoor Learning, the future of play, and the potential for the toy space. A letter signed by 32 environmental and youth organisations, including The Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth has propelled the conversation around Outdoor Learning and the impact it has on children’s education, resilience, and mental wellbeing back into the mainstream media. 

Remembering the toy industry's past . . . 

The Partridge Family Game from Milton Bradley (1971). Released in 1971 by Milton Bradley, The Partridge Family Game is based on the sitcom of the same name, which aired on ABC from 1970 to 1974. The game’s background offers a glimpse of what life on the road was like for one of TV’s favorite fictional pop bands.

McDonald's Happy Meals: 40 top toys Americans likely remember – and should return. 24/7 Tempo compiled a list of Happy Meal toys, using source material from McDonald’s and pop culture sites, that should make a comeback, primarily for reasons of nostalgia but also because there’s a kid in all of us and the toys are just plain fun.

Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, otherwise known as the rapper Logic, bought a Gem Mint 10 Charizard #4 Pokemon card for $220,574 at Iconic Auctions. Charizard is quickly becoming the "Black Lotus of Pokemon Cards". The 1999 1st Edition Shadowless holographic Charizard #4 card graded as Gem Mint 10 by PSA is a holy grail for Pokemon TCG collectors, and recently, famed rapper Logic became the proud new owner of...

(the above posted after October 16th)

Mattel celebrates 90 years of Fisher-Price with a virtual toy museum. A new dose of toy history has arrived on Instagram. To celebrate the 90-year legacy of its iconic Fisher-Price brand, Mattel opened the virtual doors to the Fisher-Price Toy Museum. The experience features more than 90 different curated exhibits that were created by artist, set designer, and photographer Leila Fakouri to have an authentic museum feel.

LEGO Minifigure A Visual History New Edition now available in the US. LEGO Minifigure A Visual History New Edition is now available in the US, complete with an exclusive orange Space minifigure. The updated and expanded encyclopaedia launched in the UK on October 1, but US fans have had to wait a little longer. This updated edition highlights the best minifigures from every year since 1978.

Roman era toys unearthed in Western Turkey. Artifacts including toys and coins have been found during excavation in an ancient city in western Turkey. The findings in the 5,000-year-old ancient city of Becin in Mugla's Milas district sheds light on the socio-economic and cultural life of the era. Toys, rings, bracelets, necklaces and coins belonging to the Hellenistic, Ottoman, Roman, and Byzantine period were found in the …

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .  

Talkin’ Toys: Spin Master revs up Supercross deal. The Toy Book catches up with Vice President of Marketing and Global Business Unit Lead, Boys Adam Hyman about Spin Master’s expanded partnership with Feld Entertainment Inc. as master toy licensee for Supercross.

Funko's new Masters of the Universe Pops have the power. Masters of the Universe fans just got a fantastic wave of classic MotU Funko Pop figures to collect - and Funko really went all out with it. There are five standard Pop figures, a Pop Ride of Skeletor on Panthor, a 10-inch He-Man, and a whole bunch of exclusives.

Tomy, Electronic Arts partner for Plants Vs. Zombies Club Mocchi Mocchi plush. Retail Monster brokered a new deal between TOMY International and Electronic Arts (EA) for a new line of plush inspired by characters from the video game, Plants vs. Zombies. The new collection of super-soft, squeezable, huggable plush is being developed under TOMY’s Club Mocchi- Mocchi- brand.

Welbeck, Asmodee solve new licensed puzzle book deals. Welbeck Publishing Group and Asmodee Entertainment have announced that they are expanding their collaboration by adding the Days of Wonder’s “Ticket to Ride” and Space Cowboy’s “Unlock!” titles to Welbeck’s line of boardgame-inspired puzzle books.

LEGO introduces 123 Sesame Street building set through LEGO Ideas and Sesame Workshop partnershipThe LEGO Group has lifted the lid and taken us all on a trip down Sesame Street, as it prepares to launch its LEGO Ideas 123 Sesame Street building set. Voted for by LEGO fans the world over, the set is the latest product from the LEGO Ideas collection. Created with all the elements of 123 Sesame Street, the new set is...

Steamforged Games and Bandai Namco to launch Pac-Man: The Card Game with John Adams Leisure. Steamforged Games has partnered with Bandai Namco Entertainment to launch the iconic 1980 arcade game Pac-Man to the tabletop gaming space with Pac-Man: The Card Game. The title will be distributed in the UK and Ireland by John Adams Leisure and will hit stores in November this year.

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts game from Funko. Pop-Tarts aren’t just for breakfast anymore — now they’re also a pastry-themed card game from Funko! Neatly packaged in a foil-lined box that would look at home on a supermarket shelf, the game challenges 2 to 6 players to rack up points by “eating” Pop-Tarts. Players indulge in both toasted and frozen pop-tarts to increase their scores.

Licensing special – LEGO and Adidas build multi-year partnership to ‘inspire creativity and foster play’. The LEGO Group has struck up a multi-year partnership with Adidas to co-create a range of new products aimed at inspiring creativity to foster a more playful, positive and inclusive world for adults and children from all backgrounds and sporting abilities.

Asmodee’s licensing game: “It’s about time this happened, the fans out there are starving for stuff”. “The world is going to look very different now that Asmodee – one of the biggest players in the board gaming sector – is very actively pushing into licensing,” Alexander Thieme, manager of licensed publishing and consumer products, Asmodee Entertainment, promises.

Spin Master, Crayola, VTech and Sambro among 21 UK partners for PAW Patrol: The MovieSpin Master, Crayola, VTech, and Sambro have been named among the 21 UK partners to have signed new and renewed licensing partnerships for PAW Patrol ahead of the release of the PAW Patrol movie and its slated August 2021 release. ViacomCBS Concusmer Products UK has signed a raft of partners for a licensing programme …

Mattel Television, Wildbrain greenlight new seasons of ‘Fireman Sam,’ ‘Polly Pocket’. Mattel Television and WildBrain greenlit the 13th season of Fireman Sam, alongside the third season of Polly Pocket. Production on the new batch of animated episodes is underway at WildBrain’s studio in Vancouver. Fireman Sam will premiere next June with 26 all-new 10-minute episodes. Polly Pocket, based on the original micro-scale...

Tomy, Illumination, Universal Brand Development prep ‘Sing 2’ toy collection. It’s been a big week for TOMY International. Following the acquisition of Fat Brain Toys and a deal to produce toys based on 20th Century Studios’ Ron’s Gone Wrong, the company inked a deal with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to produce toys based on Sing 2, which is set for a theatrical release on Dec. 22, 2021.

ZURU shrinks Nickelodeon, Rubik’s, Wham-OZuru has teamed with multiple brands to create miniature toys under their Toy Mini Brands line. Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and JoJo Siwa are among the nine toy brands that will be miniaturized. In addition, brands such as Classic Rubik’s, Crayola and Wham-O will join the Toy Mini Brands portfolio.

Disguise costumes expands Halo, Minecraft deals with global rights. Disguise Inc renewed its partnership with Microsoft as the official costume partner for the software giant’s Minecraft and Halo brands. The Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific now holds global rights to create and distribute costumes and accessories for the popular gaming brands. The deal includes a three-year extension for Halo and an ...

Hammer House of Horror announces partners for merchandise program. Radar Licensing announces initial license partners for its Hammer House of Horror merchandise program featuring Hammer Films’ Dracula, Frankenstein’s Creature, The Mummy, and other memorable monsters. Hammer came to prominence as the world’s most popular horror brand in the late 1950s.

Back To The Future Day brings new toys from Playmobil, Mattel, Funko, Hasbro, more. Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment are celebrating the annual “Back to the Future Day” holiday with a massive lineup of new products that honor 35 years of the cinematic franchise. Launched alongside a host of fan-created content and the new 4K Ultra HD release of Back to the Future: The Ultimate Trilogy, the new...

A closer look at The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. “We found ourselves talking about holiday specials,” james waugh, vice president, franchise content and strategy at lucasfilm, tells starwars.com, “and the heritage of sitting down and watching holiday specials every year, and how beloved and timeless those things are. When looking at what to do next with lego star wars, it kind of went from there.”

Batman Launch and Defend Batmobile Remote Control Vehicle from Spin Master. Launch Batman into action with the Launch and Defend Batmobile RC! This sleek 1:16 scale Batman remote control vehicle includes an exclusive 4-inch Batman action figure that you can launch right out of the cockpit!

Hasbro moving most outbound licensing to its local offices globally. Hasbro is shifting the focus of outbound licensing of its heritage brands as well as those it took on when it bought Entertainment One (eOne) last year to local offices, eliminating “most” agents, Marianne James, VP Consumer Products EMEA, said during a press briefing in conjunction with Festival of Licensing.

Licensing Special – Space mission: How Moonbug Entertainment’s rocketing success is disrupting the pre-school space. It may be highly competitive, it may even be getting a little bit crowded at times, but there’s one thing that the pre-school sector hasn’t become in recent years – particularly now, as audiences shift their viewing habits and the means in which they engage with it – and that is, a done deal.

ViacomCBS launches major UK merchandising programme for Blues Clues & You! Building upon the momentum of the successful debut of Blue’s Clues & You!, the reimagined Nick Jr. pre-school series, ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) has confirmed a raft of partners for the hit show in the UK. The news supports the launch of a major licensing programme for the property …

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time Launches with New Licensing Program. Last week saw the big release for Crash BandicootTM 4: It’s About Time – a true sequel to the iconic, original Crash BandicootTM trilogy. Now, fans can WUMP to the next level and celebrate the Crash franchise’s big moment through a wide range of all-new licensing programs …

From pop to play: pop culture merch makers are breaking into kids’ toys. After successfully breaking into the collectibles space — a product category focused on fan conventions, licensing deals, and limited-edition action figures — some pop culture-focused companies are expanding their offerings beyond collectibles made for teens and adults and into the toy aisle.

(the above posted after October 16th)

Tomy named master toy licensee for Disney, Locksmith Animation’s ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’. TOMY International is prepping a new line of toys based on Ron’s Gone Wrong, an upcoming animated feature from Locksmith Animation that will be released by Disney’s 20th Century Studios. Ron’s Gone Wrong is the story of an unpopular tween named Barney who is introduced to walking, talking, digitally connected devices called...

Licensing Special: Products of Change and the sustainability of toys. From a staple of the licensing and merchandising industry to becoming the face for the sweeping change rumbling through it and the minds of consumers across the UK, Helena Mansell Stopher is the director of Products of Change, a platform on a mission to bring sustainability into the heart of the consumer products space.

Big G Creative brings Kraft Heinz to the game aisle. Big G Creative is bringing some classic foods to the game aisle with a new Kraft Heinz Variety Game Pack, featuring fun packaging based on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Heinz Ketchup, and JELL-O. The trio of family-friendly games are designed for kids ages 8 and up, and they all require two or more players for approximately 20 minutes of gameplay each.

Netflix takes Lumistella’s elf beyond the shelf. Netflix has signed a seven-figure deal to develop original TV and film content based on the Elf on the Shelf brand from Atlanta-based publisher The Lumistella Company. Under the deal, Netflix will create animated and live-action programming aimed at preschoolers and families based on Lumistella’s portfolio of brands, including Elf on the Shelf, Elf Pets and Elf Mates.

‘Crash Bandicoot 4’ unleashes licensing program. New partners have been announced for the recently released title of “Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time” – a true sequel to the  original “Crash Bandicoot” trilogy. Now, fans can WUMP to the next level and celebrate the Crash franchise’s big moment through a wide range of new licensed products including apparel, art, collectibles and more.

Playmobil reveals ‘Scooby Doo!’ ‘Countdown to Halloween’. Playmobil has announced that fans of “Scooby Doo!” can now watch an official "Countdown to Halloween" for the entire month of October. The event will include a mausoleum, a myriad of Halloween-themed movies, music, arts and crafts and interactive games all playable on television sets.

Zag inks new licensing agent for ‘Miraculous,’ ‘Power Players’ in Australasia. Licensing for popular ZAG Heroez characters is expanding into Australia and New Zealand. Merchantwise Licensing will act as the agent for Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir and Power Players in the region.

 

People . . . 

TALKING GAMES WITH PEGGY BROWN ON THE ‘POWER KID PODCAST’ - Brown has written books, taught classes, and worked with the world’s best toy, game, and entertainment companies creating products that have been sold around the world. She was named Game Innovator of the Year at the 2009 TAGIE Awards, and this year she’s nominated again for her work on three recent titles:  My First Rush Hour (ThinkFun); and Bye...

Devolver brings in head of licensing to put Fall Guys 'on the licensing map'Devolver Digital has named former Dunlop Sports licensing manager Fee Heyer as its new head of licensing. The publisher explained Heyer will specifically lead its licensing efforts on Fall Guys, and will use their "deep bench of experience in consumer products and brand extensions" to further bolster the Fall Guys brand.

Obituary: Ian Cuthbert. Ian spent many years in the toy industry, where he occupied key roles on both the retail and supply side of the industry. Born and bred in Lancashire, Ian spent much of his career in the North West, including stints at HTI and Sambro. He was widely recognized as being an astute judge of toy product – a toy man through and through.

Riot Games hires first ever chief marketing officerJason Bunge joined Riot Games as its first ever chief marketing officer, the League of Legends developer announced today. Bunge joined from Electronic Arts, where he spent the last five years, most recently as senior vice president of global brand management and marketing.

Sequin Art appoints Gemma Asplen and John Sutton to director roles in move to drive growth. The toy and crafts manufacturer, Sequin Art has appointed Gemma Asplen and John Sutton as its two new directors. Asplen has been promoted from the position of general manager, while Sutton was previously its head of sales. The pair will now lead the team to drive its growth over the coming years.

Blizzard vets form Frost Giant Studios. A pair of former Blizzard developers today announced Frost Giant Studios, their new company focused on making real-time strategy games for a broader audience than the genre has historically enjoyed. Frost Giant is co-founded by Tim Morten and Tim Campbell.

Funko appoints Malcolm Ottley as VP of Sales. Funko EMEA has announced the appointment of former Hasbro senior director, Malcolm Ottley, as vice president of sales. After 10 years at Hasbro, most notably as sales director, leading and coaching large sales teams across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Malcolm will play a major strategic role heading up the sales department at Funko EMEA.

Ravensburger bolsters sales team with former Cartamundi UK exec Giuseppe Insogna. Ravensburger has bolstered its sales team with the appointment of Giuseppe Insogna who takes up the role of national account manager with the games and puzzles specialist. The former MGA Entertainment, Wow! Stuff, and Cartamundi UK executive brings with him ten years’ worth experience in the field, and takes up his role ...

Jeff Garb joins Diverse Marketing as Northeast Regional Sales Manager. Diverse Marketing is expanding its reach by adding seasoned sales vet Jeff Garb as its northeast regional sales manager. For more than 30 years, Garb led his own company, Jeff Garb & Associates, gaining acclaim for servicing the toy and gift industries throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic States.

(the above posted after October 16th)

In memoriam Satish Pillalmarri, Co-President of North Star Games. On the 9th October, Satish lost his battle with cancer. He was beloved by so many of us in the toy and game industry. And with good reason. Small in stature, but a giant of a man. Shabash Satish. This reflection by Luke Warren.

TALKIN’ TOYS: EAGLEMOSS HERO COLLECTOR EXPANDS ITS U.S. REACH. Over the past 45 years, Eaglemoss has grown from a leading publisher of subscription-based partwork collections into a multifaceted publisher and maker of officially licensed books, toys, collectibles, and crafts. For some insight into where the company is headed, the Toy Book caught up with Matthew Buss, national director of retail sales at Eaglemoss Hero...

Golden Bear expands team with new hires. Becs Henchey, Tracy Griffiths and Saskia Hamilton join Golden Bear as the company enters the next stage of its expansion plans. Golden Bear is expanding its 50-strong team in Telford with the recruitment of three key members of staff who will help to drive further growth over the coming years.

Azure Media expands team with new hire. Azure Media has announced a new addition to its expanding AV team with the recruitment of Natalie Christy. Natalie joins Azure Media having spent the past five years working at Disney Media Sales and Partnerships, and brings with her a wealth of experience across the media and toy sectors.

Buyer Emma Carden joins BargainMax.co.ukBargainMax.co.uk, the specialist online discount toy retailer, has announced the appointment of Emma Carden as its new buyer. The online retailer, which yesterday unveiled the results of a survey on the top toy brands for Christmas, has enjoyed a stellar year, seeing impressive growth on its website in the last quarter, with sales up 118% and profit up 148% on last year.

Unknown number of layoffs at GameSpot following Red Ventures deal. An unknown number of GameSpot employees have been laid off following its acquisition by Red Ventures. GameSpot senior social producer Ashley Oh, branded content editor Will Fulton, Australian editor and senior video producer Edmond Tran, host and producer Jess McDonell, and producer Tony Wilson all announced their departures on Twitter...

Fonda Snyder to take Battat beyond toys. The former Disney Channel, Cookie Jar and Alchemy Ink alum is joining the toyco to adapt its brands for TV and films. Former 9 Story Media Group and Disney Channel alum Fonda Snyder has joined Montreal toyco Battat as EVP of its newly formed entertainment division. Snyder will lead creative development, packaging and production on adaptations of Battat’s toy brands...

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Companies . . . 

Mattel turns Pennywise and The Grady Twins into Monster High-style dolls.  Just in time for HalloweenMattel has teamed up with Warner Bros. Consumer Products for limited-edition Skullector Dolls based on Pennywise from the 2019 supernatural movie IT Chapter Two, and the Grady Twins from the 1980 horror classic The Shining. Reimagined through the scary-cool filter of Mattel’s fashion doll brand Monster High...

Ryan Reynolds Reportedly Eyed For Hasbro's MASK Movie.  Hasbro are determined to launch a cinematic universe based on their extensive range of toy lines, even if the experiment has brought decidedly mixed results so far. Michael Bay’s Transformers films may have raked in billions of dollars at the box office, but reviews were never exactly kind & takings dropped by over $500 million between Age of Extinction and The Last...

Hasbro's eOne Takes Charge for 'Power Rangers' Reinvention.  he Power Rangers are on the cusp of yet another reinvention for both film and television. Hasbro‘s entertainment studio, Entertainment One (eOne) hired producer/director Jonathan Entwistle (Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This) to lead the development of new Power Rangers projects across both formats. “This is an unbelievable opportunity to deliver new Power...

Luki Labs to reveal new STEM toys at the Toy Insider’s Holiday Of Play. Luki Lab, the direct-to-consumer division of Strottman International, is launching new toys at the Toy Insider‘s Holiday of Play @ Home. Gujo Adventure and Pinxies are STEM-authenticated creative building brands that are designed to inspire “epic adventures and imaginative exploration.” Additionally, the company will debut its new game, Clawsome!

Educational Insights launches Circuit Explorer with Emily Calandrelli. Educational Insights is launching a new toy into the stratosphere and the star of Netflix’s Emily’s Wonder Lab, Emily Calandrelli, will help. Attendees of the Toy Insider‘s Holiday of Play will be able to learn about the new line direct from Calandrelli!

More heroes join 'Pathfinder Battles Deep Cuts'. Five new character packs are planned for WizKid’s Pathfinder Battles Deep Cuts line of unpainted miniatures, including two Halflings, an Elf, and two Humans, all scheduled for release in March. Each pack comes with a pair of miniatures representing a “low level” and “high level” version of the same character.

Craft Buddy expands European toy retailer network. Following the recent announcement regarding the company’s distribution outlet expansion in the UK, Craft Buddy can confirm a new retail partnership with two of Germany’s biggest toy retailers – Müller Handels & Co.KG and Rofu Kinderland Spielwarenhandels.

Scuttle Bugs and Scramble Bugs from Mookie Toys launch in the U.S. Hot off the heels of an unprecedented summer in the UK, the best-selling and award-winning ride-on toys Scramblebug and Scuttlebug have landed in the United States. Originally launched in 2014, Scuttle Bugs and Scramble Bugs have been evergreen products for Mookie Toys, the largest supplier of outdoor toys in the UK.

America’s no. 1 card game goes green with Uno Nothin’ But Paper. Mattel Games‘ UNO Nothin’ But Paper is a cellophane-free, 100% recyclable version of the classic matching game. All decks and packaging are crafted from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials and use soy-based ink to produce the vibrant colors that UNO decks are known for.

Wild beasts roam into 'Wizkids Deep Cuts'. WizKids will release three new packs of wild animals as part of its WizKids Deep Cuts unpainted miniatures line in March:  the Saber-Toothed Tiger, Dolphins, and Hyenas. The Deep Cuts line features highly-detailed unpainted miniatures suitable for table-top gaming.  The models have deeper-than-average sculpted details to simplify painting.

Wizards of the Coast Extends 'Magic: The Gathering' in-store play suspension till January. Wizards of the Coast updated the status of its in-store organized play in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has extended its in-store play suspension of Magic: The Gathering events till January. WotC had recently announced a continued suspension of in-store play through November 11, but now, it looks like they have their eye...

WOWWEE, PINKFONG PLOT BABY SHARK ‘FINFEST’ INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER EVENT. On Saturday, Oct. 24, WowWee and Pinkfong are bringing popular influencers together to celebrate the launch of the Pinkfong Baby Shark Dancing DJ. WowWee’s latest Baby Shark toy is featured as a Hot 20 pick in the Toy Insider’s 15th annual Holiday Gift Guide and features seven songs and three dance games that encourage kids to get moving...

My Little Pony and Transformers mash-up revealed by Hasbro. The Equestria universe continues to get bigger as a new My Little Pony crossover figure has arrived. After the iconic Transformers crash land of the humble world of Equestrian, the Matrix of Friendship turns the Optimus Prime into someone more adorable with My Little Prime. The My Little Pony and Transformers figure unites two fandoms into one …

Hamleys set to cut over 25% of London staff. Hamleys has announced plans to cut more than a quarter of its employees at its London location, as it struggles to cope with the impact of Covid-19. The toy retailer has confirmed that 60 of the 208 staff working at the Regent Street store, as well as Hamleys’ nearby head office, have accepted redundancy as part of a programme to cut back on expenditure.

This touchscreen digital board game table is rage flip resistant and has tons of Hasbro games. In just a few years’ time Arcade1Up has managed to make a name for itself with a collection of DIY, Ikea-like arcade cabinets perfect for retro gaming collectors with limited space. The company is now targeting board game fans too with its new Infinity Game Table that lets players crowd around a giant touchscreen to...

ZURU unleashes Oosh Hairy Slime for Halloween and beyond. Just in time for Halloween, ZURU is unleashing a fresh batch of slime that’s squishy, fuzzy, and mega-stretchy while packed with all kinds of creepy critters. Designed for kids ages 4 and up, ZURU’s patent-pending OOSH Hairy Slime appears in the Toy Insider’s 15th annual Holiday Gift Guide as a hot holiday pick for kids ages 5-7. 

Pop culture retailer Geek Retreat to open 100 new stores across the UK amid rise of the gaming sceneThe UK’s geek culture retailer, Geek Retreat, has detailed its plans to open 100 new stores on high streets across the country over the space of the next two years, part of its own plans to ‘breathe new life into town centers.’ The move follows the rapid rise in the popularity of the pop culture scene among consumers today.

L.O.L. Surprise Movie Maker lets you create videos on mobile devicesL.O.L. Surprise is one of the biggest toy brands in the world, with a slew of dolls and accessories to collect. While the brand’s new L.O.L. Remix toys are themed after music, a new L.O.L. Surprise mobile application focuses on a different kind of entertainment: making movies.

Exploding Kittens announces 'A Game of Cat & Mouth'.

Exploding Kittens announced A Game of Cat & Mouth, a magnetic pinball-adjacent game, for release on February 21. A Game of Cat & Mouth is a magnet-powered pinball-adjacent game where players hurl colorful balls through a cat's mouth.

Games Workshop unveils two new 'Warhammer 40,000' Spae Marines kitsGames Workshop unveiled Hammerfall Bunker and Primaris Techmarine, two new Space Marines kits for Warhammer 40,000, for release on October 24. Hammerfall Bunkers are classic fortifications featuring heavy artillery to allow Space Marines to unleash brutal firepower where most needed.

Hachette Boardgames will release 'Candy Lab' into the U.S. retail marketHachette Boardgames will release Candy Lab, a candy-packing game by Funnyfox, into the U.S. retails market in October. In Candy Lab, players vie for the title of Master Confectioner as they pack prize candies into candy bar combinations.

Legend Story Studios adds 'Flesh and Blood' TCG distribution partners for Canada and Europe. Legend Story Studios (LSS) announced that it has added new distributors to make Flesh and Blood TCG available across Canada and Europe on November 6. LSS has had a busy 2020, taking their Flesh and Blood TCG from New Zealand to the global stage.

New Disney holiday doll series debuts starring ArielHappy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Happy Kwanza! The upcoming holiday season is fast approaching, and plenty of Disney fans are already starting to celebrate in their own ways. 2020 has been a rollercoaster, so we’re welcoming any holiday traditions or decorations that make you feel good!

Bushiroad will release 'Weiss Schwarz' 'Magia Record' setBushiroad will release Magia Record  Booster Packs and Trial Deck+ for Weiss Schwarz on February 26, 2021. Magia Record  is a popular smartphone game spin-off of the 2011 anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Booster Packs from this set feature 100 types of cards which include 22 types of parallels.

Creators of tabletop party game Things… launch new mobile appQuinn & Sherry, Inc. and PlayMonster  LLC, creators of Things…, the hilarious, award winning party game, announce the launch of the Things…mobile app. With virtual play at its peak, the app will now allow friends and family to play Things… wherever and whenever they want, taking game night to the next level!

Caterpillar builds huge Pac-Man maze to celebrate game's 40th anniversary  Caterpillar constructed a larger-than-life Pac-Man board and released a video that shows Caterpillar vehicles negotiating the 151-corner Pac-Man game board, the Journal Star of Peoria reported, Caterpillar employees needed more than a week to construct the maze, moving 5,000 tons of dirt, the newspaper reported. The maze measures 162 feet...

Timeless Toys Chicago Names Top Holiday Toys for 2020. Timeless Toys, an independent toy store in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, has released their list of the top toys for the 2020 holiday season, which includes both new products as well as twists on classic favorites. This year’s top toys feature games and interactive toys that encourage education as well as movement that families want for the holidays this year that are...

Mattel's Hot Wheels Legends Tour Schedules a Joint Virtual Stop for the US, UK  This weekend, Hot Wheels fans and automotive enthusiasts in the UK can get in on the Hot Wheels Legends Tour for the first time ever. On Saturday, Oct. 24, a special U.S./UK joint virtual stop will take place as Mattel continues its search for the next real-life vehicle to be immortalized as a 1:64-scale die-cast vehicle created under the mantra of “built...

(the above posted after October 16th)

Toys and Tales recognised on global stage as TAGIE finalist. Australian independent retailer Toys and Tales has been recognized on the global stage in the Chicago Toy and Game Group's TAGIE Awards. The retailer is one of ten finalists in the Most Innovative Retailer Award and is the only Australian to make an appearance in the category. Owner Elizabeth Milford told Toy & Hobby Retailer that the business is thrilled to be...

Company Profile: IMC Toys - In 2018, IMC Toys made a name for itself in the blind, collectible and baby doll category with the launch of evergreen lines, Cry Babies and Cry Babies Magic Tears. In two years, their North American business experienced a more than 300% life in sales and 400 million media impressions, becoming a toy box staple. Now, with the launch of its latest line - VIP Pets - IMC aims to create a content...

Company Profile: Nesstoy - In 2017 NessToy first launched its brand, ArmoGear, aiming to make at-home laser tag possible an affordable option for families. The company sought to deliver a fully loaded and arcade-style version of laser tag that could be played anywhere, at any time, Laser Battle was born, and became a customer favorite, winning a 2018 Independent Toy Award from Toy Shop UK.

Lego unveils first addition to Mindstorms range in seven years. For over two decades, Lego Mindstorms has inspired those of all ages to test and build their confidence with technology through play. By combining the Lego building system with robotic and coding elements, builders can create anything they can imagine, while developing the STEM skills that 7 in 10 parents say are essential to their child’s future success.

Hasbro Named One of America’s Most JUST Companies by Forbes and JUST Capital. Today Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) was named one of America’s Most JUST Companies, recognized for its commitment to serving its workers, customers, communities, the environment and shareholders in the annual Forbes JUST 100 list published by Forbes and JUST Capital. The list is published annually to showcase the companies...

LEARNING RESOURCES GOES FROM A TO Z WITH ‘BUILDING SOMEONE AMAZING’ BRAND CAMPAIGN. Learning Resources has reached the halfway point in its monthlong “Building Someone Amazing” brand campaign. Launched on Oct. 1, the social media effort is highlighting 26 names from A to Z while encouraging participants to share and follow the unique traits that make someone amazing such as “Amazing, Artistic...

Pride over profit: How Wow! Stuff is leading the exciting new wave of toy innovators (and revolutionising sustainable toys). Separated by the miles between us, yet sitting face to face Zoom-style with the Wow! Stuff CEO Richard North, sustainability within the toy industry has become the major topic of conversation. The toy and gadget entrepreneur is deep into another one of his mantras; having us picture him on his deathbed,

Revell to supply Carrera brand to UK and Ireland retail from January 2021. Revell has confirmed that it will be supplying the renowned Carrera brand to UK and Ireland retailers from next year. This is the latest development for the toy brand following its acquisition by Revell owner, Quantum Capita Partners.

Kids Insights expands its children’s market intelligence operations into Russia and China. This week marks yet further international expansion for the kids market intelligence specialist, Kids Insights, as the group takes its services into the Russian and Chinese markets. The creation of Kids Insights Russia and Kids Insights China follows the launch of the brand into Australia and Canada back in July.

Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Celebrates X-Men 20th Anniversary With The Best Movies & Comics Figures. This year, the X-Men film franchise, under the now-defunct 20th Century Fox, reached its 20th birthday and as the greatest celebration to the franchise that has entertained us with modern classics over the past two decades, including X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Deadpool ...

'Catan: Starfarers 5-6 Players Extension' is coming soon to retail stores. Catan Studios announced that Catan: Starfarers 5-6 Players Extension, for use with Catan: Starfarers, is coming to retail in Q4. This extension to the Catan: Starfarers base game adds up to two additional players. It also adds new player pieces, motherships, and additional space sectors …

Wizkids unveils 'Starfinder Battles: Planets of Peril' miniatures set. WizKids unveiled Starfinder Battles: Planets of Peril miniatures set for release in March 2021. The base product for Planets of Peril is a miniatures set of 32 new Starfinder Battles figures for use with Starfinder RPG. Each miniature comes pre-painted and features a highly-detailed plastic sculpt.

Scout Comics launches Tracker Collectibles. Scout Comics & Entertainment, Inc. announced the launch of Tracker Collectibles, a new collectible toy company. Scout is joining forces with Peter Goral, creator of the Phantom Starkiller and Count Draco Knuckleduster brands, who will spearhead Tracker Collectibles as CEO and head of Scout's new merchandise division.

Gargants thunder their way across on the 'Warhammer: Age of Sigmar' landscape. Games Workshop announced Battletome: Sons of Behemat as well as four Gargant miniature kits, for use with Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, that will hit stores on October 17. Gargants have arrived to rip down castle walls and reshape the Age of Sigmar landscape in the wake of their giant footsteps.

Leapfrog launches ‘Blue’s Clues & You!’ line. Kids can nurture their love of learning with their favorite pal from Nickelodeon with LeapFrog‘s new Blue’s Clues & You line of toys. The remake of Blue’s Clues has a whole new generation of preschoolers discovering clues and learning in every episode. With the new toys that go with the show, kids will play along with the series with a variety of different products.

eOne takes the reins on Hasbro’s content efforts. Hasbro and Entertainment One are saddling up for a new era together, starting with My Little Pony. Following its acquisition by Hasbro in December 2019, eOne has been appointed as the toyco’s global entertainment arm, with responsibility for content and distribution moving forward.

Braille Skateboarding sees toy debut success as YouTube brand nears one million fingerboards sold. The leading skateboarding YouTube channel, Braille Skateboarding, is celebrating its foray into international toy aisles, having found UK retail success with Smyths Toys Superstores and a global sell-through that sees it on track to hit one million fingerboards sold by the end of 2020. 

Waxwork Records brings Universal Monsters portfolio to the toys and collectables market. The US underground and pop culture company Waxwork Records has made its first foray into the toys and collectables market with the launch of Spinatures that kicks off with a partnership with Universal and the studio’s classic horror portfolio. Aimed at the adult collector market, the new Spinatures launch is a collection of highly...

Asmodee USA unveils 'No Mercy For Monsters' to hit U.S. retail in November. Asmodee USA unveiled No Mercy For Monsters, a cooperative family game, to hit U.S. retail on November 6. In No Mercy For Monsters, players take on the roles of kids who are attempting to prevent a monster invasion of their home while their family is out to dinner.

'Hunt A Killer' murder mystery scenario comes to U.S. retail. Hunt A Killer will release Hunt A Killer: Death at the Dive Bar, a murder mystery scenario, in Q4. In Hunt A Killer: Death at the Dive Bar, players investigate a murder at a local dive bar.

Cmon unveils another wave of House Baratheon miniatures for 'A Song Of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game'. CMON unveiled Baratheon Sentinels, Stag Knights, and Champions of the Stag, new miniatures expansion sets for A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game, into trade on November 13. The Baratheon Sentinels Unit Box features a simple and effective melee unit for House Baratheon commanders.

Ultra Pro unveils 'Florida Man' board gameUltra PRO unveiled Florida Man, a true or false guessing game by JJACKD Games, for release in November. Florida Man is making headlines again, and it's up to players to figure out which ones are true and which are false.

'Yu-Gi-Oh! Tcg' dives into a 'Blazing Vortex' of 'Armed Dragons'. Konami Digital Entertainment unveiled Blazing Vortex, a booster set for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, for release on February 5. Blazing Vortex adds 100 new cards to the mix, and it features a reimaged version of Chazz Princeton’s “Armed Dragon” cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX animated series.

Wham-O, Critical Content set to develop live-action content for TV including ‘Slip ‘N Slide Island’. The maker of iconic toys such as the Frisbee, Hula Hoop, and Slip ‘N Slide just inked a TV deal. Through a pack with Critical Content, properties from Wham-O will be developed into live-action TV content starting with Slip ‘N Slide Island (working title).  The unscripted competition series will posit contestants against one …

Disney is doubling down on direct-to-consumer. The Walt Disney Company has announced a strategic reorganization of its media and entertainment segments in order to accelerate its streaming efforts. The new structure will see the company focus on developing and producing original content for its streaming services as fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect its parks, experiences and products...

Kidz Toyz Launches Full Line of Blue’s Clues & You! Musical Instruments. What’s better than Blue and Josh making music on the hit Nickelodeon show, Blue’s Clues & You!? Children making music along with them. Nickelodeon and Kidz Toyz HK have partnered to create fun-filled music with keyboards, drum sets, ukuleles, and the famous guitar that Josh plays in every episode.

Pay $150 for an artist’s Magic 8-Ball? For the new Mattel Creations, ‘it is certain.’  Mattel, the $4 billion toy giant, has launched Mattel Creations, an e-commerce and content site for grown-up toy collectors with an avid appreciation of Mattel’s rich 75-year history, from Barbie to Chatty Cathy to Hot Wheels to Slime to Masters of the Universe and more. “We’re going to feature limited-edition, curated items—collaborations with amazing pop-culture artists, both past and present—and really offer a peek into the creative process,” says Mattel president Richard Dickson in a phone interview...

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

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.’s PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle chomps its way onto Stadia. BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. today announced PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle, arriving exclusively on Stadia. Square off against 63 other players and become the last PAC-MAN standing as everyone chomps and winds their way through the largest multiplayer PAC-MAN game ever developed.

Ubisoft Connect announced as a 'refreshed' replacement for Uplay and Ubisoft Club. It seems that 2020 is the year of platform rebrands. Following in the footsteps of EA’s rebranding of Origin, Assassin’s Creed publisher Ubisoft has announced that Uplay and the reward program Ubisoft Club are being dissolved into an entirely new tool: Ubisoft Connect.

Roblox player spending passes $2 billion on mobile. Player spending has passed $2 billion in Roblox on mobile, according to new estimates from Sensor Tower. Despite the App Store version of Roblox launching almost eight years ago, with the Android version following in 2014, half of all player spending was in the last 12 months.

Fortnite on PC is now over 60GB smaller, thanks to Epic optimization. Fortnite on PC has shrunk considerably, down from over 90GB to just under 30GB, thanks to recent optimizations from developer Epic. The news, detailed yesterday in a Fortnite update note posted to the game’s service Twitter account, means the battle royale hit will now take up far less space on your computer’s drive

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Among Us game watched by 400,000. A live stream of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playing the popular game Among Us has become one of the most-watched videos on Twitch. More than 400,000 viewers made it the third-highest peak on record for the the game-streaming platform. She appealed to gamers to join her online “to get out the vote” ahead of the US election.

One-third of US gamers surveyed plan to buy a next-gen console this year. In a note to investors, Baird senior research analyst Colin Sebastian said the survey of nearly 1,000 US consumers showed stronger-than-anticipated demand for the new systems, with 18% of respondents planning to pick up a PS5 this year, 13% wanting to get an Xbox Series X, and 5% intending to buy an Xbox Series S.

HyperX’s $149.99 Cloud II Wireless is among the most comfortable headsets I’ve worn. The HyperX new Cloud II Wireless headset is made for people who want simple controls, barely-there comfort, and solid sound quality. This model is just a wire-free version of the company’s $100 flagship Cloud II gaming headset. It uses a 2.4GHz wireless receiver that works with PCs, the PS4 — and likely the PS5, when that is released...

Super Impulse expands miniature electronic arcade lineupSuper Impulse expands their electronic arcade lineup this fall with new releases and innovative technology. Created with both the nostalgic adult and the 21st century gamer in mind, Super Impulse has a roster of miniature arcades with play appeal for the masses.

Google launches free Stadia game demos to entice people into cloud gaming. Google is launching a series of Stadia game demos that are truly free to play. Starting today, existing or new Stadia users will be able to play demos of Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle, with more coming later this week. These will be available for seven days and won’t require a Stadia Pro subscription or even a form of payment to play them.

(the above posted after October 16th)

These are the Xbox Series X games that will include next-gen optimizations at launch. Microsoft is revealing a “selection” of new and cross-gen Xbox Series X games that will be available at launch with optimizations for both the Series X and Series S consoles. While the company isn’t revealing exactly what will be optimized in every title, we should expect to see a mixture of improvements including better load times and...

Survey: 35% of gamers have a subscription service. Marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners released a report titled "The Global Gaming Study: The Future of Subscriptions" suggesting that subscription gaming services have already been embraced by a significant chunk of the market, but have plenty of room to grow.

Twitch continues to lead in game streaming, but YouTube and Facebook are growing. In 2020, the growth of streaming has accelerated. According to the latest data from Streamlabs, the streaming industry has grown some 91.8% year-over-year, with 7.46 billion hours of content watched across all the major platforms.
‘PAC-MAN GEO’ from Bandai Namco Entertainment Is Now Rolling Out Worldwide on iOS and Android. PAC-MAN GEO (Free) from Bandai Namco Entertainment was recently revealed as a geographical entertainment game for iOS and Android. It is built using the Google Maps platform and is aiming to be a geographical information experience inside a game. Information from Google Maps will be used to let players create their own stages …

Blue’s World of Warcraft themed Yeti mic has voice filters to make you sound like an orc. Logitech subsidiary Blue Microphones has announced a new World of Warcraft special edition of its Yeti X microphone. As well as a gold-and-gray color scheme inspired by the MMORPG, the USB microphone also includes a host of audio samples taken from the game’s upcoming Shadowlands expansion and voice modulation…

Unity launches Game Growth Program. Unity has announced it is launching the Game Growth Program, an accelerator program focused on mobile free-to-play titles made by independent studios. The program will provide chosen developers with access to technology, resources, and funding for user acquisition to scale their games, alongside a team of Unity developers.

Analyst predicts Switch will outsell PS5, Xbox Series X/S this Christmas. Nintendo Switch is likely to be the best-selling console in the US during the all-important holiday season. That's according to games industry analyst Mat Piscatella of the NPD Group, who posted a list of predictions for the end of year period to the group's website.

Ni No Kuni dev Level-5 winds down North American presence. Level-5 has reportedly wound down its game development efforts in the West, with a recent GamesIndustry report revealing that both Level-5 Interational America and Level-5 Abby have lost most of their workforce to layoffs in the last year.

Amazon cancels free-to-play shooter Crucible. The development team behind Crucible, Amazon Game Studios’ effort to break into the free-to-play multiplayer shooter genre, announced Friday evening it would halt development of the game after years of work. Amazon has been attempting a push into video game development with limited success thus far and Crucible’s cancellation is another setback for the company.

Razer’s first gaming chair is a curvier Secretlab Omega / Titan with fancy lumbar support. For its very first gaming chair, it looks like Razer decided to largely copy one of today’s oft-cited favorites: the new $499 Razer Iskur is a dead ringer for the similarly-priced Secretlab Omega and Titan. You can compare the design, the recline mechanism, the stitching — heck, just look at those nigh-identical 4D armrests below...

Staff say Twitch has a chronic problem with racism, sexism, and indifference. “Nobody ever really took responsibility for anything and there was nobody to go to if you were threatened, or felt threatened, or were harmed in some way.” One of several Twitch employees speaking to GamesIndustry argues that reports of inappropriate behavior weren't properly handled during their time at Twitch.

Gaming will be a frontline in China's censorship drive | Opinion. China's censorious tendencies have begun to creep overseas through commercial pressure, and games companies are in the authorities' sights.

Report: Microsoft will deploy browser workaround to bring Game Pass to iOS. Microsoft will bring Xbox Game Pass to iOS devices by implementing a "direct browser-based solution," according to leaked comments from Xbox chief Phil Spencer. As reported by Business Insider, which spoke with "two people with direct knowledge of [Spencer's] comments," the Xbox boss explained that Game Pass will "absolutely end…

 

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles . . . 

Jakks Pacific recalls 'Skate & Skoot' scooters due to fall hazard, will provide replacement handlebar. Jakks Pacific recalled its MorfBoard Skate & Scoot Combo scooters with “Y” handlebars due to a risk that the “Y” handlebar joint on the scooter can break, posing a fall hazard. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the recall affects about 162,300 scooters, which were sold nationwide from February...

York Jersey: Be Reassured When Your Toys Are Insured - Just as important as toys are to building blocks of childhood, so too is product liability insurance (PLI), to toy makers. Though far less fun, PLI proivides financial stability to toy manufacturers so they can keep creating new and innovative toys for our youngest generation. All major USA retailers (including Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Costco), require...

EU Commission adopts new chemicals strategy towards toxic-free environment. The European Commission on Wednesday adopted the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. The Strategy is the first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal. This includes prohibiting the use of the most harmful chemicals in consumer products such as toys …

New BTHA report finds unsafe toys are still being sold via 3P online sellers. ‘Don’t Toy With Children’s Safety’, a new report for MPs, reveals more than half of the toys tested from online marketplaces could cause serious injury or death to children. Despite repeated warnings from the British Toy and Hobby Association, unsafe toys, which could cause serious harm to children, are reportedly still being sold via third-party...

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Press Releases . . .

Dynacraft Introduces Clifford The Big Red Dog and Snoopy to Plush Ride-On Lineup. Universal Branding & Media has brought two of the most famous dogs to the Dynacraft wheeled goods line up for Holiday 2020. Clifford The Big Red Dog is a childhood favorite for over 55 years and Dynacraft is proud to showcase him within their successful plush ride on format. Dynacraft is proud to team up with Scholastic to bring Clifford...

Pinfinity Taps The Brand Liaison for Augmented Reality Collectables. he Brand Liaison will help Pinfinity continue to attract leading licensed properties and bring best in class licensors which will strengthen their position as the new face of the collectible pin world. Pinfinity has announce a partnership with The Brand Liaison that will make the agency its licensing agent. The Brand Liaison is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a...

Centa IP has been officially named as the licensing agent for pocket.watch's Love, Diana franchise for Australia and New Zealand. The licensing firm has been named as the agent for the property in the ANZ region following the success of the Ryan's World franchise. Centa has hit the ground running on the project, with 11 Australian licensing partners already signed on to produce an array of consumer products. Centa IP...

Endless Games gets "deal" for the home version of the current hit ABC-TV Game Show, Card Sharks, hosted by funnyman Joel McHale. The officially licensed Card Sharks Game (MSRP $24.99 for 3 or more players ages 14+) brings all of the fun of the show into your home for friends and family to play together. To play Card Sharks, players have to first, try to answer a tough polling guess-timate question, and the...

(the above posted after October 16th)

Spin Master, in Association with Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures, Announces Star-Studded Voice Talent For Paw Patrol® Animated Motion Picture. Kim Kardashian West, Dax Shepard ("Chips", "Idiocracy"), Jimmy Kimmel, Tyler Perry ("The Star"), Yara Shahidi ("Black-ish"), Randall Park ("Fresh Off The Boat", "The Interview"), Iain Armitage ("Young Sheldon"), Marsai Martin ("Black-ish"), and Will Brisbin  ("Forbidden Playground") have joined the voice cast of the film, which is currently in production with creators, artists and producers...

University Games Murder Mystery Party Case Files available now! Local authorities are enlisting the public’s help today to solve the cold case murder of famed winemaker Cary Underwood of Underwood Cellars. Underwood disappeared 25 years ago, and a murder scene was uncovered after the Napa earthquake. Bob Moog, Chief Investigator of University Games said, “there are over 50 pieces of evidence waiting to be...

Hasbro today announced the launch of the NERF House sequel - NERF House X, a high energy digital series featuring renowned athletes including Julian Edelman, Klay Thompson and Sky Brown along with musician Diplo and the Mayor of Flavortown, Guy Fieri. Jointly produced by Julian Edelman’s production company (Coast Productions) and his business partner Assaf Swissa's creative studio (Superdigital), the series... 

Hasbro Children's Hospital Completes New Healing Garden and Playground. he space was made possible by donor support and generous gifts to the Every Child, Every Day campaign, and partners Starlight Children's Foundation, CVS Pharmacy, Colgate-Palmolive Company, and TerraCycle. "We know there's a correlation between spending time outside and the healing journey for children – that a place for respite brings... 

Colorado-Based Yoee Baby Sees Early Success at Target.com. The revolutionary baby toy continues to see steady business growth and garner admiration from parents and scientists alike. Yoee Baby, the award-winning interactive baby toy designed for playing together from Day One, recently surpassed another milestone by joining Target’s online marketplace.

Jabuka Adapts for Hybrid and Homeschool Edu-tainment.  School isn’t exactly the same this year. So, while innovative teaching methods become the norm, why shouldn’t a twisted letter game become a home school goto? “Well, we were looking to build the ‘buzz’ about our new word game, but we hadn’t really intended for Jabuka to become a school supply,” quipped Martin Russocki, inventor of JABUKA. 

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

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

London Toy Fair 2021, originally scheduled to take place from 19th-21st January, has been cancelled. A statement from the BTHA, sent exclusively to Toy World, reads as follows: “We have been working closely with Olympia London and we have together taken the decision that despite all best efforts and endeavours by both parties, regrettably the Toy Fair 2021 is unable to take place. This conclusion is due to gov...

BTHA 2020 Toy Retailer of the Year Awards to celebrate altruism and innovation in the year of Covid-19. Innovation and altruism will be at the heart of the 2020 Toy Retailer of the Year Awards this time around, as the BTHA outlines the theme of Special Recognition in areas above and beyond normal service. The change up to the Awards has been made in light of the events of the year, and the efforts that retailers have gone...

Costume giants Rubie’s opens digital doors of Nuremberg virtual showroom and tours. Giants of the costumes and dress up market, Rubie’s isn’t letting the postponed calendar of trade shows stop it from putting on a show early next year, as it prepares to open the digital doors of its 365 dedicated Nuremberg showroom with exclusive virtual tours and live appointments.

GAMA plans to expand role of non-manufacturer members. The GAMA (Game Manufacturers Association) board of directors updated members on its work on a revised set of bylaws at its October meeting, indicating that it was moving toward expanding the involvement of the trade.  Organized as an association of game producers, over the years GAMA has grown to include many retailer and wholesaler members...

All change for BTHA Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2020. In what has been an unprecedented year, the BTHA recognises that retailers have faced huge challenges and have gone above and beyond to keep business going through a tough climate. In light of this remarkable year, Special Recognition is the theme for the 2020 Toy Retailer of the Year Awards and recognition will be given to retailers that have done extraordinary...

(the above posted after October 16th)

ICV2 ANNOUNCES ICV2 INSIDER TALKS 2020 - LIVESTREAM - a virtual event for professionals in the business of geek culture with data, strategies and inspiration for the COVID era, on October 28 and 29, the company announced.  "The times are challenging, but both hobby games and comics and graphic novels are proving to be surprisingly resilient due to the creativity and inventiveness of the response," ICv2 CEO Milton...

Gibsons to host virtual trade show. With many 2021 trade shows now cancelled or postponed as a result of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, Gibsons has announced it will be hosting its own virtual event in 2021. The virtual show will take the form of an online conference and will give buyers the opportunity to partake in a private showcase of Gibsons’ new products releases, have one-to-one meetings with the Gibsons team...

Kidscreen Summit 2021 goes virtual. Due to the ongoing pandemic, Kidscreen's annual event will take place online from February 8 to March 5, putting business networking front and center. The event kicks off with a market week focused on bringing the industry together to do business. There will be scheduled pitching opportunities, several networking formats, discussions, mentoring, screenings, expert advice...

January Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair postponed. Following consultation with industry representatives and key stakeholders, it has been decided that the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and the Baby Products Fair will now be held in April. In a statement on the website, the show organiser, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said: “In view of the pandemic situation, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region... 

Giraffe Insights recognized as 2020 Achievement in Insight and Research Award Winner. The kids, youth and family specialist research agency Giraffe Insights has been awarded a 2020 Confirmit AIR (Achievement in Insight and Research) Award in the Project and Innovation category. The company says the recognition 'stands as a testament to Giraffe Insights’ dedication and success in delivering outstanding...

L.A. Comic-Con gets cancelled. L.A. Comic-Con has announced that it has cancelled its event rescheduled for December 11-13, 2020. This comes only a few weeks after the organizers declared that they would be the first in-person convention to happen in the state of California since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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Top Stories from Trade Magazines Worldwide this Week . . .

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media's (US)

1.The October 2020 Issue of TFE is Here 

2. Design Edge: A Year Without Travel

3. Toy Family Series: The Albert Family

4. The Toy Coach: Why the Global Pandemic is Evening Out the Toy Industry Playing Field

5. The Toy Association: Toys to Complement Home, Online, & Hybrid Learning 

6. 2021 New Product Preview

7. 2020 State of the Toy Industry 

8. Home is Where the Heart (and Work!) Is

9. Licensing International: A Cautious Holiday for Licenses and Toys

10. Company Profile: Nesstoy

Toyworld (UK) 

1.  Tier Four fears…it’s the Friday Blog!

2.  The Entertainer enters into exclusive partnership with Asda

3.  Toys return to Debenhams – and The Entertainer is behind the move

4.  January Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair postponed

5.  Hamleys reveals its top toys for Christmas

6.  Fanbytes explains how toy brands can go viral on TikTok

7.  Mattel announces new Thomas & Friends TV series

8.  September sales figures rise as consumers shop early for Christmas

9.  Read Toy World’s Mattel supplement online here

10.Smyths partners with GOSH Charity on exclusive Oscar Pop! Vinyl

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

 1.  Orcus, the Demon Prince of Undeath, Arrives in 'D&D Icons of the Realms'
  2.  Wizards of the Coast Bans a Valuable Mythic Rare From 'Zendikar Rising'
  3.  WizKids Will Release 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Goblin Warband'
  4.  WizKids Reveals 'Pathfinder Battles: Darklands Rising' Miniatures Set
  5.  WizKids Unveils 'Starfinder Battles: Planets of Peril' Miniatures Set
  6.  Hasbro President Retiring
  7.  Countdown to Christmas with the Gift of Random Metal Dice

  8.  Douglas Shuler's 'Demonic Tutor' 'Magic: The Gathering' Artwork Is Headed to The Heritage Auction Block
  9.  Rolling For Initiative -- It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Halloween (and Christmas)
10.  'Mengkare' Descends Upon 'Pathfinder Battles'

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month 

Toy & Hobby (Australia)

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

Video of the Week

Global Innovation Field Trip

Meet Jaz Darden, Director of our Young Inventor Challenge! If you know creative kids, there is still time to register them for our Young Inventor Challenge. Thank you to Mattel, Magformers, Hasbro and Goliath for making this event possible and inspiring kids across the globe! 

 

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