September 15 - 22, 2023
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
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POP Week is November 1st- 5th!
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People of the Week - Whitney and Alex Kimerling
Why the Name "Hootenanny Games" and More!
MC: Hi Whitney and Alex! Thank you for taking time during the busy 3rd and 4th quarter to share with us about your newest venture! Ok, right off the bat, I have to ask – what is a hootenanny?
AK: I knew this was going to be your first question! Most people in the South know this term well. It’s a term for a party with great music, some dancing, and definitely a lot of fun and laughter.
MC: What made you pick Hootenanny Games as your company name?
WK: Hootenanny is a term that we use regularly in our house. Whenever our kids pile in bed with us to watch cartoons on Saturday morning, we call that a hootenanny. Saturday night dance parties with all of us and the dog right in the middle – that’s a hootenanny, too. Some of our most fun times as a family invoke that word for us, and since our mission is to spark that type of joy for others, we thought Hootenanny Games fit the bill perfectly. Plus, it just makes you laugh when you say it.
MC: Tell me a little about the inaugural Hootenanny Games lineup that just launched.
AK: We really wanted to be deliberate about how we launched, and in doing that, we wanted to provide a lineup that covered a lot of bases – a board game, a card game, a dice game, and a party game. READ MORE...
“Right Brain Red” by Reyn Guyer with Tim Walsh is not only perfect for those looking to break into the toy and game industry, but for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. Guyer, who created Twister and NERF, shares his seven creative ideas for creative success, complete with personal anecdotes and historical stories to support his ideas.
With each idea Guyer presents comes a story, often more than one. In each story he demonstrates, with real life scenarios, how each tip fosters creative success. A wonderful storyteller, Guyer’s chapters serve also as an exposition on his creative life, with experience in marketing, toy and game design, song writing, music production, painting, and sculpting.
Guyer shares his wealth of knowledge while also telling the interesting story of his life.
With humility and exceptionally well written tips, Right Brain Red delivers the perfect inspiration and guidelines for creative entrepreneurial success. READ MORE Reviews...
Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile!
Cartoon of the Week: Thank you, Bob Fuhrer for the funny cartoon this week!
Lexophile Lovers: "Once you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall." Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers!
"The best games are those that teach us something new about ourselves and the world we live in." - Klaus Teuber, creator of Settlers of Catan
“The best way to lift one’s self up is to help someone else.” - Booker T. Washington
Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me! Mary
Financial and Legal
A surprise lawsuit sent shockwaves through the industry today as the FTC and 17 state attorneys filed a complaint against Amazon in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The suit alleges that the retail and tech giant “is a monopolist that uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power.” According to the FTC, it isn’t Amazon’s size that is of issue, but its “exclusionary conduct that prevents current competitors from growing and new competitors from emerging.”
***The above posted after September 22nd***
Elon Musk: Social media platform X, formerly Twitter, could go behind paywall. Elon Musk has suggested that all users of X, formerly called Twitter, may have to pay for access to the platform. In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the billionaire said a payment system was the only way to counter bots. "We're moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system," the Tesla...
Fortnite: Parents in US offered refunds for game purchases. Parents in the US whose children purchased items in the popular game Fortnite without their permission will be able to claim a refund from today. The US regulator accused the game of tricking players into making unintended purchases and breaching privacy. Fortnite developer Epic Games agreed to pay $245m (£198m) in refunds in 2022.
SAG-AFTRA: Strike authorization would provide "maximum leverage" against game companies. SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher has called on union members to support a strike authorization vote so its negotiators will have more leverage when dealing with game companies. The union, which represents a number of voice actors and performers in the game industry, wants members to bring the threat of strike...
Unity narrows controversial Runtime Fee policy. A week after announcing its upcoming Runtime Fee policy, and hours after promising tweaks were to come, Unity is said to be backtracking from the "major aspects" of its plan. Per Bloomberg, the company recently held an all-hands meeting where staff were informed it was now exploring changes, such as a 4 percent cap on potential fees.
Square Enix will "upgrade" old properties to triple-A games to boost portfolio. In the Q&A of a recent financial results briefing, Square Enix's Takashi Kiryu outlined plans to boost the developer's profitability. The recently-minted president explained that his main goal will concern the company's "HD Games" division that encompasses the likes of big triple-A fare like Final Fantasy XVI.
Wilko to close further 86 stores this week - is your local branch affected? Wilko is closing a further 86 stores after falling into administration - here is a full list of the branches closing this week. The retailer collapsed into administration last month, putting 400 shops and 12,500 workers at risk. The Range stepped in to rescue the Wilko brand, website and intellectual property but administrators at...
UK interest rate freeze ends run of 14 straight increases. In a surprise move, UK interest rates have been left unchanged after the Bank of England said price rises were slowing faster than expected. Interest rates were held at 5.25%, already their highest for 15 years. It comes after figures on Wednesday revealed an unexpected slowdown in inflation in August.
China economy: What anger over top influencer says about China today. One of China's most popular influencers has come under fire for dismissing a young follower's complaint over high makeup prices as "nonsense". Livestreamer Li Jiaqi's retort - that those who couldn't afford the 79 yuan ($11; £9) eyebrow pencil did not work "hard enough" - struck a raw nerve as China's youth struggle...
TikTok adds E-commerce. Powerful new competitor for live selling platforms. TikTok is adding e-commerce features, bringing its massive user base of over 150 million users in the U.S. to video selling, and competing with Whatnot, NTWRK, and other live selling platforms, the company announced. TikTok Shop, available from a Shop button on the app’s home screen, will allow users to buy products...
Apple to update iPhone 12 in France over radiation. Apple will update its iPhone 12 in France after fears about radiation, the country's digital minister says. Jean-Noel Barrot said Apple would deliver a software update for users in the country in the coming days. Sales of iPhone 12 were halted in France after a regulator detected too much electromagnetic radiation. Apple was told to fix the issue.
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IDW Publishing showed a loss of $1.28 million in its fiscal Q3 ended July 31, 2023, the result of lower sales coupled with higher expenses, a difficult combination. The loss was a big drop-off from the $595,000 loss in the year ago quarter, and from the $200,000 loss in the most recent quarter.
Japan's Toshiba set to end 74-year stock market history. Toshiba, one of Japan's oldest and biggest firms, is set to end its 74-year stock market history as a group of investors have bought a majority stake.
Trends, Lists, Market Research, and State of the Industry
***The above posted after September 22nd***
Disney and Pixar said their animated feature Elemental, starring Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie, has scored the biggest movie premiere of the year to date on Disney+, earning 26.4 million views in its first five days on the service.
U.S. video game spending still on the rise despite dip in hardware sales. Circana reported total U.S. video game year-to-date spending in August 2023 was 2% higher than last year at $34.9 billion. August 2023 U.S. consumer spending on video game content, hardware, and accessories totaled $4.2 billion, an increase of 3% when compared to August 2022.
Stories, Comments, and Advice
Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie’ Review: Sit, Roll Over, Save the World. In this sequel, the canine gang faces Taraji P. Henson’s villain who sends a dangerous meteor toward Earth. And, yes, Kim Kardashian returns too. Adventure City’s fluffiest heroes return in “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie,” the second film tie-in to the popular Canadian TV show. This time the gang faces a brand-new villain, Victoria Vance, a.k.a. Vee...
***The above posted after September 22, 2023***
John Baulch, Toy World - Unforeseen circumstances … it’s the Friday Blog! I mentioned last week that my holiday plans had changed due to unforeseen circumstances. I am not sure if I have offended any passing Romani or the Universe in general, but it happened yet again this week. On the eve of heading to Brussels to co-present the Play for Change Awards with TIE’s director general Catherine Van Reeth, I tested positive for Covid.
Holiday predictions from Learning Express Toys & Gifts’ Rick ‘The Toy Man’ Derr. The holiday season is officially underway for the toy industry, and following the debut of The Toy Insider’s 18th annual Holiday Gift Guide, retailer predictions and hot toy lists are rolling out. While many hot lists skew toward toys and games that are primarily sold at mass retail, the specialty market is more nuanced.
Bear Sighting Forces Closures at Disney World. The black bear, which was spotted in a tree, was captured on Monday after some rides and attractions in the Magic Kingdom were closed. Singing and dancing animatronic bears are a common sight at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World, but a bear that was spotted there on Monday was real and most likely looking for food, prompting officials to close some...
How brands can prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are crucial periods for retailers, and it is more important than ever for brands to ensure a robust e-commerce strategy ahead of these key dates.This month, Jon Chambers and Marco Mau of Generation Media shared their five top tips with Toy World on how brands can succeed in the upcoming retail events. .
Toy Story: Totally Rad Toyhouse is peak nostalgia. L.J. Landrum and Matthew Powell help people identify which toys have a place in their store, and which just have a place in the owner’s heart. Earlier this year, the business partners moved Totally Rad Toyhouse from its original home, which opened in Woodbine in 2019, to a new location at 6309 Charlotte Pike.
Plush toys produced in small city in NW China's Shaanxi reach over 80 countries, regions. Ankang city in the Qinba Mountains of northwest China's Shaanxi Province is becoming increasingly well-known for its plush toys. The upcoming 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou city, east China's Zhejiang Province will feature 6 million plush mascots made in Ankang.
Creating a streamlined Amazon supply chain? Asha Bhalsod examines the aftermath of Amazon’s decision to shift towards sourcing products directly from brands rather than wholesalers in Europe. Asha runs Etopia Consultancy, to help brands create their eCommerce strategy and grow their Amazon business.
Millennials and Gen Z aren’t shopping the same way. If you’ve ever spent time scrolling the comments section of any social media post that touches on the generational divide between millennials and Gen Z, you are probably aware that there are differences in the way the two age groups eat, drink, and spend their money. And now, a new study has found yet another sticking point between the generations...
History and Nostalgia
Boggle from Parker Brothers. Released in 1972 by Parker Brothers, Boggle challenged players to unleash their inner wordsmiths in a race against time to score the most points. Inventor Allan Turoff originally pitched the word-finding game to Parker Brothers in 1970 under the name Word Hunt. The company rejected the concept and it languished until 1972, when Parker Brothers renamed it Boggle...
A Bad Case of Worms from Mattel. In 1981, Mattel released A Bad Case of Worms, a novelty toy that appealed to children who enjoyed disgusting the people around them. The toy was packaged on a bright yellow card with the green plastic carrying case housing two worms visible through a transparent bubble. The front of the card promised “Two icky, yucky worms in a case! Toss ’em on a smooth wall...
These were your favorite childhood car toys. Ah, youth. Those days free of responsibilities, free of cares, and full of brightly colored plastic objects that could draw your attention for hours, days, weeks on end. Some of that plastic even took the vague form of a vehicle — plane, train, even automobile. This was the question posed to you all earlier this week: What was your favorite childhood automotive toy?
From the Archives: Impact of G.I. Joe continues to grow. Originally published in The Toy Book’s Character Licensing, September 1986. Hasbro‘s G.I. Joe has been a major boys’ toy line for 22 years, and a highly successful character license for the past five years. Positioned for boys ages 4 to 13, G.I. Joe provides an affordable, collectible range of toys with great play value that stimulates the imagination of its users.
From the Archives: Barbie doll is a 27-year sales phenomenon, solid licensing performer for Mattel Toys. Originally published in The Toy Book’s Character Licensing, September 1986. Barbie, an 11-1/2-inch plastic doll which has been marketed with astounding success by Mattel Toys for 27 years, has become a merchandising legend.
Games .n 'Advance Comics': TSR History in the first game distributor consumer catalog. We’re presenting a snapshot of game history from Capital City Distribution’s Advance Comics, the first game distributor-produced monthly consumer catalog. The first issue published was un-numbered, essentially a #0 issue, listing comics and other products planned for release in December of 1988.
Licensing and Entertainment
The Ryan’s World franchise—which already has its foot in series, video games and consumer products—is expanding again with its first-ever feature film. The live-action/animated feature Ryan’s World the Movie: Titan Universe Adventure stars kidfluencer Ryan Kaji, who has to jump into a magical comic book to bring back his twin sisters after they get trapped inside it. The film is set for a Q4 2024 delivery...
***The above posted after September 22nd***
Apple TV+ orders a spooky toon from DreamWorks Animation. Filmmaker and actor John Krasinski is executive producing CURSES!, which targets six- to 11-year-olds. CURSES! tells the story of two kids trying to lift an ancient family curse that has turned their dad into stone. To do this, they must join their mom on a journey to return artifacts that were stolen by their ancestors.
Costco’s $1.50 hot dog and soda combo’s price tag is “forever.” Now it’s been immortalized as a Monopoly piece. The wholesale giant this week unveiled a Costco-themed Monopoly set, just in time for the Seattle-based company’s 40th anniversary. Gone are the classic game pieces like the thimble, iron and boot. Instead, they’ve been replaced by Costco staples including the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo, oversized...
Jazwares, one of the world’s fastest-growing toy companies, today announced that it has secured a master toy agreement with popular fashion role-playing metaverse experience Royale High for an all-new toy line including game-inspired fashion dolls set to launch fall 2024. Jazwares will also serve as a licensing conduit for Royale High to create a robust portfolio of consumer products that will bring the popular ...
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announces Blue Beetle. Prepare for the action-packed, modern origin story that takes a fresh, fun look at the Super Hero genre in a can’t-miss spectacle of vibrant visuals, humor and heart when “Blue Beetle” arrives for purchase Digitally at home on September 26. The film is directed by Ángel Manuel Soto (“Charm City Kings”) with Xolo Maridueña (“Cobra Kai”) starring...
Toikido’s strong work values leads to successful licensing expansion for Piñata Smashlings. Creating an intellectual property (IP) from scratch does not happen overnight. It results from people strategizing and pooling together innovative concepts to build something that continuously grows and engages an audience. And in the past year, Toikido has done just that by creating the Piñata Smashlings brand. Now, T.
Catan and Spot It! to join Super Impulse’s line of miniatures. Super Impulse’s mini-verse is expanding with two new additions: Catan and Spot It! The company is joining forces with Asmodee Entertainment to add the popular board games to World’s Smallest, the franchise that shrinks iconic characters, toys, and games. The new properties will debut at Toy Fair this fall and join a robust lineup of licensed intellectual...
Toy Story 5 release date rumors: When is it coming out? The Toy Story 5 release date is largely talked about, owing to the success and popularity of the previous installments. The first Toy Story was Pixar’s first-ever feature-length movie, and since then it has had several parts, equally or more popular. With this movie, Pixar became the most looked upon in the animation industry. .
Heathside unveils new Hatsune Miku collection. The initial launch includes backpack clips and vinyl figures based on Hatsune Miku, with full ranges of plush and stick-ons coming in 2024. Heathside is pleased to announce the release of the Hatsune Miku collection, which is available from this month. The release of the latest line coincides with the Pokémon x Hatsune Miku activation, which was also...
KAP Toys unveils new Beano range. KAP has brought forward the launch of its new licensed Beano product range following overwhelming demand from retailers and recent press coverage. KAP Toys says it is thrilled to be working with one of the most recognizable British brands of all time, Beano. Launching new and exciting product in time for Christmas 2023 and into 2024, the collaboration with Beano...
Mini and Crayola partner to launch kids’ car design competition. Mini and Crayola have joined forces to explore the imagination of children for the future of automotive design. Mini has teamed up with Crayola to embark on a journey into the imaginative minds of children with the launch of Mini Minds with Crayola – a competition searching for their visions of the cars of tomorrow. .
AFi First Look: DC and Wizkids Games HeroClix Iconix: Roses For Red. The new line of Iconix figure packs has been a huge addition to the world of HeroClix, and WizKids is not slowing down this train. Recently we took a look at one of the first figures in this unique, non-randomized line with Marvel HeroClix Iconix Captive Hearts Wolverine (see the review HERE), and we’re loving everything about these pack....
'Ecaz & Moritani' join the struggle for 'Dune'. Gale Force Nine has announced the Ecaz & Moritani House Expansion for Dune: A Game of Conquest, Diplomacy, and Betrayal. The Ecaz & Moritani House Expansion brings the total number of playable factions in the game to 12 by introducing two all-new factions that open up new strategic options. House Ecaz is designed to benefit from rapidly forming...
'Original X-Men' #1 brings back classic mutants for the X-Men's 60th anniversary. On December 20, Original X-Men #1 by Christos Gage and Greg Land marks the X-Men’s 60th anniversary. The super-sized Original X-Men #1 features the founding five X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, and Angel), the team from the 1963 X-Men #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The cover, shown here, is by Ryan Stegman. .
'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' trailer; Glovers' 'Lando' a feature; 'One Piece' renewed; Kitchen gets 'Hellboy'; Stan Lee Elder abuse suit dismissed; Alan Moore's royalties to Black Lives Matter. Warner Bros. has released a trailer for the second Aquaman feature: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (trailer below). The film was moved to December 20 from Christmas day earlier this year (see "Warners Shuffles Dates"). .
PlayMonster expands Weebles World with My Happy Camper. Playskool’s Weebles World is growing with the addition of My Happy Camper. Licensed by Hasbro and produced by PlayMonster, this toy encourages kids 12 months and up to “drive” a camper in search of the perfect campsite with Bailey and Alex in the sliding seat. When they open up the camper, they’ll find all the camping fun packed inside.
Lightbulb Licensing, Studio Bozzetto launch ‘The Game Catchers’ and consumer products. Milan based production company, Studio Bozzetto, with the support of Italian licensing consultancy, VLM Licensing & Consulting, has appointed U.K. licensing consultancy and agency, Lightbulb Licensing, to develop the consumer products program for the upcoming CBeebies show, “The Game Catchers.”
Wizkids announces 'Star Trek: Into the Unknown' core set. WizKids announced Star Trek: Into the Unknown, a new space miniatures game, which will hit stores in April 2024. This new Star Trek space miniatures game features detailed ships from the franchise. The models are all designed to scale, so large ships like the U.S.S. Enterprise will tower over the smaller ships.
WildBrain expands Teletubbies brand with licensing partnerships. Teletubbies will be showcased at Brand Licensing Europe and more. WildBrain is keeping up efforts to see the Teletubbies brand to new heights with a series of licensing agreements, store plans, and event showings. The company has seen Teletubbies release a new live-action series, enter into a number of licensing agreements, and more.
Make room on the shelf for Vasco, your ‘Starfield’ space companion. The Vasco figure is fully articulated and stands almost 1 foot tall. Calling all space explorers! Expand your in-house exploration team with a new, articulated figure inspired by Bethesda Games Studios’ recently released RPG, Starfield. PureArts and Bethesda understand how important companionship can be on your adventure through the stars.
Magic Light Pictures taps Bandai UK as master toy licensee for ‘Pip and Posy’. Magic Light Pictures has appointed Bandai UK as master toy licensee for its preschool property, “Pip and Posy,” in a deal covering U.K. and Eire with an option to extend across Europe. As part of the deal, sister company, Bandai Namco, will develop plush and gifts for leisure and amusement channels. T
Marvel Cinematic Universe Trivial Pursuit tests your knowledge of The Infinity Saga. A new edition of Trivial Pursuit looks to challenge players on their knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Marvel Cinematic Universe covers the entire catalogue of films and television series released by Marvel Studios since Iron Man’s launch in 2008.
L.O.L. Surprise! Roller Dreams Racing video game launches. Global sensation L.O.L. Surprise! is getting ready to roll as the new roller-skating racing game L.O.L. Surprise! Roller Dreams Racing coasts to Nintendo Switch. L.O.L. Surprise! Roller Dreams Racing invites players to experience heart-pounding fun with an array of their favorite L.O.L.
Your favorite Australian pup makes video game debut in ‘Bluey: The Videogame’. Gather your real-life version of the Heeler crew, because BBC Studios and Outright Games recently announced the release date for the very first Bluey video game. It’s rated E for Everyone, so the whole family can gather around for some Bluey fun. In Bluey:
Kids can visit Bluey’s house at CAMP’s store in Los Angeles. The immersive experience will open on Nov. 6. Step inside Bluey’s house … for real life! Kids will soon have the opportunity to come laugh, play, and pretend with Bluey and her family at CAMP’s newest and most heartwarming immersive adventure. Bluey x CAMP opens in Los Angeles on Nov. 6 at CAMP’s West Coast flagship store at Westfield Century City.
Barbie is officially more financially powerful than The Avengers. If you have been even remotely keyed into pop culture this summer—or, frankly, if you’re a living, breathing human being—you could be forgiven for thinking Barbie must be one of the most successful films of all time, if not the most successful. She easily overtook Mario and his buddies for the year’s number-one spot. She’s saving movie theaters.
Beto Carrero World to unveil the first-ever NERF themed land, NERF Mania, on Children’s Day. Brazil — Calling all NERF fans! Beto Carrero World is about to make every adventurer’s dream come true with the opening of the first ever NERF-themed land: NERF Mania! The grand opening is set for October 12th, Children’s Day, and as a gift, kids will be able to dive into and revel in the new attractions, which are just the...
Hot Wheels, Volcom to collab with Run The Jewels. Hot Wheels has partnered with skate, surf and snow lifestyle brand, Volcom, and Grammy-nominated hip-hop duo, Run The Jewels. This partnership connects generations of fans, fusing the creative energies of three distinctive brands to create a one-of-a-kind collection that celebrates innovation, style and the spirit of individuality.
Kids can listen to even more ‘PAW Patrol’ stories with a Liberty tonie. Another member of the PAW Patrol joins the Tonies team! The latest Tonie is here just in time for PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie! Liberty the dachshund is the smallest member of the PAW Patrol team and plays a big role in the upcoming movie — and now, she’s turning into a Tonie! Designed for kids ages 3 and up, Tonies are collectible characters...
Hey Buddy Hey Pal inks Egg-citing licensing deal for PEEPS brand EggMazing Egg Decorator. The makers of the Shark Tank hit The Original EggMazing Egg Decorator are taking things to a new level next year. Hey Buddy Hey Pal inked a deal with Just Born Quality Confections to produce PEEPS Brand EggMazing Egg Decorators for Easter 2024.
PlayMonster Group, TigerHead Toys bring Pinky Promise Gemmy Friends to the U.S. PlayMonster Group has announced its strategic distribution agreement with TigerHead Toys for the U.S. market launch of the girls’ collectible line, Pinky Promise Gemmy Friends. This collaboration marks a milestone in the brand’s global expansion. PlayMonster Group and TigerHead Toys are set to enhance the brand’s...
Gemmy releases Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle airblown inflatable. Gemmy Industries, creator of seasonal lighting and décor, has launched an Airblown Harry Potter Castle for Halloween. Sold exclusively at Sam's Club this season, the 12-foot tall by 12-foot deep castle archway includes a walkthrough tunnel with metallic fabric accents, multiple light effects and music.
Super Impulse brings pop-culture-fuelled showcase to New York Toy Fair. Super Impulse is making a big return to New York Toy Fair (NYTF) this year with hot new releases from its flagship and emerging brands: World’s Smallest, Poptaters, 3.75, Micro Figures and Minis-in-Minis Sugar Buzz, featuring Hershey brands. From September 30th to October 3rd, attendees are invited to visit booth 1935 to see...
Hasbro launches New My Little Pony: Make Your Mark episodes. Will Misty finally join forces with the other ponies? The hit entertainment series My Little Pony: Make Your Mark returns to Netflix for Chapter 5 with 6 new 22-minute episodes. This animated series serves as a fantastical look into the day-to-day quests of Sunny, Hitch, Izzy, Pipp, and Zipp and features an assortment of sentimental and hilarious...
People of Play
On the heels of the record-breaking performance of “Barbie,” veteran film executive Robbie Brenner has been elevated to president of Mattel Films. Brenner moves up from her role as executive producer at Mattel, the longstanding toy company that’s spent years switching focus to original content based on its intellectual property under CEO Ynon Kreiz. She’s been in-house since 2018. “Robbie joined the company 5 yrs...
Ami Baio, the creator behind Pink Tiger Games, is pleased to announce her nomination for the respected Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIE) 2023, in the category of Rising Star Innovator of the Year, for her contributions to game design with Cloud Nine: A Game of Wonderful Things and Lost for Words: A Game of Untranslatable Feelings.
***The above posted after September 22nd***
To commemorate 100 years of delivering the wonder of storytelling and the exhilaration of play to audiences across the globe, Hasbro has announced that Alan Hassenfeld and The Hassenfeld Family Foundation will donate $1 million to four purposeful charities benefiting kids and families everywhere: Games for Change, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, One Tree Planted and Toys for Tots.
Paris-based studio Samka Group has hired former Cartoon Network SVP Tramm Wigzell to be its first-ever global head of content. Based in LA and reporting to CEO Samuel Kaminka, Wigzell is tasked with developing new animated and live-action projects with US market and international co-production potential. Wigzell will also oversee business development for the companies Samka owns and operates, including...
PLAYING HIS ACE I was in one of the 90s’ biggest bands and sold 23m records – now I’m a card game inventor. A TOP Nineties rocker has traded in fame and fortune for a full house. Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd, 47, was the lead vocalist of the American band, with whom he recorded a whopping eight albums.
Diamond Comic Distributors appoints Ryan Shelkett as executive director of vendor development, toys and merchandise. Diamond Comic Distributors has appointed Ryan Shelkett as Executive Director of Vendor Development with a focus on toys and merchandise. In this position, Shelkett will aim to advance Diamond Comic Distributors’ presence in the marketplace.
Former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar joins Roblox’s board. Former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has joined the board of directors at the online gaming platform company Roblox. The appointment, which was effective as of September 13, will see Kilar joining board chairman and Roblox CEO David Baszucki, as well as lead independent director Anthony P. Lee, and board members Gregory Baszucki...
Companies and Brands
Unicorn Academy to premiere on Roblox. Spin Master and Gamefam will premiere the upcoming film first on the gaming platform before Netflix launches it. Toronto’s Spin Master Entertainment is taking a unique metaverse-first approach to launch its latest IP Unicorn Academy. The toyco will premiere the CG-animated film in Gamefam’s popular Roblox game Twilight Daycare (1.8 billion visits) starting...
YouTube has launched a series of new features, including AI-infused tools, to help content creators. The new tools include Dream Screen, a new experimental feature that allows creators to create AI-generated video or image backgrounds to shorts by typing an idea into a prompt. According to YouTube, Dream Screen enables creators to set backgrounds such as outer space or an ‘enchanted forest’ simply by typing...
Burger King® and PAW Patrol™ Are “On a Roll” With a Line of King Jr.™ Meal Toys to Celebrate the Theatrical Release of “PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie™” With six unique interactive toys inspired by the beloved PAW Patrol pups and the anticipated film, the limited-edition line of King Jr. Meal toys will be available beginning September 25
***The above posted after September 22nd***
The company has been implementing robust practices over the past few years to ensure that its sustainability goals are met in line with its own stringent targets, and the compliance team has outlined its goals for 2024 and beyond. Most notably, the company has reduced plastic...
Top toy brand Melissa & Doug will open its first-ever retail store on October 6, 2023, in New York. As the company's first brick-and-mortar location in its 35-year history, the 1,600-square-foot store will feature a wide selection of the brand's top-selling toys across categories. The “designed-to-inspire” brick and mortar will bring the brand to life in innovative ways consumers have not seen before, the company said.
Scholastic’s Graphix imprint currently dominates the children’s graphic novel market, and now it is venturing into new territory with the announcement of its first manga series, Unico: Awakening, adapted from Osamu Tezuka classic Unico. Like the original, Unico: Awakening will be published in color and will read from left to right. The four-volume series, along with a handbook and an activity book...
NJ-based toy creators, are excited to announce the launch of their newest product, Lil Wish Lanterns Surprise! This exciting new toy incites anticipation to reveal which magical Wishimal comes with your lantern! Lil Wish Lanterns Surprise! starter packs include a uniquely-designed lantern. Once the surprise Wishimal is revealed, it is placed inside the lantern.
Wizards of the Coast is offering Ponies: The Galloping 2 | Extra Life 2023, a card set for Magic: The Gathering that will support the Extra Life charity organization, through the Secret Lair. The crossover set will be available direct to consumers until November 6. Ponies: The Galloping 2 will include four cards featuring My Little Pony characters Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash, each with...
Melissa & Doug: Back to Basics. It’s no secret that kids have plenty of access to screens on a daily basis. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), kids ages 8-10 average six hours a day in front of a screen. Keep in mind that this screen time doesn’t include time spent in front of a screen for homework or during school hours.
Fun In Motion Toys launches Duomoto puzzle cube. The Duomoto is double the puzzle fun. Fun In Motion Toys’ latest puzzle cube is almost here. Much like the Shashibo puzzle cube, the Duomoto can transform into dozens of shapes and is powered by rare earth magnets. However, the Duomoto features two segments instead of just one, which can lead to different shapes that the Shashibo can’t accomplish.
Peter Rabbit becomes Orchard’s first ever licensed collaboration. The new range has been created under license from Penguin Ventures on behalf of Frederick Warne & Co. (owner of The World of Peter Rabbit and an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s UK). Orchard Toys, a leading manufacturer of games and jigsaws for over 50 years, has signed The World of Peter Rabbit as its first licensed collaboration.
Kids Preferred releases hand-holding Disney plush set. The set is licensed by Disney Baby. Kids Preferred has released a new plush set celebrating classic Disney characters. The six-piece “We Hold Hands” Plush Set features the iconic Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Pluto.
Miniso to open first U.K. Surprise toy store. The store will feature more than 50 surprise toys to collect. Chinese lifestyle brand Miniso is launching its first surprise toy-based store in London next week. The store will have more than 50 surprise toys for kids and collectors to find. This is Miniso’s first location in central London and it will feature branded surprise toys from Sanrio, Pixar, Tokidoki, We Bare Bears, Minions...
New farm animal softs from Douglas to debut at Toy Fair 2023. Seven new farm animal Softs are in the barn at Douglas Company! The soft toy maker and lifestyle gift creators are adding to their very popular Softs line. Softs are made from irresistibly soft fabrics and are floppy in style, making them extra huggable. Introducing Jackie, the Donkie Soft! At 11” tall Jackie is a sweet floppy style donkey in chocolate...
Hess Toy Truck releases extremely rare collector’s edition Explorer boat. Fans asked; Hess Toy Truck delivered. After decades of requests for another boat, the first of which triggered a fan frenzy upon release, Hess Toy Truck has finally delivered the second boat ever produced as a full-size Hess Toy. It’s extremely rare.
Addo heads across the pond as Addo Play USA. The company says it has been working tirelessly to create an immersive, dynamic space to showcase its Addo and ELC brands, as it forms a US company for the first time. Addo Play says it is excited and proud to announce the opening of its brand-new Showroom in Los Angeles, as it establishes a US company, Addo Play USA LLC.
Piñata Smashlings arrives at Smyths and The Entertainer. The Piñata Smashlings toy range will be followed by a wider product line spanning apparel, books and more, after the hugely positive reception to the Roblox game. Toikido has announced that the Piñata Smashlings toy range from P.M.I. Kids’ World, based upon the studio’s smash-hit Roblox game and original IP, has arrived on the shelves of UK retailers...
Just Play’s Style Bae range hits the catwalk. Just Play is bringing endless styling play to the toy aisle with the brand-new Style Bae dolls and fashion sets. Debuting at multiple retailers and with a Smyths exclusive this month, each Style Bae doll in the four-doll assortment features a 3D sculpted head with rooted hair and a 2D body that can be outfitted in trendy peel-stick-style fashions and accessories.
Kawaii Slime to exhibit latest creations at Toy Fair. Kawaii Slime Co. has revealed plans to exhibit at Toy Fair in New York later this month. The family business will display several products from its best-selling and newest collections of slime creations at the show from Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Founded in 2017 during the height of the slime craze on social media, Kawaii Slime creates a variety of slimes for different skill...
Final Fantasy 7 Remake board game will have you hunting for materia as Cloud, Sephiroth and friends next spring. With classic RPG Final Fantasy 7 in the middle of its long-awaited remake trilogy on games consoles, with second chapter FF7 Rebirth due out next year, the beloved video game is now due to see another remake: this time, as a board game.
Steiff to showcase offerings at Toy Fair, FAO Schwarz. Steiff is coming out of hiBEARnation to take on the holiday season during this year’s Toy Fair in New York City. The luxury brand and inventor of the teddy bear will greet guests with a Disney pop-up shop and window displays at FAO Schwarz, featuring both cuddly plush and studio animals.
Heat: Pedal to the Metal designers working on their 'biggest' release yet as part of a new board game series. The creators of last year’s racing board game Heat: Pedal to the Metal are working on what they expect to be their biggest release yet. Asger Harding Granerud and Daniel Skjold Pedersen co-founded indie board game label Sidekick Games alongside Dan Halstad in 2019, with the Danish publisher...
Jazwares to bring winter wonderland to Toy Fair. Jazwares is headed to the Javits Center at the end of the month. Jazwares is gearing up to host a winter wonderland at Toy Fair this year, including a Squishmas tree for photo ops and other holiday surprises. Attendees will also be able to get a sneak peek at The Vault, a new direct-to-consumer online platform where collectors can find e-commerce exclusives...
Guess Who-ish co-op card game gem Similo is headed to Middle-earth with a Lord of the Rings edition. Similo is one of those games I’d classify as an overlooked gem. It looks almost too simple - and it is - but there’s a definite spark in its entertaining Guess Who-ish deduction that makes it well worth the short time it demands. Luckily, it seems that the series is still going plenty strong, as the co-op card game...
Crayola collaborates with Mrs. Bloom’s for Crayola Flowers. Crayola is teaming up with flower distributor Mrs. Bloom’s to launch Crayola Flowers, a program where nonprofit organizations can sell flowers and proceeds can go towards that organization’s cause. “We are dedicated to helping parents and educators raise creatively alive children because we believe these children will grow into innovative adults,” says Warren...
Aquabeads enjoys star-studded product launch event. Amy Childs, Lacy Turner and Laura Tobin were among the celebrities that attended the launch of Epoch’s new Aquabeads Disney Princess Nail Studio Set. Epoch Making Toys celebrated the launch of the new Aquabeads Disney Princess Nail Studio Set with a celebrity event hosted at Townhouse Nail Salon in London’s Covent Garden on Sunday 17th September.
'Hey, That's My Fish!' returns. Next Move Games is bringing the award-winning Hey, That’s My Fish! back to the tabletop in a new edition releasing on October 13. Originally released twenty years ago, Hey, That’s My Fish! is a family-friendly strategy game from designers Gunter Cornett and Alvydas Jakeliunas in which teams of penguins try to gather up as many fish as they can before the ice floes around them vanish...
Yellow & Yangtze designer’s next pair of board games claims to be more than European design fads. Reiner Knizia’s name alone can sell a board game to a certain section of the hobby, but those who haven’t ventured deep into the Eurogame section of their local game store - you know, the place with all those train and industry-themed boxes chock-full of tiny components? - the storied designer...
Bandai Spirits has ‘Armored Core VI’ toys on the way. While we know that Kotobukiya plans to make model kits for Armored Core VI, Bandai Spirits has also just announced that it plans to reveal some toys from the game later this year. Specifically, at the Robot Damashii 15th Anniversary event in Akihabara, some Armored Core VI toys have been announced and will be revealed at Tamashii Nation 2023 this November.
First Build-A-Bear experience to open in Italy. Build-A-Bear and Giochi Preziosi partner for Milan opening. Hamleys at the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II will host the first Build-A-Bear experience in Italy, following a partnership between Build-A-Bear Workshop and Giochi Preziosi. The Milan store will be operated by Giochi Preziosi and marks the first opening as a result of the partnership, with additional stores...
Magic Light Pictures taps Bandai UK as master toy licensee for ‘Pip and Posy’. Magic Light Pictures has appointed Bandai UK as master toy licensee for its preschool property, “Pip and Posy,” in a deal covering U.K. and Eire with an option to extend across Europe. As part of the deal, sister company, Bandai Namco, will develop plush and gifts for leisure and amusement channels.
Design golf courses then challenge your friends to beat them in roll-and-write gem Tiny Mini Golf. An upcoming roll-and-write game will put both your design and golfing skills to the test in a delightful-looking game about mini golf. Tiny Mini Golf challenges players to sink their ball into the hole in as few shots as possible - so far, so golf. The twist is that all of the courses they play will also be designed by their rival players.
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
Starfield has topped 10 million players in two weeks. Starfield has attracted over 10 million players in two weeks to further cement its position as the biggest Bethesda launch in history. The sci-fi RPG officially launched on September 6, 2023, for Xbox Series X | S and Windows PC and surpassed 6 million players during its first two days on shelves.
Microsoft aiming to release next Xbox by 2028. The successors to Microsoft’s current game consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, seemingly won’t be coming out until sometime in 2028. That’s according to conversations between company executives that were recently made public in federal court filings following the Federal Trade Commission’s failed attempt to block the Activision Blizzard acquisition back in June.
Xbox leak estimates cost of bringing blockbusters to Game Pass. Starfield was supposed to be Microsoft’s biggest release of 2022. When it ended up getting delayed, the company looked into striking deals with third-party publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft for major blockbusters it could bring to Game Pass day-and-date to fill the gap.
Who was responsible for the biggest Xbox leak ever? Court blames Microsoft. Microsoft is currently facing an unprecedented leak of confidential plans and conversations around both the recent past and coming future of Xbox. Sensitive documents meant only for the eyes of the court involved in the Federal Trade Commission’s failed battle to stop Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard...
Microsoft casually discussed buying Nintendo or Valve in leaked email. A leaked 2020 email from Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer reveals his sustained interest in buying either Nintendo or Steam developer Valve. The Northern District Court of California released the email—along with many other documents from the Federal Trade Commission v. Microsoft lawsuit that, earlier this year, unsuccessfully...
The massive Xbox leak: 11 big reveals. This week brought us a wonderful treasure trove of leaks from deep inside the highest echelons of Microsoft’s Xbox division, accidentally shared online as a result of the company’s legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission over its now-greenlit Activision acquisition.
Minecraft, NERF to blast off with new video game. Your little Minecraft fans and NERF faithfuls are about to have their worlds collide in a very big way! Launching Oct. 2, the Minecraft NERF World DLC (meaning downloadable content) will be an additional “world” players can download and explore through Minecraft: Bedrock Edition via the Minecraft Marketplace.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth: Reaction to demo as Tokyo Game Show starts. Tokyo Game Show has begun, and fans will have their first chance to play Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. Developers Square Enix are launching a demo of the long-awaited follow-up to 2020's FF7 Remake at the annual convention held in Chiba, Japan. Critics have already had a chance to play the open-world section and...
Spectarium nets €5M to build action RPG powered by TikTok-esque algorithm. Finnish studio Spectarium has secured €5 million ($5.3 million) to create an AI-powered cross-platform action RPG called Myths, which it claims will use a TikTok-esque algorithm to serve tailor-made content to players. The funding round was led by Bitkraft Ventures and will allow Spectarium to continue developing Myths...
New Bluey video game could be the ultimate daddy sim. If you have kids, you know what Bluey is. For everyone else, it’s an Australian cartoon about a nuclear family of talking dogs who live in a giant bungalow and love to play silly games. It’s cute and clever, and several years after becoming a global phenomenon, it’s at long-last getting a video game adaptation.
Highlighted Press Releases
KIDS FOR CULTURE™ REVEALS ITS TOP 5 BABY GIFTS TO PICK SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR THE TOTS ON THE LIST. Self-Esteem And Confidence Are Tucked Into Every Holiday Gift Idea From Little Lingo Board Book To Positive Pals®️ Blanket Dolls With Crinkle & Teether. Nashville, TN (September 27, 2023) – Kids will quickly discover that everyone is a little different so why not gift them books and toys that help them grow into a well-rounded child? This holiday season, parents and grandparents can take a walk down the toy aisle at Walmart or click on Amazon.com and discover the Kids For Culture collection. Their Top 5 Gift Picks are priced at $12.99 and under!
KIDS BEAR WITNESS TO HOW SIMPLE ACTS OF KINDNESS MAKE THE WORLD BETTER WITH BENE, SPARKLE & SEAWHEE. Interactive Plush Toys With A Purpose™ Line from Bene World LLC Encourages Little Ones To Show Respect, Kindness, Empathy & Selflessness At BeneBearGiving.Com. Knoxville, TN (September 25, 2023) — Could holding the door open for a friend or waving to an elderly neighbor make a difference? Yes! says an award-winning toy line that encourages the youngest citizens to consider random acts of kindness and empathy. Bene Bear® ($39.99) (pronounced Benny) is the first of several plush Bene Buddies™ available online at BeneBearGiving.com.
***The above posted after September 22nd***
TAKE THE TOY FAIR CHALLENGE: AS YOU ROAM, LOOK FOR THE GNOME WITH THE TINY SUITCASE! Busy Families Are Creating Memories By Experiencing Short But Meaningful Adventures Into Busy Schedules With My Gnome On The Roam®– Madison, TN (September 21, 2023) – Toy Fair 2023 is reimagining play for a new day. As retailers roam the aisles of Javits Center, they are on the hunt for something that sparks joy and is in stock now. A gnome in need of a home may just be the thing – unexpected, full of adventure, with a packed suitcase for kids to behold — including a magical writing tool! My Gnome On The Roam Adventure and Creativity Kit ($39) is one of several items for a parent to explore with their child, especially when together-time is limited. See for yourself at Level 1 Exhibit Hall Booth 6649.
The Learning Journey Announces 17 New Product Awards. The Learning Journey International, LLC (TLJI) is continuously innovating and improving product lines to offer the best educational value to families all over the world. New-to-the-brand products and revamped products remain recognized for the educational opportunities they provide. This summer, TLJI is proud to announce 17 new product awards! Awards have been received from the following: PAL Awards (4), Mom's Choice Awards (2), Academics' Choice (1), The National Parenting Center (1), Creative Child Awards (6), Baby Maternity Awards (3)
Safety and Counterfeiting
TIE on revisions to the EU Toy Safety Directive. The EU wants stricter rules for toys: Catherine Van Reeth and Sanjay Luthra from Toy Industries of Europe tell Toy World what the toy sector can expect from the new Directive. Over the summer, the European Commission proposed a new set of rules to replace the trusted EU Toy Safety Directive. We sat down with Sanjay Luthra (SL), EVP and managing director at Mattel EMEA...
PLASTIC PERIL Most kids care about the environment but have no idea of damage caused by plastic toys, poll reveals. Almost seven in 10 kids are worried about the future of the planet, but they have no idea how much damage their plastic toys are doing to the environment. A poll of 750 children aged six to 12 found that 19 per cent believe plastic doesn't do much damage to the environment.
Protecting children’s data in the digital age. Almost a decade before the release of the first iPhone, Congress passed what now remains the only federal law regulating the collection of children’s data on the internet. Although the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) imposes a set of specific requirements on certain websites, these requirements have struggled to keep pace...
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
Toy Fair is in danger of ending its 120-yr run in NYC with some big manufacturers pressuring the lucrative trade show to move to LA, The Post has learned. Barbie maker Mattel is among the major firms that are snubbing Toy Fair NY this week following a 2-yr hiatus because of the pandemic. Other absent heavyweights will include MGA Entertainment, maker of LOL Surprise and Bratz dolls; Jakks Pacific....
Thanking Autumn Fair attendees for their feedback, Hyve Group says the Connect meetings platform ‘did not add value in the way we expected it to’. Nicola Meadows, divisional managing director of Hyve Group, has confirmed that Connect will not return for 2024. Spring and Autumn Fair and Glee, owned by Hyve Group, have announced that the connections programme Connect will not be running in 2024...
Visitor registration for (UK) Toy Fair 2024 now open! Taking place between the 23rd-25th January at Olympia London, Toy Fair 2024 will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a sold-out floorplan and extended footprint. Visitor registration is now open for Toy Fair 2024; an unrivalled opportunity to forge new business and build on existing relationships.
***The above posted after September 22nd***
PEOPLE OF PLAY ANNOUNCE FINALISTS FOR THE 2023 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS - TAGIE Voting Now Open Through October 20th, 2023. Finalists for the prestigious TAGIE Awards have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs, now in its 16th year, honor the most innovative inventors, designers, suppliers, retailers, marketers and PR teams in the toy and game industry. Public voting starts today, Thursday, September 21 and ends on October 20, 2023. Visit the TAGIE Awards Finalist page to learn about the finalists and cast your vote.
40th Spiel Essen to take place 5th-8th October. Nearly 1,000 exhibitors from over 50 countries will be presenting their new games to a broad audience, with attendees invited to try them out at the Spiel Essen show. Spiel EssenThe gates of the Essen exhibition centre will open between 5th-8th October, when Spiel Essen returns for its 40th iteration. Offering more than 60,000 m² of exhibition space in six halls...
Konami celebrates Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship. Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. tells Toy World how the return of the prestigious Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship is emblematic of the continued growth of the card game. The festivities celebrating the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game’s upcoming 25th anniversary continue in earnest. Special Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG products commemorating the milestone are showing strong sales...
BLE organizers respond to tube strike announcement. The organizers of Brand Licensing Europe (BLE), taking place from 4-6th October, offer advice to visitors due to propsed industrial action.The RMT has announced a London Underground strike on Wednesday October 4th and Friday October 6th, during Brand Licensing Europe (BLE).This is in addition to the UK national rail strike already announced...
Monopoly Dreams, the one-of-a-kind immersive entertainment experience inspired by the world’s most beloved board game, has announced the official release of tickets for the eagerly anticipated attraction. Fans and enthusiasts can secure their spot to embark on an unforgettable journey through the world of Monopoly, from September 2023.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival is spotlighting South Korean projects for the first time in its 47-yr history. In a presentation today, Korea Creative Content Agency and Seoul-based marketing agency PILabs will showcase 5 kids series. It’s a significant first for the Canadian festival, which has seen increased interest from attendees for int'l co-production and business opportunities with Korean companies.
TIE names winners of Play for Change Awards. Four gold winners have been announced in three categories at the fourth annual Play for Change Awards: Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, and Life Skills. Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has made the exceptional decision to award gold to four toy companies in the 2023 Play for Change Awards. .
Entries for 7th annual BlogOn Toy Awards close at the end of September. The popular annual BlogOn Toy Awards are back for the 7th year with brand-new on-trend categories, new judges and a fresh voting system. The awards were designed with all marketing budgets in mind and continue to cost just £10 per entry. Only two samples are required.
Toy Fair Pavilion to debut at January 2024 Temps at Dallas Total Home & Gift Market. Dallas Market Center, the leading B2B marketplace in the U.S. for gifts and home décor, and The Toy Association, the business trade association representing hundreds of companies involved in the toy, play and youth entertainment industry, have jointly announced the debut of the Toy Fair Pavilion during ...
The Big Christmas Press Show lays on festive fun for influencers and media. The Big Christmas Press Show is perfectly timed to provide brands and retailers with an opportunity to showcase their products ahead of the crucial Christmas shopping season. The Big Christmas Press Show 2023, held on Wednesday 13th September at the Business Design Centre in Islington, was kicked off with the...
The Big Christmas Press Show lays on festive fun for influencers and media. The Big Christmas Press Show is perfectly timed to provide brands and retailers with an opportunity to showcase their products ahead of the crucial Christmas shopping season. The Big Christmas Press Show 2023, held on Wednesday 13th September at the Business Design Centre in Islington, was kicked off with the much-anticipated...
RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed
If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our readers. Archives can be found HERE
Michael Gambon, the Irish-born actor who drew acclaim from both audiences and peers for his stage and screen work, and who won even wider renown as Albus Dumbledore, the firm but kindly headmaster of the Hogwarts wizarding school, in the “Harry Potter” films, died on Wednesday night. He was 82. Mr. Gambon’s family confirmed his death in a brief statement issued on Thursday through a public relations company. “Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife, Anne, and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia,” the statement said. It did not identify the hospital where he died.
Obituary: Gill Sheppard. Gill Sheppard, the owner of Rainbow Toys in Midsomer Norton, has passed away following a short battle with cancer.
oy World is sad to report that the popular independent West Country retailer Gill Sheppard passed away on 7th September after a 19-month battle with cancer.
Gill and her husband Julian ran Rainbow Toys of Midsomer Norton. Gill’s friend and colleague Keith Elmer told Toy World: “They were successful and immensely popular members of both Concorde and Youngsters Buying Groups for many years, and they epitomised all that was good about independent, family run toy shops.”
Keith added: “Gill will be remembered for her infinite charm and gracious nature to all customers and suppliers alike.”
Toy World would like to express its condolences to Julian and the rest of Gill’s family at this time.
Joan Packard Luks, MARCH 14, 1946 – SEPTEMBER 4, 2023, Joan was a former President of Women in Toys and left a legacy of mentorship and work in toys and licensing.
Luks previously worked as the Director of Licensing at GUND, fostering partnerships with industry bigs such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and others. She then moved on to leading her own company, The Serenata Group. Luks also worked closely with her partner David Wollos at The ThinkTank Emporium.
“Joan's vibrancy, positivity, and warmth brightened the lives of everyone fortunate enough to know her. Her contributions to our industry were matched only by her genuine kindness and unwavering dedication to uplifting others.” WiT President, Janice Ross
In addition to her work in the licensing industry, Luks was an important member of the WiT community. Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment is a non-profit organization with the aim of advocating the advancement of women through a variety of opportunities in leadership, networking, and education.
Luks’ work as President of WiT included mentorship, advice, and support, working diligently toward the goal of a more equitable workplace for women in the industry.
WiT has extended its condolences to Luks’ family, friends, and colleagues. A memorial service will be held today at Gutterman and Musicant Jewish Funeral Directors. More details as well as the opportunity to share memories are available on the official page.
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News Flash: Deep Dive Released Soon, Dragonkeepers Pre-Order
Flatout Games and AEG have a new game coming out this month, Kosmos has a game available for pre-order, and Sea Salt & Paper is getting an expansion.
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