the Bloom Report

Toy & Game Industry's #1 News Summary Globally
Below is September 24 - October 1, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted daily with the most recent at top of each section and previous week drops off on 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 Weekly News Brief . . . 

Happy Friday! 

You know creative kids… they may even be your own! Encourage them to enter our Young Inventor Challenge, now in its 15th year! About a dozen of our participants have licensed their inventions, and one now has a career in our industry. All our Young Inventors receive valuable feedback and guidance from our prestigious mentor/judges. Be a mentor/judge yourself! Register HERE.

Simonetta Lulli is both a member of our industry and the parent of Young Inventors. Enjoy her op-ed below.

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.

Mary

tBR Columnist Nancy Zwiers: How I Discovered the Wisdom of Play and Created Funosophy

When my daughter, Nikki, was born in 1995, I knew I wanted to say “yes” to her as often as possible and minimize the “no’s.” This was my concept of positive parenting. 

 

With this as a goal, I decided to make and enforce as few rules as possible (related to safety) and to allow everything else. This meant that I was willing to accept minor hurts, even as I kept Nikki safe from serious harm. I was there as a safety net, but my physical daughter got to be physically adventurous at a tender young age. One parenting book exhorted “Don’t tell her to be careful; teach her how to be safe.” I was an adventurous spirit and that resonated with me. 

 

This strategy extended to keeping our possessions safe. As a toddler, when Nikki wanted to push buttons on the stereo system, I didn’t say no. Instead, I taught her how to properly turn it on and off. That empowered her (and she didn’t screw up the stereo settings). 

 

In my quest to achieve a friction-less parenting style, I eschewed commands and focused on motivating Nikki. What could be more motivating to a child than play? I developed the mantra: Use fun to get it done! We found a way to play no matter the situation. Even waiting in the pediatrician’s office became an opportunity to play-- in a time before screens, I would send my daughter on silly little missions in the room (e.g., Take baby steps to the table and tap 5 times).  Read More . . . 

tBR Op-Ed by Simonetta Lulli on the Importance of Participating in the Young Inventor Challenge

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(Editor's note: this op-ed can also be found on Linkedin, hence the links)

 

I just heard that #YoungInventorchallenge that People of Play organizes has opened for registration here and I thought was the time for me to share the amazing experience my 3 kids and 2 friends had last year with the #YoungInventorchallenge organized by Mary Couzin and Team. My kids & friends (from 8 -14 years old) WON one of the categories with Diamond Heist Card game.

COVID was very hard for kids, they were having a FULL year remote schooling, no socializing. Me and some amazing employees volunteers from #SpinMaster created a small summer program for the employee kids called : Design a Toy with Spin Master. We had an amazing response from many kids and parents from inside the company. Among those who joined were my kids and their friends.

The kids created " The Bagel Club" as their " company name" and a card game called Diamond Heist. After the Spin Master program, they worked hard on the game and applied to the #YounginventorChallenge and they WON the best game category that Goliath sponsored. They were thrilled. But the story did not stop there, Goliath Games team, Julie DoverspikeDavid NormanKelly Adams meet with them several times over the months to explain them how games worked, to test their game and to present it to Retailers in US. They got to present in live zoom events and the amount of learning my kids and friends got from this experience I believe is much much more than the fact they won the award. 

Read More . . . 

tBR Person of the Week: Mike Bowling, Inventor of Pound Puppies: Here’s to Enjoying the Ride!

People I meet always seem interested in how I invented Pound Puppies® and the toy line’s astounding success.  I’m here to tell you that it isn’t so much about the nuts and bolts of “how”.  The most important thing to know is the “why” and the guiding principles I learned in the ride along the way. 

 

It’s Not the How... It’s the Why

Many people find it hard to believe that I never sought to invent Pound Puppies® for “the money”.  I did it for the freedom and the joy it would bring me.  To stay focused on what I truly wanted over the years, I taped quotes on my desk at home to remind me of my goals daily.  My most favorite quote that I still have taped to my desk reads, “If I can be given a living in doing something that I enjoy, then that in itself is wealth.”  I pursued my toy idea because I wanted to get up every morning and do something I loved every day.  Believe me, if I had done it just for “the money” I never would have taken the huge risks I did to make it a success.

 

I came to the toy industry as a total newbie.  I didn’t know a soul in the industry and had no idea how it worked.  I only knew I had an idea I believed was great and I wanted more than anything in the world to make it become a reality.  To illustrate this, a few years later, Howard Bollinger, formerly at Kenner told me, “You succeeded because you didn’t know all the reasons why it wouldn’t succeed.”  Read More . . . 

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Financial & Legal News . . .

A former Facebook product manager told Congress that the company's products harm children and stoke division, while Facebook executives hide research about the social network's risks to keep its business humming.  Frances Haugen, speaking to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, said Facebook needs to be subject to the same kind of government regulation that covers Big Tobacco...

Disney Channels U.S. acquires ZAG Heroez’ CGI action-comedy series GhostforceAward-winning global independent animation studio ZAG has licensed its action-comedy series Ghostforce to Disney Channels U.S. Created and produced by Jeremy Zag, the supernatural series for kids aged 6–10 follows 3 junior-high school students who form a secret team to defend their city from the ghastly ghouls haunting it. Ghostforce...

(the above posted after October 1st)

B.C.'s first unionized animation workers ratify collective agreement. The 200 workers at Titmouse studio are the second group of animators in Canada to unionize. The deal comes one year after the workers became the first in B.C.'s animation industry to unionize, organizing under Animation Guild, Local 938 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), around concerns over unpaid overtime...

The Board Game Business Is Booming, But the Global Shipping Crisis Could Be Disastrous.  As prices skyrocket for both shipping containers and space onboard overseas cargo ships, shipping delays and freight cost increases are hitting board game publishers, and particularly smaller companies, hard. Despite the fact that consumers are buying games, there’s no way for publishers to get products to their customers...

Cartoons and children's shows are next on the chopping block in China's entertainment crackdown.  The National Radio and Television Administration, the country's broadcasting authority, announced late Friday that it would ban cartoons and other TV shows primarily produced for children that contain any mention of violence, blood, vulgarity or pornography.

RETAILERS CHARTERING THEIR OWN SHIPS  And Leasing Containers.  It had to happen: large retailers have begun to charter their own ships and lease containers to handle shipping inbound goods from Asia to North America.  The most recent was Costco, which chartered three ocean vessels for the next year, and leased thousands of containers to use on the ships, CFO Richard Galanti explained to analysts...

Fresh series of power cuts hit China factoriesFactories in at least 10 Chinese provinces have either cut output or closed temporarily this month, after government-imposed power cuts aimed at curbing carbon emissions. According to a report in The Loadstar, the cuts came after China’s economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission, unveiled a plan to restrict energy-intensive....

Asmodee owners rumoured to be looking to sell the company for 2b Euros. According to a report on the Board Game Quest website, PAI Partners is in the process of exploring its options for a sale of the Asmodee business. Board Game Quest, a specialist website for the hobby gaming market, quotes Stephen Bounocore, the now-retired publisher of Stronghold Games (one of the publishers distributed by Asmodee)...

China's growing power crunch threatens more global supply chain chaos. A growing power supply crunch in China is triggering blackouts for households and forcing factories to cut production, threatening to slow the country's vast economy and place even more strain on global supply chains. Companies in the country's industrial heartlands have been told to limit their energy consumption in order to reduce...

Evergrande: Chinese property giant 'misses another payment deadline'. The hugely indebted Chinese property giant Evergrande has missed interest payments to overseas investors for the second time in a week, reports say. Evergrande was due to pay foreign bond holders $47.5m (£35m) by Wednesday. But bondholders told Reuters news agency and Bloomberg that they were yet to receive any payment.

Esports professionally recognised in Thailand. Players will now have access to public funding and support. Esports has been recognised as an official sport in Thailand. Last week, the Thai E-Sports Federation shared a notice from the Thai government's official newspaper, the Royal Gazette, indicating that esports was now recognized as a professional sport in the country.

New South Wales extends tax rebate to game developers. The New South Wales government is set to widen its current 10 per cent post, digital and visual effects (PDV) rebate to games projects in the region. The rebate has been extended to create more jobs in creative industries across NSW, particularly games companies. The state is already home to a number of studios, including Wargaming Sydney, Blowfish Studios...

China bans livestreaming by children under 16. China today announced that live streaming service operators are banned from allowing anyone under 16 from registering to stream online, according to the South China Morning Post. The move was just one of several new restrictions on digital entertainment aimed at children, part of a series of new guidelines around childhood development. 

The real guy from The Big Short gets subpoenaed about GameStop. The frenzy around GameStop and other meme stocks from earlier this year may have quieted down a bit, but the SEC is still diligently on the case, trying to get to the bottom of what happened. That apparently includes subpoenaing big time investor Michael Burry, famous for betting against the 2000s housing bubble …

Over 200 Chinese games firms reportedly vow to self-regulate in face of new restrictions. More than 200 games companies based in China have reportedly promised to self-regulate their games according the new restrictions introduced by the Chinese government in recent weeks. Reuters reports the CGIFC gaming association -- a state-backed trade body affiliated with the National Press and Publication Administration...

Marvel files suits in new rights battle. Seeks to block copyright terminations. A new battle over the rights to key Marvel characters broke out on Friday, as Marvel filed lawsuits against Larry Lieber and the estates of Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Don Rico, and Gen Colan to block their efforts to terminate copyrights in works created for Marvel, according to Variety.  

Trucking mess – ParcelHero says government’s solution falls short. Delivery expert ParcelHero believes the government’s ‘lily-livered’ compromise won’t scratch the surface of the EU driver problem. ParcelHero has warned that the government’s decision to allow just 5,000 foreign drivers into the UK is a compromise that has infuriated Brexiteers while doing nothing to plug the shortfall of 100,000 drivers. 

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Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

Toy Association Unveils Hot Holiday Toy Trends . . . . . . Diamond Top 400 Graphic Novels--August 2021 . . . . . .  Diamond Top 400 Comics--August 2021 . . . . . . Premium Playing Cards Booming as Impulse Items . . . . . . Top 20 Graphic Novels - September 2021 . . . . . .  Top 50 Comics - September 2021

(the above posted after October 1st)

The Indian toy market, which is currently estimated at $1 billion, has the potential to double itself by 2025 . . . . . . Fall 2021 TV Survey: 18 Network Chiefs on the Shows They’d Steal and How the Biz Should Change . . . . . . Licensing industry diversity programs on the rise . . . . . . Canada’s toy industry faces supply chain crunch ahead of busy holiday season . . . . . . . TikTok says 1 billion people use the app each month . . . . . . Halloween spending soars as celebrations near pre-pandemic levels . Record sales expected as merch hits shelves earlier than usual

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

Smyths Toys UK & NI revenue holds steady

(the above posted after October 1st)

LEGO reported a 46% rise in first-half sales to 23 billion Danish kroner, equivalent to $3.62 billion, while net profit more than doubled to 6.32 billion kroner . . . . . . Australia: Toys ‘R’ Us downgrades FY21 result with $5.1 million loss . . . . . . . CMON snags Two Little Mice makers of 'Broken Compass' TTRPG . . . . . . Netflix acquires Oxenfree developer Night School Studio . . . . . . . Fabrik Games has been acquired by PlayStation-owned studio Firesprite . . . . . . Sony officially acquires Bluepoint Games after accidentally teasing the deal . . . . . . Sales by Diamond, Alliance Up Strongly vs. 2019 . . . . . . Genshin Impact earns $2 billion after 'unheard of' success in first year

Future Financial Reporting . . .

Mattel announced that it plans to release its third quarter 2021 financial results on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at approximately 4:05 p.m. ET. Following this, Mattel will host a conference call and webcast at 5:00 p.m. ET. The conference call will be webcast on Mattel's Investor Relations website, https://investors.mattel.com. To listen to the live call, log on to the website at least 10 minutes early to register, download and install any necessary audio software. An archive of the webcast will be available on the Company's website for 90 days and may be accessed beginning approximately two hours after the completion of the live call. A telephonic replay of the call will be available beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time the evening of the call until Thursday, Oct 28, 2021 and may be accessed by dialing +1-404-537-3406. The passcode is 6941839.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments & Advice . . .

Robosen Optimus Prime Toy Review: Probably The Most Amazing Toy Ever Made. Back when Hasbro revealed the existence of a self-transforming Optimus Prime toy from the original Transformers, many couldn’t believe their eyes. Well, it’s here and very real as well as being entirely amazing. To give a bit of context to the design itself, Optimus Prime as we know him is the leader of the Autobots in the ...

(the above posted after October 1st)

John Baulch, ToyWorld (UK) - He’s lost control (again)…it’s the Friday Blog!  2021 – the year that just keeps on giving. This week has seen parts of the UK resemble a scene from the Mad Max movies, as brave souls wander a dystopian landscape in search of fuel, fighting with anyone who got in their way. It certainly puts the challenges faced by toy companies this year into perspective – right now, there are far bigger things to worry about than whether little Johnny will get exactly the right Among Us figure this Christmas.

Parents and teachers are focusing on social-emotional learning more than ever before. According to a new survey from publisher McGraw Hill, 94% of educators are aware of the concept and its value for kids, compared to 83% in 2018. US schools have also started teaching kids how to manage their emotions, maintain healthy relationships and make empathetic decisions, according to the “2021 Social and Emotional...

Kohl’s cracks open its holiday Toy Box. The holiday shopping season is upon us, and Kohl’s is the latest major retailer in the U.S. to unveil its picks for the hottest toys of the season. This year, Kohl’s Toy Box is offering a curated selection of toys across eight top categories both online and in-store. This year’s selection features exclusive toys from Mattel, Hasbro, Step2, Melissa & Doug, LEGO, and more.

Gabby’s Dollhouse, Bluey & 5 other toys predicted to sell out this holiday seasonJingle All the Way may be a classic holiday movie, but let’s face it: Nobody wants to be Arnold Schwarzenegger battling crowds (and “sleazy con men in red suits”) to score the only gift your kid wants this year. But, due to COVID-19 production shutdowns sparking a shipping container shortage—making it harder to get products made overseas...

Midco Toys announces Top 12 festive predictions. Retailers have already begun to release their top toys lists for Christmas 2021. As consumers heed the heavily promoted “shop early” messages, and seek to mitigate any toy supply issues this year, information on top toy recommendations needs to be disseminated in good time, to help everyone plan and prepare for Christmas and to make sure consumers know ...

Macy and Toys"R"Us kick off holiday play with Geoffrey's Hot Toy ListGood news for Toys“R”Us kids of all ages – Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List has arrived! Featuring the 75 hottest toys of the 2021 season from the most globally recognized leader in toys, the curated assortment showcases top toy trends, inspired by popular characters, items that bring families together, and toys that stimulate imagination and interactive play...

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Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Parlett’s History of Board Games. Written by game researcher and inventor, David Parlett, History of Board Games explores the origins and ongoing evolution of popular and lesser-known board games. The book is an updated edition from a previous release titled The Oxford History of Board Games. Over 386 pages, Parlett provides insight into the history and development of more than 200 games, from the ancient predecessors of checkers and chess to modern classics like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit.

Lost in Space Helmet from Remco (1966). Kids of the 1960s could “try on” space exploration with the Lost in Space Helmet from Remco. Airing on the CBS television network from 1965 to 1968, the Lost in Space series chronicled the fictional lives of the Robinson family and their cohorts as they explored — and got lost in — space. The show quickly gained a loyal audience thanks to the sci-fi subject matter, scenic design, and memorable one-liners such as, “Danger, Will Robinson!”

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Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Crayola enters into new Bluey partnership The deal covers the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the UK where the Bluey range will be available in January 2022. Crayola has signed a multi-territory licensing deal for stationery, arts, crafts and colouring packs, further expanding the global licensing portfolio for multi-award-winning property, 

Schleich teams up with National Geographic Kids for new play sets.  The multi-year partnership will produce play sets to encourage children to be enthusiastic about nature conservation through play. With nature and environmental matters high on the agenda for many families, German toy manufacturer Schleich and National Geographic Kids have collaborated to launch a series of new play sets designed to get children...

(the above posted after October 1st)

Fisher-Price Expands Little People Collector Line with New Figures.  Three new Fisher-Price Little People Collector collections debuted this week, including the Golden Girls, the Rolling Stones, and Inspiring Women. Fans of each can take home the tiny version of big names, either for their kids’ toy boxes or for their own collector’s shelf.

These Jurassic World Collectibles Combine Slime, Dinos, and Epic Battles.  ToyMonster revealed plans for a U.S. launch of its Jurassic World Captivz Clash Edition line. These dinosaur egg collectibles are set to hit store shelves in November (just in time for the holidays), and each comes with a detailed dinosaur figure. Inside, kids will also discover lava-like slime, a battle token, and a battle guide inside

JAZWARES’ ‘DO, RE & ME’ TOYS LAND AT AMAZON. Characters from the new Amazon Original animated series Do, Re & Mi are flying into the toy department, appropriately, at Amazon. The new musical series about a trio of bird buds voiced by Kristen Bell, Jackie Tohn, and Luke Youngblood debuted last week on Amazon Video and Jazwares just released its first toys from the series with more to follow in the months ahead.

Konami Cross Media NY, Inc. named PhatMojo as master toy licensee for Yu-Gi-Oh! to develop a toy line for the brand in time for the 2022 holiday season. “PhatMojo is one of the fastest growing toy and brand management companies and we are excited about our new partnership with a company that prides itself on creativity and connecting fan communities,” said Konami VP of licensing and marketing, Jennifer Coleman. .

Cubles, known for its collectible, 3D paperboard character, has entered into a licensing partnership with Professional Bull Riders (PBR), brokered by IMG. Cubles is launching a PBR-branded line featuring four riders with bulls, available now on PBRShop.com and Cubles.com, and coming to additional retailers later this month. Recommended for ages 6 and up Cubles are a 3D mash-up of puzzles, origami, action figures...

WowWee will release Mattel’s Barbie Dream Playhouse as a Pop2Play foldable playset this November.  Kids can play inside the bedroom loft, featuring a pop-up bed and dresser along with cardboard accessories so they can play with their own Barbie dolls. The playhouse comes complete with a kitchen, doors and windows that open and close and more. The pop-up Barbie Dream Playhouse folds flat once kids are done...

'Alice Cooper's Horrorbox' creeps into U.S. retail. FITZ Games will release Alice Cooper's HorrorBox, a party game, into U.S. retail on October 20. Publisher Services, Inc. (PSi) is handling the sales, warehousing, and shipping of FITZ Games' lines as of September 13. This new party game is written by a team of horror-loving comedians and approved by rocker Alice Cooper. 

Bluey’s Caravan Adventures commercial rolls outBluey is getting cheeky in a new commercial for Moose Toys‘ Bluey’s Caravan Adventures Playset. Hot on the heels of its inclusion in the Toy Insider‘s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide as one of this year’s top holiday toys, the Caravan is being showcased in a retro-style commercial that taps into the “must-have” vibe of a camper when heading out on an adventure. 

MGM, Outright Games partner on ‘The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem’ game. Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) and Outright Games, working with developer studio PHL Collective, have launched the first console game for the CGI version of “The Addams Family: Mansion Mayhem.”  Based on the new animated feature films “The Addams Family” and its upcoming sequel “The Addams Family 2,”...

The Op releases Disney Mickey and Friends Food Fight. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are on their way to meet Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck on the Boardwalk when they decide to get some food and the Snack Shack has the best eats on the beach. But in their excitement to be the first to eat, the pals get into a skirmish with their trays in hand, and suddenly everyone’s wearing their lunch.  

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People . . . 

In this week’s  “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton welcomes Doug Putman, the new owner of Toys “R” Us Canada and Babies “R” Us Canada. Putman’s latest venture places the iconic retailer into a portfolio that includes Everest Toys, Sunrise Records, Alex Global Products, and FYE. On the show, Albritton asks Putman about his backstory and what drives him to purchase...

Both sides now – HTI’s Richard Hollis.  Toy World spoke to Richard about his new role at HTI and how the company’s licensing strategy continues to evolve with him at the helm. In March, HTI announced that licensing stalwart Richard Hollis would be taking over the role of licensing manager from Michelle Dalziel, shifting his extensive experience as a licensor, with companies including the BBC and DreamWorks, to the other...

Bardel gets new CEO & COO.  Former EVP of development Tina Chow will lead the studio, while Richard Grieve oversees operations as COO.

Italian parentco Rainbow has promoted Tina Chow (pictured right) and Richard Grieve (pictured left) to head up its Canadian animation studio Bardel Entertainment. Effective this month, Chow takes over as CEO, while Grieve will serve as COO.  A five-year Bardel veteran, Chow...

Less than a month after his promotion to CEO, Brian Robbins has started a leadership shake-up at Paramount Pictures, bringing in Nickelodeon Animation head Ramsey Naito to replace Mireille Soria as animation president for the ViacomCBS motion picture group. This comes less than a week after Emma Watts exited her role as president of Paramount Pictures. Paramount did not give a reason for the departure...

USPT interview Debbie Sterling, founder of GoldieBloxGrowing up, Debbie’s favorite subjects were math and art, but she didn’t realize her creativity and knack for numbers would set her up for a successful engineering career. In fact, she didn’t even know what engineering was until college. Now, she’s made it her mission to introduce young girls to engineering concepts in fun and engaging ways through GoldieBlox...

(the above posted after October 1st)

Lori MacPherson joins JAKKS Pacific board of directors. Lori MacPherson, former EVP, global product management for Walt Disney Studios, has joined the board of JAKKS Pacific. MacPherson has held various senior marketing and product management positions within The Walt Disney Company since 1991 — including at senior vice president and general manager of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment North America...

Lindsay Pierce has joined the Revenew Sales team!  Lindsay has been named VP-Sales and will be handling mid-tier Key Account retailers with whom she has built successful relationships during her career in the Toy Industry.  She is also excited about taking on current Revenew Sales accounts with a goal to create even more successful partnerships.  Lindsay is based is Portland, OR but will be handling accounts....

Modi Toys co-founder Avani Modi Sarkar was recognized as one of Inc.‘s 2021 Female Founders 100. Sarkar and her brother, Viral Modi, are Indian immigrants who launched the company in 2018, after they were inspired to create plush toys that would help them to pass their cultural and religious traditions on to their first-generation, Indian-American children. Each Modi Toys plush represents a Hindu deity and...

Senior changes at Simba Toys Benelux as MDs retireDirk Cremelie, supported by Emmanuel Verledens, takes up the reins as Paul Lannoy and Dick Verhoye start their retirement.  N.V. Simba Toys Benelux S.A., the subsidiary of the Belgian-headquartered Simba Dickie Group, has announced a change to its management as long-standing managing directors Paul Lannoy and Dick Verhoye start their well-earned retirement. 

Basic Fun! appointed Craig Leaf its new president. Company founder and former president, Jay Foreman, will remain CEO. As president, Leaf is tasked with driving top- and bottom-line growth, while focusing on expanding market share, building the business across all channels, and partnering with customers and the global Basic Fun! team. He is based out of the company’s headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.

WarnerMedia Kids & Family is expanding its creative and programming team with new hires Gloria Ponce and Sowon Sawyer, who will both report to  head of kids and family programming Amy Friedman.Sawyer was named VP of program planning, and will focus on the recently launched Cartoonito block plus other programming initiatives across Cartoon Network and HBO Max.

Sesame Workshop has promoted CMO Samantha Maltin, adding an EVP remit to her portfolio that now includes oversight of events and IP growth. Maltin reports to president Sherrie Westin, and is now responsible for expanding the non-profit’s brand and humanitarian efforts through events, as well as leaning on its content archive to make a bigger impact and drive revenue internationally. 

Paramount Pictures shuffles execs  Motion Picture Group president Emma Watts has left, and Daria Cercek and Michael Ireland were promoted to take her place. Paramount did not provide a reason for Watts’s exit; she joined the company in March 2020, fresh off a stint leading the 20th Century label for Disney following its acquisition of Fox.

Ayo Davis takes charge of Disney Branded TV.  The longtime Disney exec will take over from Gary Marsh in heading up programming and operations as president of the content division. In her new role, Davis will oversee programming, strategy, casting, current series, development projects, business affairs and marketing for all content going to Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.

Companies, Brands . . .  

In celebration of World Space Week, YouTube Originals has teamed up with US VP and head of the National Space Council Kamala Harris on a new special for kids and families. Get Curious with Vice President Harris is produced by Canada’s Sinking Ship Entertainment and tags along with the VP and several students as they explore space themes through activities like a fieldtrip to the U.S.Naval Observatory...

Knowledge Network preps first original kids show. Epic Story Media, Groupe Media TFO and the pubcaster are co-producing Luna, Chip & Inkie Adventure Rangers Go, which will premiere in April 2022. Luna, Chip & Inkie Adventure Rangers Go is based on the network’s long-time mascots (an owl, beaver and octopus trio), and will follow along as the characters find creative solutions to solve problems for their neighbors...

Hasbro Releases New Version of Mahjong. Mahjong is a tile-based game that originated in China in the 1800s. A modern-day married couple, Jennifer Guo and Adam Szakacs, are looking to connect their Chinese and Jewish cultures with a new variation on the classic game, called Not Your Ma’s Jong.

Neil Patrick Harris Unveils Moose Toys’ Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron at CAMP.  One of the hottest toys of the holiday season made its debut in New York City. Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris unveiled the power of Moose Toys’ Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron at CAMP‘s Columbus Circle store. 

Jakks Pacific Releases Line for Disney’s Encanto.  This comprehensive line will celebrate Disney’s new family ensemble, as well as key moments and songs from the movie, with toys that kids can use to recreate their favorite scenes. The Encanto line will include interactive playsets, such as the Magical Casa Madrigal, Singing Mirabel and Magic Butterfly doll, Sing and Play Mirabel doll, Mirabel and Isabela fashion doll assortment...

Bonkers Toys Introduces Aphmau MeeMeows Mystery Plush Collectibles.  A new line of collectibles is on the prowl at Walmart. Bonkers Toys unleashed its first wave of Aphmau MeeMeows Mystery Plush this week — the first retail toys created in partnership with the top female gaming star on YouTube

Zeptolab preps Om Nom preschool spinoff.  EXCLUSIVE: The decade-old gaming brand is getting its first preschool series and podcast through new partnerships with Storytime and Pinna. In an effort to reach a new generation of kids, Zeptolab is spinning off a popular character from its Cut the Rope gaming IP to star in a new original series and podcast. Introduced more than a decade ago in a series of physics-based puzzle...

Peacock greenlights pair of preschool originals.  Dark Slope is producing CG-animated Babble Bop!, while Sky and Peacock are collaborating on their second kids series The Makery. US streamer Peacock is expanding its kids programming offering with two new preschool series, Babble Bop! and The Makery. Set to drop in Dec., music-focused Babble Bop! is a 72 x 2.5-minute series that will be delivered in half-hour blocks. 

ToyTopic introduces ‘serious portfolio’.  Toy World caught up with Ashley Holman of ToyTopic to hear about his brand new venture and why the time was right to launch a new toy company.  “It’s been a whirlwind year,” Ashley told us. He isn’t exaggerating. The new business, which was set up just as the pandemic hit, has not only signed a multi-territory licence agreement with Hasbro for its flagship Peppa Pig property...

Tesco’s toy buyers have revealed their top picks for this Christmas to give parents some insight into what’s been popular in toys this year.  As the countdown to the big day begins in earnest, Tesco has offered a bit of help to those making a start on their Christmas lists.  The supermarket reported an impressive 400% increase in demand for board games and kidult toys during lockdown, and buyers believe that...

Amazon has announced the opening of its first non-food store in the UK, to range around 2,000 of its highest-rated lines. The 3,500 sq ft store opens in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford today (October 6th) and will carry around 2,000 of the online retailer’s most popular and best-rated products. Named ‘Amazon 4-star’, the store’s inventory will be made up of items that have been given more than 4 stars...

HUGE! Play launches first toy.  Conceived and launched during the pandemic, the toyco's first AI product starts delivering DTC next month, says Kevin Mowrer.  HUGE! Play is making sure its first-ever product will be in kids’ hands in time for the holidays. As many manufacturers and retailers continue to struggle with ongoing delays in the shipping industry, the US-based toyco is guaranteeing that its newly launched...

Holly Hobbie switches commissioning broadcasters.  BYUtv is taking over from Hulu in the US for future episodes, and Disney Channel has picked up the first three seasons of the show stateside.  As Cloudco Entertainment wraps production on the third season of Holly Hobbie for Hulu, it’s changing commissioning broadcasters for future episodes.

Sesame Workshop is expanding its “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” program with new resources and content to help families create routines, build flexibility and cope with change. The new video sees the four-year-old Sesame character learning how to manage her fear of the dark by drawing what she’s afraid of. It’s accompanied by printable activity and coloring sheets to help children develop...

‘Gridopolis’ Among 10 Tabletop Games to Earn 2021 Mensa Select® Seal. Winners were recognized for being “original in concept, challenging, and well designed”.  Awarded annually by a judging panel of Mensa members, the Mensa Select seal indicates that a game is distinctive, challenging, and thoughtfully designed. Additional criteria include good value for the price, easy to comprehend and play, and fun factor. 

SMF Toytown confirms new board structure.  An email has been sent to all Toytown stores, announcing the ‘semi-retirement’ of MD, Alan Simpson, and detailing the new board structure. Following the news of Brian Simpson’s return to the family business, the email sent to all SMF Toytown stores advises that the new board structure is effective immediately. Although Alan is taking a step back, he will retain the title...

Netflix continues to expand its preschool lineup with four new CG-animated series orders and a pair of renewals. The streamer has picked up Mattel Television’s Deepa & Anoop (pictured), a music-driven series starring seven-year-old Deepa and her color-changing elephant Anoop as they help guests at her family’s bed and breakfast. 

(the above was posted after October 1st)

How Sesame is pivoting the Not-Too-Late Show.  With a wider focus, more predictability and real kids having fun with celeb guests, the show should be more engaging for preschoolers, says Ben Lehmann. Sesame Workshop is raising the curtain on season two of its live-action series The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo. And armed with lessons from the first batch of episodes...

FoxMind Expands Go Pop! Collection of Pop It! Toys.  The company that created the viral Pop It! craze is rolling out a new range of products this fall. FoxMind is expanding its Go Pop! collection with new toys and games, including fresh shapes, new sizes, family gameplay, and a range of collectible, limited-edition designs.

Basic Fun!, Timber Moose Lodge Attempt Lincoln Logs Guinness World Record.  An epic, 3-day play date is currently underway in Utah, where a group of builders is hard at work on constructing a massive building from Lincoln Logs. Basic Fun! and Timber Moose Lodge are collaborating on a Guinness World Record attempt for the “Largest Lincoln Logs Structure” — a 200-sq-ft log cabin utilizing more than 30,000 pieces.

Nintendo and Illumination announced a Super Mario Bros. animated movie is coming to theaters Dec 2022. Chris Pratt will star as the voice of Mario, along with Charlie Day (Luigi), Anya-Taylor Joy (Peach), Jack Black (Bowser), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), Fred Armisen (Cranky Kong), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad), Kevin Michael Richardson (Kamek), Sebastian Maniscalco (Spike), and surprise cameos from Charles Martinet.

Wondery launches kids podcast subscription. To meet growing demand for screen-free, family-friendly content, Wondery+ Kids will feature originals and series from both Tinkercast and Audible. Amazon podcast studio Wondery is accelerating its growth plan in the kids space with a new subscription service. Launching exclusively on Apple Podcasts today, Wondery+ Kids (US$4.99 monthly) is aimed at 4-12-year-olds...

Wizards of the Coast has launched a new games studio, the 1st project an action-adventure game set in the GI Joe universe. Wizards of the Coast has posted several job listings related to a new games development studio based out of the Raleigh-Durham area of NC. The game studio is led by "industry veterans" from WB Games, the studio behind the Hitman series and several of the Batman: Arkham games. 

German toymaker says goodbye to Merkel with commemorative teddy bear. Angela Merkel has been called many things during her 16 years as German chancellor. Soft and cuddly were rarely in the mix. But now, as Merkel prepares to leave office, a German toy company has unveiled a commemorative teddy bear that’s exactly that. Hermann-Spielwaren, a century-old, family-owned toy manufacturer based in Coburg, Germany...

American Girl Celebrates 35 Years: It’s Not Child’s Play. In honor of its 35th anniversary, American Girl staged a fashion show at its Rockefeller Center flagship with help from designers Prabal Gurung and Carly Cushnie and Harlem’s Fashion Row. With a salon, doll hospital, café and other attractions, the 38,000-square-foot store is kaleidoscopic maze in itself. Building on the company’s inclusivity-driven heritage...

Mattel introduces New Barbie Mega Construx line. Barbie is getting smaller. Mattel is releasing a new Barbie Mega Construx line! Known for its immersive construction sets, Mega Construx has found its niche, previously releasing lines inspired by other Mattel brands, including Hot Wheels, Masters of the Universe, and Monster High. This new Barbie Mega Construx line has something for every Barbie fan. 

Smyths Toys launches Barbie Dreamhouse campaign with Mattel. Smyths Toys Superstores has unveiled a new Barbie Dreamhouse campaign in collaboration with Mattel. This animation opens the door on the dolls house, as seen through the eyes of a child and follows Barbie and Oscar on a tour of the Barbie Dreamhouse, brought to life by McCann Manchester Animation House.

ZAG‘s ‘Power Players’ toys to debut spring 2022. ZAG will launch “Power Players” 3D animated/live-action hybrid action-comedy for 6- to 11-year-old boys to audiences in China in October. The series, co-produced by ZAG, on kids & family (Mediawan) and Planeta Junior, will premiere simultaneously on digital platforms Tencent and Mango TV. REESEE Entertainment, the brand’s media and L&M agent in China brokered...

CMON will release 'Ankh: Gods of Egypt Pantheon' expansion. CMON will release Ankh: Gods of Egypt Pantheon, an expansion for Ankh, into U.S. retail on October 29.The Pantheon expansion adds five more gods to choose from at the beginning of the game. These gods include Set, Bastet, Hathor, Horus, and Toth, and they come come with their own warriors, dashboards, ankh tokens, and more. 

Restoration Games and Mondo Games restructure their 'unmatched' relationship. Restoration Games and Mondo Games have announced that they have restructured their relationship in regards to the publication of Unmatched battle games. In the restructured arrangement, Restoration Games will assume the role of the publisher for all Unmatched games. 

Hexbug launches new additions to STEM toy range. This month sees Hexbug launch new additions to its Mobots and Micro Robotics Creates ranges, as well as upgrades to the collectible Junkbots range. Hexbug first launched in 2007 and quickly developed in popularity with kids of all ages. The company expects the new releases will prove just as popular this Christmas. 

Jurassic World Captivz Clash edition to make U.S. debut. Australian toymaker ToyMonster is launching its Jurassic World Captivz Clash Edition in the U.S. The new line of dinosaur collectibles hits shelves in time for the holiday season in November. “We’ve been blown away by the massive fan response to our Captivz line,” said ToyMonster global head of brand and marketing. 

Hunt A Killer creates Agatha Christie game. Hunt A Killer, an immersive entertainment company announced their new partnership with Agatha Christie Limited, who manage the literary and media rights to Christie’s works around the world on new game. The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge is based on Agatha Christie's 1923 short story. 

Konami announces first core 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG' set of 2022. Konami Digital Entertainment announced Battle of Chaos, a core booster set for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, which will release in February. This 100-card set showcases cards that work with Yugi Muto’s Dark Magician. These cards include a new Ritual Monster, a new Fusion Monster, and a new Dragon form of Timaeus.

Create spooky quilts for HalloweenAsmodee USA will release Patchwork: Halloween Edition, board game by Lookout Games, into retail on October 15. Uwe Rosenberg's Patchwork is back with another holiday edition . This time around the theme involves weaving eyeballs in with various patches to make a Halloween-themed quilt. 

LEGO Star Wars Battles brings epic, hilarious Minifigure clashes to Apple Arcade. An Ewok versus Darth Vader? Leia versus Boba Fett? BB-8 versus R2-D2? The possibilities are endless, fun, and often times hilarious in LEGO Star Wars Battles, which launches today on Apple Arcade. In the new PVP strategy game, announced earlier this month, you’ll create your own army of Star Wars characters from across the saga ...

The Droids are back: Hasbro to remake some of the rarest Star Wars figures. For those who weren't collecting Star Wars toys in the '80s, the Droids series was among the last released by Kenner in 1985 before the Star Wars line was discontinued. These figures were based on the animated series rather than the original movies, with both the figures themselves and their packaging differing quite a bit from past releases. 

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

Nintendo says it has 'no plans' for 4K Switch as dev kit rumors circulate. Nintendo says it has "no plans" to release a 4K Nintendo Switch after Bloomberg claimed multiple developers are working on games for such a device. The publication reported that at least 11 companies had been provided with the tools to make 4K titles for the Switch, including some studios that have never made a console game before.

Xbox Cloud Gaming launches in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. Microsoft is launching its Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan. The software giant has been testing streaming Xbox Game Pass Ultimate games in these markets over the past few months, and is now ready to greatly expand the reach of its xCloud technology. 

Netflix buys its first video game studio, rolls out mobile games in select European markets. Netflix has bought video game creator Night School Studio and rolled out five mobile gaming titles in select European markets, the company said on Tuesday, as it looks to diversify revenue sources amid intensifying competition in the streaming space.

Ticked off Genshin Impact Players go on review-bomb spree. Genshin Impact’s one-year anniversary is underway, but not all players are finding it a cause for celebration. For anyone familiar with the game’s community on social media or who follows some of its biggest streamers, it’s been impossible to escape players’ complaints about the anniversary rewards.

How Atari's new CEO is looking to recharge the brand. Few brands in gaming have a past as long -- or as checkered -- as Atari. After kickstarting both the arcade and home gaming scenes in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Atari name has changed hands a number of times, with each new steward of the brand seeking to return it to its glory days.

Netflix’s mobile gaming platform spreads to Spain, Italy. It has only been a few months since Netflix confirmed plans to include games as part of its subscription, and after an initial test in Poland, the streamer is opening its selection of Android titles to customers in Spain and Italy. While Netflix has had some promotional titles before, with tie-ins recently revealed for everything from Oculus VR to PC gamers on Steam,...

New AAA game division to open under Hasbro’s Wizards of the CoastThe New Raleigh-Durham Studio, based in North Carolina, will develop console and PC games based on Hasbro properties. As reported by Gamerant’s Trumann Tu, Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast division is taking the company into the world of video gaming for the first time with its very own AAA game division and studio.

Microsoft starts testing xCloud integration on Xbox consoles. Microsoft is starting to test its Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) integration with Xbox consoles today. Some Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha rings will be able to access the xCloud integration today, a feature that lets you click play on an Xbox Game Pass game and stream it immediately. 

New Nintendo Switch Pokémon will have bits that look kinda like a Game Boy. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl got a new trailer Tuesday morning, showing off all kinds of neat new details. For example, there will be an improved Pokétch utility watch, Pokémon hangout parks, and surfing Bidoofs. It also sounds like all those pesky HMs present in the original games won’t be a bother this time around. 

Hot Wheels Unleashed review – the unicorn of toy car racers (Xbox). For much of the time since Hot Wheels was introduced in 1968 it has been a solid staple toy for children most everywhere it’s been sold. Between being cheap and not taking up much space they’ve been an easy sell for parents, mine included. This means that they’ve been an important part of a lot of people’s lives and I was no exception.

Fall Guys dive into the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s safe to say that we’ve had our fair share of utterly surprising (but delightful!) moments since Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout stumbled into the world. From BAFTA nominations to a full-on bean-based ESPN documentary, those adorable beans have cropped up in some incredible places! 

Lumberpunk Beaver City building game becomes Steam top seller. Timberborn is a city builder simulation game with an unusual twist: You’re building a settlement for beavers. Timberborn takes place in a setting where human civilization ended and the beavers have taken over. Like most settlement building games, you collect resources, ensure that your residents are housed and fed, and expand your city. 

Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard pledges $18M to settle EEOC harassment and discrimination lawsuit. Activision Blizzard will create an $18 million compensation fund to settle a harassment lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC filed the suit against the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft maker on September 27, 2021, "to correct unlawful employment practices based on sex and to provide...

SOC Investment Group: Activision Blizzard execs need to be held accountable for toxic working cultureIn recent years, one organisation has been calling out some of the biggest companies in video games when it comes to executive pay. Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) Investment Group -- previously Change to Win (CtW) Investment Group -- has been bringing attention to both Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts over...

Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

Top safety tips for early holiday shoppers amid reports of expected toy shortage. Toy manufacturers are warning of potential supply-chain delays and global shipping issues due to COVID-19. Concerns about a possible toy shortage this holiday, are prompting many Americans to start their holiday shopping early. A new report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that in 2020,...

OPSS raises awareness on magnets safety. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is partnering with The Chartered Trading Standards Institute, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Child Accident Prevention Trust, British Retail Consortium, British Toy and Hobby Association, and partners within the NHS to produce magnets safety messages on how to keep children and teenagers safe. 

UK advertising regulator issues new guidance on in-game purchasesThe Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has published new guidance on advertising in-app purchases in video games. The guidelines were penned by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), and are broadly designed to "prevent harm or consumer detriment." 

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Highlighted Press Releases . . . 

EEBOO HAS THE PERFECT PIECES TO SOLVE EVERY PUZZLING HOLIDAY GIFT LIST.  Edutaining Puzzles, Games & Gift Ideas for Every Age and Stage Are In Stock and Ready to Wrap from eeBoo and Pieces & Love Collections.   The hunt is on this season for high-quality and thoughtfully designed presents for all generations. Lifestyle brand and toy manufacturer eeBoo announces its Top Ten gifts that are in stock and simply beautiful. Everything the eeBoo makes is designed to inspire and support a lifetime of empathy, creativity, and curiosity.

SHOPPING FOR SOMEONE ON SANTA’S GOOD LIST? (HE FILLS HIS SLED WITH THE GOOD GAME COMPANY). Santa Suggests Giftwrapping The Fast and Frenzied game of Not It!™ For Anyone On Your List That Enjoys A Quick Challenge And Hearty Laughter.  When friends or family gather this holiday season, who doesn’t love a good time of game playing? The Good Game Company puts a twist on the roll of the dice with Not It! (v1.0) a fast and frenzied fun for everyone! Just don’t expect Grandma to go easy on the kids… or vice versa!

(the above posted after October 1st)

A GIFT OF MOONLITE GIVES CHILDREN DAYS AND NIGHTS THAT ARE MERRY AND BRIGHT. Eric Carle And Fairy Tales Gift Packs In Stock Now For Kids At Every Stage Who Love To Read And See Storybook Pages!  – Family togetherness and lots of snuggles are part of the charm of the holiday season. So is the importance of a good night’s sleep. Get everyone in bed, eager for a story with Moonlite. This fun gadget bridges the gap between traditional and digital books and foster a magical, immersive storytelling experience that fuels your child’s imagination. With a restful sleep, days are merry and bright, and bedtime becomes a delight!

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards, Events & Festivals . . . 

Calling All Whizkids! People Of Play’s Annual Young Inventor Challenge Kicks Off.  The Young Inventor Challenge is blasting off 2021 with their newly awarded STEM.org Accredited™ Educational Experience Trustmark, and several new winning categories. People of Play (POP) is gearing up to kickoff the annual Young Inventor Challenge (YIC). This year’s contest is sponsored by toy giants; Goliath, Mattel, HABA, New Key Pet, LLC, and Crazy Aaron’s.  The YIC provides an outlet for young inventors to create, present and connect with toy industry professionals to receive professional critiques and guidance.

Be the Very Best at the 2022 Play! Pokémon Championship Series.  Next year, trainers from around the world will be invited to compete in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG); the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games; the Pokkén Tournament DX video game; and, for the first time, Pokémon Go to prove they’re the very best and for the chance to win millions in prizes. 

Over 80 toys and initiatives were submitted to the Play For Change Awards in the categories Empowerment, Sustainability and Future Skills.

Gold winners in the Empowerment Category – Miniland S.A. for Miniland Dolls with Down Syndrome. Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has unveiled the winners of the 2021 Play for Change Awards. TIE created the Play for Change Awards in 2020 to recognise the inspirational efforts....

Winners of BlogOn Toy Awards announced With more entries than ever before, votes were made by both in person and virtual judges, who awarded multiple Blogger’s Choice winners. The BlogOn Toy Awards employed a hybrid voting system that included virtual voters using live video demonstrations and in person voting at the BlogOn conference held last weekend. T

The BTHA has released the findings of a 2021 online marketplace toy safety investigation, showing that despite years of campaigning, dangerous toys are still being sold on online marketplaces. This time, 255 toys sold on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and Wish were randomly selected, inspected and tested, with a whopping 88% found to be illegal and 48% unsafe for a child to play with. 

(the above posted after October 1st)

VOTING NOW OPEN FOR THE 2021 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS - the TAGIEs.  People of Play (POP) are now accepting votes for the innovative and inspiring TAGIE nominees. Vote for your favorites HERE through October 31st. Chicago, IL - September 24 - Finalists for the prestigious TAGIE Awards have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs honor the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. The 2021 TAGIE Awards are presented by Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products with sponsors Mattel, Oxford Games, The Michael Kohner Corporation,  Goliath, Radio Flyer, PlayMonster, Nextoy, and Kite and Rocket.

Here are Kidscreen's MIPCOM picks with a fantastical, magical and mythical twist. MIPCOM is heading back to Cannes for its first in-person event since the pandemic began. The TV market will look a little different in 2021, and not just because of COVID-19 screenings and vaccination requirements. The two-day MIPJunior, traditionally held at a nearby hotel, has been folded into the broader...

The Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association will celebrate its diamond anniversary with ToyFest West taking place in a new location next year. The relocated event will take place March 9-11, 2022 at The Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas, a new tradeshow facility. Attendees will also have access to gift and accessory lines that are available in permanent showrooms at the World Market Center Las Vegas.

Spielwarenmesse adds new Sustainability category to ToyAward event.  Online entries for the ToyAward event launch on 1st October and the winners will be announced during Spielwarenmesse PressPreview in January.  As sustainability and climate protection increasingly edge into focus in the toy industry, and demand for toys made from ecological materials or that encourage environmentally friendly behaviour ...

More than 150 exhibitors now confirmed for BLE 2021. Brand Licensing Europe returns in-person from 17th-19th November at Excel, London.

152 companies are already confirmed to exhibit at Brand Licensing Europe 2021 and more are expected to sign shortly, with seven weeks still to go till the event starts. The announcement coincides with the launch of the event’s online platform. 

BTHA welcomes Kerri Atherton as head of Public Affairs.  Kerri will take up her new role at the  BTHA from 4th October as Natasha Crookes departs the organisation after 19 years. Following the previous announcement, that Natasha Crookes would be leaving the association on 12th October to set up her own business, the British Toy and Hobby Association is delighted to announce that Kerri Atherton...

Play for Change Awards finalists announced. Eight toy companies and one initiative are in the running to scoop the top awards at the online ceremony next week. The finalists for the 2021 Play for Change Awards have been announced by Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) with entries from Adventerra Games, BioBuddi, Dantoy, The Lego Group, Franckh-Kosmos Verlags, Mattel and Miniland selected as contenders...

Experts dwell on future of toys and gaming industry.  They may look like playthings for toddlers and children, but the new-age toys and games try to infuse educational philsophies and develop cognitire and motor skill among the players. The ongoing International Toy Desing and Innovation e-Symposium organized by the National Insititute of of design has brought together national and int'l experts to elaborate on the ...

Gloworm Festival secures 2-year partnership with Playmobil UK.  The signing of an additional 2-year deal with the family festival means Playmobil will have been a Gloworm sponsor for a total of six years. After the 2020 Gloworm festival was postponed due to the pandemic, Playmobil UK brought some much-needed creative play to the 20,000 people who attended the event in 2021. 

HKTDC unveils new December event.  HKTDC has revealed the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair is to be held together with other fairs in hybrid physical-digital format. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has contacted companies which would traditionally exhibit at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair in January, to inform them of a new event which is being held in December.

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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 colleagues. Archives can be found HERE.

David Watt  passed away earlier this month (Sept). Born in Ballymena in Northern Ireland in 1944, David worked for Lego from 1975 until 1999 as area sales manager in Northern Ireland, calling on independent retailers as well as some national accounts. Over his 24 years at Lego, David achieved the accolade of Top Salesman multiple times, winning the coveted Silver Lego Brick trophy with his name engraved. David will be remembered fondly by customers and colleagues alike, who describe him as full of passion and integrity for his work, with a great sense of humour. He lived for ‘the brick’ and was incredibly proud to work for Lego, taking great pride in what he achieved working for the group. Many of his customers knew him as the ‘Lego Man’.

Sir Clive Sinclair. Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor and entrepreneur who was instrumental in bringing home computers to the masses, has died on Thursday 16th after a long illness at the age of 81. Sir Clive Sinclair's contributions to the world extend beyond gaming, so prolific were his inventions. But as games professionals and enthusiasts alike expressed their sadness at news of his passing last week, it's clear the impact he had on the industry -- especially in the UK -- was profound and a key pillar to his legacy. Best known in the gaming world for his ZX consoles -- the ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum -- Sir Clive Sinclair provided the platform for many a developer to start their career. It wasn't just their capabilities, but also their affordability, with a ZX80 priced at less than £100. Sinclair believed in a future where every household was home to a computer, and his games consoles helped prove that could become a reality. Tributes have already been paid across social media, but we reached out to notable developers from the time, industry veterans familiar with his work, and other games professionals to share their thoughts on the life and legacy of Sir Clive Sinclair

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Weekly Top Stories from Toy and Game Trade Magazines Worldwide . . . 

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

  1. Basic Fun! Appoints Craig Leaf President

  2. Modi Toys Founder Named in Female Founders 100 List

  3. Nintendo Announces Super Mario Bros. Movie for 2022

  4. TAGIE Awards Unveil Finalists & Open Voting to Public

  5. Pop2Play to Add Barbie Dream Playhouse Set

  6. Samantha Maltin Promoted at Sesame Workshop

  7. PhatMojo Named Master Toy Partner for Yu-Gi-Oh! 

  8. Jurassic World Captivz Clash to Make U.S. Debut

  9. Basic Fun! Aims to Break Lincoln Logs World Record

  10. Cubles Strikes License Deal with Professional Bull Riders

ToyWorld (UK)

  1. He’s lost control (again)…it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Asmodee owners rumoured to be looking to sell the company for 2b Euros

  3. Lego builds on lockdown appeal as profits more than double

  4. Play for Change Awards finalists announced

  5. More than 150 exhibitors now confirmed for BLE 2021

  6. Smyths Toys launches Barbie Dreamhouse campaign with Mattel

  7. Fresh series of power cuts hit China factories

  8. Midco Toys announces Top 12 festive predictions

  9. Marvin’s Magic teams up with Ryan’s World

  10. BTHA welcomes Kerri Atherton as head of Public Affairs

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture's (US)

-  Gen Con 2021 Photos - Part 1
-  Retailers Chartering Their Own Ships
-  Gen Con 2021 Photos - Part 2
-  Gen Con Attendance Down 50%
-  GAMA Expels Bergren and TGG Games from Origins
-  Rolling for Initiative -- The Most Popular 'D&D' Character Class Is?
-  Sales by Diamond, Alliance Up Strongly vs. 2019
-  Gen Con 2021 Photos - Part 3
-  WizKids Reveals Two 'D&D' 'Paint Night Kits'
-  Another 'Pokemon TCG: Poke Ball Tin Display' Heads to Retail

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

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution
News Flash: Patchwork Halloween Edition, Glory Islands Announced
A new Halloween edition of Patchwork is coming soon, Rio Grande has announced a new game, and Paste Magazine posts a roundup of their favorite games at this year’s Gen Con.

Video of the Week! 

 

Hidden Role: The Brains Behind your Favorite Games

Aaron Muderick invented Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty! 

Creating a business from scratch is hard enough - but manufacturing the product, distributing it, AND running the company, all after quitting your job to pursue a dream? Sounds pretty crazy... but Aaron Muderick is an expert in crazy. He's here to share his journey from the smallest inkling of an idea to a worldwide success. Keep up with Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty:  https://crazyaarons.com/

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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

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