the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary
Below is September 3 - 10, 2021. Click Here for Last Week

Articles are posted daily with the most recent at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 
Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Welcome to your Weekly News Brief . . . 

Happy Friday! 

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. When the news broke that morning, I was in traffic headed downtown Chicago to my real estate job, inventing toys and games in my head to occupy the drivetime. Inventing was my side-hustle back then, and for me, both designing and playing with toys and games have always been welcome distractions. 

 

It is important to reflect on 9/11, as well as on the darkness of these past few years and acknowledge the importance of our work as playmakers. People have depended on our industry for diversion during this pandemic and for comfort in other times of stress. In Tim's column this week, he writes, "So keep looking your team in the eyes – and ground them with the simple truth that what we do matters.  It helped us cope 20 years ago… and it will again today." 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.

Mary

tBR Columnist Tim Kilpin:  Where Were You When?

Twin Towers.jpg

The commute up to the Disney offices in Burbank was always a pain, so I usually headed out early.  On this particular morning, I was already in the car by 6 am.  The local news was saying something about a small plane having hit a building in New York, but details were really sketchy.  I called my wife and suggested she turn on the TV, something was up.

 

By the time I got to Burbank that morning, the whole world had changed. 

 

The drive up became frantic, as teammembers called and reminded me that our partners from Hasbro were flying out that morning – from Boston to Los Angeles.  It took what seemed like hours to determine that they were scheduled for the next flight out, had been duly grounded, and were safe.  The rest of the day, as for so many of you, was a blur of shock, horror, and sadness.

In the days and weeks that followed, of course, nothing was normal.  These were the days of nascent war, of anthrax packages in newsrooms, of sniper fire in and around Washington D.C., of bomb threats called into Hollywood studios.

For a few weeks, security guards used long mirrors and trained dogs to check each vehicle at our studio gate for explosives.  Sobering stuff…and not at all conducive to, you know, actually getting work done.

 

Throughout all my years of work, I’ve used steno pads to keep my daily notes – questions, call and meeting notes, random doodles.  Today I dug through the pile of pads to find the one for September 2001 – and was surprised to see that I had made no notes at all that day.  In the jumbled diary of my entire professional life, 9/11 is simply not there.  Read More . . . 

tBR Person of the Week: Penn Holderness - This Christmas We're Screwed - Mariah Carey Parody

This video hits the nail on the head!  

#toys #games #shippingcontainers #logisticsnightmare #comedy #parody #christmas #HoldernessFamily

POP 3 Truths and a Lie ad edited July 2 2021.png

Financial & Legal News . . .

Are Asia to Europe shipping rates finally being contained?  Evidence has emerged suggesting that spot rates from Asia to North Europe may be coming down, seemingly in response to faltering demand. The Loadstar quotes two Chinese forwarding agent sources which claim that Hamburg Süd has reduced its October Shanghai to Felixstowe rate offer to $15,000 for a 40ft container, which is around $2,000 – $3,000 below current rates.

(the above posted after September 10th)

China temporarily suspends online game approvals as restrictions tighten. China has reportedly suspended online game approvals to combat what it views as a rise in video game addiction. According to a report from the South China Morning Post, which spoke to those with knowledge of the matter, the temporary suspension was announced during a regulatory meeting on Wednesday...

Xi Jinping’s crackdown on everything is remaking Chinese society. The orders have been sudden, dramatic and often baffling. Last week, “American Idol”-style competitions and shows featuring men deemed too effeminate were banned by Chinese authorities. Days earlier, one of China’s wealthiest actresses, Zhao Wei, had her movies, television series and news mentions scrubbed from the Internet...

Christmas toy story: UK retailers brace for shortage of stockUK retailers’ Christmas cheer is set to be rationed this year as logistical challenges both at home and in Asia will result in narrower product ranges and less discounting during the festive season. Supply issues in food distribution have dominated headlines in recent weeks, but non-food retailers are encountering similar setbacks in planning and stocking up...

Wata Games chief advisor accused of conflict of interest. The chief advisor of game grading firms Wata Games has been accused of selling in contradiction of company policy. In his substack newsletter, Proof writer Seth Abramson has said that Wata's Mark Haspel has been operating a side business on eBay selling Wata-graded Atari games. 

China-to-Hong Kong visitors will no longer need quarantine. Travelers arriving in Hong Kong from China will no longer need to quarantine, an important first step towards reopening the border with the mainland and reviving the flow of visitors that are important to the local economy. Chief executive Carrie Lam has announced that, as from Wednesday 15th September, a maximum of 2,000 people per day...

Gaps on store shelves are now commonplace in the UK. Brexit is one reason why. Choices are dwindling in British supermarkets and restaurants, due to a shrinking labor force. As more key workers leave for the EU, Boris Johnson's government says that's what the people voted for. For weeks, things have been bumpy for British supermarkets. Gaps keep opening up on their shelves.

From McDonalds to supermarkets: The slow-motion car crash of Britain's labor shortages. World trade in toys is a highly cyclical business. Every year, just as everyone is putting their Halloween masks away, Chinese exports of toys drop back, and by March the following year they will typically be nearly 60 per cent lower. For the last four years, October’s peak has been getting progressively lower. 

China's second-largest e-commerce platform bans unlicensed games after playtime crackdown. China's second-largest e-commerce platform, JD.com, has banned the sale of unlicensed 'grey market' video games after the Chinese government tightened playtime restrictions. As reported by the South China Morning Post, JD has pledged to remove up to 86 titles, including popular releases like The Last of Us Part 2, Super...

newyork-toy-600px-x-400px.jpg

 

Program Highlights

  • A++ rated insurer, $20 Billion in assets

  • Exceeds Wal-Mart and other leading retailers insurance requirements

  • Variable rate based on sales projections

  • Foreign & Domestic Liability coverage

  • Blanket additional insured vendors

  • Employee benefits liability

  • All certificates and claims handled in house

  • Quick quotation turnaround

  • Product recall expense $250,000 limit

 

Additional Coverage

  • Umbrella up to $50,000,000

  • Ocean Cargo & Property

  • Commercial Auto

  • Lead coverage

  • Intellectual properties (copyrights, trademarks, & patents)

  • Credit Insurance

  • US Customs Bond Insurance

  • Health Insurance

Call us today at 800-392-6958 (ext. 318)

for a free consultation and quotation for your business needs.

185 Newman Springs Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

Contact: Jason Welch: tel: 732-842-2012 (ext. 318), fax 732-530-7080, jawelch@york-jersey.com or Bob Witkin bobwitkin@york-jersey.com

Visit the York-Jersey Underwriters website at www.toy-insurance.com

Trends, Market Research Reports . . .

MOVIE, TV VIEWERSHIP IS BOOMING AS SCREEN ENTERTAINMENT SPENDING DECLINES, NPD SAYS . . . . . . The players – Games & Puzzles Touching Base . . . . . . As UK toy market performs strongly, NPD urges 'shop early this Christmas' . . . . . . Asmodee USA, Luma Imports Announce Price Increases

(the above posted after September 10th)

Trends driving impulse sales in the Playground Crazes & Pocket Money Collectibles category . . . . . .  Toshiba warns semiconductor shortage will continue to affect console makers . . . . . . There ain't nothing like a game! . . . . . . Touching Base - the decade surveyed . . . . . . August 2021 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Author, Manga, Superhero Graphic Novels . . . . . . Take it from media, a look at pre-Christmas marketing . . . . . . Games & Puzzles Talking Shop with ToyWorld . . . . . . TikTok has surpassed YouTube in terms of average watch time in the US and UK (BBC News) . . . . . . Tabletop Games Up 22% on Kickstarter in First Half 2021 . . . . . . August 2021 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Kids Graphic Novels . . . . . . Supply chains could be the Grinch that steals retail’s 2021 holiday season . . . . . . Current generation console shortage may last until 2023

Financial & Brokerage News . . .

Streaming drives WildBrain revenue growth . . . . . . MGA dominates August toy sales as L.O.L. Surprise! takes No.1 spot in UK . . . . . . IDW PUBLISHING POSTS SALES INCREASE, PROFIT

(the above posted after September 10th)

Why is Wall Street under-appreciating Roku?  . . . . . . Miko raises $28m in funding to continue growth trajectory . . . . . . Jam City acquires mobile studio Ludia for $165 million after record investment . . . . . . Enthusiast Gaming acquires Addicting Games in $35m deal . . . . . . GameStop reports financial results for Q2 2021

Future Financial Reporting . . .

 

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments & Advice . . .

JoJo Siwa Says Nickelodeon Sees Her “Only as a Brand” Ahead Of U.S. Tour.  The YouTuber and pop star isn’t the first child star to to speak out about her parent company. Siwa isn’t the first tween star to butt heads with her parent company. After reaching adulthood, Disney child stars like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez have opened up about the difficulties they had navigating their relationship with the studio...

Company documents reveal that Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for teen girls. Its own in-depth research shows a significant teen mental-health issue that Facebook plays down in public.

Etopia Consultancy on Amazon over the last ten years.  With detailed knowledge of the last ten years, Asha Bhalsod of Etopia Consultancy reviews the ongoing rise of Amazon in the eCommerce space.

Mattel dusts off He-Man, with a nod to diversity. He-Man, a brawny character that was a hit in the ’80s, is finding new life in the toy aisle and in two new animated series on Netflix.

(the above posted after September 10th)

John Baulch, ToyWorld (UK) - Plenty to celebrate…it’s the Friday Blog!  A tantalizing slice of normality has crept back into my working routine over the past week. We headed to Autumn Fair on Monday, curious to see how a visit to a trade show would play out in the post-pandemic era. Some things don’t change; one star food at five-star prices and chaos in the car parks – presumably all the previous car park attendants...

A Customer Discovered Their $350 Lego Set Was Missing Pieces. The Company's Response Was Brilliant:  

Dear John, 
Thanks for getting in touch with us and providing that information! I am so sorry that you are missing bag 14 from your Mos Eisley Cantina! This must be the work of Lord Vader.

Fear not, for I have hired Han to get that bag right out to you. 

Have a bricktastic day and may the force be with you.

How a monkey launched the pop-it toy craze. They are the 'must have' playground craze of the moment – as simple as they are irresistible. A rubber toy covered in small bumps which can be pushed in and out with a satisfying ‘pop’. Whether played as a game, a toy, or just used as a soothing way to calm down in these difficult times, pop-its appeared seemingly out of nowhere last year in shops, markets and online.

Blockchain, explained. Blocks? Chains? How does this whole thing work? If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent the last decade hearing about blockchain technology and all the ways it’ll change the world. And at some point, you’ve probably wondered, “Hey… what the heck even is a blockchain?” So, like Gandalf giving Bilbo a few Tolkien-themed cryptocoins and sending him on an adventure...

Punjab man starts company to recycle cigarette butts into toys. Mohali, September 9: Discarded cigarette filters--also known as butts-- are one of the most littered objects on earth and a major environmental pollutant. To deal with the problem, a Mohali-based company in Punjab has found a way to curb pollution by recycling cigarette butts. 

Hundreds of people line up for Pokémon cards in Tokyo. This weekend in Tokyo’s Akihabara, over five hundred people lined up for Pokémon cards. In past years there have been multiple examples of Pocket Monsters drawing long lines, especially in Japan. This would normally be a regular occurrence. In 2021, it’s anything but, with the nation’s Covid-19 restrictions making such sights deeply unusual. 

The $5 billion forecast: everything brands need to know about cloud gaming. As global player numbers rise past $3.2 billion, License Global speaks exclusively to cloud gaming industry experts Gamestream to discuss the future of play. Cloud gaming offers players the seamless entertainment experience of streaming video games direct to the television via a subscription service. 

New Pokémon Card shop claims to be the world's largest. Earlier this summer, Pokémon Card Specialty Shop Hareruya 2 opened in Tokyo’s Akihabara. While card shops are not unique in Japan or elsewhere, this one singular focus does make it stand out. In its official announcement, Hareruya claims to not only have the best inventory in the world, it also purports to have the most knowledgeable staff...

Former PlayStation boss claims rising development costs mean franchises will own the future. Former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden believes the cost of making some PlayStation 5 titles could rise to as much as $200 million, and is concerned game development is becoming unsustainable. Layden left Sony Interactive Entertainment back in September 2019, stepping down from his role of chairman..

Rolling for initiative -- supply chain shifts, a conundrum for the channelRolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University. For years now, the game industry and every other industry has relied upon JIT (Just In Time) in order to get products on the shelf in a timely manner.

MARVEL'S 'AMAZING FANTASY #15' BECOMES THE MOST EXPENSIVE COMIC EVER SOLD  Hammer Drops on Spidey's First Appearance at $3.6 Million at Heritage Auctions. A CGC 9.6 copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 by Marvel Comics went for $3.6 million, including buyer's premium, at the Heritage Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction in Dallas, Texas on September 9, 2021.  

What do Macy's and the Toys R Us brand have to offer each other?  The two retail names are betting on each other in a shop-in-shop rollout, but branding alone won't make their partnership work.  

GoPopAd_BloomReport2021.jpg

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past . . . 

Thingmaker from Mattel (1964). Low-volume manufacturing made the 1964 release of the Thingmaker from Mattel possible. The entire Thingmaker product line was an offshoot of the company’s Vac-U-Form machine, a miniature vacuum forming toy released the previous year. The heart of the Thingmaker system was a hot plate with an internal heating element that reached approximately 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Children squirted a proprietary liquid chemical, called Plasti-Goop, into various die-cast metal molds.

GSNMC Manufacturing ad August 9 2021 for Bloom Report.jpg

Worldwide Licensing News . . .

Nelvana opens DEI talent incubator. Focusing on emerging Black storytellers and illustrators, the initial program will develop at least one kids TV series and one book for publication. Nelvana has teamed up with children’s book publisher and fellow Corus Entertainment subsidiary Kids Can Press to launch a new initiative designed to discover and mentor creators, writers and illustrators from underrepresented communities.

Lego and Queer Eye reveal fabulous new set featuring the Fab Five.  Hot on the heels of the company’s first LGBTQ+ Lego set is the Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft Set, which celebrates individuality and creative expression. The Lego Group has once again shown it is a leader in promoting positivity and individuality with the release of a new set made in honour of the TV show Queer Eye.

Moose Toys Named Master Toy Licensee for Strawberry Shortcake Relaunch. WildBrain is bringing back the sweetest baker around, but with a cool new look and a confident, savvy attitude. This relaunch marks the beginning of a new era for Strawberry Shortcake, with a slew of new products and an animated series. Moose Toys is on board as master toy partner for the relaunch.

DreamWorks signs development deal with Stephen Curry  The partnership with the NBA star's Unanimous Media prodco includes a first-look deal for kids and family content and a PSA revamp focused on diversity with John Legend. Comcast NBCUniversal has been inking more of these cross-portfolio agreements lately, including with celebs such as Meghan Trainor, Miley Cyrus and Jordan Peele.

ToyTopic launches with high-profile brands and WowWee partnership   The new toy company has secured multi-territory license agreements with Hasbro as well as a strategic partnership with WowWee. It will also open its showroom in October, have a large presence at London Toy Fair and has appointed ex-Sambro International head of sales Paul Cook as its new sales director.

(the above posted after September 10th)

Iconic ’80s Toy Teddy Ruxpin Getting TV, Film Treatment. DJ2 Entertainment, the company behind 'Sonic the Hedgehog,' has acquired rights to the animatronic teddy bear. Before there was Ted, there was Teddy Ruxpin, the animatronic teddy bear that became a childhood staple for kids raised in the ’80s. And now the talking teddy is ready to make the leap to film and television.

GET PLAYFUL WITH YOUR MAKEUP WITH HIPDOT X HASBRO COLLAB. A new beauty collab is here, perfect for anyone who wished their game nights came with more glamor or that their makeup drawer was a bit more fun! HipDot and Hasbro have teamed up to make three new eyeshadow palettes inspired by some of the toymaker’s iconic products: Play-Doh, Monopoly, and the Ouija Board.

The latest Nintendo Lego set is a Super Mario 64 block. Get ready to revisit Super Mario 64 with the Lego’s newly announced set. Say hello to Lego Super Mario 64 Block. On the outside, it’s a large Question Block, but inside there are four different Super Mario 64 levels: Peach’s Castle, Bob-omb Battlefield, Cool, Cool Mountain and Lethal Lava Trouble. 

NECA brings Chucky and Tiffany back to the toy shelf with new clothed action figure 2-pack! While we wait for Don Mancini’s new series “Chucky” on both SYFY and USA this Halloween season, NECA is heading back to the ’90s to celebrate the sequel Bride of Chucky! NECA previews, “Finally in clothed action figure form, this 2-pack includes Chucky and Tiffany with fabric clothing...

EMEA licensing agent The Point.1888 signs 66 new licensees for Moonbug Entertainment’s Cocomelon brand. Brand Licensing specialist agent The Point.1888 has secured an additional 66 licensees across EMEA for the licensing programme on Moonbug Entertainment Ltd.’s superbrand CoComelon. 

Toikido launches first Smighties toys with NFTs. Toikido has secured global rights from Reality Gaming Group and Herotainment to create high quality, officially licensed Smighties toys and merchandise bundled with NFT collectibles, bringing the world of physical toys and NFTs together for the first time at Smighties-Universe.com. 

Oreo is launching a Pokémon-themed cookie. After teasing the partnership in June, Oreo confirmed a collaboration with Pokémon on social media with a pixelated video crafted entirely out of the black and white cookies. The limited-edition Pokémon x Oreo cookies will feature Pokémon such as Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle— but just like in the Pokémon world, some Pokémon x Oreo cookies will be harder...

McDonald's celebrates Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary with 50 limited edition Happy Meal toys. McDonald's customers may find a happy surprise in their Happy Meals later this month. Starting Sept. 14, the fast food restaurant giant is getting in helping celebrate Walt Disney World Resort's upcoming 50th anniversary with with custom Happy Meal toys and a chance to win a vacation to Disney's big milestone event...

Masha and the Bear, PAW Patrol and Mr Bean land on the Tonies platform. Masha and the Bear, PAW Patrol’s Marshall and Skye, and the ever-popular Mr Bean are to become the latest characters to join the extensive family of children’s audio stories and content on the Tonies platform. In a series of new licensing partnerships with Spin Master Entertainment, Animaccord, and The Banijay Group...

Amazon Kids+ picks up LEGO series, toys. The new multi-territory, multi-year agreement for LEGO Monkie Kid covers seasons one and two, a pair of specials and tie-in building sets. Amazon and LEGO have signed a new original content and product partnership for animated series LEGO Monkie Kid. The agreement covers seasons one and two of the show, two specials and distribution of a new line of companion LEGO sets.

WildBrain refreshes Strawberry Shortcake  A new 2D-animated YouTube series, CG specials for streaming, a Roblox game, toys, music, books and events are all on the way for the evergreen brand.

Fat Brain Toy Ad dimpl-br-540x250.jpg

People . . . 

Ross Thompson joins Steamforged Games as head of trade marketing. Ross has worked with top tier licences from Disney, Marvel and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as companies including IDW Games and CMON. UK-based tabletop games publisher Steamforged Games has announced the hire of Thompson as head of trade marketing, supporting its growing offering of board, card, miniatures and role-playing... 

Disguise, the costume division of JAKKS Pacific, appointed two hires to its growing EMEA sales team.  The new hires were announced approximately a month after Disguise established its leadership team to oversee expansion and recruitment efforts in EMEA.  Kim Lucas joins as business development lead for the U.K. and Ireland, while Nathalie Ferrier is now business development manager for France and Benelux.

Brian Robbins takes over Paramount Pictures  Nickelodeon's president is adding movie studio oversight to his remit, while David Nevins takes over Paramount Television Studios. Jim Gianopulos, the movie studio’s current chairman and CEO, is stepping down and will serve in an advisory role through to the end of the year.

(the above was posted after September 10th)

Play at Work: - IDEO’s Michelle Lee and Brendan Boyle share small ways to experiment with play at work and how it helps surface new ideas.#InnovateByPlay #IDEOPlayLab #IDEO #PlayAtWork

Deirdre Hall - “Passion is coming through in spades right now” - Funkoverse game studio talks licensed board games. Funko Games VP says IPs are making board gamers happy. Once considered the dregs of the hobby store shelves, licensed board games have never been more popular and better quality than they are right now. 

Konami Group has appointed Kristen Gray as president of its production and multiplatform brand management subsidiary, Konami Cross Media NY. She succeeds Yuta Rose, who is taking over as president of Konami Digital Ent, the company’s LA-based video game division. Gray, who was previously Cross Media’s GM and SVP of operations and business and legal affairs, started in her new role on September...

Hasbro has announced that Gabrielle Sims will be joining its U.K. licensed consumer products team as head of the softlines business.   Sims has worked in the licensing industry for more than 15 years with leading agencies, including IMG, and most recently leading the licensing program in-house for fashion brand FatFace.  

CEO MIKE RICHARDSON ON DARK HORSE'S 35TH ANNIVERSARY On 35 Years, the State of the Market and Comic Stores, Distribution, Entertainment, and More. Dark Horse Comics turns 35 this year, and we caught up with CEO Mike Richardson in a wide-ranging interview to get his take on the occasion, the state of the market and comic stores, distribution, Dark Horse’s entertainment plans, and more. 

Curiosity Ink & Top Draw's new exec.  Parentco Grom Social Enterprises has recruited former Jakks Pacific exec Jared Wolfson to serve as CEO and EVP, respectively. At Curiosity, which Grom bought in April, Wolfson will lead partnerships, operations and finance. He reports into Russell Hicks, who was named head of Top Draw Animation and CCO at Curiosity Ink Media last month. 

Mattel hires live-action development VP.   Former NBCUniversal and Disney exec Phil Breman will oversee both scripted and unscripted projects for the toyco's TV division. Based in LA and reporting to SVP and GM Frederic Soulie, he will shepherd all live-action TV projects in both scripted and unscripted genres.

“Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton welcomes Melissa & Doug‘s Chief Commercial Officer, David Henderson to the show. Henderson, who previously held roles at Hasbro, Coca-Cola, and Newell Baby brands, joined Melissa & Doug last year as the company entered a new chapter of growth.  On the show, Henderson shares his early toy stories, including selling into the famed Sears Wish Book...

Brian Simpson rejoins SMF Toytown  Brian, who was head of buying for a decade, has rejoined the family company after a brief stint elsewhere. Alan Simpson, Toytown’s managing director, has announced that his son Brian has decided to return to SMF Toytown, his family’s company, after leaving it in April this year.

Two executives are joining the One Animation digital team from Hasbro and Amazon, respectively. Kelly Joeman, previously channel manager at eOne/Hasbro, was named senior manager, audience development at One Animation. Prior to joining Hasbro, she worked at YouTube agency Diagonal View, building channels for clients across the U.S., France, and Singapore — including One Animation’s Oddbods channel.

Disney TV hires acquisitions & partnerships lead  Former Universal Kids exec Rick Clodfelter will focus on third-party kids and family content for all Disney platforms. Based in New York, Clodfelter reports to EVP of content research, insights and scheduling Jane Gould. He will represent Disney Branded TV at markets and events to source new content and meet with partners.

Ubisoft names Igor Manceau its new chief creative officer. Riders Republic creative director promoted as employee group criticizes lack of diversity in editorial leadership. Ubisoft today named long-time employee Igor Manceau as its new chief creative officer. Manceau has been with Ubisoft for more than two decades, joining the company in 1998 as part of the business marketing team.

University Games welcomes account manager trio to the sales team ahead of Autumn Fair. University Games and The Lagoon Group are strengthening their successful sales team to the tune of three with the appointment of Stephen Woodman, Kim Steward, and Sally Irwin. The triple hire has been made ahead of Autumn Fair next week.

WildBrain CPLG has opened a dedicated office in India, promoting Neesha Krishna to lead local strategy as managing director, MENA and South Asia.  Previously commercial director for MENA, Krishna is now responsible for strategically managing and growing WildBrain CPLG’s business across the larger territory. Based in Dubai, Krishna reports to Pau Pascual, who also takes on an expanded role of VP, southern Europe...

540 x 250.gif.gif

Companies, Brands . . .  

Bratz is back with special 20th anniversary dolls.  Special editions of the original dolls will feature their first outfits and accessories, with more lines to be added going into the autumn.  MGA Entertainment has announced that Bratz is making a comeback with a line of special editions to mark the 20th anniversary of the fashion dolls.  The new dolls are part of a year-long celebration which will highlight the cultural impact Bratz...

Get Caught in Spider-Man’s Web with Jazwares’ Spidey and His Amazing Friends Toys.  With great toys comes great responsibility. Fans of Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends — the animated superhero series on Disney Junior and Disney+ — can swing into Target to check out Jazwares’ new toy line based on the superhero show.

Learning Resources Conjures Up Coding Critters MagiCoders.  Coding Critters MagiCoders brings a pair of mythical creatures and accompanying playsets into the 2020 Preschool Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award-winning line of interactive pets. Kids ages 4 and up can explore STEM concepts through storytelling as they cast spells with magical coding wands and build hands-on skills with Skye the Unicorn and Blazer the Dragon.

Toy Creators Academy Offers New Scholarship Program.  The Toy Coach Azhelle Wade and Learning Express Toys Lake Zurich have partnered to host 10 aspiring toy creators in the Toy Creators Academy. Toy Creators Academy is the a comprehensive toy business program that teaches participants how to full develop their toy or game ideas, as well as pitch to buyers and toy companies.

Amazon’s hottest toys this year.  The e-commerce retailer’s “2021 Toys We Love” list features more than 70 products, and focuses on board games for the whole family and STEM toys. The retail giant is also putting a focus on board games this year—a category that has made huge gains during the pandemic. The NPD Group reported that sales in the games category (which includes strategic card games) grew by 27% to US$2.66...

Schleich announces kids casting call to fill the role of Chief Storytelling Officer! This fall, Schleich is looking for one special kid with standout storytelling and imaginative superpowers to join our company as Chief Storytelling Officer. This new “hire” will be responsible for inspiring our teams and fans, helping remind parents just how important storytelling and imagination are. Your child could earn a $10,000 and...

Hasbro to Open ‘The Game Room’ at American Dream. Hasbro and Kilburn Live are bringing a new family entertainment center concept to the American Dream entertainment and retail complex in Bergen County, New Jersey. “The Game Room powered by Hasbro” is an immersive concept that will incorporate the company’s brands such as Monopoly, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Clue...”

The Learning Journey Continues to Provide Award-Winning Products! The Learning Journey Int'l is continuously innovating and improving product lines to offer the best educational value to families all ove rthe world. New-to-the-brand products and revamped products remain recognized for the educational opportunities they provide. TLJI is pround to add 15 new awards to many of the new 2021 products! 

Apple TV+ has partnered with WildBrain to become the home of live-action musical series Yo Gabba Gabba! The streamer has ordered a brand-new 20 x 30-minute series based on the wacky preschool show that ran on Nick Jr. (US) from 2007 to 2015, as well as acquiring its back catalogue of (66 x 30 minutes). The new show will be produced by brand co-owners WildBrain and Yo Gabba Gabba, ...

Format Games signs global distribution deal with Asmodee  The new deal, which covers the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, follows a UK distribution deal signed in February between Matt Edmondson's Format Games and Asmodee. Television and Sony Award-nominated radio presenter Matt Edmondson established himself as a board game inventor when he created the party game Obama Llama.

PLAYMONSTER’S RELATIVE INSANITY GAME HITS ONE MILLION GAMES SOLD. PlayMonster LLC is proud to announce that their runaway hit game Relative Insanity, created by comedy legend Jeff Foxworthy, has reached one million games sold! Bringing billions of belly laughs to game nights, PlayMonster and Foxworthy continue to grow the Relative Insanity game line with more insanely-hilarious punch lines and...

MATTEL INTRODUCES BARBIE MUSIC PRODUCER DOLL TO HIGHLIGHT THE GENDER GAP IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. While the VMAs paid tribute to a new class of artists amid MTV’s 40th Anniversary year, recent studies have shown that even though female artists dominate the pop charts, less than 3% of today’s music is produced by women. The unveiling of Music Producer as the latest Barbie Career of the Year is part of the...

PLAYTIME PR FORGES A GLOBAL ALLIANCE WITH THE PLAY GROUP. In an effort to provide clients in the toy and game space with global reach, Playtime PR first launched a partnership network in 2018 to connect with compatible agencies around the world. Now, that collective has been rebranded as The Play Group and includes agencies in the U.S., Germany, Italy, and Spain.

RAVENSBURGER NORTH AMERICA HALTS ORDERS AMID GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN CRISIS.  If there was any doubt as to the severity of the global supply chain crisis and its impact on toy and game makers, a letter sent to retailers by Ravensburger North America CEO Filip Franke should make it crystal clear. Effective September 17, 2021, Ravensburger will halt the acceptance of additional orders for the foreseeable future.

(the above was posted after September 10th)

Grogu Funko! Pop Balloon Will Appear in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Grogu — a.k.a. “Baby Yoda” from The Mandalorian on Disney+ — will make his Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade debut as a Funko Pop! inspired balloon. Designed after the Funko Pop! Grogu figure, the balloon will measure 41 feet high, 29 feet long, and 37 feet wide.

Razor USA Unveils Glowing Fall Product Lineup. Razor USA is rolling into fall with a fresh lineup of new ride-ons that glow. The Bluetooth-enabled Sonic Glow Electric Scooter leads the Lightshow pack with a colorful array of lights that pulse to the beat of a rider’s chosen music. There are no apps required as kids can simply pair the Scooter to their smartphone to easily stream music on the go as the 24-volt rechargeable...

IMC Toys Inks Deal with Blue Plate Media Services, Andrew Berman for Animated Content Distribution.  The animated adventures of IMC Toys’ Cry Babies Magic Tears and VIP Pets will soon reach new audiences. The company inked a deal with David Becker of Blue Plate Media Services and kids content distribution veteran Andrew Berman (formerly of Genius Brands International and Fremantle) to distribute its animated content...

Apple TV+ primes trio of kids shows for fall lineup  Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Wolfboy and the Everything Factory will be joined on the streamer by an animated show from 9 Story and Brown Bag, and a live-actioner from Scholastic.  This 10 x 25-minute animated series is about an imaginative oddball who discovers a strange realm at the center of the earth where magical beings create everyday things such as clouds, rabbits and dreams.

Full-Size Corgi Aston Martin DB5 created to celebrate latest Bond film  A full-size Corgi box housing an Aston Martin DB5 will be on display to the public until October at Battersea Power Station. Marking one month to go until the cinema release of No Time To Die, a life-sized Aston Martin DB5 Continuation Goldfinger Edition car, complete with working gadgets, has been put on public display in SW London...

What's in a game? Toy World finds out with Exploding Kittens.  Rachael Simpson-Jones sat down with Joeri Hoste, general manager international, to find out what 2022 has in store for Exploding Kittens. In January 2015, the Exploding Kittens game made history by becoming both the most backed project in Kickstarter history, meeting its $10,000 goal in just 20 minutes. 

Tomy - ahead of the game.  Rachael Simpson-Jones sat down with Mary Wood to find out more about Tomy’s strategies for the year ahead. Luckily for Tomy, all its card- and board-based games, and the entirety of its Drumond Park range, are made in Europe. Mary told us about several new releases, which should arrive in good time for the key Q4 season. 

Nerf Hyper review: Where the rubber meets the foam. For nearly 30 years, Nerf has been synonymous with foam — foam balls, foam darts, and foam arrows blasted across playgrounds or over cubicle walls. For its new awesome-looking Hyper blasters, Nerf brand owner Hasbro had something different in mind. To increase their performance and capacity, it charged a small team of engineers to develop...

'Munchkin' visits the 'Petting Zoo'Steve Jackson Games will release Munchkin: Petting Zoo, a new mini-expansion for Munchkin card game, into retail in January 2022. Munchkin: Petting Zoo adds new cuddly fauna to to any fantasy-backed Munchkin game. This mini-expansion comes with 30 new cards with brand-new jokes, and it features cards like Mostly Harmless Snake, Obligatory Tiger Photo, Pack Alpaca...

Climb the 'Tower of the Lich Empress'Steamforged Games unleashed Epic Encounters: Tower of the Lich Empress, a new miniatures boxed set, which is currently on preorder. This boss box includes a highly-detailed Lich Empress miniature sitting on an 100mm base that can be added to 5E RPG games. 

Portal Games announces 'Dreadful Circus'. Portal Games announced Dreadful Circus, a new strategy card game, slated for release in Q4 2021. Dreadful Circus was designed by Bruno Faidutti, the creator behind the classic card game Citadels. Players take on the roles of circus directors attempting to create an unforgettable exhibition. 

Brunnhilde enters the fray with 'Valkyrie Hero Pack'. Fantasy Flight Games will release Valkyrie Hero Pack, for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, into retail on November 19. Valkyrie Hero Pack features the once mighty leader of Odin's Valkyrior, who defied him to join the Avengers.  Valkyrie descends into games of Marvel Champions: 

Are you buying it? Lunchables takes over FAO Schwarz as it claims new title of ‘buildable toy’. Feast your eyes on this, the US snack brand, Lunchables is now a toy. At least, that’s what its new immersive and creative marketing takeover at the iconic US toy shop, FAO Schwarz will have you believe. Having claimed the title of ‘America’s most buildable snack’ for more than 30 years, Lunchables is now adding ‘toys’...

Design an ancient Mesoamerican city in 'Founders Of Teotihuacan'. Board & Dice unveiled Founders of Teotihuacan, a new board game, for release into retail in Q1 2022. Founders of Teotihuacan is a new city-building strategy game in which players attempt to create the best design of the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan.

Floodgate Games will release 'Vivid Memories' board gameFloodgate Games will release Vivid Memories, a new board game, into U.S. retail. In Vivid Memories, players gather fragments of childhood memories, and draft the fragment game pieces onto their mind board. Players then manipulate the fragments on their boards to get certain sets of pieces together and create key whole memories.

Pottick Law Ad new as of Nov 2020.jpg

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

Amazon Luna is expanding to Fire tablets and Chromebooks, and retro games are on the way. Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service didn’t exactly impress us when it debuted in early access last October, but the company’s still expanding its test. On Thursday, it’s bringing its limited catalog of games to Chromebooks and Amazon Fire tablets, and opening up some new ways to try the service without paying its $6 or $15...

Microsoft will let you control an Xbox with a TV remote soon. Microsoft is starting to test the ability for TV remotes to navigate around the Xbox dashboard. A new version of the Xbox dashboard for Xbox Series S / X consoles is being tested with selected Xbox Insiders, and it enables new HDMI-CEC features that let ordinary TV remote controls navigate around the Xbox dashboard and control streaming apps like Netflix. 

Esports: Why are there so few professional women gamers? The number of female gamers is growing rapidly with nearly half the world’s gamers now women and girls. But whilst there are plenty of successful female gaming influencers and personalities – few are making it in esports – the competitive side of video games. 

Resellers are charging people for games that are actually free. The shady world of key resellers is a murky, grimdark place to visit, but also incredibly stupid. Just a couple of weeks ago Frostpunk 2 developers 11 Bit Studios were astonished to see Kinguin selling keys for their just-announced game, long before they’d decided on a price themselves.

The first ever Paralympics video game. Yesterday, the 2020 Summer Paralympics drew to a close -- but the event is far from over in the world of video games. Plenty of our readers will be aware of the Sega-published trio of officially licensed Olympics video games: the more traditional title for consoles and PC, the less traditional but perhaps more prominent Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games, and a Sonic-only Olympics…

Porno hustlers of the Atari age. October 14, 1982 saw what was then the largest protest in video game history when a crowd of 200-300 Native Americans, feminists, and anti-porn activists gathered outside a trade show in New York to protest the offensive Atari 2600 game Custer’s Revenge. That was one of three games in a new line of adult video games for the Atari called Mystique Presents Swedish Erotica. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s Top Gun expansion also delayed to 2022Microsoft’s Top Gun expansion for Microsoft Flight Simulator is being delayed to match the movie’s shifted release date. Paramount announced earlier this month that it’s delaying the rest of its 2021 films, pushing Top Gun: Maverick from its Thanksgiving weekend release date to May 27th, 2022. 

Nearly half of Paradox staff experience 'mistreatment' [Update]. Swedish tech news site Breakit is reporting some grim news from within Swedish publisher Paradox. A leaked document, created by unions Unionen and Sveriges, suggests a discriminatory workplace at Paradox, where almost half of employees report they’ve experienced “abusive/incorrect treatment.”

Activision and Ubisoft pro-worker groups say management ignoring calls for cultural reform. A number of current and former employees from Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft claim management at both companies continue to ignore calls for meaningful cultural reform. Pressure groups ABetterUbisoft (ABU) and ABetterActivisionBlizzardKing (ABetterABK) have spent weeks demanding more be done to address...

Game Boy titles might be headed to Nintendo Switch OnlineA number of reports have emerged indicating that some classic Game Boy titles may soon be playable via the Nintendo Switch Online service. The folks at Eurogamer have managed to corroborate several rumors indicating these classic titles will soon be available on Nintendo Switch Online, and that Nintendo is apparently interested in bringing games...

Tripwire Interactive

Tripwire CEO out 53 hours after tweeting his opinions on Texas abortion law. John Gibson, CEO of Tripwire Interactive — the studio known for making horror games like Killing Floor and Maneater — was made to step down a blisteringly quick 53 hours after he tweeted in favor of the controversial Texas abortion law. In the tweet, Gibson says, “Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion…

Developers react to Tripwire President’s controversial anti-abortion tweet. Developers are cutting ties with games publisher, Tripwire Interactive, after the president of the firm, John Gibson, tweeted controversial views on the US Supreme Court’s decision to not block a new anti-abortion law in Texas. In a tweet posted on Saturday night (September 4), Gibson explained that he was “proud” of the US Supreme Court...

Tripwire boss voices support for Texas anti-abortion law, partner studio immediately cuts ties. Shipwright Studios has cut ties with Killing Floor and Maneater developer Tripwire Interactive after company president John Gibson expressed support for a new Texas anti-abortion law. Over the weekend, Gibson said he felt it was important to "go on the record as a pro-life game developer" and get behind the...

Killing floor boss pleased Texas women losing basic human rights [update]. According to a tweet posted yesterday by John Gibson, the president of Tripwire Interactive—the studio behind Maneater and Killing Floor—he is “proud” that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a new Texas anti-abortion law to stand earlier this week.

Toy Safety & Counterfeit Related Articles . . .

Police bust gang making fake Ultraman toysThree people have been arrested for allegedly manufacturing and selling fake Ultraman toys, Shanghai police said on Thursday. The suspects have already sold over 20,000 of the fake toys for over 4 million yuan (US$620,000), police said. The trademark owner of the toys, Bandai, reported to police in Fengxian District in July that a resident of the district told the company...

Peggy brown PBCC Bloom ReportAd 2021 540

Highlighted Press Releases . . . 

PlayMonster and Lynnvander Studios Reveal Snap Ships Tactics: A Battle Strategy Board Game. PlayMonster, in collaboration with Design Partner Lynnvander Studios, announced today the development of Snap Ships Tactics: a constructible, expandable, multiplayer battle game where players create custom Snap Ships and bring them to life on a tabletop battlefield. PlayMonster and Lynnvander Studios will offer an...

(the above posted after September 10th)

GOT CREATIVE KIDS ON YOUR LIST? BRIGHT STRIPES HAS A SACK LOAD OF PRESENTS TO INSPIRE THEN DELIGHT THE DIY-ERS

Designed For Kids of All Stripes, Choose Among Innovative Art Portfolios, Spa Kits for Self-Expression, Candle Critters and Liquid Swirly Pens, Mystical Tween Crafts Or STEAM Kits for Youngsters.  Good news for parents of crafty (in the art sense) kids! Stocking stuffers, Hanukkah presents and surprises under the tree are stocked and ready from Bright Stripes, makers of beautiful arts and crafts that have an appealing graphic panache! Kids of all stripes will delight in DIY projects that will be remembered with fondness long after the holidays fade away.

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

Sand, Catan, piñatas lead Toy Hall of Fame finalists. Cabbage Patch Kids, the rosy-cheeked dolls that left store shelves picked clean during the first big holiday toy craze, are up for a spot in the National Toy Hall of Fame, part of a finalist group announced Wednesday that also includes garden-variety sand and the toy fire engine. Also among finalists being considered for a November induction are five competitive games....

The Independent Toy & Gift Show will be rebranded as the INDX Toys & Nursery show when it returns to Cranmore Park next year after joining the umbrella group of INDX trade shows.  The rescheduled 2021 Independent Toy & Gift Show has been taking place this week (14th-15th September) after organisers Play-room cancelled its original April date due to Covid restrictions earlier in the year.

(the above posted after September 10th)

ASTRA Introduces 2021 Leadership Team. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s (ASTRA) has filled the spots vacated by members of its board of directors whose three-year terms are coming to an end. This year, seven new members join the board for terms running 2021-2024. Additionally, Kevin McGrath has resigned as ASTRA board member and chair leading to the appointment of Jeanie Crone...

League of Legends’ world championships will take place in Iceland. The League of Legends World Championship, the concluding tournament that brings together the best teams from across the world, will take place in Reykjavík, Iceland at the Laugardalshöll indoor sporting arena. Riot Games revealed the news today, following the August announcement that the event would be moved from China to Europe. 

GI Live: London is a new games conference taking place at EGX in October. A new video games business conference will take place October 6th - October 8th alongside EGX in London. GI Live: London can be found at the Platinum Suite at London Excel, and will feature meetings and networking, plus talks and roundtables with the likes of Valve, Makers Fund, Sega Searchlight, Warner Music,...

Spielwarenmesse supports start-ups and young innovators with new StartUp AreaSpielwarenmesse is supporting start ups and young companies from across the international toy space with the launch of a new StartUp Area to offer ‘an easy entry point to the world of trade fairs’ when the event makes its return in 2022. 

Don't forget to register for The Independent Toy & Gift Show  The Independent Toy & Gift Show will open its doors from 14th to 15th September, and prior registration is essential.

China-to-Hong Kong visitors will no longer need quarantine  Move gives hope that Hong Kong is considering loosening its ‘zero-Covid’ policy, as report states that half of the territory’s exhibition sector faces closure if restrictions are not eased.

International Emmy Kids give nods to Jordan & UK  Sesame Workshop's Ahlan Simsim netted the Middle Eastern country's first nomination, while the UK has two projects vying for wins at the virtual awards ceremony coinciding with MIPCOM..

SCORE Banner ad.jpg

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.

Reuben Klamer - Toy industry icon and inventor of the classic board game The Game of Life, died at home in La Jolla, CA on September 14, 2021. He was 99 and left this world reluctantly, telling a recent visitor “I don’t have a reservation!” The Game of Life was inducted into the permanent Archives of Family Life at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 1981 and is second only to Monopoly in board game popularity. Produced by Hasbro, the game has been marketed in 59 countries and in 26 languages since its introduction in 1960. Although the exact number is probably much higher, it is estimated that more than 70 million Games of Life have been sold to date. (The Japanese edition, called Jinsei, has been the best-selling game in that country for more than 50 years.) Mr. Klamer’s colleagues, friends and neighbors described him as warm, kind, generous, intensely curious and a fabulous storyteller. He was known for his crackling sense of humor, his sartorial splendor (he had a huge collection of hats and dressed up in costume every Halloween), the mischievous twinkle in his eyes, and showing up to parties with the Pink Panther. Reuben loved good food, from the finest oysters to milkshakes, and would go anywhere for a great hot dog. He adored chocolate in any form,” one said, reminiscing that among Mr. Klamer’s favorite places was Serendipity 3 in New York City. “His joy was contagious and he was always bursting with ideas — an eight-year-old boy in a grown man’s body,” another added. “I think Reuben’s greatest accomplishment was how he managed to stay relevant to the very end,” said George Burtch, retired Vice President of Marketing for Hasbro and a longtime friend. “He was the most cheerfully persistent person I’ve ever met and he inspired so many, in and out of the toy industry.” Mr. Klamer had a gift for anticipating and capitalizing on trends, a talent for developing consumer "must-haves" across a broad spectrum of categories and the ability to work in a variety of media. While the bulk of his most successful products were in the field of toys and games, he also held design, development and invention credits in industries as diverse as textiles, plastics, aviation, publishing, music, television and film. Among his approximately 200 other toy credits are the classic Fisher-Price Preschool Trainer Skates, on the market for nearly 35 years; the Art Linkletter Hoop; Gaylord the Walking Dog (Ideal); Moon Rocks (Hasbro); Dolly Darlings (Hasbro); Erector-Constructor Sets (A.C. Gilbert), and Busy Blocks and Zoo-It-Yourself (Tupperware). Read More...

Adele Alessi - Her long-time colleague Duccio Abolaffio (CEO Diaframma) told Toy World: “Adele’s career at Diaframma spanned over 30 years. Through the good and the bad, her presence was constant. Even during Diaframma’s most difficult years, she decided to stay on without pay. She single-handedly built the company into the international business that it is today. She loved her work – selling was always fun for her. Even more so being told no, that just made her go at it even harder. Adele was at every single toy fair for over 30 years. She seemed to own every room she walked into and had the rare gift of capturing the attention of anyone she spoke to. She was the heart and soul of the party; those who partied with her will definitely agree. Adele was an inspiration – as an individual, as a wife and mother, and as a colleague. The kind words from people from the industry have just underlined how much she will be missed, and how vividly people remember her. She was filled with a voracious love of life. That she has been taken from us too soon can’t be put into words. Some people may not know that she had been battling with cancer for a while, but like everything else in her life, she faced it head on. She was always positive and enthusiastic, and never let go of these qualities until the very end. She taught all of the people who worked with her a lesson that she embodied most of all: ‘Leave your mark, always’. Rest in peace dear Adele.”

Seeing the news on LinkedIn and Facebook, many people posted heartfelt comments, including Rubies’ head of licensing Tracey Devine-Tyley, who said: “Today the toy industry lost a very special lady. Adele welcomed me into her home on several occasions and showed me the sights of Florence on the back of her scooter – an experience I will never forget. She was one of the most graceful, fun, elegant ladies I have had the privilege to know. She lit up a room in whatever country we were fortunate in the industry to find ourselves in. She was lucky enough to see her daughter compete in the Tokyo Olympics but she leaves AnnaChiara and Matteo behind. Rest in peace Adele. You will be greatly missed.”

Yolanda Fernandez de Cofino - McDonald's Happy Meal inventor dies at 87. The former owner of Guatemala's first McDonald's, Fernandez de Cofino came up with the idea of a children's meal in the mid-1970s, creating the "Ronald Menu" that would eventually become known as the Happy Meal, according to Newsweek.  Originally, the McDonald's Happy Meal came with a hamburger, small fries, and an ice cream sundae. The meal's success at the Guatemala restaurant and was eventually brought over into the United States in 1979. The U.S. version included a small toy and also gave parents the option of ordering a hamburger with or without cheese. Happy Meals were the fourth most popular item on the restaurant's menu, Reader's Digest reported in July 2021. Roughly 3.2 million Happy Meals are sold every day at a rate of three per second, sense 360, a consumer behavioral intelligence website, reported in 2016. Fernandez de Cofino also introduced the idea of hosting children's parties at McDonald's restaurants, and her contributions to the McDonald's restaurant chain won her the Ronald Award in 1980 and 1982. She also won the McDonald's "Golden Arches" award, the highest award the chain gives to its employees, the outlet added.

ARNOLD BEATTY IRWIN March 4, 1926 - August 12, 2021 For Arnold Irwin, a scion of Canada’s premier toy-business family, giving back was as important as creating fun. Anyone who has ever Hula Hooped, guided a Slinky down the stairs, tossed a Frisbee, cuddled a Care Bear, engaged in a Star Wars figurine battle, made a snack in an Easy-Bake Oven or challenged an opponent on an Atari video game system has been touched by Toronto’s Irwin family. In 1926, Samuel Irwin founded a small toy and souvenir business out of his home. But by 1948, Irwin Specialities was struggling and two of Irwin’s sons, Arnold and MacDonald, joined their dad. Under the brothers’ leadership, Toronto-based Irwin Toy Ltd. became Canada’s largest developer, manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of toys. “The Irwin brothers were industry trailblazers, breaking ground that would change the business forever,” says John Boynton, Arnold’s nephew and vice-chair of NordStar, which owns the Toronto Star.  Born in Toronto in 1926 to Samuel and Beatrice Irwin, Arnold Beatty Irwin was the older brother of MacDonald (Mac), Bryan and Marilyn. He attended Forest Hill Collegiate and the University of Toronto, where he studied actuarial sciences and played hockey. His daughter, Marylynn Boyle, says he was known for his “sharp elbows.” He left university after his first year to join the army, where he served in Canada during the last year of World War II. After the war, when his father enlisted Arnold and Mac to run the family business, the brothers travelled the world to source products to market in Canada.

Pop%20Logo%20Database%20Options_edited.j

JOIN PEOPLE OF PLAY (POP) PlayBase

It's Linkedin + IMDb + Match + Wikipedia + Fiverr!

  • Display your entire portfolio, adding unlimited products, videos, photos, media, and more

  • An easy-setup Profile and a real real live helpful person to talk to if you have questions

  • Advanced Search for industry contacts by roles, skills, location, and more

  • Free POP Pub networking – just one connection can change your life!

  • FULL access to information of products, people, and companies

  • Exclusive discounts and events 

  • Classified Ads

  • Find person-to-hire based on skills (company membership)

  • Opportunity to Launch Advertisement Campaigns, targeting members of the industry (company membership)

People and companies are registering and new features are being added by the minute... what are you waiting for? We've got the most powerful platform in our industry! Join here:  www.peopleofplay.com 
 

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

 

Toy Trade Monthly Issues

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US)

ToyWorld (UK)

1. Plenty to celebrate…it’s the Friday Blog!

2. MGA and Zapf showcase new season in window takeover at Hamleys

3. Brian Simpson rejoins SMF Toytown

4. Exclusive: Touching Base – the decade surveyed

5. Toikido launches first Smighties toys with NFTs

6. Exclusive: What’s in a game? Toy World finds out with Exploding Kittens

7. Supply chain issues set to impact promotional activity this year

8. WildBrain brings back Strawberry Shortcake for new generation

9. Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle to hit Netflix in October

10. Full-Size Corgi Aston Martin DB5 created to celebrate latest Bond film

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

Rolling for Initiative -- Supply Chain Shifts, a Conundrum for the Channel
Exclusive Card Spoiler: 'Flesh and Blood TCG' 'Tales of Aria'
CMON Heads into NFT Market with Monsoon Digital
'D&D: The Wild Beyond Witchlight' Accessories Detailed
'Munchkin' Fans Can Now Own Their Own 'Unnatural Axe'
'Avatar Legends: RPG' Kickstarter Campaign Rakes in Over $9.5 Million
Play Out the 'Eternals' Movie in Next 'Marvel HeroClix' Set
Fantasy Flight Games Will Release 'A Game of Thrones: B'Twixt'

Climb the 'Tower of the Lich Empress'

Tabletop Games Up 22% on Kickstarter in First Half 2021

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

TOYS Magazine (Germany) - posted once a month

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Last Message Coming Soon, Game of Thrones B'Twixt
IELLO has announced a new party game, Fantasy Flight has a new Game of Thrones card game coming soon, and Fog of Love has found a new home with Floodgate Games.

Video of the Week! 

 

Marking the 25th anniversary of the debut of “Blue’s Clues” on Nickelodeon, original host Steve Burns sent a message to his fans via social media.

Welcome to the  Future POP Ad.png

 

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

Phil%20Bloom%2C%20Mary%20Couzin%2C%20Gra