September 9 -16, 2022
Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!
Happy Bloomin’ Friday!
I'm already burned out on pumpkin spice flavored everything! So what is there to look forward to this fall? Our November and December events! Hope to see you there!
Click these links and be a part of our events!
POP Week Innovation Week (Inventor Pitch, Innovation Conference, TAGIEs, POP Roast and Pub Night at Radio Flyer, Young Inventor Challenge) November 17-20.
Holiday Chicago Toy and Game Fair with Girl Scout and Boy Scout indoor camp-out sleepovers December 10-11. (What badges/patches fit your brand activations?)
Thank you for reading the Bloom Report. If you can't wait for the news to arrive each Friday, check out the new Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed and share with your colleagues! You can also comment on the posts in the News Feed!
"I am a long-time reader and champion of the Bloom Report. The quantity of quality articles on so many different aspects of our industry is unmatched and I regularly share and discuss them with my management team as an important business tool."
- Jim Engle, President and Founder, Little Kids Inc.
"I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.
Not only do I read the Bloom Report every week, I make everyone important in the running of our company across the globe read it as well. -Dennis Callaghan, Tree Toys and Roo Games
Columnist - Nancy Zwiers
Is Quiet Quitting A Solution for Burnout?
As the “The Great Re-Set” unfolds, traditional values and behaviors about work are getting up-ended. Recently, social media posts, amassing millions of views, have emerged referencing “quiet quitting.”
Quiet quitting happens when employees change their mindsets about what they are willing to give and/or sacrifice for their jobs. They change from an attitude of “doing the extra” to establishing more firm boundaries for themselves as they seek to balance work and the rest of their busy lives. In extreme cases, quiet quitters choose to do the bare minimum.
The polling company Gallup found that at least half of Americans—maybe more—fit the definition of quiet quitting.
The book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, written by sisters Amelia Nagoski and Emily Nagoski, thinks quiet quitting is related to burnout. Amelia was recently interviewed by Caroline Mimbs Nyce for an article in “The Atlantic.”
Person of the Week - PlayMonster's Lisa Wuennemann
Yetis, Trivia and not being Afraid to Fail
Hi Lisa! Thank you for taking time to answer a few questions for our readers. While you and I go way back (20 years? - a long time!), let's start fresh. What are your roles and responsibilities in our industry?
I have spent twenty years helping to grow PlayMonster from a family-owned board game manufacturer to a multi-segment toy manufacturer. I have enjoyed marketing our products in a variety of ways, from playing on the radio and pitching the media to partnering with the Ellen DeGeneres show to play 5 Second Rule and collaborating with Dude Perfect to relaunch Koosh.
This year, PlayMonster is focusing on global expansion, and I am now Global VP Marketing Communications. I am excited for the opportunity to focus on marketing while expanding my knowledge globally. I love learning new things and trying fresh marketing tactics.
What has been your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement is Yeti in My Spaghetti winning Game of the Year. It is a simple game with a great name and started with grassroots marketing. Winning this award gave the game the exposure and retail placement it needed so we could create an amazing TV ad targeted to kids. The game is still a great seller today.
What are you working on now?
PlayMonster recently launched The Magical World of Disney Trivia using Brian Hull as an ambassador. This game is not only fun with over two thousand questions for both adults and kids, but also highly collectible with high quality 3-dimensional pieces. We choose Brian Hull as the brand ambassador because of his Disney fanbase and his amazing Disney character voices. Watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRPpPnX9GrM READ MORE...
Company of the Week - Squaregles
Noah Ornstein Wants Every Child and Parent to Get Lost in Play
Hi Noah! Please share with our readers your roles and responsibilities in the toy industry.
I’m a co-founder of Squaregles, where we create construction toys that kids can build AND play on! My goal is to create toys that lend themselves to cathartic play moments, where every child (and parent) can happily get lost in play.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
My eldest son is the reason I got into the Toy Industry. When he was younger, he'd come up with these super creative scenarios, combining building toys with animals, figures, vehicles, basically everything, but they never quite worked together. His creativity always seemed to stretch far beyond playing with the actual toys that were available to him. He couldn't do elaborate enough builds to match his imagination just with the available building toys to keep him engaged.
Then, on play dates, I would see just how unique each children’s play was. And I was struck by how limited toys were – boy this…girl that…age X this…age Y that… Each child has specific interests, right? This inspired me to develop a building toy that could do more and work for every child, regardless of age, gender or their specific interests. READ MORE...
Licensor of the Week - Jamie Stevens, EVP, Worldwide Consumer Products, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Next Up Brand Licensing Europe!
What are your roles and responsibilities in our industry?
I oversee worldwide consumer products for Sony Pictures Entertainment. It includes our film and TV slate.
What has been your biggest achievement?
There have been a lot of achievements throughout my career. Overall it is being able to bring products to fans all over the world based on some of the most beloved franchises in the world.
What are you working on now?
We are always working to deliver robust, interactive, and engaging experiences to fans of all ages via our content and consumer products. Right now, as we head into Brand Licensing Europe, our efforts are focused on spotlighting the premiere entertainment, gaming franchises, and key collaborations that allow us to deliver these immersive “beyond the screen” experiences. Sony Pictures Consumer Products is currently working alongside a variety of strategic partners to bring its classic and new properties like Ghostbusters, Cobra Kai, and The Boys to life through rich consumer products portfolios that span apparel, sleepwear, accessories, homewares, gifts, and more. Through PlayStation Productions, we’re also very focused on adapting several of our flagship video game franchises for movies and television, including Gran Turismo, Ghost of Tsushima, Twisted Metal, and many more. We’ve got a lot on our plates right now, but as always, our ultimate goal is to deliver our fans the most extraordinary experiences possible. READ MORE...
Don't forget to add your skills and expertise on your POP profile...
if you don't have a POP profile, you're probably missing great opportunities!
From a Major Cable Network Talent Booker: "We are working on a toy related docuseries. The series is focused on the entrepreneurial endeavors of our characters through interviews. Some of the topics we're interested in covering are the history of video games, action figures, toy designers, dolls/plush toys, building sets, puzzles and tech boosted toys. If any of these topics speak to you, please add the topics to your expertise in your POP Profile. We have discovered great contacts we are using in the series through POP and looking for more!"
"I highly recommend that if anyone in this industry wants to be found, they join POP and fill out the skills and expertise section of their POP Profiles. I've had companies and a major media network reach out to me for a show based on my skills and expertise after finding me on POP." - David Yakos, Founder of Streamline Design and Co-Owner of Salient Technologies
I recommend populating your skills and expertise as well as writing about subjects you love. People will discover you on POP - I was just asked to keynote for a big event! -Gert Garman
Financial and Legal
Schylling Inc. has acquired Big Wheel, the famous, low-riding trike that became a craze throughout the 1970s and ’80s. With its oversized front wheel, a pair of slick, fat back wheels, and a side-mounted handle to activate spin-out action, Big Wheel inspired countless imitators over the years and launched the drift trike movement.
TF1 and M6 groups, France’s top two commercial networks, have abandoned their plans to merge after being auditioned by France’s anti-trust board. “Following the debates with the Authority and despite the additional remedies proposed, it appears that only structural remedies involving at the very least the divestment of the TF1 TV channel or of the M6 TV channel would be sufficient to approve the proposed...
***The above posted after September 16th***
In a strategic expansion of its global consumer products and retail business, Universal Parks & Resorts has announced that it has merged two of its key businesses, Universal Brand Development and Universal Parks & Resorts Merchandise Group, to create a new division, Universal Products & Experiences (UP&E). The company says this will further deepen its connection to fans, consumers and guests with...
A recommended fine of €4.1B ($4.1B) has been imposed by the European Court of Justice on Google, upholding almost all of the European Commission’s recent ruling. In the past few minutes, the Court said it has confirmed the decision that Google imposed “unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine.”
California sues Amazon for preventing third-party sellers offering cheaper prices elsewhere. The state's antitrust lawsuit could force Amazon to change its policies. Amazon still can't avoid lawsuits over third-party prices. The New York Times reports California has filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Amazon of violating both the Cartwright Act and state competition law through its pricing rules.
Unite has advised the UK Port of Felixstowe that workers including crane drivers, machine operators and stevedores, who load and unload ships, are planning further strike action during ongoing disagreements over pay. The port has been embroiled in a dispute over pay for some weeks. Unite, on behalf of workers, has requested a pay rise to match the rate of inflation, which is currently around 10%.
First US rail strike in 30 years averted with tentative deal - Biden. US freight rail companies and unions representing their workers have reached a "tentative agreement" to avert the first national rail strike in 30 years. The deal follows months of back and forth negotiations and 20 hours of overnight talks on working conditions. President Joe Biden hailed the outcome as "an important win for our economy and the...
Twitter shareholders approve $44bn Musk deal. Twitter's shareholders have voted to approve a deal with Elon Musk to buy the company for $44bn (£38bn). The decision was made in a short conference call with investors from the company's San Francisco headquarters. It means Twitter will now try to force Elon Musk to buy the company in the courts.
Xbox's Activision Blizzard deal to get in-depth probe by UK regulators. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a further investigation into the merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. Earlier in the month, the CMA expressed concerns that the merger would harm Microsoft's competition by locking off franchises like Call of Duty or Overwatch to Xbox.
TEXAS JUDGE ISSUES SCATHING ORDER IN TOYS ‘R’ US COMPLAINT AGAINST INDEPENDENT TOY STORE. In the filing, Judge Eskridge denies a motion by Tru Kids to amend its complaint against TOYZ, stating that “the motion itself evinces undue delay and dilatory motive,” and that “the motion could also be considered abusive.” “Toys ‘R’ Us is trying to shutter a family-owned toy store in an attempt to set a precedent for shutting...
Toys R Us American operation comes under pressure to drop ‘frivolous’ lawsuit. Key figures within the US toy community have spoken out against the legal action taken by Toys R Us in the US. Toyz, a family-owned toy store in Houston Texas, has been sued by Toys R Us for claims of trademark violations. Toyz has served Houston communities for almost 20 years, after its owner, Farida Afzal, immigrated there from Pakistan.
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Visit the York-Jersey Underwriters website at www.toy-insurance.com
UK SMF Toytown has released its annual results for 2021, in which sales increased by 39.2% to reach £14.96m.
Nostalgic Brands Drive WildBrain’s 12% Full-Year Revenue Jump
IDW Publishing’s Direct Market sales were down $1.1 million in the co’s Q3 ended July 31, 2022, due to distribution transition, fewer titles, and a tough comparison to the year-ago period,
Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry
Retailers are stocking up on food-themed toys quicker than you can find fresh produce at the grocery store.
Manufacturers are hastily shifting their marketing dollars from TV to TikTok, YouTube, and other places where influencers strut their stuff.
BUSINESS PREDICTIONS AND ADVICE FOR THE TOY INDUSTRY IN Q4 AND BEYOND - by STEPHANIE WISSINK, MD, Jefferies
The Insights Family Releases Inaugural Licensing Report in Association with Licensing International
YouTube and Netflix tie for most viewing time in August: Nielsen (Broadcasting + Cable)
***The above posted after September 16th***
Kids Shifting From YouTube To TikTok At Age 10
AUGUST 2022 NPD BOOKSCAN - TOP 20 AUTHOR, MANGA, SUPERHERO GRAPHIC NOVELS
Sam Giltrow catches up with UK indie retailers to find out how their summer trading has been and what lies ahead in Q4.
As the cost-of-living crisis bites, pocket money toys and collectibles are in more demand than ever, as Toy World discovers.
Stories, Comments, and Advice
Is gaming ready for its Netflix moment? Logitech is betting on it. Logitech launches the G Cloud, a bold new gaming handheld designed for the age of cloud-based video games. The global market for portable gaming devices was $32 billion in 2020, according to one analysis, and it is expected to reach more than $50 billion by 2027, with established players like Nintendo and Xbox driving growth.
HOW SPECIALTY RETAILERS CAN CONNECT WITH FAMILIES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON. Specialty retailers across the country offer so many individualized options for the families that shop at their stores. Gift wrapping, knowing what works for kids at different stages of their development, and working one-on-one with the parents and other caregivers to find the right gift are just a few of the everyday things...
With Christmas now fewer than 100 days away, Argos has announced its highly anticipated compilation of the top toys that are set to dominate Christmas wish lists in 2022, with 60% of the selection coming in at less than £50. The list of 15 toys includes everything from a dancing Jiggly Pets Giraffe to the Lego McLaren Formula 1 Race Car. It also includes toys at a range of prices to suit all budgets, with one of...
Dissecting California’s Precedent-Setting Kids Online Safety Legislation. Experts weigh in on the implications of the new law, which regulates products designed for children and also products that are likely to appeal to them. California has implemented a new kids data and privacy law that could have a far-reaching impact on how kidcos do business.
How Do You Make the Perfect Toy? Fads come and go, but how to create a toy that stands the test of time is the billion-dollar question. Kids get older, and fads come and go. But some toys persist, almost stubbornly - artifacts passing from one generation to the next. In the toy business, these products are considered classics. It’s an amorphous category filled with all sorts of games and toys that have just a few things in common...
***The above posted after tBR sent September 16th***
John Baulch, Toy World - The VIP experience …it’s the Friday Blog! It’s been nice to get out and about at a few events this week, as the toy and licensing industries start to gear up in earnest for the festive season. First up it was the turn of the Licensing Awards: a list of the winners of interest to the toy / kids’ space can be found here, while I also wrote a Blog about the event for Licensing.biz, which you can read here.
Toy World spoke to key suppliers to ask how sales of Games & Puzzles can be maximised and hear their advice to retailers on games events and promotions. Katy Fletcher, head of Marketing and Product Development at Ravensburger told us: “Innovation is key. This year we launched our first circular puzzle, while last year saw the launch of our Escape Puzzles for adults and children.
Toy World's Nick Gibbs-McNeil looks at the raft of blockbuster movies that have hit screens this year and how successful the accompanying CP slate has been. Our columnist Nick Gibbs-McNeil has a particular interest in the kids’ space and the film industry, and is publisher/editor at Kidzcoolit.com and youthgottit.com. A prolific contributor to social media, Nick’s excitement at the return of cinema...
How do you cheat in live chess? Cheating allegations run rampant as world's top player loses. Magnus Carlsen achieved the rank of chess grandmaster — the highest rank achievable in chess — at the age of 13 years old. The 31-year-old Norwegian mastermind is a five-time World Chess Champion and widely regarded as the best chess player in the world. He rarely loses, and that made his loss in the third round at the...
At 6 years old, Wyatt Shield is already a published author with a message to children on how to love and accept others for their differences. The Kansas native was born with 12 fingers, six on each hand. The condition is called polydactyly. He detailed his own story and medical journey in "Wyatt’s Big Adventures with Shriners," which is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
OPINION: Using The Metaverse To Support An IP Throughout Its Life Cycle. The metaverse has the potential to offer different types of viewing experiences, and Spin Master's Bakugan experiment in Roblox is just the beginning, says Dubit's David Kleeman. The other day, I settled in to watch an episode of Bakugan…in Roblox. As I give talks about children and the metaverse, one of the most frequent questions is what place TV
History and Nostalgia
THE HISTORY OF Alphabet Blocks. Alphabet blocks appeared as early as 1693, when philosopher John Locke suggested that “dice and play-things with the letters on them” could help “teach children the alphabet by playing.” A little over a century later, Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel introduced geometric solids carved from wood, which lead to alphabet blocks shortly thereafter. Interestingly, Froebel was also responsible for pioneering kindergarten.
***The above posted after September 16th***
Do you ever wonder who first thought of The Game of Life? As 1960 (and with it, Milton Bradley’s 100th anniversary) approached, the company hired independent inventor Reuben Klamer to come up with a game to commemorate the occasion. Klamer took the name “Life” from a game called The Checkered Game of Life, which was developed by Milton Bradley himself in 1860, but came up with an entirely new product.
The Bizarre History of Risk. In 1957, a French filmmaker named Albert Lamorisse designed a board game called La Conquête du Monde (The Conquest of the World). It featured simple rules but complex interactions. In 1959, Parker Brothers purchased the rights and made a few small changes before publishing it as Risk in 1959. It became the first popular game that involved strategy, diplomacy, conflict, and conquest.
Do you ever wonder who first thought of Raggedy Ann? In 1915, Johnny Gruelle’s daughter Marcella brought him an old rag doll. Gruelle drew a face on the doll and named her Raggedy Ann. Gruelle was a cartoonist and illustrator, so in 1918 he wrote a children’s book about his daughter’s doll. The book’s publisher, P. F. Volland, arranged to sell Raggedy Ann dolls along with the books, which helped catapult them both to fame.
King Oil from Milton Bradley. A combination of luck, strategy, and ruthlessness was needed to come out on top in the King Oil board game. Released in 1974 by Milton Bradley, the game challenged players to buy land, drill for oil, expand production, and make the acquisitions necessary to financially decimate opponents.
Ricochet Racers from Hasbro. In 1974, Hasbro released Ricochet Racers — action-toy playsets that combined target shooting and race cars. At the heart of each set was a Ricochet Launcher, a large rifle equipped with a bolt-action lever and spring-loaded firing mechanism. Instead of bullets, the rifle’s ammunition of choice was a cartridge fitted with an elongated race car.
Ancient toys found in archaeological digs are changing perspectives on children in early civilizations. Over the two decades that archaeologist Gus Van Beek excavated Tell Jemmeh, an Assyrian settlement inhabited from around 3,800 to 2,200 yrs ago, he recovered so many objects, it took the Smithsonian 40 yrs to catalogue them all. But for Van Beek, the site – in what is now modern-day south-west Israel – yielded...
Licensing and Entertainment
Moose Games, the gaming innovation division of award-winning Moose Toys, and Hunt A Killer, the immersive entertainment company, announced today that they have engaged in a strategic multi-year international licensing deal. Moose Toys will spearhead international sales of Hunt A Killer's popular retail mystery games under its Moose Games division, giving Hunt A Killer immediate international distribution...
Just in time for the Year of the Rabbit, several companies are collaborating with Dick Bruna’s Dutch rabbit Miffy to introduce a variety of products. Popular “100-yen” shop Daiso is introducing a collection of paper goods, such as stationery and novelty products, in addition to health and beauty products next year. Daiso is known for its dainty and pastel-inspired designs.
Mattel has announced the licensing of all magazines related to the brands of its portfolio in Italy, such as Barbie Magazine, Mia Prima Barbie, Hot Wheels and Thomas to Panini Spa. "It was an absolutely natural choice," says Claudia Lucarella, head, magazine, EMEA. "Panini is the undisputed leader in the children's segment and is certainly the publisher to continue the path that Mattel magazines have taken over...
Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, announced an agreement with MultiChoice, a leading entertainment company in Africa, to launch an exclusive linear preschool channel on Sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service DStv. The new Moonbug Kids channel will include content from across the Moonbug portfolio of much-loved IPs.
KIDZ BOP, the #1 music brand for kids, has appointed Bulldog Licensing, one of the licensing industry’s leading agencies, as its official UK licensing agency, beginning at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE). KIDZ BOP is a global family music brand that records today’s biggest hits, sung by kids for kids, and currently records in five languages.
ASPIRE, the dedicated Corporate & Lifestyle division of world-leading brand licensing agency WildBrain CPLG, has secured a deal with the Simba Dickie Group’s Smoby Toys for a master role-play toy range based on the established cleaning-technology brand Kärcher. Brokered by WildBrain CPLG’s German office on behalf of Alfred Kärcher SE & Co. KG, the partnership will see Smoby Toys create a role-play toy range...
Moose Games, the family gaming innovation division of the award-winning Moose Toys brand, announced the acquisition of the Worst-Case Scenario license from the game developer, Miami Beach game company, All Things Equal, as well as the licensor, Quirk Productions. Quirk oversees the licensing rights to Worst-Case Scenario and has entered a long-term licensing deal with Moose Toys for exclusive global...
Popeye and Olive Oyl announce the retail launch of their capsule collection within the 2022 Fall/Winter Iceberg line, a second drop in the collection that was first revealed in Spring this year. A selection of items inspired by Popeye’s enduring strength and Olive Oyl’s uniquely confident personality were unveiled via an innovative Fashion Week marketing campaign from Wild Posting back Q1 2022 across Milan...
The Pokémon Company International announced that the upcoming season of Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series will premiere October 21, 2022, exclusively on Netflix in the U.S. The 25th season of the globally popular animation will follow Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu, as well as Goh and Chloe, as they embark on their latest adventures in the Pokémon world. The season features approximately 54 episodes...
BEGiN, the company behind industry-leading early learning programs HOMER, codeSpark Academy, Little Passports, KidPass, and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, launch Learn with Sesame, the first offering to come out of their partnership. The new app uses Sesame Workshop’s tried-and-true educational approach alongside BEGiN’s four-step learning...
In a move to target a younger, more dynamic consumer with a passion for the latest style and trends, Konami Cross Media NY has kicked off an expansion into the fashion arena with their flagship property, Yu-Gi-Oh! Fresh and bold designs are headed to market with new partners including: BAIT, Bershka, Park Agencies and Tuned in Tokyo.
TOMY International Announces New Bilingual Toy Line Created and Developed by Global Wellness Icon and Two-Time New York Times Bestselling Author Robin Arzón. Head Peloton Instructor Robin Arzón’s new Bebé Fuerte toy collection designed to get baby and caregivers moving together.
Cutting-Edge Meets Classic with Dreamland Baby’s First-Ever Peter Rabbit Design Collaboration. Known for its innovative line of weighted sleep sacks and blankets for babies and toddlers, Dreamland Baby has announced its first-ever licensed collection with The World of Peter Rabbit during the 120th anniversary year of this iconic and much-loved children’s character. The collection has been launched under license from...
CLUE: The Grinch from The Op Launches to Make Sure Who-ville’s Christmas Happens. Now, for the first time ever, the mean-spirited troublemaker is looking to encroach on Christmas in yet a different form—a timeless tabletop board game—where it’s up to you to foil his plan! CLUE: The Grinch puts players in the shoes of the beloved Whos to stop their annual celebration from being stolen by the “mean one,” ...
Miraculous Ladybug – The Musical Show is set for its French premiere in October 2022, followed by the Brazilian premiere in June 2023. Based on the globally renowned TV series Miraculous – The Adventures of Ladybug and Cat Noir, created by ZAG and co-produced with ON kids and family, the live-action show transports audiences from the TV screen to the stage to enjoy their favorite characters live.
Brands with Influence has been appointed by Studio 100 Media, Germany, to manage the UK licensing rights for Vegesaurs, the upcoming new comedy adventure series airing on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer. The series is produced by independent Australian producer Cheeky Little Media in association with the Australian Broadcast Company (ABC), France TV and Studio 100.
Carrera has teamed up with Mattel to bring Hot Wheels vehicles to the Carrera Go racetrack. Together, the brands present the best of the racing and car worlds, with vehicles in two classic Hot Wheels designs that can whizz through the loops as slot cars before reaching the ski jump to jump through the ring of fire; a childhood dream for Hot Wheels fans.
Disney has removed “Rogue Squadron,” the “Star Wars” film from director Patty Jenkins, from its release calendar. The move comes as little surprise since the tentpole, which was scheduled for Dec. 22, 2023, was taken off the studio’s production schedule in 2021. The announcement is more-or-less pro forma, as the window for “Rogue Squadron” to start filming in time to complete the movie by next December...
Sensical and Kartoon Channel! are reaching out with Mister Rogers-inspired series that tackle timely topics and help kids feel seen and respected. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood for prodcos and platforms serving up series that aim to fill the void left by the iconic Mister Rogers. With kids, parents and caregivers still struggling to regain a sense of safety on the heels of the pandemic, there’s a need in the...
***The above posted after September 16th***
London-based animation studio Blue Zoo has announced a new chapter in the studio’s journey of exponential growth by opening new digital and licensing divisions, to pioneer the studio’s new and original IP, headed up by industry experts. Blue Zoo is a multi-BAFTA-winning, B Corp certified production company that has grown to become one of the UK’s leading & largest animation studios. The studio is responsible for...
Mighty Mojo Toys Aims for the Sky with New Angry Birds Collectible Plush. Mighty Mojo Toys has partnered with Rovio Entertainment to release a highly anticipated new plush line-up based on Angry Birds, one of the most downloaded mobile games ever, in a deal facilitated by Angry Birds’ global licensing agency IMG.
Market Mashup: BBC, Beyond Rights, Random House. Critters from outer space nab the attention of distributors while an Australian preschool dino tale with a tasty twist heads to the Beeb. With Cartoon Forum and Brand Licensing Europe a week away and MIPCOM coming up in October, an array of deals for co-pros and sales rights kick off a busy fall season.
Collectibles giant Funko is making a move into the live-experience scene with a new retail store with rapper Snoop Dogg and a cross-country road trip for its Con exclusives. In 2023, the Washington-based company will open its first co-branded retail experience in California and run a 25-stop tour across America that starts on the US East Coast and ends at the San Diego Comic-Con.
Western Digital, Nintendo, and Epic Games have teamed up for a new addition to the Fortnite gaming experience: an officially licensed Fortnite SanDisk microSDXC card for Nintendo Switch owners. The SD cards depict characters from the game, including the 128GB Skull Trooper and 256GB Cuddle Team Leader. Each card includes a digital access code that can be redeemed for the in-game Angular Flow Wrap.
Super Impulse has officially launched Minis-in-Minis, a brand new collectible concept that evolves what miniature — and micro — collectibles can be. “Super Impulse specializes in miniatures. It is our job to set the standard in the category and to create new experiences for fans of all ages,” says Super Impulse Founder and CEO Alan Dorfman.
ZAG tapped WildBrain CPLG to serve as its licensing agency for the ZAG Heroez property throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The deal expands upon ZAG’s existing relationship with WildBrain CPLG, which also represents Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir. “Since launching last summer, Ghostforce has been earning spectacular ratings which are translating to increased demand for branded...
Sony Pictures Consumer Products will arrive at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) to spotlight the studio’s premiere entertainment and gaming franchises and key collaborations that deliver immersive fan experiences beyond the screen. Boasting a strong slate of classic IPs such as Ghostbusters, and new IPs with growing fanbases like The Boys and Cobra Kai, Sony Pictures Consumer Products has tapped...
WildBrain Announces ‘Teletubbies, Let’s Go!’ Plus Merchandizing Plans for ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, ‘Chip and Potato’, and ‘In the Night Garden’. WildBrain, a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, will be presenting its beloved brands—Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Chip and Potato, and In the Night Garden—at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) in London from September 20-22, as the properties continue...
Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, is gearing up to expand Richard Scarry’s iconic and beloved global franchise with new branded merchandise, new titles, and a fiftieth-anniversary celebration for the iconic bestseller Cars and Trucks and Things That Go in 2024. Random House Children’s Books has signed a roster of licensing partners across...
Darkstar Skateboards Announces the Official Madballs Collab for Fall 2022. Darkstar Skateboards and Madballs property owner, Cloudco Entertainment, have collaborated on a capsule of skateboards, including pro models with Dave Bachinsky, Cameo Wilson, and Ke’Chaud Johnson. The Darkstar x Madballs Fall 2022 capsule showcases the mid-80’s classic Madballs artwork, prominently showcasing characters...
Pokémon Center Exclusively Releases Pokémon Capsule Collection With Fossil. The Pokémon Company International, in partnership with renowned lifestyle brand Fossil, has launched a new high-end collaboration featuring watches, bags and accessories. The collection’s premium products feature design inspiration from fan favorites within the Pokémon franchise including Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander...
John Baulch, Toyworld UK - And the winner is ….it’s the Licensing Blog! What can you say about the Licensing Awards which hasn’t been said before? It is always an entertaining night – the licensing community loves a party and as a networking event, you could argue that it is peerless. As much as any industry I have ever worked in, licensing revolves around relationships; perhaps even more so...
Mattel Licensing prepares for biggest year ever. To introduce this month’s Mattel feature, Jon Spalding talks Toy World through his first six months at the company. “As I write, this week marks six months since I joined Mattel, and what an incredibly exciting six months it’s been,” writes Jon Spalding head of consumer products UK, EMEA and HL. “First, we had the announcement of the return of Monster High with a live action...
Disney, Pixar Unveil New Animated Films At D23. Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation announced three upcoming pics at the event on Sept. 9, building on the momentum of Disney+ Day (Sept. 8). The announcement marks a return to musicals with Wish, an animated origin story of the wishing star that’s set to release in fall 2023.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises and The Op Games unveil Clue: The Grinch. Dr. Seuss Enterprises and The Op Games have released a new board game that combines characters from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” with the mystery-solving game, Clue. In Clue: The Grinch, players take on the roles of Cindy-Lou, Papa Who, Who-ville Mayor and other characters to solve clues and catch The Grinch before he steals Christmas
People of Play
ZAG has launched ZAG Stream, a new division established to drive forward the company’s direct to streaming content business to be led by Maria Doolan, ZAG’s SVP of TV Content. The first project from ZAG Stream is the animated superhero fantasy series, Fairyon, a reimagining of some of the world’s most famous fairy tale characters told with a superhero twist. Currently in pre-production, the project will be unveiled to ...
A toy industry veteran is taking the helm at Faber-Castell USA. Scott Flynn has joined the company as its new president and CEO, succeeding Jamie Gallagher, who recently retired after a 19-year run. Flynn joins Faber-Castell from PlayMonster, where he most recently served as its chief commercial officer. “This is a very exciting time for Faber-Castell USA,” Gallagher says. “I have known Scott for 35 years and have...
Mary Wood promoted to MD of Tomy’s UK & GAS businesses. Following a review of the ongoing and future needs of the business, Mary Wood has been appointed as managing director of Tomy’s UK & GAS businesses with immediate effect. With over three decades of experience in the toy industry, including roles at Mattel, Zapf Creation, Halsall Toys International and Vivid Imaginations, Mary Wood’s new role at Tomy includes...
There’s another new monster joining Beloit, Wisconsin-based PlayMonster. The company hired Steve Adolph to serve as president while Sharon Fosbery has been promoted to chief brands and strategy officer. Adolph will report to and work alongside CEO Tim Kilpin with a focus on global operations and crafting strategic initiatives to fuel growth for the company.
Meet the photographer behind the 'I Spy' books that captured millions of readers' imaginations. Since 1992, the "I Spy" riddle-book series has captured the imagination of millions of readers. Part of what made these books so magical is that all of the images were created with real objects. Photographer Walter Wick carefully arranged each scene and hid the objects. Then author Jean Marzollo wrote the rhymes.
GAMA hires Julie Yeager as new Exhibitor Manager. The Game Manufacturers Association has hired Julie Yeager to become their new Exhibitor Manager. Yeager is a longtime games industry veteran with a decade of experience. She started in the industry at Mayfair Games where she managed their Game Shepherd Volunteer Program and then, went on to become their Director of Marketing & Community Engagement.
After spending 30 yrs at Paramount Advertising, Jo Ann Ross has stepped into a new advisory role as chairman while John Halley will succeed her as president. “As the world of entertainment has evolved, Jo Ann has been on the forefront of advertising innovations that have been instrumental to establishing Paramount as a trusted partner and must-buy for advertisers everywhere,” says Bob Bakish, president and CEO.
Jazwares announced that Sam Ferguson has been elevated to SVP of Global Licensing. In his newly expanded role, Ferguson will oversee the company’s global inbound and outbound licensing efforts reporting to Judd Karofsky, EVP, Jazwares. Since joining Jazwares in 2016, Ferguson has been instrumental in growing the company’s vast licensed portfolio and homegrown intellectual properties (IP) consisting of the world’s hottest...
Zigazoo is making a push into consumer products. The kid-focused social network and NFT education platform hired Ashley Mady to serve as its president of consumer products. In her new role, Mady will lead physical and digital consumer product initiatives, including NFTs and other digital assets, physical merchandise, and products that are a blend of the two.
In an effort to support social emotional learning (SEL), including mindful play, active listening, and encouraging reading, PlayMonster tapped parenting influencer Desiree Fortin to share her expertise with other parents as the company’s chief parenting officer. Fortin joins PlayMonster as the company launches Playskool Glo Friends, a new product line created in partnership with Hasbro.
Fun In Motion Toys welcomes Kenneth Morrell to the crew in the newly created position of vice president of operations. Morrell joins Fun In Motion Toys from the Seminole Tribe of Florida where he served as general manager and director of operations. He previously held roles at the Coca-Cola Co., Anheuser-Busch, Unilever, and others.
Interview with Karri Bean! It’s an exciting time for the inventor community, the 2022 People of Play Inventor Conference is not only back in person but has had a total overhaul in location. Karri Bean, a Senior Licensing Manager for Disney and People of Play Advisory Board Member was kind enough to answer some questions about the upcoming event.
The National Book Foundation (NBF) will award its 2022 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (DCAL) to Maus creator Art Spiegelman. This is the first time the foundation has recognized a comics creator with the medal. Neil Gaiman will present the award to Spiegelman at the National Book Awards ceremony on Nov. 16.
NY’s Trustbridge Global Media has recruited former Boat Rocker EVP of kids & family content Bob Higgins to head up a new children’s entertainment company it’s launching. Run by Shanghai-based parentco and private equity firm Trustbridge Partners, TGM was founded in 2016 and manages approximately US$8 billion in investment capital. Starting immediately and reporting to TGM MD John String, Higgins will...
Companies and Brands
TIME for Kids launched Your 🔥Job, a free digital platform that introduces kids ages 8 to 14 to the ever-expanding world of careers. Produced by the editors of TIME for Kids, Your Hot Job aims to inspire and immerse young people in 21st-century career pathways, while building confidence and leadership skills.
Next year, Wham-O has major plans to celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary, in addition to three major milestones for some of its most iconic brands. Wham-O is behind some of the most recognizable toy properties of all time, including Frisbee, Slip ‘N Slide, Hula Hoop, Hacky Sack, Superball, Trac-Ball, and Boogie Body Boards. Plus, the company’s legacy lives on with several licensees that will introduce products...
Toy design company Everplay Labs has been awarded the prestigious IDEA by IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America) design award for their innovative play space set, Superspace. Superspace won a GOLD award, the top prize in the Children’s Product Category which was announced during their annual awards Ceremony, which took place on September 13, 2022 in Seattle, Washington.
The Pokémon Company International announced that the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG): Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box has been awarded Game of the Year at The Toy Foundation’s September 2022 Toy of the Year Awards. The globally popular Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO Elite Trainer Box is a special collaboration based on the Pokémon GO app, featuring cards with photorealistic artwork and unique gameplay...
Moose Toys, an innovative leader in the toy industry, announced that it won Creative Toy of the Year for Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball at The Toy Foundation’s Toy of the Year Awards. The TOTY Award winners were announced this evening at an awards ceremony at the Dallas Market Center, opening day of The Toy Association’s 2023 Preview & 2022 Holiday Market.
Jazwares, a leading global toy company, announced that the wildly successful Squishmallows plush brand secured the coveted License of the Year Award and the 16-inch Squishmallows nabbed Plush Toy of the Year at The Toy Foundation’s 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony, held on September 20, 2022.
Mattel Reveals Reimagined Monster High Dolls and Playsets. The Monster High doll line is getting a makeover — or at least a little update to expand representation in the line and inspire kids to be themselves, just like the Monster High crew. The new line begins hitting retail this fall. The reimagined dolls include Draculaura, Clawdeen, Frankie, Cleo, Lagoona, Ghoulia, Deuce, and Torelai.
TTPM, the leader in video product reviews for toys, baby, and pet gear, has released their Holiday Most Wanted 2022 List. The list features the items they believe will be in highest demand this season across three categories: Activities & Active Play, Entertainment, and Imaginative Play & Roleplay. The 2022 TTPM Most Wanted List was on display at the TTPM Holiday Showcase held on September 20, in New York City.
For the first time in Milan Fashion Week history, iconic and globally acclaimed MGA fashion doll lines, L.O.L. Surprise! and Rainbow High, will inspire the latest fashions set to hit the catwalk during an exclusive show scheduled for the evening of September 23, 2022 at the Spazio Antologico. The show promises amazing and elevated looks inspired by the most glam fashions in the toybox, as well as ...
Making its debut at Dallas Toy Fair, the re-launch of My Fairy Garden from PlayMonster makes a bold statement with new style, added play value and a focus on planting and nurturing with each of the unique fairies and their homes! Located at Booth #12-1001 on the Dallas Market Center’s show floor, visitors will get a first look into this enchanting fairy world from September 20th to September 22nd!
As Brand Licensing Europe 2022 (BLE) kicks off, Hasbro is highlighting a comprehensive licensing line-up of new fashion partnerships across some of its biggest brands including My Little Pony, Peppa Pig, Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons and more. With the theme of BLE 2022 being Fashion, Hasbro plans to showcase some of its biggest fashion licensing deals for these brands in key Eurasia markets.
Roblox is collaborating with Mattel’s iconic characters Barbie and Polly Pocket to bring the popular doll brands to the game. The franchises have already appeared in games such as Sims 4 and Animal Crossing and, as reported by Screen Rant, they will now both be brought directly to the game, with new special events and environments for players to enjoy.
BLE attendees will have the opportunity to meet the Squishmallows team and collaborate with Jazwares to create meaningful product extensions for UK fans and collectors. As Squishmallows continues its evolution into a powerhouse lifestyle brand, UK Squishmallows sales have doubled in 2022. Sales are set to double again moving into 2023 with over 250 new Squishmallows entering the UK market
Some of Trefl’s most popular games will hit shelves in the U.S. in the fall of next year. The European game and puzzle company is expanding its U.S. footprint beyond puzzles, starting with nine titles that were revealed today at the 2023 Preview and 2022 Holiday Market in Dallas.
The games include Hot Pot, a dexterous game in which players must pick out the right ingredients using only chopsticks.
The Crayola Experience is about to expand. The co. behind the iconic crayons inked a new licensing agreement with family entertainment attraction developer BrightColors LLC to double its number of Crayola Experience venues over the next 5 years. The Crayola Experience has been around for more than 25 years and currently operates five venues across the country in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.
Ahead of the Brand Licensing Europe keynote, Richard Dickson of Mattel shares the global impact of the Barbie brand. “Barbiecore, as it’s being defined, is more than a trend,” says Dickson. “It’s what we believe – it’s a movement. It stems from what Barbie signifies. The term Barbiecore is synonymous with the brand’s empowerment and certainly is the honor of her keepsake name. In just weeks, people are wearing head-to-toe pink outfits with embellishment in tribute to the doll and uploading their pics to social media platforms like TikTok, where the hashtag has more than 19 million views.
***The above posted after September 16th***
MGA Entertainment expands the fashion doll property Rainbow High portfolio to include music contest Rainbowvision. Rainbowvision is the world-famous music competition featured on the Rainbow High animated content series on YouTube, which showcases the new range of Rainbowvision dolls – Rainbow High and Shadow High fashion dolls. .
The LEGO Group is going green with its new factory in southern Vietnam. Construction of the factory begins in Binh Duong province this November, and 25,000 trees will be cleared in the process. In response to the trees that will be removed. The LEGO Group is planting 50,000 trees over a period of three years. In addition to the newly planted trees, the factory is set to be the company’s first carbon-neutral site.
Last year, Funko hit a major milestone as the company hit $1 billion in annual sales. Now, the Washington-based purveyor of products for every fandom is setting its sights on doubling that organically by 2026. This week, Funko held its first-ever investor event in New York City where it outlined plans to double its business by growing its collectibles assortment, expanding into new categories, growing its direct...
Baker & Taylor Publisher Services is pleased to announce the signing of a full-service sales and distribution agreement with Brain Tree Games, effective immediately. this Agreement between BTPS and Brain Tree Games pertains to US sales and fulfillment only. Brain Tree Games is one of the leading jigsaw puzzle manufacturers worldwide.
In honor of National Afro Day, DeeDee Wright-Ward, creator of viral Naturalistas Fashion Doll line and CEO of one of the largest Black-owned toy start-ups, Purpose Toys, announced the expansion of the Naturalistas brand with the release of the Amazon Exclusive “Crown and Coils” Natural Hair Styling-Head set. A celebration of coils and curls, the popular Naturalistas fashion doll line features 7 unique ...
Atari Reveals Sunnyvale, A Massive New Experience in The Sandbox. Atari — one of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and interactive entertainment producers — has announced the launch of Atari Sunnyvale, a massive social and gaming experience in The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming virtual world and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands.
NERF Unveils All-New LMTD Star Trek and Retro Blasters at NERF Fest, Launches NERF Island on Roblox. Following this week’s exciting NERF collaboration announcement with mega sci-fi franchise Star Trek, fans were treated to an in-depth look at the NERF LMTD Star Trek Starfleet Type 3 Phaser and Starfleet Type 2 Phaser. The NERF team also revealed the all-new NERF LMTD SHARP92 Blaster, a retro throwback...
New Gigantosaurus Toy Line Gets the Magic Touch from Toy Designer Darren Lee Phillipson. Cyber Group Studios, a leading producer and distributor of animated programs for kids and families, best known for its award-winning preschool show Gigantosaurus, will introduce a new line of series-inspired toys from master toy licensee United Smile that is being created by multi-award-winning toy designer Darren Lee Phillipson of...
Funko Games has unveiled a new line of Pop!-inspired puzzles, in time for the holidays. Featuring Funko’s iconic Pop! style, the first three puzzles feature Elf, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. “The Funko Pop! is legendary, with millions of fans and millions of Pop! figures sold worldwide,” said Deirdre Cross, general manager of Funko Games. “Over the years, more than 16,000 Pop! figures have...
Zuru is celebrating X-Shot being ranked as the No.1 UK property in the range of blasters and shooter toys YTD July by NPD. X-Shot was launched as a competitor in the largely unchallenged blaster category and has made no secret of its desires to overtake the brand-leader. New results from July show that X-Shot property is now number one in volume in the blaster/shooter subclass in year-to-date July.
This Clever App Tells You What to Build With Your LEGO Pile. LEGO appeals to every kind of builder. Type-A architects may like to purchase sets and follow the instructions to the letter, while more free-form designers may prefer to amass random pieces and see what inspires them. If you fall somewhere between these two categories, Brickit may be the app for you. As Fast Company reports, Brickit is a free app that tells you...
Panini enters world of NFTs with Megacracks de LaLiga collection. The Megacracks de LaLiga Santander 2022-23 trading card collection welcomes added value in the form of 9,460 cards from the Elite NFT series. Megacracks de LaLigaOne of the most iconic card collections in Spain, the Megacracks de LaLiga Santander 2022-23, enters the world of NFTs with very limited cards.
The Power of Peppa Pig Comes to the Fore as Hasbro Begins 24-Month Brand Campaign. The first phase, beginning in the UK, features children's drawings of the character. The long-running preschool children’s TV series Peppa Pig has become a cultural phenomenon in the two decades since the first episode aired. The titular Peppa, along with her family and friends, go beyond the expected young audience however...
Hasbro Campaign Explains Why Monopoly Is Good for Kids' Anger Issues. The poster and online campaign has been developed for the Dutch and Belgian markets. According to research run by games maker Hasbro, eight out of 10 people fight while playing the board game Monopoly, an insight which has led to the creation of a brand campaign in Belgium. After commissioning research, manufacturer Hasbro’s Benelux...
Holiday toy list season continues with Amazon checking in with its annual Toys We Love list. This year, Amazon’s Toys We Love list features more than 200 toys and games, including 100 priced under $50, and more than 60 that are exclusive to Amazon. Small businesses and growing toymakers on the list this year include Thames & Kosmos, Orijin Bees, Magna-Tiles, MEandMine, and TeeTurtle, among others.
CLASSIC TOY BRANDS COLLIDE AS RADIO FLYER WAGON ROADSTER ROLLS INTO VICTORY LANE AT THE HOT WHEELS LEGENDS TOUR. At the Phoenix stop this weekend, builder Mitchell Elsberry of San Tan Valley, Arizona scored a local win with his 2017 Radio Flyer Wagon Roadster. The street legal, steel-bodied roadster features a custom-built chassis and LS-1 engine with 700R4 transmission. Elsberry is a plumber by trade...
The most popular YouTube channel in the United States is embarking on a massive tour of its home country. This fall, CoComelon will travel to 62 cities across the U.S. to put on CoComelon Live! JJ’s Journey, a show that features the cartoonish characters from the brand’s kid-friendly content empire. The fun begins in Baltimore, Maryland on September 16.
TARGET, FAO SCHWARZ INK MULTIYEAR PARTNERSHIP DEAL, UNVEIL BULLSEYE’S TOP TOY LIST. Beginning in mid-Oct., FAO Schwarz toys will be available exclusively at Target stores, Target.com, and FAO Schwarz stores. The news arrives alongside the 10th annual edition of Bullseye’s Top Toys List, now presented by FAO Schwarz. As part of the arrangement, visitors to the FAO Schwarz flagship store in NYC’s Rockefeller Center...
Moonbug has enjoyed a meteroic rise to fame with some of its properties quickly becoming among the biggest and most successful in the world.Moonbug Entertainment‘s Simon Philips, MD Global Consumer Products, and Francesca Romana Gianesin, head of Consumer Products EMEA/ANZ, spoke to Toy World’s Rachael Simpson-Jones ahead of Moonbug’s debut BLE appearance, about the company’s CP strategy, growth...
Chicago-area sixth grader is the face of America’s new girl. On a recent visit to New York City, 11-year-old Rio Lewis walked into the American Girl doll store with her family and was shocked to see her face on the brand’s newest character banners throughout the store. “A mom and a girl, they’re like, ‘Hey, you know what? You look like Claudie. And I was like, ‘I’m Claudie!'” Lewis told the Tribune.
Catan Studios unveils 'Catan Scenario: The Helpers'. CATAN Studios unveiled CATAN Scenario: The Helpers for release in Q4 2022. This new scenario pack adds 12 Helper characters to games of CATAN. These Helpers each have specialized skills that can aid settlements in tasks such as driving off Robbers, adding makeshift roads, or choosing development cards.
Redevelop the cityscape of 'San Francisco'. New City-Building Game Designed by Reiner Knizia. Asmodee will release San Francisco, a new city-building game designed by Reiner Knizia, into retail on October 7, 2022. In this game, players take on the roles of urban planners looking to redevelop the cityscape of this iconic coastal city.
Lead Middle-Earth's high elf forces with 'Elrond, Master Of Rivendell'. Games Workshop will release Elrond, Master of Rivendell, a new miniatures set, into retail September 17, 2022. This miniatures set for Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game allows players to add the legendary elf commander Elrond to battles. It includes two different versions of Elrond, one mounted and one on foot.
Games Workshop reveals 'Warhammer 40,000: Leagues of Votann Army Set'. New miniatures boxed set coming soon to preorder. Games Workshop has revealed Warhammer 40,000: Leagues of Votann Army Set, a new miniatures boxed set, which is coming to preorder on September 17, 2022. The Leagues of Votann armies are finally on their way, after being first teased at Adepticon 2022 in March.
Lighting strikes in 'Marvel Champions: The Card Game'. Fantasy Flight Games will release Storm Hero Pack, for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, into retail in fall 2022. Storm Hero Pack brings the full wrath of the weather goddess down upon X-Men villains. Storm's deck contains powerful support and event cards in her own special secondary Weather deck.
Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development
Sega announces Yakuza 8 and a slew of other Yakuza games. Ahead of the Tokyo Game Show starting on September 15th, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio — developers of the gritty gangster series Yakuza, the noir detective series Judgment, and in sharp and hilarious contrast, the Super Monkey Ball series — shared its upcoming release schedule, and it’s a doozy.
Western Digital, Epic Games release Fortnite Sandisk Microsdxc card for Nintendo Switch. Western Digital, Nintendo, and Epic Games have teamed up for a new addition to the Fortnite gaming experience: an officially licensed Fortnite SanDisk microSDXC card for Nintendo Switch owners. The SD cards depict characters from the game, including the 128GB Skull Trooper and 256GB Cuddle Team Leader.
Microsoft announces arguably better GoldenEye for Xbox right when Nintendo does. Rumors of a GoldenEye 007 remaster have been making the rounds for a while now. Today, it was finally revealed in the weirdest way possible. While Nintendo promoted a port with online play for its Switch Online Expansion Pack during a big Sept. Direct, Microsoft quietly revealed a better version of the game would be coming to Xbox...
Netflix strikes deal with Ubisoft for three exclusive games. A Valiant Hearts sequel, a new Assassin's Creed game, and a new version of The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot will all be exclusives for Netflix. Ubisoft is partnering with Netflix to release 3 exclusive mobile games on the company's subscription service. The 3 titles will all be original games based on existing Ubisoft franchises, and will be available to subscribers...
Highlighted Press Releases
MYMOONLITE.COM SITE NOW LITE ON THE EYES AND BUDGET WITH NEW SUBSCRIPTION DEALS! Back-To-School Season Brings A Refreshed Website With Discounts And Promos. St. Louis, MO (September 22, 2022) – Now that school has begun anew, there are a few more items parents may want to stock up on – bedtime stories! Kids can improve literary skills while parents create enticing bedtime rituals with Moonlite Starter Pack ($25) and Moonlite Gift Packs ($39.99 & up) that turns your smartphone into a storybook projector. Better yet, their refreshed website has some promotions and discounts not to miss. “Save 20% off orders over $90 with code: MOONLITE20” reads the banner atop MyMoonlite.com.
A TOLD B & B TOLD C TO MEET AT THE TOP OF NEWEST CREATEON® LICENSE: CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM! Rediscover Beloved Storybook As It Comes Alive With Magna-Tiles® Structures® Hands-On Play That Introduces The Alphabet While Building A Coconut Tree. Wheeling, IL (September 19, 2022) – Generations have learned their ABCs in the lively alphabet rhyme where all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. CreateOn® is proud to introduce its newest Magna-Tiles® Structures® set, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom ($44.95), where preschoolers sequence double-sided tiles for hands-on play. Build the tree up from lower-case a to x, y, z but oh no, will there be enough room? Go ahead and shout chicka chicka boom boom.
***The above posted after September 16th***
ENTICE BUDDING ARTISTS TO SCRIBBLE, DOODLE, PAINT & SCULPT WITH iHeartArt JR. Bright Stripes Introduces a Full Range of Premium, Perfectly-Proportioned Art Supplies For Preschoolers Featuring Caregivers’ Guides and A Rainbow Array of Materials For The Youngest Artists
Bloomfield, NJ – Bright Stripes believes there is no right or wrong way to create art. With the right tools, the benefits are extraordinary! Art encourages creativity and imaginative thinking, two skills that are increasingly linked with long-term professional success. Bright Stripes introduces a full range of iHeartArtJR creative kits for preschoolers blessed with chubby little fingers and big ideas!
Safety and Counterfeiting
Magnets used in toys and jewelry get new safety standard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to approve a new mandatory federal safety standard that requires loose or separable magnets in certain magnet products to be either too large to swallow or weak enough to reduce the risk of internal injuries when swallowed. The CPSC has said that magnets in subject magnet products typically are small, powerful magnetic balls, cubes, cylinders, or other shapes that can be aggregated to make sculptures, for use as desk toys, and as other building sets.
Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals
ASTRA Announces First New England Game and Kit Day. On Thursday, October 27, 2022, the biggest names in specialty games and crafts will be training retailers and their staff at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA. Due to the success of the Portland, OR and Long Beach, CA Game and Kit days, ASTRA thought it would be a great idea to have one on the East Coast.
hand2mind, the award-winning educational resource company, announced it is partnering with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics as they attempt a Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest pattern blocks mosaic (pattern). The attempt will take place during the second day of the NCTM Annual Meeting & Exposition (September 29, 2022) at the Los Angeles Convention Center at 9 am PST.
It’s not déjà vu: The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) 2022 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards returned for a second round this week as the U.S. toy community gathered in Dallas for the first time since 2019. As the industry looks ahead to the great calendar reset of 2023 which will see Toy Fair move to September and the TOTYs along with it, the first-ever fall TOTY Awards ceremony took place at The Toy Association’s 2023 Preview...
The Toymaster and AIS buying groups have rejoined the Toy Retailers Association with group memberships which cover all their members. These new members, as well as being part of AIS and Toymaster, will now benefit from Toy Retailers Association guidance and advice and will be invited to take part in government discussions on issues that directly impact their businesses.
The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, revealed this year’s finalists for induction into the Hall. A dozen classic toys are vying for position this year, including bingo, Breyer Horses, Catan, Lite-Brite, NERF, Masters of the Universe, piñata, Phase 10, Pound Puppies, Rack-O, Spirograph, and the spinning top.
Chefclub, the world’s leading food-themed entertainment brand, and 10 French malls from the Klépierre Group, the European leader in shopping centers, will host a series of live events called “Playfood” – aimed at offering gourmet, accessible, fun, and shareable culinary experiences to kids and families.
Warner Bros Discovery Announces New York Comic Con ’22 Panels, Activations and More! Warner Bros Discovery is back in New York City for NYCC, with fan-favorite shows, comics and more from an incredibly wide line-up across the combined divisions of the company, with a series of can’t-miss panels, activations and more, from Thursday, October 6, through Sunday, October 9.
The Game Manufacturers Association has made changes to the Origins Awards for the 2022 cycle. The Origins Awards return after a stint of being delayed by the pandemic and other issues (see "Origins Awards Delayed"). Now, the awards for 2022 will be announced in at GAMA Expo 2023, and will include new categories to better reflect the makeup of the new board structure and the membership. The categories are...
UK Licensing Awards winners revealed. The winners of this year’s Licensing Awards were unveiled at last night’s event, which saw around 1,200 industry people from the licensing community head to the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane. In addition to the award presentations, the members of The Light Fund English Channel Relay Swim team were thanked for their incredible efforts in raising £268,000...
The DreamToys committee has decided to continue the format of the last two years, with a press day held the day before the official announcement. The Toy Retailers Association has announced the annual DreamToys list will be unveiled on Wednesday 9th Nov. at 00:01.
The list showcases the most exciting toys and games available this festive season, as chosen by a panel of retailers and industry experts...
BLE announces revised build-up schedule and new opening hours. The event will still take place from Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd Sept., although the show will not now open until midday on the Tuesday. Show organiser Informa has announced a series of minor revisions to the timetable for next week’s BLE event, having been working throughout the weekend to liaise with exhibitors to finalise the new arrangements.
NYCC to continue mask mandate for 2022 show. But drops vax requirement. ReedPop has announced the health and safety policies for New York Comic Con 2022, and they include a requirement that all attendees wear a mask at all times while indoors at the venue, the Javits Center. However, unlike last year, participants will not have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or a negative COVID-19 test) to enter the show.
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.
Arnold Thaler, former Chairman of Viewmaster-Ideal, passed away on September 12th, 2022. He was 99 years. Here is an old video of Arnold Thaler talking about View-Master International old.
Michael John Lyden, of Greendale, Wisconsin passed away Friday, August 26, 2022 peacefully at the age of 80. Born in Fall River, Massachusetts he spent his youth along the eastern corridor from Rhode Island to Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The toy industry was his heart and soul, along with the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle (done proudly only in pen) and endless books loaned from the library. He adored visiting zoos around the world, fascinated by Snowflake, the albino gorilla at the Barcelona zoo and Tandi & Khanya, the rare white lion cubs (along with generally most animals).
He adored long evenings at restaurants, discos, bars around the world, making new friends wherever he frequented. From Carlos & Charlie's in Hollywood to TJ's Piano Bar in Westport Connecticut, to most recently his daughter's wine bar in Greendale, Wisconsin, he was one to charm the socks off of anyone he met. Given the opportunity he'd gladly take you up on a well-made steak tartare with the perfect frites. He adored gushing stories about the golf courses he'd played or flying the Concord all while extending the evening with a sambuca and coffee, with exactly three beans for good fortune in life.
He loved regaling new friends and old with stories of his time spent in the toy industry, starting as a teenager as a stock clerk in the first Toys "R" Us in Virginia. From there he worked tirelessly and steadfastly to rise the ranks at Toys R Us, then to Mattel. At Mattel he led the development of Hot Wheels as Vice President of Boys Brands in El Segundo, California. At Tyco Toys in Mount Laurel, New Jersey he rose to President of Tyco US where along his journey he was instrumental in the creation of the legendary Garfield telephone of the 80s, and Tickle me Elmo of the 90s. His favorite times were spent at Toy Fair every year in New York City, and with his many dear colleagues he made over 50+ years in the industry.
He was the ultimate perfectionist, with a lust for life that is rarely encountered. He endeared himself to many throughout his broad and unique life around the world.
He was the proud father of daughters Kelly (Jeff), Megan and Jennifer (Jason); Grandfather of Russell, Jessica (Steve), Rachel (Brett), Elle, Sadie and Uma; Great-Grandfather of Zachary, Emilie, Madelyn, Nikolai, Hazel and Theo. He is survived by his sisters Frances (George) and Colleen. He is preceeded by his parents Francis and Evelyn (nee Lassonde) Lyden.
Ralph Eggleston, Longtime Pixar animator and the Oscar-winning director behind the 2000 short film For the Birds who also worked in the art departments of films like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles — has died. Eggleston died in San Rafael, Calif., on Monday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, according to Variety. Pixar Animation Studios confirmed Eggleston's death in a statement released on Twitter Monday. "In memory of Ralph Eggleston — animator, director, art director, storyboard artist, writer, production designer, and our dear friend. Pixar and the world will be forever grateful," the studio tweeted. Among his colleagues, Jorge R. Gutierrez, director of The Book of Life, also honored the moviemaker with a tribute.
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