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September 16 - 23, 2022

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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin’ Friday! 

People... People who need people… are the luckiest (Ahem!) PEOPLE! We are the People of Play, and it’s time to celebrate, well, US! There is no finer way to revel in the wonderment of playmakers than to be a part of the 15th annual TAGIE Awards as we come together for the first time in nearly three years. VOTE for your favorite people now!

And... here is a link to more upcoming events!

 

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! 

Mary

"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

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Industry Commentary - Brandi Pinsker

Talks about Autism at Work

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Every May, while many parents are celebrating high school graduations and preparing to tearfully send their teens off to college, there is another group of parents tearfully welcoming their kids back home, to the sofa, to stare at their iPads. These kids have no social group, no work prospects, and definitely no college plans. They have autism. 

 

I hear from the parents of these kids every May and my empathy for them runs deep because next year, I will join them. My son Eli, who has autism, will complete his last year of high school next May. Once those school doors shut, all opportunities for learning, being productive, and making social connections disappear. After high school there is nothing, and the word “nothing” being applied to your child’s future at the age of 18 is terrifying. I got a glimpse of this dilemma at the beginning of summer 2022 as I tried to plan for his 12-week summer vacation and was faced with a blank slate.

 

Like all parents, I imagined a bright future for my kid. Despite Eli’s diagnosis, I always assumed (naively) that we would find a program, a group, or an opportunity of some sort that would create a meaningful life for him as an adult. With enough intervention and support I assumed we would find a way for him to be productive and have a social group, even if it looked a little different than his peers. But it didn’t happen.   READ MORE...

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Industry Commentary- Arch Anderson  

The Trading Card Game Avalanche of the Early 2000s

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In the wake of Pokémon’s runaway success, the early 2000s brought us some very unusual and unexpected trading card game tie-ins. Time has proven that they can’t all be zingers.

 

A few years ago a colleague gave me a shoebox full of old trading cards they’d found in their attic. These weren’t your father’s baseball cards, though - A number of them featured different Star Wars and Star Trek characters. I pawed through them and felt a wave of longing for that galaxy far, far away - back when Star Wars prequels were on the horizon and nobody had yet decided that they were Bad, Actually. 

 

This was a time capsule from a particularly great time to be alive. We used to let movies actually hit theaters before forming opinions on them!

 

Anyway. In the back of the box were some trading cards from Survivor. Not just any trading cards, however - these were collectible card game cards with stills from the popular reality TV show as well as numbers and stats and rules text. Amused by the specificity of this product, I scooped them up and brought them to the office for nostalgia’s sake.   READ MORE...

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Book Review by POP's  Julia DeKorte

Bruce's Beliefs by Bruce Lund

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In “Bruce’s Beliefs: Everything I know about Business (and Life) I Learned Playing with Toys,” Bruce Lund shares 68 of his beliefs that he’s come to learn through his 40+ years of experience in the toy industry. From life advice to career advice to simple lessons of joy, Lund’s book is a lighthearted read fit for any type of reader.

Split into nine chapters that categorize his beliefs, “Bruce’s Beliefs” shares advice, lessons, and mantras to live by through the lens of toys, games, and the art of play. Each chapter includes 5-10 beliefs. Lund elaborates on some beliefs with anecdotes, research, and examples, and others say enough with just the title.

Meant to be read over a longer period time, “Bruce’s Beliefs” is the perfect coffee table book. Readers can flip to any page and read a belief or two and come back to it another time, there’s no necessary order to read it in.

In addition to advice, readers get to know charming and humorous author Bruce Lund as he shares the lessons life has taught him. Founder of his own toy company, Lund is an expert in the field and a wonderful writer, and “Bruce’s Beliefs” is the perfect marriage of both skills, and a memorable and engaging book for any reader.   READ MORE...

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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!

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From a ​M​ajor ​C​able ​N​etwork​ 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 

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Financial and Legal

 

Hong Kong is going to scrap current quarantine regulations, a move expected to make travel to the region far more feasible.  Hong Kong chief executive John Lee and Lo Cung-mau, the Health Secretary, announced the new rules at a local press conference on 23rd September. The change will come into effect from 26th September and will mean travellers will no longer be required to go direct to a designated quarantine hotel.

***The above was posted after September 26th***

 

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...

 

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Financial Reporting

 

LEGO SALES SPIKED 13% IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2022

 

Avatar Wins the Global Weekend Box Office 13 Years After Its Debut Thanks to the Remastered Re-ReleaseAvatar has only added to its lead as the highest-grossing film of all time.

 

***the above posted after September 23rd***

 

UK SMF Toytown has released its annual results for 2021, in which sales increased by 39.2% to reach £14.96m. 

 

After two years of record-breaking growth in 2020 and 2021, U.S. toy industry dollar sales increased by 2% or $231 million to $11.4 billion for January-June 2022, according to The NPD Group.

 

Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry

 

Consumer data reveals what Gen Z's values are, and why creating more inclusive kids content will be easier in a post-pandemic world.

 

Why LatAm is the next hot licensing market to watch

 

GPI: TOYING WITH FREIGHT IN 2023

 

India’s toy exports shoot up by 61% while imports dip 70% as local industry surges

 

Teens want more real-world content: report

 

Trendspotting: Cracking cases at Cartoon Forum

 

***the above posted after September 23rd***

 

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 TOY INDUSTRY AND RETAIL: FACING THIS FALL’S CHALLENGES

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)

 

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

 

Toycos go after the neurodiversity niche. Kidscreen explores how are toy and game manufacturers are making their products more accessible for kids on the autism spectrum. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that one in 44 children in the US had some form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That translates into about 1.65 million kids ages 17 and under. In Canada, the incidence is one in 60, according ...

John Baulch, Toy World, Best in show…it’s the Licensing Blog! As a new week dawns, the licensing community is heading back to work after last week’s highly successful BLE show. Following the unforeseen events of the past few weeks, which certainly threw a curveball or three into the mix for exhibitors and attendees (not to mention the poor show organisers), the great news was that the show was back to its best.

‘Andor’ Creator Tony Gilroy Urged His Team to Put Aside Their ‘Star Wars’ Reverence. The showrunner, who crafted a critically acclaimed show by encouraging people to forget they were working in a galaxy far, far away, recalls advice to his collaborators: "You're here because we want you to be real."

 

Standing out in the Roblox multiverseIt’s no secret that kids have embraced Roblox as a platform that allows them to make their own games and play games made by their peers. And while some brands are starting to reach out to them through the platform’s game creation features, the question that’s top of mind for everyone is: How do I succeed on Roblox?

 

Pickleball is exploding, and it’s getting messy. With multiple pro tours and new venues everywhere, pickleball’s growth shows no signs of slowing down. Quaint and complex, the game has been likened to chess on concrete and is most commonly compared to tennis, badminton and table tennis. It also has exploded into a big business with no shortage of deep-pocketed investors and eager opportunists.

***the above was posted after September 23rd***

 

John Baulch, Toy World, Back to its best … it’s the Friday Blog! I have just returned home from three hectic days at BLE – the European-focused licensing show which takes place at London’s ExCeL. After the unforeseen events of the past few weeks, which certainly threw a curveball or three into the mix for exhibitors and attendees (not to mention the poor show organisers), the great news was that the show was..

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...

Creating a strong brand with high visibility is one of the best things you can do if you run your own business. But establishing your brand identity, coming up with an exciting elevator pitch, and learning how to promote your business effectively takes time and practice. It’s easier said than done. If you’re feeling imposter syndrome or fear of failure — you’re not alone. Here are some steps you can take to empower yourself and market your business.

GameStop Daycare’ is a thing and employees are tired of babysitting other people's kids. The Mario Kart Switch station is not your babysitter, staff at the retail store say. GameStop is one of the last places you can still find video games in the wild, and employees say they’re tired of parents using it as an excuse to drop off their kids while they go run errands. “Yeah, a lot of us are getting tired of parents thinking that they can basically just dump their kids into our care while they go shopping,” one current employee told Kotaku in an email.

WELCOMING JAPANESE INVENTORS: ENGAGING THE WORLD’S SECOND-LARGEST TOY INVENTING COMMUNITY. The toy business has an appetite unlike any other for creativity and fresh, original concepts year after year. Because our industry thrives on newness and novelty, many toy manufacturers have discovered that a healthy mix of internally generated concepts and externally sourced inventor concepts...

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...

 

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History and Nostalgia

 

History of Crossword Puzzles.  Crossword puzzles got their start in 1913, when Arthur Wynne was putting together the Christmas edition of “Fun,” the jokes and puzzles supplement he managed for the New York World. Believing that readers needed a new challenge, the Liverpool native designed a puzzle with a numbered, diamond-shaped grid with an empty center. He put “fun” at the top as the first “across”...

The History of Jenga. Leslie Scott created Jenga in England in the 1980s. Scott based it on a stacking game she and her family played with simple wooden blocks and named it Jenga, a form of the Swahili word kujenga, which means “to build.” (Scott was born in East Africa and fluent in both English and Swahili). Over time, variations on the classic gameplay were introduced. Most of these were debuted by Hasbro, which quickly became a licensee for Jenga.

 

***The above posted after September 23rd***

 

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.

 

Magnastiks from Ohio Art. In 1961, Ohio Art released Magnastiks, a construction set that allowed children to “experience the wonder of magnetism.” The toy came in a red snap-lid case that housed a blue plastic insert with 4 integrated permanent magnet plates. The plates served as the base for any magnetic structure. Below the plates was a series of 6 compartments that contained over 100 free-form...

 

Clock-A-Word from Topper Toys (1966). In Topper Toys’ Clock-A-Word, players competed to form the longest possible word from a random selection of 9 letters in the shortest amount of time. The “race against the clock” pattern-recognition game was released in 1966. At the start of the game, each player received a stop pin and the Clock-A-Word pointer was moved to the start position, pointing straight up. 

 

Backstory: LEGO at 90 — building a (brick) empire for kids and kidults. In the midst of the Great Depression, master carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen was teetering on the brink of financial ruin. Facing a challenging economic climate, Kirk Kristiansen scaled back the output of his woodworking shop in Billund, Denmark, to focus on small, household items that could be sold quickly, such as ironing boards and ladders. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

 

Gabby’s Dollhouse enjoys success across EMEA. The newly rebranded Universal Products and Experiences celebrates its successful entry into the pre-school space with DreamWorks Gabby’s Dollhouse. Devised by Blue’s Clues veterans Traci Paige Johnson and Jennifer Twomey, the combined animation/live action show sees presenter Gabby unbox a new surprise each episode, then magically shrink to join her miniature...

 

Paris-based studios Dada! Animation and Wizz have signed a development deal with Canal+ to adapt decades-old French comic book series Pif Gadget for TV. Aiming for six- to 10-year-olds, Pif & Hercule se mettent au vert (26 x 2.5 minutes) introduces a new character named Pifi, who will join adventurous dog Pif and Hercule the cat as they explore Earth and encourage kids to protect the planet.

 

In honor of its 25th Anniversary, Build-A-Bear Workshop is expanding into the Web3 realm by offering NFTs in partnership with Sweet. The three-part launch will take place on Oct. 4, during which Build-A-Bear will offer an auction for a Limited Edition NFT Collectible Bear featuring Swarovski Crystals. The auction will run through Oct. 6 with bidding starting at $2500. 

 

Goliath partners with CrimeCon Glasgow for Casefile: Truth & Deception. CrimeConBilled as a ‘riveting, endlessly re-playable strategy boardgame’, Casefile: Truth & Deception is based on the global, award winning Casefile podcast which consistently ranks high in the podcasting charts with millions of fans stemming from multiple territories. Players can put themselves in a detective’s shoes as they solve a complex crime...

 

PopCult has partnered with Disney Music Group on a new Disney Hits Podcast for kids and families. The 58-episode project is built to be a bite-sized complement to Disney’s soundtrack playlist, which is available on services like Spotify and Apple Music. Each episode clocks in at under 5 mins, featuring singers, composers and songwriters behind massive Disney hits from films such as Frozen, Encanto and The Lion King.

 

British toyco Toikido is putting Roblox first in its rollout plan for Piñata Smashlings, a new range of playthings and trading cards that combine the blind-bag trend with the birthday-party craze. Toikido has partnered with Ohio-based developer Supersocial to create a still-untitled Roblox game that will launch simultaneously in Sept. 2023 with the first wave of products, which includes collectible figures, plush, play...

 

Doubling down on intergenerational comedy, the BBC has commissioned a new live-action TV movie called Gangsta Granny Strikes Again! from London-based King Bert Productions. Aimed at kids and families, the 60-minute special is about a kid who finds himself tangled up in a series of robberies he suspects have been committed by his grandmother, a master thief in her day.

 

Toronto’s Sinking Ship Entertainment has teamed up with comedian Samantha Bee to develop a new kid-starring sketch comedy show called Best Day Ever. Sinking Ship and Bee’s prodco, Swimsuit Competition, will collaborate on the live-action series concept created by Emmy-winning producer and actor Allana Harkin (Dino Dan). The show will have 30-minute episodes, and is aimed at kids eight and older.

 

MGM has signed its first licensing deals for upcoming live-action series Wednesday, which launches worldwide on Netflix this fall. Hot Topic (apparel), Rubie’s (costumes) and Funko (figures) are on board to get things started in consumer products for the young adult series about grim teenager Wednesday Addams. These three deals are for products in the US. 

 

Paper Owl Films is putting the spotlight on the emotional resilience of preschoolers with its newest project, Happy the Hoglet. The 2D-animated series (26 x seven minutes) goes on adventures with a hedgehog and his friends at Sunny River Community Garden, who argue over their differences, but ultimately resolve these conflicts and learn how to deal with their emotions.

 

Disney Branded TV has ordered a live-action adaptation of Jen Malone’s 2016 tween novel The Sleepover (Simon & Schuster) from Imagine Kids+Family, a division of LA’s Imagine Entertainment. The coming-of-age comedy, titled The Slumber Party follows a squad of teen girls who can’t seem to remember what happened the night before at their sleepover party. 

 

Boss Fight Studio, creator of fan favorite action figures and toys, has partnered with The Jim Henson Company to make action figures from the world of Fraggle Rock. The new agreement, brokered by FanGirl Consulting, is the latest in a diverse lineup of pop culture collectibles from Boss Fight Studio.

 

Carte Blanche Greetings, best known for the award-winning Me to You brand and its signature character Tatty Teddy and nursery property, Tiny Tatty Teddy, has announced a partnership with Bulldog Licensing The timeless appeal of Tatty Teddy now extends well beyond its original incarnation as a greeting card character to make it a staple part of the UK brand landscape, propelling Me to You as a true...

 

Precious Moments has expanded its licensing roster with the addition of four new licensees – Diamond Dotz (Needleart World), The Galway Company, Major Trading Incorporated (MTI), and Nu Trendz (Silicon Valley Textiles) – in popular product categories. “We are happy to offer a variety of quality products to the growing demand from consumers for more Precious Moment products. ..

 

WildBrain, a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, has secured a wave of international sales across seasons one and two of The Brilliant World of Tom Gates and the brand’s Christmas special. A Sky Original kids’ TV series produced by TG Entertainment Limited, The Brilliant World of Tom Gates is based on the multi-million-copy bestselling Tom Gates book series written and illustrated by Liz Pichon.

 

Disguise, Inc, the costume division of leading toy and consumer products manufacturer, JAKKS Pacific, Inc has announced new costumes available in stores and online now for the hugely successful movie franchise and cultural phenomenon, Avatar. Disguise is introducing costumes and costume accessories for the classic Avatar film, which is re-releasing on the big screen September 23, 2022.

 

Angry Birds, the Finnish action-based media franchise created by Rovio Entertainment, and Capsule Skateboards, the manufacturer of one of the world’s most eco-friendly and 100% recyclable skateboards, have announced the launch of Angry Birds skateboards – in a deal facilitated by Angry Birds’ global licensing agency IMG.

 

Toonz Entertainment has acquired exclusive distribution rights for ‘Everything’s Rosie’ from UK-based V&S Entertainment Ltd. The program includes 104 episodes of 11 minutes each for LATAM, IBERIA, US, and Canada. Toonz will now have ‘Everything’s Rosie’ distribution rights for TV, Video-On-Demand, Internet and All Videogram rights.

 

The Lego Group has revealed its latest Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series. The new Star Wars The Mandalorian Razor Crest set measures an impressive 72cm long, making it the biggest-ever Lego model of the starship, ideal for dedicated Star Wars fans. Cesar Soares, Lego designer, commented: “It was amazing to design The Mandalorian’s Razor Crest in brick form. I wanted it to be ultra-detailed so that every...

 

The Beano brand is promising 365 days of mischief to mark the milestone, following success in 2022 with a raft of new licensing partnerships.  Mastering the trick of growing up without growing old, Beano will celebrate its 85th year in 2023, following an amazing 2022 which saw a host of new and extended licensed partnerships for the brand.

 

French producer/distributor Dandelooo has acquired worldwide sales rights to 2D-animated series Our Piggy from Prague-based Bionaut Animation (Hungry Bear Tales). Currently in the final stages of production, the 52 x two-minute series is based on author Jaromir Plachy’s illustrated books Our Piggy Again and This Is Our Piggy. It targets kids ages two to four and stars a curious little pig who transforms objects...

 

The Jim Henson Company and STEAM-focused toyco GoldieBlox are developing Gizmo Girls, an animated series aimed at upper preschoolers that serves up a heady mix of math, science and empowerment. The show’s 11-minute episodes center around three besties who solve problems with the power of DIY, using STEAM-based skills and creativity to tackle a variety of challenges, from growing...

 

***the above posted after September 26th***

 

Launching in Spring 2023, Just Play has announced the introduction of its brand new Sesame Street rangePotty Time Elmo is themed around the inevitable development milestone in every toddler and carer relationship and has been designed to come to the rescue, assisting parents during potty-training, providing light-hearted fun and entertainment for the child...

Moonbug Entertainment has announced that it will launch season two of Mia’s Magic Playground exclusively on all Sky platforms in the UK later this year. The series will be co-produced by Moonbug Entertainment, a subsidiary of Candle Media, and Sky UK and will be available on all Sky platforms including Sky Q, Sky Glass, the Sky Kids App and streaming service Now.

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...

Pudgy Penguins Lil Pudgys get their own physical toys licensed. Thanks to an exciting partnership with PMI Toys the Lil Pudgys NFTs are coming to life! Lil Pudgys, an NFT collection within the Pudgy Penguins ecosystem, are releasing their own officially licensed physical toys. It is the latest move by Pudgy Penguins, who are a huge community NFT project with huge plans.

Zero Latency and Games Workshop announce new licensing agreement. Zero Latency and Games Workshop have announced the development of an interactive VR adventure based on the world-renowned “Warhammer: 40,000: Space Marine” franchise. Building on the legacy of the “Space Marine” video games, the upcoming free-roam VR experience will be developed in-house at Zero Latency using Unreal Engine 5...

Monster High expands with Rubies licence and new product reveal. Rubies is excited to announce the acquisition of the Monster High licence for costumes and Mattel unveils new dolls and play sets. The officially licensed costumes due to be launched in 2023 will have mass appeal with young fans, especially for next year’s Halloween- with werewolves, vampires, sea creatures costumes and more.

 

40 years of phoning home: celebrating E.T.’S anniversary in the toy aisle. The collection of iconic moments and imagery from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is extensive, and for many, deeply resonant. It takes little more than a glowing finger, a red hoodie, a full moon, or a handful of Reese’s Pieces to evoke the memory of watching the classic film from director Steven Spielberg. 

 

Asmodee and Z-Man Unveil A 'Star Wars' 'Pandemic System' board game. Asmodee and Z-Man Games have unveiled Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Pandemic System Game, a new board game, for release as a Target online exclusive on September 19, 2022 and then, worldwide to select retailers on October 1, 2022. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars – A Pandemic System Game, players assume the roles of one of seven Jedi...

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People of Play

 

TALKIN’ TOYS: CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF BOP IT WITH CREATOR DAN KLITSNER.  The Toy Book caught up with Bop It creator Dan Klitsner for the 25th anniversary of the auditory and tactile toy. First released in 1996 by Hasbro’s Parker Brothers division, the handheld game became a sensation and has gone through many iterations, and continues to engage kids today.

 

Rodolphe Belmer to take over at TF1 Group. TF1 president and CEO Gilles Pélisson is to step down, initially from his role as CEO, to be replaced by ex-Canal+ and Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer. Péllisson has proposed Belmer to be voted in as CEO by the company’s administrative board on October 27, when the president and CEO roles will be split between the pair. Pélisson will continue to serve as president until February 13...

 

***The above posted after September 23rd***

 

The Toy Book caught up with FoxMind CEO David Capon about the company’s evolution, new product launches, and the staying power of core values. Toy Book: FoxMind started as a small company 20 years ago and is now a significant player in the games aisle. How has the company evolved?

 

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...

 

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Companies and Brands

 

Ugears has released its fourth 3D mechanical marble run puzzle after managing to continue its business in war-torn Kyiv. In the midst of war, a Ukrainian co., Ugears, has released the last model in a series of four 3D wooden mechanical marble runs. Each of the four marble runs can be used as a standalone and a 3D puzzle but any two of the four marble runs can also be connected to make a single, integrated marble...

 

The latest NPD data for July 2022 has revealed Tonies to be the fastest growing pre-school toy brand in the UK during the 12 months to June 2022. with its Toniebox ranking as the fastest growing toy in the overall UK market. Lucia Kreuzer, GM UK & IR at Tonies, said: “We are thrilled with the latest NPD results. Being the fastest growing pre-school toy brand over the last 12 months is a testament to the team’s hard work...

McDonald's and Cactus Plant Flea Market Bring the Happy Meal Experience to Adults. The brand shares with Adweek how this new collab continues its 'fan truth strategy'. 

 

Hasbro Heads Back to School with Dungeons & Dragons in Classrooms and Afterschool Clubs. As kids and teens return to the classroom, some for the first time since the pandemic hit in 2020, parents and educators are concerned about how the children will interact with each other and their teachers. A new initiative from Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, hopes to provide a platform using the roleplaying game...

Hamleys’ selection of Top 10 Toys for Christmas 2022 includes fan-favourite properties and a variety of play patterns, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Hamleys, the ‘Finest Toy Shop in the World’, has today unveiled its Top 10 Toys for Christmas, focusing on iconic brands and choosing toys that it says will be for more than just the festive season.

PlayWise Partners is pleased to announce the toy and game industry recognition with five 2022 Toy and Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Award nominations. The prestigious nominations represent PlayWise Partners’ roster of clients and the campaigns they have supported on their behalf. The TAGIEs celebrate the outstanding achievements of toy and game industry leaders from around the world, by honoring ...

 

Today, the iconic 90s Hasbro toy that was (and still is) on everyone’s wish list, Bop It!, celebrates its 25th anniversary! Over the past 25 years and through several different iterations of Bop It!, the game has garnered a huge fan base and become a household name. Even among the pop culture sphere…. or what we like to call, Bop Culture… with everyone from The Simpsons and the LA Dodgers to Robot Chicken...

Geoffrey the Giraffe, the beloved mascot of Toys R Us, touched down in Hong Kong during his first stop in Asia as part of Geoffrey’s World Tour. Before his arrival on 17th September, more than 100 families across Hong Kong participated in an online photo contest for their chance to meet Geoffrey and win a toy shopping spree, one the main events of his visit to Asia’s World City.

Hasbro Is Taking Its Open Innovation Platform Global. Since the leading global play and entertainment company launched its open innovation platform Spark in 2016, it has received thousands of idea submissions from U.S.-based fans of its approximately 1500 brands. As of this fall, fans in five additional markets — including Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong — now have the opportunity to share...

Inside The Strong National Museum of Play’s cavernous concrete and steel expansion, the nonprofit’s president and CEO, Steve Dubnik, can see the emptiness come to life. “Right there will be a giant Donkey Kong game,” he says, pointing to a second-floor space by a bridged crossing over the entry hall. “A 7-foot, 8-foot-tall, playable Donkey Kong game.” The museum expansion is the centerpiece of a series of new...

James Cameron’s Avatar is back in theaters this weekend and it’s already inspiring new products. Zing’s Avatar R/C Classic Banshee was being shown alongside a Deluxe model that the company plans to bring to retail this fall, starting with a direct-to-consumer (D2C) offering beginning Oct. 1.

 

In partnership with One Tree Planted, Hasbro has completed planting 100,000 trees in four key regions around the world, including the U.S., Brazil, India, and Ireland. With a goal of aiding in global reforestation efforts, the global toy and entertainment company chose to plant trees in an effort to improve air quality, protect and improve soil, prevent floods, and provide shelter and diet to wildlife.

Walmart has teamed up with the Roblox platform with the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play. Walmart has announced the launch of two new immersive experiences in the metaverse mega-platform, Roblox. Called Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, the spaces offer unique interactive content and entertainment, bringing Walmart ranges to life in a virtual world for the global Roblox...

Toynamics UK & Ireland is pleased to announce the launch of a new eco range, Hape Green Planet Explorers, which offers role-play products made entirely from sustainable materials – wood, plant plastic (made from sugar cane) and bamboo. Highlights include the Hape Green Planet Explorers Panda Bamboo House and Hape Green Planet Explorers Tiger Jungle House.

Toys R Us UK has soft-launched its new eCommerce website, a core part of its comeback to the marketplace it left a little over four years ago. The company has invested heavily into its website to make it as user-friendly as possible. Shoppers can choose to browse via category, brand, property and age range, or be guided by handy additional sections designed to shine a spotlight on toys, games and kids’ products...

Play-Doh launches Parenting is Messy campaign. Research by pre-school brand Play-Doh reveals parents are under more pressure than ever before to be perfect, with social media the main culprit. Pre-school brand Play-Doh has launched its first ever book for parents, Notes on Messy Parenting, as part of a new campaign seeking to celebrate the honest, unspoken truths about parenting.

 

***The above posted after September 26th***

 

Old World Christmas, the premier brand of Christmas ornaments in the country, has declared September 25 as National Ornament Day, inviting everyone to get the holidays started early! After all, there’s just three months until Christmas! To celebrate the first annual National Ornament Day, Old World Christmas is also calling on fans to help determine the next great ornament idea to add to their renowned collection.

 

Havas Media Group has worked to put together an international deal with Netflix for its clients. Matt Smith, head of Activation explains more.In a world where content can be streamed anytime and anywhere, opportunities to reach parents and children have proved to be an ongoing challenge for toy advertisers as ad free giants, led by Netflix, dominate eyeballs. Netflix is available across 190 countries...

 

Following the unveiling of the brand’s new global strategy and relaunch in July, Schleich has embarked on its biggest marketing campaign in its 87-year history, supporting both the overall brand and its key individual franchises. Forming part of its int'l umbrella campaign, the programme of activity sees Schleich run its first ever brand advertisement to further support the new global strategy, logo and tagline...

 

UK Smyths Toys Superstores is delighted to announce the launch of its 2022 toy catalogue. The famed Smyths Toys catalogue is a pre-Christmas must-have for kids (and adults) of all ages. This year, Smyths is holding a catalogue launch that it says is unlike any other, with Smyths Toys Superstores throwing a party to celebrate. On 24th September, the public is invited to celebrate the launch by attending a party...

 

The Toy Insider experts reveal the hottest toys of 2022. It’s officially the holiday season for the toy industry! The Toy Insider, the toy industry’s most influential organization and a trusted go-to consumer resource for parents and gift-givers, unwrapped its expert picks for the best toys, games, and gifts for 2022 in its 17th annual Holiday Gift Guide.

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.

MGA Entertainment has released the first trailer for the all-new L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Fashion Show Movie, available for streaming globally on Netflix (excluding China) from Saturday, 22nd October. The L.O.L. Surprise! Winter Fashion Show movie and toy line have been highly anticipated this year. Fans can get to know favourite characters from their toybox through the new movie, which MGA says will feature “iconic...

 

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 BLE 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...

Toys R Us partners with Mattel in support of Women4Women. Toys R Us is partnering with global toy company Mattel, with 20% of all sales on the Barbies Career range to go to the Women4Women Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on female empowerment, upliftment, and youth education. Founded by Cindy Nell-Roberts, a former beauty queen, in 2017, the Foundation focuses on life skills...

Capstone Games will release 'Beer & Bread' into U.S. retail. Capstone Games will release Beer & Bread, a new card game by Deep Print Games, into U.S. retail in January 2023. In Beer & Bread, players play out a friendly rivalry between two villages that share fruitful lands. Players must optimize their harvesting and storing resources, producing beer and bread, and sell them for coins to upgrade their facilities. .

 

Hurl through space onboard 'Spaceship Unity: Season 1.1'. Pegasus Spiele revealed Spaceship Unity: Season 1.1, a new cooperative Sci-fi adventure game, for release into retail in October 2022. In Spaceship Unity, players will transform their homes into an Interplanetary Alliance spaceship to explore the galaxy. They will turn everyday household objects, such as an umbrella, a vacuum cleaner, and books....

Starting Lineup figures returning Thursday with NBA line. The long-awaited return of a toy line whose idea was conceived by a former Bengals player, and that was produced by a Cincinnati-based toy company is now only days away. Starting Lineup, the sports-based figures that were the idea of former Bengals punter Pat McInally and made by Cincinnati's Kenner Products is returning this Thursday. 

 

Melissa & Doug, first global toy brand to be 100% carbon neutral in its own operations, expands on its carbon plan on Zero Emissions Day. Melissa & Doug, the #1 preschool brand for sustainable toys and wooden toys1, announced today that the brand continues to achieve carbon neutrality for its own operations by purchasing offsets for its 2022 emissions. 

 

Steamforged launches new Elden Ring board game. Steamforged Games is developer and publisher of Dark Souls: The board and card game, Monster Hunter World: The board game, Horizon Zero Dawn: The Board Game and Resident Evil board games. The company has now added Elden Ring to its board game portfolio.

SmartGames unveils latest brain game Grizzly Gears. SmartGames is expanding its ever-growing portfolio with the launch of a new brain teaser game with an autumnal feel – just in time for the cooler months tucked up inside. Grizzly Gears is a single-player brain teaser, with plenty of twists and turns as players meander through the rotating trees on a mission to guide the characters through the forest unscathed...

 

Pegasus Spiele unleashes 'Beast'. Pegasus Spiele unleashed Beast, a new asymmetrical hidden movement board game, for release in Q4 2022. In Beast, players take on the roles of specialized hunters and one player becomes the Beast. The hunters track the Beast player's hidden movement and can only find the Beast if they search a location or the Beast attacks. 

 

Hachette will release 'Ole! Guacamole' into U.S. retail. Hachette Boardgames will release Ole! Guacamole, a new word association game by Scorpion Masque, into U.S. retail on October 19, 2022. In Ole! Guacamole, players reveal a new card each turn with letters on it. The players must say a word that is related to the first word said, but avoid using words with the faceup letters. 

Golden Bear announces Curlimals global distribution success. Basic Fun is the latest to expand its Plush portfolio with Curlimals in the North American market from 2023, Jasnor is taking Curlimals to Australia and New Zealand, Spectron for the Benelux market, Formatex for Hungary, Anvol for the Baltics, Proxy for the Nordics, Epee for Poland, Yalla for the Middle East, Kiddisvit for Ukraine...

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development

YouTuber Dunkey launches indie game publisher Bigmode. Popular YouTuber Jason Gastrow, better known to the masses as Dunkey, has established a new game publishing label called Bigmode. Bigmode is described as a publisher with "a passionate voice for quality, originality, and fun" within the indie game space, and is eager to become involved with projects at any stage "from pitch to near-completion." 

 

Xbox continues cloud gaming push with Logitech handheld. Microsoft announced an addition to its cloud gaming service via Logitech's upcoming handheld. Releasing in North America on October 17, the Logitech's G Cloud (stylized CLOUD) comes with a pre-installed app for Xbox Cloud Gaming, allowing users to immediately use the service to play games. 

 

Ted Lasso’s AFC Richmond is coming to FIFA 23. EA has announced a number of deals about major teams and leagues being featured in the newest — and final — FIFA game. Now, we have news of a fake team — AFC Richmond, the fictional club from Ted Lasso, will be playable in FIFA 23. The team will be available in a handful of modes, including career mode, where you can take on the role of a polygonal Ted Lasso...

 

Apple will increase App Store prices across multiple regions in October. The change will affect countries across Europe, South America, and more. Apple will be increasing the prices of apps and in-app purchases on the App Store in territories that use the euro currency on October 5, 2022. Apps and in-app purchases will also be receiving a pricing bump in other countries such as Chile, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia...

 

Nvidia announces next-gen RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 GPUs. Nvidia is officially announcing its RTX 40-series GPUs today. After months of rumors and some recent teasing from Nvidia, the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 are now both official. The RTX 4090 arrives on October 12th priced at $1,599, with the RTX 4080 priced starting at $899 and available in November. 

 

Sony’s first major PS5 redesign will reportedly have a detachable disc drive. The next revision of the PlayStation 5 could include a removable disc drive, potentially letting you play games using a drive connected via USB-C, according to Tom Henderson of Insider Gaming. The report says that we could see this new model of PS5 around September 2023. 

 

Yakuza franchise is now called Like a Dragon, confirms Sega. To keep consistency with the franchise's name in Japan, Sega's Yakuza is henceforth being rebranded as Like a Dragon going forward. During its showcase for the future of its Yakuza franchise, developer Ryu Ga Gatoku Studio announced that in the west, the franchise would now be rebranded as Like a Dragon. 

 

Disney Dreamlight Valley has 1 million players in its first 10 days. Developer Gameloft has announced that its newest title, Disney Dreamlight Valley, has reached 1 million players. The free-to-play game is in Early Access and first released on September 6. Dreamlight Valley is a life simulation game wherein players make their own homes and help Disney characters like Mickey, Moana, and Ariel, recover...

Highlighted Press Releases

THEY’RE COMING TO AMERICA: SHOUT-OUT-LOUD FLETTER F-I-N-A-L-L-Y SELLING HERE THIS FALL. Fletter & Fletter Crunch Are Family Games That Use The Brain To Spell Words Or Calculate Numbers, Then Use The Voice To Claim Them. Mumbai, India (September 27, 2022) – Quick! Can you spell the pocket-sized card game that British and Indian kids have been raving about? American families will soon be cheering aloud F-L-E-T-T-E-R. Partly because you have to shout out the letters and mostly because Fletter (9.99) and its numerical cousin Fletter Crunch (9.99) are finally coming to Amazon in the next few weeks!

 

WIPEOUT THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING IN ONE STROKE WITH KID-APPROVED GEAR (THAT KEEPS THEM SAFE)! Naughty Or Nice, Boo Boos Happen So Surprise Them With Wipeout Dry Erase Helmets, Pads & Skateboard They’ll Want Use Just To Show Off! Port Washington, NY (September 26, 2022) – There are lots of checklists when it comes to the month of December. For outdoorsy kids, it means putting on gloves, coats, boots and scarves before even walking out the door. If they plan to bike, skate or snowboard, they need safety gear too. To guarantee they will actually wear them, savvy grownups have discovered Wipeout™ (https://iwipeout.com/). 

 

NORTH POLE ALERT: IF SANTA DELIVERS A BIKE, HE EXPECTS A SPOKESTER STUFFED IN THE STOCKING!. The Traditional Big Gift Needs This $9.99 Accessory For A Roaring 2023. Midlothian, VA (September 23, 2022) – Kids may not hear the reindeers dropping off goodies under the tree but they will absolutely hear, in days and weeks to come, one of the stocking stuffers left by mom or dad. Spokester® is the amazing $9.99 bike accessory that turns a ho hum two-wheeler into a motorcycle sounding machine! Vrooom vroom. Sold in five exciting colors, each snap-on noisemaker gives cyclists hundreds of hours of roaring excitement.

 

MAKE YOUR PRESENTS KNOWN WITH GORGEOUS GREENTOP GIFTS WRAPPINGS, NOW AT TARGET.COM! Greentop’s Target Market Explodes With Big Box Retailer Online Presence Introducing Clarence Claus™ And Multicultural Representation. Atlanta, GA (September 23, 2022) – Have you ever gotten a thank you for writing a thank you note? It’s just so unexpected these days to receive a handwritten note full of gratitude. The same can be said for gift wrapping. When someone takes the time to pick the prettiest paper, bag and topping, it makes your presents known! Greentop Gifts – makers of multicultural celebration décor that mirror the skin tone and hair textures of its recipients — now has a presence at Target.com.

 

***The above posted after September 23rd***

 

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 BOOMRediscover 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.

 

Safety and Counterfeiting

 

Toy Association perspectives: get ready for Toy Safety Awareness Month. The Toy Association’s Toy Safety Awareness Month is set to take place once again this November, as the holiday shopping season gets underway, and the toy community is invited to be a part of the conversation. Sponsored by The Toy Association and its playsafe.org website, Toy Safety Awareness Month will educate parents and caregivers about safe toy shopping (both online and in stores), age-appropriate toy selection for children, and how to play safely.

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


People of Play Announce Finalists for the 2022 Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIE). Finalists for the prestigious 2022 TAGIE Awards have been announced by People of Play (POP). The TAGIEs, now in its 15th year, honor the best and brightest innovators, designers and marketers in the toy and game industry. Public voting starts Thursday, September 22 and ends on October 31, 2022. Visit the TAGIE Awards...

The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) has announced that Toy Fair 2023 is now open for all buyers, retailers, licensors, media and the wider industry to register for free. The organisers say the whole industry ‘can expect to be wowed’ with exclusive previews of all the hottest new toys, trends and themes for 2023, all whilst enjoying invaluable face-to-face meetings with the wider industry – and all under one roof. 

Toymaster’s Autumn Catalogue is now available in the buying group’s UK stores and on its website from today. The Toymaster Autumn Catalogue features all the key brands Toymaster members are stocking ahead of the festive season, and the front cover highlights a section of the exclusive lines that shoppers won’t be able to find anywhere but their local Toymaster store this year. 

The trade show landscape for the U.S. toy industry is changing, and now a new player is stepping up. Emerald Holding’s NY NOW national gift and wholesale trade show is welcoming the toy and game industries to showcase products in its new PLAY USA section. Beginning at NY NOW’s 2023 Winter Market, taking place February 5-8, 2023, at the Javits Center in New York City, PLAY USA...

***The above posted after September 23rd***

 

Spielwarenmesse PressPreview to showcase start-ups.  The Spielwarenmesse PressPreview focuses on innovations, campaigns and networking and includes the announcement of the ToyAward. PressPreview will be back with the return of Spielwarenmesse in 2023, this year with a particular focus on start-ups and young businesses, which will give presentations about their innovations.

 

Successful restart to Kids India.  Kids India, the international B2B trade fair for toys, children’s goods and sports products, has successful comeback after two year break. Since its launch in 2013, Kids India has been a focal point for the toy industry worldwide. After a two-year break due to the pandemic, India’s most important international B2B trade fair for toys, children’s goods and sports products took place...

 

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...

Play for Change Awards finalists announced. Those in the running for the third Play for Change Awards, to be held in October, include Dantoy, Mattel and Lego. Toy Industries of Europe (TIE) has revealed the finalists for the 2022 Play for Change Awards. Nine award entries will be in contention for Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Brussels on 4th October. 

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RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed

If you know of a colleague's passing, please send us information so we may share with our colleagues. Archives can be found HERE.

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.   

 

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WizKids Unveils Two New 'D&D Icons of the Realms: Dragonlance' Dragon Rider Figure Sets
'Critical Role: Monsters of Exandria 3 Boxed Set' Incoming

California Sues Amazon, Claiming Antitrust Violations
The 'Pokemon TCG', 'Magic: The Gathering', and 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG' are in Control
Asmodee and Z-Man Unveil a 'Star Wars' 'Pandemic System' Board Game
Ultra PRO Will Release 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Figurines from the Vault: Legends'

Rolling for Initiative -- 'Kamigawa' Flashback Drafts and R.I.P. Phil Herthel
People on the Move: Renegade Adds Another Hire to Their RPG Team
Stonemaier Games Reveals 'Smitten'

Steamforged Announces 'Elden Ring' Board Game

 

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Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Astra Announced, Star Wars Cooperative Game Announced
Mindclash Games has announced a new board game, Z-Man Games has a cooperative Star Wars game available for pre-order, and Deep Print Games has announced a new two-player game.

Video of the Week 

PlayCHIC 2012 - Fashion Inspired by Toys and Games!

Can't believe it was 10 years ago! The Moshi Monster look got into Italian Vogue, London Fashion Week and the cover of the NY Times! We'll be bringing back the concept...tba!

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Thank you for being a reader of the Bloom Report. — Mary and Graeme

 

Founding Editor and Publisher (1998-2020, Retired): Philip Bloom

We are honored to carry on Phil's 22 year legacy and continue the Bloom Report. Phil has been a mensch

and we've loved working with him. Here is a fun and interesting interview with Phil.

If you would like to reach Phil: philip.bloom100@verizon.net   

Publisher: Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc.

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

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