the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary
Below is our August 9th, 2021 Special Edition

Not only does the Bloom Report give you all the news you need to know... we give you all the news you didn't know you needed to know!" -Phil Bloom

Welcome to a Special Edition of the Bloom Report . . . 

Happy Monday! ​

 

Welcome to our Special Edition of the Bloom Report! Meet the candidates for the TA Hall of Fame below, click thru to their nomination information and their full POP profiles. Make sure you vote before August 20th (if you are a member of the TA). This is the link to vote for TA Hall of Fame Nominees 

 

Other nominations now in progress include Women in Toys and our own Toy and Game International Excellence Awards which close this Friday and are free and easy! 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report.

​​

Mary

Maxine Clark, Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop

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Maxine Clark is the Founder and past Chief Executive Officer of Build-A-Bear Workshop. She started the iconic company, brand, and experience in 1997. It is renowned for its unique DIY experience and unrivaled plush toys, loved by all. 

 

Build-A-Bear, turning 25 in 2022, has over 90% aided awareness, sold more than 200 million plushes, and has +$5 Billion in total revenue.

 

The creation of Build-A-Bear Workshop in itself was one of the most innovative developments in the toy and retail industry reinventing a classic toy like the teddy bear into an efficient and replicable do-it-yourself process that makes a heart-filled memory - both at the same time. The idea of putting equipment and hardware into a retail space such as industrial level equipment with a stuffing machine so that kids could actively participate in the production of a classic toy or putting in computer equipment that customers used themselves - was groundbreaking. 

Read More . . . 

Ronnen Haray, Anton Rabie, Ben Varadi - Co-Founders of Spin Master

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Spin Master was founded in 1994 by two childhood friends, Ronnen Harary and Anton Rabie, and their classmate, Ben Varadi, soon after graduation from The University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business.

 

The three founders have led and established Spin Master’s presence in the toy, game, entertainment franchise, and digital toy space. Fresh out of university, the entrepreneurs' first product was the Earth Buddy, funded with their own $10,000 investment. This initial success served as the springboard for Spin Master's entry into the toy business, receiving immediate success in big box retailers. Since then, the three have become a name stay in the industry, successfully bringing over 2,700 toys to market, resulting in over 110 Toy of the Year nominations.

 

The three founder's complementary skills have allowed for Spin Master's great and rapid success.  Read More . . . 

Patricia Kislevitz, Co-Founder of Colorforms

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Patricia Kislevitz, her husband, Harry, who was already inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame, and their company, Colorforms, were pioneers in multiple ways. They met as art students, and when they decided to redecorate their home, they were faced with a problem: the high price of paint. As they explored affordable alternatives, they used a roll of thin colorful vinyl, which turned into an attractive fix for their bland walls. An art student herself, Patricia embraced their potential, cutting the vinyl into beautiful art pieces.

 

The first Colorforms set was hand-cut by the Kislevitz themselves. A thimble, a bottle, and a medicine container top were just some of the shapes used to make that very first set. It was designed by Patricia, and is now part of the permanent collection at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. Fans can still purchase the Original Classic Colorforms Set, a reproduction of the set that started it all!

Read More . . . 

Jim Pressman, Past President of Pressman Toy Corporation

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Jim Pressman started at his family business, the Pressman Toy Corporation, in 1971 becoming President just 8 years later. His great leadership and unrivaled integrity brought the Pressman Toy Corp. incredible success. He sold the company in 2014 after 35 years of leading one of the most innovative and successful firms in the toy industry. 

 

Many of their most successful product launches, many of which became #1 Best Sellers, happened under Jim's leadership. These iconic games included: Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, Rummikub, Tri-Ominos, Wheel of Fortune, Deal or No Deal, Double Dare, Gooey Louie, Hydro Strike, Fib Finder, Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur, Let’s Go Fishin’ and Topple.. Pressman also manufactured and supplied classic games like Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, and Chinese Checkers (which the company introduced to the U.S. market).

 

During his time at Pressman, Jim created new and lasting categories of games. He was responsible for taking widely popular game shows and turning them into board games, making Wheel of Fortune, The Newlywed Game, and many others.  Read More . . . 

Bob Wann, Chief PlayMonster at PlayMonster

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Bob Wann is the Chief Play Monster at PlayMonster, the ​​makers of 5 Second Rule, Game of Things, Roominate, Lauri, and other branded toys, games, and educational products. Bob has experience leading at both Fortune 500 corporations and start-ups just getting their footing. 

 

Bob is known as a brilliant salesman, marketer, and negotiator. He has led and overseen the growth and global expansion of some of the best-known brands in the industry, including Fisher-Price, Milton Bradley, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Nerf, Mr. Potato Head, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Clue, Candyland, Yahtzee and Spirograph. Bob was instrumental in the development of the award-winning Family Game Night and Get Together Games marketing campaigns. As a negotiator, he was key in notable industry acquisitions such as Tiger Electronics, Wizards of the Coast, Kahootz and Interplay, and was instrumental in the breakthrough licensing negotiations of the Star Wars 10-year Hasbro deal. He has served as the head of Playskool and then went on to be the President of Parker Brothers, where he created many lasting and ahead of their time licensing deals. 

Read More . . . 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Editor: Graeme Thomson

Assistant Editor: Patrick Fisher

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