the Bloom Report

Worldwide Toy Industry's #1 News Summary

Below is Nov. 20 - 27, 2020, Click Here for Last Week

Articles posted each day with newest articles at top of each section. The previous week drops off each Friday when we email you highlights. 

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

Welcome to your briefing of the week's news...

For those of you who celebrate the American Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoyed a lovely holiday with your loved ones whether in person or via zoom. I'm thankful for a day to focus on the good things that happened this past year, my family, colleagues and friends, that Phil Bloom founded  the Bloom Report, our readers and for the many people and companies that helped put on and support our POP Week events last week. We wanted to give the industry something special during this tough time and by all accounts we delivered. That is a lot of thank you, but one really can't be too thankful.

And... for your feel good holiday weekend video, check out the reaction of one of our Young Inventor Challenge winners! If this doesn't make you smile, nothing will! 

With Appreciation, 

Mary

tBR Person of the Week - Sue Warfield: There is no Typical Work Day – Especially Now!

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

My passion for not just the toy industry, but for manufacturers that are new and or long term that work with the independent toys stores and sales reps and understand the value all segments bring to the importance of play in all our lives – all ages.

 

Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?

In the late 70’s (I am dating myself) I took it upon myself when working in a chain of independently owned retail stores, to add toys and games for all ages into the mix. This led me to Toy Fair and then joining ASTRA.

 

What are you working on now?

As interim president of ASTRA I am working on re-examining and re-inventing how we can better serve our members within a new physical and financial landscape. Read More....

tBR Person of the Week - Janine Halloran: Humans are Biologically Wired to Play

As a child and adolescent therapist, I get to play for a living. I love it when I meet new clients, and I get to hear what kind of things they enjoy, what games they like, how they spend their free time - in other words, how they play. And even though it may seem a little strange, I talk a lot about play with my teen clients too. I love getting to know their play styles because I know how essential it is throughout the lifespan and how beneficial it is for everyone, including adolescents.

 

Between schoolwork, college admissions pressure, worrying about what's going on social media, and conflicts with family or friends, it's no wonder teens overall are more stressed out and anxious these days. And it's hard to escape that stress and anxiety. If there's a huge fight happening with friends, just because they're not in the same space anymore doesn't mean they can block out the argument. The fight can follow them via social media or apps or on a group message. Read More...

Financial & Legal News...

Buffalo Games acquires puzzle manufacturer Ceaco. Buffalo Business First reported that board game and puzzle manufacturer Buffalo Games, based in Buffalo, New York, has secured a deal to acquire Massachusetts-based jigsaw puzzle company Ceaco as well as Ceaco’s contract manufacturer, Edaron Inc. Ceaco will continue to operate mostly as a standalone business.

Learning platform Kahoot acquires language game dev Drops for $50 million. Game-based learning platform Kahoot has acquired language game developer Drops for up to $50 million. The deal will see Kahoot purchase 100 percent of the shares in Drops for an initial $31 million on a cash and debt-free basis, with an additional $19 million due to be paid out if certain performance targets are met.

British Retail Consortium welcomes reopening of non-essential retail. The government has devised a new Covid-19 winter plan, to ensure that current national restrictions can be lifted on December 2nd. As part of the new measures, announced on Monday, non-essential retailers that had to close earlier this month will be permitted to reopen.

Rise in shoppers planning to stay local this year, as “support for indies has never been so important” With the Prime Minister’s confirmation that all non-essential shops will be able to reopen across England when the nation-wide lockdown lifts on December 2nd playing like music to many a retailer’s ears amid the essential Christmas shopping period, independent toy shops are rallying the...

Amazon announces plans to delay Black Friday in France It is hoped that the move will give local shopkeepers in France who currently remain in a national lockdown a sales boost ahead of Christmas. The online retail giant, alongside other leading French retailers like Carrefour, will now not launch any Black Friday sales until 4th December, when stores impacted by the national lockdown will be open...

Non-essential retail to close in Northern Ireland as second lockdown approaches. Northern Ireland will shut all non-essential retail, pubs and restaurants for two weeks from 27th November in order to supress the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the health service from being overwhelmed. Before the announcement, the country was set to come out of a limited circuit-breaker lockdown.

Nintendo axes fan-run Smash tournament over online play mod. Nintendo has ordered the shutdown of a fan-run online Super Smash Bros. tournament over the use of a homebrew mod meant to enable online play for Super Smash Bros. Melee. Community-run tournament The Big House has announced that Nintendo has issued a cease-and-desist order.

Seattle mobile studio Lightfox nets $3.3 million to bring debut title to marketSeattle-based mobile developer Lightfox Games has secured $3.3 million in seed funding to bring its debut title, Super Battle League, to market. The investment round was led by March Gaming, with participation from Hiro Capital and 1Up Ventures.

Nintendo lawsuit takes aim at yet another Nintendo Switch hack seller. Nintendo of America has filed a lawsuit against the Amazon seller Le Hoang Minh, accusing them facilitating copyright infringement by using and peddling tech that opens the system up to play pirated games.

Piranha Games acquired by Enad Global 7. Swedish gaming group, Enad Global 7 (EG7), is adding to its assortment of gaming companies as the group today announced the acquisition of Mechwarrior studio Piranha Games for $24.1 million with $48.6 million more contingent on performance.

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Trends, Market Research Reports... 

Giraffe Insights conducts international study report on family viewing . . . NRF Predicts U.S. Holiday Retail Sales Boom . . . Catalogues make comeback in UK due to pandemic

 

Financial & Brokerage News...

Why Is Hasbro (HAS) Up 8.2% Since Last Earnings Report? . . . Mattel (MAT) Up 16.4% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue? . . . The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Activision Blizzard, Glu Mobile, Mattel, JAKKS Pacific and . . . Roblox moves toward IPO, discloses revenue and net losses for last three years

Financial Reporting...

Crowded field of racers drives Codemasters revenues up. F1 2020, Fast & Furious Crossroads, and Project Cars 3 more than double publisher's sales in final earnings report before expected Take-Two acquisition. For the six months ended September 30, Codemasters reported revenues up 102% to £80.5 million, with after-tax profits up 97% to £19.9 million.

Future Financial Reporting...

Amazon and Apple eye historic $100 billion in holiday quarter. The holiday season could be historic for two of the stock market’s biggest names, with sales that are expected to surpass a milestone that has rarely been reached in Wall Street history. Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are each expected to report revenue above $100 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 …

Stories & Comments

Young Inventor Challenge Award Winners Announced. Once again, young inventors around the world have made their mark on the toy and game industry with their humor, spunk and creativity, all of which was very evident in the first ever Young Inventor Awards Show from People of Play (POP), formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group. The show debuted on Saturday, Nov 21st at 10am CT and is still showing now at the virtual CHITAG Fair which can be found at chitag.com/2020-fair-stages.  YIC Director Jazmine Darden almost “missed” the show, but thanks...

“Retailers are the biggest drivers for social and industry change,” says Lottie Dolls’ Ian Harkin Retailers are the biggest driver for social change across the toy industry, but they have to first realise their own power to do so, is the message being issued to the UK and European toy shops by the inclusive and representative doll brand, Lottie. Talking to ToyNews about the step changes that the industry needs 

Game store in mall shooting - we interview Gordon Lugauer. Last Friday, November 20, a teenager shot eight people, none fatally, at the upscale Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee suburb Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. A Board Game Barrister store, one of several in the Milwaukee area, is located at the end of the mall where the shooting occurred.

OnBuy encourages Britain to support indie retailers this Black Friday and Christmas through its eCommerce platform. The UK-based online marketplace, OnBuy.com, is ‘encouraging the British public to support independent retailers this Black Friday and beyond’ through its own eCommerce platform, as the business marks the launch of its first major national TV advertising campaign.

Covid has invaded our kids’ pretend play. Experts say it’s a good thing. Kelly Morse entered her 4-year-old son’s pretend doctor’s office one day last April and asked him how she was doing. She was taken aback when he examined her with his toy stethoscope and responded, solemnly, “Not well, you’ve got coronavirus.”

Can't Find A Chess Set? You Can Thank 'The Queen's Gambit' For That Who could've predicted chess sets might become as difficult to find as toilet paper during the early weeks of the pandemic? Not Gerrick Johnson. The toy analyst with BMO Capital Markets found himself stymied while searching for a particular Cardinal chess set a few weeks ago. "It was sold out everywhere I went," he says. Sales of chess sets have skyrocketed, says Mary Higbe, director of marketing at Goliath Games. 

Remembering the Toy Industry's Past

Barnstormer from MARX (1975)Released in 1975 by MARX Games, Barnstormer players must combine their physical reflexes with intuitive guesswork. Players compete to build a flight tower one block at a time in the unpredictable flight path of a circling biplane.

Heritage Auctions sets a new record sale price for a sealed 'Pokemon 1st Edition' Booster BoxHeritage Auctions sold a Pokemon 1st Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box at auction for a whopping $360,000. The prices for rare Pokemon sealed products just keep climbing higher.

Worldwide Licensing News...

Spin Master heads to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Following the recent success of its DC Comics and Batman lines, Spin Master Corp. has extended its licensing partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP). Spin Master inked a new deal with WBCP to serve as the new toy licensee for the Wizarding World franchise.

YWOW Game signs Swizzels brand to its Mini Puzzles collectable puzzles rangeYWOW Games is continuing its mission to ‘revolutionise the games and puzzles industry’ through a new partnership with Swizzles for a range of Swizzles puzzles. It’s part of the company’s ongoing plans to bring household brands to the collectable jigsaw puzzles market.

Lego partners with Ferrari for latest Lego Technic launch. The Lego Group has revealed the latest model to line up on the grid, the Lego Technic Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51”. Having delivered prestigious wins in the world’s toughest endurance races, the racetrack icon is replicated in minute detail.

LEGO Art grows its mosaic-building ‘relaxation’ portfolio with Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests setsThe LEGO Group is growing its LEGO Art portfolio with the launch of a range of Harry Potter Hogwarts Crests sets, designed to give Harry Potter fans and adult LEGO builders the chance to display their house allegiances. The new 2D tile mosaic wall art sets each allow Harry Potter enthusiasts to build one of four different,,,

Kangaru hops into licensing with Alita’s Brand BarKangaru LLC, maker of innovative toys and stationery, and Alita’s Brand Bar, brand building agency, have aligned to build a best-in-class global licensing program. New products are underway for 2021-2022 and specific licenses will be announced over the coming weeks.

Paw Patrol swings into backyards with SwurferWith production ramping up on next year’s PAW Patrol: The Movie, ViacomCBS and Spin Master have been extending the licensing program for the popular Nickelodeon series into new categories. The team of heroic pups is swinging into backyards this fall with a new line of swing sets from Flybar‘s Swurfer brand.

8th Wonder, Paul Lamond Games, TOMY and Toniebox join UK toy partners for In the Night Garden. WildBrain CPLG has signed a raft of new UK toy partners for the popular pre-school property, In the Night Garden, including 8th Wonder, Paul Lamond Games, TOMY, Grabo Balloons and the children’s audio platform, Toniebox.

Sutikki to develop animated and live action series based on the Digital Dream Labs’ hit Cozmo robot. The children’s entertainment company, Sutikki – best known for the popular UK series, Moon & Me – has inked a new partnership with the US-based educational technology company, Digital Dream Labs, to create, develop and distribute an animated series and live action content based on the robot duo Cozmo and...

LEGO’s dream to be “a playground of prototyping sustainable alternatives” for licensing partners. The LEGO Group has outlined its plans to bring its sustainable efforts into the firm’s wider LEGO licensing business through an overhaul of its product development and packaging, and to be a “playground of prototyping sustainable alternatives for its portfolio of licensing partners.”

Anderson Entertainment signs new licensing agreement with ITV Studio. Anderson Entertainment, a content production company set up by the late Gerry Anderson, has signed a new licence agreement with ITV Studios. Headed up by Gerry’s son Jamie, a writer and producer, the company develops its own IP and projects from Gerry Anderson’s personal archive, as well as managing Gerry Anderson’s estate and existing...

Bulldog Licensing grows Kindi Kids program with two new partners. Leading European agency, Bulldog Licensing, has announced two new deals for leading toy company, Moose Toys’ preschool doll brand Kindi Kids, as it reaches an enormous 82 million views on YouTube.

On the EDGE Conservation eyes plush toys move for its virtual influencer YouTube series. On the EDGE Conservation, a charitable foundation dedicated to the promotion of biodiversity and conservation, has outlined its ‘ambitious plans’ to build its IP portfolio, that include bringing the stars of its new digital YouTube series to the toy and plush aisles.

Disney joins Craft Buddy’s licensed portfolio for 2021Available in a range of kits and sets across Craft Buddy’s established Crystal Art range, the new designs will bring a touch of magic to the collection for UK Disney and Crystal Art fans aged 8+. Crystal Art sets enable adults and children to create wall art, cards, notebooks and more.

People...

Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin is departing the companyTwitch co-founder and former COO Kevin Lin is leaving the streaming giant after nearly 13 years. Lin served as COO from April 2008 to January 2018, and since then has worked as the company's chief revenue office and Asia-Pacific managing director, while also overseeing culture, strategy, and innovation.

DKL-Beysal welcomes Sharon Gaskin. DKL-Beysal has announced that Sharon Gaskin will be joining the company on 1st December as national account manager. In October, the company – which distributes ranges such as Hama Beads, Breyer and construction toy Plus-Plus in the UK – celebrated its one year anniversary as DKL-Beysal.

Warner Bros. promotes two kids and family execs Amy Friedman takes charge of kids and family strategy, with Sundance Feniger leading digital enterprise efforts.

Companies

Nintendo Was a WILDLY Different Company Before Video Games. Nintendo has had its hands in various business ventures, ranging from traditional playing cards to ramen noodles. Some of their past endeavors even involved sleazy "love hotels" and the infamous crime organizations!

Hasbro makes some noise with Peppa PigHasbro is launching a series of Peppa Pig audio stories on digital streaming platforms including Amazon Prime, Apple Music and Spotify. The 10 stories are inspired by some of the show’s most popular episodes, with titles including “Whistling,” “Nursery Rhymes” and “Pirate Treasure.” Beginning today, two English-language episodes will bow every two weeks, and they’ll...

Renegade Game Studios teases a 'Kids on Bikes' board game. Renegade Game Studios teased The Snallygaster Situation, a Kids on Bikes board game, coming to retail in 2021. Renegade is apparently following up on their line of Kids on Bikes roleplaying games by taking the brand to the board game space.

GolfWords LLC presents GolfWords – where golf and word games meet! GolfWords combines putting and word creation; invented by David L. Hoyt, the world's leading word game creator (Jumble, WordSearch World Traveler, etc.) and PGA teaching professional Don Parker. Players putt balls to letters on the mat and will get points for each letter they land on. The goal is to spell the highest-scoring word possible.

Wizkids unveils 'Quick-Pick' units for retailersWizKids unveiled its new Quick-Pick units for their Wave 14 releases expected in March 2021. To ease initial launch pressures of picking and choosing miniatures, WizKids is offering a new way for retailers to select lots of miniatures from their unpainted fantasy lines.

Wizards of the Coast announces a 'Magic: The Gathering' 'Secretversary' SuperdropWizards of the Coast announced the Secret Lair: Secretversary Superdrop, drop sets featuring popular Magic: The Gathering artists, for direct sale from November 30 to December 14. It's been about one year since WotC headed down the road of releasing drop sets.

Hasbro Unveils New GI JOE: CLASSIFIED Action Figures for Flint and Lady Jaye  Hasbro has revealed two new G.I. Joe: Classified action figures, and they include Flint and Lady Jaye. This G.I. Joe Classified Series 6-Inch Lady Jaye Action Figure comes ready for action, with multiple points of articulation for high poseability and character-inspired accessories.

Surge in demand for STEM toys and science kits ‘will continue well into 2021’ says Thames & Kosmos. Parents looking to help their children catch up on terms of missed education this year will continue to fuel the demand for STEM and educational toys well into 2021, is the message that sector specialist, Thames & Kosmos is promoting as the firm releases details of a restocked portfolio of science kits in order...

Wizkids reveals a massive $349.99 inn miniatures set for 'D&D Icons of the Realms'! WizKids revealed The Yawning Portal Inn, a premium miniatures set for D&D Icons of the Realms, which will release in April 2021. The Yawning Portal Inn is a colossal premium miniatures set that features the famous tavern from Waterdeep.

JUNKO sees sell-out success on Amazon and online as demand ‘goes through the roof’ for eco-STEM range. JUNKO, the eco-conscious arts and crafts range that can turn waste into toys, has experienced a week of sell-out sales across Amazon and a surge in online orders across its own website; a direct impact, the company states, of its prime time appearance on ITV’s How to Spend it Well at Christmas, last week.

TOMY taps into home fitness trend with the launch of new card game Active Snap. TOMY is tapping into the surge in home fitness and active family play trend of the pandemic this year with the introduction of a new card game designed to combine competitive fun with keeping fit. Called Active Snap, the new card game will help keep families fit as it aims to encourage players up on to their feet and to be active.

FAO Schwarz launches new in-store and online holiday experiences. FAO Schwarz is taking centre stage in a whole new way at the toy store’s iconic flagship in New York City at Rockefeller Plaza, as well as delivering the theatre of the in-store experience to homes everywhere with a newly relaunched FAO.com.

Gibsons redoubles efforts to meet ongoing widespread puzzle demand. The company has thanked customers for their patience while it works hard to get things back to normal, reassuring puzzle enthusiasts that the team and is doing its very best to supply product “that can bring you joy during this difficult time.”

Mookie Toys brings Scuttlebug, Scramblebug ride-ons to the U.S. Following their U.S. debut at Toy Fair New York last February, a pair of UK hits have officially arrived in the States. Scuttlebug and Scramblebug preschool ride-on toys — known affectionately as “the Bugs” — have been an evergreen part of the Mookie Toys lineup in the UK since 2014.

Asmodee USA unveils 'Jungle Speed (Eco Pack)' for release into U.S. tradeAsmodee USA unveiled Jungle Speed (Eco Pack), a matching game by Zygomatic, for release into U.S. trade on December 4. This new edition of Jungle Speed features eco-conceived packaging that is made without use of plastic.

Plus-Plus debuts BOKS building set for adults. Plus-Plus, creator of the unique plus-shaped construction toy with endless possibilities, has created BOKS, a new building set for older kids and adults. Part storage container, part room décor, and all open-ended creativity, BOKS is a wooden platform that both holds Plus-Plus pieces and serves as a base on which to build.

The Sock Game joins Asmodee’s Family Games range. Asmodee is pleased to announce the arrival of The Sock Game into its Family Games range, with a fresh new look for 2021. The game, which was first made available at retail in 2018, is simple to play; team-mates rummage around a sock full of objects to find a nominated piece.

New video unveiled to mark Cluedo Liars launch. Tipped to be a popular choice for consumers this Christmas, Cluedo Liars Edition Game from Hasbro Gaming is available to buy now. Line of Duty star, Martin Compston, has put his detective skills to the test in a new video marking the launch of Hasbro’s Cluedo Liars, a twist on the classic whodunnit board game.

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

Rockstar is turning Red Dead Online into a standalone game. Rockstar is launching Red Dead Online, the online multiplayer portion of Red Dead Redemption 2, as a standalone game on December 1, 2020. It's a move that underlines the value of the games-as-a-service model that's been so successful for Rockstar.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin tops 500,000 digital sales and shipments. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin has surpassed 500,000 shipments and digital sales in under a month, according to publisher Marvelous. The Japanese company broke the news in a press release (translated via Gematsu), and revealed that total includes worldwide shipments and digital sales.

Google says it’s got 400 games in the pipeline for Stadia. Google has around 400 games on the way for its Stadia game streaming service, according to Jack Buser, the service’s director of games. Buser said that the company has “a roadmap of about 400 games in development from 200 developers” for the service.

The Ted Dabney Experience. The Ted Dabney Experience podcast features long-form conversations with insiders from the golden age of the coin-operated video game industry. Dabney is a legendary figure in the video game industry — he co-founded Atari with Nolan Bushnell in 1972.

Epic Games, NFL hit the gridiron with ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Rocket League’. Epic Games have extended its partnership with the NFL to bring new digital content to “Fortnite” and “Rocket League.” Starting Nov. 25, new Gridiron Gang Outfits will be available in “Fortnite's” in-game shop. Outfits will come in the form of redesigned NFL uniforms for all 32 NFL teams.

TikTok developer launches publishing arm and casual gaming platformTikTok creator ByteDance announced the creation of its publishing arm, Pixmain, as well as the launch of its gaming platform, Danjuan Games. The developer unveiled Pixmain at the WePlay Game Expo in Shanghai earlier this month.

Scalpers and bots reportedly driving PS5 shortagesA new report has thrown the impact of scalpers and bots on PlayStation 5's launch into sharp relief. One UK-based group, CrepChiefNotify, told the site its 12 members had collectively purchased close to 2,472 PS5 units in recent weeks, plus "just under 1,000" when pre-orders first opened in September.

Game Workers Unite UK rebrands to IWGB Game Workers. The UK branch of international trade union Game Workers Unite has rebranded to IWGB Game Workers. The organisation made the announcement on Twitter, saying the name change follows a decision made during its AGM earlier this year, in an attempt to "update [its] image."

PAC-MAN chomps his way onto Stadia with PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle from Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. today launched PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle exclusively on Stadia. Square off against 63 other players and become the last PAC-MAN standing as everyone chomps and winds their way through the largest multiplayer PAC-MAN game ever developed.

Bioware and Ubisoft veterans create Yellow Brick Games. A group of industry veterans from the likes of Bioware and Ubisoft founded independent studio Yellow Brick Games.

Controller use on Steam has doubled in past two yearsMouse-and-keyboard may be the traditional weapon of choice for PC gamers, but Valve has found game pads are increasingly common on Steam. Valve sees game pad use among PC players top 90% in genres like skateboarding games.

HBO’s The Last of Us TV show is actually happening. HBO’s upcoming TV adaptation of The Last of Us just took a big step forward in actually happening. Per the official synopsis, the TV series seems to be adapting the first game in the series

Mattel Brings new extreme driving game to Roblox Hot Wheels Open WorldMattel, Inc. and Gamefam, a fully dedicated Roblox game studio, have partnered to bring the high-octane stunting, racing, and collecting action of Hot Wheels to the Roblox platform.

Pokémon Go restores social distancing benefits to the gameNiantic has announced that it will restore a number of bonuses to Pokémon Go that had previously been added to the game to facilitate safe play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft and Apple working on Xbox Series X controller support for iPhones and iPads. Microsoft and Apple are working together so the new Xbox Series X and Series S controllers will work on iPhones and iPads. Currently, the new controllers are not officially supported in iOS or iPadOS, but Apple says “Microsoft and Apple are working together to bring compatibility for the Xbox Series X controller to customers in a...

Google Stadia is coming to iOS officially as a web app. Google on Thursday announced iOS support for its Stadia cloud gaming service, following in the footsteps of Microsoft in turning to the mobile web to circumvent Apple’s App Store restrictions. Google says it has been building a progressive web app version of Stadia that will run in the mobile version of Apple’s Safari browser.

Toy Safety and Counterfeit Related Articles...

Safe toy tips for the 2020 holiday seasonApproximately 50 percent of all United States toy purchases are made between Black Friday and Christmas. The American Trauma Society, Pennsylvania Division (ATSPA) and Safe Kids Pennsylvania want to ensure a merry and safe holiday season.

10 most dangerous toys of 2020; Calico Critters and Star Wars ‘Darksaber’ make the list, Boston-based WATCH safety group saysA Calico Critters set, a Star Wars Mandalorian “Darksaber,” a Marvel Avengers Black Panther claw: What these 2020 toys have in common is that they are among 10 considered to be the most dangerous for children.

Christmas shopping: Top safety tips for parents as 51,000 unsafe toys destroyed by CPCCThe CPCC have destroyed 51,000 toys that were deemed unsafe or non-compliant this year. These products included soft toys, teddy bears, toy guns, inflatable toys with small parts and battery-operated toy dogs. The risks ranged from potential choke hazards to chemical issues and contravened several toy safety regulations.

Press Releases...

BRIGHT STRIPES OFFERS SPA-LIKE EXPERIENCES, WITH A TOUCH OF SPARKLE, JUST FOR TWEENS. Beauty Rescue Kit, Hair Chalk And Rainbow Festival Body Art Gets Ages 8-12 Saying Ahh To Spa*rkle Line’s Under $20 Pampering Presents. Bloomfield, NJ (November 22, 2020) – The magical years between little girl and teenager are full of exploration and expression. Suddenly hair, nails and skincare deserve some serious attention. Bright Stripes, a creative DIY site for kids of all stripes, introduces Spa*rkle where spa and beauty kits come in a rainbow of colors! Those blue haired ladies of the past were on to something!

FROLIC THROUGH SHAREWOOD FOREST WITH FIVE SNUGGLY PLUSH ANIMALS PLUS EIMMIE, ALLIE & KAYLIE. Kids Discover Sharing And Kindness When Playdates Include Aria The Alpaca, Brie The Bunny, Fiona The Fox, Sofie The Sloth & Piper The Unicorn – Rainbows and unicorns really do exist when youngsters venture into Sharewood Forest, the newest 18” plush doll collection from the toymakers at plushible.com and eimmie.com. Each of the eight Sharewood Forest Friends ($24.99 special seasonal price) come dressed in their one-of-a-kind adventure outfit that includes a pair of comfy pajamas with a sleeping mask. Unfolding the attached packaging reveals an enchanting bonus...

FROGGY’S LAIR INTRODUCES KIDS TO NATURE AND NURTURE WITH CAPTIVATING BIOSPHERE. Low Maintenance Froggy’s Lair Wins Holiday 2020 Honor From The National Parenting Center & A Nod From 2020 National Parenting Products Awards. Aurora, CO (November 24, 2020) – Who’s in your bubble this holiday season? Two nationally recognized parental boards highly recommend adding a pair of African Dwarf Frogs to your household. Froggy’s Lair ($69.95) was named both a 2020 National Parenting Products Awards (NAPPA) Winner and a Holiday 2020 Seal of Approval by The National Parenting Center. Parents shopping for the perfect family gift can hop right to it!

Jabuka: The Gift that is a Blend of Coffee and Games ☕ The gift for the coffee lover and word nerd in your life. ​JABUKA is the new rotating letter word game that’s brewing up a lot of fun for coffee lovers this holiday. Martin Russocki, inventor of JABUKA, explained, “When I got the idea for Jabuka, I was in a coffee shop fiddling with a coffee bean at my table, while I was waiting for my beverage. I witnessed how....

News from Associations, Trade Shows, Awards and Festivals

(ASTRA, Hong Kong, LIMA, Spielwarenmesse, TA and More)

Spielwarenmesse introduces BrandNew – a virtual platform in place of 2021’s postponed toy fair. Spielwarenmesse has detailed the launch of a digital platform through which toy companies from around the world can showcase their new releases to the trade. Called Spielwarenmesse BrandNew, the new service will be offered in place of the postponed Nuremberg toy fair.

2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Five Recap. The fifth and final day of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit focused on trends and the future of play.

2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Four Recap. Day four of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit focused on marketing, PR, and social media.

2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Three Recap. Day three of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit focused on entertainment tie-ins within the toy, game, and play industries.

2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day Two Recap. Day two of the annual weeklong Toy & Game International Innovation Summit organized by People of Play (formerly Chicago Toy & Game Group) focused on the retail side of the toy, game, and play industries.

Mums Choice Awards results announced. UKMums.TV has announced the winners of the Mums Choice Awards 2020. Now in its sixth year, the Mums Choice Awards programme is designed to give mums a clear insight into what products in the market are favoured by their peers.

2020 Toy & Game International Innovation Summit: Day One Recap. A powerhouse roster of keynote speakers and industry panelists kicked off the annual Toy & Game International Innovation Summit on Monday, November 16. View the full Summit agenda.

Beyblade Burst crowns its virtual Beymaster Invitational Ultimate ChampionBeyblade Burst, the popular global brand and physical spinning top toy range, has crowned the ultimate champion of its first all-digital Beymaster Invitational, an event that ran throughout October and pitted 12 Beyblade influencers against one another in a virtual worldwide competition.

Obituaries - Remembering Those that have Passed...

Jimmy Hunter, the founder of Hunter Toys, passed away on November 14th, 2020. Jimmy took on the role of BTHA Chairman from 2000-2002 and was heavily involved for many years with both Toy Fair and the BTHA’s ‘Value of Play’ initiatives. He was the champion for Total Fun, the consumer event held in the early 2000s, while he was also the brainchild behind the longstanding Golden Teddy awards. His daughter Sally Hunter, who has followed in Jimmy’s footsteps by building a long and successful career the toy trade, told Toy World: “The fact that the Golden Teddy awards are still being presented so many years later gives me goosebumps.

Simon Holdsworth, Managing Director at Thos Holdsworth & Sons Ltd, passed away on November 14th, 2020. "Many of our staff have worked alongside Simon for more than 20 years.  Words like mentor, great boss, good friend, awesome storyteller, gregarious, quick witted, dynamic, proud, demanding, knowledgeable and tireless are just some of their comments.  He is, and always will be our champion!  Our legacy for Simon is to keep the company running smoothly and exemplify the excellence that he demanded from us each and every day.  There will be many memories, and no doubt a number of stories from your time spent with Simon, perhaps encouraged by his favourite tipple of a G&T or a wee glass of Grand Marnier!  In the coming weeks, I hope that we get the chance to remember the good times and raise a glass in his honour." - Fleur Tisdale, 

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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