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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin' Friday! 

Hidden Role Podcast is a dynamite supporter of our events, providing fantastic content and coverage of they toy and game industry. We hope you will support them in return… subscribe to their YouTube channel and SHARE videos of inventors you love! I've watched ALL OF THEIR PODCASTS at least once. Pop the popcorn and enjoy! 

A note from David Yakos, host of Hidden Role: Please subscribe to my podcast youtube channel! I've been doing this passion project of collecting friends’ amazing stories on my Hidden Role podcast , bringing you the brains behind your favorite toys and games.

I’ve interviewed the inventors of Nerf, Jenga, Bop-It, Wingspan, and so many more! Our guests are Imagineers, establishers and key players of Atari, Wizards of the Coast, & Disney. Many of these people have made your lives better... and you don’t even know it. Hear their behind- the-scenes stories, and how they got their ideas and made them into products you play with. If you played with He-Man, D&D, Pandemic, Thinking Putty, Crocodile Dentist, Atari.... you name it.... Hidden Role’s guests are the people that made your life more fun, so please subscribe, hit that bell and share those videos!

​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News FeedPlease support our work by advertising and/or setting up a POP profile.


  • "I don't know anyone in the industry that doesn't read the Bloom Report." -Ken Lewis, President, 4Kidz, Inc.

  • The BLOOM REPORT is fantastic and it allows me to stay on top of all the breaking news in the Toy industry! - Wai Or, Longshore Ltd.

  • “I seriously look forward to Friday to learn most every update + more in the Industry. Priceless info! Thank you” -Michael Kohner, The Michael Kohner Corporation

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  • If you are tired of these quotes, send me yours! 

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Don’t call them “Kidults!” As if it were a good thing, NPD Group proclaimed in 2022 that toys and games for “Kidults” represented at least 25% of US-based toy sales. “Wow,” they said, “and it’s also the biggest source of growth for the industry!” Nearly every major toymaker had already noticed the trend and leaned into adult fans and collectors. Whereas once toymakers like Hasbro and Mattel scoffed at their basement-dwelling adult consumers, suddenly those geeks, ready to plunk down their hard-earned cash for a dopamine hit of pure plastic nostalgia, were the belles of the toy ball.

But how did this happen? What are the implications for the future of the toy industry? And who are these rageful fans who, often belligerently, power industry growth like Sith or Supervillains?

For starters, understand that NPD included kids over 12-years-old in their “Kidult” totals, which seems a bit preposterous considering that 12 and 13-year-olds behave more like kids than adults. But even separating the once prosperous youth market (that powered massive 1990s successes like Furby, VideoNow, and HitClips), adult fandom is not monolithic. Instead, recognize that toy fandom includes nostalgic gamers, action figure collectors, and casual collectors, just for starters. These groups are distinct but sometimes overlap with other sectors of fandom, like comic book readers, film and TV nuts, trading card collectors, cosplayers, and sci-fi / fantasy enthusiasts. I want to focus on action figure collectors and a little on the nebulous, behemoth casual collectors.


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MESH UPDATE! Get the FAQs on MESH Helps!

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MESH Helps started with a question, “How can we strengthen the skills kids need for their mental, emotional, and social health and build resilience through play?”. ThinkFun inaugurated this initiative in partnership with resilience expert, Dr. Deborah Gilboa who prepared research and built the MESH White Paper.


MESH Helps is proud to be a nonprofit organization as of December 2023 with a mission to help kids build resilience through play.


This weekly column will share insights on MESH Accreditation and provide details on using the four play patterns to select and submit products for evaluation during the pre-order sale through May 2024. This week’s column share’s our most frequently asked questions so you can get the facts on MESH Helps!  Read More...


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Person of the Week - Barry Mclaughlin

Toy Hub Trivia

Barry sits down with the Toy Hub to answer some tough questions involving the toy industry.


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Cartoon Lovers, Lexophiles & People in Need of a Smile! 

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Cartoon of the Week: Thank you Bob Fuhrer for this week's cartoon. 

Lexophile Lovers:  "I accidentally rubbed ketchup in my eyes. Now I have Heinzsight!" Thank you, Michael Kohner, for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes:  “Life is not a spectator sport.” – JACKIE ROBINSON

Toy Industry Word of Day:   Boil Wash submitted by Rana Schenke

If you can think of a toy/game industry word not in our POPDictionary, add it and we will connect it to you POP profile, feature it here in an upcoming week and on POP's homepage! 

Have a cartoon, quote or a joke to share with your colleagues? Send it to me!  Mary

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Financial and Legal

Sony in Talks to Join a Bid to Buy Paramount. The company and Apollo Global Management are discussing a joint effort, even as Paramount conducts exclusive merger negotiations with Skydance. Even as Paramount, the home of the “Top Gun” movie franchise and “SpongeBob SquarePants,” continues its talks to merge with another media company, Skydance, a new suitor has emerged. 

Primal Screen will soon be shutting down operations, marking the end of a nearly 30-year run in the animation industry.  Primal Screen launched in 1995 and is best known for creating on-air branding and playful TV spots for Cartoon Network during the late ’90s and early ’00s—popularly dubbed the kidsnet’s “powerhouse” era. 

*** The above posted after tBR sent on April 19th ***


Bob Iger earned 94% of shareholder votes in Disney’s proxy fight, final tally shows. The votes have been tallied, and Disney‘s victory over the activist investor Nelson Peltz and his Trian Partners is final. Arguably the biggest winner was Disney CEO Bob Iger, who can now move forward with the “distracting” proxy fight behind him. 


Congress Introduces Comprehensive Data Privacy Legislation. The Toy Association™ applauds the bipartisan and bicameral introduction of the American Privacy Rights Act, a national data privacy and security standard that would give individuals control of their personal information. The legislation was introduced on April 7 by House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate...


S is for strike. And there could be one coming to the writers room on long-running series Sesame Street if Sesame Workshop management doesn’t agree to a new collective bargaining agreement on the table. The non-profit company’s writers who are represented by the Writers Guild of America East and West voted (with 100% participation) to authorize a strike if the new proposed agreement isn’t signed before their...

UK indie Factory Transmedia is closing its doors after grappling with cutbacks and reduced commissions in the international TV market. Established in 2000, Factory has employed “hundreds” of staff and is best known for its animation service work on popular series such as CBeebies’ 2015 revival of Clangers and Nickelodeon’s The Tiny Chef Show, which premiered in 2022. 

Playtime Politics: Congressional Toy Caucus makes a comeback. In a bipartisan effort, the Congressional Toy Caucus has returned. The Toy Caucus will create a forum for the U.S. toy industry as well as raise awareness on industry issues such as toy safety, counterfeit products, sustainability, and more. The caucus will additionally highlight the importance of the industry in children’s education. Representatives 


EU demands answers on money-for-views version of TikTok. TikTok has been given 24 hours to respond to the European Commission over a version of the app which pays users for viewing videos. TikTok Lite launched in France and Spain this week. European Commissioner Thierry Breton has compared it to the idea of "light" cigarettes, asking whether it was "as addictive and toxic." 



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Financial Reporting

Netflix picks up more than nine million subscribers in Q. This 16% uptick brings its total count to nearly 270 million global subscribers as of March 31. 


*** The above posted after April 19th when tBR circulated ***


B&M sales in the UK rose 8.5% year-on-year, up 3.7% on a like-for-like basis, as the retailer opened 47 new stores. B&M group sales have grown to £5.5b and revenues increased 10.1% for the financial year to March 30th 2024. Sales in the UK rose 8.5% year-on-year, up 3.7% on a like-for-like basis, while France saw 19.2% growth.


Home Bargains reports rise in profit and sales. The retailer said that turnover has increased 10.2% from £3.4b to £3.7b in the year to 30th June, according to accounts filed with Companies House. Pre-tax profits rose 12.4% during the period, up from £293m in 2022 to £332m.


UK video game and interactive entertainment sector valued at £7.82 billion in 2023. 


Fallout games double in player count after Prime series premiere. Watch the show based on the games, play the games, it's the adaptation cycle. 


Trends, Lists, Market Research, and State of the Industry

Streaming is up 11% among five- to seven-year-olds in the UK. Ofcom's latest research also shows that a third of older kids have seen something inappropriate online in the last year, but only 20% told their parents about it.


*** The above posted after April 19th when tBR circulated ***


YouTube cornered nearly 10% of March TV viewing. Streaming accounted for 38.5% of March viewing, finishing well above cable (28.3%), broadcast (22.5%) and other (10.7%). 

The Toy Insider unveils 2024 Spring & Summer Gift Guide

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Stories, Comments, and Advice

John Baulch, Toy World - California Dreaming … it’s the Friday Blog! The April LA trip – previously limited to a relatively small group of US toy companies based in LA, plus some leading global distributors and a handful of buyers (is it fair to say mainly US-based?) – is undoubtedly growing. That said, it appears that it still has a long way to go to get to the level of the September LA trip.

Why adults are suddenly into stuffed animals. Stuffed animals have often been deemed one of the quirky conventions of childhood—an infantile love we should eventually let go of, along with imaginary friends and Capri-Suns. If that love lasts past adolescence, it can be seen as embarrassing. “Please,” the actor Margot Robbie joked on The Late Late Show With James Corden, “no one psychoanalyze the fact that I’m 30 and I sleep with a bunny rabbit every night.”

An academic study published in a peer-reviewed journal found positive effects on mental health from playing Dungeons & Dragons over a period of time.  The study, with four named authors from James Cook University in Australia, used four assessments of mental health and self-concepts taken before, during and after an eight-session Dungeons & Dragons campaign conducted by experienced Dungeon Masters from...


Steve Reece, The Toy Journal - HOW HEALTHY IS THE TOY & GAME BUSINESS IN 2024? Well there are indications that 2024 is quite a tough year, but not necessarily tougher than 2023. We can also see that there are clear indications that doing business is tougher now versus pre-pandemic. The bottom line here is this – things ain’t easy for many in the Toy & Games industry right now, but there is still hope and things...

APA report calls on social media companies to take responsibility to protect youth. Almost a year after the American Psychological Association issued a landmark health advisory on social media use in adolescence, technology companies and policymakers still have made few meaningful changes, forcing society to continue to search for ways to maximize the benefits of these platforms while protecting youth...

Disney’s latest strategy in the streaming wars might come down to banking on the old-school appeal of linear TV. According to a report published two days ago by The Information, the media giant could be planning to expand its Disney+ platform with the addition of 24×7 channels focused on select brands under the Disney umbrella—including Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and maybe even a throwback channel dedicated to...

Company transforms pre-loved plushies into sustainable toys: 'We can change the industry forever'. London-based Charlotte Liebling has one goal in life: to “save the world, one teddy at a time.” And she was right: Plush toys or stuffed animals are often made with synthetic materials that can take hundreds of yrs to decompose. Not to mention, the mass production of these toys requires heavy amounts of oil, natural gas, and...

Parents React to Emotional Bluey Episode ‘The Sign’: ‘My Therapist Isn’t Gonna Know What Hit Her’. The poignant season finale left fans of the series teary-eyed. The “super sized” special episode, titled "The Sign,” clocked in at 28 minutes — the length of four regular Bluey installments — and it used that time well, according to fans of the beloved Australian series. The poignant season 3 finale, which premiered April 14...

How Gen Z Made the Crossword Their Own. A younger generation of constructors is using an old form to reflect their identities, language and world. Welcome to the crossword in the age of Gen Z. Clues require internet meme literacy. Solutions may reflect the identity of the person behind the puzzle. And the way they’re constructed can involve vibrant online forums in addition to scraps of paper.


The quality of video game-to-TV projects is improving because the industry is involving the original creators, and producers who understand the source material, to a greater extent and ‘moving beyond adaptation to co-creation’, execs have suggested. The comments came at the inaugural Screen/Play event, a series of panels focused on how the video game and screen industries can work together, taking...


Overlooked No More: Lizzie Magie, the Unknown Inventor Behind Monopoly. Magie’s creation, The Landlord’s Game, inspired the spinoff we know today. But credit for the idea long went to someone else. When Charles Darrow, an unemployed salesman in Philadelphia, learned about a new board game that was becoming popular, he asked his friends to type up the rules and help him jazz up the graphic design.


Best Avatar: The Last Airbender figures in 2024. Ever since Aang emerged from his icy slumber and mastered the elements, Avatar: The Last Airbender has soared into our hearts (and living rooms) with its epic battles, lovable characters, and unforgettable adventures. Now, what if you could bring the world of Avatar right to your shelf? 


LEGO is about more than just kids’ toys—adults are proving lucrative for the Danish company’s $9.7 billion sales. Gone are the days when Lego’s brick-like toys were reserved for kids alone. Now, adults are just as enthusiastic collectors of the Danish company’s colorful brick sets—and Lego is banking on them to grow. The trend started when Lego-loving kids took their fascination into adulthood...

Creation gaming unlocks learning for Gen Alpha. Roblox and Minecraft are playing a big role in helping kids flex their creative muscles and build life skills, according to a new research report called The Creation Generation from UK-based advertising/strategy studio Bodacious. Featuring findings from an online survey of 2,054 kids ages five to 13 across the US (plus 39 in-depth interviews)...


The McDonald's Toy fact that may come as a surprise. McDonald's once had the designation of being the world's top toy distributor, with claims that the restaurant handed out a staggering 1.5 million toys annually.

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History and Nostalgia


Milton the Monster from Milton Bradley. Published by Milton Bradley in 1966, Milton the Monster board game was based on the Hal Seeger-produced animated television series of the same name that ran for 26 episodes between 1965 and 1968. The series followed the adventures of Professor Montgomery Weirdo, Milton (his lab-created son), and a cast of hauntingly unusual personalities. 


Power Mite Table Saw from Ideal. Released in 1971, the Power Mite Table Saw was part of Ideal’s line of miniature power tools. Each tool was a working metal-and-plastic replica of the electric-powered tools kids might have seen on the workbench in the garage or basement. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

WildBrain is expanding the licensing program for beloved brand Playmobil, with new cross-category partnerships across the globe. As master licensee for Playmobil, WildBrain CPLG handles worldwide rights across the brand’s core and franchise programs for the Horst Brandstätter Group. As Playmobil celebrates its milestone 50th anniversary this year...


*** The above was posted after tBR started Circulating April 19th ***


Heinz Teamed Up With Mattel to Bring Us the Mashup We Didn’t Know We Needed: ‘Barbiecue’ Sauce. 'Tomato Kenchup' could potentially be on the way. The special sauce of sorts, which is a mix of vegan mayonnaise and barbecue sauce, is the condiment mashup that none of us knew we needed — but apparently asked for. And yes, it’s Barbie pink, lest anyone not realize that the sauce you’re dipping your fries into isn’t...


Keanu Reeves is speeding along to another franchise, with the John Wick star heading to Sonic the Hedgehog 3. He will be voicing the popular character named Shadow, The news comes on the heels of a jam-packed CinemaCon presentation from Paramount last week, when the studio debuted the first footage for Sonic 3. This included the revelation that Dr. Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey, was depressed and out...

Warner Bros. Pictures Animation has burrowed into Animal Planet’s wildlife documentary library for its next family feature film. The studio is adapting popular doc series Meerkat Manor (53 x half hours, pictured), which aired on Animal Planet from 2005 to 2008. Produced by British prodco Oxford Scientific Films, the show centered around a real-world family of meerkats...

Licensing Works! to rep The Wingfeather Saga in the US. The agency's initial game plan is to showcase the fantasy IP for tweens to new brand partners and licensees at Licensing Expo next month. The Wingfeather Saga is adapted from a four-volume book series of the same name penned by American author Andrew Peterson. It has sold more than 1.5 million copies in the US to date through publisher Penguin Random House...

Warner Bros. Discovery bets on Roblox with new games. The media conglom is expanding its Cartoon Network's Game On! world, which has generated 34 million visits on the platform, with new game Gumball Tower of Defence. Launching in May, the title’s gameplay is all about building towers and teaming up with characters from The Amazing World of Gumball to defend the town of Elmore.

LA-based prodco Kids At Play and actor/author Tabitha Brown are broadening the reach of their YouTube Kids preschool series Tab Time with several new brand extensions. First up is an app called Tab Time World that features a coloring game, music and video creator tools and an avatar-builder, all inspired by Tab Time’s 2D-animated “Imagination Land” segment. Kids At Play developed the app in partnership with Google Kids Space. 

London-based edtech company Sandbox Group is expanding beyond educational apps with the launch of its PlayKids TV FAST channel, which has just been picked up by telecom Netgem TV. Netgem’s internet service provider partners including TalkTalk TV, Community Fibre TV and Better TV have already started carrying the 24-hour channel in the UK and Ireland. Users in those territories who download the Netgem TV...


Looking to engage kids who are deaf or hard of hearing more meaningfully, PBS KIDS has teamed up with multiple organizations to add ASL interpretations to its shows for the first time ever.  In partnership with GBH Kids, Fred Rogers Productions, Bridge Multimedia and the Described and Captioned Media Program, 10 episodes from these six series are getting the ASL upgrade: Arthur, Daniel Tiger’s...

Sony to host charity pre-screenings of The Garfield Movie in the UK. Ticket sales will support the work of regional nonprofit org MediCinema, which entertains patients in hospitals across the country. Building buzz and goodwill at the same time, Sony Pictures Entertainment is gearing up to host a series of May 12 charity pre-screenings of The Garfield Movie in the UK before the film’s wider theatrical release on May 24. 

Moose Toys expands its Bluey collection with a playset inspired by the long-awaited 28-minute special, “The Sign.” The Bluey Wedding 4-pack highlights the wedding between Bluey’s Uncle Rad and Frisky. Little ones ages 3 and up are officially welcome to the Heeler family wedding! The figure playset features four 2.5-inch characters from the preschool series, including Bluey, Bingo, Uncle Rad, and Aunt Frisky. 

LEGO to launch new Star Wars line on Star Wars Day. The LEGO Group has announced its LEGO Star Wars 25th anniversary collection will continue to expand with new launches on Star Wars Day: May the 4th. The TIE Interceptor building set which was part of the first launch of the Ultimate Collector Series in 2000 is back in a new and redesigned version. 


Wow! Stuff confirms release of Real FX Disney Stitch. The countdown is on to the Real FX Disney Stitch First Edition being unleashed on June 26th, which will include a Stitch certificate that verifies it as first off the production line. Wow! Stuff has announced that pre-orders will shortly open for one of the most hotly anticipated toys of 2024. Real FX, the Disney Stitch First Edition will be in the hands of fans...


Panini launches England 2024 Tournament Sticker Collection. Panini has announced the launch of the eagerly anticipated Official England Sticker Collection Tournament Edition 2024. Featuring 100% official kits and packed full of past, present and future Three Lions stars, plus elite players from four of Europe’s greatest national teams...


Nacelle reveals C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa figures. Nacelle is restoring another brand, this time bringing back C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa with a new line of action figures launching ahead of the upcoming revival series. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Nacelle is behind the NacelleVerse, an interconnected universe of animated shows inspired by classics. 


Costumes and contracts: Disguise, Hasbro renew licensing agreement. Disguise, the costume division of JAKKS Pacific, renewed its licensing agreement with Hasbro, granting the company continued rights to design, market, manufacture, and distribute costumes and costume accessories throughout North America and Latin America. 


Demon Slayer wave 3 figures launch from McFarlane Toys. McFarlane Toys has launched their third wave of 5-inch scale figures inspired by Demon Slayer, with wave 2 launching way back in August of last year. The collection includes Tanjiro Kamado, Sanemi Shinazugawa, Obanai Iguro, and Gyomei Himejima. All of the figures are priced at $9.99 each and feature articulation and blister packaging. 


Tech Deck’s Paris 2024 Boards are Olympics’ only officially licensed toy line. Olympics organizers have notably tried to increase viewership and enthusiasm among younger viewers, typically targeting the coveted 18 to 34 demographic. With a new line of officially licensed toys, however, the Games may attract a cohort of even younger fans.


Horizon Group inspires creativity through partnerships with top brands. Horizon Group USA, a leading global provider of innovative activity products, continues to keep creativity fun and accessible for families by introducing new product experiences from their favorite brands. Following a strong holiday season, Horizon Group has maintained momentum throughout the first quarter...

Toho International, RIPNDIP, and YouTooz unveil epic limited edition Godzilla collection. Get ready for a crossover so hot it’s practically on fire, as Toho International, the Japanese studio’s US-based subsidiary that has brought Godzilla to life, along with cutting-edge streetwear brand RIPNDIP, and collectibles company Youtooz, have come together for the ultimate Godzilla merch collab. 


BlackMilk Clothing launches Dungeons & Dragons apparel. Under license by toy and game company, Hasbro and its Wizards of the Coast division, customers will be able to dress in Dungeons & Dragons motifs, such as the dragon ampersand, dungeon maps and dice through a new collection by BlackMilk Clothing. Designs featuring displacer beasts, red dragons, mimics, mind flayer parasites and more– including an exclusive-to-BlackMilk print featuring 40 monsters in a D20 pattern ­ can be seen on the collection.


Cuesta Licensing to focus on diverse IP. The agency strives to partner with empowering brands. Cuesta Licensing, founded by Marlene Cuesta, aims to create a path for new and diverse stories, kids’ products, and experiences within the licensing and entertainment industry. The boutique licensing agency is focused on collaboration, creativity, connection, diversity, and empowering women and girls.

Joker 2’ trailer launches to 167 million views in 24 hours, giving Warner Bros. it’s biggest and most talked about trailer since ‘Barbie’. The trailer launch for “Joker: Folie à Deux” was no laughing matter for Warner Bros. The marketing for the studio’s upcoming DC sequel, headlined by Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, got off to a stellar start with 167 million viewers in its first 24 hours. 


'Star Wars: Bounty Hunters': New light strategy 'Star Wars' game. Asmodee will release Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, a new light strategy drafting game from its Zygomatic studio. Players compete to be the best bounty hunter by earning points through capturing targets, completing contracts, and purchasing droids and crates at the Jawa market. 


Bluey: Producer confirms series return amid cancellation rumors. A producer of Emmy award-winning children's TV show Bluey has confirmed the show will be returning for another series. The Australian program follows the life of a puppy, Bluey, and her family, the Heelers. Fans were concerned the show had ended after a For Sale sign appeared outside the Heelers' house in the last episode. 


Kinder Joy launches Harry Potter Collection with 16 Funko toys. Ferrero North America has teamed up with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products and Funko for a new collection of Kinder Joy eggs. Kinder is a confectionery brand known for its mystery toy element. Kinder Joy chocolates are egg-shaped, with one half containing creamy chocolate and the other a surprise toy. 


Kids’ classic Yo Gabba Gabba! to be rebooted by AppleTV+ this summer. US streamer Apple TV+ has announced new kids series Yo Gabba GabbaLand!, inspired by classic Nickelodeon children’s musical TV series, Yo Gabba Gabba! Produced in partnership with Canada’s WildBrain and Yo Gabba Gabba LLC, the co-owners of the brand, it will premiere on August 9. 


'Planet of the Apes Role-Playing Game' with minis, from Magnetic Press. Magnetic Press will launch a product range for a new roleplaying game based on the original five-film Planet of the Apes film series under its Magnetic Press Play imprint, the company announced.  The Planet of the Apes Role-Playing Game will include multiple books, a boxed set, and miniatures.  

PMI Kids’ World, Fuggler ink worldwide licensing deal. Fuggler, the brand behind the funny-ugly monsters Fugglers, is partnering with PMI Kids’ World. PMI Kids’ World is known for its collectible licensed offerings. Its portfolio includes a recent deal with Mojang Studios for Minecraft products, Stumble Guys, Pudgy Penguins, and more. 


OOLY, Suzy Ultman partner for Stickiville and Tattoo-Palooza products. Designer and illustrator Suzy Ultman has teamed up with the arts & crafts company OOLY for a new series of stickers and temporary tattoos. OOLY is known for its arts, crafts, and school supply offerings, with scented markers, watercolor paints, activity kits, and more. 


Disney to overhaul its money-losing Disney+ streaming service with new TV channels. Disney reportedly plans to overhaul its money-losing Disney+ streaming service by adding standalone channels that feature ads.The so-called “FAST” channels — “free ad-supported streaming television” offered by apps like Pluto and Tubi — would tap hit shows from its vast library to create a 24-hour “Simpsons”..


ZURU unveils Mini Brands KFC!: A Finger-Lickin’ addition to the Mini Brands collection. KFC, one of the most recognized and beloved restaurant brands globally, has joined forces with ZURU to bring the finger-lickin’ goodness of their worldfamous menu to the palm of your hand. As the stand-alone brand in its range, it was created with true fans in mind, guaranteeing five KFC miniature limited edition collectables...


Fallout TV show stars say show goes big on details. Another TV show based on a video game has landed... and critics say it's great. Is the world ending? It certainly is in Fallout - the adaptation of the post-apocalyptic role-playing game currently earning rave reviews. The series weaves together the stories of three characters striving to survive in a world ravaged by nuclear bombs. 

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People of Play


Time's 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE OF 2024 - Mattel's Ynon Kreiz. Some skilled kitesurfers, with enough speed sailing downwind, can manage to steer their kite upward, generating sufficient lift to pop off the water and fly magnificently into the sky. This maneuver requires careful coordination, control, and a fierce mental commitment. No surprise, then, that Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz is not only a rabid kitesurfer...

Hasbro (HAS) Announces Resignation of Cynthia Williams, President of Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro Gaming. On April 15, 2024, Cynthia Williams, President of Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) Gaming, informed the Company of her resignation from the Company effective April 26, 2024. The Company is conducting a process to identify her successor, looking at both internal and external candidates.

Back to the Blocks: Brian Fitzharris Reunites with Mattel at Fisher-Price. Fitzharris previously contributed to Mattel’s licensed product line for Disney Pixar Cars, the expansion of Hot Wheels, and the revitalization of the Barbie brand. Fitzharris has been appointed SVP and General Manager of Mattel‘s Fisher-Price, effective April 22, 2024. In this role, Fitzharris will lead the Fisher-Price Infant and Toddler Core brands...

Mellody Hobson to Publish Children’s Book About Money: ‘No Greater Gift Than a Financial Education'. The Starbucks Corporation board chair's new book, ‘Priceless Facts About Money,’ is forthcoming this fall. As co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, as well as the chair of the Board of Directors for the Starbucks Corporation, Hobson understands the importance of financial know-how. In Priceless Facts About Money...

University of Richmond Announces Gottlieb Grant. In memory of our dear friend and colleague Richard Gottlieb, the University of Richmond has announced the Richard Gottlieb Toy Entrepreneurship Grant. Attracting more young people to this dynamic industry was one of Richard’s passions. Working with the Toy Foundation, this program will kick off next year. 

Travis Kelce Confirms He'll Host Are You Smarter Than a Celebrity? 'I'm Just Happy to Be on the Hosting Side'. "I grew up loving game shows, and I’m excited to be following in the footsteps of so many TV icons by hosting my very first one," the NFL star said.  Kelce will follow in the footsteps of Jeff Foxworthy and John Cena, who hosted previous versions of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Xilam Animation ups Chloé Menier to Brand Manager. Academy Award-nominated French animation studio Xilam Animation has promoted Chloé Menier to the newly created position of Brand Manager, effective immediately. Menier is based in Xilam’s Paris headquarters and reports into Safaa Benazzouz, EVP Distribution at Xilam Animation. 


ICV2 INTERVIEW: RAVENSBURGER NA CEO STEPHANE MADI. An Update on 'Disney Lorcana,' Plans for the Future, and More. ICv2: When we spoke last August, we talked about the different customer segments you were targeting for Disney Lorcana. How did the two big communities you targeted, Disney fans/collectors and TCG players, respond to the game initially? Stephane Madi: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Extensive Enterprises: Ex-Hasbro VP Michael Kelly opens IP, publishing, brand licensing firm. The brand builder behind the recent reboot of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe and Transformers brands in comics as the shared “Energon Universe” has a new gig. Michael Kelly, former Vice President of Global Publishing at Hasbro has opened the doors to Extensive Enterprises, a new company “specializing in the development and incubation of IP...

Rubik’s Cube ambassador George Scholey will be taking on the London Marathon whilst aiming to set a Guinness World Record for ‘The Most Rotating Puzzle Cubes Solved While Running a Marathon’. Additionally, he will be fundraising for St John’s Ambulance, the official first aid partner for London Marathon. He is hoping to raise £2,000 to support the charity, which is close to his heart.

A Nigerian Chess Master in Times Square. Tunde Onakoya is trying to break a record for the longest chess marathon. And he’s playing his games in the open air in Manhattan. Onakoya, 29, in New York City for the first time, aims not only to break the world record of 56 hours, set in 2018, but also to raise money for the Gift of Chess and Chess in Slums Africa, organizations that aim to use the game to lift children out of poverty.


Companies and Brands


Michaels is lowering prices on more than 5,000 of its most popular items to pre-pandemic levels. CEO Ashley Buchanan says the move is an effort to make its products accessible to as many customers as possible across key categories such as art supplies, kids projects/activity kits and seasonal items. A broad range of reductions have already been implemented, including up to 15% off paint, markers and pens; up to 20% off...


AT&T has launched its first-ever tablet for two- to nine-year-olds to meet a demand from parents for technology products that can educate and entertain their kids.  The AT&T amiGO Jr. Tab is available starting today for US$165.99.  It comes with parental controls that can be set from a smartphone app, as well as free access to Google Kids Space—an age-appropriate mode offering teacher-approved apps, games and videos


*** The above posted after April 19th when tBR sent ***


A Pocket-Sized BarbieLand: Mattel Expands Barbie Brand with Mini Collection. Mini BarbieLand is opening its gates to all fans with miniature versions of fan-favorite Barbie toys. Fans can create their own BarbieLand with 12 collectibles offering a buildable, playable, and pink experience. Fans of mini collectibles and Barbie will adore this line filled with reveal dolls, vehicles, and dreamhouses.

Peppa Pig is celebrating 20 years of fun, and Hasbro just unveiled its Peppa Pig Peppa’s Muddy Puddles Party Interactive Doll. This 12-inch Peppa doll features more than 55 sounds, phrases, and reactions for kids to engage with across two play modes. With Peppa’s iconic yellow boots on, Muddy Puddles game mode is activated and she’ll sing songs and stomp around with splish-splosh sounds...


Learning Resources celebrates 40th anniversary with sustainable product line. Learning Resources is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year with the launch of a new sustainable product line. Learning Resources is known for its educational toy offerings, with everything from color sorting sets to robots that teach kids to code. 

When it comes to prehistoric times, magic and fantastical creatures Douglas Company has all the charm. The plush toy maker and lifestyle gift creator establishes the future from the past in their latest Softs inductees. Four new dinos from prehistoric times, a mystical dragon and, everybody’s favorite, three new unicorns will join the Softs line-up. Stephanie the Pink T-Rex Soft is a true armful of cuteness with her hot pink...


KidStuff Public Relations continues to pop the champagne corks as its 30th Anniversary year has more good news to share. Four toymakers have signed with the storied PR agency headed by Lisa Orman, named twice as a Wonder Woman by Women In Toys (WIT) as one of the industry’s top thought leaders on kids’ stuff.  As of April 2024, KidStuff PR is the Agency of Record for Fun In Motion Toys, Top Secret Toys...

Since 1974, ELC has been shaping the grown-ups of tomorrow. To mark its 50th birthday, the brand has unveiled three exclusive toys that have launched to coincide with the milestone anniversary. As a tribute to one of its most popular toys, ELC is introducing a special limited-edition Happyland Gold London Bus. With a limited run of 3,150 numbered products available, the bus is set to become a cherished keepsake...

Diaframma starts 2024 strongly with new strategies. Given the importance of digital marketing strategies, Diaframma’s customers are increasingly briefing the company in different ways, looking for content which is different from the ‘classic’ TV commercial, such as ads which can be used on a variety of platforms, or which have a very broad target audience.

Miniland, renowned for its innovative educational toys and games, has unveiled its latest endeavor: Innovators in Inclusion. This initiative solidifies Miniland’s commitment to leading the charge in creating inclusive toys, and fostering values of tolerance, diversity, positive self-esteem, respect, and kindness.

Six clip-on plush will be released with the launch, each equipped with a QR code offering digital VIP experiences, powered by Jellybean technology and the Aptos blockchain. Fans who scan their QR code will be given access to content personally selected by deadmau5. Each of the clip-ons comes in mystery box packaging offering a variety of rarities for collectors to find, with everything from the rare Professor...

Global toy company Wyncor signs with ACD distribution for mid-tier and specialty US retail distribution. Wyncor, the newly established global toy company committed to creating innovative and imaginative toys aligned with its intellectual properties and premium brands, has signed a distribution agreement with ACD Distribution, a leading distributor in the toy and game industry...


Build a city in India with 'Chandigarh' from Ludonova. Asmodee will release Ludonova’s Chandigarh, a new game in which players build a city in the north India from scratch, in May.  The game takes place in 1951, when the Indian government commissioned renowned architect Le Corbusier to plan a new capital for Punjab.  Players will compete for prestige points to win the game by having their city designs dominate.

Pokemon to release 'Battle Academy 2024'. The Pokemon Company International has announced Battle Academy 2024 and Palafin Ex Box, both for release on June 21 for players 6 and up. Pokemon TCG: Battle Academy 2024 is a beginners option for the game, with everything two players need to play, including deck guides that make the first game easy to follow.  


Czech Games Edition to launch 'Little Alchemists' streamlined version for families. Czech Games Edition will release Little Alchemists, a streamlined version of the 2014 CGE title, designed for younger players and families, in Q3 2024. In Little Alchemists, two to four players gather ingredients and brew and sell potions, based on experimentation and ingredient deduction.  

Crayola launches Campaign for Creativity. Crayola has launched the Campaign for Creativity, 40 years after the company started collecting kids’ artwork. The campaign aims to challenge typical perspectives on creativity and start a new conversation about the value of creativity, ultimately helping guardians integrate more creative moments and ideas into kids’ lives.

Osprey to release new edition of 'Bolt Action'. Osprey Games will release Bolt Action: Third Edition, a new version of the World War II miniatures game, this Fall, the company announced.  The new edition will feature refined and updated rules and starter army lists.  The rules will provide new tactical depth in the force composition mechanics and fresh challenges in the scenario generation system.


Over 650 cards in 'Munchkin Big Box', both old and new with many extras. Steve Jackson Games will release Munchkin Big Box, with over 650 cards by John Kovalic, both reprint and new, and many extras, this fall.  The collector’s edition will include 50 new Munchkin cards, plus the cards from Munchkin Core Set, Munchkin 2 – Unnatural Axe, Munchkin 3 – Clerical Errors, Munchkin 6...


DKB Toys launches B2B website. DKB Toys & Distribution has launched its enhanced transactional website, revolutionizing the procurement process for B2B clients. With this innovative platform, customers can now conveniently place orders directly online, ensuring rapid access to stock and ease in purchasing. In response to evolving market demands..


SmartGames unveils 5 Little Birds. SmartGames has announced its latest one player puzzle game. The brand’s 5 Little Birds is a new logic game with 60 different challenges, where players must solve clues to fly the birds back to their homes. Made for children ages five and above, 5 Little Birds tests players deduction. 


'Darkoath Army Set' features mortal followers of the Dark Gods, for 'Age of Sigmar'. Games Workshop will release Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath Army Set, a new boxed set with accompanying Battletome, for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. The set will include 20 Darkoath Marauders with varying heads and body types, five Darkoath Fellriders, one Chieftain on Warsteed, and one Wilderfiend...


Cryptozoic reveals 'Adventure Time: The Roleplaying Game' range. Cryptozoic Ent has launched the Kickstarter, including a retailer tier, for Adventure Time: The Roleplaying Game, based on the Cartoon Network series.  Last summer, Cryptozoic announced the license and revealed some information on the 5E-compatible game engine, developed in conjunction with Forever Stoked Creative, headed up by Matt Fantastic.


Radio Flyer’s Flyer Via offers families an updated eBike. The newest addition to Radio Flyer’s Flyer line is an electric bike made to carry kids, cargo, and more. Radio Flyer is known as the maker of the original Little Red Wagon, but the company offers more than just wagons . A new addition to its line of electric bikes (eBike) is giving parents and guardians upgraded features designed with safety in mind. 


Live Nation and Mattel announce Hot Wheels City Experience. Live Nation, BeFun and Mattel have announced that Hot Wheels City Experience will be arriving at the BEC Arena in Central Manchester this August, making its European debut in an interactive experience as it brings the legendary toy cars to life. 


Family Entertainment Live announces record breaking performances of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live Glow Party. Family Entertainment Live, one of the world’s leading presenters of live family entertainment events, and Mattel, Inc a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world...


Pop Mart opens fourth Sydney store. The new location marks Pop Mart’s ninth store in Australia. Pop Mart opened a new Syndey store on April 5. China-based Pop Mart is known for its collectible figures. The company offers original and licensed characters in mystery boxes, as individual figures, and more. Pop Mart has seen a plethora of new store openings worldwide, including two U.S. West Coast locations...


Commotion taking orders for new Wooden Dinosaur Blocks. Commotion has announced that the new Wooden Dinosaur Blocks from its signature Tickit range are now in stock at its UK and EU warehouses. CommotionLaunched at Nuremberg’s Spielwarenmesse earlier this year, Commotion‘s set of 10 chunky beechwood figures were well received by toy and education resellers, who welcomed the quality...


Rainbow High celebrates successful Find A Rainbow campaign. Rainbow High has celebrated Find a Rainbow Day with an influencer and PR campaign that has amassed a reach of over 1m and 70,000 video views. MGA Entertainment‘s Rainbow High celebrated Find a Rainbow Day on 3rd April with an engaging influencer and PR campaign to mark the launch of the fifth season...

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Video game remakes: Playing nostalgia. Remasters and reboots are almost guaranteed successes. Video games are one of the most lucrative forms of modern media, raking in billions of dollars every year. But after the industry rapidly grew during the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, 2024 has seen record layoffs and studio shutterings. As game makers reckon with the future of the industry, they’re turning to...


Why are thousands of video game workers losing their jobs? In the last four months alone, more than 8,000 people who make video games have lost their jobs around the world, including in the UK. At the same time, the UK's gaming industry is growing - so what's going on? But in London, as the BAFTA Games Awards 2024 rolled around last week, gamers could just enjoy themselves. 

AR game-maker Niantic is refreshing its flagship Pokémon GO app with a slew of updates that tie into a broader “Rediscover GO” initiative. Starting tomorrow (April 17), the game’s avatar-maker will feature more personalization and styling options. And new landscapes including forests, cities, beaches and mountains are rolling out on Earth Day (April 22), allowing the in-game visuals to...

Sea of Thieves sails to 40 million players ahead of PS5 launch. Rare's Sea of Thieves comes to PlayStation 5 at the end of the month, having amassed 40 million players in its lifetime. In 2020, Microsoft reported that Sea of Thieves had 10 million players and dubbed it the studio's most successful new IP. It's unclear how that translates into sales, given its prominence on Xbox Game Pass. 


Take-Two is making layoffs weeks after dropping $460M on Gearbox Interactive. Grand Theft Auto maker Take-Two Interactive is reducing its headcount by 5 percent as part of a cost reduction program that was announced earlier this year. The U.S. publisher, which just spent $460 million to acquire Gearbox Interactive from Embracer, said it wants to "identify efficiencies across its business and...


GTA VI publisher cancels $140 million in new projects and lays off hundreds. Grand Theft Auto VI publisher Take-Two Interactive announced massive cuts in an SEC filing at the end of business today. The company revealed it will lay off 5 percent of its roughly 11,000-strong workforce and has cancelled several in-development projects valued at $140 million in an effort at “rationalizing its pipeline.”.


EA reportedly cuts Apex Legends' UK-based QA team. Insider Gaming reports Respawn's Apex Legends will lose 50 contractors based in the UK. EA has reportedly shut down the region's QA team for the popular battle royale. According to the outlet, these cuts are separate from previous cuts in March. The QA team were told their contracts (which expire in a few weeks) wouldn't be renewed...

Highlighted Press Releases

COLLECT TINY TREASURES: itSmol™ LAUNCHES WITH EXCLUSIVE MINIATURE VINYL COLLECTIBLES. Unveiling itSmol™: Enter a Miniature World of Whimsy and Delight with Teanie Tots™ and Moosh-Moosh™ Collectibles. Westlake Village, CA (April 18, 2024) – In a world where joy arrives in small packages, MMG Brands is thrilled to unveil itSmol™, a brand-new line of miniature collectible vinyl figurines that promise to bring big smiles. Standing proud at 1.5” to 2” tall, the itSmol™ collection brings together the essence of whimsy and the delight of collecting, offering something truly unique for collectors and fans of all ages.


KIDSTUFF PUBLIC RELATIONS SIGNS FOUR MORE IN ‘24 AS 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION CONTINUES. No April Fools: Fun In Motion Toys, Top Secret Toys, MEAVIA & Purpose Toys. Choose KidStuff Public Relations As Its Agency of Record As Of April 2024. Thousand Oaks, CA (April 12, 2024) – KidStuff Public Relations continues to pop the champagne corks as its 30th Anniversary year has more good news to share. Four toymakers have signed with the storied PR agency headed by Lisa Orman, named twice as a Wonder Woman by Women In Toys (WIT) as one of the industry’s top thought leaders on kids’ stuff.

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


Nominations for the 2024 Toy & Game Innovation Excellence Awards (TAGIE) Lifetime Achievement Award are officially open. 

People of Play is looking for nominees with significant experience and accomplishment in the play industry, innovative product or marketing introductions, charitable efforts benefiting kids and their causes, and an unimpeachable record of integrity in the industry. Last year’s Lifetime Achievement Honorees include Jill Barad, former CEO and Chairman of Mattel, and Rouben Terzian, the founder of Big Monster Toy. Other past Lifetime Achievement Honorees include Leslie Scott, Kantaro Tomiyama, and Alan Hassenfeld, who were honored in 2022; Tom Kalinske, Michelle Litzky, and the Pressman Family, who were all honored in 2021; Erno Rubik, who was honored in 2020; and Ivan Moscovich who was honored...


Save the Date: Educational Sessions will Give Exhibitors Tips for Navigating Toy Fair® 2025. Toy Fair® exhibitors are encouraged to mark their calendars for six upcoming Exhibitor Academy sessions, which will provide valuable insights and practical tips for a successful Toy Fair, taking place March 1 to 4, 2025 at the Javits Center in New York City. Key contacts will receive an email when sessions are open for registration.


Licensing Intl, a leading trade association for the global brand licensing industry, has named the Ethical Supply Chain Program (ESCP) as its preferred social compliance partner. The Ethical Supply Chain Program facilitates communication, certification and cooperation between manufacturers, suppliers, licensors and retailers worldwide. Through the newly formed partnership, more than 1,200 members...

Industry guests announced for second Australian Children’s Content Summit. Coffs Harbour will play host to a second Aust. Children's Content Summit with international & Australian speakers in August. International featured guests confirmed include Jane Gould – Co-Founder Wonderworks Insights, Kate Morton – Head of Commissioning & Acquisitions 0-6 BBC, Katharina Pietzch – VP Sales Kids & Family...

Licensing International is proud to announce the full list of finalists for the prestigious Excellence Awards, dedicated to recognizing outstanding achievements and innovation in the global brand licensing industry. This year’s Excellence Awards feature 197 finalists in 32 categories. More than 800 submissions were reviewed by a panel that includes 200 judges from 20 countries.

Canada’s Youth Media Alliance (YMA) is taking a moment to recognize 10 important figures who have helped the non-profit org and the domestic kids content industry it serves grow over the last 50 years. The honorees are Robert Roy, Nina Keogh, Kim Yaroshevskaya, Ira Levy, Diane England, Agnes Augustin, Madeleine Lévesque, Nancy Chapelle, Marie-Pierre Gariépy and Toni Stevens. 

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment announces new 2024 WiT Foundation Scholarship. Building on the success of its long-standing scholarship program, Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT) continues to develop women leaders with the launch of the new 2024 WiT Foundation Scholarship, an application-based scholarship open to female students.

Licensing Expo opening keynote to explore future of gaming. Licensing Expo has announced the opening keynote presentation under the event theme ‘Brands at Play’. Taking place 21st-23rd May at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, Licensing Expo brings together thousands of leading retailers, manufacturers and marketers to connect, identify future trends and secure consumer product...


Launch of new Spooky Awards for Halloween manufacturers coming in 2024. The Halloween & Costume Association (HCA) is thrilled to announce the launch of the first annual Spooky Awards, an industry celebration of innovation, creativity, and all things Halloween! Open to Halloween product manufacturers, HCA members, and non-members alike, this thrilling event promises to be the pinnacle of the Halloween... 


Apex Legends Tournament sparks backlash from queer fans and allies [Update]. Respawn’s hero shooter battle royale Apex Legends is an incredibly inclusive game for the queer community. It has several playable LGBTQIA+ legends, has given players Pride Flag cosmetics to showcase their identities in-game, and developer Respawn even put a statement supporting trans rights in the game itself. 


Bafta Games Awards 2024: Baldur's Gate 3 wins game of the year. Baldur's Gate 3 led the pack at the 20th Bafta Game Awards, with five wins including the coveted best game title. The role-playing game based on Dungeons & Dragons also scooped prizes for music and narrative, with an acting award for Andrew Wincott as fan-favourite devil Raphael. Super Mario Bros. 


Baldur’s Gate 3 becomes first game to win every major GOTY award. If it seems like Baldur’s Gate 3 can’t stop winning Game of the Year awards, you aren’t wrong. Just this week, Larian’s ambitious 2023 Dungeons & Dragons RPG took home yet another prize during the video game portion of the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs). 

First ever Tech Deck Games competition to arrive in London. The Tech Deck Games, which will take place at Hop King in London on 11th May, will see GB Team skateboarder Alex DeCunha showcasing his skills and judging the competition. Fingerboarding brand Tech Deck is inviting competitors to show off their flips and tricks at the Tech Deck Games.

Safety and Counterfeiting


Toy safety warning: potential health and toxicity hazards of kids’ blaster guns with gel water balls to young children. Toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics raised concerns over the proliferation of battery-rechargeable gel blaster submachine gun toys using water-absorbing plastic beads or gel ammunition and similar toys.

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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 readers. Archives can be found HERE


TRINA ROBBINS - writer, Artist, Historian, Advocate for Comics for Women and Girls. - Trina Robbins grew up loving comics but came of age at a time when comics for girls and women had disappeared and the industry was dominated by men. She helped transform the medium by creating her own comics, publishing and mentoring other women cartoonists, and documenting the history of the women who had always been a part of the industry but were seldom mentioned in the standard texts.
Robbins was born in Brooklyn in 1938, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Belarus (then part of Russia). She read and drew comics from a young age, and from the beginning she gravitated toward female characters: Brenda Starr, Millie the Model, and Katy Keene, the multitalented model created by Bill Woggon for Archie Comics. Katy Keene comics included both paper dolls and clothing designs submitted by readers, and Robbins created her own paper dolls as well as making her own comics. In her teens and early 20s, Robbins moved away from comics, turning her talents toward fashion design; she sold her handmade dresses at craft fairs, ran a boutique in New York called Broccoli, and hung out with models and rock stars. In 1969 she designed the costume and hairstyle for Vampirella, the title character of Warren Publishing’s black-and-white horror magazine (a companion to Creepy and Eerie).

It was the New York alternative paper the East Village Other that got her back into making comics. The comics published there were radically different from those of her youth, and Robbins saw new possibilities there. The Other published her first comic strip, which was submitted on a whim, and then continued to publish her work regularly. She moved to San Francisco in 1970, as the Underground Comix scene was just getting started, working at the feminist paper It Ain’t Me, Babe.  READ More...


Jeremías Babini passed away "unexpectedly" over the weekend, according to collaborator Daniel Benmergui.

The Argentinian developer worked with Benmergui on 2023's Storyteller as an artist and co-designer. They first teamed with musician Hernán Rozenwasser on 2017's Fidel Dungeon Rescue.

"[Jeremías] he poured his humor into every character, every animation, every detail," wrote Benmergui. "He gave life to everything we did."

Babini first got into games in 2010 as an animator at social game developer Atommica. In 2012, he worked at Heavy Boat (as an artist) and Ludomancy (art director). Come 2015, he co-found Wonbats in Buenos Aires.

At Wonbats, he worked as an art director on a number of Cartoon Network titles. Those games, some of which are still playable, include Steven Universe: Sword Dancers and Regular Show: Demonic Naptime.

Prior to his passing, Babini was working on Piopow for the NES and Famicom, and whose status currently remains up in the air. Like with the Atari 2600, developers have taken to creating new game catridges for the retro console.

Benmergui went on to call Babini an "unmatched illustrator. [...] He was our Da Vinci. I can't replace him. I will never be the same."

"I feel very lucky...that [Jeremías] lived and left on his own terms," he concluded. "I believe if he could say one last thing he would say, 'I am fine with this'. Now it's up to us to figure out the rest."


Pamela Osborne worked for 60 years at the family run Osborne’s Sports and Toys, which she owned, in Rushden. She died peacefully on March 25th at the age of 91, with her family noting that ‘her smile and witty personality has always lit up our little corner of the High Street.’

Osborne’s is a proud Toymaster member, and Will Osborne, Pamela’s son, who currently runs the toy store with his partner, Libby, said: “She had a good life, she had 91 good years. The family has  been overwhelmed by the positive response of love, stories and best wishes that we’ve had. A response like that is a great comfort for the family. We knew her and loved her, but it’s nice to know the customers did too, and the response has just re-enforced what we knew about her, and that so many people felt the same.”

Pamela came to the area initially to take a job at Chichele College as a PE teacher in 1954. She married Will’s father, Jim in 1960, and became a partner at the toy shop some time later, holding this position right through until 2024.

Her family report that she was a mainstay in the shop well into later life. They recount that, while Jim was seen as the face of the business, Pamela was the brains behind it, taking a more behind the scenes role, although she could often be found making herself available to chat to customers.

Osborne’s Sports and Toys celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2020, when special 65th anniversary jigsaws were commissioned. Other noteable moments in the business’s history include when Lego thanked the Osbornes for their brand loyalty by cladding the entire shop front with 277,500 Lego bricks for a weekend, and Playmobil selecting Osbornes’s as the launch pad for Playmobil: Star Trek’s USS Enterprise playset, supplying a 5ft Mr Spock and a model of the USS Enterprise.

The local community has responded to the news of Pamela’s passing with condolences, happy memories and high praise for what many described as a ‘lovely lady’, a ‘local celebrity’, and ‘an integral part of many of our childhoods.’

Worldwide Magazines Weekly Top Stories

Added Friday Morning Chicago Time. Check Back for Complete Lists.


Toy Trade Monthly Issues​​​​​

Adventure Media & Events (US)

aNb Media (US) 


Toyworld (UK)

  1. Sting in the tail … it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Rainbow High celebrates successful Find A Rainbow campaign

  3. Tomy International gives back to its communities

  4. Commotion taking orders for new Wooden Dinosaur Blocks

  5. Wow! Stuff confirms release of Real FX Disney Stitch

  6. B&M reports encouraging rise in sales

  7. Panini launches England 2024 Tournament Sticker Collection

  8. PMI Kids World secures collectibles deal for Fuggler

  9. BargainMax hosts first ever pre-school influencer event

  10. DKB Toys launches B2B website Powered by Toyworld

  1. Exclusive: PMI brings Creature Cases to life

  2. Wow! Stuff confirms release of Real FX Disney Stitch

  3. Lego to launch new Star Wars line on Star Wars Day

  4. Live Nation and Mattel announce Hot Wheels City Experience

  5. Licensing Expo opening keynote to explore future of gaming

  6. Panini launches England 2024 Tournament Sticker Collection

  7. Lego to launch new Star Wars line on Star Wars Day

  8. Random House Garfield book series launches

  9. PMI Kids World secures collectibles deal for Fuggler

  10. Rubies reveals new Young Jedi Adventures costume collection

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Wizards of the Coast President Resigns
ICv2 Interview: Ravensburger North America CEO Stephane Madi, April 2024
Academic Study Finds Positive Mental Health Effects from 'Dungeons & Dragons'
'Planet of the Apes Role-Playing Game'
Rolling for Initiative -- Another Eventlink Crash, and a WotC Survey
'Star Wars: Bounty Hunters'
Mantic to Release 'Dungeon Saga Origins' to Trade
Jim Ward Game IPs, Including 'Metamorphosis Alpha,' Sold
Pokemon To Release 'Battle Academy 2024'
NECA and WizKids Re-imagine 'Warduke' Figure

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

Global Toy News

The Bugg Report (Australia)

The Toy Universe (Australia)


Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Décorum Expansion Released, Rayman Board Game Announced
Floodgate Games has released a new expansion for their cooperative game Décorum, a Rayman themed game has been announced, and Ares and Tablescope are set to release a game that features the unique use of app.

Video of the Week 

Brian Fried and Mary Couzin talk about...

 The Recognition Toy Inventors Deserve & What it Takes to Be a Toy Inventor



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

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