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September 30 - October 7, 2022

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Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

Happy Bloomin’ Friday! 

Have you voted for your favorite and most admired innovator yet? What are you waiting for? Check out the nominees and VOTE! 

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

 

Thank you for reading the Bloom Report. If you can't wait for the news to arrive each Friday, check out the new Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed and share with your colleagues! You can also comment on the posts in the News Feed! 

Mary

"I am a long-time reader and champion of the Bloom Report. The quantity of quality articles on so many different aspects of our industry  is unmatched and  I regularly share and discuss them with my management team as an important business tool."  - Jim Engle, President & Founder, Little Kids Inc. 

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

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Person of the Week

Sifting Through Inventor Pitches to Find That One-in-a-Million Spark: A Q&A with Brent Geppert of Educational Insights

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Based in Southern California, Educational Insights is committed to igniting the spark in every child through engaging, hands-on play with a purpose. For over a decade, Educational Insights Senior Product Manager Brent Geppert has traveled the world, meeting with toy and game inventors to identify concepts with the potential to light that spark.

 

We caught up with Brent between inventor pitches to talk about his own history as a tinkerer and how it led him to Educational Insights, what he’s looking for in an inventor pitch, and, of course, what’s up with all those Hawaiian shirts.

 

Educational Insights is well known for turning inventor concepts into best sellers. How do you find those winning ideas?

I go into every pitch with an open mind. You end up kissing a lot of frogs on your way to finding Prince Charming, but I try hard not to get jaded because you never know where a great idea is going to come from. I’ve seen some really amazing products come out of really rough beginnings. I’m lucky though - Educational Insights was a leader in inventor relations and we’ve been doing this for so long now that the people I meet with have a pretty clear idea of what we’re looking for, so they’re presenting me with ideas that are likely to resonate.

 READ MORE...

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Person of the Week - Alex Tongue, Vango Toys 

As Bezos says, “Focus on what makes your beer taste better.”

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What are your roles and responsibilities in our industry?

Providing value to our customers is our top priority, and since most of them are kids, that value comes in the form of fun! Of course, the value of toys and games goes beyond just having fun – they help improve social skills, critical thinking, fine motor skills, imagination … the list goes on!  But if we’re not providing that key value of FUN, then we’re not fulfilling our key responsibility in this industry.

 

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

The first product we launched (The #UpsideDownChallenge Game) was nominated for both a TOTY and TAGIE award!

 

What has been your biggest achievement?

Getting the company off the ground with our first product (The #UpsideDownChallenge Game) has been our biggest achievement. In the first year after starting the company, we had all sorts of obstacles thrown at us - a global pandemic, trade war with China, container shortage, economic uncertainty. Despite all of this, the game was a big success and continues in popularity today.

 READ MORE...

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Person of the Week - Everest van der Zwan

Inventor of KIDQUEST - Where Kids Ask the Coolest Questions

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Why did you want to create a game?

We were in lockdown and we always had ideas about creating something and this was the right time to try!

 

What has been your biggest achievement?

Winning amazing awards in the toy industry!

 

 

What was your biggest failure?

All the prototypes because a lot of them were nowhere near what we wanted or what it is today. And that is part of the journey to making something.

 

Do you have a mantra that you live by?

It doesn't matter if you succeed or not, it matters how hard you try.

 

If you look back at yourself 10 years ago, is this where you thought you’d be?  Where did you think you’d be? What changed? What went right?

I wasn't alive! I need a few more years to answer this.        READ MORE...

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Pictured above: Nick Zawitz, Richard Zawitz, Charlie Zawitz

Our aNb Media Toy Families feature story highlighting the Zawitz family came to fruition in an unusual way. I had met Nick and knew a bit about the Tangle story of course, but it was Isabelle Hodges, their new team member who also consults on our POP website, who suggested we feature the Zawitz family. Richard shared his thoughts on Tangle’s life-affirming three generation story, and I know you will enjoy reading them as much as I did.

How did you and your family first enter the toy industry?

 

We first entered the gift/speciality/toy industry in 1982 through my invention called Tangle. Tangle was my attempt at bringing art and sculpture to the masses. I wanted to create something that adults, kids, families could feel challengeless playing with while being able to enjoy art at the same time. I also wanted to instill creativity into people that never thought they were creative. My first product was called Tangle: the Infinite Sculpture which first debuted at gift shows. Eventually I started to market the product and sold it to high-end stores like Bloomingdales, MoMA, Sharper Image, Macy’s, Harrods and Hamleys in England, and other notable gift and specialty stores. In 1989, we partnered with Slinky and the amazing Betty James, who then distributed Tangle for 3.5 years. Slinky went on to sell the first blister card version of the Tangle to the Kmart toy section in 1989 and Tangle became a toy! Tangle is in every essence, the First Art and Fidget Toy ever created!      READ MORE...

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Financial and Legal

 

Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire 150,000 seasonal workers, about the same as last year despite slowing sales growth and predictions of a lackluster holiday shopping season.  The world’s largest online retailer typically hires legions of temporary workers this time of year to help store, pack and ship items from its warehouses. Employees can earn more than $19 an hour, on average, based on their position and location in the US, Amazon said in a statement. 

 

Upbounders by Little Likes Kids is seeking investors through SMBX, the financial marketplace that connects small businesses with investors in their community. Upbounders is a Washington, D.C.-based, female-founded, and Black-owned small business that promotes diversity and cultivates belonging through screen-free toys that accurately represent cultural and ethnic differences. The line is currently sold...

 

Notice is given by ASSEMBLED BRANDS CAPITAL FUNDING LLC  that pursuant to Section 9-610 of the Uniform Commercial Code, a secured party public sale to the highest and/or best bidder for cash, with reserve, will be conducted by the Secured Party on Oct. 11, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. ET.  The Secured Party has a first priority perfected lien and security interest in and to all of the personal property assets of MADE MODERN HOLDINGS LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (the “Borrower”).

 

Amazon is launching Amazon Access, a new hub for customers to explore the programs, discounts and features that the online retailer offers for affordable shopping, the company announced on Monday. Amazon also announced that its discounted Prime membership, which launched in 2017, will now be called Prime Access. The new Amazon Access hub gives customers access to information on options like payment...

 

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav has denied that the newly merged company is for sale, amid recent cost-cutting measures and mass staff layoffs. WBD has been undergoing extensive restructuring since Discovery completed its $43bn merger with WarnerMedia in April, since when the media giant has been seeking to make $3bn in savings.

 

The Airport Authority Hong Kong is said to have set aside HK$2b in 2020 for buying some half a million flight tickets from airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Express, Cathay Pacific and the now out-of-business Cathay Dragon. Giving away these tickets, which the government bought in 2020 to attract travellers, is one of the measures aimed at boosting back tourism. The new relaxed inbound rules will mean travellers...

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Stories, Comments, and Advice

 

A new movie has put to rest decades of fan speculation and suggestions from previous stewards of the “Scooby-Doo” franchise by confirming that Velma Dinkley, the cerebral mystery solver with the ever-present orange turtleneck, is canonically a lesbian. To many fans who had long presumed as much and treated her as a lesbian icon, it was not a shocking revelation. But her appearance in...

 

A Lego-themed house in Kenosha, WI went viral and sold after just a few days on the market. Singer Jason Isbell took note with a wry comment. The listing for the house, by RE/MAX agent agent Alissa Traughber for $250,000, went viral on Twitter Monday. But by that point, a local buyer had already scooped up the property. The seller owns more than a million Lego pieces and transformed the home into something of a...

 

Dreamhouse Is an Accidental Funhouse Museum of American Design. Her plastic real estate portfolio features it all, from A-Frames to Victorian Revivals. Looking back on its 60th anniversary shows the styles Americans actually lived in—and what they really wanted. "All six rooms have a modern look," purrs the voiceover from this 1979 commercial for the vividly decade-specific Barbie Townhouse, as a small hand places...

 

How Mr. Potato Head Helped Starbucks Make Drinks Faster. Mr. Potato Head may have had his comeback moment when Pixar's "Toy Story" franchise incorporated this classic toy into their storyline back in 1995, but the toy is still relevant today — and it even has some practical uses. 

The Wall Street Journal reports Mr. Potato Head helped Starbucks to make their coffee and espresso drinks faster. Here's how it happened.

A parenting columnist says adults shouldn’t high-five kids.  “I will not slap the upraised palm of a person who is not my peer." An op-ed arguing adults shouldn't high-five children has gone viral, leaving many parents and mental health experts to raise their eyebrows (and maybe a high-five) in protest. John Rosemond, a parenting columnist and author, argued in a recent opinion article for the Omaha World-Herald that adults shouldn't high-five children because a child is not an adult's equal.

 

‘Barney’ Docuseries ‘I Love You, You Hate Me’ Uncovers Dark Side of Kids Show: Watch the Trailer. The core message of the immensely popular “Barney and Friends” kids show was to spread love and kindness to one another, but the trailer for a new Peacock docuseries highlights the idea that America was not so eager to accept that message. In the trailer for the upcoming two-part docuseries “I Love You, You Hate Me,” ...

 

Just in time for Halloween, the Chicago History Museum is putting some of its creepiest dolls on display to help teach Chicago history. When you say dolls, you probably think of Ken and Barbie, Raggedy Ann or maybe even Bratz. But if your tastes run more to Chucky, you'll be right at home this month at the Chicago History Museum.

 

NYC’s Four Seasons hotel in standoff with Beanie Babies mogul — and could stay shut for years. New York’s Four Seasons Hotel has remained conspicuously closed since the start of the pandemic — and insiders say it risks staying shuttered for years because of an increasingly bizarre dispute with the billionaire founder of the Beanie Babies toy empire. The luxury icon designed by architect I.M. Pei at 57 East 57th St...

 

Gamers Help Older Lady Choose First Game to Play in Wholesome Thread.   Speaking as a thirty-something who has way more unfinished Steam games than free hours in the week, I'd say retirement age is the perfect time to start gaming. One 56-year-old lady who's sick of television recently decided to turn to r/gaming for advice on which video game to start with. Rather than gatekeeping, thousands of gamers did quite ...

 

Russia's replacement for Lego stores: World of Cubes. Russian retail group IRG has unveiled plans for 65 new shops across 20 cities, to replace ones it used to run for Danish toy maker Lego, which exited the country in the wake of the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine. It is not the first firm to toy with new names since a string of well-known Western brands shut down their Russian operations over the conflict.

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History and Nostalgia

 

Who first thought of The Jump Rope? While the origins of the jump rope are somewhat murky, we do know that the jump rope was brought to America by Dutch settlers in the 17th century. At first, jumping rope was considered exclusively a game for boys. Then in the 1800s, groups of girls began to play with jump ropes. They did so against the recommendation of most advice books, which cautioned against too much physical...

 

Pinball traces its roots to bagatelle, an 18th-century French parlor table game that challenged players to use a stick to shoot balls across a table filled with pins and scoring holes. But modern coin-operated pinball machines originated in 1931 as American manufacturers separated players from the bagatelle board (or “playfield”) with a piece of glass, incorporated mechanical systems to remove balls from the ...

 

THE HISTORY OF Tinkertoys. Tinkertoys were created in the early 1910s by a stonemason named Charles Pajeau and his partner, Robert Petit. The men were inspired by watching children create abstract shapes using sticks, pencils, and old spools of thread. They created Tinkertoy by adding holes on all sides of a round wooden wheel and included specially sized sticks in the set. 

 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

 

Hasbro announced NERF brand partnerships with massive digital creator, MrBeast, AKA Jimmy Donaldson and big-time philanthropist and basketball All-Star, Luka Dončić. The 2-year partnership with MrBeast kicks off this fall, bringing NERF together with one of YouTube’s most-viewed creators of all time through another exciting social content campaign. The popular creator and NERF are also working together on a NERF...

 

US prodco Hello Sunshine is developing a movie adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in partnership with Build-A-Bear Entertainment. This marks the first feature film produced by Hello Sunshine’s kids and animation division, established in 2019 and headed by former Nickelodeon exec Claire Curley. The fairy tale will be modernized with an empowered female lead, a signature of Hello Sunshine’s content...

VeeFriends is set to launch its first-ever limited series of collectible characters at Macy’s and Toys “R” Us, transforming the characters from digital non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into physical collectibles. This is the first step in bringing entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s intellectual property (IP) to life with plush and vinyl characters, which will give any consumer access to own a VeeFriends character. 

Numerous deals for toyetic entertainment properties are being made at MIPCOM. Canadian children’s entertainment company Guru Studio inked several new broadcast deals for Big Blue, Pikwik Pack, and True and the Rainbow Kingdom at the annual market in France. “We’re seeing tremendous enthusiasm from broadcasters for our lineup of originals,” says Corey Caplan, senior director of international sales at Guru Studio. 

Play-Doh, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Consumer Products Partner to Create Iconic Slime Line. Play-Doh, the trusted #1 brand in arts and crafts, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Consumer Products announce their partnership to create the ultimate and iconic Slime for kids and adults. Have the slime of your life with the satisfying sensory experiences of the 2023 product line up including a variety of slime textures...

 

Yu-Gi-Oh! and Adidas Join Forces to Create and Launch New Footwear Styles. Get ready to unleash the ‘Duel Magic’ as the universes of adidas and Yu-Gi-Oh! have collided; spilling out an array of marvelous monsters, stripes, spells, trefoils, traps and most incredibly, a fresh deck of footwear, ranging from high-energy sneakers to fashionable sandals. The announcement was made by Jennifer Coleman, VP of Licensing ...

Aspire by WildBrain CPLG Knits Multi-Territory Representation Deal with Lyle & Scott. ASPIRE, the dedicated Corporate & Lifestyle division of world-leading licensing agency WildBrain CPLG, has secured multi-territory rights for the British heritage brand Lyle & Scott. Under the deal, ASPIRE will represent Lyle & Scott in the UK and Eire, Europe, MENA, the US, Canada and Australia, with scope to explore additional territories...

 

Cyber Group Studios’ new action-adventure-packed series, The Tern, was the #1 attended screening program at Cartoon Forum, the annual conference held Sept 19-22 this year in Toulouse, France. Cartoon Forum is Europe’s biggest showcase for animation and TV series. One of the most anticipated French projects on the market, The Tern, a series that blends European and Japanese graphic styles, screened...

PlayMonster Launches Koosh Cameos Featuring Characters From Star Wars and Jurassic World. PlayMonster Group LLC is bringing fandom to the palm of your hands with the launch of new Koosh Cameos, the iconic brand from Hasbro, a global branded entertainment company! For a limited time, fans can pick up four all-new Koosh character collectibles (two from Jurassic World and two from Star Wars, The Mandalorian...

Super Impulse Rocks ‘n Rolls Out the All-New Pet Rock. Super Impulse, the leader in retro and contemporary miniature toys and collectibles is honored to announce its exclusive rights to one of the most iconic novelty items of the 20th Century. The “Official” Pet Rock is back and makes its return to store shelves near you! Originally released in 1975, Pet Rock was an instant success as a hilarious and low cost, low maintenance...

 

Compartés and Care Bears Partner For a Limited-Edition Chocolate Collaboration. Compartés, the nation’s hippest and trendiest chocolate shop, teams up with Care Bears, the loveable and huggable bears from Care-a-Lot, this October 4th to create a limited-edition chocolate bar. The Compartés x Care Bears Rainbow Chocolate Bar features Compartés artistry with the popular Care Bears to bring colorful retro...

 

Joseph’s Nutless Clusters Secures Paw Patrol License for Canada. Gluten Free Wholesale Incorporated, makers of Joseph’s Nutless Clusters (JNC), announced it has signed a license agreement with Paramount Consumer Products for PAW Patrol, the powerhouse preschool franchise created by Spin Master Entertainment. 

 

Limited-Edition Trollify Mashups Featuring Good Luck Trolls and NBCUniversal’s Icons of Horror Available at NYCC. The nostalgia craze is back, only this time it’s a little more bone-chilling. Kidrobot is leading the charge with this limited-edition Trollify mashup featuring the Good Luck Trolls and NBCUniversal icons of horror – Chucky, Bride of Frankenstein and Michael Myers.

Tomy International Expands their Pop Culture Reach with Club Mocchi- Mocchi- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Character Plush. TOMY International will introduce a new line of Club Mocchi- Mocchi- plush this fall featuring Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property. The four globally recognized brothers will come to life in a retro pop design aesthetic to the delight of multi-generational fans.

 

Clover Press and Yoe! Comics Announce Upcoming Release of ‘Popeye Variations’, A New Book Featuring 75+ Underground & Mainstream Cartoonists. Clover Press and Yoe! Books have teamed up to create Popeye Variations: Not Yer Pappy’s Comics an’ Art Book, a 10″ x 10″ hardcover book featuring 100+ illustrations from 75 underground and mainstream artists and cartoonists with their own takes on the spinach-munching...

Funrise, in partnership with video game developer Psyonix, has released a line of customizable and remote-controlled Rocket League replica cars. The new Funrise Rocket League collection of replica vehicles are available now at Walmart, Target.com, Amazon, and other major retailers in the U.S. The branded collection includes: Rocket League Micro RC, available in four models, the 2.75” remote control vehicles...

London-based distributor Serious Kids has acquired worldwide sales rights to CG-animated special The Ghastly Ghoul from Lupus Films and Dream Logic Animation Studios. Targeting kids ages five to seven, the 30-minute special centers around a monster who gets trapped in the human world, where he forms a friendship with a young girl who loves science. Together, they embark on a Halloween adventure to return...

 

Kids First⁠—the distributor owned by Paris-based Watch Next Media—has closed several presale deals with international broadcasters for 2D-animated series Audrey’s Shelter, which started production last week in Paris. ZDF in Germany and Canada’s TVOKids, Radio-Canada, TFO and Knowledge have joined France Télévisions and Spain’s RTVE as co-commissioners of the 52 x 11-minute series, which will debut in 2023. 

 

BAFTA award-winning and Oscar-nominated brand-building and production co. Magic Light Pictures has released a first look image of its much-awaited festive animation for BBC One, The Smeds and the Smoos. In this adventure on a far away planet, two families always avoid each other. The red Smeds never mix with the blue Smoos, so when a chance encounter allows young Smed Janet to become friends with Bill,...

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People of Play

 

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Anand Dhirmalani to the show. Dhirmalani is an expert in the As Seen On TV space and is collaborating with Albritton on the launch of a new brand: Lil Wish Lanterns. On the show, Dhirmalani shares his journey from Fushigi to Pillow Pets and his recent success with KickerBall. 

 

Sesame Workshop Names Brett Robinson CFO, Overseeing the Nonprofit’s Finance, Technology, and Facilities. Sesame Workshop has named Brett Robinson Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance, Technology, and Facilities. In his role, Robinson will be responsible for advising on all fiscal matters, including annual and long-term planning/forecasting, accounting, budgeting, risk management....

 

Hasbro has hired Dan Rawson, formerly COO of ERP and CEM software division Microsoft Dynamics 365, for the newly created position of SVP of Dungeons & Dragons, the co. announced.  Rawson will handle all expressions of the brand, including digital, physical, and entertainment. Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming President Cynthia Williams noted the timing.  "We couldn’t be bringing on Dan at a better ...

 

London’s Omens Studios is broadening its UK business team by putting former CAKE Entertainment SVP of production Rob Doherty on contract as a consultant. He has been charged with overseeing project development and building relationships with broadcast and co-production partners in the UK, Europe and beyond. In addition to advising Omens, Doherty is a part-time content consultant for UK Roblox...

 

Paris-based studio Superprod has acquired DreamWorks alum Doug Schwalbe’s kids content financing and distribution business, The Co-Production Company. The company, which Schwalbe set up in 2021, will be rebranded as Superprod US, and the acquisition should broaden Superprod’s reach in North America and add more live-action and animated programming to its catalogue.

 

Disney has promoted streaming operations EVP Alisa Bowen to president of Disney+ as it works to expand its content offering and prepare for the launch of its ad tier later this year. Bowen has 5 years at Disney under her belt and has held top positions in its digital media, SVOD and streaming divisions. She has been heading up global business operations for the media company’s streamers, including DIsney+...

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Companies and Brands

 

Richard Dickson, president and COO of Mattel, spoke to Toy World about the Barbie brand, the upcoming movie and the plans for yet more growth. Richard delivered the keynote address at BLE 2022 at London Excel from 20th-22nd Sept. In his standing-room-only talk, he spoke about Barbie’s rise to fame, her 2014 fall from grace and her astonishing climb back up to become the world’s No.1 Global Toy Property. 

What Do You Meme? Enters the Wellness Category With New ‘Better Than Yesterday’ Challenge Game. What Do You Meme? has teamed up with mindfulness expert and host of top 25 Apple Podcast New Mindset, Who Dis? Case Kenny to create a fun and inspiring self-improvement challenge, Better Than Yesterday, which marks the company’s entry into a new mindfulness and wellness category.

Hasbro has unveiled the NERF brand’s first-ever officially organized team sport, NERFBALL. Since 1969 when the beloved brand was first introduced to the world with the original NERF ball, dozens of iterations of NERF have been created across consumer products categories from sports items to blasters, apparel and much more. With several in-person and digital experiences, sports collaborations and the recent launch...

Step2, the category leader in play kitchens, push cars, water tables, playhouses and climbers, is celebrating 30 years of experience with the introduction their new Signature Collection of play products just in time for holiday gifting. The new Step2 collection includes an Adventure Camper, a Ride Along Scooter, a Rain Showers Splash Tub and a Rocket Swing for Two. 

SodaPup Duckies Lick Mat Selected as Finalist for Pet Product News Editor’s Choice Award. SodaPup Founder and CEO, Adam Baker announced that the SodaPup Duckies lick mat has been selected by Pet Product News as a Finalist for their annual Editor’s Choice Awards. “We’ve had a tremendous response to our emat lick mat products in the past year and we are working hard to keep innovating in this category.” 

Survey by MGA Entertainment Reveals the Hottest Toys and Trends of the Holiday Season. MGA Entertainment has announced new survey data exploring the gifting dynamic between gift givers and recipients this holiday season. To kick off the season of shopping, the MGA survey of 2,000 American gift givers, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the brand, revealed that the key to gift giving this holiday is, above all else...

The folks at hand2mind just set a world record. On Sept. 29, hand2mind and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) achieved a Guinness World Record title for “The World’s Largest Pattern Blocks Mosaic.” During the second day of the NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition, a Guinness World Records official was present to confirm the attempt by NCTM and hand2mind to construct a Pattern...

 

LA’s pocket.watch has added teenage magician Dan Rhodes to its roster of content creators as it seeks to break into a new category. Rhodes already has 16 million YouTube subscribers and 10 million TikTok followers, and pocket.watch is looking to apply its franchise formula to expand his personal brand through distribution deals, original content, consumer products and live events.

 

Ty launches Elizabeth II commerorative charity Beanie Baby. In honour of her life, Ty Warner has donated £100,00 to Cruse Bereavement Support, a charity the Queen supported for 38 years. Celebrating the life and reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II, the commemorative bear from Ty will be released in Her Majesty’s favourite colour, blue, whilst bearing a beautifully embroidered crown proudly displaying the years of her life. 

 

Selfridges’ top Christmas toys cover just about every category including plush, role-play, vehicles, construction toys and collectibles. As the Christmas countdown begins, Selfridges has released its prediction of the best-selling toys that are sure to delight and ignite imaginations of all children this Christmas.

 

Building a more inclusive CBC Kids News. The platform’s senior producer Lisa Fender explains how the pubcaster is honoring Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada, and working towards a more inclusive newsroom and editorial strategy. Today (September 30) marks Canada’s second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which honors the survivors of the country’s residential schools, as well as their families and...

 

Hasbro has announced the launch of the Brian Goldner Center for Transforming Futures to honour the life and legacy of Hasbro’s longtime Chairman and CEO Brian D. Goldner, who passed away last October. The Brian Goldner Center for Transforming Futures, funded by a $2.5m contribution from the Hasbro Foundation, will provide multi-year social impact investments with a singular mission of transforming and uplifting lives.

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development

Overwatch 2 Launches with Character-Inspired Merch for Fans. The wait is finally over. Blizzard Entertainment is kicking off the launch of the highly anticipated team-based action game Overwatch 2 with a range of merch and collectibles themed around several of the game’s heroes, both new and familiar!

Highlighted Press Releases

KIDS LEARN TO LOVE THEIR CURLS WITH ZOE’S NEW CURLFRIENDS, GAÏANA AND MARISOL, FROM HEALTHY ROOTS DOLLS. Healthy Roots Dolls Introduces Multicultural Line Of Dolls Featuring Curl Power. Detroit, MI (October 4, 2022) – Healthy Roots Dolls, a rising black-owned toy startup, is making heads turn with the expansion of their Curlfriends line following the popularity of their first doll Zoe. Introducing her two new Curlfriends, Gaïana and Marisol, here to teach kids to love and care for their curls with hair you can style like your own.

 

Safety and Counterfeiting

 

Knowing the importance of product safety, Kids In Danger embarked on a project to provide developers of children’s products with a free online tool to help create a safety mindset when embarking on new product development or a new marketing campaign. The KID Design Safety Toolkit, which launched in July 2022, is a new online course geared towards entrepreneurs and businesses that create children’s products.

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals

Licensing Expo to now take place from 13th to 15th June 2023, at Mandalay Bay Convention Center and the theme will be fashion. Licensing Expo, is organised by Informa Markets and sponsored by Licensing International. The licensed consumer product and brand extension tradeshow, which was originally due to take place from 23rd to 25th May 2023, will now return three weeks later to accommodate event venue renovations. The new show dates will ensure smooth experiences for attendees and exhibitors at Licensing Expo.

 

BLE 2022 hailed a huge success with new attendance records setThis year’s BLE exhibition enjoyed the busiest days two and three on record, the organisers have announced. Brand Licensing Europe 2022, which took place at ExCel London from 20th to 22nd September, attracted 230 exhibitors, including more than 30 first time exhibitors, and exhibitor and visitor numbers were also back to 80% of pre-Covid levels

 

LatAm and UK titles topline the 2022 International Kids Emmy noms.  This marks back-to-back multiple-nomination years for Britain, with Chile, Mexico and Colombia also heating up the three kids categories. The spotlight will be shining bright on companies from the UK and LatAm at this year’s International Emmy Awards, which is gearing up to single out the best kids programming in categories spanning animation, live action...

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RIP - Rest in Play - Remembering Those that have Passed

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

David Yeh - more information to share soon. 

 

Arnold Thaler, former Chairman of Viewmaster-Ideal, passed away on September 12th, 2022. He was 99 years. Here is an old video of Arnold Thaler talking about View-Master International old.   

Brian Ayers. Sega Europe developer Brian Ayers has passed away at the age of 42. Ryan King confirmed during the weekend, saying that Ayers passed after a "short illness." "[Brian] was truly the best of us - warm, funny, brilliant, a huge loss to us all," wrote King. Ayers joined the game industry in 2008 as a sales executive for Konami. He was promoted to the rank of PR manager in 2010. He'd serve as the publisher's European brand manager until 2014, when he jumped ship to be Capcom's brand manager. Come 2021, Ayers left Capcom to become a senior product marketing manager at Paradox Interactive. Towards the end of 2021, he worked at Sega Europe for a similar position. Prior to working in games, Ayers was a vocalist for the London punk rock band Hitechjet. Ayers is survived by his partner Kay, and well-wishers can provide support via Ayers' JustGiving page.

 

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