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June 30 - July 7, 2023


Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin' Friday! 


The fireworks have all been launched, signaling the grand opening of TAGIE NOMINATION SEASON! Ya’know, you know you know a person of play who makes playthings for people who play. Play along and don’t delay! CLICK HERE to submit your nominations, click again and nominate yourself. Then REGISTER for POP Week to reserve your seat at the fabulous TAGIE Awards gala. Boom!

Other not-to-miss events during POP Week, November 1 - 5, include: POP Roast, Toy Tussel (Family 'Feudish'),  Toy & Game Innovation Awards - the TAGIEs, Young Inventor Challenge, PlayCHC and Chicago Toy & Game Fair

​Thank you for reading the Bloom Report here or on the Bloom Report 24/7 News Feed!


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

  • "TBR is required reading for: inventors, manufacturers, retailers, marketers, suppliers, absolutely everyone!" - Robert Fuhrer, Founder, NEXTOY

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Person of the Week - FUSE's Brendan Boyle Spills the Tea

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MC: Hey, Brendan! Thank you for taking time from your new bicontinental role to answer a few questions! Let’s start with a toy question, what was your favorite toy growing up? 

BB: Hot Wheels for sure, that was a big-ticket Christmas toy. It’s been such a delight to invent and work with the Hot Wheels team over the years. Hippity Hop was another. Being 6 out of seven kids, I'm now convinced my parents provided lots of outdoor toys to get all the kids out of the house for much-needed peace and quiet. 

MC: You founded the IDEO Play Lab, and now you’re at Fuse London. How did that happen? 

BB: It was an absolute pleasure being part of the IDEO community for many fulfilling years. As a Partner and the founder of the Play Lab, I am immensely proud of the accomplishments I was involved in. The partners, me included, made a strategic decision to sell the firm to a creative holding company called kyu. The sale was recently successfully concluded. It was a suitable time for me to step off and explore a new chapter. 

MC: What will you be jumping in on?  

BB: I’ll be staying in California but getting back to London on a regular basis. I am bringing my passion for design thinking and play. My goal is to supercharge Fuse’s success even further and bring new ideas and innovation to the table.  READ MORE...

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 Person of the Week - Sony's Jamie Stevens

Have an Open Mind, Your First Job Will Not be Your Last, Do What You Love, Send Thank You Notes

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Hi, Jamie! Thank you for sitting down with us this year. We very much enjoyed our interview with you last year. In your role overseeing worldwide consumer products for Sony Pictures, we'd love to know what you are working on now?

JS: We have a busy 2023 underway, and a lot to look forward to in 2024! As we head into Licensing Expo, we’ll be celebrating an unparalleled roster of new content from classic and cherished IPs such as Ghostbusters and Gran Turismo, and new IPs with continually growing followings such as Cobra Kai, The Boys and Gen V; fresh collaborations and product launches that bring our fan-favorite characters and properties to life will be unveiled at the show.


We’re also gearing up for a milestone 40th anniversary year for not one – but two – of our most iconic properties, Ghostbusters and The Karate Kid. Both properties will release all-new content in celebration, including a much-anticipated sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and two new offerings from Sony Pictures Animation – the first-ever Ghostbusters animated movie and a Ghostbusters animated series – both currently in development. The Karate Kid franchise will also release a feature film in 2024. Much more information to come, but next year, we’ll be unveiling a program that commemorates the 40th anniversaries of the iconic The Karate Kid and Ghostbusters franchises. It’s an exciting chapter for Sony Pictures.     READ MORE...

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Organizations of the Week - Learning Express & Kidz Korna

Toy Vendors Donate Thousands of Toys to Kidz Korna

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Learning Express Toys and Gifts vendors donated thousands of toys to Kidz Korna at the end of the franchise’s annual convention and vendor expo this week. The convention was held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois.


Rick Derr, the Regional Owner of Learning Express Toys and Gifts in the Chicago area, thanked the vendors for participating.  “We’re thrilled to partner with Kidz Korna and bring joy to kids local to Chicago who need it most. We thank our generous vendor partners whose kindness enables us to offer a substantial donation,” he said. 

Delece Williams from Kidz Korna, was extremely thankful for the generous donation.  “We are honored to be chosen as the recipient of this year’s donation, working with Learning Express to delight children of all ages in the community.”    READ MORE...

Publisher's Note: Rick shared on social media that Dr. Delece Williams received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Joseph Biden & Vice-President Kamala Harris and is now a Certifying Agent for the PVSA Program(President's Volunteer Service Award). And... 79th & Ashland in Chicago  Is Now Also Named "Kidz Korna Way"  Congratulations, Delece! We're proud to have partnered with you with our Chicago Toy & Game Fair for over a decade, too! You are amazing! 

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

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Thank you to the anonymous toy person who sent the cartoon! 


Quote of the Week: "As a game designer, I'm always trying to create a magic circle of wonder and possibility." - Brenda Romero, renowned game designer Romero's enchanting approach to game design has led to creations like Train and The Mechanic is the Message, captivating players and sparking important conversations. Read More...

Lexophile Lovers:  England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool. - Thank you, Jerry Cleary for sharing with our readers! 

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


Toys Matter:  The Power of Playthings


From antiquities to AI, baby dolls to board games, character toys to card games, toys in museums to toys in the marketplace and much more, the 2023 International Toy Research Association World Conference is poised to shine a global spotlight on cutting edge toy research, design, and pedagogy.  The conference will be held 9-11 August, 2023 at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, USA and is open to interdisciplinary toy researchers, designers, students and industry professionals. 


With keynote speakers, workshops, symposia and more than 80 paper presentations by scholars from more than 20 countries across 6 continents the biggest challenge for conference participants is deciding between which presentations to attend. 


Registration fees are $425 ($225 for students).  Space at the conference is filling up fast, so reserve your spot today by registering through The Strong’s online click here.  The Hampton Inn and Suites in the Neighborhood of Play right across the street from the museum (101 South Union Street Rochester, NY 14607) is available at a special conference rate of $149/night +taxes. 1 585-450-3801


Founded in 1993, the International Toy Research Association is the longest running international research conference focused specifically on the wide, wide & wonderful world of toys & games. Learn more at:



Financial and Legal

Sega of America's worker-led union AEGIS has successfully voted to unionize. The nearly 200-member group held a vote conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), with a 91-26 majority in favor of creating a union.  As AEGIS noted on Twitter, it's now "the largest multi-department union of organized workers in the entire game industry."


***The above posted after July 7th***


Argos has confirmed closures of more of its standalone stores, reducing its high street footprint as concessions inside Sainsbury’s are developed. The latest wave of closures is set to begin next month and follows  37 Argos stores ceasing trading this yr, including 34 in the Republic of Ireland last month. Argos is yet to confirm the location of the store closures as the retailer moves away from a high street presence and...

Authorities in The Philippines are weighing a decision on whether to follow the lead taken by Vietnam and ban Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie. Vietnam on Monday announced that it will bar the film’s commercial release due to the movie’s depiction of a map that depicts the “nine dash line,” a disputed representation of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Philippines, like Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia...

Actors Start Strike Preparations A Week Ahead Of Extended Talks Deadline. As talks between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP continue this week, actors are getting a head start on picket planning should negotiations end in a stalemate at midnight on July 12 and lead to a double strike alongside the Writers Guild. It comes after SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP agreed Friday to extend their current film and TV contract to allow...

As the battle between U.S. tech giants and Canada escalates, the country’s federal and Quebec provincial governments have halted advertising on Facebook and Instagram to force parent Meta to the negotiating table to implement Bill C-18. “Facebook has decided to be unreasonable, irresponsible and started blocking news,” federal heritage minister Pablo Rodriguez told a press conference in Ottawa ...

Almost half (48%) of European kids TV channels—and 59% of the region’s SVOD platforms (59%)—are US-owned, according to a new report from the European Audiovisual Observatory. Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are prime examples, with all 3 running pan-European operations that reach across the whole continent. The EAO’s Audiovisual media services in Europe says Disney alone operates in 44...

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard merger approved in South Africa. South Africa's competition regulator, The Competition Tribunal, has "unconditionally approved" Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard. The Tribunal said the reasons for its decision will be "issued in due course," but reiterated that it has approved the deal without any conditions.

Canada voices disapproval of Microsoft-Activision merger. Canada's regulatory board has revealed it does not, in fact, support Microsoft's attempted merger of Activision Blizzard. Prior to its current trial against the FTC, a Microsoft memorandum claimed "every single worldwide regulator" (excluding the FTC and the CMA) has approved its merger with the Call of Duty publisher. 


New Colorado tax credit includes boon for game developers. Developers making games in Colorado can now apply for a 20 percent tax credit. Colorado's tax policies are now a little bit friendly for game developers. In June, governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 23-1309, which updates the state's tax credit options for the film, television, and video game industries. 

Risk of major disruption as UPS strike looms in US. Talks between delivery giant UPS and its workers in the US have broken down, raising the possibility of the first strike at the company in more than 25 years. The two sides have been negotiating for months over demands such as higher pay and better work conditions. Workers say they are due a better contract, after the surge in shipping during the pandemic.



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Financial Reporting

Money-conscious shoppers boost profits at B&M. Despite losing nearly 7% in share price, the discount retailer B&M saw its quarterly revenue increase +13.5% as it reveals its latest results.

‘Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken’ Is Worst Dreamworks Opening Of All-Time. The film delivered an estimated $5.2 million in its opening weekend, making it the lowest all-time opening for a Dreamworks pic. The previous low was 2021’s Spirit Untamed, which launched with $6.1 million on its way to a $17.7M domestic total.

Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry



Stocked for Baby? Here Are the Latest Baby, Toddler Toy Trends

'Barbie' movie hype sends Mattel stock surging


***The above posted after July 7th when the weekly tBR released***


Dress-up & Role-play changing gear


Caption This: Why Subtitling Is Big Business Amid the Content Boom. Gen Z's affinity for watching content with captions on and the increasingly global nature of streaming are creating a massive market for transcribers – even as AI looms to take their jobs.

Meta takes aim at Twitter with Threads app, millions join.  Those quick to join the new platform included celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez as well as prominent politicians such as Democratic U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Kidult” toys are the millennial shopping trend we should’ve seen coming

July’s Toy World Talking Shop with Indie Retailers


Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

How Michael Bay Tracked Down The Perfect Car For Transformers' Bumblebee. Michael Bay's "Transformers" movies were never shy about changing the Robots in Disguise, including what they transformed into. Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, gained a flaming-paint job. The Autobot medic Ratchet, bafflingly, turned into a yellow Hummer instead of an ambulance.

13 Looks That Did the Most at the ‘Barbie’ Premiere. Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billie Eilish and many more stars came out on the pink carpet. Were only Susan Sontag alive today to rewrite her famous “Notes on ‘Camp,’” she might have had a field day at the “Barbie” movie premiere, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday night (and, for all we know, she might...

Inside the ‘House of Barbie’, Mattel’s $30 Million Mistake. The Barbie-themed martinis and breast-firming treatments just weren’t enough to excite the citizens of Shanghai. For a brief stint, the center of the Barbie universe wasn’t Malibu, it was Shanghai. While Barbie has long been a cultural icon in the States—the new movie only extends that narrative—she’s never been much more than a doll in China. 

Why adults should read children's books. The best children's fiction "helps us refind things we may not even know we have lost", writes the author Katherine Rundell, with many books proving subversive, emboldening – and awe-inspiring. I've been writing children's fiction for more than 10 years now, and still I would hesitate to define it. But I do know, with more certainty than I usually feel about anything, what it is not...

***The above posted after July 7th***


John Baulch, Toy World - Make it different, not more of the same …it’s the Friday Blog! It seems I confused a few of you with my oblique musical reference in last week’s blog – clearly none of you will be applying for PopMaster anytime soon. Maybe I should have used a different reference point for the company that had gone through a recent pre-pack administration process (such as the Pixar movie which features...


After “Barbie,” Mattel Is Raiding Its Entire Toy Box. In an era when “pre-awareness” rules Hollywood, the company is ginning up plots for everything from Hot Wheels to UNO. n 2019, Greta Gerwig became the latest in a line of writers, directors, and producers to make a pilgrimage to a toy workshop in El Segundo, California. Touring the facility, the Mattel Design Center, has become a rite of passage for Hollywood types...

Cloudco Entertainment, the proud owner of the iconic Care Bears property, is delighted to announce a new licensing agreement with Rainbow Loom. The collaboration aims to introduce a captivating collection of co-branded products to retailers in 2024. Rainbow Loom, known for its innovative jewelry-making kits, will launch an extensive range of products featuring the beloved Care Bears characters. 

Making Children's Media about STEM More Inclusive. Kareem Edouard has been doing research for years on how to make children’s media more inclusive. And these days he’s putting those ideas into practice — on a big platform. He’s applying his research as a creative producer for a new show on PBS called Work It Out Wombats!, aimed at teaching concepts of computational thinking to kids ages 3 to 6.

Making Sense of China Now: Part One—International ambitions. A strong streaming business, a growing demand for YA-skewing animation, and local companies starting to vie for international success are defining the massive Chinese market now, says producer Josh Selig, founder and president of China Bridge Content and former CEO of Little Airplane Productions... (he) recently attended this year’s edition of the China...

Making Sense of China Now: Part Two — Local strugglesWhile companies like Disney make inroads in China, domestic producers are struggling to do business with Western companies, says Josh Selig. This week, we’re running his key takeaways from the event in a series that looks at the state of China’s TV market. I attended the Core Forum, which is a morning of speeches by officials from the National Radio and...

Stuffed animals are not just for children any more – adults are also clamouring for squishy friends and weighted plushies. The trend, which took off during the Covid-19 pandemic, has persisted for many young adults. But it is not just about cute, soft decor – for some people, stuffed animals help alleviate their anxiety and loneliness. Marina Khidekel, a health journalist and founder of Hugimals, is one of these adults. 

Disney+ breaks new ground with the launch of the streamer’s first African original animated series, Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire. The Afrofuturistic sci-fi anthology, debuting globally on 5 July, is led by Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios, and comprises 10 short films from creators in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. “It’s actual African creators getting the chance...

Kids TV From Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro: How Dreamworks Animation TV Changed Children’s Programming. Ten yrs ago, the studio set out to change the kids and family landscape, and with auteur partnerships, preschool franchises and gateway horror, they have. In February 2013, Dreamworks Animation Television teamed with Netflix on its first-ever children’s and family series, Turbo Fast. Just 4 months later...

Pokémon TCG card auctioning for $60,000 features artwork based on Pokémon Snap! photo. A card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game that’s currently on auction features artwork based on a photo taken in Pokémon Snap!. A copy of the Pokémon Gyarados Unnumbered Promo 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest card is currently up for auction on Heritage Auctions – an auction house that specialises in collectibles...

One-of-a-kind Pokémon card featuring a real-life player has been seen for the first time in over 20 years. A one-of-a-kind Pokémon card has been publicly seen for the very first time, more than 20 years after it was made. The Toshiyuki Yamaguchi No. 2 Trainer card was one of three cards awarded to the first, second and third-placing players in Secret Super Battle-Best In Japan, a tournament held in Tokyo’s Pokemon Center...


100 million Squishmallows sold in a year — How the toy sensation joined Warren Buffett’s conglomerate. Shrewd business legend Warren Buffett has a whimsical side, buying companies whose products he personally enjoys like Dairy Queen and See’s Candies. Now count plush toy phenomenon Squishmallows. Squishmallows made its Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting debut this year in Omaha, Nebraska...


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History and Nostalgia


From the archives: Mattel's toy story. From Barbie and Ken, to Hot Wheels cars, to Chatty Cathy and countless others, California-based Mattel is the largest toymaker in the world. In this story originally broadcast on "CBS Sunday Morning" November 10, 2013, correspondent Mo Rocca went for a rare behind-the-scenes tour to see how the magic happens.


***The above posted after July 7th***


Someone has found what could be the first Magic: The Gathering card worth 7 figures. The owner has remained anonymous, but the card could sell for over $2 million. Since it was found, Magic packs from the same set have fallen in value as collectors give up the hunt. 

1,500 Disneyland collectibles are up for auction this month. Fans can bid on an original Dumbo vehicle or a $5,000 trash can. A restored Dumbo ride vehicle will be available in the auction, and it's expected to fetch between $200,000 to $300,000. Disney fans can view the items at a free exhibition in California ahead of the mid-July auction.

Digital Derby from TOMY (1978). Before LED and LCD-based video games became commonplace, many handheld games were electro-mechanical, offering (what now seems like) basic gameplay that combined simple lighting effects, sound, and moving parts. Digital Derby is a great example, released in 1978 from TOMY. It challenged players to navigate their race car through a non-stop flow of on-coming traffic. 


Tigeroo from Ideal (1965). Released in 1965 by Ideal, Tigeroo was a roaring tiger made to attach to a child’s bike or trike. The plastic accessory required no batteries to operate and could be clamped onto any standard cycle’s handlebars. Once installed Tigeroo would open his mouth and emit a roaring sound with a pull down on the tail at the back of the toy.

The untold history of Barbie Fashion Designer, the first mass-market ‘Game For Girls’. You’ve seen her on shelves all over the globe — the over-large eyes, glossy blond hair, pale skin, impossibly slim waist and legs, and arched feet. Barbies have been popular for seven decades now, with numerous series celebrating different professions, Disney movie princesses, and more. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 


This looks like fun! WONKA | Official Trailer. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, this irresistibly vivid and inventive big screen spectacle will introduce audiences to a young Willy Wonka, chock-full of ideas and determined to change the world one delectable bite at a time—proving that the best things in life begin with a dream, and if you’re lucky enough to meet Willy Wonka, anything is possible.


***The above posted after July 7th***


British broadcaster Sky has commissioned two new series to launch in Oct. on its Sky Kids ad-free linear channel. One of the new greenlights goes to live-actioner Let’s Game: Worldbuilders from London’s MonRae Productions and Nest Productions. This family-friendly series features popular YouTubers competing in construction challenge video games such as Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker, Frontier Developments’ Planet ...

Moonbug brings Blippi to the big screen. Blippi’s Big Dino Adventure will launch theatrically in the US on August 25, with Cinemark orchestrating the distribution. Blippi is heading to the big screen for the first time ever in a new 60-minute special called Blippi’s Big Dino Adventure (pictured) that launches in the US on August 25, thanks to Texas-based theatrical distributor Cinemark.

Indigenous Australian kids content heads to the US. Stateside channel FNX, dedicated to Native American and Indigenous programming from around the world, has picked up seven kids shows from distributor ACTF. First Nations Experience (FNX) has acquired the rights to air seven kids series repped by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation on its US feed. FNX launched in 2011 and bills itself as the country’s only...

The Gotham Group locks down rights to upcoming YA books. The two thrillers—Their Vicious Games and That Night in the Library—are in good hands at the LA-based company, which is also working on a live-action Percy Jackson and the Olympians series for Disney+. Due out this month from New York’s Simon & Schuster, Their Vicious Games (pictured) marks the debut of author Joelle Wellington. Drawing inspiration...


Mattel's new live-action “Barney” movie will lean into adults’ “millennial angst,” producer says. A live-action "Barney" movie is headed for the big screen. But according to one studio executive, it won't be for kids – it's for adults who grew up with the character.  Producer Kevin McKeon told The New Yorker that the project – which is set to be produced by Mattel and Daniel Kaluuya, known for his starring roles in "Get Out,"...

Tom Hanks May Star in Mattel’s Live-Action Movie About the Toy that Inspired Pixar’s Buzz Lightyear. Major Matt Mason is being pulled out of Mattel's toy chest for a live-action adaptation, potentially starring Tom Hanks as the action figure. Per a New Yorker feature published Monday about Mattel's plans to go from a toy manufacturer to a pop culture phenomenon maker, part of that brand expansion will...

BBC Children’s and Education has announced its intention to greenlight three 2D-animated projects from its inaugural Ignite program. Initiated two years ago with a callout in the UK for animated kids projects, the accelerator’s goal is to provide development funding and talent to projects from indie producers and BBC’s in-house production talent. 

Barbie is just the beginning – Mattel has 45 movies in development based on their toys. Barbie is seemingly just the beginning for Mattel, who has 45 movies in development based on their many toys. The Barbie movie stars Margot Robbie as Barbie, who leaves Barbie Land to go on a journey of self-discovery in the real world. Despite not coming out until July 21, Barbie is already gaining attention on social media...


Battle Cubes partners with TMNT and Transformers. Battle Cubes has announced its latest collaboration with the iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. As part of this partnership, Battle Cubes is also pleased to announce that Transformers will be joining forces with the brand. This collaboration brings together two beloved universes, offering fans an unparalleled gaming experience which blends the worlds …

The Joester Loria Group, the worldwide licensing agency for the World of Eric Carle, has appointed Penguin Ventures, the licensing and consumer products team at Penguin Random House Children’s UK, as its local sub-agent in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Eire. Penguin Ventures will manage the World of Eric Carle including Carle’s timeless publishing classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, with immediate effect.

JAKKS Pacific unveils new Bowser and Donkey Kong toys. JAKKS Pacific has announced its latest range of officially licensed toys inspired by “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is coming soon to retailers in North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The latest “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” 5-inch Figure Series collection showcases characters, Tanooki Mario, Kamek, Peach and Cat Mario. 

Jazwares enlists with ‘Call of Duty’ as global master collectibles licensee; line to debut at SDCC. It’s official: Jazwares inked a multiyear licensing deal to serve as the global master collectibles partner for Activision’s Call of Duty video game franchise. The franchise-spanning line, which has been in the works for some time and was first previewed to members of the toy industry last fall, includes a full range of action…


Princess Sam Entertainment Group has announced that its hit kids’ adventure-comedy-fantasy Tara Duncan has been sold to major broadcasters across the Americas, with a number of launches under way. Tara Duncan is available now in French on Canada’s Télé Quebec and will arrive in English in Canada on Family Channel through WildBrain, a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment...

Pat Avenue launches Battle Heads YouTube channel. Pat Avenue is ramping up its marketing ahead of the introduction of its new collectible range Battle Heads, with a fun, kid-focused YouTube channel. The channel will host regular animated webisodes starring the heroes and villains of the Battle Heads world. The first three webisodes went live on 30th June, three weeks ahead of the toy launch. 


Mighty Jaxx launches Kandy x Sanrio Snowy Dreams edition. Mighty Jaxx has revealed a new Kandy x Sanrio collection with Hello Kitty characters representing all four seasons. Hello Kitty and her friends celebrate all four seasons in Sanrio style, kicking off with the Snowy Dreams collection, described as a winter wonderland of goodies. Featuring characters Pochacco, Kiki and Lala, Hello Kitty and her friends...


Bioworld’s premiere lifestyle brand Dumbgood launched their new line of officially licensed apparel and accessories inspired by the Teletubbies! The four colorful loveable characters have been highly recognized in pop culture and are a nostalgic treasure. The latest streetwear collection is part of the brand’s recently announced collaboration with leading independent kids’ content company, WildBrain. 

'Indiana Jones' box office; Lois, Clark Cast in 'Supeman: Legacy'; 'Creature Commandos,' 'Get Jiro' Series; 'Five Nights At Freddy's,' 'Dune Part 2,' and 'My Adventures With Superman' trailers: Showbiz round-up. Hollywood news is keeps trickling in, and it's time for another round-up! Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the first Indiana Jones film since the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm, opened to a disappointing $60 ...

Funko Games announces 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' board game. Funko Games announced Avatar: The Last Airbender - Crossroads of Destiny, a new board game, for release into retail in 2023. In this new cooperative strategy game, players can journey through the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender with Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph.

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People of Play

Just Play, has announced the recent appointments of Sebastien Cardi as country manager, France and Alexis Lanzas as country manager, Iberia. Just Play is confident that these strategic appointments will bolster its growth trajectory, strengthen partnerships and further establish its position as a leader in the global toy industry.


Barry Kudrowitz is a toy inventor, a University of Minnesota professor and an expert in creativity. Kudrowitz knows a bit about problem-solving innovation. He's an expert in creativity as a University of Minnesota product design professor and department head in the school's College of Design. He's also fun. He's designed toys for Hasbro, was a slam poetry competitor and his design for a "Catsup Crapper"...

Meet the voice of all your favorite Barbie toys and games. It’s no wonder why Chris Anthony Lansdowne was in Mattel’s CA studio every day for years; she’s the voice not only of Super Talk Barbie but of all ’90s products where you hear Barbie’s voice. From Barbie Fashion Designer and Barbie Riding Club to a Barbie flip phone and boombox, Lansdowne’s voice is embedded in all things Barbie. For so many kids who grew up in...

Larry Wood, Redondo’s “Mr. Hot Wheels” to be inducted into Automotive Hall of Fame. One day in 1956, the football coach at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., confiscated a “Hot Rod” magazine from a player who wasn’t paying attention. He went home and threw it on the kitchen counter. His 14-year-old son picked it up. The boy had never before seen the publication. He would not be the same again. 


***The above posted after July 7th***


Greta Gerwig, who will soon be in theaters with Warner Bros’ highly anticipated Barbie movie, is attached to direct a feature film version of The Chronicles of Narnia books for Netflix, sources have told The Hollywood Reporter. While no official announcement has been made, it has long been rumored that Gerwig, who worked with the streamer on the Noah Baumbach-directed White Noise, would tackle a Narnia...

Moonbug Entertainment, a part of Candle Media, has announced the appointment of Yasmin Zahid as the company’s new head of distribution and brand partnerships, APAC. Reporting to Nicolas Eglau, managing director of EMEA and APAC, Yasmin will be responsible for strategising Moonbug’s long-term growth in APAC to build out global franchises. Kelly Cooke is leaving the company to pursue new opportunities.

Imagination Games hires Will Stewart as UK managing director. Imagination Games, a leading global provider of immersive entertainment experiences, is delighted to announce the appointment of Will Stewart as the new UK managing director. This strategic move comes as Imagination Games expands its operations in the UK, following a highly successful relaunch in the US three years ago.

BTHA names new chairman and vice chairman. As former chairman Graham Canning completes his term in the role, the British Toy & Hobby Association welcomes new toy industry stalwarts to senior positions. The British Toy & Hobby Association says it is delighted to announce that Simon Pilkington of John Adams has been promoted to the position of chairman of the BTHA, while Colin Houlihan of HTI has succeeded...


People on the move: Danni Loe leaves Hachette. Danni Loe has left her Marketing Manager position at Hachette Boardgames USA, the company announced. Loe was one of the first employees on Hachette's U.S. staff, and led their team in several projects over the course of the year and three months she was there. Previously, Loe was at Pandasaurus Games, the Games Manufacturers Association, Renegade Game Studios...


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Companies and Brands

EXPLODING KITTENS LAUNCHES NEW LINE OF GAMES FOR KIDS. The concept of the Kitten Games line was created by the Exploding Kittens' CEO Elan Lee and his 4-year old daughter Avalon out of a need for more games for preschoolers to play. Lee explains what led the creation of new line: “When we played the standard games for my daughter’s age group, she would get distracted, she wasn’t learning anything, and I was...

Barbie x Barbie: All of Margot Robbie’s Mattel-Inspired Red-Carpet Looks.  Take a look at all the outfits Margot Robbie has worn for the Barbie press tour—and the Barbie dolls that inspired them. Barbie isn’t just a doll, she’s a muse. Throughout Barbie’s whirlwind press tour, Margot Robbie has been sporting looks paying homage to the titular doll, walking red—well, often pink—carpets everywhere from Seoul to Mexico...


Spin Master is celebrating two esteemed workplace wins, landing a spot on Fast Company's fifth annual Best Workplace for Innovators list, and separately securing a Great Place to Work certification. Fast Company's Best Workplace for Innovators list honours organizations that demonstrate an inspiring commitment to encouraging and developing innovation at all levels. In addition to this accolade, Spin Master...

***The above was posted after July 7th***


How TikTok Shop is powering a Kanoodle sales boom. Toyco Educational Insights is tapping into TikTok trends and partnering with creators to build new revenue streams on the s-commerce platform, says marketing manager Lee Parkhurst. On the heels of participating in a testing phase last year, Educational Insights is now using social commerce (s-commerce) platform TikTok Shop to turn its toys into viral successes. 

Warner Bros Discovery, in connection with Warner Bros Pictures’ upcoming movie Barbie, announced it is launching a global girls’ empowerment initiative with Save the Children. The multi-faceted campaign, benefiting worldwide humanitarian organization Save the Children, will help girls around the world receive the learning resources and support they need to make their dreams a reality. Mattel...

Sambro reports 10% reduction in carbon emissions. Sambro International, global toy supplier, has reported a 10% reduction in its overall scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions across its UK and EMEA offices. This achievement takes the company closer to meeting its ambitious 2023 sustainable development targets. Using 2019 as the base year, Sambro is pleased to announce a 64% reduction in emissions from road business...

FAO Schwarz, New York’s well-known and well-loved toy store, is partnering with Universal Products & Experiences to become a Gabby’s Dollhouse destination for young fans this summer.  DreamWorks Animation‘s Gabby’s Dollhouse is a combined animated and live-action series that follows Gabby, a cat-loving 12-year-old with a magic headband. The series is available for streaming on Netflix and follows Gabby...

The San Francisco-based AR game-maker behind Pokémon GO is laying off more than 200 employees and scrapping third-party games to focus on developing AR tech. Niantic saw its revenue surge during the pandemic when locked-down people left their houses in droves to play Pokémon GO. So it hired staff and invested significantly in creating new games and developing its AR tech, CEO John Hanke explained...

The brick that makes everyone tick. Isabel Graham, head of Marketing at the LEGO Group, talks to Toy World about Lego’s latest toy and entertainment launches, its approach to experiential retail, and what new ranges we can look forward to this year. LEGO entered 2023 on strong footing, with full-year 2022 revenue up +17% on the same period in 2021.

Cheatwell Games releases Tension on-the-go card game. Cheatwell has revealed Games 2 Go Tension, a compact and portable card game. Games 2 Go Tension is a competitive game which tests players’ abilities to think quickly and accurately. Created by Cheatwell Games, renowned for innovative and entertaining game designs, Tension challenges players to name ten examples of a given subject. 


LEGO joins forces with women’s football stars to inspire more girls. The Lego Group has partnered with Rachel Daly, Lauren Hemp, Sam Kerr and Beth Mead to launch Unstoppable FC and get more girls playing football. The new initiative is designed to teach girls resilience and self-belief through Lego play and football through a series of workshops and online content, due to roll out later this year.

Purpose Toys reveals expansion of popular Naturalistas doll line with Littlelistas for National Crown Day. In Recognition of Nat'l Crown Day, DeeDee Wright-Ward, creator of viral Naturalistas Natural Hair Fashion Dolls and CEO of Purpose Toys (the nation’s largest Black-owned culture-driven toy co. and leader of culture-driven products for kids) announces the expansion of Naturalistas, with the forthcoming release...

Slumberkins, the leading brand for early emotional learning, announces the upcoming release of their new music album “Together We Shine: Vol. 1,” featuring seven songs for children and families that help promote social-emotional growth. A Great Big World, the Grammy award-winning duo of Ian Axel and Chad King, have debuted the first single from the album titled “Heart Family.” 

Reydon Sports expands Nerf offering for 2024. Reydon Sports remains an exclusive B2B UK & Ireland wholesaler for Franklin Sports, which includes distribution of its Nerf Sports range through support from licensor Hasbro. In 2024, Reydon will significantly extend its product offerings and trading with nationwide key accounts, adding further hero products into the range based on global demand. 


Cephalofair announces 'Gloomhaven Buttons & Bugs'. Cephalofair Games announced Gloomhaven Buttons & Bugs, a new game with a solo play campaign, which is available on their Gloomhaven Grand Festival crowdfunding campaign as an add-on.  This campaign  has raised $2,863,633 from 12,515 backers with 14 days left to go (about $229 per backer). Buttons & Bugs is compact Gloomhaven game that features minimalistic rules based on the Gloomholdin' card game.  The game features a solo original campaign story written by Isaac Childres …


Classic board game Tigris & Euphrates is set to make a return this October. Tigris & Euphrates, the classic board game about building ancient civilisations, is set to make its return this October. Considered to be one of the best board game ever made, Tigris & Euphrates sees two to four players constructing their own civilisations in Ancient Mesopotamia. 


Visit the Winter Market of 'Jokkmokk'. WizKids will release Jokkmokk, a new board game, into retail in October 2023. In Jokkmokk: The Winter Market, players take their families through this 400 year old once-a-year marker and folk festival. Players have two meeples that represent family members, which they move around the board to claim experiences, food, souvenirs, and more.  


'7th Sea: City of Five Sails' heads to retail. Pine Box Entertainment will release 7th Sea: City of Five Sails, an expandable card game set in the 7th Sea RPG world, into retail on September 2023. In this card game, players take control of one of five factions in the city of Five Sails.  They deploy their forces to fight for influence and control of this independent city.   


CMON announces 'Mordred'. CMON announced Mordred, a new Arthurian legend board game, which will be coming to Kickstarter soon. In this game, King Arthur has vanished after Britain and the Fae realm merged.  Now, the factions within this realm are battling each other for power.  Players take control of one of these asymmetrical factions, and try to gain the favor of the three legendary leaders remaining...


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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Japanese television network TBS makes "full-scale entry" into game industry. Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS) has launched a "full-scale entry" into the game industry with the debut of its new company, TBS Games. TBS Television is one of Japan's major Tokyo-based broadcasters and is owned by TBS Holdings, which operates numerous sports, radio, news and television shows across a huge...


UK studio Lighthouse Games secures "game-changing" Tencent investment. Tencent has made an undisclosed investment into fledgling UK studio Lighthouse Games. As reported by and confirmed by the studio itself on Linkedin, Lighthouse intends to use the "game-changing" investment to become one of the leading triple-A studios in the UK. 

Midnight Ghost Hunt attracts 1 million new players after Epic Games Store debut. Midnight Ghost Hunt, the supernatural multiplayer hide-and-seek title from Vaulted Sky and Coffee Stain Publishing, has attracted 1 million new players since launching on the Epic Games Store earlier this year. 


Minecraft earned four times as much revenue on Switch compared to Xbox. Minecraft generated roughly four times as much revenue on Nintendo Switch than it did on Xbox throughout 2021. That's according to Xbox CFO Tim Stuart, who was explaining how the creative sandbox title performs on different platforms during the FTC vs. Microsoft trial.

Monster Hunter Rise has topped 13 million sales worldwide. Monster Hunter Rise has passed 13 million sales worldwide, while Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak has now sold over 6 million copies. Monster Hunter Rise launched in March 2021 and is the sixth mainline instalment in the long-running series. It's currently available on platforms including PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X | S. 

Highlighted Press Releases

P IS FOR POSITIVITY! NURTURING STRONG CAPABLE TOTS IS AS EASY AS ABC WITH AFFIRMATION CARDS & BABY BOOK. Kids for Culture® Has The Perfect Baby Shower Or First Birthday Gift. Filled With Self-Esteem Boosting Phrases From A to Z To Give Or Receive. Nashville, TN (July 12, 2023) — Imagine reading aloud a little board book that has the power to teach tots their ABC’s, boost confidence and practice positivity! Say hello to ABC Affirmation Board Book ($12.99) from Kids for Culture®. The sweet 6” x 6” sturdy book is available at big box stores like Walmart and online at This is where A is for Amazing and as the page continues, I am an amazing person!

WHEN THE PURR-FECT FAMILY CARD GAME IS RATED 5/5 CANS OF TUNA, IT MUST BE “HERE, KITTY, KITTY!”. Fireside Games Gets The Fur Flying As Ages 10 & Up Compete For A Colony Of Cats In The Midst Of A Cat Fight, Cat Burglar And A Few Hairballs! Austin, TX (July 13, 2023) – When have you ever heard of the player who owns the most cats (in real life) goes first? In every round of Here, Kitty, Kitty ($29.95 at, felines rule in this competitive card game! A little cattitude goes a long way as three to six players interact with a cat burglar, a can opener, catnip, cat fights and the occasional stray dog. There are no fraidy cats here as Zoomers and Boomers claw their way to the winner’s circle!


***The above posted after July 7th***


GAMA, PAL Awards, Mom’s Choice, NAPPA, Hot Diggity And Creative Child All Tout Castle Panic Titles As The Perfect Kick-off For Game Night

Austin, TX (June 26, 2023) – When toy industry pros go on a quest to uncover the best board games this season, one name continually pops up – Fireside Games with its library of cooperative, lightly tactical board games. This week five different toy entities tout Castle Panic Second Edition ($34.95), Castle Panic: Crowns and Quests Expansion ($29.95) and My First Castle Panic ($24.95) for the industry’s highest honors.

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Safety and Counterfeiting


SCHEER opinion on the safety of titanium dioxide in toys recommends further studies. The European Commission’s (EC) Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) announced the release of its final opinion on the safety of titanium dioxide in toys on June 27, 2023. Following the mandate from the EC, the scientific opinion evaluates whether the uses of pigmentary titanium dioxide in toys and toy materials can be considered to be safe in light of the exposure identified …

AI ChatGPT-powered smart toys are coming for the holidays. How to keep your kids safe. In the not-so-distant future, you could walk in on a teddy bear reading a bedtime story to your child. And it wouldn’t be just any story – it’d be a saga tailored to everything the toy knows about your child, including likes, dislikes and even their deepest secrets. In the 1980s and ’90s,

Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


Big Potato Games has announced the launch of the Big Inventor Challenge, a brand-new initiative aimed at UK students aged 11 to 18. Its mission is simple: to encourage young minds to unleash their creativity and design-thinking skills by coming up with a new game idea that could become part of the Big Potato line-up.


Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) 2023 opens its doors at Excel, London, in exactly three months, yet head of retail Laura Freedman-Dagg has already opened applications for 2024’s Retail Mentoring Programme (RMP). BLE’s RMP is a six-month course for retailers in the UK who are new to licensing and want to find out how it can boost their career, product ranges, customer loyalty, business and profitability. 


Major new changes announced for DreamToys 2023. One of the only things left unchanged for this year’s DreamToys is the month in which it takes place – November. The 7th and 8th of November, to be exact, with the first of the two days reserved for media and the official DreamToys list kept under strict embargo until day two. When it comes to the dates for the annual event, it’s very much of a case of ‘If it ain’t broke…

Hasbro and The Path Entertainment Group to deliver Monopoly Lifesized keynote at Brand Licensing Europe 2023. Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) has unveiled its first LBE (location-based experiences) themed keynote session for 2023, plus a first look at ‘what’s on’ throughout the rest of the show, which takes place Wednesday 4th – Friday 6th October at ExCeL, London. Free visitor registration is now open.


Yu-Gi-Oh!'s biggest-ever European tournament crowned its first-ever female champion last weekend. The biggest-ever European tournament for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game was won by a British pro for the second year running - as well as crowning the game’s first female European champion. The European Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Qualifier was held in the Dutch city of Utrecht from June 30 - July 2...

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2023 TOY & GAME INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS ARE OPEN! People of Play (POP) is Accepting TAGIE Award Nominations NOW Through August 4th. Now entering its 16th year, the TAGIE Awards, presented by People of Play (POP), will once again honor the best and brightest innovators, designers, retailers, suppliers, PR and marketers in the toy and game industry. Each year, the TAGIEs bring together the many communities that make up the larger industry of play, including professionals and fans from all over the world. The TAGIEs are part of POP Week. This important recognition, honoring contribution, innovation, and spirit of community is the very heart of POP.

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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

Doris Mae Bergen, February 11, 1932 - July 5, 2023. Doris, 91, passed away peacefully on July 5, 2023 after a short illness. A long-time resident of Hamilton, Ohio, she had recently moved to the Knolls of Oxford with her beloved husband of 39 years, Joel Fink. Dr. Bergen was a professor of Educational Psychology at Miami University, and an expert in studying and creating ways to strengthen brain development in young children. Her work led to numerous books and dozens of national honors. An authority on children's play and humor, her research papers are housed in the Archives at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. In 2019 she was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame to honor the impact of her life's work after age 60. Having served as the chair of her department at Miami University for 11 years, Dr. Bergen didn't fully retire until age 85, and at the time of her death was still collaborating on another book. Born in 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Bergen was inspired by her father to trust in her intelligence and ability. She was the first person in her family to attend college. She grew up in Bucyrus, Ohio and attended Heidelberg College and Ohio State University. At age 42, after raising three daughters with her first husband, she earned her PhD in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University. Generous, optimistic, and loving to her family, Dr. Bergen loved discussing ideas, attending the theater, mentoring her students, and presenting research at numerous conferences throughout the country. Through the years she was active with the Hamilton Tree Board and as a member of her church, the Hopedale UU Community. She supported many charities and organizations that help women and the environment. In addition to her husband, Dr. Bergen is survived by her brother George, her daughters Ellen (Chris), Holly (Ray), and Gail, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


John Cook - passed away on June 28th 2023.  A model maker and toy inventor, he worked at Mattel, Kenner and Plauskool. He worked on Hot Wheels playsets, Star Wars, Strawberry Shortcake, Play Doh, Carci doll and much more. 

Emile Morel Beyond Good & Evil 2 creative director and long-serving Ubisoft designer Emile Morel has passed away. As reported by IGN, news of his passing was first shared on Linkedin by current and former colleagues.

Greg Hermittant, who currently works at Ubisoft Montpellier as a producer, praised Morel's kindness and positivity.

"You've been such a great and kind partner during all these years at Ubisoft. I'm grateful to have worked with you on so many projects. Even through the most difficult times, you always remained the caring and supportive person you were with your beautiful positive mind," they wrote on Linkedin.

"But the most important is the wonderful moments we had. With no doubts Rayman Legends is my best memory. I will miss our private jokes and imitations. You will miss Beyond Good & Evil. Be assured we will continue your work."

Former Beyond Good & Evil 2 narrative director, M. Gabrielle Shrager, said that Morel passed away at the "shockingly young age of 40" and described him a "cherished colleague."

"We laughed and wept through good times and bad, and shipped a lot great games together," they wrote. "Emile was so very proud of Beyond Good & Evil 2, the Space Monkeys and his teammates. He will be sorely missed. May it be shipped in his name. RIP Emile. I hope you have discovered the mystery behind the Moksha gate."

Ubisoft Montpellier confirmed Morel's passing in a statement posted on Linkedin.

"It is with a heavy heart that we share the sudden passing of our friend and colleague Emile Morel. We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and teammates all over the world. We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the significant impact he made over the years on different games that make up the rich history of our studio," it reads.

"For us, Emile was a close friend and a boundless source of positive energy. We all valued his passion and the way he told stories. We will never forget Emile and his immense contribution to the BGE2 universe will forever endure. True Freedom Lies Beyond."


Ron Stuart, President of Learning Wrap-ups passed on June 22nd, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend passed away on June 22, 2023 surrounded by his loving wife and family. Ron was a giant of a man, physically strong, vibrant, full of faith and always active. He was born in Ogden, Utah on September 2, 1953, the oldest son of Kenneth Fernelius and Marion Wolthuis Stuart. Dad had a fantastic childhood growing up in Uintah, Utah, playing his favorite sports, working alongside his father in the garden, and playing with his brothers and cousins. It was the best place to be a kid. He graduated from Bonneville High School in 1971 and served a full-time mission in the North Carolina-Virginia Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After returning home, he attended Weber State College, where he met Christine Fackrell, while participating in a musical production together. They were sealed for time and all eternity on February 12, 1976, in the Salt Lake Utah Temple by his mission president, whom he adored, Rex D. Pinegar. Together, Ron and Chris have raised four wonderful children who appreciate the love and example of their dedicated parents. Family was everything to Dad. Honoring each other Dad and Mom, worked tirelessly for our benefit instilling the values of hard work, dedication, tenacity, humor, patience, love, and faith. He taught by example and with involvement, coaching our teams, working side by side, mowing the lawn, digging in the garden, serving others, and taking us on work trips where he used the time for special teaching moments. We loved being able to call Dad for anything and are certain he was as good as two men for any job.
Sports were a huge part of Ron’s life. He had a passion for baseball, basketball, football, and golf. He was an all-state baseball player in high school and later a talented fastpitch softball pitcher and home-run hitter, playing on national teams. All his life he loved playing golf, fostering lifelong friendships and countless memories. Nothing was better than playing with, coaching, and cheering for his grandchildren in all their sporting events, music, and other activities.
His career with Learning Wrap-ups, the company he and his mother started in the early 1980’s, took him throughout the US and the world selling Wrap-ups. He was passionate about education, helping children master basic math facts. He was always enthusiastically developing additional products for the company and working with his brother Rich to make Learning Wrap-ups successful and provide employment opportunities for others. Dad was a brilliant businessman, but more important to him were the friendships and relationships he created while working.

Simon Hedge - former managing director of Flair Leisure Products, lost his short battle with cancer on 20th June 2023.
Simon Hedge: 26th August 1966 – 20th June 2023

According to his family, friends and colleagues, who provided Toy World with the following memories, Simon will be best known for his long and hugely successful career at the company he started with Peter Brown 24 years ago – Flair Leisure Products PLC.

Simon made his debut in the toy industry when he joined Hasbro  in the early ‘90s. A few years later, K’Nex opened its UK business in 1994, headed up by Peter Brown and Russ Ward. Simon joined them in 1995 to manage the supply chain and operations. When the K’Nex International business transferred to Hasbro at the end of 1998, Simon moved back to Hasbro for a brief period before joining forces with Peter and fellow K’Nex employee Carl Moran, putting their redundancy payments and life savings into starting Flair Leisure Products PLC – a decision Simon’s wife Tina says caused him concern early on, having only just started a family: their first child, Ellie, was barely a year old.

Flair started trading on 1st March 1999 with Simon in the role of commercial director overseeing Marketing and Operations.The company forged vital and enduring partnerships that continued right through Simon’s career, most notably with Generation Media and Evolution PR.

In 2003, just four years after the company was created, Flair became a ‘Sunday Times Fast Track 100’ company, vindicating Simon’s decision to invest everything in the business. That same year, Flair was named Company of the Year at the 2004 Toy Fair industry awards.

In 2008 Peter, Simon and Carl decided to sell the business to Italian toy giant Giochi Preziosi, staying on to run the business with many of the original team.

Flair progressed rapidly up the NPD industry charts. In 2009, the company was awarded not only Supplier of the Year but also Girls’ Toy of the Year for Sylvanian Families. 2011 saw the company achieve what Simon referred to as the ‘champions league’ spot when it became the No 4 toy company in the UK.

In 2013, when Peter decided to take more of a back seat and became company chairman, Simon took on the role of managing director of Flair, a position he held for further eight years. He eventually decided to leave the business in July 2021, starting a new chapter in his life and career by working on various projects with Marc Sivner and David Greenberg at Singleton Trading.

Simon kept his business and personal lives very separate. A passionate football fan, he was a season ticket holder with his beloved Fulham FC for many years. The matches were a way for him to relax away from the busy world of toys.

A family man, Simon had two daughters with his wife Tina, and would have celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve this year. Ellie was born just before he started Flair, and Ruby was born in the early Flair years. Sadly, Simon lost his father, Peter, in 2019. His mother, Phyllis, says his father was incredibly proud of Simon’s achievements.

Friends have remembered Simon as ‘a big man with an enormous sense of humour’, who was both cheeky and quick witted. Those who knew him well enjoyed the way he rocked in his chair while holding his belly, laughing uncontrollably at something amusing; colleagues say there was a lot of laughter in the Flair years. Simon worked hard, but he also laughed a lot and loved what he did.

Always with an abundance of new ideas backed by sound commercial acumen, Simon was driven and passionate and could reliably spot an opportunity and how to make it work profitably.

His loss will be felt by a great many people, not least his family: Phyliss, Tina, Ellie and Ruby, and his sister Helen. Simon will also be missed by many friends and colleagues within the industry who knew or worked with him during his career.

Simon will be remembered as a respected and successful business leader, who didn’t seek the limelight and didn’t like too much formality. His numerous acquaintances say they will treasure their many fond memories of their time with this ‘unforgettable man – our boss, our friend, and all the silly jokes, fun and laughter we shared with him’.

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) 

​​posts Friday morning

Toyworld (UK)

  1. Make it different, not more of the same …it’s the Friday Blog!

  2. Exclusive: Major new changes announced for DreamToys 2023

  3. KAP Toys launches new website

  4. BTHA names new chairman and vice chairman

  5. Exclusive: July’s Toy World Talking Shop

  6. Money-conscious shoppers boost profits at B&M

  7. Pat Avenue launches Battle Heads YouTube channel

  8. Reydon Sports expands Nerf offering for 2024

  9. Argos announces sweeping store closures

  10. Exclusive: Dress-up & Role-play changing gear Powered by Toyworld

  1. BLE shares details of LBE keynote for 2023 show

  2. BLE opens entries for 2024’s Retail Mentoring Programme

  3. Battle Cubes partners with TMNT and Transformers

  4. Warner Bros. partners with Save the Children and Barbie to empower girls

  5. Rubies launches new line for Gabby’s Dollhouse

  6. The Entertainer reveals limited edition TMNT Fugglers

  7. Moonbug appoints Yasmin Zahid to head up distribution in APAC

  8. Lego unveils new Icons Chevrolet Corvette

  9. First ever Angry Birds retail café launching in USA

  10. Joester Loria and Penguin Ventures collaborate on World of Eric Carle

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Someone has Opened 'Magic: The Gathering's' The One Ring 001/001
PSA Reveals the Grade for 'Magic: The Gathering's' The One Ring 001/001
Cephalofair Announces 'Gloomhaven Buttons & Bugs'
CMON Announces 'Mordred'
'D&D Frameworks' Versus 'D&D Frameworks 2.0'
Games Workshop Reveals Three Starter Sets for 'Warhammer 40,000 10E'

WizKids Reveals Some Frogs and Dogs for Use with 5E
The Winchesters Hunt Undead in 'Zombicide 2E'
ICv2 Exclusive: Two 'Flesh and Blood' Marvel Rares Spoiled!
Funko Games Announces 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Board Game

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

Mexico and Peru get ready for the premiere of "Barbie"

- Marvel is renewed in Peru with some new products

- Nominations open for the 2023 Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIE)

The Bugg Report (Australia)

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Moon River Announced, Caesar! Pre-Order
Blue Orange has announced a new game that uses Kingdomino mechanics, Floodgate Games has a new game available for pre-order, and WizKids has announced Jokkmokk: The Winter Market.

Video of the Week 

Toy Hub Trivia - Randy Klimpert



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

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