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January 19-26, 2024


Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!


Happy Bloomin' Friday! 

Today was the last day of London Toy Fair. If the high level of innovative and fun products, the overall mood and the number of  companies looking for acquisitions are an indication of 2024, it is going to be an amazing year. Everyone at the UK Inventor Dinner was very optimistic as well, so we’re off and running at top speed! Onward and upward to​ Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg next week! 

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


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Person of the Week - KidStuff's Lisa Orman

Founded KidStuff 30 Years Ago and Everyday is Still Something Different!

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Hi, Lisa! Happy 30th Anniversary to you and KidStuff! I think we've known one another for most of those 30 years, yet there are still questions to be asked. Do you have a mantra that you live by?

“Look for the things that bring you joy and focus on them.”


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

I started the agency in Wisconsin. I needed a team to service our huge new client, retailer Zany Brainy, as it opened new stores westward from its east coast established locations. I had a new baby daughter in 1994 and had a son in 1997. I had a journalism degree and years of working at newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Crain’s Chicago business and had worked as a retail management consultant. Like all new parents, I felt overwhelmed by all the choices that needed to be made in raising my children—everything from which car seat to get and how to install it properly, to what kinds of music and books did I want in my home for them? My career and motherhood are what won us the Zany Brainy account, so I set out to hire other mom publicists from around the country as contractors where the retailer was opening stores. It worked! In 1994 KidStuff PR was officially founded, the name was trademarked, and our group of moms offered their kids as play testers and attendees at the grand openings and daily store events. READ MORE...

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Person of the Week - Ed Gartin

Where is Ed and Who is Bestway?

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In a world filled with fleeting distractions like TikTok videos, Instagram reels, and YouTube Shorts, kids have more options than ever for entertainment without meaningful connection with their families and friends.


For over two decades, I have dedicated my time in the Toy and Game industry with one enduring goal in mind: to create great products that entertain and bring families closer together.  And that’s what we do as toy makers, We make great products that resonate with kids and parents, allowing them to connect and communicate through play. And in those moments When we achieve that, when we see the joy children get interacting with the products we’ve made, it’s something truly magical.


So that’s been my mission, just like many of you, for the past 24 years at a few of the biggest toy brands in the world. I’ve worked as hard as I could to elevate the “big” ideas, and poured my soul into every detail to make it happen — from the vibrant hues on a box that promises adventure, to the intricate workings of a toy that sparks a child's wonder. From the board games that turn family game night into a cherished memory, to the microscopes that open up galaxies in a drop of water, I've sought to enhance the magic inherent in learning and play. Whether carving out new paths with RC cars or laying down tracks for the next wooden train adventure, my focus has always been to find new ways to make this product just a little better, and sometimes a whole lot better than what already existed. Read More...

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

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Cartoons of the Week: Thank you to the person who wishes to remain anonymous for this week's cartoon. 

Lexophile Lovers:  "Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end..". Thank you, Michael Kohner for sharing with our readers! 

Memorable Quotes:

“There is no Ken without Barbie”  -Ryan Gosling after Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie were snubbed by the Oscars. Life in plastic, it’s not fantastic.

Toy Industry Word of Day: divergent thinking - submitted by Gert GarmainIf you can think of a toy/game industry word not in our POPDictionary, add it and we will connect it to you POP profile, feature it here in an upcoming week and on POP's homepage! 

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

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Financial and Legal

European Court of Justice upholds validity of Lego brick’s registered design. Decision in favour of Danish toy maker welcomed as “great news” for designers of functional products. In a decision handed down on 24 January, the General Court of the CJEU ruled that the iconic toy brick qualifies as a design, despite some aspects of its design being dictated by technical function. In rejecting a challenge by rival German toy...

*** The above posted after tBR sent on January 25th ***


Sony Group Corporation has ended its more than two-year attempt to merge its TV and streaming businesses in India with local giant Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL). In a statement, issued Monday, Sony Group said: “The merger did not close by the end date as, among other things, the closing conditions to the merger were not satisfied by then. [Sony Pictures Networks India] has been engaged in...

US economy surprises with faster than expected growth, driven by robust household and government spending. The world's largest economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.3% over the three months to December, the Commerce Department said. That was down from 4.9% in the prior quarter, but much faster than the 2% many analysts had expected. For 2023, the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5%, up from 1.9% in 2022.


China appears to U-turn on 'obsessive' gaming crackdown. China seems to have backtracked on strict rules to combat what the regulator deemed "obsessive" gaming. The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) had proposed regulations limiting the amount of money and time people spent playing video games. However, on Tuesday the draft rules were no longer on the NPPA website. 


Palworld: Pokémon Company to investigate copying claims. The Pokémon Company says it plans to investigate copycat claims against online multiplayer sensation Palworld. Fans have been pointing out similarities after the new title exploded in popularity this week. In its first statement since, the Pokémon Company said it would take "appropriate action" if it found its copyright had been breached. 

Palworld devs aren’t worried about a Nintendo lawsuit. We’re about done with the first month of the year, and 2024’s biggest game is already here in the form of Palworld. The colloquially named “Pokémon with guns” open-world survival crafting title is dominating both Steam and Twitch in spite of the controversy it’s courted, particularly around similarities in monster design to Nintendo’s popular creature collector.

Red Sea 'scary' for ships' crews, says captain. "The situation is quite scary. It's dangerous actually," Captain Chirag tells the BBC from on board his ship. Along with his crew, he's worried about the ongoing attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea area. Since November, Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have repeatedly tried to board vessels or hit them with missiles. 


S&P 500 surges to record high marking market rebound. Shares in the US rose to record highs on Friday, fuelled by tech stocks and rising hopes about the economy. The S&P 500 index, which tracks shares of America's biggest companies, ended the day up 1.2% to close at 4,839.8, topping the previous record set in January 2022. The new high means it has recovered from the tumble it took two years ago.

China records population decline for second straight year. China's population has declined for a second consecutive year, underscoring concerns about the future growth of the world's second-largest economy. Data released on Wednesday showed a population of 1.409 billion at the end of 2023 - a 2.08m decrease from 2022. The most recent decline is double that of the previous year...

About 1,600 women received payments from Riot Games after discrimination suit. A new breakdown of Riot Games' 2018 gender discrimination lawsuit reveals its payout largely went towards women employees. Per Game File, Rust Consulting's late 2023 documents show the Valorant studio settled for around $104 million. Of that, $64.7 million went to 1,549 women working Riot between 2014 and 2021, with payment ...


Elex developer Piranha Bytes reportedly in danger of shutting down. German outlets have reported that Piranha Bytes is at risk of closing its doors for good. Like with Free Radical last year, parent company Embracer is looking to find the German studio a new owner. If one can't be found, the staff will be laid off in full. Founded in 1997, Piranha Bytes was originally owned by Phenomedia until 2002. 


Riot Games overreached with "big bets" and now 530 people are losing their jobs. League of Legends developer Riot Games is laying off 530 employees after expanding too quickly and seeing a number of "big bets" fall short. The cuts represent 11 percent of the Tencent-owned studio's workforce and will largely impact teams "outside of core development."


Netmarble liquidates Grand Cross: Metaworld studio Metaverse World. Netmarble is liquidating its Metaverse World subsidiary due to "market changes" within the metaverse industry. A company spokesperson confirmed the news, which was first reported by South Korean publication Yonhap News (via Kotaku), in an email sent to Game Developer. 


VR dev Wimo Games has closed down. The three-year-old studio developed a pair of VR titles and one mobile title during its existence. Wimo Games, a developer for mobile and VR titles, officially closed its doors last week. Around three dozen staff were said to have been laid off in the end. In a statement to RockPaperShotgun, CEO Dave Rosen confirmed his company's closure.


Lords of the Fallen developer CI Games cutting 10 percent of jobs. Lords of the Fallen developer CI Games has made 10 percent of its workforce redundant. The company confirmed the cuts in a statement and described the layoffs as a "tough but necessary" decision that will deliver "business strength and stability."

Microsoft video games division lays off 1,900 staff. Almost 2,000 workers in Microsoft's gaming division are to be laid off after its $69bn (£54.3bn) merger deal. A memo from Xbox boss Phil Spencer to workers says the company plans to shed 1,900 of its 22,000 staff. It was sent three months after the software giant acquired Activision-Blizzard, known for the Call of Duty and Warcraft series.

Tencent's Riot Games cuts 11% of global workforce. Tencent Holdings' Riot Games has said it will cut 530 jobs which account for about 11% of its global workforce. Chief executive officer Dylan Jadeja told staff "our costs have grown to the point where they're unsustainable". Los Angeles-based Riot said teams outside of core development will see the largest impact from layoffs. 


Netflix password crackdown fuels sign-up surge. Netflix sign-ups boomed at the end of last year as customers prodded by the firm's crackdown on password-sharing created their own accounts. The streaming giant added more than 13.1 million subscriptions in the three months ended in December. That was the most for any quarter since 2020, extending a streak of growth that started last year. 

Apple TV+ has laid off eight members of its kids team, but head of children’s programming Tara Sorensen and senior creative executive Michele Hennessy will remain in their roles. Kidscreen has confirmed that the staff cuts affected development, production and music execs. Since establishing its children’s programming team in 2019, Apple TV+ has launched more than 60 titles for this audience. 



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Financial Reporting

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) on Tuesday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $290 million.

Fun In Motion Toys is excited to announce that its best-selling magnetic puzzle cube, Shashibo®, topped the Amazon sales charts in the Toys & Games category consistently in the fourth quarter of 2023. This ranking caps off a four-year run as a best-selling toy on Amazon (in the Top 10) consistently over that same period.


*** The above posted after January 26th ***


U.S. toy industry sales fell 8% year-over-year in 2023. Circana’s final numbers reflect a dip in total dollar sales for the year but reinforce the strength of the industry, which has grown 26% since 2019, picking up an additional $5.7 billion since the pre-pandemic era.


UK toy market remains resilient despite challenging economic conditions.

Netflix gains a record 13 million subscribers in Q4. This spike in users lifted quarterly revenue by 12% to US$8.83 billion, bringing the streamer's full-year take for 2023 to US$33.7 billion.

Comcast Posts Strong Q4 Results Bolstered by Parks and Peacock, Boosts Dividend by 7%. The media conglomerate’ posted adjusted net income of $3.41 billion, or 84 cents per share announces 2023 results, showcasing an impressive 27% increase in sales and a 33% increase in adjusted net profit. 


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




*** The above posted after Janurary 26th ***


Customer Experience Predictions for 2024

State of Play: Toy trends on display at London Toy Fair 2024. Despite the continued challenging economic conditions in the U.K. throughout 2023 reducing consumers’ discretionary spending power, the U.K. toy market demonstrated resilience, with a total value of £3.5 billion in sales. Although the market experienced a decline of 5% in value, consumers’ demand for toys remains strong, with several toy categories achieving growth. The sector’s strength was evident across the show floor as The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) and Circana …


UK toy market remains resilient despite challenging economic conditions. As Toy Fair 2024 marks the show’s 70th anniversary, Circana has presented data showing sustained growth in several key toy categories in 2023, demonstrating resilience in the UK’s £3.5b toy market despite a decline of -5%. CircanaThe British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) and Circana, formerly known as The NPD Group, have presented their annual industry insights at the 70th Toy Fair. Held at Olympia London from the 23rd to 25th January 2024, revealing positive trends.

Increased market interest in financial literacy content for kids is leading CBC Kids, Rai and newly launched Sunn Stream to create shows that make money make sense.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

John Baulch, Toy World - It’s London, baby! … it’s the Friday Blog! It’s the morning after the (incredible) three days before. My challenge – as it is at this time every year – is to get up at the crack of dawn, sink a mountain coffee to fire up the synapses and come up with something different to say about Toy Fair that you won’t read in the ‘official’ post-show releases and haven’t already seen across your LinkedIn feeds all week


Clumsy kittens, pigs in costumes and glittery unicorns: how the cult of cute took hold. From chubby puppies to loveable robots, ‘cuteness’ has us all melting in its sticky little hands. But why did it gain such global traction – and does it have a dark side? Every day I rise early, like a stock trader, to start the daily business of sending and receiving adorable videos. Pigs wearing pig costumes, alien creatures spanking each other’s...


Our Rodent Selfies, Ourselves. A photographer trained two rats to take photographs of themselves. They didn’t want to stop. To Mr. Lignier, the parallel is obvious. “Digital and social media companies use the same concept to keep the attention of the viewer as long as possible,” he said. Indeed, social media has been described as “a Skinner Box for the modern human,” doling out periodic, unpredictable rewards ...

Catching Chess Cheaters Is Tricky Work. While cheating at the game’s top level is rare, platforms and mathematicians alike work tirelessly to ensure the game’s integrity. The mechanics of how chess players might cheat increasingly occupies the minds of professional chess players, academics who build models to catch cheating and top chess platforms. Professional cyclists have doped their blood. A baseball...

What Rats Can Teach Us About the Importance of Play — And How to Incorporate More Into Your Life. Science has long shown that play is beneficial to humans: In children, the behavior aids in emotional and cognitive development, and in adults, playfulness has been linked to an increased ability to cope with stress. Now, a recent study has added to that body of research by investigating which neural circuits are involved...


Compact, shape-shifting robot by Transformers' inventors lands on Moon. Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy developed the lunar rover, SORA-Q, in association with JAXA, Sony Group, and Doshisha University. The creation of SORA-Q drew upon insights in miniaturization and weight reduction derived from the firm's expertise in toy manufacturing.


High School Musical changed everything: An oral history of the Disney Channel Original Movie. Led by executives Gary Marsh and Michael Healy, DCOMs went from scrappy sports movies with a lot of heart to multibillion-dollar IP heavyweights. Original movie programming has existed on the Disney Channel since it first became a premium cable channel in 1983. But it wasn’t until 14 years later that the iconic Disney Channel...

Oscars 2024: The real reason Barbie's Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie were snubbed by the Oscars. With many shocked by the Academy's failure to recognise the work of Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie at yesterday's Oscar nominations – what was behind it all? Being based on a doll really hurt Barbie at the Oscars. Although the film was nominated for best picture, Greta Gerwig was snubbed as director and Margot Robbie...

The importance of family communication through play. Everyday life is busy and it can be difficult to spend quality time together as a family, but family bonding is important to maintain close relationships. As they get older and want more independence, you may find your once talkative child now only gives monosyllabic answers to your questions, and it becomes harder to communicate with them. 

3 reasons we hold on to our childhood toys as adults. Do you ever catch yourself smiling at the sight of your childhood teddy bear, wondering why it still holds such a special place in your heart? While these toys can offer a unique window into one’s connection with their past, research reveals that this universal sentiment holds a greater purpose than just offering a trip down memory lane. 

Familiar board games get an intergenerational refresh. Odds are, you played The Game of Life as a kid and Trivial Pursuit when that board game hit the shelves in 1981 but haven't rolled the dice with either one since. New versions — reinvented for older adults to compete against their grown children and grandkids — might get you back.

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History and Nostalgia

“These Things Are Works of Art”: Chicago’s History as the Manufacturing Center for Pinball Machines. Chicago’s location at the center of the country has long made it a convenient hub for manufacturing and transportation. The city has been a leader in candy production, meatpacking, and – in perhaps an unexpected but delightful twist – pinball. “I equate it to, Detroit for automobiles is pinball for Chicago,” says Zachary Sharpe, director of marketing for Stern Pinball.


*** The above posted after January 26th ***


Christian Braun here… your hobby expert from hobbyDB reporting about some very exciting news for car collectors everywhere! Car Enthusiasts! hobbyDB just announced its 70th Official Archive, this time for M2 Machines, a leading diecast specialist with distribution in Hobby Lobby, Kroger, Meijer, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and Walmart.

Disneyland from Transogram (1959). Released four years after Transogram launched, its Disneyland game had players embark on a journey through the four different realms of the California theme park in search of Disney characters. Two to four players (called travellers) raced each other from the Park entrance at the Casey Jones Jr. railroad station through the four realms of Disneyland: Tomorrowland...


The toys we always wanted but never could have. Everybody, at one time or another, has wanted something they can’t have. Often it’s something other people can buy, but you’re not able get your hands on. As an adult, maybe it’s a high-end car like a Ferrari. As a teenager, maybe it’s the latest video game system. And, when you’re a kid, it’s usually a toy. We all had those toys. 

Thunderbirds Tracy Island from Matchbox (1993). Released in 1993 by Matchbox, the Thunderbirds Tracy Island electronic playset invited kids into the world of International Rescue, an organization pivotal to the Thunderbirds science fiction television series produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. The playset recreated Tracy Island, the clandestine residence of the Tracy family and the headquarters of their...

Celebrating the toys, cartoons, and comics of 1984. 1984 is perhaps the most pivotal pop culture year in memory. So many of the movies, music, and television series debuting that year had an incredible impact, and their legacy continues to this day. Rarely has a confluence of circumstances resulted in so much memorable pop art happening all at once. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 

Trustbridge Entertainment preps its new content chapter. As president of the fledgling entertainment division, Bob Higgins has been quietly building up an impressive slate of book-based concepts that are about to hit the market. Sometimes it’s OK to judge a book by its cover, especially when it has been carefully selected and handcrafted for the screen by Bob Higgins, former EVP of kids and family at Boat Rocker Media.


Netflix has picked up worldwide rights to “The Imaginary,” a currently-on-release Japanese animation film from producer Studio Ponoc. “Studio Ponoc is thrilled to bring our storytelling and innovative hand-drawn, hand-painted animated films to all audiences, and in particular to children and their families to enjoy together, around the world on Netflix,” said Nishimura Yoshiaki, Ponoc founder and former...

*** The above posted after January 26th ***


From ‘Barbie’ to ‘Bob the Builder’: All about Mattel’s next big movie (and how Jlo is involved).  Mattel struck gold – or pink – with “Barbie,” which was the first major feature film to come from the toy company and made nearly $1.5 billion worldwide, becoming the biggest movie of 2023 and racking up eight Oscar nominations. Now, CNN has learned that Mattel hopes to maintain that momentum with a cinematic...


Marvel Studios is starting out 2024 on a sturdy footing as it begins to refocus and rebuild its TV shows. Coming off the strong opening of Echo, its crime series centered on Indigenous and deaf anti-heroine Maya Lopez, Marvel next turns its attention to Daredevil: Born Again, which restarts production Monday after a lengthy hiatus. Philip Silvera, who acted as stunt and fight coordinator on the Netflix version of Daredevil...


LA-based Cloudco Entertainment has partnered with lifestyle giant Sanrio to deliver a new co-branded range of consumer products featuring Care Bears and Hello Kitty. This crossover will kick off in the spring with three limited-edition worldwide retail exclusives. Target will stock a fashion collection and plush items, Hot Topic is doing home goods, accessories and Loungefly bags, and Claire’s has cornered... 

The Harry Potter television series is moving closer to fruition. In April, Warner Bros. Discovery revealed that a series, based on the classic wizarding world, would be coming to its streaming service Max. Deadline understands that things in Potterworld are now heating up with a marathon of pitches underway from writers vying for the right to adapt J.K. Rowling’s seven books.

European broadcasters gobble up Monster Loving Maniacs. The series has already made a splash on CBBC and Super RTL, and several new broadcast deals will expand its European footprint even further. Monster Loving Maniacs is a 2D-animated series (52 x 11 minutes) about three siblings training to become monster hunters who decide to save the creatures in their crosshairs instead of capturing them. 

WildBrain and pubcasters RTÉ (Ireland) and Ketnet (Belgium) have co-commissioned a new live-action series called Louise Lives Large.  This comedy-drama for kids ages nine to 13 is about a teen cancer survivor working her way through a bucket list of all the things she has always wanted to do. It was created by Irish writer Carol Walsh (Fia’s Fairies, X Marks the Spot), who was inspired by her own experience...

Falcon’s Beyond Global announced they intend to work with Tanseisha Co, Ltd. The two companies will explore collaborating to develop new themed entertainment experiences, to bring popular Japanese anime and manga intellectual property (IP) to life through location-based entertainment (LBE), games, movies and more.


Heading back to Waverly Place, Disney Branded Television has just ordered a pilot for a sequel to live-action comedy series Wizards of Waverly Place, which aired on Disney Channel from 2007 to 2012. Wizards was among the kidsnet’s top-performing sitcoms of its era, alongside tween shows like Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Its last episode even set a record at the time as the most-watched...

Spin Master has appointed WildBrain CPLG as the licensing agent on record for Unicorn Academy in the Nordics, Iberia, Italy and Benelux. Spin’s Netflix original series Unicorn Academy launched worldwide on the streamer in November 2023, along with a 72-minute stand-alone movie. And Super RTL (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) has picked up the series to start airing across Germany, Austria and Switzerland...

A colorful, non-dialogue series called BooSnoo! is carving out a new niche for slow and calming content that can help many different audiences chill out. Created by British studios Visionality Media and Mackinnon & Saunders using a mix of animation, live action and stop motion, it tracks a little red ball’s journey through a whole series of elaborate obstacle courses. BooSnoo! premiered on Sky Kids in February...

Noah & Zoie is launching its first-ever collection of licensed costumes in collaboration with This new collection will feature costumes based on Ryan’s World The Movie: Titan Universe Adventure. This lineup includes a new Red Titan costume, complete with a jumpsuit, a matching eye mask, a cape, and other accessories. The costume will launch just in time for Halloween later this year.

Wondery and Thames & Kosmos have revealed plans for a new line of STEM toys based on the podcast Wow in the World. Wow in the World is an educational science and technology podcast designed for kids ages 4 and up. The podcast is hosted by Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz and features a number of topics within the scientific world. Now, Wondery is partnering up with toy co. Thames & Kosmos to develop a line...

New Star Wars figures blast into a galaxy right, right here. Hasbro Pulse’s Star Wars team has ended the month strong with a new stream that revealed upcoming figures joining both The Black Series and The Vintage Collection. Whether you can’t miss the movies, Star Wars: Rebels, The Mandalorian, or other Star Wars entertainment avenues, there’s likely a new figure for you. 


Moose Toys, MrBeast ink ‘BEAST’ of a partnership deal. Ahead of Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg, Moose Toys is unveiling early details on a beast of a licensing deal. The company behind Magic Mixies, Beast Lab, and Cookeez Makery inked an exclusive partnership with MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) for a new line of collectible action figures that Moose says is “overlayed with incredible, never-before-seen innovation.” 


Updated site plans approved for Crayola Experience and NERF Action Xperience in Pigeon Forge, TN. The Pigeon Forge Planning Commission approved the updated façade signage for the development of two renowned family-friendly attractions, Crayola Experience and NERF Action Xperience, set to open at 2046 Parkway in the fall of 2024. 


Dynamite undertakes quest for 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' with licensed board game. Dynamite Entertainment is producing Monty Python and the Holy Grail: The Game, designed by Fire Tower creators Samuel Bryant and Gwen Ruelle, under a license. Based on the events of the classic 1975 British comedy film and featuring film stills and iconic Terry Gilliam artwork from the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail...


Disney proxy fight kicks off; New 'Madame Web' posters; 'Doctor Who' star replaced; 'Elfquest' animated series; 'Percy Jackson's' massive launch; 'Highlander' greenlit; 'Distorted' in development. Showbiz Round-up. The year is beginning to take shape and so is the Hollywood scene.  Time for a round-up! The proxy fight between The Walt Disney Co. and Nelson Peltz’s Trian Partners, now backed by former Marvel..

Hasbro taps Resolution Games to create first D&D VR title. Hasbro is in the process of laying off 1,100 workers but remains eager to expand its digital games portfolio. Resolution Games is collaborating with Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro to develop the first VR game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The licensing deal is particularly notable given it comes with Baldur's Gate 3, the multi-award-winning-RPG...


Lego announces Peppa Pig partnership. The Lego Group has revealed a partnership with Peppa Pig as it builds on its portfolio this year. The Lego Group continues to build on its innovative and diverse portfolio with new products, characters and storylines launching in 2024 to excite builders of all ages and provide even more ways to unleash imagination, creativity and fun. 


ITV Studios and Fusebox renew deal for popular role-playing digital game Love Island the Game. ITV Studios and Fusebox Games, a pioneering mobile game developer in interactive fiction, today announced a renewed deal to expand the mobile game Love Island The Game for another three years. Love Island The Game was first launched in Summer 2018 and now hits its 7th season. 


Rizzoli New York to publish BARBIE: THE WORLD TOUR on March 8, 2024, in partnership with Mattel. Rizzoli and Mattel, Inc. announced BARBIE™: THE WORLD TOUR, a new illustrated book capturing all the glamour and high style of the most popular doll in the world. For the press tour following the record-breaking release of Greta Gerwig’s award-winning, acclaimed Barbie movie, producer and star Margot Robbie...


CloudCo Entertainment and Sanrio team up: Hello Kitty and Friends embrance the wonderful world of Care Bears and Care-A-Lot. Care Bears, the cherished and iconic brand under Cloudco Entertainment, celebrated for its message of sharing and caring, has joined forces with the globally renowned lifestyle brand Sanrio and its beloved Hello Kitty and Friends franchise.

Cubicle 7 tackles 'Warhammer: The Old World'. Cubicle 7 founder Dominic McDowall announced the new game at Warhammer World’s Warhammer: The Old World launch event, saying, “Exploring a new era with Warhammer: The Old World is an honor and a privilege.” Warhammer:  The Old World represents a return to the original setting for the Warhammer fantasy tabletop game, before...


New animated series ‘KABU’ stars Build-A-Bear favorites: The series will feature a full collection of stuffed animal friends. Build-A-Bear is coming to cartoons with KABU! Collaborating with Foundation Media Partners and Montreal-based animation studio Laughing Dragon Studios, Build-A-Bear Entertainment is bringing old favorites and new characters kids will love to a fresh animated series.

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People of Play


Disney inventor behind the lightsaber to be inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Lanny Smoot started working at Disney 25 years ago. The Disney research fellow and Imagineer has more than 100 patents, 74 of which he created during his time at Disney. Smoot’s inventions include the extendable lightsaber used in Disney live entertainment, Disney’s new HoloTile floor and the interactive koi ponds at the HK Disneyland Hotel.

People Are Letting Elmo Know That The Vibes Aren't Good Right Now After He Asked How Everyone Is Doing. Rachel Zegler, T-Pain, and Dionne Warwick have all responded, too. Well, it turns out that Elmo's question has some people feeling a little existential, as many were quick to tell him that things are not so merry and joyous right now. So here are some of the best responses that did not hold back one bit...


*** The above posted after January 26th ***


Inside Mattel Headquarters With Graphic Designer, Mario Godoy. Hot Wheels Designer Mario Godoy shows TopSpeed that creating iconic toy cars is a labor of love. “California dreaming,” what does that mean to you? For me, it was a visit to Mattel Headquarters in El Segundo, California. Sure, Barbie was on hand, but I had come for the cars, specifically, Hot Wheels. 


Beatrix Potter, Author of ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’. She created one of the world’s best-known characters for children, and fought to have the book published, but she never sought celebrity status. Potter died of heart ailments and complications of bronchitis on Dec. 22, 1943, during World War II. She was 77. Though the death was not initially reported by The New York Times, for reasons lost to history, the newspaper referred...


Kartoon Studios hires its first SVP of development and production. Gregg Goldin will oversee a growing slate of IPs, leveraging more than two decades of experience at companies like DreamWorks and Cartoon Network. As SVP of development and production, Goldin will manage the company’s slate of original IPs from early-concept to delivery.

The very Jewish history of Guess Who? and pop-it fidget toys. When most of us play board games, we usually don’t spend time thinking about who created them. But behind every memorable game is the untold, and often fascinating, story of its creators. The childhood staple game, Guess Who, is no exception. Its creators, ingenious Tel Aviv husband and wife entrepreneurial team, Theo and Ora Coster, shaped the game world...

Former Mattel exec named COO of Wyncor. Wyncor, a new global toy company has signed former Mattel executive, Helena Perheentupa, as chief operating officer. In her new role at Wyncor, Perheentupa will spearhead all operations for the company. Through her 13-year tenure at Mattel in Frankfurt, Germany, she rose through the ranks to become head of licensing, overseeing Mattel properties, such as Barbie,...


Cepia names Josh Ganet as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Cepia Toys has named Josh Ganet as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Ganet will lead global sales and development as the company gears up for the 15th anniversary of Zhu Zhu Pets with Zhu Zhu Aquarium and the launch of the Decora Girlz fashion dolls this spring. .

Storypod Appoints Jeanie Crone as its Senior Vice President of Sales. Storypod has appointed Jeanie Crone as its new Senior Vice President of Sales. Crone will lead the launch of new licensed products following recent deals with Paramount and Hasbro. The company is rolling out new audio experiences with its Storypod speaker systems and Crafties featuring characters from PAW Patrol, Blue’s Clues & You!,...


Jazwares bolsters UK leadership team. Following another record-breaking year in the UK, Jazwares is bolstering the strength of its UK leadership team, elevating Lucy Whitamore to Sales director, UK and Adelle Engelbrecht to Operations director, UK. Since joining Jazwares from Tesco in 2019, Lucy has proven herself as a talented and commercially astute rising star.

Hunter Price announces structure change: Company’s evolution sees several executives in new roles. Hunter Price International has announced a structure change to underpin the next phase of its growth strategy. Allana Holmes, who has been with the company for nearly three years in the role of sales director for the home and lifestyle division, will take on the role of commercial director from this month. 


Sambro hires Michiel Das to spearhead European sales and licensing. Sambro International has tapped toy industry veteran Michiel Das to expand its business across Europe as regional managing director. Das established himself in Sambro’s Amsterdam office earlier this month, though he has been working in the role on an interim basis since November 2023. 

Amazon has upped Aaron Berman to head of Amazon Kids original series, replacing Veronica Pickett, who departed earlier this month. In his new role, Berman will oversee the development and production of original animated, unscripted and live-action series for the kids streaming platform, working closely with senior creative executive Josh Mandel. 


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Companies and Brands


Goliath Launches Expansive Toy Division. Goliath’s evolution continues as it begins a multi-year, cross-category rollout of new products throughout the toy department. Brian “B-Weezy” Weiss, who joined Goliath Group as its President of North America in 2022 is heading the effort as Global Head of Toys. The co. says it’s starting a multi-year global strategy to shake up the toy department with new, “differentiated offerings.”

Magic: The Gathering's Clue crossover is a strangely compelling mix of both games. With all the pop-culture crossovers Magic: The Gathering has been getting lately, the board game Clue certainly isn’t one I was expecting to see. More than that, it’s not one I initially expected to be quite so much fun. Ravnica: Clue Edition is a standalone box that mixes the pick-up-and-play simplicity of something like Magic’s introductory  …

Radio Flyer has unveiled Radio Flyer Studios, a new division of the 107-year-old company dedicated to animated storytelling. Radio Flyer Studios will produce digital-first stories and was inspired by the company’s Emmy Award-winning short film, Taking Flight, from 2016. “With the founding of Radio Flyer Studios, we will continue the work we started with Taking Flight,” says Robert Pasin, Chief Wagon Officer at Radio Flyer.

SpinMaster celebrates 50th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, inspiring solvers with global ‘Make Your Move’ campaign. Spin Master is launching a year-long campaign dedicated to the iconic toy during its 50th anniversary year. Celebrations will include innovative products, collaborations, new launches, and the release of the first official Rubik’s Cube Casual Mobile Game.

After their shock banishments, The Traitors TV stars Anthony Mathurin and Ash Bibi reunited at London Toy Fair to celebrate the successful launch of The Traitors official board game with Goliath. Inspired by the popular TV series, The Traitors Official Board Game brings all the excitement into the homes of viewers. The board game sold out in the lead up to Christmas with 70,000 pieces flying off shelves.

Little Buddy Toys, a distributor, signs HQ warehouse lease in Anaheim. Santa is moving to Southern California — The Bradmore Group announced Monday that it secured a new industrial lease from a toy distribution company in Anaheim.  The Marina Del Rey-based firm signed Little Buddy Toys to a 95,178-square-foot distribution center at 270 East Palais Road. 

Casdon has announced the launch of a new Ooni pizza-making range made from recycled plastics. Known for creating miniature versions of well-known household items, Casdon is set to launch a brand new licence this year, partnering with leaders in the portable pizza making category, Ooni. The new range is made from recycled plastics.

The 46-year-old Los Angeles costume-maker DG Brands is proud to announce the launch of an all-new children’s costume division named Noah & Zoie. The annocement was made by Noah & Zoie’s principal Barry Revzen. Best known for its high-end portfolio of adult costumes and lingerie sold under the DreamGirl divisional brand worldwide, DG Brands has quietly been producing a broad range of...

Private Investment firm Jstar Capital has launched a new toyco called Wyncor that’s operating out of Miami, with a focus on manufacturing original and licensed toy lines worldwide. Wyncor is helmed by COO Helena Perheentupa, a 13-yr Mattel Germany veteran coming off a two-year stint running ZAG Play’s toy division. In her new role, Perheentupa will spearhead Wyncor’s operations and unveil the...

The LEGO Group recently unveiled the UK pilot program for LEGO Replay, a brick take-back service. The program is designed to bring playful learning to more households and limit LEGO brick waste. LEGO Replay launched in the U.S. in 2019 and expanded to Canada in 2021. The UK LEGO Replay trial is part of a broader, circular strategy. According to research conducted in 2021, 94% of families in the UK give...

The Iceman cometh to 'Marvel Champions: The Card Game' new Hero Pack. Fantasy Flight Games will release the Iceman Hero Pack, for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, into retail on May 17, 2024. Bobby Drake, better known as "Iceman," is a founding member of the X-Men and joins the rest of the team in Marvel Champions: The Card Game with this 40-card  Aggression-focused preconstructed deck.


Unleash the power of the toxic monkey Pokemon with 'Pokemon TCG: Grafaiai ex Box'. The Pokemon Company International will release Pokemon TCG: Grafaiai ex Box set into retail on April 5, 2024. The game's newest boxed set features the toxic monkey Pokemon Grafaiai ex.  This poisonous primate attacks opponents with his Numbing Saliva and his Toxic Throw.  


Flat River partners with Maestro Media in exclusive worldwide distribution deal. Flat River Group has reached a deal with Maestro Media that grants Flat River exclusive worldwide distribution rights for Maestro Media’s English-language tabletop games. The new arrangement will see Flat River handling sales, marketing, and event management for Maestro’s English games, including physical product sales to retailers...


Lead the way to a renewable future with 'Salton Sea'. Devir Games will release Salton Sea, a new worker placement game, into retail on February 5, 2024. In Salton Sea, designed by David Bernal and illustrated by Amelia Sales, players head to the Salton Sea, in southern California, to extract the steam and hot water to obtain lithium, which is used in many renewable energy technologies.  


Bezier Games will release three new card games in 2024. Bezier Games will release three new card games in 2024, the company announced, but only one title was revealed: Sandbag by Ted Alspach, which will arrive at Origins 2024 on June 19, 2024. This game is themed after a hot air balloon regatta in which the players are trying to fly higher than their opponents. 


Snare opponents with new 'Pokemon TCG' collection: 'Iono Premium Tournament Collection'. The Pokemon Company International will release Iono Premium Tournament Collection, for Pokemon TCG, into retail on April 5, 2024. This new collection of cards features Levincia Gym Leader and Iono, a mega-influencer that can snare opponents in an Electroweb.  

University Games launches extensive Learning Journey range. University Games has unveiled a range of more than 40 Learning Journey lines at the London Toy Fair, which will be available from early spring. The range focuses on the key learning ages and stages from baby, pre-school, through to 12 years old, offering plenty of fun combined with valuable learning for inquisitive young minds. 


Ravensburger launches Play+ at Toy Fair with Dr Zoe Williams. On the opening day of Toy Fair, Ravensburger was joined by Dr Zoe Williams to give visitors a first look at Play+, a new infant & toddler toy and book collection set to launch in the UK and Republic of Ireland in September. The range comprises over thirty items and is suitable for children from 0 to 36 months. 


Marvin’s Magic’s signs deal with ThreeSixty to distribute several brands. A multi-year deal has been agreed between Marvin’s Magic and ThreeSixty Group to exclusively distribute its FAO Schwarz, Sharper Image, Discovery #Mindblown and Discovery Toys brands across the UK and Republic of Ireland. At London Toy Fair, retailers have been invited to view a curated selection of proven best-sellers across the Sharper Image ...


PMI Kids’ World revamps logo, website. PMI Kids’ World is remodeling its website and logo as the company enters a new era of strategic partnerships. In this new era, PMI Kids’ World is continuing its partnerships with gaming and entertainment brands, including Sonic Prime, Pudgy Penguins, Among Us, and more. PMI Kids’ World will also be launching a new line of Stumble Guys toys and Booksy Monster Tales collectibles.


Konami launches Maze of Millennia Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. Konami Digital Entertainment has announced the brand-new booster set Maze of Millennia for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game (TCG), which is available now in Europe and Oceania. Maze of Millennia rings in the New Year with new long-thought-lost cards seen in the TV series and some of today’s hottest tournament-level cards. 


One for Fun reveals new fortune telling squish ball. One for Fun, creators of pocket-money crazes such as fidget spinners and Alien Eggs, has launched the Scrunchems Fortune Teller Squish Ball. This modern oracle launched this week at London Toy Fair. The ball is a simple squishy ball – with the added power of divination. Advance sales have been predictably high. 


Playmobil’s toddler porfolio undergoes rebranding. At the beginning of 2024, Playmobil converted the production of all items in its toddler portfolio from traditional, fossil-based to plant-based materials. The toddler line is also receiving a new name and sustainable packaging; Playmobil 1.2.3 is now Playmobil Junior and the play sets under the new brand are made from plastics that are up to 90% plant-based. 


Munchkin creates new parent company Why Brands. Baby lifestyle brand Munchkin has created a new parent company to preside over both Curio Home Goods and Munchkin. Why Brands will focus on creating and growing the next generation of consumer lifestyle brands. The new parent company aims to establish an expanding portfolio of innovative businesses that align with its commitment to creative product design. 


WHP Global, El Puerto de Liverpool to bring Babies ‘R’ Us to Mexico. The Babies “R” Us retail experience will be available to families across Mexico soon. WHP Global, parent company of Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us, is expanding its work with retailer El Puerto de Liverpool to bring another of its brands to the Mexico region. The two previously worked together to launch Toys “R” Us in Mexico in October. 


Miniso opens all-pink flagship store in Hong Kong. Kicking off 2024, Miniso has opened its largest Hong Kong location, featuring a pink interior and exterior design. Miniso is a global lifestyle brand offering an array of products featuring a variety of intellectual properties (IP). It is known for its blind box goods, which are highlighted in the store’s designated product zones. 

New Play-Doh sets are perfect for snow day play. Sometimes, it’s just too cold to go outside and enjoy a good snow day. When these days come along, kids need fun activities to keep them occupied without thinking about the cold wind, ice, and snow outside. Hasbro’s latest lineup of Play-Doh toys are the perfect activity to do while bundled up inside. There are three exciting playsets in this new release.

Playtime PR launches Board Game Club initiative for libraries. Playtime PR is evolving its popular Board Game Club with the launch of a nationwide programme for public libraries. In keeping with Playtime’s motto of ‘making lives more playful’, the non-commercial initiative is designed to increase access to games for local communities.  companies …


Click Europe to launch new boppi range at London Toy Fair. Family-founded British toy company, Click Europe, is set to launch a new range of puzzles and games under its boppi brand at Toy Fair, London next week. New to the market is a boppi Unicorn 150pc Round Jigsaw Puzzle. Alphabet Round Floor Puzzle, boppi Stacking Cubes and a new line of popular boppi games to include Dominoes and Pairs. 


Click Distribution named distributor for Swapsies. Kid Kreations has partnered with Click Distribution (UK) for its brand-new plush IP Swapsies. The partnership will see Click assume the role of exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for the range. Launching at London Toy Fair, Swapsies is a new collection of interchangeable, super-soft and squishy plush characters. 


New Fisher-Price Planet Friends are adorable eco-friendly animals. Mattel subsidiary Fisher-Price is bringing fun to babies with a new collection made with sustainability in mind! The new Planet Friends line features soft and cuddly plush guaranteed to charm any little animal lover. The toys are made using between 80-90% post-consumer recycled plastic and come in FSC-certified packaging. 


'Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun,' '[Oshi No Ko]' were Yen's best-sellers of 2023. Top Genres Include Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure In a video posted on Twitter, Yen Press listed its top selling manga, manhwa, and prose novels of 2023. The publisher released 618 books in 2023, with the most popular genres being fantasy, sci-fi, action/adventure, romance, and horror. 


'D&D Icons of the Realms: 50th Anniversary' booster set incoming. WizKids will release D&D Icons of the Realms: 50th Anniversary, a new miniatures booster set, into retail in July 2024.The 31st D&D Icons of the Realms booster set celebrates Dungeons & Dragons'  50th birthday with an array of collectible miniatures.  


Portal Games announces 'Printing Press' for U.S. retail. Portal Games announced Printing Press, a new board game based on the legacy of Johannes Gutenberg, which will head to U.S. retail on March 20, 2024. In this game, players will immerse themselves in the process of 16th century publishing.  Players will plan out publications using plates, frames, and printing cards to fulfill customer specifications. 

'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG: The 25th Anniversary Rarity Collection II' announced. Konami Digital Entertainment will release Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG: The 25th Anniversary  Rarity Collection II, a new premium booster set of high-powered cards, into retail on May 22, 2024. The first 25th Anniversary Rarity Collection was a hit with fans, and was so popular that it even took the top spot on November 2023 TCGplayer Top 25 Sealed Products list. 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Mocked as ‘Pokémon With Guns,’ Palworld Becomes an Instant Hit. The survival game started as a meme and became a miracle for its developers, who have insisted they are not copying the popular Nintendo series. More than 300,000 players simultaneously logged on to the game, Palworld, when it was released in early access on Fri., momentarily causing servers to crash and eject users from its cruel world of chickens and squirrels engaged in shootouts.


Palworld tops 6M sales after shifting 86,000 copies per hour over the weekend. Palworld has now eclipsed 6 million sales in four days. Pocketpair shared the news on social media and said it's working to fix a number of bugs that players have identified. "Some users are experiencing problems and bugs, which we are addressing with the highest priority," wrote the studio. 


CD Projekt aiming to begin Witcher 4 production by mid-2024. After going through Cyberpunk 2077's rough patch, CD Projekt hopes to avoid its development troubles with the new Witcher. If everything goes according to plan, CD Projekt will start full production on the next mainline Witcher game (currently dubbed Project Polaris) later this year. 


Overwatch 2 nets new Champions esports league with multi-year deal. After killing the Overwatch League late last year, Blizzard is rebirthing Overwatch 2's esports scene with a brand new league. Blizzard Entertainment is bringing Overwatch 2 back to the esports space with a new Overwatch Champions Series.

Lethal Company sold an estimated 10 million copies. 2023's breakout horror hit Lethal Company is believed to have sold 10 million copies since its Early Access release in mid-October. Push to Talk estimated both its sales milestone and gross revenue of $113.9 million. The latter was determined with the Boxleiter method, which considers user reviews, pricing, and Valve's cut among its factors. 


Littlest Pet Shop Experience on Roblox smashes expectations with over 2 million visits in first month. Littlest Pet Shop, one of the most well-known collectible toy brands in history, has relaunched globally, with product hitting shelves this month. In anticipation of its retail debut, Littlest Pet Shop is already enchanting fans with over 2 million unique visits of the brand’s new digital experience...


Quoridor Pac-Man launches for UK & Irish markets. With 2023 being a record sales year for Gigamic’s wooden abstract games line up, in particular, Quoridor, Hachette Boardgames UK has launched a brand new Bandai licensed version of Quoridor Pac-Man. Quoridor has gone from strength-to-strength since it first launched in 1997 and been a family favorite across Europe. 

Highlighted Press Releases

Inspirational MESH (Mental, Emotional, & Social Health) Accreditation Program Launches to Strengthen Youth Mental Health Through Play.  "Research shows that parent's top concern is their children's mental, emotional, and social health. was launched to address how the toy industry can build children's resilience through play," said Rachele Harmuth, head of ThinkFun. "As the toy industry is rapidly embracing this idea, the top request has been for a review process that would allow products to be MESH accredited. We're excited to invite all toy and game companies to be the first to join this movement."


TURN A PLAYDATE INTO A PLAYPER® DAY WITH PRINCESS PETUNIA, FISH STICK & KING KETCHUP. Choose One Or Bundle All Four Planet-Friendly Playper Kits For Preschoolers To Pop, Build, Then Enter A Magical Curious Kingdom of Kooky Characters, Los Gatos, CA (January 24, 2024) –Did you know that the Cardboard Box is inducted in The Strong National Museum Of Play Toy Hall of Fame? It makes sense when you consider that with open-ended play, children are transported to a world of their own, where anything is possible. One toymaker just came up with something that’s even better – for the planet and for kids as it’s STEAM accredited!


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Safety and Counterfeiting


Parents warned to be on the lookout for woke toys, consumer expert declaresToy companies have issued "woke" renditions of classic toys in recent years, which has prompted criticism from Americans who argue the industry is attempting to push a narrative with the help of local government and liberal-leaning Wall Street, one expert told Fox News Digital. Consumers' Research issued a report about toy companies...

Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals

Busy Toy Fair 2024 hailed a huge success. Kidult toys and nostalgia were amongst the themes celebrated at Toy Fair 2024, as the toy industry came together over a busy three days to help celebrate the show’s 70th anniversary. With more than 250 exhibiting companies launching thousands of new products in front of buyers, retailers, licensors, media and the wider industry, Toy Fair 2024 was, for many, the first...


Video. Watch: Kidult collectables are the top trend at London Toy Fair 2024. From robotic football trainers to the booming kidult collectables sector for ages 12 and above, the London Toy Fair showcased a playground of innovation.

*** The above posted after tBR started sending on January 26th ***


People of Play announces 22nd annual line-up of inventor, innovation and playful events. Gear up for a week of innovation and fun, because People of Play (POP) is announcing a lineup of blockbuster events for both the trade as well as kids and their families this November. POP Week events bring together consumers, families, inventors, manufacturers, retailers, educators, hobbyists, social media influencers and the media – at the beginning of the holiday season – to play, celebrate, discover, support and promote the creation of toys and games.

BTHA and Mojo Nation survey names inventors’ favourite toys and games from past 70 years. The survey results showed Jenga as the top toy or game that inventors most wished they had come up with. The game launched at Toy Fair back in 1983, from inventor Leslie Scott. Leslie commented: “To receive such an honour from fellow designers would have been beyond my wildest dreams when I launched Jenga at the 1983 London Toy Fair. In truth, to receive it 41 years later astonishes me still!”


BTHA presents Special Recognition Award to Simon Hedge. The BTHA is proud to present a posthumous Special Recognition Award to Simon Hedge. This is a new award category introduced by the BTHA, which recognises loyalty, long service, commitment and dedication by individuals within the toy industry. Simon sadly passed away on 20th June 2023. The first such award was presented to Simon’s family...

BTHA unveils Toy Fair’s Hero Toys for 2024. The British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA)has revealed its highly anticipated 27 Hero Toys for 2024. Carefully selected by an independent panel of retailers, the winners of this year’s Toy Fair’s Hero Toys represent a selection of the most exciting toys launching at Toy Fair. The winners were unveiled on 23rd January at this year’s Toy Fair held at Olympia London...


The annual Toy Trust Media Auction has been hailed a huge success, and in a unique and special year celebrating its 50th anniversary, Playmobil placed the winning bid on all available items, a move which raised £100,000 for the Toy Trust. The auction sees airtime, digital and printed media slots generously donated by leading TV channels, digital media and trade journals, adding valuable items resulting in more...

Bitzee, Character Options and Smyths triumph at Toy Industry Awards 2023. Bitzee, Character Options and Smyths have triumphed at this year’s Toy Industry Awards winning Toy of the Year, Supplier of the Year and Toy Retailer of the Year, respectively. At the 59th Toy Industry Awards, a BTHA Special Recognition Award was also presented to department store W J Daniel & Co of Windsor for its outstanding work...


Oscars: ‘Barbie’ Grabs Eight Noms, Including Supporting Roles and Two Original Songs. Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were snubbed for best actress and director, respectively. The film’s nominations include best picture, America Ferrera for supporting actress, Ryan Gosling for supporting actor, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach for adapted screenplay, “I’m Just Ken” and “What Was I Made For?” for original song, as ... 


KIDZ BOP AND LIVE NATION ANNOUNCE ALL-NEW TOUR; KIDZ BOP LIVE 2024 TO HIT 40+ CITIES THIS SUMMER. On the heels of last year's successful 60+ date run, the ultimate pop concert for kids is returning by popular demand to Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, LA, NY and more this summer. KIDZ BOP LIVE 2024 is sponsored by Spin Master's new fantasy-adventure children's series, Unicorn Academy™, streaming now on...


The NY NOW 2024 Winter Market is gearing up for an iconic return to the Jacob Javits Center in New York, captivating global attendees from February 4 to 7, 2024. Renowned as the premier gift and home wholesale market show, this bi-annual event continues to serve as the ultimate hub for brands, buyers, and designers in the heart of New York City. 

German train strike may affect travel to Spielwarenmesse. The Deutsche Bahn train drivers’ union has announced a strike from Wednesday, 24th January up to and including Monday, 29 January (6 pm), which may affect travel to the Spielwarenmesse. The Spielwarenmesse organizers therefore recommend looking for alternatives in good time and to switch to other means of transport such as buses, hire cars or taxis. 


Bologna Licensing Trade Fair returns on 8-11 April 2024. In a few months, the 17th edition of the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids will take place in the heart of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Four days dedicated to the latest news and trends in brands for children, teenagers and young adults from April 8 to 11, 2024. 

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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

Lutz Muller - Lutz died earlier this month. He was President of Klosters Trading Corporation. Provision of business intelligence to large financial institutions - banks, hedge funds, venture capital companies - as well as to non-publicly quoted toy manufacturers. Klosters Trading is no longer active and will not be kept updated. Lutz was a Swiss who came to the U.S. the long way around - from a small alpine village in Switzerland to Asia, then the UK and Belgium, then Australia and Brazil. His background can be summarized by three concepts - CEO, packaged consumer goods, turn-arounds. Lutz is multi-lingual - he speaks fluently Swiss German, English, German, French. Thai and serviceable Portugnol and Lao. He was educated on three continents including North America at Harvard. He was also a member of MENSA. 


Merle R Lewis, Jr., age 80, of Erie, took his final breath on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at his daughter’s home in Wattsburg, Pa. He was born in Brookville, PA to the late Merle Ray Lewis and Florence (Wolfe) Lewis Thunberg.

Merle was a lifetime outdoorsman. He loved farming, hunting, horses, and gardening. Some of his best times were spent hunting with lifelong friends and his son, Jeff.

He was a masterful mechanic, with the ability to create the things his mind could conjure. He worked as a model maker and toy designer for Marx Toys right out of school and was proud that his name appears on the patent for the ‘Lectric Shot Shooting Gallery’. He followed his heart and changed careers in the 70’s by spending a summer at the Oklahoma Farrier’s College and learned the art of shoeing horses. He began to work on thoroughbred race horses, a livelihood that took him around the East Coast to racetracks in PA, WV, FL, NH, DE and Ohio.

Another dream took him to Alaska for a number of years, where he assembled his own on-site saw mill and built a home with trees he cut down himself in the Willow area.

He returned back to the Erie area in the late 90’s and spent his time tinkering in his garage, lending a hand to anyone he could help… and hunting. He was able to get a tree stand set this past fall, with the help of his grandson Trevor, but his health declined rapidly soon after.

He is survived by his sister, Debra Javens (William); his brother, Dale Lewis of Erie; his daughters, Lori Zaumseil (Troy) of Wattsburg, Jodi Gray (Scott), of Waterford his grandchildren, Halie and Trevor Lewis of Erie, Jace Wolz of Waterford and Cody Martinez of Boulder, CO, and his dearest friend, Charlotte Winkler.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Lovett Lewis and his former wife, Lois Mary Banister Lewis; his brothers, William M. Lewis and James L. Lewis; his sisters, Karen D. Lewis, Paula Thunberg, and Karla Thunberg. His most profound loss was the death of his son, Jeffrey A. Lewis, just over a year ago.


Karen Tenenbaum, founder and owner of Tenenbaum Law, P.C. and active member of the New York Metro Chapter of Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment. She died suddenly of a cardiac event on December 23 at the age of 64. In addition to her success as a tax attorney for more than 35 years, Tenenbaum founded Money Masters, Inc., an organization that provides financial literacy information and tools...

Jennell Jaquays Tabletop designer and video game developer Jennell Jaquays, who created Dungeons & Dragons adventures for a leading publisher of its time, has passed away at the age of 67. Jaquays is best known for developing the early shape of the tabletop industry during the heyday of TSR and other D&D publishers. Her most successful adventures, Dark Tower and Caverns of Thracia, were published for Judges Guild and featured both her game design and artwork.

Jaquays would go on to illustrate covers for plenty of other sourcebooks and modules, including the Dragon Mountain adventure included in D&D’s 1993 deluxe boxed set. Along with Call of Cthulhu publisher Chaosium, she also worked for several video game developers throughout the 1980s and 90s - Jaquays would help convert popular arcade cabinet games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to their console versions. In the late 1990s, Jaquays worked as a level designer for American video game company id Software while it developed the original Quake.

Dark Tower was the only non-TSR published adventure cited in Dungeon magazine’s list of the thirty greatest D&D adventure of all time, and Jaquays’ adventures would accrue several nominations for the H.G. Wells award. She was inducted in the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Hall of Fame in 2017.

As creative director of Transgender Human Rights Institute, Jaquays helped outline and petition for the adoption of Leelah’s Law in the US - the response to this activist movement led to the federal banning of conversion therapy amongst minors, which adversely affected trans youth. She was a staunch advocate for trans rights.

In a remembrance post on the EN World tabletop RPG forums fans and players shared their favourite Jaquays creations, including her Savage Frontier book and Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide, the latter of which many folks claimed was one of the best resources for running the game they had ever read.

Pauline Kerrison - Toy World is sad to report that Pauline Kerrison, of Kerrison Toys, passed away peacefully on Christmas Day with her family at her side.

Described by those who knew her as ‘warm and welcoming’, ‘one of a kind’ and ‘one of the industry’s diamonds’, Pauline was much loved by many people in the toy trade. During the 50 or so years she was involved in the running of Kerrison Toys, she forged numerous friendships that lasted a lifetime.

Her son Steve Kerrison told Toy World: “She loved seeing people at trade shows and events and would always make a fuss of anyone who visited the shops over the many years. Myself, Graham and Liz, and our families, would like to thank all of those who have expressed their condolences over the past few days.”


Murray Jackson - Toy World is sad to report that Murray Jackson, who founded Edx Education and recently established Edx Education UK, has passed away.  The founder of Edx Education was a passionate advocate for providing education opportunities to all. Over the past 20 years, Edx Education has grown into a major supplier to the international education market, exporting to more than 90 countries, with sales & marketing offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia – including a dedicated trade website for the UK market.

The boom in home schooling following the pandemic kickstarted a trend for affordable toys that also offer educational value, and a real need for the company to extend its offering to consumers and toy retailers.

As well as establishing and running the successful company, Murray helped pioneer projects such as the opening of an after school center in Hualien, Taiwan, with the company sponsoring the renovations of a house and turning it into an after school centre for aboriginal children from the local primary school.

The Edx team contacted Toy World to inform us of the sad news of Murray’s passing and shared a letter that has been distributed to the Edx Education community. The letter reads...

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