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July 14-21, 2023


Welcome to Your Weekly News Brief!

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Happy Bloomin' Friday! 


Barbie hype is everywhere! It has even increased traffic on our POP website to 54,000+ people (unique) in just the last 30 days, over 90% of whom are consumers. If you haven't been posting to the homepage social feed, you should be! Consumers are there looking for toys and games! Even better - Take out an ad on the POP website and here on the Bloom Report – they offer the best bang for your buck anywhere for a fabulous, fun, and far reach.  More information HERE. 

Our LA Preview Directory is open! Register now - with your POP profile url.

Register and reserve your hotel room for POP Week, November 1 - 5: Inventor Pitch and Innovation Conference,  Toy & Game Innovation Awards - the TAGIEsYoung Inventor Challenge, POP Roast of Rich Mazel, Toy Takedown (Family Feud Inspired) with Brian Turtle, Tom Rushton and Matt Nuccio, PlayCHC and Chicago Toy & Game Fair

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


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

  • “I seriously look forward to 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 - Buco Entertainment's Daizo Uehara

Innovation, Bridging Japanese and American Culture & More!

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Mary: We are excited that you will be speaking with Robert Fuhrer about Japanese and American Business Parternships in the Toy Industry- Cultural Differences and Historical Successes at our Inventor Pitch and Innovation Conference - thank you! Please share a bit about your passion and history in the Toy industry with us.

Daizo: I was born and raised in Tokyo until I was 11 years old, but I was brought to the US for the first time by my parents in 1984 and lived in a small town called New Canaan in Connecticut spent time throughout High School. Due to that, I was fortunate to have the exposure on both Japanese and American pop culture of the 80’s which in my opinion was in its golden era for Toys, Music, Movies and Cartoons where all these genres had its own creative spree. I really enjoyed the Hybrid experience of both cultures which I also believe influenced me hugely to lean towards the creative path for my career. And since then, my top interest has always been in TOYS! (…and Music too but I’ll save that story for some other time).

Mary: So how did you get into the Toy business?
Daizo: I was hired by a Japanese Toy company Bandai in Japan as a new grad recruitment out of college and my first job was a sales staff for what used to be called Boys Action Toy category….so this is my 27th anniversary in the industry. (Wow…time flies!)  READ MORE...

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 Person of the Week - Surprise Powerz's Kristel Bell

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, enjoy your everyday life.

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What is it about the Toy and Game Industry that you love?

I love that the Toy and Game Industry has the potential to provide children with valuable learning opportunities. My toy company, Surprise Powerz, was created for that specific purpose - to bridge the STEM gap that young girls face, by providing them with a variety of early learning STEAM career dolls that represent them in look and voice and teach them new STEM topics.


Do you have a mantra that you live by?

 “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, enjoy your everyday life.”


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

I was inspired to go into the Toy and Game Industry by my mom. As a young girl, my mom inspired me and my siblings to love STEM. I wanted to create a similar experience for the young girls of today to be inspired by a STEM role model that looks and talks like them as well. This is why I created Surprise Powerz, a diverse line of STEM role models for young girls to imitate.

What and/or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by all of the kids! They are so inquisitive, daring, and open-minded. They are the most confident people I know. We just need to make sure our young girls don’t continue to lose confidence in critical subjects like math, starting in preschool.


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The Toy and Game Int'l Innovation Awards - The TAGIEs! 

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The Toy and Game International Excellence Awards Submissions close in just 11 days!


Free and easy - less than a minute of your time.


Celebrate innovation and excellence by recognizing a colleague, agency, marketer, retailer, supplier, designer, inventor, game changer or yourself!

Don't Wait! Nominate Right HERE! 

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

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Thank you Greta Pennel from ITRA for the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon! 

Quote of the Week: "Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas." - Charles Eames

Lexophile Lovers:  "A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." 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:

More information about the Conference here! 



Financial and Legal

Mattel Reveals Leadership Changes as Richard Dickson Departs; Silverman, McKnight, Down Elevated to New Roles. The longtime exec moves on to Gap while new roles and expanded duties await other members of the Mattel family. Lisa McKnight, a 25-year Mattel veteran that has led the Barbie brand since 2016 and all of Dolls since 2019, has been promoted to EVP and Chief Brand Officer, overseeing all of Mattel’s toy...


GlobalComix has raised $6.5 million in a Series A funding round led by early-stage venture fund Point72.  The investment shows that in the wake of Amazon’s near-complete shutdown of digital comics pioneer comiXology as a separate entity early this year, the investors in GlobalComix believe there is opportunity in the now-vacated space for a comics market-facing digital comics company.

***The above posted after July 27th when tBR posted for that week***


New Zealand’s billion-dollar toy company Zuru has lost a legal trademark battle over packaging that told consumers its building bricks were compatible with Lego. Zuru, a home-grown Kiwi business that grew into a global success story, began selling its Max Build More products in 2018, including through a deal with the giant United States chain store Walmart. It intended to put a “compatibility statement” on its packaging...


Wilko owners, the Wilkinson family, are said to be considering relinquishing their stake in the UK retail chain as it  looks to raise significant new funding.  Sky News reports that the family behind retailer Wilko is exploring a change of ownership for the first time in a bid to salvage the chain’s future, adding that advisers to Wilko have begun discussions with potential buyers of the business in the last few days.


The UK government is leveling the tax relief playing field for animated feature films by upping the amount these projects can claim to 39% of budget, bringing them on par with animated television productions. Starting on January 1, 2024, the Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit (AVEC) will cover both types of animation production. Movies could previously only claim 25% of budget through the Film Tax Relief, so...

Amazon agreed to pay a $25 million civil penalty as part of a settlement with the Justice Department and the FTC to resolve allegations the ecommerce giant’s Alexa voice assistant violated a U.S. children’s privacy law, the DOJ announced. Under the terms of the settlement, Amazon also is required to change its practices relating to the alleged violations and inform consumers of its practices.


The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Arts (SAG-AFTRA) union is now on strike, instructing its members with film and TV contracts to stop working. After more than four weeks of negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)—which represents more than 350 studios and streamers such as Walt Disney Studios, Paramount and Netflix—ended...

Lionsgate has established pole position to acquire the Hasbro-owned Entertainment One, sources tell Deadline. Since Hasbro declared it was shedding all but its core business, Lionsgate has been oft-mentioned as a suitor, as has Legendary. The two indie studios have been more recently bidding for the eOne film and TV assets alongside distributor GoDigital Media Group, with former eOne CEO Darren Throop launching...

Klaus studio BRON files for bankruptcy. The pandemic and ongoing strikes have left the conglomerate with no choice but to file for bankruptcy, its CEO announced yesterday. Its collective portfolio of kids content output includes Netflix original animated films Klaus and The Willoughbys (pictured). And it was in development/production on several other project, including a proprietary animated series called Gossamer...

U.S. retail sales rise as spending cools. Consumer spend remains solid despite slowing as the back-to-school season approaches. While the back half of the year remains a wild card viewed with optimism by most of the toy industry, overall retail spending points to a slowdown at the cash register amid modest growth. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that overall U.S. retail sales grew by 1.5% year-over-year...


Babies R Us was gone for good. Now it’s back with a new US flagship store. First came Toys R Us’ roller coaster revival, and now Babies R Us is experiencing its own rebirth, too. Babies R Us, which went out of business in tandem with its parent company, Toys R Us, in 2018, is opening its new US flagship store on Wednesday at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey. .

The FTC fails in latest attempt to block Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has failed in its latest attempt to block Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The U.S. regulator last week lost its court battle with Microsoft after Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley found the pending merger won't "substantially lessen competition." 


Sony accepts Microsoft's offer to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for a decade. Microsoft and Sony have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation after the Xbox maker has acquired Activision Blizzard. Xbox boss Phil Spencer shared the news on Twitter, and said the company is looking forward to a future "where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games."

UK Interest rates: Big rise less likely after inflation surprise. Interest rates are predicted to rise less sharply after the UK saw a surprise drop in inflation in June. The Bank of England has raised rates 13 times since December 2021 to try to cool soaring price rises, driving up borrowing costs for millions. Experts say it is now under less pressure to act after inflation slowed to 7.9% in June, down from 8.7% the previous month. 


Barbie movie's potential $500 million haul could have huge implications for Mattel. The Barbie movie bubble is inflating faster than Wall Street expected, prompting a reexamination of the potential impact to Mattel's stock. Stifel analyst Drew Crum estimated in a new note on Tuesday the Barbie movie could have a domestic box office opening weekend of $90 million to $100 million. Crum previously estimated


Microsoft and Activision Blizzard implore FTC to halt case against merger. Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have filed a motion urging the FTC to stop trying to block their proposed merger. As spotted by Reuters, the motion essentially implores the FTC to throw in the towel after the U.S. regulator lost its court battle with Microsoft, clearing the way for the Xbox maker to proceed with its $68.7 billion...


SDCC: Super7 reveals private equity investment from The Newcastle Network. Ahead of Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), Super7 says it’s going into growth mode. The designer and producer of pop-culture-inspired toys, collectibles, apparel, and lifestyle products received an initial $12 million investment from The Newcastle Network, an East Coast private equity firm. 

Disney Lorcana studio calls Upper Deck lawsuit “more of a PR stunt than a genuine legal dispute”. Ravensburger, the company behind the upcoming trading card game Disney Lorcana, has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought against it by Upper Deck Entertainment. The dismissal is in response to a lawsuit filed by Upper Deck last month in which the company alleged that Ryan Miller – co-designer...



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Financial Reporting

Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” claimed the top spot with a massive $155 million in ticket sales from North American theaters from 4,243 locations, surpassing “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” (as well as every Marvel movie this year) as the biggest opening of the year and breaking the first weekend record for a film directed by a woman.

Comic retailers reported weak sales for Spring 2023 (Jan through Apr), and as is usually the case when comics (or any entertainment medium) has a sustained period of lackluster engagement, there’s general agreement that the problem is between the covers of the books...

***The above posted after july 21st***

‘Barbie’ Glams Up Summer With $150M+ Opening, ‘Oppenheimer’ Excites $75M+ – Box Office Update

Barbie, which has presales far exceeding that of Disney’s The Little Mermaid ($95.5M), has a crazy range of projections stateside, from $90M-$125M. Warners is safely calling for $75M at 4,200 theaters. Worldwide, Barbie is eyeing around $165M: $60M-$65M from 69 offshore...

Netflix’s Q2 revenue up 3% to US$8.1 billion, bolstered by paid sharing. Cracking down on password-sharing has given the company more confidence in its financial outlook, and it’s now predicting a successful Q3.

BBC Studios Hits Record $2.7B Annual Revenue, Driven by 40 Percent Content Studio Gain, ‘Bluey’ Merchandise

Tumblr is losing $30M each year, CEO says

Diablo IV drives "record quarter" for Blizzard and Activision

Trends, Market Research, and State of the Industry

TikTok introduces text-only posts as Elon Musk rebrands Twitter as X. The video sharing platform will allow posts of up to 1,000 words, in a move it characterised as ‘expanding the boundaries of content creation’






***The above posted after July 21st when tBR starting running***


'Barbie' movie revives interest in doll collectors' market


UK streaming growth slowing down as subscription fatigue hits home

Kids and teens drive up TV usage in June. For the two to 11 and 12 to 17 demos, streaming and gaming account for most of the monthly jump.



Trending: King features on consumer products and Kidult culture

STESA report finds video games maintain stronghold across demographics in U.S.

40% of adults splurge on toys they never had as children.

Barbie Movie set to breathe new life into doll sales: Euromonitor International.

Toyjobs has been the dominant recruiting

Stories, Comments, and Advice

Everyone here is called Ken! Inside BarbieCon, the huge Barbie event Mattel is keeping quiet. Amid the press coverage, however, one Barbie event drew surprisingly scant attention: the National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention (NBDCC). To year-round Barbie fans, it’s akin to Bonnaroo or Burning Man, an annual pilgrimage for five days of doll-centric celebration, which takes place in a different city every year. 

How Canada is a children’s TV powerhouse, from ‘You Can’t Do That On Television,’ to ‘Paw Patrol’. The children’s show Paw Patrol, launched by Spin Master Entertainment 10 years ago, is broadcast in more than 30 languages across nearly 180 countries and reaches 350 million households. Retail sales of Paw Patrol merchandise have surpassed US$14 billion. Yet, despite its huge international success, it isn’t celebrated...

How the ‘Barbie’ set designers created an oversize world for toys. “It was one of the most intellectually challenging films I’ve ever worked on,” says Sarah Greenwood, Barbie‘s production designer. Greenwood is a celebrated designer who, with longtime collaborator Katie Spencer, has been nominated for 6 Academy Awards for set and production design on such films as Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, and Beauty and the Beast. 

Barbiemania: How Warner Bros. and Mattel Painted the World Pink and Created Marketing Magic. From custom Crocs to a special Prada line to gay pride parade floats, Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' movie has attracted more than 100 promotional partners and generated countless headlines.  Barbie‘s release in theaters this weekend caps one of the most extensive and impressive extensive marketing campaigns in recent...

***The above posted after tBR started running On July 21st***


John Baulch, Toy World - Life in plastic, it’s fantastic …it’s the Friday Blog! This week, it’s been Barbie’s world – we just live in it. Premieres, media screenings and partner events have been taking place all week, in the run up to the movie’s official public debut today. The Toy World team attended a press preview on Monday, and having donned our best Barbie (and Ken) outfits, we sat down to see if the movie could...

Get ready for the rise of Kencore. Ken has always been a fashion icon, but he hasn’t had Barbie’s cultural influence. Until now. Ever since Ken debuted as Barbie’s boyfriend in 1961—wearing nothing but red swimming trunks and matching slides—he, too, has been a fashion icon. From Ken’s earliest days, toy-maker Mattel hired designers to create his wardrobe, which is every bit as stylish as Barbie’s. Despite that...

Playful - Behold the Unique Beauty of Japan’s Artistic Manhole Covers. Matsumoto City highlights one of its popular folk craft souvenirs, the colorful silk temari balls that once served as toys for female children and bridal gifts... The proximity of the Sanrio Puroland theme park allows Tama City to lay claim to Hello Kitty and Pokémon-themed lids have sprung up like mushrooms from Tokyo to Okinawa.


Can Barbie be the new Iron Man in a Mattel universe? It may sound like an unlikely comparison, but the boss of toy co. Mattel would like Barbie to be the next Iron Man. That's because Ynon Kreiz aspires to create a "Mattel universe", he tells me - emulating the success of the Marvel universe, which has spawned dozens of hit films for Disney from a cast of comic-book characters like Thor, Captain America and Guardians of...


Barbie: A Visual Dictionary. The things that make Barbie Barbie. Maybe you’ve heard there’s a Barbie movie coming out? Well, this isn’t about that. It is, however, about the 11½ inches of intellectual property that inspired all the madness: the doll itself. You know the one. Often blond, always smiling, occasionally naked and neglected at the bottom of a toy chest? Chances are you do: According to Mattel, more than 100 dolls...


AI in toys: A new frontier or a dangerous path? It is clear that the rapid development of AI will eventually find its way into children’s toys, and while AI will help provide children with unique interactions, it could introduce some serious challenges. How could AI be integrated into toys, what dangers would it present, and should we proceed with developing such products? It seems that for the past decade, AI has been...


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History and Nostalgia


Firebird 99 Sports Car from Remco (1958). “Just like driving Dad’s car!” Remco’s Firebird 99 Sports Car put children behind the wheel of a souped-up automobile dashboard. The motorized driving simulator was released in 1958, powered by imagination and two D-batteries. The toy had various authentic features and working parts. Firebird 99 provided a removable ignition key that could be inserted and turned on. 


Flap Jack: The Flip-Flop Game from Remco (1960). In Flap Jack: The Flip-Flop Game, Remco turned the art of flipping pancakes into a dexterity game for children. Released in 1960, the game eschewed a typical gameboard for a three-dimensional plastic stove, complete with an attachable stove pipe and a frying pan. 


Throwback: The toys that made our childhood in South Africa. Once upon a time there was a little child who had the world at their fingertips, lived vicariously through their toys, and spread the magic with those around them. Oh to be young, curious, and innocent. South Africa has a huge economic disparity between different regions of the nation, but one thing is known to be true, all children deserve an opportunity...


Tech toys you owned in the 1990s. Here are the iconic 90s toys that young engineers loved. Pre-internet, these gadgets seemed remarkably advanced. Take a look through this gallery and see how many you owned. Many of these toys – such as the Furby – are sold today in updated versions. Do you still have some 1990s tech toys in your garage? If so, you may find there is value in your old toys. 


Toys we miss. The 2000s were a time of rapid tech innovation. Instead of classic flip phones, our cell phones became sleek, small touch-screen computers. Bluetooth earpieces dominated the business world. USB flash drives made data storage easier than ever. But adults in the business world weren’t the only ones to experience this technological boom. 


10 classic toys that deserve a movie. With Barbie getting all the spotlight, it's time these classic toys had movies about them too. Lego, Transformers, and Barbie; so many classic toys have graced the silver screen with a movie of their own. It only seems fair with how many people had fond memories of these toys throughout their childhoods. 

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Licensing and Entertainment 


NBCUniversal’s DreamWorks Animation is getting its own area at the Universal Studios Orlando theme park. The space will include interactive games and attractions based on DreamWorks franchises such as Trolls, Kung-Fu Panda and Gabby’s Dollhouse. Set to open in 2024, the themed zone is being built in the KidZone section, which Universal Studios closed earlier this year.

Lily Collins is the ’90s micro-doll sensation in Mattel’s ‘Polly Pocket,’ with a script by Lena Dunham. After “Barbie” scored the biggest domestic opening weekend of 2023, earning an estimated $155 million in the United States and Canada, Mattel Films is eager to translate a rich toy line to cinema gold.


Coming hot off of Barbie‘s stellar opening weekend at theaters, Mattel has renewed its licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery’s consumer products division to continue as its toy licensee. The deal encompasses more than 50 of WBD’s brands and franchises, including the DC Comics universe, Batwheels, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. As part of the agreement, Mattel will manufacture and... 

Australia’s Moose Toys is amping up its action figure business with some “turtle power,” thanks to a new deal with Paramount Consumer Products to launch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys. As part of the licensing agreement, the Aussie toyco will roll out a new range of TMNT-branded Akedo Warriors (action figures that battle on a platform) to retailers across N.A. in time for the theatrical premiere...


Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies revealed over 20 minutes of new footage from upcoming animated movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and IGN was in the audience to take it all in. Here’s what we saw (spoilers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem follow!). The footage kicked off with a clip IGN premiered last week in...

Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort shingle and Fubo are looking to bring a cult classic rodent franchise back to the small screen. The companies have joined Nacelle Company as co-producers on its previously announced revival series Biker Mice From Mars. No release date is set yet, but the toon will premiere on the Maximum Effort Channel—which launched in June as a joint partnership between Fubo and Reynolds’...

BBC Studios has partnered with Prime Video to bring a curated lineup of its kids programming to India. The companies launched the subscription-based Prime Video Channels BBC Kids and BBC Player in the region yesterday. BBC Kids is a standalone option targeting kids and family audiences, while BBC Player offers a broader catalogue that features BBC Kids content, as well as adult-skewing shows and movies.  

***The above posted after tBR started running on July 21st***


Barbie licensing: Brand collaborations to celebrate an icon. With the “Barbie” movie set for release on July 21, License Global celebrates one of the biggest licensing and collaboration campaigns of recent history by highlighting the greatest creative extensions across Mattel’s 100 partnerships. Ahead of the theatrical release of “Barbie” on July 21, 

The live-action Masters of the Universe movie is no longer happening at Netflix. Kidscreen has confirmed that the streamer has axed the project after developing it for more than a year. The film was previously in development at Sony for several years before Netflix took it over in January 2022. While the film was not greenlit, the platform was going to develop and produce the pic with Mattel Films, and actor Kyle Allen...

Common Sense Networks has announced three new FAST channels for kids and is looking to partner with content suppliers to keep them fresh every three months. The for-profit affiliate of Common Sense Media has been quietly rolling out the channels in beta since the beginning of the year on US streamers including Roku, VIZIO, Sling TV and TCL.  Sensical Jr. is aimed at preschoolers and features Moonbug... 


Batman executive producer Michael Uslan has signed up with online bookstore Legible to develop characters for 12 new digital and print comics inspired by Stan Lee’s unpublished concepts. This talent deal builds on Legible and Kartoon Studio announcing a partnership last week to work on the Stan Lee project as a collaboration. They’ll develop and distribute the comics for pre-teens and older audiences...


GOLIATH PARTNERS WITH WONDERY FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE LUNAR DIAL. Goliath enters an agreement with Wondery to launch The Lunar Dial, a celestial strategy game based on Morbid, a top-ranking podcast on the Wondery Network. The stars have aligned themselves for the exciting launch of The Lunar Dial, a new strategy game brought to you by global toy and game company Goliath in partnership with Morbid...

Moose Games announced that it has acquired the game That’s What She Said, its expansions, and full rights to sell the hilariously twisted adult party game globally. That’s What She Said delivers unforgettable moments of laughter and outrageous fun to millions of living rooms, game nights and gatherings worldwide. The best-selling party-in-a-box has players matching side-splitting setup cards to the funniest...


The Beanie Bubble: release date, cast, plot, trailer and everything we know. The Beanie Bubble examines the craze from the inside, looking at the rise of Beanie Babies inventor Ty Warner and his lovable soft toys, but also examining how many other visionaries played their part in his success without getting the public credit.

The American Girl x FAO Schwarz 2023 Toy Soldier Doll Shines Bright with Real Swarovski Crystals. Take home a piece of toy history this holiday season! This limited-edition doll is part of the American Girl® Collector Series. No more than 4,000 American Girl® x FAO Schwarz 2023 Toy Soldier Dolls have been created worldwide.


‘Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge’ Boss Teases Mattel-Themed Renovation Competition. We’re gonna need more pink! As Mattel’s globally beloved Barbie hits theaters for her first live-action film, HGTV presents Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge, a four-part competition set within a life-size version of the 11.5-inch doll’s iconic abode. The series premieres Sunday, July 16 at 8/7c on the network.


Horizon Group USA Unveils Barbie Collection Ahead of Summer Movie. This summer, everyone is living in a Barbie World! Building on the excitement of the upcoming Barbie movie premiere, Horizon Group USA has a magnificent collection of Barbie toys and crafts that will ignite the inner Barbie of children everywhere, allowing them to sparkle and shine as bright as Barbie herself!

Hasbro launches ‘Peppa Pig’ cruise ship toy. The latest “Peppa Pig” toy from Hasbro, the “Peppa Pig” Cruise Ship, is available now. Inspired by the 4-part “Peppa Pig” Cruise Special, which premiered on Nick Jr. in June, kids can continue the storytelling through the cruise’s main deck, jungle-themed dining room, movable dinghy boat and more.

‘Friends’ characters become Fisher-Price Little People collector set. The newest addition to Fisher-Price’s Little People Collector lineup has been revealed as Little People Collector “Friends” The Television Series. In collaboration with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, Fisher-Price is unveiling the Little People Collector “Friends” The Television Series set.

Bababoo and friends expands its product offerings to include a new plush line: Best Friends. Award-winning, European toy brand Bababoo and friends continues to expand its U.S. offerings beyond its wooden toy line and books with the addition of a new plush category, slated to launch in fall of 2023. 


Toikido and Supersocial launch Piñata Smashlings on Roblox. The highly anticipated new Piñata Smashlings game marks the cutting-edge integration of digital play with real-world products, experiences and more. Toikido and Supersocial have announced the global launch of Piñata Smashlings, an imaginative, visually stunning, multiplayer game that will captivate audiences worldwide and kids of all ages. 


Hunter Price partners with Crayola for new UK products. The Crayola Kraft and Crayola Everyday range of products will be hitting UK retailers in August. Hunter Price, the UK brand known for its offerings across the core divisions of Home & Lifestyle; Stationary, Arts & Craft; and Toys & Activity, is partnering with Crayola to launch a new collection at retail locations Tesco and Poundland. Products in the...

Barbie licensing: Brand collaborations to celebrate an icon. With the “Barbie” movie set for release on July 21, License Global celebrates one of the biggest licensing and collaboration campaigns of recent history by highlighting the greatest creative extensions across Mattel’s 100 partnerships. Ahead of the theatrical release of “Barbie” on July 21, 


LEGO unveils Harry Potter Gringotts Wizarding Bank set. The LEGO Group, in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, has unveiled a LEGO Harry Potter Gringotts Wizarding Bank set, the latest addition to the LEGO Harry Potter product range. The set follows the LEGO Group’s history of designing and bringing many Harry Potter locations to life. 


SEGA, LEGO reveal Sonic vs. Dr. Eggman’s Death Egg Robot set. The new LEGO set will be released in August 2023. SEGA of America has teamed up with The LEGO Group to reveal the new Sonic vs. Dr. Eggman’s Death Egg Robot building set and a new Sonic-themed expansion pack for the upcoming video game, Sonic Superstars, during the annual Sonic Central live stream. 


Invisible Universe appoints Segal Licensing as Agent for U.S. and Canada. Invisible Universe, an internet-first animation studio, has named Segal Licensing as its licensing agent for the U.S. and Canada. The partnership is a result of increasing demands for the studio’s social media-inspired animated content among its various franchises. 


SDCC: LEGO reveals of Star Wars playsets. LEGO has revealed a new collection of Star Wars buildable sets at Comic Con International: San Diego (SDCC). The first of the three products in the collection is Ahsoka Tano’s T-6 Jedi Shuttle building set ($79.99), featuring a minifigure cockpit, landing gear, stud shooters, and two storage compartments.

Hasbro’s reveals new Star Wars toys ahead of ‘Ahsoka’. The new show hits screens on Aug. 23. The latest Star Wars TV show, Ahsoka, hits Disney+ next month. Hasbro is gearing up for the new series with a new line of toys based on Ahsoka Tano’s previous appearances on screen. Kids can act out their favorite scenes from Star Wars: The Clone Wars with the Galactic Action Ahsoka Tano figure. 


Moose Games secures licensing and global distribution rights for ‘Do You Really Know Your Family?’ Moose Games, the gaming innovation division of award-winning Moose Toys, announced it has acquired the global rights to sell the best-selling family party game Do You Really Know Your Family? from ASM Games. Do You Really Know Your Family? is catered specifically toward families, filled with questions to ask your family...


Miffy announces U.S. collaboration with Tonies. Miffy, the world-renowned bunny created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna will partner with tonies, the leading musical storytellers. This is Miffy’s first time partnering with the children’s brand in the U.S., indicating the ongoing love between Miffy and youngsters. T


Chaosium reveals 'Horror on the Orient Express: The Board Game'. Chaosium Inc. revealed Horror on the Orient Express: The Board Game, a new cooperative game based on the classic Call of Cthulhu RPG adventure, to be released into retail in 2025. In this game, engineered by Nemesis and Frostpunk: The Board Game designer Adam Kwapinski and Destinies designer Michal Golab Golebiowski...

Incredible Group to launch sweet line of Jelly Belly toys & collectibles this Fall. The line will debut at Meijer and independent specialty retailers in the U.S. The iconic Jelly Belly brand is on its way to the toy dept. Following a showing at last month’s ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Columbus, Ohio, Incredible Group has locked in plans to debut a full range of licensed toys and collectibles inspired by Jelly Belly jelly beans. 

Mighty Jaxx announced that both Freeny’s Hidden Dissectibles: One Piece Ladies Edition Funboxx series and Kwistal Fwenz X Avatar: The Last Airbender FunBoxx series collections are available for purchase in stores now! The One Piece collection is available at Hot Topic, Box Lunch, Newbury Comics, FYE, and Books-A-Million, and...

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People of Play

A four-year-old girl is on a mission to bring smiles to underserved children in Chicagoland by helping them celebrate their birthday in a big way.  Emery, with assistance from her three-year-old sister Oliva, launched “Give Em Joy” which sends games and birthday cards to kids that need some extra cheer. Emery’s journey began when she celebrated her own fourth birthday. Following her party filled with family, friends and...


Ruth Handler Is the Key to Barbie. What To Know About the Doll’s Controversial Founder. When Greta Gerwig embarked upon her journey to create a story about a doll with no personality or inner life, she turned to Barbie’s history for inspiration. Mattel, Barbie’s parent company, led the filmmaker through an “immersion” experience—or Barbie bootcamp—that outlined the iconic doll’s long history, from her debut at...

Lake Tahoe for Ta-Tas, organized by Rachel Griffin. As a PR Person, this should come easy, but I am not much of a self promoter. LOL. That being said, I think most of you know I am a mermaid at heart and that I challenge myself intensely in the name of charity. Next month I will do it again! On August 20th, I will swim 12 miles across Lake Tahoe with my friend and Breast Cancer Survivor & Thrivor, Rachel Wells, to raises money for Breast Cancer research, patient care, advocacy and more. If you have a dollar to spare, I would love your support. ❤️


***The above posted after tBR started sending on July 21st***


Rob Liefeld Net Worth 2023- Exploring The Jaw-Dropping Wealth Of Famous Comic Artist.  Rob Liefeld is a renowned comic book artist, writer, and entrepreneur who has left an indelible mark on the industry. Born on October 3, 1967, in California, Liefeld’s contributions to the world of comics have been both celebrated and critiqued, making him a controversial figure in the industry.


Larry Wood, a Hot Wheels toy designer for 50 yrs, is being inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit on July 20. His garage is practically a living history of Hot Wheels and all things automotive, from classic cars to classic gas pumps. Wood worked for Mattel Toys in El Segundo and has been a resident of Redondo Beach for over 5 decades. He still plays with cars, big and small, at the age of 81. 

Toy designer Yoshiaki Ito introduces a collection of wooden retro transformers that unfold from a compact square into a whimsical array of animals. Titled Morphits, these animal figures bring enchanting play experiences to people of all ages, fusing adorably expressive designs with versatile poseability. 

Jordan Pope joins Click Distribution. Click Distribution (UK) has announced the appointment of Jordan Pope as Sales account manager for UK & Ireland. Jordan brings a wealth of experience to the role. Spanning across all toy categories, Jordan brings his knowledge in the industry, where he has worked across a wide range of customers, including Toymaster, AIS, eCommerce and key accounts.


Rainbow Designs appoints new key account manager. Rainbow Designs is further strengthening its successful sales team with the appointment of Brett Bamberger to the position of key account manager. Brett joins the Rainbow Designs team, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the Baby and Nursery categories.

Moose Toys appoints Sara Gibson as UK sales director. Moose Toys has announced Sara Gibson as its new UK sales director, who will be starting her new role on 17th July. Sara joins Moose from Tesco with a wealth of success and experience in the industry. She brings almost two decades of multi-category experience, spanning buying and operations roles for Tesco in Central Europe.

Meet the Fashion Designer Responsible for “Dressing Barbie”. With eye-popping colors, Dressing Barbie invites the reader to enter a unique museum; an individually curated Barbie and friends’ collection. It is lavishly illustrated with Carol Spencer’s own striking photographs of many of the dolls she created complete with their coordinated outfits, accessories, cars and houses along with vintage advertisements and little...

Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ Dream Job. Mattel wanted a summer blockbuster to kick off its new wave of brand-extension movies.  The moment Greta Gerwig knew for certain that she could make a movie about Barbie, the most famous and controversial doll in history, she was thinking about death. She had been reading about Ruth Handler, the brash Jewish businesswoman who created the doll — and who, decades later, had two mastectomies. 


Who was Ruth Handler, the woman that invented Barbie? There have been rumours flying around that Ruth Handler will appear as a character in the Barbie movie. According to Margot Robbie's recent TIME interview, it sounds like she'll appear in some form as the creator of the 'perfect woman.' It comes as Greta Gerwig revealed that one of the scenes bears a 'striking' resemblance to Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam...



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Companies and Brands

Here's how the magic is made at the toy company that created Rubik's Cube and Hatchimals. Spin Master toys have been bringing joy for decades with classic toys like Rubik's Cube and winning over new audiences with modern creations like Hatchimals. Here's how they're trying to keep the playful spirit alive while entrancing new audiences. Dana Jacobson reports from Spin Master's headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

Glo, the company behind the award-winning sensory water toys, Glo Pals, is refreshing their water-activated light-up toys this summer. The Glo Pal characters, Alex, Blair, Lumi, Pippa and Sammy have evolved, with new “facial” designs and personalities, adding even more fun to the bath time and water play. Light up cubes are also now made of 100% recycled plastic.

LEGO Secures $2 Million Contract from Department of Defense for Robotics Education Program. This contract, as reported on the website, highlights LEGO’s commitment to integrating robotics into their products and toys for over a decade. LEGO’s educational program offers students the opportunity to learn about robotics and coding from an early age. One of their popular products, the LEGO Education BricQ...

***The above posted after tBR started running July 21st***


Hasbro’s global entertainment studio, Entertainment One (eOne), has signed a new deal with BBC to broadcast season one of the Transformers: EarthSpark series in the UK. The first ten episodes will launch on 24th July on CBBC, from Monday to Thursday, and will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Following the release of the first batch of episodes, additional new Transformers: EarthSpark content will ...


Neopets is going independent and embarking on a brand revival strategy. According to a company blog post, new indie entity World of Neopia has assumed ownership of the virtual pet brand and appointed Dominic Law (an exec at former brand owner NetDragon) as CEO. This major development comes on the heels of LA-based video game publisher JumpStart, which ran Neopets, shutting down last month. 

The development and design of robots is reaching unsuspected heights. A few days ago the well-known company Robosen and Hasbro announced its new toy, which more than a toy is a artwork for collectors of this type of devices. It is nothing more and nothing less than a robotic grimlock that transforms into dinosaur like in robot fighter. Robosen and Hasbro has become known after in 2021 they launched...

DKB celebrates sale of 200,000th Crazy Aaron’s tin. Crazy Aaron’s has been back for about a year now, with the American-made Thinking Putty continuing to dominate the UK marketplace. Exclusive UK & Ireland distributor DKB Toys & Distribution has now sold 200,000 tins of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty to its customers just 13 months after bringing the best-selling putty brand back to the territory.

The Red Balloon Toy Store is turning 30 this year. The toy retailer will be celebrating with a sales event from July 13-15 across six of their seven current Utah locations. As part of this milestone celebration, Grandpa Beck Games’ founder, Grandpa Beck himself, will make a special appearance for media interviews and sign games for attendees at the Sandy location in Utah on July 14.

Toys “R” Us’ Geoffrey Mobile has a long history, and now that history continues with the vehicle’s newest 2023 iteration, as the brand plans a tour for giraffe mascot Geoffrey across the U.S. Geoffrey’s Tour Across America will get its start in New York City at Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square.

Dart Zone continues to innovate and lead the half-length dart blaster category with its newest Max Outlaw Ultimate Dart Blaster. Available August 1st exclusively at Target, the Outlaw’s concentrated design rivals the performance of professional-level blasters and sets a new standard for competitive and casual players to dominate the foam dart field.

Life-sized Lego Suffragette goes on display. The University of Edinburgh is exhibiting a 32,000 Lego brick statue to help tell the story of women’s suffrage in the UK. Built by The Lego Group in 2018, Hope took three people 171 hours to build, using 32,327 Lego bricks. Hope was chosen as her name following a public poll. She was created for the UK Parliament’s Education and Engagement team and was originally displayed in the...

Bob Iger’s big ideas for Disney involve cost-cutting at Marvel. Bob Iger has a lot to say about Disney’s future. During a 40-minute interview with CNBC, the CEO talks about what the company could look like over the next four (or more) years under his control — and it could drastically change some of Disney’s biggest brands. 

Walmart’s Open Call 2023 celebrates a decade of investing in American jobs. Do you have a toy, game, or toy-adjacent product that’s shelf-ready and made or assembled in the U.S.? If so, Walmart wants to hear from you. This week, Walmart began accepting applications for its tenth annual Open Call event, a chance for entrepreneurs and small business owners to apply for the opportunity to pitch their products. 

CAMP plots first Chicago Shop-and-Play Retail Experience. The Family Experience Co. plants its flag in The Windy City for the very first time. A Chicago CAMP location has been in the works for years, and now it’s finally happening. This summer, CAMP is opening its first shop-and-play retail experience in the Chicagoland area with a 7,500-square-foot destination in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Described as “part toy …


Playmobil to be distributed by Click Europe. Click Europe has become an approved UK distributor for renowned German toy manufacturer Playmobil. Click Europe is set to distribute new, exclusive ranges to the UK market, as well as end of line discounted stock and pre-filled free standing display units with in-store support materials. 


Friedemann Friese's 'Freaky Frogs from Outspace' incoming. Rio Grande Games will release Freaky Frogs from Outaspace, a new pinball board game, into retail soon. In Freaky Frogs from Outaspace, a player engages their favorite pinball game to try to set a new high score.  The goal of the game is to keep the ball running and rack up points. 

Brains & Beauty Dolls launch with Malia M, Khari & Nia. There are no bad hair days for Malia M., Khari or Nia, a trio of multicultural 18” dolls, as their lustrous thick hair awaits styling by their young owner to brush, braid, twist, curl, straighten, apply Bantu knots, or leave as is. The message from Brains & Beauty Dolls is that empowerment, hence confidence, starts from within. 

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Gaming: Digital, Video, Hardware, and Development


Toon Cup brings girl power to Cartoon Network’s mobile game. Toon CupCartoon Network is refreshing the popular Toon Cup game with a Women’s World Cup theme, running from now until the 17th of August. During this time, kids can create a team and play for their favourite country in the Girl Power Tournament. Players around the globe can accrue points for their chosen country and at the end of the tournament...


Overwatch 2 players are playing and spending less now, Blizzard says. Overwatch 2 is in a rough spot as Blizzard prepares for one of its biggest content drops yet next month. After a collection of bad news since its October 2022 launch, including the gutting of PvE content and charging $15 for story missions, Overwatch 2’s engagement and money investment has declined—despite the...


Neopets: Virtual pet website plans $4m comeback. Virtual pet website Neopets is planning a comeback. Launched in 1999 by British developers, the site let users care for cartoon pets, chat and play games. But after Viacom bought it, for $160m (£122m) in 2005, the site failed to keep up with the times and many elements stopped working. 


Catan is coming to Nintendo Switch, season pass announced for Xbox and Playstation editions. The video game version of Catan is coming to the Nintendo Switch sometime in the next six months. Based on the classic family board game, Catan – Console Edition sees players competing against their friends, random people online and artificial intelligence players, in a race to be the first to collect 10 victory points. 

Highlighted Press Releases

PARENTS ARE GOING GAGA FOR GOKI! KINDER PLAYROOM NOW STOCKING THESE ADORABLE GERMAN WOODEN TOYS. From Pram Chain Hedgehog & Owl to Hammer Bench or Moose Balancing Game, Expect to Get Asked, ‘Where’d You Get That?’ Charlotte, NC (July 27, 2023) — The simplicity of playing with an open-ended German wooden toy continues to be a timeless classic that never loses its luster or appeal for children and parents alike. Toymaker goki brings its exquisite line of lovingly designed playthings for babies and kinder (German for children) stateside. stocks over four dozen goki toys with must-have items like Touch Ring Elastic Bear ($12.50) or Moose Balancing Game ($23.95). These European crafted toys are affordable and adorable plus they offer eco-friendly screen-free play season after season.

WOULD YOU HUG A CACTUS? YES, SAYS MOOSH-MOOSH WHEN IT’S MAYA THE PLUSHIE WITHOUT THE PRICKLES. Moosh-Moosh Series 5 Is Now Available In A Dozen Soft & Squishy Personalities To Cuddle Or Stack From Dozer The Dalmatian To Taz The Koala & Now Maya!. Simi Valley, CA (July 26, 2023) – If you asked a kid to snuggle a pineapple or a cactus, would they do it? Absolutely, both retailers and parents agree–if they are Moosh-Moosh Series 5 pillow-y pals. The yellow pineapple with the green leafy top named Ana and the soft and friendly cactus with pretty red flowers named Maya are two of the dozen soft and squishy pillow plush toys from Moosh-Moosh. At $18.99, Ana and Maya and an armload of 12” x 8”x 6” pals are the perfect size and shape to comfort, to cuddle and to collect.


KIDS PREFERRED® ANNOUNCES ITS LINEUP FOR FALL 2023: DC & WIZARDING WORLD. President Larry Presser’s Strategic Yet Nimble Business Plan To License Warner Bros. Discovery Iconic Properties Introduces A New Generation of Kids Preferred Fans To Super Heroes & Wizards. East Windsor, NJ (July 25, 2023) – Kids Preferred®, in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, is rolling out an infant and toddler collection to gently introduce the magic of the DC Universe and Harry Potter™ to Generation Alpha. Zoomers to Boomers will be in awe of the cuddly and adorable plush, blankets, teethers and activity toys including My First Comic Book ($15) with a removable Batman and The Joker, peek-a-boo flaps and tactile ribbons. Can you say Kapow! Bonk! or Zowie!?


***the above posted after July 21st***


BRAINS, BEAUTY & GORGEOUS NATURAL HAIR–MALIA M., KHARI & NIA HAVE GOT IT ALLBRAINS, BEAUTY & GORGEOUS NATURAL HAIR – Meet The 18” Multicultural Dolls Who Proudly Empower Kids. For Who They Are, From Head To Toe, At Sicklerville, NJ (July 20, 2023) – There are no bad hair days for Malia M., Khari or Nia ($89.99 at, a trio of multicultural 18” dolls, as their lustrous thick hair awaits styling by their young owner to brush, braid, twist, curl, straighten, apply Bantu knots, or leave as is. The message from Brains & Beauty Dolls is that empowerment, hence confidence, starts from within. If you don’t believe it, just give the doll a squeeze and listen for one of the 20 phrases that the doll speaks, such as, “You are unstoppable!”

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Safety and Counterfeiting


Barbie’s Big Screen Debut Lures Toy Scammers. According to LatentView Analytics, counterfeit toys generated over $32 billion in revenue in the U.S. in 2019. LatentView says that a key driver of fake toy sales is online marketplaces and since their advent, “52% of toy brands have seen an increase in fake toys sold.” In the EU, a majority of goods seized at the border are counterfeit from online trade and online shopping.

FBI used Nintendo Switch to locate abducted child [Update]. The FBI used a Nintendo Switch console to locate an abducted 15-year-old girl, who had been missing for 11 days back in August 2022, Forbes reports. In a horrendous case involving kidnap and sexual exploitation, a teenage girl was found and rescued only after she logged online with her Nintendo Switch. 

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Associations, Shows, Awards, Events, and Festivals


Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) opens its online meeting platform as organisers confirm 190 exhibiting companies and thousands of retailers and manufacturers registered to attend. From today, anyone who is registered for BLE can use the online meetings platform to search for licence-ready brands spanning every category across entertainment, sports, gaming, heritage & non-profit, food & beverage, celebrity....


***The above posted after July 21st***


Spin Master makes Fast Company’s Best Workplace for Innovators list. Spin Master is a well-known toy company with offerings across a variety of categories and licenses. The toy industry big has seen recent success with the Gabby’s Dollhouse brand and the unveiling of a new virtual pet line. Now, Spin Master has found itself on Fast Company’s 2023 Best Workplace for Innovators list. 

Amazon, Mattel, Spin Master, & More Top Brands Take Center Stage at the 2023 TOTY Awards. As enthusiasm builds for the biggest night in the toy community, companies from all corners of the industry are excitedly uniting to support the 2023 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and its mission to deliver the extraordinary benefits of play to children in need. 


Connect @ Autumn Fair attracts thousands of buyers. There’s still time to sign up – buyers visiting Autumn Fair are advised to register by 9th August to take advantage of the benefits on offer. Launching at Autumn Fair 2023, Connect @ Autumn Fair is a brand-new way for the retail community to connect and collaborate. 


Licensing International names 2023 Accelerator Program participants. Licensing International has named Anboran, Confidence by Gabby Goodwin, The World of EPI, Limelight Entertainment, Smart Zone, and WatchinU as its 2023 Diversity & Inclusion Accelerators. These companies will receive benefits valued at more than $100,000, including monthly mentoring meetings with industry leaders...


The Spiel des Jahres jury announced the winners for the 2023 awards season. Games from Pegasus Spiele and Libellud/Space Cow took the top two laurels: Dorfromantik won the coveted Spiel des Jahres award and Mysterium Kids won the Kennerspiel des Jahres. The nominees for these awards were announced in May 2023. The award for the top children's game, the Kinderspiel des Jahres, went to Challengers...

Everyone with a special connection to the fair was called upon to submit ideas, with the playful feline character now called Meeps by popular vote. For the first time in its 40-year history, Spiel Essen has a mascot – and this mascot now has a name: Meeps. The Spielwarenmesse eG subsidiary says it is grateful to the 1,000 game fans who voted overwhelmingly in favour of this choice, after the feline character...


The Game Designers Association (SAZ) is pleased to announce the founding of SAZ Nederland, its second foreign group after SAZ-Italia (2017). This was the logical consequence after the number of members in the Netherlands had developed positively in recent years. The SAZ Nederland can build on the already proven structures of the Spellenmaakgilde, which was founded by Arjan van Houwelingen back in 2015.


Nonprofit research and innovation lab The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is convening a panel at the 20th Annual Games for Change Festival on July 18th,2023 to help shape digital play experiences for players of all ages. Representatives from The LEGO Group, Scratch Foundation, and Riot Games will join the Joan Cooney Center’s Executive Director Michael Preston to discuss emerging...

Hasbro celebrates its 100th anniversary at 2023 San Diego Comic-Con International. Celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, Hasbro, Inc, a toy and game company, is returning to San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) International, showcasing an incredible lineup of branded activities based on fan favorites, including Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, NERF, G.I. JOE and Power Rangers...


JAKKS Pacific and Disguise announce San Diego Comic Con panel and audience giveaway. JAKKS Pacific, Inc a leading toy manufacturer and Disguise Inc, world leaders in costume design will give San Diego Comic Con guests an in-person look at all-new Super Mario toys, incredible additions for Sonic the Hedgehog enthusiasts, and many other exciting releases. .

Upcoming Kids India fair offers wide range of visitor services. The ninth Kids India is on its way. India’s most important international B2B trade fair for toys, children’s products and sports goods takes place from 31st August to 2nd September at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. Organised by Spielwarenmesse India Pvt., a subsidiary of Spielwarenmesse eG, and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce...


UK Toy Fair achieves highest re-booking rate in many years. Toy Fair announces that it is 90% full, with the ground floor and Greenhouse area are both sold out and exhibition areas potentially expanding. Toy Fair, celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2024, has attained its highest re-booking rate in many years with more than 90% of the exhibition space being re-sold to returning exhibitors. 


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

Jesse Horowitz - toy inventor loved by many. We are creating a POP profile page to show his wide impact on the toy industry. The following is what Howard Tarnoff posted on Linkedin: Jesse Horowitz passed away this past week while vacationing with family. He will be deeply missed by the many friends and family he impacted. To name just a few of his toy industry accomplishments, Jesse was the creator and designer of the JOHNNY EAGLE line, JOHNNY SPEED line, SILLY SAFARI game and SUZY CUTE doll. He conceived of the idea and helped in the development of STRETCH ARMSTRONG. He and his group were directly responsible for the creation of STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and CARE BEARS.


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

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. UK Toy Fair achieves highest re-booking rate in many years

  2. It wasn’t me…it’s the Friday Blog!

  3. Smoby announces month-long partnership with KidZania London

  4. Rainbow Designs appoints new key account manager

  5. DKB celebrates sale of 200,000th Crazy Aaron’s tin

  6. Jordan Pope joins Click Distribution

  7. Brian Mariotti takes leave of absence from Funko

  8. Get involved in the September edition of Toy World

  9. Moose Toys appoints Sara Gibson as UK sales director

  10. Exclusive: Funko Games reimagines Cranium Powered by Toyworld

  1. Barbie activations land at Selfridges to celebrate movie release

  2. Toikido and Supersocial launch Piñata Smashlings on Roblox

  3. Lego reveals latest addition to Harry Potter range

  4. Fisher-Price unveils Little People Collector Friends set

  5. Warner Bros. Discovery presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony

  6. Monster Jam debuts Marvel Trucks at London event

  7. LMG brings Fruit-tella to the drinks aisle

  8. Simon & Schuster range to feature CBeebies Supertato

  9. Pip and Posy to visit Leicester festival in August

ICv2: The Business of Geek Culture (US) 

Funko CEO Out
Upper Deck Responds to Ravensburger's Motion to Dismiss 'Disney Lorcana TCG' Case
Rolling for Initiative -- UPS Strike? Maybe
Chaosium Reveals 'Horror on the Orient Express: The Board Game'
Sirius Dice Announces 'Dungeons & Dragons: Acererak's Treasure'
Spiel des Jahres 2023 Winners Revealed
Introduce Players to 'Pokemon TCG' with 'My First Battle'
Games Workshop Unleashes New 'Warhammer 40,000: Combat Arena' Board Game
Ultra PRO Will Release 'D&D: Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants' Accessories
Ravensburger Files Motion to Dismiss Upper Deck Lawsuit



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

Famosa announces its support for the Spanish women's soccer team

- Hasbro Introduces Self-Transforming Grimlock at SDCC 2023

- Super7 announces a $25 million investment from The Newcastle Network

The Bugg Report (Australia)

​​​posts Friday morning

Casual Game Revolution

News Flash: Turbo Kidz Announced, Spiel des Jahres Winners Selected
Scorpion Masqué has announced a new racing game, the 2023 Spiel des Jahres winners have been announced, and an unusual expansion for Catan is in the works.

Video of the Week 

Tim Walsh: Barbie. Oppenheimer. Barbenheimer. It’s more than a meme. It’s a legend. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer premiering on the same day in July 2023 is the perfect opportunity to compare these two wildly different films, and in doing so actually uncover some surprising similarities between the movies and the film-makers behind them.



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