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(SAMPLE REPORT) Volume XXI, Edition #2 Was Continually Updated
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***Company Profile Of The Week***
Want to know more about the companies in our industry?
In this space we feature a different company profile each week...
This week's profile:
HABA USA
HABA USA is the exclusive importer of HABA toys & games designed by our parent company in Germany.  HABA USA is also the exclusive importer and distributor of two other brands 1) Spielstabil (pronounced speel-sta-beel) which is a phenomenal quality, indestructible, color fast line of beach toys many of which are still made in Germany and 2) Moover beautiful heirloom quality wooden ride on and push toys designed by a Danish company.  All of the HABA, Spielstabil and Moover products can be purchased from HABA USA by consumers and retailers.

At HABA, kids rule.  You won’t see a lot of them running around the factory, but their needs and wants are foremost in our company’s mission.  Owned and operated by the Habermaass family for more than 80 years, our company has grown to 1,400 employees in Germany.  The HABA USA division is located in Skaneateles, NY, a quaint town in the Finger Lakes area.  In 2002, the Skaneateles facility was revamped from a manufacturing facility into what it is today - a sales, marketing and distribution office for HABA® toys, which now range from toys and games made in Germany to also toys made in Asia.

HABA prides itself on the fact that children love playing with our toys, blissfully unaware of how this fosters their development.  That’s the stamp of approval the company appreciates the most, but it has been recognized by the grown-up world as well.  Our products have been bestowed honors by virtually every German toy award and virtually all of the prestigious American ones, as well.  Our design intentions are simple, provide value and quality.  We have a uniquely playful design that uses characters and colors that, for the most part, are non-gender specific.  All of products are designed to grow with the child to ensure many years of family enjoyment. 

HABA favors wood for many of our toys; wooden toys last for years and flatter the hand. Our wooden baby clutching toys are still made in Germany using PEFC certified Beech and/or Maple; PEFC means the wooden toys are made from timbers that are reforested. Many of our wooden toddler toys are produced in China from similar materials. We use safe, non-toxic, water based stains and lacquers on our products.  We use recycled corrugated with as little foam/etc. as possible to package our items. 

HABA is confident the U.S. consumer will delight in the wholesome, cheerful designs of our European designed toys.  Our classic, feel-good toys have found their niche amongst the plethora of toy choices in today’s marketplace. From birth to 99, HABA has the young and the young at heart covered!

History of the HABA Family - It was a risk to start a company in an empty factory building on April 26, 1938, in uncertain times and with limited capital resources. But Anton Engel and Eugen Habermaaß were willing to take this risk: they founded the Anton Engel company, a factory for polished wooden products in Bad Rodach, then going on to found a second company a few days later with Karl Wehrfritz: Wehrfritz & Co. In 1940, Eugen Habermaaß assumed sole responsibility for the company after his equal partners pulled out. With vision, a strong will, and perseverance, he saw the companies safely though the Second World War and the subsequent occupation. In 1955, Eugen Habermaaß passed away quite suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 53. Though his wife Luise Habermaaß had been helping out at the firm for a number of years, her next step took a great deal of courage: the mother of four took the helm without any formal training in business or technology. Her sense of social responsibility towards the company’s employees back then is the main reason the company is still in existence today. Luise Habermaaß quickly demonstrated a fine sense of the demands of the market. With a great deal of determination and the support of her long-term employees, she fought to make her own personal economic miracle a success in the 50s. Luise Habermaaß, honorary citizen of the city of Bad Rodach, died in 2003 shortly before her 97th birthday. Her son Klaus Habermaaß had already joined the company in 1961 after completing a traineeship in cabinetmaking and getting his engineering degree from the state university. The 24-year-old began as a sales assistant, and went on to assume responsibility gradually for the technology, finance and development divisions, while his mother Luise Habermaaß continued to focus on product range development at Wehrfritz. This division of labor worked quite well. Today Klaus Habermaaß is the managing director of the corporate family that he continues to lead with an unmistakable sense of market and product development, a strong will, and a great deal of social responsibility towards the company’s employees. The continual development of the company was and is a central element of his philosophy. And as an honorary citizen, the needs of the community and the development of the city of Bad Rodach are also close to his heart. Today we are a successful corporate family. Like every family, we have parents who founded and built up the family: Eugen and Luise Habermaaß; and children who will lead us into the future: Klaus Habermaaß. Neither war, nor the division of Germany or economic fluctuations could hold this family back. One of their greatest merits: they have created and continue to create jobs in a region that is economically disadvantaged.

HABA Worldwide - The HABA Family of Companies resides in Bad Rodach, Germany, and HABA products are available in more than 50 countries worldwide in over 9,500 specialty stores. These products are known as the Inventive Playthings, Erfinder für Kinder, Inventori per bambini, Opfinder for born, or Inventor paraniños. HABA products are represented at the most important trade fairs worldwide. The international market is increasingly importance for us. Click here for a list of HABA's Worldwide Distribution Partners

HABA USA - In 1980, HABA purchased a small wooden toy & train manufacturing facility in Central New York called Skaneateles Handicrafters and soon renamed it T.C. Timber.  In 2002 HABA transitioned its USA business so that a vast range of HABA Toys could now be made available to the American market. The HABA USA office markets the toys and residential room décor selection to specialty retailers across the USA. The products found here on the www.HABAusa.com site are the products available in the USA. 

An independent distributor, Gressco Ltd., imports and distributes the entire line of HABA school and childcare facility furniture. To reach Gressco Ltd. Please visit www.Gresscoltd.com. If you would like to see the full range of HABA furniture on the HABA corporate website (in the English language) click here.

HABA France - HABA opened a wholly-owned subsidiary in Egly, France near Paris in 1993. HABA France markets both the toy and the furniture to specialty stores, childcare centers, and other social institutions.

HABA UK - HABA founded a subsidiary in Great Britain in 2005. HABA UK markets the entire HABA line of toys and furniture products to specialty stores, gift shops, and lifestyle shops.

HABA Asia - Since April 2011, our subsidiary in Hong Kong has been the first point of contact for our Asian customers. The focus of HABA Asia is on building distribution structures in the following areas: learning centers, specialty retail, and school suppliers. Purchasing also has a presence at HABA Asia along with product safety, safe working environments, and timeliness.In the future, the entire Asia-Pacific market will be serviced from our HABA Asia offices in Hong Kong.

HABA Worldwide - To visit the HABA Worldwide corporate website and view the HABA.de site in different languages, click here.

From birth to 99, HABA has the young and the young at heart covered!
HABA USA can be reached at:
4407 Jordan Road | Skaneateles, NY 13152 | USA
tel: 315.685.6660, 800.468.6873 | fax: 315-685-3792
Visit the HABA USA website:
www.habausa.com
Contact: Use Form
Click here to learn how your company can be featured as
the Bloom Report's "Company Profile of the Week"

 

E-mails to the Editor
Always interesting, sometimes provocative, occasionally humorous...
Don't miss what our subscribers have to say!

Click on this link to view "Emails to the Editor"

p
osted 6/12/17:
Ron Grattini comments on "the Hassenfelds"
posted 3/16/15: Joe Kling Responds to Magic 8 Ball news article " Why the Magic 8 Ball Still Holds Our Fascination"
posted 2/28/14: Conditions in China Toy Factories

Tell us what's on your mind about the Toy Industry or "the Bloom Report"...
Let us know what you think about the issues facing us all...

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York Jersey Underwriters has been in business since 1926 and has 40 years experience with the toy industry.
We are licensed in all 50 States and represent many leading insurers as an independent agency. We are successful insurance program managers for specific industries and are pleased to offer our Liability Insurance Program for Toy, Hobby & Juvenile Industries.

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Visit the York-Jersey Underwriters website at
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The Perfect Gift! New! Expanded 4th Edition!
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• Do your products help kids to be smarter and more playful?
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Dr Toy
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"the Bloom Report" Covering the Week Of:
Saturday January 12 through Friday January 18, 2019

Financial & Legal News
Saturday January 12 through Friday January 18, 2019
Links to the financial news & articles appropriate to the industries we cover...
You can reach the WebSite that contains the complete story by "clicking" on each "headline link"

RECORD AMOUNT RAISED FOR TABLETOP GAMES ON KICKSTARTER IN 2018~Successful tabletop game projects raised $165.3 million on Kickstarter in 2018, up 20% from the $137 raised in 2017. The number of successfully funded tabletop game projects was also up 20% in 2018, to 2,336. This is the fourth consecutive year of growth for tabletop games on Kickstarter; the category has grown six of the seven years since the platform launched in 2011. The 20% growth rate for tabletop games accelerated from the first half of the year, when it was 14%. The odds of success for...
MARVEL STRETCHES MARKET SHARE LEAD~Marvel Comics extended its lead over #2 comic store publisher DC Entertainment in 2018, with a 38.24% share of comics and graphic novel sales in comic stores, compared to 30.04% share for DC according to information released by Diamond Comic Distributors today. That 8.2% share lead was up from the 6.29% share lead Marvel held last year. The change was in Marvel, which had an increase in share; DC’s share was essential flat (down .03%). And as we often see in periods of relative weakness in the comics market, the...
Spin Master and Alpha Group Resolve Patent Disputes Relating to Bakugan Toy~Spin Master and Alpha Group of Guangzhou, Guangdong, P.R. China, announce that their disputes in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States regarding transformable toys have been resolved amicably. Among the terms of settlement are Alpha Group's agreement not to sell, after January 31, 2019, the Screechers Wild! products identified in the three cases in the three countries subject to the settled disputes. "We are very proud of the innovative technology behind the Bakugan products...
Gymboree Latest Retailer to Go Bankrupt~Children’s clothing company Gymboree will follow several other retailers into Chapter 11, just as Sears decides whether to liquidate its inventory and shutter altogether. It would be the second time in two years that Gymboree will file for Chapter 11. The company is expected to liquidate all 800 stores under its flagship brand. Two other divisions — Janie and Jack and Crazy 8 — might survive, or they could join Gymboree in liquidation. The Wall Street Journal reports that the current owners of the chains are Carriage House Capital Advisors...
Build-A-Bear warns of ’significant’ UK challenges~Fears of a bear market in Britain came out of hibernation for Build-A-Bear Workshop which lowered expectations for its fiscal-year revenue. The company cited Brexit and EU general data protection laws among the grizzly factors facing European retailers and driving the slide in European revenue. The sales decline, the stuffed bear company said, will be “largely isolated in the UK”. North American full-year revenue will barely be down, with the company expecting a decline of about 2 per cent compared with the previous fiscal...
Rough sailing at Hong Kong Toy Fair~Amid positive news at the massive Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, industry nabobs and show-floor exhibitors alike fretted over navigating the increasingly choppy oceans of the world economy. The No. 1 uncertainty, considering that China makes an estimated 85 percent of the world's toys, is the China-U.S. trade war. Attendees at the show, which draws close to 50,000 buyers and is one of the world's largest toy fairs, were not necessarily predicting that President Donald Trump would risk angering a nation of Walmart-shopping parents by...
Launche of AI-Based Personal Assistant Platform for Retail Store Managers~Mystore-E announced the US launch of Tore-E, an AI-based personal assistant platform that empowers retail store managers to merchandise in real time using data analytics and insights. Mystore-E, an AI-based retail intelligence solution operating in top retailers in Israel, recently secured seed funding of $2.2 million, led by Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry and owner of JamesAllen.com. To give brick-and-mortar stores the same analytical data advantages as their...
Better Business Bureau Slams Fortnite Developer With F Rating~Epic Games, the developer behind the sensational game Fortnite, received an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Through an official press release and blog post, the BBB is warning consumers about the developer, in response to 279 complaints over the last three years. Complaints include “false accusations” of cheating, “unjustified platform bans,” and a refusal to refund unauthorized charges through Fortnite. Many of the complaints have to do with the games’ premium in-game currency, V-Bucks. Of the 279...
Department stores fight for life in Amazon era, says former Toys R Us CEO~CNBC’s “Closing Bell” team is joined by Jerry Storch, CEO of Storch Advisors and former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO, to discuss the drop in retail stocks following earnings reports. See the Video...
Sears may still be alive, but cards its holds are not winning ones~Eddie Lampert has managed to avoid the liquidation of Sears after sweetening his bid for the ailing chain. This means that around 400 stores will remain open. While there is no doubt that a shrunken Sears will be more viable than the larger entity which struggled to turn a profit, we remain extremely pessimistic about the chain’s future. In our view, Sears exits this process with almost as many problems as it had when it entered bankruptcy protection. In essence, its hand has not changed and the cards it holds are not...
Sears chairman prevails in bankruptcy auction for retailer~Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert prevailed in a bankruptcy auction for the U.S. department store chain with an improved takeover bid of roughly $5.2 billion, allowing the 126-year-old retailer to keep its doors open. Lampert's bid, boosted from an earlier $5 billion offer, prevailed after weeks of back-and-forth deliberations that culminated in a days-long bankruptcy auction held behind closed doors. The billionaire's proposal, made through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc, will save up to 45,000 jobs and keep 425 stores...
The Future of Sears and Kmart? Wait and See~Aside from The Toy Association putting out a call to gauge toy industry risk going into the holiday season, there simply hasn’t been a lot of concrete news of real substance—especially in this past week of “will-they-or-won’t-they” liquidation talk. Sears is like a cat, but the looming question is just how many of their nine lives have been spent? Ahead of this week’s Toy Report, Sears received yet another last-minute reprieve thanks to Chairman Eddie Lampert submitting a new bid through his ESL hedge fund worth more than $5 billion atop a...
Eddie Lampert uses Sears workers as fulcrum in renewed rescue package~Eddie Lampert’s revised plan to save Sears includes more severance for its workers, a move that could head off a debacle like the collapse of Toys “R” Us that left employees empty-handed and lenders being blamed and shamed. It’s still unknown if the plan from Lampert’s ESL Investments Inc. will be accepted and whether Sears Holdings Corp. and its hundreds of stores will avoid a shutdown. But Lampert’s repeated emphasis on saving jobs and protecting workers could give him an edge in his...
Brick and Mortar Purchases Account for 83% of Holiday Spending~This holiday season, mobile may have stolen the headlines, but brick and mortar stores continue to steal the sales. Online shopping during the holiday season approached $125 billion. But, 83 percent of holiday shopping was done in-store. What may come as a surprise is that Millennial and Gen Z shoppers are leading the brick and mortar charge. “Compared to older generations, younger consumers under the age of 35 are more likely to be attracted by the social aspects of shopping over the weekend or by the...
Trump's trade war unleashes 'hell' on some Chinese toy manufacturers~The ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing is weighing on Chinese toy exporters. Even though their products have yet to take a direct tariff hit, exhibitors at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair said the tariff battle and heightened tensions are still impacting their business. They cited uncertainty, the impact of tariffs already placed on some electronics that go into increasingly sophisticated toys and supply chain headaches as U.S. and Chinese negotiators work to forge a deal before a mutually-agreed...
Why the hottest toy of 2018 sued Louis Vuitton~Yahoo Finance’s Adam Shapiro, Julie Hyman, and Dan Roberts join University of New Hampshire School of Law Associate Professor Alexandra Roberts to discuss the lawsuit between MGA Entertainment and Louis Vuitton. See the Video...
Mothercare Malaysia retailer seeks IPO~Kim Hin Joo, operator of ELC and Mothercare Malaysia, is preparing for an IPO on Bursa Malaysia’s ACE Market. The move, expected to generate funding for the group’s further expansion and expenditure, will see a public issue of 76 million new shares (20 per cent of its enlarged share capital) and an offer of 57 million existing shares (15 per cent of its enlarged capital). Of those shares, 47 million will be reserved for selected investors. Pricing has yet to be decided. The firm’s non-executive chairman Pang Kim Hin will see his personal stake reduced...
Market Research Reports: Baby Consumables Market to Witness Steady Expansion From 2019 to 2023 | Top Companies – Baby Apparel, Baby Toys, Baby Cosmetics, Baby Food, Baby Accessories >>> Early Educational Toys Market Expanding Worldwide with key Players : LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro >>> Military Theme Toys market 2018 – 2023 industry size, trends, demand, growth, share,analysis and forecast >>> Electronic Toys Market 2019 Trends, Demand Analysis and Precise Growth Outlook – Newell, Brevi, Chicco, Hasbro, Kids II, Mothercare >>> Halloween Costumes Market 2019 Outlook by Companys: Rubie’s, Lucky Toys, California Costumes, Roma Costume, Spirit Halloween, Jinhua Heyli Costume, Costumes ‘N’ Parties >>> Inertial Toys Market growth analysis, key manufacturers, business overview, market insights, trends (2018-2025) >>> Beach Toys Market Overview, Growth Challenges Survey & Forecast to 2025 >>> TV and Movie Merchandise market forecast to 2025 >>>
Company Financial & Brokerage News: A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Spin Master >>> Spin Master Stock Price Up 2.7% >>> Spin Master Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Analysts >>> Spin Master Expected to Post Q3 2019 Earnings of $1.62 Per Share >>> Playmates Toys Shares Run 2.90% For the Quarter >>> Mattel Rises 2.94% for January 11 >>> Hasbro Institutional Investor Sentiment Analysis >>> Fagan Associates Boosted Its Disney Position by $448,456 >>> Why Funko Stock Skyrocketed 98% Last Year >>> Character Group Plans Dividend Increase – GBX 12 Per Share >>> Build-a-bear Workshop Sellers Reduced Their Shorts By 0.72% >>> JAKKS Pacific Plunges 5.8% on January 14 >>> Activision Blizzard Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know >>> Why Party City Holdco Inc.’s Use Of Investor Capital Doesn’t Look Great >>>
Company Reporting
Financial Reporting (January 12-18, 2019)
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE:BBW)
Sales Expectations for Fiscal Year 2018 Ahead of ICR Conference~Updated its revenue expectations for the 2018 fiscal year in conjunction with its presentation at the ICR Conference 2019. For the fiscal 2018 year, the Company is lowering revenue guidance and currently expects: Total revenues in the range of $335 million to $340...
Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO)
Fiscal 2019 First Quarter Results~"Our first quarter results reflect disciplined execution of this year's operating plan and the continuing implementation of our longer term strategic priorities," said Doug Murphy, President and CEO . "We returned to growth in Television advertising revenue, driven primarily by a strong fall schedule and a significant...
Five Below, Inc. (FIVE)
Holiday Sales Results for Quarter-To-Date~Announced net sales results for the quarter-to-date period from November 4, 2018 through January 5, 2019 ("Holiday Period"). The Company announced that net sales for the Holiday Period increased by 24.6% to $526.1 million from $422.3 million in the comparable nine-week period from....
GAMES WORKSHOP
SALES THROUGH RETAILERS UP 27%~Sales to retailers in North America were up 27% to $35.1 million (at today’s exchange rate) in the six months ended December 2, the company reported in its mid-year results released Tuesday. That was faster growth than the company experienced in its own North American stores, which grew 22%...
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. (OLLI)
Robust Holiday Sales~Came out with sturdy holiday season performance, which, in turn, led management to raise fiscal 2018 outlook. Strong Comps Add Cheer The company witnessed a stellar holiday season, backed by strength in toy and houseware categories. Also, solid performance during the annual Ollie’s Army night aided the...
Company Reporting
Future Financial Reporting
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA)
February 5~Will release its financial results for the third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2018 after the close of market. In conjunction with this release, EA will host a conference call to review its financial results for the third quarter, discuss its outlook for the future and may disclose other material developments affecting its business and...
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO)
February 6~Announced that it plans to report financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal year 2019, ended December 31, 2018, before the market opens. The Company plans to hold a conference call to discuss its results, which can be accessed by dialing (877) 407-0984 or (201) 689-8577. A live, listen-only webcast and a replay of...
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI)
February 12~Intends to release its fourth quarter 2018 results after the close of the market. In conjunction with this release, will host a conference call that will be broadcast over the internet. Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the Fortune 500 and S&P 500, is the world's most successful standalone interactive entertainment company...

Stories & Comments
Saturday January 12 through Friday January 18, 2019
Compiled in this section, are "links" to news articles, stories, and other information appropriate to the industries we cover.
You can reach the WebSite that contains the complete story by "clicking" on each "headline link"

.2018 Mobile Game Awards Announced~The Tabby Awards has announced the winners of the 2018 Mobile Game Awards competition. Winning games included Fortnite, MARVEL Contest of Champions, PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, REAL Racing 3, and My Talking Tom 2. Game publishers with multiple award winners included Lion Studios, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Netmarble, and Square Enix. “With over 1.1 mobile games available today on Android and iOS combined, our mobile gaming award winners represent the top 0.005% games. These are the ‘best of the...
Diverse Insights'​ Hong Kong Toy Fair Trend Review & Analysis~Hong Kong was different this year and although I felt it right away, I couldn't quite place it until my last day abroad. I knew Toys'R'Us' bankruptcy had a tragic effect on a lot of toy industry veterans, but I didn't quite understand the reverberations that it would cause as we reviewed products that will shape Christmas 2019. Without TRU, innovators are forced to think about specialty and focused mid-mass retailers at product inception and create brands without the safety net of a national all toy retailer. Marketers are thinking...
Sanrio’s Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary Celebration Begins~Sanrio is kicking off Hello Kitty‘s 45th anniversary celebration. Now through the end of the year, visitors to Sanrio Puroland, better-known as Hello Kitty Land Tokyo and its sister park Harmonyland, will enjoy a host of themed events to mark the occasion. The kick off coincides with Sweets Puro (sweets and strawberries), the first seasonal event of the year at the park, which has welcomed guests from around the world since its opening in 1990. The My First Kitty event will offer visitors themed activities, shows, character...
Inventor Designs New Educational Toy for Children~"I wanted to create a fun, new educational toy to help teach children about the alphabet," said an inventor, from Naples, Fla., "so I invented the ALPHABETTY/ALPHABOB DOLL." The invention provides a fun way for children to learn about the alphabet. In doing so, it offers an alternative to traditional educational toys. As a result, it could enhance education and it could provide added entertainment. The invention features a unique design that is convenient and easy to use so it is ideal for children ages 3 to 7. Additionally, it is...
Here's Why Toy-Sharing Subscriptions For Kids Are Becoming A Huge Trend~We decided to take a look at some of the biggest toy-sharing subscription services for children. One of the biggest challenges faced by families is accumulating too much clutter around the house. As a solution, many parents have turned to borrow from toy sharing subscriptions instead of adding more and more to the toybox. A new year always brings a fresh zest of energy and motivation to get organized and tackle clutter. Here is a brief rundown of some of the top toy sharing subscriptions that’ll be...
A Look Inside Hong Kong Toy Fair on CGTN America~Toy Insider’s Editorial Director Jackie Breyer stopped by China 24 on CGTN America to talk about this year’s Hong Kong Toy Fair. Check out the segment in the video...
Company known for Pokémon cards and toys under fire for tweet about visiting Yasukuni Shrine~Many Korean and Chinese nationals despise the shrine and what it represents. Any celebrity or public representative who is caught visiting it is quickly criticized, and even internationally beloved stars like Justin Bieber are not immune. That’s why Creatures, Inc., the company known for producing Pokémon cards, toys, and even some video games, caused a huge stir when they publicly tweeted about their company-wide visit to Yasukuni. The tweet, which has now been deleted...
‘Cut the Wire,’ a Toy Bomb Game, Is Discontinued After Criticism~When it comes to feel-good, classic games there are the old reliables: Operation, Twister and Monopoly, among others. Then there is Cut the Wire, a game that asks children to defuse a toy bomb before it “detonates.” YULU, the game’s manufacturer, said it thought children would see themselves as heroes. It said it stopped making Cut the Wire in October, though it was still for sale on Amazon. “If you take the word ‘bomb’ out of it, it is a good problem-solving game that invites mental and fine-motor dexterity”...
Dad creates Potty Duck, a potty training toy~For most families, potty training is a process. A dad has created a fun and educational product to help teach your toddler how take care of business on the toilet -- and you could soon start seeing this toy on shelves of some big box stores. It is called the Potty Duck. It is a duck that uses the potty. Fred Longeneck wants to help you ditch the diapers. “Take the duck under the water, fill it up and learn that pee belongs in a toilet,” says Longenecker as he demonstrates how to use the Potty Duck. Longenecker invented the bath toy. “You are sitting...
UNIFORM Founder on Shark Tank Making $12,000 Light Toys~When not working on UNIFORM, Butlein is working in on his artistic toy invention LiteZilla. It’s an 8-foot wide, 5-foot tall handcrafted interactive glowing canvas with holes for “LitePins” which was inspired by the Hasbro toy Lite-Bright. Butlein built the first LiteZilla in his garage in Cedarburg, Wisconsin in 2013 for his first child. His first client was a local pediatric dentist Dr. Wagner. “The children in my office love to play with it and make designs with it, “ says Dr. Wagner. “I see a lot of special needs kids” who enjoy interacting...
50 Best Barbie Toys: The Ultimate List (2019)~Barbie toys have come a long way since Mattel’s initial inception in 1959, and now, there are thousands of different Barbie dolls and toys available — that’s right, thousands! Lucky for you, though: we’ve narrowed it down to the 50 best Barbie toys...
'THE UPSIDE' AMBUSHES 'AQUAMAN' But the Seagoing Superhero Saga Is Now Over $1 Billion~The Kevin Hart/Brian Cranston-starring dramedy The Upside outpaced expectations, earning $19.6 million and preventing Aquaman from becoming the first DC-based film to top the box office for the first month of its release, though it didn’t prevent James Wan’s over-the-top aquatic extravaganza from becoming the first film from the DC Extended Cinematic Universe to top $1 billion worldwide. It’s early in the year, but despite the success of Aquaman, it is clear that this year’s...
Pig-related products fly off shelves in China as Spring Festival nears~With the Year of the Pig just weeks away, pig-related products have become a popular item on Chinese people's shopping lists for celebrating the upcoming Spring Festival. On China's biggest online consumer shopping platform, products inspired by the British animated show Peppa Pig are very popular among people looking for stylish ways to celebrate Chinese New Year. There are hundreds of shops selling all kinds of Peppa Pig-inspired items, including necklaces, bracelets, piggy banks, red envelopes, toys...
He helped build the Batmobile. His one-of-a-kind 'Geoffreymobile' could be yours~The Toys "R" US Geoffreymobile, designed by George Barris, will be sold at Teel Auctions on Feb. 12. He helped build the Batmobile, the Munsters' family car and Jethro's hot rod from "The Beverly Hillbillies." Now the car he designed for Toys "R" Us can be yours. Teel Auctions will hold an auction that includes a one-of-a-kind Toys "R" Us parade vehicle, known as the Geoffreymobile, which was named after the company's mascot. The Geoffreymobile was designed in 1980 by car builder and...
Hot Topic Is Launching Polly Pocket Makeup, So 2019 Might Be Pretty Great After All~Over the last couple of years, we've seen a Polly Pocket purse and Lime Crime makeup that resembles the classic Polly Pocket toys, but official Polly Pocket makeup has eluded us — until now. Mattel has given its blessing for a collection that will arrive at Hot Topic this week. Hello Giggles reports that a 17-piece Polly Pocket range is launching in honor of the beloved toy's 30th anniversary. Does that make you feel old? Well, don't worry — one look at these items and you'll feel like a kid again....
Google Labs Has Made An Etch-a-Sketch Just as Tough as the Real Thing~That nifty drawing toy which was incredibly frustrating and unendingly hard to use? Well now you can relive that joy with this new web version of the classic creation from Google Labs. Shared by developer Rowan Merewood the net based version of the classic toy is a lot of fun… once you get the hang of using it that is. You can use the innovative Web-A-Sketch on a touchscreen device–recommended–or browser and we’re very excited to see everyone’s attempts to create lovely art using the notoriously tough...
Is the pony ride over? How the bronies are growing up~The decline of brony culture might have been inevitable, fads tend to fade, but for some unlikely fans of My Little Pony, the novelty is simply maturing. Max Gardiner watched his first episode of My Little Pony on Nov. 17, 2011. “Don’t ask,” he said. “I’m good with dates.” It wasn’t the most memorable episode. It was partway into the show’s second season, and the story was about a young pony desperate to have some special talent who learns that good things come to those who wait. The show always offers a lesson. Early in his last...
China’s Alibaba Pictures to Partner on STX’s UglyDolls Franchise~STX Entertainment and China’s Alibaba Pictures are partnering to co-produce and co-finance projects in the UglyDolls universe, including the upcoming “UglyDolls” animated movie. The deal, announced Friday, includes a previously announced animated TV series with Hulu, digital and print publishing, mobile and educational games, soundtrack and music, and merchandising and licensing programs covering toys, dolls, arts and crafts, collectibles, and other ancillaries. “This partnership with STX on...
Release of Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary Edition~Disney‘s The Little Mermaid has been part of our world for 30 years, and the studio is celebrating with a special-edition release of the classic next month. The anniversary edition is in 4K Ultra HD, features a sing-along mode (as if you don’t already sing along to every song), and includes new bonus features for Ariel fans of all ages. Disney also released this trailer announcing the anniversary edition, complete with those goose-bumps inducing mermaid vocals, Ursula’s iconic laugh, and a montage of sweet Ariel and...
Mary Poppins Returns Sequel Reportedly in the Works~Mary Poppins returned to Cherry Tree Lane, and it seems she won’t be leaving in such a hurry. The director of Mary Poppins Returns, Rob Marshall, is reportedly developing a sequel to the practically perfect film starring Emily Blunt as the magical nanny. Marshall confirmed that the production team is moving forward with plans for another subsequent Disney film, further delving into the world of author P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins. Marshall did point out that Travers’ series includes eight books, so there is no shortage of material to pull...
Unicorns Forever: Books, Toys, and Clothing for Unicorn-Loving Mighty Girls~For hundreds of years, there has been a mythical creature that has inspired wonder in generations: unicorns! It's hard to pinpoint why the appeal of unicorns has stood the test of time, but even today, there are plenty of unicorn-loving kids (and adults) in the world. And where there are unicorns, there are often Mighty Girls who dare to dream of mystical lands, believe in magic, and strike out in search of the extraordinary in our day-to-day world! If you have a unicorn-loving kid in your house, you're no doubt...
Bomb-defusing game for kids sold at Walmart offends shoppers~A kids' bomb-defusing game sold in Canada at Walmart has offended some shoppers who find it inappropriate, particularly in an era of terrorism threats. "It's horrendous, especially in a day and age like this," said a parent who discovered the item recently at a Walmart store. Called "Cut The Wire," the game is recommended for children ages six and up. Players race to defuse a brightly coloured ticking toy bomb connected to numerous wires before it pretend-explodes. "Defuse or lose!" says the product's packaging...
Why Do Artists Make Toys?~You can get a Jackson Pollock plastic bear! But should you? Where there is art, there are snobs. It has always been this way. Michelangelo was criticized for taking on what was seen as too much commissioned work. The purists saw him as a sell out. Little has changed in today’s art world. Popular artists—dare we say successful ones—are subject to the same rebukes that Michelangelo faced centuries ago. But few things draw the ire of the art world elite like toys. Toys? Yes, toys. Art toys, to be precise—the kind made by Medicom Toy or the Brooklyn...
HarperCollins Launches Children's Book Podcast~HarperCollins Children’s Books has announced the launch of Remember Reading?, a monthly podcast dedicated to classic and contemporary books for young readers. In each 30-minute episode, guests including journalists, educators, and award-winning authors will discuss the connections between beloved books from childhood and recent favorites, and the enduring appeal of children’s literature. The podcast launches on January 8, and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud. Lindsay Jacobsen, HarperCollins...
Things to expect in 2019 from the toy industry~As any new year, 2019 also starts with a lot of optimism about the future. That also goes for the toy industry which hopes to turn things around. It wants to put an end to the tough times and declines in sales and revenue. 2019 will definitely be the year to do so. On one hand it’s a year filled with big movies. There are going to be so many blockbusters out there, that movie-related toys are going to dominate. Just from the top of the head you can expect toys about: Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, The Lion King...
How Retailers Like American Girl Create Destination Shopping Experiences~Brands are creating immersive shopping experiences for customers to enjoy in-store experiential activations, programming and special events, enabling them to be entertained while trying out products or forge new relationships with brands. Toy retailers in particular are inviting the consumer into the store with the promise of an experience beyond the transactional. Here’s how leading brands are marshaling in-store activations that make the physical retail setting desirable and fun for shoppers to...
Kinder Surprise apologises for offensive toy inside chocolate~Chocolate lovers have slammed Kinder Surprise after finding an “offensive toy” inside their eggs. A number of people have posted pictures of the plastic toy on Facebook that show a white egg holding three blue balloons with the letters “KKK”. “Look what my niece (of mixed race) just found in her Kinder Surprise – KKK … what on earth Kinder?” one woman wrote on Facebook. Another said: “Ku Klux Klan: Kinder Surprise edition.” One outraged customer questioned who thought it was a good idea to make the toy...
Parents horror at Kinder Egg toys with ‘Donald Trump hair’ holding ‘KKK balloons’~Liz Cameron, pointed out the toy also had similarities to US president Donald Trump – who has in the past been accused of supporting far-right views. She wrote on Twitter: ‘My son got this as the toy in a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg! White pointy shaped character. Donald Trump hair. ‘KKK’ balloons. Make chocolate great again?’...
‘Baby Shark’-related stocks soar on Billboard debut~After the recent Billboard debut of megahit South Korean version of children’s song “Baby Shark,” shares rose in anticipation of further success in related merchandise. Share prices of Samsung Publishing, the second-largest shareholder of SmartStudy, the local education startup behind the “Baby Shark” phenomenon, rose by more than 20 percent from the previous trading day. Shares of the publishing company, which holds 25.03 percent of SmartStudy, closed at 18,050 won ($16.12) on January 10....
The T-Pain Toy Is Now a Guitar Effect~T-Pain is rapper hailing from Florida, who made his name through creative use of the Autotune effect. Nobody quite does it like T-Pain to this day, but kids the world over got the chance with the release of the “I Am T-Pain” microphone, which puts effects on the user’s vocal to make them sound as fly as possible, batteries not included. In the spirit of musical exploration, [Simon] decided it would be interesting to turn the effect into a guitar pedal. Initial plans were to wire the microphone to an input jack, and the speaker to an output jack, but...
Mums left in shock after finding ‘racist KKK’ toys inside Kinder Surprise Eggs~PARENTS have expressed outrage over the "racist" design of a limited edition Kinder Egg toy. The popular chocolate treat contained a plastic cartoon egg holding three balloons with a "K" stamped on each one. "This is a massive oversight that anyone could have seen. "It raises questions as to what the company supports and if this is subliminal marketing."...
This Insanely Easy Cleaning "Hack" Will Keep Kids' Toys Off the Floor For Good~Whether you're trying to completely Marie Kondo your entire living space or are just determined to keep your head above water in the cleaning department, it never hurts to have a few toy-centric tricks up your sleeve. Recently, I stumbled upon a cleaning hack on Instagram involving a "toy jail" that pulls double duty: it keeps the house clean and gets your kids to do chores, and it's too clever not to share. All you need is a large plastic bin and a permanent marker to get your point across. "TOY JAIL," it...
'TAINTED GRAIL' ENTERS TOP 10 TABLETOP KICKSTARTER CHART~Polish miniatures studio Awaken Realms has landed another release on ICv2’s Top 10 Tabletop Game Kickstarter Projects chart, with the closing of Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon on December 28, taking in more than $6.3 Million from almost 42,000 backers. Awaken Realms entered the chart with their semi-cooperative sci-fi horror game Nemesis last year. Tainted Grail transcends that fundraiser, grossing approximately $6,321,262.39 (£4,940,030) ($150.73/backer average) to land at #4 on the chart, raising the bar...
Are Hasbro 'Yellies' The Worst Toy Ever? Parents Seem To Think So~There's an unspoken but sacred rule that you never buy someone else's kid one of the following toys: a harmonica, a recorder, or a drum. Unless you happen to hate that kid's parents. In which case, by all means give their child the most obnoxious and loud playthings sure to ruin any hope of peace or quiet or a headache-free existence that parent might have been desperately clinging to. And make sure to wrap it in the most glittery gift bag you can find. But now there's a new toy called "Yellies" to add to the...
Sony Considers Spider-Verse TV Series~Following a successful—and Golden Globe-winning—introduction to the spidey multiverse in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, it seems as if we aren’t done with the Spider-heroes just yet. The film story, which gave us an insight into the multiverse and the various Spider-folk, could lead nicely into a spin-off on the silver screen. It seems like the film’s studio, Sony, is working to figure out how to translate the groundbreaking animated concept into a TV series, especially given existing licensing deals of characters to have them appear on TV. ...
Star Trek 4 movie reportedly shelved, but more shows on the way~While Star Trek: Discovery is impressing fans with an extra dose of "action, wit and color," it looks like the Star Trek 4 movie has been put on hold indefinitely. Star Trek's first female director, S.J. Clarkson, is jumping off the Enterprise to direct the upcoming HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series. In August 2018 Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth (who played Kirk's father in the 2009 Star Trek film) might not rejoin the series due to contract problems. With both the director gone and two of the stars walking away due to...
The best comic books of 2018~The world may be burning, society is in chaos and technology threatens to strip us of our humanity, but it’s comforting to know that in the end times, comic books are better than ever. This year wasn’t just a fantastic year for the medium, it was the very best that fans had ever seen. Writing felt sharper than a hotly forged sword, the art on display could put the entire gallery of the Louvre to shame and the resulting combination was an explosion of quality. In fact, finding the best of the best may just be close to impossible this year, but someone had to...
DECEMBER 2018 - TOP 20 SUPERHERO, MANGA, AUTHOR GRAPHIC NOVELS~Here’s a closer look at the top December 2018 adult graphic novels in the book channel, with category breakdowns, based on NPD BookScan data for December. On the Manga chart, it’s a very VIZ Media world, with that publisher taking 18 out of 20 spots. My Hero Academia took nine of those spots, and the first runner-up is RWBY: The Official Manga Anthology, with three volumes on the chart (because that’s all there are at the moment). The only other title with more than one volume in the top 20...
The science behind how childhood teddys or toys help put kids and adults at ease~Many children and adults form tight bonds with teddy bears, dolls, transitional objects and other keepsakes when growing up. Childhood toys can still carry great meaning and power into adulthood. This is because of the sense of security and comfort these objects evoke. NGO director Dr. Shaheda Omar explains that the soft touch from teddy bears can release endorphins in the body - the happy hormone - in addition to serotonin and other chemicals. Dr Omat says that toys can also reduce the...
Remembering the toy industry's past: Junior Chef Cookie Factory from Argo Industries Corp. (1965) >>> Betty Crocker Juicer/Blender from Kenner (1980) >>>
U.S. and World Population Clock~The U.S. population clock is based on a series of short-term projections for the resident population of the United States. This includes people whose usual residence is in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Country Ranking tool provides a quick and easy method to view the most populous countries and areas of the world for any year between 1950 and 2050. The data for this tool are drawn from the International Data Base, which offers additional demographic information for each country...
Future for Toy Industry 'Challenging but Bright'~China's continued and growing presence in toy production and consumption to caution over tariffs; from the relevance of the Belt and Road Initiative to tech toys for kids and adults; from intuitive toy ideas to Hong Kong's intellectual property role. The Hong Kong Toys Industry Conference 2019 covered a plethora of the industry's pressing issues, trends and aspirations under the theme "Forging the Bright Future for the Global Toy Industry". The one-day conference was co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Counci, the Federation...

"This Week in "Global Toy News"~Richard Gottlieb knows about play. He blogs about its future, what it means to a civilized society, and how it can help make us better, more imaginative and more creative people. A well known toy industry commentator and president of Richard Gottlieb’s Global Toy Experts, a toy industry consultancy, he helps toy manufacturers enter North American and global markets. Richard also writes for several European toy magazines...Be sure to read what Richard (and his guest columnists) have to say...Scenes from the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair >>> A Tale of Two Cities; the toy shows in Hong Kong and Kowloon >>> Mickey Mouse to Enter the Public Domain in 2024, Popeye in 2025; more to come >>>

CONFESSIONS OF A COMIC BOOK GUY - SUPER TEEN TEAM EXPLOSION~A weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Steve Bennett reviews two super teen team comics: Young Justice and Teen Titans. Projects by publishers meant to attract new, younger readers are always of interest to me, the same way I'm always eager to read anything written by Brian Bendis. So when I read the announcement about a new project which combined the two, DC's teen-focused pop-up imprint Wonder Comics, let's just say it got my attention...
ROLLING FOR INITIATIVE--'RAVNICA ALLEGIANCES MYTHIC EDITION' AND THE SPIRIT OF 'MAGIC'~More Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University. This week, Scott Thorne discusses why he doesn't think Magic: The Gathering - Ravnica Allegiances Mythic Edition is true to the spirit of the game...
Trade Press Around the World:
ToyNews~The UK's leading toy industry magazine and website, serving the toy trade with a focus on editorial quality. ToyNews magazine has an ABC-accredited readership of 6,199, making it the UK's most-read monthly toy trade publication. ToyNews has established itself as an indispensable read, both in the UK and internationally.
Toys 'n' Playthings~The leading trade press publication for the UK toy trade, established in 1981. Still run by the same toy trade expert Malcolm Naish. With regular product features, many news sections, toy trade gossip and columnists, it is an essential read for anyone working within the toy trade - be it retailer, supplier or anyone in between.
Toy World~The UK’s number one toy trade magazine, widely acknowledged as the voice of the UK toy industry.
Toy & Hobby Retailer~The premier publication for Australia's dynamic toy and hobby retail industry.
Worldwide Licensing News and Information...
'DUNGEONS & DRAGONS WATERDEEP COLLECTOR'S SERIES MINIATURES~Gale Force Nine has shared images and information for its line of licensed Dungeons & Dragons Collector’s Series Miniatures arriving in Q1. Tied to Dungeons & Dragons Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage adventure are Halaster Blackcloak, Durnan of the Yawning Portal, and Ezzat. Each figure has an MSRP of $10.00. Release is...
Winners of LIMA Asian Licensing Awards 2018 Announced~The LIMA Asian Licensing Awards Ceremony & Cocktail Reception was held this evening on the opening night of Hong Kong International Licensing Show! Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Awards!...
JLG to Rep Miffy in North America~Mercis, global licensor for Miffy, has selected the Joester Loria Group to serve as the brand’s exclusive licensing agent in the U.S. and Canada. Under the terms of the deal, JLG will oversee the Miffy & Friends brand in the region with a focus on specialty distribution, design-centric products and more based on the brand’s library of creative assets. JLG is ramping up for Miffy’s 60th...
Rasta Imposta to Craft Costumes for Top Brands~Rasta Imposta Costumes has unveiled its list of new licensees for 2019, which includes top food and toy brands. New partners include: Mattel for a Barbie Box Costume, Ken Box Costume, Totally Hair Barbie, Great Shape Barbie and Animal Loving Ken for adults as well as; CAA-GBG for men’s, women’s, teen, boy, girl and toddler costumes featuring Hershey's brands...
‘Jungle Book’ Names Master Toy Licensee~DQ Entertainment has named European & Global Licensing in the Netherlands as global master toy licensee for DQE’s “Jungle Book” franchises. EGL has designed and produced a wide variety of plush and figurine toys inspired by the animated series. The company was also appointed as the licensing agents for “Jungle Book” for all of Europe, excluding the territories...
PEOPLE, COMPANIES, ORGANIZATIONS...
New Leadership Moves at Precious Moments~The Precious Moments Family of Companies enters the new year with a shift in leadership. John Lanman, who has been a member of the Precious Moments Advisory Board for the past two years, will assume the role of chief executive officer. Former CEO Steve Kosmalski was appointed to the Board of Directors. Lanman was hand-picked by Kosmalski based on his previous experience at Oriental Trading Co., Block and Company, Inc., and Blyth, Inc. Lanman will use his experience in the gift and decor space to...
.Online Retailer of the Year - Business Excellence Award Winner~Online toy retailer, Crayons, has snagged the gong for Online Retailer of the Year in the Toy & Hobby Retailer Business Excellence Awards. Explaining the history of the business founder and owner, Jonathon Ladmore, says that the business' name came from an inside-joke. “The history is quite interesting, we (Jonathon and Sheyne Ladmore) have an IT background [and] we decided we needed to do something different and through a bit of an in-house joke, I had the domain name of...
.Small Retailer of the Year - Business Excellence Award Winner~Queensland wooden toys retailer, Knock on Wood Toys, has taken out the Small Retailer of the Year Award in the inaugural Toy & Hobby Retailer Business Excellence Awards. Beginning in 2013, the business was founded by husband and wife team, Craig and Kate Aitken, purely out of their love for wooden toys. “We really love quality wooden toys from our childhood [and we had] a desire to bring together the most extensive range of the best hand-picked wooden toys from around the world...
.Australia's Large Retailer of the Year - Business Excellence Award Winner~Toymate has taken out the Large Retailer of the Year in the Toy & Hobby Retailer Business Excellence Awards. The business made headlines last year for its nimble actions around Toys R Us (TRU) closing. Firstly, Toymate took the opportunity to bring former TRU customers into the stores by giving customers a 20 per cent discount and a free gift when they presented their expired TRU gift cards. A simple initiative that drove traffic into the store and turned an otherwise...
.This Nigerian Entrepreneur Might Just ‘Do A ToysRus’ In His Homeland~Paul Orajiaka is the brain behind Auldon Limited; a fast-rising toy company which he set up with no more than meagre capital, copious amounts of brain work, and a great deal of hard work. Being the spawn of an artist who imbibed in him the tenets of putting the “3H” (head, heart, and hands) to work in every undertaking, Paul was always going to forge his entrepreneurial path by employing his head for concepts, his heart for passion, and his hands for creation. On weekends...
Stevenson’s Toys & Games~Best multi-platinum Best Toy Store winner, Stevenson’s Toys & Games, is proving the right kind of mom-and-pop shop can thrive during a time when big box stores and digital competitors are hurting lesser retailers. Beloved for their wide range of toys and games since 2001, Southampton-based Stevenson’s opened a second store in East Hampton in 2017, not only expanding their reach, but also the unique offerings kids and parents have come to love. Unlike adults shopping for what they need online, children still relish in the fun...
Carson Dellosa Announces Sponsorship of “the Great Kindness Challenge”~Carson Dellosa Education announced its sponsorship of “The Great Kindness Challenge,” an annual kindness-promoting initiative started by the global nonprofit organization Kids for Peace. “We are thrilled to partner with Carson Dellosa for the Great Kindness Challenge to provide participating schools with additional kindness resources that will help cultivate a culture of compassion and respect in classrooms around the world,” says Jill McManigal, Co-Founder/Executive Director...
ASTRA MEMBERS GET SPECIAL BENEFITS AT NUREMBERG’S ICONIC SPIELWARENMESSE TOY FAIR~Members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) who attend the Spielwarenmesse international toy fair in Nuremberg, Germany will have access to special discounts and an exclusive tour, ASTRA announced. The dates of the event are January 30, 2019 to February 3, 2019. Spielwarenmesse, which is celebrating its 70th Anniversary in 2019, will feature more than 2900 toy, hobby, and leisure manufacturers from....
Build-A-Bear Workshop Taps Jason Mraz as First-Ever Hug AmBEARsador~National Hug Day is Jan. 21, and Build-A-Bear Workshop has big plans. Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz joined Build-A-Bear to help spread hugs as the retailer’s first-ever Hug AmBEARsador. An exclusive Jason Mraz bear will be released on Jan. 18, featuring the National Hug Day heart design and Mraz’s signature embroidered on the paw pad. The bear will be available as part of a bundle with an exclusive album, Hugs, Hearts & Happiness, produced in partnership with...
Going behind the giant door at Big Monster Toys, where success is a failure (or 5) away~There is a strong case to be made that Chicago, former hog butcher to the world, former Al Capone playground, current “most corrupt city in the country” (University of Illinois at Chicago) and all-around “total disaster” (Donald Trump), is actually a secret wonderland of sparkles and daydreams, good cheer and play. Tip the historical record slightly, tilt your brain 45 degrees, and it becomes clear that Chicago is actually, and has always been, the Toy-making...
R.I.P. Stanley Perrin~Stanley, the former UK managing director of Lone Star Toys, has died aged 98. Alan Baxter, an industry colleague and friend of Stan, has paid tribute to Stan, writing: “What an innings! Stan was managing director of Lone Star Toys, which manufactured die cast toys for children. The Lone Star name was chosen because of a demand at the time for toy guns and rifles which became popular due to the Western films then showing in cinemas all over Britain. Stan grew the business by travelling extensively throughout Europe by car, and was...
R.I.P.BATTON LASH~PROUDLY INDEPENDENT CREATOR AND 'FIRST GENTLEMAN OF COMICS'. Batton was best known for his long-running signature work Supernatural Law (aka “Wolff & Byrd: Counselors of the Macabre”) and the quirky crossover hit Archie Meets The Punisher, but he was far more than the sum of his credits. He was a pioneer of self-publishing who stuck to his independent ways long after many of his peers had called it a day; one of the earliest established creators to move from print to digital; and one of the great ambassadors...
Toy Retailer of the Year 2018 – by category~The first in our week-long series focuses on the 2018 nominees for Independent Toy Retailer of the Year. The British Toy & Hobby Association has announced the finalists for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2018. In the category Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (single store), the nominees are as follows...
Toy Retailer of the Year 2018 – by category~The second installment in our week-long series focuses on the 2018 nominees for Specialist Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year (30 stores or more). The British Toy & Hobby Association has announced the finalists for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2018. In the category Specialist Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year (30 stores or more), the nominees are as follows...
Toy Retailer of the Year 2018 – by category~The third installment in our week-long series focuses on the 2018 nominees for General Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year. The British Toy & Hobby Association has announced the finalists for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2018. In the category General Multiple Toy Retailer of the Year, the nominees are as follows...
Toy Retailer of the Year 2018 – by category~The fourth installment in our week-long series focuses on the 2018 nominees for Department Store Toy Retailer of the Year. The British Toy & Hobby Association has announced the finalists for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards 2018. In the category Department Store Toy Retailer of the Year, the nominees are as follows...
Women in Toys to Honor Pam Kaufman, Gaye Dean at Wonder Women Awards~Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products’ President, Pam Kaufman, and Target’s Marketing Director for Licensing, Gaye Dean will be honored by Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment at the 15th Annual Wonder Women Awards held during the New York International Fall Toy Fair. Kaufman, who leads the multi-billion-dollar global consumer products business across Viacom Media Networks and Paramount Pictures, will be honored with the 2019 Mentorship Award...
Even In The iPhone Age, Funko's Fast-Moving Toy Business Is Thriving~The first day of New York Comic Con is usually relatively quiet, but today the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is jam-packed, and Brian Mariotti, the CEO of Funko, has to shout. Mariotti is in town to preside over Funko’s 2,500-square-foot booth, a pop-up store selling limited-edition licensed character figures and collectibles. Workers in Funko T-shirts restock shelves while a long line of Funko fans wait behind crowd barriers. On the other side of the ropes, Mariotti shows off...
Why a wacky discount store is buying up the remains of Toys 'R' Us~You may have never heard of Ollie's Bargain Outlet. But this eccentric discount chain wants to open hundreds of new stores across the country. Ollie's is one of the wackiest stores around. Its logo is a caricature of founder Oliver "Ollie" Rosenberg with a goofy mustache and buck teeth. Ollie's boasts that it has "semi-lovely" stores . It doesn't sell online. And it pokes fun at itself to win over customers. "A cartoon picture of their founder looks odd, but people seem to like it," said...
The Entertainer retailer stockpiles summer toys amid Brexit fears~The UK’s biggest independent toy retailer has stockpiled 100 container loads of paddling pools, slides, wheelbarrows and other toys to try and ensure there are no shortages this summer in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Gary Grant, managing director and founder of The Entertainer chain, said it had doubled the amount of containers it usually brought into the UK at this time of year to ensure seasonal stock was in place before any hold-ups at ports linked to the UK’s March Brexit...
Hamleys to open 30 more stores in Japan~Hamleys has announced that it will open 30 new stores in Japan over the next five years as part of an export deal worth £47m. The joint venture with software publisher Bandai Namco Amusement involves a new retail entertainment experience, supporting 1,000 jobs in the UK and creating 3,600 jobs in Japan. The Hamleys Group CEO, Ralph Cunningham, commented: “Hamleys is the fastest growing international toy retailer, with a global presence of over 160 stores across 17 countries and we plan to open...
ToyBox Marketing and Management Launches to Build a Global Kid Influencer Network~With a changing media landscape and youth ages five to 15 watching YouTube more frequently than television, brands targeted to kids have to change how they advertise to reach their audience more effectively. This is giving rise to a need for more kid influencers and drove the launch of ToyBox Marketing and Management – an agency looking to pioneer the kid influencer marketing space. The company is working in the United States and across the globe...
RAVENSBURGER HIRES JAKE THEIS Head of Marketing in North America~Ravensburger North America has hired game industry veteran Jake Theis as Head of Marketing. Theis was previously Director of Marketing at Gen Con LLC, which he joined in March 2012 as Senior Marketing Communications Manager. Prior to that, he was Senior Brand Director at Frima Studios, Senior Manager of Brand Development and Licensor Relations at WizKids, and also worked in brand management and development at Topps and Wizards of the Coast. Ravensburger...
Tablez to launch Build-A-Bear in India~Tablez India announces the partnership with Build-A-Bear. U.S.-based, customized stuffed-animal retail-entertainment brand Build-A-Bear aims to reach as many as 9 million households in the top 15 cities in India by 2025. Besides standalone stores, shop-in-shop formats of Build-A-Bear would be launched within Toys“R”Us as part of Tablez, the retail arm of LuLu Group International. Adeeb Ahamed, MD, Tablez said, “The Build-A-Bear concept is a one-of-a-kind retail experience, and we are thrilled to bring it...
Activision Blizzard Appoints Three Long-Time Company Veterans to Lead Operating Units~Activision Blizzard announced key leadership appointments, naming long-time veteran executives to lead three of the Company’s operating units. Call of Duty Executive VP and General Manager Rob Kostich has been named President of Activision; Humam Sakhnini has been named President of King Digital Entertainment, having most recently served as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of the operating unit. The Company also...
Amazon’s top 11 moves in 2019—and beyond—could include bid for Kohl’s~Amazon’s aggressive acquisition strategy will continue through the next few years at least — and its next target could very well be Kohl’s Corp. That’s according to Edge by Ascential, which has released its 11 top predictions for Amazon’s next moves in 2019 and beyond. “The apparel category seems like a logical next move and we need to look no further than Kohl’s for a likely suspect,” Edge stated in its “11 Edge Predictions for Amazon in 2019” study. “In 2018, Kohl’s...
ASTRA to Host Meet, Visit, Play Events in Dallas~The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) will host a two-part ASTRA Meet, Visit, Play event in the Dallas Market Center this month. Both events will be on the 12th floor of the Market Center and are open to both member and nonmember retailers. “Today’s ASTRA is so much more than our annual Marketplace & Academy each year in June,” notes Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA. “We are increasing the number of opportunities we offer for independent toy retailers to get together...
Four HKTDC Fairs Attract 130,000 Buyers~The HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, the HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair concluded today after featuring close to 3,000 global exhibitors. Together with the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show, which closed 9 Jan with over 400 exhibitors, the first four Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) fairs of 2019 attracted more than 130,000 buyers, an increase of 3.3% on last year. Over 51,000 buyers attended the Toys & Games Fair, while...
Target's Secret Weapon in Amazon Battle: In-Store Pickup~Target is leaning on yet another way to fend off Amazon: in-store pickup. Target’s in-store and curbside pickup services allow customers to go to its website either from a smartphone or in the browser and order products. They can then drive to their local stores and pick up their products. In-store pickup requires them to walk inside the store and curbside pick-up means store employees will bring the products customers ordered to their vehicles. The data suggests Target’s ability to ...
Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Funko Pop! Dolls Get Made~Funko has grown into a toy industry behemoth since launching as a bobblehead company in 1998. By obtaining more than 1000 licenses, it's transformed nearly every pop culture icon into a charming figurine, including real-life celebrities like LeBron James and cartoon characters like Naruto. Forbes recently took a behind-the-scenes look into Funko headquarters to see how the vinyl dolls in their wildly popular Funko Pop! line get made. The first step in turning a character into a Funko...
Holiday season a winner for Target, as it persuaded more shoppers through its doors~Target was a holiday season success story, revealing a growth in shoppers both in store and online contributed to a significant jump in sales. The Bullseye released its holiday season review, which says comparable sales grew 5.7 percent over the November/December period, up on the 3.4 percent growth it saw in 2017. Much of this growth came from the retailer getting more shoppers through its doors, with the rest coming from a small increase in the average...
Former Toys R Us Manager Opens Maryland Store With Diverse Toys, Dolls~A new brick-and-mortar toy store in Maryland opened by a former Toys R Us manager is seeing success thanks to the diversity of its dolls and toys. Glendon Warner worked for Toys R Us when it went bankrupt. He decided to stock all he learned there into something new. Toys, Babies and More has been open for about two months and has found a customer base during a time when brick-and-mortar stores struggle to compete with Amazon and other online shopping options...
Celebrate Stan Lee at this Hollywood Tribute Event~The late Stan Lee will be remembered, celebrated, and honored at a tribute event, “Excelsior! A Celebration of the Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible & Uncanny Life of Stan Lee,” on Jan. 30 at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Excelsior! has two parts: First is a public tribute in the theatre forecourt, including an art exhibit by Rob Prior, costumes and props from Lee’s cameos and creations, a musical performance, and a moment of remembrance. Following a red carpet arrival, the second part of the evening...
This Pop-Up Pennywise Will Haunt Your Dreams~Jack-in-the-boxes can be scary enough, but imagine if the clown inside was the infamous clown-slash-demon Pennywise, who terrorizes the children of Derry in It. That’s exactly the premise of Mezco Toys‘ new IT(2017): Pennywise Burst-A-Box. This fully functioning, terrifying jack-in-the box-style collectible features a spring-loaded Pennywise, who pops up...
UBTECH Introduces Alpha Mini and JIMU Robots~UBTECH is following up its Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper Robot from last year with the Alpha Mini companion robot and a series of JIMU Robot building kits for kids. The news comes alongside the debut of the company’s Walker (humanoid) and Cruzr (service robot) at the Consumer Electronics Show. Alpha Mini is an affectionate companion robot ready to...
Carson Dellosa Education Strengthens Leadership Team with Key Appointments~Carson Dellosa Education announced that it expanded its executive team by welcoming Dan O’Keefe as CFO and COO, Kelly Geer as VP of Consumer Brands, and Bill Harris as Director of Inside Sales. These appointments support Carson Dellosa’s commitment to cement its position as the leading provider of educational solutions for school and for home. “We are thrilled to welcome Dan, Kelly, and Bill to the Carson Dellosa team,” said Ira Hernowitz, CEO of...
MARVEL REVEALS MORE OF 80TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION~Marvel has revealed more elements of the 80th anniversary celebration it has planned for 2019, which encompasses publishing, animation, new media, collectibles, games, and more. For publishing, the big news is that Marvel is planning an extra-sized publication of a "Marvel-ous Millennial Milestone that will "change the course of Marvel history forever." Several elements of the publishing program have already been announced, including Decades volumes , the return of classic titles Marvel...
News From The Toy Association: Reminder: Chemicals Reporting Deadline for Children’s Products Sold in Washington State >>> The 2019 TOTY Awards: Here’s What You Need to Know >>> Perspectives: Q&A with Brett Klisch, Co-Founder of Toy Fair’s Creative Factor >>> New Toy Association Report Exposes 3 Main Factors Contributing to the Rise in Counterfeit & Knockoff Toys Sold Online and Details Potential Solutions >>> Toy Association’s Seiter Trend-Spots at the Consumer Electronics Show >>>
Toy Safety Related Articles from Around the World...
the many perspectives you need to know about:
Did Denmark ban the popular squishies toys over concern of dangerous chemicals?~A mom’s warning on Facebook urging parents to stop buying the popular soft foam toys or “squishies” has gone viral, prompting questions over safety. In a post that that has now been shared more than 298,000 on Facebook with 79,000 comments, Elaine Lee said her daughter recently collected multiple squishy toys for Christmas. “Within a day of acquiring them she started having nightmares and disrupted sleep. On the 4th day she started having what I believe were...
In Hong Kong, testing times for toy makers~Rogue toymakers, test-happy executives, countries disagreeing about what a reasonable risk for kids is and, oh yes, yet another casualty of the U.S. government shutdown. Just a typical day in the life of a toy safety executive. Chinese toy makers packed a conference at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair to learn about present and future U.S. and European Union toy safety regulations. In recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has sent an official to this annual fair to update manufacturers on...
Fake Kate Middleton dolls seized due to cancer risk~A batch of fake Kate Middleton dolls have been seized on their way into the UK due to concerns they contain cancer causing chemicals. The children‘s toy, dubbed the “Princess Catherine Doll”, allegedly has dangerous levels of the compound DEHP, reports the Daily Star. Fears have been sparked that parents may have already bought the doll, which is supposed to resemble the Duchess of Cambridge, as children‘s Christmas presents. The toxic compound which is found in the product – DEHP – and is...
Doctors seeing rise in kids swallowing dangerous batteries found in toys~There's a new warning of which parents need to be aware. Local doctors say they're seeing a rise in children swallowing something most families have in their homes: button batteries. Swallowing a button battery can cause severe internal burns within two hours -- and even death. At least 3,500 people in the United States ingest button batteries every year. Serious injuries or deaths increased ninefold in the last decade, doctors say. "That battery is really causing heat and damage to...
CPSC Recalls and Product Safety News: None reported at this time...

Industry Websites Recommended by the Editors of "the Bloom Report"

Steven Reece

A leading international consultancy to toy and games companies around the world. Working across the UK, Europe, North America and beyond to increase performance and add value across the industry. CEO, Steve Reece, has worked extensively & highly successfully across Toys, Games and Entertainment, working on both established Category leading Brands and new kids on the block.

Complete CPSC Information

Current Recalls/Press Releases, Search for Recalls...CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products. You can find information on over 4,500 product recalls and recall alerts using the various searches on this page.

Learning Express Toys

Learning Express is the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores. To date, there are more than 130 locations across the country, each one locally owned and operated. These local stores are dedicated to providing quality toys, expert staff, exceptional customer service, and community support through fundraising—the keystones of the Learning Express brand.


Founded in 1992 on a simple premise: to bring members of the independent toy industry together to help each other succeed. Since then, ASTRA has grown to be the largest association for companies in the toy and children’s products arenas, with more than 1,000 members, including: Independent toy retailers, Specialty toy manufacturers, Manufacturers’ representatives, Industry affiliates, Suppliers and service providers, and other children’s businesses.

Leads the growth and health of the North American toy industry by serving as a champion for toy safety; an advocate for legislative, regulatory and trade issues; a facilitator of toy commerce via trade shows and events; a spokesperson for the media and other external audiences; and an information resource for members.

TTF is a 501(c)(3) charity organization whose mission is to bring joy, comfort, and learning to children in need through toys and play. Learn more about YOUR industry foundation and how you can help! Explore our website to learn more about the work of our Foundation and how you can join us in making play possible for all.

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2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Award Finalists Unveiled~The Toy Association today unveiled the 123 finalists for the prestigious 2019 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, the TOTY Awards program recognizes the top toy, game, and licenses in the industry, and supports children in need by serving as a critical fundraiser for The Toy Foundation. Finalists were announced this morning by prominent online influencers who serve as TOTY Ambassadors. Between now and January 6, families can visit www.ToyAwards.org to vote for their favorite playthings in each of the 17 categories, including Action Figure of the Year, Innovative Toy of the Year, and Collectible of the Year. “If you’re wondering what to get the kids and ‘kidadults’ in your life this holiday season, this year’s TOTY finalists are the hottest toys and games on the market. Whether you are looking for a doll, a board game, or the latest youth electronics, you’ll find great gift ideas for children of all ages. Every one of the TOTY finalists has been carefully screened by judges for its outstanding ability to deliver joy and wonder, while...
Toy Industry to Induct Three New Members into Esteemed Hall of Fame~The Toy Association announced that it will induct the late Stan Lee, former editor-in-chief, publisher, and chairman of Marvel Comics, Brian Goldner, chairman & CEO of Hasbro, and the late Joe Mendelsohn, president of Kenner Products into the esteemed Toy Industry Hall of Fame. These individuals were selected for induction by members of The Toy Association in recognition of their significant contributions to the industry and the impact they have had on the lives of children through a lifelong commitment to toys and play. They will join an impressive roster of 76 toy industry luminaries, including Ruth Handler, Jim Henson, George Lucas, and Joan Ganz Cooney, who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984. “Stan Lee, Brian Goldner, and Joe Mendelsohn represent the passion, creativity, and business acumen that are hallmarks of Toy Industry Hall of Fame inductees. They have created beloved characters and exciting products that stand the test of time while each consistently...
Help Kids in Need with Your TOTY 2019 Tribute Book Ad~Companies looking for a memorable way to support a worthy cause – while promoting their brands – can now reserve ad space in The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) 2019 Tribute Book, the official event program for the 19th annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony. The TOTY Tribute Book is the Foundation’s most important fundraiser of the year. Donations are tax-deductible and aid TTF’s ongoing efforts to spread joy and happiness through the distribution of toys to disadvantaged children, including those who are in foster care, critically ill, suffering from abuse or neglect, dealing with a devastating natural disaster, or otherwise in need. “By placing an ad in this year’s Tribute Book, your contribution will help the Foundation comfort those who need it most,” said Elizabeth Max, TTF’s senior foundation manager. “We are proud to be the toy industry’s leading platform to get new toys and games into the hands of underserved kids, brightening their lives and relieving their stress.” Tribute Book ads are versatile: they can spotlight a company’s brand...
.AURORA WORLD LAUNCHES MAJOR SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE~Aurora World, a global leader in plush toys and high-quality gift products, likewise a respected leader in the character and content industry, has announced a new and expansive sustainability program — its first major company-wide environmental effort. “In the last few years, here at Aurora World, we have made a conscious effort to reduce waste and help protect the planet — cutting paper usage over 30% by switching to a digital filing process,” according to Michael Kessler, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. “Now, more than ever, is the time to go green. After years of searching, we have finally found all the resources needed to make a significant impact. By using recycled products and cutting waste, we can contribute to a better world.” In 2018, Aurora began the transition from plastic fill to 100% post-consumer fill (fibers made from recycled materials) for its most extensive and diverse line, Destination Nation — found in zoos, aquariums and museums, among other locations. It was the first Aurora line to use eco-friendly recycled biopolymer...
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.PILLOW PETS, A FRIEND TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER~Pillow Pets has been providing snuggles and comfort to children and adults for over 15-years. Millions of Millennials and Gen Z parents, who loved Pillow Pets growing up, are now bringing the fun to their children. Whether it’s a nod to nostalgia with the Original Pillow Pets line, or delivering on-trend licenses like Disney, Nickelodeon, and DreamWorks...
Master the Fashion of #OOTD with Off The Hook Style Dolls~Shout out to everyone who has piles of clothing growing larger and larger next to their bedroom mirror, more shoes than they can count, and an alarming number of #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) hashtags peppering their social media posts. Let us introduce you to the Off The Hook Style Dolls, from Spin Master, the fashion dolls that are perfect for any...
Spin Master reveals new revved up Monster Jam toy line~Spin Master is launching a revved up line of Monster Jam toys, commencing a 10-year licensing partnership with Feld Entertainment. Spin Master is the new worldwide toy partner for Monster Jam, the most accessible and family-friendly sport in the world, delivering edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-charged excitement to fans of all ages. Spin Master is unveiling the...
Hot Wheels toy features SpaceX spacesuited driver~There's a Starman waiting in the sky, and now in stores, too. Mattel has released a new Hot Wheels toy model of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster that launched atop SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket nearly one year ago. The 1:64 scale toy features a miniature "Starman" driver, distinguishing it from Mattel's earlier versions of the same electric sports car and more...
‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ is Getting a Whole Line of Toys from Jakks Pacific!~Several companies are going to be releasing toys/collectibles based on Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters and one of the big ones is Jakks Pacific, whose King of the Monsters toys will be the ones kids are primarily going to be playing with in the wake of the film’s release later this year. The good news?...
Learning Resources Continues Its Commitment to Screen-Free Coding with the Launch of Coding Critters~The company's newest offering brings these critical 21st-century skills to kids as young as four. Meet the Coding Critters: three adorable interactive pets that introduce real coding concepts through fun and interactive storybook coding adventures. Coding Critters make their official debut at the Consumer...
SWAGTRON Shows Off New Electric Bikes Including Folding Trike and Beach Cruisers~SWAGTRON, a brand once known for hoverboards, is showing off new electric bikes during CES 2019. With e-bike designs ranging from retro to radical, SWAGTRON is clearly a committed player in the light electric vehicle (LEV) space. Once thought of as kids' toys, electric rideables (LEVs) are becoming an...
Final Fantasy Games Expand to New Gaming Systems~For the first time ever, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch players can purchase Final Fantasy games for their systems. This April, Square Enix will release Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster and Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age for both systems. Originally released in 2001 and 2006, respectively, the games are currently only available for PlayStation systems and...
Notable Novel Sequels: January 2018~This January, novel sequels feature fairies-in-waiting, wicked kings, kid spies, black holes, magic, and more...
Jeff Kinney to Expand 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' World~Amulet Books imprint has announced that Diary of a Wimpy Kid creator Jeff Kinney will build on his hugely popular children’s series with the publication of a new novel from the perspective of hero Greg Heffley’s best friend, Rowley Jefferson. The cover reveal for Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal was made on January 8 on Today...
Find ‘Em, Match ‘Em, and Feed Him with Crackers in My Bed~From Winnings Moves Games, Crackers In My Bed is a matching game for kids with a twist. The game includes a game board with stand-up bear headboard, 32 color-coded cracker card tops, 16 cracker card bottoms, and an oversized spinner that’s ideal for little hands. To start, kids ages 4 and up can insert all of the cracker top cards into the...
Return to Ryan’s World with These New Mystery Toys~Bonkers Toys and pocket.watch teamed up with hit YouTuber Ryan from Ryan ToysReview for another round of fun and games in his Ryan’s World collection. Kids ages 3 and up will continue their own exciting unboxings like Ryan’s with the second series. The second series of his Giant Mystery Egg, Mystery Blind Bag Figures, Mystery Putty, Mystery Goo...
Funko Celebrates 40th Anniversary of ‘Alien’~This coming March, Funko continues their Specialty Series while also paying tribute to the 40th anniversary of Alien with a brand new Xenomorph (Blue Metallic) POP! toy! Funko explains, “Why is it so special? You’ll only be able to find these Specialty Series exclusives in boutique retail, specialty stores, local comic book shops and from qualified online retailers. This is...
Funko Releases Michael Jordan Pop! Figures~Legendary NBA MVP Michael Jordan is coming soon as a Funko Pop! figure. The main version features MJ mid-dribble, dressed in a red Bulls uniform, and comes with a stand. A second, Target-exclusive edition has him standing with a basketball in his hand. There is also a Fanatics-exclusive figure of Jordan dressed in a black Bulls uniform. All three figures will be...
Funko’s Mean Green Exclusive Musical Machine~Funko has a fresh dose of Spastik Plastik. The latest Funko Shop exclusive Pop! vinyl figure is the Spastik Plastik Rocko Billy. The monstrous guitar-slinger is said to be a “mean green musical machine,” and comes decked-out in a leather jacket with cuffed jeans and a skull necklace. This 3.75-inch figure is packaged in a classic Funko window display box, and is...
Sphero Releases Enhanced Specdrums~Last summer, Sphero acquired Colorado-based Specdrums, a music-based tech startup that made waves with a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017. Sphero enhanced the product—which uses app-enabled rings to translate color into sound—with new features, relaunched at the Consumer Electronics Show. Available Jan. 15, players of all ages can turn their world into...
MGA Introduces Baby Born Surprise~MGA Entertainment has a new “surprise” on the way. Following the continued success of its L.O.L. Surprise! collection, MGA introduces Baby Born Surprise this week, a new collectible line that offers kids and collectors more than 10 surprises in each package. The new collection presents miniature versions of the Baby Born dolls, each blind-packed and swaddled in a real...
Rick and Morty Collection Launches at Primark~Say “wubba lubba dub dub” and grab your wallets, because Cartoon Network partnered with retailer Primark for a full line of Rick and Morty merchandise. The new products include menswear, womenswear, fashion accessories, homeware, drinkware, and bedding. All of the products will feature exclusive designs inspired by 1950s B-movies and include characters...
Buttheads, A New Toy From The Makers Of Fingerlings, Might Make Your House A Bit Stinkier~Kids love gross things. Case in point? Potty talk is one of their favorite pastimes, with farts being one of their most side-splitting topics. Combine that with the fact that today is National Pass Gas Day, and you've got the perfect set-up for WowWee's new toy announcement. Buttheads, a new toy from the makers of...
From the pages of ICv2: THE BUSINESS OF GEEK CULTURE: GROTS INVADE 'AGE OF SIGMAR' The 'Gloomspite Gitz' Battletome >>> 'TERRAIN CRATE' HEADS FOR NEW LOCATIONS In March >>> FLOODGATE SETS '3 LAWS OF ROBOTICS' Robot Deduction Game >>> 'DEATH OF SUPERMAN / REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN' RECUT BOX SET >>> 'MAGIC: THE GATHERING' TEASES 'WAR OF THE SPARK' >>> DEFEAT THE ONI IN 'ONIMARU' Dice-based Co-op from Penguin & Panda >>> OFFICIAL RPG STATS FOR 130 (IN)FAMOUS NPCS IN THE 'STAR WARS' UNIVERSE >>> LOONEY LABS KICKS OFF 'YEAR OF TIME TRAVEL' WITH 'TIME BREAKER' >>> IT'S A CYTOPLASMIC FREAK OUT! In 'Amoeba' Tile-laying Game >>> 'TSURO: PHOENIX RISING' New Entry in Calliope's Popular Series >>> 'AGENT 47: BIRTH OF THE HITMAN VOL. 1' TP >>> 'ISTANBUL BIG BOX' From Alderac >>> RESTORATION LAUNCHES 'CONSPIRACY' >>> USAopoly will release Captain Marvel: Secret Skrulls, a hidden identity game >>> 'STAR WARS: LEGION' ROLLS OUT NEW VEHICLES >>>