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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:
Playtime Engineering (Blipblox)
Playtime Engineering Co-Founder Troy Sheets has a lifetime love of synthesizers and electronic music production.  “As a teenager, I was lucky enough to be able to own professional music production equipment,” Troy remembers, “the flashing lights, the array of buttons, and the ability to create spacey fun sounds by twisting knobs was tremendously fun for me at a young age.” 

While electronic music production technology has become more accessible to non-professionals, they are still marketed as toys for adults.  Troy believed that even very young children could experience the same joy of synthesizers that he did as a teenager.  “Synthesizers are designed with very colorful displays and controls.  They are more powerful than ever, but also more fun than ever, which is fantastic!  But they also need to be kid-friendly and kid-safe.”  Troy decided to go all in on the synthesizer-as-a-toy concept.  Thus, the Blipblox was born.

On the surface, the Blipblox was designed to be friendly and approachable.  Its bright colors and durable plastic design look like they are right out of a Fisher-Price box.  But what makes the Blipblox unique is that under that simple and fun cover is a powerful, fully functional and studio-ready synthesizer. Troy spent several years designing a synthesizer that is simple enough for children to use.  “The first thing you notice about the Blipblox is that there is no keyboard.  The Blipblox does the job of cycling through hundreds of built-in melodies, so kids can focus on shaping the sound waves using the colorful controls.”  Troy explains, “From the moment you turn it on, the Blipblox gets a tune going, but then kids have complete control to shape the speed, style, and tone of the sounds into their own unique creation.”

With his decades of synthesizer experience, Troy has been able to extract the most fun aspects of synthesizers, so each control has an immediate, direct effect on the sound.  Coupled with the synchronized LED light show, it is easy to spend hours tweaking the different parameters.  “I really wanted a wide range of sounds to explore.  The Blipblox has a unique synthesis engine that allows it to create many more sounds than some professional synthesizers, but with a very simplified set of controls." “I am a synth and music guy first and foremost, so I knew the Blipblox had to have the power to be taken seriously as a music production device,” says Troy.  To insure this, the Blipblox includes a MIDI input port, so it can be played by an external computer or a keyboard, and has an Audio Out port so it can be directly recorded into music production software.  “Even if children don’t use those functions right away, I am confident many of them will grow into those advanced features so they can use the Blipblox as a part of a full computer production setup.”

The Blipblox was first introduced at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in 2018.  Musicians worldwide look to each annual NAMM event to learn about the hottest new synthesizers and music equipment trends.  “It was really the perfect place to debut the Blipblox because the whole music industry looks for the new thing, and the Blipblox was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before”.  The Blipblox went viral on the internet following the NAMM announcement, and Playtime Engineering utilized that hype to complete a very successful crowdfunding campaign which supported the first production order in June 2018.  As of May 2019 the Blipblox is in full production and available in retail outlets worldwide.

“It’s been really exciting to bridge two different industries, Toys and Music.  It’s a fun low-cost synthesizer for the music industry, and a very advanced new concept for the Toy industry.  It gives us a wide range of sales and marketing options that we can explore.  We have just as much fun at professional music events like NAMM as we do at toy events like Toy Fair and ASTRA,” says co-founder Kate Sheets. The Blipblox retails for US$189.

See the Blipblox Videos...
Playtime Engineering can be reached at:
1459 18th Street, #357 | San Francisco, CA 94107 | USA
tel: 415.913.7271
Visit the Playtime Engineering website:
www.blipblox.com
Contact: Kate Sheets | Co-Founder
Email: info@playtimeengineering.com
Click here to learn how your company can be featured as
the Bloom Report's "Company Profile of the Week"

 

York Jersey Underwriters has been in business since 1926 and has 40 years experience with the toy industry.
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or Bob Witkin bobwitkin@york-jersey.com
Visit the York-Jersey Underwriters website at
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Pottack Law

TechExpo

Stem Awards

The Perfect Gift! New! Expanded 4th Edition!
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Dr Toy
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"the Bloom Report" Covering the Week Of:
Saturday August 17 through Friday August 23, 2019

Financial & Legal News
Saturday August 17 through Friday August 23, 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"

.Trump thinks tariffs will add U.S. manufacturing jobs. Economic reality says they won’t.~When then-Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina went to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Kent International in 2014, the bicycle company had grand plans for expansion at its assembly plant to make its products in the United States. “Manufacturing, it's never as easy as it looks and people kind of laughed at us, but won't be laughing very much longer,” Kent International Chairman and CEO Arnold Kamler said. “We are not reinventing the wheel; we just have a really talented bunch of workers and...
Trump throws a tantrum and cancels his Denmark trip after his plans to buy Greenland are widely mocked~If the president can’t have Greenland, he’s going to take his toys and go home. That was the message President Donald Trump sent in a pair of tweets Tuesday night, canceling an upcoming trip Denmark: The remarkably petty move came after Trump faced widespread mockery over reports, which he later confirmed, that the president has been expressing interest in buying Greenland and making it a part of the United States. Greenland is a largely autonomous country...
Radio Flyer sues Michigan toy company over allegedly ripping off its two-seater red plastic wagon~Radio Flyer is suing a Michigan toy manufacturer for allegedly ripping off its 2-in-1 plastic wagon and selling it at Walmart. The lawsuit alleges that American Plastic Toys intentionally copied Radio Flyer’s Pathfinder Wagon — from its pop-up facing seats to rectangular cup holders for children’s juice boxes — in a bid to replace it on store shelves, sidewalks and in cluttered garages everywhere. “APT set out to intentionally copy the Pathfinder Wagon in nearly every respect,” the...
‘It’s Just a Nightmare.’ Despite Tariff Delay, Toy Makers Are Worried~Toymakers breathed a little easier this week when President Trump announced plans to delay tariffs on many goods from China — but their relief may not last long. The delay pushes a new 10 percent tariff on some Chinese imports to December from September, and allows companies and retailers to avoid paying an additional tax on the goods they’re bringing into the United States for the all-important holiday shopping season. Yet toymakers are already looking ahead to next year’s holiday season, and...
How Would Imposing More China Tariffs Impact Independent Toy Stores?~President Trump decided to delay a new round of 10 percent tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese goods. The president said he delayed the tariffs to avoid raising prices during the holiday shopping season. Ann Kinzle is the owner of Play, an independent toy store that has two locations in Chicago. She joined The Takeaway to talk about how these tariffs could impact her stores. Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this segment...
Sears to start liquidation sales at these 26 stores~Holdco, the company formed in January to buy the remaining assets of bankrupt retailer Sears Holdings Corp., said it will begin “liquidation sales” this week in 26 stores that will close in late October. The large-format store closures include 21 Sears stores in 15 states and 5 Kmart stores in 3 states and Puerto Rico. “After careful review of where we are today, we believe the right course for the company is to accelerate the expansion of our smaller store formats which includes opening additional Home & Life stores and adding several...
ZURU Files Lawsuit Against MGA Entertainment~ZURU Inc. announced its wholly owned subsidiaries Creative Impact Inc. and ZURU, LLC have filed a complaint against MGA Entertainment in the United States District Court. The lawsuit challenges MGA’s efforts to eliminate healthy competition in the toy industry by wrongly asserting nonexistent copyright, trademark and trade dress intellectual property rights against ZURU’s successful 5 Surprise product line and other unlawful business practices. ZURU launched its widely successful and innovative 5 Surprise range of...
July Retail Sales Show Strong Gains But Stock Market and Tariffs Could Lead to Caution in Consumer Spending~Retail sales were up 0.9 percent in July seasonally adjusted from June and up 5.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. “July’s strong results are consistent with a confident consumer,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Households are in good shape with spending and that should continue as long as the labor market remains healthy...
What the ViacomCBS merger means for kids content~Following the media merger that brings together Nickelodeon and CBS All Access’s new kids content, media analysts from Dubit, KidsKnowBest and Ampere Analysis weigh in on what’s next. American media company CBS has reached an agreement to acquire Viacom, merging the two into ViacomCBS. The all stock-merger creates a combined company with more than US$28 billion in revenue. Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish will be president and CEO of the ViacomCBS, while CBS’ president and CEO will shift to being...
'The Global Downturn Has Already Begun': Bracing For Recession~A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange headlines the day's trading, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. More and more economic indicators are pointing in the wrong direction and fears are growing that we are heading into a global recession. One economist calls this the "summer of fear." Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun! toys, the maker of, among other things, Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys on the panel...
Amazon in talks to buy up to 10% stake in Future Retail~Amazon.com Inc is in late-stage talks to buy as much as 10% of India's Future Retail Ltd.. The move comes as Amazon is looking to expand its reach in the Indian brick-and-mortar market, about a year after retailer Walmart Inc bought a majority stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the deal, saying the company does not comment about "what we may or may not do ahead." Future Group is seeking a valuation of about 20 billion rupees ($281 million) from Amazon for...
Five Retailers Are Opening Stores for Every Retailer Closing Stores~More than five retail chains are opening stores for every retailer that is closing stores in 2019, according to new research. This is up from 3.7 in 2018. The company also reports that the number of chains adding stores in 2019 has increased 56%, while the number of closing stores has decreased by 66% in the last year. Retail Renaissance – True Story of Store Openings/Closings reviewed 1,660 retail chains with 50 or more locations in the United States across nine industry segments. For each retailer, the...
Market Research Reports: Global Boys Toys Market 2019: Development, Growth, Key Factors And Forecast – 2026 /// Traditional Toys and Games Market Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities, Trends, and Forecasts (2018-2026) /// Global Online Toys and Games Retailing Market 2019 – Alibaba, Amazon, Target, Toys €œR €, Walmart stores, JAKO-O, okplay, The land of Nod ///
Company Financial & Brokerage News: Hasbro: This Best In Class Toy Company Is Expensive /// Anchor Capital Advisors Has $46.05 Million Stock Holdings in Hasbro /// Spin Master to Post Q3 2019 Earnings of $1.21 Per Share, DA Davidson Forecasts /// BMO: JAKKS Pacific Posts Another Disappointing Quarter, While Peers Beat Expectations /// Video Game Publishers Face Less Crowded Holiday Season This Year /// Mattel vs. Pentair: Breaking Down the Toys & Games Industry’s Two Hottest Stocks /// Wells Fargo Boosts Hasbro Price Target to $111.00 /// Can Five Below’s Tomorrow be Different? The Stock Had Increase in Shorts /// Party City Holdco CFO Michael A. Correale Bought $100,359 of Shares /// Hasbro (Share Price Has Gained 119%, So Why Not Pay It Some Attention? /// Jaw dropping facts: Mattel /// How Bad Are J.C. Penney’s Finances? /// Hasbro Plans Quarterly Dividend of $0.68 /// Wizard World Insider Acquires $18,000.00 in Stock /// Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI Buys 1,000 Shares of Hasbro /// Campbell Newman Asset Management Increases Stake in Hasbro ///
Company Reporting
Financial Reporting (August 17-23, 2019)
Target (TGT) Q2 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates~Came out with quarterly earnings of $1.82 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.61 per share. This compares to earnings of $1.47 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items. This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 13.04%. A...
Tuesday Morning Corporation (NASDAQ: TUES) Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2019 Results~Reported a net loss of $12.0 million, or $0.27 per share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to a net loss of $10.3 million, or $0.23 per share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, was negative $4.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, compared...
Wizard Entertainment LOSSES CONTINUE~Lost $359,292 in Q2 2019, an improvement from the $505,272 loss in the same quarter a year ago. Convention revenues were down by half, to $2,542,632 in Q2 2019 from $5,111,867 in the same quarter a year ago. Wizard ran three events in Q2, including Ghostbusters Fanfest, a first-time event, vs. four events in Q2 2018...
Company Reporting
Future Financial Reporting
Five Below, Inc. (FIVE) August 28~Announced that its financial results for the second quarter will be released after market close. The company will host a conference call at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the financial results. Investors and analysts interested in participating in the call are invited to dial 412-902-6753 approximately 10 minutes prior to...
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. (OLLI) August 28~Announced that it will release its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 after the market closes. Following the release, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time the Company’s management will host a conference call to discuss the results...
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW) August 29~Announced that the Company will report results for its second quarter fiscal year 2019 ended August 3, 2019, prior to the opening of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company will host its quarterly investor conference call to discuss the results at 9 a.m. ET on the same day...
Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) August 29~Announced that it plans to release its financial results for the fiscal 2019 second quarter on, 2019. In connection with the release, Todd Vasos, CEO, and John Garratt, CFO, will host a conference call. There will also be a live webcast of the call available...
Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) August 29~North America's leading operator of discount variety stores, will host its conference call for investors and analysts to discuss financial results for the second quarter ended August 3, 2019.

Stories & Comments
Saturday August 17 through Friday August 23, 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"

45 iconic ’60s and ’70s TV characters immortalized as Funko toys~Funko Pop! figures are adorable vinyl toys known for their large eyes and expressionless faces. Whether you’re looking for a quirky gift idea or want to display your favorites in your home or office, these iconic characters from some of the best shows of the ’60s and ’70s are simply delightful. 1-6. The Addams Family They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky — and now they can be all yours! Based on the classic TV show, not the film or comics versions, the Addams Family Funko collection...
“ROMPERS BEAR” Originated in Japan Launches Overseas~Empathy Japan Co., sells “ROMPERS BEAR” is the only one stuffed bear in the world that is made from baby clothes contained kid’s memories, is announcing the launch of an official English and Chinese website from July 2019 to make it easier for overseas customers to order. Empathy Japan is offering a ROMPERS BEAR service making a stuffed bear from baby clothes used to be worn by a baby. It has been selected by a lot of customers in Japan for various kinds of occasions: as birthday gift of first year, for...
'GOOD BOYS' AMBUSH 'HOBBS & SHAW'~The linguistically raunchy tween comedy Good Boys surpassed expectations and topped the weekend box office with a $21 million debut. Still, with the other four new films faltering, Good Boys wasn’t quite enough to insure a year-over-year win as the box office dipped 8.9% versus the same frame last year when Crazy Rich Asians topped the charts with $26.5 million. Good Boys was expected to debut with $12-14 million, but a clever online ad campaign succeeded in building interest for the R-rated comedy about three tween boys desperate...
20 Strange Photos People Took At Toys R Us~There was nothing quite like Toys ‘R’ Us stores and there may never well be, considering they closed them down last year; though photos of the stores will forever circulate online. For those who grew up going to Toys ‘R’ Us stores, little of it seemed out of the ordinary. When looking back at the stores today through photos, however, they tell a different story. We’re going to uncover some of the strangest photos taken in or around Toys ‘R’ Us stores that show a different, stranger side of this once popular retail chain...
Barbie ‘Star Wars’ Collection is Already the Hottest Toy of the Year~We’ve been writing a bit about our favourite toys growing up including one of Mattel’s biggest success stories, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. While we haven’t yet had a chance to write about Barbie we figured we should share the following announcement about the latest and hottest Barbie dolls coming to a galaxy near you. There is an infinite amount of Star Wars merchandise out there and there are just as many Barbie dolls, but now the two biggest toys lines will cross paths thanks to this new...
Toy Story 4 Passes $1 Billion At Worldwide Box Office~Toy Story 4 becomes the latest film of 2019 to pass the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office. There was a point in time when earning that much was considered an incredible accomplishment, but now Hollywood blockbusters hit the $1 billion mark with regularity. As a matter of fact, in the span of five days, three of this summer's biggest hits - Spider-Man: Far From Home, Aladdin, and The Lion King - reached the milestone. The not-so-exclusive club is now up to 43 movies, many of which were released this past decade. One...
FIRST and LEGO Education Inspire Students to Build Cities of the Future~FIRST, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, and LEGO Education announced that the 2019-2020 FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Jr. seasons will task students to explore topics related to architecture, infrastructure, and sustainability of future cities, as well as a new offering in the suite of FIRST programs: FIRST LEGO® League Jr. Discovery Edition. Increasingly, it is critical to prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow and in industries that do not even exist yet...
LEGO Reveals 2,900-Piece Motorized Disney Train Station — And the Internet Can't Get Enough~LEGO and Disney teamed up to create a dream toy set for kids of all ages. The two beloved brands just announced their latest collectable item: a 2,925-piece motorized model of the iconic Disney Railroad station that runs past Main Street, USA, in Disney World and Disneyland. The $330 toy set doesn’t go on sale until Sept. 1, but social media users are already in a frenzy. “All aboard! Take a magical journey with the new LEGO Disney Train and Station set, inspired by the...
The CEO of the toy company behind Ooshies reveals which collectables are the rarest~Meet the man responsible for your child's Ooshies obsession. Woolworths has announced it's teaming up with Disney to launch its limited edition Lion King collectables called "Ooshies". The Lion King Ooshies have been flying out of grocery stores countrywide, with families flocking to complete their collections, and some of the rarest being listed online for thousands of dollars. But these popular pencil toppers have actually been around since 2017 - and they were created by the fastest...
Play-Dohs Are Outpacing Other Toys On Amazon’s Best-sellers List~Play-Dohs are perhaps one of the most timeless toys that have been in existence from generation to generation. Aside from the fact that they are cheap and flexible (literally), these modelling clays provide a fun way for kids to boost their creativity. Play-Dohs have been around since the mid-1950s. Hasbro currently owns the rights to Play-Dohs. As demand for these colorful modelling clays has grown over the years, Hasbro has added more color variants and more fun ways to mold Play-Dohs by introducing other...
'Baby Shark' obsessed kids? Here is what you can buy and doo-doo-doo with them~More than 3 billion views on YouTube isn't enough for "Baby Shark." SmartStudy, the entertainment company behind Pinkfong — who made "Baby Shark" into a mega sensation — is on a mission to bring us "Baby Shark" everything, including cereal. The ear-worm song may make parents scurry, but watching your toddler clap and sing along makes it worthwhile. Here's all the stuff to make your baby sharks swim with joy...
Workplace playtime! The benefits of desktop toys and gadgets~Do you squeeze a squishy ball during a long phone conversation or fire off a Nerf dart blaster when a package set to arrive yesterday still doesn’t show up today? You’re not alone. Plenty of adults find desktop toys a welcome addition to their work area. While your office needn’t resemble a 5-year-old’s playroom, a carefully chosen desk toy or two can prove beneficial. Here’s a look at some items people keep around and the purposes they serve...
Games: A Category That’s Still Playing to Win~Board games remains a strong category, even though its sales are not rising at the incredible rate they have been for years. Global and U.S. game and puzzle sales last year declined 1%, as overall toy industry sales decreased by 2%, with sales still higher than 2016, according to the NPD Group. And despite the loss of Toys “R” Us sales, statistics show that the games category is thriving. Successful tabletop game projects raised $165.3 million on Kickstarter last year, up 20% from 2017, according to ICO Partners. The number of...
Arcade Resurgence: Bringing the Action Home~For those of a certain age, the experience of visiting a video arcade is an unforgettable snapshot of an era long since passed. The appeal of the flashing lights and the sounds — a mix of electronic blips and blorps set against the constant chatter of excited players and a soundtrack of ‘70s rock and ‘80s pop hits — shaped the overall atmosphere of something wondrous. From the local dives to the legendary confines of Bally’s Aladdin’s Castle and Disney’s fictional Flynn’s and Litwak’s, players are being drawn to what once was — and...
ICTI Ethical Toy Program Endorses Latest Regulations~Now is the time to embrace manufacturing against a backdrop of new regulations, evolving consumer expectations, and global sustainability initiatives. ICTI Ethical Toy Program was at the forefront of ethical manufacturing last year. Last year’s highlights include the launch of refreshed Ethical Toy Program branding, which reflects our role as the leading responsible sourcing program for the global toy industry. We also introduced major program upgrades, including a new, risk-rated audit checklist, updated ethical toy...
Breaking Down the ABCs of STEM Toys~Not too many years ago, all a toy needed to attract parents was to have the alphabet on it. It didn’t matter whether the letter activity was age appropriate, kid friendly, used uppercase or lowercase letters, or even made sense. If it featured the ABCs and the packaging shouted, “educational!” then parents saw it as a leg-up to Harvard admissions. Today, new letters replace the ABC hype — STEM. Toddlers are now encouraged to learn advanced math, and preschoolers need to know the basics of engineering. There are stores with entire aisles...
Use earned media to leverage end-of-year sales~Your fourth quarter is right around the corner. You have a long to-do list this time of year; yet many American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) members will agree that getting free “advertising” deserves a place on your priority list. Earned media — valuable coverage from bloggers, newspapers, magazines, TV and radio shows, and on social media — is all about trust. Like paid advertising, media stories can build awareness about your store and products. In contrast to paid advertising, earned media implies an objective...
Unboxing Reaches New Heights in 2019~Toy companies are continuing to add innovative ways for kids to unbox their toys to take the exciting experience of the reveal to the next level. Whether it’s incorporating unique packaging that transforms into storage or play sets or using different compounds that kids have to dig through to get to the surprise, the unboxing trend is ramping up in a major way. “Unboxing 2.0” is one of the hottest toy trends this year, according to trend experts at The Toy Association. “Family influencers truly started the unboxing trend on YouTube,” says...
Nike steps into the subscription business—for kids~Nike is the latest brand to wade into the growing subscription service market. And it’s starting with the kids market. The athletic footwear giant is launching Nike Adventure Club, a subscription service that will offer sneakers for kids ages two through 10. The program will send a new pair of sneakers at regular intervals, with customers choosing from three tiers of subscription services: quarterly, bimonthly or monthly basis, with monthly fees of $20, $30 or $50, respectively. Customers can choose from more than 100 styles from...
E-skateboards and other “toys” banned from Dutch public roads~Did you know that you’re not allowed to ride on public roads on hoverboards / airboards, electric scooters, electric skateboards or other “toys” in the Netherlands? Some electric scooters, like Segways, are allowed but must fulfil specific conditions. As previously mentioned, some electric scooters are allowed on public roads (cycle paths included) but must fulfil specific conditions. An electric scooter is only permitted on the road if it has been appointed the status of “special moped” (bijzondere bromfiets) by the...
'CAPTAIN AMERICA' #1 GETS RECORD PRICE AT AUCTION~Captain America #1 sold for $915,000 at a Heritage Auctions on August 1. The comic titles that have sold at higher prices than this issue make up a short list that includes Action Comics #1 (three copies at over $2 million, at least one other at $1+ million, Amazing Fantasy #15 ($1.1 million in 2011), Detective Comics #27 ($1.07 million in 2010), and All Star Comics #8 ($936,223 in 2017). Vintage comic books and original comic art have been progressively realizing higher auction values over the last few years...
Remembering the toy industry's past: Toy Fair Order Form From 1987 Reveals What G1 Fortress Maximus Cost Retailers /// Poppin Hoppies from Ideal Toy Company (1968) /// 20 Toys From The ‘80s That Are Illegal Today /// My Exclusive Interview with Frank Müller, PLAYMOBIL'S Head of Business Development /// Voice of the Mummy from Milton Bradley (1971) /// The untold truth of She-Ra ///
CONFESSIONS OF A COMIC BOOK GUY -- A RESUMPTION OF KUNG FU FIGHTING~A weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett discusses the return of Shang-Chi and offers some wisdom on the merits of kung fu in comics. It’s always nice to see a publisher like Marvel finally giving some of your favorite characters in often neglected genres some much deserved attention, like this year’s Ziggy Pig - Silly Seal Comics #1. And I’d be hard pressed to come up with a genre which is more neglected than Kung Fu...
ROLLING FOR INITIATIVE -- A (VERY) SHORT HISTORY OF MARKETING~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, Thorne looks at the history of marketing and how it applies to the games business. Fall classes and the 2019-2020 school year start this week so with a new slew of students coming into class I figure now is a good time for a refresher look at the history of marketing, which is, if you make, distribute or sell a game, an activity in which you...
"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...A Tariff Delayed. But What's Next? /// Breaktime: Bumper Cars /// New Victory Theater; glamour, children, a play and a chance to play /// China's Manufacturing Capacity and Tariffs ///
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...
‘Contra’ and ‘Bomberman’ are Turning Into Board Games~Konami Cross Media NY announced that it signed licensing agreements for board games based on the Konami video games from the ’80s and ’90s, Contra and Bomberman. Blacklist Games is developing a cooperative board game based on the original Contra video game, featuring tactical, card-driven game play and detailed miniatures of the heroes, enemies, and environments from the game. The board game is expected to launch in North America next spring. The original Contra video game was...
Numskull launches new TUBBZ collectables and its a pop-culture licensing dream~Numskull Designs is answering the call of the geek movement with the launch of a new, multi-licensed series of collectable, cosplaying duck figurines. Yes, it’s a sign of the times and it doesn’t really get much nerdier than this as Numskulls joins the thriving collectables scene with its very own TUBBZ, representing some of the biggest video game, film, TV, and comic book brands of the moment. TUBBZ transforms some of the most iconic figures and characters from geek...
Alphablocks and Numberblocks secure partnerships with Play-Doh and Doodle Education~The popular pre-school properties Numberblocks and Alphablocks are continuing to build a solid base in the children’s toys space thanks to new signings with Hasbro and Doodle Education. Both series – which are currently enjoying strong viewing ratings on CBeebies – have secured a new partnership with Hasbro UK for a Play-Doh brand partnership promotional initiative. The promotion is focussed on how creative play and having fun are an...
CandyRific Gets Spooky with Disney, Nickelodeon for Halloween~CandyRific has teamed up with Disney, Nickelodeon and M&M for candy novelty items set to debut this Halloween. New items will feature Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Nickelodeon’s “PAW Patrol” and M&M’s characters. Available items include fans, safety lights and light-up safety wands to use when trick-r-treating during Halloween. CandyRific has previously worked on similar products with Marvel and Pixar...
A New Hope: Mattel, Lucasfilm Announce Star Wars Barbie~Mattel has partnered with Lucasfilm to create a line of limited-edition Barbie dolls inspired by Star Wars characters from the first film in the franchise, Star Wars: A New Hope. Barbie's new looks are patterned after the characters Darth Vader, R2-D2 and Princess Leia. Each unique doll comes with a stand and certificate of authenticity. Specially made for collectors, the line of Barbies is expected to be released this November. Fans can pre-order the collectibles on Mattel's website for $100...
Igloo Chills Out with Pixar for Toy Story-Inspired Coolers~Igloo has announced the launch of the Pizza Planet Playmate mini cooler inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4. The four-quart Playmate mini cooler is made for portability and can hold a sandwich, snacks and drink. Igloo’s new cooler is named in honor of the space-themed family restaurant frequented by Andy and his toys in the first Toy Story film. “We are beyond thrilled that we are able to work with Disney and Pixar on these exclusive Toy Story licensed products to showcase the...
Konami Licenses ‘Contra’ and ‘Bomberman’ for Board Games~Konami Cross Media NY has signed licensing agreements with Blacklist Games and IDW Games for board games based on video game titles “Contra” and “Bomberman.” Targeting a North American launch in 2020, Blacklist Games and the Kess Co. are developing a cooperative board game based on the original “Contra” video game. The title includes tactical, card-driven gameplay and detailed miniatures of the characters from the IP. “We’re extremely excited with this opportunity to work...
343 Industries Teams Up With Wicked Cool Toys~Game on! It was announced that 343 Industries has appointed Wicked Cool Toys as global toy licensee for the next chapter of one of the most iconic game franchises of all time, Halo® Infinite. The new game will debut in Holiday 2020 and Wicked Cool Toys is working closely with 343 Industries and the game development team so that the line of toys and collectibles are truly an offline extension of the Halo universe. Wicked Cool Toys has the rights to create several categories of toys including...
PEOPLE, COMPANIES, ORGANIZATIONS...
.Hasbro to Phase Out Plastic from New Toy and Game Packaging~Hasbro announced today that, beginning in 2020, it plans to begin phasing out plastic from new product packaging, including plastic elements like polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets and blister packs. The company’s ambition is to eliminate virtually all plastic in packaging for new products by the end of 2022. “Removing plastic from our packaging is the latest advancement in our more than decade-long journey to create a more sustainable future for our business and...
Hasbro will phase out plastics from packaging — but not toys~Hasbro is vowing to cut down on the plastic components used to package those products. The toy company will start phasing out plastic from new packaging, including elastic bands and shrink wrap, starting next year, with a plan to eliminate virtually all plastic from packages for new products by the end of 2022. The company has not yet announced a plan to cut down on plastic usage in the toys themselves, though COO John Frascotti said the company will soon announce steps involving more...
Educational toy store opening second location~Learning Express Toys will open its second Dayton-area location this weekend. The nation’s largest education toy retailer will open with a grand opening event. Kelley Stevens, owner of the Mason store, also owns a Learning Express Toys in Kentucky. “I am so excited to bring Learning Express Toys back to families in this area,” Kelley Stevens said, “As a mom of eight, I truly value the assortment of unique toys and the convenience of free gift wrapping.” The store is different than big-box stores...
New Kids and Baby Clothing Store, Open now in Sheboygan~A new business is open now here in the city of Sheboygan. Bluebird, a new store in downtown Sheboygan, offers unique baby clothing and toys. Owner Jennifer Tisch decided to open Bluebird because she had a hard time finding quality baby clothes for her daughter. She says the clothing and toys come from brands based in California and the United Kingdom, all with unique touches or special features. Shoppers can buy in store or online at bluebirdsheboygan.com. The new store is open...
Joe Moll, Director of Design, Innovation and Inventor Relations, at Crayola~What do you do in the Industry? I have been working in the toy industry for more than 30 years on everything from action figures and dolls, playsets, collectibles, radio control, Matchbox and Hot Wheels vehicles, arts and crafts, and electronic learning toys. I have worked on products for most current major toy companies and others that unfortunately no longer exist as the industry has consolidated over the years...
All in the Family: The Donner Family~I’ve had the pleasure to know Garry Donner and his daughter Wendy a very long time. And, now I follow Wendy’s adventures with her son Henry on Facebook and think we have a third-generation inventor in the making. I used to think Garry Donner and Michael Steer, his partner at Random Games & Toys, were brothers since they both have that joie de vivre and are physically similar. The two even shared the 2008 TAGIE for Inventor of the Year for Excellence in Game Design. You can’t miss them at the various...
Dave Schultze - Inventor, Professor, Paraglider, Entrepreneur with Gridopolis~What do you do in the industry? I am an industrial designer, architect and educator. I have been a professor at OTIS College of Art and Design since 2002 and have authored 15 online courses for lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning. I have also designed dozens of games, toys and electronics for Mattel, Hasbro and Educational insights, among many others.
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Adam Hocherman - 1988 Williams Cyclone, Granite Tennis, OK to Wake! and More!~Adam Hocherman, VP, New Business at PlayMonster What do you do in the industry? I am in charge of Global Product Sourcing at PlayMonster although I wear a lot of hats in my role as VP, New Business. That’s a fun thing about my job – the position requirements are very fluid which suits my personality well as an ex-entrepreneur...
Business of Play Steven Schoenmaekers - JOMO, Magic 8-ball, Driving Innovation at Cartamundi~Steven Schoenmaekers, EVP Global Accounts & Innovation, Cartamundi What do you do in the industry? I’ve been working for Cartamundi for almost 16 years now and have been part of the group leadership team for about 7 years now. I have always been in a commercial role, starting as Key Account manager for many of our international customers and markets. Currently as EVP Global Accounts & Innovation, I lead the Global Accounts...
Dee Farrell Speaks on ASTRA's State of the Union~Dee Farrell, VP Marketing US, HAPE Int'l, outgoing ASTRA Board Chair It’s pretty much impossible to pickup a newspaper or browse your newsfeed and not hear the doom and gloom stories about retail. Doom and Gloom. You still hear that Retail is very hard. And those tariffs – we’re all worried about tariffs and the effects they’ll have. And still too often, there’s news of another retailer shuttering its doors. Doom and Gloom - we’ve all heard enough about that. To prepare for my state of the union, I wanted to...
All in the Family: The Seberts~I remember the first time I met Peggy and Becky Sebert, of Becky & Me Toys, and thinking how sweet to name a toy store after your daughter and be able to work together. To also share your business with your father and husband is even more special. I do admit a bit of jealousy because my daughter is grown and living in a different city. When you run into the two of them at ASTRA Marketplace or other shows, you can’t help but smile...
All in the Family: The Kohner Family~Michael Kohner is a mensch in every sense of the word. He is a man of his word, generous beyond measure, attentive to detail, and stands by friends and colleagues through thick and thin. His jokes are legendary; he could have been a stand-up comic, but our industry is better because he stayed with us. Many seek his advice (myself included) and he happily gives it and is willing to say what you don’t want to hear because that is what someone who really cares does. He’s all heart, makes the best amaretto sour and is...
Apartments, preschool and yoga studio are all part of new 24-acre Chatsworth HQ of toymaker MGA Entertainment~Live. Work. Play. It was a common refrain as Isaac Larian, CEO and founder of MGA Entertainment opened up his 24-acre North American headquarters in Chatsworth to local leaders and reporters to see. The “play” part of it was perhaps predictable — given that Larian’s company makes toys children play with — think Little Tikes and L.O.L. Surprise!, and then there’s the Bratz fashion doll line, BABY born, Lalaloopsy, Num Noms...
Adolf Gund: Ridgefield’s Geppetto~To Ridgefielders in the 1930s, the old man with the German accent might have been Geppetto. Working in his shop in the barn behind his house, the white-haired retiree created marvelous stuffed animals. People came from far and wide to acquire his creations, made mostly because he loved to make them. The man was Adolf Gund, who years earlier had founded the Gund Manufacturing Company, “creator of novelties” that included some of the earliest Teddy Bears. Today Gund stuffed toys are sold around the...
Ryan ToysReview Opens Up About The Coolest Part Of His Multi-Million Dollar Job~By now, even if you didn't before, you probably know Ryan Kaji of Ryan ToysReview. He is the star of his own YouTube channel and his own show, Ryan's Mystery Playdate on Nickelodeon. Plus, he's one of the wealthiest kids, with a net worth near $20 million. He is beloved by his young audience and their parents as well for being a down to earth, real kid. Ryan has entered into quite a few brand partnerships, most recently with Hardee's and Carl's Jr. on their revamped...
Ford Gum & Machine succeeds with new channels, new products and licensing~To survive and thrive over 106 years, Ford Gum & Machine Company (FGMC) has adapted to changing markets and tastes. That has been particularly true in recent decades where the number of retailers has shrunk. “At one time, we did a lot of business with Sears, JC Penney, Toys R Us and drug stores,” says Steve Greene, senior vice president and co-owner of FGMC. Today, FGMC has redirected much of its retail business to convenience stores and value channels...
American consumer is ‘strong’ and spending more, former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO says~Former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO Gerald Storch told FOX Business the latest retail-sales data highlights the strength of the American consumer. “Month after month, we see the same thing. People are employed. They have money in their pocket. They are going to spend it,” he said. “People have a lot of money. They are spending it, but they are spending it on experiences like eating out,” Storch said. President Trump Opens a New Window. touted the retail sales number as...
BuzzFeed CMO Ben Kaufman Exiting to Focus on His Toy Store~He will remain in his role through the end of the year. BuzzFeed's CMO Ben Kaufman Kaufman will serve in an advisory role to BuzzFeed after he steps down later this year. After less than a year as BuzzFeed’s CMO, Ben Kaufman is stepping away from the role to turn his attention more toward growing his experiential toy store for kids, called Camp, throughout the U.S...
Fall 2019 Seal of Approval Winners Announced~As summer transitions to fall and kids "happily" return to school we are pleased to announce the newest Seal winning products and services. This second of three testing periods, in this our 29th year of intensive and comprehensive consumer review, is full of superb finds for parents and the retailers who market to them. As always, the criteria for winning a Seal is based solely on parent/child consumer testing. This most recent round of testing occurred throughout June and July. As always our...
Kids II Announces New Name, Online Retail, and Manufacturing Facility~Kids II, Inc. celebrates 50 years announcing a name change to Kids2, a new online retail arm, and a new manufacturing facility under construction in China. “Three years ago, we set out to transform Kids2 to best meet the needs of the modern early-stage parent in this rapidly-changing marketplace. We are now at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention having evolved from a product-centric seller to a solution-driven family of brands focused on making it easier for parents...
The Pop Culture Hall of Fame Inducts Its Biggest Class Ever~Pop culture and pop culture collectibles literally wouldn’t exist without the talented actors, writers, designers, artists, and producers who help create them. The Pop Culture Hall of Fame — formerly the Toy Collector Hall of Fame — recognizes these key individuals, adding new names to its roster every year since 2015. In years past, the Hall of Fame only added five or six people, but this year’s class has ten inductees. They are..
A Lawyer’s Toy Story~ After pursuing a career in law, Elizabeth Werner took a risk and pioneered a role in reviewing toys on television. “I wanted to go somewhere where I would be handed 60 files on my first day and be told ‘go to it,’” Elizabeth Werner said adamantly. Werner’s strong work ethic has led her to pronounced success, first in the field of law in New York City and then to the production rooms of QVC, “The View,” “Fox & Friends” and CNN. After graduating from Brooklyn Law School at 25 years old, Werner dove into a gratifying career working...
R.I.P Lee Bennett Hopkins~Lee Bennett Hopkins, passionate educator and prolific children’s poet and anthologist, died on August 8 in Cape Coral, Fla., following a hospitalization for COPD. He was 81. Hopkins was born April 13, 1938 in Scranton, Pa. In an autobiographical essay for Contemporary Authors Online, Hopkins wrote that he spent the first 10 years of his life surrounded by lots of relatives in what he described as a “very close-knit” family. In 1948, tough economic times in Scranton spurred the Hopkins family to move to Newark, N.J. It was there...
R.I.P. Herman I. Marcus Jr.~Herman Imy Marcus Jr, the heart and soul of the Toy Chest or "The Toy Man" as he was known to many, passed away peacefully after an extended hospital stay on Aug. 13 at age 86. Imy and Harriett, moved to Hot Springs, Ark. where they opened the Toy Chest in downtown Hot Springs. For the next 29 years, customers who walked in the Toy Chest were greeted by Imy's big smile and treated to a tour of the store. Imy believed in the potential of downtown Hot Springs. He was a member of the Downtown...
Toys R Us Just Literally Came Back From the Dead. (Here's the Ridiculously Ironic Detail You Couldn't Make Up If You Tried)~Toys R Us died a year ago. We mourned its passing with great vigor, love, and sadness. Now, it's coming back to life. Before we get into the details, if there are any Bible scholars out there -- or even just people who pride themselves on understanding literary references-- how's this for irony? The original founder of Toys R Us was named: Charles Lazarus. And he died just a short while before Toys R Us closed its doors....
The world’s first ‘candy department store’ to open at mega-mall~It’Sugar is set to open its largest location to date at American Dream. The nation’s largest specialty candy retailer will unveil a “completely unique” concept that will span 22,000 sq. ft. over three levels — making it the world’s largest non-manufacturer candy store — at the 3 million-sq.-ft. retail and entertainment destination, which is set to open in late October, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. “This concept has been a dream of mine for over 25 years and our It’Sugar team is thrilled to...
Cape Cod toy stores get creative in their offerings~A new toy store is set to open soon on the Cape, the second since the beginning of summer. Shannon Connolly, a preschool teacher, is opening an educational toy store called Bugg’s Place Toys in Hyannis. Shanny Bugg, the store’s logo and one of Connolly’s oldest characters, will greet customers and appear throughout the store, which will be designed to look like her playhouse and yard. Toy stores on the Cape have their own niches to set themselves apart from big-box stores. “We have to have...
Hasbro Announces Expansion of Toy Recycling Program to France, Germany, Brazil~Hasbro announced that it has expanded its industry-leading toy and game recycling program to France and Germany, with additional plans to launch in Brazil later this year. Through the program, consumers can send well-loved Hasbro toys and games to TerraCycle, a global leader in product recycling, who will recycle them into materials to be used in the construction of play spaces, flower pots, park benches, and other innovative uses. “Since launching the...
Toy Fair Dallas~Toy Fair Dallas is The Toy Association's marketplace where savvy decision-makers from mass, long-lead, and specialty retailers shop for Holiday 2019 drivers and scout out innovative products to lay the groundwork for a hot Q4 2020. In just 3 days under 1 roof, buyers can efficiently and conveniently shop hundreds of brands. Toy Fair Dallas is a critical stop on the long-lead buying circuit. Innovative toy lines, creative takes on classics, and unique trends are unveiled by hundreds of exhibiting companies. A multitude of buyers attend...
How aggressively cute toys for adults became a $686 million business~Funko Pops are now available from 25,000 retail brands worldwide, from Walmart to Amazon to Hot Topic and even, somewhat bizarrely, Foot Locker. In 2018, the company’s net sales increased 33 percent to $686.1 million, with figurines accounting for 82 percent of all sales. After the company released its Q2 earnings report in early August, declaring that sales up are 38 percent compared to this time last year, CEO Brian Mariotti called his company “recession proof.”...
Mezco Toyz Aren’t Your Daddy’s Action Figures~For the last few decades, toy companies like Hasbro and Mattel ruled the shelves when it came to 6” action figures. If a collector was searching for the best Batman or Spider-Man available, he’d likely grab one from the popular Marvel Legends or DC Universe Classics lines. Finding a truly above-average action figure that could fit in with the rest of your collection was a truly impossible feat. That is until Mezco’s One: 12 Collective line came along. Mezco Toyz design and manufacture high-end collectibles...
News From The Toy Association:Toy Fair Dallas: Why You Should Feature Your Products in the New FutureCast Gallery ||| Toy Association’s Alan Kaufman Recipient of ADK/Saint Louis University’s “Global Impact Award” /// “HOLIDAY TOYS ACROSS AMERICA” BRINGING TOYS TO THOUSANDS OF KIDS IN NEED IN ALL 50 STATES ///
Toy Safety Related Articles from Around the World...
the many perspectives you need to know about:
Some slime-based toys pose health risks and can affect fertility in the long term~Hong Kong parents should think twice about letting their children play with slime-based toys as the products could pose health risks, the Consumer Council warned on Thursday. After testing 17 slime samples and three putty toys, the city’s consumer watchdog reported that the migration of the chemical substance boron from 12 slime-based toys to a user’s hands had exceeded the recommended upper limit of 300 parts per million (ppm) set in European standards for toy...
A Hazardous History of the Slip 'N Slide~Robert Carrier decided that if his son was going to insist on sliding, he might as well try to make it as safe as possible. Carrier was an upholsterer who happened to work for a company that produced boat seats and had access to a variety of materials. So he brought home a 50-foot roll of Naugahyde, a fabric coated in vinyl, which he unspooled on his property. Carrier curled the material over on one side and stitched it in intervals. When the hose was fed through the curl, water seeped through the holes and kept the...
CPSC Recalls and Product Safety News: SAMpark Recalls Children’s Pajamas Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standard /// Crate and Barrel Recalls Push Walkers Due to Choking and Laceration Hazards ///

Product Related Press Releases
Saturday August 17 through Friday August 23, 2019
Compiled in this section, are "links" to Press Releases appropriate to the industries we cover,
reaching over 8,000 industry members...instantly...with PR "links" published at no cost!
You can reach the WebSite that contains the complete Press Release by "clicking" on each "headline link"

Toy and Related Industries Press Releases...
Toy Fair Dallas~Toy Fair Dallas is The Toy Association's marketplace where savvy decision-makers from mass, long-lead, and specialty retailers shop for Holiday 2019 drivers and scout out innovative products to lay the groundwork for a hot Q4 2020. In just 3 days under 1 roof, buyers can efficiently and conveniently shop hundreds of brands. Toy Fair Dallas is a critical stop on the long-lead buying circuit. Innovative toy lines, creative takes on classics, and unique trends are unveiled by hundreds of exhibiting companies. A multitude of buyers attend Toy Fair Dallas, which draws nearly 3,000 industry professionals from over a dozen countries. Retailers and sales representatives are eligible for free admission. Certain categories of trade guests and non-exhibitors are eligible for admission for a fee. Each registrant must present both business credentials and employee identification. Open to the trade ONLY. Consumers are NOT eligible to attend. NO ONE under the age of 18, including infants, will be admitted...
TOY JUDGES HAVE BEEN “BIZY” BESTOWING KUDOS TO MAGSTIX SENSORY MAGNETIC BUILDING SET~With so much focus on technology, isn’t it is nice when kids get to play with lo-tech toys like construction sets? MagStix Sensory Magnetic Toys Building Set ($79.99) caught the eye of several toy industry judges for its hands-on fun. With 41 pieces, creativity and imagination are the only rules. Kids get to manipulate various shaped objects, big and small, as well as use their developing fine motor skills to “click” the pieces into place. Read the press release as a PDF MagStix Sensory Magnetic Toys Building Set • $79.99 • Ages 3+More impressive, there are “no right and wrong ways to use this building toy,” begins the winning review of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s SNAP Award, one of several honors bestowed on parent company BizyBeez this season. Oppenheim gave a second rare honor with its Gold seal, given to outstanding new products that enhance the lives of children. “A versatile 41-piece magnetic construction set with a base, 8 curved rods, 16 straight rods, 8 balls...
.ARE KIDS BUGGING TO GET BACK TO SCHOOL? LET INSECT LORE BE THEIR WINGS TO WISDOM!~Ask parents when they think is the most wonderful time of the year. Chances are they’ll gleefully say back-to-school season! What do kids think? Hmmm. To restart the kids’ summer brain drain, consider adding butterflies to their backpack and binders supply list. Insect Lore has been mesmerizing kids with science lessons that last a lifetime as they watch a cup of caterpillars transform before their eyes into butterflies. Refills are a pleasurable part of Insect Lore’s, well, lore. The School Kit Refill ($49.99) features 33 live caterpillars, enough for each student to name their own in-class fuzzy buddy! It’s ideal for educators who already have the Butterfly Pavilion Habitat. Home schooled children and grandparents looking for a weekend activity may purchase individual Cup of Caterpillars ($17.99). Since 1969 teachers and parents have looked to Insect Lore for that iconic childhood moment of releasing their “farmed” butterflies into the wild. This season there is something new – the 50th Anniversary edition of...
.PLAYMONSTER HITS THE HIGH NOTE WITH MUCH ANTICIPATED MY SINGING MONSTERS COLLECTIBLES~My Singing Monsters, the mobile game that‘s captivated millions around the world, will be harmonizing in homes later this fall with new collectible figures! Since 2012, over 80 million people worldwide have downloaded Big Blue Bubble’s popular My Singing Monsters game. PlayMonster strives to keep this worldwide phenomenon going by allowing audiences to bring the music home with figures that use never-before-seen technology to...
New Kids' and YA Books: Week of August 12, 2019~Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a picture book about a legendary trickster, the story of a cat employed at a sumo training center, a middle grade historical novel set in Ireland, and a Hungarian folk tale rendered as a middle grade novel...
Trump Car Magnets for Both Sides of the Political Fence~SJT Enterprises is on a roll this year with new product offerings, their latest being Trump Car Magnets. It doesn’t matter what side of the political fence your customers are on, SJT has the perfect car magnets for them. Available packages are nine pro-Trump and nine anti-Trump magnets. SJT Enterprises is a 33-year consumer products company that sells many different types and designs of artistic signs, cards, coasters and plaques. Their website features the artwork from many different...
Awarenics Introduces Belly-Rub Pups, Plush Toys That Provide a Playful Approach to a Serious Topic - Stress~Awarenics introduced Belly-Rub Pups, adorable plush toys that provide a fun and unique method of stress-relief for users of all ages. Designed to playfully introduce proven stress management techniques through a unique three-step stress-relief approach of rub belly-breathe-laugh, Belly-Rub Pups are available in four unique characters, each standing for their own way of dealing with stress - Frankie (mindfulness), Chica Loca...
Batch Bicycles Releases First E-Bike~Batch Bicycles, designed to make it easy for anyone to get into biking, today announced the launch of its new E-Commuter Bicycle. The Batch Bicycles E-Bike, powered by a Bosch mid-drive motor will be priced at $1,999.99. The E-Commuter is pedal-assisted making it a great choice for recreational riders who want the extra boost without the hefty price tag.. With a Bosch Active Line Gen 3 motor, 6061 Alloy frame with internal cable routing and hydraulic disc brakes, the E-Commuter Bicycle is...
SWAGTRON's Two New Hoverboards for Kids Available Exclusively at Walmart~SWAGTRON, the most trusted name in hoverboards, announces two all-new hoverboards available exclusively through Walmart. The Swagboard Evo hoverboard features multi-color light-up LED wheels, headlights and direction indicators. Self-balancing technology makes it easier to ride for all skill levels. The Evo can cruise at speeds up to 7 mph thanks to 500 watts of total power and is capable of supporting riders up to 220 pounds. The Swagboard Evo retails for $128...
Hasbro Wants To Make A 2-Foot-Tall, $575 Transformers Unicron~The biggest threat in the Transformers multiverse is Unicron, the planet-sized world eater who debuted in 1986’s animated Transformers: The Movie. Despite his popularity among fans, Unicron has never gotten a toy befitting his stature. The 27-inch-tall Transformers: War for Cybertron Unicron being crowdfunded via Hasbro’s HasLab could change that. Hasbro has attempted to make several Unicron toys over the years. There was a ridiculous prototype during the toys’ first...
MLeisure Proudly Announces the Launch of Let's asQ Game Cards~MLeisure LLC is proud to announce the market launch of its first game, Let’s asQ. The card game is easy to play with a friend or a large group and is a great way to learn more about each other. The 52-card deck has incredibly thought-provoking questions and topics played with no rules – just pick a card, think and respond. Most important, listen closely when others are answering – that’s the real key. Let’s asQ meets its creators’ goal of bringing people together by simply providing...
Scandinavian Designs Introduces New KIDS + TEEN Collection~Scandinavian Designs, a leading retailer of modern and contemporary furniture, has unveiled a new KIDS + TEEN collection, just in time for the new school year. Combining clean lines and a joyful aesthetic, the designs in the KIDS + TEEN collection are rooted in space-saving storage, quality craftsmanship, and affordability. “The goal was simple. Design versatile, affordable furniture that creates an atmosphere of imagination, a space for dreaming big,” says Katherine Haliski, GM of...
From "the Toy Insider": Battle It Out with Batman and Joker Egg Attack Figures /// Explore Color Magic with Myla the Unicorn /// Gaming on the Go: What System Should You Choose? /// Create Pixel-Perfect Pics with the smART Pixelator ///
From "the Pop Insider": Get Your Monthly Dose of Disney With a Subscription Box Service /// Star Wars x Barbie: These Are the Dolls You’re Looking for /// TUBBZ Are Ducks Cosplaying as Ghostbusters, Superheroes, Gaming Icons /// This RockLove x Her Universe Ahsoka Tano Ring Sold Out In Four Hours /// Merch Review: Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak /// Women’s Soccer Stars Will Become ReAction Figures from SuperSports by Super7 /// First Look at Death Saves’ D&D Mind Flayer Ring /// Check Out the Intellivision Amico System in This New Trailer ///
From "the Toy Book": Kellytoy’s Squishmallows Get Festive with New Holiday Squad /// Hidden Gems: This Year’s Doll Category Is Full of Surprises /// The Construction Comeback /// LeapFrog Builds on Its Product Line /// Star Wars x Barbie Takes Fashion to a Galaxy Far, Far Away /// Cra-Z-Art Enters Game Aisle with Flying Pigs /// Gridopolis Nears Successful Kickstarter Funding for 3D Strategy Game /// Numskull Introduces Licensed Range of TUBBZ Cosplaying Ducks /// Bananagrams Goes ‘Wild With Words’ for Back to School /// ‘Masters of the Universe’ Roars Back to Life with Netflix Series, Comics, Toys, More /// Wicked Cool Toys Debuts Interactive My Partner Pikachu ///
From the pages of ICv2: THE BUSINESS OF GEEK CULTURE: RENEGADE GAME STUDIOS REVEALS 'CIRCADIANS: FIRST LIGHT' /// Stonemaier Games has announced Tapestry for release later this year /// Square Enix will release Chocobo Party Up! later this year /// MARVEL PLANS IN-STORE, IN-GAME, CONVENTION ACTIVATIONS FOR 80TH /// PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP ANNOUNCES 'DOOMTOWN: OUT FOR BLOOD' /// RENEGADE AND HUNTERS REVEAL 'STRANGE ADVENTURES! VOLUME TWO' /// DORN'S 'RUNE STONES;' 'COPENHAGEN: ROLL & WRITE' Coming from Queen Games /// ALDERAC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP REVEALS 'LOST ATLANTIS' /// ACADEMY GAMES REVEALS 'AGENTS OF MAYHEM' DETAILS /// WIZARDS OF THE COAST UNVEILS 'THRONE OF ELDRAINE' PRODUCT LINE /// REVIEW: 'CROWN OF EMARA' (BOARD GAME) /// WIZARDS OF THE COAST REVEALS NEXT 'TRANSFORMERS: THE CARD GAME' EXPANSION ///