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"the Bloom Report" Covering the Week Of:
Saturday October 5 through Friday October 11, 2019

Financial & Legal News
Saturday October 5 through Friday October 11, 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"

.Just Play reportedly close to buying Jakks Pacific~Jakks Pacific could be sold to Just Play in a bid backed by private equity firm Centerbridge Partners. Just Play is said to be in exclusive talks to buy Jakks, in a deal worth 80 to 90 cents per share, according to sources who asked not to be identified. It is assumed that the value of the offer is still in flux. If the talks do not fall through, a deal could be announced by the end of the month. Jakks Pacific has been exploring a sale for several months, amid steep losses and a sinking share price. The company took a big hit last year due...
Reports indicate that Giochi Preziosi wants to list on the Milan Stock Exchange~Italy’s biggest toy maker Giochi Preziosi is working to list on the Milan Stock Exchange in the first half of 2020 after delaying the offering so it could acquire Spanish rival Famosa. The initial public offering was expected in the first half of 2019 but was postponed due to the acquisitions of Famosa and smaller Italian plush toy maker Trudi, the sources said. According to one source, Giochi Preziosi could be valued at around €700m while the share offering could be worth some €250m. After buying...
Sixteen states change online sales tax laws~As of Oct. 1, four U.S. states have gone live with economic nexus laws that require some remote sellers (i.e., any retailer without a physical presence in that state, such as e-commerce retailers) to charge sales tax. And 14 U.S. states have passed marketplace facilitator sales tax laws that impose state sales tax on at least some sellers who conduct business via third-party e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon Marketplace. Arizona and Texas have implemented both economic nexus and marketplace facilitator regulations. Here...
Alleghany Capital Announces Jazwares' Acquisition Of Wicked Cool~Alleghany Capital Corporation announced that its subsidiary, Jazwares, LLC, a leading toy and consumer products company, has acquired Wicked Cool Toys Holdings, LLC. Headquartered in Bristol, Pennsylvania, WCT is a rapidly growing toy company that designs, develops, and produces licensed and owned properties, including plush, action figures, fashion accessories, and games. Judd Zebersky, Chief Executive Officer and President of Jazwares, commented, "Led by Michael Rinzler, Jeremy Padawer...
Alex Brands Announces Intention to Acquire U.S. Foam~Alex Brands announced its intention to acquire US Foam Corp, bringing together two companies with deep roots in "Made in America" manufacturing and creating a powerhouse in the foam sports ball category. The acquisition will significantly increase the capacity of Alex Brands' POOF line of sports products at a time when demand is at an all-time high. Both facilities – US Foam in Lewisville, TX and POOF in Plymouth, Michigan – will produce products under the POOF name. POOF, the world's leading manufacturer of...
Sears Awaits Restructuring Plan Ruling as Vendors Urge Bankrupt Retailer to Liquidate~A New York bankruptcy judge is set to rule on Sears’ restructuring plan, as dozens of the embattled retailer’s vendors are urging it to liquidate. On Monday, a group of vendors for the bankrupt Sears Holdings Corp. — parent to the Sears and Kmart department store chains — asked a judge in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York to reject Sears’ Chapter 11 reorganization plan and shift to Chapter 7. In one court filing, the vendors seeking a...
NRF Forecasts Holiday Sales Will Grow Between 3.8 and 4.2 Percent~The National Retail Federation today said it expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion. The numbers, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, compare with an average holiday sales increase of 3.7 percent over the previous five years. “The U.S. economy is continuing to grow and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF...
How the YouTube, FTC Settlement Affects the Toy Industry~On Sept. 4, the Federal Trade Commission revealed the settlement of the complaint brought against YouTube by the New York Attorney General and the FTC alleging that “YouTube violated the COPPA Rule (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) by collecting personal information — in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the internet — from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent.” As part of this settlement, effective Jan. 1, YouTube will...
What Toy Tariffs Should Teach the Industry~This article is not meant to sway your political view of tariffs, or of the people who champion their use. Whatever your politics may be, I think we can all agree that tariffs are a sign of a problem; have been an oft-used, blunt instrument of economic nationalism; and have been blamed for triggering global financial upheavals over the course of centuries. Think of tariffs the way you would, say, solitary confinement of prisoners: a controversial tool that some would argue does more harm than good, but nobody is going to argue it out of...
Police warn about new credit card scam hitting local retailers~A new type of credit card fraud is costing merchants significant losses, police say. It’s called “credit card shaving.” Credit card shaving is a low-tech scam in which suspects shave off the 16-digit numbers of stolen gift or credit cards, and use embossing machines to stamp new, stolen ones. The scam works because the crooks purposely damage the magnetic strip or chip on the card, so it won’t be accepted by the store’s reader. They then ask the clerk to input the numbers manually. That bypasses the usual security...
Retailers need to adapt to changing markets~Former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO Gerald Storch discusses how the retail landscape is changing. Retail is not dead, it's just transitioning. Despite recent announcements that retailers would be filing for bankruptcy or closing landmark-brick and-motor locations, former Toys 'R' Us CEO Gerald Storch said the idea of the demise of retail is merely “a red herring” during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. Storch continued to explain the long-term trend has not shifted away from retail. Consumers are embracing e-commerce at the...
This chart shows why the holidays are becoming less important to retailers~The holiday season is less and less important for retailers, as more shopping moves online, according to a new study. Coresight Research said it’s calling for a 4% increase in U.S. retail sales this November and December, which isn’t as robust as some estimates already out there. For comparison, Coresight said total retail sales over the past three months climbed 4.1%, from the same three-month period a year ago. The firm called out “the ongoing trend of holiday shopping becoming less important to...
Market Research Reports: Construction Toys Market to Exhibit Impressive Growth during 2019 – 2025 | Vtech LEGO Hasbro and more /// Stuffed Toys Market Assessment and Forecast Report /// Ride-on Toys Market Boosted By Rising Demand For Consumption and Demand and Supply /// Toy Balloon Market Analysis, Status and Business Outlook 2019 to 2025 /// Toy Drones Market Size & share 2019- Determined by Business Summary, Market Segment and Progress Plans, Estimate to 2025 /// Pre-School Games and Toys Market 2019 by Production, Share, Size, Application, Industry Growth, Cost, Revenue, Trends, and Forecast by 2025 ///
Company Financial & Brokerage News: Spin Master Analysts See $1.47 EPS /// Hasbro Sees Unusually High Options Volume /// Reviewing Funko’s and JAKKS Pacific’s results /// Hasbro Stock Value Rose While Beaconlight Capital Upped Position /// Mattel Lifted to Hold at BidaskClub /// Bull of the Day: Hasbro ///
Company Reporting
Financial Reporting (October 5-11, 2019)
None reporting at this time...  
Company Reporting
Future Financial Reporting
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS)
October 22~Announced that it will webcast its third quarter 2019 earnings conference cal following the release of financial results. Certain financial and statistical information included in the webcast, such as information required by Regulation G, will be available at the time of the webcast on Hasbro’s Investor Relations website...
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) October 29~Will release its financial results for the second fiscal quarter, which ended September 30, 2019, after the close of market. In conjunction with this release, will host a conference call to review its financial results for the second fiscal quarter, discuss its outlook for the future and may disclose other material developments affecting...
Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) October 29~Announced that it plans to release its third quarter 2019 financial results.. Following this, will host a conference call and webcast. The conference call will be webcast on Mattel's Investor Relations website. To listen to the live call, log on to the website at least 10 minutes early to register, download and install any necessary audio...
Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI) November 7~Intends to release its third quarter 2019 results after the close of the market. In conjunction with this release, Activision Blizzard will host a conference call that will be broadcast over the internet....
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) November 7~Announced that it plans to report financial results for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2020, ended September 30, 2019, after the market close. 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...

Stories & Comments
Saturday October 5 through Friday October 11, 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"

Colbert Wishes Trump’s Cell Phone Could Be Replaced With a Children’s Toy Phone~On Monday’s episode of “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert wanted to know if someone could take away Donald Trump’s cell phone and replace it with, like, a Fisher Price toy phone for kids. The sentiment came up while Colbert discussed how late Sunday, Trump surprisingly announced a U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria, essentially giving Turkey a free hand to attack America’s Kurdish allies in the region. Apparently, Trump made the decision after speaking to Turkish President...
Who Are Feminist Baby Books For?~I knew about the recent glut of feminist biographies for young readers—your Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, your Bygone Badass Broads. But until my daughter surfaced this one for me, I didn’t know that, in the years since the 2016 election, publishers have produced many “feminist” board books for the youngest not-yet-readers. On Amazon, I found a small virtual shelf of books in this genre: three installments of Feminist Baby, including one intended for “feminist baby” boys; a book called Baby Feminists, which reminds readers that a string of...
‘The Joker’ Laughs to the Top of the October Box Office~The Joker just keeps on laughing. The Warner Bros. DC flick, following its opening weekend has taken over the top slot at the box office, having now grossed more than $24 million at the global box office. With its three-day opening at the box office across more than 73 territories, the WB flick has seen the best performance for an October release, taking over the rank from Venom’s impressive $207.4 million opening. WaterTower Music has just released the digital release for the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the flick...
European Theater Chains Ban Masks, Toy Weapons at 'Joker' Screenings~Theater chains in Spain and Italy have banned masks and toy guns from Joker screenings, eliciting a range of responses from spectators on social media. The Cinesa chain in Spain put out an announcement on its website, via the ticket sales page for the film, which opened Friday across the region. A similar announcement was made via Facebook on Thursday by Cinesa sister company in Italy, UCI, also a part of the Odeon Cinemas group, without mentioning the film by name. "For security reasons," the...
15 of the Best Halloween-Themed Commercials~With October officially upon us and with Halloween just a few weeks away, everyone is looking to get into the spooky spirit. Whether we're watching our favorite seasonal horror movies or enjoying TV shows that highlight the holiday's festivities, there are a lot of ways to celebrate the annual event, yet few experiences can ignite nostalgic feelings for the season quite like Halloween-themed commercials. Before the days of the internet served us bite-sized ads during virtually every online experience, countless companies would craft...
Star Wars and Frozen Fans Around the World Celebrate Unprecedented Global Product Launch~After months of anticipation, retailers around the world are celebrating Triple Force Friday and Frozen Fan Fest as all-new products from a trio of original Star Wars entertainment releases and Disney’s “Frozen 2” hit shelves, marking the first-ever simultaneous global product rollout for two entertainment juggernauts. Following a week of epic product reveals – which included a Star Wars livestreamed event featuring film talent, and global product debuts from hundreds of celebrity...
Walmart Canada unwraps Top Toys of 2019~Walmart Canada revealed its Top Toys of 2019. The season's top toys are identified based on the biggest brands and market trends, making it faster and easier to pick out and buy this year's must-have toys. Walmart provides options for all of your toy needs this holiday season, including exclusive collections, both in-store and online. "Walmart is committed to offering families a one-stop shopping experience, particularly during the busy holiday season," said Marc Ruffolo, director of merchandising, toys at Walmart Canada. "Our toy...
Parents' 50 Best Toys of 2019~Baby shark toys? Check. Paw Patrol toys? Check. Dinosaur, car, and even sloth toys? Check, check, and check. These are the best baby, toddler, preschool (and beyond) toys of 2019, according to kids. Four hundred toys. Sixty-five kid testers (and their parents!). A couple of hundred batteries and a month of unboxing and assembly. Let's just say we made our list and checked it twice. The rest is up to Santa! Browse the 50 toys our kid testers dubbed the best of 2019 by age to find a few—OK, more than a few—gifts your own kiddos will love this holiday...
The Hottest Toys of the 2019 Holiday Season, According to Amazon~Amazon is already looking to the holiday season. And parents who are hoping to grab hard to find toys might want to as well. The retailer has issued its picks for what it believes will be the 100 most in-demand toys for holiday 2019. And, while the usual suspects, like Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lego, make their usual appearances, there are several … unusual names on the list as well – names like Hairdorables and Poopsies. Other names that may not be known by every household include Blinger...
Toys Make Top 10 List of Goods Seized by Customs~Sometimes being in the top 10 isn’t so great. That may be how toy companies feel after learning that toys rank No. 10 on the list of the top counterfeit goods seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, following luxury goods, such as jewelry and electronics. In the 2016 fiscal year, CBP did not include a separate category for toys because there were so few seizures of counterfeit items. However, in the 2017 fiscal year — the most recent year for which statistics are available — the federal agency seized 449 shipments of toys...
Disney is selling a massive $200 'Frozen 2' castle this fall. Here are 5 other toys from the movie kids will want~The new "Frozen 2" castle has seven rooms, including a throne room with a moving carpet, a music room, kitchen, and 14 accessories ranging from a vanity to a piano. Olaf has his own little tower at the top. "It's the only 'Frozen 2' castle that will be on the market this holiday season," said Chung. "We think this will be one of our most popular, top-selling items in our product line." "There is so much detailing and craftsmanship that went into this castle," he added, saying...
Sony's PlayStation Now Needs More Than a Price Cut~Sony has halved the price of its PlayStation Now subscription games service. Competition from console rival Nintendo as well as new offerings from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. are the obvious reasons. In addition, though, PlayStation Now failed to live up to its potential. At $19.99 per month,(1)the product was way overpriced. After four years, Sony has just 700,000 paid subscribers. That’s less than 1% of the 96.8 million PlayStation 4 units the company sold by the end of March. As Sony, Nintendo...
African doll companies struggle to find local manufacturers~When Marvel’s Black Panther broke box office records last year, it also struck merchandising gold, with the Disney-owned franchise generating an estimated R250 million in licensed merchandise sales in 2018. The US-based entertainment giant is not the only enterprise selling African-based toys, as several local entrepreneurs are looking to tap into this market. While these types of toys are becoming serious business, the lack of local doll manufacturers and distributors has proven to be an opportunity of sorts for...
If you think fidget toys are old news, you are wrong~Fans of unusual fidget toy will surely be intrigued with the Mechforce gyroscope. Made of polished stainless steel with 5 bearings, it not only looks awesome, but it will keep your mind and hands occupied for improving focus or just for fun. The 2-inch gyroscope is a 3D top that folds flat when you’re not using it and pops open when you want to be hypnotized by it’s spinning action. You can find out more at Mechforce.com where you can buy one for $79.95. If you prefer buying your gadgets from Amazon, you can find them there too...
Remembering the toy industry's past: 10 Best '90s Disney Games /// Hubley Toy Plane Is the Bomb /// Call the Plumber from Tiger Games (1989) /// Famous doctor’s bag toy traced back ///
CONFESSIONS OF A COMIC BOOK GUY -- FIRST BEAGLE ON THE MOON~A weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This week, Bennett confesses that Snoopy reminded him that it was 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, and he then explores the famous beagle's relationship with NASA. I really was finished with writing about astronauts until I realized I had never even acknowledged 2019 was the 50th Anniversary of humans first setting foot on the moon. After this revelation, it became obvious that I had also...
ROLLING FOR INITIATIVE -- TWO MORE TRENDS TO WRAP THIS UP~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 wraps up his analysis of the trends in the Game Industry from this year's Alliance Open House. It's time to bring an end to this series of columns on trends in the Industry. The final two trends in the Game Industry I've noticed, especially in the past year or so, are as follows: Premium Game Stores. Borrowing Wizards of the...
"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...Breaktime: Ancient Baby Bottles /// The Toy Highway Adds Another Stop /// Tariffs and Impeachment = A Tornado in the Midst of a Hurricane /// A Conversation with The Toy Association About Counterfeits and More ///
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...
Guru Studio, Scholastic Ink Publishing Deal for ‘Pikwik Pack’~Guru Studio inked a global licensing deal with Scholastic Publishing for its new preschool series Pikwik Pack. Previously announced as Pikwik, the series follows Suki the hedgehog, Axel the raccoon, Tibor the hippo and Hazel the cat (the Pikwik Pack) as they deliver magical packages filled with love to the kind citizens of Pikwik. The series will air on Disney Junior in the U.S. beginning next year. Scholastic will develop and produce storybooks, novelty, and activity books based on the...
Bulldog Licensing sees ‘strong response to latest portfolio’~Bulldog Licensing is reflecting on a successful BLE 2019, having seen its latest portfolio of properties ‘hit the ground running’ with strong response to its line up of Kindi Kids, Bulldog Tools, Power Players, and Zafari, at last week’s show. According to the firm, all the new properties “played a strong part in discussions with potential licensees at this year’s BLE.” The Kindi Kids is a pre-school property that launched this summer from Moose Toys and follows four quirky and colourful bobblehead...
Coolabi Licensing eyes wooden toys, educational lines and plush for Giraffes Can’t Dance~Wooden activity toys, educational ranges, and of course, plush in “all its various forms,” are top of the bill for Coolabi Licensing as the firm looks to build out a comprehensive toy line for the modern classic children’s book title, Giraffes Can’t Dance.The company secured the global licensing rights for the popular book that, written by Giles Andrae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Published by Orchard Books, part of...
Skyrocket Toys Blasts Off with Brand Central~Skyrocket Toys, has appointed Brand Central as the exclusive licensing agency to represent the new Blume Doll brand. Blume dolls come packaged in patent-pending flower pots which “sprout” when water is added and grow dolls with over-the-top hairstyles and accessories. The doll line launch in July was supported by 22 YouTube influencers–including Mila & Emma, Everleigh Open Toys, who unboxed the entire line of Blume toys for the very first time. The toys can now be found at Walmart...
Little Airplane Productions, Fantawild Animation and Studio 100 Media Join Forces for ‘Doctor Space’~Little Airplane Productions, Fantawild Animation (China), and Studio 100 Media announced today that they will collaborate on “Doctor Space,” a new animated comedy for 4 – 7-year-olds. The companies plan to co-invest in the production of the brand-new TV series and IP initiated by Little Airplane. The team behind “Doctor Space” is impressive: The pilot was written by Emmy Award- winning creator/writer/composer Billy Lopez (“Welcome To The...
Building Brands Around Licensed Experiences~There’s been a paradigm shift in the licensing world mirroring the fundamental transformation of consumers. It isn’t sufficient for licensors and their partners to co-brand consumer products across numerous categories and hope to collect significant revenue — all while trying to keep their properties relevant and evergreen. If marketers are focused on selling branded products and consumers are focused on collecting experiences rather than material possessions, then there is a major disconnect...
Champion Pays Homage to Beloved Dr. Seuss Books With New Collaboration~Champion Athleticwear, makers of authentic athletic apparel since 1919, launched a limited-edition capsule collection, Champion x Dr. Seuss, in collaboration with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, a global leader in educational entertainment. The collection is currently available at Champion’s six retail stores in major cities across the country and on Champion.com and spans hoodies, t-shirts, joggers and crops for both men and women. Beginning in late October, the collaboration will...
Mattel Reveals Content Slate for 2020~Mattel’s portfolio for 2020 will see properties like Barbie, “Thomas & Friends” and “Fireman Sam” embark on new adventures across several new series and special episodes. “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures” launched on POP Oct. 2018 and is returning for season 2 this fall. Aimed at an older girl demographic, “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures” will be joined by “Barbie Dreamtopia”, which is aimed at the younger market with Barbie’s vlogger character delivering content to Mattel’s 7.2 million viewers across...
POW! Entertainment Teams Up With Preppy Pop To Launch Stan Lee-Inspired Men's Apparel~Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment has entered into an agreement with Preppy Pop to develop a line of Stan Lee-inspired men's apparel, with a limited first run of polo and button-down men's shirts aiming for a subtle, sophisticated style available for pre-order starting today. "Our goal is to infuse pop culture into a classic Americana preppy style," said Ryan Williams, founder and chief preppy officer. "We're thrilled to feature a pop icon like Stan Lee and offer...
Cost Plus World Market Partners With MGM to Develop Exclusive Line of Licensed Merchandise for Addams Family Animated Movie~It’s nearing the spookiest season of the year and Cost Plus World Market is excited to be a promotional partner of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM) for the highly-anticipated release of The Addams Family movie on October 11. World Market has developed an exclusive line of merchandise incorporating artwork from the movie and from the classic Addams Family TV series. The collection is...
Puma and Rubik's have a colorful collection in the works~Rubik's Brand Ltd. has joined forces with PUMA for a colorful collaboration. Puma is channelling the famous Rubik's Cube with its newest collection. The sportswear giant has teamed up with Rubik's Brand on a fashion collaboration launching globally on Puma.com and in Puma stores on November 21. The series, which will include pieces for both adults and children, will put a playful, colorful spin on classics such as sneakers, sweatshirts and t-shirts, drawing on the vivid hues synonymous with...
PEOPLE, COMPANIES, ORGANIZATIONS...
New Show Offerings, Events Propel A Successful Toy Fair Dallas~Thousands of toy professionals descended on The Toy Association’s Toy Fair Dallas last week, which debuted the show’s new name, new initiatives, and, of course, new products from toy manufacturers for 2020 as well as key drivers for holiday ’19. Held October 2 to 4 in Dallas, TX, the fall marketplace attracted strong representation from the big three – Walmart, Amazon, and Target – along with other top 25 toy retailers, including BJ's Wholesale, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Meijer...
.Target to Power Toys"R"Us Shopping Experience~ Target and Tru Kids Brands, the parent of the Toys"R"Us brand, announced that Target's toy assortment, digital capabilities and fulfillment services will support the new online and in-store Toys"R"Us shopping experiences in the United States. ToysRUs.com features content-rich videos and articles on the latest trends and hottest toy brands, in-depth product reviews, hot toy lists and brand experiences to help consumers find the perfect toys and gifts to delight kids of all ages. Consumers...
.Industry perplexed by Target tie-up with Toys R Us~Tru Kids Brands has teamed up with Target to relaunch Toysrus.com. The site, which launched earlier this week, features product reviews and videos, while from a transactional perspective, it directs browsers to a buy button at Target.com to complete the purchase. Both Target and Tru Kids declined to share details of the financial terms of the arrangement. While some analysts have suggested that the move could turn out to be a positive development for Target’s toy business, there have been...
R.I.P. Sydney Greenberg~Much loved agent Syd, of SG Toys, passed away at the end of September. Syd’s wife Sheila broke the news to colleagues and friends: “It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that my beloved Syd has passed away. He loved his work and all the people that we have met over the years who also became our friends.” Sheila also shared a bulletin issued from the couple’s synagogue: “With grace, dignity and strength, Sydney Greenberg made his peaceful transition, in the morning of September 28, 2019, at home...
Walmart has big plans for drone delivery~Walmart is not ceding drone-based delivery innovation to rivals. The discount giant has filed two recent patents for systems that would help ensure safe delivery and drop-off of packages by drone. One patent filing is for a system that would have a drone land on an outdoor platform and then send a signal that would open a trap door, enabling an automated system to move the package inside. The second filing is for a window unit including a net that would automatically catch drone deliveries, with sensors...
Grand Opening of Funko Hollywood Set For November~Funko announced that its new retail location in Hollywood will officially open its doors to the public on November 18. Funko plans to celebrate with a special Grand Opening event. The store will be located at 6201 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles. Funko Hollywood’s Grand Opening event will kick off at 10:00AM on November 18. There is no cost to enter, but entry will be subject to availability. Those interested in attending will be able to pre-register online. There will also be a standby line...
The Chicago Toy and Game Group Announces 2019 Line-Up for CHITAG Inventor & Innovation Conferences~The Chicago Toy and Game Group announced the 2019 schedule and speaker line-up for the annual CHITAG Inventor Conference, taking place Nov. 21-24, 2019. Kicking-off Chicago Toy and Game Week (CHITAG) at Chicago’s Navy Pier, CHITAG’s inventor conferences are a professional development forum within the toy and game industry and inventor community, complete with opportunities for education, pitching ideas, collaboration...
New toy store opens in downtown Great Falls~Great Falls kids of all ages will get to relive their childhood as a toy store prepares to open its doors this weekend. MTN News got a sneak peak of the newly remodeled “Let's Play Games & Toys” ahead of Saturday's grand opening. The location, formerly known as Downtown Dice & Games, has expanded, rebranded, and is ready for business. Downtown Dice & Games sells games and gaming supplies (dice, scale characters, etc), and there is also a library of games that you can play right there in the store...
Little Tikes celebrates 50 years of toys and playtime in Hudson~From Cleveland to Columbus and Toledo to Cincinnati, Ohio is packed with companies who call the Buckeye State home. Little Tikes was founded in 1969 in Hudson, Ohio. Tom Murdough, the company's founder, launched the toy company debuting brightly colored and durable plastic toys. At the time, they ranged from ride-on horses to toy boxes. In just a matter of a few years, Little Tikes toys were some of the hottest on the market. Throughout the mid to late 70s, Little Tikes...
GAMA UNVEILS RICK LOOMIS SERVICE AWARD~The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) unveiled the Rick Loomis Service Award which will be given out to honor the legacy of the late GAMA co-founder and longtime owner of Flying Buffalo Games, Rick Loomis, who passed away earlier this year. The new award will recognize the merit of like-minded individuals and organizations for their contributions to the Game Industry. The GAMA Board of Directors will choose the winner(s) of this award from online-submitted nominations, and the inaugura...
Disney Store at Target "Shop-in-Shop" Launches Online and in 25 Target Stores Nationwide~ Disney and Targe launched the Disney store at Target in 25 select Target locations and a complementary online experience to help bring the magic of Disney to the joy of shopping at Target. As part of a creative retail collaboration, guests can now shop from an enhanced Disney assortment of more than 450 items, including more than 100 products that were previously only available at Disney retail locations. The store and online experience also feature...
BIG G CREATIVE HIRES TOY INDUSTRY VETERAN STEVEN ANNE TO EXPAND TOY BUSINESS~Big G Creative is proud to announce that toy industry veteran Steven Anne has joined the company as its new Creative Director. In his new position, Anne is charged with growing Big G Creative’s core product offering and helping the company expand into other categories of the toy business. Big G is known for its high-quality, licensed board games including CBS Consumer Products’ Carpool Karaoke Game, inspired by The Late Late Show with...
R.I.P. Mordicai Gerstein~Award-winning children’s author and illustrator Mordicai Gerstein, widely lauded for his mixed-media compositions featuring fluid pen-and-ink lines, died September 24 in Northampton, Mass. He was 83. Gerstein was born November 24, 1935 in Los Angeles, Calif. He grew up in East L.A. and the San Fernando Valley, where, from an early age, he would create illustrations for favorite books he read. Upon graduating high school, he studied painting in New Mexico, receiving private instruction. He then returned to California and from...
UPS cleared for national drone deliveries~UPS is the first company to receive certification from the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate a drone airline throughout the country. This means that in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration, UPS can operate drones and make drone-based deliveries out of the line of operator sight and at nighttime, across the U.S. No other drone operator currently has this level of nationwide permission, known as full Part 135 certification. Google subsidiary Wing has partial Part 135 certification to...
Leveraging Local: Connecting ASTRA Members Through Regional Groups~Helping American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) members get to know one another is a core strategy of the “Mighty Together” concept that drives ASTRA. Networking events are built into our annual Marketplace & Academy and each year during ASTRA-sponsored activities at Toy Fair New York. These national conventions and trade shows are great ways to meet lots of independent retailers, manufacturers, sales representatives, and inventors from...
Backstory: A High Octane Chapter for UNO and International Games~International Games, the marketer of more than 30 games, including UNO and Skip Bo, was acquired in a stock-swap, making the Joliet, Illinois-based company a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel. At the time, Mattel Games was a newly established imprint, and the company famous for Hot Wheels and Barbie was seeking a quick way to build a library, making an acquisition the perfect way to pull it off and hit retail hard. “International Games will be the cornerstone on which...
'That 80's Toy Shop' provides a dose of déjà vu~If you think your kids have a lot of toys, you haven't seen Dennis Aliviti's place. Last year Dennis opened 'That 80's Toy Shop' in Tonawanda. The store is packed with familiar toy names like Star Wars, Transformers, Beanie Babies and Barbie. Dennis says he sold on line for a while, but took the plunge and opened this store when the vintage toy market started going wild. Dennis says his favorite toys when he was a child in the eighties was anything Star Wars. He adds "I think the eighties is the decade that...
Corus Entertainment Taps Mellany Masterson to Lead Nelvana~Corus Entertainment Inc. appointed Mellany Masterson as head of Nelvana Enterprises. Masterson previously served as vice president of global consumer products and international distribution for Nelvana, working to secure brand acquisitions and global partnerships, along with digital-first toy initiatives. In her new role, Masterson will focus on creating “greater cohesion across the company’s business units” as Nelvana increases focus on international expansion and global growth...
News From The Toy Association: Toy Association Provides Members with Critical Information on How to Apply for Tariff Exclusions /// Spotlight on Diversity: Kim Culmone of Mattel ///
Toy Safety Related Articles from Around the World...
the many perspectives you need to know about:
Urgent recall of In The Night Garden toys over choking fears~A popular soft toy sold in UK supermarkets has been recalled amid fears it could prove a choking hazard to small children. A product recall and warning has been issued for the In The Night Garden toy. Golden Bear said parents should stop using the toys immediately and return them to the shop for a full refund. The toys, which have moveable arms when squeezed so Igglepiggle can play peekaboo, cost between £3.49 and £3.99. You don't need to provide a receipt or proof of purchase. All...
CPSC Recalls and Product Safety News: E&E Recalls Bedroom Dressers Due to Tip-Over and Entrapment Hazards /// Ridgewood Recalls Four-Drawer Dressers Due to Tip-Over and Entrapment Hazards; Sold Exclusively at Kmart /// fluidfreeride Recalls Mercane WideWheel Electric Scooters Due to Fall and Injury Hazards ///

Product Related Press Releases
Saturday October 5 through Friday October 11, 2019
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Toy and Related Industries Press Releases...
.SCROOGE AND TWEEN ‘TUDE TRANSFORM THE HOLIDAY WHEN FAMILIES PLAY ‘NOT PARENT APPROVED’ CARD GAME~The creators of “Not Parent Approved” are offering a solution to prevent the family holidays from becoming holi-doze events this year. Gift the award-winning card game, Not Parent Approved ($24.99) filled with age-appropriate toilet humor and funny innuendos for adults and watch the fun be put back into your dysfunctional holiday gatherings! This portable game is ideal for holiday vacations, snow days, multi-generation family gatherings and road trips! Designed to reintroduce a love of tabletop games for a screen-obsessed generation. Comes with 455 durable, premium-printed cards (2″ x 3″) and rules insert in a custom box. The smaller sized cards are ideal for the youngest members of the family. Find the PG-rated word game exclusively on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/notparentapproved. New for the 2019 Holiday season is an expansion pack of cards with a Video Game theme. Gamers may have to explain some of the lingo in Video Game Expansion Pack...
CREATING PRICELESS FAMILY MEMORIES & TRADITIONS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON~Start a new tradition this year, and for holiday seasons to come, by unwrapping a beautifully crafted wooden game from Across The Board. Grandparents, parents and grandchildren will enjoy the fun and unique games hand crafted to entertain for generations. Already best sellers in households across the country, the following board games will become a beloved pastime long after the tree and decorations are gone: Maple ($96) or Walnut ($116) Horseracing Game, Baseball Game ($50), Marbles & Jokers ($56), Penny Basketball, Hockey or Soccer Games ($38 each). The family-run workshop, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, creates gorgeous, finely crafted maple and walnut wooden board games. Across the Board is a St. Louis family owned and operated workshop specializing in high quality, handcrafted, unique wooden board games. All board games are made with premium materials and assembled with the utmost care and precision. Our top priorities are attention to detail and providing unmatched...
GRAB THE CAR KEYS: MOOSH-MOOSH FLASHLIGHTS, BANKS & SKWISHYS NOW AT STAPLES, WALGREENS & CVS~What happens at Toy Fair is now happening at a store near you! The darling prototypes of February 2019 — Moosh-Moosh Banks ($14.99), Moosh-Moosh Flashlights ($14.99) and Moosh-Moosh Plushy Skwishys ($5.99) – have arrived in neighborhood Staples, Walgreens and CVS stores, to name-drop a few outlets for these irresistibly soft accessories. Joining the part are nine new Halloween characters, sold exclusively at https://moosh-moosh.com/. Read the press release as a PDF With characters like Raley the Pug (Moosh-Moosh bank) and Trixie the Leopard (Plushy Skwishy) everything (or should we say everyone) in the 2019 Collection boasts the softest plushest fabric. Tots to teens can squish them, play with them, and cuddle with them from morning to night. The Moosh-Moosh creative team has seen them in the car, off to school and on vacation ‘cause a Moosh-Moosh is a kid’s cuddly squishy best friend. New for fall 2019 are must-have accessories that have...
Golden Girls Costumes Are Hot Sellers This Halloween~You just might see the ladies of The Golden Girls walking the streets during Halloween this year, as the officially licensed costumes offered online are rapidly selling out. Featuring individual packages for Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia, each costume had been listed for about $70 by various retailers like Target and Wal-Mart. Word of mouth spread about the availability of the costumes, and weeks ahead of the holiday, most of the costumes across their many sizes have completely sold...
Build-a-Bear launches “Frozen 2” bears~Build-a-Bear is making new stuffed bear creations ahead of Disney’s upcoming “Frozen 2”. And just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season. New bear versions of Princess Anna of Arendelle, Queen Elsa and iceman Kristoff as well as designed stuffed versions of snowman Olaf and reindeer Sven. The bears vary in price and costumes are also available. Build-a-Bear donate a portion of the proceeds to charities and to organizations like “Toys for Tots”. “Frozen 2” makes its way to theaters November...
Amazon Announces New Kindle Kids Edition~Amazon announced the expansion of Amazon FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited to even more devices, including the new Kindle Kids Edition, Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, and on select Fire TV devices. Now families can access their FreeTime Unlimited subscription on even more devices to enjoy premium, kid-friendly content, all wrapped in award-winning parental controls. “We build kids products from the ground up with three ideas in mind: first, kids want a device experience designed just for them...
Playper Announces Kung Fu Boogie, a New AR Dance Battle Game~Playper, a company specializing in paper-based, AR-enhanced toys and games, has announced the launch of its first product to hit the market via Kickstarter on October 8th. Kung Fu Boogie is a new augmented reality dance battle game for kids. It integrates crafting 3D characters made 100% out of paper with all the fun of dance battling to create a unique AR experience for kids on mobile. Key features include that it is proudly eco-friendly and nonviolent, while offering a...
Barbie debuts judge dolls~"Barbie has had over 200 careers," global head of Barbie Lisa McKnightsaid. "We like to say, 'There isn’t a plastic ceiling that Barbie hasn’t broken.' " Still, every year, Barbie highlights a new career, especially one that is lacking female representation. This year is Judge Barbie. "We learned that only 33% of sitting U.S. state judges are female," McKnight said on Barbie's decision to introduce the judge dolls. There are four dolls to choose from in a range of skin tones and hairstyles and all of them wear the...
Red Dead Redemption 2 Coming to PC~Rockstar Games is proud to announce that Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to PC on November 5th, 2019, with special bonuses available to players who pre-purchase through the Rockstar Games Launcher starting October 9th. Players can still download the Rockstar Games Launcher by October 8th to get Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for free. The first game in the Red Dead Redemption series to be featured on the PC platform, Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC includes a range of graphical and technical...
WowWee Introduces Enchanting New Pixie Belles~WowWee, a leading manufacturer of innovative consumer entertainment products and makers of Fingerlings®, Lucky Fortune®, and more, today announced the retail launch of their newest interactive pet, Pixie Belles, just in time for the holiday season. With multiple play modes and a Magnetic Power Pod that lets you attach them to your clothing, Pixie Belles bring light, love, cute sounds, and fun movements wherever you go! Available in four enchanting characters - Esme, Aurora, Layla, and...
Blissfully ignorant toy company releases ‘Blue Falcon’ action figure~Joy Toy Hardcore Coldplay have produced a 1:18 scale “Blue Falcon” action figure, a morale-crushing member of the “U.S. Army Airborne Division,” according to the action figure’s details. This particular Blue Falcon comes equipped with an impressive assembly of futuristic headwear, firearms, grenades, and of course, the one piece of gear no true blue falcon can ever live without: Knee pads. Despite his futuristic look, Blue Falcon never leaves the house without his ol’ trusty...
American Girl Unveils New Must-Have Products Ahead of the Holiday Season~American Girl unveiled its top holiday products for the 2019 season including new personalized gifts, premium accessories for the brand’s flagship historical line and doll kits that are designed to build self-esteem in girls. All items are available now in American Girl retail store locations and on AmericanGirl.com. “American Girl is a storied brand that creates premium experiences for girls and there is no more important time to deliver on that promise than the holiday...
YouTube And K-Pop Star Wengie Rolls Out ‘Whimsical’ Toy Brand To Walgreens~Wengie, the YouTube star and burgeoning K-pop idol, is expanding her toy empire to even more stores across America. The line, dubbed Whimsical By Wengie — comprising body art, glitter lava lamps, unicorn hair kit, and slime packs — launched at 1,800 Target stores in July. And now, Wengie — whose real name is Wendy Ayche, and who counts 25 million followers across all of her social platforms — is bringing the line to Walgreens. Walgreens will exclusively...
From "the Toy Insider": Get Egg-cited to Meet Hatchimals Wow /// Keep Glitter on Your Crafts — and Nowhere Else — with Glitter Dots Sparkle Station /// Sparkle with OrbSlimy Xtreme Glitterz ///
From "the Pop Insider": New Merch Alert: ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Cobra Kai,’ ‘The Boys,’ and More /// The Pop Insider’s Holiday Gift Guide 2019! /// 80 Marvelous Years: The Best Marvel 80th Anniversary Merch /// The Booming Market for Collectible Vehicles Inspired by Entertainment /// Hasbro Reveals Stan Lee Legends Figure /// Cryptozoic Entertainment Puts Fans First /// Playmobil: The Movie Is Going to Be Epic /// Hasbro’s Mighty Unicron is Officially Coming to Earth ///
From "the Toy Book": UBTECH Unleashes Two New JIMU STEM Robot Kits /// Rubik’s Brand, Particula Launch the Rubik’s Connected Platform /// WildBrain, Mattel TV Prep Season 12 Launch for ‘Fireman Sam’ /// Paw Patrol Consumer Products Expands Worldwide /// Bringing Play to the People: Toymakers and Brands Take the Show on the Road, While Others Build Experiences /// A Global Toy Story: A Look at Toys Made Around the World as Talk of Tariffs on Chinese Goods Continues /// APC Kids, CTC Media Prep International Launch for ‘Little Tiaras’ /// More than 300 Brands Featured at Seventh Annual Kids India /// Distroller USA Expands Neonate Babies Line with New Generation Nerlies /// Moose Toys, Bethenny Frankel, Team with ASPCA to Support Adopt a Shelter Dog Month /// World’s First NERF Action Xperience Opens in Singapore ///
From the pages of ICv2: THE BUSINESS OF GEEK CULTURE: FUNKO REVEALS 'RISE OF SKYWALKER' POP! FIGURES /// WIZARDS OF THE COAST UNVEILS 'MAGIC: THE GATHERING GAME NIGHT 2019' /// CAPSTONE GAMES REVEALS 'THE ESTATES' /// STONEMAIER GAMES UNVEILS 'WINGSPAN EUROPEAN EXPANSION' /// BUILD JAPANESE GARDENS IN 'MIYABI' /// KNIGHT MODELS RELEASES TWO 'SUPERMAN' MINIATURE SETS /// BURN UP THE TRACK WITH 'RALLYMAN GT' /// STEAMFORGED'S 'GODTEAR' POISED TO LAUNCH /// WIZKIDS REVEALS 'DC HEROCLIX: JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED' /// BIG CHANGES FOR MARVEL CHARACTERS /// FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES REVEALS NEW 'A GAME OF THRONES: THE CARD GAME' PREMIUM PACK ///