Spielwarenmesse TrendGallery 2015 to Include Tech, DIY, and Science Toys

SpielwarenmesseegTrends for this year’s Spielwarenmesse TrendGallery will include Little Scientists, Express Yourself, and Beyond Reality, all believed to be promising international trends within the toy industry. All three trends, as well as new products linked to them, will be found in the TrendGallery space in Hall 3A during the fair.

The Little Scientist trend includes toys that bring scientific phenomena to life, promote logical and analytical thinking, and explain technical relationships, exposing kids to the sciences in a fun way. Express Yourself focuses on do-it-yourself toys and the processes of self-discovery realized through creativity. And nurturing the technological aspect of toy trends is Beyond Reality, which includes 3-D innovation, digital functionality, and technological components.

New Pulp Fiction Mini-Figures from Diamond Select Toys

DinerShowdown4pack1Diamond Select Toys‘ latest Minimates mini-figures box set, which is based on the scene from Quentin Tarantino’s classic film, Pulp Fiction, entitled “Diner Showdown,” is now available. The set includes main characters Jules and Vince (played in the film by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta) in casual T-shirts and shorts as they face off against robbers Pumpkin and Honey Bunny (portrayed by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer).

Each 2-inch figure has 14 points of articulation and fully interchangeable parts, and The set is available exclusively at Hastings stores and on gohastings.com.

This set joins the Pulp Fiction Minimates 2-pack with Jules and Vince in their suits, and the Vince and Mia’s Night Out box set with Vince, Mia Wallace, Lance, and Jodie figures. Upcoming box sets include the Bonnie Situation and a set featuring Butch, Marsellus Wallace, Zed, and the Gimp.

Petra’s Planet Hosting Player Power Event to Celebrate One Million Users

PetrasPlanetDramaforum recently announced that Petra’s Planet user registrations have surpassed 1,000,000. Petra’s Planet is a free-to-play browser-based virtual world that allows children to play games, chat, and explore world cultures in a safe online environment.

Currently, to celebrate this milestone, children who visit Petra’s Planet will be able to participate in a special, week-long Player Power event to collect special items and rewards. Petra’s Planet is COPPA compliant and advertising-free, and includes a safe chat system, a stringent privacy policy, and live moderators who guard against any misconduct, providing a safe environment for children and peace of mind for parents. [Read more...]

Activision Leads with Three Top-Selling Video Game Titles

Activision Publishing Inc. has delivered the top two selling console retail releases of the year the U.S., as well as the No. 1 kids video game franchise of 2014, based on retail sell-through, according to the NPD Group.

In only its first month of release, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is already the top-selling console game of the year through November in the U.S. overall, as well as individually on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3. Call of Duty games continue to lead November console game sales for 6th consecutive year. [Read more...]

Angry Birds Celebrates Five Years with “BirdDay” Extravaganza

a42ee5b73b2f3f83_orgTo celebrate Angry Birds’ five-year anniversary, Rovio has released “Play the Next Level,” a new Angry Birds episode featuring 30 new game levels created entirely by fans.

“Play the Next Level” is the result of a social media competition hosted by Rovio and its partners and was one of the world’s largest user generated events with thousands of entries from all over the world. In its home nest in Finland, Rovio is hosting a BirdDay party for over 2,000 local children and gifting every baby born in Finland on December 11 with a special edition baby Flock outfit.

As part of the celebrations, Rovio is also hosting a Finnish hockey league match between Espoo Blues and Porin Ässät—the birds and the pigs.

Day 6 and NBA Take Backyard Sports Franchise to Mobile

Stephen Curry Backyard Sports NBA Image 12_10_14Day 6 Sports Group (Day 6) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have joined for the re-launch of Backyard Sports, a series of digital games starring kid versions of popular professional sports stars.

Backyard Sports, which originally debuted in 1997, will be released in mobile game form for smartphones and tablets.  A roster of new professional sports stars will join the Backyard Sports team and will be enhanced by in-game power ups and never-before-seen features.

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has joined forces with Day 6 Sports Group as the face of the Backyard Sports Basketball line and is the first NBA player to sign an endorsement deal with the franchise. Backyard Sports NBA Basketball will be released next spring.

Next Lego Ninjago Video Game Slated for Next Spring

LEGO Ninjago_Shadow of Ronin_Announce ArtTo celebrate International Ninja Day, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The Lego Group announced that the next installment of Lego Ninjago franchise, Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, will be available for Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita next spring. Developed by TT Fusion, a subsidiary of TT Games, the latest Lego handheld game delivers an untold story of the Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV show.

In Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, players will battle through iconic locales from the TV series, including the Ice Temple, the Toxic Bogs, and a mysterious new island, as well as visit the mountain village of Spinjago, where the Ninjas are training with Grand Sensei Dareth and Sensei Wu. Using their Spinjitzu abilities, players can unleash their Ninja’s elemental power and smash their way through enemies and solve puzzles. They can even team up and create multi-elemental builds using the Tornado of Creation.

Disney Expands Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Merchandise Ahead of the Holiday Season

GG-408-1.EM Product Shot[2]Following the box office success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney Consumer Products will launch new toys for the holiday season. The product release will coincide with the DVD and Blu-Ray launch of the film on December 9.

The new toy and collectible lineup will include KIDdesigns‘ Dancing Groot toy. Other key products include Funko‘s POP! Marvel: Dancing Groot Bobble-head, Funko’s Fabrikations Guardians of the Galaxy–Rocket Raccoon collectible, Hot Wheels‘ Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon Character Cars, Just Play’s Rocket Raccoon Plush, and Dragon Models’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord Model Kit.

Ultimate NES Remix Coming to Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

N3DS_UltimateNESRemix_boxartWith Ultimate NES Remix for the Nintendo 3DS, players can head back to the days of two-button controllers and game packs with 16 of Nintendo’s classic NES games such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid, and Kid Icarus. Combining the best of the NES Remix and NES Remix 2 games for Wii U, Ultimate NES Remix lets players battle and race on the go. A NES Remix Pack for Wii U will also launch in stores, combining NES Remix and NES Remix 2 into one package.

Fans who have played both NES Remix and NES Remix 2 on Wii U will find new features and modes of play in Ultimate NES Remix. Each challenge in the game has its own leaderboard, meaning players with broadband Internet access can compare their best times or top scores with other players in their regions. Players with friends registered on their Nintendo 3DS system can also compare clear times or top scores.

Ultimate NES Remix is now available in stores, at nintendo.com, or in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. The NES Remix Pack for Wii U is also available in retail stores.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Launches Line of Kids Products

britannicakidsEncyclopaedia Britannica Inc. has partnered with Phoenix International Publications Inc. to develop and market a line of educational products under the Britannica Kids brand. JRL Group, Encyclopaedia Britannica’s licensing agency, brokered the deal.

The first product, Britannica Interactive Animal Library, is an 8-book boxed set including the titles Tooth & Claw, Reptiles, Birds, Bugs, Extinct Animals, Amazing Mammals, Sea Animals, and Hoof & Horns. Each book contains interesting facts and questions as well as vivid photos and illustrations about a number of captivating animals. The set also includes an interactive pen that lights up and provides audio answers to the quiz at the end of each section. Britannica Interactive Animal Library is now available at retailers including Costco, Costco Canada, and Toys “R” Us.