PopCap Launches Peggle 2 for Xbox One

PopCap logoPopCap, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. has launched Peggle 2, available exclusively for Microsoft’s Xbox One. Peggle 2, a sequel to the original puzzle game, has tons of new features and is available from the Xbox Live Games Stores.

Key features of this game include five Peggle Masters, each with multiple costumes, 60 all-new gameplay levels, 60 all-new trials, 180 objectives, achievements and  1,000G to collect, Peg Party mode for multiplayer fun, high-definition graphics and orchestral audio specific to each Master, and Kinect gesture and voice commands for in-game and menu controls in some markets.

DreamWorks Dragons Adventure App Available on Nokia Lumia 2520

DragonsAdventureNokia and DreamWorks Animation have teamed up to create the DreamWorks Dragon Adventure for the new Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet. The app, which is best used in motion, is based on DreamWorks Animation’s 3D-animated How to Train Your Dragon franchise and comes pre-loaded on the Nokia Lumia 2520.

Players have the ability to change world around them into a world filled with dragons and vikings. Using Nokia’s GPS technology, HERE Maps, real-life roadways, traffic, actual landmarks, and weather conditions will be mirrored into the game as you drive. This means that every time you take a family drive, it is instantly transformed into a different magical world and expedition in your game.

Hasbro Is Named One of America’s Most Community-Minded Companies in the Civic 50

Hasbro logoThe Civic 50, an annual initiative that recognizes companies that go above and beyond to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business, has named Hasbro Inc. one of America’s most community-minded companies.

Between Hasbro’s philanthropic programs that aim to help the lives of children in need through play and the power of service, and the Team Hasbro employee volunteer program that gives employees four hours of paid time off per month to volunteer with child-focused organizations, they company has been recognized in The Civic 50 for the second consecutive year. Additionally, Hasbro was also recognized in two other categories, including Best in Consumer Discretionary Industry and Best in Mid-Cap Market. [Read more...]

BookExpo America, American Booksellers Association Partners with American International Toy Fair, TIA

bookexpo americaThe line between books and toys is officially being crossed as BookExpo America (BEA) and the American Booksellers Association have teamed up with the American International Toy Fair and the Toy Industry Association (TIA). This newly formed relationship hopes to benefit all attendees of the upcoming Toy Fair and the BookExpo by expanding market sectors.

Toy Fair and BEA officials agree that although each of their core focuses, toys and books, are different, the facts that bookstores often carry lines of toys and games, just as toy stores  are known to carry selections of children’s books, should be capitalized on. With this new mutual relationship, a cross-promotional effort will broaden the reach of exhibitors at each show.

BAE Systems Employees Donate New Bikes, Safety Helmets to Military Families

BikeDriveBAE Systems employees have presented military families across the San Diego area with new bicycles, safety helmets, and toys during the holiday season. The employees in Rancho Bernardo have raised enough money through fundraising events and personal contributions to donate 500 new bikes and helmets.

The annual bike drive has taken place since 1995, and employees have raised funds to donate more than 9,000 bicycles for San Diego families over the years. Additionally, bicycle maker Huffy has provided discounts on bikes and tricycles, and Bell has offered helmets at a reduced cost for the effort.

Geeky Stocking Stuffers for the Nerd in Your Life

GiantMicrobes has designed dozens of creations, from ornaments to collectibles, that make the perfect gift for science buffs, collectors, and those with a good sense of humor. Each GiantMicrobe, which can be the Common Cold or an adorable Amoeba, has an image as well as educational information about what the microbe represents.typhoid-fever

Highlights include:

  • GiantMicrobes Ornament Boxes: Three gift boxes (Tree, Stocking, and Wreath) include five best-selling microbes dressed up for Christmas
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals: Antibody – Antibody will keep the humbugs away from your celebrations
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals: Heart Cell – Get your sweetheart’s pulse pounding this Christmas (makes heartbeat sound when squeezed)
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals: Muscle – Expands and contracts like the real thing
  • New GiantMicrobes Originals:  Tapeworm – The elastic Tapeworm grows and grows
  • New Computer Virus Dolls and Key Chains: Perfect geeky gift for computer nerds, or anyone who’s encountered a computer virus

Saban Brands’ Power Rangers Celebrate 20 Rangers for 20 Years

PowerRangers.20Rangersfor20YearsA pop-up art exhibit will open this weekend to celebrate Saban BrandsPower Rangers’ 20th anniversary. The exhibition, 20 Rangers for 20 Years, was curated by Sweet Streets and will appear at the Toy Art Gallery in Los Angeles on December 7 to 8.

Artists and designers from around the world created the painted, 31-inch Ranger statues that were provided by Saban’s partner, Jakks Pacific. Each customized Ranger statue will be available for purchase on-site or online at shop.toyartgallery.com during the event.

Music by Iheartcomix DJs Franki Chan and $u$pect will be featured, and a percentage of artwork proceeds will benefit the Challengers Boys & Girls Club. Jakks Pacific will also make a donation to the Challengers Boys & Girls Club as well. Bandai America Inc., Power Rangers’ master toy partner, will provide Super Megaforce toys.

The gallery will also host a Power Rangers pop-up shop that will feature products for purchase from Mishka, Buckle Down, Acme Archives, and more.

TIF Distributes New Toys to More than 2,000 Kids on North Carolina Air Force Base

TIF/BGCAThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services distributed brand new toys to more than 2,000 children and families living on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. on December 2. During the base’s annual tree lighting ceremony, kids were treated to more than just entertainment and festive activities—they were also given a generous donation of toys, games, and stuffed animals.

With the holiday season just around the corner, TIF and BGCA are hopeful that the toys will ease the stresses and challenges children face with parents who are frequently deployed. This special donation was made possible through toy companies to TIF’s signature giving program, The Toy Bank.

This event was held as part of the TIF/BGCA Play Comforts program—the first national toy distribution initiative to serve dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad. The program has provided more than $3.8 million in toys for children and families over the four years it has been running.

TIF’s Toy Bank includes AbraKIDabra, Alex Toys, Barnes & Noble, Cardinal Industries, Cartamundi USA, Hohner, Inc., Green Toys, Innovation First, Lego Systems Inc., Mattel Inc., MindWare, Ohio Art, Patch Products, Safari Ltd., Wonder Forge, Wyla/Just Pretend Kids, and exhibitors at the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas. For 10 years, The Toy Bank has provided toys to more than 11 million children in need worldwide.

The Disney Store Thaws Out the Winter Soldier for Marvel Select

Winter SoldierAs fans anticipate Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s debut on the big screen next spring, Diamond Select and Disney have partnered to create the ultimate Winter Soldier collectible, based on his recent appearance in his own self-titled comic book.

Sculpted by Jean St. Jean, the new 7-inch Marvel Select Winter Soldier action figure will be available in mid-December exclusively at the Disney Store, DisneyStore.com, and MarvelStore.com. He comes equipped with a pistol, a machine gun, and a sniper rifle, along with 16 points of articulation. A shatter window display base is also included, and both the figure and base come packaged in the Select line’s familiar display packaging.

Thanksgiving Weekend Spending According to the NRF

logoAccording to the National Retail Federation (NRF), American shoppers took advantage of tons of Thanksgiving weekend deals. More than 141 million unique shoppers have shopped through the end of Thanksgiving weekend, up from 139 million over the same time frame last year.

Between all of the low prices and aggressive discounts, holiday shoppers have started earlier than ever this year, spending $407.02 on average, from Thursday through Sunday. More than 75 percent of shoppers tended to be young people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Although a lot of shopping was done in store, 40 percent of people indicated that they shopped online over the weekend (approximately 59 million shoppers). Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular as retailers tout special holiday savings through their mobile apps and web sites. Clothes, electronics, and books, DVDs, and video games were among popular items purchased over the weekend.