New Pokémon TCG Includes Online Component

The release of Pokémon TCG: Black & White-Emerging Powers, coming this August, will mark a new era in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. This expansion is the first to give players full access to theme decks and booster packs in the new player-versus-player Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. Pokémon players can simply log onto the website and have the ability to battle with players from all over the world.

The decks also allow players to build customized decks for online battle with virtual cards unlocked by special in-pack codes. The expansion features only Unova-region Pokémon characters, as well as 90 cards, including brand-new Item cards to revitalize each deck. This world contains 25 never-before-seen Pokémon, including the debut of the Legendary Trio of Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion.

The two Black & White-Emerging Powers theme decks hit major retail stores nationwide on August 17, and will feature a foil card. The four booster pack designs, debuting in stores August 31, feature new Pokémon Tornadus, Cobalion, Braviary, and Darmanitan, with each booster pack also including one foil card.

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Hasbro Showcases Lifestyle Goods at Licensing Expo

At the International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Hasbro, Inc. highlighted some new products, spanning several lifestyle categories, that are based on its properties. Here are some highlights:

Apps, Gaming, and Technology

Updating the concept of a family game night, Hasbro Family Game Night was released by Electronic Arts for the Wii. Families can also read a Tonka Chuck & Friends storybook app from Ruckus Mobile Media for the iPad. A new Transformers-skinned smartphone cover from Anzo U.S.A will be available for adult fans of the movie franchise.

Movie and TV Entertainment

A double-feature Transformers DVD can be a welcomed addition to family movie night. Families can also watch Hasbro’s Daytime Emmy Award-nominated programs, such as Transformers Prime, Family Game Night, and Pictureka ,on The Hub.

Youth and Tween Room Décor

Children can jazz up their bedrooms with their favorite Hasbro characters through a number of licensed products. Room accessories include My Little Pony bedding from Crown Craft (agreement reached in principle and subject to a binding contract) and Candy Land rugs from Gertmenian. The characters are also available in a number of clothing apparel options.

Wheeled Toys for the Big and Small

Transformers fans can ride the General Motors Bumblbee Camaro. Young fans can race around the neighborhood on Dynacraft’s Transformers bikes. Also for little kids, there is the Bumblebee and My Little Pony electric ride-on car from Hunter Leisure.

Ruckus Media Group Announces Two New Apps

Ruckus Media Group announced new children book apps. The titles include Spot the Dot and Chuck and Friends: Friends for the Long Haul.

Spot the Dot is an app that is part book and part game, plus a learning tool for preschoolers. The app, based on the work of pop-up master and author/illustrator David A. Carter, challenges toddlers to find various colored dots in numerous interactive backgrounds. The dots’ locations are randomized for  different play experiences each time. Carter’s Bugs in a Box series has sold 6.5 million copies worldwide.

The levels continue to get more challenging as the game is played. The app also includes tips for parents who wish to expand game play, teaching their child about shapes and counting.

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Imperial Introduces New Licenses to Bubble Lines

Imperial Toy—a maker of licensed and non-licensed kids’ bubbles, seasonal products and novelty toys—has announced new licenses for its popular bubble toys, with products launching in 2012 and beyond.

Imperial has teamed with Disney Consumer Products for a new comprehensive line of magical bubbles and bubble accessories based on Disney characters, including Disney Princess, Toy Story, Cars, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, to launch starting next spring. Each product line will include basic bubbles, bubble toys, bubble wands, and dip and blow sets.

Go Bubbles, a new licensed bubble line, will also be released next spring. Go Bubbles stand over 18 inches high and deliver a continuous stream of bubbles when pushed down by a child (geared towards ages 3-5). Licenses include Little Tikes Cozy Coup, Disney Princess Carriage, and Hit Entertainment’s Thomas the Train.

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K’Nex Announces Mario Kart Wii Building Sets Contest

Mario fans across the nation will be on the lookout for a golden ticket. K’Nex, the construction toy company, has announced its new officially licensed Mario Kart Wii building sets with a tie-in contest.

The contest, which ends today (hurry!), allows fans to register online to receive a free Mario or Luigi K’Nex figure. A total of 300 figures will be distributed on each day of the promotion.

Five of the 10,000 figures will include a Mario figure plus a “Golden Ticket” that entitles the winner to a special prize package. The package includes a Wii console, the entire K’Nex Mario Kart Wii product line, and a trip to tour the K’Nex headquarters in Hatfield, Penn.

The K’Nex Mario Kart Wii building sets allows fans to build tracks with accessories and obstacles for their favorite Mario Kart Wii characters. For more information, complete rules, and to enter the sweepstakes, click here.  There’s no purchase necessary to participate in the contest.

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Voltron: A Colossal Blast from the Past

The 80s are back. On August 16, Classic Media, in collaboration with World Events Productions (WEP), will release the DVD Voltron: The Legend Begins, containing all original seven episodes of the classic 80s animated series, Voltron: Defender of the Universe. This release is just in time to develop a fan base for the debut of Voltron Force, which will debut on Nicktoons later this year.

Voltron: The Legend Begins follows a team of space explorers who try to find keys to unlock five mythical robot lions on the plant of Arus in order to defeat the giant Robeast monsters, created by an evil witch Haggar, who are destroying the planet. If the team finds all the lions, they will combine together to form the robot Voltron: Defender of the Universe, who is the only hope in defeating Haggar and King Zarkon.

The 180-minute DVD also contains plenty of bonus features that takes a look into what made the original series so successful.

OWI’s New Salt Water Fuel Cell Car

OWI, Inc.’s, new Salt Water Fuel Cell Car contains 23 pieces but only takes 10 minutes to assemble. Next, add salt water and the car races off!

After activating the fuel cell module with a saltwater mixture, the magnesium metal sheet (three sheets included) can operate the car for approximately five to seven hours, continuously. If kids want to park the vehicle, simply take out the fuel cell module, rinse with tap water, and dry.

Let the races begin!

Scholastic Media Launches I Spy Super Challenger

Get ready to spy with your little eye a new title in the I Spy series. Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic, Inc., announced the release of I Spy Super Challenger for LeapFrog’s Leapster Explorer. This will be the third title in the series.

I Spy Super Challenger, geared towards kids ages 5-9, combines the popular I Spy photographs and riddles with arcade-style games. Players have to solve 50 different I Spy riddles across 20 different photographic scenes.

In addition to these puzzles, I Spy Super Challenger includes four games, in which players race against the clock to test their thinking, matching, memory, and math skills—in the end cracking I Spy puzzles. As new levels of the game are unlocked, the difficulty of the puzzles increase.

The other games in the I Spy series are I Spy Challenger and I Spy Treasure Hunt. The game retails for $24.99.

TIF Launches “Play Connects” Grant Program

The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) have launched a new grant program, Play Connects.

This grant program will provide up to three $10,000 grants for local charities that are nominated by members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA). Only 501c(3) organizations nominated by TIA members who are in good standing are eligible for these annual grants.

Full and associate TIA members can nominate local charities by visiting the Foundation’s website and following the links for Play Connects to complete the required forms. The nominations must be received before September 15, and winners will be announced December 15. The winners will be selected by the Program Grants Committee made up of the TIF Board of Trustees.

Check Out This Video of TIF Spreading Smiles

Check out this video that showcases all the smiles spread because of the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) in 2010. Donations from Toy Bank supporters, corporate patrons, Leaders Circle members, and charity partners helped more than 550,000 children this past year.