China Toy Fair


Disney Interactive Releases Two New Infinity Mobile Apps

DisneyInfinityDisney Interactive has unveiled two new Disney Infinity mobile apps, Disney Infinity: Action! and Disney Infinity: Toy Box, which will provide connected extensions of the console  experience. The Disney Infinity: Toy Box app allows players to build and edit new worlds from the Disney Infinity Toy Box mode on their iPad. Players can also transfer any Toy Box creation between their iPad and console, and play with Mr. Incredible for free. Disney Infinity: Toy Box will be available for free for the iPad in the coming weeks.

Disney Infinity: Action! will be available for free on iTunes and in the Windows Store on August 15. It will be available for the Google Play Store soon. Features of the app include the ability to discover unique animations and use them in the Movie Maker so kids can create their own movies. Kids can from a high caliber cast of characters, including Mr. Incredible, Sulley, and Jack Sparrow, and more than 30 animations to use in videos sword fighting with Jack Sparrow and scaring a friend with Sulley and share the movies by posting to Facebook or YouTube.

Spin Master Acquires Meccano

logo_spinmasterSpin Master Ltd. is transforming its organization through recent acquisitions. After having acquired Spy Gear and Perplexus, Spin Master has also acquired Meccano (known as Erector Set in the U.S.), the toy construction brand with a 112-year history. In the acquisition process, the decision was made to retain Meccano’s manufacturing base and industrial facilities, located in Calais, France, to optimize serviceability to European markets.

Spin Master is strategically focused on extensions to many of its toy lines through the creation of entertainment properties, companion applications, games, and digital experiences that are suited for changing consumer play patterns.

Green Golly and Her Golden Flute To Be Released This October

book_largeRapunzel’s modern-day alter ego, Green Golly, has a beautiful golden flute to express her deepest feelings and fill her life with music from the worlds greatest composers. Green Golly & her Golden Flute. from Eifrig Publishing, is a new picture book-with-audio, based on the Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning recording by the same name, written and performed by Keith Torgan and Barbara Siesel.

Green Golly & her Golden Flute introduces children to the magic of classical music through a re-working of the traditional tale of Rapunzel interwoven with works of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Gossec, Elgar, Bizet, Chopin, and Copland. Green Golly & her Golden Flute comes with a new, innovative StorySticker app, which enables listening to the story and music instantaneously on a mobile device or computer.  If ordered directly from Green Golly or eifrigpublishing.com, the book will be packaged with a free CD as well. The CD is also available separately.

GameStop Opens Pre-Orders for Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack

swapGameStop has announced the exclusive Skylanders Swap Force Dark Edition Starter Pack, for the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3 systems, is now available for pre-order.

The Dark Edition Starter Pack includes: the video game, a Portal of Power, five exclusive Dark Edition Skylanders figures, a character poster, five sticker sheets with secret codes, five trading cards. Customers that pre-order a Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack (Dark Edition or Regular Edition) will receive a free new LightCore Hex Skylanders figure while supplies last.

Customers can pre-order Skylanders Swap Force at GameStop online or stores nationwide.

Looski Pups Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Digital Puppies

looksipupsLooksi Pups, from Looksi, are described as a cross between Nintendogs and Tamagotchi. Looksi Pups transform a digital puppy into a physical puppy with the revolutionary 3-D Looksi Kennel. Download the free iPhone app, pop your iPhone into the Looksi Kennel, and the Looksi Pups comes to life in 3-D, tail wagging and ready to play.

The many features of Looksi Pups include seven different breeds of pups; 15 voice commands including fetch, boogie, and chase tail; voice recognition which responds only to the owner’s voice; a host of extra accessories, games, and tricks to be unlocked; interaction capabilities with other Looksi Pups, who can play in each others’ kennels; an alarm clock and “guard dog” function; games which use voice commands and the phone’s tilt sensors; and a protective tray to keep the phone safe and secure.

There is a campaign on Kickstarter to bring Looksi Pups to retail shelves that will run for 28 days. Would-be customers can pledge money towards the project in return for a variety of rewards.

Blitz Games Teams Up with DreamWorks for Shrek Alarm App

shrek-alarmBlitz Games debuts the release of DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm, the first in a series of interactive character apps co-produced with DreamWorks Animation. This app is available now on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and all Android devices.

Designed for Shrek fans of all ages, DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm features full alarm clock functionality, day and nighttime modes, and a bedtime feature, which allows you to decide when Shrek falls asleep. In addition, DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm features access to your music library so you can wake up and go to sleep with your favorite songs, Facebook integration, a world clock, a flashlight, a timer, a stop watch and an interactive weather feature with your five-day forecast.

DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm is available now worldwide from the App Store and Google Play.

 

Heidi Swedberg and the Sukey Jump Band Releases Second Album

HeidiSwedbergHeidi Swedberg, best-known from her role of Susan on Seinfeld, has built a national reputation for her ukulele-inflected, interactive approach to family music-making. Swedberg produced her second album, My Cup of Tea, for national retail release on September 10. To produce the album of 13 songs, Swedberg raised more than $5,000 through crowd-funding site Kickstarter and involved many of her musician friends to create a diverse album.

Amidst frequent national touring with Heidi and the Sukey Jump Band, Heidi holds ongoing weekly music classes at McCabe’s and Los Angeles schools, plus elementary schools and other venues. Her lessons and chord charts are available via the Sukey Jump channel on GoChords. Heidi and the Sukey Jump Band plan concerts in Southern California this fall. Visit the Sukey Jump calendar page for scheduling details.

Hasbro and Ubisoft Partner to Bring Hasbro Games to Consoles

ubiUbisoft will develop and publish current and next-generation console games based on some of Hasbro’s most popular gaming brands, including Monopoly, Scrabble (in the U.S. and Canada only), Trivial Pursuit, Risk, Battleship, and Cranium.

Nintendo Debuts Animal Crossing Plaza App, Pokémon Series on Wii U

acpFans of Animal Crossing now have a new place to go on Wii U to talk about their towns and share images with players from all over the world. Nintendo unveiled the new, and free, Animal Crossing Plaza app during a recent Nintendo Direct presentation. It is available for download at the Nintendo eShop.

Nintendo also discussed a variety of other topics about Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games, including the debut of the Pokémon series on Wii U with Pokémon Rumble U and the story behind The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for Nintendo 3DS.

In Pokémon Rumble U, which launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on August 29, players will have the opportunity to befriend some of the Toy Pokémon that they defeat in battle. They can also play as or do battle against every one of the 649 Pokémon that have appeared in the video games through Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2.

To view the Nintendo Direct news broadcast in its entirety, visit the Nintendo Direct site.

Registration for TIA’s Sixth Annual Washington D.C. Fly-In is Open

DCFlyInLogoRepresentatives of small, mid-size, and large toy companies are invited to make their way to the nation’s capital for a line-up of events scheduled for this year’s Toy Industry Association, Inc.’s (TIA) Washington D.C. Fly-In, to be held on September 17 to 19. Each activity will showcase to federal policymakers the impact that the U.S. toy industry has on the economy, and the positive role that toys play in the development and well-being of American children.

A Congressional Toy Caucus will launch during the Fly-In. Its goal is to help advance the discussion of toy safety, the value of play, the growth of small toy businesses, the importance of creativity and innovation, and the increase of free trade opportunities in foreign markets.

According to TIA-commissioned reports, the total economic impact of the toy industry in the U.S. is $75.03 billion. From toy inventors and designers to store clerks in every state, the toy industry supports an estimated 321,030 jobs across the country—of those, just over 30 percent are employed by small businesses. Although the average unit price of a toy is less than $8, the industry generates roughly $22 billion annually in direct retail toy sales.

TIA will host a Congressional reception on Capitol Hill on September 18, and additional TIA-directed communications to members of Congress will raise toy industry awareness in D.C. A special Capitol Hill briefing on the world of toys and games will be held on September 19, and a print ad will be published in The Hill, a widely read political paper. Registration for the Fly-In is open.