Author: Marissa DiBartolo

Nintendo Reveals New Console with Detachable Controllers, Portable Gameplay

Nintendo released an introductory video today featuring its new home gaming system formerly known as the Nintendo NX. Set for release in March, the brand new, innovative Nintendo Switch system features a dock that connects the system to a TV for play at home, or it can be lifted from the dock and taken on the go. A vast upgrade from both the Wii U and the portable 3DS consoles, the Switch features a bright, high-definition display. The portability of the new console is exactly what fans have been waiting for, and extends the gaming experience to wherever players are, with just one console. The new system features removable Joy-Con controllers that snap on to either side of the Switch screen. Gamers can splat, smash, and race with the Joy-Con controllers in place, or remove them, prop the Switch up on a flat surface with the kickstand, and play with one controller in each hand. Or, flip the Joy-Con controllers horizontally and hand one off to a friend for two-player gaming; slip them into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, and create a more traditional controller experience; or abandon the Joy-Con controllers and grab a new Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead. The Switch platform features at least five controller options based on the three-minute clip we’ve seen so far. Developers are already on board and working on games that are...

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The New Flavor of Activity Toys

Mom was wrong: apparently, it’s more than OK to play with your food. Since the inception of Kenner Toys’ Easy-Bake Oven in 1963, kids have been expressing their creativity in the kitchen by baking up miniature sweet treats. And while the Easy-Bake Oven is one of the most iconic toys ever made, inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2006, new toys that let kids make and decorate real, edible foods are eating up shelf space like never before. Culinary Kids In the ’60s, the Easy-Bake Oven was largely marketed toward girls, but with male chefs like Bobby...

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Coloring Outside the Age Lines

Coloring books are integral to kids’ creative development, with thousands of titles featuring thick black outlines of cartoon characters, just waiting to be scribbled on, torn out, and hung on the refrigerator. But kids aren’t the only ones showing off their creativity with coloring books. Specialty retailers such as Michaels and Barnes and Noble are stocking the shelves with dozens of titles designed with adults in mind. Instead of simple images of Queen Elsa from Disney Frozen or snuggly puppies with lolling tongues, adult coloring books feature intricate geometric patterns, natural scenery, and even some characters based on mature...

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Fourth Annual HoliDAY of Play Lets Adults Be Kids Again

The Toy Insider, in partnership with Woman’s Day magazine, hosted the fourth annual HoliDAY of Play event on Friday, October 16, where more than 100 digital influencers and members of the press met face-to-face with some of the top companies in the toy industry to get hands-on experience with the best toys on the market. Guests were treated to a gourmet brunch while enjoying sweeping views of New York City during this exclusive 2.5-hour event. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht greeted guests with the one and only Darth Vader, reinforcing the strength of the Star Wars force this year. Schacht then gave guests a full presentation on the Toy Insider’s Hot 20, Top Tech 12, and STEM 10 picks, as well as the top toy trends of 2015, which include: Character Craze: Thanks to the upcoming launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, characters will play an even bigger role in the toy box than ever before, From interactive figures like Spin Master’s Legendary Yoda and Thinkway Toy’s 16-inch Darth Vader, toHasbro’s entire line of amazing role-play fun, these toys are easily the hottest of the year. Additional characters that will continue to be mega popular among kids are DisneyFrozen’s Elsa, the pups from Paw Patrol, and new adorable dinos from Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. #LifeGoals: There are lots of toys on the shelves that will inspire kids to decide what they want to be when they grow up. VTech’s new line of Flipsies dolls transform from...

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Judy Basis, Licensing Industry Force, Passes Away

Judy Basis passed away Saturday, August 22, 2015. She battled cancer for more than 30 years. Basis was a force in the licensing industry. She helped shape the way business takes place when she and her partner Harvey Stern launched The Licensing Book back in 1983 (Editor’s note: Both The Toy Book and The Licensing Book are owned by Adventure Publishing Group). Industry veterans will remember her as someone they could count on for sound advice (both business and personal), and as an essential partner in growing their businesses when the licensing business was still in its infancy. Donations...

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