Lego The Hobbit Dwarfs All Previous Lego Games

LegoHobbitThe new Lego The Hobbit game–inspired by the two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as the collection of Lego The Hobbit construction sets–is available now across North America for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3DS. The game will be available for the Nintendo Wii U on April 22.

Lego The Hobbit features key locations from the film, including Bag End and High Pass over The Misty Mountains. In addition, this will be the first Lego game to utilize a loot system, in which Lego studs representing a variety of materials can be for crafting items. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by TT Games, Lego The Hobbit will be available on all platforms.

A main new feature of the game allows players to utilize dwarves’ combined abilities such as buddy fighting, two-player attack, staff climb, mace swing, and belly bounce to help them fight Orcs and fouler things. There’s also an easy access drop-in, drop-out gameplay option available on the consoles. Together players will navigate 16 levels, unlock more than 90 playable characters, and partake in treasure quests–the most diverse number of any Lego video game to date.

EA Sports UFC to Feature Bruce Lee

Bruce_LeeThe legendary Bruce Lee, considered the father of mixed martial arts, will make his historic first step into the Octagon in EA Sports UFC from Electronic Arts Inc. and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The game is scheduled to launch on June 17, and fans can complete the game’s career mode at Pro difficulty to unlock him.

A recently released trailer, EA Sports UFC Gameplay Series: Bruce Lee Reveal, shows Bruce Lee realized in the game.

Hasbro Is Bringing Down the House Rules for Monopoly

Monopoly.HouseRulesFrom March 25 to April 3, fans around the world weighed the pros and cons of their favorite Monopoly house rules on the Monopoly Facebook page. This past Friday, Hasbro announced the top five house rules, which will be featured in future Monopoly games. They are:

  • Free Parking, Fast Cash: All taxes and fees are collected in the middle of the game board, and if a player lands on Free Parking, they collect it.
  • Dash for the Cash: Players who land on Go! get to double their salary—400 Monopoly(M) Dollars instead of 200M Dollars.
  • Frozen Assets Rule: When in jail, a player cannot collect any rent money from other players.
  • See the Sights: Players must travel around the board one complete time before they can begin buying properties.
  • Lucky Roller: If a player rolls Snake Eyes—double ones—they collect 500M Dollars.

Fans will find the top five house rules in the Monopoly: House Rules edition game, available in select markets this fall. The chosen rules will also be included in the Monopoly game guide beginning next year.

The Prettie Girls Expands Distribution with Wayfair.com

PrettieGirlsDollsRetailer Wayfair.com is now carrying The Prettie Girls!, The One World Doll Project’s line of multi-cultural dolls. The Prettie Girls! consists of fashion dolls that encompass the attributes and aspirations of contemporary girls of different ancestries, including African-American, Latino, South Asian, and Caucasian heritage. Currently, The Prettie Girls are the only African-American and Hispanic fashion play dolls available on Wayfair.com.

“Following our successful February showing at Toy Fair 2014, we are in close contact with many enthusiastic retailers,” said Trent T. Daniel, Founder of One World Holdings, the parent company of The One World Doll Project. “We have been working closely with the Wayfair.com team to offer The Prettie Girls! dolls to their customers just in time for the Easter basket toy rush.”

40th Annual ICTI Meeting Starts Today in Tokyo

ICTILogo.pdfRepresentatives of national toy trade associations are convening in Tokyo today for the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) 40th annual general meeting. Hosted by the Japan Toy Association and scheduled for April 6 to 9 at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, the meeting will explore issues currently affecting the worldwide toy industry.
In preparation for the meeting, each participating country has submitted a state of the industry report to be discussed during the proceedings. The reports touch on topics such as toy safety, as well as issues of concern to the toy industry, including chemical and environmental impacts.

For more information, contact Molly Carroll at (202) 459-0355 or Tatsuya Kobayashi at 81-3-3829-2513.

Funko Has Guardians of the Galaxy in Pop! and Wacky Wobbler Figures

Funko.StarLordFunko will have Marvel‘s Guardians of the Galaxy–the spacefaring team coming to theaters on August 1–available in both Pop! and Wacky Wobbler form in time for the film’s release. Pop! figures will include Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax, and Gamora. The Wacky Wobbler figures will feature bobble-heads of Star-Lord, and Rocket Raccoon.

An unmasked Star-Lord will be available exclusively at amazon.com.

Boon Hosts Social Media-Based Contest in Four Cities

Boon [CMYK]Got plans this weekend? This past April 1, it appeared that toddlers had taken over Boon’s social media pages, and while that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, many of the random photos posted by Boon are part of a larger social media game. Indeed, photos found at Boon’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages contain “clues” about specialty retailers in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas.

Details on how to decipher these clues have been posted in videos on Boon’s blog. Through Sunday, any fans in those cities who figure out the clues—and subsequently check-in at the specialty retailer in their city on Foursquare—will receive a discount code for 20 percent off Boon products.

Funko’s Game of Thrones Pop! Bundle Giveaway Is On!

FunkobundleStarting today, and through Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PST, Funko is running a giveaway for its Game of Thrones Amazon-exclusive Pop! bundles. Two winners will be selected. Fans can access the contest and find out more information through Funko’s Facebook page.

Currently available for pre-order at amazon.com, the Game of Thrones Amazon Exclusive Pop! Bundles are packaged in variations based on two of the series’ most popular characters: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. Both bundles come with a 100-percent cotton black T-shirt with the character in Pop! form printed on the front; a 3.75-inch Pop! Vinyl figure, and a 1.5-inch Pop! key chain.

Tetris Celebrates 30 Years with Philly Tech Week Kick-Off, Skyscraper-Sized Game

Tetris.PhillyThe world’s largest Tetris game will be played on the Cira Centre office building in Philadelphia this Saturday, from 7 to 10 p.m. Video game enthusiasts and techies of all ages will gather at Eakins Oval, located in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to play the Tetris game on the 29-story tower.

Dr. Frank Lee, the founder of Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, will turn Cira’s LED arrays into a fully interactive version of the Tetris game, in honor of both Tetris’ 30th anniversary, as well as to kick off festivities for Philly Tech Week. Visitors will be able to play the game using an arcade-style controller at Eakins Oval. More than 100 people, randomly selected from an online lottery, will also have the opportunity to play. [Read more...]

Report for Spielwarenmesse 2014 Is Now Available

SpielwarenmesseegSpielwarenmesse eG has released a report showing the main trends for the toy industry this year, which are identified as Fit4Life, Retromania, Mini Is King, and TechToys.

Among the report’s findings from Spielwarenmesse 2014, China had the largest number of international visitors, the total number of visitors from all around the world increased by more than 3,000, and 50 more suppliers exhibited baby and infant articles compared to last year.

An online version of the full report can be viewed and downloaded at the Spielwarenmesse website.