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.

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.

COMMENTARY: Now Every Kid Can Be Captain America

Phil.04.03.Cap6inchLegendsThis weekend, everyone’s favorite re-animated World War II super-soldier returns in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, from Marvel Studios. (PLEASE NOTE: THIS OPENING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.) Having seen a preview of the movie, I won’t give too much away, but suffice it to say, it’s a good time, precisely because the captain faces conflicts that aren’t just fisticuffs. At a certain point, both he—and the other Marvel Comics-based heroes who appear—must decide whether to turn on their own government. Admittedly, it’s not that difficult a choice, since saying no means a terrorist organization descended from the Nazis gets the power to kill millions with the push of a button. But a moral quandary is, nevertheless, a moral quandary, and gives the movie a kind of complexity that isn’t always found in summer blockbusters. (END SPOILERS.)

It also results in a character that kids of all ages can—and should—aspire to become more like. (Did I mention that Captain America also learns to trust his friends? This film’s full of valuable lessons for young ones!) To that end, Hasbro has released an impressive line of Captain America: The Winter Soldier toys and accessories that allow for all kinds of pretend play. Since not every movie protagonist is a fit role model for kids, having found one with product support from the toy industry, I feel it is this column’s responsibility to highlight said product as much as possible. Cap, you’re welcome. [Read more...]

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Toy Line to Expand

DanielTigerThe Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood product line will include more products and enter major retail chains this year. Jakks Pacific will expand the brand’s range of toys, as well as venture into new categories including books and costumes, the latter through its Disguise division. In addition, University Games will offer puzzles and games such as the Colorform Deluxe Playset.

The new toys and games are part of an overall retail expansion, which includes Kmart and Target introducing a selection of licensed merchandise, and Barnes & Noble launching a full line of books from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing under Simon Spotlight. Daniel Tiger Neighborhood products will also be introduced to Canadian retailers for the first time.

New Simpsons Lego Minifigures to Be Available in Time for Themed Episode

SimpsonsLegoA line of 16 Simpsons licensed Lego minifigures will be available in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the television series, The Simpsons. Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will launch the collection in May at major toy retailers. A special Lego episode of The Simpsons will premiere May 4th on Fox.

This will mark the first time a licensed Lego minifigures line will be sold in a series.

Sega’s Alien: Isolation Brings the Fear This October

AlienIsolationSega of America Inc., Sega Europe Ltd., and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will release Alien: Isolation on October 7. Developed by Creative Assembly, it will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC.

Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror game that evokes Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic film, Alien. Players find themselves stalked by an unpredictable, ruthless Xenomorph creature, and must scavenge resources, improvise solutions, and use their wits to not just complete the mission, but to stay alive.

COMMENTARY: Taking Plush to the Next Level

Gone are the days when plush was simply a category of stagnant stuffed toys. Kids today can enjoy plush items that sing, dance, play music, light up, talk, and more. With technology moving ever forward, the plush category is seeing new ways to integrate interactive elements into soft products. While mechanized toys aren’t a brand new concept, many companies are producing new items that utilize today’s technologies in ways never seen before.

I’ll be honest—I wasn’t much for animated plush when I was a kid. Maybe it was the fact that interactive items didn’t really do anything cool enough to warrant sacrificing the softness and squeezability of a traditional stuffed animal. Or maybe I didn’t like the fact that you have to change the batteries. Whatever my reasons, I think I would have felt differently about interactive plush if I’d had some of the toys available today.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.50.19 PMPeek-A-Boo Elmo, a licensed Sesame Street item from Gund, holds a cozy blue blanket to play peek-a-boo with kids ages 18 months and up. When kids press Elmo’s foot, he lifts his blanket over his face while saying phrases such as, “Where are you?” and “There you are!” One of the nicest things about Peek-A-Boo Elmo for parents is that by pressing his foot again, he turns off. I also love that he moves his arms up and down fairly quickly, enhancing the surprise factor for little ones. Elmo’s mouth also moves consistently with what he’s saying. Peek-A-Boo Elmo is programmed to say 13 phrases. [Read more...]

Little Orbit Adapting TV Properties Adventure Time, Falling Skies

LittleOrbitLogoLittle Orbit will bring multiple properties to gaming consoles and handheld devices later this year. The video game publisher will create a game based on the animated series Adventure Time for gaming consoles. It will be released globally and launched in North America this fourth quarter.

Earlier this year, Little Orbit released Falling Skies Planetary Warfare, a mobile game based on the TNT dramatic series, Falling Skies. Little Orbit will launch a console version later this year.

Fox Partners with Jakks Pacific, Rovio, and More for Rio 2

Rio2Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will celebrate the April 11 theatrical release of Rio 2 with a multi-category global licensing program, including partnerships for toys and kids’ products.

Select licensing partners are as follows: [Read more...]

FAO Schwarz Hosts a Rilakkuma Day of Fun

RilakkumaThis Saturday, the world of Rilakkuma will take over FAO Schwarz in New York City. Rilakkuma, created by San-X, is one of Japan’s most popular characters, famous for its “bear in relaxed mood” lifestyle of eating, sleeping, and listening to music.

Consumers will have the opportunity to celebrate Rilakkuma Day and interact with a life-size Rilakkuma mascot and branded Lolita girls. There will also be merchandise giveaways while supplies last. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at FAO Schwarz Flagship Store, 767 5th Ave., New York, NY.