The Happy’s Joins the World of Zhu

The Happy’s will join the ZhuZhu Pets as the newest addition to the World of Zhu by Cepia LLC. The line features interactive and motorized plush pets, designed to have a mind of their own to simulate playing with a real pet.

The characters in The Happy’s collection are Bentley, a Golden Retriever; Sport, a Goldendoodle; Chance, a Beagle; and Mittens, a kitten. They can be trained to perform tricks like beg, pounce, follow, chase tail, or spin, and they make more than 25 sounds. Each pet comes with its own treat to unlock special tricks, but all treats are compatible with any Happy’s pet. [Read more...]

Skylanders Trap Team Brings Digital Characters into the Physical World

SkylandersTrapTeamActivision’s newest installment to the $2 billion Skylanders franchise, Skylanders Trap Team, redefines the toys-to-life phenomenon with a new ground-breaking innovation. Unveiled today, the new game will reverse the magic of bringing toys to life by allowing kids to pull villains—including Kaos—out of the digital world and into the physical world.

In Skylanders Trap Team, Kaos continues his ongoing quest to rule over Skylands. He has discovered the location of the legendary Cloudcracker Prison—a fortress built entirely out of the magical substance, Traptanium, and home to Skylands’ most nefarious villains. In an attempt to build his own army of foes, Kaos blows up the prison, releasing the baddies and blasting shards of Traptanium to Earth in the form of Traps. Now it’s up to Portal Masters to recapture all of the escaped villains using powerful Traptanium Traps and defeat Kaos. The new adventure delivers a diverse and dynamic story-driven gameplay experience, filled with adventure, combat, puzzles, mini-games, activities, platforming, and drop-in/drop-out co-op play—all set within new compelling, breath-taking environments.

With Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most-wanted villains in all of Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in the magical crystal traps. Players can then send the trapped villains back into the game where they will fight for good. The latest installment will include the Traptanium Portal, a new ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also magically capture villains using the new traps. Once they’ve defeated the villain in the game, kids will be able to place a Trap into the new portal to capture it. They will also be able to hear the villain inside the Trap, furthering the magic of Skylanders in 2014. [Read more...]

New Ebook Further Develops Watch Dogs’ Cyberpunk World

Ubisoft will release a new e-book, Watch_Dogs  //n/Dark Clouds, authored by John Shirley and inspired by the highly anticipated video game, Watch Dogs. The e-book picks up where the game leaves off, allowing fans to further explore the world of Watch Dogs. It marks a first for Ubisoft, which conceived the e-book in-house and will release it exclusively via digital channels.

Shirley, the author of more than 30 books and short stories, is a known figure in the hacker community, as well as a pioneer of the cyberpunk movement. Watch_Dogs //n/Dark Clouds will be available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish at the game’s release on May 27. It will be available as an upgraded e-book version with interactive elements, including videos and image, and as a regular e-book.

Beach Chess Goes Indiegogo for Funding

BeachChessAn Indiegogo campaign has been launched for Beach Chess, which consists of one white cube and one black cube. Each of the cube’s six faces features an outline of each of the six unique chess pieces—pawn, rook, knight, bishop, king, queen.

Each cube measures about 2.5 inches square and fits in the hand. The black cube makes a fully depressed imprint in the sand, whereas the white cube only makes an outlined imprint so you can tell the difference between the “white” and “black” pieces. [Read more...]

Nintendo’s NES Remix 2 Hearkens Back to 1990 World Championship

WiiU.NESRemix2NES Remix 2 will launch exclusively at the Nintendo eShop on Wii U on April 25. The game has a new mode inspired by the 1990 Nintendo World Championship, which challenged players to achieve the highest cumulative score in three specific games through a multiplier-based scoring system.

The three games in Championship Mode include Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario. Players will take on three successive score-based challenges to achieve a cumulative total score, which they can post to Miiverse. The first NES Remix game is required to access Championship Mode in NES Remix 2.

NES Remix 2 is a mash-up of classic Nintendo games including Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Kirby’s Adventure, with added challenges and modified stages.

The Future of Jakks Pacific Is Looking Marvel-ous

JakksJakks Pacific Inc. will launch a line of toys based on existing and upcoming Marvel characters and properties. The collection will include R/C vehicles, electric- and battery-operated train and track sets, and handheld 3D character flashlights based on Marvel animated series Ultimate Spider-Man, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble. There will also be toys based on upcoming Marvel theatrical releases, including Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Marvel’s Ant-Man. These products are expected on retailers’ shelves nationwide next year.

Delta Has Spidey on a Kids Easel and More

SpiderMan.MetalEaselTo mark the arrival of Sony PicturesThe Amazing Spider-Man 2, Delta Children has new Spider-Man products. The Spider-Man Metal Easel measures 23 by 23 by 39.25 inches, and can be used as either a black or white board, depending on the child’s preference.

Other products include the Spider-Man Twin Bed, which features removable guard rails, as well as 3-D graphics and colorful decals at the headboard and footboard. It’s constructed with plastic and a metal frame. Meanwhile, the Spider-Man Toy Box has a hinged safety lid to protect little fingers, and a design that sports bright and cheerful colors.

There is also a Spider-Man Desk Chair and Spider-Man Table & Ottoman Set. The latter features solid wood construction, a large and easy-to-clean table surface, and two ottomans.

New Princess Peach Controller Is the Royal Wii Remote

NintendoWiiPeachRemoteNintendo will be releasing a Wii Remote Plus controller styled in the fashion of Princess Peach. It features many touches that pay homage to the heroine, who recently starred in Super Mario 3D World for Wii U. The new controller includes a crown design over the speaker, blue buttons styled after Peach’s jewelry, and a golden-yellow plus pad that evokes her crown.

The new Peach Pink Wii Remote Plus will start appearing in stores in late April, and joins other controllers themed to Nintendo characters, including red Mario and green Luigi ones.

Puppy Parlour Is a Dog-Gone-Digital Mobile App

PuppyParlourAhead of the release of PS Vita Pets for the PlayStation Vita, a new mobile app, Puppy Parlour, lets players run their own puppy-pampering parlor. Each day brings a new dog, and players will be tasked with meeting their specific needs through a range of activities such as taking them for a walk, showering and feeding them, and playing games.

The games include Dream Chase, which is a race to collect golden bones, and Snack Balance, in which players tilt their device to keep the dog steady as it balances a tasty treat on its nose. Completing these games and looking after the dogs earns points that can be used to upgrade the parlor, as well as unlock new items and clothes.

Players can also unlock exclusive costumes that can be transferred over to PS Vita Pets when the full game arrives in June.

Strider Bikes Rolls Out Revamped Line of Balance Bikes

StriderBikesStrider Sports Intl. Inc. has unveiled an expanded line of their best-selling 12-inch bikes for 18 month to 5-year-old children. These balance bikes will now be available in three unique models: 12 Classic, which is the skill-building, entry-level model; 12 Sport, which is the feature-rich, mid-level model; and 12 Pro, which is the all-aluminum, high-end model.

The new model names are intended to assist consumers in finding the Strider bike best suited for their children and their budget. All three models feature ultra-light-molded wheels, premium sealed cartridge wheel bearings, flat-free EVA polymer tires, and integrated footrests.