Grumpy Cat Attends Toy Fair with Gund!

GUND_ToyFairGrumpy[1]

COMMENTARY: Indoor Toys to Defeat the Colder Weather Blues

I could have sworn that yesterday was the first declared day of summer. Man, it totally flew by! Though I love autumn now, I remember hating the changing of the leaves as a kid—it meant no more pool parties or beach days, and very limited outdoor play as fall turned to winter. Fear not, kids of 2013: there are so many new toys to make indoor play equally as exciting as those water guns and slip ‘n slides. Though I can’t help you with the pool situation (even I will miss the sunshine and water combo), I can give you a list of some of the hottest remote-control and robotic toys for indoor play to get you through the colder weather.

zoomer-150x150For parents who don’t allow dogs in the house, get rid of the constant begging and pleading from your kids with Zoomer, from Spin Master. He does everything that a real dog does—except shed hair and pee in the house! He’s cute and interactive, and he listens and learns commands. The trainable robotic pet will sit, bark, run, play, and even roll over on command. He even lifts his leg when commanded to “Go pee.” Kids can teach Zoomer more than 60 tricks, and the more time spent with him, the more he does—a lesson in pet responsibility. He responds to Spanish, French, and English. He is spotted like a Dalmatian, and he answers to his name, Zoomer! It’s absolutely adorable, doesn’t need regular vet visits, and won’t beg you for food. Win-win! He loves when you pat his head or tickle his tummy; like a real dog, he can’t help but wag his tail. [Read more...]

VTech Unveils Go! Go! Smart Wheels

Smart Wheels Train-StationVTech has launched Go! Go! Smart Wheels, a new line of vehicles and play sets. Go! Go! Smart Wheels enhances a popular play pattern, vehicle play, while teaching important learning skills, encouraging interactivity, and providing an outlet for kids.

Each play set features SmartPoint locations recognized by Go! Go! Smart Wheels vehicles. As a vehicle rolls over a play set’s various SmartPoints, the car flashes and plays greetings, fun sounds, short tunes, and sing-along songs. The line features more than 20 different play sets, vehicles, and accessories, including a train station, a construction site, and an airport that can connect into an expansive toy world.

Go! Go! Smart Wheels is available at www.vtechkids.com, Amazon.com, Target.com, Toysrus.com, and Walmart.com.

Disney Planes the Video Game Launches Exclusively for Nintendo

Disney PlanesDisney Interactive has announced that Disney Planes the video game is available at retailers worldwide. The game is exclusive to all Nintendo platforms including the Wii and Wii U systems, as well as the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS handheld systems.

Inspired by Disney’s animated comedy-adventure film, Disney Planes continues the storyline with Dusty, a big-hearted, speed-loving crop duster voiced by actor and comedian Dane Cook. Players can embark on races and global adventures with Dusty and other characters from the film including Ishani, voiced by Priyanka Chopra; Echo, voiced by Anthony Edwards; and Bravo, voiced by Val Kilmer.

From Propwash Junction to China, players will soar across different environments inspired by the film, playing as any one of 10 of the film’s most memorable characters. Co-op play for two players is available on any console mission. Meanwhile, handheld players will enjoy six different film-inspired skies and the option to play as any one of six characters.

Four different modes of gameplay include Air Rallies, Story, Free Flight, and Balloon Popping. Free Flight mode is exclusive to console play, while the handheld has an exclusive Challenge mode.

Hasbro Releases Kre-O Star Trek Line, Stop Motion Digital Short

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Hasbro, Inc.‘s new Kre-O Star Trek line is now available at retail locations. Hasbro also released a stop motion animated short featuring Kre-O building sets and Kreon figures based on the iconic Star Trek film franchise. Fans can watch the video, with a new stand-alone Star Trek storyline, now on the official Kre-O YouTube channel. The digital short will make its television broadcast premiere May 13 at 7:30 p.m. EST on Cartoon Network.

The Kre-O Star Trek stop motion digital short animation was produced through film director J.J. Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, with special effects for the piece created by Kelvin Optical, one of the visual effects teams also working on the soon-to-be released Star Trek Into Darkness from Paramount Pictures.

The Kre-O Star Trek line, under license from CBS Consumer Products, is based on the upcoming film Star Trek Into Darkness, in theaters on May 17, and features a variety of intergalactic space vehicles from the movie. Also featured in the line are 18 collectible Kreon figures based on iconic Star Trek characters, to be released throughout this year. The new Kre-O Star Trek line marks the unveiling of Lighttech, a light-up feature within every Kre-O Star Trek building set that allows kids and fans to bring the fantasy world of Star Trek to the next level.

The flagship item of the line, the Kre-O Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise building set allows kids and fans the chance to build an 18-inch long star ship toy with light-up warp engines, a bridge play area and five Kreon Star Trek characters, including favorites such as Captain Kirk and Spock. A total of 11 individual Kre-O Star Trek building sets will be available this year ranging in size from 32 to 432 pieces, including four micro-build ships and one set available exclusively at Toys “R” Us.

The full line of Kre-O Star Trek building sets and Kreon figures available now from Hasbro include the following: U.S.S. Enterprise Building Set, Klingon Bird-of-Prey Building Set, Spock’s Volcano Mission Building Set, Transporter Trouble Building Set, Micro-Build Ships Assortment, Space Dive Building Set, and Kreon Figure Packs. 

President of Disney Consumer Products to Speak at PlayCon

bobchapekBob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products, has just been added to the lineup of industry professionals slated to speak at this year’s annual PlayCon, which will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz. from May 6 through 8.

Chapek will share his vision for driving future growth at Disney Consumer Products. He will also discuss the recent acquisition of Lucasfilm and the integration of Star Wars into the portfolio of franchises, which includes Disney Princess, Toy Story, and The Avengers.

For more info on PlayCon and its speakers, click here.

Parents Get a New, Not-So-Secret Headquarters with Launch of DC Comics Fan Family Blog

Fans both young and young at heart will get even more of the iconic characters they love as DC Entertainment unveils the DC Comics Fan Family blog. This new family-friendly site is designed to deliver the best of the celebrated super heroes, including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, with a slew of family-oriented content for parents to share with their kids.

The DC Comics Fan Family blog will serve as an online hub for all DC Entertainment family-friendly news and information and offer readers a variety of content including DC Comics-themed activity sheets, DIY craft projects, guest blog posts featuring DC Comics talent, and the chance for fans to see their own artwork featured with a variety of creative submission contests.

The blog will also feature the recently announced nationwide contest with Capstone, “Be a Super Hero. Read!” in which students in grades three through six are encouraged to write about the real heroes in their lives.

To learn more about the DC Comics Fan Family blog, visit www.dccomicsfanfamily.com.

Toy Fair 2013 Mobile App Now Available

With this year’s mobile app, planning for the upcoming American International Toy Fair and staying on-track has never been easier. With a host of innovative features, attendees will be able to make the most of their time whether it’s on the plane, on the show floor, or running to the next appointment.

App features include a fully searchable exhibitor list, an interactive map with Wayfinding, a personalized agenda, information on TIA Knowledge Network programming, a complete schedule of conference sessions with speaker bios, breaking news, and more.

For more info or to get started, visit m.toyfair.com from your device.

Douglas Brands Fashion as Christine Clarke

The Christine Clarke Sassy Kidz fashion collection from Douglas Company is one brand that young fashionistas can’t get enough of. Since Sassy Pet Saks rolled out in 2004, Douglas Company has had its finger on the pulse of what’s hot when it comes to a young girls’ sense of style. Douglas Company’s fun fashion accessories fall under the Christine Clarke Sassy Kidz Fashion umbrella. [Read more...]

TIF Annual Holiday Toy Drive Opens Nov. 1

The Toy Industry Foundation’s annual Holiday Toy Drive will be open from November 1 to December 31. The Holiday Toy Drive may be supported in three ways:

  • TODAY Show Holiday Toy Drive: Each year, TIF partners with TODAY to share the toy industry’s generosity with the nation. Companies that donate toys to this program are listed on the TODAY Show website; if $150,000 worth of toys are collected, TIF will appear on-air to speak about what the Foundation does and how toy companies are making a difference.
  • Play Comforts: In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services, TIF will have helped 50,000 children of military families throughout 2012. Approximately 600 more toys are needed to finish the year.
  • General Donation to Toy Bank Network of 1,000 Charities: The Toy Bank works with children’s charities across the globe that help kids who are sick, living in disaster zones, underprivileged, or otherwise in need. Toys donated to the general network of charities will be matched with the appropriate recipients.

While the Toy Drive remains open through Dec. 31, donation forms must be submitted by Dec. 1 to ensure that the toys make it into the hands of children in time for the holidays.

For information on how to make a gift, contact thetoybank@toyindustryfoundation.org. Donation forms for the TODAY Show giving option can be accessed online.