Hasbro Launches New Initiative to Spread the Joy of Play to Children with Developmental Disabilities

ToyBoxTools_logo (2)Hasbro Inc. has launched ToyBox Tools, an initiative that brings the joy of play to children with developmental disabilities. Through expertise provided by The Autism Project, ToyBox Tools provides a series of instructional videos, printed instructions, play mats, and more for several classic Hasbro brands. These tools will serve as a free, online resource for parents, caretakers, and educators to make play easier and more accessible for children who need support.

ToyBox Tools helps children experience the joy of play with three levels of tools available for those who need support: basic play, expanding play, and social play levels. Parents and caregivers can visit the ToyBox Tools site, access the tools they need, and download and print them for use at home or in the classroom. Each level caters to different aspects of play that children may need help with, like simply introducing the toy and how to use it, experiencing alternative ways to play with a toy, and encouraging turn-taking with peers.

Nearly one out of four children is said to have some type of developmental challenge, ranging from ADHD and autism spectrum disorders to learning disabilities and developmental delays.

ToyBox Tools encourages parents and caregivers to use their judgment in selecting the right product and level of play appropriate for their child. Supportive tools are included for Mr. Potato Head, Play-Doh Dr. Drill ’N Fill, and Trouble.

Nintendo’s Super Mario Franchise Featured in Mercedes-Benz Commercial

NintendoThis past week, Mercedes-Benz Japan began airing the latest series of commercials for its GLA sports utility vehicle featuring characters from Nintendo’s Mario franchise.

The original TV ad began airing in May and featured only Mario, who rode the SUV in a two-dimensional 8-bit world. The digital Mario eventually morphed into an actor with a mustache wearing Mario’s signature dungarees.

The newest commercial, inspired by Mario’s agility and the way he can move around anywhere he wants, adds more characters from the Super Mario franchise.

Mercedes-Benz’s SUV appears in Nintendo’s Mario Kart game, making it the first real-world car to appear in the series.

The Toy Insider and Woman’s Day Magazine Launch New Video Series

WomansDayVideoThe first entry in The Toy Insider‘s newest Fun with Kids video series launched this week at Woman’s Day. The latest video can be found on the Woman’s Day site’s front page, and the series will run for the next five weeks leading up to the holidays, reaching the site’s 3.9 million unique monthly visitors (Note: The Toy Insider is published by Adventure Publishing Group, which also owns The Toy Book).

In “Toys in Motion,” Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht and Woman’s Day‘s Senior Editor Taryn Mohrman show off this season’s hottest toys that race, fly, and ride. Products shown in the video include: The Rockin’ Rider Patriot Rocking Horse, from Tek Nek Toys; the Air Storm Firetek Bow, from Zing; the Planes Fire and Rescue U-Command Dusty, from Thinkway Toys; the Hot Wheels Street Hawk, from Mattel; the Heli Beast, from Silverlit; the Sky Viper Camera Drone, from Skyrocket Toys; the Hot Wheels High Jump Frenzy, from Toy State; the Extreme Beast, from Maisto; the Y Flicker Lift, from Yvolution; and the PowerRider 360, from Razor.

The Hess Toy Truck Still Cruising at Age 50

HessToyTruckThis Friday, the newest addition to Hess’ line of toy trucks, the 2014 Hess Toy Truck and Space Cruiser with Scout, goes on sale at participating Hess, Hess Express, and WilcoHess retail stores. The three-in-one toy vehicle, which is also the 50th anniversary Hess truck, can be pre-ordered now at the official Hess Toy Truck site.

The 2014 Hess Toy Truck is a space cruiser with retractable landing gear, flashing lights, and button-activated and motion-activated special effects, riding on top of a flatbed truck. A cargo door on the space trucker opens to reveal the scout, which features folding wings and working lights. The flatbed truck doubles as a launch pad that includes button-activated launch ramp, hydraulic lift, and sound effects and lights. In addition, the chrome detailing on the cab includes an embossed 50 to mark the Hess Toy Truck’s 50th anniversary.

The 2014 Hess Toy Truck and Space Cruiser with Scout is on display as part of the Hess Toy Truck Mobile Museum, which is currently touring the east coast.

Macy’s BalloonFest Shows Off Giant Inflated Versions of Popular Toys

BalloonLineupOn Saturday, kids product luminaries such as Eruptor from Activision’s Skylanders, Mattel’s Thomas the Tank Engine, the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, and Pokemon International’s Pikachu crossed paths—though not literally—at Macy’s BalloonFest in Queens, N.Y. The event, which took place at Citi Field, featured a test flight of the newest giant character balloons that will premiere at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A total of six new character balloons took flight for the first time, directed by Macy’s flight management team and handled by hundreds of volunteers. The newest balloons include Thomas the Tank Engine, the largest and heaviest balloon ever to be featured in the parade; the Weinstein Company’s Paddington, which at 77.5 feet is the longest balloon to date; and Eruptor, which features a paint job requiring more than 40 gallons of fluorescent paint and five barrels of glitter.

New Warner Bros. Behind-the-Scenes Videos Take You Far Beyond Gotham

LegoBatmanBTS

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released two new developer diaries that give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the upcoming LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. [Read more...]

The Toy Book Does Not Cancel the Toypocalypse!

This past week, The Toy Insider (the consumer site owned by Adventure Publishing Group, which also owns The Toy Book) released the third in its short video series, Toypocalypse. To make the occasion, we’ve posted all three videos below in reverse-chronological order. Enjoy!

Toypocalypse 3: Toy-byrinth

More Tales from the Toypocalypse!

Toypocalypse!

Star Wars Rebels Preview Launches on Star Wars Day

StarWarsRebelsStar Wars Day, an unofficial holiday created by Star Wars fans to celebrate the sci-fi franchise, took place this past Sunday, May 4. To mark the occasion, Lucasfilm released a new minute-long trailer for Star Wars Rebels. The animated TV series is scheduled to premiere this fall on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels worldwide.

Barbie Is Back in Barbie The Pearl Princess

Barbie the Pearl PrincessBarbie The Pearl Princess, is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. In her 28th movie to-date, Barbie stars as Lumina, a mermaid with magical powers who dreams of becoming a princess. With the help of her friends, she begins a quest of self-discovery, unlocking her destiny and realizing that anything is possible with the power of friendship. Along with the new film, a line of Barbie The Pearl Princess-themed dolls and toys is currently available at major retailers.

Sonic Boom Video Goes Behind the Scenes of Upcoming Game, TV Show

Sega has released a first Sonic Boom behind-the-scenes video featuring commentary on both the upcoming video game and TV series. The English language voice talent for both the game and TV show includes: Roger Craig Smith as Sonic, Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman, Colleen Villard as Tails, Travis Willingham as Knuckles, Cindy Robinson as Amy, Kirk Thornton as Orbot, and Wally Wingert as Cubot. Jack Fletcher serves as voice director.