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.

Laser Pegs’ Pegasaur Greets Guests at the Toy Fair Entrance

Laser Pegs will construct a 15-foot-tall, 10-foot-long dinosaur, the Pegasaur, to greet guests at the entrance of the 2014 Toy Fair convention this weekend. A team of four people spent more than a month building the mammoth creature that is illuminated in shades of purple, yellow, green, and red by the thousands of LED lights that are encased inside each tiny Laser Pegs piece used to build it.

Here is a video showing the time-lapse construction process:

COMMENTARY: Inspirational Young Girls Can Change the World

American Girl has this wonderful program where they release a Girl of the Year doll, who comes along with stories, games, and activities that “celebrate what it means to be a girl today.” There’s a lot of dolls out there on the market that are providing great, positive messages to girls worldwide. Whether they are promoting positive body image, confidence, the drive to dream big, STEM education, or all of the above and more, girls have their pick of the litter when they are searching for a doll that is, in a sense, just like who they are or who they strive to be. American Girl announced their 2014 Girl of the Year on January 1: Isabelle, “an inspired dancer that finds her own way to shine.”

But some girls aren’t able to find that doll that would really make them feel special—and brave 10-year-old Melissa Shang has spoken out (adorably and politely) requesting that her favorite doll company, American Girl, make the 2015 Girl of the Year doll that is more like her.

Shang has Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a debilitating form of muscular dystrophy, and is leading one of the fastest-growing petitions right now on change.org for American Girl to create a Girl of the Year doll with a disability. Shang is truly an inspiration. In just over 72 hours of her starting the petition, more than 15,000 people have joined the campaign she has launched. [Read more...]

Barbie Goes Mermaid in Upcoming Video Release

Barbie.ThePearlPrincessThe latest movie featuring Barbie is set for home video release next March. In Barbie: The Pearl Princess, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, the famous fashion doll from Mattel stars as Lumina, a mermaid who dreams of being a princess.

As long as Lumina can remember, she’s had the magical power to make pearls dance and glow. Along with her best friend Kuda, a pink seahorse, she embarks on an adventure to a mer-kingdom, where Lumina uses her powers to help her friends prepare for the Royal Ball—and to unlock her true destiny.

Barbie: The Pearl Princess will be released on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on March 11.

The Toy Book Chats with Sherry Gunther-Shugarman, CEO, Popstar Club

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Sherry Gunther-Shugarman, CEO of Popstar Club, which is the manufacturer of the fresh, new doll line, The Beatrix Girls. Sherry gave me an overview of what makes her doll line so unique, and why girls are going to be clamoring for them this holiday season.

SherryGunther.BeatrixCEO

 

Where did you get the idea for Beatrix Girls?

The Beatrix Girls came out of the idea of tying music and dolls together. Ultimately the approach to this was to create a multiplatform brand that really reaches kids everywhere that they are, recognizing that kids are not just watching TV and they’re not just playing with dolls or toys, they’re not just online playing games or being social, they’re doing all of the above. A forward-thinking property really needed to have presence in all of those mediums and to have an integration between all of those formats ingrained in its DNA.

The webisodes are done in a very unique way. How did you come about using that style?

It’s interesting because the natural for me was to go with animation as I spent over 20 years in animation, but there were a lot of things that attracted me to doing it this way, creating webisodes that have the dolls featured interacting in real life. It comes out of the fact that the concept itself has the girls as real. So they’re real and they interact in our world. They’re a real pop star band, we9’re creating real music, not composed music like we would for a toy property or an animated show, but real, credible, pop music written by a platinum-winning writer/producer, mixed by a Grammy-winning engineer, so this is really relevant, today, great music and so we really want to sell them as true pop stars.

Animation oftentimes, especially when doing them based on a product or especially dolls, skews a little bit younger, and we really wanted to have the cool factor and have these be edgier. The medium that we used felt so much more current and fresh and innovative and YouTube generation-like and it felt much more fitting to the brand itself. It gives the dolls the credibility of being real in our world. They have a real human manager, they perform in real venues, so it allows us to play up that real factor for them. And then the scale gives us a lot of humor opportunities for 12-inch dolls interacting in a life-size world.

The really nice side effect that we found is that girls are really responding to the fact that they can relate to the way it was done because it was shot on purpose with hands showing and manipulating the dolls. The idea was that kids could really relate to it and feel like I can do that, I can get four dolls and with my friends create a scene and a scenario.

 

For some reason it reminds me of Mr. Bill, the old SNL skit.

That’s kind of what we were going for. We were going for rather than just sort of just straight, weak, almost too young-skewing animation. We wanted it to be edgier and quirky and fun and hilarious and this medium allowed us to do that, to have that feel to it.

[Read more...]

Ubisoft Releases Trailer for Rocksmith 2014 Edition Session Mode

RocksmithUbisoft has released a trailer showcasing Session Mode, a new groundbreaking feature of Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

In Session Mode, players lead a band that plays along with them and follows their lead, and in the process, learn to improvise and create their own music. Players can jam with a friend in Multiplayer mode and create their own band experience.

Rocksmith 2014 Edition allows players to plug any real guitar or bass directly into their Xbox 360PlayStation 3, PC, or Mac to begin their musical journey. Rocksmith 2014 Edition will launch on October 22.

Disney Infinity Stands Out with Toy Box Mode

Disney Interactive has released the first video focused entirely on the Disney Infinity Toy Box mode, a play feature that allows every player to combine Disney and Pixar‘s most popular characters and worlds to create one-of-a-kind Disney experiences.

In the Toy Box mode, players can build their own adventures and worlds featuring hundreds of characters, vehicles, items, and environments, including Scrooge McDuck’s money pit, a Tron Recognizer, the Dumbo flying elephant ride, and Stitch’s Surfboard. Players can also use the logic editor to create any kind of game or experience, such as action adventures, obstacle courses, capture-the-flag, tower defense, car races—even re-create some of their favorite classic arcade games.

Check out the trailer below!

My Keepon Does Harlem Shake

Toy Insider Mom Shows GMA Live the Hottest Toys from the American International Toy Fair

The Queen Mary, Radio Disney Launch Holiday Toy Drive to Benefit Toys for Tots

The Queen Mary, in partnership with Radio Disney, kicked off a week long toy drive benefiting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots with a live Radio Disney broadcast from Chill,  on December 1.

[Read more...]