June 13, 2013

Laser Pegs

Disney Interactive Launches Lone Ranger Play Set for Disney Infinity

Lone Ranger Play SetDisney Interactive has announced that the newest play set for Disney Infinity will be The Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger play set pack will be available when Disney Infinity launches on August 18. Disney Infinity, the all-new video game initiative starring the characters from Walt Disney and Pixar Studios’ franchises, was featured at The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which kicked off on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Players can take on the role of the Lone Ranger or Tonto as they set out to bring Butch Cavendish and his gang of outlaws to justice. Players will traverse the Wild West and the areas surrounding the town of Colby on the Lone Ranger and Tonto’s iconic steeds of Silver and Scout or any one of the other many horses that can be found throughout the play set.

Ceaco Produces Iconic Boston Marathon Jigsaw Puzzle

Ceaco puzzleCeaco will produce a special limited-edition jigsaw puzzle based on the iconic Boston Magazine cover in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The 550-piece puzzle will retail for a suggested $10 and Ceaco will donate all of its proceeds to The One Fund Boston.
Ceaco has been a fixture of the greater Boston toy manufacturing community for more than 25 years, spending a majority of its time headquartered in Watertown. The puzzle will be made entirely in Massachusetts and all of Ceaco’s production partners are donating time and materials to benefit the project. It will be available for purchase in mid-June at local toy, game, and gift stores, as well as online at ceaco.com.


MGA Entertainment to Launch New Mooshka Brand of Soft Dolls

MGA Entertainment will launch Mooshka, the company’s newest entertainment and toy brand this August, which combines soft dolls with animated e-books. The Mooshka doll family includes: the Mooshka Girls, Mooshka Tots, and Mooshka: Sing Around the Rosie collections.
The flagship Mooshka Girls features six characters. The Mooshka Tots are four smaller characters, while the Mooshka: Sing Around the Rosie dolls sing “Ring-Around-the-Rosie” when their hands are held. MGA Entertainment introduces the dolls with a fall TV campaign, a website, a multi-category licensing program, and a national public relations campaign. The Mooshka e-book apps feature original Mooshka stories, and will be available for free in the App Store.
MGA Entertainment’s licensees for the Mooshka brand include Franco Manufacturing Co. Inc. for bedding and accessories, throws, beach towels, slumber bags, bath and accessories, and Thermos LLC for lunch kits, insulated and non-insulated bottles, food jars, and reusable ice.

USAopoly to Release Smurfs-Branded Monopoly

Smurfs MonopolyUSAopoly is set to release Monopoly: The Smurfs Collector’s Edition, under a license from Hasbro, in conjunction with Sony Pictures Consumer Marketing and the cartoon studio of Lafig Belgium. The game celebrates more than 55 years of the Smurfs and comes as the Smurfs prepare to return to the big screen in The Smurfs 2, the sequel to Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s hybrid live-action, animated family comedy.
The game board includes 22 Smurf Village locations such as Clumsy’s Forest, Grouchy’s Mushroom House, and Brainy’s Library. Boardwalk and Park Place, the prime properties in classic Monopoly, are replaced by Papa Smurf’s Lab and Smurfette’s Flower Garden. The traditional “chance” and “community chest” cards are transformed into “potions” and “surprises” cards. Monopoly money is transformed into Smurfberries, and game tokens include Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Lazy, Brainy, Vanity, and Handy. The game is designed for players ages 8 and up and will be available on amazon.com and at specialty retail stores across North America this month.

Ceaco Signs on for The Hive

Ceaco has secured the license to produce jigsaw puzzles based on the Disney Jr. TV series The Hive. The puzzles will range from 24 to 36 pieces, and will include value-added features, such as flocking, to further enhance the colorful graphics and cast of characters from the show. Products will be revealed at Fall Toy Preview and will be available to ship to national accounts and specialty retailers in 2014.

Sanrio and Pretty Ugly Partner to Create Limited-Edition Hello Kitty Collection

Hello Kitty UglydollSanrio Inc. has partnered with Pretty Ugly LLC, owner of Uglydoll, to create a global, co-branded collaboration with Hello Kitty and Uglydoll characters. Uglydoll’s aesthetic will be combined with the style of Hello Kitty to create a selection of limited-edition collectibles.
The Hello Kitty Uglydoll collaboration will make its official debut at San Diego Comic-Con, held July 18 to 21. The collection will include a set of limited-edition plush by Gund, featuring Hello Kitty dressed as Uglydoll’s characters—OX, Trunko, Ice-Bat, and Wage—as well as a set of vinyl figures by Funko. Products will be available later this summer at select Sanrio boutique stores, Sanrio.com, Uglydolls.com, and specialty retailers.

Mezco Unveils Batman Classic TV Series Mez-Itz Toys 

Mez-ItzMezco Toys has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Entertainment, to produce a Mez-Itz line of toys and vehicles based on DC Comics 1960’s Batman classic TV series.
Mezco will debut Batman toys, including the Batmobile, along with a line of Batman and Robin Mez-Itz based on the actors who portrayed them. Mezco will also produce Mez-Itz of The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, and The Riddler’s Thug.
Mezco will reveal these new products to the general public for the first time on June 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium on 42nd Street in New York City. The first 200 people to come view the display dressed as their favorite Batman classic TV series character will receive a free Mezco DC Universe Mez-Itz, as well as a discount for entry into the Odditorium.
Mezco’s first wave of Batman classic TV series products will hit stores in July, and a sneak preview will be available at San Diego Comic-Con at Mezco’s booth.

Nintendo and Sega of America Inc. Partner for Sonic the Hedgehog  

Sega of America Inc. has announced details for the next Sonic the Hedgehog franchise title to be published on Nintendo platforms as part of the exclusive partnership recently announced between the two companies. Sonic Lost World puts Sonic up to the challenge as he faces his most powerful enemy to date, and this time there are six of them to conquer. Sonic Lost World will be available exclusively for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS platforms later this year.
Alongside a single player adventure, the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions of Sonic Lost World will feature a range of competitive multiplayer modes. In addition, each platform will also contain distinctive features that take advantage of each console’s unique capabilities.
Sonic Lost World will be distributed by Sega of America Inc. throughout the U.S., Canada, and South America, with Nintendo of Europe GmbH overseeing distribution throughout Europe and Australia.The trailer for Sonic Lost World can be viewed at www.facebook.com/sonic

The Little Gym Partners with Kidz Bop Creators for CD Series

The Little Gym International and Razor & Tie, the creators of Kidz Bop, have signed a multi-year licensing agreement that will bring the music of The Little Gym to major retailers throughout North America.
For more than 35 years, the original music produced by The Little Gym has been an integral part of its skill-building fitness curriculum. Music at The Little Gym helps children build skills through active songs that expand vocabulary, musical games that teach cooperation, and lyrics that provide directions and cues to help sharpen listening skills and increase attention span.
Selections from The Little Gym’s proprietary music collection will be featured in a new CD series to be produced and distributed by Razor & Tie. The collection will include classic The Little Gym songs designed to get kids moving, learning, and having fun. The first two releases, 25 Move-Along Fun Songs and 25 Sing-Along Fun Songs willgo on sale August 6 at Walmart stores and on iTunes and Amazon.com.

Blizzard Entertainment Partners with Funko and USAopoly

Blizzard Entertainment has granted a first-ever full catalogue license to Funko. Pulling fan-favorite heroes and villains from all three of its blockbuster franchises, Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo, new Pop! Vinyl figures and exclusives will see release in 2013 and beyond.
Blizzard has also extended its agreement with USAopoly beyond top-selling World of Warcraft Monopoly and StarCraft Risk to include World of Warcraft Trivial Pursuit. Game contents and movers will feature custom sculpts and fantasy illustrations.

NASA Partners with The Lego Group for Design and Build Contest

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and The Lego Group have partnered to inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers through a new design competition, “NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build,” which began this week and ends July 31. Winners in each category will be announced September 1.
The first category is “Inventing our Future of Flight,” where participants will design and build an aircraft to increase fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions and noise based on concepts and technology from NASA’s aeronautics. In addition, participants must write a technical paper that will explain how the design takes advantage of NASA’s ideas and improves them. Entrants are divided into two groups: students ages 13 to 18 and an open group for anyone 13 and older. The two winners will receive a custom-made Lego trophy and a collection of NASA memorabilia.
The second category is “Imagine our Future Beyond Earth,” where participants will design and build a futuristic vehicle from Lego bricks that might travel through air or in space. The design can be based in reality or can be imaginative. This competition is open to entrants 16 and older. The grand prize is a Lego set signed by the designer and a collection of NASA memorabilia. For more information, visit rebrick.lego.com.

Global Smurfs Day Events to Be Held Worldwide June 22   

Smurfs DayColumbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation will once again coordinate events all over the world on June 22 as part of Global Smurfs Day, a worldwide event in anticipation of the release of The Smurfs 2, in theaters July 31. Global Smurfs Day celebrates the birthday of Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs, born June 25, 1928.
This will be the second celebration of Global Smurfs Day. In 2011, the round-the-world events included painting one of the famous White Towns of Andalusia blue and setting a new record for Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Smurfs within a 24-hour period. This year, the studio has lined up a program of events, highlighted by a worldwide Smurf Ambassadors initiative, in which more than 40 ambassadors from 28 countries will represent Smurfs fans from around the world with a special day of events celebrating Peyo’s creation.
Festivals and celebrations will be dedicated to the Smurfs in locations as far and away as the Buenos Aires Planetarium, Mumbai’s Imagica theme park, and Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. In Los Angeles, families will enjoy the day with appearances by the Smurfs, play the Ubisoft video game, sample Menchie’s Smurfberry frozen yogurt, and participate in other fun activities.
More information can be found at the official Global Smurfs Day microsite at www.GlobalSmurfsDay.net, where users can also virtually check in to Global Smurfs Day activities and find information about all worldwide events, official photos, and a sizzle reel.

Playmates Has Turtle Power

Those teenage “heroes in a half-shell” are back, and their pizza-slinging and sewer-crawling skills are better than ever. As a child of the late ’80s and early ’90s, I was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all their Southern California-inspired catch phrases—from “cowabunga” to “tubuloso.” Lucky for me, if I’m in need of a totally far out fight scene featuring Michelangelo and Shredder’s foot soldiers, I can flip to Nickelodeon’s re-vamp of the 1987 cartoon. Playmates Toys, which produced the toys for the original television series, is also back with fresh products featuring the new generation of Splinter’s ninja apprentices. Here are a few favorites from Playmates Toys’ TMNT lineup. Read more.

Fun in a Flash: Quick Games for Families

On rainy days, classic favorites such as Scrabble and Monopoly are perfect to entertain kids. But some busy families might not have hours to devote to board games. There are great new games on the market that take only a few minutes to play, but will keep kids entertained when they are in the mood for a game or two. Read more.

Help! Kids Should Know the Beatles Too

I was commuting to work yesterday, minding my own business, when I heard a teenager telling her friend that her strawberry-themed bracelet symbolized her favorite song “Strawberry Fields” by Twintapes. Now as a rule of thumb, I normally tune out every single thing that I hear on the subway, but this particular statement stopped me in my tracks. To say that I am an avid Beatles fan is like saying that the band was “a little popular.” I have obsessed over their music for as long as I can remember, and I will stop there because I could go on and on for days on the topic. The band changed my life and made me fall in love with rock ‘n roll at a very young age, and it breaks my heart to know that teenagers and kids are being robbed of the tunes that made me love music. Read more.

Janet Scardino Joins Saban Brands as Chief Operating Officer

Saban Brands has appointed Janet Scardino as the company’s chief operating officer.  Scardino will oversee Saban Brands’ media operations across TV, digital, and games, as well as content distribution and ad sales for all properties worldwide.
Scardino joins Saban Brands with experience building successful TV, online, and mobile businesses for some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Disney, MTV, AOL, Reuters, and American Idol.
Scardino held senior operational and marketing roles in TV and digital, both in the U.S. and internationally. Most recently, Scardino served as CEO for the public company Viggle, the first loyalty program for television and an early entrant in Social TV. Previously, Scardino was president of branded entertainment for 19 Entertainment, the creators of American Idol. At Reuters, she was executive vice president and managing director of the consumer digital media businesses in the U.S. and Europe.

Majesco Releases Second Quarter Financial Results

Majesco Entertainment Co., a provider of video games for the mass market, has reported financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013, which ended April 30. For the second quarter, Majesco’s net revenues were $9.7 million, down 68 percent versus $30.4 million in the same period a year ago. During the second quarter of fiscal 2013, the company reported an operating loss of $2.2 million, compared to operating income of $2.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Net loss for the second quarter was $2.3 million compared to net income of $2.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012.
For the six months ended April 30, the company’s net revenues were $33.2 million versus $96.6 million in the year ago period, a decline of 66 percent. The company reported an operating loss of $4.2 million compared to operating income of $10.3 million in the same period last year. For the six months ended April 30, 2013, net loss was $4.4 million compared to net income of $10.4 million for the six months ended April 30, 2012.
To date, Majesco has announced several game titles that are expected to be released later this year, including Zumba Dance, Crash City Mayhem, Phineas and Ferb, Young Justice Legacy, Monster High: 13 Wishes Shadow Secrets, Zumba Fitness World Party, and Barbie Dreamhouse Party.

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