LeapFrog Introduces LeapTV Video Gaming System
LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has unveiled its first educational, active video gaming system, LeapTV, which is designed specifically for kids ages 3 to 8. It puts learning into motion with three ways to play: body motion, pointer play, and classic control.
LeapTV features a transforming gaming controller that has been specifically designed for kids’ small hands and limited dexterity. In its regular configuration, it enables classic gameplay, but with the press of a button it easily transforms into a motion controller and LED pointer controller.
The LeapTV system includes a console, a motion-sensing camera, a camera mount, a transforming controller with wrist strap, an HDMI cable, 16 GB of memory, and built-in Wi-Fi for app downloads.
Skylanders at Comic-Con International: San Diego Will Feature Costume Contest
Skylanders will attend Comic-Con International: San Diego for the first time in the franchise’s history on July 24, and to celebrate, Activision Publishing Inc. will award more than $5,000 in prizes to the best Skylanders costumes of the show.
The grand prize winner will receive $4,000, the runner-up will be awarded $1,000, and the second runner-up will receive a collection of rare Skylanders toys.
The costume contest will take place at the Comic-Con International: San Diego panel, Skylanders: The Creative Process of Bringing Toys to Life, where members of the Skylanders team will offer insights into the development process of the game franchise. Panel speakers will include comic book writer Ron Marz; Kaos voice Richard Horvitz; Activision senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Coyne; and Toys for Bob’s director of toy and character development, I-Wei Huang.
In addition, attendees will get hands-on experience with Skylanders Trap Team, the franchise’s newest installment.
VTech Introduces Kidizoom, the First Smartwatch for Kids
VTech launched its first ever camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch. The world’s first smartwatch for kids, it includes a built-in camera, video, and photo effects. The Kidizoom Smartwatch also has a 1.4-inch color touch screen, more than 50 digital and analog clock displays that help kids learn to tell time, a rechargeable battery, an alarm clock, a timer, a stopwatch, a voice recorder with funny voice changing effects, and parental game controls.
Since it is made for kids, the Kidizoom Smartwatch features a durable design to withstand drops and bumps, and is splash and sweat proof. In addition, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is PC and Mac compatible for uploading photos, videos, and recorded voice files, and offers access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.
The Kidizoom Smartwatch is recommended for kids ages 4 and up, and is available now at www.vtechkids.com, amazon.com, target.com, toysrus.com, and walmart.com.
K’NEX Kicks Off Its Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway on Facebook
K’NEX has launched a 10-day-long sweepstakes running on the K’NEX Facebook page, open to U.S. fans ages 13 and up. Fans can log on to the K’NEX Facebook page through July 23 and enter the Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway daily for their chance to win one of 10 Titanfall K’NEX Prize Packs. These include one Titanfall IMC Pilot Strike Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Pilot Attack Building Set, one Titanfall IMC Atlas Titan Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Ogre Titan Building Set, and one Titanfall Angel City Escape Building Set.
In addition, one grand prize winner will be awarded a Deluxe K’NEX Titanfall Prize Pack, which includes all the prizes from the basic prize pack, plus one Titanfall Ultimate Angel City Campaign Building Set. Winners will be chosen at random on July 24.
Cwist Adds ThinkFun Games and Fat Brain Toys to Digital Library
cwist Inc., a free, crowd-sourced, digital library of interactive learning challenges for kids ages 5 to 11, has entered partnerships with educational game manufacturer ThinkFun Inc. and online retailer/toy manufacturer Fat Brain Toys. cwist features a wish engine that helps kids make the connection between the things they want and the effort it takes to get them, as they earn parent-approved rewards upon successful completion of a cwist challenge.
cwist will develop challenge content for its platform that enhances the learning experience with ThinkFun’s products and programs. These challenges will be available later this month.
PGS Entertainment Secures Raft of Global Sales for Super 4
PGS Entertainment announced a raft of global sales for Super 4, the new animated series inspired by Playmobil, which will debut in early 2015. Produced by Method Animation and Morgen Studios, and commissioned by France Télévisions, PGS represents the series in all territories and has secured broadcast licensing agreements across Europe, Asia, and North America.
Current sales include Neox Kidz (Atresmedia) in Spain, TV3 in Catalonia, Canal Panda in Portugal, RTBF in Belgium, RTS in Switzerland, RTL téléKids in Netherlands and Luxembourg, MTV3 in Finland, Canal+ in Poland; Noga in Israel; Workpoint in Thailand; and Radio-Canada in Canada.
In addition, a broadcast deal was recently reached for Super 4 with CiTV in the UK and Cartoon Network in Italy and Latin America.
ToyFest West 2015 Scheduled for March
ToyFest West 2015 will be held at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas on March 8 to 11. The show is produced by the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA), and is now recognized as both the second oldest and second largest trade show of its kind in the U.S.
Collins to Publish The Little Book of Bananagrams
This fall will see the release of The Collins Little Book of Bananagrams, which contains hints, winning strategies, and insider secrets for fans of the word game. Deej Johnson, the Bananagrams brand’s creative consultant, and word-game champion Mark Nyman wrote the book. It includes two ways to turn titles that save vital seconds, things that a player must do in their first move, and other tips. The book, which will be available globally this fall from Collins, also offers general word game advice, such as 135 proper nouns that can be played in any word game, and more.
CPSC to Host Workshop on Possible Amendments to Import Filing Requirements
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will host a workshop on September 18 to share information and gather data on proposed changes to certificate of compliance requirements for companies that import regulated finished consumer products into the U.S.
The workshop will allow CPSC to clarify issues and understand stakeholders’ concerns related to the proposed amendments to the Certification of Compliance Rule, which would require companies that import products manufactured outside of the U.S. to file general conformity certifications—or children’s product certifications—electronically with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prior to importation, in conjunction with other customs entry documents.
The deadline to register as a workshop presenter is August 8, and the deadline to register as a workshop attendee is September 5. The workshop will take place on September 18 at CPSC headquarters in Bethesda, Md.
The CPSC has reopened the docket associated with the proposed changes so that stakeholders may submit written comments related to the workshop through October 31. The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will submit additional comments on behalf of members, and invites any member that wishes to provide input to be included in the TIA’s comments to contact Autumn Moore by August 15.
DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer Takes Flight
Microsoft and DreamWorks Animation have released DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, a new mobile game inspired by the animated film, How to Train Your Dragon 2. It uses Here Maps to pull in GPS info, turning the real world into the user’s very own fictional Isle of Berk.
Players can go on dragon rescue missions in 16 cities worldwide—including Berlin, Nairobi, and Washington, D.C.—play as characters Hiccup or Astrid, and choose from among six different dragons to fly, with more unlockable dragons throughout the game. DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer is available on all Windows and Windows 8 phone (and higher) tablets and phones, including Microsoft Surface and the entire Lumia family.