VTech Introduces InnoTab 3S
VTech has introduced the InnoTab 3S for kids ages 3 to 9. The InnoTab 3S, the next generation of one of the first children’s learning tablets with Wi-Fi, features VTech Kid Connect—an exclusive communication app that allows kids to connect with their parents and friends through both tablet-to-mobile and tablet-to-tablet communication, a rechargeable battery pack with an AC adapter, and a kid-safe web browser. In addition, access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store—home to downloadable content and curriculum for purchase—and 20 free apps provide kids with a start on their learning journey. The InnoTab 3S is now available for pre-order at www.vtechkids.com, Amazon.com, Target.com, Toysrus.com, and Walmart.com.
Nickelodeon Signs with Rubie’s Costume Co.
Nickelodeon has signed a licensing deal with Rubie’s Costume Co. to develop and produce a line of Halloween costumes, accessories, and dress up products inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
The new line will target kids, adults, and pets. The costume collection features characters including Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Splinter, April O’Neil, and The Foot Clan.
Star Trek Skele-Treks Debut at Comic-Con
CBS Consumer Products has created the Star Trek Skele-Treks universe, inspired by Mexican culture and traditions in conjunction with Maya Studio and Spanish artist Javi Molner. CBS Consumer Products has signed National Entertainment Collectibles Association Inc. (NECA) to introduce a multi-category collection utilizing a signature artistic style.
Initial Star Trek Skele-Treks products were unveiled at this year’s Comic-Con International: San Diego. Beginning in September, NECA will roll out the first cross-category collection of Star Trek Skele-Treks products worldwide, including apparel, accessories, figures, and plush. The products feature Captain Kirk, Klingons, and the Borg. Future collections will feature other Star Trek characters.
Warner Bros. and TT Games Unveil The Lego Movie Video Game
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games have announced that The Lego Movie Videogame will be available next year alongside The Lego Movie, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, and a toy collection of The Lego Movie building sets.
In a scenario drawn from the film, The Lego Movie Videogame puts kids into the role of Emmet, an average Lego minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. Players guide him as he is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on a quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.
Players will also be able to collect and use Lego instruction pages to build construction sets or harness the power of the Master Builders to virtually build extraordinary Lego creations along the way. The game features more than 90 characters inspired by the film.
YBike Evolve Launches Kickstarter Campaign
The YBike Evolve, the world’s first 3-in-1 smart bike for kids, launched on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Starting at $50 for early backers, the new Evolve trike-bike “evolves” as a child’s riding ability progresses.
The Evolve begins as a trike to develop peddling skills, before transforming into a balance trike, and then finally into an advanced balance bike—all with a simple and easy mechanism. The Evolve’s 3-in-1 function is based on a design that helps develop balance and coordination in children, while also saving money and space.
The YBike Evolve is recommended for kids ages 2 to 5 depending on the size of the child. It features silent rubber wheels that are perfect for indoors, but durable for outdoor activities, and it has passed all the relevant child safety regulations for Europe and the U.S.
JumpStart Launches School of Dragons Educational Game
JumpStart has launched its newest educational multiplayer online game, School of Dragons. The game is based on DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon franchise, and is one of the first massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) to incorporate basic science educational features to the gameplay.
School of Dragons blends together three fields—film, online games, and TV—to create an online gaming experience for kids that allows players to interact, play, and learn with familiar faces from the animated film, such as Hiccup and his dragon Toothless. As players train their own dragons and become fierce Viking adventurers in the game, they will learn key concepts in the scientific method through activities based on earth, life, and physical sciences. Later this summer, School of Dragons will incorporate simultaneous mobile and online gameplay.
JumpStart officially launched School of Dragons at Comic-Con International: San Diego. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment also announced the DVD release of the TV series DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk. The two-part DVD is available everywhere. Fans who purchase the DVD will be able to unlock exclusive content in School of Dragons.
School of Dragons can be played online through a limited free account or by paid, full game subscription.
Kids Preferred Launches the Yarn Zombies Line
Kids Preferred has launched the Yarn Zombies brand at Comic-Con International: San Diego. The brand includes Zombie collectibles and fashion accessories. The first licensed Yarn Zombies collectibles is known as Jujuz, and all have unique “mojo-protecting” special powers.
Yarn Zombies was formed by toy veterans John Lee and Jerry Welch, who wanted a fresh, entertaining-yet-believable perspective in defining the real zombie phenomenon and providing the antidote to the zombie disease. Lee founded Learning Curve Toys, Callaway Digital Arts, and Bambini Partners, and Welch is the former owner of FAO Schwarz and CEO of Zany Brainy and the Right Start.
Kids Preferred now offers the line of mojo-protecting collectibles designed to help adolescents have more fun and worry less. With Yarn Zombies, Kids Preferred is reaching out to a new age group and category and is offering additional product diversity. All Yarn Zombies will be available on August 10 to wholesalers.
The first licensed Jujuz is designed for kids in grades 8 and up and includes Fangz, Anita, Brand and Angie, Roxy, Lobez, Count, Muffy, and Sokz.
Chupa Chups Introduces Ice Candy Maker
Chupa Chups has teamed up with the Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy to release an ice candy maker. This new invention allows users to make a 6-centimeter diameter Chupa Chups ice candy out of a lollipop combined with any beverage.
The machine is user-friendly and has four steps that need to be followed to make an ice pop. The ice candy maker can be found in specialty stores, toy stores, and convenience stores in Japan.