Monster High Stars in New DVD, Monster High: 13 Wishes
This past Tuesday marked the release of Monster High: 13 Wishes—right in time for Halloween. In partnership with Universal Pictures, this third feature-length film from the Monster High franchise introduces a new ghoul, Gigi Grant, who comes to the title school to grant the ghouls 13 wishes. There will be a line of themed dolls, toys, and a video game available at retailers nationwide. Monster High: 13 Wishes is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray.
Burger King Launches Digitally Interactive Toys for The Simpsons Superheroes Kids Meal Program
Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products (FCP) and Burger King Worldwide Inc. have introduced digitally interactive The Simpsons toys into Burger King Kids Meals in North American and Latin America. Burger King Kids Meals will come with one of six unique Simpsons superhero toys, each featuring a superpower brought to life through a digital game. The Simpsons Kids Meal toys will serve as virtual joy sticks that allow kids to interact with the digital game through motion detection technology and the use of a webcam. At www.bkcrown.com, users can battle a range of villains directly from Springfield.
Disney Celebrates The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Blu-ray with New Product Collection
Disney Consumer Products has released a new collection celebrating Disney Princess Ariel, timed with The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Blu-ray release on October 1. The line features new dolls, role-play, and more, and is available at department and specialty retailers, Disney Store locations, and DisneyStore.com.
Kids’ product partners include Jakks Pacific, the Disney Store, Children’s Apparel Network, Mattel, Hanna Andersson, Disney Press, and Jay Franco. Fashion and beauty product partners include SimsoTex, Sephora, and Loungefly.
Sonic the Hedgehog Returns to TV
Sega has announced that Sonic, the iconic blue hedgehog with four TV series and more than 70 video games, is set to return to TV screens next year in a CGI-animated series. Produced by Sega of America Inc. and Genao Productions, the Sonic the Hedgehog series will premiere in the U.S. on Cartoon Network, and on Canal J and Gulli in France, with a global rollout to follow.
Toys “R” Us Introduces Monster 500 Line
Toys “R” Us is releasing a new, exclusive toy line, Monster 500, featuring 10 characters and two play sets. The assortment includes small and large vehicles, the Graveyard Gauntlet Track Set, and the Toxic Terror Trap Playset.
The Monster 500 line of toys, designed and created by Toys “R” Us in collaboration with Creata, is available for presale at toysrus.com, and will be sold in stores starting October 14. There will also be a Monster 500 app, available for Android and iOS on the same day that the toys hit shelves, allowing fans to bring monster characters to life in a racing game.
Skylanders Comes to YouTube in New Boomcast Webisodes
Skylanders Boomcast, a series of online webisodes for the Skylanders line of toys, debuted on October 4 on the Skylanders YouTube channel.
Host and actor Zachary Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) brings fans the latest Skylanders franchise news, gameplay tips and tricks, fan art, character spotlights, exclusive interviews with the Skylanders team, and more. Skylanders Boomcast was created by Activision Publishing Inc. and is a Matter/Edelman Production in association with RadNerd Productions.
The show’s launch kicks off SWAPtober, a month of activities celebrating the newest Skylanders game, Skylanders Swap Force, which arrives October 13 in North America, October 16 in Australia, and October 18 in Europe.
Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Returns for Wii U
On October 4, the packaged version of the re-mastered The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD launched for the Wii U console. The release included a limited-edition bundle with a black Deluxe Wii U console; a controller adorned with the gold Hyrule crest and symbols from the game; a download code for the digital version of Hyrule Historia, which details the chronology, history, and artwork of the Zelda series; and a code to download The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD from the Nintendo eShop.
Enhancements for the re-mastered game include Miiverse functionality, which lets players with broadband Internet access attach messages or images to Tingle Bottles that can wash ashore in other players’ games.
Sun-Mate Corp. to Launch New Smithsonian Toys
Sun-Mate Corp., a global toy manufacturer, and the Smithsonian’s business division, Smithsonian Enterprises, will introduce a new Smithsonian-branded toy line. Based on the 137 million collection items held at the Smithsonian Institution, the line will include branded role-play and exploration sets, doctor and veterinary play sets, electronic toys, room décor, and night lights.
Sold under the Smithsonian Institution’s brand, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of all Smithsonian licensed products supports the Institution’s educational mission, “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”
Activision, Treyarch, and Xbox Partner to Help Veterans Through the Call of Duty Endowment
Through October 14, U.S. fans can purchase any of the 17 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Personalization Packs that are currently available on Xbox Live for a 25 percent discount. Activision Publishing Inc., its studio, Treyarch, and Xbox will donate all profits from the packs sold to the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit that seeks to help soldiers transitioning to civilian life find work and establish careers, and to assist organizations that provide job placement and training.
Personalization Packs in Call of Duty: Black Ops II offer fans more options to customize and expand their experience. Each themed Personalization Pack contains one unique weapon camo, three targeting reticules, and a player calling card.
K’Nex Introduces Four New K’Nex Education Building Sets
K’Nex Education has released new sets designed for small groups of students, which teach concepts through problem solving, discovery, exploratory learning, and critical thinking.
The four new sets include: Simple and Compound Machines, which expands upon middle school students’ knowledge of simple machines concepts; Investigating Solar Energy, which includes a unique solar panel, solar motor, and capacitor for storing energy; Exploring Wind and Water Energy, which addresses critical science, technology, and engineering concepts, and provides instructional models that enhance students’ understanding; and Force and Newton’s Laws, which investigates a variety of concepts related to forces, energy, and motion. All sets are appropriate for grades 5 to 9.
Ubisoft Acquires Future Games of London
Ubisoft has acquired Future Games of London (FGOL), a developer of free-to-play games for mobile devices and tablets. In the deal, Ubisoft adds FGOL’s successful Hungry Shark franchise to its mobile business. The Hungry Shark brand is a strong performer on the Apple Store, Google Play, and Amazon, with the newest entry to the series, Hungry Shark Evolution, bringing in more than 25 million downloads.
Voting Now Open for 2013 TAGIE Awards
Voting is now open for the 2013 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards. The public is invited to vote before the awards show, which takes place as part of the 11th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair.
The show is scheduled for November 22 from 6 to 10 p.m., in the historic Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Voting for the TAGIE Awards is available through November 1 and members of the public are invited to view the full list of nominations and cast their votes online <http://www.tagieawards.com/us/>.