China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Teen Titans Go! Has Licensed Toys Ready to Go

Phil.TeenTitans1.RobinFunkoIt’s been a good year for superhero comics on TV, what with the success of DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the planned fall arrivals of The Flash and Gotham. But let’s not forget the animated side of small screen super-heroics, as the second season of Teen Titans Go! premieres next month. The series resurrects Teen Titans, which aired during the mid-to-late 2000s, as something wackier and anarchic. Both shows are based on the long-running comic book of the same name, which is centered on some of the best-known teenage characters in DC’s pantheon.

Along with everyone’s favorite young sidekick, Robin, the cast includes Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. While adept at defeating evil-doers, Teen Titans Go! more often depicts them hanging out unsupervised at their team headquarters, at which point trouble worse than any super-villain tends to break out. The series is a fun romp, not to mention a good antidote to the spate of more serious, live-action superhero adaptations of late. Teen Titans Go! is currently licensed by a number of toy companies, with items for collectors, young kids, and everyone in between. But in all cases, the property’s lighthearted attitude shines through. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: New Warner Bros. Licensed Games Look at Superheroes in a Different Light

I couldn’t be happier that 99 percent of all current movies—including Thor: The Dark World, due in theaters this week—seem to feature somebody in a cape or a miraculous suit of armor battling evil. Full disclosure: I was way into superhero comics when I was a kid. I managed to amass hundreds, which I kept in cardboard long boxes, re-reading them over and over throughout my tortured adolescence. I didn’t buy them for collecting purposes, thank goodness; years later, I traded in the entire lot for $10 and a key lime pie, and considered myself lucky to have gotten that much.

(Seriously, folks, if you started collecting comics during the 1990s or later, they’re not going to put your kid through college. It just won’t happen.)

My point is, I’m a huge superhero fan. However, I’ve started to feel super-saturated by all the licensed comic book-based movies and TV shows popping up of late. They always seem so serious, with all the world-saving and high drama, the death and epic romance and heroic posturing. It’s great the first time, pretty good the second, but around the umpteenth, I have to fight the urge to stand up and yell, “Hey, grown person in hockey pants! Aren’t we supposed to be having fun here?”

For that reason, I am grateful for the recent trend in video games based on licensed superhero properties, specifically those from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. While its offerings of late include the very seriously toned Batman: Arkham Origins, the company is also responsible for two titles that manage to be respectful of the superhero genre, while simultaneously turning it on its head in ways that are funny and downright fun. Both games are available now and suitable for kids ages 10 and up. [Read more...]

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, Scribblenauts Remix Available for Kindle Fire

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces two of its biggest mobile games, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix, are coming to Android, exclusively in the Amazon Appstore for Android.

BACLockdownIn Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, developed by NetherRealm Studios in conjunction with High Voltage Software, the inmates have escaped and Batman must defeat an army of henchmen and some of his most iconic foes. Players will scour rooftops and the seedy underbelly of Gotham City through a series of one-on-one battles with The Joker, Two-Face, and Deathstroke.  [Read more...]

Electronic Arts’ New Video Game Lets You Create

I got a chance to view Electronic Arts‘ new video game Create at EA’s Holiday Preview event and thought it was one of the company’s more innovative titles. In Create, players are placed in various floating landscapes that can be altered with hundreds of items collected throughout the course of the game.

The developer I spoke with said Create is about two things: solving puzzles and creating worlds. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of puzzles scattered throughout the floating landmasses that act as canvases for creation. The game’s puzzles ask users to capture or transport various objects to designated points while deflecting rockets and other hazards. In this regard, the game feels like a combination of Capcom’s Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure and 5th Cell’s Scribblenauts in that puzzles have multiple ways of being completed, although the actual completion steps are passive (you don’t control the action so much as you create the setup. For example, a player can place a convertible car under some cannon balls, push play, and watch the balls fall into the car as it speeds away). [Read more...]