China Toy Fair


Skylanders Trap Team Will Be Unleashed on Tablets

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoActivision Publishing Inc. will bring the complete Skylanders Trap Team video game to tablets at launch, marking the first time a full Skylanders game will be available on iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets day-and-date with the console version. The tablet version of the game delivers the same experience with console-quality graphics and comes with its own high-performance controller.

The Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack will include a Bluetooth Traptanium Portal, an embedded Bluetooth controller, a built-in tablet stand, two Skylanders characters, two Traps, and a display tray that lets Portal Masters keep track of the Traps they’ve collected and which villains they have trapped. [Read more...]

Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition to Premiere at Comic-Con International

Skylanders

Skylanders Trap Team at Licensing Expo 2014

Activision Publishing Inc. is bringing the Skylanders video game franchise to Comic-Con International: San Diego, and attendees will be the first to check out the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack toys. The pack includes the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a special, larger-sized trap, which allows Portal Masters to trap and play as Kaos when the game launches in North America on October 5.

In addition, the pack will include two Traps; exclusive black and silver variant designs of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire, and Food Fight; a two-sided poster; sticker sheets; and trading cards. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack will be available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Comic Con International: San Diego kicks off thus Thursday, but North American fans can pre-order the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack beginning today at major retailers while supplies last.

Skylanders Fans Can Pre-Order a Trap Master Toy for Skylanders Trap Team

SkylandersTTGearshiftSkylanders Trap Team is bringing a new female character, Gearshift, to Portal Masters via a special pre-order program starting today. Gearshift is the latest character to be unveiled in the Skylanders Trap Team lineup and will be offered to Skylanders fans for pre-order at all major North American retailers while supplies last. Fans will be able to get their hands on the Tech element character months in advance of her official arrival at retail next year. A limited supply of Gearshift will be available for the October 5 launch of Skylanders Trap Team in North America.

COMMENTARY: Indie Video Games Are More Than Just Minecraft

Video games come in all shapes and sizes, and blockbuster series such as Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty and Rockstar GamesGrand Theft Auto can be fun in their own elaborate ways. But on the flip side is independent, or “indie” video games, in which each title is often the brainchild of one or a few talented persons at most. While these games don’t always provide a high degree of spectacle, all feature interesting ideas or idiosyncratic touches, making them unique and unlike much of what’s available in the mainstream.

Phil.Jan2.MinecraftThis past weekend, I got to immerse myself in indie video games, courtesy of the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, N.Y. Together with IndieCade, an international festival that promotes video games as a vehicle for artistic expression, the museum is hosting an exhibition, Indie Essentials: 25 Must-Play Video Games, that shows off a variety of games that have been developed outside the major publishers. Among those displayed was Mojang’s Minecraft, which began life as a Swedish programmer’s side project, but has since grown into a cultural and commercial juggernaut.

(I could wax poetic all day about Minecraft, which allows users to build and share amazing homemade structures in a geometric sandbox world. But better yet, check out our recent Minecraft commentary, written by our outstanding editorial assistant Kara Faulk, for a more in-depth look at the hit game.)

The Minecraft installation drew its share of spectators, but there were plenty of other cool games on-hand for visitors to both play and experience. Many have been available on home consoles through the PlayStation Network and other download services. Here’s some of my favorites from the exhibition, but please note, this is in no way a comprehensive list, and anyone curious about the full roster of IndieCade games should check out Museum of the Moving Image’s event web site. [Read more...]

New Wii U Bundle Features Skylanders Swap Force, Nintendo Land

SkylandersBundle

A new Wii U bundle featuring Activision Publishing Inc.’s Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack will launch November 15. The bundle includes everything needed to start the new adventure, including a white Wii U Basic system; Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack, which includes Skyalnders Swap Force Wii U software, Portal of Power, three Skylanders figures, two Swap Force characters, a collector poster, trading cards, and sticker sheets;  and a Nintendo Land game disc.

Angry Birds Star Wars Comes to Home, Handheld Gaming Systems

angrybirdsRovio Entertainment Ltd. and Lucasfilm Ltd., in association with Activision Publishing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard Inc., have launched Angry Birds Star Wars for home and handheld video game systems. Angry Birds Star Wars brings the struggle between the Rebel Birds and Imperial Pigs to new audiences on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Wii and Wii U systems, and the Nintendo 3DSAngry Birds Star Wars will also launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Twenty newly created levels join the more than 200 stages already available from the original mobile release of Angry Birds Star Wars. This latest version brings cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes, letting players team up or square off. Moreover, this expansive edition exploits the unique capabilities of each game system to deliver a distinctive experience tailored specifically to each platform, including sharp and colorful, high-definition visuals, achievements and trophies, leaderboards, voice command support through Kinect for Xbox 360, and touch-screen controls on Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita.

The next-generation versions of Angry Birds Star Wars maintain these core features while introducing new play and interface elements exclusive to each system. The PlayStation 4 system’s adaptation makes full use of the DualShock 4 controller’s touchpad to offer precision, touch-screen handling, and full support for PlayStation Move in both single-player and local multiplayer modes. Players can also easily record and share their accomplishments with the world with the PlayStation 4 system’s automatic screenshot and video capture options. [Read more...]

Mega Bloks, Activision Introduce New Call of Duty Collector Construction Sets

MegaBloks.CallofDutyMega Brands Inc. and Activision Publishing Inc. have introduced a new premium line of Mega Bloks Collector Construction Sets, based on the Call of Duty franchise. The new line brings a level of sophistication and detail never before seen in the highly collectible construction category.

Call of Duty Collector Construction Sets are part of a multi-year, global license with Activision that expands upon the two companies’ development of innovative, creative, and entertaining construction collectibles. The sets offer a range that includes buildable vehicles, themed locations, and collectible micro action figures. The action figures feature a level of articulation that includes unique joint design and poseability.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Video Game to Launch Next Spring

Oct14.SpiderManActivision Publishing Inc. and Marvel Entertainment LLC have revealed that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game is planned to launch next spring, alongside the Sony Pictures Entertainment feature film of the same name. Developed by Beenox, the action-adventure video game builds on the story of the previous video game, while taking on events of the upcoming movie. Players will also be given a free-roaming experience through an expanded and virtual New York City.

In The Amazing Spider-Man 2 players will assume the role of Spider-Man, but will choose to be a hero or a menace. Super Hero behavior is rewarded in the game and consequential when crime is not taken care of. The narrative will even give Peter Parker a greater role in the spotlight as he investigates the Marvel menaces threatening Manhattan.

The game will be available on Playstation4Playstation3Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS.

Skylanders Debuts New Boomcast Webisodes on YouTube

Skylanders.Swap.ForceSkylanders Boomcast, a weekly series of online webisodes for the Skylanders line of toys, debuted on October 4 on the Skylanders YouTube channel.

Actor Zachary Gordon hosts, bringing 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 kicked-off Swaptober, a month of activities celebrating the new Skylanders SWAP Force, which arrives on October 13 in North America, October 16 in Australia, and October 18 in Europe.

Swaptober Kicks into Gear in Anticipation of Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders-SWAP-Force_NightIn anticipation of the Skylanders Swap Force launch, Activision Publishing Inc. is using the month of October, or “Swaptober” to get gamers ready for the game’s launch on October 13. Lucky Portal Masters will have chances to win copies of the Skylanders Swap Force game, explore the world of Skylanders in Times Square, and more during the month-long activities.

To kick off Swaptober, Activision will be giving away one Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack per day beginning October 1 and going to October 31 via the official Skylanders Twitter channel (@SkylandersGame). For a chance to win, portal masters can visit Skylanders.com to mix and match their favorite character combination and then tweet it along with a suggested catch phrase using hashtags #SWAPtober and #Skylanders.

There are even more ways to celebrate on  October 10, when Skylanders partners with Toys “R” Us to bring Skylanders to life with “Swaptoberfest”—a celebration in Times Square where fans will have the chance to be among the very first to play the game before it’s available at retail. This Times Square takeover will feature Skylanders Swap Force-themed activities, photos with Skylanders costumed characters, and chances to win Starter Packs and Skylanders-themed merchandise from companies, including Mega Brands, Rubie’s Costume Co., Hybrid Apparel, and Power A. [Read more...]