Skylanders Unveils Easter Toys, Partners with Crayola on Color Alive! Starter Pack

Skylanders Trap Team is showing the Easter spirit with three limited edition toys: Eggsellent Weeruptor, Power Punch Jet-Vac, and a Bunny Earth Trap. Weeruptor and Jet-Vac are Minis characters made specifically for Easter, featuring pastel colors and an egg-shaped package. The Bunny Earth Trap, meanwhile, has a bunny-themed design.

[Read more...]

COMMENTARY: The Toy Industry Celebrates Valentine’s Day

SkylandersPopFizzOh, Valentine’s Day—the holiday people love, and the holiday people love to hate. Whichever way you see it, Valentine’s Day is at least a good enough excuse to eat a lot of chocolate, binge-watch romcoms, snuggle up with your favorite plush, and play with Valentine’s Day-themed toys. [Read more...]

Activision Introduces Valentine’s Day, Easter Toys for Skylanders Trap Team

Feb9.LovePotionActivision Publishing is bringing several special editions to the Skylanders Trap Team roster, including a new holiday-themed characters and springtime toys. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Love Potion Pop Fizz, a wild-and-crazy potion-brewing hero from Skylands, is now available and features a limited edition design both in-game and on the toy.  [Read more...]

Activision Leads with Three Top-Selling Video Game Titles

Activision Publishing Inc. has delivered the top two selling console retail releases of the year the U.S., as well as the No. 1 kids video game franchise of 2014, based on retail sell-through, according to the NPD Group.

In only its first month of release, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is already the top-selling console game of the year through November in the U.S. overall, as well as individually on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3. Call of Duty games continue to lead November console game sales for 6th consecutive year. [Read more...]

Macy’s BalloonFest Shows Off Giant Inflated Versions of Popular Toys

BalloonLineupOn Saturday, kids product luminaries such as Eruptor from Activision’s Skylanders, Mattel’s Thomas the Tank Engine, the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, and Pokemon International’s Pikachu crossed paths—though not literally—at Macy’s BalloonFest in Queens, N.Y. The event, which took place at Citi Field, featured a test flight of the newest giant character balloons that will premiere at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

A total of six new character balloons took flight for the first time, directed by Macy’s flight management team and handled by hundreds of volunteers. The newest balloons include Thomas the Tank Engine, the largest and heaviest balloon ever to be featured in the parade; the Weinstein Company’s Paddington, which at 77.5 feet is the longest balloon to date; and Eruptor, which features a paint job requiring more than 40 gallons of fluorescent paint and five barrels of glitter.

Skylanders’ Eruptor Will Take Flight Over NYC in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Activision‘s Skylanders franchise, best-known for bringing physical toys to life, will take flight in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time. Fan-favorite Skylanders character Eruptor will join the collection of balloons at the parade. Eruptor hails from deep in the underground of a floating volcanic island that laughed his entire civilization to the surface after a massive eruption. He is known for being quite the hot head—steaming, fuming, and (literally) erupting over almost anything.

Eruptor

the final sketch of the Eruptor balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

To re-create Eruptor’s smoldering physique, artists used more than 40 gallons of florescent paint and five barrels of glitter. You and your little Skylanders fan can catch the broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in all time zones on NBC. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: As Play Gets Smarter, More Toys Come to Life Digitally

It’s official: Smart toys are taking over the toy space.

Gone are the days in which kids are content with traditional methods of play. Books, activities, and games are all available for kids on mobile devices, and they expect their toys to be no different. But although the mediums that kids are interacting with daily are changing, the one thing that won’t ever change is that kids love play.

Angry Birds Stella Telepods

Angry Birds Stella Telepods

Smart toys integrate physical toys and technology—essentially giving digital life to toys. Manufacturers are starting to realize the added value in these products and how wildly popular they can be. More than 72 million kids say they want smart toys, according to market research firm Interpret in a GameByte study.

In addition, kids are using mobile devices more than ever before. Seventy-one percent of households with a child age 4 to 14 reported owning a smartphone in 2014, already up from 55 percent in 2012, according to The NPD Group. Also, kids who own tablets doubled from 2012 to 2014, growing from 21 percent to 43 percent, respectively. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Nintendo Is Game for Playing in the Toy World

amiibo.largerversionSince the 1980s, Nintendo has always seemed to be the “family-friendly” choice in video games. With wholesome characters such as Mario and Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Toad, and bad guys that make you laugh more often than they scare you (except for Bowser in the original Super Mario Bros. game on NES—he was straight up scary), Nintendo has always given off a welcoming, family-friendly vibe, with games available for kids of all ages, and systems and controllers that are intuitive rather than intimidating.

Despite knowing this—and being a Nintendo fan my whole life—it still caught me a bit off-guard when Nintendo announced that it would be launching amiibo, which are action-figures designed to connect and interact with compatible games. “By holding the amiibo over your Wii U GamePad, you’ll open up new experiences within each corresponding game,” reads the Nintendo website. [Read more...]

Penguin UK Reaching for the Skylands with First Licensed Magazine

SkylandersLogoPenguin UK is taking its first steps into licensed magazine publishing after acquiring the world representation rights to a new Skylanders Universe magazine, based on the Skylanders video games.

Penguin, which also owns the rights to the Skylanders Universe books, acquired the rights from brand owners Activision. It has appointed Immediate Media to produce the content and distribute the magazine in the UK.

The stories in the magazine will be based on characters from the Skylanders games—Skylanders Spyro’s Adventures, Skylanders Giants, and Skylanders Swap Force.

Activision to Bring Eon’s Elite Toy Line to Skylanders This Fall

STT_PremiumEdition_PackshotActivision Publishing will bring Eon’s Elite, a new set of premium toys, to Skylanders fans worldwide this fall. The limited edition Eon’s Elite will introduce eight repowered collectible versions of fan-favorite Skylanders characters that started it all, beginning with Spyro and Chop Chop.

These heroes hail from the original Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and feature a never-before-seen decoration with a distinct, metallic finish and golden base. Each of the special edition toys will be offered in premium foil packaging and features a display case with a 3-D lenticular background. Also, Eon’s Elite characters will be up to three times as powerful over other characters, which represents the biggest in-game boosts ever incorporated into a Skylanders toy to date.

Eon’s Elite characters will be available in limited quantities at GameStop and EB Games in North America, Australia, and New Zealand, and select retailers in Europe this fall while supplies last.