China Toy Fair


Status Media Heroically Debuts Hero Holder

Status Media has unveiled the Hero Holder, a mobile device holder featuring popular superheroes. The first Hero Holder will be a limited edition Marvel Spider-Man, available now for pre-sale in advance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which will be in theaters May 2. There will also be a super-limited, 1-in-100 variant of Spider-Man in his black costume, which can be found exclusively at ToyWiz.

The Hero Holder comes with two sets of bendable arms that can hold any size mobile device or tablet—vertically or horizontally—including iPhones, Android mobile phones, full sized or mini-iPads, Kindles, or any tablets made for kids or adults. Chargers can easily plug into devices when in the Hero Holder, which will be produced with Wicked Cool Toys. Current licensors offering creative support for the product include Marvel, DC, and WWE.

Power Rangers’ New Toy Line-Up from Bandai Revealed, Costume Licenses Renewed

Feb20.PowerRangersSuperMegaforceCoinciding with the February 15 launch of Saban BrandsPower Rangers Super Megaforce on Nickelodeon, Bandai unveiled the full toy line for the season at American International Toy Fair earlier this week. It includes show-accurate role play toys, action figures, and large-scale buildable robots.

Central to the new line are collectible Legendary Ranger Keys, which unlock the powers of all previous Power Rangers. A quick flip function morphs the figures into unique keys that can be inserted into multiple Super Megaforce toys to unlock special features and powers. There are over 60 different Ranger Keys to collect.

By using the Power Rangers Scanner app—available on both iOS and Android systems—on any smart phone or tablet, kids can scan any Ranger Key, morph themselves into that Power Ranger, and battle villains on-screen.

In other Power Rangers news, Saban Brands has renewed licenses with Disguise Inc., Rubie’s Costume Company, and Morphsuits, so each partner will continue producing character-inspired costumes through 2017.

There will also be a tournament, Morphin Madness, running from March 10 to April 7, in which fans can vote for their Power Rangers dream team. The bracket-style voting system rewards participants with coupons for Super Megaforce toys and a chance to win a 24K gold plated Deluxe Legendary Morpher and Legendary Ranger Key set of the fan-selected top five Rangers. Fans can vote at www.morphinmadness.com.

Crayola Launches My Virtual Fashion Show

CRAYOLA FASHION SHOW GAMECrayola has launched My Virtual Fashion Show, a product that lets kids design their own fashions and bring them to life on a virtual runway. Kids can create their designs in their Crayola sketchbook, which transforms into a virtual fashion show on their device, bridging the offline and online playing experience.

The product contains a fashion portfolio, 20-page fashion sketchbook, 12 short colored pencils, and the My Virtual Fashion Show app, compatible with iOS and Android devices. It is available in stores and online at select retailers nationwide.

Moshi Monsters Village Launches on Mobile and Tablet

MoshiMonstersVillageThe world of Moshi Monsters is now available globally on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Moshi Monsters Village, developed by Mind Candy in collaboration with Tag Games, lets players embark on fun-filled 3-D quests to rescue captured Moshlings and defeat naughty Glumps in mini-games. The game also features Facebook social connectivity and friend code shares, so players can interact with their friends Moshi Monsters villages and see how they compare.

Moshi Monsters Village can be downloaded for free at the App Store, although some game items can be purchased for real money. Parents or players who do not want to use this feature are able to disable in-app purchases in their device’s settings. Google Play, Android, and Kindle versions of the game will be available this month.

LeapFrog Tops Children’s Tablets Sales, Unveils Learning Video Series

Jan27.LeapFrogThe LeapPad line of learning tablets from LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. was the top-selling children’s tablet brand in 2013, according to year-end sales data from The NPD Group. LeapFrog’s LeapPad family of tablets—including the LeapPad2, LeapPad2 Power, and the 7-inch touchscreen tablet LeapPad Ultra—outsold competitors’ learning tablets and Android-based kids’ tablets.

LeapFrog has also partnered with Lionsgate Home Entertainment to release the first in a series of full-length learning videos featuring the next generation of popular frog characters made famous in the original Letter Factory DVD collection. LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: The Letter Machine Rescue Team includes problem solving and reading exercises, new songs, sing-a-long videos, and curriculum commentary for parents.

The video will be available for download from the LeapFrog App Center, on DVD, and digital HD beginning March 4.

COMMENTARY: Minecraft Brings A Whole New World

CARSONI admittedly didn’t know very much about the Minecraft toy and game selection until Halloween, when my uncle sent a photo of the costume that he had made for his son; who am I kidding—I knew nothing until then! My cousin Carson is a 5 year-old obsessed with the stuff! At the time, all I knew was that Carson could make anything look adorable, and that he had clearly moved on from trains and into this world where players can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3-D generated world. I can’t even begin to understand all of the insider ins-and-outs of Minecraft, and it seems as though the name represents an entity of games and licensed products. I do, though, like to get as involved as I can with Carson, as I am much more aware of the favorites of his sister, Kennedy, since they were the same as mine: all things pink. Man, girls are simple! In time for the holidays, I took the game home to see what this Minecraft business is all about, so I can get those ever-elusive little kid “brownie points” while I’m home for Christmas. [Read more...]

Zact Introduces Smartphone for Kids Featuring Disney Mobile Entertainment

ZactDisney.smartphoneZact Mobile brings kid-friendly smartphone service with preloaded Disney apps and content to families across the U.S. The Zact Mobile service will come preloaded with the hit Disney apps, Toy Story: Smash It!, and, Disney Infinity: Action! It will also feature access to family-friendly content such as Disney Video, Disney Music, and Disney’s Spanish-language destination, Disney ¡Ajá!

Zact also lets parents manage their kid’s smartphone use, and helps parents remotely control when their child uses the phone, which apps they can use, and who they can contact. Parents can either use a Zact-enabled phone to control their kids phone or they can download a free app, Zact Control, from iTunes or Google Play.

The Disney-themed Zact phone is available on the ZTE Awe, an Android 4.1 device with a 4-inch display and 5.0 megapixel camera. A free 4-month child starter plan is included with purchase.

Uglydoll Launches Android Plush in Google Store

Uglydoll.AndroidPretty Ugly, LLC and the creators of the popular Uglydoll brand have launched unique Android plush toys, which are available in the Google Store. The Uglydoll team’s collectible plush creations, Android Ox and Android Babo, can be found at the Google Store under the Fun and Android brand shop tabs. The toys are available in 11-inch plush and a 4-inch backpack clip accessory.

Zui Launches New Mobile App KidZui

KidZuiSaban Brands has announced the launch of Zui‘s new mobile app for its kid-safe internet browser, KidZui. Operated by Zui, KidZui is a downloadable browser that provides access to a kid-safe Internet experience to more than 6 million websites, online videos, pictures, and games. Designed to make the Internet both fun and safe for kids, the KidZui mobile app provides the entertainment and security that parents and kids have come to love from KidZui, on the go. The free-to-download KidZui app is now available for iOS download on Apple’s App Store and will soon be available for Android as well.

In addition to the new app, KidZui has launched a new software upgrade and refresh to the desktop version. The KidZui browser has several new features and functions making the program quicker and easier to use. It has been updated with a simplified design along with improved functionality to enhance user experience when used on Apple’s iPad.

Updates to KidZui include:

  • Favorites: Easy to use favorite or bookmark feature, allowing kids to save sites and articles for future reference.
  • Games: Mobile version will include HTML5 games for fun and safe game play.
  • Images and Video: Image and video quality has been improved.
  • Content Library: The library has been updated to included new fresh material for kids to enjoy.

With Singtrix, Singers of All Levels Sound Even Better

SingtrixSingtrix, a new music party experience, utilizes advanced, natural-sounding vocal effects to make singers of all skill levels sound even better. The Singtrix bundle includes the Singtrix Studio vocal effects unit, custom microphone, professional mic stand, and 2.1 stereo speaker system.

The Singtrix Studio unit offers more than 300 retro and modern vocal effects presets covering every generation and genre of music, including everyone’s favorite singing anthems. In addition to dozens of professional effects like reverb, flanger, delay, doubling, hard tune, and more, the Singtrix Live Harmony effects provide up to four additional harmony voices, and can be used to make the chorus or bridge of a favorite songs sound larger than life. There is also a “Hit” effect button on the microphone, which conveniently controls this and other effects.

Users can plug in a smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, or computer and choose songs from their own music libraries or stream karaoke videos from sites like YouTube. There is also a Singtrix-branded app powered by Karaoke Anywhere for Apple iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire tablets, which includes a library of more than 13,000 songs with lyrics, and is available for a monthly subscription fee.

The Singtrix Party Bundle is available online exclusively at www.singtrix.com.