Discovery Communications, Fuzzy Frog Launch Augmented Reality Game

March19.SpiderAppDiscovery Communications, in partnership with app developer Fuzzy Frog, has created Real Scary Spiders, a game that allows users to interact with a pet spider through an augmented reality experience on an app. Players can collect, nurture, and raise spiders, and will eventually unlock new breeds and learn interesting facts through gameplay.

Users can transport their spiders onto a target image in the real world, such as the cover of a magazine or wall, which uses the app’s augmented reality feature. In addition, players can purchase the Animal Planet Web Blasting Tarantula exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide to activate an additional interconnected experience within the app.

The Animal Planet Real Scary Spiders app is available for free across all iOS and Android digital devices.

Discovery Communications and Wendy’s Introduce Animal Planet Augmented Reality Games to Kids’ Meals

Discovery Communications and Wendy’s partnered to bring an augmented reality game to Wendy’s Kids’ Meals. On October 8, Wendy’s began distributing Animal Planet-themed Kids’ Meal premiums, featuring an augmented reality overlay, with the purchase of a Kids’ Meal.

The premiums feature one of five animals: a dog, cat, parakeet, chameleon, or fish. From a dog catching a disc to a cat purring, each toy will showcase a trait of the specific animal. The augmented reality experience features the same pets received in the Kids’ Meal and allows kids to play games from a desktop, as well as a mobile device through iTunes and Google Play. Fun and educational, each game of virtual play is differentiated among the five pets and incorporates each animal’s natural play patterns.

In addition to these Animal Planet premiums, participating Wendy’s will distribute coupons for a special offer on Animal Planet products, available at Toys “R” Us. Wendy’s will support the Animal Planet Kids’ Meal promotion with extensive in-restaurant marketing in more than 6,000 Wendy’s locations nationwide, which will include signage, branded Kids’ Meal bags, and window clings, as well as a presence on Wendys.com.

The deal was brokered on behalf of Animal Planet by its North American licensing agent, The Joester Loria Group.

Animal Planet Unveils Swimmers, Shaped Balloons that “Swim” Through the Air

Animal Planet announced Swimmers, the first animal-shaped metallic balloons that are controlled by a remote control. The balloons are intended for indoor use and come in both a shark and clown fish design. Spanning more than four feet long, the balloon “swims” as it floats through the air. It can be easily collapsed for storage when not in use. Swimmers, intended for ages 8 and up, retails for $49.99 at Toys “R” Us.

Games & Puzzles: Animal Planet Cahooties

Cahootie, LLC, the maker of a modern-day version of the “cootie-catcher” and “fortune-teller” games, has partnered with Animal Planet to develop Animal Planet Cahooties. The products––made of pre-folded, rip-resistant laminated paper––teach users fun facts about their favorite animals and new species. The packaging includes interchangeable stickers for four animal themes: Dogs Rule!, Cats Rule!, Sea Creatures, and Endangered Creatures.

Check out The Toy Book‘s July/August issue for more games and puzzles!

King Tut and Discovery’s Holiday Product Preview

Discovery invited media and other personnel to its 2010 Holiday Product Preview today at the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York. Being only a figment of the prescribed guest, I was lucky enough to be bestowed an invitation by The Toy Book, a perk of being an editorial intern. The event featured new products set to release just in time for the holidays and a complimentary refreshment bar.

One of the products I liked was the “Wild Eyes” collection based off Discovery’s Animal Planet channel. The collection includes dinosaurs, snakes, and animal plush toys that roar, hiss, and growl, respectively. The snakes, for example, came in four different colors, stood around 1-foot tall, and could be activated by sound, sending them into a frenzy of hissing and glowing eyes. These products will retail for $19.99 at Toys “R” Us, with smaller versions that make noise sans-lit eyeballs selling for approximately $6.

Another product that showed promise was a video game based on Bear Grylls’ Discovery Channel show Man vs. Wild. Players take control of Bear as he treks through the wilderness, with the ability to level up skills similar to a role-playing game. The build I saw was the early-alpha release shown at E3 last week, so the graphics and animation weren’t as polished as the final product hopefully will be, although the frame rate was constant. Dynamic weather effects and the ability to fashion crude weapons and tools out of animal products and the environment should make this game stand apart when it’s released later this year. Developed by Crave Games and F84 Games, Man vs. Wild hits the Wii for around $40 and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for $50. [Read more...]

Discovery Communications to Develop TLC and Animal Planet Baby Lines

Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI), and Big Tent Entertainment (BTE) have announced the brand formation of TLC Baby. According to Discovery, TLC is the top cable destination for mothers aged 18 to 49 with children under 2 years old, airing shows such as A Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby. The newly formed brand extension hopes to capitalize and expand on this existing audience.

The TLC Baby brand will span markets including learning and development, health and safety, bath, feeding, electronics, furniture, room décor, bedding/blankets, layette, and apparel. Big Tent was recently named sole licensing agent of record for all TLC-branded content and currently represents Discovery Kids. [Read more...]