China Toy Fair


VTech’s InnoTab 3S Plus and InnoTab 3 Plus Now Available

InnoTab 3-3S Plus Availability Release FINAL[2]VTech’s newest children’s learning tablets—the InnoTab 3S Plus and the InnoTab 3 Plus—are now available. Each 5-inch tablet features a rechargeable battery power pack, as well as access to more than 800 learning cartridges, software, and apps that can be purchased and downloaded through VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

InnoTab 3S Plus features Wi-Fi and comes with 16 apps, including free access to an enhanced second generation of Premium VTech Kid Connect, a tablet-to-mobile communication app that lets kids communicate in real time and exchange voice and text messages, photos, drawings, and stickers with their parents’ smartphones. Meanwhile, InnoTab 3 Plus comes with 12 apps, and is priced to be a first learning tablet for price-conscious parents. [Read more...]

With DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, Berk Goes Where You Go!

PowerPoint PresentationWe’ve all taken rides in cars, but honestly, haven’t we all found ourselves wishing we could be soaring on the wings of dragons instead?

That’s now a possibility, thanks to DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer, a new mobile game from Microsoft and DreamWorks Animation, and inspired by the animated film, How to Train Your Dragon 2. It uses Here Maps to pull in GPS info, turning the real world into the user’s very own fictional Isle of Berk.

During a recent demo, we took the game on a tour of midtown Manhattan. In Train mode, many of the city’s mighty edifices appeared in the game as huge stones, landmarks such as Grand Central Station became a wagon repair shop, and Chelsea Market was besieged by Vikings (They correspond to check-ins for the popular app Foursquare). Meanwhile, players engage in missions as part of their dragon training, such as picking up and dropping off sheep at home base–the device, represented in the game map by a cart. [Read more...]

VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch Includes Built-In Camera and More

VTech Smartwatch Release FINAL[4]Today, VTech launched its first ever camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch. The world’s first smartwatch for kids, its features include a built-in camera, video, and photo effects. The Kidizoom Smartwatch also has a 1.4-inch color touch screen, more than 50 digital and analog clock displays that help kids learn to tell time, a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, voice recorder with funny voice changing effects, and parental game controls.

Since it is made for kids, the Kidizoom Smartwatch features a durable design to withstand drops and bumps, and is splash and sweat proof. In addition, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is PC and Mac compatible for uploading photos, videos, and recorded voice files, and offers access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch is recommended for kids ages 4 and up, and is available now at www.vtechkids.com, amazon.com, target.com, toysrus.com, and walmart.com.

Watch Dogs from Ubisoft Breaks Industry Sales Record with Launch

WatchDogsscreenshotThe release of Watch Dogs has been the most successful title launch for Ubisoft to date. The video game has sold more than 4 million copies in its first week, and has positioned itself as the best-selling new IP launch across the video game industry. Watch Dogs has already broken sales records for a title in the first 24 hours following its release.

The launch of Watch Dogs on consoles and PC was accompanied by the release of a free companion app, ctOS Mobile, which allows gamers to connect with the Watch Dogs universe from anywhere, and is designed to enable dual-screen game play or a standalone experience without the main game. The app has already been downloaded and played by more than one million people.

Watch Dogs is set in Chicago, where players become Aiden Pearce, a hacker seeking justice following a violent family tragedy. Pearce will hack into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls infrastructure and data about the city’s residents. The video game will also be released on the Wii U this fall.

Jakks Teams Up with Skechers for New miWorld, Cabbage Patch Kids Toys

JakksJakks Pacific Inc. has entered a long-term licensing agreement with Skechers USA Inc. to manufacture, distribute, and market a line of toys and products inspired by the Skechers and Twinkle Toes brands. The agreement encompasses multiple product categories, including collectibles, dress-up, and role play.

Jakks will launch a miWorld Skechers play set, allowing kids to build and design their very own Skechers mini replica store, and to play in ways that are authentic to the lifestyle footwear brand. The play set will be compatible with the miWorld Mall DreamPlay app, which brings the miWorld play sets to life on smartphone and tablet devices. [Read more...]

The Jim Henson Company Launches New Doozer Creek App

DoozersThe Jim Henson Company has launched a new app, Doozer Creek, based on the new animated preschool series from The Jim Henson Company and DHX Media. The release coincides with the show’s premiere on Hulu Kids this past April.

Available now from the App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, Doozer Creek is designed for children 5 and under, but lets fans of all ages make their own Doozer Creek environment. The app includes seven play pieces free to try with additional playsets available for purchase. Each play set comes with a primary character, as well as a variety of buildings, vehicles, and objects.

Players can place characters, vehicles, buildings, and other elements from Doozer Creek onto a blank play mat where they are brought to life.

PBS Kids Debuts Web-Original Plum Landing and App

PlumLandingRight in time for Earth Day, PBS Kids has launched a new, web-original property, Plum Landing, a digital adventure designed to engage kids ages 6 to 9 in environmental science. Plum Landing crosses multiple platforms including animated and live-action video, hands-on activities, web games, and an interactive mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Plum Landing follows the adventures of Plum, a video game designer from the desolate Planet Blorb, who longs to experience nature. To realize this goal, Plum commandeers a space ship, zooms down to earth, befriends five eager kids, and launches them on such missions as, “find a lake in the desert!” and “search for a cow that lives under water!” [Read more...]

Puppy Parlour Is a Dog-Gone-Digital Mobile App

PuppyParlourAhead of the release of PS Vita Pets for the PlayStation Vita, a new mobile app, Puppy Parlour, lets players run their own puppy-pampering parlor. Each day brings a new dog, and players will be tasked with meeting their specific needs through a range of activities such as taking them for a walk, showering and feeding them, and playing games.

The games include Dream Chase, which is a race to collect golden bones, and Snack Balance, in which players tilt their device to keep the dog steady as it balances a tasty treat on its nose. Completing these games and looking after the dogs earns points that can be used to upgrade the parlor, as well as unlock new items and clothes.

Players can also unlock exclusive costumes that can be transferred over to PS Vita Pets when the full game arrives in June.

Child’s Play Communications Creates CPC Tech

Child’s Play Communications has launched CPC Tech, a new division devoted exclusively to creating awareness of and demand for family-friendly technology products. CPC Tech will be responsible for promoting products ranging from apps to tablets to technology-driven toys.

Recent clients have included multiple Peppa Pig apps, and littleBits, a system of electronic modules that snap together with magnets to create circuits. “We’ve been handling so many child- and parent-focused tech products recently, we’ve decided to launch a group entirely devoted to that category,” said company president Stephanie Azzarone.

Uglydolls to the Rescue in New Graphic Novel

Apr2.UglyDollVIZ Media LLC has debuted, Uglydoll: My Hero?, its latest original graphic novel from the Perfect Square imprint. It features 10 full-color stories by veteran Uglydoll writers and artists.

Aimed at all ages, Uglydoll: My Hero? is available in print and digital versions. The digital version is available in the U.S. and Canada through the Perfect Square App, as well as for Nook, Kindle Fire, and Kobo eReaders. It can also be found in the iBooks and Google Play stores.