Last week, one of the big news stories around the toy industry was Nintendo entering a deal with Universal Studios to create rides and other attractions for the latter’s theme parks. As reported on The Toy Book Blog, Nintendo’s most famous video game characters and worlds would serve as the inspiration for these soon-to-be immersive experiences. Imagine the possibilities: Kids, and adults, may soon interact with environments straight out of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, or any of the video game maker’s other hit franchises.
Hasbro and Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) have signed a new agreement under which EA will develop several of Hasbro’s gaming brands for mobile platforms globally. Under the new four-year agreement, EA will continue to develop mobile games for Hasbro’s Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game Of Life, Battleship, Boggle, Clue, Risk, and Yahtzee.
EA’s Pogo.com gaming community will also continue to be a central hub online for digital versions of Hasbro games.
This fall, Hasbro will introduce a new way to play some of its most popular games—LIVE. The first games to go LIVE are Hasbro’s Battleship and Monopoly, which were showcased during American International Toy Fair in New York City last week.
Each LIVE game features Motion Vision Play technology via the game’s electronic tower. The tower contains an infrared camera that scans the game board and pieces in order to keep track of the game play such as rules and score.
In Battleship LIVE, the tower detects all ship, cannon, and hand movements during the game. In Monopoly LIVE, the tower is the centerpiece of the game and identifies players, watches hand movements, tracks bank balances, and introduces unexpected events during the game. Other features of the games include the sound of missiles flying through the air in Battleship LIVE and the opportunity to earn tax breaks for “green” utilities in Monopoly LIVE.
Both games are recommended for ages 8 and up and will retail for approximately $49.99.
The Entertainment & Licensing (E&L) division of Hasbro, Inc. has announced a slate of licensing programs to support its brands, including Transformers, Nerf, Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony, Monopoly, and Playskool.
Hasbro, in association with DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, will debut Transformers 3 on July 1, 2011. The company’s licensees for the Transformers brand include comic books from IDW (U.S.), digital games from Activision (worldwide), and more.
Hasbro is also teaming up with Universal Pictures to bring Stretch Armstrong and Battleship to the big screen in summer 2012. Universal will also produce films based on Hasbro’s Monopoly, Candy Land, and Ouija. Theater release dates have not been announced.
Hasbro recently reached an agreement with The Sports Licensed Division of the adidas Group for a NERF-inspired apparel and footwear line (deal is still subject to the companies negotiating and has yet to be signed into a binding license agreement). Additionally, Electronic Arts has signed on for NERF digital gaming (worldwide), SDI Technologies has inked a deal for NERF electronics (U.S.), and Performance Design Products will create NERF digital gaming hardware accessories (worldwide).
Universal Pictures has announced that Twilight star Taylor Lautner will play the title character in the studio’s upcoming movie based on Hasbro’s popular toy Stretch Armstrong. The Stretch Armstrong movie, which will be in 3-D, is set to be released in 2012.