New Sons of Anarchy Merchandise Includes Toys from Gale Force Nine, Mezco

SonsofAnarchyWhen Sons of Anarchy returns to TV screens today, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will have a multi-category global licensing program in place featuring new branded merchandise, including toys from Gale Force Nine and Mezco Toyz.

Gale Force Nine has already introduced Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem, a board game in which players control rival gangs and compete to be the most successful outlaw club. Mezco Toys will introduce branded action figures, plush, and bobble-heads.

Fuhu Repeats as No. 1 on Inc.’s Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Inc_Magazine_Cover_Sept14Fuhu has repeated as No. 1 on the Inc. 5000, Inc.’s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. Fuhu has seen a 158,957 percent leap in revenues over the past three years, which is the largest growth spurt ever recorded in the Inc. 5000. When Fuhu took top honors last year, its growth rate was 42,148 percent.

The only other back-to-back No. 1 in the Inc. 5000′s history was energy management company Cogentrix, in 1989 and 1990. To make the top 500, a company had to have achieved a three-year growth of 942 percent. [Read more...]

Goliath Games Acquires Pressman Toy

GoliathLogoGoliath Games is acquiring Pressman Toy, a move that supports Goliath’s goal of creating global brands. With the move, Goliath now shares a number of successful game brands with Pressman, including Rummikub and Tri-Ominos. Goliath will look to use elements of its European marketing campaign for Tri-Ominos in North America.

This past May, Goliath also made a strategic investment in Crown & Andrews, an Australian-based manufacturer of toys, puzzles, and games.

University Games Launches Annual National Young Game Inventors Contest

NYGIC_SplashPageUniversity Games has invited young game inventors with original board game ideas to participate in the 22nd annual National Young Game Inventors Contest for a chance to have their game manufactured and included in the University Games lineup next year. Additional prizes include a family vacation to San Francisco, Calif. (includes four nights lodging and airfare for up to two adults and one child), a $10,000 savings bond for college, and a complete library of board games from University Games.

Entries are now being accepted for the contest, which is open to kids ages 5 to 12, and sponsored by Toys “R” Us and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine. Complete rules and entry forms can be found at www.nygic.org.

Since the National Young Game Inventors Contest was launched in 1993, it has encouraged thousands of young children to stretch their imaginations and develop board games such as Munch Math, Rapunzel’s Revenge, Rhyme Time, and more.

Geocache Becomes First-Ever Fan-Voted Scrabble Word

The word “geocache” beat out 15 other nominees in last month’s Scrabble Word Showdown, and as a result, will be included in the fifth edition of Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, scheduled for release this August. This marks the dictionary’s first major update in nearly a decade, and the first time it has ever included a word voted on by fans.

Nominated by fans following a national call-for-entries on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page in March, “geocache” is a verb meaning to seek items by means of a GPS device as part of a game. It faced 15 other popular choices in an online showdown from April 2 to 10, besting such fan favorites as “bitcoin,” “cosplay,” and “ew.”

Geocache will be an eligible word right in time for National Scrabble Day on April 13. It will also be playable in the upcoming National School Scrabble Championship on April 26 to 27 and the National Scrabble Tournament in August.

Hasbro Is Bringing Down the House Rules for Monopoly

Monopoly.HouseRulesFrom March 25 to April 3, fans around the world weighed the pros and cons of their favorite Monopoly house rules on the Monopoly Facebook page. This past Friday, Hasbro announced the top five house rules, which will be featured in future Monopoly games. They are:

  • Free Parking, Fast Cash: All taxes and fees are collected in the middle of the game board, and if a player lands on Free Parking, they collect it.
  • Dash for the Cash: Players who land on Go! get to double their salary—400 Monopoly(M) Dollars instead of 200M Dollars.
  • Frozen Assets Rule: When in jail, a player cannot collect any rent money from other players.
  • See the Sights: Players must travel around the board one complete time before they can begin buying properties.
  • Lucky Roller: If a player rolls Snake Eyes—double ones—they collect 500M Dollars.

Fans will find the top five house rules in the Monopoly: House Rules edition game, available in select markets this fall. The chosen rules will also be included in the Monopoly game guide beginning next year.

Viewers Can Now Play the Hollywood Game Night Party Game

cardinalCardinal Industries has teamed up with NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products to create a card game based on the show, Hollywood Game Night. The product was initially available at Walmart for an exclusive window and at the NBC online store.

The game is composed of five different card games, which mimics the games played on the show. The game also includes dual-purpose coasters, a timer, and dry erase score sheet card with a marker to keep score.

Monopoly Meets The Wizard of Oz in New Collector’s Edition

the_wizard_of_oz_mn_3dbt_webA new version of the classic board game Monopoly salutes the beloved film, The Wizard of Oz. Produced by USAopoly, under license from Hasbro Inc. and in conjunction with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Monopoly: The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition features a game board that unfolds to reveal a spectacular 3-D pop-up center showcasing movie plot points.

There are also new Monopoly rules created just for this game, the houses and hotels from the traditional game have been transformed into custom farmhouses and Emerald Cities, respectively, and classic movie icons such as the Wicked Witch of the West’s hat, the ruby slippers, and Toto replace the familiar Monopoly movers.

COMMENTARY: USAopoly Gives Classic Games a Licensed Twist

You may love Monopoly, but it’s okay to admit that sometimes you get a little tired of playing the same game over and over again. Games become classics because they span generations, and they’re well-designed and challenging. In a way, they can become timeless. But you can only force your grandma to mortgage all of her properties and hand over all her piles of pastel-colored money so many times before enough is enough. Her little thimble token—and your interest and passion for the game—has been defeated.

USAopoly has solved this problem by taking our favorite classic games and slapping a license or five on them, making each edition more appealing and unique to the players. Properties include The Smurfs, The Wizard of Oz, My Little Pony, and many, many more, to appeal to all generations, collectors, and fans. The great thing about these licensed games is that they give your traditional family favorites a big twist—and turn it into a whole new game! So if you’re tiring of the same old games in your closet, these would be some great additions to your next family game night.

drwho_mn_3dbt_webI’m not one who’s all about sci-fi shows and aliens and such, but I have to admit that I find BBC‘s Doctor Who series highly addicting—and The Doctor has quite the cult following that will back me up on that. Now fans can travel through time and space with their favorite Doctor with USAopoly’s Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Monopoly.  Two to six plays ages 8 and up can buy, sell, and trade iconic episodes, spaceships, and landmarks, spanning billions of years across the Doctor Who universe. The Poison Sky, A Good Man Goes to War, The Daleks, and the Arc of Infinity are all able to be purchased by time travelers. [Read more...]

Patch Products Distributes Classic Board Game Stratego

StrategoJumboPatch Products has signed a licensing and distribution agreement with Royal Jumbo, which grants Patch the exclusive right to market and distribute Stratego products in the U.S. and Canada, effective next year. Stratego, a game of battlefield strategy, has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Over the years, it has been released under different themes, looks, and rules, although the goal remains capturing the opponent’s flag.

Patch Products is a family-owned company that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of games, children’s puzzles, preschool toys, creative activities and teaching tools. Royal Jumbo, a 160-year-old company, is a Dutch publisher and manufacturer of games and puzzles.