China Toy Fair


K’NEX Kicks Off Its Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway on Facebook

K'NEX.TitanK’NEX has launched a sweepstakes running on the K’NEX Facebook page, open to U.S. fans 13 years of age or older. Fans can log on to the K’NEX Facebook page through July 23 and enter the Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway daily for their chance to win one of ten Titanfall K’NEX Prize Packs. These include one Titanfall IMC Pilot Strike Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Pilot Attack Building Set, one Titanfall IMC Atlas Titan Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Ogre Titan Building Set, and one Titanfall Angel City Escape Building Set.

In addition, one grand prize winner will be awarded a Deluxe K’NEX Titanfall Prize Pack, which includes all the prizes from the basic prize pack, plus one Titanfall Ultimate Angel City Campaign Building Set. Winners will be chosen at random on July 24.

Participants can enter once per calendar day, and fans can earn bonus entries by sharing the promotion with Facebook friends. Official sweepstakes rules are available online.

Tetris Turns 30 with Worldwide Birthday Meet-Up

TetrislogoTetris is turning 30, and to celebrate, the iconic puzzle game brand invites game fans to meet up on June 6, the official anniversary date. Meet up planners can register the time and location for their June 6 event at meetup.com/tetris30, with a Meetup.com account, and invite friends and community to come together and celebrate all-things Tetris.

Fans are encouraged to tweet their photos with the hashtags #Tetris30 and #WeAllFitTogether, to promote their local meet ups on tetris.com, Twitter, and Facebook. Meanwhile, the challenge is on at meetup.com/tetris30 for fans to celebrate the anniversary in their own creative way.

Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life Looks to Breathe New Life into Social Media Gaming

82977A 3DS package_NOA_mOn June 6, Nintendo will release Tomodachi Life on its 3DS system. The game, which is set in an apartment building on an island, lets players create Mii avatars that represent themselves, as well as their closest friends and relatives, and to watch those characters behave and interact with each other.

Players check in on the Tomodachi Life characters on a regular basis, solving problems as they arise, which range from being hungry to sadness, to issues stemming from their love life. While players cannot control the decisions of the Miis, they can influence them.

Whenever the player makes a Mii character happy—for example, through purchasing them a gift from the in-game store—the player’s on-screen happiness level increases. They also receive in-game money that can be used to purchase more items for the Miis, and these items rotate on a daily basis. [Read more...]

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.

Boon Hosts Social Media-Based Contest in Four Cities

Boon [CMYK]Got plans this weekend? This past April 1, it appeared that toddlers had taken over Boon’s social media pages, and while that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, many of the random photos posted by Boon are part of a larger social media game. Indeed, photos found at Boon’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages contain “clues” about specialty retailers in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas.

Details on how to decipher these clues have been posted in videos on Boon’s blog. Through Sunday, any fans in those cities who figure out the clues—and subsequently check-in at the specialty retailer in their city on Foursquare—will receive a discount code for 20 percent off Boon products.

Hexbug Havoc Available on App Store

HexbugHavocInnovation First International, in cooperation with developer Behaviour Interactive, has launched the Hexbug Havoc game on the Apple App Store. The app allows users to choose their own Nano V2 to play each mission on a race track that is filled with horizontal tracks and vertical tubes filled with collectibles, power-ups, obstacles, and enemy Hexbugs.

The game features swipe, tap, and jump controls; battle missions; and a range of different tracks and Nano V2 elements unlockable through game play. The game can also be accessed through Game Center, where players can challenge friends and post their scores to Facebook and Twitter.

Contest Lets Fans Decide on House Rules for Future Monopoly Games

In a recent survey conducted by Hasbro, 68 percent of Americans admit they’ve never read the official Monopoly rules in their entirety, and 49 percent said they have made up their own Monopoly rules! Knowing this, Hasbro is giving Monopoly fans around the world an opportunity to “break the rules” by inviting them to help select the top “house rules” to become a part of future Monopoly games.

Through April 3, the Monopoly Facebook page will host the Great Monopoly House Rules Debate, with Mr. Monopoly himself as moderator. Fans are encouraged to debate the pros and cons of 10 house rules that were selected as a result of crowd-sourcing fans globally on the Facebook page.

As a result of the debate, Hasbro will identify the top house rules, and [Read more...]

TOMY Launches Megabuild Junction For Kids to Show Off Cool Combos

MegabuildJunctionWith Megabuild Junction, TOMY provides a new resource for showcasing layouts, providing building instructions, and inspiring fans to explore ways to combine their Chuggington StackTrack playsets and track pieces.

At Megabuild Junction, users can find helpful suggestions and tricks courtesy of Chuggington’s toy team experts. Through photos and videos, they can also see what TOMY’s designers and other families have created, as well as share photos of their own builds, which will be posted on TOMY’s Facebook page. Users are also invited to join conversations taking place in social media.

Fans to Choose Newest Playable Scrabble Word

MERRIAM-WEBSTER INC. SCRABBLE DICTIONARY APPScrabble and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary are updating the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary for the first time in nine years. On top of the thousands of words that are planned to be added, a new word will be nominated and chosen by fans during the Scrabble Word Showdown. Fans can submit their suggestions to the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page, where 16 words will be chosen for fans to cast their votes.

The final word will be chosen on April 10 and will be included in the 5th edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, available in August and across digital platforms later this year from Electronic Arts.

EDITOR’S VIEWPOINT: Reaching Consumers at Home

photoConsumers want to shop local. They want to support their communities and their neighbors’ businesses. Moms and dads truly want to keep their hard-earned dollars in their hometowns whenever possible. Small Business Saturday has 3.3 million likes on Facebook. At the very least, people like the concept of supporting their local retailers.

“Sure, Jackie, easy for you to say. Show me the business.” Of course there are obstacles. If you’re not seeing the sales levels you’d like, ask yourself why. I believe one of the main reasons has to do with awareness and remaining top of mind with your community. Even if you are doing the mailings, coupon booklets, and Penny Saver ads, that may not be enough. You need to reach moms where they are spending their precious free moments of the day and, for many, that place is online, on social media.

My community has a group for local moms on Facebook (dads are welcome, but remain in the minority). It has more than 5,000 members who live in my town and actively seek advice from the group on everything from parenting to what to do with kids locally to where to eat and shop for various things. I’ve noticed that when the topic turns to toys, the first place group members recommend is Fun Stuff Toys, a local toy retailer in Seaford, N.Y. that caters to the community. If your community has a group like this, I urge you to join—not to constantly promote your shop (no one will appreciate that), but to be an active member of your community and a trusted source of information when the conversation naturally (and no doubt frequently) turns to “What toy should I buy for a child’s birthday party?” and “What should I do with my kids this Saturday?” You will remain top of mind for busy parents who may just need that frequent reminder that you are the best source for toys in your community. Once you have their support and awareness, loyalty to your store and all that you offer should come easy.

This column was published in the February issue of The Toy Book. Check back regularly for more toy industry commentary from Jackie. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!