Techno Source has officially changed its name to Toy Island as part of a company initiative to better position itself within the toy industry and communicate its expanded offerings to customers. While initially a developer of electronic games, the company will now also focus on the development and manufacture of high-quality, innovative toys meant for kids of all ages.
Care Bears Belly Match, a free-to-play match-three game from Ubisoft in partnership with American Greetings Entertainment, is now available for Apple and Android devices.
Players are able to test themselves against boss battles featuring the mischievous Beastly and time challenges. They journey through the land of Care-a-Lot and match as many belly-badges as possible before their time runs out, making Care-a-Lot a happy place again. Care Bears Belly Match can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
A version of this commentary first appeared in the July/August issue of The Toy Book.
Game nights are a terrific way to unwind, and the one hosted by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) during its Marketplace & Academy in Charlotte, N.C., this past June was no exception.
Jakks Pacific Secures Licensing Agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Jakks Pacific Inc. has announced a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to manufacture, distribute, and market a line of toys and products based on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and RatPac Dune Entertainment’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, scheduled to hit theaters on March 25. The agreement, which covers the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film, also includes a domestic and international renewal for the full DC Comics franchise.
The multi-category license includes large-scale action figures and vehicles, accessories, games, wagons, and more. Jakks plans to launch its Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice product line next spring to coincide with the film’s worldwide theatrical release. New DC Comics product lines will also be available at retailers this fall.
Spin Master Ltd. has entered into an agreement to purchase Cardinal Industries Inc., one of the oldest privately held toy companies in the U.S. The acquisition will enable Spin Master to expand its selection of games, puzzles, and licensed products. Cardinal will continue to operate as an independent entity, while benefiting from Spin Master’s global scale and infrastructure.
According to retail sales data from The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $18.08 billion last year compared to $17.46 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent.
Retail sales over the 2014 holiday shopping season got off to a bumpy start, with the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday experiencing mixed results of -2 percent and 1 percent (compared to the same time periods in 2013). However, with one extra shopping day the week of Christmas compared to last year, Christmas week grew 27 percent, lifting December growth to 6 percent. Meanwhile, fourth quarter sales were up 3 percent for the 13 weeks starting October 5 through the week ending January 3. [Read more...]
Patch Products is bringing France’s popular Chrono Bomb game to the U.S. The game is a secret spy mission, where kids use included clamps and a string to create a pretend laser field to crawl through. Kids must make it to the end of the maze to defuse the bomb, which will tick down faster if the string is bumped.
The game encourages kids to get up and move around. Different courses can be played, or kids can race each other against the clock to see who can diffuse the bomb the quickest. Kids can also use a smartphone to download a free companion app, where they can scan special cards to receive extra secret missions.
The company will adapt its existing titles to feature Disney properties, enhancing ways that children can interact with favorite Disney characters.
The line will feature educational content from existing games Spot it! and Tell Tale. It will highlight popular Disney characters and movies such as Frozen, Disney Planes, and Disney television shows Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
I think any kid would back me up when I make the claim that the best part about summer vacation is having no school. As a youngster, the summer meant the beach, sports, barbeques, and playing outside all day, which made it my favorite time of year. However, summer can also mean reading, keeping up with topics, and building on concepts that were learned months before. That list isn’t always a kid’s favorite cup of tea, but something that they all love is toys and games.
The door in the educational category for toys is now wide open, especially with schools under extra pressure because of Common Core standards. There are quite a few games to keep kids’ noggins churning while having fun, which is one of the best ways to keep them engaged and interested while school is out. Some examples of such are these new games from Funnybone Toys:
Cubu plays on visual illusions to confuse players as they try to follow number and color sequences. This game forces players to use both sides of their brain at the same time, which stimulates the mind in a way that you wouldn’t expect. The challenge lies in keeping up with the number, color, and position of boxes on the cards, while the key hurdle is identifying the pattern and seeing what cards you have in your hand to make your next move. The game lasts until someone reaches 100 points and is declared the winner. The instructions also offer a speed round of Cubu and alternate ways to play the game. [Read more...]