Top Toy Trends This Holiday Season, According to Target

This holiday season there will be nearly 7,000 toys featured in Target stores and on Target.com. Stephanie Lucy, vice president of merchandising at Target, shares what she thinks will be the five key toy trends this season and the hot toys that match them.

Interactivity

“One of the key items we selected is Fijit Friends. You look at Fijit and the ability to put it in dance mode, and the voice-recognition and built-in responses. Also, Let’s Rock Elmo is interactive for a much younger child, but we believe interactivity is important.”

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Games & Puzzles: New Dungeons & Dragons

Wizards of the Coast is releasing a new Dungeons & Dragons board game: Conquest of Nerath. Designed for strategy gamers who want to immerse themselves in the world of D&D, Conquest of Nerath has players gather armies of footsoldiers, and siege engines, monsters, and dragons in an effort to protect the fate of the fragile League of Nerath against the undead.

The Conquest of Nerath board game includes a rulebook, a game board, dice, 110 cards, and 252 plastic playing pieces representing champions and the armies of Nerath, Karkoth, the Iron Circle, and Vailin.

For more games & puzzles, read The Toy Book‘s July/August issue. Click here to read!

Games & Puzzles: Wild Republic’s Nature-Themed Games

Wild Republic is launching new children’s nature-themed games that put a “natural twist” on the classics. Games include the Chess Board Game, which uses animal pieces; a double-sided board game called Dino Ludo & Ladders; the new Flippin Frogs and Butterflies games; and Wild Card Games, featuring original artwork of different animals.

For more games & puzzles, read The Toy Book‘s July/August issue. Click here to read!

Games & Puzzles: Double Duel Sound-Alike Word Game

It’s a color. The wind did this. What’s the answer? Blue/Blew!

Learning Resources‘ new high-speed challenge, Double Duel Sound-Alike Word Game, helps build vocabulary connections. When players know the answer, they try to be the first to hit their buzzer. Each buzzer makes a different fun sound: honk honk, boxing bell, doorbell, and boing. Color-coded question cards provide two levels of play.

The game, for three or more players, ages 7 and up, includes 200 double-sided, self-checking clue cards; an activity guide; and four buzzers.

For more games & puzzles, read The Toy Book‘s July/August issue. Click here to read!

AT New Media Creates New Game/App Development Services Division

AT New Media has created a joint-ventured development services division that will deliver apps and games on multiple platforms. This services division is aimed at agents and licensors who want to control and own more of the commercial upside of their properties, and integrate the interactive digital offering directly into their marketing activity and licensing strategy.

Simon Kay, AT New Media CEO, said in a press release, “It is a common misconception in the industry that the only option available to a licensor is to license out rights. That is no longer the case. With development costs for some platforms now being substantially lower than in the past, forward-looking licensors should be considering developing, controlling, and offering their own interactive component.”

AT is actively seeking to work with companies who are unsure about how to approach digital interactive components of their brand/property and can now offer an in-house interactive development option as well as the traditional licensing route.

Report: 56.8 Million Americans Have Played a Social Networking Game

According to a new report by The NPD Group, Social Network Gaming, approximately 20 percent of Americans ages 6 and older, or 56.8 million U.S. consumers, have played a game on a social network within the last three months. In terms of kids’ activities, according to the report, 23 percent of children ages 6 to 12 reported that they have played a game on a social network within the past three months.

The report also states that 35 percent of social network gamers are new to gaming and have never played any other type of gaming before playing on social networks. According to the report, gamers are nearly evenly divided between genders: 47 percent are male and 53 percent are female.

Social Network Gaming also reports that 10 percent of social network gamers have spent real money playing social networking games, although the games are free to play, and 11 percent of those surveyed are likely to make a future purchase. Gamers surveyed also report spending 20 percent less on gaming overall since they started playing social networking games.