Target to Use Interactive Game to Transform Stores into Winter Wonderlands

Target LogoTarget has partnered with Google on its latest Art, Copy & Code project, Bullseye’s Playground, an interactive, in-store mobile experience. Bullseye’s Playground is a mobile game experience that features Target’s bull terrior mascot Bullseye and other characters. In addition, guests can use Google’s new Project Tango Development Tablet in select stores.

Beginning December 2, Target guests can use their mobile devices to access Bullseye’s Playground both in and out of stores. They can play six interactive games, including sledding, ice fishing, and snowball fights. In-store signage will prompt guests to play and discover special codes throughout the store to unlock characters and new game levels. For every game played on Bullseye’s Platform, Target will donate $1 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital up to $1 million.

In select Target stores, guests can be some of the first to test out Google’s Project Tango Development Tablets. The tablet screen can transform the store into a winter wonderland that changes as the guests move around the store. They can also interact with characters like Bullseye and Zoomer Dino as they travel around the location, while they discover virtual activities like taking part in a snowball fight or playing a xylophone made of icicles. [Read more...]

TIA Releases Details on PlayCon 2014 Sessions

Digital experts from Google/YouTube, Amazon, RocketHub, and Tongal will present their insights on connecting with 21st century kids and moms, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding at PlayCon 2014, the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) International Conference of Play Professionals. The event is scheduled to take place from May 7 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Growing Up Digital: Creating, Consuming, Connecting” will feature Katie Rottier, head of U.S. industry, sports & toys, at Google/YouTube. “Amazon: Key Customer, Marketing Partner, Platform for Customer Engagement, or All Three,” will be presented by Eva Lorenz, category leader for Amazon’s Toys & Games store. For “Get Out of the Box—Get Into the Crowd!” Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, and Caleb Light-Wills, senior vice president of product at Tongal, will provide an in-depth look at crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

Full agenda details, as well as hotel and registration information, can be found at the TIA website.

Beyond Rubik’s Cube Debuts at Liberty Science Center in New Jersey

BeyondRubiksThis Saturday, Beyond Rubik’s Cube premieres at Liberty Science Center (LSC) in Jersey City, N.J. The 7,000 square foot exhibition, which marks the 40th anniversary of the puzzle toy, features interactive physical and digital challenges, and invites visitors to consider how the Rubik’s Cube emerged from a workshop in Communist-era Hungary to become a worldwide phenomenon.

LSC, Google, and the Cube’s Budapest inventor, Erno Rubik, designed the exhibition, which will be at LSC through the end of November. On the same day, Beyond Rubik’s Cube will be celebrated in Manhattan, with both the Bank of America Tower and the Conde Nast Building lit up in Rubik’s Cube colors. The Empire State Building will follow suit on May 8.

PlayCon 2014 Agenda Includes Speakers from The NPD Group, Google/YouTube, and More

A number of educational topics related to the toy industry will be explored at PlayCon, the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) International Conference of Play Professionals, scheduled to take place May 7 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The May 8 program includes a keynote address delivered by Doug Van Andel, executive creative director at global ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi; a case study presented by Michael Moynihan, vice president of marketing at Lego Systems Inc.; a two-part session by The NPD Group focused on the latest sales data; a presentation entitled “The Broader World of Play,” from Katie Rottier, head of U.S. industry, sports & toys, at Google/YouTube; and more. [Read more...]

Google’s Zeitgeist Releases Top 10 Trending Toy Searches for 2013

Google has released its annual Zeitgeist—a “spirit of the times”—which gives us a chance to remember the people, places and topics that got us talking, and ultimately searching, before a new year begins. The list of top toy searches features new toys such as Minions and Palace Pets, but also old favorites, such as Play-Doh. Here are the top 10 trending toy searches this year:

  1. Pokémon
  2. Play-Doh
  3. Digimon Fusion
  4. Minecraft Toys
  5. Minions
  6. Palace Pets
  7. Paw Patrol
  8. Pacific Rim Toys
  9. My Little Pony
  10. Disney Planes

The 2013 Zeitgeist site provides more than 1000 top-10 lists of popular and trending searches from 72 countries, making it the most comprehensive and global list to date.