China Toy Fair


USPTO Issues Milestone Patent to LeapFrog

Jan27.LeapFrogOn March 26, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) commemorated its 700,000th design patent at a ceremony with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker at Langdon Education Campus in Washington, D.C.

The patent for the ornamental design for a hand-held learning apparatus was issued to inventor and LeapFrog employee Jason Avery, and is currently assigned to LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. for its LeapsterGS.

“For nearly 20 years, LeapFrog has been a leader in life-changing educational entertainment experiences through innovation-forward solutions such as LeapsterGS, and we are honored to have our device issued the 700,000th design patent,” said John Barbour, chief executive officer at LeapFrog.

COMMENTARY: Lego Friends Video Game Appeals to Boys and Girls

Lego Friends box art.jpgRight in time for the holidays, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released Lego Friends, a video game based on the construction toy line of the same name. While the game is all-ages-friendly, the target demographic appears to be young girls in particular: The box art features many of the characters that appear in the game—fresh-faced ladies of various hair colors, skin tones, and hobbies.

I first heard of Lego Friends, developed by TT Games and Hellbent Games for Nintendo 3DS and DS, months before, and even then I was interested in how it might differ from titles intended for more of a boys’ audience. Eventually, I got to demo it alongside Lego Marvel Super Heroes, a game that if not specifically for boys, is certainly a more testosterone-heavy affair. The art direction and color palette for Lego Friends are cuter and brighter, respectively. But do those factors alone—and that the main avatar and supporting characters are all female—qualify calling it a video game for girls? Could it still conceivably appeal to other audiences? [Read more...]

Nintendo Releases New Nintendo 2DS Portable System

Oct10.Nintendo2DSNintendo has launched the Nintendo 2DS system, designed as an entry point into Nintendo handheld video games. The Nintendo 2DS system maintains many of the same hardware features as Nintendo 3DS, like touch-screen controls, StreetPass, online multiplayer functionality, and the ability to download games.

Without any hinges, the Nintendo 2DS is a recommended first-time system for kids. It will be available in red and blue and plays all Nintendo 3DS games in 2-D. In addition, Nintendo 2DS is backward compatible and can play Nintendo DS games. Two carrying cases in either red or blue are also available.

Check out the SupaBoy Handheld Video Game Console

Hyperkin, a third-party developer of video game peripherals, has announced the upcoming launch of the SupaBoy Handheld Video Game Console designed for SNES game cartridges. Equipped with a 3.5-inch screen, the SupaBoy is designed to look like one of the original SNES controllers and has a port built into the top that plays original 16-bit SNES cartridges.

There are two front loading ports that are compatible with full-size SNES controllers and video/audio out, allowing up to two players to play the SupaBoy on a regular TV screen.