Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2015 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards

TOTY2015logoToday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the 83 finalists for the prestigious 2015 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). Between now and January 11, toy consumers of all ages can visit www.toyawards.org to vote for their favorite toys, games, and properties across 12 categories.

The 2015 finalists were selected from more than 600 nominees submitted for consideration by 159 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.

Votes from mass retailers, specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members, and consumers will be weighted and used to determine each of the 12 category winners. The winners—including the overall Toy of the Year and the People’s Choice awards—will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony held on February 13, 2015 as the kick-off to the 112th North American International Toy Fair. [Read more...]

Innovation First Partners with Tony Hawk for New Circuit Boards Brand and Products

Innovation First International, the creator of Hexbug, is launching a new Tony Hawk Circuit Boards brand and product line, due to hit shelves across Europe and North America this fall.

Kids can choose between two ways to play: traditional fingerboard style, or slapping on the power axle and utilizing the I/R remote control. Users can build the ultimate skatepark and grind the rails, pull off a rock to fakie, or master their own series of tricks with their favorite Birdhouse deck. The initial product assortment available at launch will include 24 Birdhouse and Tony Hawk authentic decks to customize and collect, along with a variety of ramp sets and skateparks.

Hexbug will showcase the new product line by appointment at TIA Fall Toy Preview in October at the Dallas Market Center.

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.

Innovation First Announces Two New Hexbug Product Lines

hexbug_nano_3Innovation First International (IFI) has announced that its two new Hexbug micro robotic product lines, Nano V2 and Aquabot, are now available at specialty and mass retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, and RadioShack.

This month also marks the launch of company’s “They Can Climb” marketing campaign, playing off the Nano V2 feature, with a mix of TV advertising across all children’s TV networks, a series of consumer-generated online and social media contests, and an experiential marketing integration event that it hosted at the X Games X Fest Los Angeles. IFI’s comprehensive fall TV public relations and advertising schedule will also include the Aquabot as well as some of the Hexbug Micro Robotic Creatures.

Hexbug is using social media tools like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Vine for its “They Can Climb” video contest. To participate, entrants need a Vine, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account and to include the “#theycanclimb” along with a capture of something that incorporates Hexbugs. Every entrant will receive a $5 promo code off his or her next purchase on www.hexbug.com. Weekly winners will also be chosen to receive a Nano V2 Black Hole set and will also be featured on www.nanov2.com.

Virtual Piggy Partners With Innovation First For E-commerce Platform

Virtual Piggy, Inc. has integrated its youth-friendly payment system to Innovation First International, the company behind Hexbug Micro Robotic Creatures and Vex Robotics product lines. Hexbug products are available in more than 4,000 outlets globally including Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, RadioShack, and other mass and specialty retailers.

Virtual Piggy is integrated directly into Innovation First International’s Hexbug e-commerce platform to allow direct online and mobile purchases. Virtual Piggy has a standard interface to eBay’s Magento e-commerce platform, which facilitates a simple and rapid integration.

Innovation First International Launches Moshi Monsters Bobble Bots

Innovation First International is launching Bobble Bots, a new brand and product line. As part of the launch, the company has joined forces with Mind Candy, the brains behind the Moshi Monsters brand, for the debut of Bubble Bots Moshi Monsters. The line will hit store shelves across Europe and North America this spring.

The line of bobblehead mini robotic pets and customizable play sets will feature the patented Hexbug Nano vibration technology. Moshi Monsters will be brought to life in their own customizable environment. The initial assortment of Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters will include 24 battery-operated collectible Moshlings and a variety of configurable, 3-D “dollhouse” replicas of the streets, yards, buildings, and houses found online in Monstro City. Every product will include secret codes to unlock digital assets in the online world. The products will be showcased (by appointment only) at London Toy Fair, Nuremberg Toy Fair, and New York Toy Fair.

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