Under license from Hasbro Inc., Merriam-Webster will release the fifth edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, marking the dictionary’s first major update in nearly a decade. More than 5,000 new words will be added to the dictionary–including geocache, a word chosen by fans in the Scrabble Word Showdown earlier this year–making them all officially playable in the game. Players in the U.S. and Canada will now be able to rack up points with geocache and other words that have entered language recently, including beatbox, chillax, frenemy, hashtag, joypad, mixtape, mojito, ponzu, selfie, soju, sudoku, texter, vodcast, vlog, and yuzu. [Read more...]
The youngest of Transformers fans can enjoy the Transformers Rescue Bots: Sky Forest Rescue app from PlayDate Digital and Hasbro Inc. This mobile app puts beginner and emergent readers at the center of the story, working as rescue cadets in training to save Griffin Rock from nature gone wild.
Transformers Rescue Bots: Sky Forest Rescue is inspired by the animated series Transformers Rescue Bots by Hasbro Studios and airing on The Hub Network in the U.S. The app is available on iOS devices.
Lego Systems Inc. has unveiled Lego Fusion, a play experience that combines traditional Lego brick play with app-based mobile games for kids ages 7 and up. The Fusion collection will include four: Lego Fusion Town Master, Lego Fusion Battle Towers, Lego Fusion Create & Race, and Lego Fusion Resort Designer, featuring Lego Friends characters and themes.
Each Lego Fusion kit consists of a distinct set of Lego bricks, a corresponding free downloadable app, and a unique Fusion capture plate, which is a small brick-building plate featuring a printed design that enables a smartphone or tablet’s camera to identify the size, colors, and layout of the Lego bricks built onto the plate. The apps will prompt kids to build a 2-D façade of a building onto the capture plate any way they like. Then, kids can import the façade into the app and transform the creation into a full 3-D building on screen. Once a Lego brick creation has been imported into the game, a series of challenges and interactions will require kids to turn away from the screen and build another façade with their Lego bricks to progress in the game. Each game encourages this back-and-forth between physical and virtual worlds.
Discovery Communications, in partnership with app developer Fuzzy Frog, has created Real Scary Spiders, a game that allows users to interact with a pet spider through an augmented reality experience on an app. Players can collect, nurture, and raise spiders, and will eventually unlock new breeds and learn interesting facts through gameplay.
Users can transport their spiders onto a target image in the real world, such as the cover of a magazine or wall, which uses the app’s augmented reality feature. In addition, players can purchase the Animal Planet Web Blasting Tarantula exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide to activate an additional interconnected experience within the app.
The Animal Planet Real Scary Spiders app is available for free across all iOS and Android digital devices.
Spin Master Ltd. has released, Tenkai Knights Battle for Quarton, a free mobile gaming app based on the hit kids’ TV series, Tenkai Knights. The new game-based app is available for download to iOS devices in the App Store.
Players tap and swipe to help their favorite Tenkai warriors to defeat the evil Vilius and his corrupted army to save the planet Quarton. Developed by Game Pill, the app features all four Tenkai Knights as they race through four different levels.
Coinciding with the February 15 launch of Saban Brands‘ Power Rangers Super Megaforce on Nickelodeon, Bandai unveiled the full toy line for the season at American International Toy Fair earlier this week. It includes show-accurate role play toys, action figures, and large-scale buildable robots.
Central to the new line are collectible Legendary Ranger Keys, which unlock the powers of all previous Power Rangers. A quick flip function morphs the figures into unique keys that can be inserted into multiple Super Megaforce toys to unlock special features and powers. There are over 60 different Ranger Keys to collect.
By using the Power Rangers Scanner app—available on both iOS and Android systems—on any smart phone or tablet, kids can scan any Ranger Key, morph themselves into that Power Ranger, and battle villains on-screen.
In other Power Rangers news, Saban Brands has renewed licenses with Disguise Inc., Rubie’s Costume Company, and Morphsuits, so each partner will continue producing character-inspired costumes through 2017.
There will also be a tournament, Morphin Madness, running from March 10 to April 7, in which fans can vote for their Power Rangers dream team. The bracket-style voting system rewards participants with coupons for Super Megaforce toys and a chance to win a 24K gold plated Deluxe Legendary Morpher and Legendary Ranger Key set of the fan-selected top five Rangers. Fans can vote at www.morphinmadness.com.
Crayola has launched My Virtual Fashion Show, a product that lets kids design their own fashions and bring them to life on a virtual runway. Kids can create their designs in their Crayola sketchbook, which transforms into a virtual fashion show on their device, bridging the offline and online playing experience.
The product contains a fashion portfolio, 20-page fashion sketchbook, 12 short colored pencils, and the My Virtual Fashion Show app, compatible with iOS and Android devices. It is available in stores and online at select retailers nationwide.
I admittedly didn’t know very much about the Minecraft toy and game selection until Halloween, when my uncle sent a photo of the costume that he had made for his son; who am I kidding—I knew nothing until then! My cousin Carson is a 5 year-old obsessed with the stuff! At the time, all I knew was that Carson could make anything look adorable, and that he had clearly moved on from trains and into this world where players can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3-D generated world. I can’t even begin to understand all of the insider ins-and-outs of Minecraft, and it seems as though the name represents an entity of games and licensed products. I do, though, like to get as involved as I can with Carson, as I am much more aware of the favorites of his sister, Kennedy, since they were the same as mine: all things pink. Man, girls are simple! In time for the holidays, I took the game home to see what this Minecraft business is all about, so I can get those ever-elusive little kid “brownie points” while I’m home for Christmas. [Read more...]
Ruckus Media Group has partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) to offer digital downloads of narrated e-books in the U.S. and Canada, beginning with a seasonal selection of titles via the Ruckus universal app for iOS devices.
The Ruckus/WBCP launch will offer a variety of brands, with more than 100 Read-Along titles rolling out in subsequent months. Multiple narrated e-books will be included from brands such as Batman, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, The Wizard of Oz, and more.
Ruckus titles download directly to mobile devices, and they are also commercial-free and airplay-enabled, allowing users to view them on all iOS devices. Should they register for free, parents are provided with feedback on their child’s experiences within the Ruckus app, and kids and parents can also follow word highlighting, as well as read, record, and save their own voices reading the stories.
Fans now have a new way to interact with their favorite Skylanders on the free iOS App Skylanders Collection Vault from Activision Publishing, which helps them manage their own collections while unlocking original Skylanders content from the palm of their hands. Collections can also be shared and compared with friends and family.
For the first time, Portal Masters can use the Skylanders Collection Vault app to learn more about their favorite Skylanders characters and keep track of their own collections while also making a character wish list by browsing videos and images.
Activision is even launching the Holiday Wish List Sweepstakes that helps fans complete their collections. Portal Masters who download the app can create his or her own wish list and send it to SkylandersCommunity@Activision.com by Friday, December 6 for a chance to be one of five winners awarded up to 25 Skylanders Swap Force toys.