Discovery Communications, Fuzzy Frog Launch Augmented Reality Game

March19.SpiderAppDiscovery 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. Launches Tenkai Knights Gaming App

TenkaiKnightsSpin 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.

Power Rangers’ New Toy Line-Up from Bandai Revealed, Costume Licenses Renewed

Feb20.PowerRangersSuperMegaforceCoinciding with the February 15 launch of Saban BrandsPower 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 Launches My Virtual Fashion Show

CRAYOLA FASHION SHOW GAMECrayola 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.

COMMENTARY: Minecraft Brings A Whole New World

CARSONI 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 Partners with Warner Bros. on Mobile Read-along Titles

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.

Activision Unlocks New Skylanders Collection Vault App

Skylanders AppFans 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.

Seamless Toy Co. Launches ATOMS

ATOMSATOMS, smart building blocks from Seamless Toy Co. that began life as a Kickstarter project, are now available. With ATOMS, kids can create things as fast as they can imagine them: For example, a bashful talking pet monster that loves hiding under tables, or a stuffed cat that “meows” by waving a magic wand.

Suitable for kids ages 6 and up, ATOMS have no exposed elements or magnets, and come in starter sets that contain everything kids need to build monsters, magic wands, and robots. They are also designed to integrate with Lego, Barbie, and action figures, giving old toys new possibilities.

Seamless is also introducing an ATOMS iOS app later this month, which enables kids to add virtual ATOMS on their Bluetooth-enabled Apple iPad, iPod, or iPhone. Screen-based ATOMS can be used to control real ATOMS from across the room, and alternatively, real ATOMS can be used via the same Bluetooth link to remotely control features on iOS devices, such as the camera and music player. [Read more...]

PlayStation 4 Available Now, With New Games and Ways to Play

PS4The PlayStation 4 system is available in the U.S. and Canada with a lineup of more than 20 first- and third-party games, including titles such as Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall. The PS4 will have a library of more than 30 games by year’s end.

Game developers will be able to create huge, interactive worlds in smooth 1080p HD resolution, thanks to the PS4’s PC architecture, which includes an enhanced Graphics Processing Unit and 8GB of GDDR5 unified system memory. The system also takes social connectivity up a level: By pressing the “Share” button on the Dualshock 4 wireless controller, images and videos can be shared with other players through the PS4’s Dynamic Menu, or on social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, and internet streaming services such as Ustream and Twitch.

The PS4 also integrates second screens, including the PlayStation Vita system, smartphones, and tablets. Using the PlayStation app, available for free on the iOS App Store and Google Play, these devices can be used to look at maps while playing an adventure game, purchase a PS4 game, and more. In addition, through Remote Play and Wi-Fi on home networks, gamers can now play most PS4 games on their PS4 Vita while the TV screen is being used for something else.

With Singtrix, Singers of All Levels Sound Even Better

SingtrixSingtrix, a new music party experience, utilizes advanced, natural-sounding vocal effects to make singers of all skill levels sound even better. The Singtrix bundle includes the Singtrix Studio vocal effects unit, custom microphone, professional mic stand, and 2.1 stereo speaker system.

The Singtrix Studio unit offers more than 300 retro and modern vocal effects presets covering every generation and genre of music, including everyone’s favorite singing anthems. In addition to dozens of professional effects like reverb, flanger, delay, doubling, hard tune, and more, the Singtrix Live Harmony effects provide up to four additional harmony voices, and can be used to make the chorus or bridge of a favorite songs sound larger than life. There is also a “Hit” effect button on the microphone, which conveniently controls this and other effects.

Users can plug in a smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, or computer and choose songs from their own music libraries or stream karaoke videos from sites like YouTube. There is also a Singtrix-branded app powered by Karaoke Anywhere for Apple iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire tablets, which includes a library of more than 13,000 songs with lyrics, and is available for a monthly subscription fee.

The Singtrix Party Bundle is available online exclusively at www.singtrix.com.