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.
ATOMS, 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...]
The 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.
Singtrix, 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.
PepsiCo‘s Frito-Lay North America division and Activision Publishing Inc. have launched a summer promotion for Skylanders Giants. The promotion includes the free Skylanders Giants In-Store Adventure mobile app, which is available for download on iOS and Android platforms. Once downloaded, users can scan in-store barcode headers and special-edition Frito-Lay variety packs to see a Skylanders Giants character appear on their mobile device.
Players can also obtain limited-edition Skylanders Giants Sidekicks figures by purchasing specially-marked Frito-Lay 20-count variety packs and entering the in-pack code online. Four different figures, compatible with the Skylanders Giants video game, are available through this offer.
When shoppers use the app to scan all three Frito-Lay and Skylanders Giants in-store displays, they’ll unlock additional interactive content. The promotion ends September 2.
505 Games and toymakers MEG and Giochi Preziosi signed a deal for multi-platform videogames featuring the kids’ brand Puppy In My Pocket. The Italian and U.S. toy companies are producers, along with Mondo TV S.p.A., of the new animated television series Puppy In My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville, which airs worldwide on Cartoon Network. The kids’ show will provide a world of exciting adventures and content for handheld platforms as well as mobile games for iOS and Android devices. Games are slated to debut next year. Licensing Works! brokered the deal on behalf of MEG and Giochi Preziosi, while Creative Minx Marketing, Inc., managed negotiations for 505 Games.
This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.
Hit Entertainment has partnered with BigPlay Studios, a developer of game, education, and book apps, for the launch of Bob the Builder: Muck’s Train to Trouble for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, available in Apple’s App store this week. This marks the first app release for the Bob the Builder brand.
Bob the Builder: Muck’s Train to Trouble is an interactive reading experience, which also features painting activities, video clips, and games. Every page includes narration, character voices, custom animations, and easy-to-read words with highlighted text.
With this first Bob the Builder app, Hit Entertainment adds to its iOS apps portfolio, which includes apps featuring Thomas & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, and Barney.