China Toy Fair


JumpStart Releases School of Dragons for Mobile Devices

dragonJumpStart has launched School of Dragons on mobile, featuring simultaneous, 3-D cross-platform multiplayer gameplay. The mobile game, based on the company’s massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) School of Dragons, provides fans of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon franchise a way to immerse themselves in the brand through seamless online browser and mobile gameplay. School of Dragons mobile is now available in the iTunes store for iPad 2, 3, 4, iPad mini, and iPad Air.

Since its free-to-play web browser launch in July, School of Dragons has garnered a wide fan base. Now, the game is adding a mobile app component, allowing players to dive into a 3-D MMORPG world seamlessly either through their mobile device, Facebook, or web browser. This interactive technology is one of the first of its kind in the educational MMORPG space.

As the How to Train Your Dragon world develops, so does School of Dragons. JumpStart plans for the game to integrate this popular animated franchise into various features, such as the educational and adventurous quests. The unique element to School of Dragons’ gameplay is its successful integration of education and a popular entertainment franchise. Players learn skills in Earth, Life, and Physical sciences, and other educational concepts while interacting with the characters they love, such as Hiccup, his dragon Toothless, and others.

COMMENTARY: Roam With Romo

Anisha.Nov26Have you ever wished that you had your very own robot? I know it seems unrealistic unless you have big time money, but maybe not. Meet Romo, the robot I’m sure anyone would love to have. By the creators of Romotive, Romo is a product of this technologically advanced age that will not only make you excited to have your own robot, but enjoy all of the things it does. Suggested for ages 8 and up, this edition of Romo is available for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPod Touch 5th generation at Brookstone.com and Romotive.com. The previous Romo is available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPod Touch 4th Generation. All one has to do is download the free Romo app, set the device onto the base, and when you open the app, you are introduced to your new blue friend.

Romo wakes up not knowing where he is, and reacts with shock when he sees a real life human being standing in front of him. He is quite the chatterbox at the beginning, with many sound effects and dialogue shown on the screen. Romo is adorable, and I found myself at many moments saying, “Awwwww.” He never saw a human being before and snapped a photo of me to send to his mom on his planet. In his curiosity, he also asked for my name, which he thought was weird. Back on his planet, they don’t have names, but numbers! Then it is up to you to decide whether to give him a name or not. My mom and I decided to name him Bluboo.
[Read more...]

Survey Shows Children Want Game Systems, iPads for Holidays

Non-traditional items are finding their way onto children’s wish lists this year, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. For the first time, iPads are among the most popular gifts for both girls and boys, with slightly higher demand among the former.

Among the other results from NRF’s 2013 Top Toys survey: 44.3 percent of holiday consumers plan to buy toys as gifts this holiday season; children are still asking for timeless items such as Barbie and dolls (No. 1 and 2 among girls, respectively) or Lego and toy cars (No. 1 and 3 among boys, respectively). And the younger generation is clearly technologically savvy, asking this year for tablets/iPads, smartphones (girls’ No. 11), and game consoles like Xbox One (boys’ No. 5) and PlayStation 4 (girls’ No. 10, boys’ No. 6).

Other popular toys for girls include Monster High Dolls, Disney Princess, and American Girl. The hot new item for boys this year is Skylanders, a hugely popular interactive video game that allows kids to play with a toy action figure at the same time. [Read more...]

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...]

COMMENTARY: Not Your Average R/C Toys

Give a child a R/C controller, and he or she will be occupied for hours, steering or flying whatever device it is around the room or outside. Give a child an iPhone and chances are your contacts will end up being deleted, you’ll be left with 350 pictures of the inside of your little boy or girl’s mouth, and your phone will soon self destruct—but, that’s about to change.

There’s no denying that it’s now essentially encrypted in children’s nature to be intrigued by new technology at increasingly younger ages—and let’s face it, most of the time they get the hang of it a lot quicker than adults. But instead of parents discouraging their children from toying around with iPhones, iPads, and tablets (because they’re of course not toys, they’re high-tech adult equipment that are soo not used for playing Candy Crush), they can instead support a productive way to use such devices with these awesome toys.

I was first introduced to Orbotix’s Sphero 2.0 when someone in the office put it on my desk and said, “Here, play with this.” I looked at the box a little confused wondering what it was, and as I starSP0SPHERO003ted to read the instructions (very helpful to figuring out how toys work), I realized that this was, hands down, one of the coolest toys I’ve ever played with. It’s simply a ball, not a fancy monster truck with huge wheels and the ability to smash into the wall, crumble into pieces, and put itself back together all while singing jingle bells—or something like that. But, it’s a robotic ball with an engine and it’s really, really fast and controlled by your phone. You just download the Sphero app on your iPhone, iPad, iTouch, or android device and using a Bluetooth connection your device transforms into a control that propels Sphero at speeds up to seven feet per second across the room and off ramps. The driving accuracy really impressed me because I do tend to be a little spazzy with toys like these, but it was actually easy to maneuver the toy around bends and turns and what not. Sphero 2.0 also lights up in a variety of neon colors which looks as spectacular as it is to play. There are also a ton of other apps available to engage Sphero in a variety of games. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Unveils New LeapFrog Learning Path App

LeapfrogLearningPathLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has launched its new LeapFrog Learning Path. LeapFrog’s Learning Path is designed specifically to help support and guide their child’s learning with personalized ideas and feedback, fun activities, and expert advice. Developed in collaboration with LeapFrog’s in-house team of learning experts, the new Learning Path is available as a downloadable app for iPhoneiPad and iPod touch, a weekly newsletter, and a web resource.

The LeapFrog Learning Path provides a unique set of features that parents will use to help their child reach his or her potential:

  • Personalized learning ideas to help a child grow:Learning Pathgives parents access to hundreds of activities, learning tips, videos, printables, and more.
  • Share and discuss hot topics with other parents: Parents can join conversations with other parents, ask and answer questions, and get direct advice from teachers and LeapFrog’s team of learning experts. They can also share photos and achievements to celebrate their child’s progress.
  • Track progress and follow a child’s developing skills: As their child plays with a LeapFrog-connected product including LeapFrog’s learning library, parents will receive weekly updates on their child’s progress. This allows parents to share in their child’s success and identify and get additional support in areas where a child may need extra practice.

 

Fingerprint Unearths New Get Rocky App

getrockyFingerprint has released an immersive science and adventure app for kids ages 6 to 12, Get Rocky. This tilt-and-slide trek follows Digger as he glides, spins, and battles his way to the center of the Earth to find his son, Rocky, a young mole with a knack for trouble. As the journey heats up, players uncover scientific facts about geology.

Get Rocky is a geology-packed quest that plunges players into an underground world gleaming with rocks, minerals and scientific facts they can really dig. Get Rocky has 30 animated game leves and six layers of geologic learning in the race to find Rocky. The app also includes 18 Get Rocky comic book movies with real science facts about the journey, 12 key rocks and minerals to collect for the Get Rocky Collection with more coming soon, 20 subterranean enemies to defeat, including centipedes, goblins, and magma men; 15 power-ups, boosts, and ugrades to earn or purchase, including the laser, jackhammer, and dino suit. The app is available exclusively on the Fingerprint network for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Disney Infinity Debuts at Toys “R” Us Stores Nationwide

disney-infinity-figurinesToys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com officially launched Disney Infinity on August 18. Disney Interactive’s new video game platform will be available on the Xbox 360 system, the PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii U, and iPad. The game integrates collectible figures featuring characters from The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios with a video game experience that allows the characters to interact together—for the first time ever. In the U.S., the Infinite Crystal Series figures will only be available at Toys “R” Us. The figures are an assortment of collectible figures that have enhanced in-game abilities, as well as power discs that unlock special in-game powers, gadgets, vehicles, and more.

Each Disney Infinity character figure will come to life and play together in a virtual Toy Box. In this mode, players can build and customize their own virtual world using their favorite characters, vehicles, settings, and accessories. The game also includes a Play Set mode, a story-driven experience that allows players to solve puzzles, battle enemies, and explore locations from Disney properties.

Disney Infinity launched with an initial line of 18 collectible interactive figures and 21 Power Discs, including those found only at Toys “R” Us. Toys “R” Us will offer the largest assortment of Disney Infinity products available, which includes the Lighting McQueen Infinite Crystal Series figure, and Mike’s Car Power Disc (Monster’s Inc.).

Disney Interactive Releases Two New Infinity Mobile Apps

DisneyInfinityDisney Interactive has unveiled two new Disney Infinity mobile apps, Disney Infinity: Action! and Disney Infinity: Toy Box, which will provide connected extensions of the console  experience. The Disney Infinity: Toy Box app allows players to build and edit new worlds from the Disney Infinity Toy Box mode on their iPad. Players can also transfer any Toy Box creation between their iPad and console, and play with Mr. Incredible for free. Disney Infinity: Toy Box will be available for free for the iPad in the coming weeks.

Disney Infinity: Action! will be available for free on iTunes and in the Windows Store on August 15. It will be available for the Google Play Store soon. Features of the app include the ability to discover unique animations and use them in the Movie Maker so kids can create their own movies. Kids can from a high caliber cast of characters, including Mr. Incredible, Sulley, and Jack Sparrow, and more than 30 animations to use in videos sword fighting with Jack Sparrow and scaring a friend with Sulley and share the movies by posting to Facebook or YouTube.

Blitz Games Teams Up with DreamWorks for Shrek Alarm App

shrek-alarmBlitz Games debuts the release of DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm, the first in a series of interactive character apps co-produced with DreamWorks Animation. This app is available now on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and all Android devices.

Designed for Shrek fans of all ages, DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm features full alarm clock functionality, day and nighttime modes, and a bedtime feature, which allows you to decide when Shrek falls asleep. In addition, DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm features access to your music library so you can wake up and go to sleep with your favorite songs, Facebook integration, a world clock, a flashlight, a timer, a stop watch and an interactive weather feature with your five-day forecast.

DreamWorks’ Shrek Alarm is available now worldwide from the App Store and Google Play.