China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Battery-Powered Toys Are Still as Relevant as Ever

VTech.chompandcountdino

VTech’s Chomp & Stomp Dino

Toy stores today offer kids an ever-impressive selection of playthings that do more and more each year. From video games to talking plush, appcessories to robotics, it seems like there is no end in sight for innovation in the toy industry. I’ve often wondered just how far toys will go—it seems that literally anything is possible these days, with the right amount of willpower and support. Will we see invisibility cloaks? Toys that let kids fly? Time machines? The list goes on and on. [Read more...]

Transformers: Age of Extinction Mobile Game Available Now for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

June19 transformers imageDeNA and Hasbro, Inc.’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction – The Official Mobile Game, based on Hasbro’s toy brand and the Paramount Pictures film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, is now available exclusively on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, bringing the blockbuster action to mobile devices. This fast-paced combat runner game immerses players in the Transformers universe as they help the Autobots defeat their Decepticon enemies.

The game is coming to Google Play for Android devices soon. Players can pre-register to be notified when the game is available on Android here.

The Jim Henson Company Launches New Doozer Creek App

DoozersThe Jim Henson Company has launched a new app, Doozer Creek, based on the new animated preschool series from The Jim Henson Company and DHX Media. The release coincides with the show’s premiere on Hulu Kids this past April.

Available now from the App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, Doozer Creek is designed for children 5 and under, but lets fans of all ages make their own Doozer Creek environment. The app includes seven play pieces free to try with additional playsets available for purchase. Each play set comes with a primary character, as well as a variety of buildings, vehicles, and objects.

Players can place characters, vehicles, buildings, and other elements from Doozer Creek onto a blank play mat where they are brought to life.

PBS Kids Debuts Web-Original Plum Landing and App

PlumLandingRight in time for Earth Day, PBS Kids has launched a new, web-original property, Plum Landing, a digital adventure designed to engage kids ages 6 to 9 in environmental science. Plum Landing crosses multiple platforms including animated and live-action video, hands-on activities, web games, and an interactive mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Plum Landing follows the adventures of Plum, a video game designer from the desolate Planet Blorb, who longs to experience nature. To realize this goal, Plum commandeers a space ship, zooms down to earth, befriends five eager kids, and launches them on such missions as, “find a lake in the desert!” and “search for a cow that lives under water!” [Read more...]

Status Media Heroically Debuts Hero Holder

Status Media has unveiled the Hero Holder, a mobile device holder featuring popular superheroes. The first Hero Holder will be a limited edition Marvel Spider-Man, available now for pre-sale in advance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which will be in theaters May 2. There will also be a super-limited, 1-in-100 variant of Spider-Man in his black costume, which can be found exclusively at ToyWiz.

The Hero Holder comes with two sets of bendable arms that can hold any size mobile device or tablet—vertically or horizontally—including iPhones, Android mobile phones, full sized or mini-iPads, Kindles, or any tablets made for kids or adults. Chargers can easily plug into devices when in the Hero Holder, which will be produced with Wicked Cool Toys. Current licensors offering creative support for the product include Marvel, DC, and WWE.

Lego Legends of Chima Goes Mobile

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The Lego Group, and WB Games Montréal have launched Lego Legends of Chima for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Playable with a Wi-Fi connection, the game is free to play and both extends and complements Lego Legends of Chima products, including construction sets and vehicles.

In the online Chima universe, players take on the role of an animal warrior in the Lion, Eagle, Gorilla or Bear tribe. After creating and customizing their character, players explore massive environments, uncover hidden secrets and treasures, build weapons and gadgets, and collect studs and gold bricks that will help expand their outpost.

Lego Legends of Chima is currently downloadable at the App Store.

Moshi Monsters Village Launches on Mobile and Tablet

MoshiMonstersVillageThe world of Moshi Monsters is now available globally on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Moshi Monsters Village, developed by Mind Candy in collaboration with Tag Games, lets players embark on fun-filled 3-D quests to rescue captured Moshlings and defeat naughty Glumps in mini-games. The game also features Facebook social connectivity and friend code shares, so players can interact with their friends Moshi Monsters villages and see how they compare.

Moshi Monsters Village can be downloaded for free at the App Store, although some game items can be purchased for real money. Parents or players who do not want to use this feature are able to disable in-app purchases in their device’s settings. Google Play, Android, and Kindle versions of the game will be available this month.

Pocket Gems, Gogii Games Partner for Mobile Game

Pocket Gems has partnered with Gogii Games to publish a new mobile game, Archie Riverdale Rescue. Pocket Gems will help with player retention and monetization, and will launch a Valentine’s Day update.

Archie Riverdale Rescue lets users play as Archie Comics characters to help rescue the town of Riverdale, where they will rebuild the hometown by completing quests and tasks. The Valentine’s Day update will feature holiday themes quests, clothing packs for characters, and a feature to win additional bonuses. The game is available for free on the App Store for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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...]

COMMENTARY: It’s Alive! Cool Tech Brings Animal Toys to Life

Kids are always begging for pets, especially around the holidays. “Can I have a puppy?” “I want a pony!” I’m sure you’re hearing it all. But if you’re not ready to make that huge commitment to a pet and a messy house (and perhaps all of the dog-walking responsibilities), new technology that’s available is truly bringing animal toys to life.

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

The Hexbug line, from Innovation First, has used new tech to make robotic Hexbug critters that crawl on battery power. Two of the company’s newest lines expand upon this technology to make it even better. The Hexbug Nano V2 critters are gravity-defying bugs that can climb vertically through tubes. The Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole play set, the Nano V2 bugs can climb vertically, horizontally, and around corners. Kids can unleash their creativity by customizing the design and layout of the three-story set. The play set also comes with special accessories including a spiral tube and a black funnel.

The Hexbugs Aquabot line features robotic fish that really swim in water. The micro-robotic creatures have Smart Fish technology that allows it to swim, dive, and change directions. You don’t have to worry about feeding it or cleaning its tank. Aqua bots are available in five translucent colors and designed for kids ages 3 and up. [Read more...]