China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Sonic the Hedgehog: 22 Years and Still Going Fast!

Faster than greased lightning, Sonic the Hedgehog is one tough Erinaceinae to keep up with, and admittedly, I haven’t been trying. I had the first Sonic the Hedgehog game when it came out way back in 1991, but not long after, I went through a dry spell in which I kept away from video games. During the interim, Sonic evolved as both a pop culture icon and corporate mascot for video game publisher Sega, while I—well, I got slightly taller.

Now here we are in 2013, and with the Sonic franchise still going strong, I thought I’d rekindle my relationship with him by checking out some recent Sonic games and toys.

Phil.November20.3Sonic Lost World, by Sega: The original Sonic the Hedgehog was a side-scroller with pretty simple game play. By comparison, the latest installment is a radically different experience at times, with some levels consisting of “classic,” 2-D, side-scrolling play, while the others are immersive 3-D from an angled, top-down perspective. Players now have the option of moving in nearly all directions, and interact with terrain in ways that would have been impossible during the 2-D days.

Phil.November20.1In Sonic Lost World, players can use the trigger button on the Wii U controller to rev Sonic up, and send him zipping along extra fast (Be warned: He can get a little out of hand if you aren’t used to it yet). When approaching tight spaces, he can subsequently ricochet off walls and perform other special maneuvers. During my demo, I actually kept my finger mostly off that button, and the game still managed to be a kinetic, occasionally vertiginous experience, with lots of rocketing off springboards into the air and pinballing faster than the eye could keep up. [Read more...]

The Wizard of Oz Celebrates 75 Years with New Toys

Dorothy Wizard of OzTo celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, Warner Bros. is launching a comprehensive campaign that includes toys and games from top licensees. Among them is McDonald’s, which will feature limited-edition The Wizard of Oz toys in Happy Meals at more than 14,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada from September 20 to October 10.

The Happy Meal program features six adorable stylized figures based on popular characters in the film. Kids can receive Dorothy, Scarecrow, Wicked Witch of the West, Tin Man, Glinda the Good Witch, or Cowardly Lion. In addition, each figure comes with a Yellow Brick Road base to stand on, and all the bases can connect to recreate The Wizard of Oz friends walking down the Yellow Brick Road.

Toy and game partners supporting the milestone anniversary include Jazwares, Mattel, and Adora Dolls, the latter of which will be introducing special-edition Wizard of Oz Toddlers. Meanwhile, commemorative collections of toys are expected to be part of “The Wizard of Oz’ 75th Anniversary Celebration,” scheduled to debut on QVC on September 26 at 9 p.m.

New Yo Gabba Gabba! Products Arrive at Toys “R” Us

Now in its fourth season on Nick Jr., Yo Gabba Gabba! is a live-action TV series and live stage show whose unconventional formula has created a triple stacked fan base. Jazwares will introduce new Yo Gabba Gabba! figures, plush, and electronics to the Toys “R” Us toy aisles this year. Featuring characters from the series, including Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex, and Toodee, the line includes electronics such as an interactive microphone, articulated figure assortments, and plush. Visit www.yogabbagabba.com or www.yogabbagabbalive.com for more info.  Check out some of the new products below!  [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Everyone Has One, But I Want Mine to be Unique

Last Friday marked my niece Courtney’s eighth birthday, and what was she hoping for most? An iPod. Now, in my opinion, an 8-year-old doesn’t have much business with an iPod, but kids today are getting into electronics at a much younger age. Though part of Courtney’s argument for “needing” an iPod was, “everyone has one except for me,” the first thing she did when she got it was personalize it. Before even putting a song on it, she slapped a peace-sign sticker right on the back of it—10 minutes out of the box (hence why 8-year-olds probably shouldn’t have iPods). But, this was her way of making it her own.

For parents buying their children expensive devices such as smartphones, iPods, or even portable gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS or the PS Vita, there are some awesome products on the market that will allow kids to dazzle and personalize their devices without placing a never-gonna-come-off, gooey-backed sticker on said device.

Plugy

Plugy, from Hashy, is a universal 3.5mm plug that fits snuggly into all standard headphone jacks. Plugys come in more than 40 different styles, including zoo animals, robots, and glow-in-the-dark options. Plugy has something for everyone, including a rainbow, Eiffel Tower, and an apple stem, and allows kids to  take their smart device to a more personal level in a not-so-permanent way. Plugys are made of rubber and will not break when inserted into the headphone jack. They even protect the device from rain, dust, and sand when earphones are not plugged in. Plugys are available on amazon.com and from Hanging Mobile Gallery. For more information on Plugys, email plugyUSA@gmail.com. [Read more...]

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Unveils Product Lineup for “The Wizard Of Oz” Anniversary

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has announced its roster of licensees set to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz next year. Master toy partner Jazwares, as well as USAopoly and Mattel, are among the partners. [Read more...]

Jazwares Partners with Nickelodeon for Nicktoons Figures and Plush

Jazwares has partnered with Nickelodeon to create Nicktoons-themed figures and plush. The line will feature Rugrats, Jimmy Neutron, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Ren & Stimpy, Fairly Odd Parents, CatDog, Hey Arnold!, Danny Phantom, Rocket Power, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Tuff Puppy products.

Jazwares’ Nicktoons line will include 2-inch six-pack and four-pack figure sets, as well as 2-inch and 6-inch figures, and 7-inch plush toys. The line will be available this fall.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno 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.

Jazwares Announces Hanna-Barbera Figures and Plush

Jazwares will create figures and plush based on several classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters as part of a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

Products will hit toy aisles throughout the fall and will feature several properties, including The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, Yogi Bear, Space Ghost, Secret Squirrel, Captain Caveman, and Hong Kong Phooey.

The plush line includes a 12-inch pull-string plush with sound and plush deluxe sets. The Hanna-Barbera line of figures features a 3-inch articulated assortment, 2-inch collector’s sets, and 6-inch figures.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno 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.

Jazwares Named Master Toy Licensee for Regular Show TV Series

Jazwares has been awarded the master toy license for Cartoon Network’s Regular Show. The animated comedy follows best friends Mordecai, a six-foot-tall blue jay, and Rigby, a hyperactive raccoon, on their adventurous journeys as irresponsible groundskeepers at a park.
Jazwares’ Regular Show line will include pull-string plush with sound as well as figures with interactive features. Jazwares will also release a line of Regular Show novelty items, including sunglasses and pullback vehicles. The entire line will be available this fall.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto 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.”