China Toy Fair


Tek Recon Launches Kickstarter Campaign

tekreconTek Recon, from Tech 4 Kids, will be available for the first time through Kickstarter.com on May 9, beginning at 8 a.m. EST. The goal of the Kickstarter campaign is to enhance the development of the Tek Recon blaster and the free app, and to get the product into the hands of early adopters and key influencers helping to create the first real-life, online video game.

Through the course of 31 days, fans will be able to fund the project by purchasing product, exclusive rewards, and by bidding on prizes that include appearances in the TV commercial and an all-expenses-paid trip to present at E3. The Kickstarter funding goal is $50,000.

Tek Recon Blasters feature a first-of-its-kind design with real trigger action and specially designed, reusable NRG Rounds that blast up to 75 feet. To optimize the battle and team experience, Tek Recon developed a free “Real-Life Online Gaming” app. Kids can simply connect their mobile device to the blaster to experience video game-styled play through mobile and GPS technology. The free Tek Recon app will be available for iOS and Android devices, enhancing real battle experience through an interactive heads up display, live chat, vision modes, and more.

For more information on this product and the Kickstarter campaign, visit TekRecon.com.

COMMENTARY: Storytime and Playtime Collide

Storytime Toys Fuses Play Houses with Classic Fairy Tales

It can be really difficult to get kids enthusiastic about reading at a young age. When I was young, my mom gave me an enormous, leather-bound book full of fairy tales. Each page was laden with beautiful graphics and trimmed with gold. After having the stories read to me over and over again, I would use the tales and characters as inspiration for playtime, making my Barbie dolls act as Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel.

New specialty toy company Storytime Toys, is making it even easier for kids to incorporate reading into playtime. Kara Dyer and Sara Argue have created a line of toy houses and storybooks based on classic fairy tales. Now, kids can read along to fairy tales including Goldilocks & the Three Bears, Hansel & Gretel, and The Three Little Pigs, while they build a house (or three, in the pigs’ case) that corresponds to each story.

Storytime.H&G

Each house features stunning, hand-painted imagery and comes with furniture and dolls for extended creative play. The pieces of the house can be assembled easily by kids ages 3 to 6. The stories are age-appropriate and will allow kids to associate playtime fun with the concept of reading. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Box Play for Kids Gives Imaginations a Boost

Little ones have the power to turn the most basic objects into adventure props with their own minds. Sometimes, large and high-tech toys are cast aside for the box they came in. I remember making guitars to play with out of old tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls when I was young. Now, Box Play for Kids is bringing colorful fun to recyclable, around-the-house objects, including milk cartoons, egg crates, and mac-and-cheese boxes.

Box PLay Mac n CheeseBox Play for Kids makes eco-friendly stickers that can be applied to cardboard items that would otherwise be thrown away. The stickers are printed on 100 percent recycled paper and are made in the U.S. Helping to inspire creativity and imagination, Box Play for Kids has more than 35 different designs available. Kids can make anything from a barn to a pair of binoculars to a school bus with these adorable stickers.

Now in its second year of business, Box Play for Kids is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign. With a goal to raise $12,000 by May 8, Box Play is hoping to increase their inventory, hire additional staff members, and attend trade shows. To back Box Play for Kids on Kickstarter, click here: http://kck.st/10R4gz6.

Baby So Beautiful Gets a Kickstarter

J. Shackelford Associates LLC (JSA) has announced the launch of a crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign to support the final production beta and launch of their 3-D Baby So Beautiful Virtual World. This life simulation game is for children ages 6 to 14 and casual and social gamers of all ages.

Built with Unity 3D, the game is free to play. Players customize a Baby So Beautiful baby doll that a fairy godmother, Ms. Judy, brings to life in the Doll Shop. Players can earn Baby Care Hearts in the game to pay for things they need to care for their virtual baby, or those who wish can buy Baby¢ents to immediately purchase anything they want for pennies.

Founder and CEO Judy Shackelford’s objective in making the virtual world game is to ensure that virtual babies are available and affordable for play by anyone, any age with access to a computer. JSA expects to launch the beta of its virtual world this summer. Once the game is out of beta, JSA plans to enable players to purchase a physical Baby So Beautiful doll, replicating their online virtual baby.  Versions of the virtual world game will be available later as apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms.

Find out more about the Baby So Beautiful Virtual World and Kickstarter Campaign at www.kickstarter.com/judyshackelford.

GoldieBlox Builds a Foundation for More Female Engineers

Debbie Sterling creates a construction toy designed with girls in mind

What do Bob the Builder, Jimmy Neutron, and Bill Nye the Science Guy have in common? They all love engineering—and they are all male. Similarly, the construction aisles of toy stores are geared primarily toward boys, with blue and black boxes lining the shelves. Fear not, those of you with lady parts, GoldieBlox is here to inspire girls to tinker their way into the male-dominated world of engineering.

Debbie Sterling, who earned her degree in engineering from Stanford University, decided to create Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine, a construction toy specifically designed for young girls, two years ago. At one of Sterling’s “idea brunches,” where she and friends would get together to share their ideas over breakfast, the wheels started turning for the CEO when a fellow female engineer explained how playing with her brothers’ hand-me-down Legos influenced her. Having grown up with only a sister, Sterling was never exposed to construction toys as her parents never thought to venture into the boys’ toy aisles. “That morning, it hit me like a lightening bolt. I was sitting in that room and realized this is my life calling, as corny as it sounds,” she says. [Read more...]

New Author Making Waves With “The Viking Bunnies”

The Viking Bunnies is a children’s series of books and cartoons that isn’t just for kids. Created by Noah Wilson, the series follows the misadventures of four small rabbits who decided to become Vikings and sail The Great Sea in search of adventure.

Aboard the famous Bunny Ship is the know-it-all Captain Fuzzy, his disbelieving first mate Lars, the sassy mechanic Thora, and the clumsy Steve. They get into all sorts of trouble with characters like The Ninja Hamsters, The Pirate Ducks, The Bureau-cats, The King Crabs, Smokey the Monster, and more. [Read more...]

iBuku Pets Transforms Old iPhones into Huggable, Educational, Environmentally Friendly Toys

Arbor Cube’s iBuku Pets turns any iPhone or iPod touch into an interactive toy for kids. In addition to the easy to hold cuddly case, the educational iBuku Pets’ App and their cast of playful characters infuse an amazing balance of fun, learning, and entertainment into what is normally mindless touchscreen button pressing. Available on Kickstarter, iBuku Pets will ship to customers in December. [Read more...]

Gary Games and Dr. Garfield Launch Kickstarter Campaign for New Game

Gary Games is partnering with Magic: The Gathering creator, Dr. Richard Garfield, to develop a new digital collectible game, SolForge. Gary Games and Dr. Garfield launched a Kickstarter campaign on August 1 to help fund the game’s development.

Combining a traditional trading card game with the use of an online and mobile gaming platform, the core mechanic of SolForge will be card transformation, where players’ cards will change and level up as they are played. In addition to transforming cards, SolForge will offer players a single-player campaign where their in-game actions can directly impact the story of the world. In SolForge’s Player vs. Player mode, players can challenge friends to matches in a variety of game play formats. SolForge will launch initially on iOS, with plans to launch on other platforms in the future.

Those who pledge $15 on Kickstarter will gain access to the game’s beta test, a unique Kickstarter-only Avatar to show off support in-game and five free booster packs to start off the card collection when the game goes live. Supporters who contribute $2,500 or more will have the opportunity to have dinner with Dr. Garfield and the Gary Games team, as well as join them for Gen Con Indy 2013. For more information about participating in the Kickstarter campaign, visit the campaign page.

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.

TrashCanKidz Developers Seek Backers

The developers of TrashCanKidz, a new brand of toys and gaming that intends to expand the social awareness of children, are seeking supporters to help launch its online game. Inspired by the real life hardships faced by children globally, the game transports players to the Forgotten World where kids must take action in order to transform it into one where the TrashCanKidz can thrive and find happiness.

Through the crowd funding site KickStarter, game developers are seeking backers to expand TrashCanKidz from its existing foundation to enhance multiplayer functionality, allow for more characters and character customization, and include richer locations and mini-games.

The developers are also seeking to complete the TrashCanKidz website, where parents and children can learn about the mission, register for the game, and purchase  TrashCanKidz products, such as a doll and trading cards. TrashCanKidz gameplay and  purchases will directly impact real charities and enable children to track their efforts in the real world. To learn more about TrashCanKidz, visit its Kickstarter page.

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.