MakieLab, which lets kids use games and apps to build customizable 3-D-printed toys, was among this year’s class of the Disney Accelerator program powered by Techstars. The program features 10 startup companies that will participate in a three-month mentorship and investment program beginning today and concluding with a Demo Day on October 6.
This past Tuesday started out innocently enough. We were monitoring the news out of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) when the announcement broke: As part of an agreement between Disney Interactive, Lucasfilm, and Sony, this fall will see the arrival of a special version of the upcoming Disney Infinity 3.0. The limited-edition Star Wars Saga Starter Pack will offer fans the chance to play as Boba Fett, the popular bounty hunter from the Star Wars movies. It will also allow players access to a much-anticipated Disney Infinity Play Set one month before it arrives on shelves, and even more importantly—at least, for the purposes of this commentary—the deal is only available for Sony’s PlayStation system.
Today, at the Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. E3 2015 press conference, Disney Interactive, Lucasfilm, and Sony announced that Boba Fett will be joining Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition as part of a new limited edition offering. The Star Wars Saga Starter Pack for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 will allow fans to play as Boba Fett in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition through the holidays, and will also let them get the Star Wars Rise Against the Empire Play Set nearly a month before it arrives on store shelves.
Some of the characters from the popular animated TV series Star Wars Rebels are joining Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition, reports Disney Interactive and Lucasfilm. Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, and Zeb Orrelios will be joining other Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, and Disney•Pixar characters in Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition’s Toy Box. In addition, all characters are unlockable within each Star Wars Play Set.
Star Wars Day, an unofficial holiday created by Star Wars fans to celebrate the sci-fi franchise, took place this past Sunday, May 4. To mark the occasion, Lucasfilm released a new minute-long trailer for Star Wars Rebels. The animated TV series is scheduled to premiere this fall on Disney Channel, and will be followed by a series on Disney XD channels worldwide.
Hasbro Inc. has reached the milestone of 1 million Telepods figures in consumers’ hands worldwide. Telepods, the digital gaming platform for mobile users, had launched with the Angry Birds Star Wars II game, from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm, which became available less than a month ago.
Every copy of the Angry Birds Star Wars II app includes a Telepods mode for smart device users with front-facing cameras. Players can choose which characters they want to complete a level with by using Telepods including Rebel Birds and Imperial Pigs. Fans download the app, tap the Telepods icon, place one of the more than 30 Angry Birds Star Wars figures on the included Telepods base, and then place the base on a smart device to “teleport” that figure into the game. Players can also unlock new characters and super powers in the app with Telepods.
Angry Birds Go!, an upcoming app franchise from Rovio, will also feature Telepods technology. A full line of Telepods enhanced figures and play sets are currently at retail in anticipation of the release of Angry Birds Go! app on December 11.
The Marvel amendment extends Hasbro’s global rights to Marvel characters for an additional two years running through 2020. Hasbro will continue to develop a wide range of toys and games for Marvel’s global Universe of more than 8,000 characters, including Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Iron Man.
Following the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, the two companies sought to align the terms of both the Marvel and Lucasfilm agreements. The Marvel extension is in line with the term for Hasbro’s rights for the Star Wars franchise, which also runs through 2020. Both agreements cover entertainment, including all film and television properties, for the respective franchises during the period and include similar product categories.
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) will give fans a look at an extensive collection of interactive experiences, and merchandise that celebrate Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars characters during the bi-annual D23 Expo. Held at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 9 to 11, Disney fans will have the chance to follow their favorite products and learn how DCP extends storytelling from character and content extension to product development through featured discussions, art and sculptures, and final product displays.
While at the D23 Expo, fans will also be able to immerse themselves in exhibits, hands-on demonstrations, special signing opportunities, and exclusive product offerings at the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion. Also, for the first time at the D23 Expo, Star Wars fans can have access to experiences created for them by Lucasfilm and Disney. Darth Vader: The Evolution of a Villain, located in the DCP pavilion, showcases the development of the villain.
Fans will have the opportunity to participate in other immersive experiences, including Find Your Voice with The Little Mermaid, a karaoke experience with the music from the film; Journey through the Art of Tink, a gallery where Disney artists, designers, illustrators, and animators from around the world have re-imagined Tinker Bell; What Makes a Puppet a Muppet?, which will teach fans how create their own muppet “plush.” Other Disney and Marvel immersive experiences will allow fans to see the history of their favorite brands.
Hasbro Inc. and Rovio Entertainment have expanded a licensing agreement for toys and physical games based on the Angry Birds brand. The new agreement makes Hasbro the premier toy licensee for Angry Birds, including the upcoming game Angry Birds Go!, set to release this year. In addition, Hasbro will continue to develop and expand its line based on Angry Birds Star Wars from Rovio Entertainment and LucasFilm.
The original Angry Birds mobile game launched in 2009 and remains the No. 1 paid app of all time. Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into consumer products, publishing, and animation. In March, Rovio released Angry Birds Toons, a weekly animated cartoon series distributed through Angry Birds games, TV broadcasters, and on-demand networks. A full-length, animated Angry Birds movie opening is slated for July 1, 2016.
The terms of the agreement grant Hasbro worldwide licensing rights. More details will be released later in the year.
Lucasfilm has issued an immediate cease and desist to Wicked Lasers, the maker of Pro Artic Laser (video above). The product resembles the lightsaber in the Star Wars film and is described by Wicked Lasers as “the most dangerous laser ever created” and that “extremely dangerous is an understatement.”
Lucasfilm’s General Counsel David Anderman stated that “the product is not licensed or approved by Lucasfilm in any way” and that the company strongly discourages consumers from purchasing it.