China Toy Fair


Nintendo Announces Super Smash Bros., amiibo Release Dates

Amiibo-300x233Nintendo announced release dates for its massive lineup of new games and products for the 2014 holiday season. Among the release dates are the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros. for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles, as well as the new amiibo interactive figures.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS launches Oct. 3, with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U following during the holiday season. Consumers who register both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions of the games with Club Nintendo will receive the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U: Premium Sound Selection, a soundtrack CD packed with music taken from and inspired by the games.  Additionally, Nintendo revealed that Shulk from the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise will be a playable character on both consoles.

The first 12 amiibo interactive figures, Nintendo’s new foray into the toys-to-life play pattern, become available for pre-order today at a suggested retail price of $12.99 each. The first dozen characters available for pre-order at select retailers include Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer. More figures will launch in the future. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first game with full integration of amiibo functionality. Other games that will support amiibo include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10, and Yoshi’s Woolly World, with more to come. More details on amiibo functionality with the various games and a launch date will be revealed shortly.

Pac-Man to Join the Cast of Super Smash Bros.

Recently, SSB_Screenshot_1-1Nintendo revealed that Pac-Man will be joining the cast of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems. This addition brings together video game legends Mario, Mega Man and, of course, Pac-Man for the first time.

The game is set to launch on October 3 for the Nintendo 3DS and on Wii U during the 2014 holiday season.

Masahiro Sakuri, Super Smash Bros. developer, also announced that players will now be able to customize any Mii character they want and set them fighting in this new game. Other highlights include a Super Smash Bros. invitational tournament, and a live broadcast showcasing a variety of upcoming Nintendo games.

COMMENTARY: Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. [Read more...]

Nintendo World Hosts Launch Event for Mario and Zelda games in Rockefeller Plaza

NintendoWorld

On November 21, Nintendo is hosting a combined celebration for Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Mario Party: Island Tour for the Nintendo 3DS. The event will take place at Nintendo World in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City from 8 p.m until midnight.

Fans will be able to purchase all three of these Wii U and Nintendo 3DS releases, a day before they launch in stores and in the Nintendo eShop. In addition to early access to the games, chalk artist Chris Carlson will be on site to reveal an art piece featuring iconic imagery from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Costumed characters from both the Mario and Zelda series will also be there and taking pictures with fans.

Luigi’s Living the Dream in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Mario and Luigi Dream TeamNintendo will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Luigi, the younger brother of its mascot character Mario, with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, available exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS system.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is the fourth game in the company’s Mario & Luigi series. At certain points during the game, the gameplay shifts from controlling both brothers in an isometric 3-D world to controlling Mario and a dreaming Luigi through the side-scrolling vistas of his dreams. Using the touch screen on the Nintendo 3DS, players can manipulate a sleeping Luigi, which will in turn make things happen in the dream world. Luigi also has special powers in his dreams, such as spawning hundreds of himself to form towers or wrecking balls.

Nintendo had previously named 2013 the “Year of Luigi,” and had announced plans to release several games starring the character. In addition to retail stores, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team can also be purchased and downloaded at the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS.

The Toy Book Attends K’nex Mario Kart Wii Building Set Launch Event

Last week, The Toy Book saw a sneak peek of the new K’nex Mario Kart Wii Building Set collection at the Nintendo World Store in New York City. At the launch event, there were tons of building activities, plus a special opportunity to take a photo with Mario and Luigi!

The K’nex Mario Kart Wii Building Sets include characters, buildable and interconnecting tracks, vehicles, and obstacles from the Mario Kart Wii game. The more sets that a child collects, the bigger and more complex tracks he or she can build for Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi.

The Mario, Yoshi, and Luigi Standard Kart Building Sets allow children to build standard karts from the game. Once the creation is completed, the karts feature a pull-back motor allowing them to race off. Accessories, such as the mushroom from the game, are included as well.

[Read more...]

Rubie’s Wins Awards from Party City

Party City has awarded Rubie’s Costume Company the 2010 Best Breakout License award for its Lady Gaga licensed costumes.

“We are very proud and honored to receive this distinction and thankful to be selected to receive this impressive award from one of the top retailers in the Halloween industry,” said Howard Beige, executive vice president of Rubie’s.

Rubie’s also won the 2010 award for Best Humor Costume, for its Mario costume.