COMMENTARY: Sibling Rivalries Exist in the Toy World, Too

FrozenproductsA real-life sibling rivalry exists between Disney’s Frozen Elsa and Anna products—with one sister clearly winning. According to a Wall Street Journal article published last month, Disney marketing executives expected the sisters to be equals in popularity. As such, they were caught off-guard by the overwhelming preference for Elsa, who outsells Anna in dolls, toys, costumes, and other items. Disney, in response, makes sure to keep Elsa items in-stock at stores: For example, about 10 percent more Elsa dolls are stocked than Anna ones at Wal-Mart, according to the same Wall Street Journal article.

To help combat the Frozen sibling rivalry, companies are selling dolls with both sisters, and sales data from last holiday season shows that girls want to play with dolls or role-play with costumes featuring both characters. In turn, companies such as Jakks Pacific, as well as retailers like Toys “R” Us, are making and selling products, respectively, that involve the two sisters. [Read more...]

Nintendo to Power Up Malls Across the U.S. This Holiday Season

NintendoFrom November 24 to December 21, Nintendo characters Mario, Luigi, and Pikachu will visit 16 malls across the country to offer holiday shoppers hands-on play time with new games for Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo 2DS. Visitors can also check out amiibo, Nintendo’s foray into the toys-to-life category.

Interactive spaces tailored for kids will feature a Mario Kart 8 tournament played on a large, high-definition display. Visitors can also play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The scheduled lineup of Wii U games also includes Hyrule Warriors, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Super Mario 3D World, Skylanders: Trap Team, and Nintendo Land.

Meanwhile, Nintendo 3DS fans will be able to check out Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Mario Kart 7, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Tomodachi Life, Yoshi’s New Island, and more. [Read more...]

Nintendo Partners with Loot Crate to Deliver amiibo to Fans

amiibo.largerversionThe online delivery service Loot Crate is helping fans receive select Nintendo amiibo figures after they launch on November 21. By signing up for the limited-time amiibo subscription service, subscribers will receive 10 pre-selected amiibo—including Mario, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Fox, and Yoshi—separated into three special Loot Crate shipments throughout the holiday season.

By joining the subscription service, Loot Crate guarantees the 10 pre-selected amiibo, and allows subscribers to avoid the hassle of rushing to retailers to find certain characters. In addition to Mario, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Fox, and Yoshi, the other five pre-selected characters will eventually be revealed through Loot Crate.

Nintendo and Loot Crate plan additional surprises for Super Smash Bros. and amiibo fans. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Mario Kart 8, and Hyrule Warriors will feature amiibo compatibility this year, with functionality for more titles coming in the future.

Launch Date Announced for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

SuperSmashBros.WiiUSuper Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS has reached cumulative sales of more than 2.8 million worldwide, following launches in the Americas, Europe, and Australia. To keep the momentum going, Nintendo has unveiled the launch date of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which will arrive in North America on November 21.

In related news, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will support amiibo, Nintendo’s new line of interactive figures, which will launch on the same day. The first wave of amiibo includes Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Link, Fox, Samus, Wii Fit Trainer, Villager, Pikachu, Kirby, and Marth. The second wave launching in December includes Zelda, Diddy Kong, Luigi, Little Mac, Pit, and Captain Falcon.

Disguise Celebrates Halloween with Popular Licenses

DisguiselogoDisguise Inc.’s Halloween costume line-up for this year includes popular characters for the entire family based on theatrical blockbusters, popular television shows, pop culture, and more.

This year’s line-up includes toddler and children’s costumes for Elsa, Anna, and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen, as well as an adult Elsa costume. From Disney’s Maleficent, Maleficent and Aurora costumes are available in sizes for children and adults. Disney Junior properties such as Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins have costumes in baby, toddler, and child sizes.

The classic Minnie Mouse costume is available in sizes ranging from baby to adult. Super Mario Bros fans can dress up as their favorite characters including Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach. Costumes for Bumblebee and Optimus Prime from Hasbro’s Transformers are available in baby to adult sizes.

Children and adult fans of Hasbro’s My Little Pony can dress up as their favorite characters, including Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. Accessories and costumes for Saban’s Power Rangers span from baby, to child, to adult.

The costumes are available at mass market, specialty, and online retail outlets including Target, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Spirit, Buy Seasons, and more.

Nintendo and Super Smash Bros. Join The Tailgate Tour

NintendoNintendo is bringing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS to top college football tailgate stops across the South and Midwest regions of the U.S. through the end of November. Before the games, fans from rival schools will be able to settle their differences by competing in Super Smash Bros. head-to-head matches.

Nintendo will be keeping score as fans compete, with a visual display indicating whether the home or away team has the edge. A demo version of the Wii U game will be used to pit fans of rival schools against one another, while the 3DS game will be focused on letting friends settle their scores.

The Tailgate Tour will make stops at the following games, with Mario and Luigi costumed characters attending the Florida-Georgia game to cheer on the Super Smash Bros. match-ups:

  • Oct. 4: LSU at Auburn
  • Oct. 11: Penn State at Michigan
  • Oct. 18: Georgia vs. Arkansas
  • Oct. 25: Alabama at Tennessee
  • Nov. 1: Florida vs. Georgia
  • Nov. 8: Alabama at LSU
  • Nov. 15: Florida State at Miami
  • Nov. 22: Louisville at Notre Dame
  • Nov. 29: Michigan at Ohio State

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS launches today, while the Wii U version launches this holiday season.

COMMENTARY: Nintendo Is Game for Playing in the Toy World

amiibo.largerversionSince the 1980s, Nintendo has always seemed to be the “family-friendly” choice in video games. With wholesome characters such as Mario and Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Toad, and bad guys that make you laugh more often than they scare you (except for Bowser in the original Super Mario Bros. game on NES—he was straight up scary), Nintendo has always given off a welcoming, family-friendly vibe, with games available for kids of all ages, and systems and controllers that are intuitive rather than intimidating.

Despite knowing this—and being a Nintendo fan my whole life—it still caught me a bit off-guard when Nintendo announced that it would be launching amiibo, which are action-figures designed to connect and interact with compatible games. “By holding the amiibo over your Wii U GamePad, you’ll open up new experiences within each corresponding game,” reads the Nintendo website. [Read more...]

Nintendo Becomes More Playful with Play Nintendo Website

PlayNintendoNintendo has unveiled Play Nintendo at play.nintendo.com, a new website where both kids and parents can interact with the video game maker’s characters and franchises. The site is a child-friendly online destination where kids can get to know beloved Nintendo games and characters including Mario, Luigi, Bowser, and Peach.

Nintendo will be regularly updating the parents site with new content such as which games are right for families, new games on the way, crafting ideas, suggestions for how to balance screen time with outdoor play, and more.

Free Super Smash Bros. 3DS Demo Available to Download

SuperSmashBrosNintendo 3DS owners can download a free demo of the upcoming fighting game, Super Smash Bros., in the Nintendo eShop at 9 a.m. PT today. The demo includes playable characters Mario, Link, Pikachu, Villager, and Mega Man. It also features the battlefield stage and the ability to compete in local multiplayer matches with fellow Nintendo 3DS owners who have downloaded the demo to their systems.

A Nintendo Network ID is required to download the demo. More details on Super Smash Bros. can be found at http://www.smashbros.com/us/.

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.