China Toy Fair


Skylanders Trap Team Will Be Unleashed on Tablets

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoActivision Publishing Inc. will bring the complete Skylanders Trap Team video game to tablets at launch, marking the first time a full Skylanders game will be available on iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets day-and-date with the console version. The tablet version of the game delivers the same experience with console-quality graphics and comes with its own high-performance controller.

The Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack will include a Bluetooth Traptanium Portal, an embedded Bluetooth controller, a built-in tablet stand, two Skylanders characters, two Traps, and a display tray that lets Portal Masters keep track of the Traps they’ve collected and which villains they have trapped. [Read more...]

Sony Pictures Teams Up with Iconic Video Game Companies for Pixels

Sony Pictures Entertainment has brought together a number of iconic video game companies, whose characters—such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Frogger, and Q*bert—will be featured in next year’s action comedy Pixels, to be released on May 15.

Companies with classic arcade games that are teaming with Sony Pictures on the film include: Atari Interactive (publisher of Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, and Missile Command), Konami Digital Entertainment Co. Ltd. (Frogger), Bandai Namco Games Inc. (Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug), Nintendo (Donkey Kong), Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. (Q*bert), Taito Corporation (Space Invaders), and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (Joust, Defender, Robotron, and Wizard of Wor).

Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition to Premiere at Comic-Con International

Skylanders

Skylanders Trap Team at Licensing Expo 2014

Activision Publishing Inc. is bringing the Skylanders video game franchise to Comic-Con International: San Diego, and attendees will be the first to check out the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack toys. The pack includes the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a special, larger-sized trap, which allows Portal Masters to trap and play as Kaos when the game launches in North America on October 5.

In addition, the pack will include two Traps; exclusive black and silver variant designs of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire, and Food Fight; a two-sided poster; sticker sheets; and trading cards. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack will be available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Comic Con International: San Diego kicks off thus Thursday, but North American fans can pre-order the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack beginning today at major retailers while supplies last.

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.

Nintendo’s Wii Sports Club for Wii U Arrives in July

WiiSportsClubBaseballNintendo’s five-sports-in-one packaged version of Wii Sports Club for Wii U hits stores on July 25. The game features new versions of the five original classic sports–tennis, bowling, golf, baseball and boxing–enhanced with an online multiplayer option and optimized for play with the Wii U GamePad controller.

Wii U has also added high-definition graphics, Wii MotionPlus technology, and creative uses of the Wii U GamePad. [Read more...]

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 Enters Toys to Life Category with amiibo

AmiiboAt the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game trade show in Los Angeles, Nintendo began showcasing new interactive figures called amiibo, which feature popular Nintendo characters. The company’s entry into the toys to life category, amiibo can interact with Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games in unique ways.

Nintendo will launch the new amiibo line this year with 10 figures, and more during the holiday season and throughout next year. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first game to support the figures, and upcoming games include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10, and Yoshi’s Woolly World. A new NFC reader/writer designed for Nintendo 3DS is scheduled to launch next year.

Sega Creates All-New Character, Sticks, for Sonic Boom Franchise

SticksArtSega has introduced Sticks, a brand new character that will play an integral role across all Sonic Boom platforms. Sonic Boom is the newest branch of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and was announced earlier this year.

Sticks will join the Sonic Boom team alongside Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy. She will appear in the Sonic Boom television series, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS video games, and merchandise.

Sticks is a jungle badger who has spent most of her life living alone in the wilderness and wields her trusty handmade boomerang. She is wilder than the other members of the team, exhibiting animal instincts, sharp survival skills, and fearsome combativeness. These skills will play a pivotal role through the new Sonic Boom content as Sticks tries to adapt to civilization and become close to her new friends. [Read more...]

Nintendo to Launch Character Figurines that Interact with Video Games

NFPNintendoNintendo is planning a new line of character figurines that can communicate with video games, similar to Activision’s Skylanders and Disney Infinity. The new Nintendo Figurine Platform (NFP) was announced last Thursday by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata at the company’s annual financial briefing.

“Other than using character IP in Nintendo’s video game software, we need to start a new business that will someday become one of our core activities,” said Iwata. He stressed the importance of taking risks and coming up with interesting ways for Nintendo to leverage its character intellectual property. [Read more...]

Nintendo’s NES Remix 2 Hearkens Back to 1990 World Championship

WiiU.NESRemix2NES Remix 2 will launch exclusively at the Nintendo eShop on Wii U on April 25. The game has a new mode inspired by the 1990 Nintendo World Championship, which challenged players to achieve the highest cumulative score in three specific games through a multiplier-based scoring system.

The three games in Championship Mode include Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario. Players will take on three successive score-based challenges to achieve a cumulative total score, which they can post to Miiverse. The first NES Remix game is required to access Championship Mode in NES Remix 2.

NES Remix 2 is a mash-up of classic Nintendo games including Metroid, Kid Icarus, and Kirby’s Adventure, with added challenges and modified stages.