HoliDAY of Play 2015

COMMENTARY: Let the Games (Surrounding Video Game Console Exclusives) Begin

SSC_Hammer Slam Bowser_FIN_HiResThis 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.

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LEGO Toy Pad Unites Physical and Digital Realms Through Interactive Puzzle Play

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has unveiled the LEGO Toy Pad, which comes with the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack and will be an interactive part of the LEGO Dimensions game play experience. The LEGO Toy Pad functions as an additional game controller, giving players a unique way to interact with the toys and the game. It allows any combination of seven characters, vehicles, and gadgets to be simultaneously brought into the game at one time, and features three distinct areas of RGB light technology that produce a broad array of colors to provide hints and puzzles for the player to solve.

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Skylanders SuperChargers Introduces Donkey Kong and Bowser as Skylanders Guest Stars

SSC_Turbo Charge DonkeyKong_FIN_HiResActivision Publishing Inc. and Nintendo have collaborated to introduce two of Nintendo’s iconic characters, Donkey Kong and Bowser, as guest stars in Skylanders SuperChargers. The characters will be available exclusively in Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs for the Wii U, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS family of systems, available now for pre-order. E3 2015 attendees were the first to get their hands on the characters and specially created vehicles.

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Lego Jurassic World Roars into Stores, Packs All Four Jurassic Films into One Video Game

LEGO Jurassic WorldLego Jurassic World is now available in North America for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, the PlayStation Vita, the Xbox One and Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, the Lego Group, and Universal Partnerships & Licensing, Lego Jurassic World spans more than two decades of films including Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III, and the anticipated Jurassic World, opening today.

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Skylanders Get Supercharged with SuperChargers

Skylanders-SuperChargers-Logo_PNGActivision has revealed the latest installment in its Skylanders franchise: Skylanders SuperChargers. Expanding on the brand’s signature gameplay, Skylanders SuperChargers introduces never-before-seen vehicles-to-life.

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The Strong and Ritsumeikan University Partner for the Study of Video Game History

the strong, museumofplay logoThe Strong (home of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the World Video Game Hall of Fame) and the Center for Games Studies and Art Research at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, have entered into a collaborative partnership on the study of video game history and on efforts to preserve video games. For their first effort, the museum and the university will develop an exhibit celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System, slated to open at The Strong later this fall.

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NPD Group Finds Interactive Gaming Toys Keep Families and Players Engaged in Play

NPDGrouplogoAccording to “Interactive Gaming Toys,” the latest report from The NPD Group, 70 percent of parents in the U.S. are familiar with Interactive Gaming Toys (IGT), also known as Toys to Life. As reported by Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group, 40 percent state that they own at least one franchise, and 41 percent of those who own an IGT indicate they own more than one franchise.

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Nintendo’s Mario: Silver Edition amiibo Figure Arrives on May 29

Silver_Mario_amiiboA new Mario: Silver Edition amiibo figure will be available at major nationwide retailers and their respective online destinations on May 29. As with the other Mario amiibo figures that have already launched, the Mario: Silver Edition amiibo will have the same functionality and work with all games that are compatible with Mario amiibo.

A full list of compatible games is available on the amiibo compatibility chart at Nintendo’s web site.

COMMENTARY: Toys Meet Theme Parks and Resorts, or, How You’ll Be Spending Your Summer Vacations

Legoland Florida Resort

Last week, one of the big news stories around the toy industry was Nintendo entering a deal with Universal Studios to create rides and other attractions for the latter’s theme parks. As reported on The Toy Book Blog, Nintendo’s most famous video game characters and worlds would serve as the inspiration for these soon-to-be immersive experiences. Imagine the possibilities: Kids, and adults, may soon interact with environments straight out of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, or any of the video game maker’s other hit franchises.

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Nintendo Partners with Universal Parks & Resorts for Theme Park Attractions Based on Nintendo Games and Characters

NintendoNintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts will bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks, with experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters, and worlds. Through the partnership, Nintendo will be expanding the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.

The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s best-known characters and games. More details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.