China Toy Fair


Major Toy Retailers Welcome Shoppers on Thanksgiving with Black Friday Deals

ToysRUsLogo copyThis Thanksgiving, Toys “R” Us nationwide stores will open at 5 p.m. on November 28, so parents and gift-givers can get a head start on their holiday shopping. Promotions include four-hour deals, as well as Thursday through Sunday discounts on toys, games, and tablets.

Shoppers can plan their strategies as early as November 24 on the Toys “R” Us Facebook page, and a 28-page circular is set to arrive in newspapers across the country on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, for the first time, customers can shop the majority of Thanksgiving weekend deals online at toysrus.com/blackfriday starting at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.

Those shoppers who spend $75 or more between November 28 and 29, at Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us, will receive a $10 redeemable coupon that’s valid in-store or online between December 1 through December 7. [Read more...]

Nintendo Offers Free Wii Fit U Trial

WiiU_WiiFitU_091813_Scrn03Nintendo is giving Wii U owners the chance to get fit for free. Starting today, Wii U owners who own a Wii Balance Board accessory and have access to a broadband Internet connection can download a free trial version of Wii Fit U from the Nintendo eShop. The trial software is not an abbreviated version of the game—it is the full Wii Fit U experience. The trial will be downloadable from the Nintendo eShop between November 1 and January 31, and will work for 31 days from when it is first played.

Any trial participant who buys a Fit Meter accessory and syncs it to the game will be able to continue playing Wii Fit U forever. The Fit Meter has many of the same features of modern activity meters, and people can purchase one at select retailers and online.

With Wii Fit U, the workout goes wherever the user goes. People can work out at home, or take the Fit Meter with them to track steps taken, elevation changes, and calories burned. One button press syncs the Fit Meter data to the in-game profile, so people get credit for their physical activity, even if they aren’t at home for a traditional Wii Fit U workout. The game also lets people create custom routines of their favorite activities, review their progress and see what their friends are up to in online Gym Communities and Miiverse.

With more than 70 different activities to choose from, Wii Fit U combines fun and fitness in yoga, strength training, and fitness games. For the first time, dance activities are also included. Players can try eight different dance styles, including salsa, hula, and hip hop.

New Wii U Bundle Features Skylanders Swap Force, Nintendo Land

SkylandersBundle

A new Wii U bundle featuring Activision Publishing Inc.’s Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack will launch November 15. The bundle includes everything needed to start the new adventure, including a white Wii U Basic system; Skylanders SWAP Force Starter Pack, which includes Skyalnders Swap Force Wii U software, Portal of Power, three Skylanders figures, two Swap Force characters, a collector poster, trading cards, and sticker sheets;  and a Nintendo Land game disc.

Nintendo Teams Up with Snowboarder Jamie Anderson for Road to Sochi 100 Day Countdown

NintendoNintendo has partnered with the U.S. Olympic Committee to kick off its nationwide Road to Sochi Tour in Times Square in New York City on October 29 with a 100 Day Countdown event, celebrating 100 days until the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The event will take up three blocks in  Times Square and will include athlete demonstrations on a ski and snowboard ramp, as well as an ice rink for curling, figure skating, speedskating, and ice hockey.

Nintendo will also be there with hands-on demos for its new game, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which launches for Wii U on November 15. The game features characters from the Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog universes competing together in 24 winter events, including the new event snowboard slopestyle, which is making its Olympic Winter Games debut in Sochi.

Jamie Anderson, slopestyle snowboarder and six-time X Games medalist, will be at the event to help promote Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. He may meet with visitors in a designated area. In addition, the Mario and Sonic costumed characters will make appearances to take photos with attendees.

Nintendo Releases New Nintendo 2DS Portable System

Oct10.Nintendo2DSNintendo has launched the Nintendo 2DS system, designed as an entry point into Nintendo handheld video games. The Nintendo 2DS system maintains many of the same hardware features as Nintendo 3DS, like touch-screen controls, StreetPass, online multiplayer functionality, and the ability to download games.

Without any hinges, the Nintendo 2DS is a recommended first-time system for kids. It will be available in red and blue and plays all Nintendo 3DS games in 2-D. In addition, Nintendo 2DS is backward compatible and can play Nintendo DS games. Two carrying cases in either red or blue are also available.

Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog Returns to TV

Sonic TV Animation Tease ONLINE USESega has announced that Sonic, the iconic blue hedgehog with four TV series and more than 70 video games, will be returning to the TV screen next year in a CGI-animated series. Produced by Sega of America Inc. and Genao Productions, the new Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sonic Boom, will premiere in the U.S. on Cartoon Network, and on Canal J and Gulli in France, with a global rollout to follow.

Sonic Boom is a character-driven comedy that leaves a trail of robot wreckage in its smoldering wake. The series centers on Sonic, his best friend and sidekick, Tails, their search for adventure, and their battles with Sonic’s arch-nemesis, Dr. Eggman. Rounding out the ensemble are fan favorites Knuckles and Amy Rose, plus a rogue’s gallery of enemies—some familiar to Sonic fans and some brand new.

After being licensed in areas such as toys, apparel, comics, and animation, Sega has also signed a three-title exclusive partnership with Nintendo for the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. Sonic Lost World will be the first title to launch under this agreement, and will be available in stores later this year for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS platforms.

Nintendo Re-launches The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in HD

TheLegendofZelda.TheWindWakerHDThe packaged version of the re-mastered, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, has launched for the Wii U home console. The disc includes distinctive gold-foil packaging. Wii U owners can also download the game from the Nintendo eShop.

Fans who do not own the Wii U console can opt for a limited-edition bundle, which includes a black Deluxe Wii U console; a controller adorned with the gold Hyrule crest and symbols from the game; a download code for the digital version of Hyrule Historia, which details the chronology, history, and artwork of the Zelda series; and a code to download the game from the Nintendo eShop.

TheLegendofZelda.WindWaker.stillOriginally released for Nintendo GameCube in North America in 2003, the game tells the story of a young boy, who goes on a quest after his sister is kidnapped by a giant bird. The re-mastered, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, features enhancements such as Miiverse functionality, which lets players with broadband Internet access attach helpful messages or images to Tingle Bottles that wash up on the shore in another player’s game. The game also includes the Swift Sail, which increases the speed of the player’s boat.

The Wonderful 101 Launches for Wii U Console

wonderful101The Wonderful 101 has launched on September 15 for the Wii U console. It is filled with characters, led by Wonder-Red. Players can meet other heroes that will join the team, such as the Wonder-Blue and Wonder-Pink.

By drawing certain symbols on the screen or with the right control stick, players combine multiple heroes in a Unite Morph. Players can recruit citizens to become heroes in battle. The more citizens players recruit, the more powerful their Unite Morph attacks become. Players can also track and recruit the rest of the Wonderful 100 such as Wonder-Guitar, Wonder-Locomotive, Wonder-Signal, and Wonder-Toilet.

The in-game Wonderful Mart lets players spend O-Parts acquired during battles to unlock additional Unite Morphs, as well as new abilities and upgrades.

In addition to the single-player mode, The Wonderful 101 offers a co-op multiplayer mode for up to five players. The Wonderful 101 can also be purchased and downloaded in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.

Skylanders Swap Force Launches on Nintendo DS This Fall

SwapForceActivision Publishing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard Inc., will deliver the innovation of “dynamic swapability”  to the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system this fall with the launch of Skylanders Swap Force.

The Nintendo 3DS version of Skylanders Swap Force offers gamers a unique adventure complete with its very own story, levels, and special starter pack characters. A truly complementary experience to the console version, Skylanders Swap Force on Nintendo 3DS will hit retail destinations worldwide with three new characters—Rattle Shake, Volcanic Eruptor, and Free Ranger—that are not found in any other Skylanders Starter Pack. If fans buy both a console version and the Nintendo 3DS version of Skylanders Swap Force, they will end up with four Swap Force Skylanders, giving them 16 different combinations.

The story of Skylanders Swap Force on Nintendo 3DS begins in Boomtown, home of Skylands’ favorite pilot, Flynn. As the town is celebrating Flynn as their hometown hero, a new villain known as Count Moneybone sneaks his way into Boomtown to kidnap Cali, long-time friend to Flynn and the Skylanders. It’s up to Portal Masters everywhere to assemble the Skylanders and Swap Force to save Cali and defeat the evil Count Moneybone. [Read more...]

Nintendo Announces Special-Edition Legend of Zelda Wii U Bundle, 2DS Portable

legendofzeldaAt a GameStop managers show in Las Vegas, Nintendo announced its holiday slate as well as a price drop of $50 for the Wii U Deluxe Set that will go into effect on September 20. On the same day, the company will also launch a limited-edition Wii U bundle featuring The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.

The limited-edition Wii U bundle includes a black deluxe Wii U console, a controller adorned with gold lettering and symbols from the game, and download code for a digital version of Hyrule Historia, a book detailing the history of The Legend of Zelda franchise. The digital version of the game itself will also be available September 20, while the packaged version arrives on October 4.

Meanwhile, the company’s Nintendo 2DS, a portable gaming system that plays Nintendo 3DS and DS games, albeit in 2-D, launches on October 12. Nintendo’s slate for both the Wii U and 3DS in the coming months includes third-party titles such as Scribblenauts Unmasked-A DC Comics Adventure from Warner Bros. Interactive and Skylanders Swap Force from Activision.