China Toy Fair


Bandai Namco Launches Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign

Bandai Namco Games America Inc. has partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to launch the Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign in the fight against the second leading cause of cancer among U.S. women.  Ms. Pac-Man will mascot the campaign, which will be anchored with new gameplay incentives across the video game publisher’s line of mobile titles. The campaign will raise funds for NBCF to help women and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services.

The Ms. Pac-Man Ribbon Campaign will run until Oct. 31 and includes an exclusive new maze for sale across Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man iOS and Android titles. All proceeds from purchases on the new level will go directly to support the NBCF. The in-game user interface and artwork for game will change to a new pink ribbon theme for October alongside the new content.

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.

2013 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

NationalToyHallofFameThe game of chess joins the rubber duck as honored toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame. The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that included bubbles, Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, Nerf toys, Pac-Man, scooter, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

During the National Toy Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at The Strong in Rochester, N.Y., on November 7, cartoonist Leigh Rubin (Rubes) presented two original commemorative cartoons, which he created in honor of the newest toy hall honorees.

COMMENTARY: Kids Getting Older Younger—Or Younger Older?

Everyone always talks about how kids are getting older younger. Kids as young as 8 years old are swapping their Barbie dolls and Transformers for iPods and tablets—but this isn’t the case for everyone. There are big kids everywhere, and toys have a funny little habit of bringing an adult’s inner-child giggling wildly to the surface.

Nostalgia is a huge trend in toys today—classic properties such as The Smurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Pac-Man have resurfaced and are engaging a whole new generation. Traditional toys, such as Hasbro’s Easy Bake Oven, Kahootz’s Spirograph, and POOF-Slinky’s Slinky, all still appeal to young kids the same way they did decades ago. However, adults and older kids will find just as much fun in new products primarily targeted toward youngsters, too.

RainbowLoom.Butterfly Blossom braceletThis weekend, I was loomed. A family friend’s daughter, Karli, had her wrist covered in the colorful rubber bracelets that are a product of Rainbow Loom, from Choon’s Designs. A huge craze among kids, I was enamored by the bracelets and begged her to teach me how to make one. She did, and of course, hers came out better. I’ve been staring at it on my wrist every day since she made it for me, and I was extremely tempted to purchase my own loom when I went into a Michael’s craft store and saw the enormous display (but I thought to myself: “You’re 23 years old, Marissa! Taking home product samples is one thing, but you cannot justify BUYING a toy!”).

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COMMENTARY: Different Licensees Mean Different Toy Takes on Pac-Man

Quite a few companies are taking on Pac-Man, the character featured in the classic arcade game by Namco. It’s easy to see why, as Pac-Man is the most popular video game of all time, not to mention a global icon that inspired a slew of merchandise during the ’80s. One current toy licensee is Paladone, whose recent Pac-centric products have included the radio-controlled PAC-MAN Racers Set, a plush doll, a candy dispenser, and much more. These toys are based around the basic character design: a yellow spheroid with a missing wedge for a mouth. Other than having eyes (shaped like small Pac-Men) and a handy third dimension, he doesn’t look all that different from Pac-Man in the original game.

Paladone Pac-Man and Ghost

Pac-Man original game

I passed on the candy dispenser (it still being swimsuit season), but as for the Pac-Man Racer, it is great fun on smooth surfaces. You control Pac-Man using a remote cleverly styled like an arcade joystick. There is a bit of a learning curve: For example, in order to get Pac-Man to turn, you have to move him forward or backward, and then bank hard left or right after he picks up some speed. Meanwhile, moving him out of certain tight spaces is not so dissimilar from parallel parking with a car (which is potentially good news for adults who need the practice). [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Spanning Generations: Modern Takes on Classic Brands

Nostalgia is a growing trend in the toy and licensing industry, but recently many classic brands have been given a modern reboot. The modernized take on classic brands offer fun for consumers both young and old, spanning generations and providing licensees with multiple new opportunities. Today, some modernized takes on old favorites live along side their predecessors.

PlaymatesToys.BasicMutagenOozeTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), for example, launched in the 1980s. A huge, revolutionary boys’ property, the brand was given a reboot last year when a new TMNT animated series launched in September on Nickelodeon. The brand has seen massive success in the toy industry, with partners including Playmates Toys with a full line of figures and play sets, bubbles and water toys from Little Kids, and awesome electronics from Sakar International, including adorable TMNT earbuds. In addition to producing toys based on the new animated series, Playmates Toys also offers a classic collection including all four turtles, which reflects the look of the characters in the original series. [Read more...]

41 Entertainment Signs Licensing Agents for Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

41 Entertainment has appointed new licensing and merchandising agents in Latin markets including Spain and Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, and Latin and Central America for the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures TV series slated to begin broadcast next fall and spring 2014.

BRB Internacional will handle all licensing and merchandising activity in Spain and Portugal; Tycoon Enterprises is charged with Mexico; Redibra Licensing will manage in Brazil; and Televix will oversee all activities in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Disney XD Named U.S. Broadcaster for Pac-Man Series

Namco Bandai Games, Inc., Arad Productions, and 41 Entertainment LLC (“41e”), announced that they have granted the U.S. television rights to Disney XD for a new animated action comedy series tentatively titled Pac-Man– The Adventure Begins (26×22), set for a fall 2013 airing.

Based on the brand owned by Namco Bandai, the series is created in stereoscopic 3-D, and executive produced by Avi Arad (Spider-Man for Sony Pictures, Iron Man for Paramount, Hulk for Universal, and Fantastic Four and X-Men for 20th Century Fox) and Rick Ungar (Biker Mice from Mars for New World, X-Men Evolution for Marvel, and Legend of the Dragon for BKN).

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