If you haven’t noticed the runaway success of Pokémon Go this past week, you’re living under a rock. Look outside—all those people looking at their phones, glancing around, and walking slowly into traffic (hopefully not) are playing the hottest new augmented reality (AR) game. The word on the street is that this is the future of gaming. Perhaps it is. But it’s certainly not the first augmented reality game. The toy industry has been taking shots at this category for years with little to no success. At Toy Fair 2012, WowWee introduced its App Gear line. [Read more...]
The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, today announced the 15 finalists for induction into the hall. They are: Angry Birds, Doom, FIFA, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pac-Man, Pokémon, Pong, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft.
On Saturday, kids product luminaries such as Eruptor from Activision’s Skylanders, Mattel’s Thomas the Tank Engine, the Red Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, and Pokemon International’s Pikachu crossed paths—though not literally—at Macy’s BalloonFest in Queens, N.Y. The event, which took place at Citi Field, featured a test flight of the newest giant character balloons that will premiere at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
A total of six new character balloons took flight for the first time, directed by Macy’s flight management team and handled by hundreds of volunteers. The newest balloons include Thomas the Tank Engine, the largest and heaviest balloon ever to be featured in the parade; the Weinstein Company’s Paddington, which at 77.5 feet is the longest balloon to date; and Eruptor, which features a paint job requiring more than 40 gallons of fluorescent paint and five barrels of glitter.
This article was originally published in the July/August 2014 issue of The Toy Book. To read the entire digital issue, click here.
The construction play pattern has always allowed kids to create buildable worlds and adventures straight from their imaginations. But with a recent surge of licensed toys entering the category, kids are able to build more and more familiar worlds based on their favorite existing properties. According to The NPD Group, dollar sales of licensed building sets grew by 6 percent from 2011 to 2013. As the world becomes more multi-media driven, licensed properties are deeply integrated into kids’ daily lives. Established building toy companies, as well as those looking to get their feet wet in the category, are jumping on the bandwagon with characters and environments that are already a staple among kids—and even collectors. [Read more...]
You’ve likely heard about the massive success of The Lego Movie, and maybe you were even one of the millions worldwide who have gone to see it. Despite its financial success, some have blasted the film for essentially being a glorified, expensive commercial for Legos. I don’t think that anyone can deny that The Lego Movie is obviously commercially motivated, but does that make it wrong? Is it all that different from children’s movies selling toys based on the film?
Last Christmas, the Frozen Castle Playset and matching Barbie dolls from the Disney film Frozen were at the top of many children’s lists for Santa. Every time a commercial appeared for the movie or the toy, they advertised each other. Is The Lego Movie any different just because the toy existed before the movie? Here is the bigger question: In an age where almost no image is spared licensing of some form, where does the line get drawn between entertainment and commercial? [Read more...]
Flutterbye: A world of fairytale creatures comes twirling, dancing, spinning, and of course, flying into kids’ rooms. Driven by innovation, Flutterbye puts the control into girl’s hands, inviting them to unlock their fairies’ hidden potential and joy.
Ionix: These construction bricks shape-shift and change to become mini figures, action figures, weapons, gear, gadgets, and more. They also snap together with other leading construction systems.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 by Ionix: Kids can shape-shift and build their favorite dragons with new Ionix bricks, and recreate the incredible adventures of Toothless, Hiccup, and all of their friends as they battle against new foes and other threats to their homes on Berk.
Pokémon by Ionix: Ionix bricks bring favorite Pokémon characters like Pikachu, Chespin, Fennekin, Froakie, and more to life.
Maddy: Spin Master’s newest interactive doll, Maddy, is a talking, moving, “thinking” animated toy. Maddy’s glasses are a pair of high-resolution LED screens that function as her eyes, but will also play short animations, and can even be used to play mini games. Kids can download the free companion app to call and text their Maddy, play games with her, and discover some of her hidden features.
Paw Patrol: Based on a top-rated preschool series airing every weekday on Nickelodeon, this new toy line features lovable pups, cool vehicles, and magical transformations.
Zoomer Dino Boomer: This new guard dino runs around on two feet, chomping and whipping his tail. Kids can play with him in autonomous mode via the sensors in his nose, or pick up the control pod to send him on the attack. Dino also has a softer side, protecting his friends and sometimes even busting a dance move.
Google has released its annual Zeitgeist—a “spirit of the times”—which gives us a chance to remember the people, places and topics that got us talking, and ultimately searching, before a new year begins. The list of top toy searches features new toys such as Minions and Palace Pets, but also old favorites, such as Play-Doh. Here are the top 10 trending toy searches this year:
- Digimon Fusion
- Minecraft Toys
- Palace Pets
- Paw Patrol
- Pacific Rim Toys
- My Little Pony
- Disney Planes
The 2013 Zeitgeist site provides more than 1000 top-10 lists of popular and trending searches from 72 countries, making it the most comprehensive and global list to date.