China Toy Fair


Scottish Island Teams Up With Skylanders Swap Force

Isle-of-SkyeVisitScotland, The Highland Council, and Activision Publishing Inc., an owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard Inc. have announced that the Isle of Skye in Scotland has virtually twinned with Skylands, the home of Skylanders Swap Force.

The Scottish Highlands have been brought together with the virtual islands of Skylands, to celebrate the month of Swaptober and the launch of Skylanders Swap Force. The virtual twinning marks the first time a video game world has twinned with a real destination. Skylanders Swap Force is available now at retail stores in North America and will be available in Australia on October 16 and Europe on October 18.

Activision and VisitScotland brought the virtual world of Skylands to the  Scottish Highlands through a visit to the Isle of Skye by Wash Buckler, one of the new Skylanders Swap Force characters. Wash Buckler toured some of the island’s most famous landmarks and visited the children at Portree Primary School. Also, there was a Swap takeover of the Isle of Skye website www.skye.co.uk, where Skylanders franchise fans worldwide can type Swap on the homepage to watch the magic unfold.

Voting Opens for 2013 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards

TAGIE.AwardsThese nominees for the annual Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards in the categories of toy design, game design, young inventor, and rising star were selected by industry colleagues. Now the public is invited to place their votes before the annual award show taking place in November as part of the 11th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

The 2013 TAGIE Award nominees are as follows:

Excellence in Toy Design

  • Bruce Lund, inventor of the Dino Construction Company Line
  • Cheong Choon Ng, inventor of Rainbow Loom
  • Jon Paul Capriola, inventor of ZippyDo
  • Sean Frawley, inventor of Aero Force Flight Designs: “Ultra-Light/Extended Flight” Gliders/ Wind Ups/ Power Gliders
  • Wim Ouboter, inventor of Microlino Airseat Hybrid

[Read more...]

Skylanders Debuts New Boomcast Webisodes on YouTube

Skylanders.Swap.ForceSkylanders Boomcast, a weekly series of online webisodes for the Skylanders line of toys, debuted on October 4 on the Skylanders YouTube channel.

Actor Zachary Gordon hosts, bringing fans the latest Skylanders franchise news, gameplay tips and tricks, fan art, character spotlights, exclusive interviews with the Skylanders team, and more. Skylanders Boomcast was created by Activision Publishing Inc. and is a Matter/Edelman production in association with RadNerd Productions.

The show’s launch kicked-off Swaptober, a month of activities celebrating the new Skylanders SWAP Force, which arrives on October 13 in North America, October 16 in Australia, and October 18 in Europe.

Swaptober Kicks into Gear in Anticipation of Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders-SWAP-Force_NightIn anticipation of the Skylanders Swap Force launch, Activision Publishing Inc. is using the month of October, or “Swaptober” to get gamers ready for the game’s launch on October 13. Lucky Portal Masters will have chances to win copies of the Skylanders Swap Force game, explore the world of Skylanders in Times Square, and more during the month-long activities.

To kick off Swaptober, Activision will be giving away one Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack per day beginning October 1 and going to October 31 via the official Skylanders Twitter channel (@SkylandersGame). For a chance to win, portal masters can visit Skylanders.com to mix and match their favorite character combination and then tweet it along with a suggested catch phrase using hashtags #SWAPtober and #Skylanders.

There are even more ways to celebrate on  October 10, when Skylanders partners with Toys “R” Us to bring Skylanders to life with “Swaptoberfest”—a celebration in Times Square where fans will have the chance to be among the very first to play the game before it’s available at retail. This Times Square takeover will feature Skylanders Swap Force-themed activities, photos with Skylanders costumed characters, and chances to win Starter Packs and Skylanders-themed merchandise from companies, including Mega Brands, Rubie’s Costume Co., Hybrid Apparel, and Power A. [Read more...]

Skylanders Swap Force Continues the Franchise’s Reputation

This week, The Toy Book got a chance to preview Activision Publishing Inc.’s upcoming Skylanders Swap Force video game and toys at an after-school event in New York City. The original entry in the series, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, pioneered the idea of video games that interact with real-world toys. Now comes Skylanders Swap Force, in which special action figures can be disassembled into top and bottom halves and then reassembled into new characters that are playable within the game.

Skylanders SWAP Force, Stink ChargeThe game itself is as visually rich and immersing as previous entries in the series (although Playstation 4 (PS4) version takes the experience to a whole new level, but more on that later). At the demo, kids and their parents got to preview the levels, “Rampant Ruins,” a creepy jungle graveyard, and, “Winter Keep,” in which the Skylanders heroes have to retrieve a special device called the Illuminator—all while dodging huge flying snowballs. Each level features mini-games that vary in play style, keeping things from ever getting too repetitive. At one point during “Winter Keep,” the game switches from more traditional combat to a race through the sky along “rainbow rails.” [Read more...]

Skylanders Giants Remains Best-Selling Video Game in U.S. and Europe

skylanders

Activision Publishing Inc.’s Skylanders Giants is the No. 1 best-selling console and hand-held video game year-to-date overall in dollars, including toys and accessories, in the U.S. and Europe. In its first two weeks, Skylanders Giants sold more than 500,000 Starter Packs and Portal Owner Packs globally.

Additionally, Skylanders figures are expected to have outsold the top action-figure properties in the U.S. and Europe for the first eight months of the year. The Skylanders franchise has generated more than $1.5 billion in worldwide retail sales.

Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Giants were developed by Toys For Bob, and Skylanders Swap Force is being developed by Vicarious Visions.

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.

Activision’s Skylanders Products Are a Force to Beat

Activision Publishing has announced that the Skylanders figures outsold all action-figure properties in the U.S. and Europe year-to-date in 2013–and the Skylanders property outpaced all toy properties overall in the U.K. year-to-date as of June 30.

As of July 31, the Skylanders franchise has generated more than $1.5 billion in worldwide retail sales in both North America and Europe. Skylanders Giants was also the best-selling console and hand-held game overall in dollars.

skylanders

Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders Swap Force is being developed by Vicarious Visions and is the newest game in the franchise. Skylanders Swap Force builds upon the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding a new dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces a play pattern—dynamic swapability—that lets gamers transform 16 Swap Force inter-action figures into more than 250 characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves to experience a level of choice never before seen in a Skylanders game. Fans  can also play Skylanders Swap Force with their entire collection of more than 100 characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Giants.

In Skylanders Swap Force, Portal Masters embark on a new adventure in the mysterious Cloudbreak Islands, home to a mystical volcano that erupts every hundred years to replenish the magic in Skylands. During an epic battle, a brave group of Skylanders were caught in the volcano’s eruption, which blasted them apart and sent them to earth. However, the magic of the volcano gave these heroes a new power—the ability to swap halves—turning them into a special team known as the Swap Force. Meanwhile, Kaos is back with a new evil plan, and now, Portal Masters everywhere must reassemble the Swap Force—in their original form or new combinations—and send them back to Cloudbreak to save Skylands.

Skylanders Swap Force also features new abilities, such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting, which can be used in previously unexplored areas of Skylands centered on these play mechanics. Additionally, the game features 16 new core characters, eight new LightCore characters, and 16 new versions of fan favorite Skylanders from previous games. Now kids will have more than 100 characters from which to choose. The game’s high-resolution graphics brings detailed characters and richer environments to life, immersing players in the game. The game also has an assortment of gameplay modes for survival and battle, including Solo Survival Mode, Team Survival Mode, Rival Mode, Battle Arena Mode, and Ring Out Mode.

GameStop Opens Pre-Orders for Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack

swapGameStop has announced the exclusive Skylanders Swap Force Dark Edition Starter Pack, for the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3 systems, is now available for pre-order.

The Dark Edition Starter Pack includes: the video game, a Portal of Power, five exclusive Dark Edition Skylanders figures, a character poster, five sticker sheets with secret codes, five trading cards. Customers that pre-order a Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack (Dark Edition or Regular Edition) will receive a free new LightCore Hex Skylanders figure while supplies last.

Customers can pre-order Skylanders Swap Force at GameStop online or stores nationwide.