Q&A with Willie Wilkov, Chief Marketing Officer, Tomy International

Willie Wilkov CMO TOMYThe Toy Book (TTB): Which licenses do you anticipate will be key drivers in 2015?

Willie Wilkov (WW): 2015 is a big year on the license front for Tomy. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with Disney on two new Disney•Pixar movie properties–Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur– as well as the new Disney Junior TV show Miles from Tomorrowland. While we expect these new licenses to be key drivers for us in 2015, we have a portfolio of licensed properties that perform for us year after year, and we are anticipating growth in those brands as well. John Deere is an evergreen brand with a loyal following that is perennially one of our strongest selling lines company-wide. Our partners at Sega and The Pokémon Company International continue to bring new fans into their incredibly popular franchises, Sonic Boom and Pokémon, with fresh, engaging content, giving us so much to work with in our toy development. In the classic play arena, we see both Chuggington Wooden Railway and Chuggington StackTrack continuing to provide that first train experience for kids and growing with them through their love of train and construction play, while Lamaze maintains its stronghold as a leader in the infant developmental toy aisle. [Read more...]

Tomy Debuts New Sonic Boom Toy Line at Toys “R” Us

SonicBoomlogoA new Sonic Boom toy line, from global master toy partner Tomy International, is now available at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and at toysrus.com. The line will feature items across best-selling categories including plush, action figures, R/C, vehicles, and more, and will include a 12-inch talking plush and the Sonic Boom Launcher. Additional products will become available next year.

Sega Reveals Details about Sonic Boom Video Games

SonicWiiUconceptartSega will debut Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, developed by Big Red Button for the Wii U, and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, developed by Sanzaru Games for the Nintendo 3DS, at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The games will introduce new gameplay and the vilest villain in Sonic history: Lyric.

In both games, Sonic and his friends will work together to face Lyric, a giant snake-like creature from an ancient race. Gameplay will strongly focus on collaboration, making each of the team members’ roles elevated to capitalize each character’s unique talents and abilities. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks will need to band together as a team to prevent Lyric from powering his army of robots and carrying out his plan to destroy the world.

Both games were created to take full advantage of the gameplay mechanics of their respective consoles. Sonic Boom: Rise of the Lyric will be the first Wii U game to incorporate Cryengine, a 3-D game technology from Cyrtek, and will exhibit visually enhanced lush environments and landscapes within the game. [Read more...]

Sega Creates All-New Character, Sticks, for Sonic Boom Franchise

SticksArtSega has introduced Sticks, a brand new character that will play an integral role across all Sonic Boom platforms. Sonic Boom is the newest branch of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and was announced earlier this year.

Sticks will join the Sonic Boom team alongside Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy. She will appear in the Sonic Boom television series, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS video games, and merchandise.

Sticks is a jungle badger who has spent most of her life living alone in the wilderness and wields her trusty handmade boomerang. She is wilder than the other members of the team, exhibiting animal instincts, sharp survival skills, and fearsome combativeness. These skills will play a pivotal role through the new Sonic Boom content as Sticks tries to adapt to civilization and become close to her new friends. [Read more...]

Sonic Boom Video Goes Behind the Scenes of Upcoming Game, TV Show

Sega has released a first Sonic Boom behind-the-scenes video featuring commentary on both the upcoming video game and TV series. The English language voice talent for both the game and TV show includes: Roger Craig Smith as Sonic, Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman, Colleen Villard as Tails, Travis Willingham as Knuckles, Cindy Robinson as Amy, Kirk Thornton as Orbot, and Wally Wingert as Cubot. Jack Fletcher serves as voice director.

Sega Kicks Off New Era of Toys and Games with a Sonic Boom

SonicBoomlogoSega will launch a new branch of its Sonic the Hedgehog universe entitled Sonic Boom, which will be accompanied by a CG animated TV series, video games for the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS, new toys from Tomy, and more. To date, the character has appeared in more than 70 video game titles across a span of more than 20 years.

During a press event this past Thursday in New York City, the upcoming TV series was introduced as a character-driven comedy featuring lots of action and adventure. It consists of 52 11-minute episodes, and will debut in both the U.S. and France during the 2014 to 2015 season. “What we try to do is take the character and put them in situations where their personalities take center stage, and take us in interesting directions,” said showrunner and executive producer Evan Baily. [Read more...]