COMMENTARY: As Play Gets Smarter, More Toys Come to Life Digitally

It’s official: Smart toys are taking over the toy space.

Gone are the days in which kids are content with traditional methods of play. Books, activities, and games are all available for kids on mobile devices, and they expect their toys to be no different. But although the mediums that kids are interacting with daily are changing, the one thing that won’t ever change is that kids love play.

Angry Birds Stella Telepods

Angry Birds Stella Telepods

Smart toys integrate physical toys and technology—essentially giving digital life to toys. Manufacturers are starting to realize the added value in these products and how wildly popular they can be. More than 72 million kids say they want smart toys, according to market research firm Interpret in a GameByte study.

In addition, kids are using mobile devices more than ever before. Seventy-one percent of households with a child age 4 to 14 reported owning a smartphone in 2014, already up from 55 percent in 2012, according to The NPD Group. Also, kids who own tablets doubled from 2012 to 2014, growing from 21 percent to 43 percent, respectively. [Read more...]

Rovio and Hasbro to Mash Up Transformers and Angry Birds

AngryBirdsTransformersRovio Entertainment and Hasbro Inc. are bringing together two of the world’s biggest entertainment brands and their fans through Angry Birds Transformers, to be brought to life in multiple forms, including a mobile game, consumer licensed goods, and a product line from Hasbro.

Later this year, Hasbro will introduce a product line featuring Telepods technology, which will enable fans to teleport their favorite Angry Birds Transformers characters into the game and gain unique powers. The Angry Birds Transformers franchise follows successful collaborations between Hasbro and Rovio, including the Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Go! product lines, as well as the upcoming Angry Birds Stella Telepods line, which will be available in September.

This year, the companies announced an expanded licensing agreement making Hasbro the premier toy and game licensee. More Angry Birds Transformers products and content will be revealed throughout the next few weeks.

Angry Birds Stella Game, Animation Series Set to Launch this Fall

June4.ABStella-300x186 copyRovio Entertainment Ltd, the company behind Angry Birds, has created an all-new game, Angry Birds Stella. It will feature a whole new set of stories, characters, and adventures.

Angry Birds Stella adds a new cast of characters to the Angry Birds universe: Stella, Poppy, Willow, Dahlia, and Luca. Gale, a good bird gone bad, wants to take over Golden Island, the birds’ island habitat. All of the birds must work together to find creative solutions to their problems. [Read more...]

Hasbro’s Telepods Line Hits 1 Million Sold Mark

AngryBirds.StarWarsHasbro Inc. has reached the milestone of 1 million Telepods figures in consumers’ hands worldwide. Telepods, the digital gaming platform for mobile users, had launched with the Angry Birds Star Wars II game, from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm, which became available less than a month ago.

Every copy of the Angry Birds Star Wars II app includes a Telepods mode for smart device users with front-facing cameras. Players can choose which characters they want to complete a level with by using Telepods including Rebel Birds and Imperial Pigs. Fans download the app, tap the Telepods icon, place one of the more than 30 Angry Birds Star Wars figures on the included Telepods base, and then place the base on a smart device to “teleport” that figure into the game. Players can also unlock new characters and super powers in the app with Telepods.

Angry Birds Go!, an upcoming app franchise from Rovio, will also feature Telepods technology. A full line of Telepods enhanced figures and play sets are currently at retail in anticipation of the release of Angry Birds Go! app on December 11.

Angry Birds Star Wars Licensed Products Provide a Boost to the Toy Industry

Hasbro Angry Birds Star Wars Jenga Death Star PackageBased on data from The NPD Group, Angry Birds Star Wars is the best new toy license in the big five European toy markets so far this year. Sales of Angry Birds Star Wars during this period was £5.3 million, ahead of second place Skylanders at £4 million, and third place Monsters University at £2.9 million. Angry Birds Star Wars is even the No. 1 license in the board games category.

Over the first seven months, Angry Birds and Angry Birds Star Wars combined ranked as the 14th biggest license overall in the big five European markets and 12th biggest overall in the UK. Just one year ago, Angry Birds alone was ranked at a much lower 39th place in the big five markets in Europe.

The original Angry Birds sold £4.2 million worth of toys in the first seven months of last year across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The figure for the same seven-month period this year had almost doubled to £8.1 million. With the Angry Birds Star Wars sales performance of £5.3 million added in, in total, the Angry Birds license achieved combined sales of £13.4 million in the seven months through this July. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Big Rewards for a Little Bit of Cash

Sometimes kids deserve a special little treat—whether they refrain from crying at the dentist, got an extra star on their homework assignment, or behaved well on a long shopping trip, it’s nice to reward them for good behavior. Candy is a cheap, instant, and enjoyable treat, but we all know kids can do with a little less sugar (and, in turn, fewer painful dentist visits!).  There are some great inexpensive toys with lots of play value that will help reward kids for good behavior without breaking the bank or causing cavities.

ABSW Telepods Jedi vs Sith Multi-PacksAngry Birds Star Wars Telepods, from Hasbro, are sold in two-figure packs for less than $10. Kids can teleport the collectible figures right into the Angry Birds Star Wars II app, from Rovio Entertainment, on iOS and Android devices. Each figure has a unique QR code on the bottom, so kids can distinguish their characters from their friends’, even if they have the same ones. With more than 30 figures to collect, Hasbro also has compatible play sets at higher price points. With both virtual and physical play, Telepods is a great choice for a quick treat that will keep kids engaged for a long time. [Read more...]

Hasbro Introduces New Angry Birds Go! Telepods and Jenga Gaming

angrybirdsgoHasbro Inc. has introduced the Angry Birds Go! Telepods and Jenga product lines, launching in support of Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds Go! mobile game. The Telepods platform allows more physical characters into the mobile gaming and allows players to teleport their physical Angry Birds Go! karts into the digital game using their mobile devices.

Hasbro’s Angry Birds Go! Jenga gaming line offers face-to-face play based on the mobile game. Kids can take on the pigs with kart racing, bird launching, and Jenga block toppling. Both product lines are available at major retail locations beginning on October 1 with the mobile game following later.

 

Hasbro Launches New Telepods Line

ABSW Telepods Star Destroyer setHasbro Inc. will launch a new line that “teleports” physical characters into digital gaming and app experiences. The Telepods line uses patented new technology to allow kids to play in two ways: in the physical space and through full integration into top-tier apps. The Telepods play experience will first be available in a line released this August based on and fully integrated into the new app Angry Birds Star Wars II from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm.

For the first time ever, Telepods lets players teleport Rebel Bird and Imperial Pig figures into the new Angry Birds Star Wars II app so they can choose which characters to launch. Following the release of Angry Birds Star Wars II, fans will be able to download the app, tap the Telepods icon in the app, place one of the more than 30 Angry Birds Star Wars figures on the included Telepods base, and then place the base on a smart device (not included) to immediately “teleport” that figure into the game.

Telepods are also the first digitally integrated toys designed with stand-alone playability in mind. An assortment of play sets will invite kids to launch their Rebel Bird figures in real life to destroy iconic Angry Birds Star Wars structures and topple the evil Pig Empire. Angry Birds Star Wars II will follow the story of the three prequel Star Wars movies. With the introduction of never seen before Angry Birds Star Wars characters, the player can for the first time in the history of Angry Birds choose to take the “Pork Side” and play as one of the green pigs. [Read more...]