Toys “R” Us Launches Rio Merchandising Program

Starting next month, Toys “R” Us customers can experience Rio via a new exclusive partnership between the retailer and Twentieth Century Fox. Toys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com/Rio will offer consumers a first look at the upcoming family film, scheduled to premiere in theaters April 15.

At Toys “R” Us, customers will be able to find a merchandising assortment, including an exclusive toy line from ToyQuest, featuring poseable 3.75-inch mini figures in two packs, eight-inch basic plush pals, 10-inch animated talking plush, nine-inch feature plush and beanies, a nine-inch interactive plush version of Blu and Jewel chained together, and a seven-inch walking and talking plush Luiz bulldog.

Customers who buy the Rio video game, from THQ, for the Xbox and Wii will receive a DVD featuring never-before-seen sneak peeks of the film, while supplies last. Those who purchase the video game for the PlayStation 3 will receive a free Blu-ray version of the DVD.

The retailer has also launched a microsite for Rio merchandise, Toysrus.com/Rio. The site includes movie trailers, exclusive downloadable coloring pages from the Modern Publishing coloring books, and more.

Rio Video Game to Release April 12

THQ, Inc. and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products will release a fast-paced, party-style video game inspired by Fox’s upcoming animated 3-D movie Rio on April 12. The movie will debut in theaters on April 15.

The video game will be available on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, the Wii system, and the Nintendo DS family of hand-held systems.

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Voltron Video Games, Series, and Toys

Voltron is returning to defend the universe with new video games from THQ, Inc. and a new CGI-animated series.

Under a new agreement between THQ and World Events Productions (WEP), represented by Classic Media, THQ will produce video games based on the Voltron franchise. The video games will join a previously announced toy line that will be produced under a separate agreement between WEP and Mattel.

The Voltron video games from THQ, anticipated to debut this fall, following the premiere of the animated Voltron Force series in the U.S. on Nicktoons, will build on the adventure of the 1984 series, Voltron: Defender of the Universe.

Rio Toys, Books, a Video Game, and More to Hit Stores This Spring

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products has announced its initial line up  of products based on the upcoming 3-D animated comedy adventure film, Rio. The merchandising program will include a range of toys, video games, apparel, and books, and will kick-off in mid-March before the theatrical release of the film on April 15.

The ToyQuest Rio toy line will include a colorful selection of 3.75-inch mini figures, 8-inch basic plush, and 10-inch talking plush and beanies. Signature items will include a 9-inch interactive plush and a 7-inch walking and talking plush. The line will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com.

THQ’s Rio video game will be available at Toys “R” Us and other retailers just days before the movie’s release. The party-style video game contains 40 mini-games and features the movie’s characters.

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THQ Unveils Graphic Tablet for Nintendo Wii

THQ has revealed its latest peripheral, a graphic tablet for the Nintendo Wii. Dubbed uDraw, the tablet borrows heavily from the Wacom products often used by professional graphic artists. The tablet includes a painting game that offers various brushes and color palettes, as well as locals for inspiration, such as a study or mountaintop. These creations can then be saved to an SD memory card and shared on a computer.

During its 2010 holiday preview, THQ brought me behind closed doors to witness the tablet for the first time. They demonstrated the two announced games, Pictionary and Dood’s Big Adventure, and demonstrated a few levels of each. Pictionary is a re-imagining of the classic board game. In the game, one player draw images using the tablet while the others try to guess a keyword. Enhancements to the board game include the ability to select different brush and fill types, as well as use color. The countdown timer may also be adjusted. [Read more...]

THQ Announces Costume Quest for XBLA, PSN

THQ has teamed with developer Double Fine Productions, Inc. for a new video game, Costume Quest. The game puts players in the role of a brother and sister who move to a new town just before Halloween. Players take control of one avatar as other members of the party follow behind a la Grandia and Evolution.

As players visit houses to trick-or-treat, they collect candy corn, costume pieces, and special cards to be used later in the game. The version I saw last month featured several costumes for each of the four characters. One costume was a robot that (when activated during the game’s turn-based RPG-style battles) transforms the player into a robot warrior much like the mecha (the giant robots) from Robotech. [Read more...]

Fox Expands Breadth of Family Film Franchises

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products has announced plans to create worldwide, long-term brands out of Ice Age, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Rio.

Ice Age Continental Drift 3-D is scheduled to hit theaters summer 2012, and Fox is planning consumer products based on the brand, including video games, stationery, and toys. Fox plans to release a style guide and new promotional concepts in the coming months.

Alvin and the Chipmunks Chipwrecked will also be in 3-D and is expected to release during 2011′s holiday season. Fox hopes to market the franchise as a year-round opportunity focusing on toys, stationery, interactive, and publishing. [Read more...]

The Last Airbender Products to be Released This Summer

Nickelodeon Consumer Products (NCP) has announced a full slate of consumer products for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies’ live-action, July 2 theatrical release, The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The line-up of products inspired by the film will be available this summer through the holiday season.

Consumers can expect to see almost 30 new products in a number of categories including publishing, home décor, apparel, jewelry, and accessories.

Some of the licensees on board for the franchise include action figures, play sets, role play items, vehicles, and more from Spin Master; video games from THQ; construction-themed sets and products from Mega; DVDs from Paramount Home Entertainment; party goods from American Greetings; customizable goods from HP; prequel manga, movie manga, and cinemanga from Del Rey Manga; junior novelization, movie storybook, ready to reads, and lost scrolls collection from Simon and Schuster; an activity digest, a full-color scrapbook, and an activity book from Random House; and Mad Libs from Penguin/Grosset Dunlap.

The Toy Book’s Toy Report 01/05/10

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 01/05/10.

To view click here.

THQ, WWE, JAKKS Pacific Reach Settlements

THQ Inc., World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and JAKKS Pacific, Inc. have reached settlement agreements with respect to the WWE video game and toy licenses, and the THQ/JAKKS Pacific joint venture.

Under the three-party settlement, all claims have been withdrawn and all litigation ended among the parties without any party admitting any wrongdoing. THQ will pay WWE $13.2 million and, additionally, THQ has entered into a new eight-year video game license directly with WWE starting January 1.  The license is three years longer than the renewal term under the previous arrangement.

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