China Toy Fair


Toys “R” Us Celebrates Skylanders Trap Team’s Arrival with Special Events, Early Opening, and More

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoToys “R” Us is celebrating the debut of the latest Skylanders game, Skylanders Trap Team, with special events, an early opening, exclusive figures, and more.

On Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5, the Toys “R” Us flagship store in New York City will host unique in-store Skylanders-themed experiences. Customers who visit Toys “R” Us Times Square from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on either day can be among the first to play the new game at dedicated kiosks throughout the store.

ToysRUsLogo copyThey can also receive complimentary giveaways while supplies last, as well as have the opportunity to be digitally teleported into a Skylanders Trap Team “Most Wanted” photo alongside some of the game’s villains, including Kaos and Chompy Mage.

When Skylanders Trap Team releases on October 5, all Toys “R” Us stores nationwide will open one hour earlier at 8 a.m., and select stores will open at midnight. A full list of stores opening at midnight can be found at toysrus.com/midnightskylanders. Meanwhile, the Skylanders villain Kaos will be taking over the Toys “R” Us Twitter channel (@Toysrus) on Saturday, October 4, from 11 to 11:50 p.m. to interact with fans and build anticipation for the midnight release. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Skylanders Swap Force Takes Over Times Square

Fans get in on the video game action.

Fans get in on the video game action.

On October 10, Skylanders fanatics united in New York City for the Skylanders SWAPtoberfest! A life-size world of Skylands was created right in the middle of Times Square. I joined hundreds of kids as they checked out all-things-new at Skylanders and prepared for the highly anticipated release of the new Skylanders Swap Force video game. Kiosks were set up, alongside a Skylands ship, for fans to play the new game in advance of its official launch. Skylanders Swap Force game footage was also featured on the Times Square jumbotron, so fans and passersby were able to watch the action! Kids, parents, and bloggers participated in Swaptober-themed events: Eating candy corn and cupcakes; greeting the costumed characters of the SWAP Force; and learning to play the new video games, which released in North America on October 13. I don’t want to brag, but after about 40 minutes of hogging the video game kiosk (stealing the time from actual children with no shame), I am pretty much a Skylanders boss!

I love that the Skylanders brand is so extensive, offering something for kids of all ages and interests.

SWAP Force takes over Times Square

SWAP Force takes over Times Square

Even better is the fact that all you really need to get started in the Skylanders realm is a Swap Force Starter Pack. This set includes a video game, a portal of power, a collector’s poster, three trading cards, three character sticker sheets with secret codes, and three Skylanders figures. There is also a starter pack available in the Dark edition; it includes a video game, a portal of power, a mega character collector poster, five sticker sheets with secret codes, five trading cards, and five Skylanders figures.  These starter packs also come in Giants and Syro’s Adventures editions. The technology and inspiration behind the new Skylanders video game make it an absolutely unstoppable force. I was able to speak with several of the video game designers who shared with me that the evolution of the game is only beginning—Skylanders is just getting started! All of the designers that I spoke with are parents, and one mommy/designer shared with me that this is the first game that she’s been a part of that she is happy to share with her children. [Read more...]

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...]

Lego Group Unveils Lego Star Wars Model in Times Square

image001The Lego Group unveiled the world’s largest Lego model, a 1:1 replica of the Lego Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter, in New York’s Times Square today. To celebrate the upcoming premiere of The Yoda Chronicles on Cartoon Network on May 29 at 8:00 p.m., the massive replica took 32 master builders, five million Lego bricks and over 17,000 hours to complete. The model weighs nearly 46,000 pounds, stands 11 feet tall and 43 feet long, with a wingspan of 44 feet. The model will “take off” for a summer landing at Legoland California Resort where it will be installed through the remainder of the year.

Lego Star Wars is the original licensed product collection from The Lego Group and remains among the best-selling global toy lines. The theme appeals to fans across generations with a steady introduction of digital content such as The Yoda Chronicles to compliment the building experience.

[Read more...]

Thomas the Tank Engine Ice Sculpture and Toys “R” Us Enjoy a Playdate

Sir Topham Hatt poses with the Thomas the Tank Engine Ice Sculpture in Times Square and reads a Thomas & Friends story to the kids at Toys “R” Us Times Square on Friday, February 8 to celebrate the launch of the Thomas Wooden Railway Line and the 110th American International Toy Fair.

Flash Mob Launches Master Moves Mickey in Times Square

The new Master Moves Mickey from Fisher-Price launched with a 150-plus person flash mob in Times Square. Children of all ages danced with the new interactive toy, which infuses the original Disney character with funky beats and 15 break dancing moves, including the Windmill, the “Mouska” Mix, the Spin Cycle, the Insane Handstand, and the Ham Sandwich. Master Moves Mickey is for children ages 3 and up. Check out pictures from the flash mob below.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Cody Simpson Doll Launches This Week, Exclusively at Toys “R” Us

Australian recording artist and teen heartthrob Cody Simpson will appear at Toys “R” Us Times Square this Thursday, December 8 to launch his new doll collection by The Wish Factory. Fans will be able to purchase one of the dolls in the line and also get it signed by Simpson. The event starts at 3 p.m.

Available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and toysrus.com, the Cody Simpson doll line includes two basic dolls, both 11.5 inches. The dolls are fashioned after Simpson, complete with his signature side-swept surfer-do. One doll features a Gold Coast T-shirt and khakis, and the other doll features a denim jacket and black pants. Both dolls include a pair of shoes, sunglasses, a microphone, a guitar pick, and a lanyard.

[Read more...]

I Spy Celebrates 20 Years

New York City students helped Scholastic celebrate the 20th Anniversary of its I Spy brand Wednesday in Times Square during the event, “I Spy A Celebration: 20 Years; 20 Kids; 20 Riddles.”  For finding 20 hidden objects around a 12-foot-high birthday cake, the students’ school will receive 500 books.  In addition to its new book, I Spy Spectacular, the anniversary year will see new I Spy releases from Briarpatch and Scholastic Interactive.

Photo: A. Walker

Scholastic Celebrates 20th Anniversary of I Spy

Scholastic Media is kicking off its 20th anniversary celebration of the I Spy franchise with the publication of I Spy Spectacular: A Book of Picture Riddles, due to be out next month. The books features riddles by Jean Marzollo and photographs by Walter Wick.  The year-long campaign will include a slate of new I Spy releases, including the I Spy Challenger for Leapster Explorer (releasing this summer), I Spy Castle for the Nintendo DS (releasing this fall), and five new titles from Briarpatch, Scholastic’s exclusive licensee for board games, puzzles, and card games.

Beginning April 11, the new products will be supported by the “I Spy a Celebration” campaign that invites audiences to participate in the largest game of I Spy online, My I Spy. Scholastic will also host a live I Spy event, “I Spy a Celebration! 20 Years; 20 Kids; 20 Riddles,” in Times Square on April 12, and Jean Marzollo will host at an event on April 9 in New York City featuring an I Spy scavenger hunt, raffle, and product demonstrations.

Disney Store Times Square Opens With Grand Celebration

Last week, Disney Store celebrated the grand opening of its Times Square location with appearances by celebrities, New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and more. The celebration kicked off with a colorful parade of Disney characters—including Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and Buzz Lightyear—as they arrived by horse-drawn carriages and classic cars and traveled down a trail of Pixie dust.

Hosted by Robin Roberts from ABC’s Good Morning America, other celebrity appearances included Melissa Joan Hart of ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey; Anika Noni Rose, voice of Princess Tiana from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog; ESPN’s Jesse Palmer; actress Brooke Shields; Bloomberg; Walt Disney Co. President and CEO Robert Iger; and more.

The two-level, 20,000-plus square foot Disney Store in Times Square boasts a 2,250-square-foot digital billboard, a two-story Disney Princess castle with a “talking” Magic Mirror, colorful Lucite trees throughout the store that showcase custom Disney content, and a 350-square-foot Disney Store Theatre that features a 12-foot screen, playing Disney film clips, videos, and more. Kids can also build a customized Disney·Pixar Cars-branded Ridemarkerz car or purchase exclusive New York City-inspired Disney merchandise.

[Read more...]