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...]

Skylanders at Comic-Con International: San Diego Will Feature Costume Contest

SkylandersLogoSkylanders will attend Comic-Con International: San Diego for the first time in the franchise’s history on July 24, and to celebrate, Activision Publishing Inc. will award more than $5,000 in prizes to the best Skylanders costumes of the show.

The grand prize winner will receive $4,000, the runner-up will be awarded $1,000, and the second runner-up will receive a collection of rare Skylanders toys.

The costume contest will take place at the Comic-Con International: San Diego panel, Skylanders: The Creative Process of Bringing Toys to Life, where members of the Skylanders team will offer insights into the development process of the game franchise. Panel speakers will include comic book writer Ron Marz, Kaos voice Richard Horvitz; Activision senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Coyne; and Toys for Bob’s director of toy and character development, I-Wei Huang.

In addition, fans on-hand will be among the first to get hands-on experience with Skylanders Trap Team, the franchise’s newest installment.

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.