COMMENTARY: Toys Meet Theme Parks and Resorts, or, How You’ll Be Spending Your Summer Vacations

Legoland Florida Resort

Last week, one of the big news stories around the toy industry was Nintendo entering a deal with Universal Studios to create rides and other attractions for the latter’s theme parks. As reported on The Toy Book Blog, Nintendo’s most famous video game characters and worlds would serve as the inspiration for these soon-to-be immersive experiences. Imagine the possibilities: Kids, and adults, may soon interact with environments straight out of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, or any of the video game maker’s other hit franchises.

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Nintendo Partners with Universal Parks & Resorts for Theme Park Attractions Based on Nintendo Games and Characters

NintendoNintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts will bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks, with experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters, and worlds. Through the partnership, Nintendo will be expanding the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.

The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s best-known characters and games. More details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.

Hasbro Showcases Pop-Culture Brands at Comic-Con

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Hasbro returns to Comic-Con International in San Diego to showcase its pop-culture brands, including TransformersMy Little PonyKre-O, and G.I. Joe, as well as licensed toy lines for Angry Birds Star WarsMarvelStar Wars, and Star Trek. Hasbro will celebrate its popular brands and characters with a lineup of panels, autograph sessions, special edition toys, giveaways, and more.

Fans will also be able to experience the Telepods platform, a fully-integrated play experience for the mobile generation that “teleports” physical characters into digital gaming and app experiences. The Telepods line will be released this fall, and will be fully integrated into the new Angry Birds Star Wars II app, from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm. The Telepods line uses new technology to allow kids to play in two ways—in the physical space, and through integration into top-tier apps. [Read more...]

Universal Studios Launches Transformers 3-D Ride

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT TRANSFORMERSUniversal Orlando debuts the grand opening of Transformers: The Ride-3D at Universal Studios Florida. The new attraction is based on the popular Transformers film series and was created along with director Michael Bay. Riders are recruited for a high-tech, good versus evil battle in which they must save Earth. Riders join film characters Optimus Prime and the Autobots as they fight Megatron and the Decepticons to the end.

Transformers: The Ride-3D was created under license from Hasbro, Inc. The attraction was built at Universal Studios Florida in one year—the fastest build time in Universal history. The fourth Transformers film is scheduled to be released in June of next year.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Come to Hollywood

Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts are bringing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Studios Hollywood. The popular themed land debuted in Orlando in June 2010, and includes Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade, and multiple themed attractions. The two companies also announced their plans to significantly expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Specific details of the expansion will be announced over time.

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