China Toy Fair


Skylanders Trap Team First-To-Play Tour Launches at Comic-Con International: San Diego

SkylandersLogoActivision Publishing Inc. is kicking off a four-month, nationwide Skylanders Trap Team First-to-Play Tour, in which attendees can play Skylanders Trap Team inside a customized Game Truck, which serves as a mobile video game media room.

The tour will give fans a hands-on experience of the game prior to its North American launch on October 5. The first stops coincide with Comic-Con International: San Diego, and are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fans can visit the Game Truck at Interactive Zone, located at Petco Park’s Lexus Premier Lot, Imperial Avenue at 11th Avenue.

Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition to Premiere at Comic-Con International

Skylanders

Skylanders Trap Team at Licensing Expo 2014

Activision Publishing Inc. is bringing the Skylanders video game franchise to Comic-Con International: San Diego, and attendees will be the first to check out the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack toys. The pack includes the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a special, larger-sized trap, which allows Portal Masters to trap and play as Kaos when the game launches in North America on October 5.

In addition, the pack will include two Traps; exclusive black and silver variant designs of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire, and Food Fight; a two-sided poster; sticker sheets; and trading cards. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack will be available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Comic Con International: San Diego kicks off thus Thursday, but North American fans can pre-order the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack beginning today at major retailers while supplies last.

LeapFrog Introduces LeapTV Video Gaming System

LeapTVLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has unveiled its first educational, active video gaming system, LeapTV, which is designed specifically for children ages 3 to 8 years old. This new console system combines activity and movement with LeapFrog’s educational curriculum.

LeapTV features a transforming gaming controller that has been specifically designed for children’s small hands and limited dexterity. In its regular configuration, it enables classic gameplay, but with the press of a button it easily transforms into a motion controller and LED pointer controller. The LeapTV system also features a motion-sensing camera, which puts a child directly in the game, as well as a design that integrates into most homes.

The LeapTV video game system puts learning into motion with three ways to play: body motion, pointer play, and classic control. For body motion, the motion-sensing camera captures a child’s moves and puts them into the game as they explore activities like dance and martial arts. For pointer play, the controller transforms into a pointer with a simple twist and lets kids snap jungle vines, slice through coconuts, swing from building to building and more. [Read more...]

NPD Group Reports Increase in Phone Usage Causing Shift in U.S. Gamer Segmentation

npd_group_logoThanks in large part to an increase in usage of phones for gaming, avid omni gamers, defined as those who play on multiple systems, are the only gamer segment to experience growth in the U.S. this year, according to Gamer Segmentation 2014, the latest report from The NPD Group.

The number of avid omni gamers climbed 6 percentage points to 22 percent of the total gaming population, replacing casual gamers as the second largest gamer segment when compared to last year. The largest segment, free & mobile gamers, maintained its size at 29 percent of the U.S. gamer population. The remaining segments—casual gamers, core console gamers, family gamers, and social gamers—declined 1 to 2 percentage points. [Read more...]

Special Alien: Isolation Content Unites Original Movie Cast

AlienIsolationAlien: Isolation will include exclusive pre-order bonus content, featuring the vocal talent and likenesses of key cast members of the 1979 Twentieth Century Fox movie, Alien. Sigourney Weaver (who played Ellen Ripley), Tom Skerritt (Dallas), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), Yaphet Kotto (Parker) and Ian Holm (Ash) are set to feature in two downloadable bonus missions, which allow players to relive classic scenes from the movie.

Anyone who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content, Crew Expendable. Players can choose to play as one of three surviving crewmembers, only moments after Brett’s death at the jaws of the creature. As Ellen Ripley, Dallas, or Parker, players can explore the Nostromo from habitation deck down through engineering, coordinating their efforts with Lambert and Ash to lure the Alien into the ship’s airlock. [Read more...]

Nintendo’s Wii Sports Club for Wii U Arrives in July

WiiSportsClubBaseballNintendo’s five-sports-in-one packaged version of Wii Sports Club for Wii U hits stores on July 25. The game features new versions of the five original classic sports–tennis, bowling, golf, baseball and boxing–enhanced with an online multiplayer option and optimized for play with the Wii U GamePad controller.

Wii U has also added high-definition graphics, Wii MotionPlus technology, and creative uses of the Wii U GamePad. [Read more...]

Ubisoft Takes Players on an Unpredictable Journey with Far Cry 4

june10 FarCry4,jpgAt the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Ubisoft showcased Far Cry 4, the sequel to the No. 1 rated shooter of 2012. The sequel features co-op Guns for Hire, which allows players to invite friends to liberate towers, take over outposts, and share in the spoils–even if their friend does not own the game.

Customers who pre-order Far Cry 4 will receive a free upgrade to the limited edition, which includes Hurk’s Redemption, a series of three action-packed, single-player missions featuring the popular character, Hurk, and his harpoon gun The Impaler, from Far Cry 3. Pre-orders are now available at all major retailers.

The game will be available worldwide on November 18 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

Ubisoft Challenges Gamers to a Fun Fitness Alternative with Shape Up

June10 shape upAt the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Ubisoft challenged gamers to ditch their old, boring workouts and jump-start their routines with the new video game Shape Up, which combines a foundation of proven fitness methods with entertaining and rewarding workout routines displayed in a unique arcade style. There are three game modes to keep players engaged and motivated with quirky, points-driven fitness challenges.

The Quick Play Mode features 90-second rapid-fire training bursts that include 12 practice sessions for a more intense focus on muscle building and cardio, with the guidance of in-game coaches for better efficiency. The Training Quest Mode consists of individual 4-week programs that target increased lean body mass and reducing body fat. [Read more...]

Sony’s PS4 News Includes Glacier White Console, Growing Game Portfolio, and YouTube

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOSony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will introduce the first color variation for PlayStation 4 (PS4), in glacier white, which will be available worldwide starting this fall. Peripheral lineups will also expand with the glacier white DualShock 4 wireless controller and vertical stand, along with the DualShock 4 in urban camouflage.

In North America, Latin America, and Europe, the glacier white PS4 will be available as part of a bundle pack featuring Destiny, a highly-anticipated title developed by Bungie Inc., and published by Activision. The bundle also includes a free 30-day membership to PS Plus.

The PS4 system’s game portfolio will continue to expand with more than 120 titles available worldwide by the end of this year. Along with Destiny, highly-anticipated titles include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End from Naughty Dog, Far Cry 4 from Ubisoft, Batman: Arkham Knight from Rocksteady and Warner Bros Interactive, The Order: 1886 from Ready at Dawn, No Man’s Sky by Hello Games, and more. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. [Read more...]