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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The Force Will Be Strong at GameStop Stores This Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day May the 4thOn Star Wars Day, or May 4, GameStop will introduce exclusive Star Wars products at all of its U.S. stores and online at www.gamestop.com. The retailer will also be launching the Star Wars May the 4th Sweepstakes.

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NPD Report Shows Decrease in Hardware, Physical Software Sales

NPDGrouplogoRecently, the NPD Group reported U.S. games industry sales for the period of March 1 to April 4. According to Liam Callahan, director, games industry analyst, hardware unit sales decreased by 9 percent, and with average prices down 13 percent across all platforms, dollar sales decreased by 21 percent.

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Nintendo to Release Animal Crossing amiibo Cards, Yarn Yoshi, and More

Nintendo, amiibo cardsNintendo Animal Crossing amiibo? It’s in the cards.

In the most recent Nintendo Direct presentation, the video game maker revealed new amiibo cards based on characters from the Animal Crossing series, compatible with the upcoming Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Both the cards and the new game are scheduled for release this fall. Nintendo also announced a new line of Yoshi amiibo figures made of actual yarn, and more.

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PlayScience Unveils New Study Showing Gender Influence on Parents’ Digital Preferences for their Children

PlaySciencelogoPlayScience recently unveiled a new study showing parents’ perceptions about their child’s technology and media use is heavily influenced by their child’s gender—along with device type and perceived educational value. The study was conducted with a national survey of 501 parents of children between the ages of 2 and 9 years old.

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Nintendo Forms Business Venture with DeNA, Hints at New Gaming Hardware

NintendoNintendo and DeNA will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP), including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the worldwide smart device market. [Read more...]

First LEGO Jurassic World Trailer Revealed

LEGO Jurassic WorldWarner Bros. Entertainment, TT Games, The Lego Group, and Universal Partnerships & Licensing revealed the first official gameplay trailer for LEGO Jurassic World today. The title launches in June for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita.

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NPD Group Sees Sales Increases in Video Game Hardware, Software, and Accessories

NPDGrouplogoIn his analysis for The NPD Group, Games Industry Analyst Liam Callahan reports that hardware, new physical software, and accessories experienced sales increases in February of this year with combined sales of $956 million, up 8 percent compared to last February.
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2015 Games for Change Awards Nominees Announced

GamesforChangeThe nominees have been announced for the Games for Change Awards, which celebrate the year’s best social impact games. The award categories include Best Gameplay, Most Significant Impact, and Most Innovative. The eight finalists, narrowed down from a field of more than 150 titles, will also be considered for the top honor, Game of the Year, which is awarded to the game that best exemplifies all three categories.

A jury of leaders from the gaming, philanthropic, media, and tech communities evaluated all game submissions. The winners will be announced at the Games for Change Festival’s Awards Ceremony on April 22, hosted by Jesse Schell. A full list of the nominees can be found at Games for Change’s home page.

Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin Key Artwork Revealed

LEGO_LogoWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released the key art for Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, coming to Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita on March 24.

In Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, players take on the roles of their favorite Ninja warriors and use an array of vehicles, mechs, and dragons to battle their way through the Ninjago universe. A new enemy named Ronin enters the game and has the ability to steal the memories of Ninja warriors by using the Obsidian Glaive weapons. Players must locate these weapons and retrieve their powers before Ronin succeeds in completing his evil plans.

The new key artwork features ninjas Kai, Jay, Cole, Zane, and Lloyd, as well as the mysterious Ronin.

LEGO Ninjago Shadow of Ronin_Key Art