China Toy Fair


Diamond Select Toys, Popcap to Launch Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Toys

ZombiesGroup1Next month, Diamond Select Toys will launch toys inspired by the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare game. Each “bloom and doom” action figure two-pack will include one plant and one zombie, both based on designs from the video game. The assortment includes Gatling Pea with Scientist Zombie, Camo Cactus with Foot Soldier Zombie, Chomper with Engineer Zombie, and Shadow Flower with All-Star Zombie. Two box sets of Minimates mini-figures will also be available in early September. The toys will be available at comic shops, specialty stores, and Toys “R” Us.

In addition, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is coming to the PlayStation 4 console, and is already available for the Xbox One and PC platforms. The game is a traditional online shooter blended with the humor of Plants vs. Zombies.

NPD Group Reports Strong Growth for Video Game Hardware, Decline for Software in July

npd_group_logoAccording to The NPD Group, strong growth in hardware sales offset declines in software sales in July, while accessory sales had modest growth, leading to an increase of 16 percent in overall new physical video game sales compared to July of last year.

Hardware sales doubled in July compared to the same month last year, stemming from growth in eighth generation console sales, which offset declines in seventh generation console and portable hardware. When combining life-to-date sales of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4) after nine months, and comparing them to the combined totals of nine months’ worth of sales for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (PS3), sales of the newest consoles are larger than the prior generation by close to 80 percent. [Read more...]

Toy Armies Are Ready for Combat in Ubisoft’s Toy Soldiers: War Chest

ToySoldiers.WarChestThe next iteration in the Toy Soldiers video game series, Toy Soldiers: War Chest, has been announced by Ubisoft and Signal Studios. The game will be available for download on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 early next year.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest allows players to face off against rival toy armies; the goal is to rule the battlefield. The game will feature four distinct armies ready to fight, and each will have its own attack vehicles and army units, making for different and unique play experiences.

Two additional armies are set to be announced closer to the launch date.

Skylanders Trap Team Will Be Unleashed on Tablets

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoActivision Publishing Inc. will bring the complete Skylanders Trap Team video game to tablets at launch, marking the first time a full Skylanders game will be available on iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets day-and-date with the console version. The tablet version of the game delivers the same experience with console-quality graphics and comes with its own high-performance controller.

The Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack will include a Bluetooth Traptanium Portal, an embedded Bluetooth controller, a built-in tablet stand, two Skylanders characters, two Traps, and a display tray that lets Portal Masters keep track of the Traps they’ve collected and which villains they have trapped. [Read more...]

Hasbro and Ubisoft to Launch Hasbro Game Channel on Xbox, PlayStation Consoles

MonopolyPlusHasbro and Ubisoft have announced the Hasbro Game Channel, a destination for family game entertainment on leading consoles, featuring games based on Hasbro’s most popular brands. The Hasbro Game Channel will be available to download this fall on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. All games will also be available for download individually on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The first three games available on the Hasbro Game Channel will be Monopoly Plus, a customizable 3-D version of the game that lets up to six players choose their own house rules; Risk, where players will venture into simulating modern warfare combat with a new strategic experience and modern armies; and Trivial Pursuit Live! will test fans on the trivia game with a TV-show setting and reinvented question formats.

COMMENTARY: Classic Games Are Revived with Modern Twists

5CF7F28B50569047F5EEB18A916E5462The summer months are known for spontaneous beach trips, an abundance of delicious ice cream, and, of course, the much-dreaded summer storms that come with unbearable heat. But the next time the weather is uncompromising, consider having a family game night in, though I know what you’re thinking: Please, not another children’s game.

It can be difficult choosing a game everyone agrees on; parents are frequently disconnected, and youngsters who are a few years apart in age constantly battle over which game should be the one played. But a new trend in the toy industry could stop these common issues before game night even begins. I am constantly seeing companies revisiting old games and giving them a modern twist, and these simple alterations often involve modern technologies to pique younger players’ interest. [Read more...]

Grammy Award-Winner Pharrell Williams to Curate NBA 2K15 Soundtrack

nba 2k152K has announced a new collaboration with Pharrell Williams to curate the soundtrack compilation for NBA 2K15, the next installment of the NBA video game simulation franchise. Pharrell’s soundtrack selections will be revealed later this summer.

NBA 2K15 is scheduled for release on October 7 in North America, and on October 10 internationally for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the Xbox One and Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

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.

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...]

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.