China Toy Fair


Dora and Friends: Into the City! Debuts in Primetime this August

DAF_Group_ShotDora and Friends: Into the City! will premiere in primetime on Monday, August 18, at 8:00 p.m. on Nickelodeon. The half-hour series will regularly air on weekdays during Nickelodeon’s preschool block. The original Dora the Explorer series will continue to air.

The new series takes place in the fictional city of Playa Verde, where Dora and her new friends will go on adventures. It features an interactive curriculum focusing on community service, problem solving, emotional skills, the Spanish language, and Latino culture. Throughout her journeys, Dora will use the Map App on her smartphone and a magical charm bracelet to navigate the city and overcome obstacles. Her new group of friends includes Kate, an avid reader who is dramatic and artistic; Naiya, a smart girl who excels at math and science; Emma, a driven and accomplished musician; Alana, an athletic soccer player and animal lover; and Pablo, a smart, playful, energetic athlete and explorer. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Minecraft Brings A Whole New World

CARSONI admittedly didn’t know very much about the Minecraft toy and game selection until Halloween, when my uncle sent a photo of the costume that he had made for his son; who am I kidding—I knew nothing until then! My cousin Carson is a 5 year-old obsessed with the stuff! At the time, all I knew was that Carson could make anything look adorable, and that he had clearly moved on from trains and into this world where players can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3-D generated world. I can’t even begin to understand all of the insider ins-and-outs of Minecraft, and it seems as though the name represents an entity of games and licensed products. I do, though, like to get as involved as I can with Carson, as I am much more aware of the favorites of his sister, Kennedy, since they were the same as mine: all things pink. Man, girls are simple! In time for the holidays, I took the game home to see what this Minecraft business is all about, so I can get those ever-elusive little kid “brownie points” while I’m home for Christmas. [Read more...]

Activision, Treyarch, and Xbox Partner to Help Veterans Through the Call of Duty Endowment

CallofDutyendowment

Activision Publishing Inc., its studio Treyarch, and Xbox have partnered to support the Call of Duty Endowment. Through October 14, U.S. fans can purchase any of the 17 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Personalization Packs that are currently available on Xbox Live for a 25 percent discount. Additionally, Activision, Treyarch, and Xbox will donate all profits from the packs sold to the Call of Duty Endowment.

Personalization Packs in Call of Duty: Black Ops II offer fans more options to customize and expand their experience. Each themed Personalization Pack contains one unique weapon camo, three targeting reticules, and a player calling card.

Call of Duty: Ghosts Live Global Broadcast Shows Off New Features, Call of Duty App

Call of DutyActivision, developer Infinity Ward, and Xbox gave fans worldwide a sneak peek of the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts via a live, streamed world premiere. Call of Duty: Ghosts features extensive customization and new weapons, maps, and game modes. The game includes a Create-a-Soldier system, in which players can customize their soldier’s physical appearance for the first time in the series. More than 20,000 possible combinations are possible from different heads, body types, equipment, gender, and more.

Players can also enter a new mode of play called Squads, where they can play solo, cooperatively up to six players, or competitively for one-on-one matches. The latter mode pits players and their squads against other players and their squads.

In addition, players can now utilize Call of Duty accounts, secured either free in-game or on the web, to carry their profiles with them, including profile change updates between different Xbox systems or different PlayStation systems. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Launches Rio Merchandising Program

Starting next month, Toys “R” Us customers can experience Rio via a new exclusive partnership between the retailer and Twentieth Century Fox. Toys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com/Rio will offer consumers a first look at the upcoming family film, scheduled to premiere in theaters April 15.

At Toys “R” Us, customers will be able to find a merchandising assortment, including an exclusive toy line from ToyQuest, featuring poseable 3.75-inch mini figures in two packs, eight-inch basic plush pals, 10-inch animated talking plush, nine-inch feature plush and beanies, a nine-inch interactive plush version of Blu and Jewel chained together, and a seven-inch walking and talking plush Luiz bulldog.

Customers who buy the Rio video game, from THQ, for the Xbox and Wii will receive a DVD featuring never-before-seen sneak peeks of the film, while supplies last. Those who purchase the video game for the PlayStation 3 will receive a free Blu-ray version of the DVD.

The retailer has also launched a microsite for Rio merchandise, Toysrus.com/Rio. The site includes movie trailers, exclusive downloadable coloring pages from the Modern Publishing coloring books, and more.