Q&A with Søren Torp Laursen, President, Lego Systems

Lego Direktion  15,012,2005 © Niels Aage Skovbo, FOKUSThe Toy Book (TTB): How has the success of The Lego Movie helped to transform the entertainment and merchandising arm of Lego?

Søren Torp Laursen (STL): We are thrilled that The Lego Movie captured the attention of so many people around the world last year, serving as an anthem for creative building that drove families to pull out their existing Lego collections or try one of the Lego sets that we had on shelf. While we do not have ambitions to become an entertainment company, we know that storytelling and content—be it film, TV, YouTube tutorials, or fan-generated animations—is an important way that we create relevance while inspiring new ideas for play time. The movie was a perfect validation of our belief in the power of stories, and we look forward to deeper relationships with our content partners to continue to enhance what we do best in delivering fun and creative building sets that inspire children to become their own storytellers.
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Mattel’s HIT Entertainment to Develop New Thomas & Friends Digital Content

Thomas&Friends,70yearsThomas & Friends will embark on new adventures that will arrive on YouTube throughout this year. The global preschool content development division for Mattel Inc., HIT Entertainment, will develop 52 three-minute original digital videos for Thomas & Friends. The new short-form videos feature Thomas the Tank Engine having adventures off the Island of Sodor in fascinating destinations like London, Paris, and New York City, and coming to life in children’s playrooms. [Read more...]

Q&A with Paul Solomon, Co-CEO, Moose Toys

Moose.PaulSolomonThe Toy Book (TTB): In what new way are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?

Paul Solomon (PS): The popularity of toy unboxing videos on YouTube has given Moose Toys the opportunity to reach more consumers on platforms other than TV. Moose has seen first-hand how social media allows consumers to engage more directly with our products. For example, Moose garnered more than 11 million views from our animated Shopkins webisodes. [Read more...]

Fisher-Price Launches Best Possible Start Campaign with Parents from Around the World

This past Friday, Fisher-Price Inc. released a short film entitled Wishes for Baby, marking the official launch of its Best Possible Start marketing campaign. Directed by Patrick Creadon, and filmed with real parents from around the world on New Year’s Day and during the final days of December of last year, the short film is intended to capture the love and hopes all parents share for their children during their first moments.

The production involved more than 50 crew members around the world, in seven countries over five continents and in 10 hospitals, shooting the births of 27 babies and the first wishes of 26 families. More than 15 hours of raw footage was scoured through and edited within 24 hours in order to produce the 90-second film.


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Techno Source to Launch Kurio Xtreme

Kurio Xtreme_Blue_Kurio Motion Racing_Techno SourceThe Kurio Xtreme tablet, from Techno Source, is the newest addition to the Kurio line of Android devices for kids. Due for release on October 1, the 7-inch Wi-Fi-enabled tablet features a sleek and thinner design, a faster processor, double internal memory, Bluetooth technology, and 24/7 customer support. It also introduces exclusive Kurio Motion gaming, the first body-controlled games on a tablet. Ten Kurio Motion games will be preloaded onto the tablet and millions of other apps can be accessed through the Kurio Store and Google Play.

The Kurio Motion games lets kids play on screen as they jump, run, and move in order to swim, ski, tend goal, speed race, and more in the game. The technology uses the tablet’s camera and a Kurio Motion gaming stand is included with the device. [Read more...]

PS4 Sales Grow at Fastest Rate in PlayStation Hardware History

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOPlayStation 4 (PS4) computer entertainment systems have cumulatively sold more than 10 million units worldwide as of August 10, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) The hardware system has demonstrated the fastest and strongest growth in PlayStation history. The PS4 system is currently available in 100 countries and regions worldwide.

SCE will continue to enhance the PS4 system’s network features, including the ability to upload game footage directly to YouTube. It will also incorporate Share Play, a feature that allows players to enjoy game play as if they are in the same room, such as remotely taking over a friend’s controller to help him or her through tricky sections of a game.

With strong support from users as well as third party developers and publishers worldwide, PS4 software sales passed 30 million copies sold in retail stores globally and through digital downloads on the PlayStation Store as of August 10.

Jinx Introduces Minecraft Creeper Anatomy Vinyl Toy

minecraftJinx has launched the Minecraft Creeper Anatomy Vinyl toy, which is 8 inches tall and disassembles into seven parts. It was previewed at Minecon 2013 in Orlando, Florida, and is now available for purchase on the Jinx website and at Toys “R” Us stores.

To accompany the launch, Jinx has created a video for this new addition to the vinyl toy lineup, which expands on the thought process behind the design of the toy. It can be found on the Jinx YouTube channel.

“C’mon, Let’s Play” Campaign from Toys “R” Us Encourages Imaginative Play

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.39.59 AMToys “R” Us has announced the, “C’mon, Let’s Play,” campaign to encourage kids to do exactly that: get out and play.

Designed in partnership with advertising agency The Escape Pod and YouTube sensation Daniel Hashimoto, the campaign was inspired by Hashimoto’s son, James, who was filmed playing with a lightsaber in his local Toys “R” Us store. Hashimoto edited the video, bringing James’ play adventure to life through animation. “C’mon, Let’s Play” is intended to teach children the value of playing and imagination.

The first television advertisements for, “C’mon, Let’s Play,” will begin airing August 3, and will encourage fans to promote on social media using the hashtag #letsplay.

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...]

TIA Releases Details on PlayCon 2014 Sessions

Digital experts from Google/YouTube, Amazon, RocketHub, and Tongal will present their insights on connecting with 21st century kids and moms, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding at PlayCon 2014, the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) International Conference of Play Professionals. The event is scheduled to take place from May 7 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Growing Up Digital: Creating, Consuming, Connecting” will feature Katie Rottier, head of U.S. industry, sports & toys, at Google/YouTube. “Amazon: Key Customer, Marketing Partner, Platform for Customer Engagement, or All Three,” will be presented by Eva Lorenz, category leader for Amazon’s Toys & Games store. For “Get Out of the Box—Get Into the Crowd!” Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, and Caleb Light-Wills, senior vice president of product at Tongal, will provide an in-depth look at crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

Full agenda details, as well as hotel and registration information, can be found at the TIA website.