Author: Emily Kamen

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

The 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...

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COMMENTARY: Classic Games Are Revived with Modern Twists

The 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. For example, Hasbro recently introduced the My Monopoly Game, which replicates the classic version, but it is now customizable. You can play the original way, or using the downloadable app, you can print out stickers from social media sites to personalize the tokens and properties. Tic Tac Toe has also been transformed into a modern-looking family game, Tic Stac Toe, thanks to Pressman Toys. It has a smart phone app that upon downloading, lets players engage in the classic match-in-a-row game play on mobile devices. Looking beyond the summer, Hasbro, along with Ubisoft, is also planning the...

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Blue Orange Games to Launch New Disney Products

Blue Orange Games—a leading designer of tabletop family games—will introduce nine new Disney licensed games by this fall. The company will adapt its existing titles to feature Disney properties, enhancing ways that children can interact with favorite Disney characters. The line will feature educational content from existing games Spot it! and Tell Tale. It will highlight popular Disney characters and movies such as Frozen, Disney Planes, and Disney television shows Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land...

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

Toys “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...

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TMNT-Themed Monopoly Games to Hit Stores

The Heroes in a Half Shell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, will be seen in a whole new light, thanks to a new partnership from USAopoly and Nickelodeon. Under license from Hasbro, two new Monopoly games inspired by the much anticipated summer blockbuster, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Edition and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collectors Edition–are set to hit stores this fall. In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Edition, fans of the popular television show will be able to vie for 22 popular locations found in the animated series. Teenage Mutant Turtles Collector’s Edition, meanwhile, will give fans the opportunity to sell and trade the notorious Turtle villains, and properties can be claimed and enhanced with custom pizza slices and pizza boxes, which replaces the traditional Monopoly houses and hotels. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be released on August 8th in theaters...

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Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue Line Is Ready to Soar

With the hype of summer blockbuster Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue, Disney Consumer Products has released a line of products to celebrate. The sequel has inspired a vast line of toys, including remote control and interactive toys, accessories, and books. The new products include an infrared deluxe R/C helicopter, the U-Command Fire & Rescue Blade Ranger by Thinkway, which propels itself with help from a wireless remote joystick. The sounds and effects of the new line allow kids to imagine, play, and recreate iconic film moments. Other licensees for the new line include Mattel, Mobo Cruiser, Huffy, and more. These toys are available in stores as well as online at the Disney Store. Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue is set to hit theaters on July...

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FunAir Brings Inflatable Fun for All

FunAir has created a new line of new inflatable water slides and games for consumer and commercial markets. A leader in premium sealed air inflatable yacht toys, FunAir is now looking to provide for families, resorts, festival owners, camps, and schools. The new line includes the portable Gaga Ball Pit, which allows its version of Dodge Ball to go with its players; the 15-foot Dock Slide; and the giant FunAir Super Sweet Slide, which is a slippery slide taken to extremes. The company’s sealed air inflatables are made with commercial-grade 28 oz. PVC materials with UV protection, and all FunAir products include an electric pump, which makes inflation quick and easy. After inflation, the pump stows safely away during...

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Nenuco Introduces New Soft-Body Baby Dolls

Nenuco, a European doll manufacturer, has crafted a line of soft-body baby dolls for little girls to feed, bathe, dress, and more. The line is available in three different personalities: My Little Nenuco, My First Nenuco Kisses, and a two-doll set, Nenuco & Her Little Sister. My Little Nenuco, suitable for ages 2 and up, measures 14 inches long, smells sweet, and has a soft body. It arrives dressed in an animal design onesie, hat, shoes, and attached pacifier. My First Nenuco Kisses, suitable for ages 2 and up, measures 16.5 inches long, and comes dressed in a pink and white striped top with pink-dotted pajama bottoms complete with matching striped footsies. Nenuco & Her Little Sister, suitable for ages 2 and up, is a double doll set that includes a big sister Nenuco, which stands 15.5 inches tall and has a pink jumper dress and hat. The younger sister doll matches in a complimentary jumper. These dolls can be found in Toys “R” Us stores. Nenuco also utilizes social media sites for parents to access games, coloring pages, and puzzles for their children’s...

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Nominations Being Accepted for The Strong Museum

The Strong Museum’s National Toy Hall of Fame is taking nominations for favorite classic toys and games to be inducted this summer. Submissions are being accepted through July 31. Since 1998, 53 classic toys and games have been inducted, including the game of chess and the rubber duck. The submissions are sifted through by an internal museum advisory committee made up of curators, educators, and historians. They discuss and decide which toys meet the criteria for induction. The traits they are looking for include icon status, longevity, discovery, and innovation. The selected toys will be inducted on November 6 at a weekend long celebration at The Strong’s headquarters in Rochester,...

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Her Universe to Release Transformers Fashion Line

Her Universe has announced that it will collaborate with Hasbro to create an all-female fashion line based on the Transformers universe. Fans of Transformers products will now be able to purchase dresses, fashion and athletic tops, tanks, and leggings featuring popular characters such as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and the Dinobots. The clothing line will be available in the U.S. and Canada at retailers such as Hot Topic and online at heruniverse.com. Ashley Eckstein, who launched Her Universe with The Araca Group in 2010, wanted to create a line that appeals to female viewers because this demographic is often overlooked in the Transformers product...

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