Author: James Zahn

Cartoon Network Offers Full Month of Premiere Episodes

Cartoon Network rolls out new episodes of fan favorite series this February. Premiere episodes of Craig of the Creek, Teen Titans Go!, and We Bare Bears air every Monday night, as well as new Unikitty! episodes every weeknight in February. New episodes begin Monday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. (ET/PT) with “Deep Creek Salvage,” an all-new episode of Craig of the Creek. Guest star Will Arnett (The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Batman Movie) will reprise his iconic voice role as LEGO Batman in “BatKitty,” a special episode of Unikitty! premiering Monday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT). Grammy winner Estelle also guest stars as pop star Estellar in We Bare Bears‘ “The Mall,” airing Monday, Feb....

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The LEGO Movie World Launches at LEGOLAND Florida Resort

The LEGO Movie World will open on March 27 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The new expansion features three new rides and numerous attractions, all inspired by the characters and themes of The LEGO Movie and next month’s The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Created in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the team from Merlin Magic Making recreated Bricksburg with its characters, creative eating spaces, and authentic cityscape in which guests can experience Emmet’s Super Suite. Rides include The LEGO Movie Masters of Flight, Unikitty’s Disco Drop, and Battle of Bricksburg. The LEGO Movie World will also feature Taco Tuesday Everyday eatery; The Awesome Shop, filled with...

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Nintendo Hits the Reset Button on Metroid Prime 4 Development

In an unusual move, Nintendo released a video in which Shinya Takahashi, senior managing executive officer, addressed fans and the industry on the development of Metroid Prime 4. Announced at E3 in 2017, the title is one of the most-anticipated games set for release for Nintendo Switch. Development hit some snags, and Nintendo will reboot the entire project from scratch. As part of the shift in development, Nintendo will collaborate with Retro Studios, makers of the original Metroid Prime...

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Amazon Publishing Introduces Amazon Crossing Kids

Amazon Publishing introduces Amazon Crossing Kids, a new imprint for children’s picture books in translation. Building on the work of Amazon Crossing, the largest publisher of translated fiction in the U.S., and Amazon Publishing’s Two Lions imprint, a children’s book publisher, Amazon Crossing Kids aims to increase the diversity of children’s picture books in translation to encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives. Amazon Crossing Kids launches with three picture books, Spiky (Italy), written and illustrated by Ilaria Guarducci and translated by Laura Watkinson, A Tiger Like Me (Germany), written by Michael Engler, illustrated by Joëlle Tourlonias and translated by Laura Watkinson, and Along...

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The Next Shot at a Toys “R” Us Revival: Tru Kids Inc.

A potential Toys “R” Us (TRU) revival in the U.S. is taking shape. Following last fall’s cancellation of the company’s IP auction in a move that brought the assets of Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us in-house under Geoffrey LLC and the ownership of the secured creditors, Geoffrey’s Toy Box launched as a way to keep TRU house brands in front of shoppers during the holiday season. Those displays—pallet shippers dropped on more than 600 Kroger locations—were met with mixed reaction, but the true revival may be yet to come. The New York Post reports that a group...

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Spin Master Launches Off The Hook Fashion Doll Collection

Spin Master launches Off The Hook, a new line of fashion dolls and accessories. Inspired by mannequins who are ready to come alive for a day at the beach, a night at the concert or making memories at the spring dance, kids can style each of the six dolls from head-to-toe with mix-and-match hairstyles, tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories with hook-together fashions. https://www.instagram.com/p/BseB1UmA3BB/ Each doll includes an outfit from one of three fashion collections—Concert Collection, Summer Vacay Collection, and Spring Dance Collection. Available at mass retail, the first wave includes Off The Hook Style Dolls, BFFs, and the Style Studio play set. Kids...

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Hasbro Welcomes Warwick Brenner to Global Licensing Leadership Team

Hasbro Inc. appointed Warwick Brenner, vice president, EMEA consumer products effective immediately. Brenner will be based out of Hasbro’s Stockley Park office in the UK. Brenner comes to Hasbro from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), were he worked closely with Casey Collins, who joined Hasbro from WWE as senior vice president and general manager of consumer products last year.  Brenner also lead consumer products and business development initiatives at DreamWorks Animation SKG, The Licensing Co., and The Walt Disney Co.  “I’m thrilled to welcome Warwick to the Hasbro Consumer Products team,” says Collins. “Warwick’s key focus at Hasbro will be to...

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Angry Birds Dream Blast Comes to Mobile

The next chapter in the Angry Birds franchise is a prequel. Rovio Entertainment globally launches Angry Birds Dream Blast, a casual tap-to-match puzzle game in which players join the young and sleepy Angry Birds flock to blast Dream Bubbles and overcome a number of different bubble popping challenges. Dream Blast introduces an all-new gameplay style for the franchise, set in the era before the Angry Birds’ first run-in with their piggy nemeses. A unique aspect of the game is how quickly players can get into the action. “Time-to-fun is incredibly important to us,” says head of Rovio’s Puzzle Studio, Heini Kaihu. “We want players...

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NPD Reports December Video Game Sales, Record-Breaking 2018

The U.S. video game industry grew 18 percent last year, according to a new report from the Entertainment Software Association with data provided by the NPD Group. December video game sales were up to cap a record-breaking $43.4 billion year-end total. The Nintendo Switch passed Sony’s Playstation 4 to become the top-selling console, with Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, NBA 2K19, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Mario Kart 8, and Marvel’s Spider-Man among the titles doing big business to lure gamers. December tracked spending* across video game hardware, software, game cards, and accessories totaled $3.4 billion, up...

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Disney, Big Fish Games Collaborate for Toy Story Drop!

Big Fish Games, publisher of Gummy Drop!, will collaborate with Disney to develop and release Toy Story Drop!, a free-to-play match-3 puzzle adventure game on mobile. In Toy Story Drop!, players will match, drop, and clear hundreds of puzzles to help Woody, Buzz, and other beloved characters overcome larger-than-life obstacles. Iconic Disney•Pixar Toy Story locations, such as Andy’s Room and Pizza Planet, serve as levels for players to visit. The game is available now as a geo-locked beta on Google Play and the App Store. Toy Story Drop! is expected to release on all major platforms, including Android, iOS, Amazon, and the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 later this...

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