license to thrill
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 17, 2015 11:01 AM
The 112th annual North American Toy Fair is on in New York, with licensing partnerships bringing together brands that tap into the toy industry's top trends of 2015, from the maker movement to tech innovation and beyond.
Case in point: Mattel is partnering with Google to reinvent the View-Master from its 1939 roots as a proto-3D virtual reality device, relying on cardboard disks with stereoscopic images inserted in a plastic device and observed through a viewfinder.
Now View-Master is using a different kind of cardboard: Google Cardboard, which uses an Android smartphone app to deliver a 360-degree animated environment.Continue reading...
what girls want
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 15, 2013 10:01 AM
With a pink elevator, hot tub and spa, pink granite countertops and only three walls, Malibu's most famous resident is finally putting her house on the market. That's right: for a cool $25 million, Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse in the 90265 zipcode can be yours.
It's being "sold" via a listing on Trulia—"The only house in Malibu with a truly unobstructed view of the ocean (after all, it only has three walls)—and a celebrity real estate agent in Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles" cast member Josh Altman. It's all part of an effort by the iconic toy company to highlight the doll's revamped image and new playset, set to be released for the 2013 holiday shopping season.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2013 05:13 PM
The 110th American International Toy Fair has kicked off in New York, which means that it is time for toy freaks to opine on everything from Superman’s underwear to the merits of creating toys based on "Breaking Bad" — a TV show about a dying chemistry teacher who turns to cooking up methamphetamines in a desperate cash-raising scheme for his family.
Warm and cuddly? Not exactly. But the fair has that elsewhere in droves, including a new line of Fisher-Price plush toys (and other items) relating to the launch of Saban's forthcoming "Julius Jr." show for preschoolers on Nickolodeon's sister network, Nick Jr. — a spinoff of Paul Frank's omnipresent monkey character. ("Julius Jr. is a funky monkey with a penchant for invention," according to a press release.)
Saban, which also owns the Power Rangers brand, is also debuting a bevvy of new action figures, plush toys, board games, consumer electronics and more as the Rangers celebrate their 20th anniversary. The brand has a new show on Nickelodeon as well — "Power Rangers Megaforce" — which has some new products attached to it.Continue reading...
what girls want
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2012 10:30 AM
What do girls want? For one big sister this holiday season, the right for her brother to have the same toys in a non-stereotypical design. Almost 45,000 signatures and a slew of international headlines later, McKenna Pope, the 13-year-old who started the online petition at Change.org to convince Hasbro to consider boys in their marketing and design scope for the Easy-Bake Oven, has scored a big win for gender equality.
McKenna and her family met with execs at Hasbro on Monday and came out all smiles. Execs at the Pawtucket, R.I., HQ of the toy manufacturer, as AP reports, were deighted to show her design prototypes for Easy-Bake ovens colored black, silver, or blue — ready for her brother and other boys eager to get Easy-Baking.
Pope’s quest had started when she wanted to get her four-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. After all, he had shown a love for food prep by attempting to “cook on top of a lamp's light bulb” at their New Jersey home. Pope only found ovens in pink or purple and the boxes only featured girls in its marketing images.
So Pope went out and scored more than 40,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, the support of a slew of male celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, and a meeting with Hasbro, which now says it is going to unveil the new oven at the annual Toy Fair in New York this coming February. Consumers who are looking to purchase Easy-Bake ovens that aren’t pink and purple will be able to snag them next summer. Plus, the new ovens will come with a boy or two pictured on the box as well.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 16, 2011 03:00 PM
Monopoly purists will shake their heads at this one. Hasbro is promoting an updated version of the classic game, called Monopoly Live, at this week's Toy Fair in New York, where toy and game manufacturers show off their latest products for 2011.
Monopoly Live, slated for release this fall, still has the familiar board, but along with it comes a decidedly unfamiliar new addition — a Big Brother-ish infrared tower that acts very much like an airport control tower, telling all the players what to do when. It even prevents them from cheating.
And what happened to Monopoly money in the new version? Well that's gone too — now players slip electronic cards into little red devices, not unlike miniature ATMs, to find out how much money they have left. Sheesh.Continue reading...