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Fab Gear: Toy Insider Names Best in Play for 2016

toy insider mom, laurie schacht, toy insider, toys, family circle, holiday of play

Adventure Publication’s Laurie Schacht and the Toy Insider team gave Holiday of Play attendees the lowdown on the latest & greatest modes of play.

Andy and Pete Say…
Once again it was our pleasure to join The Toy Insider team for the annual reveal of their choices for best toys for the holiday season lists. The HoliDAY of Play event highlights products in three categories, Hot 20 Toys, 12 Best Tech Toys, and 10 Best S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Toys.

You probably know “Toy Insider Mom” Laurie Schacht from her numerous television appearances demonstrating the operation of those products. The Toy Insider 2016 Catalog can be found nested inside the current issue of Family Circle Magazine, and you can get comprehensive details on each item at the Toy Insider Website link above.

Things to Make and Do….
There is probably no greater satisfaction for youngsters, really for anyone, than building something that works. That appeared to be the major theme this year at The HoliDAY of Play event. As we’ve seen in the past, from Lincoln Logs to LEGOS, the honing of dexterity skills, deciphering of instructions, assimilation of concepts, peaking of imagination and recovering from missteps, all make the final product a very personal thrill. The accomplishment makes the object all the more valuable to the builder.
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When You Wish Upon a ‘Saur: TOMY’s Dino Goodies

the good dinosaur, tony toys, disney, pixar, holiday of play, toy insider, woman's day magazine

“The Good Dinosaur” Arlo, the young hero of Disney/Pixar’s newest collaboration.

Kid Dino-Mite…
Between the rush of excitement and that Japanese language course you took to help dissect the nuances of the recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, you might have missed The Walt Disney Company sliding another film in under your noses. The Pixar collaboration titled The Good Dinosaur has been brewing in the background for some time. Now, with the kinks worked out of its bones, it will hit theaters, on November 25, 2015, as a sweet Thanksgiving dessert for your youngsters.

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The Joy of Toys: Toy Insider “Holiday of Play” 2015

holiday of play, toy insider, woman's day magazine, darth vader, star wars, disney

Jakks Pacific’s 48 inch Darth Vader loomed large at Toy Insider “Holiday of Play” 2015.


Toy Insider’s Got Game…
Between the recent New York City Comic Convention and Halloween approaching, Andy and I have plenty of information and photographs to share with you, and miles to go before we sleep.
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Ace Faces: Star Ace Collectibles @ NYCC 2014

Star Ace's Cast Metal Replica  of the Disney Submarine Nautilus Design.

Star Ace’s Cast Metal Replica of the Disney Submarine Nautilus Design.


Little “Leagues”…
For me, NY Comic Con is a chance to say hi to the purveyors of some of the fun stuff that I like the best and also a perfect opportunity to discover some new items to add to the “wow” list. This year was no exception.

While free ranging the Javitts Center aisles what to my wondering eyes did appear but a miniature replica of the Naultilus submarine. This representation of Captain Nemo’s sweet ride (Jules Verne’s grandaddy of steam-punk vessels) is based on Harper Goff’s design for Walt Disney Studios 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954.) The little beauty stopped me dead in my tracks and impressed me even more when I learned it was a die cast metal kit with working parts and lights. This one is a true gem for the builder/collector and is aimed at a winter 2014 release.

Want to know more about the genesis of Disney’s submarine design? A treasure trove of information can be found at DisneySub.Com.


Unique Steve McQueen Collectible will Join Star Ace's Growing Line (Pre-Approval Image)

Unique Steve McQueen Collectible will Join Star Ace’s Growing Line (Pre-Approval Image)


Escapism…
Once I pulled my eyes, and camera, away from the Disney Submarine replica, a look around revealed that I was in the display booth of Star Ace Toys Limited, and there were other delights to be seen. Giving me a steely stare from an adjacent display case was another iconic film entity, Steve McQueen, portrayed in his role as Captain Virgil Hilts from The Great Escape (1963). Though I was allowed to photograph it it should be noted that the McQueen likeness is shown here in pre-approval prototype form.

Lord Voldemort Conjures Up Some Trouble

Lord Voldemort Conjures Up Some Trouble


Say My Name…
Star Ace’s current franchise stock in trade is their growing range of Harry Potter film figures. Along with Harry and Ron Weasley, also displayed at the Yes Anime convention booth, Star Ace exhibited prototypes for Ralph Fiennes’ Lord Voldemort and Gary Oldham’s Sirius Black portrayals.

As the photos show these 1/6th scale articulated collectibles are rendered with exquisite attention to detail from their head sculpts and paint to the delicious scope of their accessories.


SkeletonPete Says…
I’m happy to see that Star Ace is giving some love to the interests of “boomer” collectors like myself, who in actuality are more likely purchase such high scale prizes. If they’re considering mining 50’s-60’s pop culture a Frank, Dino and Sammy Jr. “Rat Pack” would find a home in many “man-caves.”

To Infinity 2.0 (and Beyond): Disney Adds Marvel Heroes

Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via "power discs."

Disney Infinity 2.0 Iron Man can change on screen costumes via “power discs.”


The Disney Infinity Game line amps up the play action this fall with the addition of Marvel Super Heroes to the mix. The Infinity 2.0 game pieces expand the “Toy Box” of the previously Disney-centric character set to include beautiful three dimensional game pieces based on Marvel’s Avengers and Spiderman universes. Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman, Nova, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Venom, Iron Fist, and Nick Fury will all be part of the Wave 1 roll out scheduled for September 23, 2014.

Although the new character set will not work with the previous Infinity base or software, all original characters will be recognized and playable on the 2.0 system and may even include power-up “skill tree” enhancements.

There will also be another group of Disney film characters coming to the shelves before the 2014 holiday season. These include Merida, Tinkerbell, a very Angelina looking Maleficent and Stitch, all pictured below. All characters are playable in all worlds so die hard purists will need to bring their sense of fun and an open mind to game play that could ultimately pair the Incredible Hulk with Tinkerbell. I believe kids will not blink and just go for it.

The Mighty Thaw, Um Thor…
I have always been a fan of The Mighty Thor from my earliest off-the-newsstand comic buying days and was thrilled to learn that The Avengers game story will pit them against Loki and the Frost Giants to save New York City from a frozen doom. Disney says the play maps are 4 times the size of the cityscapes offered in the original game.

Power to the People…
Power Discs will add other dimensions to the screenplay and come in two flavors. Placing a character on top of a Circular Power Disc (or 2) can for instance change a character’s uniform, add an on-screen helper character (like Falcon or Winter Soldier for Captain America) for a short “team-up” period, some will add a vehicle like the Spiderman dune buggy, or a motorcycle.

Hexagonal Discs offer “Play Sets,” these are game experiences with hours of story or task based action when placed on the Infinity base. While each starter kit will come with Power Discs, discs will also be sold mystery box style to encourage collecting and trading between gamers. 80 separate discs have been announced.

Building your own worlds inside the “toy box” area will also be enhanced so gamers can more easily create unique experiences. We were told those end-user built worlds could eventually be shared online via Disney to others around the world.

SkeletonPete Says…
It was great to get an up close and personal sneak peak of these temping collectible game pieces at the Blogger Bash’s SweetSuite 2014 Event in NYC this week. Like Activision’s Skylanders they serve not only as game tokens but excellent display items that deserve shelf space.

Thanks to the kind folks at The Big Toy Book for giving co-editor Andy Melendez and I the opportunity to cover this fun event.

I strongly suggest you visit Marvel’s website for detailed info on the deep set of gaming capabilities offered in Infinity on a wide range of platforms.