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Posts Tagged ‘toy insider’

Blue Skies Smiling At Me: Activision & Autism Speaks Team-Up

skylanders, autism, autism speaks, activision

Special edition “Light It Up Blue” Skylanders figures released for Autism Awareness Month.

Sky High…
At SkeletonPete we’ve been fans of Activision’s Skylanders, since Ken Pierce (PiercingMetal.com) and I first experienced a pre-release demo of Spyro’s Adventure at the Toy Industry Association Toy Fair almost six years ago. The combination of video game play with collector figures that “entered” the screen was a stroke of genius. Since then the company has built success upon success, turning the product into a collossal licensing franchise. Along the way the characters have been giant-sized, captured in crystal traps, split into swappable pieces, presented as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, and more recently given supercharged vehicles to traverse land, sea and air. Our first encounter with the Superchargers was at last summer’s Toy Insider Sweet Suite press event. Check the images below.
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Fair Play: 2016 TIA “Toy of the Year” Winners

toy industry association, toy fair, the toy bank, the toy foundation

The Toy Industry Association timeline delineates 100 years of service to the trade.

This week The Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) celebrated it’s 113th annual trade event, once again bringing together creators, vendors, buyers and press outlets to North American International Toy Fair.
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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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How Suite It Is: 2015 Toy Insider Event Grows in Scope

sweet suite 15, toy insider
New York City’s Chelsea Pier complex was the site for the 2015 Sweet Suite event designed to alert traditional press outlets and the exponentially expanding blogger community to the play industry’s newest goodies. This season’s gathering, mounted by the folks at Adventure Publishing Group (APG) (Toy Insider, The Toy Book, The Licensing Book) was the biggest ever, encompassing the wares of almost 100 vendor/sponsors. See the link loaded list of participants on the Sweet Suite Sponsor List.

Sweet Suite 15 was a sensory riot with so many wonderful items vying for deserved attention. To document the afternoon APG president and Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht conducted on-site interviews with the industry sponsors and attendees were banging out Tweets, Instagram pictures and videos posts by the hundreds (thousands?) It was especially cool to find The Verve Pipe’s Brian Vander Ark providing the live soundtrack performing songs from the group’s Are We There Yet album.

sweet suite 15, toy insider, laurie schacht, rev toys,

Toy Insider’s Laurie Schacht meets a brace of WowWee Rev’s gesture controlled MiPosaurs.


As an information gathering excursion co-editor Adriana “Andy” Melendez and I have found the invitation-only opportunity to be invaluable, often leading to months worth of pre-holiday roll-out features about the newest toys.

It’s also a perfect platform to explore new products and have an easy-going tet a tet with their creators. Heck, I got so “toy-tipsy” I was even cajoled into donning an “Amy Poehler” wig for the gals at the Goldie Blox booth. Do blondes have more fun? I can’t say for sure but it likely beats being a balding 60 year old guy in a baseball cap.

What caught our collective eye? I know Andy was particularly taken with the I Am Elemental action figures and their empowering message for young ladies. I zoned in on Crayola’s “Color Alive” Easy Animation Studio and Hexbugs’ newest Vex Robotics kits (including an operational Zoetrope). Both were still in early development when first spied at the New York International Toy Association Fair last February.

suite sweet 15, toy insider, i am elemental, crayola, hex bugs, vex robotics

Just a few of the new items Andy and Pete will be reporting on in depth. I Am Elemental Action Figures (left,) HexBugs’ Zoetrope (top right,) Crayola’s Easy Animation Studio (bottom right.)


I also enjoyed a thorough demo and up close look at the eye-popping next-gen graphics of Activision’s Skylanders SuperChargers multi-platform game. Anki Overdrive’s track hugging robotic race cars promise to be an exciting experience, and Madame Alexander Doll’s mirthful Muppets will be available just in time for ABC’s Muppet TV relaunch.

Also ready to launch in the vanguard of inevitable Stars Wars mania is Build-A-Bear Workshop‘s Darth Vader and Chewbaca bears.

Expect us to be reporting on those items and many other products in depth as they reach their release dates in the coming weeks. In the meantime enjoy this teaser gallery of pictures from the event.

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Cowa-Bungee: Jazwares Flick-To-Stick Bungees

jazwares, bungees

Just a few of the Flick-To-Stick Characters in the Jazwares Bungee Universe.

Flipped Out…
This year’s “HoliDay of PLAY” event, sponsored by Woman’s Day Magazine and Toy Insider, offered a great opportunity to discover some new toys to report on. One particular line, JazwaresFlick-To-Stick Bungees, drew my attention immediately for it’s miniature game pieces and turned out to be more than met the eye.

In their cartoon universe the various Bungee characters attempt death defying acrobatic feats to capture their appointed discs. Here in the real world Bungees are collectible game pieces that mesh some tried and true modes of play from marbles to Pokemon with escalating competitive possibilities. At it’s simplest, contestants attempt to gain the highest number of points by flicking their magnetic bottomed Bungees onto metal discs. Players are rewarded with the highest points for landing on their own character disc, but points can be gained by landing on other crew members’ discs too. That said, several crews don’t play well together and in advanced scoring mode you can lose points for landing on non-compatible discs.

jazwares, bungees, flick-to-stick

This Bungees Master Arena Affords Many Unique Game Play Elements.

You Know My Name, Look Up the Number…
Each Bungee character comes with a corresponding metallic disc, basic gaming rules, and card that delineates their name, crew affiliation, attitude, point hierarchy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cards are not just ephemera but are magnetic as well and can be integrated into the game play. A very nice touch. Advanced games use a point system listed on the back of each disc.

One of nicest things about the Bungees universe is a pretty much unlimited selection of ways to play. Game “fields” can be purchased or invented. The Master Arena Set is Jazwares’ ultimate multi-player tournament site. It includes ramps, a clear surround, and a set of flippers to attempt to eject your opponents. Alternately, a set-up of makeshift obstacles like empty coffee cans, cardboard boxes, and stretched rubber-bands for bumpers could offer as interesting a challenge on that disused ping-pong table in your recreation room.

bungees, jazwares, flick-to-stick

Bungees’ Statistics Cards Can Also Be Part of Gameplay

Bouncing Souls…
Though flicking skills will aid your chances of landing on your chosen target, the inherent randomness of which way a bungee will bounce or rebound keeps gameplay unpredictable and entertaining. Speaking of skills, kids will need to get their math heads in gear as score keeping will be done the good old fashioned way, with a pencil and your brain.

Travel is as easy as flipping several bungees and their related discs and cards in a zip lock bag. No electricity required. A nice respite from screen only competition.

SkeletonPete Says…
As an “only” I was always looking for games that didn’t necessarily require group play. Bungees offer the opportunity for single-player “woodshedding” sessions to build skills between group matches with just enough unexpected outcome to stay engrossing but not frustrating.

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