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.
We’re going to start off with an overview of Toy Insider and Woman’s Day magazines 4th Annual Holiday of Play event. Holiday of Play brings together over 100 reporters from the press and blogger communities to peruse the magazines’ top choices for the coming gifting season first hand and cull information directly from the vendors.
Toys, from STEM to Stern…
Toy Insider co-publisher Laurie Schacht and her team introduced us to picks in three categories; this year’s Hot 20, Top Tech 12, and new addition the STEM 10 list. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and is the current buzz-line of the educational world. Laurie called the Toy Insider STEM choices “stealthy,” and indeed many of the items are for an age group too young to realize they’re being prepped for a career in quantum physics.
The TI annual lists include a Toy Skill Key for each item that gives parents and gifters a quick guide to the scope of the product’s potential. Skill areas include: development of large and small motors skills, social interaction, emotional and social intelligence, school readiness and tech smarts.
Over the next couple of days we’ll be posting galleries to show off the products in the individual categories, and link them here as they go live.
As part of her presentation Laurie brought up two brave souls to demonstrate Hasbro’s Pie Face game. Pie Face turns a can of Reddi-Whip whipped cream and an unpredictable trigger mechanism into a fun competitive scenario that’s sure to generate innumerable aftermath selfies. Clearly a great party game that while aimed at a young audience will have inestimable value in college dormitories. Just bring an intrepid constitution and a sense of self deprecating humor. Oh, and buy stock in Handi-Wipes now.
I was particularly excited to see that Lego is jumping into the collector figure video game market. Activision pretty much invented this niche with the original Skylanders. They continue with a strong fifth iteration called TurboChargers, which focuses on land, sea and air vehicles. They’ve also added exclusive Donkey Kong characters to the mix in a switchable crossover with Nintendo’s AmiiBo line.
On the eve of The Force Awakens, Disney is introducing its Infinity 3.0 starter kit, which brings us a Stars Wars scenario. As in the past all previous game pieces can be used in the new games. The battle ready Yoda is very cool.
Lego ’s brand, called Dimensions, adds construction to the mix. It’s a multi-platform, multi-license experience that not only encourages you to build your own Stargate style portal but allows for up to seven game – yep 7 – figures to enter play at one time.
Lego will wrap up many of the missing franchise licenses not owned by Disney. Look for DC Comics characters, Dr. Who, Scooby Doo, The Wizard of Oz, The Simpsons, Ghostbusters, The Lord of the Rings, and of course the company’s own The Lego Movie figures to rumble around in one heck of a mashed up multiverse.
The starter kit includes parts to build the portal, which you can customize with your own existing stash of pieces, and three characters; Batman, Gandalf and Wildstyle. It also comes packed with one sweet Batmobile to tool around in.
No surprise each of these new starter packs made the Hot Top 20 for 2015.