Imaginext Designer Rob Hageman Discusses Exlcusive NY Comic Con Bat-Bot Xtreme

New York Comic Con has become the premier East-Coast destination for all things pop culture and 2017 was no different. New to the convention floor this year was Fisher Price’s Imaginext toy  line which features a wide variety of multi-faceted play sets, figures and vehicles taken from the pages of the DC universe. As an exclusive for this year’s convention Imaginext creators brought a special themed version of their DC Bat-Bot Xtreme for a lucky few to purchase. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with designer Rob Hageman about the piece as well as what the brand has in store for this year’s holiday season.

Ian Lawton: How did you come up with the original idea for the original DC Bat-Bot Xtreme?

Rob Hageman: We actually started off by making a smaller version of the toy. It had all the same workable features and everything but when we got it all done we realized it would be cooler if we made it a lot bigger. The smaller version was great but once kids got a hold of the larger version that’s the one that everyone really enjoyed.

IL: Can you tell us about some of the feature on the Bat-Bot Xtreme?

RH: I think the best feature is when you turn one of the action discs as it opens up the wings of the robot. Once you do that you have access to the punching power triggers on each hand. You can also fire discs out of the fists as you punch. Across the top are a number of buttons which shoot several rockets. On the opposite foot of the robot is another action disc which opens up the chest of the robot to reveal an elevator which takes figures up into the head of the robot. Also featured is a voice changer which allows you to talk into the back of the toy and transform your voice in to that of a robot. There is a hidden bat cycle in one foot of the robot which can be shot out while the other foot features a jail for locking up any bad guys.

IL: The Comic Con version of the Bat-Bot Xtreme is different from the one in stores. Can you tell us about that?

RH: There is a comic book version of this robot that is much more metallic than the retail one. The retail one is still super cool but it’s done in standard blue plastic where the 300 we did for Comic Con have a special blue metallic paint job that is closer to what is seen in the comic. With this special version I really was trying to make sure it looked as close to the one pictured in the book. The exclusive version also comes with in special packaging featuring some really great art work, magnetic switches and LED lights.

IL: How do you decide which characters you are going to make into a figure?

RH: Each year all the designers get together and draw a bunch of concepts. We will take them to the team and give them our best pitches for each one. From there we work as a team to finalize designs and figure out which look the best, are the most relevant and will help Imaginext flush out the DC Universe.

IL: What other characters/figures are you set to release?

RH: We have Mongul and Green Lantern set to come out along with Black Canary and Night Wing around Christmas time. Also set to come is Steppenwolf as well as Swamp Thing and Survivor Batman. I think that’s probably one of our best packs we have done so far.

IL: How would someone go about becoming a toy designer?

Designer Rob Hageman and Media Mikes Ian Lawton

RH: When I was a kid I loved to draw and it was something I always did. I would draw my toys along with other toys I may have wanted. I also drew a lot of robots as I love robots. When I got to high school a teacher of mine had a friend of his who worked for a toy company come to class. He brought in all the things he had worked on and told us it was his job to make toys. I knew then it was something I wanted to do. I kept drawing more and more and after high school I went to art school and focused on toy design. I am now doing what I wanted to do ever since high school.

IL: What has been your favorite toy that you have created/worked on?

RH: My favorite is the regular Bat-Bot which transforms from a tank to a robot. It was an uphill battle for me to sell that in as I wanted the transformation to be able to happen while the toy was still in the package. I wanted there to be two different forms while making things easy to maneuver and play with. The voice on it is really great as well.

Wonder Crew Buddies Break Gender Stereotypes

 February 18, 2017, — BELOIT, Wis. – During Toy Fair in New York, PlayMonster LLC is showcasing its new Wonder Crew® Buddies, the toy line for boys designed to empower boys to connect, nurture and build empathy through friendship, imagination and adventure.

Wonder Crew is turning the table on the conversation about gender stereotypes and toys, which has largely been focused on presenting more options for girls to play. Wonder Crew fills a hole in the market by offering a toy that helps boys develop their emotional maturity, including compassion and kindness, to help them grow to be good men, husbands, fathers and more.

Combining the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of a stuffed animal, 15″ Wonder Crew Buddies are available now. The crew includes Will (Caucasian), Marco (Hispanic), James (African American) and Erik (Asian). Each comes dressed in superhero gear, complete with matching mask and cape for kids.

Wonder Crew also has three Adventure Packs: Builder includes a construction outfit and hard hat for the buddy, and a matching vest for kids; Explorer features a safari-looking outfit and hat for the buddy, and a matching hat for the child; and Snuggler is a set of pajamas for the buddy, and a blanket for kids!  Each is sold separately.

Bringing “adventure through friendship” to boys ages 3‒5, Wonder Crew buddies are priced at $29.99‒$34.99; gear sets from $14.99‒$19.99.

Wonder Crew was created by Laurel Wider, a psychotherapist and mom, after her son came home from preschool one day and announced that “boys aren’t supposed to cry.”  Frustrated by many of the messages boys were (and weren’t) receiving and inspired by the way play influences child development, Wider created Wonder Crew to encourage kids to connect emotionally and be their full selves.

During North American International Toy Fair in New York, February 18‒21, 2017, PlayMonster can be found at booth #439. 

About PlayMonster LLC

Beloit, WI-based PlayMonster is a toy and game company that believes in the power of play to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Delivering great play value by designing, manufacturing and marketing quality products like the award-winning The Game of THINGS…®, 5 Second Rule®, Mirari®, Stinky Pig™, Yeti in my Spaghetti®, Farkle, Chrono Bomb®, OK to Wake!®, Lauri®, Stratego®, Roominate™, My Fairy Garden™ and Wooly Willy® is how PlayMonster helps keep play alive for all ages.

 

 

Product Review “Parrot Mambo”

Having Owned several drones and RC toys in my past I would best describe as a very suitable pick-up and fly mini drone. Parrot Did a great job on this drone of making it user friendly to the point of pairing it to your phone and in 3 seconds your flying around with ease. Now while the Parrot Mambo is close to your typical quadcopter drone, Parrot made sure to tuck in a few extra goodies to make it an even better buy at the under $150 range.

Below are some of the key features of the Parrot Mambo:

  • High Performance Sensors For Stability
  • Easily Do Flips and Stunts With the Push of a Button
  • Remotely Fired Cannon With 6 Shot Capacity (1 Shot every 1.5 seconds)
  • Remotely Triggered Grabber That Can Carry Up To 4 gram objects
  • Ability to Toss To Takeoff
  • Pilot with Free iOS or Android App
  • Fly With Optional Parrot Flypad
  • 65 Foot range with Smartphone, 200 Foot range with Flypad
  • 1 Year Support and Assistance Warranty

As parrot continues to push it affordable line of drones with the Mambo (seeing as how other drones can run 300 and up). Coming in at only 15cm the parrot Mambo pack a lot of power in a little frame. The body is made to withstand some punishment (the average user would see a long life form the drone) while Parrot included the options for guards or no guards (hull) to keep the weary mind at bay. I even noticed during prolonged use that I hit a wall and bent one propeller but thanks to the materials used by Parrot the blades damage almost fixed itself as if it never happened (may just be a one instance thing but the strength of the blades on the propellers seem stronger than the normal).

When it comes to flight you’ll notice right away that the Mambo is easy to control for even the newest drone users. The Mobile app used to fly the drone come pre-programmed with a handful of flight maneuvers for your Mambo to do with just a push and even just sitting around and trying to do trick over stuff can be extremely entertaining. Now while I’d like to see more out of the battery life it excusable seeing how much power this little guy put’s out. Also Parrot includes a pair of batteries to switch out for longer flights. But extra batteries can always be purchased. The 9 minutes of flying time per charge may not seem like much at first but when you compare that to other mini-drone’s it stacks up pretty good and even gives you enough time to really enjoy what its capable of before it comes time to charge up again.

The extra fun comes with the Mambas add-ons that Parrot included and even featured in their video demo station on their site. With the Cannon it was very surprising to see the amount of force that it can produce fun for an obstacle course. Followed by using the Arm attachment to garb little things and carry them to you drones next destination (like say your spare battery.. just joking). So for those who are looking to have a little bit of fun with their new purchase they’ll find that the Mambo has some interesting features which you will not find on your typical drone for a very affordable price.

Peppy Pup Fever On National Mutt Day – December 2nd

 

Peppy Pup Fever On National Mutt Day – December 2nd

A new puppy may be topping the kids wish list, but is the family not quite ready for the real thing? Young children and parents alike will love the irresistible personality of Peppy Pups from TPF Toys, the official plush dog of National Mutt Day, coming up this Friday, December 2nd.

Peppy Pups™ brings to life the authenticity of puppy friendship, complete with a pup that follows its owner everywhere.    The cuddly plush puppy has a spring in its step and when walked by its owner, can run, jump and wag its tail like a real dog.

Brimming with personality and no batteries needed, Peppy Pups have ultra-soft fur, distinct paw pads and springs in their feet that help these eager Peppy Pups move and prance, just like a real dog.  Peppy Pups bounce, jump and waddle as they go for “walks” with their kid owners, and turn heads as they go. Peppy Pups adore cuddling, snuggles and squeezes, showing characteristics of a real dog that all pet lovers embrace.

Peppy Pups from TPF Toys is available at retailers nationwide.   Ideal for children ages 4+, Peppy Pups are available in available in – soft brown, and black and white – and are available at Toys “R” Us nationwide and Amazon – priced at $19.99.

Socials for TPF Toys

Instagram – @Peppypups_official

https://www.facebook.com/Peppy-Pups-700547173444475/

#peppypups

 

National Mutt Day

National Mutt Day, founded by Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige, is observed Dec. 2nd and July 31st to celebrate the many wonderful attributes of Mutts to promote adoption WORLDWIDE.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NationalMuttDay/about/?ref=page_internal

@National Mutt Day

TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups Hit Stores in Time For Holiday Shopping!

Have you ever wanted a stuffed plush dog that actually walked around with you. Well, no lie, no gimmick. That is what the “Peppy Pups” does. It is kid powered dog toy that includes a collar and leash. You walk and the dog walks with you. It is simple and no batteries are needed. This is an awesome idea for a kids toy because it gets them up and on their feet and away from all electronic devices.

Here is some details about what is sure to be one of this holiday season’s hottest toys: “The only cuddly plush that can run, jump, wag its tail and interact with children like a real dog, TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups are brimming with personality and inviting cuddles with its fluffy tail and soft tuft of hair. Peppy Pups feature charming collar and bone tag, and branded paw pads. Eager to move and shake just like a real dog, Peppy Pups spring, bounce, jump, waddle and grove; turning heads as they go — no batteries needed!

Peppy Pups is the soft and cuddly friend your child has been looking for, without the responsibility or commitment of a regular puppy! This walking dog toy has pep and bounce in his step wherever your child decides to walk him, making him a lively, enthusiastic companion. Let your little one use the leash so he can walk-along in the park, on the sidewalk, or even in the house. With a fluffy white tail and a snuggly coat, Peppy Pup will be easy to love and cuddle, just like a real puppy. This little stuffed toy features a silly facial expression, and he can even perform tricks, like flips. Peppy Pup will be your child’s best friend.”

So if you are tired of your kids opening their presents this holiday season and then spending hours putting the toys together or not having the required thousand of batteries they need to operate them, then the Peppy Pups is a great solution for your shopping needs!

Playmonster Delivers Creativity and Inspiration in their New Products for 2016!

Playmonster has a line of toys called Roominate and I just love the tagline for these, which is “Switch on Your Imagination!” I simply love that! Having a 4 year old daughter, there is nothing I love more than watching her light up when she thinks or when watching her stick out her tongue like daddy when she is problem solving. Nothing makes me happier! So when I heard of these new toys from Playmonster, I knew that they were going to not only entertain my child but also help her grow and learn.

<
Here is a little information about the line before we get started “Roominate® is an award-winning and customizable line of wired building systems that inspire open-ended, hands-on play, all while showing girls that creativity and engineering are fun! Using circuits, motors and modular building pieces, girls can build and create their own unique and original structures or vehicles that can be joined together or taken apart and remade into something completely new and different! Then, they can decorate and play!”

There are two of the products that I wanted to showcase from this new Roominate line. The first is the Roominate® Cotton Candy Carnival, which looks guaranteed to spark huge major creativity. Girls used to play with dollhouse, which is fun I’m sure but could get old personally. This makes you build your toy and enjoy and learn through the whole process and then get to spend time enjoying it after. Honestly, these are the type of toys that kids should be playing with these days. Something that is going to get them stimulated and assist in developing their mind and brain!

Here are the official details for the Cotton Candy Carnival: “Snap the pieces together to start your creations…if you can imagine it, you can make it! Design your carnival, and try other things, too. Arrange the food and game play pieces, along with the stickers, or add your own accessories and artwork! Then, bring your creations to life with the circuits and motors! Requires 4 AAA batteries, not included.”

Another great item from Playmonster is Roominate® Emma’s Townhouse. Like the Cotton Candy Carnival set, this is another one creative gift for kids to keep them busy for hours learning and using their brains. I can’t wait to see my daughters eyes light up while she is sticking out her tongue thinking and putting together this unbelievably amazing toy.

Here are the official details for Emma’s Townhouse: “Snap the pieces together to start your creations…if you can imagine it, you can make it! Design your townhouse vertically or horizontally, and try other things, too. Arrange the food, tools and toiletries, along with the stickers, or add your own accessories and artwork! Then, bring your creations to life with the circuits and a motor! Requires 2 AAA batteries, not included.”

Wicked Cool Toys Wins Christmas With Amazing New Products!

Wicked Cool Toys has quickly become the winner of the holiday season in 2016. They have put out some of the best products for kids of all ages. One of the hottest items of 2016 is the brand new, Cabbage Patch Kids Baby So Real! This is one of the most coolest gifts that you can give to your kids. Check out all the amazing features below, they never had toys like this when I was a kid!

“New for Fall 2016 and for the first time ever, CPK Baby So Real allows you to enjoy one of the most magical and interactive experiences in the history of the baby doll category. These life-like babies combine traditional play patterns with groundbreaking technology. Baby So Real’s interactive sweet baby sounds and random reactions are designed to surprise and delight. With your touch, Baby So Real comes to life with beautifully animated LCD eyes that open, close and look around. Loaded with realistic features that encourage interactive nurturing play, Baby So Real has sensors for peek-a-boo and tickle play, feeding from a special bottle, burping, diaper changing, and rocking to sleep. If your baby should develop a fever, you can calm those red cheeks by administering TLC from a magical spoon. Just like the original Cabbage Patch Kids, Baby So Real is soft and cuddly with removable clothes.

And for advanced play, Baby So Real has its own free app that allows your phone or tablet to simulate a baby monitor. The online mode allows you to see the virtual nursery where you can play with your baby, feed, diaper burp and administer TLC. You can also play games, watch video clips and earn baby points for additional virtual accessories and new features. Baby So Real comes with a fully removable outfit and diaper, a special interactive bottle and medicine spoon, birth certificate and adoption papers and a free baby monitor style app for additional virtual play. Ages 3+”

If the CPK Baby was for the girls, then the next gift is sure to please the boys in the world. Remember how I just said above that I never had toys like this when I was a kid? Well, with the new Xtreme Cycle Moto-Cam, I will say those words again! This is not just your average remote control motorcycle. This is suped up for the 21st century and comes stocked with a “wicked cool” camera, so the kids can have run with their toy and then also record what it sees, which is just the awesomeist idea! Check out the features below:

“Now kids can kick it up a notch with Xtreme Cycle Moto-Cam which features an awesome built-in helmet camera! With Extreme Cycle Moto-Cam, young cyclists can capture flips, tricks and sharp turns just like they do in extreme cycling! The patented gyroscopic stabilization system is made up of a flywheel mounted in the rear, as well as an all four bar linkage steering system. This system allows for ramp jumping, driving on various terrains, and even recovering from crashes. The cycle is specially designed to always right itself after it falls so it has non-stop action and has front and rear shock system to absorb bumps and rocky terrain. The remote control not only steers the cycle but it also allows cycle enthusiasts to start and stop the video at any time – even in mid-jump!

Moto-Cam has 640×480 VGA resolutions and allows kids to record video at 30 frames per second and store 60 minutes of video. The set includes the cycle with Moto-Cam, a remote control, 12” USB cable to download and share video online or watch on TV, stunt ramp and a removable 4GB SD card. 9V rechargeable and 2 AA batteries included! Ages 8+”

Celebrate the Holidays at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

When it comes to the holidays, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store always does it up right! Every year around August/September (yes that early). The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store starts its transformation to the holidays both Halloween and Christmas. I just love this time of the year and I am never let down by Cracker Barrel’s product. Thanks to the wonderful people at Cracker Barrel, we are able to cover two of their hottest new items for this holiday season.

The first we have is the “4′ Light-Up Lamp Post”. This is plain and simple a gorgeous holiday decoration. Just beautiful. We have this on the outside of our house on the corner by the front door on a timer and it is just beautiful to look at as we pull up at night and I hope that it brings the joy of the holidays to our neighbors as well. In fact, I went out and bought a second one for my parents as well because they simply feel in love with ours. This is a must own for holiday decorating and at a very reasonable price.

“”4′ Light-Up Lamp Post“: Decorate your entryway, porch or patio in classic Christmas style with our Light Up Lamp Post, a Cracker Barrel Exclusive! This 4′ tall decorative lamp post gives your holiday a pop of bright red and green color in the day time, and the soft, welcoming glow of clear mini lights shining through pretty star shapes at night. No matter where you display it, this easy-to-assemble novelty lamppost is just right for bright holiday cheer!

The second item that we received to feature is the “Musical Light-Up Santa’s Workshop”. This product is just fantastic. The lights…the music…the craftsmanship. Just superb. This item is a beautiful piece for the middle of a table or desk to really catch peoples eye and show your true spirit of the holidays. My daughter is four and she loves watching the Workshop move and sparkle as it plays the holiday tunes. This product is also very reasonable priced to get for the quality. So I would recommend you heading to your local Cracker Barrel and check out their Old Country Store or you can also shop online.

Musical Light-Up Santa’s Workshop“: Whether you’re just starting a collection of miniature decorative houses or already have a charming village to display at the holidays, our Musical Light Up Santa’s Workshop will steal the show! This Cracker Barrel Exclusive is designed to delight down to the tiniest detail, from the animated Santa and elves to the color-changing lights. You’ll love this wonderful musical decoration for many holiday seasons to come!

Hasbro Toys Delivers the Best New Products for Holiday 2016!

Every holiday season, everyone scrambles to find the best toys and deals for the hottest gifts of the year! Hasbro has been around for nearly 100 years and they always deliver the best toys and products year after year. This hooliday season, I wanted to do a feature on just a few of their new toys to show you the best ideas for this holidays gift season.

If you have little ones, Hasbro has delivered the PLAYSKOOL CHASE N’ GO BALL POPPER Toy, which is a perfect for ages 9 months & up. It is a new update to the classic PLAYSKOOL BALL POPPER toy! It carries an approx retail price of $32.99. I have a nephew that will be spending many hours enjoy this joy for sure and it is also fun to see him enjoying a new version of a toy that I myself used as a kid. Or if you are getting you kids ready for the MLB you can find the top MLB shop coupon codes right here. Here is the official description: The CHASE N’ GO BALL POPPER toy features the same air-powered popping play that kids love with an exciting twist! For a giggling good time, parents or kids can swivel the trunk around to deliver even more unpredictable ball-popping action! The toy has several features that encourage little ones to stand, crawl, grasp, and even dance along to the elephant’s poppin’ tunes. With a slim, easy-to-store design and a convenient handle, this elephant is ready for fun anytime, anywhere!

Being a “grown-up” or not, there is one brand that I have always and will always love as a kid that this Transformers. Hasbro is behind of the year’s coolest toys for kids ages 3-7 and that is the TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS GRIFFIN ROCK FIREHOUSE HEADQUARTERS Playset. This toy is a blast for sure and should be guaranteed to delivers hours of entertainment. I wish I had a toy like this when I was little. At an approx retail price of $32.99, this could be yours this holiday season and your kid will be thankful for such a great gift. Here is the official description: Little ones can imagine all sorts of fun rescue adventures with the RESCUE BOTS team in their GRIFFIN ROCK FIREHOUSE HEADQUARTERS playset! When danger is near, kids can extend the rotating tower to get a full 360-degree view of the surrounding area, then use the two hidden-reveal projectile launchers to pretend put out fires! When it’s time to head out on the next big mission, little ones can gear up the CODY BURNS figure in rescue gear, help him hop on the rescue motorcycle and use the vehicle launcher to takeoff through the secret tunnel. Launcher is also compatible with vehicles from the RESCAN assortment. Raise the helicopter landing pad, extend the ground bridge, and swing out the control center platform to convert the firehouse into the RESCUE BOTS headquarters. Other big-adventure features include an extendible helipad, sliding fire pole, ladder, and a pull-out ground bridge to bring the set to life! Playset comes with CODY BURNS figure, fire gear, and rescue motorcycle.

Meet ELE NA OF AVALOR, Disney’s next Princess! Elena made her debut this past summer and since then she is already taking over the hearts of kids and their family. DISNEY ELENA OF AVALOR Doll is available this Holiday season and it should be a must for any lucky girl. Personally my daughter already had the costume for Elena and watches the show each week without fail. This doll will definitely make her feel like a princess. The detail on this doll is so amazing as well it is like she jumped right out of the TV. Here is the official description: This beautiful fashion doll will allow kids to imagine joining the Crown Princess on all of her magical adventures in the Kingdom of Avalor. The ELENA OF AVALOR doll comes dressed in ELENA OF AVALOR’s series-inspired adventure dress and includes a scepter, hairclip, belt, pair of earrings, and removable shoes. If you want to try and find the best deals you can check out sites like http://awesomecoupons.org – coupon website or you can always find products like this most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

First all kids of all ages, who doesn’t love Nerf! Who doesn’t love having a shoot ’em up with their friends and family (especially around the holiday season) Hasbro is bringing us two new products. The first being the NERF DOOMLANDS DOUBLE-DEALER Blaster at a approx retail price of $39.99. This is an amazing blaster that includes two 12-dart clips and 24 DOOMLANDS darts and will be a blast to have battles with. Here is the official description: Defend the barren landscape with the possibility of taking down targets two at a time with the DOUBLE-DEALER blaster. This high-capacity blaster features two clear 12-dart clips, clear top design with visible firing mechanisms, and boasts pump-action firing with slam-fire capability. Each pull of the DOUBLE-DEALER blaster trigger fires two darts simultaneously!

The second Nerf product is the Zombie Strike Brainsaw Blaster.NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BRAINSAW Blaster. Just the title alone sound like a blast! Running an approx. retail price od $29.99. This is a must have for anyone of any age. With all the hype around shows like “The Walking Dead”, this is a fun role playing blaster to enjoy with friends and family. Here is the official description: For the ultimate zombie hunter, the NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BRAINSAW Blaster offers two ways to repel the hordes! Fire up to eight ZOMBIE STRIKE darts at the undead, and then finish the job with the spinning foam saw blade. Includes eight ZOMBIE STRIKE darts.

Yo-kai Watch has hit the US this year and has become the hottest brand since Pokemon. The latest release is the new Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, which is now available for an approx retail price of $29.99. This is literally one of my favorite new animes to hit the US in a long time. My daughter also really loves this as well including the collecting of medal and watches. This is the second watch released from this show and is easily a huge improvement over the first one. Here is the official description: Kids can watch favorite Yo-kai appear before their eyes with the new Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero! Insert a Yo-Motion™ Yo-kai Medal into the Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, push the switch and a short animation of the Yo-kai character will project on a wall to show off their signature move.

The Model Zero uses new medals as well, which are Yo-Motion™ Yo-kai Medals. This holiday season you can purchase Yo-kai Watch Yo-Motion Series 1 Bling Bags Assortment to deliver a new way to summon your favorite Yo-kai. Personally these are so much cooler than the first watch and they add a lot of extra play for the kids to enjoy! Here is the official  description: Kids can expand their Yo-kai collection with a mystery selection of character medals. Each bag includes two character medals with three ways to play! Imagine summoning Yo-kai by inserting the medal into the Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, discover the wacky world of the Yo-kai by scanning the medal with the Yo-kai Land app, and collect Yo-kai medals and store them in the Yo-kai Watch™ Medallium Collection Book 2 (book and medals each sold separately).

So there you have it, these are just a few of Hasbro’s amazing new products for the 2016 holiday gift guide. There are many many more great products from Hasbro as well. I hope this helps make the craziness of the holiday shopping just a little bit easier. Feel free to sound off below with products that you would like to see us cover in the future installments or share your own stories of success as well! Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

Zoobe Hello Kitty iMessage App Launches!

Berlin, October 6, 2016 – Zoobe Message Entertainment confirmed a partnership with Sanrio GmbH for multiple brands starting with the crown jewel Hello Kitty. Under the deal, Zoobe will create multiple digital products featuring the beloved brands both in 2D and 3D animation. To begin, the Berlin-based startup chose to launch the “Hello Kitty StoryGIF app” last week first on iMessage, Apple’s long-awaited and stylish messaging platform that now includes stickers, apps and other fun features; hitting the Top 10 list almost immediately.

Today the app also launched on Android furthering the connection with fans digitally for Sanrio’s consumer products powerhouse. Millions of digital natives and other early adopters can now select from over 50 adorable animations and multiple upcoming themes to create and text unlimited customizable and socially shareable StoryGIFs featuring Hello Kitty and friends. 

“Hello Kitty’s continued global allure to fans of all ages is astounding,” said Zoobe CEO, Naz Amarchi-Cuevas. “These quick-text GIF stories are snack-sized treats that bring Hello Kitty to life in a whole new way. They connect the brand via emotion and humor through playful story-telling with the expressive animations.”

Zoobe’s next Sanrio StoryGIF apps are expected to feature Gudetama, Mr. Men & Little Miss and Chococat in the coming weeks.  Each app will be followed by themed packs to further contribute to the story creation.

“This new StoryGif app by Zoobe is like nothing currently on the market,” said Egita Di Filippo, Head of Digital Content, EMEA for Sanrio. “We are excited to be on the forefront of a new digital movement with Zoobe, who is leading the way in the marketplace; bridging the messaging world, consumer products and entertainment. Our fans are already in love with the  Hello Kitty StoryGIF app, and having as much fun as we did in the development of it, by spreading our company’s motto “Small Gift, Big Smile!” through animations in their messages.”

Additional Information:                                                               

Homepage: http://www.zoobe.com/                                                    

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zoobe                                     

iTunes: itunes.apple.com/de/app/zoobe-3d-animierte-videobotschaft...                

Google Play: http://g.co/play/zoobe 

Press Kit: https://db.tt/DAS9vgUH

# # #

About Zoobe:

Zoobe is the leading character voice-messaging app that works for both iOS and Android. It enables 3D animated characters to perform their user’s voice messages and then creates easy-to-share video clips. Through its expressive power Zoobe redefines how we connect with each other in our daily smartphone communication.  Our international reach has led to major partnerships with companies such as Sanrio, Sony Pictures, Capcom, ZeptoLab, WWF, AIS, StudioCanal and more.

About Sanrio:

ABOUT HELLO KITTY. Hello Kitty was born in London in 1974. Over the years she has become one of the most unique and fascinating characters ever created, a worldwide social icon with relevance to women of all ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds as well as an inspiration to artists and designers. Her motto is: you can never have too many friends.

ABOUT SANRIO. Shintaro Tsuji founded Sanrio Company Ltd. in Japan in 1960 with the motto “Small Gift, Big Smile” and the aim of bringing happiness to people’s lives through inexpensive goods. His company is today not only home to superstar Hello Kitty, but a global brand concentrated on developing significant marketing strategies for classic Sanrio Characters like My Melody, Kerokerokeroppi, Bad Badtz- Maru, Little Twin Stars, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, Sugarbunnies, Chococat, Tuxedo Sam, Jewelpet, Kuromi, Charmmykitty and newer acquisitions like the British icons Mr. Men and Little Miss.

Product Feature: Halloween at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

When the holiday seasons roll around I just can’t wait to go into my local Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. You walk in their store and you are immediately whammed with some of the most creative and fun decorations for any upcoming holiday. I am the kind of person that would loop the Fall/Holiday season over and over if possible, so when you walk into the store in August and see Halloween already decked out ready I melt! And if the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store knows how to do one thing it is Halloween! They setup one of the coolest displays for their merchandise. My daughter usually b-lines to it to check out all the amazing new items.

This year, I had the chance to review seven of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s latest new products and like usual, all fantastic as usual. The first was my four year old’s choice, “Animated Halloween Puppy“. This trick-or-treating doggy aka Candy Bandit is literally one of the cutest animated toys, I have ever seen! And if it wasn’t cute enough it runs around the floors or table and plays “The Addams Family” theme! SOLD!

Next up is a “Light-Up Witch Wreath“, this is a cute door wreath for the Halloween season. There is something I love about this wreath on my first door, it is not scary-scary but it is fun and maybe a little silly and I just know that if anyone is coming to my door it is impossible not to realize and smile at for sure!

Animated Eyeball Doorbell” is one item that was NOT my four year old’s favorite due to being “too scary” but honestly that is a score for daddy cause that means that it is effective. This went right outside our door as well and I know that it has already given a few fun jumps to our friends and family, which makes me love it even more!

Who doesn’t love Peanuts and their wonderful characters? Cracker Barrel Old Country Store always has the cutest Peanuts animated figures. The latest is an “Animated Glow-in-the-Dark Snoopy“, which you immediately fall in love with! I have gotten a Snoopy animated character from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for the last three years now and each of them are better than the next. It has music, it dances (or should I say wiggles) and the glowing in the dark is just a bonus! A must have for any Peanuts fans out there!

Having a young child and being a big Halloween fan sometimes might be difficult because you have to balance the scary factor and can’t get something that will terrify for kids. The “Metal Witch Leg Yard Stake” from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is a great product that fits right in for that balance. It is extremely fun and honestly just cracks me up everything time I walk outside (as it does my daughter). Plus it doesn’t take up a lot of outdoor space and is extremely easy to stake in the ground.

If you are looking for a little decor around the house for the subtle Halloween touch, look no further than the “Light-Up Witches Brew Potion Jar“. This light up jar is a cute way to dress up your house in addition to light it up. It gives off a nice amount of light and adds a nice Halloween accent to our counter.

Last item of the season that we had the chance to feature is also one of my favorites, the “‘Welcome My Pretties’ Wall Decor“. Since we have our front door occupied with the Light-Up Witch Wreath, our pantry door is covered with this fun decor. This piece just screams “Welcome Halloween” for me! It is fun and we have it placed in a great spot in our house and every time I see it I definitely just smile and it makes it laugh. I like to always image that a witch literally flew into our door…SMOOSH! It is reasonably priced, in fact that bring up a great point about Cracker Barrel Old Country Store that their prices are very competitive. You go to Target or Wal-Mart and sure they might have “cheap” Halloween decoration but you are getting that exactly CHEAP in quality. Everything sold at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store seems like it is much higher than the plain ole garage you will find at those stores.

That is also one of the things that I loved about the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is that they don’t recycle all of last years crap that didn’t sell, I always feel like they have a wide variety of new products each season as well and as a consumer that makes me very satisfied. So you may not think of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store as your first stop to check out the latest holiday products but honestly it should be because this store has it all and you will have a hard time leaving without a purchase once you walk in! We should have our Christmas coverage up first week in November covering all the great new Cracker Barrel Old Country Store products as well, so stay tuned!

Kernel Engages Assassin’s Creed fans with exclusive limited-edition merchandise,  Behind-the-scenes first-looks at the upcoming Movie, Movie Tickets and More

Beginning today, March 9th at www.kernel.com/assassinscreed, Kernel is affording Assassin’s Creed fans the opportunity to immerse themselves in the highly anticipated movie release with exclusive film merchandise, one-of-a-kind experiences, revealing behind-the-scene sneak peeks and more.

Long before the Assassin’s Creed trailer premieres and nine months before the movie’s debut,Kernel’s is offering passionate fans of the franchise a first look of key elements from the film, including the hoodie and gauntlet worn by Callum Lynch’s/Aguilar (played by Michael Fassbender),limited-edition collectibles, apparel and accessories, the film script, advanced movie tickets, tickets to San Diego Comic Con and more.

To satisfy fans’ intense interest in their favorite entertainment franchises and characters, Kernel works directly with studios, filmmakers and distributors to give visibility to the entire creative process, from script to screen.  The Santa Monica-based company has redefined fan engagement with offers such as movie ticket pre orders, access to exclusive digital content, and customized VIP-experiences.
Kernel co-founder Andy Martinez says: “We’ve curated bundles at all levels but the most important item included in each purchase is the ticket. That’s the shared piece that binds and connects all of us as Assassin’s Creed fans since the day we first plugged into the Animus and thought to ourselves,  ‘wow, this would make a great movie!’”

Part of what is unique about Kernel and this program is that it is a real honest-to-god collaboration between the movie Fox, Ubisoft, New Regency, and of course the product creators like TriForce and McFarlane whose contributions traditionally wouldn’t be surfaced until much later.

The Assassin’s Creed movie, based on Ubisoft’s best-selling franchise, stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.  The film premieres December 21, 2016 from Fox Filmed Entertainment and New Regency.

Kernel’s Assassin’s Creed packages range from $15 to $1200. Once fans purchase a package, they’ll be treated to additional behind-the-scenes content, more exclusive movie merchandise and experiences that will continue to become available in the months leading up to the film’s release.

 

Some of the early items curated by Kernel include:

Spanish Crossbow from Ubi Workshop – Kernel Exclusive

Only available on Kernel, this 15th century crossbow is an exact 1:1 scale replica of the weapon featured in the Assassin’s Creed movie. Created by famed Hollywood weapon’s master Tim Wildgoose, the crossbow is 18” long and features scenes from Medieval Spain, as well as motifs from Assassin’s Creed lore. Handcrafted, numbered and limited to an edition size of 20, this piece is a worthy centerpiece of any Assassin’s Creed or movie prop collection. Comes with a signed letter of authenticity. This package also includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras.  Priced at $1200.

TriForce Aguilar Premier Scale Statue

The officially licensed Assassin’s Creed: Aguilar Premier Scale Statue, masterfully sculpted, hand-finished and hand-painted to precision quality by the artisans at TriForce.  The limited-edition statue, crafted and cast in polystone, the most authentic on the market, portrays Aguilar posed on top of a 15th Century Spanish rooftop.  The package includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras.  Priced at $500

Official Assassin’s Creed Hoodie – Kernel Exclusive

Only available on Kernel, Ubi Workshop’s hoodies offer fans an early look at Callum Lynch’s hoodie in the upcoming movie. The original costume was created by famed BAFTA nominated costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ and worn by Michael Fassbender in his starring role. With its modern fit and unique hood, this unisex Hoodie is made from 100 percent polyester, features two side pockets, metal snap buttons embossed with Assassin’s Creed logo and a YKK zipper.  The packages includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $100.

 

McFarlane Toys Aguilar Hidden Blade – First Look!

Assassin’s Creed fans can bring the movie to life with McFarlane’s new screen-accurate Hidden Blade role-play item, offered as an exclusive first look only on Kernel. Used by Aguilar, the 15th century Assassin played by Michael Fassbender, the blade is highly detailed, intricately sculpted and true to the original design.  An early unpainted sculpt is currently shown on Kernel, giving  fans a rare glimpse of McFarlane’s creative process. The final product will be fully painted and functional, including a button-activated play-action and extending hidden blade. This package also includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $60.

 

T-Shirt + Movie Ticket + Script

Live the Creed in this exclusive Assassin’s Creed movie T-shirt with the iconic words “Work in the dark to serve the light.” T-shirt is made of 100 percent pre-shrunk cotton and features a round neck and relax fit. This package also includes a ticket to see Assassin’s Creed in theaters, a digital copy of the script, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $25.

 

Movie Ticket + Collector’s Watch + Script + Aguilar & Maria Temporary Tattoos – One Week Only!

Fans can arm themselves with everything needed to countdown to the Assassin’s Creed movie release, including a smooth printed LED Collector’s Assassin’s Creed watch (with silicone band, digital readout, and month/year function), replicas of Aguilar and Maria’s tattoos as featured in the movie, an official digital copy of the script delivered on the day of the film’s release, and behind-the-scenes extras. Priced at $15, the special introductory package is available for one week only.

 

Synopsis:

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain.  Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kernelfilms/

Kernel – @KernelFilms

Instagram – @KernelFilms

YouTube  – @KernelFilms

Outfit 7’s Talking Angela Celebrates Her Birthday With Us; Online Of Course

TALKING ANGELA is the most stylish, fashion-forward feline around. With her own dedicated YouTube channel and devoted Facebook and Twitter followers, Talking Angela has taken the digital world by storm; cat-apulting into the apps record books with her series of apps including Talking Angela, My Talking Angela and more.  This fabulous feline soars to even greater heights each week in Talking Tom and Friends: The Animated Series. http://talkingtomandfriends.com/

The show is based on the entertainment phenomenon that has achieved over three billion mobile downloads for its suite of apps, and three billion views on YouTube, the animated series chronicles the adventures, hijinks, and inventions of Talking Tom and the gang (including Angela) as they shoot their own reality television show.

Angela celebrates her birthday on February 2nd (but like any Hollywood starlet, she wouldn’t confirm her age.)  She also just recently celebrated a year full of fun and success for her hit app My Talking Angela, and her totally new co-starring role in the latest (totally addictive) app from Outfit7, Talking Tom Bubble Shooter.  Could one cat be any busier?

 

Lisa Schwartz who plays animated Angela on the hit YouTube series sends her best birthday wishes to her favorite animated pretty-kitty saying “Love you BFF.”

Wicked Cool Toys Teams with Alchemy II For Global Relaunch of the Teddy Ruxpin Brand and Franchise

Bristol, PA – February 1, 2016, Wicked Cool Toys has teamed up with Alchemy II, Inc. to relaunch the Teddy Ruxpin brand and franchise globally with toys, content and comprehensive licensed merchandising program. Returning in Fall 2017, Teddy Ruxpin remains one of history’s most successful, trusted and cherished children’s entertainment properties!

Teddy Ruxpin launched in 1985 with enormous success as the world’s first fully animated talking toy. Named as one of the 100 Greatest Toys of All-Time by Time Magazine, the new Teddy Ruxpin will engage with a whole new generation of kids whose parents and grandparents adored Teddy for his wholesome fun, exciting interactive adventures and cutting edge technology, making Teddy Ruxpin more relevant to today’s kids than ever.

“Teddy Ruxpin’s play-pattern and infusion of technology was way ahead of his time back in the 80’s, and with continued massive parental awareness it’s the right time to bring back this coveted brand,” said Michael Rinzler, Co-President & Founding Partner, Wicked Cool Toys.

Jeremy Padawer, Co-President & Partner, Wicked Cool Toys, adds, “We are embracing the past and making Teddy Ruxpin as adorable and engaging as ever, while innovating Teddy with features that will amaze parents and their tech savvy children.”

Padawer and Rinzler will be meeting with potential partners at Kidscreen Summit in Miami, New York International Toy Fair, and more in the months to come.

Created in 1985 by Ken Forsse, former Disney Imagineer, Teddy Ruxpin was the very first of his kind, creating a new industry category in talking toys. Teddy Ruxpin became an overnight sensation as parents and children embraced the lovable, gentle storytelling bear and the 65-episode television series. Teddy Ruxpin sold more than 8 million units in a few short years!

“Teddy Ruxpin is more than just a toy,” said Jan Forsse, President of Alchemy II. “He’s about friendship, magical fun, storytelling and literacy, and we believe the team at Wicked Cool Toys has just the right experience to bring this friend-for-life franchise back to life for a whole new generation of kids.”

“Alchemy is thrilled to work with Wicked Cool Toys, to maximize Teddy’s creativity with new innovations, and meet with potential content and licensing partners,” said Mary Becker, Vice President of Alchemy II.

About Teddy Ruxpin

The first interactive children’s toy took the form of a talking teddy bear; Teddy Ruxpin’s mouth and eyes were programmed and synchronized with his voice as he told stories that played on a cassette deck in his back. At the peak of his popularity, Teddy Ruxpin became the best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986. An animated Teddy Ruxpin series, “The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin,” debuted in 1987.

About Alchemy II

Alchemy II, Inc., owner of the Teddy Ruxpin brand, was founded by Ken Forsse in 1982. Following the success of its technology and toy, Alchemy produced a 65 episode animated series called, “The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin” as well as more than 60 books and audio tapes featuring original stories, art and songs. The Teddy Ruxpin brand expanded to include interactive games, plush, poseables, clothing and more. Over 8 million Teddy Ruxpin animated toys were sold worldwide in 13 languages. The combined worldwide gross earnings from the Teddy Ruxpin talking toy products, books, audio tapes, television series, merchandising, licensing, and other ancillary products and royalties were an estimated 6 billion dollars over a three year period from 1985 to 1987.

Alchemy II also developed the Talking Mother Goose, and in collaboration with Disney, Charles Schultz and Henson respectively, Mickey Mouse and Goofy, Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and Baby Boppers all became Talking Toys from Alchemy II.

About Wicked Cool Toys

Founded in 2012, Wicked Cool Toys (Wicked Cool Toys LLC/WCT) is an emerging leader in play that creates, designs, manufactures and markets a diverse, innovative and fun portfolio of toys for all ages.  Wicked Cool Toys’ portfolio includes Cabbage Patch Kids®, GSUSA® (Girl Scouts), Teddy Ruxpin, MasterChef Junior, WWE®, Wild Kratts, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles®, Blaze, Shimmer and Shine, Xtreme Cycle, Cat Paw, My Girl’s Dollhouse and Vrüm.  WCT’s Girl Scouts Cookie Oven was a 2016 Girl Toy of the Year (TOTY) nominee and top pick on every major retailers’ 2015 holiday list, including, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Amazon and Target.  WCT was also selected by industry peers as a Kidscreen Hot50 Company in the Licensing category for 2015! Visit www.wickedcooltoys.com and follow the Company on both Facebook and Twitter.  www.facebook.com/wickedcooltoys    @wickedcooltoys

Product Feature: LEGO Halloween 2015 Monster Minifigures Collection

Halloween is just around the corner and LEGO is at it again delivering a great collection of collectible minifigures for the season. Halloween is easily one of my favorite times of the year and I look forward to seeing what LEGO has planned for this time of the year. 71010 Minifigures Series 14 is a series of sixteen mini-figures released in September 2015. This new Halloween-themed fourteenth series of LEGO’s Minifigures are a real treat for horror fans and come housed in traditional blind-bag packaging.

We had the chance to check out in advance three of these awesome new minifigures in this collection. The first is the Fly Monster, which looks super slick and had awesome red eyes, a red claw and wings. Really well done. The next is the Plant Monster, which is a really cool number. This has a feel like a plant ate a human and then formed around him against his will. I love the face and the hands. The last one is the Wolf Guy, which doesn’t have nards (ode for all you The Monster Squad fans), but it does have a cool bone accessory and it’s name is Kel. Great quality and detail on these.

The rest of the sixteen minifigures including: Banshee, Gargoyle, Monster Rocker, Monster Scientist, Skeleton Guy, Specter, Spider Lady, Square Foot, Tiger Woman, Wacky Witch, Zombie Businessman, Zombie Cheerleader and a Zombie Pirate. These are overall a great highlight for the Halloween season and I am dying to see what they come up with next either for future holidays or special events. There is something about minifigures that are so cool and even though they aren’t with a specific set you can use your imagination and do anything with them.