Toy Story: Part One
Key trends from the 108th annual American International Toy Fair
Play / 17 Feb 2011
The global toy industry boasts an estimated market value of $75 billion, so this week’s American International Toy Fair brought hunters of the newest trends in play to New York’s Javits Center in droves. So overwhelming was the show that Trendcentral will be covering it over the next two days. Today’s report summarizes some of the dominant themes emanating from the show, while tomorrow’s will highlight a few compelling new toys to watch for. Stay tuned.
3D movies account for more than half of cinema ticket sales, according to some, so naturally the toy industry is attempting to capitalize on the trend. As reported this fall, Hasbro’s My3D allows children to view photo and video content, as well as play games, on the iPhone in 3D. The toymaker has teamed with DreamWorks Animation to develop special content to use with the device, such as an app that simulates a diver’s eye perspective of a coral reef. Perhaps more of a fashion statement, Hasbro introduced Transformers Cine-Mask 3D Masks as part of its Transformers Robo Power line. Kids no longer need to look like Elvis Costello when watching 3D flicks; rather, they can disguise themselves as Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.
Video Game Branding:
The show revealed a number of licensing deals through which video gamers can bring their digital play into the physical world. Through a partnership with Interactive Toy Concepts, EA has taken its Medal of Honor property off the console in the form of MoH-branded remote-control vehicles that can fight each other using infrared lights. Similarly, Mega Brands revealed a line of Need for Speed-branded construction sets that lets fans of the video game build the same types of exotic sports cars—the Audi R8, Nissan GT-R and Porsche Turbo—that they race virtually. These physical extensions of video games weren’t limited to console titles, however. Leveraging the iPhone game phenomenon, the Commonwealth Toy Company booth flaunted a full collection of Angry Birds merch.
(Image via PCMag)
LIVE Board Games:
With all of the electronic entertainment choices that kids have, many think ‘boooring!’ when their parents suggest a night of board games. Hasbro hopes to reverse this reaction among tweens, many of whom have grown up playing games on their parents’ iPhones, with LIVE versions of classics like Monopoly and Battleship. All games in the LIVE series include an infrared camera-enabled electronic tower that tracks players’ movements, keeps score, and adds unexpected twists. For example, a property could suddenly come up for auction in Monopoly LIVE, or a typhoon could abruptly cause damage to ships in Battleship LIVE. The technology they use, called Motion Vision Play, has never before been applied to a board game. Now, it just may help close the generational divide.
©The Intelligence Group