games people play
Posted by Ben Berkon on July 3, 2013 05:15 PM
In June, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (otherwise known as E3) exhibited the latest and greatest from video game console giants like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Even though Microsoft's Xbox 360 outsold Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii U in the month of May, serious gamers were only concerned about the newest consoles to hit the market: the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
But while E3 was brimming with fans eager to hear why Microsoft decided to focus on the non-gaming, and internet and social connectivity features of the Xbox One, as well as how PlayStation 4 will offer free games and even support developers creating lower-priced console games, perhaps the greatest majority of new gamers were not present at the event.
The new generation of casual gamers are people who enjoy the likes of Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and other simple downloadable games for mobile devices like iPhone and Android smartphones, most of which are free or cost under $2. Considering the PS4 and Xbox One consoles will retail for around $399 and $499, respectively—with games costing another $59.99 each—it's not terribly surprising that video game hardware and software sales have been down around 10 percent since May 2012.Continue reading...
no kidding around
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 25, 2012 02:38 PM
Toys R Us is really aiming for this holiday season to bring in some big bucks. As a result, the company is hiring 13% more seasonal help than it did last year, hiring 45,000 temporary employees across the U.S.
Why the need for all the extra folks? Well, the retailer is planning to have 50 more pop-up shops than it did last year across the country and it is, of course, very excited about the revenue possibilities for its new made-for-kids-tablet called Tabeo, a featured item on its 2012 Hot Toys List.
Of course, it remains to be seen if the store's proprietary $150 Tabeo is going to hit its stores, as planned, in October. Fuhu, the Taiwanese manufacturer of the kid-friendly Nabi tablet that Toys R Us sold before Tabeo, is attempting to block its sale with a lawsuit claiming intellectual property infringement.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2012 04:06 PM
Nobody wants to relive the days of folks getting trampled for Cabbage Patch Kids or engaging in fistfights for Tickle Me Elmo dolls. Perhaps to avoid such awfulness, which of course brings bad publicity for whatever retailer is involved, and to pick up a few bucks along the way, Toys R Us is letting consumers reserve specific toys before the holiday season — with a catch.
In addition to announcing its list of the 50 “hot toys” (which includes Hasbro's version 2.0-edition Furby, a $70 Laloopsy doll, One Direction dolls) that kids, apparently, are clamoring for this holiday season, the toys' prospective buyers will be informed when the product arrives. That way, nobody has to get trampled.
That’s not to say that Toys R Us isn’t going to do everything it can to get as many people into its doors during the crucial holiday shopping season as it can. Indeed, the Hot Toys RSVP checklist must be downloaded from the Toys R Us website and then printed as a PDF and delivered to a bricks and mortar Toys R Us store with a 20% deposit to hold the item for pick-up. The better to woo you with impulse purchases, my dear.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 15, 2012 12:04 PM
Today is the final day of the Toy Industry Association's 109th annual Toy Fair, wrapping up in New York with a power surge of touchscreens, apps and other tech-based entertainment (or edutainment) items designed to engage young minds — and open their elders' wallets. At a time when toy sales have been stagnant for the past several years, major toymakers and upstarts alike were banking on the whiz bang of tablets, interactivity, and apps to lift the industry from its doldrums.
This year's Toy of the Year at the fair is symbolic of the direction the industry is taking: LeapFrog's LeapPad Explorer Tablet, a $99 kid's version of a computer tablet introduced last February that was so popular retailers couldn't keep it in stock during the 2011 holiday selling season. LeapPad also won "Educational Toy of the Year" and "Preschool Toy of the Year."
The two leading toymakers, Hasbro and Mattel, both debuted app-related products at the Toy Fair. Hasbro updated its clasic board game, "The Game of Life," by promoting a version ("The Game of Life zAPPed," which is available now for $25) that resides on an iPad — literally. Download the app, place your iPad on the middle of the board and it serves as the "spinner" as swell as adding interactive games and videos to the fun.
Mattel's big entry into app-land is "Apptivity," a whole new toy line that turns the iPad into a live board game, by integrating such popular toys as Barbie dolls and Hot Wheel cars with tablet-based games. A child can race one of the new Hot Wheel cars on the screen of an iPad, or use Apptivity to enhance Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds game play.Continue reading...