Skylanders SuperChargers Reach New Heights with Vehicles; Debut Set for September 20

Activision announced its latest installment in the Skylanders Franchise today. Skylanders SuperChargers will debut on September 20, 2015, which will bring this beloved game to new heights.

Skylanders SuperChargers Logo

In SuperChargers, Portal Masters will take the helm of high-octane vehicles on land, sea and sky. From vehicular combat, races down rapids and aerial dogfights, Activision says SuperChargers will feature story-driven gameplay, vehicle-based and on-foot adventures, puzzles, mini games, activities and platforming.

Skylanders SuperChargers Dive Bomber 1

SuperChargers Dive Bombers

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SuperChargers will have 20 new character toys and 20 new vehicles. Starter Packs will include two new Skylanders characters and a new Skylanders vehicle, as well as a new Portal of Power. The game will be available for preorder starting today, June 3 for $74.99. According to Activision execs, the previous Portal will be functional with this game, as well as a Digital Players’ version where the game itself can be downloaded on select consoles, adding even more play value to Skylanders SuperChargers. I’ll share details on that once it’s released.

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Skylanders SuperChargers feature a new class of heroes. The namesake SuperChargers boast swift moves, powerful attacks and new weapons. The developers, Vicarious Visions, have given SuperChargers special in-game abilities that will uplift players to take on Kaos.

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Storm Blade

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Spitfire

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Super Shot Stealth Elf

 

First Look at SuperChargers at #MTSKylanders

Back in February 2011, I remember standing on my tip-toes in the back of a room of journalists, trying to see the stage while listening to Activision executives talk about their next big thing. It was a video game that combined video games and tactile play with collectible figures, that would go on be a major game changer.

Yesterday, I stood on my tip-toes to get a glimpse of Skylanders, but in a much different setting. I had the unique opportunity to attend an intimate lunch hosted by Momtrends to learn about the latest installment of Skylanders. The beloved franchise is unveiling their fifth installment in their character-driven game and they gave a select group of NYC bloggers a firsthand look.

 

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As major Skylanders fans, it was a treat to get the first look of this new installment of the game we love so much. Skylanders has perfected upping their own ante with each new installment. Is it any wonder why the game remains the top console game for kids? Upon first look, my mind was blown. The vehicles and SuperChargers add a whole new dimension and explore different terrain at a new perspective. The SuperChargers will surely be well received by kids and gamers alike. The vehicle figures alone add so much tactile play value; I see even younger Portal Masters-in-training getting into the mix with the introduction of the cars, planes and vessels.

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Skylanders, as a whole, is the embodiment of The Next Kid Thing, and I’m thrilled to give you a first look of the game in-play.  The video I shot looks and sounds very much like a bootleg because of the setting. Because of the nature of the reveal, we were asked to sign an NDA and video opps were informal since it was a luncheon. Nevertheless, here’s a first look of Skylanders SuperChargers in action:

 

Skylanders not only gave us an exclusive sneak peek of SuperChargers the day before the official announcement, they treated us to a very special Skylanders-themed gift bag. In it, we received a lunch box, Thermos Foogo, Gil the Grunt pillow, Crayola Color Alive book and various stickers. In honor of the SuperChargers unveil, I’ll be giving away one of these fun goody bags!  I’ll post an update on this soon.

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A big thank you to Activision for always including bloggers in your outreach. As a family who has been a fan since the first unveil, it was an honor to be included in yesterday’s luncheon. 

Thank you to the Momtrends team for hosting a lovely and delicious lunch where I got to see friends, eat delicious food, craft and geek out!

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Skylanders SuperChargers will be available on Xbox 360™ and  Xbox One™video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation® 3 and PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment systems, Nintendo’s Wii U™ system, and a different, unique adventure will be made available on Nintendo’s Wii™ system and the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system. Additionally, the complete Skylanders SuperChargers experience will be available on iPad®. The game will be available on September 20 in North America, September 24 in Australia/New Zealand; and on September 25 in Europe. 

 Full disclosure: I attended a hosted event and received exclusive information to share with my audience. I received swag bags and lunch, but as always, opinions on NKT are my own.

Toy Fair 2014: The Year of the Hedgehog

For the past few years, there seems to be a few popular themes or animals throughout exhibitors’ booths at Toy Fair. Whether reflecting popular shows, songs or designs, without fail, there’s always a cool new creature that makes the rounds at the show and then all over baby in kid products. A few years ago, the owl ran rampant, followed by the fox and other animals. This year, I noticed that the hedgehog was trending all over Javits.

Be on the lookout for these cool new products featuring the fuzzy face of the hedgehog:

 

Skip Hop

One of my absolute favorite hedgehog interpretations appeared on a Skip Hop Lunchie. That sweet face, combined with the cool color combo of teal and red, will, no doubt, make for another popular extension of Skip Hop’s versatile lunch packs. I didn’t get word on when it will be released, but my guess is probably before the push for next school year.

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Prince Lionheart

Another interpretation of the hedgehog was found on Prince Lionheart’s classic Wheely Bug. The wooden toddler ride-on toy has been seen in ladybug and bumblebee varieties, so this plush version made my head turn. The softness of the hedgehog is a fun take on this popular toy and easily the cutest ride-on toy at the show. The hedgehog Wheely Bugis already out and can be found at retailers such as Yoyo.com and Amazon.com

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Hape

Another adorable hedgehog themed toy was found at Hape’s booth in the form of a Walk-a-long Toy. This toddler totable toy touted Hape’s beautiful wooden construction and kid-safe paints. It looks like it comes in a big and small size, with plenty of cuteness to go around. My friends and fellow trendspotters over at Popsugar Moms were just as smitten with this Hape hedgehog.

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Tomy and Sonic Boom
I have much more information on what’s up and coming for Sonic, but as a quick preface, the Blue Blur has an upcoming new show, Sonic Boom, and Tomy has been named as the master toy licensee.  Be on the lookout for Sonic plush, action figures, RC, role play, vehicles and novelty based on the re-imagined Sonic the Hedgehog.

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Safari Ltd.
After ogling at all the cute hedgehogs, leave it to Safari Ltd. to bring me back down to earth with their life-life figure of a hedgehog.  Safari Ltd., known for their Toobs and educational figures, has a hedgehog in their Incredible Creatures collection, which is the largest figures in any set.

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Trick or Treating with Moose Toys Trash Pack and Glitzi Globes

Halloween has always been one of my most favorite times of year. The crisp, cool air, costumes, monsters—oh, and the treats!

With two younger guys, we love getting all into the Halloween fun. I’ve made the boys’ costumes the past two years, and even threw something together for myself too! We went as a Star Wars-themed group with Biggie as Luke Skywalker as an X-Wing Fighter Pilot, the babe as Wicket the Ewok and me as Leia. We had a blast with it, and I’ll always have the boys’ smiles and laughter from the Halloween festivities etched in my mind. Having missed out on two Halloweens in a row, this year made it that much more special.


And speaking of special, one of the Halloween events we enjoyed this year was our community’s trunk or treat. Trunk or treat was a fun way to connect with our lake friends while watching our costumed kids parade around the parking lot. And once again, we teamed up with Moose Toys to hand out some fabulous non-candy treats. As superfans of Trash Pack and a new adoration for Glitzi Globes, I’m not sure who was more excited about our treats.


In fact, as our box of treats arrived, I immediately posted a Vine of the uber cool Glitzi Globes. I’ve been collecting snowglobes for as long as I can remember, so the concept of being able to create tiny collectible globes almost blew my mind.

It turned out, the Glitzi Globe samples that we handed out at Trunk or Treat were quite the hit. Several friends came by not two or three times, but as many as five! I don’t blame them!

The tiny glittery globes that are put together with a few drops of water transform into cutesy collectibles. Glitzi Globes make a fun activity and if you’re like me, they make for a fun new obsession. Like the big kid I am, I have my eye on the Mega Dome Showcase. I just need a girl of my own to help me out with toys like these! Or, I can just get them for myself, ahem.

Trash Pack are definitely a mainstay as well, so it was equally awesome to hand out sample packs of those too. Both boys and girls had a fun time comparing characters. And best of all, after all the parties and candies and trick or treating the kids did this year to make up for last year, it was great knowing that we handed out non-candy treats that we know and love instead of adding to that sugar rush.

A big thanks to our friends at Moose Toys for helping us spread the fun for a very special Halloween.

Full disclosure:  we were provided with samples, but were not compensated for this post.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Trick or Treating with Trash Pack and Blingles

As everyone has turkey and stuffing on the brain, we’re just now getting Halloween off of ours. Thanks to Superstorm Sandy, a Nor’easter and the debilitating effects these weather systems left in their wrath, unfortunately, Halloween came and went for many kids here in the Northeast.  And quite honestly, that was ok.

As more homes got their power back, families started picking up the pieces and normalcy started to settle in, it was the kids who reminded us the importance of resiliency. And for our community, even though Halloween was postponed twice, we got together and held our own Trunk or Treat.

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Little monsters, goblins, Power Rangers and yes, even my Aqua Bats, paraded up and down the parking lot, from car to car, collecting treats galore.  If I say so myself, I’ve always, had a blast picking out the “best” candy for my block, especially since we don’t get that many kids. I usually do the whole candy bars, which I always find on sale at Costco, but this year, next to my Snickers and Milky Ways, we had even MORE awesome treats: the non-edible variety.
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Moose Toys, the makers of beloved Trash Pack and Blingles, among other fun toys, sent me a box full of Series 2 Trash Pack blind packs and Blingles to give out to my Trick or Treaters.  Quite frankly, it was tough prying the Trash Packs away from my 5 year old, but after much convincing, Biggie ended up loving handing out the Trash Packs and Blingles packs to his fellow T or Ters.  And because it was a smaller group at our Trunk or Treat, we had plenty of candy and treats to go around.  As one of the little girls who came back for seconds, nay, fifths and sixths, said: “our trunk was the best stop of all.”  Hey, we aim to please around here.

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There’s much to be said about handing out fun collectibles that the kids already love.  Trash Pack has been quite the sensation for school aged kids that I know; so, it was fun watching the kids’ eyes light up when they saw our stash to give away.  As with most collectibles, these funny and quirky guys are conversation-starters with boys and girls alike.  In this digital age, it takes something special to get these kids looking up and AT you, away from their digital devices.

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In our house, the Trash Pack resides next to super heroes and My Little Pony characters. Biggie loves this Series 2 line of characters, and has already asked the Guy in Red for Series 3. As for the Blingles, in a house full of boys, I can’t get enough sparkle.  I can’t wait to bling out whatever I can get my hands on; better yet, I can’t wait to share Blingles with my nieces who appreciate a good sparkle.

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Many thanks to Moose Toys for giving the kids in my community a little more reason to smile after Sandy washed away our Halloween.

Shopping tip

I’ve seen the Trash Pack toy accessories and the DS game from Activision in my NKT research and shopping travels.  At $14.99, the Trash Pack Mega Pack is poised to be featured as one of  Toys ‘R’ Us Black Friday Specials per BFads.net.

Full disclosure:  I was not compensated, but was sent product samples to share and give out.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Royal Wedding Fever

Despite the excessive media coverage of Will and Kate’s nuptials, it was hard not to ignore the elaborate details that came together for the whole world to see.  I originally had this post scheduled to post yesterday—before the wedding.  Obviously, that never happened.  And since the wedding happened today, I thought I’d share a few kid-related items that gave a nod to Prince William and the now Princess Kate’s Royal Wedding.

Kate Middleton Paper Dolls

As a little girl, I can barely remember Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ Royal Wedding, but what I do remember was THAT dress.  And perhaps, just like many of us thought of Will’s beloved mother in her gown 30 years ago, I’m willing to bet a generation of little kids will forever remember just how beautiful Princess Kate’s dress was today.

Princess Kate’s dress was a secret leading up to the moment she stepped out onto that Royal red carpet.  The Wedding watchers of the world let out a collective gasp when she revealed that lace and satin gown designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. I thought she looked demure and elegant, with the classic lines and modern details.  As one of the many people gawking at Kate’s dress, to get kids on the dress action, I particularly love Disney Family Fun’s paper dolls that you can print out online.  It’s basically the Disney princesses’ dresses with a brunette Princess that looks somewhat like Kate. Grab the glitter pen, crayon and help the kids create their versions of Princess Kate’s wedding dress.  If only there was a Wills Paper Doll to go along with Kate!



Lego Royal Wedding

Speaking of Wills…have I ever mentioned how much I love when people create Lego Art?  Or my love of Lego Mini Figures?  Check out the creativity of this Lego Royal Wedding featured over on BBC.  My favorite is I Thee Wed, although the real church scenes were much more romantic!  Be sure to check out the rest of the scenes!

Playmobil Special Correspondent

Playmobil has been cracking me up over on their FB page. They’ve had “Sarah” as a special correspondent covering the Royal Wedding all week.  Hilarious!

Gift ideas for 3 Year Old Girl

Friend and NKT reader, Sarah, posted a really great question on the NKT FB page last week.  With her daughter turning three soon, she asked if I had any gift ideas.  On the heels of last month’s Toy Fair, I have stacks of ideas, actually.  As a mama to a three year old boy, I was excited to research some answers to Sarah’s question.

Three year olds are known for continuing to express their individuality and independence. They are honing their gross motor skills, and for most, attention spans are still quite limited. Role playing and group play is a growing trend at this stage, too.  And as much as I’d like to ignore the whole gender toy issue, like many of you, I’ve seen firsthand just how different play patterns are of boys and girls at this age.

Sarah said her three year old is into girly toys, pets, bubbles and jumping.  And since I haven’t had a chance to talk about many of the fun toys I saw at Toy Fair, this is a great topic to discuss since I saw so many great products that embrace these exact themes.

Princess

Princesses, long-loved favorites to toddlers, preschoolers and beyond, still have a strong presence on the toy front, especially with the success of last year’s Rapunzel.  Even though Disney has hinted at no more new princesses in the near future, toy makers still have a strong grip on this multi-million dollar license.

Squinkies, the tiny bubblegum machine-inspired trinkets that the kids love (and moms not so much), are now available in Disney Princess themes.

Word of caution: these toys are rated 4+ for safety purposes.

With the upcoming release of Tangled on DVD and Blu-Ray, there are quite a few cute dolls that focus on Rapunzel’s hair.

My favorite Tangled-inspired toy is the Toddler Tangled Rapunzel Doll from the Disney Store.  Only caveat with this adorable doll? She’s sold out on Disney Store’s site, but is probably available at select stores.  She’s cute and her hair looks manageable for the littler girls.

Tangled Sing and Glow Rapunzel doll, with her light up hair and singing voice is another cute doll that might be of interest to little girls.

Dolls and Doll Accessories

Doll and doll accessories are, no doubt, a big hit with toddlers and preschoolers because of the imaginative and creative play involved.  Quite a few toy makers have cool new doll accessories coming out, but Hasbro’s Baby Alive and Step 2’s Deluxe Nursery Station are two products that stood out for me at this year’s Toy Fair.

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Partying with Mattel’s Toy Story 3 Action Links

We’ve been talking a lot about food over here on NKT, but what we haven’t been talking about enough are toys.  Well, that’s because I’m doing things differently this holiday season, which I’ll explain in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, we recently gathered some friends together to indulge in the very cool Toy Story 3 Action Links from Mattel.  As huge fans of Toy Story 3, when I was invited to apply to host an Action Links party via MomSelect’s Mommyparties, I jumped at the chance.

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Undoubtedly, Toy Story 3 has been the most talked about movie in our house this year, so naturally, this, too, would have been an exciting party to take on and share all about. So, when the giant box of toys arrived, you can imagine our excitement!

At our Toy Story Action Links party, we invited some of Jack’s fellow TS3 fans, all of whom are in the 3-4 age group.  We played off the TS3 theme and had hot dogs wrapped with Pillsbury Crescents on sticks, veggies, cupcakes and more.  Toy Story Action Links was a great reason to get friends and kids together for a fun afternoon.
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I first learned about Action Links at Toy Fair earlier this year.  But because the movie wasn’t out yet and because the toys recreate key scenes from the story, I could only talk so much about this interesting concept.

When we first opened the Action Links sets, my husband and I were reminded of the Rube Goldberg concepts, much like that game, Mousetrap. Remember that?

Action Links embodied that same Rube Goldberg concept, where each interlinking set created a chain reaction, complete with Toy Story 3 figures.
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Gift Idea: PetCakes Combine What Kids Crave

One of the best aspects of staying with our family* for the past few weeks is that we’ve been able to hang out with my husband and kid’s cousins.  Since I don’t have a daughter, these two adorable little girls have helped me better grasp the latest in cool girl play things.

I typically cover girls’ products, trying my best to go beyond princesses and dolls.  Ultimately, many girls love princesses and other girly-ish toys, but other that, what else is there?   Two words: cupcakes and pets.

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I was introduced to Petcakes, a new collectible plush toy, at the Time to Play Spring and Summer Showcase.  Well Made Toys, the brains behind these plush toys, had the foresight to combine two things that many girls crave:  lovable pets and the ongoing trend of cupcakes.

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Disney Pook-A-Looz are Cute, Edgy and Sweet

I’ve been reading some blurbs about the Licensing Expo that was recently held in Vegas.  Of the interesting information that was dispersed from the annual show that showcases all the hottest licenses in the industry, I was interested to see this one from Disney Consumer Products, which I’ll get into later.

Pook-A-Looz

Speaking of Disney, at the Time to Play Spring and Summer Showcase, Disney Consumer Products had a diverse selection of their latest toys.  Aside from the much-hyped Toy Story and the ever-popular Princesses toys, DCP had some new, but familiar faces.

DCP recently introduced Pook-A-Looz, a plush line of their classic characters who have received a modern-meets-vintage twist.  That probably doesn’t make too much sense, but according to Disney, Pook-A-Looz were designed to capture the personalities of iconic Disney characters in an edgy, offbeat way.  They’re said to be inspired by the urban vinyl toy culture, which began in Asia a decade ago.

 

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Traintastic: Chuggington Toys are Coming Soon

One of our favorite Disney shows, Chuggington, unveiled another new episode this past weekend.  I hope you guys were able to catch it.

I’ve got a bunch of Chuggington news planned in the coming weeks…and actually, I was planning a fun viewing party with a few of our fellow Chuggington friends for last week, but had to reschedule.  I’ll be sure to share our soiree once our family is moved and we can get together with our Chuggington pals.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share about some other Chuggington news.  Did you know as of May 17, you can now pre-order Chuggington Toys?  The toys, already available in the U.K. and other locations, are making their way stateside.

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