Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Animated Shorts Reveal “Rogue One” Toys

From darkhorizons, When it comes to “Star Wars,” the toys are an integral part of each release and the upcoming spin-off film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is no different. How they’ve been unveiled for this particular film however, now that is quite different.

The Star Wars YouTube Channel has just unveiled the first wave of toys for the film via a superfan-created stop-motion film. The film ties in with a competition in collaboration with creative network Tongal in which a team has been assembled to write, direct and produce original fan-made stop-motion shorts starring toys from the new line.

Beginning September 30th, fans are invited to create and share their own ‘Go Rogue’ videos. Teens and adults can submit their entries via the Star Wars site while a separate contest will be held for kids on Disney’s website.

Winners will fly to Lucasfilm in San Francisco to watch their winning shorts alongside “Rogue One” itself. Additional stop-motion shorts like the one above created by Tongal will roll out through the month of September as part of a four-part series.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Hot Wheels unveil Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine' 50th anniversary collection — exclusive

From ew, Hot Wheels aren’t just for kids anymore; they’re for the Beatles fanatic, too.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ 1966 song “Yellow Submarine,” Hot Wheels will release a special collection, which EW can debut below, to accompany the animated film.

The collection includes the Hot Wheels Yellow Submarine replica, complete with orange track-compatible wheels, as well as an assortment of six cars featuring the art of the iconic 1968 Yellow Submarine film. Fans will appreciate the collection’s nod to the movie, with vivid colors, creative designs, and, of course, John, Paul, Ringo, and George adorning the packaging. And even though the film’s Blue Meanies were music-haters, they get some love from Hot Wheels with their own “Kool Kombi” tour van.

The Beatles-themed assortment pack will first hit shelves on June 9 at The Cirque du Soleil Beatles Shop at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, before rolling out to Walmart stores in the U.S. on June 15.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

'Alien Day' is a thing now?

From slashfilm, Inspired by toy cases from decades past, the box features artwork inspired by Alien in addition to holding up to 24 of the 3.75″ ReAction figures. In addition, the case will contain some kind of mystery Alien figure packaged inside, which will be revealed soon.

Next up, there will be a Nostromo 3-pack that includes Kane, Lambert and Dallas in their space suits:

The packaging is designed in an exclusive Japanese window box style just for Alien Day, which might mean the figures themselves will be available elsewhere after this, but just not packaged in such a way.

In addition, in that same image above, you’ll see that Super 7 and Secret Base have a new Alien vinyl figure on the way. They’re not ready to reveal it just yet, but we’re likely to get a better look before Alien Day gets here.

There’s more to be revealed for Alien Day soon, so stay tuned. Otherwise, check out our previous post to see what else is in store for April 26th.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Exclusive "DC Super Hero Girls" Merchandise Soars Into Target This Spring

February 17, 2016

"DC Super Hero Girls" are making their way exclusively to Target this March! The collection features action figures, action dolls and other toys, apparel and more, inspired by the most popular DC Comics female Super Heroes, including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Batgirl.

Inspired by the all-new franchise, "DC Super Hero Girls," from Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, in partnership with Mattel, Target will offer a first-look at the “DC Super Hero Girls” merchandise collection, featuring a special assortment of merchandise across multiple categories, including toys and dress up, apparel and accessories, publishing and more, to be sold exclusively at Target, beginning in March. Master toy partner Mattel unveils its new DC Super Hero Girls collection, featuring the industry-firsts: the first-ever 6-inch action figure designed for girls; first 12-inch collection of action dolls featuring strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses; and first-ever action role-play toys for girls.

DC Super Hero Girls, which airs animated shorts at, and will also be getting its own animated television special on Boomerang later this spring, centers on the Super Heros and Super-Villains of the DC Comics universe—Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Bumble Bee, Harley Quinn and more—during their formative high school years, prior to discovering their full super power potential.

“Target prides itself on keeping a pulse on pop culture, and we have a legacy of getting behind the hottest franchises to bring our guests exclusive merchandise,” says Scott Nygaard, SVP of merchandising, Target. “We are thrilled to be working with some of the industry’s leading partners to introduce a new generation to these inspirational characters, and know fans of all ages will embrace these beloved and iconic heroines as they build new memories.”

Friday, February 12, 2016

Want: ThingMaker!

NEW YORK — 3D printing was still decades away when Mattel debuted ThingMaker in the 1960s. As a primitive “at-home maker device,” it let kids produce bug-like Creepy Crawlers, mini-dragons, flowers and other small toys by pouring liquid plastic onto special molds, which were then heated up and cooled.

Now Mattel, in collaboration with Autodesk, is about to resurrect ThingMaker as a $299.99, family-friendly 21st Century 3D printer. Mattel made the announcement in advance of the Toy Fair trade show kicking off here this weekend.

I saw a full-size, non-working replica of the printer, which works with a 3D printing app for iOS and Android. If not for its bold orange casing, you might mistake it for a funky-looking microwave oven.

Surrounding the replica were many of the plastic things you could print, including toy fairies, dolls, dinosaurs, robots, skeletons and jewelry. Consumers can custom design such objects inside a ThingMaker app, which supplies templates and a palette of drag and drop parts that you can assemble together on screen before you tap the print button. Parts are printed in batches. For safety purposes, the printer door automatically locks when printing starts.

Mattel's new 3D printer is due out in the fall. (Photo: Mattel)

“All the physical behaviors are as it would be when it was actually printed out, so you can get an idea for how it is going to mechanically move and what the limits of all the joints and sockets that you create are,” says Dan Pressman, creative director at Autodesk. You pick the colors for the objects in the app as well; come print time, you run separate jobs to print each batch of colors.

The Thingmaker app lets you design the objects you'll print. (Photo: USA TODAY)

The app is actually live now and can be used to design items for other standard 3D printers as well. But Mattel’s own new 3D printer isn’t coming out until the fall, even though you can preorder it on Amazon starting Monday.

“We’re going to use these seven months to really learn and gain analytics of how people are using it,” says Aslan Appleman, a senior director at Mattel.

For all their potential, and their use for industrial, professional, and hobbyist purposes, 3D printers have been slow to catch on in the home. Such printers have generally been too pricey, too slow and too complicated, and the motives for owning one — how many people want to print out a case for their smartphone — have eluded most consumers.

Mattel comes at it as a toymaker, of course, but the company is viewing its upcoming 3D printer more as a consumer electronics product than a toy per se. In fact, the printer is designed for users ages 13 and up. (The small parts you print out are rated as safe toys for 3 years olds and up.) Beyond Amazon, Mattel hasn’t finalized its distribution strategy.

Mattel has been tracking the evolution of 3D printing for awhile now. Appleman says, “We think this is the perfect time for us to come out in the market with a product that’s disruptive in our opinion.”


View-Master rides Google Cardboard into virtual reality

It remains to be seen of course if ThingMaker can conjure up the same nostalgic appeal of other brands that Mattel has tried to reimagine with newer tech. It was almost a year ago to the day that Mattel teamed up with Google to produce a Google Cardboard-based version of the ViewMaster stereoscopic viewer.

Mattel’s printer will rely on standard PLA (Polylactic Acid) filament just like other 3D printers do. Mattel hasn’t announced the precise branded colors it may make available or pricing for the filament, but the printer is likely to come with at least one spool, and you’ll be able to use standard filament sold by third parties. (You can find spools online today for around $23.)

“Our thought is we want to make this open to makers,” Appleman says. “What we want to highlight is the ThinkMaker ecosystem.”

How much you can print off a single spool will vary by the size and type of objects that you choose to print. Rough estimate: with an average 1 kilogram spool of filament, you can print up to 20 figures, more than 30 jewelry items or about 100 rings.

No word yet on if or when you’ll be able to print Barbie or Hot Wheels or other famous Mattel toys. “Obviously we have quite a few iconic brands in our portfolio as well as access to partner brands. You can imagine that’s part of our longer term strategy,” Appleman says

Printing itself will not be a quick process. A small ring may take 30 minutes to print. A large toy could take 6 to 8 hours.

“We think it’s pretty magical to watch these things being printed but after awhile you don’t want to sit there for hours,” Appleman says. “For bigger prints, click print before (you) go to bed and wake up to a brand new toy"