tinyBuild’s PAX South Booth Setup Makes For Quite A Teaching Tool


 

Want to know how tough it is to set up a trade show booth? Well, let busy as heck indie developer tinyBuild Games show you how it’s done (sort of). Their PAX South booth setup video is pretty amusing stuff for cheering up a chilly Monday. I most likely won’t be at the show at all (too much work here to do plus there’s some more apartment maintenance coming – boo!), but as a veteran of many behind the scenes setup routines from circus tents to game demo stations, I can safely say that you’re getting an education of sorts here. Now that you’re just that little bit smarter, I say you should pop on over to tinyBuild’s site and perhaps check out some of their fun games.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Secrets of Eternity Super Edition: It’s in the Cards!

Yu-Gi-Oh logo
 

SECE_SE-Tucks_ENThe next time you see some kids or teens sitting around playing with Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, you should probably tip your cap in their direction or something nice like that. As the #1 trading card game in the world (25 billion cards sold!), it’s also a means to get those kids into math, tactical thinking and becoming more social with each other through play.

For the uninitiated, You-Gi-Oh! is “a game of strategy, where players create individual Decks of cards collected from Structure Decks and Booster Packs. Two players engage in a Duel while using cards that represent powerful monsters, magical Spells and surprising Traps. Duelists with well-constructed Decks, dominating monsters, solid strategy and good fortune are the victors…”. But that’s just scratching the surface. Watching matches play out is a surprisingly compelling affair that can be likened to a competitive chess tournament with complicated rules only fully grasped by seasoned players. Continue reading

Toy Fair Sunday Musings, Too: May The Force Be With Few!

Imperial Toys Bubble Saber
 

Thank you, Imperial Toy! One, for having one of the more surprisingly cool licensed items at the show (a huge Star Wars bubble machine shaped like R2-D2 that does exactly what it’s supposed to do and makes everyone in the vicinity stop what they’re doing and walk over to check it out). Its also surprisingly affordable. I’ll post pics of R2 tomorrow, as I shot photos with another camera and (duh!) can’t seem to find the USB cable (duh!)

imperial toy lightsaber 2
 

Oh, and two, for giving me the nice silver-colored bubble lightsaber just for stopping by their booth to check out R2. Apparently, its one of only a thousand made for the show. Nice. Id love to have a blue one as well, but I don’t mind waiting for the normal white sabers to hit retail and add one of those to the collection.

Some Sunday Toy Fair Musings…

Let’s see now:

Jurassic World  Stuff
 

Expect to see a LOT of Jurassic World merchandise coming for the upcoming film. Yes, Universal ran the same old trailer fans have already seen, but there’s a nice amount of new toys on the way that were unseen until the event earlier today. Dinosaurs everywhere would be a problem in real life for sure. But it looks like the licensing agreements on this film will bring kids (and adults) into those walking future fossil fuel sources will get plenty of folks into the stores before and after they hit the theaters.

Jurassic World Stuff 1
 

As for those Minions, well, my bad poetry databank has been reactivated, so expect to read some ear curling stuff about that toy line shortly. That long trailer was pretty funny and it looks as if the third go-round with the little yellow guys may be the best yet. As for the merchandise, some items are returning from Despicable Me 2, but in updated form, there are new items that will make the kids (and parents) crack up, and yes, expect your disposable income to become a lot more disposable once the film hits.

Minions Stuff
 

More on both toy lines shortly. I’ve a lot of ground to cover over the next few weeks and two more days at the show in this stupidly lousy cold weather we’ve been socked with. It’s worth it, though…

Friday’s More Than Slight Change of Plans Makes For A Fine Diversion

Buttons Galore
 

Soooo, I didn’t intend to do ANOTHER pre-show event before Toy Fair, but like yesterday’s Superherostuff.com and Sphero event, today was *special*. I ended up hoofing out to Astoria (in Queens) to see and play a bunch of games at Indiecade, and if you just so happen to be in the NYC area, love games and want to try some awesome ones, you NEED to get yourself out thataway before the show ends on Sunday. I could only cover one day thanks to Toy Fair eating my weekend plus whole, but I’ll have a few longer articles on the stuff I tried out next week.

indiecade
 

Hell, if it weren’t for indies, I’d be doing a lot less gaming these days. Pretty much the only AAA release I’m looking forward to is The Witcher 3 and that’s because CD Projekt RED is going the extra mile plus to guarantee everyone who plays the game on anything it’s on is getting the best experience possible. Anyway, it’s off to sleep for me soon, as I need to pop up at 5am and be out of here before 6. Eeek. Back with more eventful posting tomorrow…

Gearing Up For Toy Fair is Tough Work!

Status

Let’s see now… I’m sort of taking today off because I’m making a new, longer list of Toy Fair 2015 meetings for this weekend and I have a pre-show event to pop into this afternoon to check out a few items. I’d initially promised myself I wouldn’t do any more pre-show events because under certain circumstances it gets to be SO busy running around that I end up too pooped when the show actually starts. However, I made two exceptions this year because of the folks who reached out that didn’t forget they reached out and didn’t suddenly get back to me to say their events were overbooked.

I get invited to a load of events and respond as soon as I see the invite. Once in a while, the PR person who contacted me and took my reservation will get back to me a few days after I confirm or too often, right around the day the event takes place to say something like “oops, we overbooked!” without letting me know what I can do about seeing the product they were gushing about so fervently in that invite. The latest example of this was a big deal film screening/press junket I was SUPPOSED to attend this week, only to be told last minute that they ran out of room AND to hold out for a new screening date (which didn’t happen). Gee, thanks. So much for promoting your film or whatever else you were looking for from me, big megacorp deluxe who’s burned me one too many times. I got yer Throwback Thursday right here, Foo. Anyway, let me get back to my regularly scheduled day.

Back in a bit, maybe with a quick followup post if I make it back before the library closes.

Sony’s 20th Anniversary Limited Edition PS4: Nifty Shades of Grey


 
I should have figured that Sony would be going back to basics for their 20th anniversary, but seeing that familiar shade of grey on a new model PS4 made me chuckle a bit. I bet it’s not backward compatible at all, meaning some younger folks who buy it, might want one to add to their collection or just hate that color aren’t seeing the complete picture. I still have three of those old grey models here and they get trotted out from time to time, too. 20 years is a long time and I can still recall the initial skepticism some had about Sony jumping into the game console business with the PlayStation after a deal with Nintendo to co-create a game console fell through. How the gaming landscape would been had that arrangement not fallen through is anybody’s guess. Like them or not, you have to give Sony credit for making good on their initial promise to shake things up and continue doing it for so long despite some ups and downs over the years.


 

Anyway, Happy Anniversary, Sony – you’ve certainly earned a place in millions of lives since 1994. Here’s to (at least) 20 more years (provided we’re all still around)…

Throwback Thursdays: I’ll Trade Almost Any Other Thursday For This One…

kitchen nightmare 

Hee-ho! So, I find out that the now asbestos-free kitchen here won’t get that new wall and ceiling until DECEMBER. Over the course of four or five non-consecutive days, at that. Yaaaah. So much for the idea of even thinking of having anyone over for Thanksgiving. Who do I need to send a herd of elephants to run over to get a break here? Anyway, some good news comes in the form a a diversion this evening downtown thanks to La Maison du Chocolat inviting me to sample some of their Holiday Collection. hey, chocolate is good for you when you’re stressed! Okay, I’ll make sure to think of all of you while I’m at the event. I may end up oversampling because I’m thinking of all of you out there, so it’s your fault if I end up in a chocolate haze in some alley near La Maison’s NYC shops selling my coat and shoes for a fix.

Hmmm. I feel a song coming on… fortunately I’m NOT doing the singing:


(Thanks, DetroitLives313!) 

Back tomorrow or perhaps later tonight if I’m not in a cocoa coma. I’m sitting on a ton of drafts and almost done stuff. I just need to get enough time to get away from the madness here to finish stuff up.

National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees: Three Times the Fun!

Toy Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees

Image courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York.

Before you even ask, yes, there is a National Toy Hall of Fame. It’s part of the National Museum of Play up in Rochester, NY and I’d say it’s a bucket list trip for anyone with even the slightest interest in any sort of toy or game from their childhood. Today the Museum inducted a trio of all-time classics into the Toy Hall of Fame and some of you are already grinning at that photo above. This year’s inductees made me laugh out loud because as soon as I heard the news this morning, I was hoping to heck that someone at the Museum would have made a cool diorama with a few squads of Army Men on some alien or other landscape (maybe Washington D.C.?) fighting off an “invasion” by a giant Rubik’s Cube with Bubbles floating in the shot to give it the look of some low-budget sci-fi flick.

StrongToyHall1110614_075

Courtesy of The Strong®, Rochester, New York

Hey, Mario Bava would have done it up right, I bet. That said, the Museum’s presentation was certainly creative and entertaining. Dancers from the Rochester City Ballet appeared in life-size Army Men outfits, there was a gigantic Rubik’s Cube mosaic (made up of 200 pounds of Rubik’s Cubes), and the Bubble Man himself, Doug Rougeux doing his amazing thing at the event. Okay, all that was MORE creative than my crummy diorama idea maybe two people would have gotten the joke about. What can I say other that I like obscure references only a handful of people would understand…

Continue reading

The Tale of The Princcess Kaguya: Studio Ghibli’s Back With Some Classic Beauty…

The Princess Kaguya MP 
Currently, this one’s only part of a children’s film festival here in NYC, but I’m hoping it at least gets a limited release in regular theaters after that’s all said and done, as it’s quite lovely and yes, it’s Studio Ghibli doing some amazing animation work as usual. Check out the trailer below for some lovely visuals:

(Thanks, Movieclips Trailers!) 

This is one of those films that NEEDS to be seen even if you know the classic story by heart. Let’s hope this gets more notice and that wider theatrical release before it pops up on Blu-Ray/DVD and people somehow forget it exists because it’s not being promoted outside of a niche audience. Oh, wait. OOPS. It IS getting a US release on October 17, so I guess I can see this after all and not have to deal with squealing kids, shushing parents and overpriced tickets. No wait, the tickets will still be overpriced, but one out of three is just fine by me…