Things I Learned @ Toy Fair 2014 #5: The Presidential Game Rules!


Presidential Game Set

Playing Politics CAN Indeed Be FUN! (Who knew?!) While it’s designed to teach kids about our rugged (but sometimes shaky) presidential election process, The Presidential Game makes for an excellent primer for those political junkies from the book-fed constant reader to the lazy cable news-head who believes every one-sided argument (and it’s ALWAYS an argument) that screeches from his or her speakers. Created by Regina Glocker, the game aims to teach kids and young adults about the electoral college and how it works while delivering a fast paced and fun experience in the process. The cool thing here is Glocker had no previous game creating experience at all, but you know what happens when an idea seed gets planted, nurtured by like-minded companions and grows into a healthy tree with useful fruit, right?

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The Witcher Adventure Game? Oh, Yes.

The Witcher Adventure Game

Yep, there goes anything I’d call free time, folks. Coming sometime this year. I’ll have to see if CD Projekt RED will have this at this year’s Toy Fair, as I’ll be there looking at stuff to cover. If not, I’ll need to get a detective on the case to find out why. Let’s see now… where’s that Rolodex? Aha. Hmmm…(silly rhyme alert!) I’m feeling a little bit lazy today, so (*flip*)… let’s just see who’s under “A”? Okay, got one (and man, does he work cheap!):

ANY-way, click on below the jump for the press release. If the game is anything close to the source material or games, it’s going to be a tough call what to kill time with this year. Granted, both The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and this board game (which is also coming to iOS and Android devices) will find a home here, so no worries about me splitting my love for either in any directions… Continue reading

Wise Alec & Wise Alec Junior: “Smart” Can’t Quite Compete With Wise

No, I’m not slapping around the eggheads some too often disrespect out there for knowing so much, folks. We all kind of need those stupidly smart people who know more than we do, as left unchecked, we’d all be quite dead and still trying to sue someone who didn’t fix that badly-made or never repaired bridge that fell on our heads or can of beans that was a wee bit too spoiled when it was put on that rickety shop shelf. Thankfully, Canada still likes us, as Griddly Games’ Wise Alec and Wise Alec Junior will get brains knitting away with their mix of “Oooh, I HAD it!” trivia and random acts of oddball activities you’ll be tasked with completing. Hey, it’s better than camping out in front of the TV sucking in awful cable news for an evening…

What’s cool about both games are you’re getting a ton of fun at home that some schools won’t let kids have these days. Hey, someone might yell a bit too loudly when they get something right or get overly-excited enough after a win that the on-site security will need to pack them up and put them in a broom closet until you drive down to bail them out. Hmmm… I do recall that sort of giddy behavior USED to be called HAVING FUN back in the day (before the age of Ritalin and other kiddie meds)…

This Week’s Oversight Committee Comes To You From Griddly Games…

In general, oversight is a VERY necessary thing thanks to the built in stupidity that keeps all forms of government under suspicion and always questionable in the ways they operate. But I’d say that’s because politicians of all stripes need to change their tactics to actually working for everyone in their areas and not a particular interest group with plenty of gifts to give, stop eternally scheming about how to stay in office as long as possible and perhaps learn to lose gracefully. One way this can be achieved might be having these clever (and not so clever) elected officials play actual board games such as Griddly Games’ Oversight, where their deft maneuvering and manipulating skills can actually work in their favor and no one gets kicked out of a job or home at the end of the day. Well, except for the guy or gal who gets TOO good at the game and keeps winning. You can’t have term limits for a family game like this… but you CAN throw down a curfew just to get the person beating your pants off the hell out of your living room…

Despicable Me 2 Toy Profile of the Week (8): New, Yet Nostalgic…

DM2 MONO PK PRD (Custom) DM2 OP PRD visual01 (Custom)

This week’s peek’s not plush or plastic,
But two board classics quite fantastic.
And one old viewer from the past
(like older models, built to last).

Hasbro’s grand Monopoly
goes DM2-themed, as you see
The rules, the same, the fun, so great
That special box, you just can’t hate!

And Operation! – another winner,
Make sure to play it after dinner
poking that Minion may gross you out
(But that’s subject to quite some doubt)

View-Master UpdatedThat Viewmaster, yes, it’s so cute
That Minion’s mug is such a hoot
From Fischer-Price and Basic Fun
they’re teaming up for everyone.


You’ll want to buy all of these things
(I hope your car’s got mighty wings)
Your home will be packed to the roof
 Big DM2 Fan? You’re THE proof!

Shown above:

Hasbro’s MONOPOLY: Despicable Me 2 Edition Game – The MONOPOLY game has never been this mischievous! Assemble the Minions! Gru is back with a villainous plan to take over the MONOPOLY game. Spin the Minion to make your move, collect Banana Bucks fast, and own all your favorite Despicable Me properties. Suggested retail price: $19.99

Hasbro’s OPERATION: Despicable Me 2 Edition Game– Whaaa’?! Stuart’s having a bad, bad day. He accidentally swallowed some unicorn fluff, his noggin’s gone nutty, and his tongue is toxic! What’s a Minion to do?! Operate! It’s the same classic OPERATION game fun, plus the wacky humor of Minions! Suggested retail price: $19.99.

Despicable Me 2 View Master® – See your favorite Despicable Me characters like never before – in vivid View Master 3D! In partnership with Fisher-Price, Basic Fun has developed the Despicable Me 2 View Master including a new internal design that provides a 50% brighter and larger image with a smoother operation and a new focus on 3D adventures featuring 21 images (across three reels) to tell the Despicable Me story. Suggested retail price: $9.99 (viewer), $4.99 (reel pack), $14.99 (gift set including the viewer, three reels and a branded case)

Despicable Me 2 toys and other licensed products will be available at retailers nationwide beginning in May 2013. Despicable Me 2 hits theaters on July 3, 2013.

Toy Fair 2013: Flip2BFit and Bakari Will Put A Forever Spring In Your Step…




flip2bfitEven though I know a few folks who’ve lost weight using WiiFit, Let’s Dance, Zumba or other video games, the fact is, these aren’t for everyone. In general, not enough people in the US exercise and eat right period, video game consoles aren’t in every home for any number of good reasons and some people need a bit more motivation than taking the relatively expensive way out of buying more devices that they probably won’t use once they’re unpacked. That said, adding some sort of play to one’s exercise routine is a great thing and that’s where Heather Parisi and her all ages fitness games Flip2BFit and Bakari come in. Sometimes, a good old fashioned board or card game is the way to go for anyone looking to shape up with kids they don’t want glued to the TV or a device when they should be concentrating on a few important things like diet and exercise…

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Toy Fair 2013: The Gate: Yes, You NEED A High (Quality) Fantasy Board Game.



My otherwise dull video aside, as soon as you see Oofdah! Games’ The Gate – A Game of Myth and Magic in person, you know you’re getting a quality product, but a longer look reveals there’s a great deal going on besides good looks and lots of cool pieces you’ll want to show off at your next game night. The game is actually a sweet two in one deal with beginner and advanced play modes (there’s an intermediate mode as well, but don’t tell anyone you now know this!), some surprisingly deep gameplay and as you can see here, a ton of pretty (and pretty useful) stuff inside that big box. I need to grab one of these for myself at some point, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have played the game at a friends on a few occasions and can safely say it’s one of those great board games that’s instantly likable thanks to its design and even more enjoyable once you’ve spent time playing it. Continue reading

Toy Fair 2013: Chains to Champions: Brick Warriors Go Board Game (And You Certainly Won’t Be Bored At All)…


Chains n Champions 1OK, I’ll admit it. I’d never heard of Brick Warriors until a few days before Toy Fair when a friend with a bigger ear to the playground who collects and tweaks his collection of miniatures asked me to check out the upcoming Chains to Champions board game the company was working on. It’s a good thing I decided to be a nice guy and drop on down to meet Ryan Hauge, Amanda Taylor and Rhonda Denny (the game’s lead playtester and most likely the company’s ringer if you ever end up playing against her for money), as the game is looking to be a ton of fun for minifigure fans across the globe. C to C is a gladiatorial combat game for two to six players (or one player with multiple personalities who wants to beat himself senseless at a board game) that’s easy to pick up, yet also highly challenging as you complete in card-based clashes for coin and customization upgrades.

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Toy Fair 2013: Griddly Games’ Show Me the Kwan: Word War Three Begins Soon…


KwanAs usual, Griddly Games‘ Angela Welch is a total ringer. Here I was minding my business strolling around the show floor at Toy Fair when my path sent me past the GG both where their upcoming word game Show Me the Kwan (or Kwan) was on display and once I was lured into a match, well… like last year’s fun puzzle/strategy game Oversight, I went down faster than a Canadian Goose dipped in kerosene taking a detour through a flaming hoop. That actually means the game is really good and not much sleep before strolling the show floor means a discarded soda can could have beaten me…

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Toy Fair 2013: Despicable Me 2 Toy Lineup: Gru’s Grunts & Girls Get Great Gear!



DM2ToysDespicable Me was quite a surprise for me, as I wasn’t expecting much before I saw it and ended up charmed by the animation and characters. Of course, so were a few many million other moviegoers, which means, yes indeed – it’s time for a sequel. If the teaser and trailers are any indication, you can expect Despicable Me 2 to be even funnier than the original, as Gru’s Minions seem to be the focus this time out. This also means in terms of licensed products, toy companies such as Hasbro, Thinkway Toys, Basic Fun and others are going all out to get fans of the film into stores and online shops to snap up some really cool new items. I got to see most of the upcoming lineup during Toy Fair off-site at a more relaxed downtown location and everything looks (and sounds, where applicable) great and is coming soon to a retailer near you.

Gallery below the jump along with some more scribblings on the collection from yours truly…

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