Hasbro, Indiegogo Gaming Challenge Is Back with Shark Tank’s Daymond John
Hasbro and crowdfunding website Indiegogo are welcoming entrepreneur Daymond John, creator of FUBU and co-star of ABC’s series, Shark Tank, to guest judge the fall 2016 Gaming Challenge, now open to game designers in the U.S., UK, Canada (excluding Quebec), France, and Germany. Following its debut in 2015 and a follow-up Challenge earlier this spring, the fall 2016 Gaming Challenge offers independent game designers a platform to promote their ideas.
From now through October 23, game designers can submit their ideas for a new face-to-face, family friendly game at NextGreatGameChallenge.com. A team of Hasbro game experts and designers will evaluate each submission based on its gameplay, theme, and viability and will select five finalists to launch campaigns for their concept on Indiegogo. Finalists will also receive $2,000 as well as mentorship from Hasbro and Indiegogo as they raise awareness, funding, and support for their game.
In February 2017, Daymond John will join a panel of judges consisting of Hasbro Brand, Design, and Development team members and score each of the five finalists based on the Challenge criteria including game play, viability, and theme. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000, a trip to Hasbro headquarters in Rhode Island, and the opportunity to work with Hasbro to make the game a reality. The winner may also have the chance for a special meet-and-greet with Daymond John.
Hasbro’s first Gaming Challenge launched in 2015 and received more than 500 submissions from around the country. Hasbro brought both the 2015 grand prize winner, The Mr Toast Game created by Dan Goodsell, and finalist Hex Casters game to market this year. The Mr Toast Game is now available at Target and Hex Casters is now available on Amazon. Following the success of the first Next Great Game Challenge, Hasbro launched its second Challenge to fans worldwide earlier this spring. Five finalists will debut their crowdfunding campaigns live at the Internationale Spieltage game fair in Essen, Germany on October 13 and the grand prize winner will be announced in November. For more details, visit www.nextgreatgamechallenge.com.
PlayMonster Acquires Automoblox
PlayMonster (formerly Patch Products) announced that it has acquired Automoblox, which is a line of high-quality collectible wood vehicles. The vehicles have interchangeable parts for build-and-mix play. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This is the third acquisition for PlayMonster in less than two years. PlayMonster acquired Roominate and Onaroo.
New Genius of Play Website Launches
The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) The Genius of Play, the research-backed initiative to bring more play into kids’ lives, unveiled a new website that offers easy access to professional advice, play ideas, quick parenting tips, and more. Parents who visit TheGeniusofPlay.org will discover a community section and a new play ideas section with hundreds of practical suggestions, sortable by a child’s age and benefit of play.
The website is designed for complete mobile optimization and serves all content in bite-size pieces to make it simple for parents to discover the tools and resources. The site supports parents who want to use play to engage their kids in unstructured learning outside of school.
Walmart Announces Holiday Toy List
Walmart announced its 2016 holiday toy list last week, which is chosen by kids. Hundreds of kids, ages 18 months to 12 years old, were given the chance to play with some of the year’s hottest toys and pick their favorites. This one-of-a-kind playdate led to this year’s Chosen By Kids list—the top 25 toys of the season, nearly a quarter of which are exclusive to Walmart.
In addition, Walmart will have more than 400 exclusive toys in addition to the six toys that are exclusives on the Chosen By Kids list. Some of these exclusives include Star Wars 3.75-inch Black Series collector figures, the Barbie Camping Collection, and a FlipaZoo plush.
Here is the list, broken into specific, themed categories:
The Boss: Your child can’t wait to start their own business? These toys are perfect for the little entrepreneur in your life. Top entrepreneurial toys include:
- My Life As Food Truck—Walmart exclusive (coming soon)
- Num Noms Lipgloss Truck
- Pom Pom Wow Decoration Station
The Humanitarian: Kids love to take care of others and with these toys they can put their skills to the test. Toys that make this list include:
- Doc McStuffins Hospital Care Cart
- FurReal Friends Torch, My Blazin’ Dragon
- Hatchimals (coming soon)
- Little Live Pets Puppy
The Dreamer: Playsets and toys that give kids the opportunity to create their own story and put their imagination to work. Frontrunners for imagination are:
- Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Batcave—Walmart exclusive (coming soon)
- Barbie Rainbow Cove Princess Castle Playset
- Fisher Price Imaginext Bat Flight City
- Fisher Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway
- My Little Pony Explore Equestria Crystal Empire Castle
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mega Lair Playset
The Thrill-Seeker: For the thrill seeker, these toys allow kids to take an adventure right in their own homes. Topping the list of adventurous toys are:
- Pie Face Showdown! Game—Exclusive to Walmart for a limited time
- Razor PowerCore E100 Electric Scooter—Walmart exclusive
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Remote Control Skateboarding Mikey—Walmart exclusive
- Hot Wheels AI Racing Playset (coming soon)
- Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Blaster
- Tyco Terra Climber Remote Control Vehicle
- Fisher Price Imaginext Ultra T-Rex
- VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure
Mr./Ms. Independent: Sibling not home to play? These toys are a perfect way to keep kids entertained for hours by themselves. Top independent toys include:
- Disney Princess Carriage—Walmart exclusive
- Paw Patrol Zooming Marshall
- Sky Viper Streaming Drone (coming soon)
- Star Wars Electronic R2D2 (coming soon)
In addition, Walmart’s layaway program began on September 2. Customers can find all of the top toys available to reserve through the layaway program, along with thousands of other items in Walmart stores.
There is no opening fee for customers to start a layaway account and they only need to put down 10 percent (or $10, whichever is greater). Walmart has kept its minimum threshold again this year. Customers can put items as low as $10 on layaway with a $50 minimum basket. Customers have until December 12 to pay off their account.
Separately, Walmart says that video games and consoles are also expected to be hot items for this holiday. One of the most coveted gifts of the season is expected to be the Sony PlayStation Virtual Reality Bundle.
For more information on Walmart’s Chosen By Kids list, visit www.walmart.com/chosenbykids.