Recently I was invited to attend Hasbro’s media event showcasing their latest products for 2012. Adding to the fun was a celebration of the 60th Anniversary of beloved toy icon Mr. Potato Head. In fact, life-sized Mr. and Mrs. Potato head made an appearance for the occasion with birthday cake along with a spirited chorus of well wishers. Afterwards, attendees at the event were whisked off in groups of five to tour through a labyrinth of Hasbro Toys. Based on my first impressions of the previewed items, the following represents the best of Hasbro’s Toy lineup for 2012.
Baby Alive Baby Wanna Walk Doll
Ages 3 & up. Approximate Retail Price $54.99 Available: Fall 12
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)This baby loves to walk! The BABY ALIVE BABY WANNA WALK doll learns to take her first steps with her mommy’s help, and with encouragement and practice she’ll really walk on her own! Speaks more than 40 interactive sounds and phrases, telling mommy “I wanna walk” and asking her to “hold my hands, please!” the BABY WANNA WALK doll recognizes when she’s walking with her mommy or all by herself, and may excitedly shout “Look at me, I’m walking!” She’ll even ask for help if she takes a tumble! The BABY WANNA WALK doll can walk on most smooth surfaces and low pile carpet. Learning to walk has never been so much fun. Includes four “AA” temporary batteries. Four “AA” replacement batteries required. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
CM Take: Looks like a fun interactive toy that will engage 3 year old girls who love to play with baby dolls.
DELUXE BATTLESHIP Movie Edition
Age: 8+; Players: 1-2; Available: April 2012; Approximate Retail Price: $39.99; Batteries: 3 AA (incl.)
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)Power up and choose a side with this electronic edition of the classic BATTLESHIP game. Features an all-new naval fleet and alien ships so you can recreate the battles from the upcoming BATTLESHIP motion picture by Universal Pictures. Light, Sounds, and Special weapons such as the American and Japanese Destroyers help players seek out and destroy their enemy’s ships. Send out jets for recon missions or even scan the water with the Aircraft Carriers before firing. The BATTLESHIP movie comes to life as players hunt down their enemy and take ‘em out in DELUXE BATTLESHIP Movie edition.
CM Take: The venerable electronic edition of the classic strategy game gets a worthy upgrade. With the addition of new sounds, alien ships, and additional game play, the game has a new lease on life.
LAZER TAG 2 BLASTER Set
Ages 8 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $69.99/Available: August 1, 2012
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)Get into the game with the ultimate LAZER TAG 2 BLASTER set, brought to you by the makers of the NERF brand. Set includes two LAZER TAG blasters. For enhanced augmented reality gameplay, simply download the free LAZER TAG app to an iPhone or iPod Touch device and then connect the device to the blaster to activate the immersive gaming experience. When in multi-player mode, blasters are equipped with a virtual firing range of over 250 feet and an on-screen ‘Heads Up Display’ which, for the first time with LAZER TAG, allows players to see the lazer and keep track of their gear and remaining power. In the solo campaign, the blasters provide a view of the augmented reality targets and enemies in the area. Performing well in combat and mastering levels will increase players’ stats on a virtual leaderboard, as well as unlock upgrades for attacks, missions, gear and firepower. Game may be played in single-player mode, or in multi-player mode with up to 24 people. Players can also play LAZER TAG without a device using the blaster’s classic multi-player mode. Each blaster requires 6 AA batteries, not included. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
CM Take: The addition of immersive gaming should modernize this late 20th century toy and bring it to the cutting edge of 21st century technology. It’s not hard to imagine Dads partaking in the fun as well.
NERF FIREVISION SPORTS Football
Ages 6 years & up/Approximate Retail Price: $19.99/Available: August 1, 2012
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)No sunlight? No problem. Put on the FIREVISION SPORTS FRAMES eyewear and turn on the switch to see this awesome football soar. Set includes one FIREVISION SPORTS football and two pairs of FIRE FRAMES eyewear. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and HasbroToyShop.com.
CM Take: Hasbro may have an outdoor gaming hit on its hands that will not only be enjoyed by children in their backyards but also on college campuses.
SIT TO STAND MUSIC SKOOL
PLAYSKOOL/Ages 6-36 months/Approx. Retail Price: $44.99/Available: Fall ‘12
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)Packed with music, fun and learning opportunities, this table features over fifty musical activities, including songs like “ABC” with three ways to play! In music mode, tots can create rockin’ songs with the built in instruments, lights and sounds; they can create their very own tune as they move around the table and play. In learning mode, the SIT TO STAND MUSIC SKOOL can help teach little ones simple concepts through music including classic shapes, colors, numbers, letters and opposites in either English or Spanish. Table legs detach for sitting play. Requires three “AA” batteries, included.
CM Take: Hasbro’s built in several opportunities for kids to be engaged with music. The ability to configure the toy as a standing or sitting toy really adds to its value.
FLYING SUPER GROVER 2.0
(PLAYSKOOL/Ages 2-5 years/Approx. Retail Price: $29.99/Available: Fall 12)
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)This motion-activated Super Grover 2.0 character comes to life when kids pick him up and “fly” him around the room. His arms will rise as if he’s flying and he will let children know whether he’s “Going up” or “Going down!” Complete with soaring sounds and silly phrases, little ones are sure to fall in love with this furry superhero. Includes two “AA” temporary batteries. Two “AA” replacement batteries required. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.
CM Take: It’s Super Grover! What’s NOT to love. Add in the new sound effects, the rising arms while flying, etc. and this may be a toy that’s high on the list for Holiday shopping season in 2012. See Video of Grover taking flight.
Star Wars Class III MTT Vehicle
Approximate retail price: $139.99; Ages: AGES: 4 & up; Available: Fall 2012
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)Deploy 20 droids into battle with the massive STAR WARS CLASS III MTT vehicle! Straight from the 3D theater to your living room, this iconic vehicle from STAR WARS: EPISODE I THE PHANTOM MENACE features electronic lights and sounds, firing projectiles, and motorized droid deployment. Includes 20 BATTLE DROID figures and an OBI-WAN KENOBI figure! Batteries not included.
CM Take: This Star Wars: Episode I vehicle will appeal to toy collectors for its detail and functionality.
TRANSFORMERS PRIME R/C Assortment
Approximate retail price: $19.99; Ages: 5 & up; Available: Fall 2012
(Excerpt from Hasbro Press Release)Introducing the TRANSFORMERS PRIME RC Assortment, the remote control TRANSFORMERS figure/vehicle that allows kids to control the conversion from robot to vehicle and back again by remote. With three exciting channels, fans can battle their friends as their favorite TRANSFORMERS characters go head-to-head in battle. Each TRANSFORMERS PRIME RC is sold separately (one figure and one controller) including BUMBLEBEE, OPTIMUS PRIME and KNOCKOUT. Batteries not included.
CM Take: Quick and easy RC car fun with the added bonus of morphing the vehicle into a transformer on the fly via remote.