It’s no secret that the past few years have seen some of the entertainment space’s biggest franchises embrace the evolving world of consumer technology, from the likes of Star Wars of Hot Wheels joining the connected play space, to Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who embarking on their own journeys into the Virtual Reality gaming space.
As the first reports from this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) begin to emerge from Las Vegas, it’s evident that the sector has lost its penchant for eccentricity, but just as much as we are now staring into a future of robot toilet paper butlers, and TV remotes that are controlled by your thoughts, it too is becoming increasingly apparent that the allure of the digital age is growing ever stronger for leading entertainment franchises.
This year sees some 170,000 tech-heads from around the world descending upon Las Vegas, Nevada for the latest in the Consumer Electronic Show offering, among them the curated connected play service TechUp – founded by Toyologist Peter Jenkinson and Collabsco’s Valerie Vacante – who has made it its mission to connect some of the biggest companies pushing for innovation in the entertainment space today.
This year will see TechUp’s Vacante showcase key insights on the connected play landscape as well as leading the discussion, The Future of Play Gaming and Immersive Entertainment with a talk featuring industry leaders including Chris Down, chief design officer of Mattel, Tommy Tallarico, president, CEO of Intellivision Entertainment and Zai Ortiz, CEO of Alta Games, and co-founder and president of Virsix Games.
Meanwhile, TechUp’s Jenkinson will facilitate the discussion, Toys R Us & ASTRA Fireside Chat featuring David Di Bene, chief marketing officer of Toys “R” Us Stores USA and Kimberly Mosley, CPE, president, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.
“We are excited about jumping into a new decade and bringing together some of the most forward thinking leaders creating the future of toys, gaming and immersive entertainment. Our continued partnership with Living in Digital Times, Toyology, ToyNews and Licensing Biz to provide industry-leading perspective and expertise to the global stage of innovation,” said Valerie Vacante, founder of Collabsco and co-founder of TechUp.
“We can expect to see more options to play ‘connected and disconnected’ in the physical and digital world, more gamer makers, more multigenerational families gaming together and immersive experiences that integrate technology from the past with emerging technologies to create experiences that ignite wonder and play in new ways,” added Vacante.
Among this year’s line-up, attendees will be presented with the latest in tech and connected play, including the Bandai Namco Tori. Bandia’s Tori presents a new way to play with toys, kick-starts creativity, and inspires imagination. It was also named a CES Innovation Award 2020 Honoree in four categories including: Virtual & Augmented Reality, Gaming, Mobile Devices & Accessories, and Computer Peripherals & Accessories, CES KAPi award for Best Creative Experience.
It will be joined by the Hasbro Star Wars Lightsaber Academy Interactive Battling System, a kit that lets kids train with the greatest Jedi and Sith in the galaxy, battle legendary Masters, and go head-to-head against friends. Star Wars Lightsaber Academy Interactive Battle Lightsaber was awarded the CES KAPi Award for the Best Overall Technology Toy.
Also from Hasbro, the Star Wars D-O Interactive Droid lets kids and fans display and play with a droid inspired by the little roller droid from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Meanwhile, Hot Wheels id, brings together physical and digital in a Mixed Play experience with uniquely identifiable vehicles, a smart Race Portal, Smart Track, and digital hub, so you can build your personalised fleet, measure your performance, and compete like never before.
Amico by Intellivision Entertainment, Countdown by Pressure Games, and Blinks by Move38 make up the line-up, while proceedings will be completed with a showcase of Blazer League by Chicken Waffle.
Blazer League, is a new multiplayer VR eSports game action packed with cyber-neon disk-flying combat. At CES, Chicken Waffle will be showcasing new Blazer League beta updates with eSports tournament features as well as debuting multiple, new unannounced games, XR educational experiences and useful multiplayer solutions for LBE management.
“TechUp is looking forward to uncovering a smorgasbord of technology to mark our embarkation into the ’20s,” concluded Peter Jenkinson, founder of Toyology and co-founder of TechUp.