ENTERTAINMENT

Great Games For Kids

Tips On Toys Becoming A Superstar Kids Eye Bricks And Blocks Be Part of the Action Hollywood Blu-Ray Discs Kid-Friendly DVD's Grease Dance Game

Great Games For Kids

(NAPSI)—If your kids are looking for a fun way to spend time with their favorite characters, the latest video games from THQ can provide swashbuckling adventures, "sponge-escapades" and plenty of penguins. Three of this year's favorite new games are "Puss In Boots," "SpongeBob Surf & Skate Roadtrip," and "The Penguins of Madagascar."

"SpongeBob Surf & Skate Roadtrip"

In this SpongeBob SquarePants game, SpongeBob sets his sights on the nearest beach. Venturing far from Bikini Bottom on their newest fun-in-the-sun sponge-escapades, SpongeBob and friends take to the waves on surfboards and tear up all the gnarliest skateboarding turf with their wildest moves and tricks. On Kinect™ for Xbox 360®, players surf and skate through 12 totally tubular environments as they perfect their boarding skills. There are various customizable boards and seven different challenge modes. Using the built-in camera, players can even snap photos and show off their radical moves. With Nintendo DS/DSi™, players surf and skate across more than 100 maps and carve up 10 snowboarding levels that are unlockable upon completion.

"Puss In Boots"

In "Puss In Boots: The Video Game," gamers discover just how much swordsmanship, charm and flair one cat can contain, and the game lets players engage in real-time swordplay against an array of fiendish foes. With the game's motion-based sword-fighting element, players must swing, kick, block and unleash special attacks such as Puss In Boots' "Claw Frenzy." True to his nature, Puss will always find the time to serenade a señorita or two with his guitar. Available on Kinect for Xbox 360, PlayStation® 3 (Move-compatible), Wii™ and Nintendo DS/DSi handheld systems, the game takes players on a wild journey into the past of the legendary hero, long before he met Shrek.

On Kinect for Xbox 360, players can become Puss, stepping into his boots and using full-body motions to fight off banditos.

In the PlayStation Move-compatible version for PlayStation3, players can choose between their trusty controllers or the Move remote, which allows them to engage in motion-based swashbuckling.

With Wii, adventurers use the Wii remote to slash with Puss In Boots' sword, the Nunchuk to dodge enemy attacks and button combinations to perform special attacks.

On Nintendo DS and DSi handheld systems, the movie's storyline continues with an all-new plot that finds Puss engaging in dynamic swordfights, flamenco- style dance battles and dozens of other minigames for on-the-go fun.

"The Penguins of Madagascar "

Saving the world from a familiar foe is the subject of "The Penguins of Madagascar: Dr. Blowhole Returns—Again!"

This title has fans playing through three original episodes and interacting with their favorite characters. Players must thwart Dr. Blowhole's diabolical plan by overcoming obstacles, rescuing friends and conquering unique and hilarious minigames. Success in this superstealth operation relies heavily on each penguin's capabilities: Skipper's team formations, Kowalski's clever inventions, Rico's explosive tactical weaponry and, of course, Private's slippery maneuverability.

On Kinect for Xbox 360, fans join Team Penguin as the newest recruit—using their bodies as controllers to react quickly and nimbly navigate hazards and obstacles. With the uDraw GameTablet for Wii, players use their stylus to experience a number of new features unique to the platform.

On PlayStation 3, players lead Team Penguin through complex levels and operations, meet the colorful cast in brilliant high definition, and enjoy hours of replay value with tons of hidden collectibles and wacky minigames.

For on-the-go gamers, the handheld Nintendo DS version lets players find each penguin empowered with three brand-new abilities they must employ to defeat Dr. Blowhole.

For More Information

For more information, visit www.thq.com, www.penguinsofmadagascarvideogame.com and www.pussinbootsvideogame.com.

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A Playful Pup Can Be A Girl's Best Friend

(NAPSI)—Puppy love is in the air this holiday season, and a lifelike puppy can be a great gift for girls 4 years old and up. COOKIE, MY PLAYFUL PUP is a soft, huggable puppy pet that girls will love to cuddle up to. Through voice recognition technology, girls can talk to COOKIE, MY PLAYFUL PUP and the adorable pint-size golden retriever will respond when spoken to by moving her head, blinking and barking just like a "real" dog. The lovable pup will also respond to touch; kids simply pet their new best friend on the sensors located on her head and cheeks and she'll make happy puppy sounds. Additionally, COOKIE, MY PLAYFUL PUP will track her squeaky toy with her eyes and head when it's moved in front of her. Children can enjoy the friendship a dog can provide even before they're ready for the responsibility a live one can entail. Part of the FURREAL FRIENDS collection of lifelike animals, this pet comes complete with her very own collar and dog "bone" and four "C" temporary batteries included. Four "C" replacement batteries required. She's available at most major toy retailers and online at www.HasbroToyShop.com.

Content provided by Hasbro, Inc.

©2011 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved

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When Going To A New School Means Becoming A Superstar

(NAPSI)—Being the new student in school is never easy—unless you get to steal the show!

"Victorious™: Time to Shine" and "Victorious™: Hollywood Arts Debut" are the first video games based on Nickelodeon's hit live-action comedy television series, "Victorious." Players will not only have the chance to shine as a new student at Hollywood Arts—but they have a chance to perform their way to game stardom.

Each game offers players the chance to interact and fully experience life in the elite, Hollywood Arts world as a new student. In "Victorious: Time to Shine" on Kinect™ for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, players will experience more than a sing-and-dance game. This game focuses on immersing the player in various performances and offers them the chance to become their own superstar as they act, sing, dance, play instruments and star in their own music video to "Victorious" songs.

In "Victorious: Hollywood Arts Debut" for the Nintendo DS™ system, players experience a full year as a new student at Hollywood Arts and take part in crazy adventures with Tori and her friends as they explore various locations from the show and perform through fun minigames to become a Hollywood Arts superstar.

Both games by D3Publisher are suitable for the whole family and are perfect for sleepovers and parties.

For more information, visit www.d3publisher.us.

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Kids Eye Bricks And Blocks This Holiday Season

(NAPSI)—Some of this season's most popular toys target kids' fascination with building, and Hasbro is getting in on the action this year with the debut of its new construction brand, KRE-O.

The KRE-O collection features 12 TRANSFORMERS-themed sets, each allowing kids to build favorite characters from the classic TRANSFORMERS brand, including OPTIMUS PRIME and BUMBLEBEE, in either robot or vehicle mode. Stylized after classic 1980s TRANSFORMERS lore, the sets resonate with everyone from parent to preschooler and have already begun to "roll out" onto kids' wish lists.

In addition to popular characters, most KRE-O sets come with themed accessories and poseable KREON figures in robot or human form that add a pint-sized punch to the classic TRANSFORMERS universe. Best of all, since all the sets are compatible with other leading brick-based sets on the market, parents of even the most experienced builders don't have to worry about investing in a new brick system by introducing KRE-O bricks to their child's toy chest.

KRE-O sets range in both complexity and price, from sets for beginners priced at approximately $7.99 to deluxe sets retailing for $59.99. Featuring collectible KREON figures, two building options in one and compatibility with other major construction brands, each KRE-O TRANSFORMERS set is a gift featuring "MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE." Highlights in the line include:

• The TRANSFORMERS set contains over 500 pieces. Builders can assemble the popular character in vehicle mode as the notable semihauler or in robot mode to create the leader of the AUTOBOTS.

• The 2-in-1 BUMBLEBEE set allows fans to create and re-create their favorite AUTOBOTS character. In robot mode, builders can convert the wings into a glider for figures to balance on.

• The STARSCREAM set lets builders open the DECEPTICON jet's canopy to fit a figure into the cockpit, and blast off removable rockets and turbo thrusters.

• The MEGATRON set comes with "pincers" and a launcher brick for DECEPTICON blasting action.

Builders can also unwrap KRE-O sets featuring notable TRANSFORMERS characters such as MIRAGE, JAZZ, RATCHET, PROWL, SIDESWIPE and SENTINEL PRIME to re-create some of their favorite TRANSFORMERS scenes from past and present this holiday season. For more information, visit www.HasbroToyShop.com.

Content provided by Hasbro, Inc.

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Be Part Of The Action

(NAPSI)—If you like to think you've got what it takes to be a Blackwater operative, a new game can be a great way to find out.

The Blackwater private security firm has endorsed an immersive shooter video game that lets players point, shoot, chuck grenades, kick through doors and take cover from enemy fire in ways that give a true-to-life glimpse of what it takes to be a member of an elite fighting force. The game is designed to showcase intense, authentic physical gameplay modeled after the challenging obstacles that actual operatives train for and encounter.

Designed as the first in its genre for the Kinect motion-sensing system, it features more than 25 different Kinect moves through gesture-based control.

"Blackwater" is published by 505 Games. For more information, visit www.blackwatergame.com.

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Home Entertainment's Hollywood Mainstay—Blu-ray

(NAPSI)—As it celebrates its fifth birthday, Blu-ray technology has quietly emerged as one of Hollywood's greatest success stories and continues to drive the high-definition revolution across America .

Attracted to the format's super crisp visual and audio qualities, consumers have snapped up more than 200 million Blu-ray discs of their favorite films and TV shows since the format's launch. Over 29 million homes across America have a Blu-ray player—making it one of the fastest-growing new technologies in the home entertainment industry.

Blu-ray aficionados contend that its quality can't be beat on high-definition television screens, big and small. Filmmakers endorse Blu-ray because they say it transports the theatrical experience into people's homes—capturing every detail, every sound and every emotion as they intended in the movie theater. The discs are loaded with extras that provide consumers extended ways to enjoy their favorite movies—behind-the-scenes vignettes, outtakes and special interactive features. Further digital technology means you can download new content on Wi-Fi-capable Blu-ray players and smartphones.

So why isn't Blu-ray as familiar as VHS tapes, CDs or DVDs? And why do some pundits suggest that physical media may be on its way out? Much of it has to do with America 's appetite to access content anywhere, anytime. Services such as Netflix or Vudu give consumers the ability to stream content into their homes whenever they want.

Streaming media, and the ability to view streamed content on TVs, computers and smartphones, is here to stay. But the growing demand for Blu-ray suggests that both formats will continue to have a place in home entertainment for the foreseeable future.

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, in the format's freshman year, 6 million discs were sold in the U.S. , compared to a projected 119 million sales by the end of 2011. In the case of James Cameron's epic movie, "Avatar," the best-selling Blu-ray disc of all time, more than 1.5 million Blu-ray copies were sold on the first day it became available. Over 5 million Blu-ray discs of "Avatar" have been sold in the United States since it was released last year. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's film " Rio" also broke records when it reached the No.1 film in retail sales for more than four consecutive weeks, which hadn't happened since "Avatar." To continue to broaden its appeal, movie studios are also tapping into their catalogs to remaster classics for Blu-ray, including "Fight Club," "Thelma and Louise," "Last of the Mohicans" and "West Side Story."

There are more than 4,500 movie titles now available on Blu-ray. And by 2014, Futuresource, an industry analyst, expects that there will be a staggering 72.2 million connected Blu-ray players in the United States , up from 14.4 million in 2010. The Blu-ray player may also be an economical answer to the ever-changing home media industry. With many players priced around $150, Blu-ray players can play CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray 3-D discs, and stream movies. A recent survey of Blu-ray player buyers found that 42 percent purchased because it was affordable, compared to 26 percent of early Blu-ray buyers.

Another reason customers have flocked to Blu-ray is the advanced capabilities to take their movie with them wherever they go. Many Blu-ray discs also come bundled with a Digital Copy so they can watch the movie on Android or Apple smartphones. This remains a popular benefit as more people consume content while on the go. The mobile device also represents another great opportunity for moviegoers to interact with popular characters, play games and watch bonus footage.

As Americans pop in Blu-ray discs and watch images that complement their big screen televisions, the high-definition revolution fueled by the format is likely to win even more converts. The recent addition of Amazon's most requested title, "Star Wars," to Blu-ray has further proven that the Force is strong as it ranked best-selling catalog title of all time.

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Kid-Friendly Tips For Making Friends And Being True To Yourself

(NAPSI)—To have good friends, children need to first learn how to be a good friend, and parents are a child's No. 1 guide to establishing healthy friendships. Perhaps most importantly, parents need to show children how to value themselves and, in turn, find the value in others. Things you can do to help include:

• Demonstrate good listening. This may sound easy but it can be a challenge to put down the phone or BlackBerry, stop multitasking and really focus on what your child has to say. Make eye contact while the child talks to show he or she has your full attention and ask for the same respect when others are talking. You can monitor the progress they're making by listening to what they say happened at a playdate or on the playground.

• Help recognize strengths. Praising your children when they demonstrate unique talents or strengths helps to shape confidence as they begin to navigate social situations. In addition to calling out talents or skills, be sure to also focus on positive character traits, such as a good sense of humor or generosity. Whenever possible, encourage your child to celebrate friends' strengths as well.

• Notice their interests. Guiding your children to activities where they can meet other youngsters with shared interests is one of the most likely ways to introduce them to those with whom they can form and maintain strong friendships. Younger children often do best with one-on-one playdates as they explore various interests, but as they get older, larger group activities can be helpful. For example, kids who like playing soccer can usually connect with other friends on a soccer team, while those who like to sing or pretend can meet friends in a choir or theater group.

• Navigate conflict within friendships with care. All friendships have ups and downs, so learning to handle conflict with a peer is a valuable skill to focus on. Make sure that sharing, cooperation and taking turns get lots of reinforcement as kids become socialized. Sometimes, a good story or DVD can help open a discussion of more distressing emotions. "Cars 2," now out on Blu-ray and DVD, tackles honest challenges in friendship with loads of humor. Talking about the situations that racecar Lightning McQueen and his tow truck buddy Mater face can help your child think about ways to behave.

For example, in the movie, the clueless tow truck, Mater, with his bumbling, irrepressible innocence, proves to be a problem (just as McQueen feared) from the very first stop in Tokyo, where he mistakes a dish of red-hot wasabi for pistachio ice cream, to the final race in Italy where Mater's confusion jeopardizes the race before finally saving the day using strengths only he can offer. Families can use the film's plot to help kids open up about their own disturbing feelings and flaring tempers when friends do embarrassing things or disappoint in some way. Learning to express emotions is a valuable skill and when things get heated, tips as simple as reminding your child to pause, smile and focus on something nice about the friend can help cool the situation.

Mater's loyalty and good intentions as well as his car-geek smarts provide plenty of examples to help kids understand the value of friends with special talents. The cars' adventures in the film show how friends sometimes need to give each other space and time apart before they find it possible to genuinely apologize and be ready to make up, but that in the end, when each friend is true to himself and is eventually accepted and celebrated for who he is, everyone wins.

• Show compassion when things get hard. Go ahead and empathize with your child's pain but keep it in perspective. Making friends is a lifelong process and the shared bumps that kids experience are a valuable part of the most enduring friendships. Showing kids how liking yourself and your friends, dents and all-disagreements and all-is what real friendship is all about, and will reap rewards that can last a lifetime.

 

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"Grease" Is The Word

(NAPSI)—If you're looking for a game with lots of singing and dancing, "Grease" the video game may be the one that you want.

The chills are multiplying—it's electrifying—as players score points in a new game based on the hit movie "Grease."

With 15 songs from the original film, plus five bonus rock and roll tracks, the game offers hours of fun. The rock and roll routines from the movie include duet choreography and freestyle sections where players can get creative and earn extra points.

Up to eight players can compete for musical domination in party mode—two teams of four players, consisting of two dancers and two singers at any one time.

The game features both dance mode and karaoke mode.

The game will appeal to anyone who has ever wanted to sing and dance alongside The Pink Ladies or the T-Birds. It's available for Kinect for Xbox 360 and PlayStation Move. For more information, visit www.greasethegame.com.

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