JAKKS To Launch Kinectimals Plush Toys That Work With Xbox Kinect

JAKKS Pacific, Inc. announced a licensing agreement with Microsoft to design and manufacture interactive plush toys - beginning with a King Cheetah and Maltese Tiger - that integrate with the “Kinectimals” video game for Kinect(TM) for Xbox 360(R) entertainment system that launched worldwide this month. In addition, JAKKS will produce a mainline plush assortment, which is expected to be sold at mass retailers in the U.S. starting in Spring 2011 and is slated to feature five unique plush animals in the first wave.

Limited collector’s editions of the “Kinectimals” game packaged with a 7″ plush toy are now available at select retailers around the globe. In the U.S., Toys “R” Us(R) will exclusively sell the King Cheetah limited collector’s edition and GameStop(R) will exclusively carry the Maltese Tiger limited collector’s edition. Both sell for $59.99 (US ERP).

JAKKS limited collector’s edition “Kinectimals” plush toys work with Microsoft Tag (mtag) technology, allowing players to scan the tag on their plush toy with the Kinect for Xbox 360 sensor and watch the King Cheetah or Maltese Tiger appear in the game. With their very own plush pals, players can keep their new friends with them even when they’re away from their Xbox 360s.

Jack McGrath, Executive Vice President, Operations for JAKKS Pacific, stated, “We are excited to launch an interactive product based on one of the Kinect for Xbox 360 launch titles and pioneer a new way of gameplay.”

“Kinectimals” invites children, their parents and animal lovers of all ages to build lasting friendships with some of the world’s most exotic creatures. Players embark on a journey of discovery with their pets using full body movement, voice commands and gestures, made possible by the controller-free magic of Kinect for Xbox 360. Just like real pets, animals will come running when they hear the player’s voice, respond to commands like “jump,” “roll-over” and “play dead,” and purr with joy when they are scratched behind the ears.

The “Kinectimals” journey begins when players adopt and name one of five playful feline friends and set out to discover the island they live on. As they journey with their cub to solve the “Legend of Felis Aurum” (the Gold Cat), they will unlock six more animals. The standalone “Kinectimals” game sells for $49.99 (US SRP). For $59.99, the limited collector’s editions allow players to add a choice of two additional furry friends — an exclusive Maltese Tiger or King Cheetah — to the game.

“Our goal with ‘Kinectimals’ was to create a game where players could form a strong emotional bond with animals, so we thought it would be a great extension to have a physical version of our adorable cubs that people could take home, play with and collect,” said Jorg Neumann, Studio Manager for Kinect games. “JAKKS was the perfect partner to create the type of plush toys we felt contained the same high quality and emotional value we focused on in the game. We couldn’t be happier with the end product.”

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