Jakks Pacific to start offering Kinectimals toys

If those cute little plush toys in GameStop's and Toys R Us's Kinectimals bundles aren't enough to quash your need for plush, have no fear. Jakks Pacific has stepped up to the plate to offer an entire line of toys for the Xbox 360 Kinect virtual pet game.

It will be a new venture for Jakks Pacific, which is mostly known for its plug-and-play TV games. Its first wave of Kinectimals plush toys will include five animals and will be out next spring.

Toys R Us currently packs in a cheetah stuffed animal in its copies of Kinectimals, while GameStop has a maltese tiger. Anyone who bought the game elsewhere, though, only has the disc, but it was always in the cards to turn Kinectimals into a full-fledged merchandising opportunity.

They're more than just adorable little cuddly toys, though. By "scanning" them into the Kinect camera, the animals are brought to life in the game.

For Jakks Pacific, it's an opportunity to get into the console business... tangentially. "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," said Jakks executive VP Jack McGrath.

For Microsoft, it's a way to give the game a deeper experience. "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 Kinect studio manager Jorg Neumann.

Nov 29, 2010