Articles by Mike Fahey


The Elder Scrolls Online Has A Botting Problem

Players of The Elder Scrolls Online have found a cheap way to level up their characters, and they don’t even have to be at the keyboard to do it. Advertisement In the image above we see a group of The Elder Scrolls Online characters whose players are away from the keyboard, doing battle with absolutely nothing. Eventually enemies will spawn, and these players will get credit for killing them. That’s a problem. The characters in the GIF atop the article each wield a staff. Holding down the button assigned to ‘heavy attack’ causes an equipped staff to send forth an endless stream of magical bolts. So these players find a safe spot where monsters spawn regularly, like the Lluvamir Dolmen in Auridon, and then either set up a macro or use a rubber band to keep their controller button held down. Advertisement Since Dolmens, areas with regular special creature attacks, are popular places for players to grind, the staff-wielders generally don’t have to worry about getting hit. And since experience points are shared by everyone in an encounter, they can set their characters READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

blind bags

The State Of Toys In 2017

The biggest game of 2016, Overwatch, meets the biggest toy trend of 2017. The New York Toy Fair is a showcase for the latest and greatest playthings hitting store shelves in the coming year, but it’s also a good indicator of where the toy market is heading. In 2017, that’s directly to the inexpensive collectibles aisle. Advertisement Much of my Toy Fair coverage centered on the basics. Action figures, building toys, video game-themed items, expensive Japanese imports and the odd doll or two—these are the items I feel most resonate with our audience. But in the grand scheme of things, those old favorites are a small fraction of what was shown in the halls of the Javits Convention Center this year. You don’t see many brand-new action figure lines popping up these days, at least not from major players like Hasbro or Mattel. For them it’s about the licensed properties. Why take a gamble on something completely new when you’ve got brands like My Little Pony, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Transformers, Pokemon, and the like? Even a niche player like McFarlane Toys, which used to do a brisk trade in original READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Celebrate Pokémon Day With These New Gallery Figures

February 27 is Pokémon Day, commemorating the 1996 release date of the first two Pokémon games in Japan. The Pokémon Company is marking the occasion with the release of the first four entries in its premium Gallery Figures line, showing off fan-favorite pocket monsters performing their signature moves. Obviously crafted for collectors, the Gallery Figures come in lovely window boxes, perfect for people who would prefer to let their toys slowly suffocate to death than ever feel the warmth of human contact. And while they look great in their boxes, they look even better in the open. Eevee rides it’s signature “The More You Know” meme stars into battle, teaching us an important lesson about friendship. Magikarp just does the best it can. Look at that lil guy. He tries so hard. Mew brings those pink squigglies. And I am not sure Pikachu has ever looked quite so badass in toy form. Advertisement Advertisement While Tomy handles a lot of Pokémon toys in North America, READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Lego City Undercover Launches April 4 With Co-Op Mode

The updated version of the Wii U’s Lego launch title is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on April 4, and this time you don’t have to go it alone. Advertisement Though the feature was leaked in a Best Buy listing for the game last month, it’s nice to have official confirmation that we’ll be able to play Lego City Undercover with a friend in tow this time around. Co-op was a feature sadly lacking from the Wii U original, likely due to that game’s reliance on the Wii U game pad. Judging by the new trailer, which shows off togetherness after a stunning display of disguise by hero Chase McCain, it looks like Undercover will utilize the same scaling split-screen tech employed by most modern co-op Lego games, with the screen splitting in two when the players are apart. Given the scale of Lego City Undercover’s open environments, that’ll come in real handy. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

die anywhere else

Night In The Woods' Rhythm Game Is On Point

The dialogue, the animation, the music—so far I am loving everything about Night in the Woods, but as a rhythm game fan there’s one sequence that’s particularly near and dear to my heart. Let’s rock out. Advertisement Night in the Woods, Infinite Fall’s animated adventure game, tells the story of Mae Borowski, a cool cat who drops out of college and returns to the tiny mining town she grew up in. Strange things begin to happen, but not before she reunites with some old friends for a jam session. The song, “Die Anywhere Else,” is an anthem for those trapped in a small town with seemingly no way out. If you watch the video a couple times, you can even sing along. I’d seen the rhythm game bits in the screenshots and trailers for the game, but didn’t know when to expect them to come into play. One moment I am buttoning my way through dialogue, the next I’m the bassist in a croc and dog band. Well, really a dog and bear band. The croc just plays the computer. I love this little sequence so much I had READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

club penguin

People Are Racing To See How Fast They Can Get Banned From Club Penguin

Kid-friendly browser game Club Penguin is famed for rapidly banning the use of foul language. Now that the game only has a little over a month to live, players have turned getting banned into a speedrunning challenge, with a current record time under 40 seconds. Advertisement Getting banned for profanity in Club Penguin isn’t normally much of an accomplishment. The Disney-published game prides itself on providing a safe environment for children, and its anti-profanity have become the stuff of memes. Folks using bad words are banned quickly in Club Penguin. Now, as the game is being sunset and replaced with Club Penguin Island, the question is “how quickly?” Pretty fucking quickly. That’s current record holder 2KRN4U, who managed to go from fresh browser window to banned in 39.53 seconds, the first player (offender?) to break the 40 second mark while following the official rules. Time starts the moment you make your first input in your fresh web browser (using a guest account on Chrome is recommended). Make the account, make a temporary email, login, get banned. Time ends when the orange window pops up telling you that READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Lightseekers Could Be The Next Big Thing In Game Connected Toys

Mari, one of two Lightseekers races available at launch in July. Lightseekers isn’t another toys-to-life game. It’s got gorgeous articulated figures that talk, vibrate and evolve, powered by a mini-computer. They play in a Diablo-esque mobile adventure and are augmented by a massive standalone trading card game. It’s very impressive, but are people going to buy it? Advertisement Don’t even say “toys-to-life” around a member of PlayFusion, the employee-owned independent game developer and publisher that debuted Lightseekers as a successful Kickstarter last year. During a presentation held at the Tomy booth during the 2017 New York Toy Fair this weekend I was corrected several times. The term they prefer is “connected play.” It makes sense that PlayFusion would want to distance itself from the “toys-to-life” term. It brings to mind games like Activision’s Skylanders, which is taking a year off in 2017 following declining sales of recent installments, and Disney Infinity, which was cancelled in 2016 after three years of success. Both of those franchises features toys that were essentially colorful statues, the characters of which only came to life in their respective games when placed on portal devices connected to READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


You Will Believe A Mario Can Fly 

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s $50 or so worth of remote controlled flying Mario, also available in Yoshi. Advertisement It’s always nice to see a familiar face while scouring the outskirts of the New York Toy Fair. I found Mario here at the Carrera booth, hanging in out in front of the Mario Kart RC cars and slot car racing sets the company is known for. Last year the company released a Mario drone copter that they couldn’t keep in stock. This summer they’ve got a pair of remote controlled copters, and they’re really neat. Both Mario and Yoshi models will sell for around $50. Mario’s cape, in plastic for his Toy Fair debut, will be cloth in the final product. Imagine it fluttering in the wind as you watch the clip below. An lo, the skies shall be filled with plumbers and egg-pooping dinosaurs. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Many people have pinged me asking what Hasbro is showing for Yo-Kai Watch at Toy Fair.

Many people have pinged me asking what Hasbro is showing for Yo-Kai Watch at Toy Fair. We’ll have to wait until we’re closer to season three to see new toys, but they did have connectable Wibble Wobble figures, as mimicked here by the best demo guy ever, Eric. Eric Von Demoguy. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Look What Mega Bloks Is Doing To Pokémon 

In order to buy Gyrados you have to first purchase 500 Magikarp. Announced last week in advance of the 2017 New York Toy Fair, Mega Brands has added Pokémon to its Mega Construx line, with sets coming this fall. I got a chance to snap some of them during Mattel’s Toy Fair event, and they aren’t too shabby. Advertisement They’ve got basic Pokémon in plastic balls, which are pretty easy to get behind. Seriously, that Magikarp. For a guy made of bricks, that’s pretty accurate. Eevee devolved a little bit. Somehow I will end up buying a dozen Zubat and naming them after song lyrics. The smaller guys are also available as part of battle scene sets. That’s one dead Charmander. I am not ooking up the weakness chart to make a snide comment about this battle. Stepping up we’ve got the middle evolutions of the original starters, complete with fancy accessories. Wartortle doesn’t get enough love. And finally there are heavy hitters like Charizard and Gyrados, bug guys READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

action figures

Destiny Gets The Toys It Deserves

When a game is as pretty as Destiny can be, it deserves more than some Mega Bloks sets. McFarlane Toys sets things right this fall with a trio of Guardians, a fur-lined questgiver, a sporty ride and a $150 replica of a highly sought-after weapon. Advertisement Announced last week, the official images do not do McFarlane’s Destiny line justice. To get the full effect you really need to get up in there. The Hunter, Warlock and Titan figures look nice enough from afar. But you need to get up close to see the fine details like fading paint, cloth patterns and weapon details. Maybe right-click and open the image in another tab. Along with the trio of $19.99 player character figures due out this fall, we’ve lso got the massive fur-bedecked Lord Saladin. It’s the wolf head paint deco on the chest that gets me. Lord Saladin comes with an unmasked head as well, because he’s the 10-inch, due out this fall man. Advertisement Since we’ll obviously be READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

big wheel

A Very Happy Man On An Adult-Sized Big Wheel

I had to wait my turn while a silver-haired man in an expensive suit took High Roller’s adult-sized big wheel for a spin, but it was worth it. This was one of the happiest moments in my adult life. Advertisement Normally I am not a fan of pictures showing the entire expanse of my body, but now is not the time for such concerns. I didn’t care what I looked like the last time I was small enough to ride a big wheel down the street without breaking it, and I don’t care now. HIgh Roller designer and CEO had an excellent idea, one that many giant children often ponder but never act upon. His plan was to find someoone already making an adult big wheel and brand it, but no one was making one. So he did. And he is my hero. Available at HighRollerUSA.Com and starting at $649.99, the Adult Drift Trike isn’t cheap, built from premium materials for adults up to 6’9″ and 330 pounds. Here’s the breakdown: Advertisement Patent Pending Steel Frame and Fork Custom metal READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Somebody's Gonna Have To Choke A Pokémon

“Tighten your bond with your beloved Eevee. Hug this feature plush Eevee to make its ears move and activate cute sounds. Three modes with 10 sounds and phrases. SRP: $29.99. Ages: 3 years and up.” This is the official art from Tomy’s Toy Fair press kit for My Friend Eevee, the follow-up to My Friend Pikachu. This is not how you treat your friends. Advertisement This is how you treat your friends. I didn’t get a live picture of My Friend Eevee, as the version at the show is a work in progress, but I lost it when the Tomy rep picked it up and gently throttled it. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


These Pokémon Toys Are For Girls, But Boys Will Want Them Too

Oh my god I need it. Though Pokémon has always held broad appeal across all genders, toy maker Tomy says female fans have been clamoring for stuff made specifically for them. And so we’re getting adorable little miniature playsets, purse Pokémon and awesome headbands. Works for me. Advertisement I was initially confused as the Tomy rep took me through the girls section of the Pokémon booth at the New York Toy Fair yesterday, but I get the appeal of feeling like your favorite thing is trying to get your specific attention. That said, I am a firm believer in crossing aisle lines at Toys’R’Us. Cool toys are cool toys, no matter who they’re target at. I would wear these every day. Maybe with the wigs. And so we get official Pokémon plush ear headbands $7.99. And now I can carry around Fennikin in a transparent shoulder bag, which might be a dream I once had. Like purse dogs, only they don’t poop. But the stars of the Pokémon girls line are the new stylized figures and their little playsets. These little guys READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!