Author: Abby Oladipo

American International Toy Fair to Host Digital Kids Conference

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and media company Engage Digital have announced that the eighth annual Digital Kids Conference will co-locate with the American International Toy Fair in February at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Taking place February 18 to 19, the Digital Kids Conference will address new strategies, tools, and marketplace insight that will enable youth-focused media professionals to create digital toys, games, and media services for kids. The partnership between the two shows will provide Toy Fair attendees with access to the Digital Kids Conference, and TIA members will receive reduced rates to attend the sessions. Digital Kids attendees will gain access to the Toy Fair show floor, where they will be among the first to view 150,000 new toys and games on display by more than 1,000 toy companies. Toy Fair 2014 will be held from February 16 to 19. Toy Fair will showcase the year’s new products and also include an educational program designed to help toy inventors and designers, licensors, independent and specialty retailers, and many more constituents grow their businesses, comply with new safety requirements, identify the biggest toy trends of the year, and...

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LeapFrog Introduces Read With Me Scout and Violet

LeapFrog Enterprises has introduced Read With Me Scout and Read With Me Violet, two new interactive plush puppies designed to build early reading skills. Developed by LeapFrog’s team of learning experts, the products build off My Pal Scout and My Pal Violet, and offer an interactive story time experience with learning activities that build early reading comprehension, listening, and vocabulary skills. Children can choose one of five books and as the pals read the story aloud, children build comprehension skills and early vocabulary. They also learn about the relationship between print on a page and the story as they turn the pages and listen to more than 70 spoken questions and audio responses. Parents can switch Scout and Violet into Sleepy Time mode to select a read-aloud story or eight minutes of lullabies. Read With Me Scout and Read With Me Violet are the latest additions to LeapFrog’s line of Scout learning products that includes interactive plush friends such as My Pal Scout and My Pal Violet, My Own Leaptop, Chat & Count Smart Phone toys, and DVDs. The new plush puppies are available online and at major retailer locations in the U.S, Canada, the UK, and France, and will be available in Spain and Mexico later this...

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Innovation First Announces Two New Hexbug Product Lines

Innovation First International (IFI) has announced that its two new Hexbug micro robotic product lines, Nano V2 and Aquabot, are now available at specialty and mass retailers nationwide, including Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, and RadioShack. This month also marks the launch of company’s “They Can Climb” marketing campaign, playing off the Nano V2 feature, with a mix of TV advertising across all children’s TV networks, a series of consumer-generated online and social media contests, and an experiential marketing integration event that it hosted at the X Games X Fest Los Angeles. IFI’s comprehensive fall TV public relations and advertising schedule will also include the Aquabot as well as some of the Hexbug Micro Robotic Creatures. Hexbug is using social media tools like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Vine for its “They Can Climb” video contest. To participate, entrants need a Vine, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram account and to include the “#theycanclimb” along with a capture of something that incorporates Hexbugs. Every entrant will receive a $5 promo code off his or her next purchase on www.hexbug.com. Weekly winners will also be chosen to receive a Nano V2 Black Hole set and will also be featured on...

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Shout! Factory Partners with Hasbro Studios for Animated Series

Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios have announced a new distribution agreement to bring a library of nine animated adventure movie and pop culture TV hits to the home entertainment marketplace in the U.S and Canada. This multi-year, multi-property alliance provides Shout! Factory exclusive rights to My Little Pony animated family adventures My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade, My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas, My Little Pony: Runaway Rainbow, My Little Pony: Dancing in the Clouds, and My Little Pony: Friends are Never Far Away. The deal also includes TV properties Transformers Animated (2007-2009 TV series), Transformers: Armada (2002 TV series), Transformers: Energon (2004 TV series), and Transformers: Cybertron (2005 TV...

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PopCap Launches Plants vs. Zombies 2

PopCap Games has released the Plants vs. Zombies 2 game. The sequel to Plants vs. Zombies will initially be available exclusively for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Featuring a time travel theme, Plants vs. Zombies 2 is free to play and can be found on the App Store around the world in seven different languages with additional languages supported soon. The game will be available for other platforms later this year. PopCap also unveiled the official launch trailer for Plants vs. Zombies 2 on its YouTube channel. Designed as an ever-expanding universe that will offer regular updates including new worlds full of new plants, zombies, and challenges beyond the first three that comprise the initial game, Plants vs. Zombies 2 extends the gameplay of the original game and provides players with dozens of new levels, plants, and zombies. While the vast majority of the game is entirely free to play, Plants vs. Zombies 2 players can also purchase upgrades and other in-game items. In addition to new places, Plants vs. Zombies 2 includes a variety of gameplay enhancements, including Plant Food, which drops from glowing zombies and offers a temporary but powerful boost to plant attacks. Plants vs. Zombies 2 also includes new gesture-based power-ups that enable players to interact with zombies directly and  augment their plant defenses. Other features include touch screen power ups, side missions, and mini...

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