American Girl to Open Shop-in-Shop Boutiques in Mexico

AmericanGirlAmerican Girl has partnered with El Palacio de Hierro, Mexico’s largest high-end retailer, to bring its line of products to Mexico, the company’s second international location.

Visitors to the new American Girl specialty boutiques will find a curated assortment of the company’s most popular products, including the My American Girl personalized, contemporary doll line and the annually-launched Girl of the Year dolls. They will also carry a selection of the company’s Dress Like Your Doll clothing for girls, as well as American Girl books, which will be translated into Spanish. In addition, there will be the signature Doll Hair Salon.

 The first two American Girl shop-in-shop boutiques will open next summer at El Palacio de Hierro’s Perisur and Interlomas locations in Mexico City, followed by a third boutique at the Polanco location in next fall.

New LeapTV, from LeapFrog, Offers an Educational and Active Video Game Experience

LeapTVLeapTV, from LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. for children ages 3 to 8, is now available online and at major retail locations across the U.S. The new video game console system combines activity and movement with a best-in-class educational curriculum.

LeapTV features simple and intuitive user interfaces created with younger children in mind, and provides three ways to play: motion control, pointer play, and classic controller mode. The system’s camera puts children right into the game, and lets them see themselves dance, play sports, and more while experiencing curricular challenges along the way. LeapTV also includes a transforming gaming controller specifically designed for children’s small hands and limited dexterity.

The LeapTV system includes console, motion-sensing camera, camera mount, transforming controller with wrist strap, HDMI cable, 16GB of memory, and built-in Wi-Fi for downloading apps. It also provides access to LeapFrog’s Learning Library of more than 100 game cartridges, game downloads, and videos designed or approved by LeapFrog’s team of gaming and learning experts. [Read more...]

Madame Alexander Goes International with New Line of Dolls

madamealexanderThe Madame Alexander Doll Company’s new play doll series, Travel Friends–International Collection, will showcase nine countries and encourage children to learn about and embrace a variety of cultures from around the world.

Each doll welcomes kids into her world with a Hello! from her county and offers fun facts and highlights of interesting places to explore in her hometown. The 7-inch dolls are sized for playful portability and crafted with details of each country’s cultures and costumes.

The countries in the series are France, Italy, India, Kenya, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, China, and Russia. The bendable and posable dolls are the first collection in an ongoing Madame Alexander Play series designed for kids ages 3 and up.

Discovery Family Channel to Air Latest My Little Pony Equestria Girls Film

Discovery Family Equestria GirlsDiscovery Family Channel (formerly Hub Network) has obtained exclusive broadcast rights to Hasbro StudiosMy Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks film. It will air on October 17 at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.

This is the second film featuring the My Little Pony characters that are magically transformed into teenage girls in high school. The first movie premiered last June.

Gryphon House Teaches Kids About Science

Science-Not Just for Scientists!

Science—Not Just for Scientists!, from Gryphon House Inc., teaches kids about the world of scientific discovery. The book features more than 40 pages of hands-on activities, reproducible handouts, and colorful photos that empower children to question, experiment, and develop abstract reasoning skills. With the help of step-by-step instructions and lists of easy-to-find materials, children ages 3 to 6 will explore the water cycle, simple machines, energy paths, and more.

Six-Year-Old from Ohio Creates Winning Outfit for Super Lottie

Oct9.LottieUK toymaker Arklu has announced the winning design for its Lottie doll superhero competition, which was part of a campaign launched to demonstrate that girls can be superheroes, too. The contest was independently judged by the Brave Girls Alliance.

The winning design was inspired by 6-year-old Lily from Ohio. As part of her entry, Lily was asked to define Super Lottie’s abilities. She said Lottie’s superpowers should include “the power to be anything, to do anything, and to make the world a better place. She is unique and special in her own way.”

The set marks the first time that a crowd-sourced design by a child has gone into commercial production.

Lottie dolls were created with a focus on maintaining wholesome characteristics. The dolls have a healthy, childlike body shape, wear childlike clothing (no make-up, high heels, or tattoos), and represent wholesome pastimes. This year, Arklu also introduced a range of dolls exploring gender-empowering, adventurous themes.

Lottie’s new outfit and a matching kids costume inspired by Lily’s design are available now.

VTech’s InnoTab MAX, with Android Content, Is Available Now

InnoTabMAXVTech has introduced the InnoTab MAX children’s learning tablet, featuring a dual-core CPU and a high-resolution 7-inch multi-touch screen, and supported by VTech’s library of cartridges, software, and apps.

InnoTab MAX also features an enhanced second-generation version of Premium VTech Kid Connect, allowing children and parents to exchange voice and text messages, photos, drawings, and stickers in real time between the tablet and a smartphone. In addition, Premium VTech Kid Connect includes parent-controlled family group chat, a multi-player game that lets kids play with approved contacts on their Kid Connect list, a Family Bulletin, and more.

The tablet comes with 15 onboard apps, and kids will be able to choose one free Toca Boca app—either Toca Lab or Toca Pet Doctor, after registering their InnoTab MAX on the Learning Lodge—as well as two more additional free downloadable apps.

InnoTab MAX is an electronic learning aid that grows with a child from ages 3 to 9 and beyond, bridging the gap for parents considering a children’s learning tablet, but also looking for in-depth Android content. As a child grows, the protective cover can be removed for a more grown-up feel, while the progressive learning content adapts to a child’s age.

As part of the InnoTab line, the InnoTab MAX is designed to withstand physical wear and tear from kids.

Laser Pegs Announces New Peg Head Line of Building Kits, Animated Short Stories

LaserPegs.PegHeadsLaser Pegs will be featured in a new line of Peg Head-themed building kits accompanied by animated short stories.

Peg Heads building kits include customizable Mini Figures with interchangeable horn, eye, mouth, body with moveable arm, and leg blocks. The three Peg Head characters—Zippy, Peg, and Spinner—have 144 different face combinations between them.

Laser Pegs will also release three light-up Big Figures that work with other Peg Heads building pieces. Both the mini-figures and Big Figures can be integrated into any existing Laser Pegs set.

Jeffery Scott, who has written more than 700 scripts for various animated series, wrote the animated short stories.

The Peg Head kits are non-gendered, and the pieces are compatible with other major construction kits on the market today. Intended for kids ages 3 and up, Peg Heads will be available next year.

Toy Insider Experts Name Top Holiday Toys in Their Hot 20 and Top Tech 12 Lists

The Toy Insider logoThe Toy Insider has announced its Hot 20 and Top Tech 12 holiday toy lists, giving gift-givers a sneak peek at the must-have traditional and high-tech toys this holiday season. From Doc McStuffins to Elmo, Lego Fusion to LeapTV, each list includes top picks for kids of all ages. Covering a variety of play patterns, including classic toys and high-tech options, the Toy Insider gives parents and gift-givers a head start on finding toys for the holidays.

The Hot 20 and the Top Tech 12 are the kick-off sections of the Toy Insider holiday gift guide, which will appear in the November issue of Woman’s Day magazine, as well as www.toyinsider.com. The guide is broken down by age group (0-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9+) with in-depth descriptions and a unique skill key of developmental needs and interests for each toy.

Sprout Introduces New Sprout Channel Cubby Tablet

SproutLogoThe 24-hour preschool TV destination Sprout has its own kids’ tablet, the Sprout Channel Cubby, which will be available this October at Wal-Mart stores and at walmart.com. Produced by Ematic for kids ages 2 to 6, the Cubby features trusted entertainment and learning content preloaded onto the tablet, and will include special credits for vudu.com, allowing customers to download additional content.

SproutCubby.vers2The preloaded content accessible without Wi-Fi connectivity includes full episodes of Sprout shows, such as The Chica Show, Barney, Fireman Sam, Chloe’s Closet, and the premiere episode of Astroblast; music videos; and songs. Meanwhile, the preloaded, Sprout-recommended apps include Sproutlet Weather Report, favorite characters The Wiggles, and more. [Read more...]