China Toy Fair


LeapFrog Tops Children’s Tablets Sales, Unveils Learning Video Series

Jan27.LeapFrogThe LeapPad line of learning tablets from LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. was the top-selling children’s tablet brand in 2013, according to year-end sales data from The NPD Group. LeapFrog’s LeapPad family of tablets—including the LeapPad2, LeapPad2 Power, and the 7-inch touchscreen tablet LeapPad Ultra—outsold competitors’ learning tablets and Android-based kids’ tablets.

LeapFrog has also partnered with Lionsgate Home Entertainment to release the first in a series of full-length learning videos featuring the next generation of popular frog characters made famous in the original Letter Factory DVD collection. LeapFrog Letter Factory Adventures: The Letter Machine Rescue Team includes problem solving and reading exercises, new songs, sing-a-long videos, and curriculum commentary for parents.

The video will be available for download from the LeapFrog App Center, on DVD, and digital HD beginning March 4.

COMMENTARY: Minecraft Brings A Whole New World

CARSONI admittedly didn’t know very much about the Minecraft toy and game selection until Halloween, when my uncle sent a photo of the costume that he had made for his son; who am I kidding—I knew nothing until then! My cousin Carson is a 5 year-old obsessed with the stuff! At the time, all I knew was that Carson could make anything look adorable, and that he had clearly moved on from trains and into this world where players can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3-D generated world. I can’t even begin to understand all of the insider ins-and-outs of Minecraft, and it seems as though the name represents an entity of games and licensed products. I do, though, like to get as involved as I can with Carson, as I am much more aware of the favorites of his sister, Kennedy, since they were the same as mine: all things pink. Man, girls are simple! In time for the holidays, I took the game home to see what this Minecraft business is all about, so I can get those ever-elusive little kid “brownie points” while I’m home for Christmas. [Read more...]

Zact Introduces Smartphone for Kids Featuring Disney Mobile Entertainment

ZactDisney.smartphoneZact Mobile brings kid-friendly smartphone service with preloaded Disney apps and content to families across the U.S. The Zact Mobile service will come preloaded with the hit Disney apps, Toy Story: Smash It!, and, Disney Infinity: Action! It will also feature access to family-friendly content such as Disney Video, Disney Music, and Disney’s Spanish-language destination, Disney ¡Ajá!

Zact also lets parents manage their kid’s smartphone use, and helps parents remotely control when their child uses the phone, which apps they can use, and who they can contact. Parents can either use a Zact-enabled phone to control their kids phone or they can download a free app, Zact Control, from iTunes or Google Play.

The Disney-themed Zact phone is available on the ZTE Awe, an Android 4.1 device with a 4-inch display and 5.0 megapixel camera. A free 4-month child starter plan is included with purchase.

Uglydoll Launches Android Plush in Google Store

Uglydoll.AndroidPretty Ugly, LLC and the creators of the popular Uglydoll brand have launched unique Android plush toys, which are available in the Google Store. The Uglydoll team’s collectible plush creations, Android Ox and Android Babo, can be found at the Google Store under the Fun and Android brand shop tabs. The toys are available in 11-inch plush and a 4-inch backpack clip accessory.

Zui Launches New Mobile App KidZui

KidZuiSaban Brands has announced the launch of Zui‘s new mobile app for its kid-safe internet browser, KidZui. Operated by Zui, KidZui is a downloadable browser that provides access to a kid-safe Internet experience to more than 6 million websites, online videos, pictures, and games. Designed to make the Internet both fun and safe for kids, the KidZui mobile app provides the entertainment and security that parents and kids have come to love from KidZui, on the go. The free-to-download KidZui app is now available for iOS download on Apple’s App Store and will soon be available for Android as well.

In addition to the new app, KidZui has launched a new software upgrade and refresh to the desktop version. The KidZui browser has several new features and functions making the program quicker and easier to use. It has been updated with a simplified design along with improved functionality to enhance user experience when used on Apple’s iPad.

Updates to KidZui include:

  • Favorites: Easy to use favorite or bookmark feature, allowing kids to save sites and articles for future reference.
  • Games: Mobile version will include HTML5 games for fun and safe game play.
  • Images and Video: Image and video quality has been improved.
  • Content Library: The library has been updated to included new fresh material for kids to enjoy.

With Singtrix, Singers of All Levels Sound Even Better

SingtrixSingtrix, a new music party experience, utilizes advanced, natural-sounding vocal effects to make singers of all skill levels sound even better. The Singtrix bundle includes the Singtrix Studio vocal effects unit, custom microphone, professional mic stand, and 2.1 stereo speaker system.

The Singtrix Studio unit offers more than 300 retro and modern vocal effects presets covering every generation and genre of music, including everyone’s favorite singing anthems. In addition to dozens of professional effects like reverb, flanger, delay, doubling, hard tune, and more, the Singtrix Live Harmony effects provide up to four additional harmony voices, and can be used to make the chorus or bridge of a favorite songs sound larger than life. There is also a “Hit” effect button on the microphone, which conveniently controls this and other effects.

Users can plug in a smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, or computer and choose songs from their own music libraries or stream karaoke videos from sites like YouTube. There is also a Singtrix-branded app powered by Karaoke Anywhere for Apple iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire tablets, which includes a library of more than 13,000 songs with lyrics, and is available for a monthly subscription fee.

The Singtrix Party Bundle is available online exclusively at www.singtrix.com.

Spin Master Launches Tech Deck for iOS and Android

TechDeckSpin Master Ltd. has released Tech Deck, a mobile video game based on its popular line of finely crafted fingerboards for iOS and Android. Tech Deck, developed by Free Range Games, is a free-to-play skateboarding title that combines the immersive thrill and excitement of pulling off perilous feats with the style and finesse of street skating.

Tech Deck features fast-paced, tap, hold, and slide mechanics that challenge players to chain together combos, grinds, aerials, and holds. The title also includes a roster of upgradable skaters to choose from as well as local legends. More than 100 officially licensed decks are represented, and Tech Deck owners can use their mobile devices to scan some of their real-life collections into the game and use them to skate.

Tech Deck is available to download for free in the App Store and on Google Play.

Frito-Lay and Activision Partner for Skylanders Giants

Skylanders-Giants-logoPepsiCo‘s Frito-Lay North America division and Activision Publishing Inc. have launched a summer promotion for Skylanders Giants. The promotion includes the free Skylanders Giants In-Store Adventure mobile app, which is available for download on iOS and Android platforms. Once downloaded, users can scan in-store barcode headers and special-edition Frito-Lay variety packs to see a Skylanders Giants character appear on their mobile device.

Players can also obtain limited-edition Skylanders Giants Sidekicks figures by purchasing specially-marked Frito-Lay 20-count variety packs and entering the in-pack code online. Four different figures, compatible with the Skylanders Giants video game, are available through this offer.

When shoppers use the app to scan all three Frito-Lay and Skylanders Giants in-store displays, they’ll unlock additional interactive content. The promotion ends September 2.

Gameloft and Mattel Launch Uno & Friends

uno-and-friendsGlobal digital and social game publisher Gameloft and Mattel launched Uno & Friends. Available for free on Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, Uno & Friends brings an entirely new social dimension to the classic, fast-paced, and competitive gameplay of Uno. With multiplatform play, Uno & Friends can be played anywhere at any time.

Fans can now drop Wild Draw Fours and Reverse Cards on friends, family, and Uno players the world over via smartphones and tablets. Invite and challenge up to three other players in real-time using social networks, and explore unprecedented customization for the most complete Uno experience on digital devices. [Read more...]

Geoffrey’s Jungle App Adds Star Wars Island for May 4

GeoffreyJungleGeoffrey’s Jungle, the interactive free app available for iPad and Android tablets, features Toys “R” Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe as he embarks on a safari adventure through different islands full of games and surprises.

Just in time to celebrate May the Fourth, Geoffrey’s Jungle features the all-new Star Wars Island. Kids can now interact and play games featuring their favorite Star Wars heroes and villains, including Yoda and Anakin Skywalker.

The adventure in Geoffrey’s Jungle begins with players customizing their own explorer character for the game, choosing the gender, skin tone and apparel for their explorer, including hat, shirt, pants and shoes. Children can also choose from approximately 20 first and last names for their character, such as Noah Toucana or Sandy Savannah.

Arriving with Geoffrey the Giraffe on their own starship, little adventurers can explore Star Wars Island and play the following games:

  • Whack-a-Sith: Future Jedi can try to “whack” as many Sith as they can with their lightsaber. As Sith pop up, players can use the lightsaber to make them go back down as fast as they can. Featuring Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, and more characters devoted to the dark side;
  • Slide Puzzles: Players can maneuver the pieces of the puzzle to reveal favorite scenes from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Three fun puzzles to choose from;
  • Coloring Activity: Adventurers can show off their creative sides with this coloring activity, which allows them to color some of their favorite characters and ones that they love to hate, including Yoda, Darth Maul, and Anakin Skywalker.

Star Wars Island also features a selection of the top Star Wars-themed toys available at Toys “R” Us, including the Star Wars Multi-Troop Transport from Hasbro and Lego Star Wars AT-RT Walker. Children can add their favorites to their Toys “R” Us Wish List with the click of a button.

Geoffrey’s Jungle is available for download on the iTunes store and Google Play Store.