Cupcake Digital Acquires App Developer Little Bit Studio

CupcakeDigitalCupcake Digital Inc. has acquired Little Bit Studio LLC, developers of the popular Bugs and Buttons series of apps for children. Little Bit Studio founders Scott Vann and Jason Luber will hold senior positions at Cupcake Digital.

Little Bit Studio will fold into Cupcake Digital’s broader structure of technology and marketing resources aimed at new products and marketing initiatives. The company will be making an initial investment in marketing and advertising to support the introduction of new products as early as the first quarter of next year.

Earlier this year, Cupcake Digital acquired another app company, iStoryTime.

Outfit7 and Toyze Team Up for 3-D Printable Talking Tom

TalkingTomOutfit7 Limited has signed a licensing agreement for its Talking Tom and Friends franchise with Toyze, an app store for 3-D-printed customizable game characters. Users will be able to customize Talking Tom and Friends characters into 3-D models, share their creations on social channels, and bring them to life as 3-D-printed toys.

Talking Tom is currently available on Toyze’s app at both Google Play and the App Store.

Toyze offers two options to model and produce toys. First is the free app for 3-D customization: The company’s intuitive, in-app 3-D editor allows users to personalize characters in 3-D view, add accessories and attributes, play with poses and sizes, and build their collections. Once completed, users can share their creation via Facebook, Instagram, and email with friends and family.

Users will also be able to [Read more...]

Build-A-Bear Workshop Gets into the Christmas Spirit, Launches Holiday App, Lets New Reindeer Reign

BuildABear.CometReindeerBuild-A-Bear Workshop Inc. has transformed its stores into Santa’s Workshops, is introducing eight reindeer, and will extend play beyond plush with the launch of an exclusive holiday app, Santa’s Merry Mission.

By visiting the company’s Team Santa site, children and guests can take a personality quiz to determine which of the eight reindeer is their favorite, and then follow steps to create their very own plush toy. Reindeer selections include Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. A special medallion comes with each reindeer and unlocks fun features in the app, including a stable, outfits, games, and more.

BuildaBearappOther features on the app include “Santa’s Merry Mission,” a new family Christmas story that tells the tale of how Santa partnered with Build-A-Bear Workshop this season; a sing-a-long to “Reindeer Bells” performed by Brandon Bassir, and more. The Santa’s Merry Mission app can also be downloaded for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Sesame Workshop Celebrates 45 Years of Sesame Street with New Apps, Games, and More

Cookie Monster and Alan Muraoka at the recent Digital Playground event hosted by Sesame Workshop.

Sesame Street turns 45 this year, and this past Tuesday, Sesame Workshop hosted a digital playground event in New York City to show off new apps, e-books, and other multimedia offerings for children age 5 and younger. During the morning-long event, several dozen little ones got to play test the latest in Sesame Street-branded games, which were set up at iPad stations. They also watched long- and short-format clips of Sesame Street online, courtesy of the brand’s latest digital video platforms.

During his welcome to guests, Scott Chambers, senior vice president of worldwide media distribution for Sesame Workshop, said that Sesame Street currently has an audience of roughly 5 million viewers on PBS. However, he pointed out that among the most recent generation of viewers, 63 percent of that audience is introduced to the program digitally; hence, Sesame Workshop’s latest efforts to develop the brand across a number of digital platforms.

Chambers, along with guest speakers Cookie Monster and Alan Muraoka of Sesame Street fame, took turns emphasizing the importance of self-regulation for kids–a theme reflected in several apps on-hand. One of the newest, Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame, teaches kids ages 2 to 5 how to deal with tough emotions by letting them play as a cute horned monster. Kids are presented with a choice of problem scenarios, such as having trouble getting dressed or getting ready for school, and then a choice of possible solutions. [Read more...]

Wal-Mart’s Initial Holiday Offerings Include Discounts on Disney Frozen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and More

logo-walmartFor its first round of holiday promotions, Wal-Mart has expanded its digital shelves to include 7 million items, which is one million more than last holiday season. Shortly after midnight PT on November 3, deals typically reserved for Black Friday and Cyber Monday will start on walmart.com, and will include discounts on toys and games, such as the Barbie Dreamhouse and Nintendo 2DS.

The retailer will also offer hundreds of weekly online specials on items that include toys and electronics, with same-day pickup at Wal-Mart stores available while supplies last at no additional charge, and free shipping to customers’ homes available for orders totaling $50 or more.

Wal-Mart has rolled out a new feature within its mobile app: Search My Store, through which customers can search for nearly any item carried in a Wal-Mart store and see that item’s availability, its aisle location, ratings, and reviews. Search My Store is available on Android devices and will expand to iPhones by mid-November. [Read more...]

Sago Sago and Monster Factory Launch New Plush Line

Sago Sago PlushSago Sago has teamed up with Monster Factory to create a new plush toy line that reflects the Sago Mini app-based characters popular among preschoolers. The upcoming line includes Harvey the dog, Jinja the cat, Robin the bird, and Jack the rabbit. They will be available online and at specialty retailers throughout North America in late November.

New App, Campaign Set For Target’s Holiday Season

Target LogoTarget has unveiled its plans for the holiday season, including a new Wish List app for kids and daily deals for toys.

Beginning October 31, a new Wish List app will be available for download. The app is a modern and digital take on the classic tradition of creating holiday wish lists. Kids can add items to their list and participate in an augmented reality feature that works with Target Kids’ Gifting Catalog, while parents can share the list with friends and family and receive special savings.

In addition, through the Cartwheel app, customers will receive deals throughout the holiday season, including 50 percent off a different toy every day from November 2 to December 24. All Target guests will receive free shipping on all target.com orders through December 20.

For the third year, Target will extend the time frame of its Price Match Policy for the holiday season beyond the typical seven-day window. It will be available between November 1 and December 24. Target’s holiday marketing campaign–which will embrace red, white, and Bullseye and encourage people to get into the spirit of the holiday season–will begin on November 2. The campaign will include broadcast radio, out-of-home, and catalogs.

VTech to Add STEAM Curriculum to Learning Lodge Content for InnoTab

VTech-LogoVTech will continue to grow its Learning Lodge app store with the addition of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)-based content for its InnoTab children’s learning tablets. VTech will be adding these subjects later this year.

The Learning Lodge features a language arts and reading, math, science, social studies, problem solving, and creativity titles to download. VTech’s Expert Panel, made up of top educators from key knowledge areas, has reviewed the apps. Content on the Learning Lodge is available for the whole VTech InnoTab range.

Tiggly Introduces Tiggly Counts, a New Kind of Counting Toy for the iPad

TigglyCountsTiggly has launched Tiggly Counts, inspired by the Cuisenaire rods used in Montessori classrooms, and featuring five colorful counting toys that physically interact with new parent- and educator-approved Tiggly learning apps for the iPad. Tiggly’s counting toys and apps are intended to help children develop number sense, counting skills, and a basic understanding of math operations such as addition and subtraction.

Tiggly Counts comes with three free apps available in 10 languages: Tiggly Cardtoons, which stretches children’s imaginations while they learn basic math ideas such as one-to-one correspondence, counting, and equal sets; Tiggly Addventure, in which children use counting toys to build bridges and ladders while gaining an introduction to number line concepts and improving their number sense; and Tiggly Chef, in which children prepare silly recipes with Tiggly Town’s greatest chef while learning numbers, early addition concepts, math symbols, and problem solving.

Arriving in stores on October 21, Tiggly Counts is currently available for pre-order at a discount by entering coupon code PREORDER30 when checking out on get.tiggly.com/counts until October 31. In addition, every customer who pre-orders Tiggly Counts using their unique referral link will receive a $5 rebate.