Leapfrog Announces LeapPad2 and Leapster GS

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., the leader in educational entertainment, announces two new platforms: LeapPad2, the next generation of the No. 1 kid’s learning tablet LeapPad, and LeapsterGS, the learning video game system.

LeapPad2 arrives after the success of its predecessor. Within a year of launch, LeapPad has received more than 20 accolades, including three awards from the Toy Industry Association (Educational Toy of the Year, Preschool Toy of the Year, and Toy of the Year).

LeapPad2 features higher resolution front-and-back cameras and video recorders, twice the memory (4 GB), and improved battery life. The tablet also includes free content: a music player with five LeapFrog Learning Songs, a Cartoon Director creativity app, an Art Studio creativity app, the Pet Pad writing app, and choice of an additional app. LeapPad2’s Cartoon Director app lets kids develop their inner director by creating and starring in their own cartoons, as well as sharing their masterpieces with family and friends.

Continuing with its education and entertainment products, LeapFrog will release the LeapsterGS, an updated version of Leapster Explorer. With a faster processor and more memory, the LeapsterGS delivers fast-action gameplay while building core skills for success in school and life.

LeapsterGS comes with free content, including the new “Escape of the Sillies” game app, the Pet Pad writing app, and choice of an additional app. Exclusive to LeapsterGS, the “Escape of the Sillies” app immerses kids into the game with the built-in camera and face-morphing technology, where they will customize faces of silly monsters while building their math skills.

LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS will be available for pre-sale at leapfrog.com in the U.S. and Canada, and at major online retailers in the UK and Ireland beginning July 18. They will be available at major retail locations in early August and in select other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries later this fall. The LeapFrog App Center can be accessed through the LeapFrog Connect Application for LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS platforms. For more information on LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS, visit leapfrog.com/nextgen.

JAKKS and CDI to Release Where’s My Water? Plush Line

Where’s My Water?, the international best selling app from Disney, will soon become a best selling toy. Disney Consumer Products (DCP) announced  that JAKKS Pacific, Inc., (JAKKS) and Creative Designs International, Ltd. (CDI), have teamed up to create a robust line of plush figures and novelty items that bring the game’s main characters to life.

Fans of the app can now collect the Where’s My Water? characters in an array of sizes. JAKKS and CDI will release plush versions of Swampy, Allie, and Cranky as 3-inch clip-ons and 7-inch, 10-inch, and 20-inch dolls. The companies will also launch a line of 2-inch figurines. Where’s My Water? toys from JAKKS and CDI are scheduled to be available this month at Toys “R” Us and Target.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

StoryToys Teaches Kids Through 3D Experience

StoryToys, a leading publisher of interactive books and games for children, announced that Farm 123 is available on the App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Farm 123 is the first in a series of StoryToys jr. apps professionally designed with toddlers and pre-schoolers in mind.

Kids learn to count as they help Farmer Jo around the farm in this pop-up book and game. They will learn the numbers 1 through 10 in a series of interactive scenes, such as a cow jumping over the moon, pigs making a muddy splash, and eggs hatching in spectacular fashion. Kids can also learn another language, with narrations in English, French, German, and Spanish.

Farm 123 is priced at $1.99 for the fully featured app, which includes a full book experience and seven counting games. A free version is also available and features the full book experience plus two fun counting games. Five additional games can be unlocked with a single, low-cost purchase.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Kurio7 Available For Preorder

Techno Source announced that Kurio7, the advanced Android-based tablet designed for families with children and teens, is now available for preorder online at Toysrus.com, and will be available in stores this July.  The Kurio7 solves problems typically associated with tablets that are passed from parent to child; allowing for safe Web surfing through fully customizable internet controls, while prohibiting the “accidental” purchase of apps.  Additionally, users can safely surf the Web, read e-books, draw, play games, take photographs, record video, watch movies and more.  Kurio7, a 7” tablet, comes preloaded with top-tier kids’ content, including some of the most popular games, e-books, videos, and educational content available, ensuring its value right out of the box.

The Kurio7 wi-fi enabled tablet allows parents to create up to eight unique login profiles, offering different levels of internet access for each member of a household, offer a highly sought-after security detail other tablets can’t offer. Each profile is governed by advanced parental controls, found in a password protected area.  The easy-to-use system includes a fully customizable internet content filtering system designed to allow access only to Web content that fits parameters set by adults.  It also allows parents to choose which apps are available for use in each profile, as well as controlling access to the app store.  Additionally, Kurio7 provides parents with the ability to limit session times and can allow access only during certain hours each day.

Kurio7 comes pre-loaded with some of the Web’s most popular apps, including full versions of games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Doodle Jump, Cut-the-Rope, Where’s My Water, and World of  Goo.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Griffin and Crayola Announce the Availability of Case Creator Case and App

Griffin Technology and Crayola announced the new Crayola Case Creator, a protective case and app combo that lets users create one-of-a-kind cases for iPhone and iPod touch.

Crayola Case Creator includes a clear, protective, hard-shell case that showcases users’ artwork. Users can snap a photo or grab one from their photo album, and turn it into a customized case. The free Case Creator app lets children add, resize, and manipulate digital stickers to photos. Kids can also draw in Doodle mode with the app’s built-in crayons, paints, and pens. All artwork from the Crayola Case Creator app can be printed on included perforated inserts, saved to a gallery, e-mailed, or shared to Facebook.

Crayola Case Creator is available from Griffin for $29.99 and the Crayola Case Creator App is a free download from Apple’s App Store.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Nerf Toys Go Technological with Nerf Blaster Challenge

Nerf recently announced the launch of the Nerf Blaster Challenge, an app that provides players with premade quests to test precision and speed. After completing the tasks, players unlock new levels, earn stars, and gain access to new artillery, including the N-Strik Rayyen CS-18 and Vortex Lumitron blasters. Anyone with an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, 3rd or 4th generation iPod touch, or an iPad can download the app for free from the iTunes store.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Child’s Play Adds LeVar Burton’s RRKidz to Client Roster

LevVar Burton

Child’s Play Communications has added LeVar Burton’s RRKidz brand to its client roster. In addition to launching RRKidz, Child’s Play will relaunch the company’s Reading Rainbow brand, promote the Reading Rainbow classic library of episodes (DVD and streaming), and announce the Reading Rainbow Kidz app.

Reading Rainbow ran for 26 years on PBS (1983-2009), and was co-produced and hosted by actor LeVar Burton. RRKidz will bring Reading Rainbow to today’s digitally connected children beginning with a reading and book discovery app that will initially launch for the iPad early this year. RRKidz aims to become a leader in digital publishing and a major, multi-platform, kids’ educational and enrichment brand. Burton, Co-Founder Mark Wolfe, and CEO Asra Rasheed run the brand.

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

AT New Media Creates New Game/App Development Services Division

AT New Media has created a joint-ventured development services division that will deliver apps and games on multiple platforms. This services division is aimed at agents and licensors who want to control and own more of the commercial upside of their properties, and integrate the interactive digital offering directly into their marketing activity and licensing strategy.

Simon Kay, AT New Media CEO, said in a press release, “It is a common misconception in the industry that the only option available to a licensor is to license out rights. That is no longer the case. With development costs for some platforms now being substantially lower than in the past, forward-looking licensors should be considering developing, controlling, and offering their own interactive component.”

AT is actively seeking to work with companies who are unsure about how to approach digital interactive components of their brand/property and can now offer an in-house interactive development option as well as the traditional licensing route.

Hasbro Showcases Lifestyle Goods at Licensing Expo

At the International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Hasbro, Inc. highlighted some new products, spanning several lifestyle categories, that are based on its properties. Here are some highlights:

Apps, Gaming, and Technology

Updating the concept of a family game night, Hasbro Family Game Night was released by Electronic Arts for the Wii. Families can also read a Tonka Chuck & Friends storybook app from Ruckus Mobile Media for the iPad. A new Transformers-skinned smartphone cover from Anzo U.S.A will be available for adult fans of the movie franchise.

Movie and TV Entertainment

A double-feature Transformers DVD can be a welcomed addition to family movie night. Families can also watch Hasbro’s Daytime Emmy Award-nominated programs, such as Transformers Prime, Family Game Night, and Pictureka ,on The Hub.

Youth and Tween Room Décor

Children can jazz up their bedrooms with their favorite Hasbro characters through a number of licensed products. Room accessories include My Little Pony bedding from Crown Craft (agreement reached in principle and subject to a binding contract) and Candy Land rugs from Gertmenian. The characters are also available in a number of clothing apparel options.

Wheeled Toys for the Big and Small

Transformers fans can ride the General Motors Bumblbee Camaro. Young fans can race around the neighborhood on Dynacraft’s Transformers bikes. Also for little kids, there is the Bumblebee and My Little Pony electric ride-on car from Hunter Leisure.