Kidz Bop, RCA Records, and Six Flags Launch Kidz Star USA Talent Search

Untitled1Kidz Bop, has partnered with RCA Records and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, to launch the 2013 Kidz Star USA Talent Search. The national talent competition for kids and teens ages 15 and under is hosted on Kidz Bop’s website, Young singers can enter online and in person for their chance to win an RCA Records recording contract. Now through August 30, kids can upload a 90-second performance video to Kids can also audition live at select Six Flags Theme Parks. The official Kidz Star Live Audition Tour kicks off at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. on June 22. The Tour then travels to nine other Six Flags Theme Parks throughout the summer, wrapping up on August 18 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif. Auditions and activities are free with paid park admission. This year, Kidz Bop has also partnered with teen media outlet, M Magazine, to showcase a weekly Kidz Star feature highlighting audition videos of the week.

Kidz Star fans can view contestants’ audition videos and progress on, where they will be able to interact with their favorites, vote, and rally support to help determine who will make it to the final rounds. Four finalists will be flown to Hollywood to compete on stage at a Six Flags Magic Mountain finale event on September 28 to help determine who will be crowned the next Kidz Star. The 2013 Kidz Star USA winner will be announced in October.

Last year, nearly 50,000 kids entered the competition. The 2012 Kidz Star USA grand prize winner and RCA Records recording artist, Dallas Wayde, is currently in the studio recording new music. Kiana Brown, the 2011 winner and RCA Records recording artist, is currently touring with the Kidz Bop Kids. Her latest single, “Hey Chica,” will appear on the upcoming Smurf’s 2 soundtrack.

The Little Gym, Razor & Tie Introduce CD Collection of Children’s Tunes

FC_002_0.qxtThe Little Gym International, an enrichment and physical development center for kids, and Razor & Tie, the creators of Kidz Bop, have signed a multi-year licensing agreement that will bring the music of The Little Gym to major retailers throughout North America.

For more than 35 years, the original music produced by The Little Gym has been an integral part of its skill-building curriculum, from parent-child classes, gymnastics, and dance to karate and sports skills classes to high-energy camps and birthday parties. Music at The Little Gym helps children build skills through active songs that expand vocabulary, musical games that teach cooperation, and lyrics that provide directions and cues to help sharpen listening skills and increase attention span.

Selections from The Little Gym’s proprietary music collection will be featured in a new CD series being produced and distributed by Razor & Tie. The collection will include classic The Little Gym songs designed to get kids moving, learning, and having fun. The first two releases, 25 Move-Along Fun Songs and 25 Sing-Along Fun Songs, will go on sale August 6 at more than 500 Wal-Mart stores, and on iTunes and

Each song in The Little Gym collection was composed and recorded by Robin Wes, who opened the first The Little Gym in Bellevue, Wash., in 1976, and Randy McCoy, The Little Gym’s Director of Curriculum. Together, Wes and McCoy bring more than 70 years of experience in childhood development and music education. The duo has built a library of more than 700 songs that support The Little Gym’s Three-Dimensional Learning philosophy of “Get Moving!,” “Brain Boost!,” and “Citizen Kid!”

The Little Gym International is also preparing to launch a line of children’s development and activity toys in the coming year, created in partnership with Aqua-Leisure Industries.


COMMENTARY: Help! Kids Should Know the Beatles Too


The Fab Four: George, Ringo, Paul, and John

I was commuting to work yesterday, minding my own business, when I heard a teenager telling her friend that her strawberry-themed bracelet symbolized her favorite song “Strawberry Fields” by Twintapes. Now as a rule of thumb, I normally tune out every single thing that I hear on the subway, but this particular statement stopped me in my tracks. To say that I am an avid Beatles fan is like saying that the band was “a little popular.” I have obsessed over their music for as long as I can remember, and I will stop there because I could go on and on for days on the topic. The band changed my life and made me fall in love with rock ‘n roll at a very young age, and it breaks my heart to know that teenagers and kids are being robbed of the tunes that made me love music.

The Beatles Yellow Submarine, released in 1999

The Beatles Yellow Submarine, released in 1999

This Beatles-oblivious teenager could not possibly go on thinking that one of the greatest songs of all time was written and recorded by the Twintapes, and this problem should be addressed in the future—for all our sakes. Presently, I have seven girlfriends expecting babies and a brand-new nephew—I know, there is something in that Alabama water—so I feel that it’s my duty to make sure that they are brought up listening to “Come Together,” “Revolution,” “Hey Jude,” and “She Loves You.” I want them to recognize the phrase, “We all live in a yellow submarine,” and I want them to know who wrote “Strawberry Fields Forever.” I took it upon myself to find kid-appropriate methods of Beatles introduction. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Introduces the New LeapReader

LearnToReadLeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. has unveiled their latest product, LeapReader: the complete learn to read and write solution for kids. LeapReader, from the creator of the Tag Reading System, is the next generation of learning that helps children build literacy skills and reading confidence. With LeapReader’s three essential experiences–learn to read, learn to write, and learn through listening–kids can sound out words, read sentences, write letters with interactive guidance, and develop comprehension skills through audio books and music, all available in the LeapReader library of more than 150 learning experiences.

The LeapReader Library

  • Learn to Read: Kids learn to read by sounding out words, reading sentences, and building comprehension through LeapReader books, maps, and flash cards. The LeapReader books help kids with feedback by not only recognizing letters, but also helping them through the irregularities of letter sounds. Some Learn to Read titles also include pages with 3-D elements. 
  • Learn to Write: Interactive LeapReader workbooks feature audio coaching and support to help kids learn the sequence of strokes and build writing fluency. These new workbooks feature revolutionary LeapFrog Learning Paper, which contains ink embedded within the page for a mess-free writing solution. These workbooks provide feedback on stroke order, and teach letters by similar curves or lines instead of in alphabetical order.
  • Learn through listening: LeapReader audio books, learning songs, and trivia challenges foster children’s comprehension skills, vocabulary, and imagination. By making the learning process interactive, it makes reading and writing more engaging and motivates kids to not only learn to read, but also to want to read.

LearnToWriteLeapFrog worked closely with world-class publishing partners, including Random House, Scholastic Inc., and Kidz Bop, to select the audio content for the LeapReader library. The library will feature children’s characters and audio books such as The Magic Tree House and Little Golden Books from Listening Library, a division of Random House Inc.; Clifford and The Velveteen Rabbit from Scholastic Inc.; and today’s hits from the audio series Kidz Bop.

LeapReader is available in pink and green for kids ages 4 to 8. The LeapReader will be available for pre-order on June 12, and it will be available at major retail locations and at in early July. All audio books and music albums will be available for download using LeapFrog Connect Application for LeapReader. LeapReader holds audio for up to 40 books or 175 songs at a time, works with most Tag books, and has a USB-rechargeable battery that lasts up to five hours.

Kidz Bop Announces Grand Prize Winner of Annual Kidz Star USA Talent Search

Kidz Bop has announced that 15-year-old Dallas Wayde is the grand prize winner of its annual Kidz Star USA Talent Search, America’s biggest national talent competition for kids ages 15 and under. As part of the grand prize, the Dallas native won a recording contract from RCA Records. The KIDZ Star USA Grand Finale event showcasing Dallas’s big win premieres across VEVO. Recording artist Gavin DeGraw mentored this year’s contests, and Nickelodeon star Ashley Argota hosted the series. To check out all the episodes in the Kidz Star USA series, visit VEVO: KIDZ Star USA. [Read more...]

Kidz Bop 23 Debuts at No. 2 on Billboard Top 200 Chart

Kidz Bop 23, the latest volume in the Kidz Bop audio series, entered the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at No. 2. Kidz Bop 23 is the sixth consecutive Kidz Bop title to debut in the Top 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and the 16th title to hit the Billboard Top 10 since the series launched in 2001. The album is also No. 1 on the Billboard Children’s Chart, where there are currently three other Kidz Bop albums in the Top 10. Additionally, Kidz Bop had its best digital first week with the release of Kidz Bop 23. Digital album sales are up more than 150 percent from Kidz Bop 22 and 86 percent from Kidz Bop 21. [Read more...]

Spotify And Kidz Bop Launch First-Ever Kids, Family Music App

KIDZ BOP, the No. 1 music brand for kids ages 5 to 12 in the U.S., is joining forces with Spotify, the award-winning digital music service to launch Kidz Bop Boombox, the first-ever Spotify app created specifically for kids and families. Kidz Bop is curating all music playlists for the app, which will be broken down into three different age groups: “Preschool” (ages 2 to 4), “Kidz” (ages 5 to 9) and “The Boom” (ages 10 and up). [Read more...]

Sakar, Kidz Bop Partner for New Karaoke Line

Sakar International and Kidz Bop have created a new line of licensed Kidz Bop karaoke gear. Kids can enjoy listening and singing along with the Kidz Bop hits. The Kidz Bop Karaoke Machine is a portable CD/CD+G and iPod/MP3 plug-and-play compatible player. The machine displays the lyrics onto any television screen.

Other items featured in the new line include the Kidz Bop Karaoke Microphone Stand, the MP3 Microphone, and the wireless MP3 Panel Speaker. The Kidz Bop Karaoke Microphone and Stand directly connect to any iPod or MP3 player and feature a built-in flashing light show. The adjustable stand and microphone come with an AUX cable and a user manual. The Kidz Bop MP3 Microphone automatically removes the vocal to any song and is complete with built-in sounds of a roaring crowd. A connecting cable is included with this item. A wireless Kidz Bop MP3 Panel Speaker featuring a flat panel design and high definition sound quality can also be purchased. The karaoke products will be available at Toys “R” Us.

Kidz Bop 22 Tops the Charts

The latest in the Kidz Bop audio series, Kidz Bop 22, landed a spot on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart, ranking No. 3. The album is also No. 1. on Billboard’s Children’s Chart. The Kidz Bop Kids, the faces and voices behind the Kidz Bop brand, will embark on a 22-city national “It’s All About Music Tour.” The tour will feature 11-year-old music sensation Ethan Bortnick.

Timed to coincide with the release of Kidz Bop 22 and the national tour, Kidz Bop and Imperial Toy will debut a new line of pop star role play toys. The line will feature musical microphones, keyboards, and fashion accessories.

The tour kicked off Friday, July 27 in Pittsburgh and runs through September 2. Tickets are on sale now, and tour information is available at The toys will be available in August from Toys “R” Us and other major retailers.

This post was originally written by Lindsay Gordon and published by For more news, visit, 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.

Kidz Bop Kicks Off Summer Tour

Kidz Bop will embark on a 22-city national tour this summer. The ensemble will be the opening act for the “It’s All About Music” Tour with 11-year-old music sensation, Ethan Bortnick.

Ethan has headlined more than 100 live shows across the globe and, through concert and charity events, has shared the stage with artists such as Beyoncé, Reba McEntire, and Natalie Cole. The summer tour will run from July 27 through September 2, timed to coincide with the release of Kidz Bop 22 on July 17, the latest volume in the audio series. Tickets for the July tour dates are on sale now at

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by For more news, visit, 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.