WIT Restructures, Unveils New Committees

Women in Toys (WIT), which recognizes and promotes the achievements of outstanding female leaders within the toy industry, recently underwent an organizational change and restructuring. Along with appointing Ashley Mady, president of Brandberry Inc., as its new board president, WIT’s other board appointments are as follows: Stephanie Barone, vice president of product development for Innovative Designs, as treasurer; Caitlin Gutekunst, senior manager, content acquisition and business development at LeapFrog, as regional chapter chair; Jennifer Quattrock, independent design contractor, as design chair; and Mali Baum, CEO of Beezeebee, as chair of international chapters.

WIT also has a new committee-based structure to support the organization’s goals and mission. These committees will focus on such topics as community involvement, empowerment initiatives, public relations, scholarships, and more.

Anyone seeking information about WIT should contact Heidi Schwartz at hschwartz14@gmail.com, or visit the WIT homepage.

USPTO Issues Milestone Patent to LeapFrog

Jan27.LeapFrogOn March 26, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) commemorated its 700,000th design patent at a ceremony with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker at Langdon Education Campus in Washington, D.C.

The patent for the ornamental design for a hand-held learning apparatus was issued to inventor and LeapFrog employee Jason Avery, and is currently assigned to LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. for its LeapsterGS.

“For nearly 20 years, LeapFrog has been a leader in life-changing educational entertainment experiences through innovation-forward solutions such as LeapsterGS, and we are honored to have our device issued the 700,000th design patent,” said John Barbour, chief executive officer at LeapFrog.

New LeapFrog LeapPad2 Custom Edition Lets Kids Personalize Their Tablets

LeapPad2CustomAlong with providing access to nearly 1,000 learning games and creativity apps courtesy of LeapFrog’s educational library, the new LeapPad2 Custom Edition from LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. lets kids create unique looks for their tablets.

Similar to the original LeapPad2, the LeapPad2 Custom Edition includes a tech-forward design with access to leveled reading experiences. It also has 10 sticker skins and 11 digital wallpaper designs for more than 100 different ways to personalize the tablet, as well as front and back cameras and video recorders and 4GB of memory. It also comes with nine free apps.

Suitable for kids ages 3 to 9, the LeapPad2 Custom Edition is available online and at major retail locations in the U.S.

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.

Modarri Kickstarts a New Breed of Toy Car

ModarriThoughtFull Toys has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Modarri, a line that seeks to reinvent the toy car space. The company’s intent is to create toy cars that are sleek and durable, yet also drivable, buildable, and interchangeable.

Modarri cars can be disassembled and redesigned by changing their parts, leading to hands-on experimentation with real physical objects. In addition, kids can learn about the physics and mechanics of suspension and steering by driving the cars around, and feel the differences in performance by swapping out parts.

Suitable for kids ages 6 and up, Modarri cars are built using a combination of metal and high strength plastic, with no screws. The planned color prototypes of Modarri include the Street Car S1, Dirt Car X1, and Track Car T1; and each car includes chassis, hood/windshield, seat pan, seat, fenders and frame, hex tool, wheels, and front and rear suspension. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Unveils New LeapFrog Learning Path App

LeapfrogLearningPathLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. has launched its new LeapFrog Learning Path. LeapFrog’s Learning Path is designed specifically to help support and guide their child’s learning with personalized ideas and feedback, fun activities, and expert advice. Developed in collaboration with LeapFrog’s in-house team of learning experts, the new Learning Path is available as a downloadable app for iPhoneiPad and iPod touch, a weekly newsletter, and a web resource.

The LeapFrog Learning Path provides a unique set of features that parents will use to help their child reach his or her potential:

  • Personalized learning ideas to help a child grow:Learning Pathgives parents access to hundreds of activities, learning tips, videos, printables, and more.
  • Share and discuss hot topics with other parents: Parents can join conversations with other parents, ask and answer questions, and get direct advice from teachers and LeapFrog’s team of learning experts. They can also share photos and achievements to celebrate their child’s progress.
  • Track progress and follow a child’s developing skills: As their child plays with a LeapFrog-connected product including LeapFrog’s learning library, parents will receive weekly updates on their child’s progress. This allows parents to share in their child’s success and identify and get additional support in areas where a child may need extra practice.

 

Toys “R” Us Expands Education Product Selection, Introduces Imaginarium Brand

Toys R Us EducationalToys “R” Us will expand its year-round education product selection in stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com. Filled with a broad collection of items, kids from preschool to fifth grade, parents, and teachers can now find the essentials they need to make learning easy and fun throughout the entire year.

Toys “R” Us is also debuting a new line of exclusive education products under its Imaginarium brand, the company’s largest range of specialty and learning toys. Imaginarium Learning offers shoppers dozens of back-to-basics, as well as inventive products, which promote early learning skills in little ones ages 18 months and up.

Under Imaginarium Learning, kids can discover the universe with the Lift a Flap Solar System and Lift a Flap World Puzzle, or learn their ABCs and 123s with the assistance of Touch & Learn Alphabet Fish and ABC & 123 Monkey. Additionally, magnetic tablets, like Magnetab Numbers and Magnetab ABCs Lower Case, teach small hands to trace and write, while double-sided write and erase cards and take-along boards provide activities that reinforce writing skills. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Transforms Mom and Dad’s iDevice into Learning Fun

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES LOGOLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. is offering two new innovative learning solutions that encourage learning as kids play, and turns parents’ Apple mobile devices into the ultimate learning tools. With the Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil Stylus and Writing App, children are encouraged to practice handwriting as they explore the town of Doodleburg with Mr. Pencil and friends. The Creativity Camera Protective Case and App encourages children to express their creativity through activities and gameplay designed to inspire little photographers.

Children Practice Writing Skills with Mr. Pencil
The Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil Stylus and Writing App is based on LeapFrog’s popular Mr. Pencil character and teaches introductory writing skills on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. The included app features interactive games and activities that encourage kids to practice writing letters, numbers, and drawing shapes by providing instant accuracy feedback using the Mr. Pencil stylus. As kids play through the game in the LeapFrog town of Doodleberg, they will unlock more than 85 different learning activities. Additionally, they will practice letter shapes, letter sounds, numbers,0 and counting.

Children Express Their Creativity Though Photography
The new Creativity Camera Protective Case and App, developed in collaboration with the award-winning global design firm Ideo’s Toy Lab, introduces kids to photography and encourages them to create and express their creativity. The Creativity Camera encourages children to embark on a photography adventure and explore their imagination through a tool that wraps around their parents’ iPhone or iPod touch, making it the ultimate camera.

The included app brings together physical and digital experiences to offer enhanced game play that lets kids pretend to be a real photographer, and go on game missions to practice their letters, colors, and vocabulary. The Creativity Camera features six modes: Camera, Gallery, Creativity Center, Silly Faces, Photo Missions, and PeekABug Catch. Through these modes children can take and edit photos to make silly pictures, go on photo missions to create special albums, and even play an augmented reality game.

Learn to Write with Mr. Pencil Stylus and Writing App, for kids ages 3 to 6, works with iPhone 4, 4s, and 5; iPod touch 4 and 5; and iPad 1, 2, 3 and Mini. The Creativity Camera Protective Case and App, for kids ages 3 to 6, works with iPhone 4, 4s, and 5 and iPod touch 4G. Both are currently available online and at major retail locations in the U.S., the UK, and Canada, and will be available in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Middle East this fall.

LeapFrog Partners with Random House for an Audio Book Library

leapreaderLeapFrog Enterprises and Listening Library, an imprint of Random House LLC, have partnered to bring Listening Library’s library of children’s audio books to the LeapReader platform. Listening Library’s audio books are available for download via LeapFrog’s App Center.

LeapReader is the new learn to read and write system 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. Children sound out words and read sentences, write letters with interactive guidance, and develop listening skills, comprehension, and imagination through audio books, music, and more all available in the LeapReader library of more than 150 learning experiences.

LeapFrog Introduces Read With Me Scout and Violet

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES LOGO
LeapFrog Enterprises has introduced Read With Me Scout and Read With Me Violet, two new interactive plush puppies designed to build early reading skills. Developed by LeapFrog’s team of learning experts, the products build off My Pal Scout and My Pal Violet, and offer an interactive story time experience with learning activities that build early reading comprehension, listening, and vocabulary skills.

Children can choose one of five books and as the pals read the story aloud, children build comprehension skills and early vocabulary. They also learn about the relationship between print on a page and the story as they turn the pages and listen to more than 70 spoken questions and audio responses. Parents can switch Scout and Violet into Sleepy Time mode to select a read-aloud story or eight minutes of lullabies.

Read With Me Scout and Read With Me Violet are the latest additions to LeapFrog’s line of Scout learning products that includes interactive plush friends such as My Pal Scout and My Pal Violet, My Own Leaptop, Chat & Count Smart Phone toys, and DVDs. The new plush puppies are available online and at major retailer locations in the U.S, Canada, the UK, and France, and will be available in Spain and Mexico later this year.