Q&A with Toca Boca on Artist Play Series, Toca Ink Tattoos for Kids

Toca-Ink_product-image_1This month, Toca Boca launched the Artist Play Series, a new project that invites international artists to celebrate the synergies of play and art by creating tools for play. The result is a series of toys that encourage imagination and self-expression. The line kicked off earlier this month with Toca Ink, a set of six temporary tattoos by Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Virginia Elwood. The Toy Book chatted with Toca Boca about the new line.

The Toy Book (TTB): Is this Toca Boca’s first licensed product line in the U.S.?
Toca Boca (TB):
Toca Ink, the first product from the Artist Play Series, is not a licensed product. It’s a Toca Boca product.

TTB: How did Toca Boca select each artist for the temporary tattoo line?
TB:
Toca Ink is the only temporary tattoo product we have planned. We partnered with Virginia Elwood on it after looking at hundreds of tattoo artists across the U.S. for one that had a truly personal style and high artistic integrity. Virginia’s love for this art form is evident in her work. She has a classic style, yet her bold personality still shines through. We were drawn to how she comes across as an artist first and a tattoo artist second. [Read more...]

Toca Boca Collaborates with International Artists to Create New Play Tools

TocaInkToca Boca has launched the Artist Play Series, a new project that invites international artists to create tools for play, resulting in physical toys that encourage imagination and self-expression. A U.S.-based artist has created the first product, Toca Ink, and a second collaboration with an Argentine artist will be available later this month.

Toca Ink, inspired by the bold graphics of Toca Boca’s characters, was created in collaboration with renowned Brooklyn-based tattoo artist Virginia Elwood, who created six temporary tattoos that feature characters from popular Toca Boca digital toys, including Toca Kitchen Monster and Toca House. The second artist to be featured in the Artist Play Series will be CHU (Julian Pablo Manzelli), who currently lives in Buenos Aires, and is known for his work in art, illustration, graphic design, and animation.

Toca Ink is available now at the Toca Boca Shop, and Toca Boca and CHU will launch their collaboration at a public event in Buenos Aires on November 22.

VTech’s InnoTab MAX, with Android Content, Is Available Now

InnoTabMAXVTech has introduced the InnoTab MAX children’s learning tablet, featuring a dual-core CPU and a high-resolution 7-inch multi-touch screen, and supported by VTech’s library of cartridges, software, and apps.

InnoTab MAX also features an enhanced second-generation version of Premium VTech Kid Connect, allowing children and parents to exchange voice and text messages, photos, drawings, and stickers in real time between the tablet and a smartphone. In addition, Premium VTech Kid Connect includes parent-controlled family group chat, a multi-player game that lets kids play with approved contacts on their Kid Connect list, a Family Bulletin, and more.

The tablet comes with 15 onboard apps, and kids will be able to choose one free Toca Boca app—either Toca Lab or Toca Pet Doctor, after registering their InnoTab MAX on the Learning Lodge—as well as two more additional free downloadable apps.

InnoTab MAX is an electronic learning aid that grows with a child from ages 3 to 9 and beyond, bridging the gap for parents considering a children’s learning tablet, but also looking for in-depth Android content. As a child grows, the protective cover can be removed for a more grown-up feel, while the progressive learning content adapts to a child’s age.

As part of the InnoTab line, the InnoTab MAX is designed to withstand physical wear and tear from kids.

VTech to Offer Toca Boca Content on InnoTab MAX Tablet

VTech-LogoVTech has entered a content distribution deal with the leading digital play studio Toca Boca. InnoTab MAX, VTech’s first children’s learning tablet with Android 1 learning content, will include one free Toca Boca app available for download. Consumers can choose between Toca Lab and Toca Pet Doctor after registering InnoTab MAX on VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

Toca Lab lets children explore the world of science by experimenting with all 118 elements of the periodic table—each with its own unique personality. Toca Pet Doctor allows kids to care for, love, and help 15 different sick or injured animal friends, including a dog, turtle, bird, and more. All of Toca Boca’s apps are gender-neutral and non-competitive with no external advertising or in-app purchases.

InnoTab MAX, a 7-inch tablet featuring access to educator-approved VTech and Android apps, as well as VTech’s library of cartridges, will be available in October.

A Letter to the Industry from Björn Jeffery, Co-Founder & CEO, Toca Boca

Toca Boca CEO & Cofounder Bjorn Jeffery Photo[1]Dear Toy Industry,

Hope all is well! I’m writing to you from the App Store, where Toca Boca just had the biggest holiday season ever—we even landed in the Top 10! While the App Store is a space for digital products, so much of what you know about toys can be applied here—and there’s room for you to excel in this space.

Toca Boca started researching your products a little more than three years ago. We looked at play patterns and blockbuster toys—searching for themes that could work for us. Since you were such a key influence, I thought I’d attempt to return the favor. So here are a few things that we’ve learned from the App Store over the past few years that I would like to share with you.

First, think of the App Store as a toy store. If it was Toys “R” Us, you wouldn’t be putting your marketing material on the shelves. Yet that is often what I see in the App Store—an app trying to sell something in the physical world. Put your best toys on the shelves! There’s infinite shelf space in the App Store and many other toys from which to choose. [Read more...]