China Toy Fair


VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Line Available Exclusively at Toys “R” Us

VTech.GoGoSmartFriendsBusySoundsVTech has launched Go! Go! Smart Friends, available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com.

The Go! Go! Smart Friends line features colorful play sets and characters that infuse traditional role-play with modern technology. MagicPoint locations bring the characters and play sets to life with lights, sounds, and music.

The Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home is an interactive house featuring nine MagicPoint locations that encourage imaginative play and emphasize cause and effect relationships. Additionally, it includes VTech’s new MagicChat feature, which allows two figures to chat and sing songs together.

The Go! Go! Smart Friends Spin-Around Sounds Carnival features five MagicPoint locations and five play pieces that can be used together to encourage creative play. [Read more...]

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.

COMMENTARY: Back to School Goes Full STEAM Ahead

The back-to-school season usually means the smell of newly sharpened pencils, a new wardrobe, and denial that the precious summer months have come to a close. You’ve probably heard the acronym STEAM being thrown around here and there, but this movement is making a bigger impact on the toy industry than ever before.

STEAM puts an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art, and math, and these concepts have definitely made their way to back-to-school gear. But companies are doing a lot more than just making educational toys. They’re creating products that have value added to them—something kids appreciate without even knowing, and parents love for all of the extra benefits. [Read more...]

VTech’s InnoTab 3S Plus and InnoTab 3 Plus Now Available

InnoTab 3-3S Plus Availability Release FINAL[2]VTech’s newest children’s learning tablets—the InnoTab 3S Plus and the InnoTab 3 Plus—are now available. Each 5-inch tablet features a rechargeable battery power pack, as well as access to more than 800 learning cartridges, software, and apps that can be purchased and downloaded through VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

InnoTab 3S Plus features Wi-Fi and comes with 16 apps, including free access to an enhanced second generation of Premium VTech Kid Connect, a tablet-to-mobile communication app that lets kids communicate in real time and exchange voice and text messages, photos, drawings, and stickers with their parents’ smartphones. Meanwhile, InnoTab 3 Plus comes with 12 apps, and is priced to be a first learning tablet for price-conscious parents. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Battery-Powered Toys Are Still as Relevant as Ever

VTech.chompandcountdino

VTech’s Chomp & Stomp Dino

Toy stores today offer kids an ever-impressive selection of playthings that do more and more each year. From video games to talking plush, appcessories to robotics, it seems like there is no end in sight for innovation in the toy industry. I’ve often wondered just how far toys will go—it seems that literally anything is possible these days, with the right amount of willpower and support. Will we see invisibility cloaks? Toys that let kids fly? Time machines? The list goes on and on. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Even More Smart Devices Are Available for Kids

Toy companies creating kid-friendly and parent-approved technology has been a trend for some time, with no signs of slowing down in sight. In the recent past, tablets such as the Kurio 7s and LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra dominated the kiddie-tech market with durable rubber casings, safe settings, and easy-to-set parental controls. Now, however, manufacturers are focusing on putting different devices in the hands and on the wrists of kids. [Read more...]

VTech Extends Go! Go! Smart Wheels Line with Go! Go! Smart Animals

gogoanimalsVTech‘s Go! Go! Smart Animals, a new extension to the acclaimed Go! Go! Smart Wheels line, are now available online and at retailer nationwide. Go! Go! Smart Animals offers animal-themed play sets that let kids explore the natural wonders of a zoo, travel through a forest, and explore a tree house with colorful animal friends.

Similar to the Go! Go! Smart Wheels line, Go! Go! Smart Animals feature playsets with SmartPoint locations that can be recognized by every SmartPoint vehicle and animal in the line. As a vehicle or animal is rolled over a playset’s various SmartPoints, it will flash and play greetings, fun sounds, short tunes, and sing-along songs.

The playsets also feature colorful tracks that can be reconfigured or connected to other Go! Go! Smart Animals or Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets, each sold separately.

Sean Hynes Joins VTech as Vice President of Sales

New-VTech-LogoVTech has appointed Sean Hynes as vice president of sales. A marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience in sales leadership and brand management, including 15 years in the toy industry, Hynes will oversee VTech’s sales operations from its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, Ill.

In his new role, Hynes will aim to increase sales of VTech’s newest products, including the Kidizoom Smartwatch and the InnoTab MAX. He will also oversee sales of additions to VTech’s extensive infant/preschool range, Switch & Go Dinos Turbo, Go! Go! Smart Wheels, and brand expansion, Go! Go! Smart Animals. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Adds VP of Sales and VP of Platform Marketing

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES LOGOLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. recently added two executives: Dan Burns and Scott A. Steinberg.

Burns joins LeapFrog as vice president of sales. In his new role, Burns will lead LeapFrog’s efforts to drive sales of the company’s award-winning products, including the recently unveiled LeapTV active video gaming system, the new LeapBand activity tracker, and more.

Prior to joining LeapFrog, Burns was vice president of sales at VTech Electronics for 10 years, where he drove record sales revenue and profit, set the strategy for global brand and product development efforts, and led retail merchandising initiatives for all sales accounts. He previously held executive sales positions at Radio Flyer Corporation and Hedstrom Corporation, as well as management positions at Hasbro and Kolcraft. [Read more...]

VTech Taps Jennifer Eiselein to Lead Marketing Team

VTech-LogoVTech has hired Jennifer Eiselein, a former Amazon senior manager who was instrumental in the launches of the company’s Kindle tablets and e-readers, as its new marketing director. She will lead VTech’s marketing team from its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, oversee the creation and execution of innovative campaigns for VTech’s brands, employ strategies to generate brand awareness, and target customers to enhance growth in key markets.

Prior to joining VTech, Eiselein served as senior manager for merchandising and marketing at Amazon’s Appstore in the U.S. and Canada.