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‘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.
VTech 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 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 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.
Today, VTech launched its first ever camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch. The world’s first smartwatch for kids, its features include a built-in camera, video, and photo effects. The Kidizoom Smartwatch also has a 1.4-inch color touch screen, more than 50 digital and analog clock displays that help kids learn to tell time, a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, voice recorder with funny voice changing effects, and parental game controls.
Since it is made for kids, the Kidizoom Smartwatch features a durable design to withstand drops and bumps, and is splash and sweat proof. In addition, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is PC and Mac compatible for uploading photos, videos, and recorded voice files, and offers access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.
VTech has added three new children’s learning tablets to its InnoTab family: InnoTab Max, which features a multi-core CPU, high-resolution 7-inch display, and Android learning content; InnoTab 3S Plus, which includes Wi-Fi and access to VTech Premium Kid Connect; and InnoTab 3 Plus, an affordable first learning tablet.
InnoTab Max includes more than 200 educator-endorsed Android learning games and access to more than 650 age-appropriate learning software and apps through VTech’s Learning Lodge app store, as well as VTech’s library of cartridges. InnoTab Max 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 rich Android content.
The entire line of InnoTab tablets is designed to withstand physical wear and tear from kids.
VTech has added new products to its spring toy line, including additions to award-winning infant and preschool lines. VTech has also developed a Milestones guide, which is a compiled list of recommendations for toys that are appropriate to a child’s particular age and developmental milestone.
The spring line includes InnoTab Learning Cartridges for the InnoTab Learning Tablet, with titles ranging from e-Books to games. The Go! Go! Smart Wheels product line has expanded with the Car Wash Playset, where kids can develop fine motor skills by simulating a car wash; Tractor & Trailer, where kids learn about the letter “T” and pretend to do farmwork; and Vehicles, electronic vehicles that have activated music and sound, including a car, van, ambulance, and race cars. [Read more...]
VTech offers new Learning App Bundles for the award-winning InnoTab Learning Tablet range. Available on VTech’s app store, Learning Lodge, these bundles feature newly developed, educator-approved content packaged in age-appropriate groups.
Designed specifically around the unique learning needs of individual kids ages 2 to 5, the Learning App Bundles each include seven games and an e-book (except Amazing Animal Museum, which includes eight games). Each bundle features content focused on a variety of developmental skills, such as language arts, reading, math, science, social studies, and problem solving.
Other themes for Learning App Bundles include Puppet Party, Tiny Toy Town, Lost City, and Fantasy Kingdom. The bundles are available at www.vtechkids.com.
More than 30,000 children in need nationwide will receive brand new toys and games this holiday season, thanks to generous toy companies that partnered with the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) to participate in the TODAY Show Holiday Gift Drive.
TIF appeared on the TODAY Show’s November 26 episode to celebrate the toy industry’s contribution to the gift drive, benefiting dozens of charities across the country. The companies pitched in to donate more than $300,000 worth of toys for families facing financial hardships and children who are sick, living in domestic violence shelters, residing on military bases, or otherwise in need.
The Foundation thanked the following companies: Cartamundi USA, Children of America Dolls, Creations By You, Do-a-Dot Art, Green Toys,
Griddly Games, International Arrivals, International Playthings, Little Pim, McNeill Designs, Orb Factory, Safari Ltd., Savvi, Schleich USA, Smart Gear, Smart Toys and Games, ThinkFun, Ukloo Kids, VTech, WowWee USA, and Wyla, Inc.
TIF has participated in the TODAY Show Gift Drive for the past four years, providing a total of 88,000 toys (valued at more than $900,000).