STEVE CHIOTAKIS: A computer tablet for kids begins hitting stores across the country today. The LeapPad already sold out in presale. The product is made by LeapFrog — a company that made a wildly successful interactive children’s book more than 10 years ago — and has been looking for a follow up blockbuster ever since.
Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins reports.
Jennifer Collins: Here’s one reason parents may be interested in a tablet for their kids.
Sean McGowan: Most parents, I think A, want their tablets back.
Sean McGowan is a toy analyst with Needham & Company.
McGowan: B, they want the kids not to be playing with something that costs $500 and is made of glass. And, C, they want something that’s safer.
The LeapPad doesn’t connect to the Internet. It does have a camera and will have a hundred games and apps, and…
Monica Brown: It is $99.
Monica Brown is in charge of marketing for LeapPad. It’s the latest competitor in the kiddie tablet market. There’s also the Kineo, more about education than games; and VTech’s InnoTab, more about games than education.
Richard Gottlieb is the CEO of Global Toy Experts.
Richard Gottlieb: I think it’s part of the bigger tablet war. And so I just think the toy industry is joining the fray.
And so are lots of young users. In one video, posted on YouTube, a four and five-year-old test out the LeapPad.
Kid: Mama, how do you do this?
The kids ask some variation on that question about every 15 seconds. I counted.
LeapPad: Drag your stylus across your pet.
Kid: I’m trying! Mama, how do you do this?
Brown: There’s always going to be on any new device, a bit of a ramp up on the particular user interface.
Parents, prepare yourselves. The LeapPad is expected to be the hot toy for the holidays.
I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.