WHO: Typically younger-kid-geared educational-technology company LeapFrog Enterprises is expanding into the `tween (8 to 14) set with the launch of Fly.
PRICE POINTS: Retails for $99, with additional accessories and software ranging from $4.99 - $34.99.
EARLY BUZZ: San Jose Mercury News predicts "Leapfrog has a good shot at making it the hot educational toy for the holidays" and many of the more than one million visitors to the interactive Web site, LiveOnTheFly.com, were very impressed. Cscribbles wrote, "Very cool. I want one." Blog Engadget opined, however, that "LeapFrog is in for one helluva time marketing [Fly]." One elementary-school educator disagreed, offering that "It opens a whole new world!! Can't wait until it comes out so we can buy it and test it with the kids."
MARKETING: New LeapFrog CMO, Kathryn Olson, is overseeing the company's first-time efforts to reach out directly to kids as opposed to parents. Beyond its typical TV media, LeapFrog will attempt to engage kids with its interactive Web site, where they can test out the Fly, as well as with more dynamic media such as 150 million milk-carton sides and a series of partnerships including with Mead, which will carry Fly ads in more than 8 million notebooks for back-to-school, and tween apparel retailer Limited Too, which will run ads in their catalog/magazine and carry materials and the Fly itself in its stores. Some print ads will be "Fly-enabled," Ms. Olson said.
DISTRIBUTION: Fly will make its way onto the shelves of office supply stores and Best Buy in addition to more typical LeapFrog channels such as Toys "R" Us, Wal-Mart and Target.