TV or Tablet? Kids' Brand Launches Big Screen Version for Family

Nabi Big Tab Aims Not Just at Children But Adults, Seniors

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A maker of kids' tablets is thinking big for holiday -- really big.

Fuhu is breaking network and cable TV ads today not just for its Nabi-branded kid electronics but also for a new product, the Nabi Big Tab touchscreen tablet that comes in TV-size 20-inch and 24-inch versions.

Fuhu's first Nabi created specifically for children was introduced just before holiday in 2011 and jumpstarted the kids' tablet market. Now the company is upping the ante with eye-popping large-screen tablets in an effort to launch a new category it hopes will appeal to the whole family. The devices retail for $450 and $550, respectively.

"There's really no product out there like this," said Lisa Lee, Fuhu senior VP-marketing. "We're definitely focused on targeting moms and letting them know this it's not just for kids' individual experiences, but now can really become the center of the family experience."

The first spot contrasts the small tablet experience with the much bigger one, highlighting multiplayer gaming, watching movies together and gathering as a family to video chat with grandma and grandpa tagged "Family time just went big time." Two other spots feature the smaller Nabi tablets, one focused on the creativity and learning capabilities of the device and the second with kids talking about Nabi Cares in-house support and one-year "no questions asked" replacement guarantee. The ads were created in-house by Fuhu and produced by its ad agency, Doner.

Like the smaller Nabi kid version tablets, the Big Tab comes preloaded with kid and family friendly apps and software. Screen tabs include a game room, movie night, story time for ebooks and big canvas for art and editing. The device is designed for multiplayer gaming with 15-point multitouch capacity, meaning lots of hands can work the screen at one time. Ms. Lee said Fuhu thinks adults and particularly older people are a likely secondary market.

As the tablet market has fragmented, tablets for kids became a popular category, stoked first by Nabi. But plenty of big name competitors entered the segment within the last year, including Amazon's Fire HD Kids Edition ($149) and Samsung's Galaxy Tab Kids Tablet ($200). According to NPD, 43% of households with children ages 4-to-14 own tablets, up from 21% in 2012.

Overall sales of tablets are predicted to reach 229 million this year, according to Gartner, which is an increase of 11% year-over-year, but it also represents a slowdown in growth from the 55% posted between 2012 and 2013.

Fuhu recently topped Inc.'s annual list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. for the second year with $196 million in revenue.

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