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LeapFrog Enters Video Game Console Battle

Boot Camp feature for Friday, March 4, 2005

Tough choices for parents when it comes to learning toys. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. LeapFrog, a company that made its name with the LeapPad learning system for children….is battling in stores and in court against rival Fisher Price. And both companies are getting into the business of selling video game consoles for toddlers …where Vtech broke new ground last year with its system called the V.Smile. LeapFrog will be introducing the Leapster L-Max….a handheld learning machine…that can also plug into a TV. Company President Jerry Perez…

"In 2003 we introduced Leapster, which was the first time someone had taken a handheld electronic game and gave it an educational spin. Made it fun to learn, made it non-violent. And that was a huge breakthrough that we had and that taught us a lot about how kids engage with screen based entertainment. We also have a video series that taught us that kids can really respond very positively to a learning experience if it's done well on the television set. In essence what we've done is kind of married our experience with Leapster and our experience with videos to come up with L-Max. And L-Max is a truly better learning experience for the TV screen."

Kids can play games in the handheld mode…and can continue playing the same game….with added features….when they plug the unit into a TV. The Leapster L-Max is scheduled to arrive this fall for about a hundred dollars…competing with new consoles from Fisher Price and Vtech. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.