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LeapFrog Hopes the Fly Will Multiply

Boot Camp feature for Monday, February 27, 2006

LeapFrog hopes the Fly will multiply. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The Fly…LeapFrog's pentop computer….which swept the industry's Toy of the Year honors…can multiply. Just draw a calculator and tap on the numbers. What the company is planning are new software packages to expand the capability of the device. Chief marketing officer Kathryn Olson…

"The Fly pentop computer will continue in terms of really helping children with their homework, but also allowing them to have some fun too. It's an engaging way to do their homework in algebra and writing as well has having some fun with games such as … we have a Harry Potter license coming up, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Seduko."

The Fly…which sells for about a hundred dollars, requires special paper. A sixty page notebook costs about 10 dollars. LeapFrog's challenge is to keep the cool factor from wearing thin. The company has other new products arriving this year….Leapster TV…an education game platform for pre-schoolers. And then there's Little Leaps…a game system that uses a standard DVD player…for children as young as 9 months…

" For the baby…the child and the mother… can play together. And it teaches numbers, counting, introduces them to animals. And then when the child is approximately 24 months or older, you can flip this device over and it uses a joystick and curriculum that is content that is developed for 24 months or a toddler age."

LeapFrog faces increasing competition from Fisher Price, Hasbro and VTech. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.