NEW YORK - Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), a global character-based entertainment licensing company, announced license agreements with industry leaders LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: LF) and VTech Electronics North America, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of VTech Holdings Ltd. (SEHK: 303; London SE: VTH; ADR: VTKHY) to design innovative and hi-tech educational toys utilizing Marvel characters. Marvel's entrance in the fast-growing educational toy market reflects heightened consumer demand for Marvel-branded products for this influential new category. According to a recent NPD report cited in the January issue of TD Monthly, electronic toys had a strong year in 2003 with learning toys in particular accounting for more than $750 million in sales from November 2002 to October 2003.
"The educational toy market has seen an impressive boom over the past three years due to advances in technology and improved playability," said Tim Rothwell Marvel Enterprises President Worldwide Consumer Media Group. "Joining the Marvel brand with industry innovators like LeapFrog and VTech allows our world-famous properties to penetrate new markets."
As part of the recent agreements with Marvel for educational learning systems, LeapFrog will combine its top-selling LeapPad cartridges and books with the world-famous Spider-Man . The award-winning LeapPad system, tailored for particular learning stages in a child's development, will incorporate Spider-Man into an entertaining interactive experience that will teach essential school skills. VTech will integrate the Spider-Man and Friends pre-school line into its new V.Smile TV Learning System, which combines a game platform and educational content to teach essential curricula such as language, math and science. Both products are slated for release in 2004.
LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: LF) is a leading designer, developer and marketer of innovative, technology-based learning products and related proprietary content, dedicated to making learning effective and engaging for all ages, at home and in schools, around the world. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in Emeryville, California.
VTech is the one of the world's largest suppliers of cordless phones as well as a leading supplier of electronic learning products. It also provides highly sought-after contract manufacturing services. VTech is a pioneer in the establishment of China-based manufacturing facilities and sells its products via a strong brand platform supported by a well-established distribution network in North America, Europe and Asia.