Wednesday, July 20 2016 10:00

VTech's Go! Go! Smart Line gets Bigger...

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From the "Why didn't these exist when our kids were younger?" department at Rock Father HQ...

Last week at Sweet Suite in New York City, the team from VTech were there in force, showing off a variety of their new toys for the 2016 Holiday season and beyond. For kids ages 1-5½, the Go! Go! Smart collection is expanding with the release of several new items from the award-winning Go! Go! Smart Friends®Go! Go! Smart Wheels® and Go! Go! Smart Animals® product lines, featuring innovative MagicPoint® and SmartPoint® technologies that "bring the toys to life" while teaching first words, letters and more as children explore cause and effect relationships. The Go! Go! Smart Friends line has evolved with an enchanting new theme around princesses and kingdoms, and offers a luxurious palace that expands to four feet wide. Go! Go! Smart Wheels features its first motorized train that can climb hills on its own and, for the first time, Go! Go! Smart Animals includes domestic animals and a sprawling three story pet playland.

"We are so excited to expand our multi award-winning Go! Go! Smart lines with our most exciting themes and adventures yet to inspire children's endless imaginations. We continue to look for new ways to incorporate traditional role-play infused with cutting edge technology, offering engaging, multi-sensory learning."William To, President, VTech Electronics North America

From the Official Announcement: Go! Go! Smart Friends offers a comprehensive, multi-faceted play experience while delivering manipulative play features and charming details designed to captivate young children. The new princess-themed line is anchored by the Enchanted Princess Palace™, an epic castle that expands to four feet wide. It features five MagicPoint locations for children to interact with, boosting imaginative play while exploring cause-and-effect relationships. The palace also includes a tea set table with MagicChat™ technology, where Princess Darla can chat and sing with another character (sold separately), encouraging language development. Twinkle the Magical Unicorn™ will enchant kids as she walks forward, moves her head and flaps her wings with the push of a button. Kids can even feed her a golden carrot. Additional characters and playsets include a cottage, unicorns, a horse, princes, fairies and princesses, letting toddlers engage in imaginative role-play as they develop fine motor skills.

The colorful, interactive Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals spark toddlers' imaginations and encourage creativity while helping them explore concepts of cause-and-effect. They are designed to deliver important developmental benefits that help children reach social, emotional, language, cognitive, physical and motor milestones. As a child places a SmartPoint vehicle or animal over SmartPoint locations found throughout the playsets, it will respond with lights, sounds and music. Kids will be amazed as they watch the new Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure™, with its first motorized train that can climb hills on its own. The Blast-Off Space Station™ sets children's imaginations soaring with manipulative play features to strengthen motor skills and innovative mechanical features like a rocket-blasting space ramp.

The Go! Go! Smart Animals collection is continuing to expand with the availability of its first domestic animals along with new furry animals. Toddlers can pamper their pets at the sprawling three-story Happy Paws Playland™, with a movable elevator and secret door to build fine motor skills and eight SmartPoint locations for stimulating interactivity. They can even take their animals for a ride on the Roll & Spin Pet Train™, an activity-packed vehicle that even has a spinning hamster wheel.

"The Go! Go! Smart lines offer children many opportunities for imaginative play, spatial relationships and language learning," said Dr. Lise Eliot, Early Brain Development Expert and VTech Expert Panel Member. "The vehicles, animals and characters spark children's imaginations while keeping them engaged, promoting listening skills and encouraging their verbal and cognitive development. In addition, building with the track pieces gives children the opportunity for constructive, spatial play that is crucial for later science and math learning."

Go! Go! Smart Friends is designed for children 1½ - 5 years old, while Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals are designed for children 1 – 5 years old. The playsets also connect with other Go! Go! Smart Friends, Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals tracks (each sold separately) to allow parents to affordably extend the play value and further encourage their children's creativity and fun!

Highlights of the lines, available now, include:

Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Treasure Mountain Train Adventure™: It's a gold rush at the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Treasure Mountain Train Adventure. Turn on the motorized freight train and watch as it chugs around the tracks, through the tunnels and up hills on its own! The included train responds to nine SmartPoint locations with fun phrases, music and more. Pretend to mine for gold in the mountain by hammering the three shape-sorter blocks through the mine shaft. Each piece will roll down the mountain where it can be loaded onto the cargo car attached to the train. Or, kids can wait for the cargo car to pass under the mine shaft and try to hammer the shape-sorter blocks onto it. The gold mine also includes rotating gears and a crane to move the shape pieces around. Press the toy freight train's light-up button to hear three sing-along songs and learn the letter "F" and the name of the vehicle. Collect other SmartPoint vehicles, and connect to other Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals playsets with tracks (sold separately) to encourage children's creativity.

Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Blast-Off Space Station™It's all systems go for learning with the Go! Go! Smart Wheels Blast-Off Space Station! Little astronauts will love helping the rocket lift off from the launch pad for an outer space adventure. They can maneuver down the space ramp, spin the galaxy or even pretend to tumble through a black hole. This out-of-this-world playset includes a variety of features to strengthen motor skills and help children explore cause-and-effect concepts. Along the way, they'll use the included SmartPoint rocket to zoom past five SmartPoint locations to hear fun phrases, music and more. Press the toy rocket's light-up button to hear sing-along songs and learn the letter "R." Collect other SmartPoint vehicles, and connect to other Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals playsets with tracks (sold separately) to encourage children's creativity.

Go! Go! Smart Friends® Enchanted Princess Palace™Explore each magical room in the Go! Go! Smart Friends Enchanted Princess Palace. This epic palace expands to four feet long and has a variety of luxurious rooms including a ballroom, music room, kitchen, bedroom and observation tower. While exploring the palace with Princess Darla, place her on the five MagicPoint locations to experience her friendly personality, lights and more. When Princess Darla sits at her MagicChat tea set table with a friend (additional characters sold separately), they will interact by chatting and singing with each other. The palace also has a clock with a movable hand and three light-up buttons that introduce words, colors, letters and numbers and play magical melodies and sing-along songs. Toddlers can create a whole kingdom featuring princesses, princes, fairies, magical creatures and more with Go! Go! Smart Friends characters and playsets (sold separately).

Go! Go! Smart Friends® Twinkle the Magical Unicorn™Soar through the kingdom with Twinkle the Magical Unicorn from the Go! Go! Smart Friends world. Press the enchanting unicorn's button and she will walk forward, move her head and flap her wings. Place the included MagicPoint character, Princess Prisma, on one of Twinkle's two MagicPoint locations to trigger delightful responses, sounds, motion and lights. Twinkle also interacts with her carrot accessory. Toddlers can create a whole kingdom featuring princesses, princes, fairies, magical creatures and more with Go! Go! Smart Friends characters and playsets (sold separately).

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Go! Go! Smart Animals® Happy Paws Playland™Play and explore with the Go! Go! Smart Animals Happy Paws Playland. This exciting playland for pets has three light-up buttons at the top of the elevator that introduce time concepts and play sing-along songs, melodies and fun phrases. Put the adorable SmartPoint cat in the elevator and move it up and down to trigger playful responses on each floor. Then, hop on one of the two slides to travel back to the first floor. Place the carefree cat on the eight SmartPoint locations for more songs, melodies, sounds and phrases. The playland also includes a turning telescope, swinging hammock, a secret trap door and more that help build fine motor skills. Collect other SmartPoint animals, and connect to other Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals playsets with tracks (sold separately) to encourage children's creativity.

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Go! Go! Smart Animals® Roll & Spin Pet Train™All aboard the Go! Go! Smart Animals Roll & Spin Pet Train!  Watch the hamster wheel spin and the crocodile teeter-totter move up and down as little ones push the train along. Toddlers will develop motor skills with this activity-packed train as they rotate the smiley face, press the smoke stack, open and close the conductor window and more. Place the included SmartPoint hamster on one of the three SmartPoint locations to hear different phrases, music or fun sound effects, or press his light-up button to hear cheerful songs and learn the letter "H."

The Go! Go! Smart lines are available online now and at major retailers nationwide in August. For more information and retail availability, visit www.vtechkids.com.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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