Everyone is chasing Apple to release the next iPad—the mold-breaking, must-have device that signals that we’ve really made it to the 21st century. Well we have a crown prince–at least for the millennial generation—the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer.

LeapFrog logo

This century’s children are born into a world of fantastical gadgets that condense libraries into thin, metal tablets and that tether adults to videos and games and other entertainments. So LeapFrog needed to create a next generation educational product that would change the way kids learn. What it came up with is the Leapster Explorer, which was unveiled this past Monday at Manhattan’s Chelsea Market during LeapFrog’s annual press event, Explore the Difference.

Apple’s tagline is “there’s an app for that,” but can iPhones or iPads teach kids skills they’ll need for school? Or will they just overwhelm them with cat videos? (Also, parents don’t want to sacrifice their $200-$800 device to peanut butter fingers.) The Leapster Explorer gives children limitless learning experiences and the functionality of an e-reader, gaming device and video player. And get this, the Leapster Explorer will also have an add-on camera and photojournalism applications. Who said journalism is dying?

With the Leapster Explorer, we felt we had a wonderful buzz-worthy learning tool for today’s tykes. The media agreed. More than 60 media walked through the doors of Chelsea Market to see LeapFrog’s 2010 product lineup, including everyone from Reuters and USA Today to Gizmodo and Family Circle, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Parents magazine.

The Access-LeapFrog PR team got great coverage that speaks to what the device offers. “LeapFrog’s iPad for Kids,” was the headline to a FORTUNE story that called the Explorer “the latest must-have gadget for the elementary school set.” Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat noted that, “You could delight your child with an iPad, but do you really want to pay $499 or more for a device that your child will see as one more toy?” And this just in…on NBC’s “Today” show yesterday morning co-host Hoda Kobt called the Explorer, “the iPad for Kids!”, in their “What’s Hot for Summer” segment.

And of course, LeapFrog’s Tag Reading System, new Tag Maps, new LeapWorld online virtual world for kids, and educational toys–including the new Leaptop and the lovable Scout–were also on display.  The journalists loved getting a hands-on look at the new toys in a hip, fun and kid-friendly setting. We’re looking forward to launching new innovations in 2011–See you there!

–Danielle Brincko
Vice President