Antennaes Up! The HEXBUG Ant Colony Invades Toy Fair 2009

Innovation First, Inc. Ramps Up Production Line for Worldwide Distribution

Toy Fair 2009

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Innovation First, Inc., an industry leader in consumer robotics toys as well as educational and competitive robotics products, today introduced the HEXBUG Ant – a speedy six-legged micro robotic creature with razor-thin, long tactile antennas and hooked claws. The ultra-engaging HEXBUG assortment is on display this week at the Jacob A. Javits Convention Center at the New York International Toy Fair 2009.

The industrious critter features front and rear touch sensors that allow it to maneuver around objects in its path and wheel-legs that propel it ten times faster than any other HEXBUG. Featuring an inner body loaded with robotic guts protected by a hard, transparent exoskeleton casing, the HEXBUG Ant is the latest autonomous creature to join the family of Inchworm, Crab and first generation creepy crawlers. Available in five colors, the HEXBUG Ant will be introduced in April 2009 exclusively at RadioShack stores across the US.

“HEXBUG creatures provide hours of fun while introducing kids to the world of robotics,” said Joel Carter, vice president marketing of Innovation First. “Our debut of the HEXBUG Ant is testament to the popularity of the brand and now, we are expanding beyond our global reach into Canada, Japan, Australia, and Asia by adding distribution in the UK and European Union.”

First introduced in 2007, HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures measure just six centimeters long. Beyond the HEXBUG Ant, the portfolio includes:

  • The HEXBUG Inchworm ($19.99) is the first micro creature with Infrared (IR) remote control steering. The user can direct its looping type body movements forward, backward, left and right on either of two bands which allow two Inchworm creatures to operate at once.
  • The HEXBUG Crab ($14.99) looks and functions like a tiny crab from the ocean floor, walking sideways and stopping to hide in the dark thanks to its on-board light sensor. The Crab’s movement can be controlled through its sound sensor by clapping to scare it from its dark hiding place or send it backtracking in a different direction in the light.
  • The HEXBUG Original ($9.99) will change direction in reaction to loud sounds and physical objects in its path. There are five unique members of the HEXBUG Original family, customized with their own name, shape and vibrant color.

The HEXBUG Micro Robotic product line meets the most stringent safety regulations put into action by the new CPSIA law, designed with the underlying intention of protecting children and the environment from poisonous products.

Retail stores and chain merchandise buyers can procure Innovation First products by visiting the company’s wholesale Web portal tailored to service merchandise buyers with small and medium sized retail stores and chains. After setting up a reseller account online, buyers may log on to www.wholesale.innovationfirst.com and make wholesale purchases using a company credit card or, after establishing a credit history, Purchase Order. Users may specify shipping addresses including direct shipments to third party locations.

In addition to developing its product line and wholesale Web portal, the company has launched several online resources for the advancement of the robotics industry, including www.RobotEvents.com, which provides comprehensive information on the latest robotics news, blogs, competitive events, educational workshops and information to enthusiasts.

Note to editors: Booth #3037

About Innovation First, Inc.

Innovation First, a privately held corporation, was founded on the belief that innovation very early in the design process is necessary to produce simple and elegant product designs. Innovation First began producing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots, and is now an industry leader in the hobby, toy, competition and education markets. The company’s award winning Vex Robotics Design System, HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures and IFI Robotics span the education, consumer and business-to-business markets. Leveraging the company’s core competency in electrical and mechanical engineering, the RackSolutions division works closely with all major computer OEMs to provide custom mounting solutions and industry-wide rack compatibility for data installations of all sizes. With an advanced in-house metal fabrication plant, distribution center, and offices located together in a 13 acre complex in Greenville, Texas, the company is poised to continue on a rapid growth path. Please visit www.innovationfirst.com for additional information.

Toy Fair 2009 Press Release (PDF)

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