Archive for February, 2011

HEXBUG Nano featured by Time Magazine

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Glow-in-the-dark HEXBUG Nanos and the new glow-in-the-dark HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set was featured online by Time Magazine as one of the ’15 Smartest Toys for Young Geniuses’

Programmed to behave like real bugs, the creepy, crawly Hexbug robots are an educational toy in a futuristic disguise. After designing habitats for their high-tech bugs to scrabble around in, kids are encouraged to go online to register their bots where they’ll learn real-life insect and habitat facts. This year, the company is rolling out a line of glow-in-the-dark Nanos for a peek at the nocturnal life of insects.

Read the full article on Time’s Web site.

HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set wins Specialty Toy of the Year!

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set was named Specialty Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association over the weekend as the 2011 American International Toy Fair Kicked off in New York.

A Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA)-administered event in support of the Toy Industry Foundation, the gala served as the kick-off to the 108th American International Toy Fair.  Held in The Allen Room at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, the evening paid tribute to the best in toys and children’s entertainment and the outstanding achievements made by individuals and companies.

Recognizing an outstanding toy that is distributed primarily through specialty toy retailers, the Specialty Toy of the Year was presented to the HEXBUG® Nano Habitat Set by Innovation First Labs, Inc.

Thanks to all HEXBUG fans for their support in voting for the TOTY Award.

Read the full press release here.

Innovation First Winning Fight Against Knock-offs of HEXBUG(R) NanoTM Toy

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Lawsuits and investigations lead to over 1,000 successful enforcement actions worldwide

New York – February 13, 2011 – On the morning of the American International Toy Fair in New York, Innovation First International is pleased to report numerous victories in its fight against a global surge of knock-off and counterfeit products that imitate the company’s highly successful HEXBUG® NanoTM brand toys. Since the launch of an aggressive campaign last year, the company reports over 1,000 successful enforcement actions thus far worldwide. At the recent Hong Kong, London and Nuremburg toy fairs, the company was successful at removing copycat products from the displays of over 40 separate infringing companies. Additionally, numerous websites and wholesale trade portals have removed products found to be in violation.

Innovation First has also been successful in courtroom litigation, having successfully resolved the lawsuit filed last May against Urban Trend, LLC. The case, filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, claimed trade dress infringement, violations of the Lanham Act and other wrongful conduct in offering knock-offs. Key terms of the settlement include a cash payment to Innovation First, the transfer of ownership of the “i-insect” brand to Innovation First, and the transfer of all worldwide intellectual property rights owned by Urban Trend in the “i-insect” to Innovation First. Further, Urban Trend agreed to cease the design, manufacture and sale of the “i-insect” products and vibrating locomotion toys immediately. Urban Trend will also deliver the molds, dies and tooling used for creating i-insect to Innovation First in China.

“The successful enforcement actions along with the Urban Trend settlement are significant steps in our ongoing global campaign to protect our HEXBUG® NanoTM intellectual property,” said Tony Norman, president and chief executive officer of Innovation First International, Inc. “Along with our litigation victory, we are pleased with our recent successes in removing knock-off products from the internet and from the floor of the major international toy fairs. We will continue aggressively to pursue any and all violators who infringe our intellectual property, and we intend to police the upcoming New York Toy Fair for violators.”

Another major asset in the war on knock-offs is the new European distribution partner for HEXBUG®, Spin Master Ltd. The global brand building power of Spin Master now gives the HEXBUG® NanoTM visibility throughout Europe, making knock-off products less appealing to retailers. Spin Master assembled an extensive worldwide network of investigators, enforcement agents and legal teams during their successful three year battle against knock-offs of the Bakugan Toy and Entertainment property. This network has recently been made available to Innovation First, and Innovation First has obtained outstanding initial results using this network against knock-off producers.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with a great brand like HEXBUG®, and a highly creative company like Innovation First,” said Anton Rabie, president and chief executive officer of Spin Master. “We have a vested interest in the success of HEXBUG® and have given Innovation First full access to all of our resources in this important fight against HEXBUG® knock-offs.”

Additionally, lawsuits filed last year, asserting claims for common law misappropriation, unjust enrichment and violations of other intellectual property rights, remain pending against companies accused of manufacturing, advertising, promoting, distributing and/or selling products that were derived from innovative components of the HEXBUG® NanoTM micro robotic toy. These matters have been, and will continue to be pursued aggressively. Although legal battles will continue through the court system, consumers may have already rendered their verdict as offending product is starting to show up on clearance shelves. Innovation First has also pursued, and will continue to pursue, patent protection for the HEXBUG® NanoTM. The product is extremely unique in form and function, which lends to the very broad and defendable copyrights, trademarks, design and utility patents that Innovation First is seeking and has obtained.

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About HEXBUG and Innovation First:

HEXBUG® is a product line developed by Innovation First Inc., and distributed and marketed by Innovation First Labs, Inc., both wholly owned subsidiaries of privately held Innovation First International, Inc. The company 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 developing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots and is now an industry leader in research and development for the hobby, competition, education and toy markets.

Innovation First International’s three main subsidiaries, VEX Robotics, Inc., Innovation First Labs, Inc. (makers of HEXBUG® Micro Robotic Creatures), and RackSolutions, Inc. span the education, consumer and business-to-business markets. The VEX® Robotics Design System is the leading platform for middle school and high school education and competitive robotics. 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.

In the 2009 the company added offices in Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom to better serve the global marketplace. This network was expanded to Canada in 2010 with the addition of an office, warehouse and distribution center located in Toronto. With an advanced in-house metal fabrication plant, distribution center and corporate office 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.

Download Press Release (PDF)

HEXBUG Nano Review and Giveaway!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Steals, Deals & Life has a review of the HEXBUG Nano and Habitat Set and is giving away a HEXBUG Nano:

I have three little girls and my older two are pretty girly when it comes to  certain things, however that doesn’t stop them from playing outside and they definitely don’t mind getting dirty. In fact my three year old has an obsession with BUGS! Anything and EVERTHING bugs she loves! Just about everything she got for Christmas this year was bug themed. Of course having girls is my thing, I’m definitely not a want to go outside and get dirty kind of girl and when my daughter wants to touch all the bugs outside (especially the slugs) it grosses me out so I was extremely excited when HEXBUG offered to send me some of their products to try out!

Go here for full review and contest details.