Archive for August, 2011

HEXBUG UK Marketing Campaign Featured by Toy News

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

HEXBUG’s marketing efforts in the UK were featured recently by Toy News Online:

The PR for HEXBUG will also step up a gear throughout autumn and the firm will target Halloween features with the new Spider product launch. A Christmas campaign is also being planned across trade and consumer media including reviews, competitions and features to keep the products front of mind.

Read the entire article on the Toy News Web site.

HEXBUG featured on Life of an Architect Blog

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Bob Borson features a charitable HEXBUG donation to his bug themed playhouse project on his Life of an Architect Blog:

Have you ever heard of HEXBUG? If you are a parent with a child between the ages of 6 and 15 I can almost guarantee that you have. HEXBUG are small robotic toys that have a bug theme to them – and they are super cool.

As you may have seen recently, I designed a bug themed playhouse for charity. Just a few days before it was ready for delivery, it dawned on me that I was missing out on a great opportunity. It seems pretty obvious now that I would but bugs in my bug house …. It just so happens that my office is currently designing a house for the guy who invented these things – Bob Mimlitch. Once the light bulb went off, I called Bob M. and asked if he would be willing to throw a few of his creations in so that I could make some lucky kid even happier for winning my playhouse. Not only did he say yes, he outfitted me with a bajillion of these creations.

View the entire blog post here.

Innovation First Unleashes New HEXBUG® Robotic Species and Enhanced Nano Habitat Sets for the Holidays

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Highly Anticipated HEXBUG Larva, HEXBUG Nano Habitat Sets and Collectible Limited Edition Nano Bugs Amass at Retailers Nationwide and HEXBUG.com

GREENVILLE, Texas – Aug. 2, 2011 – Today, Innovation First Labs, Inc., creator of the internationally recognized HEXBUG® Micro Robotic Creatures brand, revealed its exciting new back to school and holiday product line-up, designed to further unlock kids’ creative potential and reinforce learning through imaginative playtime. New fall and winter products include the Nano Hive Habitat Set for kids on the go, a slithering new HEXBUG Larva, the re-designed TIA Specialty Toy of the Year Nano Habitat Set featuring the Construct System, and two jaw-dropping limited edition HEXBUG Nano bugs outfitted for Halloween and the Holiday season with festive features and packaging.

“We are constantly developing fun and innovative ways for our customers to push their creative boundaries using HEXBUG products, and we fully intend on becoming an industry iconic brand and a staple kids toy for many years to come” said Chris Troyak, president of Innovation First Labs, Inc. “It is our customers passionate ingenuity that puts a healthy pressure on our engineers to design these playful new products that further stimulate open-ended creativity just in time for the back to school and holiday season.”

HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures and the collection of expandable and customizable HEXBUG Nano habitat sets ignite kids’ interest in science and technology as well as foster their creativity to fuel hours of imaginative playtime.  Starting mid-August through December a series of new mechanical robotic bugs, Nano habitat sets and accessories, and limited edition Nano bugs will scurry into specialty and major retailers nationwide including Walmart, Target, Toys“R”Us and RadioShack among others.  These items will also be showcased at two influential mom blog events being held in San Diego, CA, coinciding with the BlogHer 2011 conference, on August 4 hosted by The Big Toy Book and on August 6 hosted by BSM Media.

New HEXBUG fall and winter 2011 products include:

●      HEXBUG Nano Hive Habitat Set – For kids on the go, HEXBUG introduces the first transportable environment that enables HEXBUG Nano architects to customize the design within a Habitat Set system.  Each Hive Habitat Set unfolds to feature a center ramp for the Nano to freely access multiple levels and a floor spotted with attachment points where kids can pop in their choice of new playground accessories.  Kids can personalize their playground by repositioning the pegs and rotatable flags which direct the HEXBUG Nano toward ramps or other obstacles, including a seesaw and a merry-go-round, for the playfully energetic critters to explore. CPSIA approved for kids 3 and up; MSRP: $34.99; Available mid-August/September at retailers nationwide and online at www.hexbug.com.

●      HEXBUG Larva – This captivating new addition to the HEXBUG family slithers forward on smooth surfaces using a slow, rhythmic flexing motion.  Just like real larvae, each of these creepy crawlers reacts to its environment, instinctively changing direction upon sensing an object in its path and wriggling off to explore a clear, undisturbed path ahead – a behavior that is eerily mesmerizing to watch and interact with. CPSIA approved for kids 8 and up; MSRP; $14.99; Available mid-August/September at retailers nationwide and online at www.hexbug.com.

●      New! HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set Featuring the Construct System – Enhancing the HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set that received the TIA Specialty Toy of the Year Award in 2011, the new set is updated with the Construct Habitat System and now features new modular parts and accessories to extend creative playtime.  The floor of each Hex Cell now comes spotted with attachment points where kids can insert the playground accessory of their choice including pegs, adjustable flags, a seesaw, a merry-go-round and vertical and horizontal rollers.  The newly designed Hex Cells also come with removable walls so multiple cells can be connected to one another to create vast and diverse environments. CPSIA approved for kids 3 and up; MSRP: $29.99; Available this October at Target stores nationwide and online at www.hexbug.com.

●      Limited Edition HEXBUG Nano – Following the success of the limited edition HEXBUG Nano Easter Egg sold exclusively at RadioShack, will be the release of two new limited edition holiday bugs.  For Halloween, the new Halloween Zombie Nano will rise to the occasion from coffin-shaped packaging and a glow in the dark exoskeleton, to make sure kids are happily trick-or-shrieking.  Then, just in time for tree trimming, the Holiday Ornament Nano will make its debut outfitted with reindeer antlers and packaged in a festive ornament. CPSIA approved for kids 3 and up; MSRP: $5.99.  The Halloween Zombie Nano will be available this September at RadioShack stores nationwide, and the Holiday Ornament Nano will be available this November at Target and RadioShack stores nationwide.

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.

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Download this press release as a PDF.

Innovation First Sues Clinton Cards & Only 4 U Limited for Intellectual Property Infringement of the HEXBUG® Nano™

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Toy Company Makes Good on Promise to Vigorously Defend Products Against Knock-Offs Across Entire Supply Chain

Warrington, United Kingdom – August 3, 2011 –Innovation First International (UK) Limited and Innovation First, Inc. filed a lawsuit last week against the greeting cards and gifts retail chain with over 800 stores in the UK, Clinton Cards plc, as well as one of its suppliers, Only 4 U Limited, and the supplier’s managing director, Mr. Kishorilal Devchand Gosar Shah, asserting claims of intellectual property infringement in respect of the popular “Mum’s Choice” award-winning HEXBUG® Nano™ micro robotic toy.

The lawsuit, issued in the UK High Court of Justice (Patents Court), contends that the Defendants committed infringement of registered and unregistered European design rights in the HEXBUG Nano design, as well as passing-off through deceptive packaging, by the sale, offer for sale, and stocking for sale of the imitation products sold and marketed under the names “Micro-Insect” and “Jitterbugz”.

“We are delivering on the international promise we made to the toy industry to aggressively protect the intellectual property of our brands and products from those who, at any point in the supply chain, profit from infringing our rights,” said Tony Norman, chief executive officer of Innovation First International. “We encourage suppliers, retailers and customers to beware of these imitators that take advantage of our product design, packaging and marketing, while we work to get them off retail shelves and remove them permanently from the market.”

Innovation First brings this action to stop the Defendants from further infringing the company’s intellectual property, to discontinue the distribution and sale of the “Micro-Insect” and “Jitterbugz” products, and to recover compensation for the Defendants’ actions, which may include any profits the Defendants have made, or may make, from the sale of “Micro-Insect” or “Jitterbugz” products.  As retailers finalise their Christmas preparations, Innovation First plans to increase production and ship additional HEXBUG stock to the UK for what is set to be a strong holiday season for the brand.

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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. and Innovation First International (UK) Limited, 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.

Download this press release as a PDF.

Mum’s Choice Award for HEXBUG

Monday, August 1st, 2011

HEXBUG was recently honored in the UK by the Mum’s Choice Awards.

HEXBUG scoops the Mum’s Choice Award at Christmas in July.

The Mum’s Choice Awards are voted for by the top ranking UK mummy bloggers who were able to test a range of entries at this year’s Christmas in July event before deciding on HEXBUG as the overall winner.

The HEXBUG Original also won the top award in the gadget category.

View the entire article here.

HEXBUG Bridge Battle Habitat Set is a Tillywig Summer 2011 “Top Fun” Award Winner!

Monday, August 1st, 2011

The HEXBUG Bridge Battle Habitat Set received the Tillywig Summer 2011 “Top Fun” Award last month.

For those of you unfamiliar with HEXBUG Nanos, these tiny, collectible, robotic creatures scurry and explore, wending their way across floors, tables, through mazes, and most amazingly, within their own customizable habitats. The HEXBUG Nano Bridge Battle is a brilliant extension of prior Habitat Sets. Why? Because it’s natural to want to pit these guys against one another. We’ve seen kids (and adults) contrive all manner of competition just for a shot at declaring their Nano the supreme HEXBUG champion. The Bridge Battle Set literally takes things to a whole new level, as Nano owners place their bugs on either side of an elevated arena which they enter through one-way gates. Once there, they chase, nudge, and bump one another until one is knocked over the edge to the lower level. But just because you win round 1 doesn’t mean you’ll win round 2, 3, 12, 36, or round 100! The set comes with 2 scrappy, high energy Nanos and 29 easy-connect pieces!

View the complete list of winners here.