Monday, April 16, 2012

New iPad MLP Books Available

Was invited to a product launch dinner tonight for the Ruckus Reader, a new e-Reader for the iPad aimed at the 2-6 year old market.  I was invited because I'm attending the Sandbox Summit tomorrow (as press), a conference about youth and technology/mobile.  The reason that I attended the launch (other than that it was being held at a high-end Cambridge restaurant... free food, yum), was that one of the franchises that they're launching with is The Ponies (another is the Transformers line.)

The Hasbro Executive in
his natural plumage
Hasbro is directly involved, I ran into Michael Kelly, Director of Global Publishing for Hasbro there.  Other than some chit-chat about Bronies, and the production realities of doing e-Books (the actual VAs are way too expensive to do e-Books, so sound-a-likes are used,) we didn't get much time to chat.  I did slip in an impassioned plea for high-quality show-accurate plushies, even though I know it's not his division.  Maybe he can pass on a note, or something...

Anyway, on to the products themselves.  The Ruckus Reader is basically a platform that can be used to deliver any title they offer.  You can download one free book in any of the franchises for free, the remainder are $3.99 (or $5.99 for the entire collection.)  Once bought, they're yours forever, and can be shared among all your iOS devices (iPad for now, iPhone/iPad coming soon.)  You can also have up to 4 separate accounts for your kids, all of which share the same titles.  There's also a subscription model.

The books themselves are very colorful, and include read-along and interactive features and games.  The plots aren't going to give Fallout Equestria any run for their money, but since you get a free title to play with, there's no real harm checking it out.  If you have kids in the target age, they have all sorts of nice reporting features to help you gauge how they are doing with their reading progress.

Here's a few screen-shots from the title itself: