Hasbro to bring hit gadget to UK

Hasbro, the US toy giant, is launching an upgraded colour display version of its VideoNow children’s personal video player in the UK this summer.

After the US launch last year, VideoNow saw sales of $110m (£62.1m) within six months, making it one of the top three selling children’s products, despite only having a black-and-white display.

John Harper, managing director of Hasbro UK, says the player has been designed for children aged between six and 12: “It’s not a scaled-down version of an adult player. It looks more like a hand-held video game player.”

The VideoNow plays specially-created 10.5cm discs with 30 minutes of programming. It was developed by Hasbro subsidiary Tiger Electronics, creator of the interactive Furbie doll, and the original retails in the US for about $50 (£28.21).

Harper says the UK price is likely to be about £70, with single discs costing around £8 and three-packs selling for £15.

The UK roll-out, set for late July, will be part of a global launch campaign, although Harper refuses to comment on marketing plans.

Much of the success of the VideoNow system in the US has come from the range of third-party content providers signed up by Hasbro. Harper says the UK launch is being backed with similar deals.

Hasbro plans to add exclusive UK football and music programming to its library of discs, which includes titles from Discovery Channel and Nickelodeon.

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