aNb Media News, July 10, 2012

LeapFrog’s CFO Resigns

LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., announced late last week that CFO Mark A. Etnyre has resigned from the company in order to spend more time with his family and pursue personal interests. The resignation will be effective as of October 1, 2012.

“Mark has built an excellent finance organization and made significant contributions to LeapFrog’s success over the past five years,” said John Barbour, LeapFrog’s CEO, in a statement. “During his tenure, we improved our financial operations and significantly improved our balance sheet and profitability. We thank Mark for his hard work and dedication, and we wish him the best.”

Commenting on his decision, Etnyre said, “I joined LeapFrog because of the importance of helping children achieve their potential and to be a part of an exciting turnaround. The progress over the past five years has been both transformational and rewarding. However, in recent months, personal considerations have shifted my priorities closer to home and my immediate family. LeapFrog is a special place and I thank JB and LeapFrog’s board for the opportunities they have given me.”

Mind Candy Acquires Origami Blue; Forms Development Studio

Mind Candy, the company behind Moshi Monsters, announced that it has acquired UK-based game studio Origami Blue to launch its new innovation center called Candy Labs.

Origami Blue is a small studio set up by former Disney Blackrock Studios executives Edd Smith, Mark Knowles-Lee, and James Ovnik. To date, the group has developed augmented reality gaming applications for clients and also worked closely with a team of educational psychologists to develop a state-of-the-art touch-typing system for children.

Following this acquisition the team will come on board as full-time Mind Candy employees. Candy Labs will be a research and development studio. The company says that the ideas will be a mix of digital and non-digital entertainment. Some concepts are expected to be acquired from third parties, but most ideas will originate in-house, according to Mind Candy.

Toysmith to Distribute Wild Planet

Wild Planet announced that Toysmith is now the exclusive distributor of Wild Planet Entertainment, Inc.’s, product line to specialty toy retailers across the United States. The agreement goes into effect on July 20, 2012.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Toysmith. Their reputation and experience in the specialty toy business is outstanding,” said Chris Tidwell, vice-president of North American sales for Wild Planet, in a statement. “Wild Planet’s award-winning products are a great fit for the Toysmith lineup and we look forward to working closely with them to grow our specialty business exponentially.”

Tidwell will continue to manage core and regional accounts including the new relationship with Toysmith for Wild Planet.