Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Tonies screen-free audio entertainment system for children are partnering to create a line of products around Dr. Seuss’ stories and characters.
The collaboration is part of an effort by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to build more audio-first entertainment and bring its portfolio of characters to more audio-focused platforms.
“Audio continues to be on the rise as parents look for new ways to entertain their kids beyond screen time, whether it’s audiobooks or podcasts, or something as innovative as Tonies,” said Dr. Seuss Enterprises president, Susan Brandt. “The Tonies team has created an experience that is verbal, tactile, and inspirational for kids’ imaginations. As our team continues to bring our properties further into the world of audio, we see Tonies as a cornerstone partnership.”
The audio system includes the Toniebox — a soft, shockproof, portable five-inch speaker cube free from screens, sharp corners or edges, and complicated controls — which works in combination with Tonies, which are hand-painted figures containing stories, songs, and more. The Toniebox connects to Tonies figures via near-field communications (NFC) technology.
The first Dr. Seuss Tonie to launch in early 2022 will be inspired by The Cat in the Hat, in time for the 65th anniversary of the book. The Tonie will include original audio productions of The Cat in the Hat, along with The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and There’s a Wocket in My Pocket.
Additional titles will be revealed in the months ahead.
“The Dr. Seuss library is filled with timeless and universally loved stories that appeal to imaginations of so many youngsters,” said Tonies USA president Christoph Frehsee. “Beginning with The Cat in the Hat, we are looking forward to bringing this whimsical world of characters to the Tonies universe in 2022 and beyond.”