LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: LF) looks like it will have a big hit with this new LeapPad Ultra tablet designed specifically for kids. If you are a parent, this almost certainly will blow away purchasing the much more expensive and much more fragile iPad from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). The new iPad intro model is roughly $500, or you can get by on the cheap by spending $329 for the iPad Mini.
The demonstration and marketing video from LeapFrog shows the use and durability that will withstand the unintentional abuse to which your kids are likely subject it. It has Wi-Fi and a kid-safe Web browser. Most importantly, by being built for kids it looks like it has bumper-car protection. Yahoo! Breakout also has a video review with CEO John Barbour.
The real gem here is that the LeapPad Ultra is going to sell for $149.99. This beats the $499 for the iPad or the $329 for the iPad mini by far. It also blows away the Samsung Galaxy at Best Buy for $299.99.
As far as why I will buy for my daughter this coming holiday season, it is simple. Even if the LeapPad Ultra is bit advanced for a two-year old, it is simply insurance in my house. Every time that my daughter picks up one of our iPads, I really imagine her to be saying “Dada, look! I am gambling with $600 of your money!”
The one trick here that LeapFrog is likely to suffer from is that this is represented as being appropriate for ages 4 to 9 at the Breakout video, while the LeapPad 2 is represented as being suitable for ages 3 to 9. Either way, hopefully the retailer won’t “card me” for her age.
Whether this is going to be the next boom for LeapFrog shareholders is up for grabs, and likely depends on how many units they can get out to the market either before the start of the coming school year or ahead of Christmas. LeapFrog shares rose more than 50% in 2012 and shares are up about 11% so far in 2013.