VTech’s Smart Shots Sports Center and Lil’ Speller Phonics Station Honored with Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards

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VTech’s Smart Shots Sports Center and Lil’ Speller Phonics Station Honored with Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards

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VTech SmartShotsSportsCtrChicago VTech (www.vtechkids.com), a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children, today announced its Smart Shots Sports Center™ and Lil' Speller Phonics Station™ each received the esteemed Platinum Award from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, recognizing the most innovative and engaging products of the year.

The Smart Shots Sports Center, a 2-in-1 toy with a twist, combines technology with classic play patterns to keep little ones engaged as they learn numbers, shapes, music and more. The Lil' Speller Phonics Station, an interactive speech-building and spelling aid for ages three to six, comes with more than two dozen letter blocks stored inside and a handle for easy travel. Both products are new additions to VTech's acclaimed line for infants and preschoolers.

"We are honored the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio recognized the educational and play value of our new innovations," said William To, President, VTech Electronics North America. "These products embody our commitment to creating age-appropriate learning products approved by experts and loved by parents and kids alike."

The Smart Shots Sports Center lets parents cheer on their little sports stars. The electronic sports center features a soccer goal and basketball hoop for a fun 2-in-1 experience. Kick the soccer ball into the net to hear fun sounds or toss the basketball into the hoop and the magic sensor will count up to ten each time a basket is scored. Three buttons introduce shapes, numbers, opposites, sing-along songs and more. Turn the gears or flip the page to hear fun phrases and sounds. The sports center also features a light-up screen that plays a variety of fun animations and shows numbers, shapes and letters to reinforce learning. (MSRP: US$39.99, ages 12-36 months)

The Lil' Speller Phonics Station lets children build and learn words with fun sounds, melodies and animations that encourage interactive learning and reinforce words. They can discover letter names and hear their sounds by plugging in the letter blocks one by one, or learn letter order by determining which letter is missing, then plug in the correct letter block to complete the letter order. With the help of the Spelling Bee, kids can learn to spell more than 200 common three-letter words. When they've mastered the basics, they can take the Spelling Bee's challenge. If they spell the words correctly, they advance to a bonus rhyming game. The Lil' Speller Phonics Station includes 26 letter blocks and four extra blocks to spell words like "mom" and "dad". It also features a handle and all of the blocks can be stored inside for easy travel. (MSRP: US$24.99, ages 3-6)

"VTech's Smart Shots Sports Center and Lil' Speller Phonics Station both received the highest ratings from our testers for being both educational and entertaining," said Stephanie Oppenheim, publisher of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio. "Our youngest testers had a ball with the Smart Shots Sports Center and the portable Lil' Speller Phonics Station is a playful way to make phonics fun!"

VTech works closely with a panel of children's learning specialists on the development of its infant and preschool learning products. Each one of the Expert Panel members specializes in developmental or educational fields for children from birth through nine years of age. VTech and the Expert Panel collaborate to ensure their products and content deliver the best learning experience possible for every child at every stage of development.

Each child grows at a different pace mentally, emotionally and physically, and has different needs as they grow through various life stages. Insight from these developmental and education experts allows VTech to provide parents with guidelines and recommendations to help them make informed choices. VTech delivers an expansive selection of toys that are appropriate for their child's particular age and stage and to accompany them as they continue to grow and reach new developmental milestones. These recommendations have been compiled into a Milestones guide, which can be found at www.vtechkids.com/milestones.

For more information about the complete VTech product range, please visit www.vtechkids.com.

About VTech

VTech is a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children. As a pioneer in the learning toy category, VTech develops high-quality, innovative educational products that enrich children's development and make learning fun. With a rich, almost 35 year history, VTech has not only established itself as a learning authority but also consistently remains at the forefront of innovation with multiple award-winning products such as the InnoTab® MAX, its first children's learning tablet with Android™ learning content, Kidizoom® Smartwatch, the first smartwatch for kids, InnoTab® 3S, MobiGo®, V.Reader® and V.Smile®. The Learning Lodge®, VTech's comprehensive app store, features a robust library of more than 800 educational and entertaining games, e-Books, music and videos with engaging age-appropriate content across the widest variety of curricula, with content expanding to offer even more titles. The company also has a broad range of award-winning infant and preschool products available in 24 different languages worldwide, with more than 100 new products introduced every year. In order to further strengthen VTech's position as a learning authority, the company's Expert Panel, with esteemed experts in reading, language arts, science, math and child development, consult on new product introductions and Learning Lodge content.

VTech Electronics North America, LLC is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. VTech Electronics Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with distribution globally. VTech is the global leader in electronic learning products from infancy to preschool.

For more information on VTech's additional product lines, visit www.VTechKids.com, www.facebook.com/VTechtoys on Facebook or follow @VTechToys on Twitter.

About Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

The independent consumer organization rates the best children's toys based on a number of criteria including quality, innovation and whether a toy is fun and engaging. Toys are reviewed by child development and toy experts Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim as well as their network of family testers all over the United States. The Oppenheims are Contributors to NBC's TODAY Show. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum, Gold and SNAP (special needs) Awards for 2014 are available at www.toyportfolio.com.

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