Smart Toy, the firm behind an interactive, educational plush toy called Ubooly, has been acquired by the US toy manufacturer Cartwheel Kids.
Since its founding, Cartwheel Kids - a Disney Accelorator toy firm - has secured licensing rights for brands such as Hello Kitty and My Little Pony and has recently branched out in to dress up and role play.
The new deal signals yet another new direction for the firm who announced the partnership at this year’s Disney Accelerator Demo Day event in Los Angeles.
Ubooly combines stuffed plush characters with app and voice recognition software, allowing children to interact with the toy, via a smartphone or tablet housed within the soft toy.
Ubooly was first developed by toy inventor duo Isaac Squires and Carly Golge.
“Ubooly and the technology’s potential certainly intrigued Cartwheel Kids,” Sunny Laurisden, the firm’s senior vice president of sales and marketing told the Daily Camera.
“I think it could be a game changer in the toy industry.”
The acquisition will now see Golge and Squires join Cartwheel Kids as directors of technology, while Cartwheel Kids will now look to incorporate Smart Toys’ app technology in to branded products from Disney and others.
“Cartwheel Kids is having discussions with entertainment partners, including Disney about the possibility of incorporating Smart Toys’ platform in to the companies’ brands,” added Lauridsen.
Read Isaac Squires' Diary of an Inventor piece for Ubooly here.