Toca Pet Doctor is the App of the Year!
We are so proud to announce that our beloved pets in Toca Pet Doctor was praised at last week’s Cinekid in Amsterdam. Toca Pet Doctor was dubbed App of the Year for Early Learning in a very strong competition from other awesome apps. Thanks Cinekid!
October 23, 2014
Make the whole family jump with Toca Boo!
Toca Boo is a spooky new app from Swedish developer Toca Boca, aimed at kids aged 3 – 6 years. Launching on Thursday 23rd October (£1.99/ €2,69), just in time for Halloween, Toca Boo captures the feeling of a giggling kid hiding behind the curtain and jumping out to scare mum or dad. As with all of Toca Boca’s digital toys, Toca Boo has an intuitive, child-friendly interface, and there are no in-app purchases or external advertising. There are no rules, with the app being inherently non-competitive and encouraging open-ended play and creativity.
The main character, Bonnie, lives in a big old house with her family. It’s an hour before bedtime and Bonnie has dressed up as a ghost, sneaking around the house trying to make her family jump – it’s your job to help her! Drag Bonnie the ghost around the house and sneak up on family members when they least expect it. Kids can hide behind furniture and in dark corners, and simply tap the character they wish to scare… the biggest reaction will come from hiding and jumping out to shout BOO! Sometimes the poor victims of the prank will be so scared they’ll run from the room, providing the perfect opportunity to chase them!
Toca Boca Play Designer, Chris Lindgren, comments: “With Toca Boo, we wanted to explore and create a rather unusual mood for a children’s app – it’s a little spooky, a little scary and has some exciting tension; it recreates the fun of traditional hide and seek, and scaring family and friends. We took inspiration from reading books like Who will Comfort Toffle to our own children, and watching how fascinated they were by the magical melancholic atmosphere in Tove Jansson’s world of the Moomins. We combined this with a lot of humour and fun to create the unique experience that is Toca Boo.”
Throughout the production and development process, Toca Boca designers were sensitive to the fact that Toca Boo has a few elements that some kids might find frightening. However, the characters and setting for Toca Boo are designed to be interesting and open for interpretation: different kids will have different ideas about what is going on – is it a haunted house or a regular home? Is the man the grandpa, the dad or a stranger? Is it a real ghost? These are all great things for parents to talk about with their kids, as sometimes little ones can be afraid of imaginary things that aren’t always obvious to grown-ups.
Children might not tell parents that they are scared, but rather ask their mum or dad to join in and play with them, which can be a great chance for kids to learn to manage their emotions, and increase their confidence in taking on new challenges: both very useful things in their everyday life.
Toca Boca digital toys are available to download from App Store, Google Play, and Amazon
For media enquiries please contact
Rebecca Crusoe Head of PR Europe / firstname.lastname@example.org / + 46 70 279 54 55
Sherry Shen Head of PR North America / email@example.com / +1 415 314 1759
About Toca Boca
Based in Stockholm, Toca Boca is part of the Bonnier Group, a family-owned global media company that began as a book publisher in 1804, and has grown to include newspapers, magazines, television, cinemas and digital media. Toca Boca was named the most pioneering team in children’s technology at the 2013 Kids at Play Interactive Awards (KAPi) at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), and other accolades include recognition from the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) in the United States, and the Lovie Awards, the only pan-European awards that recognise and reward excellence within the internet and development community. During the 2013 holiday season, the top three best-selling children’s apps were created by Toca Boca. For more information, please visit www.tocaboca.com
September 25, 2014
Toca Boca redesigns its Robot Lab to promote gender neutrality
Toca Boca (www.tocaboca.com), the Swedish play studio with over 70 million app downloads to date, has redesigned and relaunched Toca Robot Lab (originally released in 2011) to bring it into line with the gender-neutral design ethic that has proved so popular within its other digital toys. The newly redesigned Toca Robot Lab launched on the App Store on 25th September 2014.
Having undertaken an internal study of its existing products with gender analysts and experts, Toca Boca realised that Toca Robot Lab, although a popular toy with more than 750,000 downloads, actually had many of the conventional ‘boyish’ attributes traditionally associated with robots. The original product also cemented an inherently grown-up view of what a robot is, and as such, the app offered kids very traditional material. Following the examination of its existing apps, Toca Boca has now defined an official tailored gender neutrality process, by which it will design all of its future products, taking into account everything from character design, colour choice, and language used to describe the product, to how characters react within the app in terms of active or passive behaviour.
Using their collective experience from the past four years, along with the newly developed guidelines on creating unisex digital toys, the Toca Boca team applied this design process to Toca Robot Lab to create an appealing gender neutral app.
In a practical sense, this means that the new robot workshop offers imaginative, creative and fun parts that can be found anywhere in a child’s surroundings – not just in a tool shed. Children can create robots out of various reused and sustainable materials, including sweets, beads, coffee cups, electronic devices, straws, ping-pong paddles and pencils, all available in a multitude of colours and options. The new Toca Robot Lab offers more than 1.8 million different combinations of robot – creating a toy that stimulates children’s creativity without unduly steering the direction of play.
Mathilda Engman, Artist at Toca Boca and advocate on gender neutral design, comments:
“As a digital toy developer, over the past few years we have learnt that it is vitally important to not attempt to predetermine the direction of play; play is creative and open-ended, and not something that should have adult attitudes projected on to it. Unisex toys play an important part in this: kids should be able to play with whichever toys they want, without an adult having predetermined that dolls should be handed to the girls, and train sets to the boys. This is at the heart of Toca Boca as a company; we make digital toys for all kids, not just for girls or for boys.”
Another part of Toca Boca’s success has been creating products that are very much child-centric in design – as Björn Jeffery, CEO and Founder of Toca Boca, notes:
“Parents will often admit that they don’t really understand the inherent appeal and fascination of our apps, and what is appealing to a child is very different to what appeals to an adult. Adults tend to be focused on rules, and on the ‘right’ way to do something, whilst kids tend to be much more open minded when it comes to play. Treating children like little adults in this context doesn’t make sense, and because of this we make apps that are more about discovery and participation.”
Toca Boca digital toys are available to download from App store, Google Play, and Amazon.
Kids Apps Awards 2013
We are thrilled to announce that Toca Boca just won two “Kids Apps Awards 2013″ over at Bestekinderapps.de; the most visited kids app review site in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Both Toca Tailor and Toca Hair Salon Me have been selected as two of the best apps of 2013 in the category “best innovative apps & games for kids”.
Happy Socks x Toca Boca
This November HAPPY SOCKS is very proud to present its first kids colab! For the occasion, there was no better entity to team up with than TOCA BOCA.
TOCA BOCA was created in 2010 with an approach to kids digital toys very similar to the concept HAPPY SOCKS puts on socks. While allowing kids to stimulate their imagination and create meaningful play experiences, TOCA BOCA emphasizes the ability to enjoy their digital toys through playing alone or with family and friends. Just like HAPPY SOCKS created kids sizes to allow the entire family to wear great quality and designed products, Toca Boca provides a great panel of apps with design and quality in focus.
Played by both children and their parents in more than 160 countries, Toca Boca has totaled 50 million downloads to date.
After such a successful start, Toca Boca starts to expand as explains Björn Jeffery, co-founder and CEO of Toca Boca: “Toca Boca has been a loved brand in App Stores for several years now. And due to popular demand, we have decided to start taking that brand to physical products too. This collaboration with Happy Socks is a great first step.”
About the colab itself, he continues: “Working with Happy Socks has been fantastic. We share the same passion for great and playful design with a Swedish touch.”
ABOUT TOCA BOCA
Toca Boca is the world’s leading digital toy app creator for iOS and Android. Played by both children and their parents in more than 160 countries, Toca Boca digital toys have been downloaded more than 50 million times to date. For more information about Toca Boca and its full collection of digital toy apps, visit www.tocaboca.com
ABOUT HAPPY SOCKS
It started under the cloud-ridden April sky of yet another belated Swedish spring in 2008. Two friends had a vision: a vision to spread happiness by turning an everyday essential into a colorful design piece with a rigid standard of ultimate quality, craftsmanship and creativity. It’s a concept brought to perfection by the Happy Socks collective of creators.
Today Happy Socks are sold in more than 70 countries and on every continent.
HAPPY SOCKS X TOCA BOCA
In this collaboration with Toca Boca, Happy Socks has made its favorite monsters from the hit app Toca Kitchen Monsters into socks! The colab consists of four exclusive designs sold as 2-packs created together by Happy Socks and Toca Boca: meet NEBULA and GOMEZ.
TOCA MONSTER SOCKS “GOMEZ”
This 2-pack contains one monster sock, Gomez, and one inspired by the Toca Boca colors.
This is Gomez. He loves having a party in the fridge. Now he lives in the kitchen and eats whatever he likes! Gomez usually wears banana peel on his head but it was removed from the sock so that you wouldn’t fall!
Feel an urge to play with socks? Use them as hand puppets and play around anywhere you like, or simply put them on your feet and look monstrous.
TOCA MONSTER SOCKS “NEBULA”
This 2-pack contains one monster sock, Nebula, and one inspired by the Toca Boca colors.
Meet Nebula. She snuck in through an open kitchen window and made a total mess. Her reactions made everyone laugh. She really doesn’t like broccoli but it’s fun to scoop some extra on her plate!
How to play with socks? Use them as hand puppets and play around anywhere you like, or simply put them on your feet and look monstrous.
Toca Boca celebrates 50 million downloads on the App Store
Today (Friday 8th November), Toca Boca (www.tocaboca.com), the world’s leading digital toy developer, celebrates its 50 millionth download on the App Store. Since launching in 2011, Toca Boca has received over 34,000 five star reviews, and to celebrate reaching 50 million downloads, is offering its top 10 digital toys, including Toca Train, Toca Hair Salon 2, and Toca Kitchen, for a special discounted price of $0.99 (£0.69/ €0.89 in the UK and Europe respectively) on November 8.
Since launching its first apps, Helicopter Taxi and Toca Tea Party, in March 2011, Stockholm and San Francisco-based Toca Boca has subsequently released 18 other apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with magical Multi-Touch experiences and open-ended play to unlock children’s imagination, including Toca Hair Salon, Toca Band, and Toca Mini.
Originally founded in Sweden in 2010, Toca Boca apps have been downloaded in 160 countries worldwide, with the two biggest markets being the US and the UK. Of the 50 million apps downloaded to date, 18.3 million of these have been downloaded in the US, and 3.7 million in the UK. Other countries in the top 10 consumer markets are as follows: Australia, Sweden, Canada, Russia, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, and Norway.
Björn Jeffery, CEO and Founder of Toca Boca, comments: “We create apps that make children smile: fun, creativity, and playfulness are at the very heart of Toca Boca, and 50 million downloads is testament to the fact that both kids and parents love Toca Boca products. To have reached this point in two and a half years is an achievement of which we are all incredibly proud, and we are excited about what the future holds.”
Toca Boca – Background:
With offices in Stockholm and San Francisco, Toca Boca is a studio creating gender-neutral apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that allow children to play in a safe digital environment, without external advertising or the option to make in-app purchases. Interactive, unique characters and touch screen technology combine to stimulate the imagination and develop a young user’s creativity. Aimed primarily at children aged 3 – 6 years, there are no high scores or levels in Toca Boca digital toys; they are inherently open-ended and non-competitive, unlocking children’s imagination at home, during long journeys, and beyond. The name Toca Boca, which translates as ‘touch mouth’ in Spanish, is a play on words and the company’s logo, and was chosen in part because it is simple to pronounce in multiple languages, and is also a fun phrase for children to say out loud.
In 2012, Toca Boca was showcased within the Apple Keynote speech at WWDC, highlighted within a segment on how the company’s digital toys can help children with speech training in order to improve communication with their families, teachers and friends, as well as developing other skills.
For UK and European media enquiries please contact Deliberate PR
Benjamin Webb, +44 207 221 1540
Caitlin Collins, +44 7930 408 224
For US media enquiries please contact Foghorn PR
Mary Leddy, 508-872-3369
Shelly Eckenroth, 717-852-7060
Toca Boca Hits the Road with Toca Cars
STOCKHOLM & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toca Boca today announced that it has launched Toca Cars, the latest digital toy app in the company’s award-winning portfolio that has surpassed 46 million downloads to date. Designed for kids ages 3-9, Toca Cars leaves driving rules on the side of the road and encourages ‘anything goes’ fun.
“We’ve taken beautifully crafted cardboard play pieces, given kids full reign of the play environment and removed all the rules. It’s as close as you can get to the childhood pastime of playing with cars on the family room floor.”
Toca Cars features two drivers – super cool big sister Viola Wheeler and her wild little brother, Walter Wheeler. Once behind the wheel, kids can race all through the Toca Cars world, both on- and off-track and bump into anything along the way. After creating some mayhem, players simply tap a button to put everything back in its place.
Toca Cars includes a pre-populated world geared toward younger drivers seeking immediate fun as well as the ability to design custom environments, ideally suited for the older kids. All elements in the Toca Cars world — from the houses and trees to half-pipes, road signs and the track itself – have the look-and-feel of being created out of hand-painted cardboard and paper with the intent of inspiring creative exploration and play beyond the digital toy.
“In Toca Cars, we’ve delivered classic play on a mobile platform like never before,” said Björn Jeffery, Co-Founder and CEO of Toca Boca. “We’ve taken beautifully crafted cardboard play pieces, given kids full reign of the play environment and removed all the rules. It’s as close as you can get to the childhood pastime of playing with cars on the family room floor.”
Adding to the Toca Cars fun are a few surprise playmates that pop up along the way including a dog, bird, and robot. Each has their own personality which may make kids stomp on the gas pedal or brake to say hello.
Toca Cars is available now on the App Store, with an initial launch price of $0.99.
About Toca Boca
Toca Boca is the world’s leading digital toy app creator for iOS and Android. Played by both children and their parents in more than 160 countries, Toca Boca digital toys have been downloaded more than 46 million times to date. For more information about Toca Boca and its full collection of digital toy apps, visit www.tocaboca.com.
Foghorn Public Relations
Mary Leddy, 508-872-3369
Shelly Eckenroth, 717-852-7060
Toca Boca Launches Popular Toca Hair Salon 2 on Google Play
STOCKHOLM & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toca Boca, (www.tocaboca.com), the world’s leading digital toy app developer, today announced that Toca Hair Salon 2, the latest in the company’s best-selling Toca Hair Salon franchise, is now available for download on Google Play. The release marks Toca Boca’s first major entry into the global Android market.
To date, there have been more than 15 million downloads of the Toca Hair Salon collection on iOS devices. Played both by children and their parents in more than 130 countries, Toca Boca’s full range of digital toy apps have tallied more than 36 million downloads.
“There was significant consumer demand for Toca Boca digital toy apps to come to Android tablets and phones, so we’re very excited to introduce Toca Hair Salon 2 to millions of new fans on Google Play,” said Björn Jeffery, Co-Founder and CEO of Toca Boca. “This launch underscores our commitment to create the most imaginative and fun digital toys for platforms where kids and families play.”
The first Toca Hair Salon digital toy was released in June 2011 followed by Toca Hair Salon Christmas Gift in December 2011 and Toca Hair Salon 2 in December 2012. Since the debut of the franchise two years ago, a Toca Hair Salon app has consistently been in the Top 10 on the App Store within either the Entertainment or Education rankings. The apps have also received 10,000 five-star ratings by consumers. In addition, Toca Hair Salon 2 has held the No. 1 Education app ranking on iPhone and iPod touch for 167 out of 168 days since its launch and remains in the Top 25 overall, averaging No. 14, on iPad.
The Toca Boca fan base has been instrumental in shaping the appeal and success of the award-winning Toca Hair Salon series. In fact, the most popular styling tool in Toca Hair Salon 2 is the curling iron, a new feature that was driven by the outcry of kids wanting to style their characters’ hair in waves and curls. Mindy, the No. 1 character, has been selected and styled more than 10 million times and often photographed with bounce in her hair. She and the other quirky Toca Hair Salon 2 cast of characters have been showcased in nearly 20 million fan-created screen shots taken during play.
Toca Hair Salon 2 for Android (Version 4.0 or higher) carries a launch price of $0.99 on Google Play and can be downloaded now at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tocaboca.hairsalon2.
For more information about Toca Boca and its full collection of digital toy apps, visit www.tocaboca.com.
Foghorn Public Relations
Mary Leddy, 508-872-3369
Shelly Eckenroth, 717-852-7060
The Educational App Store has written a review of Toca Hair Salon 2: “I think it’s an important quality of an early learning app, to not provide kids with too much guidance as this forces them to interact with the app and encourages problem solving skills. That is definitely a strong point of this app.”
digiPlaySpace Patron Choice Award
We are happy to learn that Toca Kitchen has won the very first TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Kids Audience Choice Favourite digiPlaySpace App Award (link to winners at the bottom of the page)! The TIFF Kids Audience Choice Award including two new awards for digiPlaySpace, are voted on by Festival-goers who attended TIFF Kids public weekends and the entire run of TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace.
Toca Boca Acquires zinc Roe Tickle Tap App Series and Development Team
SAN FRANCISCO - Toca Boca, (www.tocaboca.com), the world’s leading digital toy app developer, today announced that it inked a deal with zinc Roe (www.zincroe.com), a Toronto-based studio specializing in new media for kids, to acquire the award-winning Tickle Tap apps series and the company’s 10-person development team. zinc Roe Founder Jason Krogh will serve as the CEO of the newly named studio, Sago Sago. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
zinc Roe’s popular Tickle Tap apps, which encourage learning through practice and exploration, have been heralded by industry pundits, parents and kids as being innovative, creative and fun. Designed for children ages 2-4, the apps include Sound Shaker, a delightful sound toy, and Doodlecast for Kids, an app that records your voice as you draw to create short videos. Doodlecast for Kids has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today and The Guardian and received numerous accolades including a Gold Award from the Parent’s Choice Foundation and the Editor’s Choice from Children’s Technology Review.
“We are thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented zinc Roe team to the Toca Boca family and look forward to building on the momentum of the Tickle Tap series,” said Björn Jeffery, Co-Founder and CEO at Toca Boca. “Consumers can expect great things to come from this union as the two companies share a common vision and development philosophy toward creating the highest quality, innovative and fun digital toy play experiences on the market.”
In addition to the Tickle Tap app series, zinc Roe’s veteran development team has created engaging websites, games and activities for kids and youth including the Emmy Award-winning Zimmer Twins, Stella and Sam Interactive Adventures, Toot and Puddle games, and the children’s site for the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
“It is a very exciting time for zinc Roe as we join forces with Toca Boca to further expand the Tickle Tap series as well as create new, original digital toy properties that will delight youngsters around the globe,” said Jason Krogh. “This new venture brings together best-in-class creativity, design and development.”
The Sago Sago studio will remain in Toronto, marking Toca Boca parent company Bonnier AB’s first entrance into the Canadian market.
Foghorn Public Relations
Shelly Eckenroth, 717-852-7060
Mary Leddy, 508-872-3369
Emily over at iPad Kids (@iPadKids) wrote this amazing review of Toca Band a while ago: “Imagine my relief when Toca Band was released. Not only do I worship in the temple of Toca Boca, but I also (despite my annoyance at the pet piano) encourage musical creativity. If anyone could make the art of kids’ music production cool and kitschy, it’s the folks at Toca Boca. And they certainly reached the high notes with this harmonious hit.”
Toca Hair Salon got a spot in Apple’s latest iPad commercial for TV – Together.
The epic gaming magazine Edge interviews our producer Emil Ovemar about the huge success of Toca Boca’s open-ended digital toys, and our mission to let kids be kids and have fun.
Toca Boca received an award for “Best Game App – 6 and Up” when the first annual iKids Awards event was held at the Kidscreen Summit in New York on February 4. The awards, designed to celebrate the best digital offerings for preschoolers and kids ages six and up, precede the annual Kidscreen Awards. The 2013 iKids winners were selected unanimously by a panel of five industry judges per category.