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LeapFrog Enterprises is a toy and publishing company based in Emeryville, California. Founded by a Michael Wood in 1995. The company specializes in educational toys and electronics. They are primarily known for the LeapPad, an electronic talking book device, the Leapster - a handheld gaming console with the processing power that's about equivalent to a Game Boy Advance, and the Fly Pentop computer, which somehow gained popularity in the business and computing world.
They are also well known for the LeapFrog Learning Friends (image to the left), characters originally created for materials to be used with the LeapPad, but has since been spun-off to be used in various other toys and even animated DVD releases.
LeapFrog products exhibit the following tropes:
Products in general
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Zig-Zagged. Averted with the Learning Friends themselves, but in their universe they have purple caterpillars, purple fireflies, green and purple dogs, purple octopi, and more. And then Edison, said purple firefly, joins the main cast just as everyone that is not Leap, Lily and Tad is Put on a Bus...
- Art Shift: The LeapFrog DVDs initially mis-portrayed Edison as a more normal yellow firefly, as he was purple in all the toys and LeapPad books. He regained his purple color since Let's Go To School. Also, the character designs in the DVDs has noticeable simplifications when compared to the book. And well, there's a major crossover with Art Evolution with the major character design change between A Tad of Christmas Cheer, and Let's Go To School!.
- Ascended Extra: Edison. Originally introduced as a minor character in a LeapPad book, he was Put on a Bus for a bit, and then brought back in time for A Tad Of Christmas Cheer, and then upgraded into a core character.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: The Violet toys are voiced by the same voice actor that voices Scout (11 year old Charlie Ibsen. See him interviewed by a San Fransisco Chronicle reporter here). In fact, the My Pal Scout and My Pal Violet actually shared an identical voice set to cut costs (this was possible because the toys never mention their own name). The other toys only made minor tweaks to the voice set, but Scout and Violet still sound identical on these toys.
- Also, in the Learning DVDs, Tad and Leap are voiced by females (Julie Maddalena and Cindy Robinson respectively).
- Everythings Precious With Puppies: Scout and Violet.
- Furry Confusion: We have Dot and Dan, anthropomorphic dogs. Then we have Scout and Violet, zoomorphic dogs. Then to prove that it's in the same universe, have Dot and Scout appear together in the ClickStart's intro cutscene. Then take the Mind Screw up to new heights when Scout and Violet are portrayed as anthropomorphic in some of the toys as well.
- In Name Only: The LeapPad Explorer is a Tablet device with a color LCD touchscreen, and shares absolutely no similarities in operation with the LeapPad of old.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The Purple Girl Green Boy variant is used with Violet and Scout respectively. Also, many of their products comes in either blue and green or purple and pink.
- Spin-Off: The LeapPad was spun off into various different sub-models, and some of them are incompatible with each other. This also applies to the Leapster (although all but the Leapster Explorer are cross-compatible) and the Tag (the Tag is compatible with Tag Junior titles, but not the other way around).
- Suddenly Voiced: Currently Zig-Zagging for Scout. He does not talk in his first appearance on the ClickStart educational computer, but the next toy that features him, the eponymously-titled My Pal Scout, has him voiced. And then he does not talk when he made his animated DVD debut in the The Amazing Alphabet Amusement Park and Numbers Ahoy DVDs, but said DVD has extras that are not part of the story where he sings.
- Put on a Bus / Chuck Cunningham Syndrome / Ret-Gone: Everyone that is not Leap, Tad, Lily or Edison when Let's Go To School was produced. Heck, shortly before that point, it seemed that the entire Learning Friends crew was put on the bus in favor of keeping only Scout and Violet around. Thank goodness they had the sense to at least let the core kids off the bus before it moved off. But for the rest of the characters, they were just gone like that and have never been mentioned since. Although some did re-appear in LeapPad books that were republished and reworked for the Tag, they have never been seen in any newer toys and new Tag titles, and are not in the DVDs since A Tad Of Christmas Cheer.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The only difference between Scout and Violet? The color, and the fact that Violet has eyelashes.
- Spinoff Babies: The LeapFrog Baby line of products, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: toys and accessories for infants. It comes with baby-fied versions of the learning friends characters.
- IOS Games: Scout's ABC Garden, the company's first foray into titles that are not released on their own gaming platforms.