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Franchise / LeapFrog

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LeapFrog Enterprises is a toy and publishing company based in Emeryville, California, founded by former Cooley LLP attorney Michael Wood in 1995 after coming up with a way to aid in his son's reading lessons. 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 (the creator of the Fly left LeapFrog and created the Livescribe enhanced pens in 2009).

They are also well known for the LeapFrog Learning Friends, characters originally created for materials to be used for products such as LeapPad learning systems, but has since been spun-off to be used in various other toys and even animated VHS/DVD releases.

In February 2016, they revealed that they were nearing bankruptcy due to less than stellar sales, as kids moved away from physical learning toys to learning software on tablet devices, as well as inability to compete with their own LeapPad and Epic tablet devicesnote . They were purchased by rival toy manufacturer VTech shortly after.

Please note: Tropes unique to the DVD series have been moved to the Western Animation section. This page lists tropes that applies to the toys and the company's products in general, although tropes that crosses over into the DVD series are allowed.

LeapFrog products exhibit the following tropes:

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    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...
  • Ambiguously Brown: Dot and Dan.
  • An Aesop: An ad for LeapStart tries to make the point that online content shapes children's view of the world by having a young kid talk like a Conspiracy Theorist.
  • 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.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Time to change your batteries!" "Thanks for learning with Leap Frog. Bye-bye!"
  • Expy: Both JumpStart and LeapFrog feature (or, in JumpStart's case featured) similar-looking firefliesnote  named Edison who are best friends with frogs, and a cat named Casey. The question is, who's Expy-ing off whom?
  • 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.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In Counting on Zero, Professor Quigley tells Zero that he is worth nothing, as in mathematical terms. Zero interprets this as him being useless, and decides to run away. Unlike other examples of this trope, Quigley never apologizes to him.
  • 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.
  • Precious Puppies: Dan and Dot (particularly the Spinoff Babies version of Dot), Scout and Violet, Buddy, Bella and the rest of the Puppy Pals, and now Bailey.
  • Rearrange The Theme Tune: Many Modern Toys by LeapFrog use a rearranged version of the LeapPad Learning System start-up sound.
  • Retcon: A cross-media example- In the earlier DVDs, it's established that Tad, Leap, Lily and the rest of the Learning Friends all live in Alphaville. Now, it's established that Scout and Friends live in Shapeville, given the name of the park and how it's walking distance from their home. This completely throws out the continuity presented by the Clickstart learning computer, which states that Scout is Tad and Dot's dog, indication that the current Scout and Friends DVDs is set in a different universe from the Learning Friends continuity.
  • Same Language Dub: The UK releases of the toys have a "British English" sticker to indicate that it's for the UK market, and toys with the sticker have a British accent compared to those sold in the US.
  • 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: Zig-Zagged 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. And then, comes the Scout and Friends videos...
  • Put on a Bus: 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 after A Tad Of Christmas Cheer.
    • It appeared that Leap, Lily and Tad were also put on the bus after Numbers Ahoy.
    • In 2014, it seems that Scout, Violet, Penny and Eli are put on the bus...
  • The Bus Came Back: Leap, Lily and Tad have been taken off the bus.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The only difference between Scout and Violet? The color, and the fact that Violet has eyelashes.

  • Children Voicing Children: Scout (and Violet, to an extent) were originally voiced by Charlie Ibsen, who was 9 years old when he started. The UK releases also played this straight. This however is averted with later Scout/Violet toys, as well as the DVDs.
  • Dummied Out: A number of features present in commodity Android but not on the Epic, like the recent apps menu, lock screen and several others, are in the firmware all along, albeit with references to them being removed off SystemUI and Settings' resource files, or commented out in configuration files, preventing certain apps such as replacement home screens from being installed. They can however be accessed through third-party utilities.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: LeapFrog put out several toys that can be customized to say the owner's name. Some uses a cartridge programmer and flash cart that can be used to program the owner's name in, then inserted into certain toys. Others like the Scout and Violet My Pal plushes, LeapTop toy computers, and Story Time Pad toy tablets, can be programmed to say the owner's name via USB cable.
  • iOS Games: About a dozen titles.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: The above-mentioned programmable toys can also be programmed to know the owner's favorite food/fruit, animal and color.
  • No Backwards Compatibility in the Future: Games for lower-end LeapPad-series tablets purchased through retail are incompatible with the Epic due to the lack of a cartridge slot; there are however ports of them available on the Epic as recompense for those who previously purchased a LeapPad cart.
  • Spin-Off 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.
  • Take That!: This ad for LeapStart, which is a bitter jab (or at least as far as the company could reasonably do given their family-friendly image) at Conspiracy Theorists and their negative effects on impressionable children. Kids' minds are like a sponge, and as such LeapFrog knows that so-called "truthers" can and will warp a young person's mind for all the wrong reasons. Considering how Alex Jones's wife complained about having to deprogram their children from her husband's indoctrination, this is sadly Truth in Television.

Alternative Title(s): Leapster