SOURCE: Smith & Tinker, Inc.

Smith & Tinker, Inc.

August 03, 2009 00:01 ET

Launch of Smith & Tinker Reinvents Play for the Connected Generation

Former Disney, Hasbro, and Microsoft Executives Create Battling Monster Game Combining the Best of Online and Offline Play

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - August 3, 2009) - Smith & Tinker®, a company reinventing play for the connected generation, today announced the launch of the company and its first game, Nanovor™. Smith & Tinker is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Jordan Weisman, creator of the mega-hit PC gaming franchise MechWarrior and former creative director of Microsoft Xbox. The company merges the best elements of a toy company, video game company and entertainment studio to create cohesive interactive entertainment that spans between kids' online and offline lives.

In a related announcement, Smith & Tinker announced the launch of its first product. Nanovor introduces kids to a rich fictional world where nanoscopic monsters, known as Nanovor, live and battle on silicon chips deep inside computers. Nanovor uniquely integrates a multi-player PC title with a handheld digital gaming device called the Nanoscope™. This next-generation game seamlessly integrates online and offline play experiences, encourages face-to-face interaction, and enables kids to play anywhere and everywhere. Kids can collect, train and evolve hundreds of Nanovor, constantly developing new strategies to lead their teams to victory! The game is available as a free to play download at www.Nanovor.com.

The innovative game play and integrated content is the result of Smith & Tinker's handpicked team from across the video game, toy and entertainment industries. Smith & Tinker is led by former executives from Disney, Microsoft, RealNetworks, Cranium and Hasbro. The company's investment partners are an elite group of leaders with deep experience in Smith & Tinker's industry. The group is highlighted by Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen; Randy Rissman, founder of Tiger Electronics and current founder of Leo Capital Holdings; Gilman Louie, former chief of Spectrum Holobyte and co-founder of Alsop Louie Partners; and Ryan McIntyre, co-founder of Excite and current co-founder of Foundry Group.

"Kids are drawn to online games because they offer new content every day, worldwide social engagement, and the ability to enhance the things they play with; a traditional toy just can't compete," said Jordan Weisman, CEO and Founder, Smith and Tinker. "While online games draw kids physically away from each other, there is still nothing more interesting to a kid than another kid in the same room, they just don't know what to do when they get there. Our mission at Smith & Tinker is to create great online games that extend to in-person social play via smart toys and devices. What kids do online enhances what they do offline, and what they do offline enhances online play in a virtuous circle."

Analyst research indicates that the physical toy market is being steadily overtaken by video games and kids electronics, illustrating a growing demand for dynamic digital content in children's entertainment products. Today's existing "connected toys" are in effect simply unlock codes for online experiences. These toys leave a gap between traditional play and online content because the experience happens on essentially separate islands: online and in the physical world. With Nanovor, Smith & Tinker has built a bridge between online and offline play, allowing kids to have a consistent experience regardless of how and where they engage with the game.

"Traditional toy companies have lost share to the ever-evolving online and video game markets," said Michael Pachter, Managing Director of Entertainment Research at Wedbush Morgan Securities. "Smith & Tinker's new platform addresses the demands of today's kids for online and video game content, while encouraging personal, face-to-face game play. By incorporating the best features of both worlds, Nanovor has the opportunity to define and to rapidly penetrate the convergence of these markets."

Former Vice President and General Manager of Disney Toys North America and current President and Co-Founder of Smith & Tinker Joe Lawandus said, "In addition to integrated online and offline play the Nanovor product line will be complemented by a full slate of entertainment including animated weekly webisodes, illustrated comics, a graphic novel and field guide. Nanovor is illustrative of Smith & Tinker's 360 degree approach to kids entertainment and play. Depth of story and game play are critical to our successful creation of great brands for kids."

More information on the company is available at www.smithandtinker.com. To explore the world of Nanovor, visit www.nanovor.com and to view the initial webisodes, visit http://www.nanovorvideo.com.

About Smith & Tinker

Smith & Tinker is reinventing play for the connected generation with innovative hybrid games that bridge the gap between online digital entertainment and classic offline tabletop play. Smith & Tinker aims to encourage social interaction and play among kids whether they are in the same room or across the globe. Founded in 2007, Smith & Tinker is led by executives from some of the world's top brands including Microsoft, Hasbro, and Disney. More information is available at www.smithandtinker.com.

Contact Information