The Video Buddy is an interactive learning tool for children that teaches kids through special interactive tapes of educational programs. Video Buddy guides kids through a series of activities with the aid of a child-sized interactive learning handset. In a voice that speaks to them on their level, Video Buddy encourages and applauds their responses, to stimulate them. The Video Buddy was designed for kids ages 3- to 7-years old, helping support the skills needed in pre- and early-school years.
Release in November 1999, just in time for Christmas, the console alongside 19 interactive VHS, with a promise of new titles on the way. The system was sold online and was available at some select location. Some VHS rental stores carried some of the title, but with the little excitement generated by the system, very few proposed this option. With the sale not being as expected, the company did not have the fund to produce new content. And with no new title, the system quickly felt into oblivion. The system remained available online until 2002, with a price drop from $59.95 to $29.95 while the VHS-based games remained at $14.95.
On July 2002, a new company called “The Video Buddy Company” acquired all right to the systems. In 2003, the newly formed company released a new series of educational programs but this time on DVD. Dubbed the “Video Buddy’s Learning Library”, the new selection of 5 DVDs were the natural evolution of the system. The DVDs were all prices at $14.95, except for the one called “Preschool Review”, a special release containing segments of all the four other DVDs, which was priced at $19.95. The company also re-released all title, but this time in a generic black VHS case with a paper cover. The company change its tactics and decided to market the systems toward educators instead of the general population, but once again, the new DVDs had very limited success and no new content was developed. The company remained open until somewhere in 2006.
Interactive VHS Program
I9 programs were released for the system, all in 1999. This includes the “Let’s Play Video Buddy” which is in fact a video containing segment of “Paddington Big Beach Adventure” and “Dak and the Beanstalk” from the Dino Babies franchise.
Interactive DVD Program
In 2003, “The Buddy Video Company” release a four DVDs under the new “Video Buddy Learning Library” banner. A fifth DVD called Preschool Review, was in fact made of segments of the four other DVDs.