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Kids Turn Toy News

iToys Launches the Hottest Brain Game of the Year: KENKEN™ Handheld Electronic Game


Toronto, Canada, February 6, 2009 – Like food for the mind, KENKEN™, the brain-teasing game, has been proclaimed “the most addictive puzzle since sudoku” by New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz. KENKEN is the exciting, new Japanese “brain game” sweeping North America and soon will be the latest electronic game from iToys Inc., the leading developer of electronic handheld games. With such critically acclaimed hits as Deal or No Deal as well as NBC Sports, Family Feud, Price Is Right and more, iToys has secured the exclusive worldwide licensing rights for KENKEN handheld electronic games.

iToys rolls out its first KENKEN handheld electronic game to mass retailers in January 2009.

“KENKEN is a wildly entertaining and thoroughly mind-absorbing puzzle game that already is well on its way to becoming bigger than sudoku,” said iToys Toycoon George Irwin. “With ten levels of difficulty, everyone can play and, no matter what their age, once they pick it up they won’t be able to put it down.”

"We're delighted iToys is a new partner in the KENKEN family," said Robert Fuhrer, the New York businessman whose company, Nextoy™, licenses and markets the puzzle worldwide.

iToys’ all-new KENKEN game offers thousands of puzzles on 3x3 to 6x6 grids. Features include:

  • Touch screen
  • Removable stylus
  • Backlighting
  • Incredible sound effects
  • Multiple help tools
  • Scoring

Designed for ages eight and up, KENKEN will be offered for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

KENKEN was launched in 2004 by puzzle master and teacher extraordinaire Tetsuya Miyamoto, quickly becoming Japan’s hottest brain game. Mr. Miyamoto was looking for an engaging – and fun – tool to help teach his students, and devised KENKEN, which translates as “wisdom squared” or “cleverness squared.” He believes that conventional teaching has failed and that by concentrating on this novel way of problem-solving, the mind becomes a more potent tool for the rest of one’s life. Newspapers from around the world have added KENKEN puzzles, including such leading dailies as The Times of London, Boston Globe and

KENKEN is an arithmetic-based puzzle game that, like sudoku, is played on a grid using numbers. It is “beyond sudoku,” however, by taking the puzzle one step further and incorporating math skills, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Game play ranges from very easy to extremely difficult. “The hardest ones,“ added Fuhrer, “could challenge even Einstein.”

iToys joins a growing roster of KENKEN licensees, including Harper Collins, St. Martin’s Press, United Features Syndicate, Nintendo, Reader’s Digest, CapCom and Dell Penny Press.

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About iToys, Inc.
Formed in 2003, iToys, Inc. recaptures the spirit of the highly respected Irwin Toy moniker with original toys as well as beloved classics with a 21st Century spin, including the critically-acclaimed Deal or No Deal electronic games. Led by brothers George and Peter Irwin, toy industry veterans from the venerable Irwin Toy family, iToys is dedicated to recapturing the glory days of Irwin Toy – the Canadian toy company founded by their grandfather – and expanding on the legacy to touch families everywhere. iToys’ all-new generation of cutting-edge toys are designed to dazzle and delight children of all ages.