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Walgreens pumps up volume with Paper Jamz toy guitars

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. this week plans to roll out what it calls a "hot" and "must-have" toy on store shelves nationwide.

The drug store chain said Wednesday that it will carry Paper Jamz guitars, drums and amplifiers. Made by WowWee, Paper Jamz instruments are thin, battery-operated guitars and drum sets that feature Active Graphics Technology, which enables music to be played via embedded touch sensors.

Most of the 7,500-plus Walgreens locations will feature an interactive Paper Jamz display, giving customers the opportunity to try out the toy guitar in stores, according to the retailer.

"We believe Paper Jamz will be the hot new toy and technology for kids this summer and through the holidays," Bryan Pugh, Walgreens’ vice president of merchandising, said in a statement. "In addition to pharmacy, health and wellness products and services, we strive to lead our segment of the market by offering innovative products, unique gift ideas and affordable technology and Paper Jamz is a great example of that."

Walgreens said Paper Jamz is one of the most anticipated new products coming out of Toy Fair 2010, having already been recognized as Toy of the Year in Australia and winning the German Toy Innovation Award.

The line features six guitars and six drum sets, each with three licensed hit songs. The guitar and drums can be played in four modes, including Perfect Play (to play along with a song), Rhythm Play (to control a song’s rhythm tempo), Freestyle Play (to play real chords and create songs) and Karaoke Mode (to let users mute the vocals, drums or backing tracks so they can hear themselves sing and/or play). All instruments include a volume control and earphone jack.

The paper-thin guitar and drums retail for $24.99 each, Walgreens said. The amplifier, which plays music from Paper Jamz guitars, drums or personal MP3 players, retails for $14.99, and guitar straps are available for $5.99. A demo video of Paper Jamz instruments can be seen at www.walgreens.com/paperjamz. The retailer also will sell the toys online.


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