Family Education Network, an edutainment network developed by Pearson that includes the children’s website Poptropica (created by Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney), has been purchased by U.K.-based Sandbox Partners.
FEN’s Funbrain gaming site launched several popular children's book series including Wimpy Kid and Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate. Earlier this month the first book in Max Brallier’s Galactic Hot Dogs series was released, which also debuted on Funbrain. Together Funbrain and Poptropica have, according to FEN, launched an estimated $700M in book-based IP.
Funbrain Jr., Infoplease, Fact Monster, and Family Education are also part of FEN. The network of sites draw 25 million visits per month.
“Engaging digital media and informal learning for kids are spaces we are hugely passionate about,” said Sandbox founder and CEO Bhav Singh, “so FEN was a clear choice. There is massive potential in the kids’ edutainment space, especially in game-based learning. And we’re excited about growing FEN together with Jeff Kinney’s creative guidance and [senior v-p and publisher] Jess Brallier’s leadership.”
“The Sandbox team truly understands the informal learning space that kids want, and how important it is to reach out to parents and teachers at the same time," Kinney said. "They will support us with establishing Poptropica as a consumer storytelling brand for all media, languages, territories, and delivery devices, for generations to come.”
Prior to acquiring FEN, Sandbox’s most recent acquisitions was edtech company Hopster, a TV and learning app for children.