Rodgers Townsend and Happy Up are launching Mobile Monsters, an interactive anti-texting toy, into the St. Louis market

ST. LOUIS, MO (April 21, 2016) … April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but limiting cell phone usage of Missouri drivers is an ongoing initiative for one of St. Louis' most influential creative agencies, Rodgers Townsend (RT), and beloved local toy store, Happy Up, Inc. United with a common goal in mind-to get cell phones out of the hands of area drivers-Happy Up and RT have come together in an effort to change the behaviors of local drivers with a tech-hungry toy.

Mobile Monsters are a unique line of plush toys that give kids the power to prevent their parents from texting and driving. With RFID-blocking fabric, cellular signals are reduced when phones are placed inside the monsters' mouths. Parents simply feed the monster and place it in the care of their children before starting the car-giving kids a safer driver behind the wheel. Kids will love the monsters too; particularly the sound chip that boasts a "MMMM!" when a mobile phone is fed to the monster.

"Organizations around the globe are collaborating in an effort to prevent distracted driving," said Mike McCormick, chief creative officer at RT. "And understandably so-national statistics are frightening."

Each day distracted driving is to blame for the death of eight Americans, while another 1,161 Americans are seriously injured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And Missouri is one of four remaining states that have not fully prohibited drivers from texting and driving.

Knowing Missouri tolerates driver cell phone interaction-whether talking, texting or any other attention-restricting activity-RT set its sights on finding a real solution to overcoming the distracted driving epidemic. And what ultimately emerged from a marriage of creative ingenuity and kid-focused fun turned out better than imagined.

"We are so excited to be bringing Mobile Monsters to the St. Louis area," said Conor Barry, Mobile Monsters creative at RT. "By taking a warmer approach to distracted driver prevention, we truly believe that this toy is capable of changing the behaviors of drivers-especially those with children in the vehicle."

Mobile Monsters are now on sale and can be found at Happy Up, Inc. in Clayton, Mo.

"Mobile Monsters are a great idea and we're really excited to bring them into our store," said Shawnta' Ray, owner of Happy Up, Inc. "They're going to give kids a sense of control and a way to help their caretakers be safe drivers. We all know how young kids love to enforce the rules. Especially when it's their grownups. I'm sure there will be lots of children reminding their parents to make the monster say, 'MMMM!'"

The cost of a monster is $34.95, and 15 percent of proceeds will go to St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation.

Happy Up Inc., Clayton

8107 Maryland Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63105
(314) 725-2455

Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

About Happy Up, Inc.

Happy Up Inc. is made up of two independently owned toy stores. Located in Edwardsville, Ill., and Clayton, Mo., Happy Up stocks the best toys on the planet. From the newest and most innovative toys and games to classic playthings that never go out of style, Happy Up offers the greater St. Louis area a unique shopping experience. In one form or another, these toy stores have been catering to goofballs for over 25 years. In 2014, Happy Up Clayton was voted Best St. Louis Toy Store by the Readers of the Riverfront Times. To learn more, visit HappyUpInc.com.

About the St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation

St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation partners with the community to raise funds for groundbreaking research, exceptional pediatric care and health outreach programs for kids in St. Louis and beyond. The Foundation's goal is to make the most of every gift to the hospital--big or small. For more information on how you can make a difference for kids through a donation to St. Louis Children's Hospital, please visit StLouisChildrens.org/WaystoGive.