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(Pocket-lint) - When we visited this year's Toy Fair in January there was a notable absentee: LeapFrog. The company specialises in gadgets for younger kids and has always been a must-see for us each year, with its cunning devices that ape adult equivalents.

Now we know why that might have been. It is currently in negotiation to be bought by VTech, its direct rival.

Like LeapFrog, VTech makes tablets and other electronic toys for younger children. Many of its products were similar in style to LeapFrog's, with a rival tablet, rival kids' games console and much more.

Now the two companies will not have to pitch against each other tit for tat, they will combine to make a massive gadget manufacturer for kids.

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It has been revealed that VTech will pay $72 million (£50 million) for its rival. It is not known whether the LeapFrog brand will remain, although it might as the company chairman, Bill Chiasson, said that the deal "will be instrumental to helping the LeapFrog brand achieve the mission of helping each child achieve their potential."

Pocket-lint saw and played with new VTech devices at Toy Fair 2016, which included a new, improved version of its smartwatch and a selfie camera that comes complete with a telescopic stick.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 9 February 2016.