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GPX Now DPI, Launches More Brands

GPX announced a corporate name change to Digital Products International (DPI) and a corporate-wide rebranding initiative that adds the iLive, Crayola, GoVideo and WeatherX brands to its GPX-branded portfolio.

St. Louis-based DPI owns the GPX, iLive and WeatherX brands and licenses the Crayola and GoVideo brands. The company is also open to adding new brands in the future.

The new corporate identity “better represents where we are headed as an organization,” said CEO Bill Fetter. It enables the umbrella company to maintain the individual identities for each of its brands, “positions us more effectively for future acquisitions,” and enables the company to “secure a substantial and significant place in today’s consumer electronics marketplace by cultivating growth through the addition of multiple layers of products and brands.”

The individual brands will focus on design, product development and manufacturing, but the brands will benefit from shared resources in such areas as research, accounting, engineering, domestic warehousing and marketing, the company said. The company will also “be leveraged to enable expedited product launches [and] increased product innovation and feature options,” Fetter said.

DPI was originally founded 35 years ago as Grand Prix Electronics and became known mainly as a marketer of promotional electronics. In recent years, the company has stepped up its assortment, added new product categories, and hired its own design teams to develop differentiated products and work more closely with the engineering teams of its OEM manufacturers to drive down costs and add value.

DPI is not currently marketing products under two other brands that it owns: Bantam and Yorx. In 2005, the company licensed the Alienware brand, but that relationship isn’t active, the company said.

Under the iLive brand of electronics accessories made for Apple’s iPods, the company here at International CES is adding nine more products to complement the first five products shipped in the second half of 2006. The first consisted of an AM/FM/CD boombox, a desktop speaker system, an alarm clock, an undercabinet AM/FM radio, and a 2.1-channel AM/FM/DVD music/video system.

The new products include the $399 iHT8817DT DVD-equipped home theater in a box (HTiB) system with 5.1 speaker system all packed into a single set-top bar that uses the industry’s first implementation of SRS Labs’s TruSurround HD4 virtual 5.1 surround technology to deliver all five surround channels. It also incorporates AM/FM tuner.

Other new iLive products include the $79.99 iC2807 portable speaker system and the brand’s first iPod-docking AM/FM boombox, the $49.99 iBR2807DP. Also new: Two more iPod-docking AM/FM/CD boomboxes at $79.99 and $99.99. They join an existing model. All run on AC or DC.

Also new for iLive: the arch-shaped ICR6807DT $99.99 clock radio with seven-channel NOAA weatherband, the $199 iHT3807DT AM/FM speaker system and the $299 iHT3817DT flat-panel AM/FM speaker system.

Under the GoVideo brand, DPI is launching seven SKUs of home and portable DVD and home audio. The lineup doesn’t include TV because in early 2006, the Soyo Group licensed the Go-Video brand for TVs in the U.S. and Canada from TCL subsidiary Opta.

The GoVideo lineup includes two progressive-scan DVD players and one DVD recorder, two fold-down tablet-style portable DVD players (one with a 9-inch screen at $169 and one with a 11.4-inch swivel screen and iPod dock at $299), and the $199 YGHMD717DT compact music system with two speakers, AM/FM/DVD, built-in 7-inch LCD screen and NTSC/ATSC tuner. An iPod-docking $299.99 HTiB features five-DVD changer and up-scaling of 480p signals to either 720p or 1,080i through its HDMI output.

Under the Crayola brand of kids electronics, DPI is showing a $39.99 CD boombox with activity center and dry-erase board, headphone AM/FM/CD player at $29.99, 512MB MP3/WMA player with SD card slot at $39.99, two portable AM/FM radios, clock radio and eight-digit calculator.

Under the long-standing GPX name, DPI is launching two digital photo frames/clock radios at $99.99 and $169.99 with 16MB of internal memory, multiple-card slot, and MP3/WMA/MP4 playback.

In MP3 players, GPX is showing two new MP3 players, the MW33X7 and MW38X7 with MP3/WMA playback and WMA DRM 10. They’re available in 512MB, 1GB or 2GB versions. The 33X7 adds SD-MMC expansion slot.

Also new: a $39.99 compact music system, $34.99 DVD player, clock radios at $7.99 and $14.99, two karaoke machines, and four undercabinet entertainment systems.

The undercabinet systems top out with the $299 KCLD8887DT with flip-down 8.4-inch LCD screen, ATSC/NTSC tuner and DVD player with MP3/WMA playback. The $199 KCL8807DT features AM/FM and ATSC/NTSC TV tuner with 7-inch LCD.

The KCCD3817DT and KCCD6817DT models at $24.99 and $34.99, respectively, feature AM/FM tuner and drawer-loading CD player.

WeatherX products are designed for use during emergencies such as weather events and natural disasters.