Though the question marks that hang over traditional bricks and mortar retail continue to become ever more ominous, a successful initiative in North America is set to bring the digital casual revolution the Toys R Us chain.
Online monetization firm PlaySpan has announced that a new code card range in conjunction with PBS Kids Play called Ultimate Game Card that will be stocked in over 800 of the toy firm’s stores across North America.

The cards can be used to pay for online subscriptions to, a website that offers casual games targeted at the ages 3-6 demographic and starring many of America’s most popular kids’ brands.

“Through our partnership with PlaySpan, we are able to invite more families to sample the educational content on PBS Kids Play that can further a child’s total well-being,” PBS’ senior director of interactive businesses Ben Grimley.
PlaySpan CEO Karl Mehta added: “Stored value cards have become an extremely popular and convenient way for consumers worldwide to access online content. Our international distribution agreement with Toys R Us and other retailers, makes PlaySpan an easy choice for many of today’s most trusted brands and publishers.”

The Ultimate Game Card is already available in 45,000 outlets in the US and Canada.
Similar schemes have previously been seen in the UK, most notably Rockstar’s GTAIV: The Lost and Damned retail card that included an Xbox Live promo code. Amazon has also introduced Xbox Live Arcade and Wii Virtual Console purchases on its site.