Toy Makers Give New Products Longevity Through Apps
New toys are looking to capitalize on the high-tech market with unique takes on the iPad and Android devices. NY1’s Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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No matter how cool a new toy is, oftentimes a child would likely still pick up a device like an iPad or iPod Touch if given the choice. So it's no wonder so many developers at the American International Toy Fair are using devices like iPads or iPod Touches as part of their new toys.
Mattel is launching a new line of what it's calling Apptivity Toys, physical toys you hold in your hand that interact somehow with companion apps.
“Every toy is unique and designed for the brand for the game, so whether it's Barbie, where you're unlocking potentially parts of a closet, or Hot Wheels, where it's a challenge or a race or a quest or accumulate points and unlock things,” says Chuck Scothon of Mattel.
Out this fall, they range from about $10 to $20 apiece.
The $50 TeeGee out this summer is a more traditional toy, but where it breaks from tradition, you stick an iPhone or iPod Touch in its back and it becomes the brains of the monkey, so to speak.
“You're able to download age appropriate apps, so as your child gets older, you can evolve the experience for your child and you don't have to buy other toys. You can sing songs with TeeGee, arithmetic, Spanish, English, grammar,” says Christopher Ahn of TeeGee.
Or finally, if it's just the actual tablet or smartphone your kids want but you don't want to give them yours, the Kurio is a fully functioning Android tablet for kids.
The only thing that really makes it different from other Android tablets on the market is that parents can pretty much control every single thing their kids do on it. Parents set up profiles for up to eight users and then each user gets certain rights. For starters, parents can determine what types of websites can be visited.
“We have an online service that will everyday update inappropriate sites for kids and families, and by category, you can determine based on your own value system which categories are appropriate for your child,” says Eric Levin of TechnoSource.
You can also designate which user can access which apps. Kurio is out early summer for about $200.