If you spent any time in a toy aisle this past holiday season, you would have noticed a subtle shift starting to occur in toys. The old standby toys are giving way to more modern app-enabled versions. Manufacturers are finding any way they can to update classic toys to engage with modern tablets. Barbie is enabled with cameras that play back via apps, Fisher Price play sets embed them for interactive play, and Lego building sets can be controlled by them. Unless manufacturers embrace and utilize tablets with their products, the tablet will take over the toy market.
Portable and Multifunctional
Today’s portable tablet is the size of a magazine and yet it brings with it all of the functions of books, videos, and music. Beyond that, it is truly a computer and with the right software can simulate just about any toy on the market. A quick review of the applications available show it can act as an art set, musical instrument, interactive doll, puzzle, or just about any board game on the market.
From a parent’s standpoint, there are many benefits to a tablet. It replaces an entire closet of toys and can travel just about anywhere so there is no more arguing over how many toys to pack. There are no more lost pieces and cleanup is a breeze. There are no more emergencies when the batteries run down and the only maintenance needed is an occasional recharge.
Unique and Interactive
The power of the modern tablet enables a level of interactivity not seen in toys before. Books and board games can embed live music and videos to enrich the experience. Works of art can be saved to be modified later or printed out multiple times. Music games can utilize the child’s favorite artists. These are just a few examples of how the tablet can enable more interactive play that evolves with the technology. Narey makes a strong case that toys evolve with available technology. The paper dolls of our grandparent’s age led to the rag dolls of our parent’s childhood. These in turn became the plastic action figures of our childhood, which have now led to the virtual avatars of our children (2010).
Economics and Sales Results
As recently as 5 years ago, tablets were rarely found outside of specialized environments such as healthcare, logistics, and data gathering. ...