Educational Toys Top Indian and American Toy Lists
Kristen M. Foster
If toy-makers are looking to grab Indian parents’ toy-budgeting funds, recent press indicates their R&D ought to be aimed toward educational toys. A New Kerala article is catching notice this week, saying that “edutainment” toys (those promoting learning through play) have the potential for 15 percent year-on-year growth over the next five years.
Much of what US parents see in this year’s top toy lists leans toward tech-heavy toys. Though not out for this holiday season, Google is putting its toy-hopes (and potential hiring future) in the hands of Play-i, which will release its programmable robots in 2014. The gadgets, nicknamed Bo and Yana, are round robots which can be programmed through a smartphone and tablet and are being promoted for kids 5 and older.
Toy-maker VTech is garnering high awards (20 based on this count) and topping holiday shopping lists for its developmental, electronic learning toys. Highest acclaim going to the VTech InnoTab 3S Learning Tablet, which is being promoted by, “respected toy industry lists,” such as Parents Magazine, Dr. Toy, and Amazon.com among others.
The educational toy list provided by Shyam Makhija, director of Pegasus ToyKraft business development, is a little more tactile, “The categories which fit the bill most appropriately are educational jigsaw puzzles, tile puzzles, memory-based games, do-it-yourself art and craft kits, builder blocks and construction sets.”
In India, the industry uses seminars for parents, teachers, psychologists and social scientists to educate on educational toy prerequisites. Indian toy experts advocate toys that are boredom-resistant and curiosity-stimulating, but also age and gender appropriate; gender alone having become a hot topic in the toy industry.
And just in case parents on any continent need additional guidance for tots to teens, Toys “R” Us is debuting a Toy Channel (YouTube-based), “for exclusive, original and entertaining programming for kids and families on all things toys.”[Images via Toys “R” Us, VTech, and ToyKraft official Facebook pages.]