Toymakers target millennial parents at the New York Toy Fair 2018
Funday Factory’s Strategy and Insights Manager, Tatiana Lyng Pedersen, visited this year’s New York Toy Fair. With a determined mind to spot the newest trends and tendencies, she met a toy industry targeting millennial parents through the development of great tech products that don’t necessarily involve screen time.
In this article, we shed light on some of the great and cute tech toys coming up this fall 2018 under the category Screen-Free Coding Toys.
"While it's easy to dismiss screen-time as a waste of time, children's playtime is increasingly spent online. Therefore its really interesting to see so many toy companies combining technology, interaction and toys into a connected play experience"Strategy & Insights Manager, Tatiana Lyng Pedersen
Five days at the fair and the verdict was clear: The toymakers are developing play experiences that fit the demands of millennial parents. The millennial parents are tech-obsessed, but the development within the tech toy category shows clear signs of a desire to offer play experiences that allow the child to be creative, tech savvy and playful without the use of a screen.
The unplugged experiences offer new ways for the whole family to come together, play together and simply just experience proud moments together.
Screen-free toys are this year's number one
Toys that can help children learn to code are still hot, and that shows when you visit a toy fair. Since the category of coding toys meet both children’s interests and parents’ desire for more STEM entertainment, proud moments, and coding skill (still without screen time), the Robotics and screen-free coding toys will take the prize as this year’s Toy Fair trend number 1.
So here it is!
A list of the next generation’s cute, screen-free coding robot friends which can't wait to meet you in 2018:
Botley - the coding robot
Together with Botley the coding robot, the kids will learn to code without screens or electronics. They only need to use the enclosed coding cards and obstacles to command Botley to move through mazes and around items. The coding cards make it really easy and intuitive for the child to plan and visualise Botley’s path. With help from the cards, the children can programme up to 80 steps in one sequence.
Botley engages children as young as 5 years old and is the ideal introduction to coding with no tables or smartphone required.
Say hello to Cozmo - a robot with a big brain and a unique personality.
Cozmo evolves based on your interaction with him - and his emotional responses will keep you constantly surprised.
Anki's new super tiny toy robot is a must-have for boys and girls of all ages.
Think & Learn Teach 'n Tag™ Movi
Here is a little interactive robot which can go about anywhere, and it even dances along with the kids. He is a learning robot with a silly side that teaches pre-schoolers all about following directions, critical thinking and which gets them up and moving.
It comes with 3 learning modes and 60 faces expressions.
My Loopy - a tiny robot with a big personality
My Loopy is a robot presented by KD Interactive.
Only three-inch tall, My Loopy is one of the smallest but funniest robots that I met at the fair.
Loopy is a highly sensor-driven robot. The kids can control him with light, tilt, motion, touch, temperature, proximity, gestures and sound.
Boxer - the robot that can fit into your pocket
SpinMaster, who is also behind the sweet doll Luvabella (read about it here), presented their pocket robot Boxer at the fair. Boxer is a friendly robot with a ton of sensors making, which makes the robot capable of following you around, dance, and play games. He comes with a list of special cards, which adds more activities and new games thereby resulting in a broad play experience.
So what makes Boxer unique compared to the other robots? He is super tiny which makes him so cute and moreover, he can balance on his back wheels and display a range of adorable expressions.
The Code & Learn Ladybug
The Learning Journey is a company that designs and develops award winning and high quality educational toys and games for kids.
This spring, they will introduce us to the the Code & Learn Ladybug. The game introduces kids 5+ to basic programming and coding in a fun, intuitive and very simple way.
The Ladybug has two modes of play. In the first mode, the kids will be able to use a coding card deck and colour grid map to find the right path to a destination by entering directional instructions into a remote control. In the second mode, the child will be able to play more freely.
The Code & Learn Ladybug is developed for pre-schoolers 5+ and will be available in April 2018.
UBTech Jimu Robot Kits
With the UBTech Jimu Robot, the child can build their own unique personalised robot and engage in STEM learning - even though the kids will just think they are playing.
The robot can express its emotions through LED flashlights and through speakers, the kid can play music or programme sound effects for their new robot friend.
And finally let’s introduce the infrared sensor detecting robot KIKO.893
KIKO.893 has spent life traveling the galaxies and surveying uninhabitable regions.
The robot uses AI and infrared sensors to scan its surroundings and search for life in the universe to explore new obstacle. KIKO has two pre-programmed modes (Follow me and Explore), and its six legs make it able to turn 360 degrees which makes it super fun to navigate.
At Funday Factory, we love tech as well as physical play experiences and find the upcoming genre of screen-free tech toys interesting. Not only do they meet the parents’ desire for more STEM entertainment, proud moments, and coding skills but the new tech toys will also inspire parents to new parent/child play rituals through its real-world interaction. It's a natural development within the field of new technology and parent's need for diminishing screen-time, while supporting the child's interest for coding toys and smart toys.