NEWS

Exclusive: Taking a look at Tech Toys

Published on: 10th July 2023

In a tech based society, toy companies use the latest developments to slowly introduce children to technology. Marianna Casal takes a look at the latest from the category.

This year, digital pets are dominant in the category as an emerging (or re-emerging) trend. The original Tamagotchi, which was first introduced in 1996, has now grown and adapted to a new world. Bandai has revealed the upcoming Tamagotchi Uni, which will allow users to connect in a completely new way to the Tamaverse – the metaverse of the Tamagotchi world – and offers a host of new features, while Spin Master has unveiled its own new digital pet with Bitzee. The company has reimagined a once two-dimensional interaction and infused it with colour, gamification and collectability.

Richard Dickson, UK/ROI sales channel director at Spin Master, says: “We’ve broken the digital pet out of the screen and brought it to kids’ fingertips, offering them a totally new play experience.” Tamagotchi Uni is aiming to enjoy success both with its new features for today’s tech-savvy kids and as an item with nostalgic appeal, as Kirsty McKenzie, head of Marketing at Bandai, explains: “Tamagotchi has a duel fanbase. When it was relaunched last year as the Tamagotchi Pix, the first people to pick it up were adult fans who played with it when they were little. But then millennials were also interested because of its retro appeal and the Japanese anime trend. “

Another nostalgic game coming to life digitally is Twister. This year, Hasbro unveiled Twister Air. The new app-enabled game takes the classic Twister gameplay fans know and love from the mat to the screen, using augmented reality.

Meanwhile, at HoloToyz, the newly launched AR Paw Patrol Tattoos and Stickers has become a bestseller, and Kate Scott, founder and CEO, tells us: “What sets our collaboration apart is the innovative use of our ‘Awesome Reality’ technology, which has revolutionised the way children engage with their favourite characters. By scanning our tattoos and stickers with a smart device, children can see their favourite characters jump to life and bring them into their own rooms.”

As well as enjoying items where technology is used to enhance the play experience, many tech toys provide a neat way to offer learning and skill development, with responsible restrictions in place. Rebecca Lazarus, UK marketing manager at VTech, stresses: “We prioritise safety and ensure our products provide a secure environment for children to engage with technology. By offering parental controls, we empower parents to customise and manage their child’s experience, ensuring a safe and controlled play environment.”

To find out more about the latest developments in the Tech space, read the full article, which appeared in the July edition of Toy World, here.

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