New plugged-in toys follow kids online

The Associated Press reports that at the annual American International Toy Fair, toy manufacturers displayed several playthings that integrate online features. New York-based toy consultant Chris Byrne says that “Toy companies are looking at where kids are playing and targeting product against it. Younger and younger kids are becoming more comfortable with the internet.” This latest strategy comes as the toy industry is struggling with bringing back children, who now have multiple entertainment options such as iPods, cell phones, and social-networking sites. The industry is even making the traditional stuffed animal more modern by incorporating technology.  However, these new toys must be compelling enough for parents to buy them, and children to play with them. In addition, security must be taken into account, as parents need to feel that their children will be able to navigate toy and game systems without venturing elsewhere. Furthermore, toy industry executives say that they aren’t adding technology just for the sake of it; rather, they are trying to incorporate technology to help shape and enhance play patterns…;_ylt=AsTkxuusBwN2D50d4yx1D7tj24cA

eSchool News Staff

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