Our little ones are watching us every second. We are parents too (loooong before we’re toy makers). We know full-well that what our kids want to play with is OUR stuff!
Those cellphones and Blackberries and iPhones and iPods that are now permanently attached to every parent’s hand or back pocket are an endless source of fascination. Our product development had a wallop of self-preservation motivation when we created Hellophone, FunKeys and, most recently, Alphaberry. We wanted wee ones to have their very own. And, admittedly, leave ours alone. :)
We just knew that any cute character phone or toy-like version of the ‘real thing’ would not do. Kids are much smarter than that. You’ll notice Hellophone, Funkeys and Alphaberry are as close to the real thing without...well, without being the real thing and costing a fortune. (And, of course, our toys have to pass a gazillion safety tests to be in the hands of our most precious ones.)
We firmly believe that God is in the details (the Devil too depending on how you handle the details)... so we put very grown-up features into these toys:
Hellophone calls you back! Truly. Put it down after playing with it, and in about a minute it rings! Children’s faces of surprise delight us every time we witness this. The record-a-voice feature lets you include your very own voice in the phone so that a baby or toddler really thinks he’s got a message from someone he knows. Someone she loves.
FunKeys are metal (safely rounded stainless steel). How many of us have given our babies our own real car and house keys to jingle? We spent months figuring out stainless steel and making sure that even corrosive saliva would not rust these babies, so that OUR babies would have their very own.
Alphaberry took 2 years to make because we wanted the letters on the screen to not be the typical ‘calculator’ letters which no child would recognize. (It takes many many more pixels to create a toddler-recognizable letter A on a screen.) We could have just played the typical alphabet song that most toys on the market play, but that would not be B.! We recorded our own versions of the ABCs in rock&roll, blues, and country—plus we hired a little girl to sing it for us so that our sounds would be “live.” And at the risk of sounding like a Ginzu knife commercial...“that’s not all!”...we programmed the letters to follow the tempo of the music. Of course A-B-C should be slower than LMNOP; any 4 year old could tell you that.
While we were making toys just like moms’ and dads’ we thought of moms and dads every step of the way. All of these are packaged in our patent-pending reversible gift boxes so that in a flip-over minute you are gift-wrap ready for the party!
A remote control next?