This week our columnist gets excited about Dream toys and makes a contribution to some impending top Christmas toy lists.
It has been a veritable stampede this week. There’s been a whirlwind of events and launches - just as the kids feet hit the playground the diary dates have started to stack up again in earnest – although that might sound like a moan, it’s far from it.
After spending the summer weeks in a more child-friendly frame of mind, this week went all grown-up, so it’s time to switch the grey matter into sponge-mode as I begin to categorise stuff for the inevitable Christmas lists which I’m tasked to put together.
I suspect we’re asked because the papers like using the phrase “Toyologist” in the introductory copy (probably why so many others borrow the moniker too). The name sounds scientific and our selections are actually scientifically made.
We’ll cut out images of the toys we like from various catalogues, print out others, take photos if need be and store these up over the next month or so, and then invite some of the kids friends around, their parents, and have a bite to eat and talk toys.
We heard the Dream Toys selectors were in a dark room this week making their decisions. I hear they have plenty of fizzy pop and sweets to get them through this gruelling affair.
One area of the market that’s going to prove a real battlefield is the kids tablet market. By the NPD definition only Leapfrog and VTech can claim to be in this category but there are a raft of other Android based systems that will surely compete.
This week Oregon officially launched Meep, Toys R Us talked about their exclusive ChildPad tablet, InspirationWorks are making decent headway with their already at market Kurio and there’s also the Lexibook – All seven inch screens, all on the same OS. Some tough choices to be made, so this next week we’re going to crack on and do the comparison video everyone wants, well I know a couple of parents have asked me about making a choice so I’ll do it for them.
We’re overly excited at the prospect of two upcoming events where we secured involvement this week. You’ll likely have heard that following its stellar success at the NEC Gadget Show Live is having a Christmas show and putting it on over at the Excel centre. I went over there last week and can confirm that there are double the number of bars, the UK’s top Caribbean restaurant and you can get a cable car ride over there from the o2. This is all aside the main event that they’re trying out a new Toy area and yours truly will be there trying to achieve the perfect hybrid of snake charmer and Donald Trump to get the expected 30,000 crowd to dig deep.
Further afield the Nuremberg organisers have released details of their special subject area for the 2013 show, which just happens to be Toys 3.0 - looking at kids and digital with particular focus on the appcessory category that we’ve been championing for almost a year now. I really cannot wait to see what they put together in the Mitte area to celebrate this “starting-to-gather-pace-now” category as they do know how to put on a show.
Time back at base today to wade through emails after the dust has settled from a most successful week and plan when to start queuing for my new iPhone 5. What’s that? There’s already someone camped out?
Peter Jenkinson is CEO of Toyology.tv - an Android only man and will stay true to his kids-tablet-producing-people.