The fact that certain kids’ tablets don’t contribute to toy industry sales is “complete lunacy”, says the firm behind Kurio.
Retail sales tracker NPD currently classifies the VTech InnoTab and LeapFrog LeapPad as toys in the UK because they are ‘designed for children and marketed as electronic learning toys’.
However, this is not the case for Android-based children’s tablets, including InspirationWorks’ Kurio, Ingo Devices’ licensed tablets, Oregon Scientific’s Meep product and others, which are classed by NPD as consumer electronics. This means, like Skylanders, they don’t contribute to the toy industry’s overall unit sales and market value.
“It’s very frustrating, not just for us, but for all our retail partners who are equally as dissatisfied,” said InspirationWorks UK director and general manager David Martin.
“Kurio and other kids’ tablets are being bought by toy buyers and are earning toy specific consumer spending. Such products should obviously be categorised within toys.
“Kurio has been classified by NPD US as a consumer electronic product and NPD UK doesn’t track consumer electronics, so the result is Kurio isn’t being tracked at all. Complete lunacy.”
Ingo Devices sales manager Matthew Tomlinson added: “None of our kids’ electronics items have ever been tracked, so while, yes, it is disappointing that they aren’t, it’s nothing out of the usual for us. I would like all toy-centric, licensed, kid-focused electronics to be included.”
NPD says it depends how a product is marketed.
Frederique Tutt, from NPD UK, said: “There are tablets on the market that are classified as toys within The NPD Group’s data. Specific items from firms such as LeapFrog and VTech are designed for children and marketed as electronic learning toys.
“Tablets from consumer electronics companies like Apple are not designed or marketed as toys.”