By Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Expert and Futurist
First posted on the YourToyCom.com blog forum and community website serving the toys, games and childrens’ technology industries, on behalf of the Spielwarenmesse. Spielwarenmesse is the leading and largest International ToyFair in the world, held annually in Nuremberg, Germany in early February.
Lately, there seems to be a pendulum swing back toward imaginative play and giving kids the tools to create their own versions of toys and games. With technology creeping into so many children’s toys, it is a breath of fresh air to see this new movement offering kids a different approach. Don’t get me wrong, technology can definitely enhance a play pattern, or seamlessly add to creative role-playing. Giving kids the option to play with both tech and non-tech products does provide a more balanced toy perspective, and an opportunity to explore a different type of play experience. Here are just a few examples that have caught my eye lately.
Brickstix: A 12 year-old boy, Greyson MacLean, recently won the 2011 TAGIE Young Inventor Award, at the annual November 2011 ChiTag Chicago Toy & Game Fair, with this toy invention. He created removable and reusable decals for adhering to building blocks, such as Legos and MegaBloks. This tween inventor came up with everything from city decals to every day messes that he calls “Splats.” These stickers are available online at www.brickstix.com, to allow other kids to customize their brick collections.
In a kid’s world, who hasn’t dreamed of developing their own original toy creation? In an adult world, the concept of mass customization has allowed that very dream to become a reality. Here are just a few of the ways kids can customize and design their own toys, and in some cases, then have them delivered to the child’s home, in a matter of days or weeks, building self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment for a creative kid.