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Cool Toys

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Kids’ toys have been coming under fire in recent years because of the potential for injury. Small parts pose choking hazards and cheaply produced items might have levels of hard metals that cause toxicity levels that are too high in children. The single biggest concern for product marketers, however, is to introduce the ‘cool’ factor. Cool toys sell and everyone knows it. Toy companies are constantly working to outdo each other in competition for a child’s attention span. They employ various modes and several of them will be mapped here.

The first and foremost ingredient to cool toys is technology. From stuffed animals to pure electronic games, technology is quickly proving itself the best way to make an item compatible with the short attention span of individuals in the modern day. The idealized form of marketing is to portray a toy as similarly capable to the other flashing, brightly colored, talking toys on the market. A modern fire truck isn’t just red anymore; it has flashing lights and makes multiple siren sounds with mild battery enhancement. Who knows, the cutting edge of fire truck toys might even have a water reservoir and a hand pump of some sort that can be used outdoors. All of this contributes to the real-applicability of the toy and that in turn makes it a more popular product.

On the other side of the gender coin, dolls are now programmed to speak back when given certain stimulus. A baby will say something good about the good food chip that you feed it on a spoon. It will be enthusiastic if you give it its desert before its dinner, but then might be a stomach ache and you’ll have to give it medicine. Within this hypothetical there are hundreds of variants and a vast number of alternatives like brushing the dolls hair or dressing it in different ways. Each of these forms a communication tree that loops back into itself eventually, but enables the child to get the feel that this is just one of several cool toys. This isn’t the only way that you can improve the capacity for awesome toys.

Just as in adult investments in cars and houses, points of customization and differentiation are critical. So when a product line comes out and says that there are X number of alternatives and different points to collect on the line is instantly more popular and therefore more befitting of a cool toys title. The rogue squadron or the Stacey’s tea party collection are hits because it engages children on the social level. Children are impacted by the social interactions that occur all around them, so when they can replicate it, they do. Seeing a military G.I. Joe show leads a child to make believe with his own tank and army squad, just like another child will imagine a congregating of friends at the lunch table. In both cases the product is more diversified and desirable because it comes in a collection of items that all contribute to the idealized fantasy.

Mass-production is critical in this way, because you must incorporate the technology into the dolls, radio controlled devices, action figures, puzzles, electronic games quickly. The idea of “new” is directly connected with cool toys in a child’s mind. The successful marketing of this word as a critical component of something that makes it cool is a recent innovation. In previous generation heirloom was a primary importance, but the newness of something is quickly gaining primacy with more mature fad technologies like the iPod or the newest smart phone. This is having a similar affect on children since they are merely replication of their parents. Children are prioritizing the newest item and creating a consumer base that is highly aware of the cutting edge of toys. For that reason the newest toy receives the same demarcation of cool toys as would a truly revolutionary board game or new method of social gaming.

This article has outlined the various ways in which a toy receives the adjective assessment of, ”cool.” As shown through the examples, a manufacturer can market the item as cool, but the identification is in the eyes of the beholder. The consumer has the ultimate power in this case to determine what cool toys are listed as.