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Science Toys at Toy Fair

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:37pm

One of the major trends apparent at this year’s Toy Fair in NYC city seems to be science kits. Even at 4, almost 5, The Hamster loves science, devouring Magic School Bus chapter books,(I suppose I should say, “being fed”, as I am doing the reading) and pouring over our collection of Usbourne science books.

The CNET reporter covering the show speculates that this interest in science stems from the popularity of TV shows, targeted to both children (Spy Kids) and adults (Grey’s Anatomy) and the über parents bent on building a super child. Whatever. Get them experimenting!

Many of this year’s science toys are manufactured by established school supply and educational products companies. A few mainstream science suppliers though, seem to be getting into the act. This can only be a good thing. I’d much rather my DS use an inexpensive version of the real thing than a brightly colored plastic version.

I not too sure, though, about the Steve Irwin action figure, plush and toy line. Though it is sponsored by the Irwin family and the Australia Zoo, purportedly to promote wildlife awareness and protection, it smacks a bit of commercialism and carries the ubiquitous contribution to charity. As a marketer, I know appealing to parents’ altruistic side while pleasing their kids is a sure winner. Never-the- less, I like Wild Republic products and would be happy to support this, if my DS even knew who Steve Irwin was.

We can expect to see these toys in store this Spring. I can hardly wait.

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