Playskool’s latest line of baby products is going high-tech to target first-gen i-Pod users, who’ve just tipped into the parenting bracket. Since the MP3 movement is all about customization, this consumer hook will be the bedrock of the Made For Me line when it rolls out in the fall.
The player in the MP3-compatible toys has a preloaded library that includes 50 original recordings of baby-friendly classics like ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’ and tracks can be shuffled and organized by category just like on an iPod. But more importantly, parents can download their own favorite tracks from CDs and the internet – and even record themselves singing lullabies – to create a personalized audio experience for their baby.
Made For Me’s hallmark product, the digital music player (US$79.99), attaches to cribs and is designed to send wee ones off to sleep at home each night. But since a good night’s rest for many babes depends on following the same bedtime ritual every night, the product’s player also slides out of the crib attachment, making overnight visits to grandma’s house and vacations much more restful for all involved.
The line rounds out with two more products, which are compatible with the Made For Me MP3 player but not sold with it. The Day to Dream Soother (US$34.99) is a mini projector that broadcasts animated images and light shows on the ceiling, with different settings for bedtime and playtime. And the 2-in-1 Infant Gym (US$39.99) is an activity play mat featuring lights, mirrors and sound effects that can be programmed to suit a baby’s unique play patterns.
Playskool partnered with Singapore-based digital products company Creative to develop the line, which it will market through platforms that connect with prenatal moms, such as the online baby registries common at Babies ‘R’ Us, Wal-Mart and Target. Although the advertising plan hasn’t been completely nailed down, Playskool VP of marketing Kevin Fortey expects the line will have a strong presence on babycenter.com, a heavily trafficked website for moms with which the toyco already has a strong relationship.