The crew at Click-A-Brick are pleased to see what they call a different kind of — educational toy on the market in the newly released Turtle Mail toy, which allows children to receive messages and give them a thrill similar to what they would experience by receiving a letter via mail.
Turtle Mail is a replica wooden mailbox with a thermal printer embedded inside that prints on a standard receipt-sized roll of paper. Using a web-app, parents can create and send messages to the wi-fi enabled toy that then prints the messages out so children can know what it’s like to receive a physical letter or note. Parents are also able to make profiles of their children’s toys and make it look like the messages are coming from their toys or they can allow others, like grandparents, to send messages or photos to children. The messages can be chosen from pre-written templates or completely personalized and can come from characters like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. In order to keep the receiving of messages a special event for kids, parents are only allowed to schedule them at certain minimum intervals to discourage them from sending too many in a short time and diminishing the thrill for kids.
Even though the Turtle Mail toy only sends messages one way, the creators of Turtle Mail, Alysia Finger and Albert Niko Triulzi, hope the toy will encourage kids to write more letters to send through the mail. The pair of toy designers also wanted to put the child back into children’s toys.
“When my daughter turned one-year-old, we started putting her in front of more advanced toys,” Finger said in an article on Wired. “But the toys that family members were buying her and were available at the time were all really flashy electronics that felt like they were built for adults and just wrapped in rubber and plastic and marketed as kids products.”
Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza, co-founders of educational toy Click-A-Brick, which just released the 30-piece building block set Sandy Sidekicks, agree with Finger that many toys touted as educational nowadays are meant to impress parents, but do little to help children’s development.
“We greatly appreciate the thought behind Turtle Mail,” Smith said. “It’s an educational toy in a different way than one would normally think of an educational toy. It’s likely not going to help with cognitive ability or developing motor skills like Click-A-Brick, but it will help teach kids an appreciation for receiving a thoughtful message that someone clearly put some effort into. That’s a lesson an electronic talking toy isn’t going to teach. It used to be common for parents to give their children junk mail so they could pretend they received a letter and that’s a great feeling for a child. That Turtle Mail can possibly give kids that same feeling in the digital era is wonderful.”
Release ID: 105262