With the holiday season fast approaching, I wanted to take a few paragraphs and talk about everyone’s favorite subject: Toys. Parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents—if there’s a little one in your life, then you’re probably buying a toy. Here are my two picks for toy company of the 2013 gift giving season.
When I was a kid, way back before there were mobile devices or an Internet that anyone other than Bill Gates used or even email, I used to love the long distance phone calls we’d get from my grandfather down in Pennsylvania. We lived 600 miles north of him, near the Canadian border in New Hampshire, so we didn’t see him very often. That meant phone calls with Grandpa Ted lasted for a long (long, long, long, long) time.
Now, though, we’ve got all sorts of methods and means to make communication easier. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re closer to our loved ones, distance-wise, nor does it mean we’re all any less busy (How am I busier now than when I was seven? How, I ask you?!).
ToyMail to the rescue!
Founders Audrey Hill and Gauri Nanda came up with this amazing idea for a little thing called ToyMail. It’s a message delivery system designed specifically for kids. It uses a little mailbox shaped as the smallest, cutest woodland creature you’ll ever see, to deliver recorded audio messages to the little loved ones far away. An app on your phone lets you record a message, then sends it via ToyMail to the little Mailman (my favorite is Rochester the Raccoon because he looks both devious and grumpy, my favorite combination of things), who then reads it aloud to the intended little one.
HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT???!!!
Seriously, just watch the ToyMail Co. video. It’ll make you want both a Mailman and a peanut butter and jelly bean sandwich.
Way back when, I spent an inordinate amount of time constructing incredibly unsafe structures out of Lincoln logs, LEGOs, Kinects, and Matchbox cars (don’t judge me – buildings should have wheels on them). There’s a very good chance that, had I not discovered the wonders of Shel Silverstein and Thomas Harris at a later date, I might have gone on to be an engineer.
Currently, and this should come as no surprise to anyone keeping score, women make up only 11% of the scientists and engineers in the workforce, which is where GoldieBlox comes into play (pun intended).
“We aim to disrupt the pink aisle.” Founded on the desire to get more young girls involved in both science and engineering, GoldieBlox is a Rube Goldberg variation that provides the “blocks” needed to build incredibly fun feats of engineering mischief. You might want to lock up your bowling balls, though, just in case.
GoldieBlox and the Mailmen of ToyMail are toys with a purpose, which is uncommon during this Season of Giving. So if you’re shopping for presents for the little ones on your list, considering investing in something that will make their lives better in the long term—not just the here and now.
(Author’s Note: I totally want a Rochester the Raccoon Mailman for Christmas. Not ashamed of it. Not at all.)Tweet