Christmas is almost here. Sure, technically Christmas 2013 is 11 months away, but we are just a few weeks away from learning what the kids will be begging for come Christmas. From February 10th – 13th, The 110th Annual International Toy Fair will take place in New York City. There will be over 100,000 toys on display and manufacturers will be showing what they hope to be the hot holiday toys for 2013. We will be at the Toy Fair, scouring the show floor for the best toys and finding toys to review for 2013.
According To My Email, The Greatest Toy Ever Made Will Be Unveiled at Toy Fair 2013
I have received countless emails from toy companies telling me I should stop by their booth to see the lastest and greatest toy – ever. As much as I would hate to think that some of these companies may be exaggerating, experience tells me I will not see the greatest toy ever made. You see, for the past 3 years we have been going to Toy Fair, and every year the toy companies swear they have made the greatest toy ever, but that is just not the case. Don’t get me wrong, we have seen tons of cool toys and if you check out our toy reviews, you will see there have been some amazing toys developed over the last few years. However, the Greatest Toy Ever…well that has been elusive…until today!
Dad Does Announces How To Make The Greatest Toy Ever
You seated? You ready for this? Can you handle what we are about to lay on you? Okay, I am just going to have to assume you all are making my cat stare at me in that weird way, and that means “Yes!” First, we need to quickly define what would make a toy the greatest toy of all time…
Simple, the Greatest Toy of All Time would be a toy that entertains the kids and they NEVER get bored of playing with it.
To start, let’s look at the various reasons why toys fall short of becoming the greatest toy of all time –
The Toy Sucks
Some toys are just flat out bad. They don’t work, they are not fun, they are just bad to the core. Clearly the only point of the toy is to separate you from your money. The toy designers should be punished by being locked up for 24 hours in a room full of sugar ‘uped 5 year olds armed with Nerf guns. Obviously these ill conceived toys have no hope of ever becoming a great toy.
The Toy Is Just About The Wow
Technology today allows toys to have a big “Wow factor”. The toy does something, that the first time you see it, you say “Wow”. The problem is, once that wow factor is gone, the toy has very little play value and quickly becomes a dust collector
The Toy is Frustrating
Kids do not like to be frustrated. Do you know the only thing worse than a frustrated kid? A parent who just spent good money on a toy that is frustrating their kid! I don’t care how much fun the rest of the toy is, if there is a frustrating element to the toy, the kids are never going to be happy.
The Toy Is Fun, Cool And Exciting…For a Few Weeks
Now we get to the category with the most potential. Some toys really are fun, cool and exciting to play…for a few weeks. These are very well done toys, the best of the best, a toy that for the first few weeks your kids have it, they do think is the greatest toy ever. Unfortunately, they still suffer from that one fatal flaw – eventually the kids will get bored with it and it will just sit on the shelf.
How Do You Make a Toy That Kids Will Never Get Bored Of?
We now know that some great toys are awesome for a few weeks. To turn that toy from a great toy to the Greatest Toy, we just need to stop kids from ever getting bored of the toy. Forget about adding more features to the toy – no matter what you add to the toy, eventually kids will get bored of it. No, to solve this problem we need to turn to science…mad science!
This is going to blow your mind, so proceed at your own risk. Okay, let’s do this…
Step 1: Make a Super Awesome Toy
You make a great toy, as we have described, that will keep the kids entertained for at least a week.
Step 2: Measure the Brain Waves When Your Kid Gets The Toy
At CES 2013 we saw all these headbands that you put on and measure EEG brainwaves. You strap one of these on the kid when he opens the toy. The headband measures what part of the brain lights up when he first sees the toy. Of course, all of this is stored in an app on your phone, which also sends all the data to the cloud. There is absolutely no reason to have the data on the cloud, but I think it is illegal in 49 states to not have cloud based apps.
Step 3: At First Sign of Boredom, Reset Brain To Fun Restore Point
So, we know the toy will only keep your kid entertained for a week or so, because after that he will become bored with it. But what if we could go back to when he first got the toy? Then all the excitement and fun would be back. Simply apply the headband, click the Restore Fun Point button on the app and the headband erases your child’s memory of the toy.
From Step 1 we measured what happened in the brain when he got the toy, so how hard could it be to reset the brain to that same point? Don’t laugh, at CES 2013 I saw kids flying a RC helicopter just using his thoughts! Every time the kids gets bored, you zap his brain back to a point where he has no memory of the toy and the toy stays new and exciting for ever…AKA The Greatest Toy Ever!
Don’t Like Zapping Your Kid’s Brain? Some Other Ideas…
While I believe our plan for the Greatest Toy Ever is totally doable, my “scientist friends” tell me it has a few small technical hurdles. Then there are my “sane friends” who believing I should be locked up and stripped of my Dad credentials for even thinking of this. Given all this, perhaps we will look for some other things as we evaluate the best toys from Toy Fair 2013.
Toys Should Adapt and Change With Your Child’s Imagination
As we walk the Toy Fair 2013 floor, we will try to ignore the beeping, blasting and endless pitches of why a toy needs to be controlled by an app. We will be looking for toys that can adapt to a child’s imagination. Toys should be like tools – devices that make it easier for children to build their own worlds and adapt to all the various projects your child can imagine. Toys should not make your children play in some rigid way, toys should find ways to make your child’s play more expansive.
In the end, for a toy to go from being a good toy to a great toy, it needs to have legs, it must have staying power. The format of the toy is of little importance – stuffed animal, electronic gadget or card game – what matters most is that it has lasting play value. Perhaps the Greatest Toy Ever, a toy your child never gets bored of, is the Holy Grail. Maybe it is like infinity and you can never really get there. Still, toy manufactures should keep reaching and trying, because the closer we get, the more fun our kids have and really, what is more fun than fun?