Serious toys experiment
Same time last year, I experimented with an idea that has occupied my thoughts and mind for over 3 years; www.switchedonkids.com.au a.k.a SoK.
The story behind SoK:
I have 2 boys, 12 and 6 and we struggled to find good toys for them and their friends on their birthdays. All we could buy from the market was remote cars, cards, helicopters or toy guns. Coming from a family with a lot of focus on education, we thought there should be a better ‘option’ for gifting. Why can’t playing and learning go hand in hand. After exploring ideas ranging from ‘online learning portal’ to drop shipping, we zeroed in on learning toys/ serious toys website with a focus on ‘learning while playing’. The online store/ portal now has :
- Couple of universities have ordered products in bulk
- Few retail customers have bought online and liked the product and pricing
- We have added 50 plus products and still looking for more products
- Great feedback from the parents and business community. They like the idea of a one stop learning toys portal.
One of the parents bought human skeleton and she said,’my son has learn’t about human structure and loved the follow up quiz.
A Melbourne based university bought 500 pcs of 6 in 1 solar toy to showcase concept of renewable energy to their students.
Learnings / challenges :
- The buying process is complicated, parents have to spend while kids approve / use. Our marketing message is mixed, sometimes we target parents. teachers, academicians and other times kids.
- We have found parents prefer going to a physical store to buy learning toys. They prefer to touch, feel and talk about the toy before making the purchase. (Our prices are competitive).
- Our suppliers lack product videos and detailed discussions.
One year on, i have decided to take this opportunity further and make learning fun through serious toys / learning toys.
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- Connecting with parents, teachers, academicians
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Thoughts and suggestions welcome.