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December 27, 2012  | by: LaToya Harris


toys (Photo courtesy of Salma Rashad)



According to The Inquisitr and other online media outlets, traditional toy makers, Mattel and Hasbro are reportedly “terrified” of the switch of children’s interest from traditional toys to technological gadgets. Both Hasbro and Mattel are toy giants. Instead of being “terrified” or intimidated by technology, I think that they should embrace the change and come up with new products that will help them adapt to the market. However, it may not be that simple. There’s more involved than we may think.

Mattel and Hasbro are both well-known names in the toy industry. Mattel is best known for items like Barbie and Matchbox cars. Hasbro is known for games like Monopoly and Playskool products. I remember receiving toys made by them when I was a kid. This is why I think the two companies should move to compete with technology. Parents are familiar with the brands and will rush to buy the products.

Moreover, John Frascotti, who is the chief officer for Hasbro reportedly told the Daily Mail that children are able to use and expect technological devices. He does acknowledge the fact that Hasbro needs to develop a game plan to move towards it, and I agree.  The problem is that children are now playing with their parents’ gadgets like Kindles and Ipads. This past Christmas, I saw children with the Nabi by Fuhu Inc. which is a kids tablet that made Forbes’ top list of Android tablets for kids.

Tablets (Photo courtesy sidduz)


The problem with Hasbro and Mattel advancing in developing technological toys is said to be that they’ve failed in the past.  However, Hasbro is having success with the return of the popular kid toy Furby. The Furby is an interactive toy where kids can program it to say different phrases. The toy’s eyes are also digital which gives kids a more digital experience. Let’s say Hasboro runs with the idea of the Furby and makes more toys like it… Where does this leave Mattel?

Mattel will get left in the dust if they do not move fast and smart. Their website reveals many traditional toys. They even have  “collector” titles for its items, which is smart because adults may be enticed to still buy their products. They also have online games for kids. But, I think they need to consider creating a tablet. However, it has to be innovative enough to be able to compete with LeapPads, Kindles, Nabis, and Ipads.

Poor Hasbro and Mattel. Santa is definitely going to have to trash the plastic, hammers, and wood for a computer chip and a touch screen. I can’t wait to see what they come up with! Did you buy your kids a digital or traditional toy this Christmas?

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