Unique toddler toy for your unique toddler

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It seems that every big and small toy maker these days has "Unique Toddler Toy" at the top of their to-do list. Why is that?

There are always never ending supply of parents looking for something unique. Toddler toy isn't just a toy anymore. It's a gadget. It's an obsession. I've personally seen so many parents walk into the store with their eyes searching for something new, something exciting, something.... unique. In other words, there is a huge market for it. A market too enticing for the toy makers to pass up.

But the truth of the matter is that almost everything imaginable has been made, sold, and played by toddlers. It's true, there are new toys that come out every year and the toy shows are filled with eager toy makers with what they hope will be the "next big thing".

Yet more often than not, most of these are spin-offs from the old, tried and true classics. Or sometimes, they'll incorporate new technologies or combine elements from different toys.

Tolo First Friends Car

For example, the First Friends Car series from Tolo is attractive with its bright and vibrant colors and makes great car sounds as it's activated. But despite its lights, sounds, and motion, it's nothing new. It merely combines various elements from other toys into something "unique".

Remember, toddler toy is not a new concept.

It would serve you well to remember that as you venture into the jungle that we call the toy store.

Unique Toddler Toy... No Such Thing?

No, not exactly.

As I mentioned, every year, there are numerous new concepts presented at toy shows. Some are just simple twists while others are genuine new concepts. Few are promising, most are not.

The retailers look through the vast mountain of these new toy concepts and decide for themselves what they think will actually sell and what won't. As you might guess, a large percentage of these new concept toys won't make it to the shelves of your toy stores and of the few that do, another large chunk of them won't sell too well, resulting in the retailers weeding them out of their next orders.

Having said that, a few great ideas do come through every now and then that might qualify as an unique toddler toy.

But I often find that it's not enough to look for just something unique. Toddler toy needs to be more than that. It needs to pass the ultimate test. The kid test. It needs to be fun.

And when it does, you'll find that these toys also pass the test of time, meaning that the kids return to it again and again. Moreover, they become the foundation or basis for another toy idea.

Ultimately, what determines whether a toy is unique or not is based on your child. More on that below in the summary.

Over all, I've seen that the "tried and true" toys tend to do better than the "new and different". Unless these turn out to be huge winners, the tried-and-true will please and engage your toddler. Think about it, here's a reason why those toys have endured the test of time.

But if you still must dabble in the quest to find an unique toddler toy, then keep the following points in mind.

Things of Note

  • In general, there is no such thing as an unique toy. It's all been done.
  • Most "new" toys are just twists on the old toys' concepts.
  • The idea of being unique is dependent on each child. If your child already has a particular toy, that toy is no longer unique to that child. On the contrary, no matter how ordinary a toy might seem to you, if the child doesn't have that toy, then it's an unique toy.
  • Therefore, when looking for an unique toddler toy that will "WOW" your inquisitive toddler, try to think from a toddler's point of view.
  • Ask the following questions:
    1. Does my child have a toy like this already?
    2. Does my child like this kind of toy?
    3. Could this new toy be incorporated well with the current sets of toys? Notice that the word "could" leaves much more room for a "yes", then the word "would".
  • When in doubt and appropriate, bring your toddler to the toy store and let him/her browse around. I personally think it's important not to show the toy in question directly and ask "Do you think you'll like this one?" Instead, let them browse around and notice the kinds of toys that that gravitate toward. That's one of your biggest clues in successful toy shopping.

I wish you the best of luck on your mission to shop for that unique toddler toy. The diamond in the rough. And remember to have fun. It's a toy after all.

"education at play"

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