If there's really magic in the world, it could possibly reside in the hands of toy makers. As part of Amazon's Launchpad, they are sellers where inventions take flight! This Children's Day, we thought we'd shine the spotlight in a different direction and celebrate some people that have dedicated their lives to making toys and creating these moments of joy. From toys that go back to our roots and those that use technology like Augmented Reality, to making learning fun with DIY models, here's what these special toy makers had to say about why they do what they do.
Play time is a two-way interaction
Kids often spend almost all their waking hours with their favourite toy, so why not make this time spent productive? Dinesh Advani, Director and co-founder of PlayShifu Toys, says, “The environment in which kids grow up today compared to what we grew up in is vastly different – so why shouldn’t the toys reflect this change? Every toy I see today is a one way interaction that kids have. So, I spoke to my friend Vivek Goyal (co-fiounder and Director) and we discussed this gap at length. We then decided incorporate technology in toys to change the way kids play, making it a two-way digital interaction where the content is rich and their experience is one that will help them build their cognitive and creative skills.
Making kids think and learn
Sharing her personal tale behind getting interested in toys is entrepreneur Sowmya Krishnamurthy of Aatike Toys. She says, “When I saw my son playing with toys, they were vastly different from the toys I played with. But then I also realized that every kind of playing and exploration - no matter the different form and shapes – is a kind of education, and why not go back in time and expose kids to toys that make them think and learn. And that’s exactly what our toys do – they enhance spatial, locomotive, mathematical learning apart from improving hand eye coordination.”
A blend of art and science
For Milind Vadnere, CEO and co-founder of Funvention Toys, playing is more about bringing out hidden creativity in kids. “Our toys are mostly DIY toys that enhance the creativity and rational abilities in kids. So, while we have an irrigation kit that teaches children how to look after plants and feel a sense of ownership towards plants, our Bahubali chariot allows kids to assemble the chariot and then see the mechanics involved in making it work. Kids can also paint the chariot if they want! So not just in an art and craft kit, even in a chariot kit kids can explore their creative side.”
Same, same but different!
No matter what kind of toy it is, creators say it’s the experience of playing with it that counts. Sowmya says, “I make wooden toys, but that in no way means that other toys are a no-no. Children should explore and learn on their own. So whether it’s learning about centre of gravity with a spinning top, or learning to make words using our alphabet board game, at the end of the day it’s about gaining knowledge.”
Launchpad has helped increase reach
Aman Deep Lohan, Head- Amazon Launchpad India, says, “We are very excited by the encouraging response received by these unique Indian start-ups on our marketplace. Through our Launchpad program, we have enabled hundreds of start-ups to take their business across the country. Our Great Indian Festival this year has been bigger and better than before and the success of our Launchpad start-ups is a testimony of that. We look forward to continue with the same momentum in future as well!”
Amazon Launchpad is a global program that was launched in India last year to provide Indian start-upsan opportunity to market, sell and deliver innovative products to millions of Amazon customers across India and around the world.