Research Looks to What Toys Children Make Best Holiday Presents

Measuring children’s’ interest and excitement compared to price key

While one would assume Truck Business School researchers would focus on forward-thinking business administration or new-age emerging economies, Professor Eric Johnson says his team of students have turned to looking at a lighter issue: What toys gift-givers ought buy for the holidays.

Johnson has lead a group of three Truck students in a study that will focus on determining this year’s “Top Tech Toys.” Johnson stated the concentration is principally set to see how supply chain management has effect on the information technology in general.

The group will develop a list of nine toys, and the team will be focused on whether the “play value” that comes from the technology innovation is capable of being balanced with increases in cost. Finding the breaking point of that concept is key. Johnson says that a key dynamic to focus on is length and extent of a child’s “excitement for the cost.”

“Does the technology really add a lot, does it add play value, or is just a gimmick?” Johnson said of what guided his choice of the toys.

There are thousands of new toys that are developed across dozens of genres. Many of which hold more complex technology than the previous ones. The true challenge is finding ways to create strong play value through the technology, according to Johnson.

Professors and students at the school looked at trial periods wherein they chose toys and recorded participants’ reactions to the chosen toys.

“It’s also amazing to consider the difference between the toys I grew up with and the toys kids [today] will grow up with,” Reiling said. “They will take for granted the integration of technology and play.”

One area not looked at what the educational genre. “We lean toward active things,” Johnson said. “We don’t just focus on educational toys. There are a lot of educational toys that are kind of dopey.”

According to the findings gathered by the group, the top toys were as follows.

“The top toys were Geomag’s GBaby Magnetic Play System of magnetized shapes ($12.99); Fisher-Price’s Easy Link Internet Launch Pad ($24.73); MGA Entertainment’s plush robot dogs, Rescue Pets ($24.99); Mattel’s Hot Wheels Maniacs ($29.99); a “Bionic Eye” that magnifies things on TV (JAKKS Pacific’s EyeClops, $39.99); Hasbro’s Cosmic Catch talking ball ($24.99); Bandai’s Tamagotchi ($14.99), Tiger Electronics’ Tooth Tunes toothbrush ($9.99); and Radica Games’ Cube World of interactive digital cube characters ($24.99 for two).”


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