Once upon a time kids were able to just play with their toys, without them to be chockablocked with tech components, so letting room for kid’s imagination rather than those of engineers who built the toys.
Now instead children must be almost robotic engineers or IT specialists to be able to fully use their toys and according to the Toy Industry Association, one of the 2017 “top trends” for the market is to “incorporate engaging tech components” into the toys.
Good news for startups like Makeblock
“The good news for consumers is that technologies that were just emerging a few years ago (like 3D printing) have become a lot more affordable for manufacturers, making high-tech experiences more readily available at realistic price points” adds Toy Industry Association.
For sure is a good news for a lot of startups which are developing technological toys and educational robots, like LittleBits, SparkFun, ArcBotics, Flybrix, Wonder Workshop, Ozobot or Makeblock.
Makeblock just raised 30 million dollars (which by the way is the sam sum that at the beginnings raised Linden Lab to launch the development of Second Life), to develop programmable robots and robot-building kits for kids and teens. This founding round was led by Evolution Media China and Shenzhen Capital Group.
Makeblock, which products are on sale even on Amazon.com, declares to already have customers in 140 countries and that its products are used by educators in 20,000 different schools worldwide.
Among its most successful products there are rovers to build, transform and programm with Arduino in the mBot series (one of the best seller costs 120 dollars on Amazon).
But Makeblock also proposes more original products like Airblock, a modular toy drone to assemble offered on Kickstarter and Indiegogo last year at 129 dollars, Neuron, an electronic platform to assemble to blocks for educational use, in the process of being launched on Kickstarter at 39 dollars, or kits to build plotter and laserBot, from 300 to 350 dollars each.
The modern version of the Meccano
To be true Makeblock reinterpreted in a modern and “open source” way the Meccano, thinking not only to kids and boys but even to their parents and teachers.
An approach that seems me very good, but what do you think? Please leave a comment and if you like share this article, you will help us to cover always better the items you prefer!
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