Toys “R” Us mobilizes parent resource for toy inspiration
October 17, 2013
One of the guide's apps
Toys “R” Us is adding a mobile component to an annual holiday toy guide that helps parents better understand what kinds of toys are suited for special needs children.
The retailer’s Toys “R” Us App Guide for Differently-Abled Kids includes a list of 25 mobile applications that are aimed at helping develop creative, critical thinking and fine motor skills. The initiative also helps bolster awareness of Toys “R” Us’ branded tablet.
“Learning tablets and other technological devices are quickly becoming a staple among educational tools and during playtime for kids of all abilities,” said Kerry Smith, spokeswoman for Toys “R” Us, Wayne, NJ.
“Building on our mission to help parents make informed toy-buying decisions with the Guide, we wanted to ensure that parents had a similar resource to assist them in making educated decisions when it comes to selecting apps that will help the child with special needs in their life develop skills and overcome obstacles – all while having fun at the same time,” she said.
Toys “R” Us worked with Wynsum Arts to create a digital version of the annual guide, and this is the first year that a list of apps is included.
For example, the photo-editing app PicSay was picked because it lets children add interactive content such as stickers and text to pictures.
Another app called Bubble Buster was singled out because the game lets children match up colors to shoot bubbles at. The app helps kids develop problem solving, strategic thinking and matching skills.
The Toys "R" Us guide
Furthermore, the Kids Match ‘Em app aids in memory-developing skills that prompt children to match up different items, such as clothing, animals or food.
The guide is a pre-loaded app on Toys “R” Us tabeo e2 tablets, and an online version is available at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled.
Consumers with an iOS or Android device can individually download the apps from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
In addition to viewing the list of 25 apps, parents can also access play and toy-buying tips with the guide.
Although the site is not optimized for mobile, consumers can shop products by skill level within the Web site.
There is also a video that explains how the guide works for parents to watch.
Gearing up for holiday
The new app guide is only part of the way that Toys “R” Us is gearing up for the holidays with mobile.
The toy store chain is also launching an exclusive line of cars and play figures that is supported by mobile marketing.
Consumers that buy a toy can access an app that complements game play or find out more about products with an on-pack QR code (see story).
In preparation for holiday shopping, Toys “R” Us’ mobile site had the best user experience, according to the e-tailing group’s annual Mobile Mystery Shopping report (see story).
What is interesting about this initiative from Toys “R” Us is the fact that the toy chain retailer is segmenting a specific group of consumers with a tool to not necessarily drive sales and is meant to help parents.
“At Toys “R” Us, we know how important it is to provide children of all abilities opportunities to learn and grow during playtime,” Ms. Smith said.
“Today, children are using tablets and tech devices to play games, learn new skills and explore new digital worlds,” she said. “In addition to helping parents and caregivers with their toy-purchasing when it comes to the special needs children in their lives, we also wanted to ensure that we were arming them with helpful recommendations when it comes to the apps that their kids use every day.”
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