updated 01:20 pm EST, Tue February 21, 2006
The iPod "halo effect" is reaching into the children's toy market, according to a recent report. The Australian IT reports that after the success of last year's I-Dog by Hasbro (at right) and the iZ from Zizzle--both can be hooked up to the iPod--other electronics companies are coming out with iPod compatible toys. There is the Baby Einstein, says the report--an iPod connectable rocking chair-- a SpongeBob SquarePants speaker system for the iPod from Emerson Radio, a set including a stage microphone, drumsticks, and guitar for use with iPod, and more. Isaac Larian, chief executive of MGA Entertainment, says "the iPod is the top toy. My view is why fight them, why not join them," MGA makes a chair which doubles as an iPod speaker.
"It makes sense to pick up on the iPod trend. It follows the overall trend that kids want adult things," says Stephanie Oppenheim in the report, co-founder of toyportfolio.com.
"Merchandise including iPod clothing, leather cases, speakers and massage chairs were part of an estimated $850 million cottage industry last year," says market researcher NPD in the report. The Australian IT noted that most iPod-compatible toy makers appear to be pricing their products between $20-40, and are making toys that are not "gratuitous" but rather offer some entertainment value in addition to their ability to use the iPod. The I-Dog, its successor the I-Cat, and MGA's rabbit, pig, frog, and cat Petz all respond to music by moving and lighting up.