Ever notice those “award winner” stickers on the products you’ve purchased for your kids, nieces or nephews, friends or friends’ kids? We noticed a trend recently – many of the games we’ve seen sporting these stickers (10 from Oppenheim and one from Parents’ Choice) came from the same name: eeBoo. The toys, growth charts, games and gifts from this New York-based brand seem to speak to both parents and kid, let alone the committees who identify the “best of” for the fun-seeking set. What is it that makes these pretty products play so well with today’s preschoolers and early elementary-schoolers?
- Fine design. The artistry behind eeBoo images isn’t just for kids. It’s meant for the modern mom and dad who is looking to expose their child to beauty with their bobbles. eeBoo’s characters and images are authentic and original, while tapping into timeless fantasies. They look great, and they look like they were worth the money (which is more than parents would typically pay for games of the same sort).
- Vivid look. At the same time that their appearance attracts parents, the look of these games and toys takes in kids. The colors are bright and vibrant, signaling to kids that these educational products are meant for fun.
- Classic play. eeBoo does offer some innovative games – like their Fairy Tale game which encourages children to collect story elements and tell there own tale to complete the game. But most are slight variations on classic themes…Bingo in different languages…Matching games featuring original artwork. eeBoo takes time-tested play patterns and puts them in new packaging.
- Incomplete play. This might sound like something to be avoided, but eeBoo embraces the idea that great play for kids doesn’t do all the work for them. They need to come to eeBoo products with some ideas of their own. The education might be invisible to the playing child, but the engagement that this approach creates will be apparent to moms and dads.
- “Moral” materials. According to the company website, eeBoo products are “made simply of paper, cardboard, (often recycled) and non-toxic inks…Our primary sources have been recognized for their ‘green’manufacturing processes and all have been fully certified to ICTI standards. ICTI certifies that these businesses adhere to the highest health and safety requirements.” Materials that are safe and environmentally friendly? Two things that make mom and dad smile.
- Made by mom. While many consumers who pick up these products won’t take the time to research the back-story of this brand, some may. And those who do will find that eeBoo is made by mom, Mia Galison. (I found this out when shopping at a NYC store. The proprietor made sure I knew that these nifty products had a nice brand narrative to match!) When it comes to kids’ products, the maker matters. It might be why toy companies are often the object of exposes when their workers don’t fit the romantic image we might have of toy maker or play provider.
For eeBoo, awards might make them stand out on the shelf, but it’s the look, feel and focus on quality that make moms, dads and kids fall in love.