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Experimenting with New Markets: Science Toys Bubble Over with Teachers, Parents
By Pennie Hoover
May 1, 2003


The majority of science toy manufacturers still focus on the ages eight and up, but the market has shown imaginative science toy manufacturers can market their products to a wide range of consumers.

At Elenco Electronics, Inc., Jeff Coda, National Sales Manager, says the toy area is the fastest-growing part of their company after the company shifted selling their educational products to consumers rather than schools. “We have repackaged the kits for retail focusing on 8-11-year-olds who are participating in science fairs and doing science projects for school,” said Coda.

Electronic Snap Circuits retails for $49.99 and is available from Elenco Electronics, Inc. (www.elenco.com)

This strategy has been successful enough that Elenco is venturing into younger markets. Their hottest seller is Electronic Snap Circuits (retail $49.99), which teaches electronic circuit applications and has received five-star ratings from customers on Amazon.com.

George C. Atamian, President and COO of Amazing Live Sea Monkeys, a division of Educational Insights (educationalinsights.com), says their target audience is the parent, usually the mother, and sometimes the teacher. They do not advertise directly to the consumer, so colorful, non-threatening packaging sells the product. “We use the word “set,” not “kit” on our boxes. Set says to parents who have limited time that the students can do this themselves,” said Atamian.


Writer's Bio: Pennie, a graduate of Indiana University School of Journalism, is a freelance writer and lives with her husband and three children in Visalia, CA.


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