April 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 4
Baby Gets a Boom Box
The Peapod Lets Kids Listen Safely
It's the Peapod, and Lemay told TDmonthly Magazine it's essentially the only MP3 music player for young children of its kind: Because it’s made for 1- to 8-year-olds, it doesn't come with headphones or earpieces.
As Lemay put it, "I wouldn't even think of giving headphones to a young child. It's unsafe. The Peapod has a built-in speaker, but, unlike a cassette recorder or radio, kids can carry it with them and play for themselves the content parents have digitally downloaded for them. And it's sturdy enough for toddlers to handle.”
Other players for kids have missed the mark, according to Lemay. Fisher-Price has what it calls an "FP3" player, which involves using their proprietary format to purchase songs, but it requires a headset. Disney Electronics makes the "Mix Stick," which looks similar to the Peapod, but it’s targeted to the older tween crowd and comes with earpieces that connect to the player with wires.
More Than Just Music
Lemay insists the Peapod isn't only about music. Ultimately, it will open up a world of interactivity for parents on the Internet, where they'll be able to download an assortment of educational material from his website.
“I want the Peapod to open up educational resources for children in ways that would not be available to parents otherwise,” said Lemay.
An Encouraging Debut
Lemay, an engineer in Calgary, Alberta, used his contacts in the industry to help produce the Peapod. With the help of some friends, he presented his creation to the world for the first time at the 2007 American International Toy Fair.
"Retailers kept telling me that they haven't seen anything like it," he shared with TDmonthly.
Lemay understands the concerns specialty retailers have about competition with Wal-Mart and Target for products like his, and has no plans to approach mass-market retailers.
All in all, if Lemay has something to say about it, parents will soon be introducing their children not only to the Peapod player, but to the universe it opens up for them with music, and so much more.
Here’s more information on the Peapod, including a video of Lemay demonstrating his product at Toy Fair:
SweetPea3 MP3 Player for kids by SweetPea Toy Company Ltd.
Other products from SweetPea Toy Company Ltd.
The SweetPea3 is a fully featured MP3 digital music player designed for infants and toddlers. It stores two hours of music or stories, and allows children as young as a year old to safely listen to music over the built-in speaker. The ultra-simple controls and robust enclosure combine to deliver a satisfying audio experience for children and parents alike.
— “This is the only digital music player that features a built-in speaker and does not require young children to wear headphones,” Dan Lemay of Peapod Toys told TDmonthly. “All other players on the market rely on headphones and if they do offer a speaker option, it is in the form of a large docking station.” Launch date: February 11, 2007; available May 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10220 (added 11/27/2006)
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Writer's Bio: Dennis Furlan is a freelance writer who lives just outside of Toronto, Canada. He works on a variety of writing and editorial jobs with clients and publications worldwide. Dennis is proud to be part of the TDmonthly team, serving as a regional correspondent for the northwestern U.S. Read more articles by this author
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