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March 2022 | Vol. XXI - No. 3


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The Fisher-Price™ Play Lab Celebrates its Real Experts - Kids


Early Childhood Development Experts at the recently renovated Fisher-Price Play Lab have been collaborating with tiny toy testers for more than 60 years to create the best play possible

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 1, 2022-- Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) celebrates the Fisher-Price™ Play Lab marking over six decades of playing with purpose with several new developments. Located in East Aurora, New York, the Fisher-Price Play Lab is the place where great minds team up with kids to create the best play possible.

To commemorate 60 years of thoughtful toys and products for children, the Fisher-Price Play Lab is unveiling not only a new look after undergoing recent on-site renovations, but brand-new products and a new ad campaign that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the journey of a toy from concept to reality.

About the Fisher-Price Play Lab

As the first kid-led testing facility in the industry, the Fisher-Price Play Lab has always been at the forefront of toy development. Early Childhood Development Experts observe children ages newborn to eight-years-old to help create, evaluate and improve upon more than 450 toys annually. The team is on the cutting edge of purposeful play, toys, media, and parenting trends. This team works in lockstep with designers, engineers, musicians, content producers and more to evaluate every detail of every toy.

“The Play Lab is at the heart of Fisher-Price because it’s where the magic starts and where we glean insights directly from kids to make sure our toys and products continue to evolve to suit their needs,” says Deborah Weber , Ph.D., the Senior Director of Early Childhood Development Research at Fisher-Price. “As we believe that no detail is too small when it comes to play, the lab’s role is to create a fun and enriching experience for families around the world.”

Fisher-Price Play Lab Technology and Innovation

Recent on-site renovations throughout the Fisher-Price Play Lab have resulted in the integration of more research tools, technology and software, which have enhanced the play experience for tiny testers to lead the way for impactful play innovations. Harnessing state-of-the-art technology allows our experts to better observe patterns and experience toys through the eyes of children.

  • Eye-tracking: The technology has proven imperative to help capture feedback from testers who can’t yet articulate feedback in their own words. Using a specialized cap and live capture software, teams can record and analyze the synchronized eye movements and scene images and audio. The technology and subsequent data allow the Fisher-Price Play Lab to literally see a toy through the eyes of a child.
  • Viso: The lab as a state-of-the art audio visual recording tool with new microphones and camera systems that focus on very minute details, with event annotations and immediate playback and high-quality video in perfect sync.
  • Baby FaceReader™ Emotional Analysis: A tool that automatically measures facial expressions in infants ranging from 6-24 months. This is the first and only tool to automatically measure emotions of infants and detect facial expressions to help address questions in development psychology.
  • Observer XT Software: Annotates play in a quantitative way and visualizes it on a timeline. This allows experts to easily integrate, synchronize and visualize multiple data streams to answer research questions by discovering play patterns, outliers, deviations, or anomalies.

Newly Launched Fisher-Price Play Lab Approved Products

This cutting-edge technology has enabled the Fisher-Price Play Lab to develop thoughtful toys that aim to further language development, causal learning, cognition and education within each child who plays with a Fisher-Price toy, including the following.

  • Meditation Mouse: Built with three calming modes, the Mouse was crafted by observing families with children ages 2-5 years old on-site and in-homes engaging in meditation and mindful exercises. Research indicated that the length, cadence and speed of the meditation exercises needed to be adjusted to optimize for children.
  • Linkimals™ Toys: Studying how children interact with linked toys using Eye Tracking and Observer XT technologies, the Fisher-Price Play Lab developed two key findings: that linked toys offer a new and different way to help children learn through play and that connected toys help kids and caregivers play together. Therefore, Linkimals™ Technology came to be, each toy recognizing when others are nearby, immersing children in synchronized music and colorful lightshows.
  • Fisher-Price Classics: The Play Lab consistently revisits toys to evolve and elevate its products, including the classic Rock-A-Stack® toy, the fan-favorite Batbot, and 77-year-old Thomas & Friends™ brand. The team expanded the classic Rock-A-Stack toy to grow in size which enabled play with this classic toy to become a gross motor experience. The team observed children trying to make BatBot fly, so the design team added wheels that enabled the toy to tilt forward and soar around the room. The Thomas & Friends line has evolved numerous times over the years, and most recently with a more expressive face to appeal to kids of all ages.

New Fisher-Price Play Lab Creative:

Since 1961, Fisher-Price has been passionate about putting toy concepts to the ultimate test of success: real-life play with kids. The hero film, created in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy, invites viewers into the magical world of the Fisher-Price Play Lab, offering a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at Fisher-Price. The spot is set to run across various digital platforms, along with social extensions. Using stop motion, the ad showcases a Giant Rock-A-Stack toy touring a new Fisher-Price employee around the Play Lab, introducing her to all the toys that have been inspired by the real experts of the Play Lab - kids!

Further, shoppers can expect to see Play Lab-approved pop-up endcaps in toy aisles nationwide throughout the year.

To learn more about the Fisher-Price Play Lab, visit https://shop.mattel.com/pages/fisher-price-play-lab.








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