The holiday shopping season is underway and finding the right toy or game for his or her kids is the goal of every parent. A vast range of new toys has been introduced in recent months.
Joining us in this episode to look at the recent changes is consultant and branding expert, Richard Gottlieb, of Global Toy Experts.
"The toy industry is a nineteenth century industry that's trying hard to break into the twenty first," says Richard. "It's had a lot of difficulty dealing with the digital aspect of play that's become so popular."
On this show we ask whether today's technologically sophisticated toys are scripting the way kids play. Do they force children into a pre-written narrative when they should be allowing for open-ended play?
Toy stores have many traditional toys, such as blocks, construction sets and craft kits, but kids also have fun with "video games, apps and even social networking," says Richard. These new trends have "confronted the industry with a sort of existential crisis: Who are we, what is a toy and how do we play?"
Richard has many positive, playful and out-of-the-box ideas on how to view toys and the nature of play in a digital society.
"I think it's wonderful that children has all these choices," he tells us. "I wish we had all these choices."