Your kid may be too young for their own phone, but they’re also part of a generation that’s about to make handwriting obsolete. So while an anthropomorphized mailbox that delivers personal voice messages from you to your kid is clearly adorable, it’s also potentially unrecognizable to its target audience. Since that’s no good for business, the company behind them, Toymail, is pivoting to something a bit more tried and true: teddy bears.
Well, not teddy bears so much as blobby bats, sharks, mice, and dinosaurs, but Toymail‘s new line, called Talkies, are cute plush toys nonetheless. They basically do the same thing the original Toymail did, only now in the form of what’s essentially Teddy Ruxpin with your voice, which everyone can probably agree is much better and extremely necessary.
If you weren’t around for version one, here’s how it works: You connect your kid’s Talkie to the Toymail app (iOs or Android), record a message, and send it. Junior then uses their Talkie’s simple, 4-button system to listen and reply. They can send messages to your or Nana’s phone, or to one of their little friends’ Talkies. Adorable.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0ubgQgIzRA expand=1]
To hear the Talkies themselves tell it, “It’s a lot like a tin can telephone, but our messages travel over wifi. Not yarn.” It’s also not as cheap as yarn, but still beats the hell out of buying your kid a phone or gluing them to a screen in order to stay in touch. And it hones their skills in a form of communication even older than handwriting: speaking. Maybe not face-to-face, but hey, everything evolves.