Easter is more than two months away, but there’s a bunny peeking around the corner right now. A toy bunny, that is.
Bunny Peek A Boo is a finalist in the Specialty category for the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Toy of the Year Award. The TIA is a not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages.
Geared for children two-to-five years old, Bunny is one of several toys that will be featured at the American Toy Fair, February 16-19 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Smart Toys and Games, Inc. is the maker of Bunny Peek A Boo. Released in the spring of 2013, the toy is the company’s first brain game for children as young as two years old. The toy comes with sturdy wooden blocks, a fun rabbit, and 60 challenge cards that test how to space objects and solve problems. Children can solve the challenges or just play with Bunny as a toy.
I talked with Brian Rovner, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Smart Toys and Games, Inc.
What does it mean to the company for Bunny Peek A Boo to be up for this Specialty Award? (The winner will be announced during the Toy Fair.)
We knew Bunny was special the first time we saw the prototypes, and we are proud that it has been recognized by our industry peers.
The toy builds fine motor skills for youngsters. Approximately how long was the research and development on the toy before it hit store shelves?
Most SmartGames you see introduced at Toy Fair are developed for the better part of the previous year (and sometimes the ideas linger for more than a year before we can develop them). Bunny is a simple game –just three blocks and one Bunny – but once you have the concept the trick is developing challenges that are solvable by kids as young as two years old and then, as with all SmartGames, making the challenges progressively more complex.
Why should parents buy this toy?
Bunny Peek A Boo is our first game designed for kids as young as two. It’s a spectacular introduction to math concepts such as spatial dynamics – and problem solving in general. Children also can build on their vocabulary skills. It’s environmentally friendly, and most important: it’s fun!
What is it like attending a toy fair? Are you and other company reps. like little kids in a candy store, or should I say toy store?
It’s a massive display of new toys and games developed by great people and great companies. One of my favorite things to do is see the small, first-time exhibitors with new products and ideas (I was one of them a few years ago). It’s great to see so many new creative toys.
Smart is still fairly new in the U.S., but we are established enough that the bulk of the traffic in our booth is familiar with our lines and looking to see our new items. One of the biggest challenges is making sure WE have the new games figured out before we demo them!