By Matt Nuccio
I’ve been inventing and designing toys professionally for close to 15 years now. When I look back on everything that I’ve worked on it’s really hard to choose which one is my favorite. Over the years we’ve worked on a lot here at Design Edge. We’ve worked on things from Tickle Me Elmo to the Godfather Trivia Game. That’s why it was difficult when my fellow blogger, Jim Silver, asked me to write a blog entry on my favorite toy that I’ve ever worked on… what a challenge! It’s like picking a favorite child… impossible.
After countless days of scratching my head in front of my computer, I presented my challenge to my wife (as always I was a bit too prideful to ask right out the gate). Not surprisingly she had a very smart and simple answer. My wife suggested that I slightly scurt the issue by not picking my favorite item, but rather my son’s. Hmmm, I thought. Her suggestion really made it clear. Of all the toys I have ever worked on, one wins hands down: Story Time Theater (an invention of mine from a few years back.) It is a projector that is controlled via infrared by a remote story book. The pages in the book control the images that are projected on the wall. As the child changes the page, the picture on the ceiling or wall also changes to match the page in the book. There are 3 different settings that allow the child to either have the story read to them by a voice track, have the story line up with the page with out sound so they or their parent can read it to them, and there is a bedtime mode that runs through the story without the assistance of the book (like a slide show film) then turning itself off so the child can go to sleep. There are many book refills that work with the projector so the child can play and read along to different stories. Some titles that I can recall off hand are Dora the Explore: Good Night Boots, Winnie the Pooh, Go Diego and my son’s personal favorite Thomas and Friends. Every day our son watches Thomas Storytime theatre. He has many of the lines committed to memory, such as “Eek, a mouse!” He loves it when his grandparents and sit with him and reads this book. And it is also a great distraction when diaper changing time comes around. We just point the projector at the ceiling, put it on bedtime mode and let him follow the story as we change his diaper. That alone may make it my favorite toy that I’ve ever worked on… Hmmm I may have just answered Jim’s task after all. Go figure.