The Fisher-Price Play Lab just got an update.
After more than six decades of creating toys and other products for young infants, toddlers, and kids, the first kid-led toy testing facility in the industry has been revamped. Located in East Aurora, New York, Mattel‘s Fisher-Price Play Lab is where kids and designers work together to create and evaluate more than 450 toys each year.
“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., 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.”
The Play Lab has been renovated with new research tools, technology, and software, including eye-tracking to gauge input from toy testers who can’t yet verbalize; Viso, an audio/video recording tool that captures minute details of play; the Baby FaceReader Emotional Analysis tool to automatically measures facial expressions in infants ages 6-24 months; and Observer XT Software to annotate play in a quantitative way and visualize it on a timeline.
This year, new Play-Lab-approved toys are rolling out to retail. and will be showcased on Play Lab endcaps in the toy departments of select retailers in the months ahead.
The assortment includes new products, such as Meditation Mouse and Linkamals toys alongside updates to the Fisher-Price Classics assortment, including Thomas & Friends and the Rock-a-Stack.
More information about the Fisher-Price Play Lab, including details on the team, the process, and the toys can be found here.
For an extensive look at some of 2022’s new toys, be sure to consult the Toy Book‘s 2022 BIG Book.