Talkies are the latest creation from Toymail. These quirky plush characters offer a screen-free way to connect to any approved adults via the Toymail app, or to any of their friends’ Talkies. Giving a phone to a young child is completely unnecessary with a Talkie.
“I have three small kids and when I hear them say things like, ‘Mommy, please don’t go!’ or ‘Promise you will come home in a few minutes,’ it breaks my heart, said Toymail cofounder Audry Hill. “I wanted to stay connected to my kids throughout the day, and I knew I wasn’t alone. Families are separated more than ever because of the demands of work, geography, and life situations such as divorce. So our technology comes at a time where this kind of connection is needed more than ever.”
Sending messages through a Talkie is simple. By connecting the toy over Wi-Fi to the Toymail app on Android, iOS, or Kindle, friends and family members can be invited to the contact list. Talkies use a three-button interface to make it easy to learn. Pressing the cloud button cycles through the approved contacts. A button with a speech bubble allows children to record their message and send it. When a Talkie has received a reply, children press the mouth to hear it speak. This simplicity allows children as young as three to use it.
Beyond its role as a messenger, Talkies react to physical play. They snore, laugh, and squeal in excitement based on the interaction. Additionally, a $3 monthly subscription can expand the features to include reminders, sleep scheduling, voice filters, and play upgrades.
At this time, Talkies come in three different character options: Gory the Shark, Hank the Dino, and Bitsy the Bat. Two other variations, Nunu the Unicorn and Boonut the Bunny, will be available in May. Each Talkie retails for $59 and can be found on Amazon.