Although released in 2020 Moxie, the blue body, cartoon eye Moxie robot who wants to befriend your child might be one of the hot, high end toys of Christmas 2021. It currently retails at the manufacturer’s website for wallet-busting $799.
The companion robot was designed to support social, cognitive and emotional development in kids between five and ten. It does this via play based learning or lessons on things like turn-taking and eye contact. The company Emobided launched Moxie in 2020 at a much higher price point of $1,500, currently their website lists the regular price as $999 but currently reduced to $799. They are based in Pasadena, California.
Embodied has stated that their goal is to create robots that will benefit society. They say Moxie builds a relationship with children by teaching them how to label and navigate their emotions.
Moxie is equipped with microphones, sensors and cameras and has the benefit of expert technologist, and expert story tellers from Disney and the Jim Henson Company.
Time, in 2020, listed it as a one of the top inventions of the year.
According to the company, Moxie tries to rethink what human and machine interaction could be and they are rethinking these interactions by making Moxie socially and emotionally intelligent.
They believe inventions like Moxie could increase the emotional intelligence of soft skills that will make the next generation of children more balanced people as members of society.
The new indoor cycling craze (a la’ Peloton bikes) has now become available for young children; however, child development experts aren’t excited about it.
Well known toymaker Little Tikes attempted to mimic Peloton’s recent stationary bike success by building versions for children to enjoy alongside their parents, according to a statement by the toymaker.
Little Tikes’ Pelican stationary bike for kids 3-7 was released this summer. Like Pelotons it has a screen attached for watching videos. Pelotons come standard with a screen that displays exercise classes, intended to add a touch of socialization to home exercise. Pelotons cost $1,495 and then there is a monthly fee of $39 to view video classes.
Little Tikes stated they saw a way for kids to have fun with their parents and want to inspire an active and imagination filled lifestyle among kids.
Similar products have been tried before. Fisher-Price released a stationary bike for kids in 2017. It was available on Amazon, originally costing $150, it was later lowered to a $100 price tag and eventually discontinued. Neither company commented on why.
But child development experts aren’t having it. They say a stationary bicycle, especially one with a screen attached, is a step backward for what a bicycle can mean to child development. Kids riding a stationary bike lose the learning experiences that come from roaming their neighborhood on foot or on bike.
Basically, childhood development experts say that a stationary bike for kids cannot replace the social experiences they will have exploring their neighborhood with friends on a real bike. They claim kids need to interact in the real world to learn how to socialize and work out problems in real life.