Is content the king that killed imagination?

image credit:  Umanoide

image credit: Umanoide

For the first time recently I‘ve had to buy gifts for small children that have appeared in my life. I wandered into Toy world (another first this decade) and was absolutely astounded at the amount of toys that are sold with a story.

For example, I looked at this fire station toy which instructs the children to:

Hang out in the living quarters and wait for the next call to come in. Jump down to the garage, get in the fire truck, and race off to save the day.

Dylan Play Set - Fire Station Theme Playset

Are content creators going nuts?

As someone in the marketing space I can only assume that there is probably an app that goes with this that has all of the appropriate fire engine noises and a book that tells the child when to make the noises along with pre-named fire people?

This is why I was so pleased to see Sony build Toio. Two small unassuming white robotic blocks with a remote.

The blocks are controlled and interact together, moving in or out of sync to create motion only limited by your imagination. And in true out of the box thinking they bring their surroundings to life.

Check out 1.20 in the below video to see it come to life.


It’s a mix between the lego of the past and the interactive toys of the now. It’s a blank canvas and it’s what I’ll be getting every niece and nephew as soon as they’re available.

More about it here.