Laptops For Tots
New York’s Times Square, now stripped of strippers, looks more like an amusement park every day. The flash-bulb and and quaint, mechanical billboards of the past have been overshadowed by a proliferation of 40-foot screens, turning a few blocks of glitz into an entire neighborhood of pop culture destinations, including that flagship of tourist family attractions, the Times Square Toys “R” Us. Visitors entering the toy emporium are greeted by a 60-foot, fully functional ferris wheel, offering kids and their parents a whirling tour past three floors of candy-colored product displays.
Just a few feet away from the entrance to the ferris wheel is a new sign which changes colors every time you look, a blue then green then yellow then pink brand name not typically associated with kid-stuff: SONY. The sign flashes over a 550-square-foot showcase area featuring 80 SKUs of the manufacturer’s latest products and accessories. While nearly the entire first floor of the Times Square Toys “R” Us is dedicated to electronics, from the “R Zone” gaming area to shelves with robotic animals like MIO Pup and TEKNO The Robotic Pony, the new Sony area is unusual in that its merchandising doesn’t scream “kid.” Though there are some pink and blue mini-speaker cases, the majority of goods looks like it’d be at home in any of the 40 adult-focused SonyStyle stores.
Are kids really saving up enough allowance money to pick up a VAIO notebook computer, a Handycam camcorder, a full stereo system or a LCD TV?