It’s sometimes difficult for kids to leave home for a few days, whether it’s for a school trip, a sleepover, or a weekend at a grandparent’s house. Alternatively, parents may have to go away on a business trip, or aunts and uncles could live states away, making communication difficult. There’s no right age to start giving kids mobile devices to keep in contact with loved ones who are far away, but some parents may not be comfortable with giving a 4-year-old a brand-new $800 smartphone. Fear not, for one of the coolest toys has hit the market to help solve this problem.
Toymail combines an adorable toy with a mobile app to create a fun, new way for kids to communicate with their parents, grandparents, friends, and other loved ones. Think of something like a global walkie talkie. Users can send messages to a specific Mailman device from the Toymail app. The receiving individual will immediately hear the message sent from the app, and he or she can send back a message using the Mailman. Then, the user on the app receives the message and the conversation can continue. The Mailmen stand about as tall as an iPhone and have two main buttons, play and reply, making it simple to operate.
The toys work wherever a Wi-Fi signal is available, and it’s super easy to connect for the first time. Once you put the batteries in and download the Toymail app, you can connect Mailboxes to your device. It is free and available to download on both iOS and Android devices. The app lets you connect more than one Mailman and customize a photo for each toy user, so you’ll know who you’re sending and receiving messages from.
As if this couldn’t get cuter, you can send your message in either your normal voice or it can alter it to make it sound like the character’s own quirky voice. The messages appear on the app and are stored, so you can hear all outgoing and incoming messages over and over. You can send unlimited messages back and forth for free, and you don’t need the toy to send messages. So, for example, if a kid had a Mailman, his or her mom, dad, and aunt can all send messages to that one toy.
I was able to test out Rochester the Raccoon with a cute chipmunk-esque voice, and there are five other sweet Mailmen available for puchase: Snort the Pig, Milksop the Bear, Fairfax the Fox, Buck the Deer, and Bushwick the Skunk (who will be available soon). Toymail is an exciting and sweet way to keep in touch through an enamoring concept.