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Talking toys are nothing new — but smart talking toys could be the next big toy trend.

We’ve already seen investors pour millions into talking teddy bears, now Gauri Nanda, the creator of the Clocky rolling alarm clock, is introducing a talking toy technology of her own: Toymail.

Think of it as voicemail for kids that emit from cute little connected toys, which Nanda calls “Mailmen.” Through the Toymail app, you can send a voice message to any child you know with a Mailman, and they can reply simply by talking into the toy. The Toymail app also lets you apply fun voice filters, which will make the voice notes even more appealing to younger children.

Nanda is kicking off a Kickstarter campaign for Toymail on Thursday, November 14, with the hopes of raising $60,000 in funding to produce wireless-enabled Mailmen. Backers at the $50 level will get a 10 percent off discount towards some of the Mailmen models, or if you’re really eager, you can back the project at $200 to get a prototype Mailman. Nanda expects to ship Mailmen pre-orders in December.

With Clocky, a wheel-equipped alarm clock that forces you to get up in the morning to shut it off (no leaning over and hitting snooze there), Nanda made a name for herself as an inventive designer. Clocky also ended up winning the Ig Nobel Prize for economics in 2005.

“We didn’t want to create another toy that puts a kid in front of a screen,” Nanda said in a statement. “We believe there’s a better way to approaching technology for kids, and that’s by making toys social.”

Toymail could be particularly big with family friends and relatives — the sort of people who may not always get to see kids every day.


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