November 1, 2006 Do you remember when you were a kid and someone asked your age? The answer was usually couched in terms of “I’m nearly X”, indicating that like all children, the privileges of age were obvious and you were keen to attain them. It seems that over the next few years we’ll see electronics developed specifically for particular age groups to appeal to this very human trait, and ToyQuest’s new multimedia gadget, the US$180 RipRoar VideoFree is such an animal. The shiny red-and-black, 512 MB portable media player stores up to five hours of television (music and pictures too), has a 2.5 inch color screen, rechargeable battery and built- in speakers. It’s programmable and can record up to eight TV shows at different times and channels and targets children ages 8 and older. “Our focus with RipRoar is to keep tweens in the toy aisle where retailers are losing them, and get them excited about the product,” says ToyQuest, a company which has long focussed on producing innovative toys for teen and tweens.
“We know kids enjoy television, and we also know they may not want to sit in front of the television at 8 o’clock at night to watch a program,” said Bob Del Principe, ToyQuest’s Vice President of Research & Development. “People are on the go more and they don’t want to be shackled by technology.” Avi Rosenstein, ToyQuest’s Product Manager adds, “DVR technology has changed the way we watch TV, and VideoFree will change the way tweens perceive portable content.” Rosenstein continues, “Not only can they program the unit to record your favorite programs straight from their TV, but unlike DVR, they can also take them to watch on the go, which fits their lifestyle better.”