In 2013, Toymail introduced a cute line of mailbox-shaped devices that were designed to let small children trade voice messages with friends and family without putting them in front of a screen. Now the company has taken the concept a step further with Talkies, which are essentially an upgraded version of the the company's original device wrapped in a plush toy form factor.
Like the original Toymail devices, Talkies connect to a home Wi-Fi network and allow kids to send and receive voice messages from approved friends and family members using either the free Toymail app on iOS or Android devices, or another Talkie. The Talkies feature a simple four-button interface that Toymail claims is easy for kids to operate, saying that two-year olds had no problems using the beta version of the device.
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An audio alert lets kids know when there's a new incoming message, and new outgoing messages can be recorded on or off-line. The toy will snore when asleep and squeal when thrown in the air, while shaking it activates a voice filter to make the user's voice sound funny. Since kids can say the darndest things, a sharing function lets parents share voice messages on social media.
Talkies will come in four different versions – bat, mouse, shark and dinosaur – and Toymail is currently taking a limited number of pre-orders for the discounted price of US$59. On release Talkies will retail for $79, with shipping throughout the US expected next month.
The short video below shows how the Talkies work.