Video games and apps are now common playthings yet children still enjoy physical toys. Marbotic is a smart toy that features wooden letters and numbers that interact with an iPad app through educational games. The Marbotic sets come in two varieties: the alphabet and numbers and, presently, there are three apps to go along with the letters/numbers. The games can be played in quiz mode, or recreation mode and letters and numbers interact with the iPad screen for the game to be completed. Hence, Marbotic games engage the eyes, ears, and hands to achieve maximum brain impact. Recently Marie Merouze, CEO and Founder of Marbotic, spoke about these toys:

The inspiration 

Blasting News (BN): When was Marbotic started and why was that specific name chosen?

Marie Merouze (MM): Marbotic was started in 2012 by tech-loving #Education experts.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The name “Marbotic” comes from a public library named “Marbotine” where I went as a kid. That library was a place of creativity and happiness.

BN: How, exactly, do your toys work?

MM: The wooden blocks are totally passive, and contain no electronic parts: they are composed of a wooden top, with a conductive plastic bottom with a small metal handle. With the human touch, electrostatic energy travels through the metal handle to the conductive plastic to be recognized by the iPad. No WiFi, Bluetooth or battery is needed to play, making the components safe for kids to have fun with.

The present

BN: Right now, how many products do you offer?

MM: Currently we offer two packs of “Smart” toys; “Smart Letters”—the entire alphabet—which retails for $49.99 and “Smart Numbers”--which includes numbers 0 to 9--and retails for $34.99.

Advertisements

Both “Smart Letters” and “Smart Numbers” have three corresponding free apps which can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store (only for Numbers). Smart Letters and Numbers can be purchased on Amazon.com, or the Marbotic.fr website.

BN: How do you think up ideas for your products? For example, do you ever work with inventors? 

MM: At Marbotic, we are a team of six and we brainstorm together a lot. Some of us are passionate about education and some of us are big fans of video games. This blend is precious and so interesting! We are also working with neuroscience research laboratories that explore children’s cognitive development, and of course, we consult with teachers.

BN: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with Marbotic?

MM: After three years spent developing our connected toys and apps, it was so rewarding to sell our first units. I remember when we launched Smart Letters on Kickstarter; we kept refreshing the webpage and received new orders every minute! We reached our goal in three days.

Advertisements

It was exciting and so rewarding!

The future 

BN: Where do you hope Marbotic will be in ten years?

MM: In every classroom and every home of every kid in the world.

BN: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to enter the toy industry?

MM: Well, Marbotic has one foot in the toy industry, and another foot in the connected objects industry. When it comes to the toy industry, I would advise someone to be an advocate of change in modernizing the toy industry. For us, traditional toys are an inspiration, but we wanted to take ours even further. Another bit of advice: use technology wisely. It should enrich the child’s experience and even help them learn, not exist only to make a noise when pressing a button.

BN: Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?

MM: We just launched our Ambassador program for educators. We are used to collaborating with teachers and would like to make this community grow, to share experiences, educational content and tips! More information is available on our website. #Video Game