My six-year-old nephew, who is of course perfect, is forever taking control of his mother’s iPod Touch in order to show me his latest conquest in Angry Birds or some game involving vegetables and zombies (which clearly go together). Because his mom is a saint of a woman, she doesn’t seem to mind when he smudges up the screen with his eager, ketchup-covered fingers. But in case you’re not a saint, Toys ‘R’ Us is hoping you might want to shell out some dough just to get your tablet kid-free with its new offering.
The Wall Street Journal says the retailer launching a proprietary tablet designed just for kids on Oct. 21 called the Tabeo. It goes for $149.99 and is run on Google’s Android system, with 50 free pre-loaded game applications. The key to grabbing your dollars here — the device can only be purchased at Toys ‘R’ Us stores, meaning customers can’t go hunting for lower prices elsewhere.
But is successfully sequestering your electronic devices from your kids worth the money? Toys ‘R’ Us certainly thinks so.
“It is our strategic position to offer products that you can’t find anywhere [else] or be compared on price,” said Troy Peterson, a vice president at Toys “R” Us told the WSJ.
In the end it won’t matter if parents think the tablet is a good buy — it’ll be the kids who decide to give up their parents’ iPads and Kindle Fires for something they’re actually allowed to get all smudgy on.
There are other tablets to compete with the Tabeo, and all three have already matched the $149.99 price in preparation for its debut. Then there’s the desire on the behalf of grownups to constantly upgrade their electronics, which could mean handing over an old version of a device might be more attractive than paying out of pocket for a new kid-friendly one.
Toys ‘R’ Us’ big hope here is that customers won’t use the store as just a trial area and then turn to online means or other retailers in order to get the lowest possible price. You want this Tabeo and your kids away from your stuff? Buy it here, buy it now, or forever hold on to your prized electronic pieces.
New Entry in Tablet Wars: Toys ‘R’ Us [Wall Street Journal]