Almost every specialty toy store in America has a display
table down low with wooden tracks glued to the board and a variety of vehicles,
hills, curves, and maybe a building or two. And every child is immediately
drawn by an invisible string pulling them directly to that table.
It isn’t surprising. In fact, I can make the case that this toy is probably one of the best toys ever created.
REASON #1 PLAY VALUE
When you want to measure Play Value, ask these three questions.
Is the toy Interactive? Does child have to do
something to make the toy work or does the toy merely entertain the child. In
the case of Kullerbü and toys like it, the child does ALL the work from
building the layout to pushing the vehicles to creating the storylines. The
more Interactive, the more children will play.
Is it Open-Ended? The more ways you can play, the more ways you will play. Toys like this have so many levels of play from being a construction toy as you build the layout to being a role-play toy as you tell the stories of the character to being a science toy as you test your theories of gravity and centrifugal force.
Is it Creative? Does the child have to use her imagination? In a case like this, yes, yes, yes! From design to storytelling, this toy stretches the imagination in ways other toys never do.
Just in terms of Play Value alone, the track & vehicle toys are proven winners!
REASON #2 EXPANDABILITY
Remember the post about the True Cost of a Toy? The True Cost is how much you pay per Hour of Play. Spend $60 for a toy that gets 60 hours of play and you’ve really only spent $1/hour.
Expandable toys like Kullerbü bend that equation heavily in your favor.
Let’s say you got your 60 hours of play out of the original set. Now you want to freshen it up with a new accessory. When you buy something that adds on to an existing toy, you make the whole toy new again. You might spend $25 on something to add to the set and they play another 60 hours.
That $25 add-on became the equivalent of giving your child a
brand new $85 toy they enjoyed for hours on end.
Even something as simple as a new vehicle refreshes the entire set and adds hours of play time.
REASON #3 LONG AGE RANGE
Watch a child playing at that demo table in a store.
If the child is around one or two years old, they will typically just push on a vehicle or ball and get giddy when it rolls down a hill. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle is facing the right direction. It only matters if they do something and then something else happens. We call it cause-and-effect. Two-year olds call it excitement!
If the child is around three or four, watch how they engage
with the vehicles. This is the age of Role Play and Storytelling. Accessories
that move storylines further take on greater importance. World-building begins,
and imagination thrives. Vehicles and buildings help them move the story along.
If the child is five or six you will see the Scientific Method start to form. Hypothesize. Test. Analyze. Repeat. These kids will rearrange layouts to try to build more complex and intricate worlds. They will build with one specific goal in mind. Better to get them some new track pieces at this age.
Even seven and eight-year olds are still playing with sets like Kullerbü because there is always something bigger, faster, or more intricate to design and test. You might need some more risers and columns.
Let’s check the boxes.
- Play Value? This toy is one of the most Interactive, Open-ended, Creative toys ever designed.
- Expandability? Absolutely! (The tallest track ever recorded was over 21 feet high!)
- Long Age Range? There aren’t a lot of toys your two-year old and your eight-year old will play with together.
THE KULLERBÜ DIFFERENCE
There are a bunch of track & vehicle sets on the market. What makes Kullerbü special?
That smiley-faced ball adds a whole new level of scientific exploration to the play because it turns your storytelling world into a giant marble run. This element gives kids even more open-ended play, more stories to tell, and holds their attention for even longer. The ball is the age-stretcher that becomes the mind-stretcher.
SUPER LONG-TERM VALUE
When you do your toy shopping, think of this toy as an
investment in your child’s future. And then make sure you find a tub big enough
to hold onto it for the grandchildren, because that is what you do with the
truly great toys.
Phil Wrzesinski, National Sales Manager, HABA USA
Phil, like his grandfather and father before him, has been in the toy industry his entire life, helping thousands of parents make the best choices of toys for their kids.