I wrote a quick little write up on Ubooly a couple of months back and then managed to get sick as a dog for a while so I haven’t really had much of a chance to go back and review any of the individual apps and updates, but while looking about I ran across the following video on their new kickstarter page. (I’ll talk about the Kickstarter down at the bottom)
This goes back to something I realized as a kid, and that is that the toy industry is there to make money, not keep your kid happy with the toy they’ve got. This isn’t a bad thing per say, but it’s not the warm fuzzy kitten harp playing greatness that it could be.
While I think it’s a bit extremist to claim sweepingly that the toy industry doesn’t care about your kid, they are certainly for the most part profit driven with no model to support an existing product. “The same” tends to lose appeal as “new and improved” pops out and rears its ugly head.
And that’s something I really dig about Ubooly and the products like it. As opposed to taking your kid’s most favorite toy and flinging it out the window because it’s outdated, you can upgrade, add new hardware in it, wash the hell out of it, and in the worst case scenario stitch it back up into a FrankenUbooly.
I can’t tell you the number of times as a kid I mourned the shelving of a beloved toy and felt guilty for not playing with it because a new thing had popped out and the flashiness appealed. Then again, maybe that’s just me.
I take it with a little grain of salt when Ubooly positions itself to one side and points and says the other doesn’t care (and then asks for money,) but it does bring up some good points. An Ubooly engages your kid and can grow with them, it also actively encourages them to move and do things as opposed to sit and tinker.
Although I will say as a kid with an erector set I sat and tinkered for hours on end. There are times for that sort of toy as well. I sure hope they haven’t destroyed what was one of the best toys of my childhood in the name of safety.
Anyway, I still haven’t had a chance to get back through and start playing with the Ubooly software, there’s so much to attack when it comes to that I am a little flustered on a starting point, but that’ll come.
So, although the product is out and available, they’re working on a new Kickstarter which will produce some new colors, different sizes which allow for more devices to power your Ubooly, and more great software for the Ubooly line.
They’re looking for $25,000 to get the new line up and running, and currently they’re at nearly $18,000 after one week of Kickstarter, so it appears they’re solidly on track to get the initial financing they need to be in action by Christmas.
Ubooly for the cheap
If you’re wondering if it would be for you, the app is free. You can play with it and get jokes and a ton of content without spending a dime. You can even strap it to a teddy bear via duct tape if you’re really not wanting to purchase the plush.
However the purchase of the plush also gives you some credit toward downloading software for the Ubooly in the future, so you’re missing out a bit on that and people might wonder at your Frankentoy.
You can read more about them on the Ubooly Kickstarter page.
You can download the app for free from Google Play or the App Store if you want to see what it’s about, although to beware as the intro for it instructs your child to throw the thing into the air, which is fine when you’re dealing with an Ubooly-protected device, not so great when it’s not.
You can grab a current Ubooly at Amazon for $29.99, and grab the newer colors sometime around Christmas if the Kickstarter succeeds