A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Toonsie is a patent-pending audio toy. It is an easy to operate re-recordable audio toy designed for the young child. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and caregivers love the sense of control it provides. Children love playing their favorite song over and over again using Toonsie's single button to both start and stop. Even parents who might typically avoid audio toys love it, since they are in control of the content, volume, and length (up to 200 seconds).
Combining simplicity and versatility, it is the perfect baby shower gift and birthday present. Toonsie makes parents' lives easier and keeps kids happy.
Simply connect the audio device that comes in Toonsie's zippered plush pouch to any headphone jack to record WHATEVER audio you want. No apps or software required.
Who am I?
Hi, I'm Rana. I'm a mom of two young children living in Somerville, Massachusetts. A career woman, but an entrepreneur at heart, I've always had a lot of ideas. I needed to find a solution to my children's requests for playing and singing the same song over and over again. When I couldn't find a product that met this need, Toonsie was born out of necessity. I am so excited to bring this toy to you and your family.
How is Toonsie made?
The plush pouch prototypes have been hand sewn, and the audio devices and cables were purchased from a supplier. Combined, they make a Toonsie! When mass produced, the pouches will be sewn in a factory.
The following requirements will be met with the production order:
Machine washable (when audio device is removed)
Made of high quality cotton materials including corduroy and denim which are durable and provide interesting textures
Lined with PUL (same material cloth diapers are made from), to create some water resistance in case of spits or spills
Vinyl (BPA/Phalate free) window holds a name tag, small photo, or song title
Loop allows Toonsie to be attached to a stroller, high chair, diaper bag, etc.
On/off toggle switch on rear of audio device prevents Toonsie from being played when unintended
Powered by 3 AAA batteries that are secured in a compartment by a screwed on cover (batteries not included)
Batteries rarely need replacement (will last for months with moderate use)
Toonsie will be safety tested to meet or exceed requirements of the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission.
Why do I need backers?
Creating a new product is expensive. Minimum order quantities must be met in order to get the cost of Toonsie down to something every family can afford. By backing this project, you'll help launch Toonsie into production. Every incentive level comes with at least one Toonsie plush pouch along with the audio device and recording cable.
When will Toonsie ship?
Although I would love to get Toonsies produced and shipped in time for the holidays, it's likely going to take longer than that. I'll do my best! If Toonsie isn't available for the holidays I'll send each backer cards that can be used to convey the gift that is in the making, so that you can still gift Toonsie for the holidays even if it's not yet ready to ship :-)
Below is Toonsie's timeline including a targeted (but very ambitious) December, 2018 ship date.
50 ways to use Toonsie!
Parents have given me many ideas of how Toonsie could be used. I kept track of these ideas - below is a list of 50 ways Toonsie can be used. Please post additional ideas in the comments section :-)
The Toonsie Story
When my daughter, Mila, was very young she would often request the same song be played or sung over and over again. "More! More!" she would sign before she learned to talk.
It was then that I began searching for a product that would give her control over when, where, and how many times she listened to the same song instead of me having to sing or play it for her, often from my smartphone. I thought for sure something must exist - and although I came across toys like MP3 players for pre-school aged children, those were just way too complex for my baby.
A year or so later, my son was born. Again, from a very early age he craved repetition. Wheels on the bus was his favorite. "More bus!" was his first spoken phrase. I searched once again for a toy that would fill this need and came up with nothing. Having a preschooler and a toddler to juggle on top of a full time job and housework, I am always looking for products and ideas that make my life easier and keep my kids happy. I decided that since a solution didn't exist, I was going to make one.
I tested several different types of recordable audio devices and finally found one that seemed perfect. Not only did it have an easy to depress button, but it allows an adult to record audio from almost any other audio player through a headphone jack. I quickly designed and hand stitched a small zippered pouch that had a soft foam insert that would hold the audio device in place while allowing it to be easily removed by a parent or caretaker. The next morning I gave it to my son and he was so happy with it! Right then I knew I had to take this idea further!
Spencer loves singing with me during stroller walks, but sometimes I just need a break . . . he seems perfectly content with Toonsie as an alternative :)
Why repetition is a good thing!
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” (Zig Ziglar)
It's not just my kids - it's science. Below are a few quotes and linked articles describing how repetition is healthy and important for young children.
"So much is new and overwhelming for a toddler, but repeating an activity helps her learn what to expect. That’s why repetitive songs such as “Old McDonald Had a Farm” are such a big hit at this age; there’s a predictable pattern that empowers little ones with the knowledge of what’s going to happen next."
"You're likely to find your child favoring a few songs and rhymes and wanting to hear them again and again. While this may become dull for you, your child is on to something. Repetition helps kids learn."
I created Toonsie so that I could record myself singing to my son. Although I knew he loved my voice, it was not until I did more research that I realized just how powerful my voice is. Below are some quotes and linked articles that support recording - and playing - a mother's voice for a young child.
"A mother’s voice can soothe a child in stressful situations, reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and increasing levels of oxytocin, the social bonding hormone."
Every project comes with its own unique risks and challenges - but I've been working hard for months to minimize these risks.
Manufacturing partners have been identified, and referred to me by other moms who have been successful completing similar projects.
Toonsie will be tested by a third party laboratory to ensure it meets the highest level of product safety and quality described by the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission.
However, because I am reliant on several suppliers, it is possible that the production will take longer than expected - after all this is a small project and I will be sticking to minimum order quantities. Competing priorities with the suppliers and manufacturers may cause some delays.