Send mail to kids' toys from your phone. Our toys will speak them back in their funny voice, or yours. Kids can reply too! Read more
This project was successfully funded on December 2, 2013.
About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign has ended, but you can order a Mailman now from our website, www.toymail.co
Lets plan the future of Toymail together. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook so that we can stay connected.
Our twitter link is https://twitter.com/toymailco
Our FB is https://www.facebook.com/ToymailCo
Send messages to kids, through their toys.
It's called Toymail. It's like voicemail or email but way more fun because your messages are sent to toys to speak back. Parents, grandparents, cousins, neighbors, friends (really, anyone who matters) can stay connected to kids they love using Toymail.
Think of our toys as messengers. You simply record a voice message using our app from anywhere in the world, hit send, and our Mailmen™ toys will speak them back in their funny voice (or yours). And, kids can reply to you right from their toys. So whether you're a mom at work, a dad in the checkout line, a friend down the street, or a grandma an ocean away, you can stay connected to the kids you love.
Order our toys here and you will get 10% off + free shipping! Our campaign is super short because we want to leave time to ship for the holidays. Please help support us now :)
Meet our Mailmen.™
The WIFI enabled Mailmen™ are a new breed of smart toys that connect wirelessly with your home WIFI network to receive messages sent anytime, from anywhere in the world.
Toymail is for kids, and kids at heart.
Toymail is a fun way to send mail to little ones, and participate in their play no matter where you are in the world. The app, just as fun to use as the toys, can apply filters to make your voice sound funny.
- Grandma, now you can use Toymail to sing your lil' pudding cup to sleep every night from the comfort of your new condo in Nuevo Vallarta.
- Mom, stop telling your son to brush his teeth. Get our toys to do the dirty work for you (our raccoon has a way of getting bicuspids clean).
- You are a 9-year-old girl, and you are in love. No better way to convey that than by having the Mailmen tell your boo how much he smells like onions.
- Dad, we understand you are knuckle-deep in fantasy football. Send wildly funny messages to your kids' Mailmen to keep them at bay until your team is fully assembled.
Our favorite part.
Little kids can't pick up a phone and call you. But with Toymail, children can reply to you directly from their Mailmen. So this is not just any talking toy, but one that can carry on a two-way conversation.
One more thing.
To further ensure that the toys never run out of things to say, the Toymail Company offers the Daily Toymailer, a message sent to everyone's Mailmen each morning. This might be a song, a little known fact, or an inspiring quote. Don't worry about running out of material or time. We will make sure the Mailmen greet your child by name and keep your toys talking every single day.
How it works.
Our Mailmen™ have WIFI built in. Setting up your toy so that it can send and receive Toymail is as easy as downloading the Toymail app onto your phone. All software updates are wirelessly transmitted to your Mailmen. You'll connect your toys to your home WIFI network within minutes. From there you'll send out invites to friends and family (or they will invite you!) so that everyone you want can get connected to yours or your kid's toys.
Mailmen check for new messages every seven minutes or so. Children will never miss a message. When there's a new one waiting, the Mailmen will alert the child a few times and the child will press play. The child will also be prompted to reply after each message, and can respond any number of times to the last sender.
The Toymail App.
Our app is a free download (available from the app store when our product ships). Each Toymail message sent or received costs one virtual stamp. You'll get 10 free stamps every month. When you need more, you can buy books of 50 stamps for only $.99.
What is Toymail Company all about?
We started with a simple question: "Can toys be made to evolve every day?” We realized that with user created content, we could do just that. We believe there's a better way to design technology for kids, and that's by making toys social. Toymail is:
- Physical – Most apps isolate kids. Ours does the opposite. We're putting technology into a toy, rather than putting kids in front of another screen.
- Simple – Little kids can't pick up a phone and call you easily. But send a message to them, and they can reply with a press of a button.
- Social - Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends can all stay connected to kids they love, through play.
- Evolving - With user created content, our toys change every single day. Our toys grow up as children do. Each Mailmen's character will become a composite of all the important people in a child's life.
Who thought this up?
Toymail was created by Gauri Nanda, the entrepreneur from MIT who designed Clocky®, the alarm clock that runs away, and her best friend, Audry Hill, a mother of three.
Gauri created Clocky. Hear her talk about Toymail.
Design of the Mailmen began in the spring of 2012. Like most innovation, Toymail began with a need. What drove us in creating the Mailmen was the desire to be able to say whatever might be on our minds when we weren't around to say it in person. And the reality is that most people are away from their kids more often than they would like, sometimes all day, sometimes days at a time. Toymail is for them. It's for anyone who matters in the life of a child but isn't always geographically present.
We started with a simple idea, to send messages to a toy. For the next 6 months, we explored all the possibilities of form and features in our app and our toys. We asked kids to comment. At the end, we decided to strip away anything that wasn't essential. The hardest thing to do was to make things simple again.
We loved the look of a street mailbox. We drew hundreds of characters that could morph into this familiar shape.
In working with our engineers, we determined an optimal layout for placing the batteries, the buttons, the speaker, and the microphone.
We performed detailed analysis of all of the character's parts to ensure they were strong enough for child safety standards.
And, we adjusted the shape of the Mailmen eyes, ears, nose, mouth, to ensure they would react well with our molding process.
Determining how to get the messages to the toys was something we iterated on a number of times. We considered an option which would transmit data wirelessly, but not over WIFI. This would require an extra dongle for set up. In talking to others about our ideas, we became privy to other WIFI chips on the market that could be integrated into each toy. People expect easy set up with everything these days and they should. We tested the electronics over and over and over again until the Mailmen started to speak. We are currently beta testing our Toymail app, and expect our software to be complete by the end of November, just in time to ship.
Toymail features and specs.
- Send audio message to kids' toys, the Mailmen™
- Option to apply filters to your voice
- Receive replies from your kids, sent directly from their toys
- Play with your kids anytime, from anywhere in the world
- Store all of your incoming and outgoing messages
- Daily Toymailer service guarantees Mailmen get new messages every day
- Each Toymail message sent or received costs one virtual stamp. You get ten free stamps with your download. Additional stamps can be purchased in stamp books.
- Five Toymail characters (and many more on paper that we'd like to bring to life!)
- Built-in WIFI that connects Mailmen to your home WIFI network in minutes
- Mailmen check for messages every several minutes
- Mailmen alert you of new messages with whines, whinnies, growls, and snorts
- Kids can reply to the last sender any number of times directly from their toy
- These replies are stored in your Toymail app account
- Mailmen are always on between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., ready to receive new messages
- Dimensions: 3.26"x 3.38" x 4.6"
- Weight: .385 (without batteries installed)
- Material: Child safe ABS and PVC plastic
- Ages: 3+ Battery: 4 AA not included
- Battery life: Runs for a year with normal daily use
- Patent Pending
- Works with iPhone 4, 4S running iOS 5 or any iPod Touch with iOS 5, 6, and 7, and iPad. Our Android app will be available in 2014.
We need your help!
If you're like us, you think toys can be better. We can make this happen. But we need you to help us in the revolution. In exchange, you'll get one of the Mailmen at a special price. To see all of the Mailmen, visit www.toymailco.com.
We've been working on the development of our products for a year and a half. What you see in our videos are real working prototypes. We designed and re-designed the Mailmen, the app, and now we're testing. We've got some bugs. Just the other day our Mailmen kept spontaneously shouting,"Messages are coming!" as if they were overly eager to start their jobs. We expect those things to be resolved soon. Because our products are wirelessly based, we can update our toy's software anytime we like. And we've got units we're about to ship to beta testers.
100 percent of the funds we raise in Kickstarter will help us complete production. If things go well with the campaign, our hope is to get the items to our IOS users by the holidays! With your support, we can start delivering Toymail to kids around the world. Our stock of Mailmen will be limited, so you really should make haste.
Here's Gus getting a birthday toymail.
Here's Sadie and a Mailmen getting her outta bed.
Here's Charlie enthusiastically sending a reply.
Here's Buck delivering Daphne a very surprising message.
Here's Snort talking about how he loves being one of the Mailman.
What happens next?
If we meet our goal, we'll be able to finish production. At the end of the campaign, we'll send out a survey asking you what phone you use, and where you live. International backers will be responsible for applicable tariffs and customs fees. We will be able to ship to IOS customers in the US and Canada in time for the holidays, while quantities last.
Other ways to join us!
Share! If you believe in what we're doing and why we're doing it help share the Toymail story. Please "like" this kickstarter page, tweet about us, pin us, and email your friends and family. While you're at it, visit Toymail Co. on Facebook and "Like" us there too, and follow us on Twitter @toymailco.
Visit www.toymailco.com for more info.
If you're a member of the press, you can download everything you need right here. Contact us at email@example.com for additional questions.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
Risks and Challenges
There are a few, but we've done this before so we're ready.
SHIP DATE: We have built in extra time for the manufacturing process and are confident we will ship to our IOS customers living in the US and Canada by the end of the year while supplies last, and all other customers thereafter. We will always keep you informed if things take longer than planned.
PRODUCT: We have built over 100 working prototypes. We will only make design refinement to the software now to fix bugs and enhance the product experience. We have tested our product to comply with ASTM, CPSIA and FCC standards.
MANUFACTURING We have established relationships with experienced contract manufacturers to mitigate the risk of delays by material suppliers and to ensure quality control is implemented to the highest level. We have built test prototypes with our manufacturer and they fully understand our product, specifications and production timeline. We are in pre-production stages and will finish production as soon as we hit our milestone. Our products will ship to IOS customers in the US and Canada before the holidays this year itself.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Scroll down to the bottom of our website (www.toymailco.com) and you can register to sign up for our periodic email updates!
Toymail works with any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad device running iOS 6 or newer. A version for Android is in development.
Sign up for The Daily Toymailer directly from the Toymail App. We will chime in every day, greeting your kid in the morning, sharing fun facts, news, stories, and random bits of information. Don't worry about running out of material or time. Consider the Mailmen little helpers for parents. We make sure your toys never say the same thing twice.
Yes! You can order the Mailmen to be shipped internationally in 2014. You can still pre-order on our Kickstater until Dec 2nd. We may ship a select number of units international pre-holiday 2013.
You can be anywhere in the world and send toymail. You just need our app and to connect to a kid you know with Mailmen!
Yes. It will cover shipping for regular mail.
Mailmen have Wi-Fi built in. Just install 4 fresh AA batteries into your toy. Then connect your Mailmen to your home Wi-Fi network (using the Toymail app) and your Mailmen will check for new messages every 7 minutes or so between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
First make sure that your Toy's status LED is pulsing red. If it isn't, remove and re-insert the batteries after a minute. Upon installing the batteries, the status LED should blink red. Make sure your WIFI network and password are entered correctly in the Toymail app. Now, hit the 'footprint' button in the app and hold the sensor directly on the Toymail app. Hold steady while the screen flashes! Because of the rapid blinking, individuals with seizure disorder should ask someone else for assistance with this step. For full instructions download our manual here: http://toymailco.com/Toymail-MailmenManual.pdf
•Red - Need to connect to home WIFI network
•Green - Toy is connected and may be upgrading firmware
•Orange - Incorrect WIFI information has been entered
•Red, Orange - Trying to connect. But there may be a typo in the WIFI network or password.
•Orange, Red - Trying to connect. But there may be a firewall issue.
•Red, Orange, Green - Toy is waking up from sleep and reconnecting.
Yes, our Android app for Toymail is in development. It will match the functionality on the Toymail iOS app.
Children should first gain the approval of a parent or guardian. Connect to a kid's Mailmen by friending them as you would on any social networking app. Once a parent confirms you are a friend of the child, you are connected. And, when you connect to a parent, you are automatically connected to all of their kid's toys.
Simply press the reply button (the arrow tail) on the back of the toy. All messages will have at least one chance to reply. If a new message is incoming, it will overwrite the previous message. If there is no new message, reply as many times as you like.
Don't worry! The toy will keep the last downloaded message until it has been played. Once it has been played, then new messages may come in and replace it.
For simplicity sake, we opted against incorporating volume controls. The product plays at a child-safe DB level.
We've created some videos where you can see each Mailmen talking! Keep an eye on our YouTube page for new updates: www.youtube.com/toymailco
Yes, of course! Each time a message is sent from the Toymail app to a Mailman, the voice can be toggled from from the cute, high-pitched mailman voice to your own, with no filter.
Children under 13 years of age are to use our app through their parent's account. Toymail messages can only be sent to your trusted network of friends and family. If you are a parent with young children, you must confirm all friend invites through the Toymail app. Check your connected friends anytime in the settings section of the Toymail app.
We have server costs to allow the sending and receiving of messages to our toys. So we do have to charge a little bit to make this happen. But it's pretty cheap. You can purchase unlimited stamps or stamp books though the Toymail app.
Your pre-order on Kickstarter will go directly to our production of the Mailmen. We are in the final phase of manufacturing the little guys that will deliver your toymail.
Toymail is for ages 3 and up. Children who use our service should gain the approval of a parent or guardian. Children under 13 years of age are to use our app through their parent's account. Toymail messages can only be sent to your trusted network of friends and family. If you are a parent with young children, you must confirm all friend invites through the Toymail app. Check your connected friends anytime in the settings section of the Toymail app.
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
• 20MHz 11n channels, 1x1
• +16.75dBm max output power (802.11b)
• -97dBm typical sensitivity (1Mbps)
• Integrated antenna with 2.5dBi max gain
Pledge $1 or more
PLAYER - For just a buck you'll be a part of the toy revolution. But you might want to dig a little deeper and get something tangible...like a toy. Pre-order on 11/14/13!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $10 or more
TINKERER: Back us at this level and we'll put your face up on our website to let the whole world know you helped make Toymail a reality. Pre-order on 11/14/13!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
TOY LOVER'S SPECIAL: MILKSOP Which of our Mailmen speaks to you? Preorder and we'll ship you one toy at 10% below retail + free shipping if you're in the US. He's scary looking, but sings quite sweetly (even if the tune is "Red Neck Woman").Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
TOY LOVER'S SPECIAL: BUCK Preorder and we'll ship you one toy at 10% below retail + free shipping if you're in the US. He's our fast-talking, free wheeling, delivery deer.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
TOY LOVER'S SPECIAL: ROCHESTER Preorder and we'll ship you one toy at 10% below retail + free shipping if you're in the US. He trills, he coos, he says "how do you do?" (or whatever else you make him say, really).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
TOY LOVER'S SPECIAL: FAIRFAX Preorder and we'll ship you one toy at 10% below retail + free shipping if you're in the US. Though his species is noted for being sly, our fox is rather silly.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
TOY LOVER'S SPECIAL: SNORT Preorder and we'll ship you one toy at 10% below retail + free shipping if you're in the US. For all you "mouth breathers" out there (she sounds a little congested).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $95 or more
DOUBLE DOWN: Buy two Mailmen and make it a play date. They have to be different character designs and we'll ask you which ones you need at the close of the campaign.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $95 or more
DOUBLE DOWN (INTERNATIONAL ONLY): Buy two Mailmen and make it a play date. They have to be different character designs and we'll ask you which ones you need at the close of the campaign.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $100 or more
3 backers All gone!
TEST OUR TOYS. If you really can't wait to toymail, become a part of our beta test group and we'll ship you a prototype right this very minute. We have a handful so you better move quickly! We'll put you in our survey so you'll have the distinction of sending out some of the very first toymails AND giving us the feedback that will help improve our end-product.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $140 or more
TRIPLE THREAT: They say bad things come in threes, but in the case of Mailmen expect only good things from this set. They have to be different character designs and we'll ask you which ones you need at the close of the campaign.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $140 or more
TRIPLE THREAT (INTERNATIONAL ONLY): They say bad things come in threes, but in the case of Mailmen expect only good things from this set. They have to be different character designs and we'll ask you which ones you need at the close of the campaign.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $180 or more
ACES WILD!: Four is more, so might as well go for it. They have to be different character designs and we'll ask you which ones you need at the close of the campaign.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $180 or more
ACES WILD! (INTERNATIONAL ONLY): Four is more, so might as well go for it. They have to be different character designs and we'll ask you which ones you need at the close of the campaign.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $250 or more
THE WHOLE HERD: Why buy just one, when you can buy the whole herd. An all five character set of Mailmen for $25 below retail.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (17 days)