There’s no shortage of military-inspired toys out there. Even our own Click-A-Brick 100-piece Army Defenders set has a military feel to it. The one thing that has been missing for a long time is a toy specifically for families of the military.
Having a parent in the military can obviously be difficult for a child, but toy inventor Hannah Sage aims to help make that absence a little more bearable with her toy Milo the Lion.
Milo comes with 24 tokens, which represent each week of a typical six-month deployment. Each week, a token is hidden somewhere in the family home and a clue appears on Milo’s screen about the location of the token.
Once the child finds the token, they plug it into Milo’s base to watch a prerecorded video message from the deployed parent. They then can record a reply video message for the deployed parent, who can access it on an associated website and also use the website to send videos to the family at home.
Isn’t that brilliant?!
As you know, we’re firm believers that toys can serve a real purpose, namely helping to educate kids and helping them with their development.
With Milo the Lion, we see a toy serving a whole other purpose, one of comfort for children who really need it. Children of deployed parents are put into a unique situation and Milo will help them understand and deal with that situation better.
We see it as a sort of offshoot of the educational toy sector, as it can be used to teach children of deployed soldiers about what is going on with their parents and teach them about the places where they’ve been deployed to, among other things.
We’re hoping to see more toys pop up in this niche, as it is an area that is ripe for innovation. It presents toy makers with a problem to solve in connecting children and their deployed parents in some way and keeping it fun and engaging for the children.