You may spend your time struggling to get your kids’ hands off your iPad or other tablet device – but now they can have their own.
“MEEP!” is a WiFi-enabled device that lets kids “access the internet, chat with family and friends and access a media library of apps, games, music, movies and e-books.” It’s been selling steadily in the US, with around 250,000 units shifted and its makers are now hoping to emulate that success in Japan.
Monika Merz, president of Toys“R”Us, Asia Pacific, (the first retailer to offer the 7” touch screen device here in Japan) said: “As the world’s leading authority on toys and baby products, we are delighted to bring the first true kids’ tablet to market in Japan. MEEP! boasts many of the same features and technology that tablets geared toward adults have, but has been engineered specifically for kids, with an easy-to-hold design, age-appropriate content and advanced controls that parents can use to adjust the tablet’s settings without having to take it out of their child’s hands. MEEP! is a truly innovative item, and with so much to offer it’s sure to wow kids and parents alike.”
One major selling point of the MEEP! is its parental control systems. Concerns over controversial in-app payments, which have landed Apple and other retailers in court recently, are somewhat allayed by cloud-based parental monitoring interface. Mothers and fathers are able to limit how kids use the internet as well as how much time they spend on specific games and apps, all from their own computer, tablet or smartphone. They can also view an activity log that gives info on how the device is being used.
The Google Play app store, which has special age-specific content filters that parents can set, works with virtual coins that must be purchased by parents in advance, meaning no unwanted spending will occur, but light users may not even need to add more: around 50 apps are pre-loaded, and that includes Angry Birds.
Toys “R” Us will start selling the MEEP! on April 26 both in store and on its website (www.toysrus.co.jp) and to celebrate the launch, the company will hold Angry Birds events at select stores during Golden Week:
Date: April 29 (Mon., national holiday)
Location: Iias Tsukuba 3F, 1-C50, Kenkyu gakuen, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki
Date: May 4 (Sat.)
Location: Acros Mall Shin-Kamagaya 2F 2-12-1 Shin-Kamagaya, Kamagaya-shi, Chiba
Date: May 6 (Mon., national holiday)
Location: Kururu B1F, 1-50 Miyamachi, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo
Event details will be announced at a later date. Contact the store in question directly or visit www2.toysrus.co.jp/store/event (Japanese) for the latest information.