Manhattan Toy Blog

The Creation of MiO: Part 1 First Steps

The Creation of MiO: First Steps - Part 1 of this 3 Part series

MIO – FIRST STEPS

Becoming MiO The original idea for MiO sprang from a series of events - a lecture at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, toy/trend research, and an article about the origins of BLOCK PLAY. Take a peek behind the Manhattan Toy curtain, and see how a little spark of an idea, became the fantastic new collection called MiO!

NUREMBERG TOY FAIR

Nuremburg Toy Fair is the biggest toy show in the world. Toy makers from every continent exhibit their new collections. It is a great place to see the big picture. Recent seasons have presented a trend toward smart-device operated drones, robots, and memory games. MiO Block Sketches

Color palette and early sketches

UNPLUGGED

But, for every trend there is a counter-trend! This was highlighted in a Nuremberg trend seminar. There is growing demand for toys that promote PHYSICAL ACTIVITY and enhance CREATIVE PLAY. The STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) movements are affecting curriculum. Parents are interested in exposing their kids to broader play/developmental experiences. Simply put, there is pent-up desire to broaden the scope of play for kids – to find a happy balance.   MiO Block set

BLOCK PLAY

There is proven evidence that block play enhances physical, social, emotional, creative, and cognitive skills. There are stages of block building, as a child plays and develops greater skills their building becomes more sophisticated. This research provided us with a solid foundation. Block House Development

IMAGINATION

At Manhattan Toy, our goal is to create playthings that encourage IMAGINATIVE PLAY. We wanted our new idea to help kids create their own worlds, make up stories and have fun doing so! We started thinking about a modern home environment, simple, not overly defined and not just for girls. MiO was originally conceived as one large set of rectangular ‘rooms” and building blocks that were contained in a self-storing box. It was cool, but it did not inspire a personal connection. We soon understood that it needed a bigger story, added textures and shapes, things that move, along with more variety in the actual sets. We were off to a great start, but we hadn’t arrived yet! Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save