Leading ‘Dad Bloggers’ and their children were given the chance to test toys of the future at a Shoreham firm.
Paladone Products, based in Dolphin Way, created the ‘Ultimate #DadsPlayDate’ for the UK’s leading online bloggers and 11 of their children, aged four to 12.
The aim was to combine a traditional Saturday day out with a unique hands-on view of the way business, science, technology and design work together to make gadgets and toys.
Alex Ryan, marketing manager, said: “This has certainly been one of the craziest things we’ve ever worked on but let’s face it, Paladone are pretty used to crazy ideas.
“Watching two of our core target demographics, dads and kids, really tuck into our products and our business was so satisfying.
“It adds real purpose to our day-to-day activities and reinforces the knowledge that we’re making the right products for the wholesale gifts industry.”
The event included a trip to the Connaught Theatre in Worthing for a special version of Saturday Morning Pictures, where the group was treated to a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the projection room and shown clips from Star Wars, Batman, The Discovery Channel, Roald Dahl and an upcoming Harry Potter range.
Back at the Paladone offices in Shoreham, there was a mass unboxing and rigorous testing session of more than 400 different products, including the latest, yet to be released, Discovery Channel virtual reality glasses.
The children were given a surprise invention challenge, where they were asked to invent ‘the next big thing’ using simple craft materials.
A presentation of their ideas was then made to a panel of industry experts, including representatives from the company and some key partners, including The Discovery Channel and iwantoneofthose.com
Awards for the best inventions included an Incredible Hulk fist shaped egg cup, a new concept for a board game that combined virtual reality glasses and traditional trading cards, and a whole Star Wars ‘man-scraping’ range with the slogan ‘The Face Awakens!’.
Dan Flanagan from Worthing was one of the bloggers to attend, taking along his four-year-old son, Natty.
He said: “What a way to spend a Saturday, both my son and I had an amazing time. I’m used to spending the weekend finding new things to keep an inquisitive boy occupied but this was something else.
“His face as he experienced virtual reality for the first time was completely unforgettable. Then seeing him stand up and help pitch his BlastBaddies game to the experts made for a very proud dad moment.
“It obviously made quite an impression on him as he keeps asking when he can have another go.”
Sophie Walsh, seven, travelled from St Albans, in Hertfordshire for the day with dad Alex and brothers Sam, nine, and Eddie, four.
She said: “I liked the camper van stuff, the remote-controlled one was best but the lunch boxes were cool, too. Actually, I liked making the build it yourself one best but Daddy had to help me.”
Con, eight, roving reporter for KidzCoolit Magazine, travelled Kent with his dad Nick and older brother Hag, 11.
He said: “One of the best events we’ve ever been to!”
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