Vtech are a toy company that manufactures educational electronic toys for children. The name is short for Video technology Ltd, and is based in Hong Kong. It was in 1976 that Stephen Leung and Allan Wong came together to start this impressive company. They also produce general electronic equipment, like computers and telephones, and it was in this area that the company became famous. During the eighties, as the age of computers was taking off, Vtech were producing IBM-compatible software and machines, as well as a legal replica of the Apple IIc. They also produced the Vtech Socrates, a games console to challenge Nintendo, but when it was released in 1988, the machine was a massive flop.
The company continued to manufacture personal computers under the Vtech brand until the Intel 80486 was introduced. It was at this point that the company began to veer towards children’s toys. Their range of electronic toys aimed to develop children’s cognitive skills, creativity, problem-solving abilities, expansion of language and phonetics, as well as increasing musical aptitude. They marketed a range of toys for different age categories, which included birth to six months, six to eighteen months, eighteen to thirty-six months, three to five years, and five to nine years. So whatever stage your child is at, there will be an age-appropriate product.
Their biggest successes (known as ELP – Electronic Learning Products) include the V.Flash, the V.Smile, the Kidzoom Camera, the Whiz Kids Learning System, and the Nitro Notebook. There is a range of toys for infants and pre-schoolers, some carrying character branding such as Disney Princesses, In the Night garden, Toy Story, and Dora the Explorer.
Vtech also produce toys such as interactive nursery rhyme books, digital cameras, video cameras, and baby laptops. All these electronic toys are made from safe plastics and bright colours to stimulate your child’s imagination. The ranges can basically be surmised as ‘grown up toys for children’.
Vtech are a good-quality brand providing an excellent service for their customers. They assure customers that manufacturing standards and safety awareness is very high within the company, with quality at the height of importance, as well as making the toys durable and long-lasting.
Despite their assurances, there have been a few product recalls over the years. In 2000, Vtech were forced to recall toy phones for infants by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. This was due to choking hazard from small parts. There was a reported instance of a child chocking on the small, detachable antenna. There were nine reports of the antenna coming away from the phone. The product was called Little Smart Songs baby Phone, carrying the Vtech brand. The handset contained a mirror, light-up buttons, and musical buttons, and was padded around the edges for safety.
However, in the grand scheme of things, Vtech have much fewer recalls than other toy manufacturers. Vtech are keen developers of innovative technology for children all over the globe and are enthusiastic about ‘smart-play’, which encourages kids to play and learn at the same time.