Amazon Doubles Down on STEM Toy Segment
- By Dian Schaffhauser
In the on-going effort to persuade consumers to part with money on a recurring basis, Amazon recently introduced a STEM Club Toy subscription. For $19.99 per month, families can receive a monthly toy shipment that will deliver "handpicked, high-quality science, technology, engineering and math toys to your door at a great price."
Subscribers can choose toys for one of three segments: kids who are 3 to 4 years old, 5 to 7 years old and 8 to 13 years old.
According to one reviewer on the site, the set going out to the oldest group is a "Be Amazing Toys Science Behind Magic Kit," currently priced at $27.82 The set uses components such as citric acid, baking soda and zinc Sulfide to allow the STEM student to create potions that change color, poke a stick through a balloon and vibrate a penny into the mouth of a soda bottle.
Another reviewer buying for the middle age group said he expected to be receiving a "Snap Circuits Fundamentals" electronic circuits science kit, currently priced at $35.99. While that appears to be a savings of about $16 off the list price on Amazon, "Joe Shopper" also noted that the same product was selling in November 2016 for $17. And because the manufacturer suggested that the kit was better suited for somebody 8 to 12 years old, it may be too advanced for his six-year old.
"I'm thinking now it's better to pick and choose your own STEM toys to make sure you're getting the right age group and a good price," he added.
This isn't Amazon's first entry into the STEM market. Almost two years ago the company launched a "STEM Toys" store on its site to help families identify possible products that would "encourage kids to learn STEM skills while having fun."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.