Gadgets for Kids

By Michel Marriott

It is no longer surprising, he said, to see a child of grade school age carrying a $300 iPod, an expensive cellphone or a portable DVD player. “Children at a much younger age are asking for things they shouldn’t be asking for, products not designed for them,” Mr. Riley said. “But they are very good at using them, and by God use them better than I can.” It is a phenomenon often described by toymakers as age compression. Simply put, said Reyne Rice, the toy trend specialist for the Toy Industry Association, a trade group, “kids are just more sophisticated and have more sophisticated tastes.”

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