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The Relentless Rise of The Yoto

Yotos are proving to be a hit with screen-wary parents of youngsters who refuse to pick up a book.

Selection of different Yotos
Credit: Yoto

You’ve probably haven't heard of Yotos, but it has some famous investors that include Sir Paul McCartney and members of Roald Dahl’s family. It's even possible that Yotos are on their way to becoming the most recognisable box-shaped children’s toy since the Rubik’s Cube.

The small portable audio device is aimed at three-to-12 year-olds, and plays audio cards that simply slot into its top. Around 1,000 different cards are available, featuring everything from bedtime stories read by famous actors, to music, and tips on fulfilling your potential.

A heavily-pixilated screen provides basic coloured pictures, and everything works by twisting two big red buttons, and the devices’ volume and brightness can be controlled remotely by parents via an app. Think childhood “Steve Jobs in Toyland” and you’ll get the basic gist.

The main device costs £99.99 ($125) and a smaller Mini version costs £59.99 ($75). Cards are around £7.99 ($10). So, it's not cheap - but the price hasn’t put people off and they are flying off the shelves. Yoto told The Telegraph that over one million children now have access to Yoto products across 192 countries. It's pricey, but surely better than having the kids endlessly glued to a screen?

Child looking at a smartphone


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