Amazon announced this morning the launch of a new store on its site that’s dedicated to selling STEM toys and games. The shop will feature a variety of items for children of all ages, the retailer says, which are focused on encouraging kids to develop science, technology, engineering and/or math-related skills.
Some of the toys include those from Snap Circuits and LEGO. And some are aimed at the preschool set, like the Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Abacus, for example, while others are for older kids, like the littleBits Electronics cloudBit Starter Kit, which teaches coding.
It seems that for Amazon, the decision to launch the new toy shop was less about wanting to spark young minds with these educational toys and games, and more about the impact to the company’s bottom line. That is, the retailer notes that not only are STEM toys a “hot trend” in education, but they were also the second-most visited section and the second highest in terms of sales volume on Amazon’s 2014 Holiday Toy List. In other words, the company is trying to meet parents’ growing demand for these items by making them easier to discover, search and then buy from the Amazon website.
The new site explains what “STEM” means to the uninitiated, and why the toys were chosen. In a Pinterest-like layout featuring image thumbnails, the various toys and games are grouped into categories like “Top Picks in Robots & Programming Toys,” “Top Picks in Chemistry & Physics,” “Top Picks in Biology,” “Top Picks in Circuit Toys,” and much more. Unlike some of Amazon’s specialized shops, there are a number of products to choose from on the site, and you can even filter the toys by age range or by “Editor’s Picks.” (Frankly, it’s taking some serious resistance on my part not to load half the site into my basket right now.)
Amazon is no stranger to launching dedicated storefronts to meet growing trends, especially in the technology space. For example, it recently launched an “Exclusives” shop that features new innovations, including “Shark Tank” products. And in the past, it has launched a “Smart Home” store and a 3D printing store. The STEM toy site is live now at Amazon.com/stem.