Ok, I know. It has been a long time since our last post and for those that have visited/stumbled across/followed/clicked on the SYN website link to this blog, you might have been wondering if we are still around. Well, the quick answer is YES! In fact, we’ve been really busy over the pass 6 months or so.
Over in Malaysia, we’ve appointed 2 new distributors and have been busy getting them ready and up to speed. Here in Singapore, the last 3 months of the year is typically a busy time for us. After all, Christmas will soon be upon and everyone is rushing to complete their last minute shopping and buying of presents.
In November, we had the privilege of being a Participating Sponsor of Wings to Wings Dance Development Centre’s 1st anniversary concert. Founded by two young and passionate ladies, the school offers a wide range of dance genres and classes for both kids and adults! So do go to their website to learn more or drop by their centrally located premise at Raffles Place to take a look!
So that’s a quick update from us for now.
It’s just another 3 days to Christmas so here’s wishing everyone a blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Caribbean, South Africa, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland and many more other countries (in fact about 40). What do all these countries have in common? Well, you can find the range of Sing Your Name products being sold there!
Sing Your Name has been around for about 10 years now and since starting in the USA from a small kiosk, it has grown and spread across the world. It is even now being sold at some famous toy stores like Hamleys and FAO Schwarz.
What is it about Sing Your Name that appeals to kids (and their parents) all over the world? I think that the mix of catchy music, unique and fun products which includes an element of edutaiment and the ability to include individual personalisation makes it a winner in all aspects. Kids are instantly drawn to the the idea that they are the star in their very own Music CD or movie and parents love to surprise their kids and see the smile on their faces!
The brand and business can only get bigger with more personalised products being introduced and with more locations opening up around the world. Sing Your Name is surely on its way to being the leader in personalised Kids’ Products!
When people mentioned gifts or product personalisation, the first thought that comes to mind would be some sort of printed or embroidered item. Most people would probably be familiar with items such as having your name (or even photo) printed on a T-shirt, your family picture hot-stamped on a plate or mug, or even having your name engraved on a pen.
The personalisation industry has indeed evolved through the years and now includes a myriad of other items. A quick search on the web will throw up various websites. From personalised books, stickers, cards, perfume, chocolates and even the label on mineral water bottles, there is quite a selection. Well, we are not endorsing any of the following sites but we just wanted to quickly highlight a couple of interesting ones.
They carry a good range and mix of products. Bags, towels,pens, key chains and quite a bit more. I must say that their website is clean and easy to navigate which is a plus. While I’m sure there are other companies in Singapore that offer the same range, they might be more in the corporate gifting segment and sell on volume with less ability to personalise individual items.
As their name suggest, the company started with personalized name labels and stickers and through the years, have expanded their product offering to include a whole lot more. One of our favorites are the bags, lunch boxes and bottles range because we all know how easy it is for school going kids to loose their personal items or have them mixed up with their friends’.
3) Personalised Story Books
A quick search for ‘Personalised books’ on google will throw up quite a number of websites. The thing is, personalised books have been around for longer than most people realise. One of the early trail blazers was a company in the UK who provided stories back in the early 1980s. To order, and this was the time when snail mail was the norm, you had to complete a questionnaire regarding the child and send it over. What you’ll receive in return (after perhaps a few weeks) was a preprinted book with a name photocopied into blank spaces repeated several times throughout the story.
Things have improved tremendously since then. Just have a look at the following sites and you’ll know what we mean:
There are many sites and companies providing prsonalised books and even Disney has a range featuring characters from Toy Story and Frozen among others so you can imagine how popular they are.
One thing they all have in common is the great illustrations (some even with the kids likeness in them), engaging and fun stories that the kids will love and even some with actual photos scanned in and other details.
Mobile apps and personalised animation is what they do. Send a photo over to them and they can create an animated avatar of you with blinking eyes and moving mouths, staring in your very own cartoon. They’ve got printed books as well and all the stories and movies are originals.
Well, as you can see, we’ve barely covered all that’s available out there and the types and variety of personalised gifts will only get more varied and extensive. With increase demand for unique items that can be individually customized, we will be sure to see more exciting and innovative products in the future.
This year’s edition of Kids Fiesta was held at the Suntec Convention Centre from the 13th to the 15th of March 2015. This Mediacorp annual event started in 2010 and over years, it has gotten bigger, louder and busier with more activities, performances, amusement rides, activity booths and stores. The kids and parents certainly had lots of fun with activities galore and by purchasing a Kids Fiesta Passport, the kids could collect stamps after each station with the aim of completing the passport in exchange for a goody bag.
Expert balloon sculptors were on-hand to show off their skills. And of course to give out free balloons.
There were stage performances and mascot appearances as well!
Its been almost 6 months since our last major event participation and we were eager to get out there once again. So when the opportunity came about to set up a booth at Kids Fiesta, we jump at it. And as usual, it was both fun and tiring. Of course the most rewarding part was seeing the kids get all excited and giggly when they hear their name in a song. Our best seller this time round were the Singing Alarm Clocks. While we did have a special price and promotion on them for the fair, I think the additional clock designs that we managed to bring in at the last minute helped as well. For those that missed us at the fair, we will be stocking these designs (ie. Train, Car and Soccer boy) at our retail points shortly so you can definitely checked them out over there.
Kids Fiesta certainly was fun and we just might join them again next year.
Educational entertainment or what is more commonly known as edutainment can be traced back to the time when stories and fables were told over communal fires from one generation to the next. These stories had the ability to inspire, scare, motivate, instruct, entertain and above all else, educate. Even then, the value of incorporating entertainment to maintain an audience while giving valuable lessons was well understood.
In modern times, we can find this principal widely incorporated into a wide array of children products. Toys & games (eg. Lego & Monopoly), film and television (eg. Sesame Street, Barney and Hi-5 ) and even video games and music. Mentioned any one of these and the word ‘Fun’ comes to mind and its no wonder why all these products remain wildly popular with kids and even adults.
Over here at Sing Your Name, we have also incorporated edutainment into a number of our products. Most people know us for our personalised music, which is great fun when kids hear and recognize their names being sung. More importantly, within those songs, are lessons in values (‘Be Kind to Animals’ – Music for Me! album, ‘Everyone is Special’ – Barney Album) and self-esteem (‘When You Grow Up’ – Express to Song City album). For younger kids, learning their ABCs and 123s can be made easier through fun songs and this can be found in the ‘Let’s Play & Learn’ and “Personalized for PreSchool’ albums.
A common gripe that we encounter when we get the chance to speak with parents is that their kids spend too much time on the iPads, smartphones etc. Well to be fair, there are great educational and fun Apps out there. However, we do still live in world where the laptop and desktop computer still dominated; especially for work related tasks. Therefore it is still important that kids have the opportunity to use a computer (and learn to manoeuvre a mouse). Don’t be surprise when the kids get frustrated when an icon on the monitor does nothing when they touch it! Well,this is where the Sing Your Name range of Story Book CDs can come in useful.
I think one key misconception is that our story book CDs are just audio story books. It is actually much more than that. It is an interactive and visual program that you can be loaded onto the computer. There are also other extras like a game and printable coloring pages that is included. What is important is that it gives the child a chance to learn how to use a computer in a fun and entertaining way.
Have a look at this video and you’ll know what I mean.
With the wide range or edutainment products available, the key challenge for parents is to find the right balance between education and entertainment. Each child is unique and may have different interest but ultimately, it is important to find a product that the child will love, and then the learning will come naturally.
According to Wikipedia:
“Hamleys is the oldest toy shop in the world and one of the world’s best-known retailers of toys. Founded by William Hamley as “Noah’s Ark” in High Holborn, London, in 1760, it moved to Regent Street in 1881.
Its flagship store in London is across 7 floors with more than 50,000 toys. Located at Nos. 188-196 Regent Street, it is considered one of the city’s major tourist attractions, receiving around five million visitors per year. The chain has several other outlets in the United Kingdom and others worldwide.”
It is pretty amazing that a toy store can still be around after more than 250 years! A colleague of ours recently had the chance to visit their London store just before Christmas and it was, to put it mildly, a mad house. Parents and adults rushing for their last minutes gifts, kids running and screaming in excitement, tourist taking turns to pose with the famous Paddington Bear and sales promoters showing off the latest must have toys this season. The one thing that stands out (and differs from the likes of Toys R Us) are the sales promoters as they create a buzz and excitement about the place. Its all about showing the fun element of the toys and there is no hard sell here.
And why are we telling you about Hamleys? It is because Sing Your Name products are being sold there! In fact, there were 2 dedicated booths on different floors in store and they even have sales promoters playing demos for customers.
The packaging and designs look different but the music and available names are exactly the same. Check out the music list below. Looks familiar? That’s right! It’s all from the Music for Me! album.
So, to have the world’s oldest toy store carrying and promoting Sing Your Name products is indeed a testament to how popular they are over there. We were told that another famous London department store, Harrods, also carry Sing Your Name products in store. So if anyone reading this happen to visit Harrods, do snap a couple of pictures, send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be more than happy to post it up!
Here’s our first post of the year and I would like to wish everyone a great 2015 ahead!
What a year 2014 has been and we certainly look forward to participating in more events, adding on more items to our range of personalised products and really to be “The Company that Puts Smiles on Children’s Faces” (that by the way is the the new tagline from our US office).
We ended the year with an extremely busy December period. Thank you to all those that made purchases and we do have to apologise for a couple of orders that we were not able to accept as we could not fit them into the tight delivery schedule.
We look forward to a wonderful year ahead and as always, do check back often for more updates.
We’ve been receiving a couple of questions on our range of singing plush toys over last few weeks. So, in this post, I’ll be giving a little intro on what exactly is a singing plush, where they are from and answering some FAQs.
Ok, so let’s start!
The 1st thing to note is that the singing plush is an actual soft toy, and not one of those robot-type toys that is furry on the outside but really hard on the inside. Which, in our opinion, are not really suited for bringing to bed and hugging to sleep. The plush that we have however, are absolutely cuddly and suited for kids of all ages.
So, what exactly is a Singing Plush? Well essentially, its a soft toy with a sound module placed within the plush. When this module is activated by pushing a button, a song will be played. Not just any song, but a personalised song. Batteries can be replaced (unlike some other similar plush toys with modules stitched in) and the sound volume can be adjusted as well. The sound module is inserted via a pocket at the back of the plush and is easily accessible. We’ve got more than 10 cute and cuddly designs to choose from so you can be sure to find a favorite one!
A couple of commonly asked questions:
Q: Where are your plush toys from?
A: The plush toys are from a company called “The Bear Factory” (www.thebearfactory.com), a UK based manufacturer and wholesaler of stuffed animals and associated accessories. Here’s a brief intro from their website:
“Established in 2001, the goal at The Bear Factory is to provide our customers with the best quality, selection, and price to be successful in the bear and animal building business. We take great pride in the special fabrics such as super-soft satin, tip dyed, chenille, and terry cloth materials. These styles and fabrics have been tested by children’s focus groups from ages 4 to 12 to make sure we have the softest, most loveable styles possible. These fabrics are among the more expensive fabrics available in the marketplace, and we continue to provide the best quality, with the best price. Our product development division works closely with our customers to provide new designs in plush and clothing every 120 days. This allows our customers the best opportunity to have fresh, vibrant, styles that help consistently generate new business.”
Do check out their website. You will see all our available plush toys listed there as well. They do not do retail but if there is enough demand for their other products eg. clothing and accessories, we may be able to do a special order through our head-office.
Q: How many songs and which tracks/albums can choose for my plush?
A: You can choose one track to be recorded into the sound module. You’ll have a large selection of songs to choose from as any song from any of the music albums can be chosen . The most commonly selected song is “Sleepy Time” from the “Music for Me” Album and “I Love You” from the “Barney Album”.
The songs in the sound modules can be replaced should you decide to do so. However you will need to bring it back to us and a ‘burn” fee will be chargeable.
Well, that pretty much covers it for our Singing Plush. Of course if you have any other questions, please feel free to drop us an email.