Amazon is selling its own toys for the first time, but don't expect it to replace Barbie — yet
- Amazon has released four new items related to toys recently, according to TJI, an Amazon-focused research group.
- They are large items like play sets for toddlers and a bin for toy storage.
- Three of the items were taken down after TJI pointed them out on its blog, but the toy organizer remains on the site.
- The products are likely geared to small businesses like daycare or preschools, much like other products under the AmazonBasics umbrella.
Amazon: retailer, cloud-computing powerhouse, and voice-computing pioneer. And now, toymaker.
Amazon released on its website four new products related to toys:
- AmazonBasics Soft Play Single Tunnel
- AmazonBasics Soft Play Climber
- AmazonBasics Soft Play Climb and Crawl Play Set, 5-Piece
- AmazonBasics Kids’ Toy Storage Organizer
The new products were first spotted by TJI Research, which keeps tabs on new products Amazon that puts on its website. Since TJI spotted the new products on Monday, Amazon took three of them off the site, and they now return error pages. They were released under Amazon's AmazonBasics line, according to TJI.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the record about why the listings were taken down.
It marks the first time Amazon has released anything that resembles a toy for children under a private label. The items collectively are probably not what an average consumer thinks of when they hear the term "toy." It's mostly large, plush blocks, like ones you might find in a daycare or preschool.
That would make sense if the new items were similar to AmazonBasics' other items that are intended more for businesses than for personal use. Other AmazonBasics items include office chairs, standing desks, and bedding.
Still, the number of categories and items Amazon is developing and selling has exploded in recent months. Most recently, Amazon decided to make its own mattresses under both the AmazonBasics brand as well as its furniture brand, Rivet.
Amazon's private brands have come under fire lately, as some critics have pointed to the problems inherent with the company's overall strategy to be both a retailer of goods and a marketplace platform for other sellers.
Critics including the European Union's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, and US Sen. Elizabeth Warren have said that Amazon limits competition, as it can use its sales data to help launch its own brands and products like the new mattress. The EU has opened a preliminary investigation into whether Amazon has violated antitrust rules by using third-party data to launch its own products, and German officials have launched their own investigation.
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