Amazon India's Toyathon Challenge 2020

From the Pallanguli said to have been played by Sita in the forest to the Dyut Krida that sent the Pandavas into exile to the Chaukabara and Bhatukli played even in modern times, India has a long and enduring tradition of indigenous games and toys.

Everyone's childhood is filled with memories of toys and games they played (which one are you thinking of: carrom or marbles or lagori?). Toys are not a recent development like computers, but have existed since time immemorial in some form or the other. Today the creativity, complexity, and scale of toys has just exploded in India. Toys are the most subtle and interactive medium to shape concepts in children and adults too! It’s time to amalgamate the rich culture, innovation, and history of India into its toys and games.

Toys serve as important learning tools for the development of psychomotor/cognitive skills in children, as Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi stressed during his recent Mann ki Baat address. The importance of toys is even more during the current COVID times when children have been stuck at home with schools shut or only partially open. The answer therefore lies in driving innovation in indigenous toys that educate, entertain and engage, while being safe and sustainable. Ensuring that these toys reflect Indian ethos and values would be an added bonus.

Toyathon Challenge 2020

“I am pleased to launch #ToyathonChallenge2020, a toy hackathon by Amazon to promote innovations in toy technology & design to reflect Indian ethos & values.”
Shri. Ramesh Pokhriyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education, Government of India

It is with this thought that Amazon India has launched the “Toyathon Challenge 2020”, a pan-India ‘toy hackathon’ that seeks to discover some unique and innovative ideas from enterprising youth. The challenge will run across 9-12 weeks and is open for all students enrolled in Indian higher educational institutions. The contest encourages the development of environment-friendly physical and/or hybrid toys (digital + physical, which can utilize state-of-the-art technologies such as Internet of Things (IOT), Sensors , AR/VR, AI etc.). The toy could also feature an innovative design and manufacturing process that is cost-efficient, incorporates sustainable materials and one that can be emulated by other players in the market. These toys could be targeted at people of all age groups.

Such a challenge provides tremendous scope to re-purpose India’s traditional craft making processes to develop toys as learning tools for the all-round development of children, along with recreational use. In addition, this will also be a shot in the arm for homegrown emerging Indian brands and manufacturers, while furthering the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ missions.

“This is another step towards our commitment to local empowerment where the winners will get a chance to partner with a leading Indian toy manufacturing brand to showcase their creation.”
Amit Agarwal, SVP and Country Manager, Amazon India

Just last month, Amazon launched the Made in India toy store that enables thousands of manufacturers and sellers to sell locally designed and manufactured toys. These are inspired by Indian culture, folk tales and also encourage scientific thinking and innovation. As Mr. Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India said, “India’s toy manufacturing industry is unique and can help increase our contribution to the global industry. We are glad to work towards Hon’ble Prime Minister’s mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat and encourage the Indian youth to design toys that reflect Indian ethos and values for the future generations. We have been committed to enabling the MSME ecosystem through different initiatives to support local artisans and manufacturers. The ToyathonChallenge2020 is another step towards our commitment to local empowerment where the winners will get a chance to partner with a leading Indian toy manufacturing brand to showcase their creation.”

Toyathon Challenge 2020 was launched Shri. Ramesh Pokhriyal, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education, Government of India, who lauded the initiative saying, “As envisioned by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, the toy industry is massive and there is immense scope for India to repurpose our traditional craft making processes to develop toys that can be used as learning tools for all round development of children. I am pleased to launch #ToyathonChallenge2020, a toy hackathon by Amazon to promote innovations in toy technology & design to reflect Indian ethos & values. It’s great to see the brand come up with such initiative that will enable young minds to come together to create a better future for the students. My greetings & congratulations to team Amazon India, and best wishes to all the participants to make this initiative a grand success.”

How it works

To participate in the Toyathon 2020 Challenge, participants can register on the Skillenza website at this link. Ideas and concept notes will be short-listed in the first round before the teams proceed to final submissions. Entries will be judged based on parameters such as creativity, innovation, impact, aesthetics, usability, safety standards, design feasibility, and environment-friendly quotient, among others.

The top three teams stand to win prize money of rupees 5 lakhs, 3 lakhs, and 2 lakhs respectively. Additionally, the winners will get a chance to partner with a leading Indian toy manufacturing brand to showcase their creation. Certificates would be issued to all participants with valid submissions.

Click here to register