By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
VTech will expand its VMix line of "teen" phones this month with the addition of the gz 2454 2.4GHz analog cordless phone.
The phone borrows many features from the VMix line's first model, the $49.99-suggested gz 2434 available since May. The duplicated features include four interchangeable color face and base plates, caller ID, six musical ring tones, and a flashing ringer display.
The 2454 adds an answering machine, base speaker phone, USB port and USB cable for downloading ring tones from the computer using the included software.
The gz 2454's suggested retail is $69.99.
Product manager Brad Pittman said the company realized that there was a market for distinctively styled cordless phones with the success of its "jellybean" line of four translucent 900MHz analog cordless phones. With VMix, the company wanted to address not just the fashion-conscious but the tech savvy desires of younger customers.
"Some manufacturers might target younger consumers with different colors, but few target this market from a feature perspective," Pittman said.
"We did a number of focus groups on both coasts to determine the features that a young person wants," Pittman said. Many of those features, such as visual ringer indicator, rugged design, rubber detailing, and programmable ring tones were incorporated into the VMix line.
Although the series is aimed at Generation Z (defined as the current crop of 12-18 year olds), consumers as old as 40 are buying the phone, and sales of the gz 2434 have exceeded the company's high internal expectations, Pittman said. "It appeals to the young, and the young at heart."
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