Hohner, Inc. launched a new brand at Toy Fair 2015 with its Rockwood line of instruments geared to the 6-12 age group.
On display were three-quarter junior size and scale Rockwood acoustic and electric guitar models, and a Rockwood drum set.
“They’re appropriately sized for children to learn on, either through private lessons or school, or a dad that knows how to play guitar,” said Tim Henry, Hohner’s product manager of educational toy products. “They’re the next step after a toy guitar–real instruments with accurate intonation and scale, and necessary accessories like digital tuners, straps, battery-powered amps and chords, etc.”
The Rockwood drums are likewise “sized down to scale,” said Henry, “with heavy duty hardwood, double-braced stands and fitting. Kids drum sets often fall apart once you get them out of the box, and that just causes more discouragement. So we’re looking at real instruments scaled down to the right size.”
All Rockwood product comes with “cool stickers to personalize the instruments,” added Henry.
The Hohner Kids line, meanwhile, has a new textured egg shaker.
“We thought, ‘How do we take a classic product that hasn’t changed in 50 years?’ and added symmetrical bumps to give it more of a tactile feel and make it easier to grasp,” said Henry. “It has a beautiful design, and there’s incredible interest in it.”
There’s also a new Airboard Junior version of Hohner’s recently introduced Airboard line.
“They’re basically rebranded melodicas,” said Henry. “We came out with an adult size last year, and now there’s a smaller 25-key one for kids with cool custom graphics and a songbook that has colored dots that you can put on the keyboard–that jibe with colored notes in the songbook and help teach piano fingering and music notation.”
And Henry also displayed the newest addition to Hohner’s venerable harmonica line: the Tagged series of harmonicas that bring brightly colored graffiti-like street art- and skateboard deck-inspired patterns to the covers.
“They’re more for preteens and teenagers,” said Henry, “basically a semi-pro model.”
He added that the covers can be “swapped out” to replace those on the professional Special 20 Hohner harmonica models, though the Tagged entires, so far including Red Dragon and White Cobra models, “aren’t quite that level in musical quality.”
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