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Discount Diva: How to put your kid to work at Fisher-Price

Samantha Christmann

Isn't it time your kid started earning their keep around here?

As long as they live in Western New York and are 5 years old or younger, they've got a shot at getting paid to play with toys, test out baby gear or pose for pictures to be used in Fisher-Price marketing. They'll be paid gift cards or cold, hard cash for their "trouble."

You can even sign up now if you're pregnant, because they always need a fresh supply of infants. (Sorry, that does sound weird.)

Here's how it works.

Fisher-Price has more than one Play Lab on its East Aurora campus, where researchers watch kids play with toys and parents use baby gear. Engineers, designers, marketers and child development specialists sit behind one-way glass and watch as kids play with push toys, playsets and ride-ons; and parents test out high chairs, crib toys and night lights.

They watch to see whether toys hold a child's interest, whether a parent can operate the buckle on an infant seat with ease, or whether a product functions the way it's intended.

What researchers see helps them develop, perfect and market their products around the country and around the world. Families are asked to take products home to try as well (sometimes they get to keep them).

"We're always looking for local families to participate in product testing, which is critical to our product development process," said Lisa Fujioka, a company spokeswoman.

Kids used to be paid with gift cards for the Fisher-Price outlet store next door. Now, they receive gift cards to Target and Amazon.

The Fisher-Price Play Labs: Where WNY kids get paid to play with toys

If glamour is more your child's speed, maybe it's time for their close-up.

Fisher-Price needs a racially diverse mix of models for use in its social media, website, commercials, online and print advertisements and product packaging.

"It gives local families the chance to have their children star in our next ad," Fujioka said.

Infants age newborn to 6 months are in ultra high demand. They'll also need a New York State Child Performer Permit, which can take a while, so don't waste any time.

Children will be provided with a wardrobe and play with toys or be shown in gear on set.

To register, visit FPcastandplaycrew.com. There, you'll be asked to select which type of "work" you're interested in: modeling or testing (don't worry, you can select "both").

You'll be asked for contact information, as well as personal information about yourself and your child, including their ethnicity. The company has an increased need to diversify its models, especially as it expands globally, and has had trouble finding little ones who aren't white.

They'll want to know what kind of product testing you're interested in, whether it's on-site testing, at-home testing, testing instructions and assembly or unboxing, or whether you'd want to be a parent tester. You'll also be asked about certain products you have at home (smart TV, Alexa, iPad), because they might factor into what kinds of products you can test.

If you've got more than one child, don't worry about filling out the form in triplicate, you can simply click the "add child" button at the bottom of the page.

Here's wishing your kid a prosperous childhood, and your family a lifetime of fun memories.

Calling all newborns! Fisher-Price seeks WNY models

 

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