Though I often hear tech geeks say that the MP3 player is dead, toy companies know that there's still quite a large market for non-smart phone music playing devices, especially for the younger set. I saw several branded MP3 players on the Toy fair show floor, but the Mugo grabbed my attention right away. This fun little device is shaped like an animal, complete with a face. The eyes, cheeks and chin are actually the control and volume buttons, and you press the nose to play/pause.
The Mugo starts out as a plain white player with no decor, only a shape -- a black canvas, if you will. Several artists have created designs for the Mugo, each fun and unique. It's the same as the idea behind Mimobots, but with the bonus of also playing music.
Currently, the Mugo only comes in one capacity: 2GB. And since it has no display, it's similar to an iPod shuffle in that it just plays through all of the music files it finds. No playlists or anything fancy. Though both Mac and PC compatible, the player can only read MP3, WMA and WAV files. Audio quality isn't spectacular, but was on a par with the iPod nano and shuffle.
The Mugo charges via USB (8 - 10 hours of playback, according to the company) and plugs right into the side -- no miniUSB or anything like that. You can also use it just as a USB flash drive.
Currently there are about a dozen Mugo designs available for purchase via their website for $59. If you want to try your hand at designing one, the company also sells a blank versions in all white or black. Those cost $49 each. Later this year when Kung Fu Panda 2 is released, there will be four limited edition designs released in conjunction with the movie; price TBA.