Our Story

WE’RE ON A MISSION

Flycatcher’s mission is to create engaging experiences for kids using emerging technologies and familiar play patterns. Our toys encompass STEAM learning concepts and core curricula while nurturing creativity, physical skills and emotional intelligence.

A SMART START

Flycatcher was founded by Shay Chen, a father of three who ran two successful technology businesses before turning his attention to toys. Intrigued by the way his own children moved seamlessly between traditional and digital play, he focused on the way the two patterns intersect, incorporating state-of-the-art technology into kid-friendly products. This elemental integration is reflected in every one of our toys. By syncing age-appropriate activities with 21st century skills, we inspire new ways to play both on- and off-line. In 2017, Chen introduced the smART Sketcher® Projector. This first-of-its-kind projector made every kid the smARTest artist by turning photos from your mobile device into amazing drawings. It also included writing and spelling activities, vetted by educators and consistent with national curriculum standards. smART Sketcher was an instant hit, winning numerous awards in the United States and globally. Next up was the smART Pixelator™, which combined light-focused technology with hands-on artistry. This too, garnered multiple awards, including being named one of Time Magazine’s Best Toys of 2019. In 2020, Flycatcher entered the preschool market with a line of SMARTY products. Smarty JOJO™ and Smarty FLUTTER™, interactive flying friends, combined active physical play and technology. In addition to teaching directions, opposites, shapes and emotions, the toys “magically” identified colors. The hand-held Smarty PAD™, a sturdy LED tablet that included motion sensors, literally put a new spin on learning games.

LOOKING FORWARD

As new technologies constantly emerge, we challenge ourselves to find innovative ways to work and play with them. We reimagined the fun of building with SmART Stix™. Using a mobile device and the smART workbench, avid builders cut, bend and connect rods to construct anything they see. The latest smART Sketcher 2.0™ improved upon the original Sketcher with smARTer content and easier-to-use cartridges. Both toys give kids options for open-ended play as well as step-by-step instructions.

GIVING BACK

We know how important play is for all kids. We’re proud to be a sponsor of The Toy Bank, a Foundation Program of The Toy Association. Together we help make play possible for children and families who are coping with serious illness, enduring temporary placements in foster care, suffering from abuse or neglect, experiencing separation from a deployed military parent or dealing with devastating natural disasters.

“Technology is a super-power. Young kids don’t realize there are limits to what can be done. When I see something that fascinates a child, I imagine how technology can boost it. I guess you can say, I think like a kid.”
Shay Chen, Founder and father