Looks silly, sounds serious. That's my one-sentence review of Blipblox, a synth designed to get children as young as three into synthesis and electronic music-making. And (hopefully) annoy the living daylights out of parents everywhere. It's a bona fide sequencing synth with two oscillators, a lowpass filter, and candy-like knobs and trigger pads. The T-handle controls are for tempo (left) and cutoff (right). In the video below, I go hands-on with Playtime Engineering founder Troy Sheets.
The thing is, it's also fully MIDI implemented and controllable from a keyboard or external sequencer, and can be tempo-synced to external sources as well. The controls also feel surprisingly good and move more smoothly than on some "professional" synths I've tried. I predict that any number of hip DJs and electronic musicians are going to flock to this thing for the irony value and wind up staying because even if you're not a kid, it's just so damned fun to play with and could be easily integrated into a rig.
That said, synthy parents now have a viable option for a kinderklangmacher (I have no idea if that's a real word in German) other than some cheesy Fisher-Price drum set.