12/10/2012 11:05 am ET

The Great Divide, Now in the Toy Aisle

Earlier this year, at the 109th Annual American International Toy Fair, held at the Javits Convention Center as one of the culture’s most convincing cases for childlessness, a former investment banker named Jill Todd displayed “The Tuneables,” an interactive DVD series she had created through her company, the Music Intelligence Project. The daughter of two musicologists, Ms. Todd developed the project in conjunction with her parents as an instructional system in melody, rhythm and tone -- the fundamentals of music leveraged as a means to enhance cognitive function. Nearby, but easily obscured by the acres of primary-color plastic, was a booth for a company called Fat Brain Toys, whose games and puzzles in logic and sequencing came with an impressive lineage, some of them designed by the celebrated inventor Ivan Moscovich, a Holocaust survivor.

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