Honda developed a plush S600 to soothe babies with real engine sounds

Every parent knows that there’s one surefire way to get a kid to sleep. Put them in a car and go for a drive. There’s something about the motion and sound that’s extremely calming for a baby. Honda’s research has revealed another theory, and they’ve used it to create an adorable plush S600 that plays actual engine sounds to help soothe our little ones.

What Honda discovered over years of research is that babies feel comforted in cars because the ambient sounds remind them of being inside the womb. Honda then, with the help of Japan’s Sound Healing Association, studied the engine audio notes of about 30 different  Honda models. Surprisingly, the car that sounded the closest to being in utero wasn’t your run-of-the-mill Civic or a luxurious Legend. It was that of the 500-horsepower Honda NSX NC1.

The study was revealed back in 2018, but it took an additional five years to develop it into a commercial product. The final product is a fairly typical baby’s plush toy with a speaker box that makes a noise when squeezed. Early versions, disappointingly, used a generic car shape, but as it turns out those were just prototypes. As simple as the toy might be, there’s loads of research behind it from the company that makes everything from power tillers to robots.

To bring it to market Honda teamed up with TakaraTomy, Japan’s biggest toy company and parent of the Tomica brand. Charmingly, the final Honda Sound Sitter doesn’t look like an NSX at all but a 1960s Honda S600. When the baby pushes on the toy it plays the NSX engine sound for 45 seconds, though pushing it again can end the playback early. Grownups can remove the speaker box so that the toy can be washed if necessary.

The Honda Sound Sitter has already won the Grand Prize in the Educational Toy category of the 2023 Japan Toy Awards. So far it will only be available in Japan. It goes on sale October 28, 2023 and will retail for ¥8,250 including tax ($59 USD). Pre-orders can be taken at the TakaraTomy online shop.


This post is filed under: minicars.

5 Responses to Honda developed a plush S600 to soothe babies with real engine sounds

  1. Ian G. says:

    I feel sorry for kids in the future. When they have a need for a car plush that makes engine sounds, a Tesla or Rivian is just not going to have any audio for your soothing pleasure. Boo-hoo!
    This is why I dont acquire any EV diecast. When you can’t make those vroom noises, its not fun.

  2. Fred Langille says:

    I’ll just make the “Vroom, vroom” noises myself and reminisce about the good old days when cars were smelly, loud and went fast(er)!

  3. Ian N says:

    That’s it.

    Teddy is retiring and I’m getting one of these instead!

  4. Does it work on middle-age car enthusiasts?

    Asking for a friend.

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