The felt letters and shapes are for teachers and students to use on felt or flannel boards when doing word work. They're also relatively cheap, durable, washable, and will last quite awhile if not intentionally abused. Felt and flannel will stick to each other without adhesive because of their natural nap, yet be easily removed for reuse. The fun foam won't stick to anything without adhesive, but can be used for many word and alphabet activities as is or can have magnets added to the back to use on magnetic surfaces such as white boards, file cabinets, teacher's desks, etc. Most children are a combination of visual and tactial learners, so giving them tools they can manipulate helps them learn more quickly and more thoroughly. End of reading specialist lecture.
Flannel boards with felt letters were a standard when I was growing up...in the dark ages. It's a great low-tech and very fun way to play. Shapes are also a good addition...you can make all kinds of pictures out of circles, squares, rectanges, triangles...etc.
There was one with shapes at my dentist office when I was a kid, I loved it! I use to get so excited when we had to go to the dentist, lol.
kbrison I really like the kennel cushions, I bet the multi colors help hide a lot of hair/dirt. I really like the red/orange/black color combo, reminds me of fire.