What kid doesn't want to be grown up ... yesterday? These new electronics let them call friends, form a rock band, groove to tunes ... and still play like little kids.
Here's what's electrifying this holiday season:
Flutterbye Fairies by SPIN MASTER TOYS
Turn a young girl's dreams into reality as they watch Flutter bye Fairies effortlessly dance through the air. Every enchanting flight puts the magic directly in their hands. Flutter bye's gracefully glide across the sky guided only by the hands of young girls. There's never been a more magical experience. Put the magic in their hands with the charming flight of Flutter bye Fairies.
With this kit, kids can create an arcade out of electrical circuits - and then have fun playing with their creation! It's like two toys in one. Combining lights, sound, and motion, this is the most elaborate Snap Circuits kits yet!
Build three light up vehicles with the Zippy Do® from Laser Pegs®. The Zippy Do® comes with a core that can light up or flash, 22 colorful interchangeable pieces and instructions to build a Helicopter, Jet and Car. The packaging even transforms into a ramp for launching your Zippy Do® into the air! These parts are compatible with other major brand construction blocks, so you can keep adding to your models. Just kick your imagination into gear and swap pieces in and out to build your own unique driving and flying machines. Ages 3 and Up. Batteries Included.
With a flick of your wrist the Toysmith Light Up Rail Twirler moves around the 10.5 rail. The magnetic spin action and the light-up feature makes this fun and a bit of a game of skill. Requires 2 AG-13 batteries (included). — In a July 2014 survey, one out of 14 retailers told TDmonthlythat the Toysmith Light Up Rail Twirler was their store's best-selling electronic / battery operated toy.
LittleBits Space Kit by LITTLEBITS ELECTRONICS INC
Scientists have been exploring the earth and space science from as early as 4900 B.C. From ancient Egyptians, to Galileo, to Neil deGrasse Tyson, the secrets of the cosmos have kept us wondering, observing and learning. The littleBits Space Kit will enable anyone to build their own space investigations with little to no engineering knowledge. Included is a handy 30+ page booklet, with step-by-step instructions for 10 great projects like the ISS and Mars Rover. You'll also receive 2 9V battery + cables - everything you need to get started right out of the box.
Build a working electric fan using a circuit that consists of a fan blade rotor, electric motor, LED, resistor, switch, and battery holder. Learn how motors work, the role each electronic component plays in the circuit, and how fan blades push air to make wind. — In a January 2015 survey, four out of 10 retailers told TDmonthly that Thames & Kosmos was their best-selling brand of STEM toys.
HEXBUG Nano V2 High 5 by INNOVATION FIRST LABS, INC.
Features five evolved Nanos, sporting new looks, with three rubber spines on their backs, as well as a new system of tubular tracks that highlight the Nano V2’s unique multi-level climbing abilities. The Nano V2 can climb through tubes on its feet or on its back, and can pass another bug in a single tube to avoid a traffic jam. It can even flip to its feet when landing on its back on an open flat surface. Compatible with all other V2 sets.
Unleash creativity with an educational, entertaining, and useful 3D printer. Choose from hundreds of thousands of free, predesigned, and ready-to-print educational, entertaining, and useful 3D models on Thingiverse. For even more design possibilities, pair the MakerBot Replicator Mini with the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner. Awards:2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
We just put a new twist on an old favorite. The Boogie Board Original 8.5 LCD eWriter that started a paperless revolution will soon be available in two exciting new color combinations – red case front with red LCD and cyan (blue) case front with cyan LCD! The new color LCDs feature the same writing experience that you’ve come to know and love from Boogie Board eWriter products. Write or draw with the included stylus or almost any other instrument – even your finger. Great for home, school and office – almost anywhere you use a paper and pen! Awards:2014 TDmonthly Top Toy Debut Award
OWI’s geek squad, who brought to you the beloved T3 Transforming Solar Robot, has dusted off their labs coats and goggles to concoct their latest triumph…T4 Transforming Solar Robot. "T4" not only has more transformations but also comes equipped with larger parts, meaning that your younger child does not have to be excluded from partaking in some high quality robot fun. “T4” is completely solar-powered so you never need to buy batteries. Not only will "T4" provide your child with a new understanding of solar power as a source of renewable energy, but will also get your kids outdoors for some wholesome fun in the sun. This kit gives your child the option to easily transform between one of four different modes: Robot – walking legs as well as moving wheels, Insecta – 6 walking legs as well as moving jaws, T-Rex -2 walking legs and moving jaws, and Drill Vehicle – similar to a miner’s driller/drilling bit and moving wheels. If your children are glued to smart-phones, give them an opportunity to acquire solar power knowledge, learn about mechanical transmissions, and get them outside to play. Amazingly, you might find yourself engaged in conversation with your child, thanks to their newly acquired “expertise”!
Invisible Ink Black Light Pen by NATURAL PRODUCTS LTD
The Spy Pen features invisible ink that can only be revealed using the UV black light in the cap. — Mary Porter Green, owner of Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va, told TDmonthly in a July 2013 survey that this was one of her store's best-selling toys.
This 9.5" durable play tablet features 20 colorful light-up images and 40 fun sounds and phrases that activate when children press the arrow buttons. Children will have their very own learning pad to play with, and they’ll have fun pretending to be like mommy and daddy with their tablets. Pushing each button will activate two different sounds, including phrases and sound effects. For instance, they might reveal the sound of a choo-choo train or hear the phrase, "Balls are round!" For ages 12 months and up.
The Nite Ize ClipLit LED is a bright, water-resistant white light encased in a durable plastic housing and molded to a rugged plastic carabiner clip. Easy to activate - a quick twist turns it on and off - it's just as easy to clip onto and off of almost anything with a loop. Attach it to your key ring, belt loop, zipper pull, backpack or purse, and you'll have efficient, bright illumination wherever you are, whenever you want. The ClipLit is perfect for everything from reading fine print to finding a keyhole. And, when it's attached to your clothing, it's a fun and stylish way to let people know where YOU are when it's dark, increasing your visibility and safety.
Created just for kids, the Tabeo Tablet combines cutting-edge technology, advanced details and a sleek design with parental controls and kid-friendly safety features. Featuring a 7" capacitive multi-touch screen, 50 popular kid-friendly apps and Wi-Fi connectivity, this tablet is ready to deliver hours of learning, Web browsing and fun. The tablet uses the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system and with more than 7,000 free apps available for download. A built-in speaker, microphone, G-sensor and front camera provide the familiar functionality of Mom and Dad’s “grown-up” tablet. A soft, removable bumper case fits around the tablet to protect the device from accidental bumps and drops. A micro SD slot (SDHC compatible) accepts cards up to 32 GB, while the mini HDMI output allows viewing of content on a separate monitor or TV screen. The tablet offers parent-friendly features as well. The built-in browser offers a variety of parental controls, including an option to set different Internet safety controls for up to eight users or allow Internet access only on certain days or at certain times of the day, to help kids have a fun, safe online experience.
With the addition of a rotatable camera that can also take video, children can capture memories of their friends and themselves. With hundreds of apps to download, children will have so much fun they won't realize they are learning. Combines photo/video camera, interactive animated eBooks, creative activities, tilt sensor learning games and a rich collection of application. Teaches essential skills in reading, logic and creativity. Parents can also track their child's progress on a variety of educational milestones and lessons. Launch date: 2012.
Equipped with aerodynamic E.T.F. Technology, the ORB is Easy To Fly and has impact shielding rendering it crash resistant. The ORB can take off from any surface and has an auto-upright design for easy crash recovery. Aerodynamic design makes it Easy To Fly and maneuver. Impact shielding renders craft crash resistant. Brilliant LED lights for an alien luminescent glow.
Papertronics are paper toys with paper electronic circuits in them. The Lunar Landers come in a pack of three. Spaceboy, Alien Girl and Tabula Rasa. Tabula Rasa is blank and can be designed by the user.Turn them into a cool night light, party lights or fun additions to a room or desk. When the spaceships are put in their landers one way, they light up. Turn them another way and they are off. Kids fold them themselves- they come pre-cut. Fun DIY with paper and electronics. Follow along with the instructional video. Launch date: August 2010.
The iTikes Map and companion app are jam-packed with great content. The map comes with a smart-pen that recognizes images on the map. Through the eyes of the iDevice camera and technology of Augmented Reality, the map virtually turns into a lifelike playground. Compatible with all iDevices. Awards: 2012 Dr. Toy 100 Best Toys
WrapStar is the first mic kids can bend and twist. With 3 feet of bendability, kids can get all wrapped up in the fun. Each color includes three fun sound effects, and the built-in speaker provides ultimate creative freedom. Awards: 2012 Dr. Toy 100 Best Toys
The #1 learning tablet just got better! LeapPad2 Explorer™ inspires kids to imagine and explore with front-and-back cameras, 4 GB of memory and a library of 325+ apps for limitless learning and fun. Comes bundled with Explorer Learning Game Cartridges: Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Disney•Pixar Pixar Pals and a green LeapPad case. Also comes in pink.
TeenyTrack Nano Kit is Worldwide smallest moving train set that recommended for dedicated enthusiasts, who are striving to build stuff by themselves. Fits the Dole Houses. The kit includes: 1. Fully integrated Unit, does not require any assembly. 2. Set of Silver Nano Express Train (one locomotive and three passenger cars) 3. Power adapter for 110 V - 250 V. Proudly Made in the USA. "The smallest moving Track with the train on it," Ed Lopatinsky, President of IDL Motors, told TDmonthly. Launch date: June 2012.
Einstein™ x MIMOBOT® USB Flash Drive by MIMOCO INC.
The Legends of MIMOBOT Series features icons, geniuses, and stars of the human race. Leading off the initiative, and in collaboration with the Albert Einstein Estate, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and GreenLight, is the Einstein™ x MIMOBOT line of up to 64GB flash drives. The Einstein™ x MIMOBOT drives come preloaded with bonus Mimory™ and the MimoDesk™ personalization suite of Einstein-themed wallpapers, icons, and avatars. With his signature bushy hair and mustache, Einstein™ MIMOBOT reveals his lighthearted side when you remove his cap, exposing the USB plug and Einstein's playful pose with tongue sticking out. Launch date: 2012.
Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™Monkey by MATTEL INC.
The Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Monkey is an interactive plush learning toy for babies that also lets them enjoy their very own apps on mom or dad’s iPhone® or iPod® touch device. Toddlers can squeeze monkey's hands and feet to interact with the app, which teaches baby about colors, numbers, animals and much more. Launch date: May 2012.
Kids can learn about colors, quantities, observation skill and more with Arthur’s Little TV. One infra-red remote and 4 double sided scene cards + 1 default scene card for 9 total fun scenes to interact with. Insert card into TV and start playing with fun discover and questions about each scene. Touch one of 6 Arthur characters on the remote to answer. Launch Date: September 2012.
GameChanger is an electronic, multiplayer game board that works with the iPad. Featuring interactive animation and sound, GameChanger adds a whole new dimension to the traditional board game by creating a different experience every time you play. Kids are given the option of playing 6 different games; The Magic School Bus® from Scholastic or Animal Mania, plus 4 action games. The iPad simply slides into the GameChanger cradle, and one of the included game skins can be placed on top of the board. Parents can download the App, which is free with GameChanger purchase. The game pieces themselves interact with the iPad, which asks questions and assigns tasks, so players always know whose turn it is. A “spin” of the wheel on the iPad lets players move their pawn across the game board. Since the game board and the iPad are connected, all game play is completely guided and tracked. Launch date: February 12, 2012.
Old-school and new-school technology collide in this plug n' play portable speaker dock kids build themselves. Rock the house or take the show on the road. Kids learn basic electronics by investigating how speakers and amplification work. Docking station works with iPod, iTouch, and other audio devices. Launch date: September 2012.
These walkie-talkies with cool LEGO styling stay connected up to a mile away. They are easy to use - one channel, simple push-to-talk-button and volume control. — As of 10/26/2011 this product had 3.9 out of 5 stars from 37 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Easy to use; fun design. Cons: Batteries run out quickly.
AnyBook Reader - 60 Hour Edition by FRANKLIN ELECTRONIC PUBLISHERS
AnyBook Reader is a reading enhancement and reinforcement tool enabling language and reading enjoyment and improvement. This flexible record and playback tool with 60 hours of recording time enables read-out-loud record and playback by parent and/or child, building experience, confidence and reading ability. By recording their own reading voice the child can reinforce their own reading performance and the ability to record and playback any book or text tailors the reading and learning experience to the individual child. With ease parents can “read” to their child whenever he or she desires. The AnyBook Reader uses a simple touch, record, playback process that allows users to record the words on any page of any book so they can read to their children or grandchildren even when they’re not there. The AnyBook Reader comes with a selection of AnyBook Reader stickers. Each sticker uses a unique code which allows users to associate different recordings with every page of the book. These stickers use special glue that won’t damage the book so they can be removed and re-used at any time. — As of 10/25/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 6 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: A great way for distant family members to stay connected with kids; can be used with any book; stickers are reusable. Cons: Takes a little while to set up.
A fun way to discover 100 everyday sounds. Children will be delighted to hear sounds that come to life when bar codes are scanned by using the Smart Pen. Crystal clear technology teaches animals, musical instruments, vehicles, machinery and nature sounds. The sounds are recorded in high fidelity and are very realistic. 50 double sided learning cards are included for hours of learning fun. Launch date: July 2011. Awards: 2011 Creative Child Toy of the Year
The Security Scanner is a hand-held metal detector that mimics those used by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials at airports. Kids can scan every "agent" from head to toe—the LED alarm system alerts them when someone is hiding metal objects. Requires 1 9V (6LR61) batteries (not Included).
After a mysterious explosion in the high school science lab, 16 ordinary bugs were transformed into something more: Smarter, stronger, faster---they became Power Buggz. Power Buggz turns standard vehicle play into a character-based competition between well-developed personalities battling with their unique speed features. Ripcords, pullbacks, crawlers and a competition Stunt Battle play set make up the initial product line. Figures include a Battle Card with bio, stats and multiple game play options to get things going.
Wappy dog is a robotic, interactive pet. Via the corresponding Nintendo DS game, players can train and talk to Wappy, or they can interact with the dog itself. When he's happy he reacts with dance and play, when sad he sulks like a real dog. If the DS game is played and Wappy left behind, the two automatically sync when they are back together.
Give a kid a camera and they'll want to take pictures of everything they see, everywhere they go. That's why this real digital camera is designed to be tough enough to stand up to the ways kids play and the places they go. Features child-friendly controls, viewfinder for ease of use, stores 1000+ digital images, 4X digital zoom, enhanced low-light performance, and photo editing software to download. Requires 4 AAA batteries.
TamaTown is a revamped version of the Tamagotchi virtual pet. It includes the original nurturing play pattern and character customization, along with additional features including a larger egg, and interchangeable design sheet and a more detailed display. TamaTown is a base for Tama characters, sold separately. Tama characters can be attached to activate character-specific new games.
HeadPhonies are portable mini speakers shaped like designer toys. They are compatible with all iPod variations, and will also work with other MP3 and CD players, as well as computers, handheld video games and even certain cell phones. The speakers stand at only 3” tall, and are designed with high sound quality in mind. Each HeadPhonies includes a cable for connecting a music library as well as a charging cable for the internal battery. The internal battery can be charged in about an hour with a playback time of over four hours per charge. "The MOBI HeadPhonies provides the sound of a Boom-Box with the cute design of Hello Kitty," MOBI Technologies National Sales Manager Andrew Buckband told TDmonthly. Awards: 2010 CEA Innovations Award for Design and Engineering
Bring the universe into your home! Laser Stars project thousands of moving stars onto the ceiling and walls. Realistic Blue Nebulae Clouds are realistic and adjustable. They can also be turned off for a brand new effect. An AC adapter is included as well. — Laser Star was a Top 10 best seller at Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in Aug. 2010. “We have one on display in a dark room,” said owner Brett Sommer. “It’s like a universe in a room. The blue cosmic nebulae clouds and moving green stars take most people’s breath away. Everyone wants to fall asleep floating in space.”
This mail notifier connects to users' private e-mail accounts, Twitter, and Facebook when they cannot, to let them know when they have mail or other notificationa. Webmail Notifier works in the background to inform about personal emails and social media notifications, and even the capacity of unread emails. It comes equipped with red, green and blue illuminators and an optional sound indicator.
The Doctor's handy-dandy sonic screwdriver is the epitome of multifunctional gizmos. Whether it's driving a screw, picking a lock, or disabling an opponent, this amazing implement seems to exhibit the precise capability required by its owner at the time. This sonic screwdriver replica measures 9.25" x 2" x 8.5." This replica features button-activated light and sound effects, and includes a hidden ultraviolet pen and UV light that reveals secret writing.
Ecotronic Flashlight by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
These squeeze-powered, kid-sized flashlights come in a variety of animals whose noses light up when switched on. The side lever stores inside the body and can be released and squeezed to charge up the light. The 12-piece counter displays include four assorted animals in each assortment. The Zoo assortment includes a tiger, panda, monkey, and penguin, whereas the Farm assortment features a cow, pig, duck, and dog.
Earloomz is a lightweight, all-in-one earpiece that combines Bluetooth technology with a bold fashion statements, featuring anything from pop-culture designs to sports teams to cheetah print. Launch date: Spring 2010.
The fast-moving SkitterBot is charged by a USB remote contoller. Individuals can battle or race the bots as each color has its own frequency. SkitterBot is available in four colors: Clear Diamond, Clear Emerald Green, Clear Ruby Red and Clear Sapphire Blue. "Our items can be charged by our unique USB remote control and SkitterBot travels at a speed of 12" per second," David Piltz, Managing Director, Desk Pets, told TDmonthly. Schylling is the distributor to specialty stores in the United States. Launch date: June 2010. Watch Video
More than 30 years after his original introduction, Alphie robot is making a comeback. The educational robot has been updated with an LCD screen face and childlike voice to give Alphie more personality. With 350 questions and challenges included on 30 cards, Alphie teaches children counting, matching, rhyming and more. Launch date: Fall 2010. —As of 10.25.2010, this product had 4.5 out of 5 stars from 25 reviews on Amazon.com and was No. 6 on the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Fun and educational. CONS: Cards can be bent and become unusable.