Skill toys may be getting scarcer due to the proliferation of sedentary
video games today’s teens have become hooked on. Still, some companies haven't
bowed to pixel products and are producing some of the most inventive toys
ever made for backyards, parks and schoolyards, refueling hope for the dexterity,
tans and waistlines of America’s children.
Ball Golf Step
Disc golf is a fun and accessible sport; now it's also amazing to watch
thanks to the new Aerobie-brand golf discs from Superflight
The Epic driver disc, with its innovative aerodynamics,
is setting new personal distance records daily, and the ultra-straight
flight of the Aerobie Arrow approach and putter disc is ideal for holing
out within 300 feet. Both discs ($11.99 each) are PDGA approved. Everyone's
welcome in the disc golf community, including beginners, ages 12 and up.
Part Yo-Yo, Part Disc, All Fun
One hundred years ago, science solved the mystery of flight, and now
Stellar Toys (ToyShow)
has re-mystified it. The Southern California company has combined the
illusion of a yo-yo, levitation of a gyroscope and spin of a sports disc
into its Flip n' Flyer Glow-in-the-Dark Disc ($9.95).
The World on a String
Yo-yoing is due for another revival among the 8-15 crowd. The
kings of the campus will be walking the dog with Flambeau's Duncan
ProYo ($3.99) (ToyDirectory),
a rim-weighted yo-yo with a pedigree that dates back to the ProYo yo-yo
company of 1929.
Simple Fun for Complex Times
Inspired by a dryer hose, Accuthrow ($9.99,
ages 7 and up) (ToyDirectory)
looks too simple to enjoy, but it can occupy kids for hours. The challenge
is to shoot the rainbow ball back and forth from your tube into a partner's.
Still a fledgling activity, the record of 377 catches won't stand for
Who Juiced the Ball?
If the Major League Baseball
ever approved Joost balls ($4.99) by Marky Sparky
homeruns would be out of this world. This regulation-sized baseball features
a special core that empowers kids as young as 4 to hit grandslams, and
it’s easier to throw and softer to catch than stadium baseballs.
You vs. Gravity
From Slinky (ToyDirectory)
comes the all-new Wacky Wheel ($4.99), which pits kids,
ages 5 and up, against gravity. When a child's on a roll, the magnetic wheel
weaves with the rhythm along a bendable metal track. Children can keep perfecting
their motion by experimenting with new track configurations.
Football Players Score IQ Points
When it comes to intelligence quotients, football players get a bad rap.
K&T Toys (ToyDirectory)
may single-handedly reverse their reputations with Touchdown
($29.99), a three-games-in-one hand-held game for all ages. This mind-stimulating
puzzle game is shaped like a football and can be played on its stand or
in the hand. Keep the numbers spiraling, but don't throw this Touchdown.
Fun on the Fly
Take to the sky — 300 feet high — with Ultra Stomp Rocket
from D&L Company (ToyDirectory).
Kids ages 3 and up can join the festivities with the Junior Stomp
Rocket, mastering heights up to 100 feet. The new foam tips make
landings harmless celebrations.
Writer's Bio: Anthony Maddela has a master's degree in writing from
USC and is working on another novel. He's also the senior copywriter for
1-800-DENTIST®, LA correspondent for Filipinas magazine and has written
for the financial services industry.