March 2011 | Vol. X - No. 3
|March 2011 | Vol. X - No. 3|
Top New Specialty Tech Toys at Toy Fair
These Products Integrate Technology While Allowing Real Play
At Toy Fair 2011, the mass-media buzz was all about high-tech and social-networking toys. Although specialty toy manufacturers and retailers are devoted to products that stimulate learning and imagination through active rather than passive play, some innovative specialty companies were able to integrate the mass-market trends into their low-tech concepts. From a game that encourages socialization and family time with smart phones to a computer game that lets kids get a taste of real archeology, these toys appeal to today's kids without alienating their folks.
Watch videos from previous American International Toy Fairs: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Phone Frenzy is a board game that uses everyone’s mobile phone as the primary game component for calling, texting, and sending photos. Every turn, players are given a challenge or activity that can only be completed with the help of one or more of their phone contacts. A challenge might be a race to receive a correct response to “Finish this lyric by Journey: ‘Just a small town girl’…” Players pick who they think are the right contacts from their phone and send them a text message with the question. The first player to receive the correct text message wins the round. Launch date: Summer 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31732 (added 2/22/2011)
Roman Town: The Premiere Archaeology Computer Game for Kids by DIG-IT! GAMES
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Roman Town lets the player be an archaeologist and manage a team of diggers while learning about archaeological techniques and uncovering ancient objects. Graphics rendered in 3D let players explore Roman buildings and immerse themselves in Roman history. One can put pots together, exercise puzzle skills with fun mini-games, and find out what archaeologists really do. President of Dig-It Games Suzi Wilczynski told TDmonthly, "Roman Town is unique, educational and, most importantly, lots of fun!"
Awards: The Tillywig Brain Child Award; NAPPA Honors; The National Parenting Center 2010 Seal of Approval; Creative Child 2010 Game of the Year Award; Dr Toy’s Best Vacation Product; five 2010 Life Buzz Parent-to-Parent awards.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 28295 (added 4/29/2010)
Designed for ages 7 and up, the 4-in-1 Power Kit comes with 54 pieces, two power units, two sets of three AA batteries, an instruction booklet, and a plastic tray to store the Laser Pegs™. This kit enables two people to build models at the same time using the two power unit bases supplied. The 4-in-1 Power Kit instruction booklet features plans for building the Starship Cruiser, Yard Mower, Sand Rail, and the Hang Glider models. As with all our kits, you can also design and create your own abstract models.
— Joe Berardoni from Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that he sells 20-30 Laser Pegs building sets each month.
— In late Spring 2011, Joe Berardoni Jr.,owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa. told TDmonthly "Currently, we have sold a lot of laser pegs. We have $25 and $45 retails and are on our third order since first seeing them at NY Toy Fair."
— Want this? As of 05/10/2011, this product was available for purchase at Pun's Toys
THIS PRODUCT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 27462 (added 3/4/2010)
Part of a line of ScienceWiz Thinking Games, this puzzle game created by Harry L. Nelson and Hiroshi Yamamoto provides 40 challenges at different skill levels. Players put a puzzle card down and solve the puzzle by making sure all the pieces are looped together, at which time the board will light up with the solution.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 18203 (added 3/31/2008)
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Writer's Bio: ALISON MAREK is a writer/artist/filmmaker whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), among others. Her short films have won awards in festivals around the world and have been broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks. Her new web series, "Mugg's Movers," was sponsored by FlatRate Moving Systems LLC and was selected for an NYU webseries showcase at writerslabwest.org/webshowcase. Alison is also the writer of the 2011 Emmy-nominated PSA "Tell Someone," for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Read more articles by this author
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