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February 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 2
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Tech Toys from 2012 New York International Toy Fair


The Toy Industry Association has declared 2012 the year of the AppCessory, and TDmonthly Magazine's reporters saw no shortage of app-based and tech toys at the 2012 New York International Toy Fair. Check out some of the newest and most interesting kids' tech toys below.



Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Electronic Games
Video Games
Interactive



This follow up to last year's Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure features 8 Giant Skylanders, 4 Light Skylanders, 8 New Skylanders, and will also work with the 24 re-released Skylanders. Each Giant Skylanders is about twice as large as the originals. The toy can be used for Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, and Nintendo 3DS. Launch date: 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33685      (added 2/13/2012)
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MSRP: $89.00
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction
Science & Nature
Electronics



littleBits is a system of modular electronics that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping and play. The littleBits starter kit is the first kit by littleBits and contains all you need to get started within seconds. Each bit has a simple, unique function (light, sound, sensors, etc), and modules snap to make larger circuits. With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to put the power of engineers in the hands of artists, makers and children. Included in the kit are 10 color coded modules (power, input, output, and wire) that snap together magnetically to create larger circuits, guaranteed to keep kids occupied for hours. Comes packaged in an attractive case with a magnetic closure and includes an instruction sheet, 9v battery and a custom plastic screwdriver. 
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33697      (added 2/14/2012)
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Age Range: 6 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Computers
Electronics



This tablet features a 7-inch color touchscreen, can can download movies, musics, apps, and e-books. The tablet boasts web-browsing capabilities, and parents have the ability to limit content and websites of their choice. Downloaded content can be stored on an SD card, or to embedded memory. Launch date: 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33695      (added 2/14/2012)
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MSRP: $39.99
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Guns & Accessories
Electronic Games



Using a free app, users mount their iPhones into a plastic laser shooter and can begin playing a game of laser tag with up to 24 other players. Each blaster has a range of up to 250 feet. Players can also play the game solo. Launch date: August 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33646      (added 2/12/2012)
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MSRP: $49.99
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronic Games
Electronics
Interactive



Using a digital stylus, kids can draw on this dome using light. Simply select the thickness of the line to be drawn, and choose from one of eight colors. Kids can also play games on the dome, like mazes, connect the dots, and more. Launch date: September 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33690      (added 2/14/2012)
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MSRP: $37.99
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Robotics
Electronics
Interactive



Yippits are pets for Fijit Friends. The Yippits can learn tricks, and bark, growl, and dance along with their Fijit owner. They can work on their own, too. Launch date: June 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33688      (added 2/14/2012)
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MSRP: $50.00
Specialty: No
Gender: Girls
Category: Dolls
Electronics



This Barbie has a 5 megapixel camera and LED encase in her chest. When kids snap a picture, it appears on Barbie's t-shirt (the LED screen). This rechargeable Barbie can hold up to 100 pictures, and features 15 different effects to alter the photographs. To upload pictures to a computer, simply hook Barbie up via the mini USB port in her back. Launch date: 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33694      (added 2/14/2012)
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MSRP: $24.99
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys
Category: Video Games
Electronic Games
Interactive



This wireless game controller sports classic a D-Pad and button layout reminiscent of retro 8-bit game consoles from the 80's and 90's. The 8-Bitty works with the iPad and iPhone to play apps using a game controller with real tactile input. It also works with Android devices as well. 8-Bitty supports iCADE's growing list of hundreds of retro game apps, including Atari Classics collection, Pac-Man, Super Mega Worm, etc. The 8-Bitty uses a completely open interface system, so that any app developer can easily add game support. Launch date: 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33684      (added 2/13/2012)
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MSRP: $34.99
Age Range: 2 to 8
Made in: China
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics-Accessories
Preschool
Licensed Products



The Inflatable Play Cube for iPad safely brings tablet technology to small children while entertaining them with the playful faces of popular Nickelodeon characters. The cube is easily inflated with the included foot pump and features a protective case on a recessed and padded side to hold and secure the iPad. Once inflated it can safely be bounced and tumbled over to use in either an upright tabletop position for playing Apps or flipped on its side for enjoying videos. Launch date: September 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33682      (added 2/13/2012)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Remote Controlled
Battery Operated
Electronics



Features 4 modes, Smartphone control mode, maze navigation mode with infrared obstacle detection and demo mode and battle mode. Recharged from USB port by integrated USB flip out USB connector. Fast and furious control using a Smartphone for drift and power slide maneuvers. Shoot at an other Carbots and hear the machine gun sound as your phone vibrates and your opponent. Carbot does spins and swerves from side to side. Shipped with dual transmitter iDesk Pet Universal Remote Control Smartphone adapter (Android and iOS) for increased control distance. Each Carbot three different user selectable frequencies (A,B,C) allowing for up to three Carbots to race and battle. Launch date: August 2012.
— "This little guy not only runs rings around their TankBot from earlier, but continues to give you the choice of autonomous control or letting your smartphone (iPhone/Android) take the lead as to where it can go and how it’s going to get there...the little guy moves so fast (good set of wheels working) that I started to run after it at one point...the CarBot is an affordable cool little RC vehicle that you can control or let go off on its own. The battery lasts for plenty of time before a quick USB recharge is needed too." - Review and 4.5 star rating from Marshal Rosenthal at GadgetReview.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33680      (added 2/13/2012)
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MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 3 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Preschool
Electronics-Accessories
Interactive



iBuKu Pets are fun, lovable characters that turn any smartphone into a cuddly pet. iBuKu Pets are not just a protective holder for mom or dad’s new iPhone (although they work well in this scenario too), but iBuKu Pets are intended to breathe life back into older used smartphones that have been placed aside in a drawer somewhere. Why not give that used smartphone to a child as a learning tool? One major issue with older phones is that their batteries often don’t hold the charge they once did. iBuKu Pets will have versions with not only a secondary battery inside, but also with the ability to wirelessly charge the batteries by simply setting the iBuKu Pet on a charge pad. Image a child never having to remove the phone from his iBuKu Pet, but rather setting him on his bedside table to charge at night. While charging, the iBuKu Pet will turn itself on as a nightlight when it hears the child wake up, or it will be an alarm clock for school-aged children.  And when they wake in the morning, the iBuKu Pet is charged and ready for a new day of learning activities. Launch date: April 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33676      (added 2/13/2012)
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MSRP: $49.95
Gender: Boys
Category: Remote Controlled
Electronics
Aircraft



Regal Elite launches its new "Glove Force" technology, which allows users to direct their 'copters by turning their wrists left or right, with the help of a small thumb-controlled throttle. Launch date: Spring 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33692      (added 2/14/2012)
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MSRP: $19.95
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronic Games
Licensed Products
Computers



Cars 2 AppMATes toy vehicles use patent-pending capacitive recognition technology to let children play interactively on your iPad. Simply place the AppMATes cars right on the iPad screen and start exploring the world of Radiator Springs. Kids can also race, customize their experience by collecting virtual items and much more. To get started, just download the free Cars 2 AppMATes App from the App Store in iTunes.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33658      (added 2/13/2012)
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MSRP: $199.99
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Computers
Electronics



The Kurio is a 7 inch children's tablet that runs on an Android OS. Techno Source has developed a kid-friendly user interface for the tablet, which boasts HD video playback capabilities, 4 GB of storage, Wi-Fi, and comes with apps like games, an e-book reader, a music player, and more. Launch date: 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33659      (added 2/13/2012)
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MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronic Games
Computers



A line of collectible toys that interacts with free downloadable apps. Six choices include Foam Fighters, ZombieBurbz, Alien Jailbreak and more. Foam Fighters, for instance, comes with two planes the size of paper airplanes that can be flown by themselves or attached to a smartphone device by an arm with a suction cup. The smart device scans the chosen plane into the app's playing field for air battle. Launch date: April 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33662      (added 2/13/2012)
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Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Electronic Games
Electronics
Cars



Hot Wheels Apptivity™ lets kids take a 1:64 scale Hot Wheels car and race through three exciting game modes. Launch date: May 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33633      (added 2/12/2012)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronic Games
Educational
Science & Nature



Sleek high tech looking tablet with 21 smooth touch icons. Tablet has 4 activities to learn about Dinosaurs and 15 dinosaurs to discover – just like in the Smithsonian Museum. earn their names, hear their sounds, learn what their diet was and more fun information. Launch Date:  September 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33631      (added 2/12/2012)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Electronics
Electronic Games



Download a free app to begin playing this update of the classic game Life. The app syncs with each player’s turn on the game board and shows appropriate clips from Vin Di Bona’s America’s Funniest Videos and humorous animations as they travel around the game board. Additionally, players can create their own “Peg Person” avatar and use the app’s virtual spinner on their iPad. Includes game board, 4 car movers, 52 pegs, money pack, 4 rubber pads, Quick Start Guide. iPad not included but required to play the game. For 2 to 4 Players. Launch date: February 10, 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33626      (added 2/12/2012)
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MSRP: $79.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics
Interactive
General Games



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.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33614      (added 2/10/2012)
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MSRP: $15.99
Specialty: No
Gender: Boys
Category: Electronics
Action Figures
Construction



Two of boys' most popular toys - dinosaurs and vehicles - have been brought together to create a unique 2-in-1 play experience with VTech's Switch & Go Dinos. Each toy transforms from a dinosaur to a vehicle and back again in a few simple steps. Each comes equipped with an LCD screen for customized animation, dinosaur and vehicle sound effects and educational dinosaur facts. The line features seven unique and collectible dinosaur toys. Launch date: February 10, 2012.
— As of 10/30/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 43 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Durable; easy for kids to make the transformation happen; sounds change between dinosaur noises and car noises, depending on which form the toy is in. Cons: One reviewer said the toy was too noisy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33609      (added 2/10/2012)
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Bobble Bots Moshi Monsters Moshlings are a set of cute and cuddly bobble-head mini robotic pets that bring the hugely popular online world of Monstro City to life for its 50 million fans worldwide. The explorative and collectible, battery-operated Moshlings use patented HEXBUG Nano vibration technology to buzz around their unique configurable 3-D “dollhouse” replicas of the same streets, yards, buildings and houses found online in Monstro City. Each Bobble Bots Moshling has its own unique, bubbly personality, and some are rarer than others. For example, Snookums the baby tumteedum is a common, prehistoric Dino who yearns to be cared for; Gingersnap the Whiny Cat is a rare Kitty who loves melted cheese and strongly dislikes any form of work; and Sooki-Yaki the caped assassin is an uncommon gadget-loving Ninja highly trained in martial arts. Launch date: Spring 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33566      (added 2/8/2012)
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MSRP: $12.95
Age Range: All Ages
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Made in: China
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics-Accessories
Electronics



MIMOMICRO™ can be used as a USB flash drive with interchangeable microSD memory cards, and also functions as a microSD card reader to transport data between mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, digital cameras, and mp3 players to one's computer. "MIMOMICRO™ boasts three dimensional sculpted characters and the first in a series of vehicles. MIMOMICRO's cap-free design with flip-out USB plug also includes a built-in keychain and LED indicator light. Measuring a mere 1.6" H x 1.0" W in its compact form factor, MIMOMICRO™ lives up to its name," Clint Weiler, PR for mimoco llc, told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2012.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33536      (added 2/1/2012)
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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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