March 2011 | Vol. X - No. 3
Fijit Friends by MATTEL INC.
Made of soft, tactile skin that enables lifelike movements, girls can poke and squeeze a Fijit Friend for a verbal reaction. With word recognition capability, Fijit Friends can understand and respond to more than 30 verbal commands, culling from more than 150 built-in phrases and jokes. Girls only have to turn up the music dial to transform their Fijit Friend into a dancing machine. With Beat Detection functionality, Fijit Friends can recognize different types of music and perform different dance moves for each beat. Fijit Friends includes four original songs of their own. Fijit Friends come in an assortment of four that each feature distinct colors, voices, ears and personalities and feature integrated Sonic Chirp technology - special audio coding embedded into an external device or media platform (mobile applications, webisodes, television commercials and more), that when detected by Fijit, triggers various programmed reactions. Launch date: Fall 2011. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $49.99; Age: 6 and Up)
Kre-o Transformers Optimus Prime Set by HASBRO INC.
The Kre-o Transformers Optimus Prime set comes complete with more than 500 pieces, the largest amount featured in any of the 2011 KRE-O sets. Builders can assemble the popular Optimus Prime character in ‘vehicle’ mode as the notable semi-hauler or in ‘robot’ mode to create the leader of the Autobots. When in ‘vehicle’ mode, the truck’s removable cab converts into a mini-command station and the trailer opens to fit the two motorcycles and four unique Kreon mini figures included with the set. The trailer can also be disassembled and built into a command center playset for the Kreonmini figures. When in ‘robot’ mode, builders can blast into action with a projectile launching brick. The Kre-o Transformers Optimus Prime set includes orange traffic cones and cool decorative decals. Launch date: Fall 2011. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $59.99; Age: 8 and Up)
Let's Rock Elmo by HASBRO INC.
Dressed in a concert style tee, Elmo takes the stage singing and making music. Elmo comes with his very own microphone and two instruments, a tambourine and a drum set. Preschoolers can choose which instrument Elmo plays, and he recognizes which one he is given. Kids can also play along on Elmo's instruments. Elmo also interacts with other Let's Rock instruments (each sold separately); he knows when kids are playing the instruments, and plays along. The Let's Rock Elmo toy sings six songs. Requires six 'AA' batteries, included. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 2 and Up)
Ninjago Battle Arena by LEGO
Kids place their characters on the spinner, arm them with 14 different weapons and use the battle cards to spin their way to victory. Watch out for the deadly flick and ball shooters. Set includes 2 minifigures with special accessories, 2 spinners, 14 weapons, 2 character cards and 8 battle cards. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $49.99; Age: 7 to 14)
InnoPad by VTECH
This multi-function tablet is like a starter laptop for kids. It offers interactive reading, gaming, and creative activities. It features a 5inch color touchscreen, a tilt sensor for game control, microphone, interfaces for USB, SD card and a headphone jack, and plays MP3's. VTech will offer more than 100 software titles for InnoPad including Dora the Explorer and Toy Story programs. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $74.99; Age: 4 to 9)
Hexbug Nano Glow in the Dark by INNOVATION FIRST LABS, INC.
The regular Hexbugs and the HEXBUG Nano Hive Habitat Set won the Specialty Toy of the Year Award at the 2012 American International Toy Fair. This glow in the dark version features the same motion sensors and scuttling capabilities that made the original version so popular. Glow in the dark habitats are also available. Batteries included.
— Jamie Merlavage of Tree House Toy Shop in Cumberland, Md., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey that they sell about a dozen HEXBUG Nanos each month.
— Mary Porter Green, owner of The Curiosity Zone in Ashburn, Va., told TDmonthly in a Summer 2011 survey about best-selling toys that she sells a dozen HEXBUGS each month.
— In a March 2012 survey, 2 out of 12 retailers told TDmonthly that Hexbugs were their best selling product. Mike DiAndrea, manager of Hardware Toys in Paoli, Pa., said that they sell dozens of different styles of Hexbugs each month, and that the line has been a best seller for more than a year now. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $7.99; Age: 3 and Up)
Rock Star Mickey by FISHER-PRICE INC.
Mickey is decked-out in rock star gear. Kids can listen to him play a concert, or they can learn to play along with him. He sings, dances, and performs three classic rock songs. Launch date: September 13, 2011. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $49.99)
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case by FISHER-PRICE INC.
The Baby iCanPlay is an iPhone protector. Babies and toddler's can explore apps and games on their parent's iPhone without damaging it. The protector features large handles for gripping and chewing, a rubberized screen protector, mirrors on the back for added entertainment, and a special cover over the "home" button so baby can't exit out of the app. Launch date: July 2011. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 1 and Up)
Angry Birds Knock on Wood Board Game by MATTEL INC.
One player draws a construction card and builds the structure shown. Next, an opponent loads an Angry Bird onto the launcher and catapults the bird to knock down structures and pigs. The player with the most points and knockdowns wins. Features three Angry Birds, four green pigs, one slingshot-style launcher, structure pieces and multiple mission cards. For one or more players. Launch date: May 2011.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 3.9 out of 5 stars from 252 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Great alternative to the app for parents who want to reduce kids' screen time; fun for the family to play together; helps kids develop dexterity and patience. Cons: Certain structures are too elaborate to build and don't seem to be grouped in the correct level of difficulty; kids with short attention spans may lose interest in building the structures; structures are easy to knock down, which can be frustrating for younger players. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 5 and Up)
Moshi Monsters by SPIN MASTER TOYS
This line of Plush and collectible toys corresponds to the incredibly popular MoshiMonsters.com. Many of the products can be used along with the website. Launch date: Fall 2011. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 4 and Up)