March 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 3
Regal Elite Force Flyer by REGAL ELITE
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. 2/14/2012 (MSRP: $49.95)
littleBits Starter Set by LITTLEBITS ELECTRONICS INC
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. 2/14/2012 (MSRP: $89.00)
Meep Kids Tablet by OREGON SCIENTIFIC
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. 2/14/2012 (Age: 6 and Up)
MIMOMICRO™ Card Readers & Drives by MIMOCO INC.
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. ( Watch Video) 2/1/2012 (MSRP: $12.95; Age: All Ages)
iCade 8-bitty by THINKGEEK INC.
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. 2/13/2012 (MSRP: $24.99)
Inflatable Play Cube for iPad by CTA DIGITAL
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. 2/13/2012 (MSRP: $34.99; Age: 2 to 8)
CarBot by DESK PETS
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. 2/13/2012 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 8 and Up)
iBuKu Pets by ARBORCUBE
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. 2/13/2012 (MSRP: $39.99; Age: 3 to 12)
Smithsonian kids Dinosaur Tablet by KIDZ DELIGHT
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. 2/12/2012 (MSRP: $29.99; Age: 3 and Up)
GameChanger by IDENTITY 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. 2/10/2012 (MSRP: $79.99; Age: 6 and Up)
Switch & Go Dinos by VTECH
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. 2/10/2012 (MSRP: $15.99)