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March 2011 | Vol. X - No. 3




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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




MSRP: $22.00
Age Range: 14 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Interactive
General Games



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)
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MSRP: $39.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Target Age Range: 9 to 12
Specialty: Yes (as of 2010)
Made in: United States
SKU or Item #: RT001
Launch Date: January 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Software - Educational
Video Games
Educational



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)
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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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Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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