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June 2004 | Vol. III - No. 6


TV Toys

Couch potatoes of all ages may be glad to learn their televisions are good for more than just watching programs or playing videogames. Some of the latest toys can now be plugged into the “tube” to interact with various animated shows, and people can compete with actual Wheel of Fortune contestants from the convenience of their homes. And just when we thought it’s all been done.

Holy Gizmos, Batman!

Mattel has created a line of Batman toys that interact with “The Batman” animated series by Warner Bros. This is accomplished by the use of VEIL (Video Encoded Invisible Light) Technology, which enables toys to pick up signals emitted from the television show. The toys then interact with the television show by performing various audio, lighting, movement and gaming functions. There is a Batwave communicator Handheld Device ($32.99, ages 4+), a Batwave Batman Action Figure ($38.99, ages 4+), and a Batwave Batmobile™ with Handheld Device (51.99, ages 4+). All three items are impressively detailed and colorful.

Hasbro’s Got VEIL Too!

The same technology that Mattel is using to animate their Batman® Action Figure is being used by Hasbro for their Wheel of Fortune Live Play ($29.99, ages 8+). This interactive handheld game is wireless and links to the television set so that players at home can actively compete with the actual players on the television game show. Just as on the television show, up to three people can play. If a home player beats the television contestants, the TV sends a signal to download bonus games into the handheld device. There is also a solo play feature with an electronic spinner and 600 puzzles.

Singing Beauty

Now Barbie ® Dolls, Princess Anneliese and Maiden Erika ($19.99, ages 3+), from the movie The Princess and the Pauper, have the ability to perform a duet of songs featured in the movie. Additionally, the princess’ plush kitty companion, Serafina ($40.00, ages 3+), has the ability to interact and respond to key moments in the Princess and the Pauper DVD. The gifted feline can even sing songs along to an audio CD that come included with the doll. The dolls will be released in July and the DVD will be released in September.

Electric TV

There is now a way to turn a television set into an electric art studio. ETO ($34.99, ages 4-11), by Etch A Sketch Electronics, features three play modes which include an abundance of drawing tools, clip art images, paints and patterns, special visual and sound effects, background images, etc. There is also a mode which enables children to create and play their own video games. The control device is compact and the set-up is basic: A standard 6’ AV cord hooks into a television.

Angelo SpyropoulosWriter: Angelo Spyropoulos Read more articles by this author


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