Innovation Gives Skill Toys a Lift
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October 2003 | Vol. II - No. 10

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Innovation Gives Skill Toys a Lift



Stellar Toys



Joost balls

Skill toys may be getting scarcer due to the proliferation of sedentary video games today’s teens have become hooked on. Still, some companies haven't bowed to pixel products and are producing some of the most inventive toys ever made for backyards, parks and schoolyards, refueling hope for the dexterity, tans and waistlines of America’s children.

Ball Golf Step Aside

Disc golf is a fun and accessible sport; now it's also amazing to watch thanks to the new Aerobie-brand golf discs from Superflight Inc (ToyDirectory). The Epic driver disc, with its innovative aerodynamics, is setting new personal distance records daily, and the ultra-straight flight of the Aerobie Arrow approach and putter disc is ideal for holing out within 300 feet. Both discs ($11.99 each) are PDGA approved. Everyone's welcome in the disc golf community, including beginners, ages 12 and up.

Part Yo-Yo, Part Disc, All Fun

One hundred years ago, science solved the mystery of flight, and now Stellar Toys (ToyShow) has re-mystified it. The Southern California company has combined the illusion of a yo-yo, levitation of a gyroscope and spin of a sports disc into its Flip n' Flyer Glow-in-the-Dark Disc ($9.95).

The World on a String

Yo-yoing is due for another revival among the 8-15 crowd. The kings of the campus will be walking the dog with Flambeau's Duncan ProYo ($3.99) (ToyDirectory), a rim-weighted yo-yo with a pedigree that dates back to the ProYo yo-yo company of 1929.

Simple Fun for Complex Times

Inspired by a dryer hose, Accuthrow ($9.99, ages 7 and up) (ToyDirectory) looks too simple to enjoy, but it can occupy kids for hours. The challenge is to shoot the rainbow ball back and forth from your tube into a partner's. Still a fledgling activity, the record of 377 catches won't stand for long.

Who Juiced the Ball?

If the Major League Baseball ever approved Joost balls ($4.99) by Marky Sparky Toys (ToyDirectory), homeruns would be out of this world. This regulation-sized baseball features a special core that empowers kids as young as 4 to hit grandslams, and it’s easier to throw and softer to catch than stadium baseballs.

You vs. Gravity

Wacky Wheel

From Slinky (ToyDirectory) comes the all-new Wacky Wheel ($4.99), which pits kids, ages 5 and up, against gravity. When a child's on a roll, the magnetic wheel weaves with the rhythm along a bendable metal track. Children can keep perfecting their motion by experimenting with new track configurations.

Football Players Score IQ Points


When it comes to intelligence quotients, football players get a bad rap. K&T Toys (ToyDirectory) may single-handedly reverse their reputations with Touchdown ($29.99), a three-games-in-one hand-held game for all ages. This mind-stimulating puzzle game is shaped like a football and can be played on its stand or in the hand. Keep the numbers spiraling, but don't throw this Touchdown.

Stomp Rocket

Fun on the Fly

Take to the sky — 300 feet high — with Ultra Stomp Rocket from D&L Company (ToyDirectory). Kids ages 3 and up can join the festivities with the Junior Stomp Rocket, mastering heights up to 100 feet. The new foam tips make landings harmless celebrations.

Writer's Bio:
Anthony Maddela has a master's degree in writing from USC and is working on another novel. He's also the senior copywriter for 1-800-DENTIST®, LA correspondent for Filipinas magazine and has written for the financial services industry.


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