COMMENTARY: Be a Rock Star—Through Play!

From the ages of 9 to about—oh I don’t know—now, few things got me more excited than hearing a Spice Girls song. I remember the days of standing in front of my mirror with a hair brush belting out all of Britney Spears‘ greatest hits. Everyone—whether you have an extreme case of stage fright or, like myself, were a diva-beyond-compare since the age of 5—loves the fantasy of being a rock star. It takes a lot of guts and gall—and boy does it seem glamorous.

We all know from reading the news that not all roads to rock stardom are as shiny, bright, and full of great shoes as we all hope for them to be. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still love the fantasy. With the upgrade of technology being incorporated into toys, kids’ fantasies of being a rock star are becoming truly, well, spectacular. Here are some great toys that will get kids—and kids at heart—up in front of that mirror belting into a hairbrush.

superstarThe Barbie Build ‘n Play Super Star Stage, from Mega Bloks, allows girls ages 5 and up to build their own two-story stage that features real lights and sounds that move to the music. The set comes with approximately 290 pieces, including sparkling blocks for a touch of extra glimmer. The Super Star Stage has three songs that will get kids up and dancing. Super Star Barbie, Raquelle, and Teresa figures are included with tons of fabulous accessories to make their rock show glam, including microphones, guitars, a DJ booth, a keyboard, and an elevator with a spinning feature.

I am a huge fan of this product because it is a dream come true for little divas, such as myself. I would’ve loved to have this toy as a little girl (and spoiler alert: I own one now, and love it just as much as I would then) because it lets you create the whole show. Flashing lights, real music, glamorous rock stars? That’s every little aspiring pop star’s dream! And, like all construction toys, its play value lasts far beyond just the actual building of the toy—the fun continues with a fabulous show.

BeatrixgirlsA new doll line, The Beatrix Girls, from PopStar Club, is a collectible line of pop star dolls driven by original music. The bandmates are set to empower girls throughout the country to rock out and be themselves. With fully developed personalities, Brayden, Ainsley, Lark, and Chantal live and interact in the human world—producing real music, real hits, and real fans. Kids can collect their music, join their fan club, and vicariously live the fantasy of being a pop star through play.

With their different personalities, kids can choose their favorite band member (#TeamGingerSpice), just like they do with their favorite bands. Brayden, the band’s “front doll,” is a driven, ambitions, genuine LA woman, who is sharp as a tack and sweet, considerate, and socially conscious. Ainsley is a Southern Belle drummer who is sweet and quiet until she gets behind the drum set. Lark, the bass-playing redhead and the true rocker chick of the group, is an extreme sports athlete, who’s extremely passion about everything in her life. Chantel, the French Canadian keyboardist, is the gentle, logical, and level-headed member of the group, but is just as full of hard work ethic and determination. With these different personalities and real interactions in the human world, kids can relate to the band members’ personal styles and really feel like they’re a pop star. (Check out their website for music, blogs written by the band members, and videos.)

kidzbopThe Kidz Bop-licensed line of toys, from Sakar, is a line of roleplay toys that allow kids to jump right up on stage and perform. The Kidz Bop Karaoke Machine lets kids ages 7 and up be the star of their favorite songs. The machine displays the song lyrics directly onto a TV screen with the A/C adapter. The machine includes a free CD and one microphone, although it is designed with dual microphone inputs so kids and families can perform harmonious duets. Connect an iPod or mp3 player directly to the Kidz Bop Karaoke Microphone & Stand for kids to sing all of their favorite songs in style. The extendable microphone stand easily adjusts to different heights and the flashing lights turn kids into real rock stars!

To complete the look, Imperial Toy‘s Glammerati line helps aspiring rock stars look fabulous with products such as hair extensions, wigs, microphones, make up, a back stage style kit, temporary tattos, a very glittery vest, and more. This Kidz Bop-licensed line gives kids’ performances the extra pizazz they needs to really shine.

These toys are great way for kids to show their love music and express themselves as individuals in a fun way. So get out there and rock on with these great products that give your traditional hairbrush-mirror performance a little extra glam.

For more commentary from Ali, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

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