China Toy Fair


eKids Has Muppets Most Wanted Headphones in Time for New Film

MuppetsHeadphonesMuppets Most Wanted opens in theaters today, and to coincide, eKids has released Kermit the Frog-themed over-the-ear headphones featuring soft cushioning and an adjustable band for a customizable fit. The portable speakers securely hold an iPod in a lightweight zippered case, while the ear buds feature noise-isolating ear tips in a variety of sizes, and also include a travel pouch for added portability and inline volume control.

These accessories are available at eKids.com.

Lego Legends of Chima Goes Mobile

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The Lego Group, and WB Games Montréal have launched Lego Legends of Chima for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. Playable with a Wi-Fi connection, the game is free to play and both extends and complements Lego Legends of Chima products, including construction sets and vehicles.

In the online Chima universe, players take on the role of an animal warrior in the Lion, Eagle, Gorilla or Bear tribe. After creating and customizing their character, players explore massive environments, uncover hidden secrets and treasures, build weapons and gadgets, and collect studs and gold bricks that will help expand their outpost.

Lego Legends of Chima is currently downloadable at the App Store.

Pocket Gems, Gogii Games Partner for Mobile Game

Pocket Gems has partnered with Gogii Games to publish a new mobile game, Archie Riverdale Rescue. Pocket Gems will help with player retention and monetization, and will launch a Valentine’s Day update.

Archie Riverdale Rescue lets users play as Archie Comics characters to help rescue the town of Riverdale, where they will rebuild the hometown by completing quests and tasks. The Valentine’s Day update will feature holiday themes quests, clothing packs for characters, and a feature to win additional bonuses. The game is available for free on the App Store for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

COMMENTARY: It’s Alive! Cool Tech Brings Animal Toys to Life

Kids are always begging for pets, especially around the holidays. “Can I have a puppy?” “I want a pony!” I’m sure you’re hearing it all. But if you’re not ready to make that huge commitment to a pet and a messy house (and perhaps all of the dog-walking responsibilities), new technology that’s available is truly bringing animal toys to life.

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole

The Hexbug line, from Innovation First, has used new tech to make robotic Hexbug critters that crawl on battery power. Two of the company’s newest lines expand upon this technology to make it even better. The Hexbug Nano V2 critters are gravity-defying bugs that can climb vertically through tubes. The Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole play set, the Nano V2 bugs can climb vertically, horizontally, and around corners. Kids can unleash their creativity by customizing the design and layout of the three-story set. The play set also comes with special accessories including a spiral tube and a black funnel.

The Hexbugs Aquabot line features robotic fish that really swim in water. The micro-robotic creatures have Smart Fish technology that allows it to swim, dive, and change directions. You don’t have to worry about feeding it or cleaning its tank. Aqua bots are available in five translucent colors and designed for kids ages 3 and up. [Read more...]

Seamless Toy Co. Launches ATOMS

ATOMSATOMS, smart building blocks from Seamless Toy Co. that began life as a Kickstarter project, are now available. With ATOMS, kids can create things as fast as they can imagine them: For example, a bashful talking pet monster that loves hiding under tables, or a stuffed cat that “meows” by waving a magic wand.

Suitable for kids ages 6 and up, ATOMS have no exposed elements or magnets, and come in starter sets that contain everything kids need to build monsters, magic wands, and robots. They are also designed to integrate with Lego, Barbie, and action figures, giving old toys new possibilities.

Seamless is also introducing an ATOMS iOS app later this month, which enables kids to add virtual ATOMS on their Bluetooth-enabled Apple iPad, iPod, or iPhone. Screen-based ATOMS can be used to control real ATOMS from across the room, and alternatively, real ATOMS can be used via the same Bluetooth link to remotely control features on iOS devices, such as the camera and music player. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Everyone Has One, But I Want Mine to be Unique

Last Friday marked my niece Courtney’s eighth birthday, and what was she hoping for most? An iPod. Now, in my opinion, an 8-year-old doesn’t have much business with an iPod, but kids today are getting into electronics at a much younger age. Though part of Courtney’s argument for “needing” an iPod was, “everyone has one except for me,” the first thing she did when she got it was personalize it. Before even putting a song on it, she slapped a peace-sign sticker right on the back of it—10 minutes out of the box (hence why 8-year-olds probably shouldn’t have iPods). But, this was her way of making it her own.

For parents buying their children expensive devices such as smartphones, iPods, or even portable gaming devices like the Nintendo 3DS or the PS Vita, there are some awesome products on the market that will allow kids to dazzle and personalize their devices without placing a never-gonna-come-off, gooey-backed sticker on said device.

Plugy

Plugy, from Hashy, is a universal 3.5mm plug that fits snuggly into all standard headphone jacks. Plugys come in more than 40 different styles, including zoo animals, robots, and glow-in-the-dark options. Plugy has something for everyone, including a rainbow, Eiffel Tower, and an apple stem, and allows kids to  take their smart device to a more personal level in a not-so-permanent way. Plugys are made of rubber and will not break when inserted into the headphone jack. They even protect the device from rain, dust, and sand when earphones are not plugged in. Plugys are available on amazon.com and from Hanging Mobile Gallery. For more information on Plugys, email plugyUSA@gmail.com. [Read more...]

Fisher-Price Combines Toys, Tech to Ignite Children’s Imaginations, Infants’ App-etite for Learning

Fisher-Price has developed a new line of Apptivity products that bring a whole new level of interactivity, learning, and imagination to children to create larger-than-life play experiences.

Infants can connect with their favorite Laugh & Learn characters with the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Storybook Reader. The Storybook Reader is a case with benefits, allowing moms and dads to protect their iPhone or iPod touch from dribble and drool while their baby enjoys engaging content, turning the page of the book or swiping the screen to advance the content. [Read more...]

Little Tikes Pioneers Technology-Enhanced Educational Toys

This month, Little Tikes launches the iTikes line of pre-school toys. Designed to be enjoyed on their own, iTikes also have extended capability through free iTikes Apps. iTikes products are suitable for kids three years old and up. The following iTikes products will debut this month:

  • The iTikes Canvas comes with a classic magnetic doodle board. With the App, kids can draw with the conductive pen, play interactive learning games, and press the shapes on the sides to magically stamp images. Compatible with iPad, iPad 2, and the New iPad.
  • The iTikes Piano teaches kids how to actually play and read music, with four songs built in that can be played in four modes: Freeplay, Stepper, Solo, and Playback. With the App, kids can learn pitch training, sight-reading, and music theory. Compatible with all Apple mobile digital devices.
  • The iTikes Map includes a smart-pen that recognizes images on the map. Through the device camera and Augmented Reality, the map virtually turns into a lifelike playground. Compatible with all iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, 4s and iPod touch 3 and 4.
  • The iTikes Microscope lets the child use a real lens-based microscope to examine and interact with 36 actual specimens. With the App, the specimens come to life with interactive 3D images and animated facts. Compatible with all Apple mobile digital devices.

All iTikes Apps can be downloaded for free on iTunes.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Electric Friends Debuts Animal-Themed Speakers

Electric Friends announced the immediate availability of its line at Staples.com and JR.com, with additional national retailers scheduled for the fall. The collection includes Sing Sing the Panda, Chew Chew the Dog, Kwack Kwack the Duck, and Ki Ki the Cat.

Electric Friends include five-watt speakers,  40mm full-range neodymium drivers, volume-adjusting touch controls located on the ears, a built-in charging dock for iPod or iPhone, and a 3.5mm stereo auxiliary input to connect other audio devices. They can be powered by the included AC adapter or four AA batteries and are compatible with  the iPhone (4/4S, 3GS/3G), iPod Touch, iPod Classic, and iPod Nano (1st-6th generations).

 This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Electric Friends Launches New Speaker Line

Electric Friends, a new speaker line for the iPhone and iPod, announced the release of animal-themed speakers. The four varieties, including Sing Sing the Panda, Chew Chew the Dog, Kwack Kwack the Duck, and Ki Ki the Cat,  are on sale now.

As the back-to-school season approaches, these speakers can serve as a new classroom accessory and charging dock. The speakers are compatible with  iPhone (4/4S, 3GS/3G), iPod Touch, iPod Classic, and iPod Nano (1st-6th generations).

This post was originally written by Gigi Rubin and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.