One of my favorite toy events is Time to Play Magazine‘s holiday showcase. It’s like an intimate Toy Fair where bloggers like me can try out a bunch of toys that could be of great interest to our kids this holiday season.
Hexbugs are so huge in my house that I can’t believe I’ve never talked about them here. Ozzie, now 16 months, has recently discovered Olive’s stash of Hexbugs. He’ll remove them from their containers thrust them at you until you turn them on, at which point he’ll either press them against his cheeks to feel the vibrations or drop them on the floor and dance excitedly as they scurry under the bed or couch (thank goodness for the technology that sends them back out). The new Nano Hive Habitat is great because it has lots of moving parts for the Hexbugs and it folds into a carrying case.
I will also be running, not walking, to Radio Shack for their exclusive zombie Halloween Hexbugs and little Christmas Hexbugs with antlers that are delivered in Christmas ornaments.
On a similar note, the latest from ZhuZhu pets creator Cepia are Xia-Xias, little robotic hermit crabs that have secret surprises hidden in their shells. We missed the ZhuZhu trend, but these little guys are like a cross between Hexbugs and Littlest Pet Shop, and Olive will go bananas for them.
Another toy that I can see Olive enjoying (and Ozzie as well) are Lite Sprites. Fairies? Magic wands? Yes, I realize this is girlier than my average recommendation, but the technology is pretty cool. You hold the Lite Sprite Wand vertically over a patch of color, and then the top of it will light up in that color. You can then transfer that light color over to the fairy or one of the various playsets. I was skeptical of this as it comes with a color wheel, but then the WowWee rep demoed it on a printed napkin where it picked up all sorts of color. The giant glowing wand might just make Ozzie forget about Hexbugs.
Hopefully my niece isn’t reading this (Elizabeth, stop reading!) because I think she might be getting the latest from Paper Jamz for Christmas – the Pro Series Microphone. It has features like auto-harmony and chorus, and it’s mp3 compatible. Even in a super-crowded noisy room, it sounded great.
We’ve had an ant farm before, but it wasn’t nearly as cool as Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm Revolution, which shows a circular view of the ants and projects them onto the ceiling. How’s that for a nightlight?
In our humble NYC apartment, floor space is a premium. The considerate folks at Mattel have created Hot Wheels Wall Tracks that mount on the wall. I’m not sure we have the wall space for this either, but boy is it cool. You can imagine how you could combine the sets and make them into a Rube-Goldberg OK Go video.
I recently won an XBox Kinect (woohoo!) and we’re gonna need games. The new Kinectimals is all about training an adorable baby bear. I might have let out a delighted squeal while playing it today. And in a smart bit of co-branding, there will be a special line of Build-a-Bears that will be recognized by the game.
And of course, there’s great stuff from favorite brands. The LeapPad Explorer and Tag Solar System Adventure Pack from Leap Frog are great. We’ll be buying Olive the Lego City Advent Calendar. I’m also a big fan of Playmobil’s new Top Agents line. And, though we don’t have a Cars fan in this house, you can’t deny that the new Cars AppMates are cool tech – toy cars that drive on an iPad app raceway.