Vtech's Cogsley is a clever learning bot for kids aged 3 to 6 years old. He comes with 30 computer chips that trigger responses, including sounds, images, movement and LCD animation. When the kidlet claps her/his hands, sings or talks, the toybot responds by moving various body parts like his nose and eyes. And when ignored, Cogsley makes a funny comment to get some attention. He needs 4 AA batteries (included.)
Egads -- we were wrong. Putting out an early holiday ad for Let's Rock! Elmo was only the precursor for LOL Elmo. He tells jokes, makes silly sounds and of course giggles if you press his feet or tickle him. Dorothy, the goldfish remote, is included and squeaks. Recommended for ages 18 months to 4 years, he needs 4 AA batteries (demo batteries included.)
For older kids and adults, the 2012 documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey is a must see. Whoopi Goldberg narrates the story of Kevin Clash and how he finally made his dream come true with the help of a furry red Muppet.
Everyone needs a Super Galactic Space Robot that walks, turns and has eyes and gun that lights up and makes shooting noises. Here comes the best part. The 15" classic toy plays evil empire music and a chest that displays Robot Battles. He needs 4 AA batteries (not included) to do his thing.
We suppose no one really needs a BIG Power Hand but it looks pretty kewl nonetheless. The company says that they were made for kids but they seem large enough for small adults. The form-fitting glove has spring loaded joints, an opposable thumb and "works like a real hand." We suppose one could consider it one small step hand towards bionics.
If oversaturation can make for a successful product, then mission accomplished for the Fijit, a soft creature that has voice recognition and can sing and dance. You cannot look in any catalogue or toy commercial without noticing Willa or one of the other little buggers that come in various colors and have 100 built-in phrases and jokes.
Toys 'R Us figured the Fijit prominently on this year's catalogue (upper right corner, front page.) We guess that Mattel figured that if the original was hot, then Friends Newbies could extend their bankability. Tika is one of those friends and can sing. Put two together and you get a duet.
No kibble or newspaper needed. Hasbro continues to pump out the Furreal Friends and their latest it a King Charles Spaniel Puppy. Place him on the floor and he moves in a circle then comes back to you. Pet him and he barks and makes other puppy noises. For feline lovers, the Black and White Kitten also walks towards you. She can meow, purr and knead her paws in that annoying way that real cats do.
Look what Santa found. This Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear Dancer can not only talk in his original Tim Allen voice, you can hook up your iPod or MP3 player and he becomes a dancing fool while his external speaker plays the tunes. Looking for a night light to brighten up the darkness and save you from the evil ones? This Atomic Robot has glowing eyes and mouth and each is individually created by Katsu Designs.
What is the best way to get a couple more hours of sleep during the holidays? Treat the kidlets to a stocking full of things to munch and play with in the early hours. You can get a dozen Frosted Lollypops, each 2 ¼", fat free and individually wrapped. The assortment of suckers comes in various fruit flavors. The 6" Bubble Robot has a motor to chug out those bubbles (included.) This is more than just a toy as kids have to actually build it first.
Looking for stocking stuffers for the robot fans in your life? We have found some for everyone that are inexpensive enough that you can buy several. The retro bronze Music Bot comes on a golden necklace while a pair of Mood Robot Necklaces are great for two BFFs.
The rosary style Robot Bracelet is imported and displays 12 images in a 12" wide band and there is even a stainless steel Belly Ring with a robot dangle.
If you are of a fan of "The Day the Earth Stood Still", Gort is a 1 5/8" metal pin with enamel finish. And who couldn't be pleased to see this 1.8 x 0.1 x 3.8" die-cut photographic Robot Magnet on their fridge?
We are thinking that maybe Innovation First took us seriously when we suggested teaming up Hexbugs with XiaXias last week. Lo and behold, we found a Hive for them to play in. There are 35 pieces you can use to construct various mazes for your nanos so that they can run around and bounce up to the second level. When finished for the day, it can fold up. The set comes with two hexbugs and more parts can be added to your creation, like the Hexbug Bridge Battle Set.
By the way, hexbugs now come in larval form, just in case you want to grow your own nano horde.
The holidays have snuck in upon us when we weren't looking so we have decided to scout around for some Gift Picks and here is our first suggestion:
If your ZhuZhu Pets are getting dusty or hanging out in the closet these days, there is a new group in town hoping to become as popular. XiaXia (pronounced 'sha-sha') are 4 small hermit crabs that toddle around when their claws are pressed. And with habitats and removable shells, we expect these plastic crustaceans to make quite an impact this year. Choose between
If they are the big hit that the company expects, there will not only be more of them in the future, there will probably be more accessories to go with them. We wonder what would happen if they started hanging out with hexbugs?