Our old bud Jaime Mantzel recently showed up with a toy based on his incredible Giant Robot. We were relieved to find that his disappearance wasn't due to the large bot, in a fit of rage, snatching him up and chewing him into itty bitty pieces. It seems that Jaime is working with Wowstuff who want to help him market his creations. Hit the site if you would like to help name his bots that will be released this summer. If they select the name you suggest, you get one autographed by the robo-master himself.
Japan's Gundam Mini-Theme Park is finally opening its doors April 19 at Diver City Tokyo. The giant Mobile Suit RX-78 will find a permanent home there as well as a dome theater for showing videos, photo ops and displays. The entire park measures about 2,000 sq. meters and includes some Bandai gift shops and café. Adults admission is ¥$1,000 (~$23.00) and ¥800 (~10.00) for kids.
As long as we are on the subject of oversized toy robots, this commercial came on at the end of the Super Bowl and guess who its biggest star was?
Capitalizing on their successful Alphie, Playskool has two smaller units designed for those ages 3 and up. The Deci-Bot teaches counting and numbers in both Explore and Find It Modes. Maestro-Bot is for playing tunes and has three song modes and colorful keys to teach its humans one of three songs. They are bright, cheerful and come with AAA batteries.
Kid Galaxy's RC Data Robot is almost too cute and designed for ages 3 and above because we all know that toddlers love robots, too. With blinking lights and moving eyes, he spouts out botty noises and his remote lets him go forward, back or turn around. He also comes in apple green.
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.
UCSD's Coordinated Robotics Lab is working on their latest generation of the iFling, an R/C robot they call a "self-righting Segway-like vehicle." It picks up a ping pong ball, rolling over it and wedging it between body and wheel, then tosses. Its makers are hoping to get several to play catch and make them different sizes for larger balls. Look for the iFling in a toy store near you sometime in the future next to their other creations iHop and iceCube.