Posts Tagged toys

The Sphero Force Band controls BB-8 with the wave of your hand

When you watched Star Wars for the first time, how badly did you wish you could use the Force? While it is more complicated than simple telekinesis, that part is the one we all hone in on. For kids, that is amplified by a thousand, and they will pretend they have it and wave their arms around like mad regardless of whether or not they actually affect anything in the tangible world.

If you are a kind and giving parent who has gotten your child a Sphero BB-8, or are just young at heart and bought one for yourself, your interest might be peaked by this Force Band. It’s a wearable bracelet will let you control BB-8 through Force gestures like push, pull, and drive. Of course, this wouldn’t be worth spending $79 on if it was reliant on having BB-8, so there are plenty of cool things you can do without having the little droid around.

This toy has two modes, which includes Droid Control and Force Awareness. One obviously needs the Sphero droid, while the other will let you practice channeling the Force to wield a Lightsaber, battle with a blaster (both of which require more toys that are separate costs), or record and view virtual holographic messages in your environment. It’s in the same vein as Pokemon Go in that you would need to have it on and active to find these messages, but you’re not necessarily capturing any cool Star Wars creatures.

Available for purchase on Amazon
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NeoBear AR Globe is a children’s toy that is set for an international release

Children these days have a wealth of toys to choose from, where they are able to enjoy the different kinds of gaming options unlike our younger days where the only console to pick from was the Atari 2600, and most of the time we would make good use of our imagination as opposed to forming suggestions for other people’s imaginations like today. Still, Augmented Reality (AR) is an area that is fast expanding into everyday life like vacuum cleaners, so it is not surprising at all that AR will also target children and their toys. NeoBear is all set to release the AR Globe, an AR toy for the little ones some time later this month.

With a compatible mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet, your little ones can check out different aspects of the planet on the AR Globe, where among them include territories, buildings, animals and natural disasters for every single listed country around the world. All of this without having to go through the complexities of Google search results, as they learn to bridge the gap between reality and virtual reality.

Not only that, the younger minds can experience what goes on in the broader solar system, including the revolutions of the eight planets. Traditional globes tend to be defined as scientific and educational tools, but the AR Globe makes sure that the way children perceive the world will be a whole lot more interesting, of course.

This high-tech multi-purpose globe will subvert the cognitive pattern of traditional globes so that young learners can easily master mass knowledge of astronomy and geography. The use of AR interaction, 3D animation, human voice narration makes up an all-dimensional multi-sensory interactive learning experience, facilitating mental development of children at a growth stage. We do look forward to NeoBear fixing the final sticker price sooner rather than later.

Press Release
[ NeoBear AR Globe is a children’s toy that is set for an international release copyright by Coolest Gadgets ]

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Brixo just put an awesome new spin on LEGOs

Do you remember what it was like to be completely immersed in playing pretend? An entire afternoon was spent in some faraway place that didn’t exist, and we could visit it whenever we wanted. LEGOs made that even more fun since we could materialize an aspect of that world in a real space, and the only limits to what we made was our creativity. Nowadays it’s hard to find something fun that you can sink into in the same way, unless it’s Minecraft.

If you really did love LEGOs and still think about playing with them from time to time (or still do), then you’re probably looking for ways to make it more fun. Brixo came up with a brilliant plan to make these blocks more enticing in an educational way. These are bricks that have sensors, motors, connected apps, and are battery-powered. They basically gave LEGOs an upgrade and will now let them do tricks.

It wouldn’t be hard to lose an afternoon in playing with these as you’ll have a trigger block, connector blocks, and an action block. They’re covered in chrome, and have unique plastic arms that connect them electrically to carry out pretty much any function you can think of. You can make a moving Ferris wheel, a light that will alert you to emails or turn on when the lights go off, or you can program it to do more complex functions such as give your dog a treat for going to their crate if someone comes to the door. There aren’t any wires or springs, it has built-in safety mechanisms, and is 100% compatible with other building bricks on the market. The standard kit which gives you a motor block, 20 2×1 blocks, 3 2×2 blocks, 30 4×1 blocks, 2 LED lights, 1 light switch, and 1 proximity switch will cost you $59.

Available for crowdfunding on Kickstarter
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The Codeybot is a robot that makes coding fun for everyone

Learning how to code is not for the faint of mind. It’s logic-based and just about anything can ruin your work, driving you nearly insane for putting a space or bracket in the wrong place. If you didn’t start thinking in these patterns as a kid, it’s hard to start without much prior knowledge and can seem more overwhelming than it actually is. It’s the same as learning to knit but not understanding the movements to create the patterns that have to be executed correctly for it to hold everything together.

We saw the Cubetto not too long ago with aspirations of giving the basic building blocks of coding concepts to kids ages three and up. This is a good starter pack, but when kids grow up they’ll want to move to something more complicated, like the Codeybot. Instead of being made of wood and moving around a map, this little robot friend can not only roll around at will, but can make preset or custom faces, play music, dance to said music, make silly voices, and shoot lasers with an add-on turret in a battle against other bots (no face-melting lasers, sorry).

This uses a mobile app that will let you control the bot by snapping the building blocks of functions together. You’ll also have voice control to do things like change the color of the wheels or have it move. There will of course be more attachments as this crowdfunding bot gains traction, but for $129 to get this device, it’s a great way for anyone of any age to work on learning the concepts and challenges of coding.

Available for crowdfunding on Kickstarter
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Leonardo Da Vinci Wooden Invention Kits: Trebuchet for the inquisitive mind

In the good old days of the West, back before they discovered the wonders of gunpowder and what it can do, it looks like wartime weapons in the medieval period were pretty crude, crossbows and all. However, the great thinker Leonardo Da Vinci has also done his fair bit of contribution to this area of warfare with the trebuchet, and you can now build one (non-lethal) version by yourself with the $24.99 Leonardo Da Vinci Wooden Invention Kits: Trebuchet.

This entire kit has been pre-cut, drilled, and is ready-to-assemble (like the Avengers), where you can then come up with your very own trebuchet without having to go through engineering classes and the like. It is the perfect gift for history buffs, teachers, and weapons fanatics, and would require an hour or two of your time, tops. Of course, you will need to make sure that you have a ruler, scissors, some small clamps, and pennies (or rocks) as a counterweight handy before you get started, and this unique DIY trebuchet has a range of 20 feet as well. It will be made from natural untreated wood and plywood with some clay balls accompanying it to destroy those LEGO brick walls that you have built.
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Animated Praying Bear says prayers before you sleep

Awww, how cute! I am quite sure that many of us were taught to say our prayers before we go to bed each night, as well as prior to tucking into our meals. Since children learn by example most of the time, what better way to encourage them if their toys, too, were are prayerful as their parents? The $39.95 Animated Praying Bear will be able to bow his head as he says a series of prayers, where he even moves his mouth while reciting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep before bedtime, which will be punctuated by a pious “Amen.”

Not only that, the ending of the prayer will also be followed by a lullaby version of Jesus Loves Me that shuts off automatically after five minutes, presumably that your little one is well on his or her way to heavenly slumber. Pressing the bear’s paw plays additional prayers in succession: The Our Father and God, Hear My Prayer. A trio of AA batteries are thrown into the mix to let you get started right out of the box, and it should be good for up to three weeks of rigorous devotionals. Best friend of the Peek-A-Boo bear, don’t you think so?
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The iRig MIDI Controller – if you’ve got rhythm, you can make music

IK Multimedia iRig

If your parents don’t force you to take some sort of instrument lessons when you’re young, and you also skip out on band and orchestra in middle or high school, you might hit adulthood feeling like you missed out. Playing music is fun, and a great way to express yourself in a creative way. However, learning how to use and make a decent sound come out of an instrument takes years of practice.

If you do possess the ability to keep a beat, then there is still hope yet for you. This IK Multimedia iRig MIDI controller will let you tap out entire songs. It has 16 velocity-sensitive pads that you will click to make the sounds of guitars, bass, drums, synth, and much more. These sort of things have a huge instrument library, and can be used with a variety of different musical programs, so you can really pick and choose any sound if you look hard enough.

It has built-in lighting so making music is also a visual experience as well as an audial one, which is sure to make any creation far more exciting than it is. The 3 colors it lights up in will indicate how hard you hit the key, since that factor will affect the sound that the machine produces. There are also two assignable knobs, a pushbutton rotary encoder, two buttons, and a slider, all of which are programmable. Since this works with your iPad, iPhone, and Mac or PC, it will come with some preset modes for popular apps and software so you don’t have to wait long after opening it to make some music. This is going to cost you around $110, and seems like it would be a good introductory product for aspiring musicians or DJs.

Available for purchae on Amazon
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Squishy Forts make you remember what it’s like to be a kid again

Do you remember going into the living room and pulling all of the couch cushions and pillows off of every piece of living room furniture and making the best fort ever? Yes, you do, and the only reason we associate it with our childhood is because we are now too big, and there are not enough pillows. What would you give to be able to relive that pure and unadulterated joy once again?

Hopefully the answer is several hundred dollars, because otherwise there’s no way you’ll get your hands on a Squishy Fort. That’s right, this company found a way to make playing with pillows the best thing ever all over again, and also found a way to make them useful when you’re not pretending to be a superhero in your secret hideout. These are square pillows that have four neodymium magets in every corner so you can literally build a fort without having to rely on gravity and faith alone.

These come in Ottoman, Advanced Ottoman, Couch, and various combination sets. The price ranges from $199-675, and you’ll have color options of blue, pink, red, grey, green, black, and brown. When you’re ready to put them out of sight and out of mind, you can toss the covers on them so no one will think they’re anything more than pieces of living room furniture. Hopefully they keep their shape pretty well as using them as regular furniture will likely start to leave butt prints behind.

Available for preorder on squishyforts
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A-Maze-Ball Maze Game gets the brain thinking

Do you sometimes feel that modern day entertainment for children happen to be rather subdued, in a sense that they do not need to do much active thinking on their part, but rather, are fed with information after information, flooding their senses with fantastic graphics and visuals as well as realistic audio, but do not really help the little ones to be smarter? How about taking a step back from the world of technology and concentrating on something that is a little bit more amish in style, so to speak, with the $9.99 A-Maze-Ball Maze Game.

The A-Maze-Ball Maze Game happens to be a giant puzzle sphere that offers plenty of fun for the whole family, where it will definitely be able to improve hand-eye coordination as well as spatial relations. You can pick from easy (orange), medium (red), or hard (blue) difficulty level, and this small sphere boasts of a really cool three-dimensional maze that has a ball bearing within. You are supposed to guide the ball bearing from one end of the maze to the other. Definitely one of the cooler portable maze games that we have seen to date.
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LEGO Dimensions – the past and present are mingling, and everything is awesome

When we were little, LEGOs were the best thing ever. We could build anything our little brains came up with, and it gave us the literal building blocks to create entire worlds out of not very much material. Since those golden days of yesteryear, LEGO has been churning out more and more play sets, but the rise of popularity of video games like Minecraft called for more action from the beloved brand, lest they be left behind.

This LEGO Dimensions game takes all of your favorite characters from well-known franchises, and puts them not only into your hands, but also in your game. It’s very much like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, but plays like the LEGO video games that are already on the market. The toy pad is what will allow you to put characters, vehicles, and accessories into the game, and you do this by placing the NFC toys onto the pad. Of course, what fun would it be if there wasn’t a building aspect to the game, so you can reconstruct pieces in the real world to unlock cool new powerups and abilities in-game. You also build vehicles, and the gateway that lets you put your characters into the game.

In the game, you’ll be fighting with and against characters from Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, The LEGO movie, and much more. It’s definitely a money sink as you will undoubtedly always have more characters, vehicles, and other do-dads to buy, but it gives you tons of options for creativity in combination with gaming, which time-wise is going to be well worth the money you’ll put into it. Getting a starter pack to get you going will cost you $79, and will obviously go up from there. You’ll get tons of real and digital world puzzle solving to wade through, and likely have plenty of laughs along the way. You’ll be able to pick up this game for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, XBOX360, or WiiU.

Available for purchase on Amazon
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