Posts Tagged toys

The Fidget Hand Spinner keeps busy minds occupied

When you’re sitting during a lecture where the professor is going off on a tangent or are stuck in a meeting where your boss loves to hear themselves talk, your mind wanders. It’s hard not to be restless and start tapping your feet, fingers, and playing with whatever is nearby. You don’t want to be rude, but you also don’t want to be bored, and have to find a common space in between the two so you don’t go insane.

We’ve seen tools like the Fidget Cube in the past, but if that novelty has worn off or it has seen so much use that you need a new one, this Fidget Spinner might be a good replacement. This is a toy that has ceramic bearings that you can spin as much as you want without needing repairs, oil, or maintenance. If your spin is powerful enough, it could keep going for over 2 minutes.

These come in a variety of color options, and there’s even a glow in the dark version for those that need something to distract themselves before going to sleep. It’s only 3 inches in diameter, so it can easily go wherever you do. They’ll cost you around $9 a piece, and should survive constant use from both adults and children alike. If you are getting one for a child, check in with their teacher, as what might seem like a good idea could quickly become a nightmare in the classroom.

Available for purchase on Amazon
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AirJamz – the thrill of playing music without actually playing

You can pick up a new skill at any stage in your life with enough determination. Whether that’s painting, ice skating, or playing guitar, there’s no such thing as too old or too young to start learning. Of course, if you just want the fun of jamming out with friends without actually knowing how to play an instrument, that’s where air guitar, piano, and lip syncing come into play.

If you’ve decided that you don’t ever want to learn how to play an instrument and only want to stick to playing pretend, then the AirJamz will heighten your playing-but-not-actually-playing experience. This is an app-enabled Bluetooth toy that looks like a guitar pick, and will let you rock out to over 25 songs with up to 4 players at a time. Don’t worry, even if half of your friends only have iPhones and the other half have Androids, this will play nicely with all of them.

In addition to playing air guitar, you’ll also have access to 100+ instrument, laser, and synth sounds. This was designed with sharing in mind, so you can post your best or worst performances on Instagram and Snapchat for the world to see. The only downside to this fun toy is that is costs $39.99, which is a bit much to make your air guitar seem more real. Maybe $20 fun, but not $40 fun. That being said, no price tag is too high if you’re really dedicated to the craft.

Available for purchase on Amazon
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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
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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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