Posts Tagged toys

The Sand Funnel – because you can’t play in sand without the proper water-to-sand ratio

If you ever went to the beach when you were a little kid, you know how amazing sand seemed. It could be dry and take on no shape, slightly wet and malleable, or sludgy and awesome. Regardless of how you played with sand, you were certain to be covered in it by the end of the day, and it was only going to bother you a tiny amount in comparison to how much fun you had from it.

While it is completely possible to play in the sand without any help, toys can always make things more fun. If you now have children and are thinking about having a beach trip, then there’s likely a question of which water-friendly toys to get. If you want more of a focus on building sand castles, then maybe this Sand Funnel could be of use. This is a toy with two reservoirs, one for sand and the other for water so you can make all sorts of sand creations.

Both sides will be mixed when they fall out of the bottom of the funnel, allowing you to direct where the stream lands. There isn’t an on or off button though, so you’ll have to either plug the tip or make quick work of things when it’s full. Made of ABS plastic, this can be washed with soap and warm water. This is only going to cost you $10, which isn’t much, but will add on to the overall price from the multitude of other toys your child will want.

Available for purchase on uncommongoods
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The Fuze Wheel Writer – ride off in a blaze of glory

When you were a kid, being able to ride a bike without training wheels is one of the coolest things you could know how to do. After that point, putting a noisemaker or bell on it upped your levels of cool (swag, whatever you want to call it) ten fold. Of course, with all the modern innovations we have, these things are considered pretty old-fashioned by today’s standards. However, putting things on your bike is never going to get old.

Instead of a baseball card or basket on the front, there’s now the Fuze Wheel Writer. This will give your bike special effects lights that can look like a skull and crossbones, roaring flames, and more. If you want everyone to know exactly how much of a bamf you are, you can show your miles per hour in real time thanks to a speedometer built into the device. There are 12 images and animations in all, and the faster you move, the more awesome they’re supposed to look.

These super bright red LEDs are housed in a water resistant casing that you clip onto your spoke. This can accommodate wheels up to 20 inches or more, meaning you can’t use this on a bike for a tiny tike and expect it to fit. Pedaling will active your lights, and there’s an auto shut-off for when you stop. You’ll need 3 AAA batteries for this to work, which should last for a few days worth of looking like you’re too cool for school. This is going to cost you around $21, and while it’s likely meant for preteens and younger, there’s nothing to stop you from getting something the kid version of you would’ve thought was amazing.

Available for purchase on Red5
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For the Young Programmer in Your Life

Whether you or someone you know, I think it is safe to say we have all known someone in our lives who was or is an amateur computer programmer, coder or robotics fan. These are the ones that build their own computer from scratch for fun. Motherboards, processors and graphics cards are their language. Ever wonder how these people got their start? What item, device or experience triggered their passion for programming? Well, for any young up and comers that may have interest in computers and robots we have found a tool that should pique their interest.

Meet Ozobot, an interactive tool to help teach children the basics of coding, programming and robotics. Ozobot is a small (1 inch x 1 inch x 1 inch, .5 ounces) battery powered robot. Through its bottom sensor it is able to read lines and colors which help it determine where to go, what color to turn or what action to take. Essentially Ozobot has a color language. Draw a ‘path’ on paper or an electronic device with different colors to tell Ozobot what to do…speed up, slow down, turn and go the other way, spin and many more. It truly helps youngsters with logical thinking and deductive reasoning. You can even program it to dance to your favorite song via an app. Unveiled at CES this year, Ozobot runs $49.99 on Amazon.com. And a two-pack for $99.99 means kids could play games against each other.

If that is not enough, you can go to Ozobot.com and download STEM/STREAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math/ Science, Technology, Reading Engineering and Math) lesson plans to help kids engage and learn more. And of course there are games on the site too! Coming soon to Ozobot will be Google Blockley compatibility too. Kids will then be able to develop their own commands and upload them to Ozobot. And before you know it these Ozobot users will be programming the technologies of our lives.


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The Grifta Gamepad – divide and conquer

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Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary (British Flag) Dalek lets you show off your patriotism

Over the years, we have seen the Doctor Who series roll out a fair number of merchandise that involved Daleks of all kinds – including a Dalek Eye Stalk flashlight, now how would have thought about that? Well, if you happen to be British and have a strong streak of patriotism in you, then chances are you might be more than willing to drop some serious coin – to the tune of $102.95, in fact, for the Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary (British Flag) Dalek.

This uniquely patriotic British Flag printed Dalek will celebrate the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary, and does it in style. In fact, this Dalek will not be static at all, where you will need to come up with your very own sound effects for that added touch of reality. Rather, he is capable of moving around on rather pliable wheels while featuring posable arms, head and eye. Heck, Doctor Who fans who love Daleks in particular will be pleased as punch to hear him spout 8 different Dalek phrases with lights and sound FX. The Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary (British Flag) Dalek will be powered by a quartet of AA batteries, where the 8 Dalek Phrases will comprise of “Seek, Locate, Annihilate”, “Seek, Locate, Destroy”, “You will obey the Daleks, obey, obey!!”, “Halt or you will be Exterminated!”, “You are an enemy of the Daleks!”, “We are the Supreme Beings”, “Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate! + Gun SFX” and “Exterminate! + Gun SFX”.
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The Triple Snowball Blaster is the perfect winter weapon

In a snowball fight, only those who can keep their energy up will be victorious. Your body can only handle the cold for so long, and you don’t want to end up with frostbite from playing outside, so there is a time limitation you face. Of course, no one’s usually keeping score, but you still want to feel like you “won” the day. If you know your throwing arm will fail you at some point but don’t want to give up the good fight, then you might need a little help on the battle field.

While you can’t rapid fire shoot snowballs unless you have a good vantage point, the Triple Snowball Blaster will certainly help. This has a snowball press on the top that will give you three perfect snowballs that you can launch at your opponents with minimal effort. This is a slingshot style launcher that will be far more accurate than we would be after an hour of throwing. If you are the overzealous type there is a scoring game included, but keeping track can sometimes detract from the fun.

There are no batteries to worry about, or needing to pump air to build pressure, as you only need to drop the snowball in, tilt back, pull the bungee and let it loose! You will need some time to reform more snowballs, as the convenience of getting three at once means it will take a little bit of time to pack in the snow. Being able to launch up to 80 feet seems a bit far-fetched, but this $39.99 toy could add to the fun on a snow day where you’ve got nothing better to do.

Available for purchase on Sharperimage

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CogniToys help children learn by talking to their toys

When children are young, they use their imagination to come up with adventures at every turn. Rocks and bugs can be their friends just as quickly as a doll or car can. The older they get, the less toys fascinate them because it’s harder to project a personality onto an inanimate object. This creates a gap between children and toys, as it’s a rather one-sided relationship. There are starting to be more and more “smart toys”, but they can’t really keep up with how quickly children learn. It’s no wonder that kids are always after your smartphone or tablet, as it can provide a constant stream of new information.

The CogniToys will allow your children to carry on real conversations with their toys after pressing a button on the stomach to start talking, which makes it a truly educational toy. This can listen, speak, and learn with your child to cater more adequately to their needs. It can answer thousands of questions and provide age-appropriate questions, hear and create stories, tell and listen to knock knock jokes, and will make a personality for itself based on how your little one interacts with it.

This must be connected to the Internet, so you will need WiFi for it to work properly. It can cover topics such as rhyming, spelling, vocab, math, and more. As your child understands each topic more, the CogniToy will increase the difficulty level. Parents will be able to observe educational progress, and moderate the material. It will cost you $99 towards this successfully funded crowdfunding campaign to be able to receive your own CogniToy.

Available for crowdfunding on Kickstarter
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Anpanman Let’s Go Driving Game offers brain training on the move

The human brain can be said to be some sort of muscle (although technically speaking, it is more of an organ than anything else) – and as with any other kind of muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Well, a child’s brain is still developing when he or she is young, and you might want to take this opportunity to ensure that it gets the relevant amount of “exercise”, so to speak, in the form of the $119 Anpanman Let’s Go Driving Game. Just what the heck is this? It so happens to be a training educational toy which we can read more about it at the bottom.

The Anpanman Let’s Go Driving Game has been specially themed to be around one particular popular character, which happens to be the award-winning Anpanman Let’s Go. This driving game console would allow your young one to navigate around the colorful world of Anpanman, where what looks like a toy from the outside, is actually a device that has been carefully designed as a form of brain training for children, where it boasts of 14 universal education activity games which will require thinking and mental calculation to complete. This means one would need to actively navigate through routes and mazes in order to develop one’s mental faculties and thinking abilities. Far more creative than a mindless shoot ‘em up or other game genres, don’t you think so?
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Pop-Up Space Station keeps the young ‘uns occupied this holiday season

Children are definitely a bundle of energy who need their own time and space to run around, and basically being children as they exercise their imagination. Having said that, with the new Star Wars movie coming out next year, not to mention your extended family congregating at your place this coming holiday season, you would definitely need some sort of space to keep them occupied while the adults talk. Since you have not constructed a room with a childrens’ playground or a water park in your backyard, why not pick up the $159.95 Pop-Up Space Station instead?

The Pop-Up Space Station lives up to its name – it is portable, easy to set up, and yet functions as an interplanetary command post for young space explorers. In terms of safety, you need not fret too much since it is made from 190-denier polyester taffeta complete with a polyurethane coating, which in turn makes it ideal for withstanding the vacuum of space (or at least a pretend space) in addition to the rigors of a backyard adventure. There will be four tunnels in the tent that evoke the sprawling modules of a space station. Other “features” include painted viewports and control interfaces, while the screened tunnel ceilings and a screened section of the dome would do their bit in encouraging imaginative play during celestial observations. It even comes with a storage bag for easy storage after playing with it.
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Mass Effect Geth Pulse Rifle Full Scale Replica does not just look pretty

If you are a huge fan of the Mass Effect video game franchise, then I am quite sure that you would have also amassed quite a collection of knowledge concerning the various weapons that the Mass Effect franchise has – in addition to the backstory of all the characters involved. This holiday season, would you want to be a little bit more extravagant with yourself – by picking up this $974.99 Mass Effect Geth Pulse Rifle?

The Mass Effect Geth Pulse Rifle is a full scale replica device, and it does not just sit there on your shelf looking pretty. In fact, it would tip the scales at a rather hefty 20lbs, so you might want to make sure that your hands are not too sweaty when you pick it up since dropping it is going to cause two cracks – one in your heart, and perhaps another on the replica rifle itself. Apart from that, the Mass Effect Geth Pulse Rifle will boast of LED effects for you to maximize your imagination, but I would doubt that you will be letting your 5 year old nephew play with such an expensive “toy” since it is a Limited Edition with just 500 units of this bad boy around the world. Each one of these will be unique, since they come across in hand-finished and hand-painted polystone.
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