For a closer look at the great toys coming out of the New York Toy Fair, check out my interview on WHPL Morning Extra!
Here’s a sneak peak at some of the exciting new toys I’m showcasing during my satellite TV tour (which starts today)!
LEGO DUPLO | Lego
This year LEGO DUPLO celebrates 50 years! DUPLO bricks were created for toddlers to develop their motor skills with chunkier LEGO bricks that are designed for their smaller hands. It doesn’t get any more iconic than this great DUPLO Fire Station that invites kids to build and play with something they recognize in a safe and fun way. There are male and female firefighters, a cute dog and this really fun light and sound brick that adds an authentic touch to their play. Whether learning to stack, build or role play, DUPLO offers a wide variety of skill sets for every learning stage.
Visit Lego.com for more information!
HYDRO STRIKE | Goliath Games
Goliath Games is known for their family skill and action games, with a twist! Get ready to make a splash with Hydro Strike! In this head-to-head pinball game, you’ll need fast fingers to shoot the ball into your opponent’s goal. Score, and your opponent will get sprayed in the face with water! Since a sprayer is aimed at both players, strike quick or you’ll get wet! The first player to score 5 times wins. The water feature adds excitement and a surprise twist to the game play. Fun for the whole family.
Visit Goliath Games to learn more!
PAIBOTZ | Pai Technology
Pai Technology introduces PaiBotz, a new coding robotics kit for kids ages 4 and up, that helps children grow, develop, and play by turning screen time into playtime. Kids can program and code 6 different pre-designed PaiBotz or create their own robot! It can be taught to move, dance, make sounds, and light up using the free app. Over 150 uniquely shaped, easy-to-grip blocks with rounded edges will inspire kids’ imagination with tangible hands-on learning, the most natural way for younger kids to learn. And with the 30 interactive Augmented Reality puzzles, they learn even more coding concepts with visual cues.
Available this Spring at https://www.pai.technology/, for use with selected iOS 11 and Android devices.
SPACE ODYSSEY | Sharing Land
With the Space Odyssey Playhouse, by Sharing Land, kids can explore the entire galaxy with their imagination and some great wearable space gear. Constructed of durable cardboard, this eight-sided play environment and sturdy space accessories will blast kids into new realms, no batteries required. Everything is made from 80% recycled materials to reduce the accumulation of space junk, and kids can customize their spaceship with washable markers. When the mission’s complete, the foldable design breaks down in seconds to store until the next inter-galactic mission.
Visit www.sharindland.com for more information.
I hope you all enjoy this sneak peak!
The 15 finalists for the ToyAwards were announced on Jan 24, 2019, and last night was the award ceremony where the five final award winners were announced. Press releases are linked below:
Kids at Play Interactive (KAPi) Award Winners from CES 2019
By Reyne Rice, Juror for KAPi Awards and Global Trend Hunter
These KAPi (Kids at Play Innovation) awards were created 10 years ago, to celebrate and honor the most innovative games, software, devices and apps for educating and entertaining today’s digital generation.
Celebrating the 10th annual KAPi Awards program, at CES 2019 in Las Vegas in January 2019.
More than 500 children’s technology products were evaluated for the 2019 KAPi Awards, all released in 2018. The products were evaluated by an independent jury of industry and editorial experts under the direction of Warren Buckleitner, editor of Children’s Technology Review, and co-chaired by Robin Raskin, president and founder of Living in Digital Times.
“We’re seeing an effort by the kids’ community to develop more open-ended, low-cost opportunities for play, and that’s a good thing. Of special note this year is the use of technology that has ‘no screens’ attached and uses voice as an input device.” said Robin Raskin, president and founder of Living in Digital Times.
The 2019 KAPi Award winners:
Lifetime Achievement: Fred Rogers (Posthumous)
Pioneer: Jesse Schell,
Teacher, author and speaker, Jesse Schell is a “VR-aholic” who teaches in the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Schell Games, his Pittsburgh-based studio, has been the force behind many noteworthy products including Happy Atoms, a 2016 KAPi winner.
Best Hardware: Echo Dot Kids by Amazon. This device puts 300 Audible books, like Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan, thousands of songs, kid-favorite games and COPPA compliant kid skills, all awaiting your child’s verbal command.
Best Overall Tech: Nintendo Labo by Nintendo.
Nintendo Labo merges maker play with screens. Jurors called it “a gutsy, slightly insane merger between concrete and abstract that reminded us all how screens can support any type of play.”
Best Maker Spirit: Itty Bitty Buggy by Microduino.
This CPT (Code Programmable Toy) lets you program a vehicle to trace lines on a map and recognize colors and voice commands via bluetooth, using your own device as a remote.
Best Robot: JIMU Overdrive Kit by Ubtech.
This year’s jurors liked the possibilities offered by the most recent addition to the JIMU line, with 400 parts, speedy servo motors and a variety of sensors for light and motion. STEM learning empowered with a very relevant robotic play format.
Most Novel Tech: When In Rome by Sensible Object.
When in Rome is an engaging trivia game for the whole family that relies on Alexa to provide clues, guide game play and add real-world information. Moreover, because the game can be continually updated, it’s different every time it’s played. Jurors liked the ability to keep the game different every time it’s played.
Best Mixed Reality: Untamed/Battle ARena by WowWee and Happy Giant
In 2017, the mini WowWee Fingerling robotic pets were a stand-out winner in the toy world. This year, Untamed Dinosaurs take the play further with the ability to step into Augmented Reality, thanks to an accessory app, called Untamed ARena. Jurors liked the new play possibilities added onto an already solid toy, at an affordable pricepoint.
Best Educational Product: Snap Circuits BRIC Structures by Elenco.
The classic Snap Circuits have been mixed up with a compatible set of construction bricks. Jurors were impressed by the diverse projects and open-ended potential of the play.
Best Physical Play: Nerf Laser Ops Pro by Hasbro.
The sophisticated design allows players to blast an IR beam as far as 300 feet. Add a smart device for real-time battle “intel,” solo play mode or GPS tracking of teammates and opponents. This encourages active, play & fun on the run.
Best Video Game: Starlink: Battle for Atlas by Ubisoft.
This is a deep, narrative-based, open world game that combines physical toys with the story. Connect pilots and ships to the game controller to see changes in the game instantly. The combination of physical and digital play is well done and very much on trend for today’s kids.
The 2019 KAPi Award Honorable Mentions:
StoryBall: Jurors liked the physical and digital open-ended story play that uses games, stories and challenges to encourage children to play using their bodies instead of a computer screen.
NovelEffect: This great new literacy product brings families together with reading, storytelling magic and sound effects.
The judges for this year’s KAPi Awards consisted of a panel of leading journalists and publishers:
- Warren Buckleitner, Children’s Technology Review
- Amanda Gummer, Fundamentally Children
- Ahren Hoffman, ASTRA
- Christopher Byrne, Independent analyst and author, aka The Toy Guy®
- Mary Couzin, Chicago Toy and Game Group
- David Kleeman, Dubit
- Dan Nessel, Dad Does.com
- Robin Raskin, Living in Digital Times
- Reyne Rice, International Toy Trade Magazine Association, Global Trend Hunter
- Mark Schlichting, Noodleworks; creator of Broderbund’s Living Books
- Tonda Bunge Sellers, Living in Digital Times
- Valerie Vacante, Collabsco