(First appeared in ToyBook, USA, Feb 2018 issue.)CES 208 Article TOYBOOK Feb 2018 issue page 1
CES 2018 Article TOYBOOK Feb 2018 issue pg 2
(Originally posted on DailyLounge.com, by Amelia Floyd.)
Reyne Rice is back at the Toy Fair in NYC with this year’s hottest trends!
Lego adds fun to playing and taps into our imaginations! The LEGO brick is turning 60 this year and to celebrate, they have created five LEGO 60th Anniversary “What Will You Build?” sets, designed to inspire creativity and open-ended building. The boxes are colorful and filled with classic bricks, special elements and mini-figures. LEGO is a timeless, nostalgic toy that brings parents back to their childhood and connects them with their own kids. By focusing on Bigger Thinking, kids will build self-confidence with fun. No rules, just play, explore and discover. AND, in April, the Mini-figures celebrate their 40th anniversary~ Click here to learn more.
Kids can explore their dreams, while learning swimming skills with Fin Fun’s Mermaid Tails that let kids swim like real mermaids. The quality of these tails are spectacular, and Fin Fun offers a 60-day Tail Tip Guarantee. The patented monofins are inserted into the tail and the quick-release design, lets you remove the tail with just a tug and a kick of the feet. Mermaid tails are recommended for competent swimmers 6 years and older, and ONLY with adult supervision. Adults can wear them too! Coral Cloud is a NEW Limited Edition color and Mariana’s Tidal Wave is a consistent best seller. Click here to learn more.
Are you looking for a fun game that challenges your kids? Build OR Boom by Goliath Games encourages kids, ages 4 and up, to hone their STEM skills. Each child sees who can be the first to bring the blueprint cards to life. Kids work on their own platform, quickly but carefully, to match the blueprint. Be the first one to finish, then SMASH the boomer and demolish the other players’ building to win the round. Driven by kids’ imagination and parents will love that no batteries are required. Click here to learn more.
Smartgurlz is a line of Award winning, self-balancing robots and action dolls that teaches girls to code. As Seen on Shark Tank, just connect your smartphone or tablet to the E-Learning app and give your daughter STEM confidence and provide loads of fun. Watch your robot roll across the room, perform dance moves or play learning games. The app includes missions, books and a step-by-step tutorial on how to code! Click here to learn more.
THE 2018 KAPI AWARD WINNERS ARE:
Selected each year, from hundreds of entries and new Tech products, designed for kids, ages birth to 14 years. The esteemed international judges review and debate the best of the best across multiple categories. This year’s winners include new-comers and veterans. See the list below and go to www.kapiawards.com for photos and more information, on each product.
Honorable Mentions go to Elfkin for creating a personal robot that includes a voice-activated messaging system that’s safe for young children and Dynepic for iOkids, a woman, and veteran owned company, creating an aggregated safe entertainment environment for kids.
Reyne Rice, Judge & Presenter at CES 2018: Kids at Play Innovations (KAPI) Awards: January 10th, 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada
What are the KAPi Awards? The 9th Annual KAPi (Kids at Play Interactive) Awards celebrates excellence in children’s media, presenting awards to some of the most deserving people and products in the kids’ tech industry. The KAPi prize identifies children’s technology products that raise the bar for innovation and excellence during the past 12 months.
Who selects the winners? Our panel of distinguished judges, representing all facets of the kids’ media business, engage in a series of conversations via phone and email to determine what the characteristics of good kids’ digital play should be and which nominated products are most deserving. http://kapiawards.com/faq-2/
Additional inquiries should be sent to:
Tonda Bunge Sellers, Producer
Originally appeared in the Spirit of Play international toy trade magazine.Spirit of Play Reyne Rice Tech article Dec 2017
New York Toy Fair opens this weekend and our toy trend expert, Reyne Rice, has a sneak peek at some of the coolest toys this year!
Lego continues to innovate toys for younger kids. The LEGO DUPLO Batcave Challenge lets Batman fans be their favorite superheroes and drive the Batmobile and Batcycle as they look for The Joker and Poison Ivy. Create fun action scenes using these LEGO DUPLO bricks that are two times the size of a classic brick to accommodate smaller hands and help develop motor skills. Visit shop.lego.com to learn more!
Klutz has new titles in their book-based activity kits including LEGO Make Your Own Movie. Bring your favorite Lego mini-figures to life with this beginner guide to stop-motion animation. Create short, funny clips on a phone or tablet using six backgrounds and thirty-six LEGO elements. Visit Klutz.com to learn more!
A follow up to Sew Mini Treats is Sew Mini Animals that lets you stitch and stuff an assortment of fuzzy animals from felt. These mini plushies deliver full-size fun and everything you need to make up to 14 animals is included. Add extra accessories like hats, bows, and glasses to personalize your animals. Visit Klutz.com to learn more!
From the all-new Klutz Jr. line for preschoolers, My Egg Carton Animals lets kids transform specially made egg cartons into 6 barnyard animals. Fun animal facts throughout the book give an added giggle as kids paint and add googly eyes, cotton balls, and precut accessories to make their very own farm animal friends. Visit Klutz.com to learn more!
Spin Master is reviving ZhuZhu Pets from their launch in 2009 with over 20 new Zhu’s to collect! Each little hamster has a special hidden talent to discover. With their unique personalities and unpredictable behavior, Pipsqueak, Mr. Squiggles, Num Nums and Chunk love to zoom around, dance, talk and even sing. Make sure to check these cute guys out at ZhuZhuPets.com!
Kids can have hours of fun with the Giant Volcano with T-Rex from Schleich Dinosaurs play world. Press the skull to release the stalactites, set the dinosaur trap, or hit the large stone to see the fossil puzzle erupt from the side of the volcano. This playset encourages your child to explore the exciting world of dinosaurs with over 30 additional dinosaurs to collect. Click here to learn more!
Following the collectability trend, Whiffer Sniffers have become the “It Toy” for kids who collect. The new Series 4 will be introduced this year including Sour Saul, and May B Minty that kids clip to their backpack or sports bag. They smell like everything from popcorn to jelly beans! Or take a chance with this mystery package to find a rare special edition character. Visit WhifferSniffers.com to learn more!
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Aeromax Toys brings imagination to life. The Get Real Gear, My 1st Career Gear Tops, and accessories lets kids pretend to be firefighters, astronauts, chefs, and more. Pretend play inspires kids to dream big and helps build self esteem in their developmental years. They are known for their quality and durability, along with an affordable price. Visit AeromaxToys.com to learn more!
The most exciting premise of these new technological toys is that they encourage kids to be active creators of their play experiences. By inspiring kids to embrace an active creator playstyle, instead of a passive consumer mindset, we are evolving kids into being vested in the process of building, making, creating and customizing their toys. This has developed a whole generation of kids that take more risks and are becoming more confident “Do-It-Yourself” kids. When kids start to ask “What if?”, then we have got them thinking. Encouraging experimentation and curiosity are important, active life skills.
Here is a review of the top new segments that are emerging, and some of the players that are leading the charge. Get excited, and get in on the fun. The best way to learn new technology is to place it into the hands of kids you know, and play right alongside them.
As kids become more sophisticated and adept at technology, their toy electronic pets have also become more interactive. The CogniToy Dino, is a cloud-based WiFi Connected Toy that allows kids to engage in intelligent conversations. C.H.I.P is an electronic puppy who is trained by their owner to follow a child, to learn tricks and even to play with an object that uses beacon sense smart technology (Wow-Wee).
Spin Master has created a variety of smart technology pets in multiple play iterations. Their Meccano Meccasaur uses sensors and touch-points that are built into the creature, so that kids just need to activate the touchpoints to get reactions such as roars, speech, attack mode and other playful sounds. Hatchimals, (Spin Master) offer a new form of nurturing play, to evolve new characters that actually hatch from their inner eggshell over time, to become unique, functioning, interactive pets. Zoomer Chimp is a playful chimpanzee that uses smart technology to sense its owner and to respond to tricks and commands.
So many new iterations here engage kids to teach and control their robots. Coji Emoticon Robot by Wow-Wee uses emoticons as the social and emotional intelligence programming language. Dash and Dot (Wonder Workshop) teach coding to preschoolers and older kids can create more sophisticated programs, such as devising obstacle courses, or building with accessories, to create more complicated stunts and actions. OzoBot mini one-inch robots and the Sphero BB-8 robot have both encouraged character-based play with coding sequences that surprise and delight kids as users.
From the smallest portable Pocket Drone, by Odyssey Toys that folds as flat as a credit card to the most sophisticated DJI Phantom 4K camera flying drones, there is a wide spectrum of flying RC drones to choose from. Horizon Hobby has launched their First-Person-View (FPV) drones to experience the thrill of racing, as seen through the pilot’s eyeglasses. Other key stand-out manufacturers in this segment include SilverLit, SkyRocket Toys, Revell, Carrera, and AuldeyToys.
1. Augmented Reality
More companies are using augmented reality technology in ways that are more elegant and playful, for the end user. AirHogs Connect: Mission Drone Augmented Reality RC, by Spin Master incorporates drone technology, and uses an augmented reality controller as a viewing device. The built-in play pattern is all about initiating and completing missions, while actively playing, and flying your drone.
Reach Robotics MekaMon battling Robots, Anki OverDrive Racing vehicles, and WowWee R.E.V vehicles and R.E.V Air drones all encourage kids to drive their air and land vehicles, with dexterity and purpose.
With a continued emphasis on STEM Learning, more manufacturers are adding coding, programming and logic-building into toys and games. The Fisher-Price Think N Learn Code-A-Pillar teaches the basics of computer programming to preschoolers who add segments to a caterpillar-shaped toy. Each connectable segment represents a coded command which the caterpillar will execute in sequence, such as turning, moving forward or reverse, adding sound components and more.
Vtech Go Go Smart toys, little Bits Gadgets & Gizmos, Sphero S.P.R.K Edition, Kosmos Verlag Kosmo Bits (CodeMaker in the USA), Happy Atoms by Thames & Kosmos, LEGO Education WeDo Version 2, HexBugs VEX Robotics, Marbotics alphabet blocks, Tiggly Learning, Edwin the Duck (pi labs), and OSMO (Tangible Play), are all new manufacturers who are joining this STEM to STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) movement.
Think & Learn Code-a-pillar™ | Fisher-Price
3. Virtual Reality
Google and Mattel partnered to re-invent the ViewMaster adding new 360 degree viewing capabilities to an old classic. Mel-Science has developed Science Kits that incorporate VR viewing in the final experiment stages, to make the learning even more relevant. Zing Toys has added a Green Screen Stage to their StikBots products, to encourage kids to create and share their digital movies and scenes, via an immensely popular social media gallery website.
These products bring concepts to life in a very tangible way, using 3D and 4D modeling. Whether kids use a 3D printer to create their toys, or a 3D doodling pen, to build products with filaments in the air, the excitement is in building something unique in the colors and combinations of the kids choosing.
Some examples include: Mattel ThingMaker 3D printer, XYZ Printing Robot Building Systems, 3D Magic ImagiPen (Tech 4 Kids), The original 3D Doodler Pen, and their newer 3D doodler Starter Kit, SkyRocket Toys 3D Chocolate Pen, and Redwood Ventures 3D Drawing Pen.