Electronic toys

Despite being one of the smaller sectors, youth electronics bought in over £100 million in 2010. We found out about the latest products to hit the sector.
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VTech 01235 555545

InnoTab is a touch screen pad style learning system, which combines educational games, creative activities and learning to read in a multi-function handheld device. The gadget boasts a state of the art G sensor control to support motion-based games, a built-in auto picture rotation, a five-inch LCD touch screen, a stylus pen, a display stand, SD card slot and USB cable.
InnoTab offers several fun and educational apps such as an e-book reader, art studio, colour and pop, an MP3 player and a video and photo viewer which come with the tablet straight out of the box. As well as downloading additional games and learning apps from the VTech Learning Lodge Navigator, the product’s capabilities can be easily expanded with additional cartridges such as Mickey Mouse Club House, Dora The Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Cars 2. Each cartridge features an animated e-book along with three learning games and two creative activities.
VTech’s Storio Interactive E-Reading System was the number one reading product of 2010 (287 NPD YTD December 2010). The product aims to deliver a fun and friendly way for children to learn and progress with reading at their own pace.
The animated storyteller for children has revolutionised reading for pre-schoolers and the new range of storybook cartridges on offer includes Winnie The Pooh, Toy Story 3, Mickey Mouse Club House, Cars 2, Disney Princess and Rapunzel (from the Disney film Tangled), allowing children to continue adding to their Storio collection. Storio is also available to buy in pink.
Finally, MobiGo Touch Learning System is the latest handheld touch-sensitive educational gaming system, which is now available with a new range of learning cartridges that includes Cars 2, Disney Princess, Mickey Mouse Club House and Scooby-Doo. MobiGo is also available to buy in pink.

Leapfrog 01895 201520

LeapFrog continues to develop its portfolio of electronic learning devices.
Its range of educational gaming products, including the Leapster Explorer and Leapster 2, will now be joined by the handheld tablet device, designed specifically for children – the LeapPad Explorer.
LeapFrog has combined the latest technology with an enhanced educational curriculum to develop the new LeapPad Explorer. The device comprises over 100 learning games, book apps and videos to help children extend their skills across a range of vital subjects including spelling, maths, science, music and world languages. It features a variety of popular characters to capture children’s imaginations and is fully compatible with the existing Leapster Explorer library.
The LeapPad features a five-inch colour touch screen with a 480 x 272 resolution and a motion-based sensor, creating an interactive experience which uses HD-like graphics. Additionally, LeapPad has 2GB of built-in memory, encouraging learning on the go. The handheld also comes with a built-in 2 mega pixel camera and video recorder, as well as a creative art app, which children can use to transform their pictures using an assortment of stamps and pens. The learning tablet device is suitable for children aged four and up.
Leapster Explorer is a demonstration of LeapFrog’s commitment to creating fun and interactive ways to engage children in learning through electronic play. Offering over 35 different learning and play experiences including e-books, games and videos, the Leapster Explorer provides many different ways to play, all in one console. Its educational games incorporate licensed characters, all displayed through Flash and 3D graphics. Additionally, Leapster Explorer provides children with a personalised learning experience that is tailored to their unique needs and skills.
The Leapster Explorer also supports a click-in camera and video accessory, which allows children to take pictures, record videos and edit their creations while learning about reading, mathematics and science. Children can also transform their pictures using stamps and borders and can transport their snaps into games to customise play. The Leapster Explorer is designed for four to nine year-olds.
The Leapster 2 handheld games console delivers a fun and secure learning experience while enabling children to enjoy gaming on the go. Children can connect their console to the Leapster 2 LeapWorld website allowing them to upload their gaming progress and access new content and rewards, including certificates, printables and bonus games. The console is designed for four to eight year-olds and comes complete with a preloaded gaming title, as well as
an additional download of the child’s choice.
LeapFrog’s range of electronic learning products allow parents to connect to LeapFrog’s online Learning Path, offering an opportunity to view their child’s progress. Using the PC and Mac compatible LeapFrog Connect Application, parents can easily download new games, puzzles or books for each product.

Mattel 01628 500 000

Mattel intends to spark imaginations with its electronic toys line-up.
New from the boys’ vehicle brand Hot Wheels, comes the first 1:64 scale car to feature a fully functional video camera. Hot Wheels Video Racer has a tiny camera built into the front of the car, as well as a high-spec LCD screen on the base so that fans can instantly play back and review their videos.
The car fits all Hot Wheels gravity track sets and can also be attached to the consumer’s bike, helmet or skateboard – in fact anything that moves. Using the very latest technology, Video Racer features adjustable resolution and filming speed and is both Mac and PC compatible.
Once their videos are uploaded, boys can use the free Video Racer software to add graphics, sound effects, music and transitions to their motoring masterpieces.
Brand new for autumn, Fijit Friends are Mattel’s latest offering in the girls electronics market. Due to innovative built-in voice recognition technology, Fijit Friends respond to children with a large number of movements, phrases and jokes. Beat sensors allow the robots to rock, twirl and bounce along to external music or their own in-built songs.
Password Journal from leading girl’s electronic brand, Girl Tech, continues to be a focus. Now with a super sleek translucent design, it includes a dual-tip pen for both UV and normal writing, an iPod connection and audio out socket to play music, with memory for girls to store their favourite songs.

Tomy Europe 01392 281900

Designed for pre-schoolers with a sturdy and chunky design, RC Koko comes with a simple remote control which fits easily into small hands. Retailing at around £20, RC Koko can spin 360 degrees on the spot, as well as zooming forwards. The new addition joins the existing RC Wilson in the Chuggington range.
Other models available from Tomy Europe’s RC portfolio are a range of RC tractors from the pre-school line, Britains Big Farm. The Case IH 140, New Holland T6070, and the John Deere 6430 tractors all continue to perform well for the brand. Each tractor is in 1:16 scale of the real thing and comes complete with accurate detailing, real steering and an easy to use remote.
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use, the RC tractors from the Big Farm range work on a number of frequencies so can be used simultaneously.
The Britains Farm Toys range also has RC offerings in the form of Radio Control 1:32 John Deere 7930 Tractor. Featuring digital proportional speed, LED headlights and front flashing lights, the accurate replica tractor is able to transmit up to 60-feet via the portable handset and comes complete with a 9.6v battery pack and recharger. The John Deere 7930 Tractor also includes a rear back up beep, an adjustable rear hitch and is fully compatible with most Britains trailers and implements for added play value.


Hasbro 020 8569 1234

Hasbro has added an electronic twist to some of its board games.
Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition is an ultra-modern version of Monopoly. Wave goodbye to bills and say hello to a new Monopoly bank card. Property can be scooped up with a swipe of plastic – but that’s not the only change for the new Electronic Banking edition. The board features new property locations with Kensington Palace Gardens replacing Mayfair in the dark blue space, reflecting the real life shift in the capital’s property prices. There is also modernised tokens and higher property values – you now get $2 million for passing go.
Bop-It XT is a follow up to the success of Bop-It. The active, think-fast game is back and better than ever for autumn 2011. The six commands are Bop it, Spin it, Flick it, Pull it, Twist it and the new Shake it. The game features play modes like Single Player, Pass It, One-on-One and Party, and four levels of play for ranging abilities. A headphone jack is also included in the Bop-It XT unit to allow kids to fine tune their skills quietly, or to plug-in speakers for group play.
The electronic memory skill game of Simon, made popular in the 80s has been brought back in the form of Simon Flash. The fast and intuitive play of the Hasbro Flash line continues with the new edition as players swap and switch the four electronic, coloured tiles to match the Simon colour sequence order called out by the game. Simon Flash features four games that challenge games of memory and logic, extending beyond the traditional Simon memory game. Players can enjoy solo Simon Flash play while travelling, or bring it to Family Game Night to play with friends and family. A storage case is included in the game for on-the-go play.


Brainstorm 01200 45113

New to Brainstorm’s Eureka Toys range is the RC Illuminated Moon. The moon automatically scrolls through 12 illuminated lunar phases, shining moonlight into any room.
A manual function allows the moon inside to match up to the moon outside. The authentic moonscape is very detailed and makes for a room accessory or night light. Information and facts can be found in the included full colour booklet.
The Deep Space Home Planetarium and Projector allows owners to explore the universe and transform rooms into a 360-degree planetarium.
The slide projector has three interchangeable slide disks to project 24-colour NASA and Hubble telescope images of spacecraft, astronauts, planets and nebulae onto the walls or ceiling. Deep Space transforms into a night light and includes a colour booklet with facts and information.
At a lower price point, the Eureka Toys Space Explorer Room Projector has 24-colour NASA and Hubble Telescope photographs, to project onto the wall. The educational booklet contains information about each NASA photograph.
Also new to the Eureka Toys range is the RC Illuminated Solar System, which includes a full sun with eight rotating planets that are operated by remote control. Detailed, colourful planets rotate on three separate orbits around the sun. Booklet included.


Flair 020 8643 0320

Flair’s Laser Stunt Chasers harness one of the latest innovations in the world of remote control.
The Stunt Chaser cars, named Dragonfire and Flameout, chase a projected light from an infrared remote control handset.
The new way to direct a vehicle gives added control, while the specially designed chassis allows the vehicle to perform stunts, flips and tricks, always landing on its light-up wheels and ready to go again.
As well as the Stunt Cars there will be several stunt sets to choose from – the Crash Zone with Flip Ramps, Cyclone Funnel Jump and the Loop the Loop track set that will extend the stunt possibilities further. CNN Money has tipped the toy as one of the hottest launches for 2011.
New to Flair’s RC Zibits range is the ZX34, a Mega Remote Controlled Zibit carrying tank. The ZX34 carries its Zibit passengers far and wide and even sucks up power orbs in order to fire them out of its chest.

Imagination Games 01270 619100

Following its success in Europe last year, Am I.... Napoleon brings electronics, in the form of the guessmo, to the family game table. Teams help the wearer of the guessmo head unit to work out who Am I... using either words or mime. Players only have 90-seconds to guess as many as they can. There are 1,000 different words to guess from – famous people, films, songs, places and more.
Play That Tune sold out in its first year and is a great new family game that any age can play. If you remember the film Big with Tom Hanks, imagine having the floor piano at home and playing a tune on it and letting your opponents guess the tune you’re playing – that’s Play That Tune.

HTI 01253 778888

HTi introduced the iball3 – an interactive memory game – at Toy Fair this year.
It has since been voted best game of 2011 by Hamleys and was listed in the top six electronic games by the Press Association. Five’s The Gadget Show also voted the iball3 as its best toy.
The iball3 is a clear ball with an electronic display inside, six lights and sound features. Designed for children from eight and over, the simple game was designed to fascinate and infuriate. How can something that seems so simple be so tricky?
All players have to do is work out the light sequences and turn the six lights all the same colour within a certain time. Each of the six lights has a choice of three colours initially, the ‘randomiser’ inside the iball3 creates literally over a million permutations and every 90 seconds the sequences change. There are two levels of play – solve level one and it gets harder as the game must be mastered with four colours.
Once completed the iball3 displays a unique i-code, which allows you to open up all the interactive aspects of the puzzle, and track your progress against other players through the iball3 website – www.iball3.com.


IMC 01904 720908

IMC has introduced a new line of licensed Cars 2 toys.
The new Air Hockey from Cars features a blower and once it is started, players slide the pieces over the surface with the launchers, beating their opponents by scoring as many goals as they can. The winner is the one with the highest score.
In the Cars Race Game players must negotiate a course with obstacles. Kids can take on the clock or take their time. Additional features include lights, sounds and different difficulty levels making this a challenging game of skill.
Kids can also drive around with the Steering Wheel with sounds. Designed to look like the steering wheel of Lightning McQueen, the product has movement sensor features. To drive fast, pull the steering wheel down, to brake, pull up. Turn the wheel right and left to hear real car sounds. The toy also includes lights, a horn and more.

Flying Toys 01702 295110

Flying Toys is distributing the AR.Drone, the world’s first quadricopter designed to be flown indoors or outside with an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and now Android handsets.
Tilt the iPhone, or similar approved touch screen device, to make the model travel forwards, backwards, left or right. Having mastered these basic techniques, slide the virtual throttle forward to climb and hold in a hover, then press land to safely descend. Diagonal movements will make the AR.Drone spin slowly in either direction, with a variable rate adjustment for increased control. Release the screen for immediate stabilisation.
Suitable for beginners and experts, the AR.Drone features a robust carbon fibre framework incorporating four powerful brushless motors driving high performance propellers with a tough expanded polypropylene foam protective body for indoor use. A streamlined hull is provided for flying outside, with pairs of red and green LED lights conveniently fitted front and back to assist orientation.
Vertical and horizontal video cameras stream live footage to an on-screen display on the iPhone or similar, with a high speed of 60 frames a second providing stabilisation for the vertical camera. An innovative detection system will identify other AR.Drones during a range of available games.
The AR.Drone includes a high capacity lithium polymer battery and will fly for up to 12 minutes, and recharges in an hour and a half using the mains charger.


Innovation First 01925 454093

Hexbugs use a range of technology including light, sound, touch and infra-red sensors to scuttle around their environments. Hexbug’s Spider, Inchworm, Crab and Ant all mimic the movements of the creatures they are named after.
On theme for Halloween, the new Hexbug Spider is the largest member of the family. Moving like a real spider, it is controlled by an infra-red control.
The Hexbug Inchworm is also controlled by an infra-red remote control which lets kids determine where it crawls. The Hexbug Inchworm is ideal for playtime as with two channels, two bugs can be operated independently or at the same time.
The Hexbug Crab uses autonomous light and sound sensors to hide in the dark and run from loud noises. Children can control how each Crab scurries and make it change direction by clapping their hands.
The Hexbug Ant is a high-speed micro robotic creature with probing, tactile antennas and hooked claws. The Ant has front and rear sensors which help it manoeuvre around objects and wheel-legs which propel it forwards, backwards and over objects at a high speed, protected by a hard exoskeleton casing.
Last but not least, the Hexbug Nano uses vibrations to propel forwards to explore its environment. With an uncanny sense of balance, it can flip itself back onto its feet and zoom forwards to navigate through the most complicated mazes.
The Nano family includes 15 different mutations and rare Nano mutations can be collected in all Starter and Habitat sets.

Meccano 01844 278888

Meccano’s Blazor is one of the fastest infra-red controlled robots on the market today, powered by iloveRobots’ AniMotion technology. Stalking through its surroundings, Blazor chases after prey and is available now.
Blazor’s AniMotion technology gives the toy the spring and traction it needs to tackle even the toughest opponents. Suitable for ages five and up, Blazor’s sensors let it detect changes in the environment and respond to them in a split second, avoiding obstacles to pursue prey. Blazor also features sound, communicating moods in growls, roars and screeches.
Blazor’s infra-red controller allows different play modes so that all young roboticists can experiment with the functions. Choose from standard infra-red play, search, or ramp up the action with search and destroy mode, guard mode or sound mode. The toy is also equipped with a switch in its jaw which allows for input even without the controller. It can also sense other Blazors.
Sue Barratt, country manager for Meccano UK, says: “Blazor is an awesome addition to our massively popular portfolio of robots, complementing Meccano’s Spykee the wi-fi spy robot.
“We are convinced that retailers will see Blazor as an extremely affordable toy which includes huge added value play features, such as remote control, interactivity, intuitive intelligence and realistic sounds, as well as speed and motion.”

Jakks Pacific 01344 638900

Spy Net’s web of surveillance has gathered pace since its launch in August last year. Its feature packed SpyNetHQ.com has had nearly 200,000 unique visitors, where users are downloading missions and uploading their evidence captured. Autumn/winter sees the release of the Stealth Recording Glasses. With a secret camera imbedded in the bridge of the sunglasses, they will record everywhere the wearer looks. Up to 20 minutes of footage can be recorded and uploaded to a personal hub on SpyNetHQ.com.
The Bionic Ear will listen for conversations through walls, doors and windows – sending every word to a set of earphones.
The Laser Trip Wire will catch out any intruder with a laser which can extend to 100-feet to trip up any suspects and the alarm will sound when they break the beam.
Three products are being TV advertised for the second half of the year. The Spy Watch, which makes secret videos; the Night Vision Binoculars, which can see 50-feet in total darkness and the Stealth Recording Glasses. Support includes 400 TVRs and PR.
New in Jakks plug ‘n’ play TV games is the Cars 2 Racing Video TV game. Fire up the ignition, push the gear stick for turbo boost and turn the steering wheel to race across multiple tracks with McQueen and other characters.
Golden Tee is based on the successful golf arcade game and comes complete with a real trackball controller.
Jakks also has licences such as Stars Wars, Spider-man and Toy Story in the Basic and Motion Controller range – move the controller to move the X-Wing fighter across the screen. New for Q4 this year.

Spin Master 01628 535000

Air Hogs is the market leader in RC Toys (Number one RC Toy Manufacturer and Property – NPD EPOS YTD June 2011) and has grown 58 per cent in 2011 (NPD EPOS YTD June 2011). Air Hogs aims to deliver innovation but also superior performance without the hefty RC price tag.
The Air Hogs Vectron Wave is now back on TV screens. The Vectron Wave hovers in the air using obstacle sensors to detect the proximity to the ground and placing a hand underneath it controls its altitude.
The Air Hogs Sharp Shooter will also be flying onto television screens this autumn. No target is safe from the pinpoint accuracy of the original indoor missile-launching Sharp Shooter helicopter. With its patented Steady Fly Technology for stable flight, its arsenal of plastic missiles can blast enemies with the push of a button.
Both products will help to showcase the Air Hogs brand when it forms part of a CITV sponsorship campaign, along with other Spin Master boys brands, Bakugan and Tech Deck, this autumn.
The new Air Hogs Hyper Actives Stunt – the double-sided vehicle which can perform unstoppable stunts including flips, jumps, and 360-degree spins – will also feature within the CITV sponsorship programme which begins in September.


Vivid Imaginations 01483 449944

AniMagic sees the arrival of Benji My Best Friend in autumn/winter. The puppy will let kids know that it’s pleased to see them by barking, sitting up and wagging its tail. The toy plays tug of war with a rope growling playfully and when tired it will lie down.
Also available is Sunny My Pick me up Puppy. It will jump up and down when it sees someone and can be calmed when picked up and stroked. The AniMagic range will be supported this autumn/winter with TV and an extensive PR campaign.
Vivid also has some classic family games on the go. Fun favourite Bop-It is now available in a convenient handheld size so players can Bop-It, Pull-it or Twist-It anywhere. For the more strategic players, there is Battleship the original tactical combat game and, finally, there is Operation for players who want to test their operating skills on Cavity Sam. All games come in an electronic-carabiner format.

Worlds Apart 0800 389 591

The vocal Winnie the Pooh Interactive Friend was made to become an integral part of a child’s daily activities, allowing them to role-play by mirroring their own routines throughout the day with Pooh. Designed to be simple to set up, parents can adjust Pooh’s settings to match existing routines and the bear then changes modes throughout the day to playfully engage with children, using over 50 phrases.
Equipped with a honey pot and spoon for meal times, the battery operated Pooh alerts children when he gets hungry (‘I’ve got a rumbly in my tumbly’), asks to get dressed in the morning and is ready for bed at the right time for your child (‘good night friend’). The interactive cuddly toy aims to become a friendly day-long companion for a child and has numerous play options, such as an interactive hide and seek game and variety of phrases. The new learning aid promotes physical activity and coordination and was designed to offer play value.
The innovative plush toy is the core product in Worlds Apart’s latest range based on new film themes and characters. Working closely with Disney, sponsorship activities for the Interactive Friend will be running on Disney’s TV channels and its digital platforms. Further electronic items in the range include the themed Toddler Bed, Go Glow Clock Bedtime Trainer, Go Glow Light and more. Worlds Apart is supporting the full collection with PR and marketing activity.


Wowwee 01295 711588

Lite Sprites give girls the power to capture, transfer and share colour and light in the world of Lite-Topia. It’s the home of the Lite Sprites, which each have a coloured light they can share with other Sprites and play-sets. There are five Lite Sprites to choose from, each with its own back story. There is a Lite Wand that can collect and share new colours and comes with a series of games. Colourful and interactive Deluxe Play-sets and the Tree Of Lite are also available. Recommended for ages four and over.
A multi platform campaign is planned to promote Lite Sprites and build collectability. 500 TVRs will be delivered through October, November and December. Three creatives will be rotated on air, including a new ad starring the Tree of Lite and positioning it as a Christmas purchase. A PR programme will also be in place.
Light Strike is an interactive gaming system that brings video games into the real world. Light and sound effects put players in the middle of combat, creating ever-changing battle scenarios. There are individual challenges to conquer, one-on-one play or team battles. The range has built-in weapon choices and slots to attach accessories.
Light Strike’s Christmas marketing campaign launches in October and runs through to Christmas. The ad will deliver over 500 TVRs. For the month of October there is a promotion with Cartoon Network based around an interactive transmedia series: Light Strike Arena. The campaign will run on TV and online.
New to the Paper Jamz collection is the Pro Microphone and Paper Jamz Pro Guitar. Download the Paper Jamz Pro App to customise and add personal music to suit all musical tastes.
The new Paper Jamz Pro series featuring the Pro Microphone and the Paper Jamz Pro Guitar will be promoted with a 500 ratings campaign running from October to December.


Wow Stuff 0870 054 6000

Air Swimmers are giant-sized flying fish and come in two species – choose from the flying clownfish or the flying shark.
The Air Swimmers are simple to control in even the tightest of spaces. Using the radio control handset the fish can be manoeuvred forwards, backwards, sideways and up and down by moving the feeder fish. The controls are precise enough to make the fish fly upstairs or downstairs.
Air Swimmers need to be filled with helium in order to fly. Helium is readily available from florists or party shops and other than that, the fish are ready to fly straight out of the box.
My Keepon is a YouTube hit with over four million views. Wow Stuff is expecting the squishy yellow dancing creature to be the biggest toy craze this Christmas period.
My Keepon was born of a project between two scientists, one based in NY and the other in Japan. The original model hit YouTube and attracted millions of viewers and was spotted by Wow Stuff directors, who asked if the robot could be made into a toy.
The interactive traits of My Keepon include touch reactivity and an ability to listen to music, detect the beat and dance in perfect rhythm. My Keepon was made to be engaged with, as it responds not only to the music, but also to movements and sounds, such as clapping. Wow Stuff believes that My Keepon’s life-like movements and cute-factor means it has universal appeal, making it a completely unique toy.
Annoying Monsters is the latest range of interactive toys from the 50 Fifty group. The five monsters each have four different sensors, which when activated, do something funny.
The monsters were expelled from Planet Boggus by Queen Griselda, who found them just too annoying. So now they’ve arrived and all they want to do is meet people and annoy them. Each cheeky character has its own name and annoying habits to entertain family and friends.


Zapf Creation 0845 0533 333

Baby Born is entering the RC scene, just in time for its 20th anniversary.
Baby Born will be making tracks in its brand new all-terrain Baby Born Adventure Quad. The quad comes with a radio control and a harness for Baby Born. The bright pink quad is suitable for children aged three plus.
Also in Baby Born’s RC range is the fashionable and retro style pink City Scooter. The remote control has an easy to use function for younger children providing greater play value. Baby Born City Scooter is suitable for girls aged three and up.


Playmobil 01268 548111

The 1.2.3. Interactive Play and Learn Farm is designed to make learning numbers, colours, animals and their sounds easy. The farm has different buttons which teach sounds, numbers, colours and languages. Match the right sound, number or colour by placing the animals on the grass and a friendly voice will say whether or not it’s correct. There’s also a shape sorter in the roof and a farmer to watch over all the animals.
The Robo-Gangsters have some tricky tools for their battle to conquer the world. Their SUV can film high quality visuals from its Spy Camera, which can then be connected to a PC to produce videos of adventures. The vehicle’s firing mechanism can launch chaos capsules to cause worldwide mayhem. Add the long range Remote Control Module and combine with the Spy Camera Set to ensure swift getaways around difficult corners.

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