Too cool for school

Tough times for retail mean products with added value are key to keeping sales up. Science and educational toys are ideal and appeal to parents and kids alike with emphasis on learning through play. ToyNews takes a look at what's available...
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GREAT GIZMOS

Leading the way for the firm is the Weather Station. Kids can keep track of weather changes while learning facts about the weather and carrying out experiments on the greenhouse effect. Other items include a Potato Clock and a Water Filter.

Within Great Gizmos’ own-brand label, two new ranges will launch this year including Power Circuits and Power Lights. These new kits are all about home accessories. Power Lights are three new metallic silver LED light kits each designed to produce a different lighting effect. Completing the collection are Power Circuits, three further kits including a multi positional Desk Lamp, a Fan and an Electronic Door Bell.

INTERPLAY

The Girls’ Wild Science kits include the Perfume Laboratory and Bath Bomb Factory, which will continue to be supported by TV with further commercials for Luxury Soap Science.
Another TV line will be the new Technokits for girls which introduce them to light refraction and simple motorised mechanics.
For boys, a new licensed collection of science hobby kits are available with the introduction of the Dangerous Books for Boys Science Discovery Kits. There are five to choose from.
The new Science Discovery Kits (£5.99) are presented in a special CDU. Finally, Living World, Technokits and Wild Science for boys complete the portfolio from Interplay.

MATTEL

Following on from the Smart Cycle, 3 in 1 Smart Sports and Smart Playground deliver new ways to experience engaging, ‘active learning’ in a TV-based plug-n-play format.
Smart Playground encourages children to stay physically active as they walk, run, jump and stomp their way through ten different learning activities and games using an interactive plug-n-play activity mat.
3-in-1 Smart Sports also connects directly to the TV and comes with three interchangeable pieces of wireless sports equipment. Kids will actively play their way through learning games and activities, mastering basics including numbers, letters, colours, shapes and more.
Both products will benefit from a major marketing campaign including TV ads and PR.

RE:CREATION

H2Go is a remote controlled car powered purely by solar energy. Power for the H2Go is delivered by an on-board hydrogen fuel cell, where sun and water supply renewable energy for play.
The H2Go set features a refuelling station, a solar power panel and the hydrogen-powered, r/c car and remote control. Consumers need only add water to the refuelling station.
Powered by solar energy, the refuelling station splits water by electrolysis into its two basic elements, oxygen and hydrogen, which is captured for use as power for the car.
Elsewhere, the Sprig Adventure Series is made from Sprigwood, a material derived from recycled wood and reclaimed plastic. The toys also harness the natural energy of push-and-pump-action play to power lights and other electronics – all without batteries. Adventure Guide characters wearing LED-lit hats plug into the vehicles and engage pre-schoolers with audio.
The Sprig Adventure Series is built around The Discover Rig (£49.99) vehicle with removable push bar, which is powered by kinetic energy.
The Sidekick line of smaller, pump-action powered vehicles, meanwhile, includes the Rally Racer car and the Baja Scout dune buggy.

HALSALL

Halsall’s Science Museum range is boosted with a range of sets developed in line with key stages one and two of the National Curriculum. The collection includes an eco-friendly range of green toys. The new Recycling Bin with split compartments teaches about recycling waste, while the Eco Composter enables kids to recycle kitchen and garden waste by making their own compost.
The Solar Eco-House and Solar Powered Speed Boat are powered by solar energy or batteries when indoors. Also available are compact Test Tubes containing eco science experiment kits, a Smart Electronic Interactive Globe, plus new Exploring Kits.

CHARACTER OPTIONS

Sea Monkeys are instant live pets. First fill the tank with bottled water and add the purification mix. Leave to stand for 24 hours and then release the monkeys. The pets will double in size after one day and will introduce children to simple reproduction.
The collection includes the Ocean Zoo Tank with eggs, food and water purifier; Grow and Show, includes all this plus a portable tank; and the Deluxe Gift Set includes a haunted sunken ship that glows in the dark.

FIESTA CRAFTS

Multiplay is a mathematical game that helps children improve their numeric skills. With three games in one, Multiplay has mathematical variations on the classic pastimes with Times Table Bingo and Go Fish, as well as the fast moving test of Quick-fire Multiplay. All three games require quick thinking and a grasp of the basic times tables. A times table square is also included to help children learn.

DAN JAM TOYS

Stack and Count Thomas helps children learn to count. The wooden Thomas comes with removable barrel pieces.
Little ones can learn to tell the time with help from the Stacking Thomas Clock. Also in the range is the Abacus and Picture Blocks.
Bob’s Tumbling Tool Tower is a stacking game for up to four players. Children take it in turns to stack their tools, while the other side of the board teaches children to match up colours, numbers, dots and tools. Other products available in the Bob range include the Learning Frame, Multi Character Stacker and Abacus. To help with counting, the In the Night Garden Stacking Blocks feature numbers, characters and phrases. Also available is the Learning Frame and 2D Stacking Characters.

DKL

Wonderworld has created wooden toys to stimulate a child’s developmental needs from birth to six years old with an educational toy range including colourful shape sorters, alphabet blocks, stacking rings and counting toys.
The Rainbow Sound Blocks, suitable from 24 months plus, encourage toddlers to sort and match colours, as well as associating sounds with size and quantity.
Included in the range are fun bead frames which improve motor skills, cognitive development and hand/eye co-ordination, and mini vehicles. The new Modern house dolls house is equipped with modern looking furniture with a set of three family dolls. Also new to the range is the Breakfast Tray.
Children from three years can enjoy Wonderworld’s range of games and puzzles. These include Traffic 3D Domino, a strategy game, Chicky Memo, a memory game and Eco Town, a classic dice board game.

RED ROBIN TOYS

Red Robin Toys’ science range is designed to feed inquisitive minds with projects and experiments.
Swamp Monsters perform a constant water ballet, while growing at an alarming rate. Doubling in size each day, the creatures grow from microscopic dots to beasts of the pond.
Available in a range of sets from the Swamp Monster Starter set to Seaopolis, with its multi-compartment aquarium with separate hatchery pools so kids can have Swamp Monsters at all stages of growth.
Completing the science range are a range of educational sets with experiments teaching all about Volcanos, Dinosaurs and Rock & Gems. A new addition this year is the Wiggly Worm World where children can learn all about the mysterious world of the common garden worm.

JAMES GALT

2009 sees Galt launch Elmer’s Products new exploratory kits, the Scientific Explorer range. The collection introduces children to science and the elements and is aimed at children aged five and upwards.
The ‘My First’ range of kits includes My First Geology Kit featuring nine rock and mineral specimens; My First Weather Kit; My First Chemistry Kit; My First Dino Kit and My First Aeroplane Kit, allowing children to build up to four trick card aeroplanes, a balsa wood glider and a foam jet plane and customising them with the paintbrush pens and stickers included. All the kits include a user guide and retail at £9.99.
Also included in the Scientific Explorer range, but aimed at slightly older children, is a Rocket Car kit to construct and race a land speed challenger powered by bicarbonate of soda and vinegar; a Disgusting Science kit with experiments; a Perfumery Kit for making exotic fragrances; a Spa Science kit and the Ultimate Spa and Perfume kit, which lets children experiment with essential oils to create new fragrances, scented bath fizzers, face masks and much more.
Elmer’s Products is based in Columbus, Ohio and offers a full range of arts, crafts, educational and licensed products.

WOW TOYS

Wow Toys aim to stimulate learning though creative play and discovery. Educational value coupled with solid and brightly colored rounded shapes are safe, robust and ideal for small hands. Powerful friction motors eliminate the use for any batteries and power the mechanical features such as winches and pulleys.
 In 2008, Wow was presented with a number of UK toy awards including the Overall Award Winner for The Good Toy Guide. The Guide’s main focus is to test toys for fun, entertainment, amusement, inspiration and engagement.
Comments from the judges included: “Teachers and parents alike were impressed with the way in which these toys encouraged conversation and imaginary play, with lots of learning taking place along the way. We found that very young children could also enjoy the simple movement of the vehicles, while older toddlers and pre-schoolers could get their imaginations going with the accessories and figures”.
 The toys introduce kids to themes from real life including helicopters, submarines, tractors, police cars, diggers and combine harvesters.

MECCANO

A number of new robots have been introduced into the Spykee Robot family.
Spykee Mini Vox is a voice-controlled robot with eight voice orders including movement, dance and attack. The in-built sound and light system activate as he whizzes about to voice commands. Mini Vox’s arms and legs can be positioned into different poses and he makes multi-colour facial expressions.
Spykee Cell is operated by a mobile phone using Bluetooth technology. Use a phone to control movements including the motorised head, to take pictures with the webcam and save onto the phone, as an iPod docking station or as a hands free set for mobile calls. The robot comes with 160 parts allowing two styles to be created.
Another recent release is Spykee Vox, an interactive robot that is voice-controlled and has different facial expressions, movements, sounds and lights. With its iPod docking station, it allows the user to play an iPod through their voice. There are three robot styles to be built with more than 200 parts.
The original Spykee (£249.99) is also available alongside Spykee Micro and Spykee Micro Cell, which are both controlled via infrared remote control and include light and sound effects.

IMAGINATION GAMES

Imagination is launching a new game in 2009. The primary intention is to use medical facts to teach kids about the importance of hygiene, health, nutrition and exercise.
While being occasionally medically graphic, the game does not engage in socially and politically controversial subject matter. It is intended to provide a positive and encouraging base for life health for kids and families. The target group is families with kids aged six to 16.
The board itself is a cartoon graphic in the shape of a body. The body includes elements of exposed muscle groups, some skeletal groups, some internal organs, oozing cuts and visible brain hemisphere on one side and external elements of skin, eye and ear on the other. There is a section magnified to show blood cells and a magnification of the magnification to show basic bacteria, virus and the human immune system phage and immunoglobin prepared to fight back.
Players, while travelling around the board, must correctly answer three questions from each category to build health. Once achieved, the player qualifies for the random card to finish the game. The category descriptions include Scrapes and Scabs, which deals with most basic health concepts of hygiene as its primary focus and how scabs protect your body from infection. The category also includes medical techniques of stitching, wound protection and inspection.
 The second category, Blood and Guts features humorous and disgusting facts to teach basic internal medical health concepts. The section also touches upon the science of blood stream and internal organs and recognises common portals of internal infection. The category also teaches about the benefits of vitamins and antibiotics.
Finally, the Blubber and Buff category provokes questions regarding positive health choices. The section offers insight into the way the body interacts with the world for improving muscle strength while exposing dangers of inactivity, unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles. There is an admitted and obvious bias to promote the buff aspect of the two choices. This is the activity and interactivity category.

BRAINSTORM

Brainstorm is the exclusive UK and Republic of Ireland distributor of the Smartlab range of products. All kits include books to encourage a child’s natural curiosity and tie directly into the science behind each toy.
Kids get eye-to-eye with the anatomy of a Great White Shark with the snap-together Shark Model and a book of shark facts. The Human Body kit gives a guided tour of the body with a human body model.
The Remote Control Rocket comes with launch pad, remote launcher and a book of space information. The Voice Changer kit allows children to choose between a squeaky, scary, robotic or booming voice, while learning about the science of sound. With a book full of information about safes, locks, escapology and more, the Double Security Safe allows kids to build a safe with their own secret code.
2009 also sees Brainstorm launch products developed in conjunction with the Natural History Museum. The Earth Globe contains a 30cm modern globe and a poster featuring a reproduction of a map from 1787. On the reverse are details of ten voyages of early exploration with images from the Natural History Museum archives.
 The Natural History Museum Animal Detective is an animal spotting game with a 50cm inflatable animal globe and 68 clue cards. With four skill levels, players of all ages can play together.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex Scan is a scanner that gives kids an under-the-skin look at a T.Rex skeleton and includes a colour poster packed with information about the predator. The Glow 3D Dinosaurs feature three styles to choose from.
The Original Glowstars Company brand also continues with Glow Superstars – over 500 stars and cosmic shapes to launch a bedroom into outer space – and the Glow Solar System Kit.
New to the range are the Uncle Milton Star Wars Science toys distributed in the UK and Republic of Ireland by Brainstorm. Highlights include The Force Trainer, which allows control of a Jedi Training Remote using your mind, by tapping into cutting-edge brainwave technology. The Optical Command Unit is a multi-functional reconnaissance device that can be assembled into three configurations – binoculars, microscope and mini-projector. The Darth Vader Robotic Arm kit shows you how to build a robotic arm and lets you grip and move real objects with interactive controls.
The Naboo Sea Creatures Habitat is a detailed environment to raise creatures similar to the inhabitants of that distant planet. The Jedi Telescope can be used to scan the skies or to dial up images of Star Wars planets.
The Jedi Projector displays projections of starships and other vehicles from The Clone Wars and comes with a CD audio tour. The Mustafar Volcano Kit allows you to create volcanic eruptions and lava flows in a detailed reproduction of the planet Mustafar. It includes a figurine of Anakin and Obi-Wan in their epic battle. Product will roll out in late summer.

LEAPFROG

LeapFrog’s new toddler-sized book explorer, the Tag Junior book pal, will be available this summer. The Tag Junior system helps youngsters to build a lasting interest in reading. Classic books, favourite characters and original titles make up the seven-book Tag Junior library.
The Tag Junior pal is a character-based handheld device that toddlers can use to interact with specially printed board books. By simply touching the base of the book pal anywhere on any page of a Tag Junior board book, children can hear each page read aloud, hear sound effects embedded in the pictures and listen to music.
2009 will also see the Tag Reading System library expand to 18 books by year-end including licences like Ben 10, Disney Fairies and The Clone Wars.
My Pal Scout is a soft toy that connects to the internet. Parents can download their child’s name, favourite colour, animal and foods, plus songs and activities. Four active paw triggers allow the words and sounds to be played back, introducing babies from 12 months and over to numbers, letters, emotional skills and daily routines.
The interactive plush is available in green, My Pal Scout, and violet, My Pal Violet. The products both link to the LeapFrog Learning Path and are the first products on the LeapFrog learning journey that continues with Tag Junior, Tag Reading System and Leapster2 Learning Game System.
The Learning Path links with LeapFrog products to provide parents with an explanation of the skills their children are exploring, how often they play a particular game and ideas for parents to enhance further learning.
LeapFrog has also joined forces with Disney to develop the Zippity high–energy learning system, an interactive TV-based gaming system for pre-schoolers combining full body movement, music and education.
Combining LeapFrog’s learning products expertise with Disney’s story-telling heritage and curriculum-oriented programming for pre-schoolers, the Zippity system lets kids dance, jump and move with characters from Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins, Winnie the Pooh, Disney Princess and Disney/Pixar’s Cars. Kids can gain an understanding of maths, language, music and culture.
Zippity features eight learning games using an interactive mat for lower-body movement, like running, dancing, jumping and marching, and a tummy-high giant joystick, or ‘bopper’, for upper body action. The system comes with a foldable mat and bopper.
There will be three additional Zippity games on offer featuring Disney Princess and Disney/Pixar Cars, as well as a game based on the upcoming film The Princess and the Frog.

RAVENSBURGER

avensburger’s 2009 range offers a variety of educational games and puzzles, many of which combine TV characters with contents that support skills outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
New games include Bob the Builder Shapes and Colours, which uses plastic playing pieces and sturdy game boards to develop colour and shape recognition and spatial awareness. Also new is the Thomas and Friends Opposites Game containing jigsaw cut playing pieces illustrating word associations (Stop/Go, Night/Day, Full/Empty, etc). All the cards are cut differently, so that only the correct answers will fit together. These products sit alongside existing educational offerings My First Words and Snails Pace Race, which has been re-introduced due to popular demand.
Ravensburger’s children’s puzzle range, which was up three per cent in NPD’s November 2008 data, offers key educational themes linked in with licensed characters.
The Numberjacks Giant Floor puzzle was developed in consultation with series creator Chris Ellis specifically as a first introduction to numbers. The Ravensburger team worked with Ellis on every aspect of the product – from the 21-piece puzzle cutter to the activity sheet which gives parents lots of ideas of how to use the puzzle to help build important pre-school number skills.
The company is also expanding its generic range to include a richly-illustrated British Isles map.
The giant floor puzzle is cut to 60 pieces and, in addition to showing places of interest, also illustrates examples of crops, livestock and fish farmed across the country.

SCHLEICH

chleich’s Sea Life range is not just for play, but an educational series of hand painted replicas that reveal the world of the deep blue sea.
Many different types of sea creatures are available including a Giant Octopus, Walrus, Blue Whale and a variety of sharks.
In a scale of 1:32, each figure comes equipped with an information booklet containing its scientific data and facts about the creature.
The Sea Life replicas are designed for children’s hands and create a true reflection of nature on a smaller scale. They are ideal for creating an underwater world, for school projects or just for role-play.
The company has many different collections of animals which are all anatomically correct and offer a way to help children discover the world around them in the most natural way possible.

MARBEL

Introduced last year, the Marbel science range features 20 products. Starting at pocket money prices, the Pocket Torch, Three Section Bug Viewer and Wrist Compass all retail for under £2.50. The mid-range price points include a Dynamo Torch, Globe and Water Clock. Finally the world of science is brought into the bedroom with the larger items including Metal Detectors, Microscopes and Telescopes.
PlanToys create toys according to the aim ‘innovative toys for the development of every child’. The brand incorporates thoughtful design and age-appropriate challenges to encourage social interaction, promote natural learning, creative play and reward discovery. For instance the new Build and Roll aids children to develop fine motor skills such as hand-eye co-ordination. All the toys are produced from sustainable rubberwood and are finished with preservative and non-toxic paints.

TACTIC GAMES

Powertech is a range of six educational construction lines including an electronic beeper, electronic bubble machine, electronic ball machine, electronic ball collector, magnetic calendar and sundial.
The products are high-tech models for children to build and use and each can be dismantled and built again.
Each pack includes stickers to add the finishing touch to the model.

THUMBS UP

The Magic Fun Fly Stick uses the power of static charge to levitate and control foil shapes and other lightweight items. It really can make things fly.
Special foil flying shapes such as butterflies, flowers, orbs and spheres are included with the stick and these can be guided through the air by the magic of the Fun Fly Stick. There are no hidden wires or threads and the real magic is the science of positive and negative charge attraction.
The secret is that the Fun Fly Stick is a clever portable version of the well-known Van de Graaff Generator.
Unlike the kinds of Van De Graff generators that can be seen in science museums, the Fun Fly Stick doesn’t have an electrical shock-type discharge and doesn’t produce sparks, so it’s a safe toy.
There is also a wide variety of experiments and electrical effects which the Stick can demonstrate, giving it educational value.

VTECH

VTech is introducing the Soar and Explore Globe to its pre-school range of interactive toys. The globe lets children take a tour of the world using an interactive plane, which is controlled by an infra red joystick. The globe features eight modes of play introducing famous places, people of the world, animals, food culture, music and different languages. It includes free play mode to encourage independent and repetitive play and lots of sound effects and music to enhance the play experience.
The company is also expanding its Electronic Learning Computers (ELC) range, with additions including the new Media Desktop and enhancement of the Knowledge Notebook for 2009.
The new Media Desktop is a desktop computer with 60 games and activities. It includes subjects like English, French, maths, science and social skills, all of which cover Key Stage 1 skills with some activities touching on Key Stage 2. Children can plug in their MP3 player and listen to their own music while playing games. Children can also access the internet via a PC and log on to Planet VTech, which will feature additional games and activities to download. The desktop includes a full Qwerty keyboard, mouse and mousepad.
The enhanced Knowledge Notebook for 2009 comes with a free backpack. The notebook has 80 activities that reinforce Key Stage 1 French, maths, English, history, geography, logic, science facts and trivia. The laptop features a Progress Report to assess how well the player is doing, while the Advanced Memory System guides children and automatically adjusts to match their learning level. The notebook also includes two-player mode, two bonus cartridges, Qwerty keyboard and mouse.

GREEN BOARD GAMES

Green Board Games’ range of Snap and Pairs are designed to be both educational and fun.
To play Snap, match the number with the equation equivalents, ie ‘24’ would snap with ‘12x2’ or ‘6x4’ or ‘8x3’. To play pairs, place all the cards face down and take turns in turning over two cards, remembering what you have seen. The player with the most pairs wins.
The games have a suggested retail price of £4 per pack, which offers retailers a 50 per cent margin.

UNIVERSITY GAMES

Totally Gross covers all the major scientific disciplines and features experiments, activities and a jar of goo for scoring.
The firm also has a range of glow-in-the-dark items. Children can create a night sky inside their bedrooms and learn about stars, constellations and planets. The Wonder Stars Super Kit and the Colourful Twinkle Stars Super Kit, with 150 stars per package, provide the best value and the firm will also be offering several new items in its glow-in-the-dark line of planets and stars, including Giant Planet Stick-Ons and the Phases of the Moon boxed kit which features eight 3D moons and a Lunar Guidebook.
University Games has added to its Eric Carle line with the new ABC Game. Children learn to recognise the alphabet, understand letter sounds and make letter associations with each animal image. In The Very Busy Spider Game, children work together to create a spider web, learning to recognise colours, numbers and animal sounds as they go, while From Head to Toe is a learn to move game where players perform a series of actions depicted on oversized cards.

JOHN CRANE

John Crane’s Touch and Feel Puzzles from the Branching Out collection stimulate the senses with the addition of fur and fleece, revealed as each animal piece is lifted from the tray.
There are two designs in the collection. The Touch and Feel Safari features a monkey, cheetah, lion and zebra, while the Touch and Feel Farmyard has a cow, chicken, sheep and pig.
For more educational play, there are the new Texture Puzzle Bugs, which follow the sensory theme. Four mini-beasts sit on the wooden tray puzzle – a ladybird, butterfly, frog and snail. Each bug has its own unique tactile parts such as crinkly wings, zig-zag legs and knotty antennae.

TRENDS UK

Science and Education toys form part of the core range from Trends UK, with the National Geographic Science series now in its seventh year and continuing to provide quality product supported by high levels of investment in promotional support.
New launches under National Geographic this year include the introduction of an electronics range. Children can learn all about electronic circuitry, while at the same time discovering items such as a digital alarm clock and a working water fountain.
Also new are FM Walkie Talkies with a 200-metre range, a Butterfly Garden, plus two Animal Kits that cover, among others, endangered species from the International Red List of protected wildlife. The 2009 range concludes with the launch of a Chemistry Kit with over 50 experiments.
The Explorer Kit is designed to encourage kids to take a closer look at their outdoor surroundings.
The Kit comes complete with binoculars, compass, torch and magnifying glass. The Explorer Kit is suitable for children from the age of six, encouraging them to learn and play in the great outdoors.
Trends has also added the Haynes Build Your Own Internal Combustion Engine kit to its range, which allows children to construct a working model of a petrol car engine with ignition sound and illuminating spark plugs. The kit contains all the tools and over 100 parts needed to assemble the model, as well as a Haynes manual for clear step-by-step instructions. With Haynes publishing around 300 manuals for real-life cars in the UK, the kit introduces children from the age of ten to realistic instruction manuals. Complementing the Internal Combustion Engine, 2009 sees the launch of four classic cars, co–branded with Haynes and Airfix.

THE SCIENCE MUSEUM

2009/2010 is shaping up to be a strong year for Science Museum-branded items.
Highlights include a strong offering from Wow Stuff featuring an air and land vehicle, an indoor flyer that is set to take the nation’s living rooms by storm and Hydro-Phobic Sand which will never get wet. Zeon Tech is introducing a number of new innovations such as a range of water powered clocks and calculators. Version 3 of the Robot Bank will also be available at Christmas.
Halsall has developed a range specifically for the brand including eco-themed test tube shaped kits packed full of activities. Great Gizmos is striding forward with a new range of build it yourself kits. Also new for 09/10 is a Science Museum version of the Brain Box series from Green Board Games.

JC GAMES

JC Games’ first board game, Blackhole employs phonetic two-letter combinations. Players make words from the letters collected while travelling around the space-themed board, negotiating wormholes and black holes. Scores are recorded on the stars and eight planets that circle the games-board.
The unique structure of Qb utilises vowels, consonants and two-letter combinations on 48 colour-coded cubes. Each player holds five cubes. The large choice of letters makes it easier to form words in Qb than in traditional word games based on letter tiles. The combination letters enable words to be linked to the crossword grid.
Plans to launch Qb in mainland Europe in 2009/10 are under way.

GIBSONS GAMES

Gibsons has launched a range of educational children’s puzzles entitled My World. Created in conjunction with child psychologist, Dr Amanda Gummer, the jigsaws are developmentally appropriate at every stage, linking to the Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum.
These ‘planet friendly’ puzzles are made on recycled board and in Britain. The range consists of eight puzzles for pre-school children covering themes like farmyard and jungle animals, nursery rhymes and everyday experiences. Each box features a slot within the lid allowing children to post their pieces back into it. The firm is already planning a follow up range for 2010.
Also new for Gibsons is a follow-up to the Jigmap puzzle. The new Jigmap Europe is 200 pieces and the challenge is to fit each identically placed city piece into the right country.

LOGIBLOCS

Logiblocs are switch-on electronic building blocks that plug together to make things happen. The range bridges the gap between science and learning and the world of electronic interactive toys.
Each colour-coded Logibloc plugs easily into the next, all with different functions, to create all manner of alarms and automatic systems.
Logiblocs is an award-winning product line, but its conceptual nature makes it a difficult line to sell. Once a kit has been sold, however, it links in to every other kit
The range now includes six LogiMen that live in LogiCity. These robotic people are targeted at five year olds and have lights that flash in response to light, sound or touch and strong magnetic feet.
 The range of classic Logibloc kits includes the LogiRobot. This is a versatile automatic wheeled item that can respond to on-board sensors or to an Infrared remote controller. Mid-year, Logiblocs hopes to add to the range with a new kit packed with learning potential and including one or two new functional blocs.
Logiblocs is aimed at the primary school age group and gives children the opportunity to investigate the subject of systems and without needing to understand components like resistors, capacitors and diodes.

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