We spent one day at the The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on a specific mission. On this day we buzzed right by the TVs, mobile devices and computers that beeped at us. We had a laser focus, we were on the search for cool toys for kids! Yesterday we wrote about 5 Gadgets that promise to make Moms and Dads life less chaotic but today we focus on the top toys for kids.
Animals That Come To Life
The PLEO RB is about as close as you come to real pet without the hassle of having to feed and care for it. Oh wait, that is exactly what you have to do with this robotic dinosaur. The Pleo RB does voice recognition, senses motion, senses smell, senses temperatures, sense touch and knows the time of day. That means the Pleo RB has about four more senses then I have these days. Unfortunately, robotic pets don’t come cheap – the Pleo RB will sell for about $470. Learn more about Pleo at http://www.pleoworld.com
Like your spooky robotic pets with more fur? The Tandar is for you. Tandars are cute little creatures (inspired by the real Tarsier – a small primate from Southeast Asia) that talk and socialize with each other.
Get a couple of Tandars in the same room and they turn their heads, speak their crazy language and blink their eyes in an oh so cute way. When your Tandar gets hungry just feed him by plugging his USB equipped tail into your computer. Learn more at http://www.tandars.com
Apps That Come To Life
No that is not a typo – apps are coming to life! Every parent knows the time suck that is Angry Birds. This little app eats away our precious minutes and finds us strangely addicted to sling shoting birds at pigs. Of course our kids love grabbing our phones and playing Angry Birds – but what do our kids do when we actually need to use our phone? The answer according to Mattel is play the new Angry Birds physical toy –
Toys That Make Kids Use Their Mind – Literally!
Just use the force son, close your eyes and use the force! No, I am not talking about a Star Wars simulator, I am talking about the new MindFlex Duel game –
This builds on the popular MindFlex game, but now you can duel against a friend. The idea is to try to relax and get a ball to move and sometimes jump through hoops – all while someone else is using the force to try to defeat you. Mindflex Duel is due out in August and will sell for about $100.
Toys That Trick Kids Into Learning While Having Fun
Robots, cars, wind power, salt water fuel cells – these are all things my kids can get into and actually learn something while doing it. OWI Robotics was showing some great new science kits at CES. One of our favorites was a car that runs completely on salt and water. Have a look –
Not to be out done, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies was also at CES and had some great looking science kits for kids of all ages. Horizon Fuel Cell was showing off some very impressive looking hybrid fuel cell cars which kids would love and parents would appreciate the educational material that comes with the kit.
Have a kid who is more into video games than science kits? No problem, take a look at Math Blaster from Knowledge Adventure. Math Blaster is an online world for kids ages 6-12. Kids take part in a wacky futuristic adventure where they need to solve math problems to move on. We gave it a quick test at CES and it seemed like a good balance of fun and teaching.
Toys Your Kids Will Tell You They NEED To Have
If your kids like flying things or shooting things or better yet, flying things that you shoot down – they will love some of the new toys from InterActive Toy Concepts. InterActive Toy was busy showing off all those toys that your kids will tell you they need to have after seeing the commercials. With names like, Duck Hunter Launch & Load and Squeeler resistance by parents is futile. Throw in their series of Metal of Honor RC tanks and planes and you can be pretty sure that InteActive Toys will make its way into your home!
Toys For Your Little Creative Genius
Admit it, your kids have already monopolized your iPad to play Angry Birds. To reduce the guilt you feel for letting your kids play too much iPad, why not turn it into a creative learning experience? The ION Piano Master and Piano To Go turn your iPad into a piano –
The ION Piano Master lets you play freestyle or learn piano using one of the teaching apps. You know those parents who give you dirty looks when you say your son plays with the iPad? Well, now you can have the last laugh when your son grows up to be the next Mozart and your receive the Parent of the Decade Award.
Is your little genius more of an art prodigy? No problem. As we all know Pixar will rule the entire world within about 10 years, so you better get your little ones animating now. Toon Boom, the makers of high-end animation software were showing off a number of animation programs for kids. The programs for kids range from the free Flip Boom for the iPad up to a complete Animation Studio for the PC that sells for about $270. In addition, they have plenty of less expensive stand alone program like Comic Boom and Flip Boom Classic.
The Toon Boom stuff looked great and we hope to do a full hands on review in the near future. Learn more about the full Toon Boom software line.
UPDATE: We Have Done A Full Review of the Flip Boom All Star Animation Software
The Dad Does Coolest Kids Toy Of CES
We have saved the best for last (see there is a reward for actually reading our articles to the end). The Sifteo is a perfect example of stuffing a bunch of cool cutting edge technology in a toy, but making it invisible to the user! Sifteo are a series of wireless blocks that allow you to play some cool and fun games.
The Sifteo blocks look like the Scrabble Flash (read our full review of Scrabble Flash here) but they can do so much more. Each Sifteo cube is like a 1.5 inch computer with a color display. The cubes can sense where they are and change based on your movements. So, if you have a maze game – as you line up the cubes to try to move out of the maze, the maze changes based on the movement of the cubes.
They have an app store for games, so you can buy additional games and have them wirelessly sent to your Sifteo cubes. We got a chance to play with Sifteo and it was fun! The cubes can sense their orientation in 3D which makes for fun play. In one game you need to stack the blocks and then pour paint from one cube down to another cube. You can’t help but smile when you see the virtual paint go from one cube to the next one.
The one downside to Sifteo is the price – looks like it will be $149 for 3 cubes. Hopefully that price will come down as more units are produced. They have already sold out of their first production run but we look forward to doing a full hands on review of the Sifteo in the near future. Learn more about the Sifteo cubes here.
These Are Not Reviews, Repeat These Are Not Reviews
As regular readers to Dad Does know – we hate reviews that are based on a press release or a quick demo at a trade show. If you want to read more on our philosophy on product reviews, take a look at our Real, Relevant and Riveting Product Review Pledge and How Dad Does Reviews are Different.
For now, we are reporting on cool toys we saw at CES, but how they work in the real world still needs to be tested. We hope to do full reviews of the units mentioned above in the coming weeks.
More CES Coverage On The Way:
Sure CES is over, but we are just getting started with our parent related coverage of CES. Over the next few days we will look at other great gadgets for Moms and Dads. Click Here To Read All Of Our CES Coverage.
|Dan Nessel may look like an adult, but his love of toys clearly proves he is actually a kid trapped in some strange adult body. When Dan needs expert advice on what are the best toys to play with, he turns to his two incredible sons – John (9) and David (6). Dan is a senior writer at DadDoes.Com and VP of Product Reviews.|
Have Any Thoughts On The Toys? Leave Us a Comment And Let Us Know