This is a pretty cool news story that a major milestone of $100 million worth of toys and games have been given to children in need since 2003 when the Toy Industry Foundation began their Toy Bank Program – Of course it is sad that toys and games are not freely available to all like us in the west. But it is great to know that organisations and the big names can secure large donations, this year totalled $11 million in toys. – Still a pretty cool feat and big kudos and thumbs up to the 45 toy companies who have been involved 🙂
Lego the Danish brick builder has had a massive year so far helped by the recent box office smash of the The Lego Movie – The result is a massive increase in toy merchandise sales to both a new younger generation and to the big kids who may interact and opt for a grown up kit of the cult Lego bricks.
Lego announced this week that sales for the first six months of 2014 jumped 11% to just over $2 billion which allowed Lego to overtake Mattel who own the cult cash cow of ‘Barbie’
Xeno is an alternative to the ever-popular Furbys which have been dominating the last few Christmas toy seasons. So if Furbys freaked you out a little too much perhaps a Xeno may fit the bill. To me if it is a cross between a Furby/Doll and a huge Koosh Ball style as it has so many strands in just the same way that Koosh did from my Childhood.
- Cute interactive Monster offering a play experience unlike any other.
- Range of movements and emotions with LCD-based graphic eyes with over 40 different expressions.
- Eight touch sensors and audio inputs.
- Multiple Xeno’/Child minigames.
- Xeno’ can communicate with his Xeno’ friends.
The Xenos are an interactive cheeky baby monster, the type of which that live under kids’ beds. And like Furby, it has digital eyes that offer over 40 different expressions based on the toy’s emotional state.
Dolls are always popular toys and have been since 1950’s onwards, this doll My Friend Cayla is not just a doll – she’s a real friend! Well that is what the box says so it must be true right? Ask her any range of questions, from her likes and dislikes to general knowledge and tomorrow’s weather, and she’ll tell you the answer. Due to launch in July 17th 2014 priced at $90/£59.99 – no info at time of writing on a US date.
Sync her with an Android or iOS device via Bluetooth and she’ll use speech-to-text technology to look up answers online and speak them back to you. There’s also a pre-defined list of ‘bad words’ and topics which Cayla will not talk about, for complete peace of mind.
Teksta T-Rex is the follow-up to the hugely successful Teksta Robotic Puppy which was a sell out and hard to find toy last Christmas season.
The Teksta T-Rex the bone crushing dino! Should appeal to more boys this time round, but in my experience girls often more than boys like a good dinosaur or enjoy a dinosaurs phase and just like his puppy friend T-Rex responds to your voice, lights and sounds with expressive eye patterns to share his feelings.
Using hand gesture technology command Teksta T-Rex to walk, move his hands, tail and stop. If you stroke his face to hear him roar and see him snap just like a real T-Rex Dinosaur.
The Kiddizoom Smart Watch is predicted to be one of the best-selling toys this Christmas 2014. So you may know that wearable tech especially watches are aimed to be the next must have to allow you to keep fit, in touch, on the move – but at a price point which is adults only for now.
So step in the Kidizoom Smart Watch, it combines several different clock faces, has a touch screen to navigate, and includes a built-in camera and video recorder. It also comes with 3 games, and can be used as an alarm clock, stop watch, and timer.
Oyo Sports who are a toy maker has raised $3 million in new seed funding from Boston tech investors, according to Chief Executive Tom Skripps, reports the WSJ.
Oyo sports designs, manufactures and sells “minifigures” of pro-athletes. Its main customers are fans, collectors and kids who want official, licensed gear from of their teams.
Boston Seed Capital and Atlas Venture led this round of funding and this brings total raised to $4.6, back in 2013 the company raised $1.6 from angel investors. See doubters still plenty of market to go after and compete for traditional ish toys/figures and not digital apps etc.
An original Humpty toy made to appear in the UK BBC childrens programme ‘Play School’ made in the 1960’s has been sold in an auction for £6,250/$10500. The toy was one of several made for the TV show, which ran for more than 20’s from the mid-1960s. Other toy characters from the show included Big Ted, Little Ted and Rag Doll Jemima.
Unsurprisingly the 53cm high toy was based on the nursery rhyme character Humpty Dumpty and first appeared on UK TV screens (3 channels) in 1964 and appeared in nearly all programmes.
A Spirograph is a drawing toy that produces geometric mathematical curves and shapes. It was developed by British engineer Denys Fisher and first sold back in 1965.
“Spirograph” term has also been used to describe a variety of software applications that display similar curves. It has also been applied to the class of curves that can be produced with the drawing equipment, the name has been a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc., since they took over and bought the Denys Fisher company.