While we all still love our simple wooden blocks and cardboard playhouses — heck, even a stick is fun for a kid — we saw hundreds of tech toys at this year’s Toy Fair. And while some of them were a swing-and-a-miss (like the newest Monopoly redesign and the creepiest doll ever), there were some innovative ideas for the next generation of tech-savvy kids.
Here are our favorite tech toys of 2011:
If you’re going to be handing over your iPad to sticky hands anyway, this is the coolest kid app of the year. Blending Crayola’s iconic colors and Griffin Technology’s innovative ideas, this iPad coloring book reacts and animates as kids color. Plus, the iPad’s touch screen only recognizes the included iMarker — not crayons, markers, fingers, etc. — for an accurate way to draw digitally. Kids can even print out the coloring pages to draw the old-fashioned way.
Find out more about the Crayola ColorStudio HD here.
2. Fisher Price Kid-Tough See Yourself Camera
This is pretty darn cool: The Kid-Tough camera is for the preschool set (with all of the durability and protection that requires), yet has some serious capabilities for kids to explore their photographic talents. They can even upload their pictures (and HD video!) to the computer after they’re done.
See all of the cool features here.
3. Radica Fijit Friends from Mattel
These had even the most traditional, stone-faced Toy Fair spectators laughing and clapping at the Mattel showroom. With their soft, squishy bodies and unique personalities, these little robotic friends bop along to music with beat-recognition technology and respond to over 30 commands.
Find out when these little guys are hitting the market (and for how much) here.
4. The VTech Innopad
The VTech Innopad is a brand new kids tablet — so that mom can keep her own $800 toy free of peanut butter and jelly smudges. Not only is it an extensive learning toy — with interactive reading, vocabulary and facts — but it can also serve a slew of other purpises, from an MP3 player to a digital photo frame.
Find out everything the Innopad can do here.
5. Techno Source’s 20Q
We don’t know how this handheld game’s Artificial Intelligence does it, but it has correctly guessed some of the most off-the-wall animals and objects that we were thinking about. Is it reading our minds? Probably not. But it’s pretty mind blowing anyway.
Read more about 20Q here.
6. Radica Mindflex Duel
This game challenges kids (and adults) to move a small foam ball through an obstacle course using only your mind. No, seriously.
Skeptical? Read more about the technology here.
7. Hot Wheels Video Racer
If your kid is into Hot Wheels, he or she is going to flip over their newest addition. The Hot Wheels Video Racer comes with a VGA camera inside of each hot wheels car equipped to record up to 12 minutes of footage as it speeds down the track. Kids can even clip the recorder to a skateboard, bicycle or helmet for more fast-action sequences. With the included USB, kids can then use Mattel’s video software to edit and transition the clips, even adding special effects and music to the homemade movie. (Of course there’s the chance that kids will use their hidden-camera capabilities for evil — which is something for parents to keep in mind.)
Also check out:
- The Top 5 WORST Kids Toys of 2011: Disappointing remakes, inappropriate context and one creepy doll.
- The Top 10 BEST Kids Toys of 2011
- All of our favorite new toys of the year