I hope you're on Santa's Good List this year since you wouldn't want to miss out on some of the toys that Mattel's got lined up for the Holidays. With plenty of toys that are far more advanced than anything I ever played with as a youth (broken bottles, clothes pins, shoe laces, etc.), Mattel may be siphoning off a few of your dollars come December. Read on for a small preview of what your kids (or you, weirdo) might be playing with.
The Tyco R/C N.S.E.C.T. (pictured above) is the sequel to last year's toy of the year. Imagine having a remote-controlled insect the size of an Xbox walking around your house. The front mandibles can actually grip items, be they enemy robots or beer cans, for the older boys in the audience. It shoots foam darts out of its body, leading to massive casualties. Expect videos of N.S.E.C.T. battles to become commonplace on the Interweb. $99.99, this July.
The Tyco R/C Airblade looks like something out of Apocalypse Now (or, for the learned, Heart of Darkness). It's a three-wheeled hovercraft that actually floats just above the (flat) surface, zipping to and fro quite nicely. What's more, plop this baby in the water and watch as it tears up the joint. Recommended for kids 8+, including drunken college students. $79.99, this July.
Mattel's also got a line of Superman toys with your child's name on it. Pictured here is the Superman Returns Inflato-Suit, which you put on like a t-shirt. Activate the battery-operated fan and BAM—instant muscles, no tiring trips to the gym needed. Useful in fending off bullies, girls. $21.99, available now. There's also an action figure that does action figure stuff: sound effects, "action" poses, etc. $24.99, available now.
Continuing with the movie tie-ins, Cars represents yet another Disney + Pixar license to make money, which Mattel also has covered. The most impressive of which is the Cars Fast Talkin' Lightning McQueen Vehicle. On the underside of the car's body is a series of buttons that you use to program the car's movements. Press forward, left, backward, right, forward and it'll move thusly. Just don't put it on a ledge or anything, or it might fall. Not that that happened during the demo or anything. $34.99, available now.
Lastly, Mattel has a incredible number of Barbie and Barbie-ish girls toys on the way. Since I would wager that many of the readers here aren't too interested in Barbie (or at least shouldn't be), I'll keep this somewhat brief. There was one impressive item, the Barbie Let's Dance doll ($54.99, this September), which uses RFID tags embedded inside a wrist band to mimic a child's dance moves. Raise arm up, Barbie's arm goes up; spin around, Barbie spins around. Did John Biggs put on a dress and spin around during the demonstration? Hmm, to tell or not to tell.