Imagine walking into the world's biggest toy store except that everything you see is completely brand new—and you can't buy any of it just yet. That's exactly what covering Toy Fair—the toy industry's annual tradeshow—is like. It's a tantalizing glimpse into what kids will be begging their parents for over the upcoming year, and we've sifted through all the hoopla to bring you the best of the best.
The only thing more satisfying than nailing someone with a foam dart is replaying that victory again and again. So Nerf has stuffed a tiny video camera, PVR, and LCD display into its new N-Strike Elite Cam ECS-12 Blaster letting you capture up to three hours of pretend assassinations. Or, you can snap over 2,000 photos of your friends' angry reactions at getting hit.
Letting fans design and vote on upcoming sets is one of the coolest things Lego has ever done. And the latest Cuusoo creation to get the real-life treatment is Brent Waller's wonderfully-detailed Ghostbusters set. Owning a tiny minifig of Bill Murray as Peter Venkman is neat enough, but this miniature version of Ecto1 is deserving of space in any Lego fan's home.
Remote control robots will never not be awesome, but there's always a way to make them even cooler. Like what Hasbro has done by sticking an automatic Nerf machine gun inside six-legged insect-like RC bots called Combat Creatures. No matter the terrain, they'll let you attack friends or family from afar with a fully controllable turret, so there's no risk of immediate retaliation.
3D printers seem like the perfect toy for imaginative kids, it's just too bad they're still too complicated for even most adults. So Hasbro has created a handheld 3D printer called the DohVinci that uses a specially formulated Play-Doh that hardens overnight. So all your kid needs is a drop of talent and a mountain of imagination to create anything they want—except a pony.
Ironically, this remote control dinosaur—a creature that's been extinct for million of years—was one of the most technologically advanced toys at the show. Because Boomer is actually able to balance itself on two rolling wheels like a Segway, while shaking its tail, roaring, and attempting to bite anyone you decide needs to be taught a prehistoric lesson.
Arguably one of the most enjoyable multiplayer racing games of all time, Jakks Pacific is coming out with actual real-life versions of the go-karts featured in the games. The first is Mario's, of course, and it comes with off-road tires and can support kids up to 70 pounds. There are no shells included, but kids should have no problem making their own banana peels to throw off their friends in a race. [Chip Chick]
Photo by Chip Chick
If you don't mind a chunky watch strapped to your wrist, ThinkGeek's new Classic Arcade timepiece should satisfy both horological and retro gaming enthusiasts. Loosely based on Asteroids, the watch is claimed to be the first in a series that ThinkGeek plans to design and release, eventually letting you strap an entire arcade's worth of entertainment to your arms.
The PowerUp 3.0 impressed us at last year's Toy Fair as well, but after a few delays and eventually a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the smartphone controlled paper airplane is almost ready for the public. Using a tiny rudder and propeller on the back, it lets you control a paper airplane you've actually folded towards any target you wish. And if it gets damaged, you can just fold a replacement fleet as needed.