Toy Fair, a staggeringly large collection of playtime gadgets for kiddos and immature adults, has come to an end. Phew! We wandered through aisle after aisle of bouncy balls and model dinosaurs to find the cream of the crop:
Barbie, at once a gender pioneer and enabler of countless anorexic, has found her newest role: human-machine hybrid.
Will we ever feel too old to love Nerf guns? No, I doubt it. What about Super Soakers? Oh hush, of course not. Shooting things with toy guns is an intrinsic human joy. Here's what you'll be firing this year.
You might think you can explain where Colombia-based Aracataca got these giant pens, pencils, crayons, and markers that are somehow miraculously passing through solid objects. But you can't. Because it's magic. Pure, unadulterated, magic.
Toy Fair is full of lame jigsaw puzzles, toy horses, and other antique things nobody cares about anymore. But! There's also plenty of unreleased Star Wars, Spider Man, and other stuff that makes us feel like excited kids again. Lightsabers!
Boo, an animal so impossibly cute as to make physicists question our understanding of the cosmos, is now available for mass production. It's soft. It's lifelike. We went hands-on with the most disgustingly cute toy ever seen.
I am completely jealous that Micaël Reynaud still has all the toys he grew up with. Seriously! Watch this video and see the typical 80s baby toy lineup: Transformers, Hot Wheels, Gobots, Lego and more. It seamlessly morphs from one toy to another.
The Max Force Shadow Hawk (deep breath) 100 is a sort of hybrid between Nerf and Super Soaker, flinging spitball-ish wads of paper at your friends—from up to 100 feet away. Dope. But does it do that?
It's lacking the staples of Tiny Dancer, Don't Stop Believin', and Hollaback Girl (am I right?), but if you're into Disney's catalog of croon-alongs, Spotlight could be a lot of fun for the tween in your life (or you).
I've noticed an increasing number of can't-be-bothered parents handing over an iPhone or iPad to their screaming tykes—but what if they throw up on it or try to eat it? The whiteboard anaPad's perfect for (faux) touchscreen child-rearing.
If you're already in the habit of slapping and poking your friends (IRL, not Facebook), you might as well get some music out of it. The Ningen Gakki Human Instrument Machine converts contact to compositions, and, of course, looks absurd.
When last we saw Fijit, it was part of a giant swarm of its cutesy-robo prototype sisters, unsettlingly singing along with a shockingly-enthusiastic booth attendant. It was... a sight! Now the Fijit's in its completed retail form. And still bizarre.
Yes, totally, I would love to wear one of those crazy robo-suits, like the HULC exoskeleton, that basically turns you into a huge shit-wrecking mech. Unfortunately, I do not have the dozens of thousands of dollars it costs to purchase one. But I can afford the forthcoming B.I.G. Power Hand, a $30 glove from Jakks…
Jakks Pacific's SpyNet line of toys, comprising functioning audio bugs, night vision googles, and video-recording spy watches, are that rare breed of toy that might be just as fun for the parent as they are for the kid. The new SpyNet Laser Tripwire, which creates a working, extendable tripwire for just $25, is no…
Printers, I think we can agree with some relief, are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Still, plenty of people have the hulking old things plugged in somewhere in their homes, and Mattel's gonna put 'em to use. For printing real (fake) hair extensions for you and your Barbie.
Hot wheel sets are a staple of many a childhood, but they're also a staple of creating a huge sprawling mess that someone will inevitably trip over and start cursing. So! Take that racetrack off the floor and put it on the wall.
One weird thing about Toy Fair is all of the stringent gender norms that are pushed in marketing-speak. Trucks are for boys. Transformers are for boys. Nerf is for boys. So what do girls get? This exceedingly creepy robo-baby, designed to train them to be mothers. Seriously.
Playing with toys alone is pretty fun I guess, but any kind of amusement is at its most amusing when you're subordinating your friends to the might of your will. Mattel's Radica Mindflex Duel does that. With your brain waves.
Shoving your iPhone at your screaming kid in the backseat is kinda lowest common denominator parenting. But once you pop it into Fisher-Price's colorful Laugh and Learn iCan Play rattle it becomes a whole lot more like a real toy. Better for both you and baby!
Drop a pack of Mentos in a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke and you get yourself a nice soda geyser. It's fun! It's also pretty wasteful! With this kit you can at least tell yourself you're using Mentos' magical properties to propel a little plastic car up to 200 feet.