Cool New Boy Toys
Pint-sized Spideys set to spin out in 2002 Toycos fortunate enough to have the coveted Spider-Man film license are busy stringing together their toy lines to coincide with the May launch of Spider-Man: The Movie, and some of the hottest Spidey toys allow kids to become the wallcrawler himself.
Toycos look to hook boys with monsters and mischief-makers Boys who favor gross-out, obnoxious play won’t be disappointed this fall, as MGA Entertainment introduces Monster Surgery (ages six and up/US$29.99) and Tiger Electronics debuts Wally Getsa Wedgie (ages six to 11/US$29.99).
Monster Surgery is a talking monster head programmed with more than 25 interactive phrases and over 25 removable head parts, providing more bang for the consumer buck as three games in one: Grave Emergency (kids have to find and remove the diseased head part before it spreads), Scary Surgery (remove all head parts without upsetting the monster) and Creepy Check-Up (remove and replace head parts in the correct order).
Interactive character Wally Getsa Wedgie explores the boy-favored art of yanking other kids’ underpants up out of their trousers. Wally, the quintessential irritating little brother, tells dumb jokes, spins tall tales, yells, pouts and pulls tantrums–all triggered by user actions such as tickling him or taking away his toys. The only way to stop him is to give him an atomic wedgie!
Boys, get ready to rumble with bots Trendmasters revs up remote-control fun for the six and up set this fall with Rumble Robots Invasion. The success of the video game is brought to the off-screen world as Trendmasters introduces two Rumble Robots Kings–King Slugnut and King El Smasho (US$29.99 a piece with Power Cards and wireless remote controllers), each commanding armies of knights including Knight Slammer and Knight Slugnoid (US$24.99 each). With a touch of the infrared remote controller, Invasion Soldiers (US$9.99) destroy opponents with lasers and punches. Also available in the Rumble Robots series are snap-on armor for customization, additional power cards, a card binder and a carrying case.
Cool New Edible Toys
Easy-Bake gives way to easy-make in 2002
Hasbro may have the patent on Easy-Bake ovens, but a variety of other toycos are creating their own spins on kid-friendly goodie-makers.
Spin Master Toys is set to introduce two tantalizing treat machines for kids ages six and up this fall. Modeled after in-store slushie gear, the Slushie Maker (US$12) requires no batteries or special chemicals–simply fill the freezing drum with salt, ice and water, add soda or juice to the surrounding compartment, and drinkable, brainfreeze-inducing slushies are yours in under five minutes. And for chocolate lovers (is there a kid out there who isn’t?), the battery-powered Chocolate Works (US$9) brings home the magic of chocolate-making. Pour some chocolate chips (any store-bought variety will do) into the special compartment, push the plunger, and heated chocolate oozes out into any one of 16 special molds.
Cool New Girls Toys
Girl Tech keeps boys out
Snoop-proofing the bedrooms of tween girls gets high-tech this August as Girl Tech introduces the Eye-Lock Room Guard (US$19.99). Easily attached to any kind of doorknob, the Room Guard features an eye combination code that will stump nosy siblings every time.
Girls storm the water gun category
Girls ages five and up will have the chance to get back at their pesky little brothers this April, as Trendmasters launches its new girl-targeted line of Storm Angels water guns. With each pull of the trigger, the gun’s transparent panels light up and a single red LED illuminates the water stream. The line features two models–the 900 and 1300–and the Storm Angels 1300 (US$9.99) comes with five feet of Unlimitor hose.
Toycos play on the music hook
Companies looking to tap into tween consciousness in 2002 are cranking out product combining two top tween loves–music and accessories.
Tiger Electronics leads the pack this June with its HitClips Necklace (US$9.99). Featuring a built-in HitClips player, magnetic clasp and earbud, the HitClips Necklace comes with one HitClips Micro Music Chip. The first assortment includes ‘More Than That’ by the Backstreet Boys and ‘Survivor’ by Destiny’s Child.
Girl Tech joins the chorus in August 2002 with its Jammin Jewels (US$9.99), a line of necklaces for girls eight and up featuring five light-up e-jewels that flash to music beats. Each necklace comes with a variety of beads and 15 different color caps to keep up with fickle tween tastes.
For the younger set, music is matched with a little girl’s mainstay–the fashion doll. Trendmasters tunes in to the bobbing-head trend this fall with Boppin’ Rockers, a line of poseable fashion dolls featuring bobbing heads and rooted hair for styling. Available in single doll assortments (US$9.99), the line also includes the Boppin’ Rockers Dance assortment (girls ages three to nine/US$19.99). One of three six-inch dolls comes with each dance-floor playset, which can accommodate up to three dolls. Featuring two dance modes–Radio (the doll moves to an external music source) and Try Me (the doll moves to music from the dance-floor base)–the playset comes with a variety of accessories, including safety scissors, brush, headband, bobbie pins, removable plastic T-shirt, sunglasses, headset mike and instrument accessories.
Tiger Electronics is set to shake its money-maker this fall with Dazzlin’ Dancers (US$29.99). Girls ages six and up control the moves of this four-SKU line of dolls, each of which comes with an infrared controller that doubles as a self-contained sound system capable of holding three songs. Decked out for dancing, these fashion-plate dolls move forward and back, spin right and left, and turn in circles.
The six and up set can also bop to the beat with Hasbro’s E-Kara Real Karaoke Pro Headset System (fall/US$59.99). An expansion of the toyco’s popular karaoke line, the system includes a headset microphone and lightweight e-kara unit that hooks onto a belt or waistband to allow kids to sing and dance to their favorite pop songs. Also available in the expanded line are new e-kara music cartridges (US$19.99)–10-song mixes of pop hits from artists including Destiny’s Child, the Backstreet Boys, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and N*Sync.
Cool New Tot Toys
Miniature maestros Adventuresome toddlers will get a musical kick out of the Blue’s Clues Imagination Music Studio by Fisher-Price (US$34.99) this July. Kids can record their own voices with the pop-up mike; alter sound by adjusting slide switches for tempo, warp and echo effects; mix in character phrases by pressing any one of three light-up character buttons; and loop their voices into six different tunes by pressing the play button. Additional features include volume control and a scratch pad.
And now preschoolers can emulate the music-listening habits of older siblings with Tiger Electronics’ KidClips Disney Tunes–an interchangeable music system launching this fall that will offer two music players and 30 over-sized music chips featuring a one-minute edit of a Disney classic tune. The Basic Player (US$9.99)–styled to look like a retro radio with a chunky handle–and the Deluxe Player (US$14.99)–sculpted to look like a jukebox–each come with one music chip. The chips are sold in threesome assortments (US$14.99) and include Disney tune favorites such as ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Under the Sea.’
Can they build it?
Yes, they can–with Hasbro’s Adventure Bob Construction playset (US$24.99). Due to hit retail this fall, the playset features movable building parts, electronic sounds and hours of fun for little builders.
And the construction fun moves beyond Bob’s building yard this June with Radica’s Play TV Junior Construction playset (US$49.99). Plugged into a TV or VCR, the interactive set lights up and vibrates as the construction foreman guides preschoolers through seven jobs requiring different tools.