Toy Fair’s early-bird eye-catchers

February 1, 2005


We were tempted to deck out our own cubicles with Wild Planet’s Spy Gear Lazer Tripwire (US$19.99 to US$29.99) to prevent co-worker sneak-ups, but we definitely see how this would be perfect for boys who want to keep nosy siblings out of their rooms. Users line up three laser-emitting/receiving pods to form an invisible perimeter, and an alarm goes off the second it’s breached. A misting of water reveals a bright red laser line that trained intruders can duck under to breach the established boundary undetected.

Costa Mesa, California’s Playmates Toys continues to innovate its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure range. Last year’s models flipped and cart-wheeled into action, and this year, Donatello and the gang are going to fly. Air Ninjas (US$9.99) come with missle-firing glider backpacks, detachable rocket pod leg boosters, Top Gun-style helmets, levitation platforms and grappling ropes. Boys just have to press the button on the Turtles’ gear belts, and wings spring open to let them soar.


Toronto, Canada’s Spin Master has seemingly defied the laws of physics with the latest addition to its Air Hogs line. Climbing the walls and resisting gravity’s pull is an everyday activity for the RC Wall Racer Humvee (US$59.99). This SUV scoots along the floor and will climb right up any 90-degree vertical surface.

As their name implies, a new range of Solar Racer mini-cars (US$9.99) from Westlake Village, California-based Uncle Milton only need exposure to bright sunlight to take off – no batteries required. Using a small solar cell and a built-in motor, the tiny cars can travel up to 10 feet in a few seconds after catching some UV rays. They’ll be available in six styles, and an additional Sun Screamer race set will let kids compete on a track.


After a solid 2004 relaunch centered around its hit toy i-Top, which has racked up sales of more than a million units so far, Toronto, Canada’s itoys (formerly Irwin Toys) is branching out with its 2005 product plan. Doodle Tunes (US$19.99), targeted at the three-plus crowd, is a hybrid musical toy/art board. Kids select the ‘instrument’ they want to play – be it brass, string or silly sound – and set about drawing on the erasable gel pad. While doodling away, kids create their own tunes or can follow enclosed instructions to draw their favorite songs.

SpongeBob SquarePants

Fisher-Price is introducing one of the funniest interpretations of Nick’s SpongeBob SquarePants that we’ve seen in awhile. The Ripped Pants! SpongeBob (US$29.99) animatronic doll performs His Squareness’ signature move: He bends forward, ‘splits’ his pants, and then stands upright, his cheeks flushed with embarrassment. He also sings a ‘Ripped Pants’ ditty.

About The Author
Lana Castleman is the Editor & Content Director of Kidscreen and oversees all content for Kidscreen magazine, and related kidscreen events.


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