Our family and retail specialists like to keep up to date on the latest trends in toys and games so that they can advise members with children on what to buy. They went to the 2013 Toy Fair to find out about this year’s new releases, including the latest products for LEGO and the return of a certain quartet of crime-fighting shelled reptiles. Read on for what they are tipping to be the year’s most popular toys, and call us if you need birthday reminders, gift ideas or items bought.
Using this new app-based toy, children can star in their own 3D holographic video show, without the need for special glasses or expensive equipment. It comes with a staging area and features 20 built-in holographic characters and illusion effects. The real highlight, however, is that it allows users to record themselves or their friends and ‘zap’ the results into the story.
The updated version of this durable, handheld device features a rotating 1.3 megapixel camera, a microphone and a score of new educational apps, games and content. Designed to develop core skills, each device can be personalised for up to four users, which means it can be shared between siblings.
Since 1949 this Danish company has designed products that allow the imagination to run wild while utilising a range of new technologies. This third-generation, high-tech kit contains both software and hardware to create customisable and programmable brick-based robots. Each set can create five different designs and features motion, colour and touch sensors, wi-fi connectivity and a Linux operating system. (Pictures: used by permission © 2012 The LEGO Group)
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the first Playmobil police car available in the UK – one of the German company’s most popular pieces. As with LEGO, this plastic line of toys has stood the test of time and the all-new Police range is great for young citizens wanting to maintain some law and order. It includes alarmed cells protected by infrared beams and a bank with a working cash machine.
The heroes in a half shell are making a return, with a new series being aired on ITV this spring. This coincides with the news that Transformers director Michael Bay is set to start working on a Turtles film in April 2013. The new range of toys includes action figures, vehicles and playsets, including the Secret Sewer Lair Playset (pictured).
Based on the animated series about a girl who heals toys in her backyard clinic, this playset includes Doc McStuffins and her faithful plush sidekick, Lambie. Press on her belly to hear the theme song and other phrases. Children can also use the pink stethoscope to hear Lambie’s heartbeat or put the thermometer in her mouth to hear her speak.
This fluffy, animatronic creature is back with a range of new interactive features. The big LED eyes change shape and size depending on its mood, with sensors inside reacting to it being fed, tickled and even held by its tail. An iPhone app can be downloaded to help translate ‘Furbish’; however, it will gradually learn to speak English. Parents be warned though, there is no ‘off’ switch.
The Air Storm range from Zing Toys offers up stiff competition to its more established rival Nerf. This miniature bow packs a punch, launching suction cup Zartz and screaming arrows up to 40 metres. Other designs include a cross bow and the catapult-style Zing Shot, which launches soft foam balls.
We’ve had football trading cards, Moshi Monsters Moshlings and Beyblades, and now Floppets are set to become the next playground craze. Having taken the US by storm, they have just launched in the UK at a pocket money-friendly price of £1.99. The little animal characters can be attached to anything, from stationery to shoelaces.
These tiny, robotic creatures contain a microchip which lets them run around at speed. If they hit an obstacle they change direction and if they fall on their backs they’ll right themselves. Each has its own unique characteristics – the Hexbug Crab, for example, prefers to scurry into dark corners and reacts to loud noises. There’s additional high-tech fun with the brand's Nano insects and new Warriors Battling Robots.
Last updated on 6 February 2013