• The LittleBits Code Kit is an easy way to play (and learn) with Arduino

    The LittleBits Code Kit is an easy way to play (and learn) with Arduino

    I’m not a fan of educational toys. They’re usually either too educational or too toy-like and, in the end, kids get little education and little fun. The Code Kit from LittleBits has changed my mind. The Code Kit is very specifically targeted at classroom learning for grades 3-8 and costs $299. Why? Because it’s a bit more robust than the other coding kit LittleBits offers.
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  • Toymakers are the early adopters pushing AR into the mainstream Crunch Network

    Toymakers are the early adopters pushing AR into the mainstream

    One indicator of how the market is apparently more comfortable with AR than it is with its immersive sibling, VR, is that one of its earliest adopters are toymakers. Read More

  • Ziro is a nifty hand-controlled robotics kit for kids

    Ziro is a nifty hand-controlled robotics kit for kids

    Meet Ziro, a robotics kit that lets you build all sorts of vehicles using a few motors, a smartphone, a glove and your imagination. Ziro’s default kit comes with four wireless motors and enough pieces to build a small car. You can now back this project on Indiegogo. I’ve talked with ZeroUI, the company behind Ziro a few weeks ago. Their prototype was already working Read More

  • If Apple Made A Cat Toy, It Would Be This One

    If Apple Made A Cat Toy, It Would Be This One

    Amazing design isn’t just for us humans. What about the cats who want a toy to play with like the new pretty iPhone? Nobody is really trying to make a cat’s playtime as enjoyable as possible. WHERE IS THE CAT TOY DISRUPTION? Read More

  • Baby Bidou mp3 player. You know, for kids

    I always say that you’re never too young to start with your first gadget. This is an example of that theory, taken maybe a little more serious then I would normally consider reasonable. How old do you need to be to have your first MP3 player? Read More

  • New Japanese toy: Endless chocolate bar breaker

    Do you like the feeling you get when you break a chocolate bar in half? Do you want to experience that feeling over and over for some reason? Then you’re in the target group for a new Japanese toy called Mugen Chokoreeto [JP], which (kind of) translates back to “Endless Chocolate Bar”. It’s the brainchild of major Japanese toymaker Bandai. It’s essentially a mini… Read More

  • Very cool RC toy: "Mission Carrier SWAT truck" with helicopter (video)

    Just yesterday we featured Bandai’s cool remote-controlled heli-robot Sky Armor, and now the same company (its subsidiary CCP, to be exact) announced the Mission Carrier SWAT [JP], a combination of a truck and helicopter. And this toy is even better than Sky Armor. The cool thing about the SWAT truck is the sound and the elevating deck: Push a button on the remote to make the panels in… Read More

  • Sky Armor: Bandai's cool heli-robot toy (video)

    This is a pretty cool RC toy from Japan. Bandai has announced the Sky Armor, a remote-controlled robot that can fly around using not one but two propellers. The robot stands 17cm tall and weighs 21g. One battery charge (30 minutes) is enough to play with it for 4 minutes. Read More

  • Grilled Meat King: Bandai to sell BBQ simulator toy

    Just in time for summer, Japan gets a new toy that won’t require you to go out to get the BBQ experience anymore. This actually doesn’t make much sense, but Bandai has announced [JP] an-indoor BBQ simulator toy yesterday, the Yakiniki Ou (roughly: Grilled Meat King). Yakiniku is the name of a number of Japanese grilled meat dishes. Buyers of the Grilled Meat King get the grill, 14… Read More

  • Useless and Japan-only but cute: Mini USB construction site

    Wiz, the Japanese toy maker behind great stuff like the Flying Ultraman and the consolation money pocket calculator, today unveiled their newest stroke of genius, a mini USB construction site [JP, PDF]. Read More

  • Flying Ultraman: Japan gets another cool Nippon-exlusive toy

    Tokyo-based toy maker Wiz today unveiled a remote-controlled mini Ultraman figure [JP, PDF] that is able to fly, just like the original in the legendary super hero series. The so-called Charabot Ultraman will hit Japanese stores at the end of January (price: $35), probably without ever making it outside the country. Wiz says it wants to sell the toy mainly to male adults in their 30s and 40s. Read More

  • Mugen Pop Pop: America finally gets one of these wacky Japanese gadgets

    The problem with some of the Japanese gadgets I am blogging about is that they either never become available outside Japan or can only be bought through specialized import shops. But now Bandai America decided to bring its Mugen Puchi Puchi bubble wrap bubble pop simulator to the US. Time to celebrate. The toy, which has been renamed to Mugen Pop Pop in America, features a speaker that… Read More

  • Homestar Extra: Sega Toys' Homestar Planetarium gets an upgrade

    Sega Toys Japan introduced a mini planetarium for bathrooms in June (available for people living outside Nippon here) and now updates its super-successful home planetarium series with the Homestar Extra [JP, PDF], which was unveiled today. Read More

  • U-Diver: Bandai Japan's remote-controlled micro submarine

    Japanese toy maker CCP has announced the U-Diver, its remote-controlled micro submarine, will be sold in Japan starting at the beginning of next month. CCP isn’t really an international company but belongs to the Bandai Namco group, meaning a future release outside Japan isn’t impossible. The U-Diver, which was showcased for the first time during the Tokyo Toy Show 2008 in June… Read More

  • Video gallery: Watch the Augmented Reality Tuttuki Bako Box in action

    Two weeks ago, I blogged about Bandai Japan’s Tuttuki Bako augmented reality-ish toy box, which is due out in Nippon on November 15 (price: $30). Bandai has set up a dedicated web site for the product in the meantime. The site is Japanese only but quite easy to understand. In addition to the strange (but official) video above, a few other clips cropped up in the last 24 hours… Read More

  • Battle Titan: Meet Elekit's awesome model tank
    Japanese electronics company Elekit is selling a model tank that is operated via a wireless remote control and fires off infrared “cannons”. Up to four of the so-called “Battle Titan” tanks (size: 150×90×165mm) can be controlled simultaneuously, engaging each other in battle. When firing cannons, the battery-powered tanks recoil and make… Read More

  • Japanese alarm clock wakes up heavy sleepers with helicopter engine sound

    Tokyo-based Toyo Trading [JP] is selling an alarm clock in the shape of a helicopter, which wakes up users with a tricky mechanism. Unfortunately, the device is Japan-only at this point. At the preset time, the clock launches a rotor up in the air that keeps on flying around while making an extra-annoying engine sound (see Toyo Trading’s promo video below). The battery-powered clock can… Read More

  • Robo-Q: Tomy unveils thumb-sized walking robot

    Japanese toymaker Tomy Co unveiled Robo-Q, which is what they say the world’s smallest walking robot. The two-legged toy is just 3.4 centimeters high and weighs 12 grams. Robo-Q can detect obstacles and navigate through a maze using built-in infrared sensors. Users can also play games such as soccer with the battery-powered robot via a wireless controller. Charging the battery for 30… Read More

  • Augmented Reality? The Tuttuki Bako box needs your finger to play with virtual characters

    Who needs Augmented Reality Cybermaid Alice? Bandai Japan plans to release a palm-size cube in the middle of next month that lets you stick your finger into it to interact with the beings and things contained in the box. Read More