toys

  • Sphero’s new toy is a chatty Spider-Man

    Sphero continues its partnership with Disney today, with the launch of a new toy based on the Marvel superhero Spider-Man. But where BB-8 and Lightning McQueen could move around the room, Spider-Man is more stationary — his real power involves holding conversations. The simplest thing this Spider-Man can do is tell jokes — he seems to have an infinite simply of eye-rollers. If you… Read More

  • How Osmo decides to make its tangible, high-tech toys

    Many toys today include high-tech and interactive components that keep kids in front of screens. But when it comes to health and educational development, studies have found that kids benefit from things like building with blocks, playing with both hands and looking away from screens at least every 20 minutes. Osmo has dedicated itself to designing toys that bridge the digital and physical. Read More

  • Makeblock raises $30 million for robot-building kits for kids

    Makeblock raises $30 million for robot-building kits for kids

    Remember when kids could simply play with their toys? They still can. But parents are increasingly spending on toys that are chockablock with tech components, and that promise to turn their kids into software developers or robotics engineers. The Toy Industry Association, which held its International Toy Fair in New York last month, has even identified robotics-education as a major trend… Read More

  • There’s now a Disney Princess toy subscription service

    There’s now a Disney Princess toy subscription service

    Subscription-based toy company Pley.com entered the Disney accelerator last year with a toy rental business that would ship out toys like Lego, American Girl or Hot Wheels, which could be played with, then kept or returned, starting at $12 per month. Now that the company has exited the program, it’s debuting a twist on its earlier model. Pley has just launched a Disney Princess… Read More

  • LEGO Life is a new social network where kids can share their creations

    LEGO Life is a new social network where kids can share their creations

    Club Penguin may be shutting down, but there’s a new social network for kids arriving today from LEGO. The company known for its physical blocks and building sets is launching LEGO Life, a safe, online space where kids can share their LEGO creations, and connect with a broader community. Available as an iOS and Android application, the social network is aimed at those under the age of… Read More

  • Bots_alive kit imbues toy robots with charming, lifelike AI

    Bots_alive kit imbues toy robots with charming, lifelike AI

    There will be no shortage at Toy Fair next month of robots and gadgets promising artificial intelligence — and generally falling short. But a more modest approach from an actual AI researcher has produced a clever and accessible way to create lifelike behavior through a simple and elegant modification of a popular existing robot. Read More

  • Amazon launches a subscription service for STEM toys

    Amazon launches a subscription service for STEM toys

    Amazon today unveiled a new subscription program aimed at parents called STEM Club, which delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month. The retailer says it will hand-pick which toys are shipped, and will ensure the items are age-appropriate. And by “STEM,” of course, Amazon means the toys will be focused on the areas of science, technology, engineering and… Read More

  • You should probably still avoid toys that talk with your kids

    You should probably still avoid toys that talk with your kids

    If you were thinking of getting your kid a little doll or robot that they can talk to — and, critically, that responds — you should probably hold off for a few years. A complaint to the FTC filed by consumer watchdog groups highlights ongoing privacy and security concerns with this creepy class of toy. Read More

  • Mattel’s ThingMaker, the 3D printer that let kids make their own toys, delayed until next year

    Mattel’s ThingMaker, the 3D printer that let kids make their own toys, delayed until next year

    Remember ThingMaker? Mattel’s $300 3D printer that would let kids print out their own toys? Its ship date – which was supposed to be this month – just got pushed back another year, according to a report from Engadget. The toy maker says it needs the extra time to “enhance the digital functionality” in order to deliver the “most engaging” experience… Read More

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