toys

  • Kids app maker Toca Boca debuts its first consumer product collection at Target

    Kids app maker Toca Boca debuts its first consumer product collection at Target

    Toca Boca, a hugely popular kids’ app maker, has grown to over 170 million downloads across its line of 38 apps, which 13 million children use every month. Now, the company is transitioning its brand beyond the digital space to become a maker of real-world products, as well. In an exclusive deal with Target, announced today, Toca Boca will launch its own collection of… Read More

  • Time 4 Machine promises to bring us back to an age of metal and clockwork

    Time 4 Machine promises to bring us back to an age of metal and clockwork

    The tinging of tiny hammers from the heart of Dwarf Mountains may now be lost to the mists of time but you, my friend, can still make magically complex metallic contrivances in the comfort of your own barrow/home. I point to Time 4 Machine, a selection of metal models made the creator of the wooden uGears, Denis Okhrimenko. The models range from a table hockey set with moving players to a… Read More

  • 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

  • Remember hoverboards? Half a million are being recalled as fire hazards

    Remember hoverboards? Half a million are being recalled as fire hazards

    Hoverboards! The must-have trash gadget of the holidays, now gathering dust in a million closets and garages nationwide, is being recalled in even larger numbers than before due to “a risk of the products smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.” Someone warn Justin Bieber! Read More

  • Furby gets updated again for the smartphone era

    Furby gets updated again for the smartphone era

    A good Furby doesn’t die, it just runs out of batteries. And maybe, if you’re lucky, it evolves every few years or so. Back in 2012, Hasbro brought the cuddly little iconic monster back from the toy grave with an electronic update. A few years on, the company is back with yet another major refresh to the line, aimed at an even more tech savvy consumer. Heck, it’s right there… Read More

  • Happy Atoms launches to teach kids about the wonders of molecules

    Happy Atoms launches to teach kids about the wonders of molecules

    While I absolutely despise most STEM toys I’m going to give Happy Atoms a pass simply because it is aimed at educators and not for the home market. Created by chemistry set maker Thames & Kosmos along with Pittsburgh-based Schell Games, Happy Atoms teaches kids about building molecules using magnetic atoms that connect in “happy” ways. The entire kit comes with… Read More

  • Even Barbie Has A Smart Home And Hoverboard Now

    Even Barbie Has A Smart Home And Hoverboard Now

    Consumers may have been slow to adopt smart home technology, but that’s not the case for Barbie. At the recent New York Toy Fair, Mattel unveiled a newly upgraded – and now tech-enabled – Dreamhouse for its iconic doll. The house lets kids control its various elements – from the lights to the elevator to other appliances – and even the music! – using… Read More

  • The Serious Business Of Play Crunch Network

    The Serious Business Of Play

    “The next big thing will start out looking like a toy.” At least according to A16Z partner Chris Dixon. He used the phrase to explain why incumbents often confuse new, disruptive threats to their businesses with trivial gimmicks. But what if the next big thing doesn’t just look like a toy, but actually is one? Read More

  • Mattel Unveils ThingMaker, A $300 3D Printer That Lets Kids Make Their Own Toys

    Mattel Unveils ThingMaker, A $300 3D Printer That Lets Kids Make Their Own Toys

    At New York’s Toy Fair trade show over the weekend, Mattel unveiled its new, $300 3D Printer, the “ThingMaker,” which will allow children to print their own toys at home. The device works in conjunction with a 3D printing app developed in collaboration with Autodesk that offers a simple interface for designing items that can then come to life via Mattel’s… Read More

  • This Psycho-Pass Dominator Replica Switches Battle Modes Like Wow

    This Psycho-Pass Dominator Replica Switches Battle Modes Like Wow

    While I am not a huge fan of anime – I stopped at Akira and never picked it back up – I can appreciate attention to detail and true proplica badassery when I see it. And so we present the Dominator from Psycho-Pass, a quick-converting replica gun that moves from “paralyzer” to “eliminator” mode. It also connects to your smartphone for some added fun… Read More

  • This Teddy Bear Could Have Exposed Your Child’s Identity

    This Teddy Bear Could Have Exposed Your Child’s Identity

    Are smart toys worth the risk? That’s a question parents are asking themselves these days as they weigh the usefulness and delight that comes from cloud-connected toys, with the potential for them to be turned into spying devices, as was the claim against the Wi-Fi-enabled “Hello Barbie,” or the possibility of massive leaks involving their children’s personal… Read More

  • Twitter Doing More With GIFs, Introduces Feature Called “ScratchReel”

    Twitter Doing More With GIFs, Introduces Feature Called “ScratchReel”

    Twitter tweeted out a new toy for you to play with for video called “ScratchReel.” Basically, it lets you scrub a short GIF back and forth for cool effects. Check it out here (to see the actual effect you have to visit the native tweet): Spotted a ScratchReel yet? Scrub back & forth to help the @WSL surfer escape the tube! ⏪👆⏩ Only on Twitter, dude. Read More

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