Classic Toys Get Modern Tech Updates
The 2011 American International Toy Fair in New York City this week unveiled many of the toys that will be swept off the shelves later this year. Although there were various new tech-related items on display, one of the biggest trends to grace the show floor was classic toys sporting a modern-day tech twist, from Scrabble to Barbie.
Here's a look at some favorites that are undergoing a tech-boost makeover:
Hot Wheels' Video Racer is the company's first action video camera encased inside a toy vehicle. This allows kids to capture and produce high quality footage of wherever they drive the car. With 12 minutes of memory and a built-in LCD screen on the bottom of the Video Racer, Hot Wheels fans can watch and control real-time playback of recordings. It fits in a protective case that attaches to almost anything – from skateboards and bikes to even helmets. The Video Racer also comes with editing software, so kids can upload their footage with the car's USB port and make mini-movies on the computer. Price: $59.99. Available in Fall 2011.
Hasbro's Scrabble Flash took home the game of the year award at the 2011 Toy Fair, which puts a fun tech spin on the classic word-play game. Made up of five electronic freestanding tiles that players speedily slide, shuffle and swap, plays create as many three, four or five-letter words as possible in 75 seconds. When the tiles are lined up to create a new word, the game’s technology recognizes the word and the tiles light up and beep. The tiles make it even easier for players by keeping time and score. In stores now. Prices vary.
Barbie is getting extra techy these days. Last year there was computer engineer Barbie, and now she wants you to create and design her own hair extensions. After logging online and selecting the colors and patterns for the extensions, they can be printed out on any inkjet printer and then placed on Barbie's head. Barbie Hairtastic Printables comes with the doll and printable hair extensions. Price: $29.99. It hits stores in Fall 2011.
UNO is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the introduction of a new character, Roboto, who helps players customize the game for the first time in the game's history. By recording each player's name and setting unique house rules, talking Roboto deals out surprise commands and funny phrases that change-up the game every time. So if you have a dog, he may go tell you to find and pet it every time you pick a certain card. Price: $24.99. Available June 2011.