Main menu:

Site search


Your Digital Kids

Summer’s New Digital Toys

It’s show time for the digital toy business. Time to trot out previews of the summer’s releases.  This season offerings has a few recurrent themes. First is low price. Almost all of the manufacturers are selling less expensive variations on their older toys.  The second trend is all about using the body and brain in combination. Whether it’s on the Wii or a standalone toy, chances are you’ll be your body as an input device.  And finally, there’s a trend to make child-sized versions of adult digital toys, from cameras and mp3 players, to gym equipment and fingernail decorating.
eyeclopscutJaak EyeClops Mini Projector
With built in mini speakers and the ability to run off of batteries or a power adaptor this LED projector can take input from game machines, PCs, mobile devices like an iPhone, DVDs and project them up on any wall.  Kids can make their own movies or watch canned ones. Plus, it’ll cost less than $100 which is a lower price than any mini-projector on the market.  Be forewarned, the quality is QVGA so shows seem a little fuzzy and you’ll need a really dark room.

THQ  Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter:

Just introduced on the Wii, this game combines kids creativity and game playing.  Using a set of familiar looking paint tools kids design their own characters to star in video games.  The characters can even articulate their limbs, giving them lifelike moves.  Once the character is completed you can  place it  in a simple game, drawing in your own obstacles as you go. You can even draw a bridge to get you across a river with a special action ink, or a draw a ball that drawn-to-lifebounces.  The game you play is the one you’ve created. That’s both inspired and loads of fun.
Leapfrog  Zippity 

Zippity looks like a cross between a pogo stick and a Dance Dance Revolution mat. It’s played on the Wii. Young kids will stand on the  mat,  with their stick held firmly in their hands . On a TV screen they’re be watching their favorite Disney characters and using the stick they’re interacting as they watch  Using Playhouse Disney characters like Winnie the Pooh and Mickey, Zippity presents  kids with dances to do, jumping and movement, and learning fun.  Priced at $79 it’s a mini-Wii game for the mini-est users.democenter_par_87858_image_direct


A netbook of their own.  Disney and ASUS teamed up to create a $350 netbook designed for kids. That means safe browsing, parental controls with plenty of room for parents to adjust, customizable screensavers with themes from Disney’s Cars, WALL-E and others.

An ASUS netbook under its skin, the Netpal has an interface that’s all Disney. The keyboard is spillproof and a Shock shield protects the netpal  from damage due to  accidental drops.  Naturally it’s available in Princess Pink and Magic Blue.

Leapfrog Tag Reader Jr:

Leapfrog’s Tag Reading System used a special magic digital pen to read aloud to young readers.  Now the youngest pre-readers get a Tag of their own, called Tag Jr.  Instead of a pen, mini-tagjrthe handheld device is shaped more like a big rubber stamp.  The child presses the tag reader junior to the book page and all sorts of things begin to happen.  Stories get read, songs are sung, shapes and colors called out.  The books are made of really durable heavy cardboard so the system is dribble and drool proof.

Imagine Series: For girls who dream about what they want to be when they grow up Ubisoft created a series of  unique videogame introductions to the working world. Last year the big hits were Imagine Doctor, Movie Star and Babysitter. .This year they’re adding artist, boutique owner, detective, fashion designers, salon stylist, zookeeper and a few others to the lineup.  The games have become quite successful. Each gives you a taste of a career with simple games from picking patterns for fashions to putting together clues to solve a mystery. For girls ages 6-14 available on Nintendo DS.