Sometimes a teddy bear just won't cut it.
In an era of iPhones, PlayStations, and touchscreen tablets, toymakers are pulling out all the stops to hold the attention of today's little humans. Companies big and small are showcasing their latest offerings at the industry's mega- convention-the New York Toy Fair-and there's no shortage of weird and wonderful toys kids will surely be begging for this year. Here are six that left us scratching our heads:
Baby Alive Snackin' Sara
The newest in Hasbro's Baby Alive line, due later in the year, this $50 doll will announce when she's hungry and ask-in English or Spanish-for a snack, which you prepare for her by shaping solid doll food in moulds. She'll then unceremoniously poop out your effort into a diaper. The food is reusable: Think of it as a closed-loop system.
As proof that you can hybridize just about anything, Hasbro crossed a Furby with Chewbacca. By the time he appears in stores, the $80 fur ball will speak Wookiee, hum theme songs from Star Wars, and come with a bandolier accessory. It's Chewbacca, devoid of his endearing grumpiness.
Source: Mattel; Photographer: David Chickering; stylist: Susan Kurtz
According to Mattel, girls want to have a real-life, two- way conversation with Barbie. And you thought they only idolised her fashion sense. Soon they'll be able to chat with the icon of girlhood, much as they speak to Apple's Siri. The $75 Hello Barbie, in stores for the next summer holidays, plays interactive games, tells jokes, and remembers and responds to girls' likes and dislikes. It connects to Wi-Fi without a smart device and will be periodically updated with new content.
Lightsaber BBQ Tongs and Feel the Force Mug
Source: Underground Toys
If you want to feed your enduring Star Wars infatuation but eat like a grown-up, Underground Toys has two supremely geeky options: lightsaber tongs ($40), for flipping burgers with Jedi mastery, and a cup equipped with the coffee-stirring (battery) power of the Force ($28).
Should passing gas be turned into family entertainment? Goliath Games thinks so, and here's how it suggests going about it: Each player holds a small whoopee-cushion-like controller and takes turns, poker-faced, making the figure in the middle of the game board "toot." Whoever guesses correctly which player has triggered the noisome offense advances on the board; if no one guesses correctly, the guilty player moves closer to the goal, though it would take a special person to take pride in winning this one.