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Imagine walking into the world’s biggest toy store except that everything you see is completely brand new — and you can’t buy any of it just yet. That’s exactly what covering Toy Fair — the toy industry’s annual trade show — is like. It’s a tantalising glimpse into what kids will be begging their parents for over the upcoming year, and we’ve sifted through all the hoopla to bring you the best of the best.
The 3Doodler was the first handheld 3D printer to hit the market, but its use of heating elements and hot plastic meant that it couldn’t be used by kids — arguably one of its main demographics — without parental supervision. So Hasbro has come up with a much safer alternative called the DohVinci that uses a new kind of Play-Doh that hardens overnight.
Before Flappy Bird, Candy Crush and other electronic obsessions occupied our free time, there was Simon. The simple game had players trying to perfectly recreate an ever-growing sequence of flashing colours by pressing a set of four buttons. It was simple, it was frustrating, and now it’s even harder as Hasbro is adding swipe gestures into the mix.
Realising the toll that Scrabble has taken on families when it comes to accurately keeping track of the score, Hasbro is introducing an updated version of the game that among other improvements, now includes an electronic score tracker. So no longer will your mum or dad’s questionable maths affect the outcome of a game.
Boardwalk, Park Place, and even Marvin Gardens are all iconic properties on the world’s most popular board game. But what if you wanted to play a game of Monopoly with locales you were actually familiar with? A simple Sharpie is one solution, but so is Hasbro’s My Monopoly game. It lets you create a custom board online — with graphics and properties of your choosing — that’s then delivered right to your door.
Photography is a lovely hobby for adults who’ve developed the requisite patience to wait for the perfect shot. But for kids? Not so much. They demand more instant gratification, so Hasbro has created the Showcam, a digital camera targeted at kids that lets them add effects and hilarious animations to photos, and even project them on a wall for all to see.
Have you tried to put together a Transformer lately? Without an instruction booklet, you stand a better chance of dismantling a nuclear warhead than making Optimus look like Prime, instead of a 16-wheeler with a robot head for a butt. That wasn’t always the case.