The Harrington Group's half-scale cars have been around for 13 years, with the entire fleet of classic look-alikes being completely reengineered two years ago and a new level of sophistication added to the designs. The latest release of a two-thirds scale 1960s Lotus 25 F1 lookalike could prove to be much more than just an exquisite toy for the wealthy though. It's a low cost race car which could form the basis for a whole new sport with more relevance than karts.
Kids' bikes are learning to grow as quickly as children. Designs like the Grow bike and B'kid expand in size to keep up with the fast-growing tyke, and the Wishbone bike keeps right on growing from pedal-free balance bike to pedal bike. The new Leg&Go bike does all that and even transforms to keep the ride going indoors and out in the snow.
As a kid, pogo-sticks always looked like fun, but were inevitably disappointing to use. US-based Vurtego, however, designs pogo-sticks for adults and they're a bit more on the extreme side. Its new V4 can launch users up to 10 ft (3 m) into the air and is ideal for a mid-life crisis.
A successful Lego Ideas fan submission based on the Labyrinth marble maze game is to be produced. The Lego Labyrinth Marble Maze will feature a tilting platform that players must move around in order to guide a marble to the end of the maze, avoiding holes on the way.
Electrical engineer Charles Sharman noticed several years ago that as they got older,
the children he taught at Sunday School tended to migrate from Lego and
other building toys to video games. He wanted them to keep creating, so
he started a company called Seven:Twelve Engineering and began designing
a building toy that could hold the attention of these older kids. That
toy is called Crossbeams, and it can be used to design and assemble a
huge range of toys – including big, detailed, moving cars and
actually claimed to have seen living pterosuars – just Google the word "ropen" – although those alleged sightings tend to be confined to far-flung places such as Papua New Guinea. That could be about to change, however, if a new Kickstarter campaign is successful. Ohio-based PaulG Toys is raising production funds for a radio-controlled pterodactyl, that actually flies by flapping its wings.
Today, an interactive toy is more often than not a chatty teddy bear with a very limited repertoire, but Elemental Path is developing a "CogniToy" that would relegate such toys to the dunce's chair. The Dino CogniToy isn't just a plastic dinosaur with a chip, it's a plastic dinosaur connected to IBM's Watson
artificially intelligent computer system, which makes it not simply interactive, but also a toy that can "evolve, learn, and grow" with a child.
Anki has announced the latest iteration of its smartphone-controlled robotic car racing game. Anki Overdrive builds on the previous Anki Drive
by adding modular tracks, along with improved car designs, new AI personalities to battle against, and additional gameplay modes.
It might seem strange that Gizmag spent a good chunk of the busy month of January playing with toys at two major toy fairs, London
and Nuremberg. The toy segment is following consumer technology closely, though, and many of the same trends that we see at major shows like CES
are also evident at the international toy fairs ... only in smaller, simpler, more child-friendly packages. Proclaimed as the world's biggest toy fair, the Nuremberg Toy Fair ("Spielwarenmesse" in German), which wrapped up earlier this week, gave us a good feel for how toy companies are incorporating the latest technologies, including robotics and connectivity.
When you were a kid, did you ever have one of those toy race cars that was powered by a wound-up rubber band? If you did, chances are it wasn't quite as striking as Cirin. Modeled after mid-1950s Formula 1 cars, the one-off mini racer features state-of-the-art construction, and 16 ft (5 m) of looped elastic that allows it to travel 500 ft (152 m) at speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h).