Saturday, February 3, 2007

Hot toys for 2007: Flying robots, guitars, and a singing Barbie

Toy Fair preview: Eager to recapture kids' attention after the iPod onslaught, toymakers are putting a 'digital' twist on classic toys.
By Parija B. Kavilanz, staff writer
Lots of robots
"Optimus Prime voice changer helmet" from Hasbro.
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Lots of robots
Toy robots are a rage this year, thanks to the upcoming July 4 release of the live-action "Transformers" movie from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. Hasbro, which owns the Transformers brand has created the "Optimus Prime voice changer helmet" which makes your voice sound like a robot. The product will hit stores in June, selling for $29.99, suggested retail price.

The Air Hogs Robo Copter from Canadian toymaker Spin Master is a pretty cool innovation in the remote-control toy category. With the push of a button, the Robo Copter transforms from a robot to a helicopter. Kids can drive it on the ground or fly it in the air.

"If you're looking for one of the biggest `Wows' of Toy Fair, I think we have it," said Harold Chizick, spokesman for Spin Master.

The Robo Copter is expected to sell in the fall, priced at about $110, for kids 10 years and older.

"Robots are classic toys and a natural place for companies to incorporate new technology," Byrne said. New from Jakks' Xtreme Performance Vehicles (XPV) line of remote-control flying vehicles is the XPV R.A.D. series, which stands for Robotic Air Defense. XPV R.A.D. apparently is a flying RC robot that travels on land and then launches in the air. The company said XPV R.A.D can switch from a standing android to a flying robot capable of performing aerial stunts. The series is expected to sell in the fall.

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