Tag Archives: transformers

A Playful Intro to Gaming

Are you looking to add a new layer of fun to your at-home gaming world, or maybe a gentle way to give your little one a taste? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out these toys, which will keep your youngster (okay, and you too) entertained through the rest of the winter and beyond.

nintendo plushPlush Toys from Nintendo
Got a kid who’s not quite ready for actual gaming? These cute, 7.5-inch plush toys from Nintendo are a great way to introduce him or her to popular cultural icons such as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Link, Red Pikmin, and Yellow Pikmin. Plus, they’re sturdy, soft, and great for cuddling up with at bedtime (or any other time). They’re about $8 each at your favorite retailer.



tmnt hero portalJAKKS Hero Portal
Another one for the novice gamers among us (and for their more experienced, young-at-heart adult caretakers). These are the latest additions to the “Plug It In and Play TV Games” line. Right now, the Portals come in two flavors: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. The Portals are extremely easy to use, since the games are built right into the controller. Just plug it into pretty much any TV and you’re ready to roll. No need for any additional consoles, attachments, wires, or software. Then, pick your Hero, place him or her on the portal, and start battling your way through each game’s six stages and 18 missions. Available for $40 online and everywhere else. The portals come with two Heroes. Additional Heroes, as well as booster packs, which unlock secret missions and more, are sold separately everywhere.

angry birds telepodAngry Birds Telepods
These guys are a real blast for any Angry Birds fan, which at this point, must be nearly everyone with an Internet connection. Telepods come in a dizzying array of options, characters, and price points, so there’s something for every child and every budget. The newest Telepods are Transformers and Stella (the pink lady bird). Let’s start with Transformers. Yes, the birds are still angry, and yes, they’re still doing battle with the pigs. But now they’re cleverly (although a little obviously) disguised as robots. You play the game in both real life as well as on your tablet, with the figurines and the Telepods base, which transports all the characters right into the Transformers app (included). Place the pigs on perches, launch the birds, and try to make bacon. Being able to touch and manipulate the figurines and accessories bridges the real and virtual worlds and adds a new element to an already-engaging experience. It’s great fun for Angry Birds lovers and Transformers aficionados, and almost too much fun to endure for fans of both! How is it that no one thought of this before?

angry birds stellaWith its playhouses, swings, food playsets, and pinkish hue, Angry Birds Stella is definitely aimed at the girls. But oddly, most boys are perfectly willing to overlook the color scheme, as long as they can still catapult birds and terrorize those little porkers. Joking aside, we think it’s great that this one is pitched at girls; so many companies mistakenly assume that girls aren’t interested in gaming. But our young testers proved otherwise. It’s clear that with Angry Birds as popular as it is, the girls are glad to represent with the lovely Stella.

New Year, New Toys for Boys

This week, we take a look at some fun toys aimed mostly at boys. We’ll get to the girls soon.

Transformers Rescue Bots Beam Box
transformers beam boxVideo game-themed toys are all the rage these days—especially the kind that bring the toy and the player into the game—and Hasbro has joined in the fun with the Transformers Rescue Bots Beam Box (why do manufacturers insist on such long names?). Rescue Bots were created for smaller hands and have fewer intricate parts. The unit comes with a controller and one figure, Optimus Prime, who is your main character inside the game. There are five games to play as Optimus, all of which are easy for little hands to control. The starter set, which includes Optimus and the console, retails for $49.99, with additional figures available for $6.99. Available at your favorite brick-and-mortar or online toy store.

Beyblade Shogun Steel Octagon Showdown Battle Set
shogun arenaThis toy has been around for a few years, in several variations, but boys still love it. Here’s how it works. Two opponents each launch a “warrior” into an “arena” by pulling on a zip-pull ripcord. The warriors spin furiously like tops and bash into each other until only one is still moving. Sounds like something that could get pretty old pretty quickly. But no. Boys will play this game for hours and hours—and for weeks and weeks. And because it’s so engaging, it’s a great way for dads and moms to log some really fun quality time. The Octagon Showdown Battle Set comes with two Shogun Steel BeyWarrior battlers, the arena, ripcords, and two collector trading cards. Retails for $35 everywhere.

The Ugglys Pug Electronic Pet
ugglysWe did a column a few weeks ago on gross toys, and this one fits right in. Most little boys and their dads (along with some little girls and their moms) who’ve played with it have had a little too much fun, giggling as if they were watching Comedy Central. The Ugglys Pug Electronic Pet is all about noisily bodily functions, most notably gas and burps. Your child, spouse, father, or self can control the timbre of said gas as well as the pitch and how long the sound will go on (there are 30 choices). There’s also an added feature that makes the Pug ring like a telephone or buzz like a bee at random moments. Oh, and he’s a handpuppet too. Does life get any better than this? At retailers everywhere for $35.

Trash Pack Wheels Junk Yard
Another late entry into the fun-yet-gross category, the Trash Wheels Junkyard Play Set features a series of toys that are shaped like and look like garbage, but often with faces. An odd concept, but kids and adults love it. This goes well beyond Sesame Street’s trashcan-dwelling Oscar the Grouch. Think “old socks with ugly facial expressions” or “dirty banana peel that looks constipated.” There are also garbage bins, toxic waste canisters, garbage trucks, and more—every one of which is a huge crowd pleaser. But wait: What if you need to repair the Trash Wheel? With the Junk Yard, you can fix it, scrap it, or crush it into a piece of scrap metal (most boys like that option best, but no worries—it doesn’t actually crush anything). The set comes with two Trash Wheel Vehicles and a place to garage them. Not for kids who still put everything into their mouth, but fun for everyone else. Retails for about $20 everywhere.