Tag Archives: zoomer

Parents@Play Gift Guide #6: Animals

Is your child begging for a new pet this year, but you’re not excited about having to clean up after yet another member of the family? Look no further: Here’s an array of low-maintenance pets for your young animal lover.

Zoomer Chimp (Spin Master)

zoomer chimpThe latest in the line of Zoomer robotic pets, this little guy has all the moves—standing upright or on all fours. Right out of the box, he knows 10 commands (watch what happens when you tell him to “go bananas”), and you can teach him even more. Zoomer Chimp makes a lot of sounds, has built-in “progressive play” (meaning that he doesn’t always move the same way), and he’ll let you know how he’s feeling by facial expressions and the color of his eyes. His wiggles and dances are adorable and funny, but he’ll need batteries, which aren’t included. Ages 5+. Prices vary widely, so shop around. http://www.spinmaster.com


Zoomer Hedgiez (Spin Master)

zoomer hedgiezEven though they’re part of the Zoomer family, Hedgiez are a little less frantic than their robotic cousins (after all, hedgehogs aren’t known for their wild parties). Hedgiez come in several colors, do tricks, roll around, and love to play, cuddle, and giggle. The fur is soft and can be brushed or styled with the included comb. Hedgiez curl up when tickled (very cute) and blow you kisses. Batteries aren’t included, but a bunch of stickers are. Ages 5+. Prices vary. http://www.spinmaster.com


Chubby Puppies and Friends (Chubby Puppies)

chubby puppiesThese cute pets have been around for a while, but they just keep getting better. There are a lot more dogs now, and the company has added a variety of other animals, including bunnies, horses, pandas, and all kinds of cats. Some come with their own babies, and others come with “fashion sets,” like a carrying bag for the pup and accessories, such as sunglasses and bows. Larger playsets, such as a dog park and a fashion runway, are available too. Regardless of species, all Chubby Puppies need an AAA battery (included—yeah!) to walk, hop, and waddle. Ages 4+. $7.99 for individual pets, more for fashion sets and playsets. http://chubbypuppies.com


Build-A-Bear Workshop Stuffing Station (Spin Master)

build-a-bear workshop stuffing Now you can create your own stuffed toys at home, just like in the stores. Each kit contains one Stuffing Station (which runs on kid power—batteries not required!), two Furry Friends (one bear, one bunny), two shirts, two hearts, two bags of stuffing, instructions, accessories, and adoption/birth certificates. Yes, you can get refills and more animals to stuff. Ages 4+, $29.99. https://shop.spinmaster.com


Peppy Pups

peppy pupsThese pets have sweet faces, soft fur, are zero-tech, and will get your kids outside and moving. What could be better than that? Your Pup will follow you everywhere. Take him (or her) for a walk (indoors or out) and he’ll prance alongside, run, and even give bouncy “jumps” since he literally has a spring in his step. No baggies required. Ages 4+. $19.99 at Toys “R” Us, Amazon, and elsewhere.


Baby So Real (Cabbage Patch Kids)

cabbage patch baby so realWhat if your little one is begging for a new brother or sister instead of a pet? Well, for the first time, CPK has created an interactive doll experience. These life-like baby dolls have those classic Cabbage Patch looks but are loaded with the latest technology. They coo, burp, sleep, and even run a fever, which gives your child a chance to play mommy or daddy in a fairly authentic way—diaper changes included. The doll’s eyes open, close, and look around the room, and it has random reactions, just like “real” babies. As with all Cabbage Patch Kids, Baby So Real is soft and snuggly, and comes with removable clothes (additional outfits sold separately). And yes, there’s an app for that. It’s free, and simulates a baby monitor. Ages 4+. Under $100.  http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com

Parents@Play Gift Guide #5: WowWee! Robots, Coding, and More

These toys are so great they need no introduction!

CHiP (WowWee)

wowwee chipIn a word, CHiP is amazing. He’s a smart, trainable, affectionate robot puppy that’s always ready to play. Tell him to fetch, and he’ll bolt after his Bluetooth-enabled ball. Give him a kiss, and he’ll give you a slobber-free one right back. Tell him to do yoga, and he’ll do a perfect downward-facing dog (no cat-cow for this little guy). If you wear the SmartBand, he’ll follow you around the house. But if you ignore him for more than a few minutes, he’ll bark to attract your attention. The voice-recognition is great and so is the hardware, which enables CHiP to avoid obstacles and respond to a variety of touches and gestures. The wheels are especially cool and allow CHiP to move in any direction—even sideways—and on almost any surface. You can play with CHiP for hours on a single charge, and when his energy level drops, his eyes change color and he automatically makes his way back to his SmartBed to nap. Ages 8+. Around $180. http://wowwee.com


COJI (WowWee)

wowwee cojiAnother wonderful tech toy from WowWee. This highly interactive, smart, and wonderfully engaging robot will help your child learn to do basic coding by using emojis, hence the name: code + emoji = coji. There’s an app, of course, and it’s a good one, filed with games that encourage memory, problem-solving, and creative thinking. And there are plenty of coding challenges, such as navigating Coji through a maze. Your child does the programming on the app, and if you get it right, Coji spins around, does a little dance, and displays fireworks or other happy emojis on his screen. Your child can use the app without Coji or play with Coju without the app, using his remote control functions. Batteries not included. Ages 4+. Around $45. http://wowwee.com


Cubetto (Primo Toys)

primo cubettoCoding without a screen, apps, or even written instructions? Sounds impossible, right? Wrong! Primo has created a delightful—and beautiful—way to introduce basic coding concepts to very little kids. There are four components: Cubetto him- or herself, a cloth “map” for Cubetto to move around on, 16 coding blocks, and a programming “tablet.” Kids place Cubetto on the map, decide where they want him to go, and use the blocks (left turn, right turn, straight ahead, and even function) to make that happen. It’s very intuitive and hands-on, and does a great job of bringing the digital and tactile worlds together. We also love that Cubetto is made mostly of wood and is completely gender neutral. Ages 3+. About $225. https://www.primotoys.com


Edwin the Duck (pi lab)

edwin the duckThis is not your father’s, mother’s, or even Ernie’s (you know, from Sesame Street) rubber duckie, and that’s a good thing. While Edwin isn’t exactly a robot, he’s definitely smart, connected, and full of fun, educational games. Edwin is a lovely stand-alone (or float-alone) companion for your little one, but he also interacts with his digital world. Oh, and for you, he’s got a temperature sensor so you won’t plop your baby into a bath that’s too hot, a built-in Bluetooth speaker so you can stream your favorite music, and a nightlight for when bath time and playtime are over. Safe for kids as young as 8 months. Under $100. https://www.edwintheduck.com

Zoomer Marshall PAW Patrol Dalmatian (Spin Master)

spin master zoomerPAW Patrol’s Dalmatian fire dog is ready to roll, with more than 80 interactive rescue missions and tricks, and 150 sounds and phrases. He also plays the “PAW Patrol” theme song (and dances to it), has water cannons to shoot (not real water), and more. Just charge him up, pat his head, and get ready to save the day. AA batteries not included. Ages 3+. Available from KMart’s Fab15 list for about $70, prices at other retailers vary. http://www.spinmaster.com


Are the Holidays Really So Close?

As temperatures drop and family playtime starts moving indoors, you’ll find yourself wanting to break out (or acquire) new playthings for your little ones. Here are some adorable options that we’re sure will make their way onto your holiday wish lists (yes, we’re already thinking about the Holidays).

zoomer chomplingzZoomer Jester and Zoomer Chomplingz
Last week we introduced you to Zoomer Kitty. Now it’s time to meet her new, prehistoric relatives. Zoomer Jester is a new species of Zoomer Dino, called the Jokeasaurus, and, as you might guess, he loves to make you laugh. Balanced on two wheels, Zoomer Jester can spin around, chomp, and growl. Yes, he can get angry, but he also giggles. He detects movement with his nose and you can control him by using your hands or the remote control. He’s eager to please and if you’re patient, he’ll “learn” tricks. When you’re done playing, be sure to charge him up so he’ll be ready to go for the next round of fun. Prices vary. Available in stores like Toys R Us and Amazon. Zoomer Chomplingz are mini versions of Zoomer Dinos, but they deliver just as much fun. With mouth- and nose sensors that detect motion, they’re quite interactive. They also come with a bone to play catch with. These little guys make all sorts of noises (including gas, which just about guarantees that the kids—and dad—will love them even more). Set your Chomplingz to “guard mode” and they’ll protect your room (or your dinner!) and will ferociously growl at those that dare to trespass. Three different Chomplingz are available everywhere, and five are exclusive to a specific store (i.e. Walmart or Toys R Us). Check http://zoomerdino.com  for pricing and info on where to buy your favorite.

cloud petCloud Pets
When bedtime looms, these cuddly, plush companions from Jay at Play are good for a lot more than snuggles. Just download the free app from the Apple Store or Google Play and you (or grandma or grandpa or anyone else) can record a message for your child. You can send the message from anywhere, but not directly to the Cloud Pet—it has to go through a Bluetooth-enabled device that’s in the same room. A blinking red light lets your child know that a new message is waiting; they just squeeze the Pet’s paw to hear it. Kids can reply to the message in the same way—from their pet to the nearby device, and on to Dad or Mom in Timbuktu. Comes in Puppy, Kitty, Teddy, Bunny, Elephant, or Unicorn. http://cloudpets.com.


little bits gizmos and gadgetsGizmos & Gadgets (LittleBits)
This kit is great fun for kids who enjoy building, tinkering, and inventing. Gizmos & Gadgets comes with all the materials, electronic building blocks, tools, and detailed instruction they’ll need to design and build more than 15 projects, including a functioning racecar and a bubble machine (more are available on the LittleBits website or through their free app). And of course, there’s no limit to the number they can come up with on their own. Learn more at http://littlebits.cc/shop

strawberry shortcakeStrawberry Shortcake 35th Anniversary Edition
For the Strawberry Shortcake lover in your life—or the girl who grew up in the 80’s—there’s a cute Strawberry Shortcake Classic 35th Anniversary Edition Small Doll, who looks and smells just like she did way back when… This special edition reproduction of the original doll is exclusive to Target for $10. If you’re looking for something cuddlier, consider the Strawberry Shortcake Classic Rag Doll 35th Anniversary Edition. She’s great to take along on trips, put in your baby stroller, and tuck into bed with your child at night. At $20, she’s also great for collectors.