Tag Archives: furby

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas…

It’s the week before Christmas and all through the land, there are parents who are still trying to find that perfect toy for the special child(ren) in their life. Here are a few of our last-minute favorites, toys that your children will be thrilled to find under the tree this year.
Big Hugs Elmo (Playskool)
hug elmo hasbroOnce again, that fuzzy, red monster has managed to be THE hot toy of the season. He’s large (about the size of a one-year old), loves getting—and giving—hugs, and will often ask for a bigger or tighter squeeze from your little cuddle bug. Elmo also asks to play ponies, jump like froggies, (and will comment along with appropriate noises), and dance. Elmo also moves his arms up and down, sings bedtime songs, and snores when you lay him on his back. About $50, and available at http://www.toysrus.com or in physical stores near you. But you’d better hurry.
Sesame Street Lullaby & Good Night Elmo (Hasbro)
Haven’t had enough of Elmo yet? Decked out in his Dorothy the Goldfish pajamas, this Elmo is all set to comfort your little one as he or she drifts off into dreamland. Kids can snuggle up with Elmo and press his tummy to hear a lullaby or one of a few bedtime phrases. Strangely, there’s no Off button, which means Elmo could start talking if your child accidentally rolls over him.  About $15. http://www.hasbro.com.
Furby Boom (Hasbro)
furby boom hasbroFurbies have been around for a while, but this latest incarnation has some special features. The new Furbies come in bright patterns and colors. Having an app seems to be a requirement for toys these days, and Furby’s got one for Apple or Android (including some kids’ tablets. The Furby Boom, like past Furbies, has a mind of its own, and the more you interact with and play with it, the more you shape its personality. Furby remembers his name and has more than twice as many responses as previous generations did. Furby can learn English or help you understand “Furbish.” And the app lets you mix smoothies, give your little pal a virtual shower, and even hatch and raise digital Furby Furblings. About $64. Available at http://www.hasbro.com or your favorite toy store.
Tabeo e2 (Toys R Us)
tabeo "toys r us" tabletAs we discussed last week, tablets are great way for kids to start interfacing with technology in a way that’s both safe, educational, and won’t trash mom and dad’s expensive tablet. The Tabeo e2 has all the specs needed to run the newest apps, 8GB of flash memory, Jelly Bean 4.2, Dual core 1.0 Ghz CPU, Quad-core GPU, and 1GB of RAM. All this makes for a zippy tablet that’s a breeze to use. The parental controls (which you have to set up before turning the e2 over to the kids) are pretty comprehensive and allow you to keep your kids from doing anything you don’t feel is appropriate for them. Comes with a charger, USB cable, and a protective case to keep it safe when those accidental tumbles happen. About $150. You can pre-order yours at http://www.tabeo.com.
A final note. If you’re still looking for something for the dads on your list, be sure to check out the winners of the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval, which recognizes toys and games that dads and kids can play together. The complete list is at http://mrdad.com/seal.
Best wishes for a safe, play-filled Holiday from all of us on the Parents@Play team.




Interactive Toys for Toddlers

The holidays may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the end of the gift-giving season… There are birthdays, equinoxes, rainy days, and plenty of duplicate gifts to return. But what to get for the discerning tot in your home? It’s a well known fact that younger children especially two year olds can be tricky to buy for.
Here are some of the top interactive toys for the toddler set that will keep kids entertained-and are fun for mom and dad too.
baby butterscotch pony from hasbro and furrealFurreal Friends Baby Butterscotch, My Magical Show Pony (Hasbro). This new addition to Hasbro’s Furreal Friends line is the most animated and responsive yet. Scratch Butterscotch’s head and she’ll nuzzle your hand, talk to her, and she’ll respond with the pony equivalent of cooing. Feed her a carrot and she’ll make happy crunching sounds. Brush her fur, and she’ll love you forever. Baby Butterscotch is a fun intro to owning a real pet-she even snores at the end of a long day of play. Carrot and brush included. Search for “personalised gifts for dog lovers” and buy something really cute for your dog or dog lovers at home. Ages 4 and up.

Interactive Story Buddies from HallmarkInteractive Story Buddies (Hallmark).
Bigsby, the shy monster, likes to go on big adventures and learn new things with his friends. He-along with the other Story Buddies-speak up when they hear certain words. Those words can be delivered by mom or dad, your child, or even the narrator in the iPod/iPad app. Each Story Buddy comes with a book and a read-along CD, free downloadable apps, and a host of other interactive features on line. You can also buy more books, which continue Bigsby’s adventures. The books gently teach social skills, such as friendship. But what we think is far more important, they encourage parents to snuggle up and read with their children. And that’s priceless. Ages 2 and up.

Super Grover (Playskool)
super groverThe Sesame Street Flying Super Grover Plush toy is a lot of fun for fans of Sesame Street. Parents can explore the world with their child as they help Super Grover investigate and solve problems on earth and beyond. He’s not only cute (in that monstery sort of way) and a good playmate, he can also help your child learn empathy and social skills by teaching him or her about different countries and cultures, and how kids can help others and their communities. For high-flying fun, just the right message for your pre-K and K children, delivered by a friendly face they know and love, Super Grover will be a year-round hit. His preloaded songs, motorized motion, cool flying sounds, and vocabulary of absurd Grover-ish phrases will keep your kiddo entertained long after the thank-you notes are written (you do have your kids write thank you notes, right?) Ages 2-5.

FURBY (Hasbro)
FURBY, HasbroFurby, one of the first robotic pets, was born in 1998 and immediately became the must-have toy of that year. Those first Furbys talked to and interacted with their human playmate, “learning” depending on the level of the child’s interaction and time spent together. The newest generation does much the same, but instead of being simply action-reaction (child says something, Furby responds), these Furbys add an emotional component and a touch of attitude. So if your Furby doesn’t like music and you play it anyway, she’ll get aggravated and yell. Continue ignoring her needs and she’ll get even angrier. It’s amazing how much this little fluffy ball of circuits, motors, and screens can mimic an actual pet. Don’t be surprised if next year’s model includes a real litter box. Ages 6 and up.