6 Supercool Tech Toy Standouts at the 2016 International Toy Fair [Slide Show]
Coding and construction toys stole this year’s show
Bloxels ($49.95; available now)
With its colorful squares and simple-to-understand game board, the video game–creation platform Bloxels grounds digital game design in physical, tactile creativity. Color-coded cubes on a board represent pixels during character creation or squares on a map for level building. By snapping a picture of their design using Bloxels’s free app, players can turn the physical scheme into a digital world to explore. When developing a level, each cube color represents a building feature, such as land (green), enemies (purple) and coins (yellow). User-created maps, made up of multiple individual levels built on the game board, can become complex games that can be explored for hours. Players can share their designs via the app and use the coins they earn via gameplay to buy other players’ designs. Credits: Jennifer Hackett
Bloxels ($49.95; available now) With its colorful squares and simple-to-understand game board, the video game–creation platform Bloxels grounds digital game design in physical, tactile creativity. Color-coded cubes on a board represent pixels during character creation or squares on a map for level building...
Credit: Jennifer Hackett
CreoPop 3D Pen ($129.99; available now; magnetic ink available winter 2016) 3-D drawing pens typically use the same plastic “ink” as their printer counterparts. The CreoPop sidesteps the plastics and instead uses photopolymer inks that harden instantly due to the pen tip’s LED light...
Cubelets by Modular Robotics ($159.95 to $499.95, depending on kit size; available now) They might be the same size and shape as a wooden block but Cubelets can do more than get stacked into imaginative structures. Snap the magnetic pieces together and build robots. There are three block types, each one serving a different function...
Credit: Jennifer Hackett
Sphero SPRK ($129.99; available now) Sphero's cute and charismatic Star Wars BB-8 motion-controlled droid was a crowd favorite, but the more understated SPRK Lightning Lab, an app-based programming system that works with a modified version of Sphero's namesake controllable rolling robot, was also an attention-grabber...
Credit: Sphero Advertisement
WowWee CHiP ($199.99; available winter 2016) The cutely canid robotic pet, CHiP (Canine Home Intelligent Pet), is one smart digital dog indeed. Its personality changes as you interact with it, and the loyal mechanical mutt follows you around when you're wearing the included Smartband...
Hexbug BattleBots Rivals ($29.99; availability TBA) These palm-size, remote-controlled bots wreak havoc on one another, complete with parts flying off before a victor can be crowned. Unlike the robots on the TV show of the same name that inspired these creations, however, repairing them is easy: The parts snap back on so the battle can resume without much delay...
Credit: Hexbug Advertisement
Everyone feels like a kid when they attend the annual American International Toy Fair, held in New York City’s Javits Center. Seemingly endless colorful booths full of the next big thing crowded the center’s multiple floors for the four-day show held February 13–16. Bot-building kits shared floor space with flavored edible bubbles, quadcopters and adorable plush cats.
Scientific American played with some of the coolest science and technology toys of 2016. Here’s a selection of some new fun gizmos that caught our eye. Expertise. Insights. Illumination.
Discover world-changing science. Explore our digital archive back to 1845, including articles by more than 150 Nobel Prize winners.