Toys ‘Я’ Everywhere — The 2013 New York Toy Fair

by Marshal M. Rosenthal

Boys like toys, and big boys like big toys. But if you didn’t spend every minute peeking into showrooms and booths during Toy Fair’s Manhattan appearance — you might think the biggest thing coming is a doll that burps on command. But take heart because we’re too manic not to have sussed out the coolest toys soon to hit the shelves. See for yourself.

Spin Master Air Hogs Elite Helix X4

Fly with the big boys.

Fly with the big boys. (credit: Spin Master Ltd.)

Any R/C quad-copter that long-named better have gyro stabilization for 4-ducted fan flying control. The 4-channel 2.4GHz radio controller charges the X4 up and crash-resistant materials keep you from cringing from the inevitable crash. Or you can forget about the controls altogether and just use your hand to control the AtmoSphere and let it bounce off walls and ceilings instead.

Thames & Kosmos Rocket Science

You know how they say it ain’t rocket science? Well this is, specifically since all the experiments revolve around a “stomp-on” rocket launcher. Maybe you’ll learn something, but mostly it’ll be fun.

ThinkFun Laser Maze

Just don't look at the beam.

Just don’t look at the beam. (credit: Think Fun, Inc.)

So this guy made a chess-like game that used a laser. Too hoity-toity. Give us visually challenging mazes to work our way through using a beam of coherent light instead. And add mirrors for bouncing the beam to make it challenging enough not to bore.

Factory Entertainment Game of Thrones and Archer

A prop reproduction of a Throne’s castles or one of their decorative pillows isn’t why anyone watches the show. But a figure of Lana Kane giving you digital voice snark or the plush of Pam’s Dolphin puppet as featured on the Archer animated series, that we can get behind.

Jakks Pacific SpyNet Lie Detector

Next time your bud brags about his social life, stick the sensors on, plug into your smartphone and check the read out. Body temperature, brain activity (if any) is monitored and responses displayed.

Mattel Hot Wheels Car Maker

You need to be very tiny to get this ride.

You need to be very tiny to get this ride. (credit: Mattel)

Build your own set of wheels, only on a 1:64 scale. An internal heating system takes the wax stick and molds it into vehicles for that fresh, off-the-toy-assembly-line smell. Just add wheels.

Skyrocket Toys VMD Missile Striker

Vehicle of Mass Destruction, indeed.

Vehicle of Mass Destruction, indeed. (credit: Skyrocket Toys)

If an R/C Vehicle of Mass Destruction is going to fire a missile — it’d had better be a humongous foam dart that can shoot 75 feet. And be controlled with a remote that has an arming switch for when it’s time to get serious.

TailorToys PowerUp Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit

Have paper, will fly. (credit: PowerUp)

Have paper, will fly. (credit: Powerup Toys)

Anyone can make a paper airplane. But one with a powered propeller for 30 seconds of flight, not so much. Designed for a quick launch, about all you need to worry about are paper cuts.


The rise of the machines just got closer — the EV3 Intelligent Brick is smarter and faster and adds an IR sensor to its Linux-based OS operations. Use the 3D instruction app to get up close and personal with all the steps needed to make a sophisticated robot. One with iOS/Android capabilities right out of the box too.

Tomy Battroborg

High-tech "Rock-em, Sock-em" like robots.

High-tech “Rock-em, Sock-em” like robots. (credit: Takara Tomy)

Think “Rock-em, Sock-em” robots all grown up — remote motion control means that when two of these guys take the ring, double fists of pain ensue. Damage level is recorded by color-changing LEDs, and five punches to the kisser (or elsewhere) ends the fight.

NECA 1964 Batman Action Figures

Adam West makes his not-as-yet-final action figure appearance.

Adam West makes his not-as-yet-final action figure appearance. (credit: NECA)

You still can’t watch the Batman TV show from the 60’s on DVD, but you CAN buy the action figures now. “Holy 1/4th scale Batman,” as Robin would say. Only it’d be Burt Ward because Batman looks like Adam West.

Carerra Go!!! Slot Car Racers

What’s another day without Mario, Spider-Man or the ninja Turtles racing? Quick assembly means you get to the action fast, and these speedy cars zip over the track even faster.

Klutz The Book of Impossible Objects

Get your nonsense on.

Get your nonsense on. (credit: Klutz)

Because not everything needs to be electronic. Or makes sense at first look. Dump out the special included parts, open the pages and work through optical illusions and scientific weirdness that points out just how messed up our brains are.

Desk Pets BattleTank

Tank Girl would be proud of you.

Tank Girl would be proud of you. (credit: Desk Pets)

If you’re going to control a miniature tank, it better be from your smartphone. Sure its treads mean better maneuverability than some R/C car, but the important thing is that you can fire at other tanks or at the (optional) autonomous tank drone.

Silverlit iConnect Interactive Bluetooth R/C

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is a pretty sweet ride, even if it’s only to scale. You not only control the R/C car remotely through your iPhone/iPad (including the doors), but can play tunes through its built-in speakers as it zips along. It even react to what’s playing (thank you Bluetooth).

More from Marshal Rosenthal

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