Toys with technology twist popular this holiday

November 16, 2012 3:55:38 PM PST
If you're looking to delight little ones on your holiday gift list, toys with a technology twist can be a good bet. Electronics experts played with the latest games and gadgets to find some terrific choices - starting with a classic.

Who doesn't love a good game of Monopoly, especially when you can use an iPad to keep track of your cash or break out of jail by playing a game on the tablet!

Carol Mangis with Consumer Reports ShopSmart said, "One of the big trends this year is toys that interact with apps on your smart phone or tablet. And we thought the Monopoly game was a lot more fun with an app."

Monopoly's "Zapped" edition costs $30. You download the app for free.

Consumer Reports' ShopSmart sampled 11 other tech toys, too. A favorite for kids seven and up: Sifteo Cubes, for $130.

"Sifteo Cubes are pricey, but there's no other toy like them," Mangis said. "Kids will play with them for hours."

First you download the software to add games to the interactive cubes. Then shake, flip, tilt or press the blocks to play a variety of brainy games like puzzles or math challenges.

If you want everybody off the couch, try Mattel's Loopz Shifter game for $45. Players seven and up use their best karate-chop-like moves to repeat a pattern.

There are tech toys for creative kids, like Crayola's Digital Light Designer for $60. Budding artists six and older can move the wand to draw pictures with LED lights. They look even cooler in the dark!

"This toy is magical, but there is one drawback," Mangis admitted. "Its motor is really loud."

SmartLab's $20 DJ Rock Dock lets kids eight and up build a speaker dock that really works! Don't expect high fidelity, but your child will love being able to say, "I made it myself!"

Also likely to be popular this holiday season are tablets for kids.


Load Comments