The toy industry held its 105th annual Toy Fair this week in New York City. At the opening ceremonies, The Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the winners of 2008's, T.O.T.Y's, Toy Of The Year awards. Like the Oscars, the T.O.T.Y's are awarded to toys debuting in the prior year. Twelve T.O.T.Y.'s were awarded in eleven categories, like Best Outdoor Toy, Best Educational Toy, Game of the Year, Most Innovative Toy, Best Boy Toy, and of course, THE Toy Of The YearI
I won't keep you in suspense, I'll share THE Toy of the Year with you first!
1. Toy of the Year: Air Hogs Havoc Heli Laser Battle (Spin Master, Ltd.)
Not just for kids, the Air Hogs Havoc Heli Lasers ($130) packs twin drive props, dual top rotors, and six way directional control into the smallest radio-controlled helicopters in the world. These helis even make the sounds of battling helicopters. Made for two players, each gets a dual-toggle, single throttle wireless control for his heli. Battles made to be fought indoors; just perfect for heli couch potatoes!
The Havoc Helis are rated "easy to fly;" at least one user has reported his two-year old can fly it. This video from AirHogsGirl shows the Havoc Helis in action:
2. Most Innovative Toy Of The Year: Smart Cycle? Physical Learning Arcade (Fisher-Price)
3. Educational Toy of the Year: Smart Cycle? Physical Learning Arcade (Fisher-Price)
Yes, you read it right: the Smart Cycle won both Educational Toy of the Year and Most Innovative Toy of the Year!
Why not? Kids love to be active and love to watch videos and play arcade games. So Fisher Price combined all three in this stationary bike that hooks up to your TV. For 3 to 6 year-olds, this Smart Cycle also sneaks in a bit of schooling, teaching abc's, numbers, spelling, problem solving, and other pre-school skills. Motor coordination is supported through the use of directional movement of the bike handles and the joy stick; and the bike's speed controls how fast the lessons are played. Smart Cycle is available for about $100. Also, you can now buy many of your child's favorite toy and story characters in Smart Cycle software format, such as Dora , Sponge Bob , Dino , Elmo , HotWheels, and even Barbie!
4. Electronic Entertainment Toy of the Year: Power Tour Electric Guitar (Tiger Electronics)
This Gibson-branded "toy" guitar is more than a mime-along, although that's fun for all of us rockers. The Power Tour Electric Guitar offers a really fun learning strategy for the young rocker who, by following the lights on the frets can learn the basic chords of 12 pre-loaded songs while they are playing. The accompanying DVD teaches strumming, fingering, chording, and other tricks of the trade. An MP3 player can be hooked up to the guitar so you can play along with the music of your choice. This toy has a very high customer rating as a learning device for young people and their parents! Available in black , white , and yes... pink from $30 - $60 at Amazon.com. The Power Tour Amp is sold separately for $44.99.