Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Tiny Tots Can Add Gizmos To Holiday Lists

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Toy companies are trying to get the nation's youngest consumers to include new gadgets on their holiday wish lists. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.

Even toddlers have plenty of high-tech toys to yearn for this holiday season. Companies like LeapFrog are creating cutting-edge educational toys, like the Tag Jr. Book Pal, which gives paper books a virtual twist.

"There's an optical scanner at the base of the unit and there's a hidden dot matrix on the pages, so Book Pal literally reads what the pages are saying," says Jenna Martin of LeapFrog. "It brings the full page to life. Toddlers can tap on the text to have each page read aloud to them. Then where the real fun comes in, they can tap anywhere on the page to bring the characters to life, play silly sound effects and songs. It's a really great exploratory process."

The system launched with eight titles and costs $35 for the device and one book. Additional books cost $11 each.

Parents who want to speed up their children's artistic capabilities can turn to the Crayola Color Me a Song, which lets the action of coloring create a song.

"It combines scribbling with music. So depending on how fast the child scribbles, the music will speed up and slow down," says Stacy Gabrielle of Crayola. "There's rock music, country music, salsa and swing. They can add different instruments, scribble and dance and have a lot of fun."

The Crayola Color Me a Song costs $25.

Finally, Wow Wee, which has produced all sorts of robots for years now, has unveiled the lifelike Alive Pets, which can help kids see if they're ready for the real thing. This year, Sleeping Cuties help encourage quiet, gentler play.

"Part of the play pattern is that you can put them to sleep and wake them up so again," says Amy Weldman of Wow Wee.
"They're very soft, they're very lifelike, their eyes close and their mouths open and close, they make baby sounds. When you pet them on their heads, you can put them to sleep, so their heads which are raised will lie down."

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