Each year Toys “R” Us releases their “Hot Toys List” to help parents identify what some of the best new toys are for each holiday shopping season. The following are the highlights of the list that are relevant to us here at Engaged Family Gaming. The rest of the list (including a pretty awesome NERF Bow and a very cool new ImagiNext play set) can be found here.
The Kurio Xtreme is a Toys“R”Us exclusive 7” Android tablet that comes with a suite of motion based children’s apps. It is built with children’s web safety in mind. This is straight from the product description: “Parents can rest assured their kids are web surfing safely with the Kurio Genius technology, which includes time controls, app management and allows for up to 8 individual user profiles.”
Kid friendly tablets aren’t all about web services though. The Kurio Xtreme comes with a rubber bumper that is designed to help protect it from the inevitable drops.
The LeapTV is a new video gaming system built to teach through motion. “With a library of 100+ LeapFrog educator-approved game cartridges, game downloads and videos, kids never run out of fun!”
The LeapFrog system is built around educational programing. It features over a hundred educator approved cartridges designed to teach reading, writing, and mathematics. Game types include:
Body Motion: No controller required – the Microsoft Kinect-ish camera captures kids’ moves as they explore Disney Sofia the First’s world or dance in LeapFrog Dance Party.
Pointer Play: Swivel one end of the controller out to transform it into a wand controller to let your children play as Jake from Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates, or bowl a strike in LeapFrog Sports.
This system does its best to capture some of the magic other other gaming systems at a fraction of the cost. I am hard pressed to believe that it will be as high quality as the other systems, but it’s collection of purely educational games is hard to match.
Lego Fusion Town Master
Ok. Real talk. This sounds real cool. Lego Fusion Town Master is a Toys”R”Us exclusive playset that lets kids build a town and then scan it building by building into an iOS or Android app. This takes all of the random free to play city building games on the market and turns then on their head. I am a very big fan.
Of course Skylanders are on the list. This year’s release isSkylanders Trap Team. This iteration of the title gives players the ability to capture villains and fight with them alongside their (likely massive) collection of figures.
The new release will come with a set of new figures that your children will want to add to their collection including new Skylanders Minis.
If your family hasn’t taken the Skylanders plunge for lack of a home console there is even atablet edition.
Disney Infinity was new to the toys-to-life model last year, but it was a massive success. We knew from the outset that this was intended to be a platform for all of Disney’s properties and it only took a year for them to unleash Marvel superheroes on the world.
Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Edition features the Avengers as well as Spider-Man, the Guardian’s of the Galaxy, and multiple villains. More will certainly be released throughout the year, but the starting lineup is excellent. If your children are Marvel fans than this will likely be a must-own.