Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, spun off from the long-running Spyro console series, is a unique mash-up of real-world toy play with a computer game. More than 30 figures (including the titular purple dragon) can be purchased at local toy stores and transformed into playable in-game characters, simply by placing them on the USB-connected Portal of Power accessory included with the game.
Do we dare call a whizzing, dizzying, programmable remote-control helicopter a “toy”? Of course not. These are pieces of cutting- edge technology that we just happen to really, really enjoy playing with. Whether we were racing around the office with RC monster trucks or using augmented-reality rifles to shoot aliens that hid around our office, one thing was made abundantly clear: our kids have better toys than we did.
For a little 3D action with the iPhone or iPod touch, Hasbro's MY3D puts your device in the hot seat and turns on all three dimensions. The apps are free with the purchase of the product, and most of them use the gyroscope to move.
Still looking desperately for an iPad 2? Assuming you’re content with a Wi-Fi only model in a small or mid-sized capacity, you might want to saunter over to your local Toys “R” Us store, where you may finally be able to get your hands on one.
When I was a kid, we played videogames with plastic Atari controllers—mine had teeth marks on the joystick for some reason. But time marches on, and now we play with all kinds of futuristic implements: a plastic Fender Stratocaster, motion-sensing nunchucks...and a sophisticated dual-camera, Wi-Fi equipped, iPhone-controlled quadricopter.
Yes, really. Not only is the AR.Drone a mind-blowingly cool toy and efficient way of making nerdy new friends at the park, its support for augmented reality gaming could really help it take off (ooh! pun!) if developers jump on the open platform. At press time, no games were ready, except the built-in "Drone Wars" which requires two copters, one more than we had. But the potential for awesomeness is clear.
AT&T is suing Verizon over its "There's a map for That" ad campaign, but that hasn't stopped Verizon from using the same Verizon vs. AT&T image map of 3G coverage in the U.S. in new holiday advertising.