Out with the old, in with the new

By Alex Pittinsky
November 12, 2009

Shannon Keough

This holiday season will be a lot different than our parents’, or even our holiday season as a child. With technology always advancing, children’s toys have developed a whole new personality and style. The traditional interlocking Rubik’s Cube that we all know and love has now been transformed into, an LED-light touch pad Rubik’s Cube that is completely electronic.

“The TouchCube is endowed with internal memory, so it remembers every move you make from the start of the game. Center squares double as function buttons, including ‘undo’ to step back your moves in reverse order. Or if you really get stuck, you can press another button to get a hint, or another to watch the puzzle solve itself,” Amanda Schupak, journalist from PopSci, said.

And no worries; the toy comes with a charging dock/display stand, but it’s quite a pricey package, costing $150.This price increase shows the amount you pay for high tech toys, the price of the original Rubik’s Cube was $12. Although the TouchCube is quite expensive, any child old enough to appreciate it would love to receive the new TouchCube for his or her birthday.

Each year the Toy Industry Association has a fair in New York where new toys and gadgets are introduced and showcased. This year’s fair has already passed, but more than 7,000 new toys were unveiled. One company stressed the importance of crystals in our lives and developed a crystal growing game in response. Over the course of one day you can watch regular white crystals or citrine crystals grow in front of your eyes into a beautiful display. Without crystals we would not have cameras, computers, radios, watches or LCD televisions.

In addition, a company that was interviewed at the Toy Fair was Tin Box Entertainment, a company that develops Massive Multiplayer Online Gaming. This means that you can play one of their computer games online simultaneously with players from around the country, and even the world.

“When I was little, I remember running downstairs on Christmas morning to open my gifts and I was ecstatic when I opened a present to find a doll or Barbie who I could dress up or style her hair,” Melissa Szymborski, sophomore education major, said.

These days, a normal doll is almost impossible to find. For example, the Dora the Explorer doll has been completely augmented. When you buy a Dora the Explorer doll for someone they have to be able to use the Internet. There is now online software that corresponds with the doll and how long her hair is. When a child plays this online game they can make her hair grow different lengths in front of their very eyes. Talk about high tech. The ever-changing and evolving technology and creative ideas that come from toymakers is incredible.

One other product that will catch attention is a bicycle made especially for children ages 3 to 6 who are trying to learn how to ride a bike. The bike is more formally called The Kazam Balance Bike. Because learning how to balance and pedal all at once is extremely difficult, the bike has no pedals and is low to the ground to prevent hard falls. When you’re young, the Kazam bike is perfect. It comes in blue and pink so it is a great gift idea for a young child of either gender.

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Alex Pittinsky

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