Child’s play

Elec­tronic wiz­ardry for young­sters has come a long way, as Mau­reen Shel­ley dis­cov­ers

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

MY LIT­TLE PONY PINKIE PIE LEARNS TO WALK Has­bro, $ 59.99 has­bro. com/ mylit­tle­pony

★★★■

Walk­ing, talk­ing dolls are not new but the My Lit­tle Pony fran­chise takes the doll to a new level in this in­car­na­tion. Doll own­ers can ‘‘ teach’’ Pinkie Pie to walk and the doll will kick its legs and re­peat pre-set phrases. A squeeze of the hand will elicit one of the stock phrases. It can be ‘‘ fed’’, comes with a bot­tle and bowl and is suit­able for chil­dren aged three-plus. Avail­able in stores from Septem­ber and will prob­a­bly have broad ap­peal to fans and new fol­low­ers alike.

AR. DRONE WI-FI QUADRI­COPTER

Par­rot, $ 349 par­rot. com

★★★★★ ■

Par­rot’s AR. Drone is a wi-fi con­trolled he­li­copter with four ro­tors for added sta­bil­ity. It is con­trolled re­motely by iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It comes with in­door re­mov­able hull fea­tur­ing aper­tures to pro­tect the ro­tor blades and your fur­ni­ture and an ‘‘ out­door’’ hull. Bud­ding pi­lots fly the AR. Drone us­ing the Free Flight app and, de­pend­ing on the sig­nal strength, it has a range of about 50m.

LEAP­STER EX­PLORER Leap Frog, $ 139.99 leapfrog. com

★★★ ★ ■

If you are look­ing for an ed­u­ca­tional game con­sole for a four-to-nine-year-old, the Leap­ster Ex­plorer can as­sist. This per­sonal de­vice has down­load­able apps, sup­ports on­line play, comes with a va­ri­ety of games and in­cludes flash cards and videos. Also comes with a pre­loaded game and a Leaplet ( a learn­ing app down­load card) and ex­tra games cost $ 44.95 each. Con­ve­niently, its sty­lus is at­tached so it can’t get lost. Games range from sim­ple to com­plex.

SMIGGLE WIZZBANG Smiggle, $ 19.95 to $ 24.95 smiggle. com. au

★★★★ ■

While not strictly toys, these desk ac­ces­sories are su­per cute, fun to play with and due out shortly. The sta­pler can han­dle up to 14 sheets of pa­per of­fi­cially, but man­aged 20 be­fore it started grum­bling. The hole puncher in­serts two holes per­fectly on a sin­gle sheet of pa­per or up to 14 sheets at once very cleanly. A guide places the holes cor­rectly for A4 ring bin­ders, while the tape dis­penser feeds tape au­to­mat­i­cally. Ro­bust gad­gets and very ap­peal­ing.

BOP IT! XT Has­bro, $ 39.99 bo­pit. com. au

★★★ ■

This elec­tronic toy records how fast a player obeys com­mands to flick, twist, bop, shake and spin levers and han­dles on the Bop It! de­vice. The ob­ject is to re­spond quickly and cor­rectly to the voice com­mands and get the high­est score pos­si­ble be­fore the de­vice times out. It re­sponds to ac­tion with words, sounds or mu­si­cal tones and comes with a head­phone jack so sounds are in­audi­ble to non-play­ers. Un­for­tu­nately, the jack can hook up to speak­ers!

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