New Summer Toys

June 6, 2009 10:17:28 AM PDT
"The Toy Guy" Chris Byrne shares some ideas for cool summer-time toys sure to entertain the kids. CRAYOLA SIDEWALK CRAYONS

This is a truly exciting innovation in what you might think is a pretty generic category. Not when Crayola draws on their experience. This is the next step above sidewalk chalk. The 15 different crayons work on sidewalk surfaces and lay down brighter, bolder colors than sidewalk chalk. They're satisfying to draw with and really inspire the outdoor artist to express him or herself. Plus, it cleans up quickly and easily with the garden hose. $4.99; For ages 4 and up.

GAZILLION BUBBLES ROCKET

You wouldn't think that there was much difference between bubble solutions, would you? It's just soap and water. So you think. Gazillion Bubbles actually is a better solution. We don't know how they do it, but the bubbles last longer, float higher, and, here's the most important part, are easier for even little kids to get great results with. Plus, it's non-staining. Yes, the solution is a little pricier, but it's worth it. That said, unless you're blowing a pretty bubble or two, these are outdoor toys. This is one of our favorites for this year. Pour the solution into the tray of the launch pad, place the rocket and the launcher, and... STOMP! The rocket goes shooting up into the air leaving a trail of bubbles behind it. $16.99; For ages 6 and up.

HANNAH MONTANA ROCKIN' LIGHTS GUITAR

The all-new Hannah Montana Rockin' Lights Electric Guitar will dazzle fans just like Hannah Montana in her new movie! Movie stars, get ready to rock the show with 3 of Hannah Montana's hottest hits! The guitar plays "The Best of Both Worlds", "You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home" and "Rock Star". Press the star buttons for rockin' sounds and effects, and watch lights pulse along to the music's beats. $29.99; For ages 6 and up.

KARAOKE CHANNEL KARAOKE KIT

Is your family the next Jackson Five? Do you belt out Mariah with the best of them? Do you and your friends fight for the mic every chance you get? Well get ready to make your living room center stage! The KARAOKE Channel ONLINE now offers The Karaoke Kit - with two microphones, a vocal mixer and volume control, it's the first karaoke system designed explicitly for use online. The Karaoke Kit is the most affordable way to make high quality professional karaoke possible at home, and is ideal for parties and get-togethers. $39.95 ($9.95 a month of membership); all ages.

SKY BALL

A complete new twist on one of the most classic toys of all time-the basic ball. It's about 5-inches in diameter and comes in a variety of transparent, gem-like colors (red, blue, green and orange) and bounces up to 75 feet in the air. We're not sure how the physics of it works, but the bounce is way out of proportion to the force exerted by the player. In plain English, that means that a little kid can really get it to sail with just a "regular" amount of bouncing. $8.99; For ages 6 and up.

TRACKSTERS

A line of licensed die-cast cars, based on popular real-world Dodge, Ford and GM vehicles, that interacts with a series of collectible trading cards and a 3-D online racing game like never before. Each Tracksters die-cast car comes with a unique code to unlock a virtual version of that vehicle in the Tracksters MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game), which is downloaded free of charge at Tracksters.com. TrackPacks cards, sold separately, allow players to unlock exclusive performance parts for their virtual vehicles through a scratch and redeem code system. For ages 4 and up.

For more information check out Chris Byrne at timetoplaymag.com


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