Bridget Carey is an award-winning reporter who helps you level-up your life -- while having a good time geeking out. Her exclusive CNET videos get you behind the scenes as she covers new trends, experiences and quirky gadgets. Her weekly video show, "One More Thing," explores what's new in the world of Apple and what's to come. She started as a reporter at The Miami Herald with syndicated newspaper columns for product reviews and social media advice. Now she's a mom who also stays on top of toy industry trends and robots. (Kids love robots.)
Bridget has spent over 18 years as a consumer tech reporter, hosting daily tech news shows and writing syndicated newspaper columns. She's often a guest on national radio and television stations, including ABC, CBS, CNBC and NBC.
Funko is going somewhere it's never gone before: the toy aisle. And it's using interactive touchscreen tech to grab kids' attention away from the princess dolls and race cars.
On Thursday, the maker of collectible vinyl figurines unveiled a patent-pending vending machine that dispenses character toys called Snapsies. We got a chance to try it out at this year's New York Toy Fair.
The Snapsies include a rock-star unicorn named Jett, an athletic mountain goat named Billie and a hedgehog who bakes named Boe. A touchscreen plays music videos and animations of these characters to draw in curious kids.
Insert your payment, turn the dial, and the machine dispenses a mystery Snapsies character inside a plastic capsule. Each Snapsies toy will cost $10 and come with a head, body and accessories to snap together.
The hook here is if you get more than one, you can snap together different character parts to make your own custom character. (Hence the name, Snapsies.)
But Snapsies are for a different crowd: the kids of Funko's traditional customers.
The company began experimenting with this toy-dispensing machine concept last year with something similar called Paka Paka. It also has various mystery minifigures dispensed in plastic capsules. These machines first launched at ThinkGeek stores, with 74 in the market right now. Funko says the response surpassed expectations and the company is expanding to 600 Paka Paka machines, coming this year to GameStop stores nationwide.
Funko said to expect Snapsies machines in retail stores this fall, starting with Target.