Toy Fair 2012 (photos)

iPad accessories, dancing robots, kid DVRs, helicopters, and more: the best of Toy Fair 2012.

David Carnoy
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
David Carnoy
Scott Stein
1 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Activision Skylanders Giants

Activision's Skylanders franchise has been a huge hit with kids, and the company used Toy Fair to unveil the next version of the game, Skylanders Giants.
2 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Tree Rex

Activision only showed one of eight larger figures (one for each element) that are part of the new Skylanders Giants game that arrives this fall. His name: Tree Rex.

All of the new figures feature "Light Force" technology that allows the figure's body parts to light up when placed on the Portal of Power (no battery in the figure required).

No word on pricing yet, but expect the Giants figures to cost significantly more. After all, they are twice the size of the original figures, which can be used in the new game. Needless to say, the Giants characters in the video game possess certain unique attributes.
3 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Mattel Apptivity

With its Apptivity line of games, Mattel is trying to marry "real" toys with iPad apps. The jury's still out on whether that's a good idea.
4 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Apptivity Hot Wheels car

The nonscratching wheels of the Hot Wheels car work with the iPad's touch screen.
5 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Apptivity toys: Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja

Apps evolve into plastic toys: Mattel's Apptivity line includes Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja toys that work with the original games.
6 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Mattel Fijit Friends

Mattel's dancing Fijits Friends are back (Mattel said it sold 900,000 of them last year) and have added to their family with the smaller--and one might say cuter--Newbies and Yippits.
7 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

The eyes of a Fijit Friend

Dancing in the dark with a Fijit Friend.
8 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Hot Wheels Ballistiks

Playing on the transformers theme Mattel has designed a Hot Wheel that folds up into a ball.

"With a quick fold and tuck, Hot Wheels Ballistiks turns from a vehicle to a ball that can be rolled rapidly across the floor, down carpeted stairs, or anywhere boys imagine up a stunt."

To transform from ball to vehicle, you simply crash the Ballistiks vehicle onto hard surface. There will be 24 vehicles in all starting in June.
9 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Barbie Photo Fashion Doll

The Barbie Photo Fashion doll has a camera in her back and a shirt with a screen that adds a frame around whatever you shoot. Photos can be offloaded from Barbie with an included pink USB cable. It's due out this August for $50.
10 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Hot Wheels Total Control Racing

Mattel says: "Never before done, these Hot Wheels vehicles utilize IR remote technology and supercharged micro-motors to create some of the fastest 1:64 scale cars ever."

This presenter (above) was showing just how fast and powerful these little cars are on a custom tight-looping track made for the show (the car actually went up the track).

The vehicles can be used alone or on Total Control Racing stunt tracks, which include one car and one booster. The cars are due out in may.
11 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Mattel Terrain Twister

Mattel is bringing back one of its earlier RC vehicles, the Terrain Twister, after a long hiatus. As its name implies, this one travels on most any surface, even snow.
12 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Rest for the weary

One of Cosmix's product promoters taking a load off her feet.
13 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Soda-geyser-powered car

Mix a little soda with a few Mentos and suddenly you have a geyser-powered car. It's a short trip but soda's a lot cheaper than jet fuel, especially if you stick with generic brands.
14 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Regal Elite Glove Force

A new wrinkle in the RC helicopter scene: Regal Elite's Glove Force uses a gyro-equipped arm band for some surprisingly accurate control.
15 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Toy show floor

A massive Power Ranger looms over the main lobby.
16 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nanodot sculptures

Magnetic sculptures on display in the Nanodots booth; this golden dragon's an impressive achievement.
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Tosy SketRobo

Tosy's SketRobo, a sketching robot, is a dead ringer for a futuristic version of the automaton in the film "Hugo."
18 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Snap Circuits light

Snap Circuits, an easier-to-assemble type of electronic circuit board kit.
19 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Vechs Prix

This Vechs RC car sports a telltale iPhone home button on its front hood that, according to our conversation with the company, won't be in the final version.
20 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Augmented reality: Children's book edition

Augmented reality children's books from Popar require a nearby Webcam to translate the embedded AR codes into 3D animations that appear on the screen.
21 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET


Digi-Piggy is a bank that counts coins as you insert them, and keeps a running tally of what's inside. Piggy banks just got a lot more depressingly accurate.
22 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Tangle: The lamp

Remember Tangle, that '80s toy? Now it's a lamp.
23 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Thames & Kosmos Stirling engine

Build your own Stirling engine! (OK, this has been around for a while, but we're still impressed.)
24 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Do-it-yourself eco car

Teach your kids about fuel cells! This Thames & Kosmos kit coming out in the summer will build a car running on magnesium plates, salt water, and oxygen.
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Power house

Teach kids to be green with their very own solar-powered mini eco home, from Thames & Kosmos.
26 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Crayola EZ Type Keyboard

Why does Crayola make a keyboard? To color-code the vowels and consonants, of course.
27 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Pretty in pink

The Cosmix gals back in action.
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Android plush

Every Android fanboy will find comfort in a plush toy.
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'Big Bang Theory'

This toy "button" delivers your favorite Sheldon phrases. (Disclaimer: CNET is owned by CBS, the network the broadcasts the TV show "Big Big Theory").
30 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET


Lacetek is small company that sells LCDs that attach to kids shoes ($19.95 for a pair). They recharge via USB, and you can upload new images to them.

Lacetek's motto is "Every shoe can be extraordinary."
31 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

New Hexbug

Meet Scarab, Hexbug's spidery new bug that comes out later this year. Like real bugs, if this one ends up on its back, it can turn itself over. It will be available in multiple colors.
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Warriors Hexbugs

Hexbug is debuting a new line of Warriors Hexbugs later this year.
33 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Fisher Price Kid-Tough Portable DVR

The Fisher Price Kid-Tough Portable DVR connects to a TV or DVR box to offload shows on-the-go; it comes with an expandable microSD card slot for an extra 32GB of "Dinosaur Train" episodes.
34 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Tosy DiscoRobo

Another of Tosy's robot novelties: a dancing robot that gets surprisingly funky when exposed to music.
35 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Digital slot racing

Carrerra's latest slot-car-racing sets have gone digital with readout displays and wireless controllers.
36 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET


Simple and brilliant: Codee is a simple plastic bendable chain that comes with an assembly code for bending a little model toy in a certain order by following numbered and lettered notches on each joint. The single chain of plastic can be bent into other shapes by following other codes, which could be shared online.
37 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Lexibook Juniors tablet

Android tablets...for kids! Get ready for 2012's burgeoning holiday trend. Lexibook is one of several manufacturers looking to get in on making child-oriented Android tablets at aggressive $199-range prices this holiday season.
38 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Razor Vapor Delta 500

Scott Stein showing off Razor's Vapor Delta 500 gel ammo blaster, which fires 100 rounds of jelly-like pellets at a time.
39 of 44 David Carnoy/CNET

Vapor Ammo

A peek inside at the Vapor gel ammo pellets.
40 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nyko Yo Gabba Gabba dock

Nyko's Yo Gabba Gabba dock works with both the iPhone/iPod and Nintendo DS/3DS. That's a lot of synergy.
41 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lapiluv loves the iPad

The Lapiluv is an apron made for entertaining your baby: clip-on toys and even an iPad can be slotted into Mommy or Daddy's willing chest. You, too, can be a walking appcessory.
42 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Shutter Huggers

Can't get your kid to smile at the camera? Shutter Huggers cleverly add a stuffed animal ring to your SLR camera lens. If this doesn't work, nothing will.
43 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bicycle jacks up its cards with AR

Bicycle gets in on the app-stravaganza with Jacked Up, which includes a QR code wild card that's readable by the game's app. Perhaps this is a case where an app wasn't necessary.
44 of 44 Sarah Tew/CNET

Game Changer for iPad

The Game Changer iPad accessory adds interactive board game flaps that work with a set of apps and skins.

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