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To appeal to today’s gadget-enamored kids, toymakers are blurring the line between toys and electronic items. Walt Disney’s iPod contender, the Mix Stick MP3 player, is for kids of all ages. The Mix Stick comes with 128MB of built-in memory and is expandable to 1G to store data and music files.
The sleek and modular hip-e desktop computer was designed for teens with the help of teens. It costs about $1,900.
The Roboraptor by WowWee is a fierce but cuddly interactive toy robot dinosaur that simulates a real raptor’s body movements. His head and swishing tail are guided by touch and sonic sensors that detect sound and direction; infrared vision sensors help the 32-inch bipedal beast avoid obstacles.
Hasbro’s Vcam Now enables kids to make their own personal video discs and take photographs.
With the TicTalk cell phone by LeapFrog, parents control the functions and features–who can call the phone, who kids can call, the times of day the phone can be used and more. Kids can earn extra minutes for playing arcade-style LeapFrog learning games. The phone is aimed at children 6 and up and retails for about $100.
Mattel’s Vidster lets kids produce their own music videos and more. It comes with video-shooting and editing software and generally sells for around $100.
Hasbro’s I-Dog, not to be confused with Sega’s iDog or Sony’s Aibo, can serve as a kid pal or an MP3 player speaker. Tug on its tail to turn off the speaker. I-Dog’s mood and personality, apparently, change depending on what type of music (and how much music) is played through its speakers. “Pat I-Dog on the head, or ‘feed’ it lots of music (at least 5 minutes every hour), and watch its mood change from sad and lonely to ecstatic and excited,” Hasbro says.
The Barbie My Scene cell phone, created by Mattel and Single Touch Interactive, is a Nokia 3587i with the option of three different faceplates and prepaid wireless service.
LeapFrog’s Fly, billed as a computer in a pen, has attracted lots of interest in the toy industry. The gray-and-white device, priced at $100 and scheduled for release in the fall, manages a variety of tasks, including games, music and foreign-language translation, by reading words and symbols its users write on special paper.