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5 Cutting Edge Toys For the Future ... of Playtime! (page 2)

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Updated on Mar 27, 2013

RoboMe. (WowWee; ages 6 and up; price TBD, iOS) RoboMe is the latest addition to WowWee's extensive line of robotics toys that include Robosapiens, Bugbots and Robocreatures. The innovative part of RoboMe is the ability of the robot "body" to incorporate a smartphone brain and face as part of the package. It uses the same familiar cartoon robot body as the older toys, but kids can swap out the "face" and replace it with a smartphone. Download the free app and the whole thing comes to life with a bewildering array of fascinating features. The bot can be programmed to sing, respond to voice cues and gestures, and the avatar (the personality that appears on the phone face) can be created and customized using a mix-and-match approach with different eyes, mouths and even funny accents. The menu of options is extensive and a little confusing, but the RoboMe is still a prototype. The real deal will be released sometime in fall of 2013. Many of the effects are truly stunning—this is a toy will a ton of potential and it will be worth checking out once it's fully baked and ready to release.

HolograFX. (Goliath Games; ages 7 and up; $39.99; iOS and Android) Turn yourself into a holograph and be the star of the show—or practice cool magic tricks in 3-D. HolograFX is a truly unique new toy system that uses a smartphone with a holographic "stage" to create amazing effects. The HolograFX set comes with the stage, a projector "dock" for a smartphone, assorted accessory pieces and an app. Download the free app and get started with the show. You can follow the pre-packaged narrative or get creative and record yourself on your phone and play the video in holographic mode on the stage. The results couldn't be more surreal or astounding. There's a mini you dancing on the holodeck! The recording feature lets kids collaborate and get creative with this visionary plaything. Available summer 2013.

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