News / Arts & Entertainment

    Doc McStuffins, Robot Dogs Among Top Toys in NYC

    Educational Toys Score Big in 2016i
    X
    February 25, 2016 9:06 PM
    It's never too early to begin thinking about the Christmas shopping season if you're one of the world's leading toy manufacturers. Industry experts are already planning for the next wave in gift trends for kids, and those with an educational element are trending big in 2016. Ramon Taylor reports.

    Related Articles

    Something New to Worry About: Connected Toy Security

    Toy-related security problems began to grab headlines late last year, when kid's tech maker VTech announced that one of its databases had been hacked, exposing the names, ages and genders of more than 6 million children who used the company's toys

    "Learning can be fun!" is a cliche American kids hear frequently — and over the years, their toys have reflected that philosophy.

    But in 2016, the toy industry seems to have doubled down on learning. As toy experts will tell you, education is all the rage —in particular, toys that encourage STEAM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).

    "It's not like the flashcards of generations past,” said Adrienne Appell, Toy Industry Association's [TIA] director of strategic communications at the annual New York Toy Fair. “It's interactive robots that are teaching kids how to code and things like that. It's pretty cool stuff."

    Toy of the Year

    For young children, one popular choice is Just Play's Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center, the Toy Industry Association's 2016 pick for Toy of the Year.

    Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center (Photo courtesy of Just Play)Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center (Photo courtesy of Just Play)
    x
    Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center (Photo courtesy of Just Play)
    Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Checkup Center (Photo courtesy of Just Play)

    McStuffins is an aspirational female character that kids can both play with and become themselves, according to Jimmy Chang, Senior Director of Marketing for Just Play Products. Apart from medical role play, Chang says, the doctor also helps children overcome their fears of going to the hospital.

    "They will see things like an otoscope or a thermometer that, typically in the past, if you would've gone to the doctors they might have been a little hesitant around," he said.

    Chang says the female character is important for consumers in today's market, who are demanding more "strong female role models." 

    In addition, the toy provides a "traditional" element of play — something he says will not go away regardless of advancements in technology.

    "We provide products that allow children to be children, and I think parents are really happy about that, especially at a really young age," Chang said. "No matter what tech does, kids are still going to want to have traditional toys that don't have too many bells and whistles."

    Other traditional products cater to parents, too.

    PlanToys caters its minimalist, crafted wooden playsets to both children and sustainable-minded parents, who hope to instill in their kids the values of natural resource preservation.

    Tech on the rise

    Naturally, seeing as it is the 21st century, there are plenty of tech gadgets to go around.

    For teens and pre-teens, there is TinkerBots, a construction set with an installed motion module that allows anyone to build and control their own robots, using Lego blocks.

    Feeling lonely? CHiP, "the lovable robot dog," provides great company, while teaching its owner a thing or two about responsibility — how you respond to his quest for play determines and shapes his behavior.

    And if that doesn't excite you, surely Spooner Board's versatile balance boards will. Parental guidance is advised.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.