Friday, April 25, 2008

Toying Around

tilt sensor for controlling the robot

mariofigures.jpg

Strolling around the annual Australian Toy and Hobby Fair at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre last week, I was struck by how trends in the video game industry are influencing the toy market.

For example, it is hard to find an electronic pet product that now doesn't connect to an online world with your own customisable avatar. One of the latest is the ME2, which has a colour LCD screen and includes a built-in pedometer that lets you earn points redeemable online for every step you take.

The popularity of the Wii and Nintendo DS has certainly not gone unnoticed by toymakers. VTech's V-Motion has a motion-sensitive wireless controller, as does the Ulti-Motion from Jakks Pacific, and even Funtastic's Tri-Bot, from the makers of Robosapien, has a Wii-style tilt sensor for controlling the robot.

There were also plenty of devices at the show that had DS-style touch screens, like the cartridge-based educational game system Leapster 2.
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