New Hatchimals Versions

Unless you were living under a rock in 2016 you should know about the smash toy hit known as Hatchimals, those cute little interactive toys that would hatch and mature as they are played with.  The problem was they sold out almost immediately after release and they were nearly impossible to find all the way through Christmas.

hatchimals

Original Hatchimals – 2016

But now Spin Master, the company behind the craze, is release two new versions of their Hatchimals.  They are not available yet, but will likely hit stores in a few months.

The first is Hatchimals Glitter (priced at $59.99 each), which enhances the original Hatchimals concept with some sparkle. The new creatures’ names are “Sparkly Pengualas” and “Shimmering Draggles”, both of which sport sparkling fur, new sounds, songs and games. Hatchimals Glitter will hit stores in July.

Also new are Hatchimals Colleggtibles, which will hit stores in May.  The are smaller versions of the the original Hatchimals – mini plastic creatures that live inside a mini egg with a large purple heart on it.  These are self-hatching like the original version – kids have to help hatch their Colleggtibles by rubbing their hearts until they changes from purple to pink, which means it’s ready to hatch.  Manually crack open the egg and hidden inside are mystical animal-inspired creatures with glittery wings.

The first line of Colleggtibles will have 70 creatures, including severak limited editions. The Hatchimals Colleggtibles will be sold in packs ($2.99 for a single and $9.99 for a 4-pack).

Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

Hatchimal Alternatives

hatchimalsAs expected Hatchimals have turned out to be the hottest and hardest-to-find toy this Christmas season.  What is surprising is that they have completely sold out in early November and prices are sky-high (through 3rd-party sellers).  We don’t know when there will be more supply to satisfy the demand, but in the meantime if you would rather spend something like $40-$60 for a reasonable replacement toy, rather than spending $150 and up for a Hatchimal then we have some ideas for you to consider.

FurReal Friends – Interactive Animals

FurReal Friends Torch

FurReal Friends Torch

FurReal Friends has a few different animals that your child can interact with rather than just hold.  For example the FurReal Friends Torch, My Blazin’ Dragon responds to touch with 50+ sound and motion combinations. Fill his tank with water and he breathes flame-colored mist (and burps).  He also give fun responses when you touch his nose.

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FurReal Friends Bootsie

FurReal Friends Bootsie

There’s also FurReal Friends Bootsie – a playful cat that looks and acts just like a real kitty. Wave at her or tap her mouth with included treat for fun expressions.  Pet her head to discover her current mood.

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Little Live Pets

llpets-snuggles

Little Live Pets – Snuggles

Another alternative to Hatchimals is Little Live Pets.  First up is the Little Live Pets Snuggles My Dream Puppy.  This is a fun little interactive puppy that responds to hugging and feeding.  It is a very soft animal and kids seems to love it.

The only possible issue with this toy is reported quality issues.  If you absolutely must get this toy do so with the expectation that it might not work properly and might need to be replaced.

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Peppy Pets Dog

Peppey Pets Toy Dog

Peppy Pets Toy Dog

The Peppy Pets Kid Powered Dog can be a nice cuddly companion for little kids.  The dog is soft and can perform tricks like flipping.   The pet is not battery powered – it flips using the tug of the leash.  So it is not as advanced as the more technological interactive pets but it can be a fun friend for a younger child.

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Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

Ozobot 2.0 Bit – The Programmable Robot

There is a wave of robotic toys on the market these days.  We have already highlighted a number of them already.  And this is a very good development for kids.  These educational bots both entertain kids and expose them to the type of technology that they may very well be designing themselves in future years. Video games merely entertain – educational robots prepare them for the future.

Ozobot 2.0

Ozobot 2.0

The Ozobot 2.0 Bit is a handy little programmable robot that can keep your kids occupied for hours.  Now first of all this device is a little on the small side – measuring in at just over an inch.  But the point of this bot is not its size but its capabilities.  You can program your Ozobot Bit to dance, race, and more.  There is a corresponding app that lets you play in-app games, download activities from the Ozobot website, and create your own challenges and games. 

One aspect that we find interesting is the various levels of programmability of this little device.  Younger kids can create simpler activities using basic OzoCodes, and they can command their Ozobot to do numerous actions with names like Nitro Boost, Zig-Zag, and Tornado.

Ozobot App Screenshot

Ozobot App Screenshot

Advanced Programming

As children grow they can advance on to more advanced skills in which they can fully program the Ozobot using a visual editor.  This is the real power of this toy – allowing kids to step beyond basic commands and activities and taking control with skills that they can master long before formal programming instruction in school.  The results of their efforts play out in 3D in the real world, not the virtual world like an app or a computer screen.  The Ozobot moves, races, and possibly crashes right in front of them.

The Ozobot 2.0 Bit is not very expensive, and for the potential it can offer your child we find it very attractive as an educational Robot, despite its small size.   This device is recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

New LEGO Sets for 2016

Year after year the LEGO company keeps kids enthralled and entertained by creating building sets that are relevant to the hottest trends.  2016 is no different – there are many new LEGO sets representing popular movies and other fun themes, as well as well-loved LEGO series like City and Friends.  Both kids and adults have a nice selection of sets to choose from this year.

Doctor Who LEGO Set

Doctor Who LEGO Set

Doctor Who LEGO Set

We absolutely love this Doctor Who LEGO set.  It is the perfect gift for Doctor Who fans of all ages, and great for parents to pass on that Doctor Who love to their kids.  The central element (of course) is the TARDIS which measures over 4 inches high.  The set is actually the control room and includes Clara, Daleks, and a Weeping Angel.  This set was designed by a Doctor Who fan-designer, which makes it even cooler.  Recommended for ages 10+.
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LEGO Ghostbusters Set

LEGO Ghostbusters

LEGO Ghostbusters

One of the hottest movies of 2016 was the remake of the 1980’s classic Ghostbusters.  The Ghostbusters Ecto 1 & 2 LEGO Set features both the Ecto 1 vehicle as well as the Ecto 2 motorbike.  The vehicle has a removeable roof and seats for 4 Ghostbusters heroes.  There are also some weapons such as the 4 proton packs, a proton sidearm, and an ion shield gun.  5 mini-figures are included in this set. Recommended for ages 8-14 years.

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LEGO Friends Amusement Park

LEGO Friends Amusement Park

LEGO Friends Amusement Park

The LEGO Friends Amusement Park set continues the hugely popular Friends line of building sets.  There are an amazing 1124 pieces, which are used to construct an amusement park with many different functional attractions including: roller coaster, ferris wheel, drop tower, entrance booth, and dining area.  Four mini-dolls are included as are other accessories.  This is a great set for kids in the 8-12 year old range.

(Note: There are lots of other new LEGO Amusement Park sets – Find them when you click the button below)

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Batman Killer Croc Sewer Smash LEGO Set

Batman Killer Croc Sewer Smash LEGO set

Batman Killer Croc Sewer Smash LEGO set

Batman is always a popular topic for gift-giving.  Kids just love super heroes.  So this Batman: Killer Croc Sewer Smash building set should be a big hit.  There are 759 pieces, which combine to form a Bat-Tank and the killer croc’s Battle Chomper.  There are also weapons and mini-figures included.  This fun set is recommended for ages 8-14.

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NINJAGO LEGO Set – Samurai X Cave Chaos

LEGO NINJAGO Set

LEGO NINJAGO Set

The NINJA and NINJAGO line of LEGO building sets may not be widely known, but many kids know the sets from the TV shows.  This Samurai X Cave Chaos building set is pretty cool.  It features 1253 pieces which are used to build an opening skull entrance, inventor launchpad, buildable jet and laser prison.  It comes with 8 mini-figures.  Recommended for ages 9-14.

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LEGO Angry Birds

LEGO Angry Birds Set

LEGO Angry Birds Set

This LEGO Angry Birds King Pig’s Castle building set turns the hugely popular game app, and movie, into a really fun toy that kids can get their hands on.  It’s got 859 pieces and this includes 5 Angry Birds figures and tons of accessories.  It’s getting really good reviews, which we always love.

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LEGO Star Wars TIE Fighter vs. A-Wing Starfighter

LEGO TIE Fighter vs A-Wing Starfighter

LEGO TIE Fighter vs A-Wing Starfighter

Finally any list of LEGO sets would be incomplete without a Star Wars set.  We are in the midst of a multi-year resurgence of Star Wars popularity around the globe.  Episode 7 was released in 2015, followed by Rogue One in 2016.

The LEGO TIE Fighter vs A-Wing set features Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter as well as an A-Wing Starfighter.  These fighters can battle using spring-loaded shooters, and the set also includes accessories such as Darth Vader’s helmet and 4 mini-figures.  The fighters are very detailed, and are great for role-playing by imaginative kids. Recommended for ages 9-14.

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Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.