My favorite new toys and gadgets from Toy Fair 2016

My favorite new  toys and gadgets from Toy Fair 2016

Check out the new goodies from Toy Fair 2016

Toy Fair in New York has now come to be the leading expo for anything related to new toys and gadgets that are more for fun than any other thing. In it's 2016 edition, we got to see some really cool technology, mainly in sensor-controlled toys. 

It's no surprise that all the major toy companies presented their newly developed tech and that all the long time fan favorite franchises such as Star Wars, Star Trek, DC and Halo are in the list.

Check out my favorite toys from this year's Toy Fair

Spin Master BB-8

Not since R2-D2 has a Star Wars character spawned as many tie-in products as The Force Awakens’ BB-8. But there’s still room in our hearts—and on our shelves—for another BB-8 toy, especially since Spin Master’s near life-size replica talks, rolls, follows, blinks, understands voice commands, and even comes when it’s called. At just $180 it’s priced similar to other BB-8 toys that have already sold millions.

Nerf Rival Khaos MXVI-4000

Designed with teenagers in mind who demanded something more exciting than flying foam darts, Nerf has expanded its line of Rival blasters with its first fully-automatic model, called the Khaos MXVI-4000. Given how many Nerf fans hacked the original Rival blasters to be fully automatic, it’s no surprise that Hasbro followed suit with an official model for those of us lacking any hacking skills.

Hasbro Star Wars Figures

Hasbro’s new Star Wars figures were surprisingly light on The Force Awakens characters, but the company gave fans and casual toy-buyers something they’ve been wanting for ages: fantastic figures of the saga’s beloved female heroes. Even the reveal of the figure for fan-favorite video game star Revan was outshone by new figures of Star Wars Rebels’ Sabine and the A New Hope version of Princess Leia—hopefully a sign of plenty more female characters heading to Star Wars toy shelves in the future.

DC Comics Barbara Gordon Batgirl

DC had a bunch of amazing new toys at the show this year, but even with a Batwing toy the size of a man’s torso, we’re most excited for the first ever action figure of Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart, and Brenden Fletcher’s updated take on Batgirl. Not only is it the first figure of this slick, modernized design, Barbara even comes with a snazzy, revved-up bike to ride around on.

Mattel ThingMaker

The complexity of designing models and dealing with all of the peculiar nuances of the hardware have kept 3D printers a tool for hobbyists and professionals. But Mattel and Autodesk are hoping that by reviving the ThingMaker brand as an easy-to-use, toy-making 3D printer at a $300 price point, they can finally get them into every home. Or, you know, at least the ones with kids in them.

Simon Air

Go dig up your parent’s or grandparent’s original Simon toy and you’ll probably find its four colored pads covered in years worth of grimy fingerprints. Gross. That will never happen with the latest version of the memory-testing game, Simon Air, because motion sensors mean players never actually have to touch it while recreating complex patterns. Simon Air also introduces new actions and gameplay challenges, so there’s good reason to upgrade.

Spin Master Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone

It’s no surprise that a new Star Wars movie ushered in a mountain of new Star Wars toys. But with the 50th anniversary of Star Trek hitting this year, Trekkies will soon be just as blessed when it comes to tie-in toys, starting with a remote control drone version of the USS Enterprise that actually flies. It won’t hit even warp one, but it can explore the farthest reaches of your bedroom.

Mattel BOOMco Halo UNSC MA5 Blaster

Mattel’s BOOMco line might not be as expansive as it was over the past couple of years, but that’s because the company is focusing on licensed products including the vast array of weaponry seen in the countless Halo games. The latest fictional weapon to get the BOOMco treatment is the iconic UNSC MA5 blaster from Halo. Now aspiring Master Chiefs can prepare themselves for an imaginary Covenant invasion.

Arrow Smart Electric G0-Kart

Toy Fair can often be disappointing because there are so many great products designed and engineered specifically for kids that grownups won’t ever get to use. Such is the case with the Arrow Smart Electric Go-Kart. Packed with innovative safety features, it zips along at 12 miles per hour unless remotely limited by a parent’s smartphone. It can actually support the weight of most adults, but those tiny seats mean that grownups will unfortunately have a tough time taking this ride for a spin. Bummer.

Razor Jetts

Inline skates are certainly less dorky looking than roller skates, but neither are as subtle as Razor’s new Jetts that give almost any sneakers a pair of back wheels. You can still walk while the Jetts are strapped to your feet, but why would you when you can instead zip across the pavement on your heels? The Jetts also come with an accessory that leaves a trail of sparks behind you, making you feel like you have afterburners propelling you along.

Sphero SPRK

First announced way back in August of last year, Sphero’s SPRK Edition—an educational tool letting kids and hobbyists reprogram the remote control rolling sphere—was quickly over-shadowed by the arrival of the company’s tiny BB-8. But Toy Fair was our first opportunity to get some real hands-on time with the Sphero SPRK, and we walked away beyond impressed with what kids could do with it.

Amateur coders can program the SPRK using a drag-and-drop graphical interface in the app, but as they get more experienced they can also mess around with the raw code. And because they have access to all of the extensive data from the Sphero SPRK’s onboard sensors, it’s actually quite remarkable how complex a custom program can be. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) has become a buzzword that too many companies are slapping on toys with little educational value, but if we managed to learn something during a brief Toy Fair demo, there’s no telling what a kid might discover with this little marvel.

Check out many other cool novelties from Toy Fair on Toyland

Published on: February 2016