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Benders Redesign Old Electronics

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Toys

Bent FestivalThe Bent Festival in New York City recently celebrated its fifth annual event and was attended by both newbies and experienced benders. For those who have never heard of them, benders take items such as 80’s Casio Keyboards and TI Speak & Spells and turn them into musical instruments.

“Circuit bending is a really great entry point for people into electronics,” says Mike Rosenthal, a graduate student in NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. We think it is a dandy way of recycling, although we must admit we played with our Speak & Spell as much as our kids did, and don’t know if we could watch the transformation.

Read More | Scientific American


Solar Car for Kids of All Ages

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Design, Misc. Tech, Toys

Solar CarTeach your kidlets early how to save the environment with this Solar Car. Made in Switzerland (duh,) it is handmade of wood, has plexiglass wheels with rubber covers, steel axles, and a solar panel to replace fuel. At a size of 3.25 x 3.25 x 6.25-inches, the mini-vehicle will keep going as long as the sun is out or until the child is smart enough to stop pushing it along. The toy is available for $125.00.

Read More | DWR

WowWee Chatterbots

Fairy GodfatherWowWee is back with useless desktop toys they named Chatterbots. The Fairy Godfather, Dog, and Devil/Angel connect to a PC or Mac by USB and react by driving you nuts with inane comments every time you type via its built-in speaker. Each one runs on 4 AA batteries (not included.) You can also program in more words and phrases to add to its vocabulary and utilize it with e-mail, IM, and other programs. We can’t believe that someone would pay $49.99 for this. Check out their video and see for yourself.

Read More | WowWee

WALL-E Toys Ready for Movie Premiere


Although the movie won’t be out until June 27, Disney is already promoting it with two toys. The Ultimate WALL-E has 10 motors, a programmable remote with touch programming, and sensors to detect obstacles and sound direction. It is also MP3 compatible with built-in speakers, USB cables, and rechargeable batteries (included.) The robot will be at ToysRUs and Disney Shopping this fall for $189.99.

The iDance WALL-E, with animated eyes, talks and dances. The audio in-jack makes it compatible with iPods or MP3 players. Sound activated, it will be at various retailers this summer for $24.99.

Read More | Bot Junkie

Take Your Best Shot at the USB Punching Head

USB Punch HeadHey, we’re all about gadgets that help relieve stress. With the Punch Head, your stress-relief actually becomes an interactive experience, thanks to the included software. Land a solid blow to the fake head, and you’ll actually hear sounds of pain emanate from your computer. Plus, the harder the punch, the louder the agonizing sound. You can even choose a photo to be shown onscreen, and special effects that reflect your actions. Not exactly Fight Club, but if it prevents your aggression from landing you in jail, we’re all about it. Visit the website to watch a rather interesting demo. Available soon.

Read More | Punch Head via Everything USB

Whoo-hoo! It’s the Homer Etch-a-Sketch!

Posted by Lolita Beckwith Categories: Toys

Homer Etch-a-Sketch

Yes, fellow Simpson-ites, an actual Etch-a-Sketch in the form of the great Homer Simpson! Just twist Homey’s eyes to create your masterpiece…and the cool thing is that when you’re done it will look like Homer’s thinking about what you’ve drawn! And that’s precisely why the first thing we’ll draw is a frosted donut. Measure 8.5” x 8.5”, and is available for only $15 USD.


Read More | Perpetual Kid

Review: MSN i-Buddy


The MSN i-Buddy is an emotional wreck. Connect him to your USB port, then get in touch with someone on MSN Messenger. When that person comes online, your mini-bud goes to work and lets you know. Every time your friend sends you an emoticon, he responds by colors, flapping wings, body movement, and a thumping “heart.” Get two and you have a veritable emoticon party.

We had a lot of fun playing with the gadget and our cat seemed to think he was there just for her. Note that the most response we got was when we were sent an angry emoticon. We thought the thing would fall off our desktop! You can find the i-Buddy at Firebox for $24.95. While they are temporarily out, you can pre-order to receive one from the next batch.

(Thanks, Jen and Kent, and Avril!)

Read More | firebox

Become a Speed Cuber

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Toys

Speed Cubing Kit

As we know by now, Rubik’s Cube devotees actually compete to see who is the fastest. Want to up your game and join the ranks of a speed cuber? MegaHouse’s kit comes with a cube, screwdrivers to dissect it and make it respond quicker, lubricant, and a manual on how you can achieve your goal. And you thought the competitors were just nimble-fingered. Although the instructions are in Japanese, we figure there must be illustrations. The Speed Cubing Kit is available for 2,625 Yen (~$26.00>.)


Read More | Rubik's Cube (translated)

Go Light and Dark Side

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Misc. Tech, Movies, Toys

Force Unleashed Lightsaber

If you cannot decide between the Light and the Dark Side, you can play Obi Wan one day and Darth Vader the next with the Star Wars Force Unleashed Lightsaber. The Hasbro gadget switches colors from Jedi green to Sith red and spikes come out to show your true intentions. The weapon also features activation hums and battle-like sound effects to complete the effect. The force can be with you sometime in May for about £25 (~$50.00.)



Read More | Toyology

Play Sumo Wrestler Vicariously

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Misc. Tech, Toys

Sumo WrestlersWe never tire of finding remote control toys to challenge your mind

fingers when your inbox is full and your outbox is still empty. The 32cm tall Inflatable Sumo Wrestlers move forward and back in their quest of tabletop domination. Battle your bud to topple her/him over. They also speak, sort of. They will yell “Hakke-yoi!” or “Nokotta!”, depending on their mood. Each wrestler needs one 9V and 4 AA batteries (not included.) Get them at a $73.55 price. As they are not exactly inexpensive, you might want to get that bud to share the expense.

Read More | Latest Buy