Thousands of votes were cast in our first robot dance-off, but the winner was clear early on. Tosy's DiscoRobo earned a dominating 78 percent of the tally. Mattel's Fijit friend earned 13 percent of the electorate for personality, and MyKeepon took home the remaining 9 percent -- likely based on cuteness alone, since as basically two-thirds of a rubber yellow snowman, MyKeepon is not the most agile of dancers. Check out the full results breakdown and re-watch the video after the break.
By Amber WilliamsPosted 02.16.2012 at 10:04 am 5 Comments
The National Toy Hall of Fame awarded “oldest toy” to the stick. Edward Bleiberg, a curator of Egyptian art at the Brooklyn Museum, says that Neolithic balls made from mud are probably out there, but in any case it would be difficult to determine if they were playthings.
We may still be a long way from fully-functioning robot maids or dog-walkers, but there's one thing consumer robot-makers have figured out: how to make 'em dance. This year, three music-responsive 'bots will be on sale, leaving us to wonder: who's got the best moves? So we gathered up the three contestants and blasted some "Robot Rock." We'll leave it to you to decide who rocks out the best.
As one commenter for last year's annual Toy Fair wrap-up pointed out, there was once a time when Lincoln Logs were considered a cutting-edge toy. It was never so clear as it is now, though, that the heyday of the analog toy has long-since passed. 2012 shall be the year of the app-enabled toy.
By Amber WilliamsPosted 02.10.2012 at 4:18 pm 0 Comments
Sure, you can buy fun things. But if you make them, you get the fun of construction plus the fun of use, with a dash of satisfaction and an anecdote to tell anyone who uses your creation. These three projects--a sledding winch to get you up a hill, a giant version of the board game Operation, and an Angry-Birds-playing robot--are all homemade.
What would the creators of some of the most beloved and widespread American toys make, if given a completely blank slate? We asked the driving forces behind toys like K'Nex, LEGO, Tickle Me Elmo, and Nerf to really explore their craziest impulses--and man, did they come up with some craziness.
German- or Euro-style board games--the best-known of which is probably Settlers of Catan, at least here in the States--are a revolution in analog gaming. They're everything Monopoly is not: often simple but fiendishly clever, designed with a minimum of boring down-time and a maximum of player interaction, without the indignity of getting eliminated or the any semblance of luck. (Dice are pretty much verboten in these games.)
A Euro-style game fan I spoke to referred to Monopoly, Life, and the like as "Amero-trash games."
I'm getting my MBA.
Of course, MBA stands in this case for the Master Builder Academy, a program run by LEGO that's designed to take your LEGO-building abilities from playful amateur to impress-your-friends amazing. It's a six-part course, and I've worked my way through the first two parts. Already I'm seeing a major change in the way I think about LEGO. This is the first of a three-part series documenting my journey from neophyte to Master Builder.
One full week of keeping track of absolutely everything, to see if gamification can net you a win in the game of life
By Matthew ShaerPosted 02.09.2012 at 2:56 pm 4 Comments
The experiment began at 11 a.m. in my bedroom in Brooklyn. I bought an app from the iTunes store called EpicWin, a fantasy-themed game designed to improve users' lives by motivating them to accomplish real-world goals with virtual-world rewards. Before starting the game, I had to pick and customize an avatar that would represent me in the digital landscape of EpicWin. I chose a cadaverous warrior named Calcium Facebone. He held a blunt mallet in one hand. "Add new task," the screen read.
Double Fine Productions, the cultishly adored videogame developer founded by gaming legend Tim Schafer, may have just blown up the entire system of videogame production. Struggling to get funding for their next game, Double Fine posted on Kickstarter, asking for $400,000. Eight hours later, they got it. 16 hours after that, they'd shattered the previous record for the most money ever earned on Kickstarter in 24 hours.