When you hear the name “Teddy Ruxpin,” perhaps you’re hit with a wave of nostalgia tinged with a lingering wariness of the animatronic talking teddy bear that read stories off a cassette tape shoved in his back. But now that there’s a new Teddy Ruxpin on the scene with bright blue, lidlessly blinking LCD eyes, your nightmares may have a new face. [More]
Whether popping plastic packing material is your idea of a good time, or nailing your adversaries with a foam projectile is more your speed, both modes of entertainment have a chance at being inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame this year. [More]
When I was but a young Consumerist, the only way to get your hands on an American Girl doll — once parents had been successfully harangued into purchasing the pricey toy — was by mail order. Since then, Pleasant Company, now a subsidiary of Mattel, has 20 stores around the country dedicated to selling the dolls as well as a website. Times are changing yet again: starting next month, the dolls will also be available at Toys ‘R’ Us stores. [More]
A doll creator who’s already going to court with Hasbro for allegedly stealing her designs for new versions of My Little Pony and other toys filed an additional lawsuit this week.
No cultural phenomenon would be a complete success without its own line of merchandise attached to it, and it makes sense: fans of popular TV shows, comic books, and movies will often seek out products that tie-in with those franchises, providing a great way for a lot of people to make a bunch of money. But when it comes to some infamous product tie-ins, we’ve got to wonder if it all that effort was worth it. [More]
While some toy companies are giving up on long-held preconceptions about gender-specific products, LEGO has gone the other way. Shedding its gender-neutral past, the company now makes toys specifically targeted at either girls or boys. These products have no shortage of critics, but LEGO says it has good reasons for the separate product lines. [More]
Long gone are the days of parents tussling it out in toy store aisles over Cabbage Patch Dolls, those squish-faced darlings of the early ’80s, but there are still people willing to duke it out in the name of the doll. This time, they’re toy companies, and they’re fighting each other in court. [More]
Nearly four years after federal regulators dealt a swift blow to the makers of super-powerful desktop magnetic toys Buckyballs, filing a lawsuit against the company and persuading retailers to stop selling the dangerous toys, a Colorado-based company has been ordered to recall similarly powerful magnets that can cause fatal injuries when swallowed. [More]
There are a few reasons why parents might choose not to buy their kids a go-kart, thus dashing the child’s dreams of roaming the neighborhood at high speed, unfettered by the wishes of pesky adults: it’s a pricey toy, and parents don’t necessarily want to give their kids something they could potentially drive into traffic or somewhere else unsafe. A few things have changed since I last wished for my own set of wheels, as I saw at the North American International Toy Fair in New York City this week, while others have remained pretty much the same. [More]
The company behind the toy that has been teaching children about the impermanence of the human condition for more than 50 years has decided to shake things up and sell the rights to make Etch A Sketch to a Canadian toymaker. [More]
Once upon a time, teddy bears were simple, cute, cuddly friends for youngsters. Today, the seemingly benign toys can talk, hold a conversation, and give away your personal information. Or at least that’s what security experts are saying about the Smart Toy stuffed bear from Fisher Price.
For decades, Mattel’s famous line of Barbie dolls has been heavily criticized for perpetuating an unrealistic and unobtainable image of the female figure. And for some reason, the dolls’ feet were perma-slanted so that Barbie had to wear heels all the time. But today Mattel has announced that Barbie will come in a variety of sizes and skin tones. [More]
Each year manufacturers and federal safety regulators initiate safety recalls for a number of baby- and child-focused products. One major retailer wants to ensure you’ve rid your home of these potentially dangerous items by offering discounts if you trade in the goods for new ones. [More]
If you’ve got a plan to build a life-sized statue of Aaron Rodgers or Jeff Goldblum in your backyard, you’ll no longer have to explain to LEGO why you’re buying so many bricks. The company says it’s reversing its policy on bulk purchases, and won’t ask customers what their intentions are when they buy a bunch of LEGO pieces at once. [More]
Playing with LEGO when I was a kid was great, because my friends and I could build the houses — nay! castles! — of our dreams and fill them with all the things kids want in a dream home (huge pool, ice cream parlor, cat ranch, etc.). There was only one problem: none of the little barrel-headed figurines I had to act out those childhood fantasies looked remotely like me. That is no longer an obstacle to fun times. [More]