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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, Tech Guy Labs on TWiT and on Computer America. But wait, there's More »

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    As "Special Correspondent" - once a month, for a full hour, I join Craig Crossman and Co-Host Ben Crossman on Computer America - America's longest running nationally syndicated radio talk show about computers. But when I'm on the show we talk about every kind of gadget! To hear the show, or to go to the archives (which now covers the past two years) click below www.computeramerica.com

    Saturday
    Mar252017

    Toy Pianos Become Digital

    At Toy Fair 2017 all of the new Schoenhut toy pianos introduced were digital. They make spinets, uprights, mini-baby grand, and even a twin butterfly piano that looks like a baby grand. The new line is being branded as New Tech Learning. So no more 'tinny' piano sounds from a toy piano, they'll sound like real pianos. If the name is familiar, Schoenhut has been producing toy pianos since 1872. The new line includes 25, 30, 37 and even a 61-key digital model. The new line of digital pianos have USB inputs and headphone jacks. They also can record and playback so kids can hear how they sound. The new pianos range in price from about $100 to $500 or so. Every piano has a place to hold a smart phone or digital tablet to make it easy for the child to follow along as they learn. Schoenhut does not make its own app because a spokesman said they are lots of learning apps out therealready. Someone else at Toy Fair said they heard of a piano learning app lets your child follow a lesson and when they're finished, it emails the parents a score showing how well the kid did. That well I guess, if your child's practicing gets to be too much, you can leave the room and still know how they did. Someone else at the Schoenhut display said that the great thing about piano apps is that they teach kids to play piano by making them think they're playing a game!

     

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/KZjKMA6jaOs

    All the various models: http://www.toypianoshop.com/

    Company website: www.toypiano.com

    Saturday
    Mar252017

    Meet The Zing Blast Box.

    Last year Zing introduced Wet Head at Toy Fair 2016. It is a game that can result in the loser getting a 'wet head' when he pulls out the wrong peg on a water-filled 'hard hat' he or she is wearing. This year, the stakes are less dire in their new game Blast Box. To play this game, inflated balloons are placed under the Blast Box, one balloon for each player. Then each player takes a turn with the Blast Box Spinner and must drive that amount of nails (actually plastic pegs) into the BLAST BOX without breaking a balloon underneath. Play continues until only one player remains and becomes the Winner. The game set includes: 1 blast box , 1 hammer, 35 Blast Box plastic nails, a game spinner, and 50 balloons. It sells for under $20, and should be available now.  

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/2pnUFdUBe0A

     

    Company commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIpVGS5llDQ

    Blast Box on Amazon - $19.99 as of 3/6/17: http://amzn.to/2n7qdxd 

    Saturday
    Mar252017

    A game that might leave you 'flushed' with excitement!

    Another game kids will probably love playing is Hasbro's Toilet Trouble. You can get wet with this game when you flush the mini-plastic toilet and have to beware of an unexpected spray of (clean) water. A funny toilet flushing sound effect will add to the fun. The spinner is cleverly designed as a toilet paper roll. You have to flush the toilet handle to match the number you got on the spinner. And of course you hope you don't get sprayed with water! Players are safe if they hear the flushing sound, but no water is sprayed. Who knows which flush will be the one that sprays water, eliminating that player? Continue taking turns spinning the roll and flushing until one player has not been sprayed. That player wins the game! Toilet Trouble includes a game base, toilet base, toilet tank with toilet paper roll spinner, toilet bowl with lid, and instructions. It's suggested for ages 4 and up. And of course, there's a caution: To Avoid Injury: Use only clean tap water. 2 AA Alkaline batteries required. (Demo batteries included.) I did not get to experience this game in person, but our friends over at Time To Play Magazine shared their video with us:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7zIpQR527Q

     

    Hasbro commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxM_WgXPvhg 

    Saturday
    Mar252017

    Kids love Folkmanis puppets, but they're not the only ones.

    I love Folkmanis puppets too. They're so original and creative! At Toy Fair 2017 Folkmanis Puppets announced a new puppet collection. For the first time they're bringing iconic Disney characters to life with detailed, full-body puppets of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pluto. The company says these heirloom quality toys offer superior play value and are designed to last for generations for those who want to collect aqnd cherish them as collectibles. The Mickey Mouse puppet comes to life when you animate mouth and hands through the access point in the back. There are also pockets in the gloves to wave, clap and blow kisses. 22” tall. And don't worry, there's a Minnie Mouse too. Also 22” tall. Both are for ages 3+ with a SRP of $73.99 for either one. But wait, there's more! There's Donald Duck with a movable mouth and hands that bring his feisty personality to life (just use your imagination.) And of course, Pluto: The gang’s loyal canine companion Pluto has an expressive face with movable mouth and perky ears. Animate Pluto's perky ears with a squeeze to the low-tech airbladder at the base of each foreleg. Operate one or both ears to amuse and delight friends and family. Be sure to watch the video to see Pluto in action. Donald and Pluto are 22” long. Ages 3+. SRP $65.99. All should be available now, March, 2017. 

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/49OUVNelCso

     

    Company website: www.folkmanis.com

     

    Folkmanis Disney Puppets on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lEFqF6 

    Saturday
    Mar252017

    Drones Like No Others I've Ever Seen.

    These really unique drones I found at Toy Fair 2017 are from a brand new line called Drone Force from Alpha. They're a team of fun and easy to fly RC creatures, each with different performance and battle features. The new drones you'll see in the video of this show include: 

    ·Stinger: Alien drone technology at your fingertips! Take control of the skies with stable and intuitive flight control. Feature a durable exoskeleton roll cage for safe and strong indoor flying.

     

    ·Arachno Fury: The spider... that flies! Perform flips, dips and dive bomb stunts indoors and outdoors, with an easy to use controller! (Green & black in photo.)

     

    ·Raptor Strike: With a built-in targeting system, the Raptor Strike can take aim and fire dual missiles in flight! Safe and fun to fly indoors and outdoors.

     

    ·Angler Attack: The terror of the sea... illuminating the skies! Electro-surge attack with brilliant, luminescent LEDs and Glow FX! Features one-touch takeoff and landing for easy indoor and outdoor flight.

     

    ·Morph Zilla: (The strangest of them all!) Surface to sky mayhem! Drive on the ground in Ape Mode, morph into action and then fly in the air in Drone Mode. Easy to morph, stunt and fly,

    both indoors and outdoors. (Purple & yellow drone in picture.)

     

    MSRP of the new line will range from $24.99- $79.99. Recommended for Age: 6+. Available: Fall 2017

     

    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/ba1VP-V5eGw 

    Company website: http://www.auldeytoys.us/