Next Tickle Me Elmo? Fair Showcases Hot Toy Trends

When girls return online to report about their off-line quest, they will be rewarded within the virtual world.

Unique to this virtual world is the addition of Fairies Clickables, special collectible jewelry that houses new technology which, when touched to other Clickables, transfers information. Developed in partnership with Techno Source, this jewelry will come in the form of charms, charm bracelets, and necklaces that can be stored in a jewelry box which connects to the computer via a USB connection.

By simply clicking (touching) two charms together, girls will be able to pass on in-game items, unlockables, and fairy friendship information.

Wii-Inspired Movement Games

Parlaying the great success of the Wii, many toy companies are producing video games systems which require kids to move to play.

From VTech, $69.99, for ages 3-7, coming in Fall of 2008

Like the Wii, this gaming system for young kids uses a wireless controller that is motion sensitive. Kids play by moving the controller around, not simply pushing buttons.

But unlike the Wii, all of the games for this television plug-and-play system are educational. The new system will be launching with one game and eight add-on titles ($24.99 each) including ones featuring WALL-E and Kung-Fu Panda.

From Jakks Pacific, $79.99, for ages 4-up, coming in Fall 2008

The Ulti-motion system is a television plug-and-play system that combines video gaming with role-playing toys. Like the Wii, it features a wireless motion controller which senses kids' motions as they play.

The system comes with a console that plugs directly into the A/V jacks of the TV, the wireless controller, and role-playing accessories that attach to the wireless controller to help further the imaginary play.

Parents will have three different packages to choose from. The "Ulti-Motion Swing Zone" is a sports package which will come with a bowling ball, football, baseball bat, tennis racquet, and golf club attachments. The other two packages will feature Disney properties including classic Disney Princesses and Playhouse Disney Preschool properties.

The role-playing accessories for these sets will reflect the theme of the product including a set of fairy wings and a wand that attaches to the controller in the Disney Princesses set.

From Tiger Electronics, $74.99, for ages 8-up, coming in Fall 2008

Picking up on the "Dance, Dance Revolution" craze, Tiger Electronics has developed a way to mimic that gameplay without your having to own a gaming console and the corresponding dance mat controller.

By plugging the U-Dance console into your TV and then attaching special motion capture tags to your shoes, this game lets you become the dance controller. You are no longer limited to moves that you can make on a dance mat.

Reading Pens

Several years ago, interactive book readers like the "LeapPad" and "Active Pad" were all the rage. The newest tool to help children read will be pen-shaped devices. Three are hitting the market this year:

From Leapfrog, $49.99, for ages 4-8, coming in June 2008

The Tag is a pen-like device that houses a computer processor and optical sensor. When it is touched to the surface of a specially made book, it can read the whole page or individual words. It can also create fun sound effects when touched to illustrations. Other icons on the page can trigger interactive games.

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