EVENT REVIEW: DreamToys 2014 Expo


So myself & Montoc were lucky enough to be invited along to see The DreamToys list being announced by The Toy Retailers Association. This is the list of those toys expected to dominate childrens’ wish lists this Christmas. The list has been broken down into ten categories and 12 Top Toys. You can see the full list by clicking here, but we took our chance to check out some of our favourites, and comment.

Top Wearable Tech Toy – with Apple’s iWatch due out in early 2015, the toy manufacturers recognise that the little ones will want their own wearable technology. Two contenders (and we’re going to try and get hold of a couple of units to play with, I mean – test!) are from VTech & LeapFrog. VTech’s Kidizoom Smart Watch is a very straight-forward offering: a touch-screen watch with games and other entertainment with an astonishing battery life (they claim) of up to two weeks. They wouldn’t confirm on the day, but I suspect there will be a future ability to install further games; however, its unique selling point may also be its potential drawback – an on-board stills & video camera, which may well fall foul of many a school head mistress or master.

155703 Kidizoom Smart watch blue_withhandLeapFrog-LeapBand-oped

LeapFrog have come from a different angle, with a fitness tracker watch, which sets goals for achieving fitness goals and rewards its users by unlocking more play activity – crucially the watch has a parental control mechanism that allows the watch to be set as just a watch (no other functionality) between the hours of say 8.00 AM and 4.00 PM, thus ensuring it breaks no privacy rules or is a distraction / nuisance during the school day. The battery life is a lot shorter, but it does have wireless connectivity, and calling a fitness tracker the LeapBand, is marketing genius! For a first effort, both products appear excellent, at a sub £50 price point and we’ll do a more thorough comparison later in the year…

Best Game: drove us mad this did – 5 Second Rule: it should have been easy to name say, 3 breeds of dogs, but you try doing it under the pressure of 5 seconds twisting away? And those 5 seconds are distractingly measured by ball bearings rattling down a helter-skelter tube – it’s all very good fun!

5 Second Rule x1

Top Robot: Trends UK delivered again this year with MiP™ – or Mobile Inverted Pendulum. MiP™ is a robot with an “inquisitive and responsive personality communicated through motion, sounds, and RGB LED eyes”. It is able to navigate its surroundings, follow hand gestures, and even follow objects around, and features:


  • Unique dual-wheel balancing with fast speeds and rapid turning.
  • Hand gesture command recognition.
  • Comes with a tray accessory that can be plugged in. Watch MiP™ balance multiple objects while moving or standing still!
  • Multiple robotic modes including Roam, Stacking, Dance, and Programming.
  • App Features: direct drive control over MiP™’s movements, path tracing, customized dance routines from music library, multiple stacking, balancing, and maze games
  • Compatible with BLE enabled devices as the new iPhone 6

Other highlights included:

IMG_0125 Steve & the rest of the Minecraft crew in figurine form


IMG_0127 Marvel Superhero Mash-Up Figurines


IMG_0132 Walt Disney Princess Castle Lego Set

Oh, and Montoc met his match with the Ninja Turtles… sigh…:


GS Blogger: Silverfox

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