Australians will spend close to $2.4 billion on toys this year. But here’s the interesting thing: according to NPD Group data, about $900 of that whopping amount will be splurged on toys for Christmas.
From week 44 parents and others start trawling through catalogues and stores eager to spend big to ensure Santa puts a big smile on their child’s face. They also splurged plenty of cash last year as well and in the same period leading up to Christmas that amount totaled a steep $865 million.
While traditional toys such as Lego and Barbie dolls keep attracting plenty of money, there’s a huge trend in hi-tech toys. And we’re not talking about remote controlled cars.
Think of high flying, all-seeing, recording drones and digital cameras that can snap such a high quality image, they defy a toy tag. Hi-tech toys equipped toys with intelligent electronics will this Christmas tally up 22.1 per cent of all toys sold and industry predictions are that figure will keep claiming.
To see what all the fuss is about, 4Square Media navigated several stores selecting three hi-tech toys we were told would be amongst the genre’s best selling. The results of our road test were not disappointing.
The Vtech Kidizoom Twist Plus Digital Camera caught our attention with its dazzling colour, practical sturdy design and amazing features.
Priced at $99.95 the Kidizoom Twist Plus designed for kids between 3-9 years, is large enough for children to hold and handle with no sharp edges or small detachable parts.
It carries a 2MP camera and even has a 4x digital zoom. Kids can snap away and view their masterpieces on the camera’s 2.2-inch digital screen. The camera also records video footage and does voice recordings. It has a photo editor, built-in games and Connects to Learning Lodge so extra games and apps can be downloaded.
For more mobile and adventurous kids, the ticket is Vtechs’s Kidizoom Action Camera also priced at $99.95. We took one for a spin attached to a bike and took photos and video footage that was of a quite good quality.
This Action camera can even be used at the beach and in the water. It comes bundled with a waterproof case, camera holder, Bike Mount, Adhesive mount, wrist strap ands a USB cable but you’ll have to supply your own memory card.
The Action Camera has a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that is said to last a day or 2.5 hours of continuous shooting before it needs another charge.
But our favorite hi-tech toy of the day that provided hours of fun was the very cute electronic and interactive pet from Moose called Cleverkeet.
This bird really is clever. It can talk the talk, sing songs and dance a jig. It can be taught to speak and answer questions. Kids can personalise Cleverkeet by giving it its own name. Price is $79.95. Moose has a little mouse and turtle in its interactive toy range.