IT’S A VIRTUAL WORLD: One toy realm that will expand this year has items offering both “hands-on” play and connection to virtual worlds. Makers like KizToys and 10VOX Entertainment boast that these items, selling for as little as $10, offer “more play value.”
With a coded token or plug-in USB-drive, a child’s new doll, stuffed animal or collectible car also magically pops up in digitized image form on a Web site, where the child can customize it with new accessories. Kids also can tour a virtual world, hang out and network with other toy owners and participate in competitions.
Oh, and while your children are visiting, the toy maker may tempt them with other goodies. By one estimation, as many as 300 virtual worlds are likely to emerge this year in toyland.