Seen on Saturday morning: March 1st

March 1, 2008 8:14:13 AM PST

The 2008 American International Toy Fair just wrapped up, debuting thousands of new toys at the Javitz Center.

Joining us this morning to show us a few is Adrienne Citrin, a spokesperson for the Toy Industry Association.

Tag Reading System (LeapFrog)

  • Tag is an interactive reading product that brings real books to life with a simple touch! Tag books include great classics like "The Little Engine that Could" and "Olivia," and popular characters like Dora.
  • $49.99; books MSRP $13.99 each
  • Ages 4-8
  • Available Summer 2008

    Caring Corners? Mrs. Goodbee? Interactive Dollhouse (Learning Curve)

  • This innovative, interactive dollhouse virtually comes alive to guide children through play and reinforce positive life lessons.
  • Meet Mrs. Goodbee, the heart and soul of the dollhouse, as her friendly voice guides preschoolers on a never-ending role play adventure in this spacious 12-room dollhouse.
  • A unique tri-fold design delivers the most play space of any dollhouse in its category and lets two children play comfortably at once.
  • Once inside, kids will discover fun dollhouse features including foldaway bunk beds and secret passageways, as well as eight "hot spots" where Mrs. Goodbee's voice actually guides activity and responds according to what the child does.
  • Close the blinds in the bedroom and it becomes night, inspiring a different set of activities and fun.
  • Kids will love the expansive dollhouse and the more than 400 activities, songs, words and sounds. Parents will appreciate that all the activities are designed to encourage caring, sharing and preparing for responsibilities, sparking emotional intelligence and helping give their little ones important skills for life.
  • Ages 3 +
  • $79.99.

    Silly Somersaults Curious George(TM) (PlayAlong Toys)

  • Silly Somersaults Curious George(TM) is tumbling fun for kids of all ages!
  • Just sit him up and lean his head forward - then he somersaults and giggles all by himself!
  • Ages 3+
  • $19.99

    My First RC Dinos-Tyrannosaurus Rex (Kid Galaxy)

  • Kid Galaxy is the leader in preschool R/C fun.
  • Introducing My First R/C Dinos_Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  • Turn him on and watch him spin.
  • Press the button on the Trilobite remote and he goes forward. At the same time, his mouth chomps, his legs move and his tail sways side to side.
  • Simple function 1 button R/C enhances the fun for your little one.
  • Ages 3+
  • $22

    Color Surge (Crayola)

  • Crayola used its expertise in color technology to create Color Surge, a marker and paper system that makes drawing on COLORED paper extraordinarily bright.
  • Ordinary markers blend into colored paper making it difficult to see the marker color. When Color Surge markers meet Color Surge paper, kids' drawings become super charged with a brightness that's dramatically intense.
  • Marker colors like Shocking Blue, Laser Green and even White Lightning are a bold contrast against the bright Color Surge paper.
  • Tablets of Color Surge paper are double sided; 20 sheets gives you 40 drawing surfaces.
  • $7.99 for tablet and 8 markers
  • $9.99 for deluxe set with 12 markers and 30 sheets
  • $4.99 for Paper and marker refills

    Color Me Gemz and Jewelry Box (Mattel)

  • Girls love arts and crafts and jewelry making - Color Me Gemz is a great way for girls to create wearable art with the touch of a pen!
  • The included marker pens are used to color specially designed facets that create the appearance of an actual translucent gem or precious stone, so girls can dazzle as they show off their Gemz.
  • Girls can store their creations in the Gemz Jewelry Box - that can also be decorated inside and out.
  • Features a beautiful main compartment with lid, mirror and spinning fairy/ballerina, two drawers for storage.
  • Drawer pulls and jewelry box lid can all be "Gem-ified."
  • Ages 5+
  • Kits -$7.99 - $14.99 --- Jewelry Box - $19.99
  • Available June 2008

    Bakugan (SpinMaster)

  • Kids are going crazy over Bakugan, stores are selling out quickly!
  • Has already taken Japan and Canada by storm, began invading the US earlier this month.
  • Bakugan Battle Brawlers television series debuts on Cartoon Network on Feb 24th
  • Action, strategy and collectability together with really cool transforming monsters and great game play.
  • Ages 6+
  • Bakugan Starter Pack (3 Bakugan, 3 Cards): $11.99

    For more information, go to


    It's a health crisis that cannot be ignored, mental illness in our children. Millions of children have mental disorders, but few are receiving the help they need.

    Joining us this morning with the signs your child needs help and the action you can take is Dr. Harold Koplewicz with the NYU Child Study Center. has some information for parents. Such as:

  • What's the difference between a demoralized teen and depressed teen?
  • What are some myths about teenage depression?
  • What is the best way to tell in your child if there is a problem?
  • Depression IS treatable?
  • Who can parents turn to for help?
  • What about health insurance coverage?
  • What are some resources out there?


    1. All teens are moody and rebellious
    2. He'll grow out of it - it's just a phase
    3. A depressed teen? They have nothing to worry about
    4. She's just spoiled and wants her own way
    5. I was just like that at his age and now I'm doing fine


  • During the teen years about 20% of teens - (10 to 15% for boys; 23 to 30% for girls)
  • By the time students are in college, nearly half report feeling depressed
  • Modern teenagers and college students are more prone to depression and anxiety than earlier generations - 15% college students meet clinical criteria
  • Less than half received treatment
  • More prevalent in teens than in children or adults
  • Suicide rate- 3rd leading cause of death for teenagers, young adults 8 - 15 years olds more than doubled since l950s (Nat'l Comorbidity Survey, SAMSHA, American College Health Assn)

    What parents should look for

  • All kids and adolescents can be cranky, irritable, moody at times, but following are warning signs:
  • Sad, irritable most of day nearly every day
  • Decreased interest in formerly enjoyable activities
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Aches and pains, but nothing wrong physically
  • Slowing down of movements; difficulty concentrating
  • Worsening academics
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
  • Onset or increase in alcohol or drugs
  • Recent major loss or disappointment
  • Distinguishing between adolescent moodiness and depression
  • How long symptoms are present - must experience symptoms for at least two weeks
  • Degree to which depression interferes with functioning
  • Cause for concern if a teen doesn't recover from the blues triggered by a stressor (such as a breakup, parental divorce, not making the team, or bad grade in a reasonable time)
  • Expressions of hopelessness: For example, when you see a change, note whether it lasts for a day (I don't feel like soccer practice today) or has longer term implications (Soccer just isn't fun; I'm quitting the team)

    How to talk to kids

  • Establish a family atmosphere that encourages kids to talk about thoughts and feelings
  • Talk in a distraction-free atmosphere (no phones, TV)
  • Start discussion from child's point of view
  • Use your own observations - let her know you see that she's sad
  • May need to take the first step- ask about how things are going in school, at home, with friends
  • Point out the things she does well-without pressure
  • Don't tell him "not to feel bad" or "snap out of it" - don't discount feelings
  • Have them keep a journal or draw as a way of expressing emotions
  • Encourage physical activity - which alleviates symptoms
  • Reiterate support

    How to help

  • If symptoms are dangerous or persist and interfere with daily functioning, consult a professional
  • Psychotherapy and medication equally effective
  • If suicidal, meds first
  • Two types of psychotherapy found helpful:

  • Cognitive Behavior Treatment (CBT) - teaches strategies for identifying negative thoughts, solving problems and managing emotions
  • Interpersonal Therapy (ITP) - focuses on communication and relationship skills- taught strategies for identifying negative thoughts, solving problems and managing emotions

    For more information, go to

    -----WRITE IT DOWN-----

    In the age of e-mails, e-vites and blackberries, the world of hand-written notes is still thriving.

    Joining us this morning with tips for thank you notes and how to get creative with your stationery is Steve Paster, the founder and creative director of Alpine Creative Group.

    For more information, go to