Consumer Reports: Trending tech toys

November 13, 2012 2:05:05 PM PST
Who doesn't love a good game of Monopoly--especially when you can use an iPad to keep track of your cash, or break out of jail by playing a game on the tablet!

One of the big trends this year is toys that interact with apps on your smart phone or tablet, and we thought the Monopoly game was a lot more fun with an app.

Monopoly's "Zapped" edition costs $30. You download the app for free.

Consumer reports' Shop Smart sampled 11 other tech toys, too. A favorite for kids seven and up: Sifteo Cubes, for $130.

"Sifteo Cubes are pricey, but there's no other toy like them," said Carol Mangis. "Kids will play with them for hours."

First, you download the software to add games to the interactive cubes. Then shake, flip, tilt or press the blocks to play a variety of brainy games like puzzles or math challenges.

If you want everybody off the couch, try Mattel's Loopz Shifter game for $45. Players seven and up use their best karate-chop-like moves to repeat a pattern.

And there are tech toys for creative kids, like Crayola's Digital Light Designer for $60. Budding artists six and older can move the wand to draw pictures with LED lights. They look even cooler in the dark!

"This toy is magical, but there is one drawback," Mangis said. "Its motor is really loud."

And SmartLab's $20 DJ Rock Dock lets kids eight and up build a speaker dock that really works! Don't expect high fidelity, but your child will love being able to say, "I made it myself!"

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