There is nothing quite like piloting a quadricopter. Parrot’s AR Drone 2.0 is a lot of fun to fly – but for a good number of people, it’s hard to justify the purchase, as it is a little expensive. It also makes some people nervous; even though it comes with a protective shell for indoor use, it’s relatively large, making it an intimidating prospect to play with inside one’s house – especially for beginners. Thankfully, Parrot has another option for those people who are jonesing for a chance to play with a remote-controlled helicopter without breaking the bank (or that vase you got as a gift from your aunt Betty): the Rolling Spider.
Nerf has been around for a while, bringing a soft side to fantasy-battle play with their foam dart blasters. Nerf has upped their game recently with the N-Strike Elite line, a surprisingly extensive series of dart-firing blasters. The latest model in the lineup, the Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster, is what I like to call “the cavalry”. Firing both rubber-tipped foam darts and missiles, this battery-powered blaster is a show-stopper.
Several years ago, Hasbro and their partners took the My Little Pony franchise to a new place with the Equestria Girls film and line of toys. A significant departure from the normal My Little Pony series, Equestria Girls featured the ponies as humans – transformed by walking through a magic mirror. Now, Hasbro shines a spotlight on the My Little Pony Equestria line with the My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks Mane Event Stage, which corresponds with the recently released film, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks.
I’m used to France-based Parrot making toys that soar – namely the AR Drone series; but earlier this year, I attended a media event that demonstrated that Parrot also made remote-control ground vehicles. The Jumping Sumo is an interesting two-wheeled oddity that is capable of far more than just driving. Using your iOS or Android phone (or tablet), the Jumping Sumo is a toy that is easy to pick up – but it’s not without its quirks.
If you like remote-controlled vehicles, then our review of Sphero probably tickled your fancy last year. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by a remote-controlled sphere (which actually moved at a decent clip)? Well, Colorado-based Sphero (formerly known as Orbotix), has released a follow-up product in the form of the cylinder-like Ollie. Sphero was kind enough to let us check out their product and I have to tell you, if you found Sphero to be a fun ride, wait until you try Ollie!
Fan Expo is always chock-full of interesting displays; as usual LEGO’s booth was a force to be reckoned with. When it comes to interactivity, LEGO really pulls out all of the stops. Wonderfully crafted LEGO tributes to popular movie and cartoon characters dotted the space while various construction areas were available for people to get their build on.
Hasbro had a small booth this year, showing some of the toy lines that compose their front line. Both Kreo and My Little Pony made an appearance, with each getting one side of the floor space. As usual, several folks from Hasbro were on hand to show off some of the cool Fan Expo exclusives and help people with any questions. Toronto Thumbs will be reviewing a number of Hasbro goodies in the next few months; but in the mean time, check out some of the cool stuff that we saw on the Fan Expo show floor.