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CTR Weekly 5/15/2019
Kano Computer Touch; Nintendo Labo Bird; Hexbug Ring Racer
"According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before... make sure that your child engages in other activities, like mammoth hunting and the gathering of rocks and bones with which to make tools." From the Limiting Your Child’s Fire Time: A Guide for Concerned Paleolithic Parents By Rachel Klein

After last weeks announcement that robot maker Anki is closing down, Robin Raskin outlines the struggles that can happen when technology meets toys. She says "smart toy companies will ultimately learn how to make tech toys that are reasonably priced and shine the spotlight on the play, not just tech for tech’s sake." Read the full article in KidScreen at

Hexbug Ring Racer
Innovation First, Inc., , ($25 on Smart Toy), for ages 8-up.
Using a tiny RC remote (the variety used by many Hexbug mini-robots) you control this fast moving, self self-stabilizing remote controlled robot. It moves using two spinning rings. There are two-speed settings: regular and turbo. Powered by rechargeable batteries (using a standard cell phone charger). Available in a variety of colors. Includes a USB recharging cable, the remote, and 2 AG13/LR44 batteries that are installed in the remote.
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Kano Computer Touch Kit
Kano, , ($280), for ages 8-up.
Want to assemble your own computer? This is the highest priced Kano DIY computer kit from UK based Kano. It is powered by the Raspberry Pi 3 which is connected to a color touch screen. Components include a power supply, case, LED light ring, processor, SD card for storage, HDMI cable, wireless keyboard and idea book. The touch screen is sluggish but works, and the computer can run Scratch or Minecraft.
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Nintendo Labo Expansion Set 2: Bird + Wind Pedal
Nintendo of America, , ($20 on Nintendo Switch), for ages 7-up.
Note that IF you already own the $40 Nintendo Labo VR Starter Set (required) you can purchase this bird expansion set to expand the experience. It includes the components needed to build the Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Bird. Testers noted that getting the Labo bird flying required some setup. But the games were fun and there was no latency between head or hand movement and the graphics. The bottom line -- this bird is pretty impressive. Learn more at
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"In the end, just remember that fire, like most innovations, is both a blessing and a curse. Sure, it’s made our lives easier, our survival likelier, and will probably lead to the greatest evolutionary paradigm shift in human history. But it’s also dangerous, destructive, and, yes, possibly infested with demonic forces that wish us ill. As with everything in life, balance is key." From