It's like Christmas for toy industry
Forget last year's remote-controlled helicopter, this year the level of hi-tech toys is rising: you can now fly your toy helicopter with an iPhone.
New Zealand toy buyers and distributors flocked to Hamilton's Claudelands Events Centre at the weekend to get an exclusive preview of this year's hottest toys.
The trade-only event gave toy suppliers and retailers nationwide an opportunity to have a first look at what's hot in the industry.
The three-day toy fair gave vendors a chance to showcase the latest and greatest toys emerging in the market, with many of them bound for the top of kids' Christmas wishlists.
Electus Distribution spokesman Jarrad Douglas demonstrated the change in hi-tech remote-controlled toys, which he said were a lot more user-friendly and more computer controlled.
"A certain level of finesse is required but with new gyroscope technology it has become a lot easier to control helicopters and hovercrafts," he said.
Apple has a free app from its online store that enables control of remote-controlled toys using an iPhone or iPad.
"We also have an RC Tank that has a camera and a microphone that you can use with your iPhone or iPad which will be here just before Christmas," Mr Douglas said. The cost for these kinds of toys had come down considerably and made them more accessible for the public. Electus expected to sell about 100,000 units this year. Future products would be able to capture motion and would be designed for even more interaction.
Organiser and representative of the New Zealand Toy Distributors Association Fleur Tisdale said toys such as hula hoops, yo-yos and chatter-rings were cyclical and would always come and go, however, there were definitely a few noticeable trends.
She thought wooden toys and those of high intelligence were the most prevalent at this year's show.
Liza Kire is a Wintec journalism student.