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Hasbro Play-Doh Touch AWARD PENDING

(Hasbro $24.99)

Our initial test reports on this toy are diametrically opposed. One parent who uploaded the app to her phone found that the kids lost interest quickly and disliked having to do every step since it was not something the kids could do on their own. Though they continued to enjoy the play-doh, her preference is to skip the technology and just bring home the play-doh. On the flip side, another test family is now playing with play-doh more in order to see it come to life on their family i-pad. This parent is delighted with her kids' enthusiasm, though she noted that she has to be involved at every stage of the play. It could be her kids enjoyed it more because the bigger i-pad screen gave them a better view of their creations than a screen on a phone.

We uploaded the app to our i-pad and played with this 21st century Play Doh toy. It’s one of several toys in the market place this season that uses modeling material that kids shape, scan and then view on a smart device. Of the several toys of its kind, this platform was the best. For starters, the Play Doh itself worked better than others, making the creations easier to model. This kit comes with 5 digital character stampers, 5 digital action stampers, 4 tools, 15 cutters, 7 cans of Play-Doh Brand Modeling Compound, and clear instructions. Unlike playing with old-time Play Doh kits, this will need adult help, not just for scanning images to the ipad, but to clear the edges on the Play Doh shapes, so that they read well on the screen. Kids create Play-Doh forms with the cookie cutters and then scan them to smart phone or tablet. The creatures then come to life on the screen. Well almost.

The fact is, the fish we made showed up in the same color on the screen but before long, a fish of the same color and shape becomes animated and was suddenly transformed with eyes and markings that our Play-Doh fish didn't have. Will kids see the difference? Why wouldn’t they? Will it matter to them? Hard to say. In a sense this is a new kind of coloring book with pre-made shapes and colors, not exactly a creative format. But, from the reports we see from early testers, this seems to have enough magic to win positive reports from parents and kids. We think it’s a fun novelty toy to share and not too expensive. The Play-Doh is reusable and the scans may activate some story telling as well as a shared entertaining time with virtual technology.

Ages:Preschoolers, Early School

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