By Ellen Metrick
What's a Tech Toy? It's a toy in which a microchip or electronic circuitry is key to the item's function and play value. Which ones are worth taking home? Here are this year's NAPPA winners:
Gold Award Winners
Pet Me Platypus, Neurosmith, $19.99; www.neurosmith.com, 800-220-3669; newborn and up. This touch-activated musical plush toy stimulates a child's senses and invites the cause-and-effect learning process to begin. Four lighted buttons on the Platypus' back enable a child to choose one of four musical styles. Two modes of play allow for continued musical entertainment or interactive fun.
Honors Award Winners
GeoTrax Rail & Road System, Fisher Price, $39.99; www.fisher-price.com, 800-432-5437; for ages 2-1/2 and up. This expandable railway system features a hand-held remote control.
Mega Bloks Learning Center, Mega Bloks Inc., $34.99; www.megabloks.com, 800-465-MEGA; for ages 2 and up. Children gain a basic understanding of letters and shapes while playing music, responding to questions, building with blocks - and having fun!
To see winning tech toys for other age groups, return to NAPPA 2003 Award Winners: Tech Toys.
See also: NAPPA 2002 Award Winners: Tech Toys
Ellen Metrick is a toy specialist with the National Lekotek Center.
Read more about the National Lekotek Center, NAPPA's new toy expert.