Unbelievable the sheer plethora of inspiration which the Spielwarenmesse® 2020 had to offer. There is so much to see in Nuremberg for those who make a living from toys. This is why I spent four wonderful – even if exhausting – days exploring the halls (my smartwatch tells me I walked over 70,000 steps), rounding up some new products and highlights from the realm of technical and electronic toys.
Smart SuperZoom by fischertechnik
fischertechnik's Smart SuperZoom turns a smartphone into an electronic microscope which magnifies objects up to 26 times. With the help of a vacuum pad, the phone is held securely in place while the mobile phone's own camera and software is used as a great way to introduce a child to macro photography. An LED set is available to optimise light conditions for the objects to be explored. Works with almost all smartphones.
"Back to the Future" by playmobil
How dads and kids become best buddies: The legendary Delorean by playmobil (art. no. 70317) turns back dad's clock and lets him time travel with his offspring. Not only the perfect toy, but also a much sought-after collector's item, the lit gull-winged model, next to Ghosbuster's Ecto-1 and the also recently released Mystery Machine from the Scooby Doo franchise, is bound to make aficionados happy.
Cyclon by D-Dart
The Cyclon soft dart blaster by D-Dart has kids rushing into the garden to play. Target practice or crazy soft dart battles – the soft dart blasters turn mobile phones and game consoles into options for a rainy day.
360° off-road truck by Qihui
We have seen it before: our kids finish building an RC model, send it off twice and then... BORING! Not so for the 360° off-road truck by the Chinese maker Qihui. The special tyres have their own engine and are controlled by a 2.4 GHz remote. The result is something you must see to believe. The truck can forge ahead, reverse, turn sideways and spin around on the spot. And the best thing is that the truck's components are fully compatible with LEGO® Technic parts, offering seemingly endless modification and combination options.
Proxi micro:bit programming robot by KOSMOS
Play, have fun, and learn to programme – all in one! The Proxi micro:bit programming robot is the KOSMOS way to teach kids aged between 10 and 16 to learn more about robotics and programming. First tinkerers put together the robot and then programme it with their smartphone, their tablet or PC with the help of coding blocks via Bluetooth. Five different sensors, an LED display and a sound module create endless programming options.
Count Zeppelin aircraft carrier model by COBI
The Polish toymaker Cobi is offering its customary "Model Construction Success Guarantee" for its Count Zeppelin aircraft carrier. Cobi's models use brick-and-knob blocks (all components are fully compatible with the knobbed blocks made in Denmark) and look absolutely amazing once completed. You need to do a double take to fully appreciate the design. Building the model is an extremely exciting experience and one can be sure that the 3,000+ components of this set produce a respectable result.
"Ranger Tom and his meerkat friend" by Schleich
For its 85th anniversary, toymaker Schleich added a golden lion as an anniversary figurine to its range. Its most interesting new product is the ranger, Tom and his friend, the meerkat. They travel the world in their truck, visiting and helping animals in different climate zones. This team teaches children about where which animals live on our planet and which climate zones exist. Part of the proceeds from the sale of Australian animal figurines are donated to the WWF to help animals in need following the wildfires that ravaged Australian forests.
Big Truck Transform Mobile Pit by Qman (Guangdong Qman Toys Industry Co., Ltd.)
The Chinese brick-and-knob block maker launches the big Pit Truck under its new racing car series. The truck is built from components which are all fully compatible with LEGO®. While the finished truck can be played with as a van, a clever folding mechanism transforms it into a fully equipped mobile workshop. Big time fun building and playing!
Luka® reading companion
Luka aims to help pre-school and primary school children learn to love books. But it does not want to replace parents reading a bedtime story to their children. It wants to promote the autonomous use of books if ever the grown-ups don't have time to read them a story. The cute little owl can identify more than 500 different books with the help of its fitted camera and read the page that has been opened. Parents can either record the books, or they can purchase them with Luka®Coins via an app. This turns the little owl into an interactive audiobook for tomorrow's bookworms.
Hubelino roofing bricks
Building masters of all ages know this problem: You just finished building a fantastic house with your Duplo® bricks, but the roof, for some reason, does not look right because the bricks don't fit. Introducing the new roofing bricks by Hubelino. Known for their fantastic bowling alleys made of brick-and-knob blocks, this is the solution we have all been waiting for. It is now possible to build a great roof with 45° angled bricks, as known from LEGO®. So the question that comes to mind is – what took them so long to come up with these?
Flexible components by bionicTOYS
The novel components by bionicTOYS bring flexibility and movement into the world of LEGO® Technic. The full-length cross-axis supports of the flexible lifting arm create a whole range of new possibilities. In combination with the popular components by the Danish maker, it is now possible to create bionic designs and explore totally new possibilities.
This is only a small selection of the amazing new products and highlights showcased at the Spielwarenmesse 2020 in Nuremberg this year. Wishing you lots of fun building and playing!
Would you like to take a closer look at the individual technical and electronical toys?
- Smart SuperZoom by fischertechnik
- „Back to the Future“ by playmobil
- Cyclon by D-Dart
- 360 Grad Offroader by Qihui
- Proxi micro:bit programming robot by KOSMOS
- Count Zeppelin aircraft carrier model by COBI
- "Ranger Tom and his meerkat friend" by Schleich
- Big Truck Transform Mobile Pit by Qman (Guangdong Qman Toys Industry Co., Ltd.)
- Luka® reading companion
- Hubelino roofing bricks
- Flexible components by bionicTOYS
About the author:
Thorsten Klahold from Johnny’s World YouTube-fame left his man cave and came to visit the Spielwarenmesse® 2020. Whilst in Nuremberg, the brick-and-knob block specialist celebrated the latest technical and electronic toys in a written and visual new products report. His visit to the trade fair in 2019 inspired him to set up his own shop in Paderborn. For just about a year now he has been running his brick-centric toy store: Der Klemmbaustein.shop Steingemachtes