Toys That Twist and Shout

Gadgets that help children make beautiful music are in at this year's Toy Fair; here's how to be the next Britney

When I was a little kid, I took cello lessons. The cello, I quickly learned, is not a toy. It breaks when you drop it, it's a bully magnet, and it takes five years of agonizing practice before you stop sounding like a baby pterodactyl. Only much later did I discover that music can actually be fun. That's probably why musical toys are the biggest thing at this year's Toy Fair, the major annual trade show in New York City all about the business of fun.

Kids like toys based on music, the theory goes, because they allow for open-ended play...

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