Tech Toys For Tykes

Even grownups will love these cool toys--from wireless video games to musical aliens

  • Once upon a time, new technology took years to trickle down from high-end electronics into toys. Today kids often get the hottest innovations first. The newest game consoles come with dazzling graphics and advanced wireless networking. Plush toys are often amazingly lifelike and interactive--and cuddly. Many of our picks help cultivate musical and visual artistry, while others encourage children to solve problems and play together. If only that technology would bubble up to gadgets for adults.

    Zizzle iZ It looks like an alien life form and grooves with its own brand of electronic jazz. You pick beats and melodies by poking its tummy and twisting those earlike protuberances. Plug in an MP3 player, and you hear your music plus alien babblings. $40

    Hasbro I-Dog This pup gives a frisky voice to your portable music player. As songs play over the built-in speaker, the I-Dog's head and ears move to the rhythms with moody light effects. $30

    Nintendogs for Nintendo DS It's easy to fall for a Nintendog. Feed it; play with it; introduce it to dogs that your friends are raising on their own DS systems. Just beware of the guilt trip that comes from neglecting your pup. $35 (game only)

    Lego Factory Want to design your own personal piece of Legoland? Instead of buying sets mass produced for everyone, you can download free software and block out your own Lego vision. One click orders up all the pieces you need to build your model for real. Prices vary widely

    • Pixel Chix by Mattel This dollhouse comes complete with its own virtual teenage girl who's into clothes, games and taking care of her dog. If two houses are joined, one girl calls the other, and then they appear onscreen together ready to, you know, like, just chill. $30 per house

    • Knows Your Name Winnie-the-Pooh Teach Pooh your child's name, favorite food, daily routine and other pertinent facts, and watch it entertain with realistic interactivity. It might even save you a trip to Disney World. $40

    • Nintendo Game Boy Micro Hardly thicker than the Game Boy Advance cartridges it plays, the Micro has a bright screen, crystal-clear sound and colorful body plates that are swappable to suit your game face. $100

    • Microsoft Xbox 360 The much anticipated console debuts on Nov. 22 in two setups--a scaled-down "core" system and the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink model, with a hard drive, wireless controller and a media remote. $300 or $400