Friday, August 26, 2011
You don't usually associate Hi-Tech with girly toys and doll playsets, but at this year's Big Toy Book Sweet Suite I discovered a really cool toy that girls are going to love: Lite Sprites. They are tiny fairies that girls can transform to change to any color they want. The magic happens with the Light Wand, a device that captures color from any flat surface and transfers it to the Lite Sprite dolls. There are five Lite Sprite dolls, a host of Lite Sprite pets, and playsets ranging from little slides to swings to a whole tree house!
Here's a press release about Lite Sprites that says it all:
WowWee, an award-winning manufacturer of toys, is set to release Lite Sprites™, a new toy brand for girls that is equal parts magical, interactive, and empowering. For the first time ever, girls have the power and ability to magically collect and share color and light in the unique play world of Lite-Topia.
The Lite Sprites™ live in Lite-Topia, an enchanted land that sparkles with color and light. The Sprites collect, share and use color and light to express their emotions. The Sprite Sisterhood includes five Sprites, each with a special power: Prisma, the leader; Astra, the keeper of the skies; Brooke, who takes care of the water; Meadow, who is responsible for the plants, flowers and trees; and Bleak, the rebel Sprite who uses her powers to disrupt color in Lite-Topia.
Catch the Lite Sprites™ animated web series at YouTube.com/LiteSprites to follow along each week as lead Sprite Prisma and her friends discover their Lite Wands. For more info about the story behind the Sprites, check out LiteSprites.com.
The magic begins in early August when Lite Sprites™ will be available at retail. The brand is launching with one Lite Wand, five Lite Sprites™ (each with her own Forest Pod), four deluxe playsets (Waterfall, Windmill, Flower and Swing), the Tree of Lite Playset, and 21 collectible Lite Pets.
Using the Lite Wand, girls ages 4+ can collect almost any color from nearly any flat surface in their real world environment and magically share it with the Lite Sprites™ and their world. The Lite Sprites™ can catch color from the Wand, can share and catch color from each other, and also with the playsets. Each playset includes a path so you can collect and connect playsets to create an ever-changing world of color and light.
We received the Prisma and Lite Wand set to review, and my kids are fascinated with how they can capture any color in the real world and make Prisma change to the same color!
Just set the bottom of the Lite Wand on any flat surface; the bottom has a scanner that lets it pick up the surface's color. The crystal ball at the top of the wand will change to the new color.
The set comes with a paper color wheel, so you can set the Lite Wand down on each petal to get some of the most popular girly colors (teal, pastel pink, pastel blue, etc..), but you can use any flat surface. My daughter had great success picking colors from books, magazines, her bedspread, even her drawings and paintings! My boys also loved picking up colors, and have done many experiments on more unusual surfaces like brown paper bags or patterns. They also learned that the Lite Wand will not pick up black or colors that are too dark.
Now, turn Prisma on -- she will flash a range of colors before settling on one. Point the Lite Wand at Prisma, then press and hold the diamon button on the Lite Wand. Prisma will change color to be the same color as the crystal ball on the Lite Wand!
The Lite Wand can hold up to ten colors, and you can toggle through the colors by giving the Lite Wand a quick press. They are so cute!
If you haven't played with the Lite Wand or your Lite Sprite for a long time, it will turn itself off, which is a really nice feature since kids leave their toys turned on all the time and waste a lot of battery life.
All the Lite Sprites come with little green stands (pods) with a hook at the top. You can hang these pods from the top of the Tree of Lite playset, which is the centerpiece of the whole Lite Sprite world. We haven't played with the Tree of Lite, but it looks awesome -- it has a spinning leaf canopy, elevator, and staircase that sparkles and changes color. There are other, smaller playsets to collect so you can build up your Lite Sprite world
These toys are super cool and super cute, but there are some things to note:
* Prisma and the Lite Wand is your starter set; none of the other Lite Sprites come with the Lite wand. So make sure you buy this set before you buy any of the others!
* The Lite Wand emits a sparkly, magical sound whenever you turn it on or press a button. It gets old pretty quickly. It does have 2 volume levels, high and low, but you can't turn the sound off completely.
* I'm a bit surprised at the relatively high prices of these toys! The Prisma and Lite Wand is priced at $29.99 at Target.com, and the other Lite Sprites (without the Lite Wand) cost $14.99 at Target.com. The playsets start at $19.99 on Target.com. It's even more expensive on Amazon.com ($49.99 for the Prisma and Light Wand, $34.99 for each of the other Lite Sprites, playsets starting at $34.99). It will be difficult to stay competitive with the other girls' toys and playsets -- but when it comes to the latest hot toy, parents might not care about the price!
The Bottom Line
These cool toys are next in line to be the holiday season's hot toy -- start saving up for them now!
Disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.