February is here and that means it's time for Toy Fair. Here are some of the highlights that show what cool toys you can expect to see in 2019.
Remote-control cars that can shred on level ground are fun to a point, but they've got nothing on a racer that can take to the walls. Air Hogs Zero Gravity Laser Racer pulls off its gravitational hijinks using a small underside vacuum that allows it to firmly attach to smooth walls or even ceilings, where you can control it by using its controller to point a laser that the car follows dutifully. It's USB rechargeable, so no need to worry about digging up batteries when you're ready to go walls out. It'll be available fall 2019 for $40.
Everyone who's ever seen Star Wars has swung around a toy lightsaber (or tube of wrapping paper) and made their own sound effects, but the new Star Wars Lightsaber Academy takes that time-tested pastime to a new level. Each blade has an accelerometer and gyroscope in its handle, which allows it to be paired with an accompanying app that will train you in specific jabs and slashes, grading your accuracy and skill all the while. Once you've learned the basics, you and a fellow Jedi master can use the app to battle in real time to see who is truly strong in the force. The sabers will be available this fall and retail for $50.
This year is the 20th anniversary of Lego's first Star Wars sets, and to celebrate, Lego's bringing back a handful of late '90s classics for a new lease on life. The resurrected Snowspeeder ($40), Slave I ($120), Clone Scout Walker ($30), Imperial Dropship ($20), and Anakin's Podracer ($30) sets not only harken back to the high and heady days of the prequel trilogy, but include a special collector's figurine, a faithful re-creation of a famous Star Wars character who first appeared as a minifigure in the original set (Lando, Leia, Vader, Han, and Luke) respectively.
Anyone who still thinks that Dungeons & Dragons is "nerd stuff" is obviously stuck in the past, but it can still be a tall order to convince your more self-conscious friends to agree to pretend to be a wizard. Fortunately, this Stranger Things–themed D&D starter set can help you break the ice. Complete with a set of dice, a demogorgon miniature, and a custom, show-inspired campaign that takes players up to level four, it's a potent gateway drug for more sheepish nerds who still need to be introduced to their inner D&D diehards.
Lego's new "Hidden Side" playsets are, on their face, just a series of normal unassuming sets—a train, a diner, a graveyard—but when viewed through the accompanying app their true nature is revealed: They're all haunted. Using augmented reality to view the digitally altered playsets through the screen of a phone or tablet, players can capture up to 50 ghosts by interacting with the Legos in real life, and interacting with the digital ghosts that emerge from the physical toy sets on the screen. The sets will be available in summer 2019 and range in price from $20 to $130.
With a 50-dart drum (and 50 darts to fill it), the Nerf N-Strike Elite Titan CS-50is a full-auto flywheel-powered monster with a spinning barrel to make it all the more menacing. The price you pay, aside from the $100 price tag, is needing four hefty D batteries to power the thing, so you'll likely need the included shoulder strap if you intend to carry this bad boy into battle. It'll be available this fall.
After a successful run of wood-building kits for beginners, Stanley aimed a little younger to create a line of take-a-part vehicles that are modular. Each vehicle, including a dump truck, bulldozer, excavator, and cement truck, comes with an engineer figure and a screwdriver. You can build the vehicle with a screwdriver, and if that’s too challenging, the screwdriver flips over to become more of a wrench for easier assembly and disassembly. Retailing at $19.99, this line will be hitting the market in October.
Pictionary can be a blast if you've got a bit of natural artistic talent, but is a bit more challenging if you're the type who has trouble drawing a straight line. Fortunately, Pictionary Air helps level the playing field. Using an app and a special light-up pen, the reinvented drawing game has you trace out clues in the air in front of you as best you can, while only your teammates can see what you actually draw on the screen. The result is a wacky mix of blind drawing with a dash of charades that requires a whole other skill set than making run-of-the-mill doodles and will be sure to crown some new artists as the winner of your family game. It'll be available this summer for $20.
Prepare for the launch of your very own Apollo 11 months before the anniversary launch and landing date. Designed and made in Denmark, Plus-Plus lets you create 3D masterpieces, and they probably won’t hurt like another modular toy when you step on them. Brand new pieces in gold, silver, and glow in the dark will let you assemble an , , a with an American flag, and the . All together will only cost you around $40 combined, and on the plus(-plus) side they’re ready to ship now.