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The best of Toy Fair 2011

Zoomy

Capture VGA images and video of a world beyond human vision with this egg-sized 43x microscope. Zoomy ($59.99) connects to and is powered by its USB connection to either a Windows or a Mac PC – no batteries necessary. The LED illuminating light and focusing automatically adjust. Included editing and special effects software turn your insect footage into – well, not art exactly, but something sci-fi, weird and mysterious.

Meon

Needlepoint is neither cool nor high-tech, unless you’re weaving with these strands of colored electro-luminescent wire dubbed “Meon.” You weave the wire through a grid of holes in a plastic frame that correspond to licensed characters, or freestyle to form a picture of your own choosing. Once complete, you plug the finished Meon needlework into a base powered by a C battery, which will light your creation for 50 hours. The Meon wires themselves will last 5,000 hours. There are three different kits, each with an increasing number of included colored Meon wires (from one to eight), ranging between $9.99 and $34.99. At the higher-end, your masterpiece can be animated to respond to ambient music or a motion sensor.

Mimobot Batman Flash Drives

These Batman flash thumb drives won’t help you fight crime, but they may alleviate some office boredom. You get either classical Batman or modern, Robin, Joker or Catwoman. They’re each available in 2GB to 16GB sizes from $19.95 to $59.95.

Hot Wheels Video Racer

Want to get a floor-eye view of your Hot Wheels’ travels? These 1:64 scale cars ($59.99) can record up to 12 minutes of footage, either as the car is rolling by itself, or you snap it into its protective case and strap it to a moving gadget – RC car, skateboard, bikes, helmets, or whatever you dream up. You can view your footage on the LCD screen on the Hot Wheels under-carriage, or use the included color-matched USB cable to view it on your PC. When you can actually buy it this fall, you’ll also get editing software to let you make your own POV racing movie.

80s Retro Phone Case

Arguably the weirdest iPhone case ever, this case ($19.99) will make your phone bigger and clunkier just so it can become a literal and figurative conversation piece – a replica of what clunky cellphones looked like in the mid-1980s. You slide the back off and snap any iPhone inside it. Interestingly, the hollow space behind the earpiece actually increases call volume – maybe it creates an echo chamber of sorts. A separate app that put a retro dial pad on the screen would have completed the time travel illusion – but Thumbs Up has time to cook one up since the retro case won’t go on sale until April.

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