Weird Toys of Christmas Future

The Air Zooka, Vapo Blaster and Other Toy Fair Treats


Feb. 22, 2005 — It's all work and all play at New York's annual Toy Fair, the international gathering of every elf in Santa's workshop, where everyone is looking for the next Furby.

These days, the toy business is getting increasingly high-tech. The latest versions of Elmo and Winnie the Pooh will know your child's name and birthday, thanks to computer chips and voice-recognition technology.

Even Barbie is struggling to keep up with the times. New versions have her competing on "American Idol" and hanging out with the 12-inch Mattel version of Lindsay Lohan, one of the most talked-about dolls unveiled at the toy show.

Barbie now has designs on Hollywood. In "My Scene Goes to Hollywood," a straight-to-DVD release coming in August, America's most plastic blonde attempts to win a part in a Lohan movie. You can bet your Dream House that this Barbie won't suffer red carpet wardrobe malfunctions in her new designer couture, which, of course, is sold separately.

Rival bigheaded bad-girl dolls the Bratz are countering by forming a rock band and releasing an album this summer called "Bratz Rock Angelz." These Bratz are also pushing lip-shaped DVD players, while Barbie counters with her own cell phone.

The toy industry may be more competitive and diversified than ever. But as 1,400 industry professionals from 31 countries gathered for their annual February meeting — a tradition that goes back 102 years — one thing never changes. Everyone is asking, "What will kids want to play with in December?"

Here are some of the most novel — and in some cases — most downright peculiar items that you might find on your kid's wish list.

1. Bleeding Edge Goth Dolls
If Barbie isn't your daughter's cup of tea, she might appreciate Serpentina, who has a pierced lower lip, pet cobras named Ted and John Wayne, and a strong dislike for the smell of burning hair.

Serpentina is part of the Bleeding Edge collection of 12-inch Glam Goth Dolls, all dressed like trashy vampires, retailing for $24 each. Her friend Storm O. Misery offers this tip on meditation: "I sit in the middle of an electrical storm and channel my dead pets."