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Creepy, Crawly Pleasures at Toy Fair

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For the first time, you'll be able to fly your own Superman, thanks to remote-control technology. Interactive software allows you to have conversations with a 3-foot version of Johnny Depp's Capt. Jack Sparrow, and Hot Wheels has a souped-up version of Lightning McQueen, Owen Wilson's talking auto character in "Cars."

As I walked through the miles of aisles at Toy Fair, here are the items that jumped out at me:

Inflato-Suit Superman: Don't worry about steroid testing. You can get artificially pumped up with this $22 vinyl costume equipped with a battery-operated fan to make your muscles bulge. Sharp objects — not kryptonite — are this Man of Steel's weakness. Some older boys may be equally deflated to learn that it's geared for the 3-to-7 age group.

Butterscotch, the FurReal Horse: Owning a pony might still be every little girl's dream, but owning a $250 robot horse still has its advantages — including no need for a robot barn to shovel out. Hasbro's Butterscotch, a 40-inch-high pony, nuzzles, whinnies, snorts and gently bounces a little child up and down. Theoretically, if you replace your child with a robot, this makes an even better gift.

Shadow Magic: Even the art of playing with your shadow has gone high-tech. Now, when you cast your menacing images in the darkness, you can capture them on the $30 Shadow Magic glow screen, which comes with a high-intensity strobe light and pen, so that you can even add lines to your own hazy image, and make your self-portrait even more menacing.

The Hot Wheels Terrordactyl Track: Mixing fast cars with lava-spewing volcanoes and flying prehistoric animals in this $50 racetrack set is genius — and perhaps the next Vin Diesel movie.

The Marshmallow Shooter: This $25 pump-action marshmallow gun is s'more fun than edible paintball. Load 20 mini marshmallows in the chamber, and you'll be aiming at targets 30 feet away. With that sort of firepower, your targets will be toast — and your ammunition toasted.

Big Bad Booming Bugs: No video game will ever replace the childlike joy of trapping a bug and putting it in a jar. But with Little Kids Big Bad Booming Bugs observatory ($20), you don't just watch ants battle over a bread crumb. Microphones built into the toy's base let you put on a headset and listen to the critters' every movement. Perhaps next year's model will let kids download audio insect adventures to their iPods.

Remote-Control Snakes: To be sure, today's kid doesn't have to get dirty digging in the garden for critters to gross out grandma and frighten the neighbor's cat. Uncle Milton's RC Snakes are the perfect gift for any little Bart Simpson. The $25, 20-inch serpents — available in banana boa and green mamba — have light-up eyes and will slither through your yard as you control them with the hand-held, snake-egg controller. Uncle Milton is also promising to unveil a RC Tarantula by the holidays, with real, spiderlike, moving tendrils.

Wild Planet's Spy Video Car: In the last few years, thousands of remote-control cars have hit the market. Now comes one that lets you see in the dark. Wild Planet's Spy Video Car — expected to retail between $100 and $150 — is equipped with an infrared night vision camera. As you steer the car, it transmits video that you view through goggles at distances of up to 75 feet, making domestic spying a reality at any age.

Banzai Falls Criss Cross Waterslide: If you can't take the kids to Six Flags, this might be the closest you'll get to building a backyard amusement park. It's a $350 inflatable water slide with a 10-foot vertical drop. With the blower-powered motor, kids are whooshed into a wading pool, loosely based on the Six Flags attraction.

Disgusting Anatomy Brain: Scientific Explorer's new anatomy kit allows your kid to play mad scientist in a way that would gross out Dr. Frankenstein. Your kid will not only learn how the human mind works by building a gooey, life-size model —