Pretty much since toys and technology were introduced to each other, manufacturers have been competing to create the perfect interactive companion for kids. Mattel's entry at Toy Fair this year is geared specifically to girls, age 6 and up: Fijit Friends are colorful little creatures that incorporate such techy features as word recognition, Beat Detection for dancing along to songs, and Sonic Chirp technology.
Sonic Chirps are audio codes that are detectable by Fijits but inaudible to humans and inspire various responses in the toys. The "chirps" will be embedded in mobile apps, websites, and even TV commercials—which sounds a little ominous, but hopefully they'll be more than just a marketing tool.
The Fijit Friends can respond to over 30 word commands and speak more than 150 phrases. They're cuddly, covered in soft plastic "skin," and will come in four different colors, each one embodying a different "personality": sporty, sweet, trend-setting, and adventurous.
Mattel's press release said Fijit Friends will ship this fall, but they're already available for preorder on Amazon, which is promising the toys will arrive on June 27 of this year. They'll sell for $49.99 each.