For years, I have been waiting for Hagrid to show up at my door on my birthday with a cake to tell me, “You’re a wizard, Kristen.” While I haven’t gotten my owl in the mail yet, some of the toys featured at the 114th North American International Toy Fair this year gave me a glimpse of what life might be like if my wizard powers were finally activated.
Aura (KD Group)
The Aura drone, from KD Group, basically lets you use the levitation charm to fly it. Instead of using a handheld controller, Aura is controlled by a glove (most effective if you say “Wingardium Leviosa” right before takeoff). The sensors in the glove recognize how the user moves his or her hand, and the drone responds accordingly. There is a protective cage over the drone, so users can roll it around or take flight with and not worry about crashing or breaking it. Getting used to the glove takes a bit of finesse, but so does learning to control your wizard powers. It’s LeviOsa, not LeviosA.
Color Wonder Light Brush (Crayola)
Crayola’s Color Wonder Light Brush possesses the magic of mess-free paint. The Color Wonder paints are clear and work only on special paper. The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter, and with Color Wonder Light Brush, the wand chooses the color as well. The attached paintbrush lights up to match whatever color is being used. Lumos, but with flare.
The World’s Greatest Magic Show (Thames & Kosmos)
For kids who need a bit of a show to display their sorcery, The World’s Greatest Magic Show, from Thames & Kosmos, has a few tricks up its sleeve (if you consider 415 tricks to be a few). There are about 50 props in the kit and a couple manuals that teach all the secrets (I mean, spells). If you’re one who requires a companion to your witchcraft, Thames & Kosmos has a second kit called the Magic Hat, which of course includes a little bunny as well as dozens of props.
Most people like to dance to the music, but BeatMoovz from Cra-Z-Art allows you to make music with your dance moves. It comes with special wristbands that are motion-activated and play music or sound effects as the wearer moves, operating through an app and Bluetooth. It’s probably not as satisfying as when Dumbledore projects his voice with an amplifying charm, but dancing to create music sure does have something magical to it.
Arrow Smart-Kart (Actev Motors)
For adults looking to have the protective powers of Professor Snape, delving into the world of smart cars may give them that satisfaction. The Arrow Smart-Kart from Actev Motors is the a smart car for kids. It can be driven like most ride-on cars, but it can also be connected to a smart device so adults can supervise kids remotely. The car can be linked to any device through its own Wi-Fi connection and gives adults the ability to limit speed, select gear, create safe driving zones, and remotely stop the car. It’s essentially like yelling “EXPECTO PATRONUM” to create a safe bubble and your patronus takes the shape of a kid-sized car. After all this time? Always.
Star Wars Hero Droid BB-8 (Spin Master)
If being a wizard isn’t enough, there’s always the option of using The Force. Spin Master introduced its Star Wars Hero Droid BB-8 at Toy Fair, and it’s like meeting him in The Force Awakens all over again. Although it won’t be available until the fall, this lifelike scale BB-8 is worth the wait. He follows voice commands and is very interactive. When friends see BB-8 reacting to your voice, they’ll probably do a few double takes to make sure they aren’t standing next to Rey. And that’s when you do your most convincing Jedi face.