What do you get the kid who has everything? The Cocolo Bear. It’s smarter than Teddy Ruxpin, cooler than a kids tablet and it’s the most interactive kids toy on the market today. Once a year, parents line up to buy the next great talking toy. But this year, Cube Works plans to upstage them all with the Cocolo Bear. Like the Furby before it, the Cocolo Bear is an interactive toy.
Kids can ask it questions, play games with it and spend hours getting to know its functionality. And the Cocolo Bear responds by moving his mouth as if he’s talking.
It’s conversational flexibility is thanks to a smartphone-sized hole right where the Cocolo Bear’s little teddy heart would be. In that cavity you can place your Android or Apple phone.
To connect it to the bear, simply download the Cocolo App and follow the simple instructions. Once the app is up and running, everything is voice activated. The Cocolo Bear will talk to your child, listen and instigate simple games that small children will enjoy. And the more your kids use it, the more personal the Cocolo Bear will get.
The Cocolo Bear functions as a phone too. Kids — and adults who don’t get enough kawaii from cutesy phone wallpaper — will get a kick out of the fact that the Cocolo Bear’s mouth moves in sync with the users voice on the other end of the phone.
One of the best perks that the Cocolo Bear has is a 3.5mm headphone jack. So you can just hand over the headphones before you reach the end of your tether and feel tempted to pull the smartphone right out of him.
According to Trend Hunter, the Cocolo Bear is scheduled to hit stores in December, just in time for the for the holiday rush. It’s also just in time for more parent-appropriate gifts like a new smart phone.
Parents who’ve traded in their old smartphones and don’t want to sacrifice their favorite new toy to lovable but sticky fingers should consider investing in a cheap unlocked phone.
Online retailers like GSM Nation have plenty of inexpensive Android and Apple phones that will work perfectly with the Cocolo Bear. And because you saved so much on it, you won’t mind turning it over for little fingers to explore.
If bears don’t really tickle your little ones’ fancy, you’ll be happy to know that the Cocolo Bear isn’t the only smartphone powered toy to come out of Japan. At the recent Tokyo Toy show, Japanese toy manufactures introduced a veritable menagerie of smartphone-powered toys to the world.
There’s the Bandai Smart Pet — a dog toy that runs on the iPhone, another iPhone-powered dog from SODOG called the i-SODOG and plenty more smartphone robot pets designed to entertain children who can’t have real pets in their home.
But the Japanese trend has yet to blow all the way over to the United States. For more smartphone robotics you’ll probably have to wait until Christmas 2013 when the trend has a chance to catch on in the English-speaking world.