Crayola goes digital

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The Crayola USB EZ Type Keyboard is hard to miss

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March 31, 2009 Crayola is a name that conjures up happy childhood memories for generations of kids – or former kids. Although the Crayola brand is synonymous with crayons and other assorted ‘coloring implements’, that hasn’t stopped them embracing the digital age with a range of colorful electronic toys designed to combine learning with fun.

For the aspiring writer there is the Crayola USB EZ Type Keyboard featuring brightly colored oversized keys to make typing easier for the tots. To accommodate the larger keys the designers have had to forego a few keys such as the number pad and function keys, but it’s doubtful the kids will miss them. To help the little ones get a head start in mouse control Crayola have the USB EZ Click Mouse – a two button scroll wheel optical mouse that features a water globe in the clear body of the mouse complete with tropical island, which apparently makes learning more fun.

If your kid is more interested in a career in the paparazzi they might like Crayola’s new Digital Camcorder or Still Camera. The video camera has rubberized parts for easy handling, expandable SD slot, 1.5” color preview swivel screen, proprietary software for creating movies and adding special effects, a built-in microphone, and the ability to watch on TV directly with TV in/out - although it isn’t exactly HD with just 300k pixels. The VGA resolution (640 x 480) still camera has a SD memory slot that can hold up to 2GB, a 1.5” preview screen and comes with Color Genie Photo Editing software featuring a game center, and workshops that help kids create puppets or photo frames.

For the junior music aficionado who just can’t leave home without some Wiggles accompaniment the Crayola MP3 Player holds 2GB worth of tunes and comes with earbuds. While not a complete iPod clone, the ‘lozenge-shaped’ control panel is iPod-like enough to allow for an easy transition a few years down the track.

The Crayola Digital Camcorder and Kidz Digital Camera are compatible with Windows 2000, XP or Vista, and retail for USD$79.99 and USD$59.99 respectively, while the EZ Type Keyboard and EZ Click Mouse are Windows and Mac compatible and retail for USD$29.99 and USD$14.99 respectively. They are all available now while the Crayola MP3 Player is due out in Q2 of this year for USD$49.99.

Gizmag’s resident big kid Loz got a first hand look at the new range at the recent Australian Toy Hobby and Nursery Fair so check out the video of him reliving his childhood.

Darren Quick

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