Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TOYS of SUMMER

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TOYS of SUMMER

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM SZAROLETA

MT. TIKI-SOKI WATER VOLCANO

Ages: 3 and older.

Cost: $14.99 at Target.

A sprinkler that "erupts" with a powerful jet of water every six seconds or so. Kids love it, and it's a sneaky way around those twice-a-week lawn watering restrictions.

BIG BAD BOOMING BUGS

Ages: 6 and older.

Cost: $20 at barnesandnoble.com.

Bugs are loud little critters, as you discover when you put them in this sound-amplifying Bug Dome. It has a magnifying lens built into the roof for looking at (but not for frying) your little captives. Comes with a bug-catching scoop and headphones. Bugs not included.

LINE CHASERZ CHALKTRACKER

Ages: 3 and older.

Cost: $24.99 at etoys.com.

Big fun for a little kid. Draw a chalk line on the driveway and the truck will follow it. In our test, it went off track several times, particularly if the line wasn't thick and dark.

PHLAT BALL

Ages: 5 and older.

Cost: $12.99 at Target.

It's just a ball - until you squish it and turn it into a flying disk. Suction cups hold it flat and release when you least expect it, making for some good "hot potato" games.

OOZINATOR

Ages: 6 and older.

Cost: $24.99 at Wal-Mart.

Blasting your friends with water is fun, sliming them with bio-ooze is more fun. This gun shoots water from one nozzle and "bio-ooze," which looks like something that would come out of your nose, from the other.

RC SNAKE

Ages: 6 and older.

Cost: $29.99 at unclemilton.com.

The coolest toy in the world - for about 10 minutes. It slithers on command and the eyes light up, but it gets old fast. It doesn't turn very well or move quickly over carpeting, but it's great for freaking out big sisters and co-workers.

JUNK BALL

Ages: 5 and up.

Cost: $7.49 at www.toysahoy.com.

Finally, an adjustable Wiffle ball! Adjust the ring on the ball to open or close the holes and change the flight path. Follow the enclosed instructions to throw wicked curves, sinkers and screwballs. …

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