Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Toys of Summer; School's out. Let the Fun Begin

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Toys of Summer; School's out. Let the Fun Begin

Article excerpt

Byline: TOM SZAROLETA

It's hard to get bored on a beach. There's always sand to play in, people to watch, waves to ride, critters to catch.

But that doesn't mean you can't bring along a few cool toys to amplify the fun. We scoured stores, catalogs and Web sites to find these beach goodies. (Many of these items can be found in toy stores or at Wal-Mart or Target, but we listed Web sites where you can definitely find them.)

SUPER DELUXE SAND SCULPTING KIT

$32.99 from canyoudigit.com

One does not build a sand castle; one starts with a large pile of wet sand and carves a sand castle. At least that's the contention of the folks who put together this handy kit, which includes a large bucket, an assortment of carving tools and an instructional DVD. Add sand, water and imagination and you're on your way to creating castles and sand sculptures that will be the envy of everyone on the beach. At least until the tide comes in, that is.

WILD PLANET METAL DETECTOR

$18.95 from amazon.com

Want to keep the kids busy? Scatter a handful of pennies on the beach, hand them this metal detector, then sit back and enjoy a good book while they hunt for the treasure. We found this particular model to be a little too sensitive; it turned up a lot of false positives. But it did find our test coins, up to about five inches deep.

AIR HOGS STORM LAUNCHER

$69.99 from target.com, requires a rechargeable battery, which costs an additional $29.99

It sure looks cool, an 18-inch, twin-engine remote control craft that floats, skims across land and flies. Unfortunately, the model we tested wouldn't work. The problem, according to a customer service representative, is with the battery, which was left uncharged for several months and will no longer work properly. So all we can say is it looks like fun, but if you get one, use it right away and keep the battery charged. …

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