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Library Offers Webinar on Buying Hottest Tech Toys of the Holiday Season

The program will be presented at the Bloomingdale Regional Library Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. or from any remote location with Internet access.

Confused about what to buy when it comes to tech toys?

The Tampa-Hillsborough County Library System is offering some help.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 3 to 3:45 p.m., the library system will offer a live webinar discussing the hottest tech toys of the holiday season.

Hosted by LearnSurge, the program will offer an unbiased look at the gaming systems, toys, computers, phones and more, and help buyers sort through the overload of information available online, in magazines and on TV.

Residents can access the program at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, 1906 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, or any other library in the system. Or they can log on from any remote location with Internet access. Those interested can register for remote access on the library's website or visit the library information desk.

During this webinar, residents will be able to:

  • Ask questions and interact with the presenter
  • Learn the pros and cons of the “hot” tech toys for kids, teens and adults
  • Learn about what will be a bust and what will be a must have for everyone on your list.

Among the tech toys introduced at the toy industry's 2012 International Toy Fair are:

Little Bits -- Geared for aspiring electrical engineers, these are preassembled circuit boards that attach to one other via magnets. The "bits" are broken up into three categories—power, input and output. For instance, kids can attach a light sensor bit to two DC motor bits and develop a light-controlled car.

Wi-Spi Video Surveillance Vehicles -- These aren't your traditional remote-control vehicles. The helicopter and the Intruder car are controlled with an iOS/Android device via WiFi. Both vehicles feature an onboard camera that streams a video feed directly to your device, allowing you to pilot from a first-person view.

Soda Geyser Car -- The kit includes a chassis and a specially made spout where you drop in Mentos candy for an eruptive reaction. Depending on how many of the mint candies you drop in, the car can hit up to 10 miles an hour and travel up to 200 feet.

Kurio 7 Children's Tablet -- This child-friendly tablet runs on Android's Gingerbread OS with a custom-made UI. The 7-inch tablet has the ability to create user profiles and customized security settings. Parents can control what apps kids can use and what sites they can access, or disable Internet access altogether.

Q-Ba-Maze Marble Maze -- The creation of a former architect, Andrew Comfort, Q-Ba-Maze is a system of three plastic injection-molded squares that fit securely together to create a variety of structures.

Codee -- This engineering toy combines a chain of 64 plastic links with a decoder ring. It lets kids create whatever they want with the single plastic chain and then share a coded sequence with friends. C

AppFinity AppDrive and AppBlaster -- This is a line of peripherals for the iPhone or iPod Touch. AppFinity gives mobile gaming a more tactile feel. The AppBlaster allows you to shoot aliens in augmented reality. And the AppDrive allows you to steer your in-game car.

Working Internal Combustion Engine Model -- Kids will learn all about the cycle of intake, compression, power and exhaust with this model engine.

Wind Power 2.0 Kit -- Kids can build a fully functiong windmill with this kit and also use it to fully charge a set of AA batteries.

What are your favorite tech toys of the holiday season? Tell us in the "Comments" section below.

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