PowerUp 3.0: The Smartest Paper Airplane We Know

Paper airplane crashes are funny, but they also can hurt–on the inside. When you see your aircraft nosedive into the carpet, it’s a harsh reminder that you mastered neither real physics nor the fun goof-off kind of physics in college. But the PowerUp 3.0 ($40) aims to make any chump a champ as it’s the world’s first smartphone-controlled paper airplane. All you have to do is fold a piece of paper into a plane, attach the PowerUp 3.0 (there’s a propeller/rudder in the back and the Bluetooth tech and rechargeable battery are in the front), and let ‘er rip. It’s built tough and said to be crash-proof, so even when — at its max speed of 10 mph — it hits the pavement, you’ll feel good about giving it the old college try again.

Hot Wheels Car Maker: Show Mattel How Its Done

If you never could find the ultimate toy car as a kid, here’s your chance to achieve that (modest) dream. The Hot Wheels Car Maker ($40) is a do-it-yourself playset that lets you make your own cars. It also involves cool stuff like melting wax and slapping decals on your creations. It’s pretty much just like being on an assembly line, only there’s no nagging boss around telling you you can’t toss back a few while manning the heavy machinery.

Star Wars: the Ultimate Action Figure Collection

If you are reading this and still playing with toys in the bathtub, then that’s just entirely pitiful; if you are reading this and never have, then you should do it now because it’s just about the best thing ever! Whatever Steve Sansweet’s bathing habits are, you should not take his new book into your next shower. Star Wars: the Ultimate Action Figure Collection ($25), is a comprehensive lexicon of Star Wars’ actions figures throughout their 35 year and 2,500+ toy history. Each page contains nicely sized and well-detailed photos of the action figures, sure to satisfy any long-time fan of the saga.

Super Mario 8-bit Question Lamp

Mario and his sibling, Luigi, stole our hearts in 1985, and they’ve kept them hidden under a random turtle shell ever since. Don’t try to find the shell–just give in to the addiction with this Interactive 8-bit Question Block Lamp ($75). Made of laser-cut plexiglass and lit from inside by energy-efficient LEDs, this retro piece will take you back to the battle against Bowser with its touch-activated sound effects. One tap (or head bonk) and the light and classic coin noise will emerge. Plus you don’t even have to blow on the light to get it to work.

Crossbow Snow Launcher

You may be a grown up, but let’s face it…. you never really grow up. You still love snowball fights. Who doesn’t?! But, sadly, you’re not as limber and resilient as you used to be. I know, I know… you’ve gotten better with age like a fine wine… blah, blah, blah. Truth is, you don’t want to risk injury during your snowball battles, and luckily, now you don’t have to! Check out the Crossbow Snow Launcher, priced at $40. Just load a snowball into the front, pull back the lever, and fire away up to 60 feet. Don’t worry, the kids will think you’re new launcher is cool, and you’ll be the envy of every dad on the block. Only you will know the real reason for using the Snow Launcher.

Sphero, Smartphone Controllable Robotic Ball

Here’s a cool gizmo that just might take on a life of its own. Orbotix releases Sphero ($130), a robotic ball controlled by your IOS or Android software. At its most basic, Sphero reacts to each tilt, tap or touch of your phone. Activate boost mode (not to be confused with beast mode) and give it that extra kick.

Download games and enjoy Sphero in a round of golf or a game of tag. It also glows in the dark with its RGB Led light inside. There are thousands of colors to choose from in the app. You can even program it to react to external events, e.g. glow red when a certain stock goes down or glow blue according to the temperature outside.

Sphero is open source, meaning this could become a mini-platform for those enterprising souls out there. It operates by Bluetooth, eliminating cumbersome wires, and charges by induction, just like your electric toothbrush.

Set to release in late 2011, you can preorder now.