Downloadable (makerbot.com) digital programming files are cheap - 99 cents per toy. But MakerBot's Wi-Fi or USB connected Replicator Mini Desktop 3D printer sells for $1,375 - Ouch! - and a spool of meltable plastic thread to make a set of playthings costs $20 to $50.
The LittleBits line offers a different kind of DIY toy production with electronic modules that snap together to make working circuits and gadgets. LB's new Synth Kit ($160) fashions an offbeat "guitar."
WATCH THIS: Kidtronics specialist VTech is jumping into the "wearable tech" craze with its KidiZoom Smart Watch, the first smart watch for ages 5 and up.
The new smart watch won't relay caller ID and text messages like a Pebble or Samsung Galaxy Gear wrist computer. But it is useful as an audio recorder and has a side-mount camera for still photos and videos.
The 1.4-inch color touch screen plays built-in games. And of course, it functions as a watch with switchable analog/digital "faces." Coming by year's end for about $50.
ZOOM ZOOM: South Korean brands Hyundai and Kia are gunning for the luxury car market. In the world of highly indulgent, ride-on kiddie cars, Korean maker Henes is so far ahead of the competition, there isn't any.
Steering soon to the U.S. at $500 and up, Henes' battery powered Broon ride-ons evoke the sleek and sporty designs of a Lexus convertible or Range Rover. Under the (switchable) shell is a seriously crafted (aluminum alloy) motor and transmission, gas shocks and electronic discs brakes.
Pimp Junior's Broon with leather seats, built-in stereo system, functioning control buttons (LED lights, door locks) and a dashboard display that doubles as an Android tablet.
"You can use it indoors, all year round, not just outdoors on sunny days," said Henes' David Kim.
FYI: Parents can control a kid's driving with speed settings and a wireless remote.
If it passes U.S. muster, under-90 pounders may also get to climb aboard the Dareway standing ride from Famosa, an under $200 variation on a Segway.
More a micro-car person?
Educational toy maker Thames & Kosmos is introducing the latest in autonomous driving tech with its Smart Car Robotics kit ($129). Steer the model via Bluetooth on an iOS phone or tablet.
New to Mattel's Hot Wheels line are its tallest ever, gravity-defying looping track, plus some very cool trick play "gags" and the Airbrush Auto Shop to spray-paint custom flames and stripes on the rides.