Are you a Craniac? If so, you understand what all the hullabaloo around Seattle-based Cranium, Inc. is about. When Cranium Inc. launched its first game in 1998, the world of board games changed for the better. Suddenly, creativity and individual expression were paramount. This year, Cranium Inc. is working its innovative magic again; this time it’s within the toy industry. The company just added two new toy lines, WonderWorks and Giggle Gear, to its already booming game and book business. Some toys have recently hit the market, but many product launches take place this fall. We plan to get our hands on self-expression-focused WonderWorks toys, including the Talking Picture Book and the Super Story Recorder (both $19.99). With the picture book, kids can draw or use stickers and sound to tell tales on reusable pages. The story recorder has kids adding their own unique sounds to pre-recorded stories (kind of like audio Mad Libs). Giggle Gear, on the other hand, is all about role-play and includes wearable toys such as the Magical Unicorn or the Roaring Dinosaur (both $19.99). The easy-to-clean Giggle Gear Super Fort ($39.99) can serve as a backdrop for make-believe adventures. Feel free to join in; just don’t let the kids convince you to play a witch or evil dictator.

New toys soon available through:
www.cranium.com