What child wouldn't want Superman's X-ray vision,MacGyver's skills and Maxwell Smart's gadgets?
The explosion of TV shows and movies -especially the recently released “Spy Kids” from Miramax – has awakened a huge industry of spy-related entertainment for children.
Gene del Vecchio,a children’s marketing consultant,explained the phenomenon: “Being a spy has always been a very empowering thing for a child because it is a fantasy. Taking an adult role,helping save the world,save a country; those kinds of things have always been deep emotional drivers for children.”
Many of the toys set to sneak their way onto shelves this season seem to make every kid a miniature 007.
Wild Planet has launched a line of gadgets for spy apprentices. These creative devices designed and produced by the company can make young and grown-up kids feel the superpowers of superheroes.
“It's the whole concept of magic that allows you to transform your own limitations as a child,as a human being,and become imbued with superhuman powers,” said Peter Whitmer,a clinical psychologist in Princeton,Mass.
The Spy Listener ($18) allows you to hear the faintest sound up to 30 feet away. But nobody will notice it: the micro-listening device is hidden behind a pair of sleek sunglasses. The hearing device easily clips on and off the frame.
Pocket-sized,Xp-4 Spy Pen ($14) is a unique tool kit including a spy scope,a motion alarm and a flashlight.
The Spy Vision Scope ($15) will make you feel like Superman while wearing it. With an adjustable scope it magnifies faraway objects. And for the night,a red night-vision beam illuminates the dark.
To protect any room,the Spy Door Alarm ($18) will do the job. The alarm clips to any round doorknob and can easily be removed by parents. If unauthorized personnel try to open the door without the remote control,the voice alarm goes off and a red warning light flashes.
“These forms of magic are part of toys because they allow children to be bigger than themselves,” Whitmer said.