One of the most innovative concepts I was able to experience at the 2010 Toy Fair was the "Omni Tech" Ryan Sheckler skateboarding action figure by Action Sports Toys.
I am a skateboarder but I'm 31 now and I recognize that at this point, there is NO WAY I will ever be able to bust a 360 kickflip into a boardslide. I will never land an ollie impossible. It's just not going to happen. Skateboarding, for me at this point, is just a really fun way to navigate Manhattan.
But that doesn't mean I don't watch Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and fantasize about being able to pull off 1/10th of what Rob can do so effortlessly. Thankfully, I came away from Toy Fair with a sample of this Omni Tech Figure and now I can pull tricks right in my own apartment without breaking my geriatric bones.
Action Sports Toys really did work wonders with the technology on these figures- out of the back of the figure is a sort of 6 inch handle with 4 knobs on it- the top 2 knobs can be twisted relative to one another to spin the board and move it away from the feet of the rider. Twisting the middle knob twists the waist & legs of the rider. Pulling up one side (or both sides) of the bottom knob kicks the riders legs. Since you can control the legs separately, the rider's legs can actually kick at the board to spin it for a kick flip. The set of controls, once mastered, really does allow you to recreate just about any trick in the book.
Another cool aspect of this toy is the packaging, which is NOT to be thrown away: the plastic blister pack actually has a quarter pipe, a mini ramp, a tabletop and a couple stairs molded in. Throw a little gray or black spray paint on the underside of the plastic and you have a realistic, to-scale ramp to practice your tricks on!
Besides the ready-for-store-shelves Ryan Sheckler model that was being displayed at the Action Sports Toys booth, I also got a sneak peek at the next figure, which is an amazingly cool street bike figure capable of pulling off just as many bike tricks as the Ryan Sheckler figure can skate tricks. Parents: definitely watch Action Sports Toys in the near future; they've got a great product line that is innovative, non-violent, constructive and about as eco-friendly as a plastic action figure can get. You can visit Action Sports Toys' website to buy this figure, learn how to use it, watch skate videos and more. You can also follow them on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or check out their YouTube videos like the one below: