Guitars and drums join the flat toy wave

paper_jamz_thickness.top.jpgWowWee's "Paper Jamz" toy guitar, which mimics a real guitar, is less than an inch thick and completely flat.By Parija Kavilanz, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Parents have reason to rejoice this year, because it looks like bulky is out and flat is in - with toys, that is.

The latest in the trend is Paper Jamz, about to be unveiled by WowWee Toys at the industry's annual Toy Fair in New York later this month

paper_jamz_guitar.03.jpg
Each Paper Jamz Guitar comes with three recorded songs. Kids can also play freestyle on the guitar.

Paper Jamz is a line of six toy guitars, six drum sets and an amplifier. Despite its name, the toys aren't exactly paper-like or paper-thin, but pretty close.

The guitars are less than an inch thick, the drums are just over an inch thick and all the different models are completely flat. The amplifier is made of cardboard.

Paper Jamz follows on the heels of the first-ever folding Hot Wheels cars, being rolled out by No. 1 toymaker Mattel (MAT, Fortune 500), which transform from flat into a 3D remote-control vehicle with the push of a button.

iPod-maker Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) is partially to credit for this trend taking hold in some of the coolest new toys for 2010.

Marc Rosenberg, a spokesman for WowWee, admitted that Apple's products have served as an inspiration not just to toymakers but across industries, showing "the marriage of design, shape, color meshed with form."

"Their products tend to stand apart, and that's what we're aiming for with Paper Jamz," said Rosenberg.

From an investment perspective, flat toys are also cheaper to make. For WowWee, flat toys mean less raw materials used and lower production costs.

Each Paper Jamz instrument comes with three songs built into it, and the guitars and drums all have the same set of songs.

Instead of using actual strings to play the guitar, you strum the chords drawn on the surface with your fingers.

With the nine-piece drum sets, kids play the different components -- the cymbals, the bass drum and such -- with a touch of their fingers. There's also a karaoke mode in the toys, and kids can also jam freestyle and create their own music.

"It's also one of the coolest innovations in toys, kind of like an air guitar but it actually plays," said toy expert Chris Byrne. "It really is a fun product and the price is affordable in this environment."

"Think about it, for $65 parents can buy their kids a full drum set, a guitar and an amplifier," said Rosenberg

Paper Jamz, aimed at eight to 12 year olds, is expected to hit stores in early fall. Each guitar and drum set will sell for about $25. The amplifier will sell for about $15. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,805.41 127.51 0.76%
Nasdaq 4,483.72 30.92 0.69%
S&P 500 1,964.58 13.76 0.71%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.00 -0.09%
Data as of 3:06pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 13.78 -0.62 -4.31%
Microsoft Corp 46.13 1.11 2.47%
Apple Inc 105.22 0.39 0.37%
Bank of America Corp... 16.72 0.12 0.72%
Yahoo! Inc 43.50 0.90 2.11%
Data as of Oct 24

Sections

New York headlines took a straight forward and direct approach with NYC's Ebola news. More

The midterm elections are around the corner, and the economy remains a top concern. With unemployment down and inflation low, why do people still feel the economy stinks? More

Shares of Facebook recently topped $80. They've more than quadrupled from their post-IPO lows of two years ago. Can Mark Zuckerberg keep the momentum in mobile going? More

Host a furniture market. Here's how small town High Point, N.C. rakes in this much money -- twice a year. More

If you're looking to fly this holiday season, the clock's ticking to get the best prices. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.