iPhone case doubles as a charger
The PocketPlug case, $70
If you are the sort of person who is always short a charging block and cable, the PocketPlug may be just what you are looking for. The PocketPlug is a case with two flip-out prongs that plug into an electrical outlet. You can charge your iPhone, no cable or transformer needed.
The case, which is plastic-coated with so-called soft-touch material, provides some protection against dings and dents.
The case also has a micro USB port on the side that allows charging but not syncing. To sync the phone by wire you must remove it from the case. It has a cutout for the control buttons and a chamber on the bottom that redirects sound so it comes out the front of the case.
One difficulty — You can only use headphones with a straight, thin plug. Other kinds of plugs won’t be able to reach the deeply recessed jack. The case is available for the iPhone 5 and 5s, 4 and 4S. The company said that a case for the Samsung Galaxy III is on the way.
While certainly a convenience, the PocketPlug is a bit expensive at $70. But I suppose you have to ask what it’s worth to never again have to say, “Oh no, I forgot my charger.”
Skylanders Swap Force physical & digital toys
Activision has built its Skylanders brand into a global powerhouse, with sales of more than $500 million in 2012 in the United States. This year, the company hopes to expand with the next video game in the franchise, the highly anticipated Skylanders Swap Force, which was released Oct. 13.
Like the two Skylanders video games before it, Swap Force is a clever blend of physical and digital toys. When the toys are placed on a platform that is plugged into a video game console, their digital counterparts appear on the screen. Each character has unique abilities that are used to complete the missions in the game.
With Swap Force, Activision added a twist: Players can swap the top and bottom halves of 16 new figures, which are held together by strong magnets. Now, each half has its own ability – like bouncing, climbing, digging, flying or teleporting — that can be paired with the abilities of other Swap Force figures to create new combinations that unlock additional areas of the game.