When I started playing drums, my home practice was accomplished by laying down a line of notebooks and pounding out beats with plenty of imagination. Your own budding rockstar won't have to be so downtrodden with Paper Jamz, a set of cardboard-like electronic instruments that let them crank out real music.
So, how are cardboards going to be better than my old drum kit built out of school supplies? Well, for one, it comes with embedded electronics that let it play realistic-sounding tunes. Yes, your cymbals will actually sound like a crashing heap of tin, instead of a stack of paper.
Created by WowWee Toys, the Paper Jamz line will have six guitars and six drums to choose from, along with one similarly flat amplifier (albeit with a thicker base, so it can stand). They're not really cardboards, although each piece is approximately one inch thick (the guitar's a little thinner, while the drums are a little thicker) and fitted with Active Graphics Technology to generate the musical interaction.
Both instruments are battery-powered and comes with three bundled songs. On the guitar, you can choose to play the lead (Perfect Play mode), rhythm (Rhythm mode) or just make up your own at will (Freesyle mode). The drums comes with the same play modes, save for Rhythm. You'll need to plug both to the amp, which has a built-in speaker with volume control and an audio out (so neighbors won't have to know you're playing with your children's toys while they're in school).
The drums can be played by tapping on any of the instrument graphics on the unit, which is a decent way to simulate playing actual drums. For the guitar, however, there won't be literal strings attached - you'll have to tap on the chords along the fretboard to wield your axe-grinding prowess.
Pricing for the toys sounds like a high point when they do get released . Each guitar and drum will go for only $24.99, while the amp is only $14.99, totaling to about $65 to set your kids up (or yourself) with their own working cardboard rock band.