A crowd gathered around a remote-control toy car and helicopter here at Sunday’s opening press reception for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) — probably drawn more than anything by the notion of something playful instead of another hardware utility.

Neither toy was exactly a novelty on first glance, however.

“We’ve always been in the R/C business,” said Ian Chisholm, marketing director for the company, Interactive Toy. “And we’ve always done very well with that.”

But the sex appeal of the new products is summed up in the name: “Wi-Spi Video Surveillance Vehicles.” Who wouldn’t get excited by that?