It is Christmas again and you are going to like to buy Christmas toys and techy playthings for your kids. Kids of nowadays don’t value those pants and socks again because they are getting old and we are in digital age.
We want you to do something special that will make your kid(s) happy. The best part of this is that we have done all the research and found the best Christmas toys and techy playthings you can buy for your kids to make them happy. In fact, an adult with enough kid in them will find our selection great, so they can also get involved.
PlayStation VR is an impressive and affordable virtual reality for console gamers. But we hope Sony will forgive us for calling it a toy. And we think it is a perfect gift you can buy for your kids.
For the uninitiated, PSVR covers your whole field of view, moving you to the world of the 3D game just like you imagined as a fid. VR is an intense world so you may need to start off with something easy and quick like PlayStation VR Worlds.
However, there are VR full games available now too, including Skyrim VR, Gran Turismo Sport and, for the bold, survival horror smash Resident Evil 7.
Compatibility: PlayStation 4 only // Weight: 610g approx // Screen: 5.7” OLED // Resolution: 1920 x 960 // Frame rate: 120hz max
+ Great selection of games
– Motion controllers not as great as competitor’s
– No room scale support
Star War’s Best droid now gets the Sphero treatment. Do you remember those simpler days when Sphero was a wired ball you could just control with your iPhone? Now, you can simply get all sorts of Star Wars goodies from this radio controlled upstart company.
This year, we are going old school with the Sphero R2-D2. It sounds and looks just like a droid from the classic Star Wars movies. You can control it with a phone app.
App compatibility: Android and iOS // Play time: 1 hour per full charge // Weight: 370g // Operating range: 100 ft. // Height: 17cm
+ Perfectly animated
+ Easier to control than BB-8
– Need app for best features
– Cost than other Sphero features
Last year, Anki Cozmo was only available in the US, but everybody can now get it wherever they are in the world. Yes, you should get it for your kids because it is undoubtedly one of the best techy toys on the market.
Anki Cozmo looks just like a remote control loader, but AI smarts make it a bit of home robot than just a remote control toy. The camera on it allows it to see and recognize a series of included blocks, edges of surfaces and other objects including faces. Its box is packed full of personality, the speaker that allows it to speak to you with droid-like noises and a screen giving it animated eyes. It is way more significant than you could ever imagine.
Cozmo Code Lab will keep this toy going even after Christmas day because it allows you to program Cozmo to do different things. Plus its capabilities are growing daily.
Compatibility: Android and iOS // Programmable?: Yes // Camera: 30fps VGA // Display: 128 x 64 facial display
+ Full of personality
+ Great coding options
– Setup could be smoother
Anki Overdrive Fast & Furious
Anki is fast becoming one of the best tech-infused toy makers. If you want to get your head around Anki Overdrive, just think of it as a cross between Scalextric and racing video game.
There is a real track you build in your living room, and real mini cars race along it, but you control them with tablet or phone rather than the RC controller. The app allows you to control the speed and the lane your racer is in, but the main fun comes with weapons.
These allow you to disable other racers, like Mario Kart or Wipeout. You don’t need charred carpet as the cars communicate with each other, rather than blowing each other up. They have IR camera because they are just like mini computers. You can now get a Fast and Furious themed starter set, which has two cars from the film.
Compatibility: Android and iOS // Player: 1-4 // Connectivity: Wi-Fi // Track: Expandable with additional piece purchases
+ Power-ups are fun
+ Easy track set-up
– No direct turning controls
– Connectivity patchy
Kaiser Baas Theta Mini Drone
Mini drones are just like fidget spinners. The Kaiser Baas Theta Mini has it has blade guards that can protect your hair when your mischievous five years old is trying to cut your hair with the drone. It also uses a controller pad that looks like an Xbox’s. It has extra features including a 720p camera that records to 32GB internal storage and acrobatics the Theta Mini can perform with just the press of a button.
Control method: Standalone controller // Storage: 32GB // Range: 60m // Camera: 720p
+ Great safety features
– Storage could be higher
– Not as advanced as alternatives
If you remember Meccano as a difficult lego, Max may fill you with the rear. But it is a great way to give your kid a context for learning about programming.
Meccano Max is the robot you build and program, using a phone app. Building Max will suck up a few hours. It has a tilting head, an IR camera, moving wheel as a hand that grabs things. You can program all these.
If the STEM robotic programming idea is a bit too difficult for your kid or you, Max also offers games and customisable faces, displayed and animated on the phone.
Batter: 1800mAh // Educational?: Teaches S.T.E.M topic concepts // Height: 12 inches // Ages: 10 and up
+ Gripping hands
+ Advanced programming options
– Long build time
– Complicated for younger users
If your kid is spending so much time on the iPad, then Osmo is one way to make sure their eyes are not glued to the iPad even if they are still using it. Osmo uses a camera that easily slots onto the top of your tablet, allowing it to see a play surface in front of the slab. Then different Oslo packages allow the children to play with word counter, play pieces and coding blocks corresponding to the apps on the tablet. It allows educational games break into the real world.
Oslo Masterpiece is a neat idea because it also helps teach your child how to draw, test their hand-eye coordination by making them trace an image display on the tablet screen.
Compatibility: iPad only // Educational?: Builds spatial awareness, vocabulary and more // Weight: 299g // Ages: 6 and up