Gift Guides

Christmas Gift Guides – Techie Toys

Written by Sam Skelding

Families are continuing to revel in the tech revolution and with a plethora of new gadgets and accessories appearing over the past few months, this Christmas should be no different.

Techie toys are always right at the top of wish-lists across the UK. With that in mind, we’ve made tracking down your kids’ favourites a whole lot easier by showcasing the very best around. Whether it’s tablets, games or robots, we know dads will also have to spend some time testing this lot out – just to make sure they work alright of course!

 

ANKI DRIVE

Anki DRIVE is an interactive battle racing game that combines the power of robotics with the fun of physical toys. Powered by an app on your smartphone, Anki DRIVE cars are highly engineered robots packed with intelligent software. These cars don’t just outrun you; they try to outsmart you to win.     

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAME

If you thought Scalextric was cool when you were young, Anki DRIVE is on a whole new level. Using your smart phone as a controller, you race against an AI that will do it’s best to win. Less stress and more fun, one of the great benefits is that you don’t need to place your car back onto a slot after it crashes, saving you more time for the game. There’s also the fact you don’t need to take part in the rigorous task of setting up the racetrack (a classic Christmas experience for dads), and it’s crossover between real world and simulation makes for one truly entertaining experience. This really is as cool as it looks.

RRP £179.99 PRODUCT INFO ANKI WHERE TO BUY GAME TWITTER @anki

 

LEAPPAD3

Discover exciting experiences and thrilling adventures with the LeapPad3 from LeapFrog. LeapPad3 is a fast, high-performance, fun-packed Wi-Fi tablet that allows kids to learn and play in a way that’s just right for them. Compact and kid-tough, the LeapPad3 tablet provides access to a 100% kid-perfect web experience and access to a library of 1,000+ age-appropriate, educator-approved* games, apps, eBooks, videos and more. 

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS TABLET

Leapfrog have made considerable improvements to their latest LeapPad, with this being their best one so far. It has a shock-absorbing design; taking into account the facts kids are likely to drop it at some point, meaning it can also withstand everyday punishment. The ‘kids safe’ Wi-Fi is a brilliant touch, because it offers you peace of mind that your kids can enjoy the internet without stumbling onto something unsavoury. They can have a lot of fun on this whilst you know it’s still educational. A great age-specific tablet, they won’t be able to put it down.

RRP £39.99 PRODUCT INFO LEAPFROG WHERE TO BUY LEAPFROG TWITTER @leapfrog_UK

 

KIDIZOOM SMART WATCH

The Kidizoom Smart Watch is an 8-in-1 watch that will provide children with hours of entertainment. From taking photos, to playing games, telling the time to recording their voice, this clever device is perfect for entertainment on the go. Children can choose from pink, blue or white and from over 50 clock face designs for personalisation. With a 128MB internal memory, children can store around 900 photos or 15 minutes of video, perfect for holidays, family trips and general day-to-day activities. 

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS WATCH

Catching on to the whole smart watch craze, Kidizoom’s child-friendly alternative has definitely latched onto a perfect market. The great thing about the watch is its diversity in terms of what you can get up to; from playing games, taking photos, videos and more, it will keep your kids captivated for hours. It’s design is both study and age-appropriate, and is sure to survive the many bumps of childhood. It’s also incredibly easy to use, the interface is accessible and the touch functionality very responsive. A stand-out toy that’s great practice before getting the real deal.

RRP £39.99 PRODUCT INFO VTECH WHERE TO BUY AMAZON TWITTER @VTechToysUK

 

ZOOMER PUPPY

Zoomer Puppy is a cute, interactive pup that can’t wait to show you all of his incredible tricks! Zoomer listens just like a real puppy, and loves to learn new tricks. Teach him to speak, sit, laydown, rollover, shake a paw and more! He responds to touch and with life-like expressions and voice-activated commands, Zoomer is the most technologically advanced pup ever made! Bring home Zoomer; your new REAL best friend! 

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS TOY

Getting a dog can be a big deal and takes a lot of commitment, which is why the Zoomer Puppy is an ideal way to ease your kids into this big step. Responsive, fun and sophisticated, it will provide you and your kids with hours of entertainment. It responds to a number of commands that get more complex as times goes on and will constantly outperform itself in the tricks that it can do. Great for all ages, it’s the perfect present for the whole family – who doesn’t want to see a puppy under the tree?

RRP £79.99 PRODUCT INFO ZOOMER WHERE TO BUY SMYTHS TWITTER @spinmasteruk

 

RC DESPICABLE ME MINION

Drive yourself crazy with the Radio Control Jumbo Inflatable Despicable Me 2 Minion from Bladez Toyz. With the JUMBO interactive size of 2ft tall, this inflatable radio controlled ‘Minion’ includes an easy to use handset, allowing the character to move in all directions and perform fun 360 degree spins. Simply install batteries, clip on the radio control drive unit to the base of the durable inflatable character body, inflate and then it’s ready to run.

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS TOY

A great laugh, the Despicable Me Minion RC is just as fun and novel as it sounds. Great for both indoors and outdoors, just like the Minions, it’s sure to put a smile on every face. Easy to inflate, from that point onwards it will keep your child entertained for hours. This iconic character is a nice choice for kids and could even bring out parents’ inner child.

RRP £39.99 PRODUCT INFO BLADEZ TOYZ WHERE TO BUY ARGOS TWITTER @bladeztoyz

 

LIVESCRIBE 3

As the ideal Christmas gift this year for any gadget-loving note-taker, you can’t beat a Livescribe smartpen. Livescribe smartpens allow you to easily capture daily written and verbal notes and make them accessible anytime, anywhere. Thanks to Livescribe’s unique interactive PDF with sound, note-takers create a new way to share their notes and drawings – enabling others to enjoy these annotations in an original way, brought to life with sound.

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GADGET

Comfortable, easy to use and instantaneous, no wonder the Livescribe 3 has caused quite the storm since its inception. One of those devices they won’t be able to live without once they have it, it may look just like a regular pen but it does so much more. Fast working and reliable, it makes note-taking a much easier process and takes away the anxiety of losing your notes. The sound recording option is a perfect addition, turning it into a flexible device for all situations. An incredibly convenient tool in a gradually paperless world, this definitely feels like the future of pen and paper.

RRP £129.99 PRODUCT INFO LIVESCRIBE WHERE TO BUY APPLE TWITTER @livescribe

 

DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 MARVEL SUPER HEROES 

In “Disney Infinity Play without Limits 2.0″, you have the freedom to create your own stories and play experiences starring some of your favourite Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Super Heroes. Discover the epic adventures in the Play sets or create your own worlds and challenges in Toy Box Mode.

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS GAME

One of the most entertaining and outright ridiculous games out there for kids, Disney’s Infinity 2.0 is not to be downplayed. Playing in a ‘toybox’ universe, you can pretty much do anything you want, which is great as it gives kids to opportunity to explore and discover new worlds. Taking characters from the Marvel and Disney Universe, they can battle it out between Jack Sparrow and Black Widow if they choose. A game with endless opportunities and the perfect fusion between classic figurines and tech, it’s sure to put a smile on their face.

RRP £52.00 PRODUCT INFO DISNEY WHERE TO BUY TOYS R US TWITTER @disneyinfinity

 

PIRATES SHIP

Command the high seas on a quest for treasure with the Pirates Ship with RC Underwater Motor. Equipped with a remote-controlled underwater motor, kids can not only propel the ship but also control its path as it makes its way through uncharted waters. Ward off enemies with the functioning cannons and store all the pirate booty in the central storage compartment. Set also includes three pirate figures, treasure with chest, black sails, swords, barrel, shovel, anchor, and other accessories.

THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THIS TOY

Playmobil are one of those iconic toy brands that never cease to amaze. Their latest Pirates Ship, which comes with an underwater motor, is a great addition to their line. What’s great is that you can either use it just as a play set without the motor, or turn it into an actual remote control boat; making it adaptable to whatever situation. A great build; if you do want to test out its motor skills take it out to open water to see its full potential, you won’t be disappointed. Two toys-in-one, whether it’s for accessory-laden play set or as an outdoor RC, Playmobil have outdone themselves.

RRP £59.99 PRODUCT INFO PLAYMOBIL WHERE TO BUY PLAYMOBIL TWITTER @playmobil

 

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