This year's hot holiday toys are more lifelike and interactive than ever before. Fuzzy robot puppies obey voice commands, animatronic ponies take you for a ride around the block and velociraptors snap and snarl in training exercises. And they also have frequent bouts of flatulence. Or bowel movements. Because, you know... for kids. Every year I track how tech changes the toy world. This year's playthings are moving away from needing mom and dad's phone screen (thank heaven, please don't play with my $1,000 phone), instead they rely on sensors and robotics to keep kids immersed offline. With STEM toys in growing demand -- which are toys that promote learning in science, tech, engineering and math skills -- we're seeing more engaging approaches to learning that tie into the popular franchise worlds of Marvel superheroes and Harry Potter wizardry. Here are some of the notable tech toys for young kids I've encountered this year: Now playing: Watch this: Hot tech toy … [Read more...] about Hot tech toys for 2018 include robots… that poo?
NERF is finally ready to give fans what they've always wanted: laser tag. The company's new blasters, the £30 'AlphaPoint' and £45 'DeltaBurst', pair with a smartphone app to let up to 64 players battle it out at once. Nerf Laser Ops Pro AlphaPoint for £22.99 at Amazon – buy now Nerf Laser Ops Pro DeltaBurst for £49.99 at Argos – buy now Nerf Laser Ops Pro AlphaPoint 2-pack for £44.98 at Amazon – buy now Both toys pack an infrared panel at the front that picks up the invisible beams you're firing off. Get tagged and the app will put you on a short timeout, while the other players keep duking it out for more points. At the end, the smartphone hooked to your armband will tally your scores and announce the winner. We tried it out in a dark room with three other (grown-up) noobs and had a blast ducking between obstacles, getting cover and shooting the opposition like a regular Han Solo (only sweatier and rather less charismatic). And … [Read more...] about Nerf Laser Ops Pro hands-on review – this year’s must-have tech toy for kids
Get the Better newsletter. SUBSCRIBE Finding the right gift for a tech-savvy person can be a daunting ask: What do you get for the person who’s (literally) plugged into everything? Don't worry; we've got you. “Innovative new tech categories are showing up on more wish lists than ever,” says Steve Koenig, senior director of market research, Consumer Technology Association (CTA). “Products like home robotic vacuums and especially voice-activated smart speakers will be some of this season’s hottest items, as 2017 marks a significant uptick in consumers using voice computing in their everyday lives.” Many of the most popular gifts this season are “smart,” meaning they’re enabled with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, allowing people to streamline their lives and make things easier. “The growing range of abilities of digital assistants makes them particularly popular in tech right now,” Koenig says. Here, the ten tech … [Read more...] about The 10 hottest tech toys for everyone on your gift list
For many, the days of just building a spaceship out of Lego or playing a game of Monopoly are long gone.Today, kids want interactive tech toys that are powered by an app or that connect to the internet. They want animals that learn and grow as you play with them, or robots that will answer back.And thankfully, toy manufacturers are happy to oblige. There are plenty of different tech toys to suit all ages this year - maybe even yourself.We've battled through the numerous toy events this year, played and tested a range of crazy and sometimes scary toys, to bring you a list of the best tech toys of 2017.Beasts of Balance£69.99 - Buy Beasts of Balance at Amazon UK, at Apple US or at Apple UKIt's a stacking game that uses an iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV app to help give it an extra dimension and marries brilliantly traditional gaming with a technological twist. The end result is great fun as you not only challenge of balancing the numerous array of beautifully crafted animals on … [Read more...] about Best tech toys 2017: Connected toys, robots and more
There are always slew of gadget and toy shows at the beginning of each year, as inventors, toy makers and franchise creators set out their stalls for the coming months. Literally.New York Toy Fair is one of the very biggest conventions around, with hundreds of stands and viewing rooms detailing the upcoming toys and kids tech. It also culminates the season so we now have a grand view of which will vie for children’s wish lists throughout 2018.To help you sift the tasty from the tat, here are the top 10 toys that caught our eye this year.Star Wars: Furreal Chewbacca Animatronic PlushSurreal has been making impressive tech pets for years, but combining its character creation skills with the Star Wars licence is a step change in these quarters. The Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie, to give him his official title, may stray from the gruff comedic presence on the silver screen but who cares - he’s adorable.He has sensors all over to respond to touch interactions. He also knows when you … [Read more...] about 10 top tech toys for 2018: Hot Wheels Rocket League, Animatronic Chewbacca and more