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Top techie toys for Christmas 2015

Maribeth WardTech Tips0 Comments

Now that Halloween is past and we are close to Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” shopping, it’s time to start scanning the ads and the internet to find the best techie toys.  There are some terrific new toys that you may see popping up on your kids and grandkids lists.

From Minecraft to Thunderbirds to Lego’s, there are some pretty fun techie toys out there. Here are a few that might end up on somebody’s santa list:

Thunderbirds Tracy Island
This classic series wound up on television in 2015 and that has made Tracy Island, the Thunderbirds base, a must have for fans. This new toy comes complete with all the classics, including deep sea diving thunderbird 4, a secret swimming pool, control tower and sound effects. Even You can even access Brains’ from the back. $99.95 to $210.99.

Nerf N-Strike Modulus
Always a favorite, Nerf is offering a large soft-dart toy gun which can be constructed piece by piece using different magazines, supports and scopes (all available in the box). Four additional accessory packs are also available. Those lucky enough to get all four packs can build over 1,000 combinations. Plenty of fun with this one and safe with foam darts. $39.99.

Lego Dimensions
Another favorite is Lego which now comes as an interactive computer game. The starter pack includes a Lego portal which transports physical Lego characters onto the screen via the included game. You do need a compatible console for this. This is an interactive game requiring kids to use their brains and interact with the portal to complete puzzles on screen. $29.99 to $99.99.

There are plenty of characters available, from Scooby Doo to Batman to Lord of the Rings. Optional vehicle and minifig packs are sold separately. These need to be built just like real Lego’s.

As long as we are talking Lego’s, here’s something to be on the lookout for: Lego Ghostbusters Firehouse is coming out in January. With 4,634 pieces, it features characters from the movies and will sell for a suggested retail price of $349.99.

Gameband Minecraft
Your kids will be able to take their Minecraft worlds with them wherever they go with Gameband Minecraft. This is a USB storage wearable that can be used to save and transport Minecraft worlds anywhere your kids want. It even offers a backup service so the world’s won’t get lost. It comes complete with 140 LED lights used to display animations that can be programmed with your own designs via Pixel Furnace software. Pre-loade worlds are also available on Gameband Minecraft. $79.99.

Meccano Meccanoid
This may be one of the coolest toys available. It is a free-standing, voice-controlled, battery-powered robot. You have to build him and when he is complete he has light-up eyes and voice activation. He can be programmed via a smartphone app to perform various tasks. He not only goes forward and backward but can dance, high-five and chit chat with you. He is expensive but there is a half price smaller version that has been around for awhile. Pretty cool toy. $134.96 to $349.89.

WowWee MiPosaur TrackBall
A dancing dinosaur is every kid’s dream. This app-controlled toy can play and chase thanks to the Track Ball in WowWee’s latest model box. Sync it with a smartphone (sold separately) via Bluetooth and you can trace a track for MiPosaur to follow or you can live control the dinobot. $99 to $189.

Parrot MiniDrones Jumping Night
Are you ready for your kid to have a drone? This may be the one. Parrot has updated its MiniDrone series to include a floating boat and self-righting flying drone. The Jumping Night is a two-wheeled light-up drone that not only travels at a considerable pace but can also jump. Using the app control may require some adult help or if an adult is using it, perhaps some techie kid help.

You can use virtual buttons to to make it ping forward and upward. It can launch a few feet into the air. And, when it’s dark, it has LED lamps to illuminate its path. You can even watch where it is heading via the on-board camera by watching the app’s live relay. $99.99.

Hello Barbie
You knew it was coming one day–talking Barbie. This new bombshell doll can chat, tell jokes, play interactive games and listen and learn it’s owners likes and dislikes. It even adapts over time and uses what it learns in future conversations. After being set up with an IOS or Android smart device, Hello Barbie works over a Wi-Fi connection. $74.99 from Mattel.

Moff Band
A wearable tech toy that enhances imaginative play with sound. It looks like a watch on top of a slap bracelet. Once it is synced to the free Moff IOS app, it will deliver sound in real time matching your child’s arm movement. Depending on the sound they select in the app, they can rock out playing guitar, cast magic spells or create the sound of a speeding train. It’s just pure whimsy and works for kids from ages 3 to 12. $54.99.

CogniToys
What’s better than a talking dinosaur? One that can answer your questions of course. This is one brainy beast powered by the cognitive computing system IBM Watson. It uses full speech recognition and can talk to kids on a variety of topics when they ask the who, what, why, when and where questions. It tells jokes, shares Mad Libs-like stories and remembers things about the child like a favorite color. Using an app (IOS or Android), the toy connects to the Internet and uses Wi-Fi to operate. Geared toward ages 4-7. $99.99.

Bloxels
A true techie toy that combines toy blocks, apps and video games. Kids place colored cubes onto a gridded Bloxels’ game board to design their own video game. Next they open a free app to scan the block design with their IOS or Android smart device. The game automatically appears on the mobile device and lets kids refine their design and then play the game. It comes with the game board, 200 colored blocks and a guide book. Best for ages 6 plus. $49.99.

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