Best tech toys for Christmas 2017: Star Wars, skateboards, smartwatches and more
Yes, we’ve just had a holiday season and our houses are still cluttered with the toys our kids got for Christmas, but forget all that, it’s time to look forward again.
Before we know it, John Lewis will be screening a new batch of animated animals and Slade will be ringing out on our radios once more. And we’ll be expected to hunt down the best tech toys to pop under the tree.
Well, never fear, Pocket-lint has already seen a fine collection of games and gadgetry that are likely to make it onto many a child’s wish list (and our own, in some cases).
We visited the London Toy Fair and here are our top tips for the best tech toys for 2017.
- 23 tech toys you wanted for Christmas but never got
Best tech toys for 2017: BeatMoovz
BeatMoovz was one of the few toys we saw that could be just as fun to use for adults as kids. It comprises two wearable wristbands with motion trackers inside that, when linked by Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet app, plays a sound depending on your movements.
The app has a soundboard with thousands of audio clips available. You can use the wristbands, therefore, to either play music using your body, or add silly effects to your motions – such as 1970s kung fu movie noises.
It’ll be available in the summer for £50 a pair.
- BeatMoovz preview: The crazy wearable that adds a soundtrack to your life
Best tech toys for 2017: Laser X
Remember the laser quest style toys from the 80s? Character Options does as it’s bringing Laser X to the UK.
It works in a similar way to the old Lazer Tag retro gear, with two blasters and two vests coming in one package. However, the Laser X system works up to 200 metres, so you can expand your range of play.
Release date and price is TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: Minions MiP
WowWee’s MiP robot was a huge success a couple of years ago and now, as a tie-in with the forthcoming Despicable Me 3 movie, you can get a version shaped like your own Minion.
It does many of the same things as the original, including app-controlled movement and coding tasks, but Turbo Dave can also laugh, cry and even make noisy bottom burps. Hilarious fun for all.
It’ll be available in the summer for £100.
Best tech toys for 2017: RazorX Cruiser electric skateboard
Razor has turned to lithium batteries for its latest electric skateboard, meaning it can get up to 40 minutes of use from rechargeable battery packs.
The RazorX Cruiser has geared rear wheel drive, which is controlled by a separate remote control with a go and stop slider. You can change the speed using the controls, even getting up to a maximum top speed of 10mph.
The deck is made from quality bamboo, and everything else about the board is authentic.
It’ll be available from the summer for £230.
Best tech toys for 2017: The Rocket Singing Machine
The Rocket Singing Machine is more than a karaoke microphone, it links to a tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth and can be used with any music stored on the mobile device or streamed via media services, such as Spotify. You can even find karaoke versions of your favourite tracks, without vocals, to sing over.
It has a built in speaker to play the music and an amplifier for your voice. There’s an echo effect you can add too.
Price and release date are TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: Five Nights at Freddy’s Game
To be honest, we don’t know much about the Five Nights at Freddy’s game apart from the fact that it’s licensed from the clever and scary console and mobile title. The one at Toy Fair was an early prototype and didn’t actually do anything, but from the packaging we could see that it’s a bit like Buckaroo.
You have to steal pizza pieces from Freddy Fazbear and we suspect that should you steal the wrong piece, he wakes up with a start, scaring the willies out of you.
Again, price and release date are TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: Sky Viper Drone
Vivid is bringing a successful range of US drones over to the UK, all under the Sky Viper banner. There are models from £60, such as the Stunt Drone pictured, all the way up to a first-person view Sky Viper Streaming Drone, which comes with a VR style headset that houses your mobile phone and gives you a drone’s eye view. That’ll be more in the £140 price range.
All the Sky Viper drones are planned for a July launch.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech Star Wars Camera Watch
VTech has made smartwatches for kids in the past but none have drawn our eye quite as much as the Star Wars camera watches we saw at the show.
Not only do they have the ability to take snaps and video using a top-mounted lens, with 256MB of storage on board, they also feature mini-games, voice recording with Star Wars effects, a motion sensor, step counter, and all the time-telling features a kid needs.
There are two models in the range, one for BB-8, the other for the First Order. We’re still awaiting pricing and release date.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech Star Wars Stormtrooper Digital Camera
Another Star Wars licensed device from VTech, the Stormtrooper digital camera is similar to the company’s previous Kidizoom range. However, it is all themed around the movie franchise and has several additional games and features.
For example, you can add Star Wars characters to pictures taken to make it look like you (or your child) is stood next to a Stormtrooper or the like. You can also play games using the rear screen, including an augmented reality shoot-em-up with Tie-Fighters swarming around your location.
We’re also waiting for price and release date details for this.
Best tech toys for 2017: Razor Power A electric scooter
Like its new electric skateboard above, Razor’s 2017 portable electric scooter is for kids and adults and is rear wheel driven by a lithium battery powered motor. It can also achieve speeds up to 10mph and is capable of lasting 45 minutes between charges.
Unlike many other electric scooters, the Razor Power A is very lightweight – 4kg – and can be folded so can be taken on a commute and the like.
It’ll be out in the summer for £230.
Best tech toys for 2017: VRSE
We got to try one of the VRSE virtual reality headsets on Vivid’s stand at Toy Fair but because the design was not finalised, couldn’t bring you our own pictures. However, we still thought it worth of inclusion as the headsets and, specifically, the licensed games are good quality.
There will be two in the initial range, based on Jurassic World and Batman. Each will cost £70, which gets you the headset, a themed Bluetooth controller and an app download. You use either and Android or iOS smartphone in the visor to provide the screen.
Where we think VRSE differs from most other “toy” VR devices we’ve seen in the past is in the content. We had a brief go at an early build of the Jurassic World app and there are several mini-games and experiences included – with actual gameplay and thought gone into them. It’ll be available in July so we’ll take a more in-depth look closer to the time.
Best tech toys for 2017: Zoomer Zupps Tiny Pups
The Zoomer Zupps Tiny Pups are the only toy here you can buy now. They are the latest entry into the Zoomer series, which has already produced a robot dog and a chimp, and are inexpensive mini robotic creatures that can play some games and interact with their owners.
Leave them alone too long and they’ll start to whimper, and you can press the tops of their heads or noses to have them make other sounds. Each Zupp also has a special trick to discover.
Each of them costs £14.99 and they are all available now.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech Kidizoom Flix
Last year, VTech released a selfie stick camera for kids and this year introduces one with a tripod that can stand just about anywhere, even wrap around a child’s arm.
The Kidizoom Flix not only takes photos, it can guard a child’s bedroom in keeper mode, taking snaps when it detects motion. It also detects faces, so can interact with its owner, even repeating phrases it hears in silly voices. The alien inside can play games with a child too.
Price and release date are yet to be revealed.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech DigiGo Max
This year’s kid-friendly tablet from VTech comes with Android for the first time. It has a 5-inch 800 x 480 screen and 8GB of on-board storage (expandable through microSD card).
THere’s a rotatable camera at the top, for front and rear photos, and a “child-safe” web browser is built in, although we’re not sure quite how that works yet.
You can download extra games and apps from VTech’s own service.
Price and release date are TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: WowWee Chippies
WowWee continues its robotics range with Chippies – three lovable puppies that has many features of the larger, more expensive CHiP released at the tail-end of last year. There is Chipper, Chippette and Chippo.
Each Chippie has a unique personality and will respond to their owners. They are also remote controlled through the included bone controller. More features will become apparent closer to release.
They’ll be available from Q4 at £50 each.
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