Category Archives: Technology

Pixlplay Camera (Ages 3+)

Do you recall that cool smartphone you originally got 5 years ago? You probably tossed it in a drawer somewhere because that’s where all smartphones go when you get a newer version. Now, there may be a reason to bring that old smartphone back and it involves Pixlplay Camera, which is what we’re going to introduce you to in this review.

Pixl Toys developed a new way to bring those old smartphones back from the dead as an exciting 35mm style camera that the little ones can use. PixlPlay launched on Kickstarter not too long ago, and many people are already interested in it.

PixlPlay Keeps it Simple

What’s cool about the PixlPlay Camera is the fact that it’s not hard at all – PixlPlay has done a good job at making sure they keep it simple. Children love electronics and gadgets, but those tiny hands and feet are continuously moving, which can spell a real disaster for delicate gadgets, like the newest Samsung tablet.

With the PixlPlay, you don’t have to worry, because it will keep your phone secure and keep things simple. There’s no pairing that needs to be done, no apps you need to install and none of those aggravating configuration headaches. All you have to do is put the phone in, plug the cable into the headphone jack and hand the 35mm style toy camera over to your children. Yes, it really is that easy.

Taking Photos is Exciting

While it’s a toy, it is still exciting to use the camera to take pictures. Think about it – what child doesn’t have fun taking photos? When it comes to freezing your dog, your sibling, your cat, your parents and all of the above, there’s just something mesmerizing about it.

PixlPlay doesn’t add any complications to this formula. In fact, the more we learn about this toy camera, the more we see that it actually enhances the excitement of taking pictures.

There are large buttons and knobs that children can turn. These buttons and knobs make it easy for a child to feel like that are professional photographers. Kid will be able to use the phone as normal through a splash-resistant, touch-sensitive protective case and simply by using the shutter button on top, they can snap photos.

Children as young as three years old can use this toy. While you aren’t required to download any apps in order to use it, there is a neat companion iOS app that will let you edit photos with frames and digital features. It works well with existing photography and camera programs. Stretch goals include a sticker sheet, activity cards and an Android application.

Features
On the Pixlplay case, you’ll find the following features: Adjustable clamps for accommodating phones of different sizes, rubber handgrips, and a 3.5 mm cable that plugs into the audio jack to power the shutter button on the case. The little ones can snap photos through the phone’s build-in camera app using the shutter button, or they can take the normal route and snap photos simply by touching the screen.

Conclusion
Think about it – what child doesn’t enjoy taking pictures? That’s why PixlPlay has decided to develop the PixlPlay Camera and it already has a lot of attention aimed in its direction.

Minions MiP Turbo Dave (Ages 4+)

When a new figure, like Minions, first comes out on the market, children throughout the world practically beg for it and here’s yet another toy many children are going to want. At the Toy Fair in London this year (2017), a new minion was revealed – Minions MiP Turbo Dave and he can be controlled by a remote! Right now, we are going to tell you everything we currently know about this little guy, so pay attention to what we have to tell you.

What is Minions MiP Turbo Dave?

Minions MiP Turbo Dave is a remote-controlled robot that is being released by WowWee in May of 2017. It will be released in time for Despicable Me 3, which debuts in theaters on June 30. It operates via a Bluetooth app that is available on Android and iOS devices. Kids and adults alike will love this toy as they can simply drive it around using an app or they can sketch out a route for it to take on its own.

WowWee

WowWee is the mastermind behind Turbo Dave. For those of you that are not familiar with this company, WowWee is the company that build CHiP, the robot dog – this dog was a big hit among children last year. This is a privately owned company that is based in Hong Kong – they are fully focused on “breakthrough consumer technologies.” They are well known for their interactive balancing robot MiP and their biomorphic robot RoboSapien. They are a leading developer, designer, distributer and marketer of innovative robotic and consumer entertainment merchandise. In 2004, they introduced Robosapien, which revolutionized the way we interact with robots. Robosapien sold more than six million units and was one of the most popular entertainment robots in the world that year. Seeing the type of successful robots this company has made over the past years, it makes us really excited to see what’s in store for Minions MiP Turbo Dave.

Responds and Navigates

Turbo Dave is pretty cool, because it can respond to hand gestures, making it an interactive toy that your little ones are going to adore. There’s a build-in infrared sensor that catches hand gestures like pulling and swiping. For example, if you draw your hand away, you will have Dave follow you. Not only does it respond to hand gestures, it can also navigate around the room. As we said before, you can download the app called Turbo Dave and use it in order to remotely control the Minion. Through the app, you can plan paths that he will self-navigate as you watch or have Dave interact with other characters or props from the Despicable Me series. There’s also a coding platform that children can use in order to program Turbo Dave, which we personally found pretty cool.

Conclusion

If your child is a big fan of Minions, then Turbo Dave is a must have. This robot responds to hand gestures, can navigate on its own, or have you control him. This is the type of robot children will love.

Meccano MeccaSpider (Age 10+)

Did you get the opportunity to go to the toy fair this year (2017)? It was held in New York and we’re telling you right now, if you missed it, you missed out on getting a first look at some pretty amazing toys. Looking at all of the toys currently on the market and the ones that are about to come out takes us back to that quote “why couldn’t they have made stuff like that when we were kids?” Seriously, why not? For example, we would have loved to play with the Meccano MeccaSpider, not only because we enjoyed RC stuff, but because we also liked insects (yes, even spiders).

The Meccano MeccaSpider really stands out from the crowd of some of the other toys for a variety of reasons. Today, we are here to give you the sweet details on what we currently know about the Meccano MeccaSpider.

Sensors

The MeccaSpider is pretty neat to say the least. Due to its sensors, it’s an interactive toy. It will play games with the little ones. In fact, the sensors are so good that kids can easily get caught up in the world of pretending this is their own pet …it acts kind of like a pet from an adult perspective.

Putting it All Together and Playing

It will take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours to put it all together. Most 10-year-olds can easily put this together. Building the MeccaSpider is a whole lot of fun, but that is only the beginning. The real fun starts when it comes time to play. With venom attack and app control, it will be easy to keep those bad guys at bay. That’s right, you can control this toy via an app. In attack mode, he will squirt out water. Children can protect their room and dare anyone that comes in. Like we said above, MeccaSpider even has an interactive personality and built-in games, which is fun for the entire family.

This is similar to an RC – it can go all around the house and it’s easy to get up and get going. It has a 50 foot range, which isn’t all that bad for a toy like this.

He also has a tracking, so he can follow you around the house, without having to control it. Imagine your child walking this toy around the house, spraying venom everywhere – this will really get their imagination going.

The Games

This toy has some pretty epic games. There’s one where the children can sit in a circle as this toy walks around. The first one to move will get sprayed. There’s another game that asks questions – the first person to get the question wrong will get sprayed.

With these games, the venom feature (venom roulette), guard dog mode (sits in the room and when it senses movement, it’ll start spraying), it makes it much more than just an RC.

If you choose, you can program more into it.

Conclusion

All in all, this is going to be a really hot toy once it finally arrives on the market. The Meccano MeccaSpider would make a great present for the child in your life, especially if they enjoy stuff like this.

Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy Starlord Electronic Helmet (Age 13+)

Did you get a chance to see the Toy Fair that was held this year (2017)? During the Toy Fair, there were so many different toys from well-known companies being showcased. Some of the toys really took the world by storm. Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy Starlord Electronic Helmet just so happens to be one of those “toys” that really stood out from the crowd. Today, we are here to tell you everything we know about this toy …

For those of you that are looking for a crazy set of wireless headphones or a cyborgian helmet, or perhaps both, then the Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy Starlord Electronic helmet is something you may be interested in.

The Marvel Guardian helmet comes to us from Hasbro and it has been inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. At the time of release, you will need to pay $100 in order to get this helmet, but if you look at what it is, that is a real bargain as the helmet has built-in Bluetooth headphones.

This helmet (complete with headphones) is made for adults from all walks of life as the adjustable plastic helmet can fit any adult-sized heads. During the announcement, at the booth, Hasbro offered prototype that had an external Bluetooth speaker, which showed us an idea of how it may sound when it is released. Mind you, don’t expect something like Beats – it’s not going to have AptX support, pinpoint imaging or an expansive soundstage. It’s not made for audiophiles, but it is made for cosplay fans and individuals that have a good sense of humor and just want to have fun and joke around.
Since the Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy Startlord electronic helmet is set to release this fall (2017), perhaps it would be just the accessory you need in order to complete your Halloween costume. Regardless, if you wear this thing in the subway, people are probably going to stay away from you. For listening to Daft Punk, Buckethead, MF Doom, or you know, Helmet, this would probably be the go-to can.

When you put it on your head, you may feel as if you are wearing a hockey mask – if you wear glasses, you will need to remove them. What many people seem to like the most about the Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy Starlord Electronic Helmet would be the fact that it connects to Bluetooth. Unfortunately, this headset isn’t going to be available during the next movie, but like we said, you can add it in to your Halloween plans as that’s when it’s set to be released.

Conclusion
The Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy Starlord Electronic Hemet is the type of gear you will want to wear around your friends to make them laugh – if you’re a cosplayer, this may also complete your costume. While it would be funny to wear in public areas, we don’t recommend it as many states do not allow headgear that completely covers the face in public.

Sky Viper Streaming Drone

The Sky Viper Streaming Drone is one of the best drones that you can buy for the price – and it’s made it to Walmart’s Hottest 25 Toys of 2016 list this year. It’s easy to use and packed with features that many of the higher priced drones have.

It’s about 13” from blade to blade and it weighs about two pounds, so it’s fairly lightweight. Set up is easy. The drone arrives already put together so to get it up in the air, all that’s required is that you charge it and add the batteries.

It has a fast charge and you get a decent amount of flying time with the drone. Users report that they get anywhere from 8-13 minutes of flying time. That’s plenty of time for your streaming projects.

skyviper

As with any drone that you purchase, you’re going to have to calibrate it first to ensure accuracy with the sensors. These sensors are what allow your drone to be able to sense things that can interfere with its ability to operate – such as gusts of wind or buildings or trees.

Maneuverability is easy with the drone and it has a quick response to remote control directional changes. The drone is made for a variety of users and you can set it for the flight mode that best meets your skill level.

These modes are beginner, intermediate or advanced. Anyone who has never flown a drone before should always start out at the beginner level until you get used to how the drone operates.

You can use this drone if you’re inside a building or outside. There are safety guards that you can use on the blades if you’re flying it indoors to keep it from getting damaged or damaging something else.

The camera on the drone has the ability to move 130 degrees in different directions, which allows you to capture some pretty decent aerial footage. If you use the panoramic video camera, you can get shots from all angles with a flyover and you can take 360 degree snapshots.

The distance for clarity is about 200 feet. You can choose to take pictures or you can stream video. Though it does come with the camera, you don’t have to keep the camera on the drone if you’d like to remove it.

It’s recommended you remove the camera if you’re going to use the drone in the advanced mode to do stunts or other actions that could possibly damage the camera.

Stunts are easy to perform, thanks to the one touch stunt button. The body of the drone is made of tough polypropylene for long lasting use. The drone is compatible with a variety of smart devices – including Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices.

Geckobot

In all likelihood you share your house with these little lizards called Geckos or you have been on trips where you have seen them. There are over 1,500 species of them worldwide. But this isn’t a natural history lesson. We are going to look at a new educational toy called the Geckobot that lets you build your own robot gecko.

Thames & Kosmos are known for their fun educational toys and this is one of their latest. It comes in 176 parts that you build to make your very own Geckbot that can walk vertically up any smooth service from walls to windows.

This is achieved by using a motorized, battery driven air suction function that makes the legs move the same as a real life Gecko’s would and the suction pumps enable it to adhere and release itself from the surface with correct timing. It also looks very realistic with a tail that moves from side to side.

How Much?
This robotic lizard retails for around $100.

Who would buy the Geckobot?
This is for kids 8 years and older and should appeal to many kids for different reasons. The set is very similar to LEGO technics so if they like building Lego sets this might appeal. For children who are interested in science and hands on experiments this would definitely be a good buy. For Children who like nature or who are into creepy crawlies this would be a good alternative to them bringing the real thing into the home!

Things We Like About the Geckobot?
This is a great educational toy that can teach a child some basic practical science. It’s also great that they can build it themselves and it comes with a fully illustrated manual that shows them how to put it together and the science behind it. It also can be used to build a further six models including a mechanical arm, a car, octopus, insect, window cleaning device and vacuum holder.

Things We Didn’t Like about It
This is a cool toy. Who wouldn’t like a wall crawling robot lizard? If we have anything negative to say maybe we would have liked it to be more gecko looking than robot looking but, hey, we’re just trying to find fault here and there is nothing really wrong with it at all!

Is the Geckobot worth the money?
The Geckobot matched with the right child is certainly going to be worth the money; they can have a lot of fun with it and learn some cool facts as well. If you child has no interest in building things or Science, then this might be a waste.

Geckobot_250x250

Where can I buy it?
The Geckobot is available now and you can buy it online. We’d suggest checking Amazon to see if it is available there as they are a trusted and competitively priced retailer.

Final Thoughts
This is something a bit different and will appeal to a lot of kids. The ability to build it and play with it and then modify it to make different models justifies the price tag.

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Anki Cozmo Robot Toy

Our prediction is that this will be one of the biggest tech toys for 2016, Christmas and probably 2017! Anki, who up to now is known for their smartphone guided Overdrive car racing sets, have pushed the boundaries of consumer robotics and AI with Cosmo.
They describe the Cozmo Robot as like having a robot from a movie [think Wall-E] in your own home.

The robot is vehicle shaped like a mini bulldozer and is operated by use of a smartphone. When it is delivered it will come with the robot, a charger, and three power blocks that are used for game play and interaction with the robot.

How Much?
When it is released in mid-October it will be priced at $180.

Who Would Buy It?
Anki recommend Cozmo for 8 years old and up. We think it will appeal to most kids and adults who are interested in cutting edge tech toys. It will also appeal to anyone interested in robotics and AI intelligence.

Things We Like About Cosmo
There is so much to like about this gadget, actually calling Cozmo a gadget would be doing him an injustice.
First, it has facial recognition built in so it recognizes you when it wakes up from its charger. While it is charging, Cozmo snores as well!The thing is that Cozmo has so many fun features that we don’t know where to start. What we really like about him [we reckon it’s a boy robot, you may disagree!] is that he really seems like a pet or young child and you will start to feel emotionally connected to him. He explores and sulks if you don’t give him enough attention. He plays games with you and remembers the ones you like.
The more you interact with him the more different emotions he shows and as you play games, new ones unlock.
Your information is secure and is never shared. Cozmo uses a local device-to-device connection so your details can’t be accessed.

Things We Did Not Like About Cosmo
Cozmo is very small – Anki has not hidden this fact; they actually describe the robot vehicle as palm size. The good thing about this is that Cozmo is easily portable so it can be transported with ease.

Is It Worth The Money?
If you or your kids are into tech gadgets this is going to be a must have on your list and you are going to be full of envy once you see others using it. For amateur robotics engineers they will think they have died and gone to heaven with this A1 robot.
Anki Cosmo Robot Toy_250x250

Where Can I Buy It?
This item will be released on October 16, 2016 but you can pre-order it now from Amazon. Apparently pre-orders will get the device two days before it arrives in the shops. Currently Amazon  offers a discount if you pre-order now, but double check this to make sure it still applies.

Final Thoughts
Because this is an app-based robot it will be constantly updated with new features so this has plenty of longevity. It won’t be a gadget that is left to gather dust. For those interested in robotics or budding game developers, Cozmo will be on their Must Have List. Anki has rigorously tested Cozmo and this robot is likely to revolutionize home consumer robotics.

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Air Hogs Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone

To coincide with the release of Star Trek Beyond and the 50th Anniversary of the original TV Series Air Hogs has launched the first Star Trek Enterprise Flying Drone. The drone is based on the NCC-1701-A which is the Enterprise from the movies rather than TV Show.

How Much?
This Star Trek Enterprise Drone has a recommended retail price of $130.

Who Would Buy The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone?
The recommended age for this product is 10+. Being the first ever version of the Enterprise that actually flies this will be a must buy for Star Trek fans. Kids who are just starting to discover Star Trek through the new movies might also be interested in this. For the serious Drone enthusiast this probably isn’t on their radar though some might be interested in the unique design which differentiates it from the typical drones available on the market.

Things We Like About Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone
A lot of thought has gone into this model to make it look authentic. It has 10 different light and sound functions including a phaser and warp factor sound. Even though it is longer and sleeker looking than the usual quadcopter, it is still based on the same principles, but to get the Star Trek look they have hidden the spinning propellers in the main saucer section of the Enterprise. Though it doesn’t look particularly durable, users are saying that they have crashed it a number of times with no damage.

Things We Didn’t Like About It
If you haven’t used a quadcopter or drone before it might take some time to get used to the controls and will probably result in a few crashes. We would suggest limiting your flying to indoor use at first before venturing outdoors with it. Some reviewers are speculating that it will become a collector’s item so you might want to keep it in nice condition just in case.

Is The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone Worth The Money?
The $130 price tag is fairly expensive for a quadcopter. You can get drones with built-in cameras that work well for the same price. What you are paying for here is the unique Star Trek design and maybe a quadcopter that will become a collector’s item in the future. It also makes a nice display piece. For Star Trek fans or Drone Collectors I don’t see the cost being an issue.

Air Hogs Spin Master Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone_250x250

Where Can I Buy The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone?
Spin Master and their flying RC vehicle Air Hogs range is available in most Toy Shops, collectors and RC Stores as well as big online stores such as Amazon. Amazon is always worth taking a look as you can read the most up-to-date reviews from genuine users.

Final Thoughts
If you are a serious Trekkie the likelihood is that your mind is going to already be made up regarding the purchase of this Star Trek Enterprise Quadcopter. Those interested in TV collectibles might want to speculate and pick this up as a collector’s item. We think that Air Hogs have got the design spot on. To see your own real life miniature version of the Starship U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701A cruising through the air boldly going where no man has gone before is just amazing!

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Scalextric ARC One

Plenty of kids know the thrill of playing with slot cars. Racing them around the track for fun or in competition to try and beat your opponent was a great way to spend a few hours having fun.
But Scalextric has changed the game so that the cars use modern technology to up the stakes when it comes to racing. What Scalextric has done is to take the benefit of the classic racing and mix it up with technology to increase the functionality of the cars and the fun of the game.
You can get different sets and they each offer different features. Some of the features are the same throughout – such as being able to race against an opponent, getting to keep up with the times of the laps, battling it out in tournaments and even holding a drag race event or two.
Technology makes it all possible and by combing the technology of Bluetooth with the fun of racing cars, Scalextric created a game that can work with your smartphone.
There are no more guessing games with the races once you situate your phone in the holder the racetrack has. Kids no longer have to guess when it’s time to set off from the starting line and there’s no figuring out if one player jumped the gun.
 scalextriccar
The app will let the drivers know when it’s time to take off for the laps and at the end of the game, it tallies the score to show you which car came in first. The speeds are accounted for and each aspect of the race is covered so that kids get to view it once the race is over.
Just like running cars at a real racetrack, the game adds an element of reality here by offering pit stops. The cars will be notified when they need to come in to get the once over and if they don’t listen up, they’ll get the penalty for not listening to the notice to come in.
The pit stops can cover things like a tire puncture or engine trouble, fuel or more. The app will clock the time the race began and has the feature that will shut down the power if a car ends up off the track.
There’s also a jump start penalty, the option to change drivers, and a lap counter as well as a qualifying laps. The cars can race neck and neck or kids can employ whatever driving decision they want that they think will make them take first place.
The app you use with the system will give you the racing modes, the setting and more. You do get hand throttles, but some of the sets do offer wireless play. The cars from one set are compatible with the cars from another Scalextric set, including the older models. The set is for use with Apple or Android phones.
Have fun,
Suzanne

Parrot MiniDrones Jumping Sumo

If you’re into technology, then you know that the latest rage right now is drones. You can find a ton of different drones available but you’ll be hard pressed to find one as cool and exciting as the Parrot MiniDrones Jumping Sumo.
That’s because this drone reved it up a notch with what it’s capable of doing and this one makes many of the hot toy lists. This is a light up drone so it can maneuver in dark places in the house such as under furniture or with the lights off.
It’s fun to use at night outside as well as during the day. It’s light up so it can easily be seen from a distance, too. The LED lights shine on anything in its path – plus, it has a camera so you can see where it’s going.
The camera can stream video so kids can watch replays. And it’s built for speed with a top of the line motor. Plus, the body is durable and can withstand tough play and situations. Not only does the Jumping Sumo have the corner on how fast it can travel but this one is unique in that it has the ability to jump.
 sumo2
Not just small little heights, either. This drone has the ability to leap a mind blowing 2.5 feet up into the air. You can send it flying up over objects and it’s amazing to watch it go.
The back wheels are super large, which help the drone keep its balance – but the wheels also give it the ability to keep that faster speed that leaves other drones sitting still.
This makes it difficult to beat in a race with the width coupled with the traction ability. The drone is tough and agile too with the ability to make 90 and 180 degree turns with ease.
There are app controls that kids can use to have the drone make whatever movements they want it to make. Plus, the drone can move forward and backward or leap.
You do have to have access to Wi-Fi to be able to use the drone and it is compatible with smartphone and tablet devices. The drone operates using the menu and it has the capability of being able to communicate from about 50 meters away. The set comes with the drone, a battery, the USB cable, stickers for customization, and a quick start guide.
Suzanne