It looks a little like a ‘tank’ with the top removed so in one form it’s just the treads that grip but once it moves into the fitment it moves as if on stilts. There are some pieces supplied to guide your Power Treads unit around a course which you design but you can go freestyle and use things found in your home to make your own truly original track.
If this was just a vehicle with some curves and twists then the stated age of five plus would be fine however as you have to assemble not just the course which is a test in itself with the pieces provided but you also need to fit the treads to the vehicle so maybe an older sibling would be useful to tell you what is possible. Although it can do some amazing twists and turns it cannot defy gravity.
Learning through play is a popular concept and Sphero has taken advantage of with its new Activity Kit.
From its base in Boulder, Colorado, Sphero Inc has built up a well-respected reputation as the industry leader in the field of edTech robotics and STEM-based learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Adding to its range of products, the company has announced the release of its new Sphero Mini Activity Kit.
With time on your hands, you could create a robotic pet to keep you company.
In the past, the Fereday household has been home to a collection of various pets. I can distinctly remember a cat (actually my grandparents when they ran a pub in Wolverhampton), several dogs, a gold fish, a couple of budgies ( including one that told me to "drop dead"), a white mouse, gerbil, hamster and at least three cockatiels. I am now about to add yet another creature to this list.
Adding to its extensive catalogue of play and educational toys, VTech offer a sea lion.
Splish! Splash! when taking a bath some company might well be appreciated Especially by the young and those who are young at heart Who would not mind, even enjoy sharing the water with a sea lion. For those looking for a sea lion companion to share their bath time, with or without soap bubbles, VTech has a possible offering that might be suitable. This is the appropriately named "Toot-Toot Splash Sea Lion" from the company's Splash Point series to entertain and educate young children.
Collect and decorate the wheels of Ritzy Rollerz.
As I was taking my leave of the latest DreamToys 2019 event, following hearing about the release of the Top 12 Toys, as selected by a panel of retailers and industry experts, I was handed a copy of Ritzy Rollerz™. This gift was from the Tomy Series 2 Besties product line-up. The company feel that this product had been developed and was suitable for the 4 plus age group of children.
Question - What do you say when you meet a visitor from outer space?
Answer - Hello Rizmo!
On my annual visit to DreamToys, I bumped into Rizmo. I should explain that Rizmo is a new arrival from the far reaches of the universe, looking to make new friends with Earth's young inhabitants. To achieve that aim, Rizmo has taken on the persona of a soft cuddly toy waiting to evolve through the attention it gets because of its love of music and ability to provide a series of game. After we had both apologised for the accidental collision, Rizmo set out telling his story.
Money may well not grow on trees but a child can grow their own toy with this next product.
The clue regarding this product, not surprisingly, can be found in its title. Alright the spelling might cause a little confusion but saying the title and you could get a clear indication as to what to expect from this offering Skyrocket UK. I am, of course, referring to the Skyrocket Blume product.
First one of the smallest at less than 10cm tall which has either a looping light or a light always on inside the rabbit. Second one of the largest Pokémon items and certainly for the older child which has induction charging for your iPhone and also USB for those of us without ‘i’ devices.
It is a tad over 9cm tall and comes with the required batteries fitted inside behind a door in the base protected by a Philips screw to deter a young child from eating them. A cord is attached between its ears to hang from the top of a pram so the child can be entertained. The switch on the base has three positions, off, on with a slow rotation from on to off which may even encourage sleep and finally on.
littleBits link with other littleBits to become bigger bits and for anyone ‘8 Years Plus’ a simple solution to make answers to other problems, ‘start out with a voice activated robotic hand and after that the only limit is your imagination’.
On opening the box you see a total of fourteen pieces as well as various cardboard pieces that can be connected together to form various items in the base Inventors Kit. Also in the box is a small ‘Base Inventors Kit’ Instructions Start Here booklet that tells you how to create a a basic circuit to create a buzzer to get the basic inventor going. After this you download the Littlebits App from either the Android or Apple store to your Smartphone and after that the sky is the limit.
With a school time half term coming up, this might offer advice where to pass the time.
If you happen to be in London, especially in the vicinity of the thoroughfare known as Regent Street, during the Spring half term period, then a visit to Hamleys’ flagship store could well be of interest and worth the effort. A recent communication has informed me, that during the period from 16 February to the 3 March, Hamleys will be offering seven floors of live entertainment, fun workshops, new toys and exclusive prizes to attack the attention of all and sundry.
This toy brings songs and sound effects to a young child’s play area.
With a mantra of “Grow, Develop and Explore”, Vtech has developed a number of products for the younger members of the family. Recently I have had the opportunity to check out one of the Vtech products from the company’s Toot-Toot Animal range. As its title suggests, this particular range consists of various animals including the furry cat that was the review sample that was currently occupying my attention.
Is it an electronic book? Or is it a carry case? No it is Leap Frog’s new learning tool.
Leap Frog, well-known for its educational based electronic products, has recently released its LeapSmart 3D offering. Developed for the 2 – 7 years age group, this product provides on-screen animations to enhance learning. It has been designed to work with all LeapStart books of which there are currently 25 offerings covering various skills that are important to the development of the young child.
Being a prison guard for a dinosaur does require some specialist equipment.
A few months ago I took a look at WowWee’s Fingerling® UNTAMED™ family of Raptors made up of Stealth, Blaze, Fury and Razor. Now it seems that some of these vicious creatures were not as susceptible to training methods as they should have been and were less likely to respond to the training offered by their young owners. Eager to help when this type of situation occurs occasionally, WowWee has developed its Fingerling’s Untamed Jailbrake T-Rex Playset.
It is time to meet Ricky, a member of Hasbro’s RealFur family of child-appealing pets.
In the past I have given home room to a parrot and a cat from Hasbro and have to admit they got on reasonable well together. Now it is the turn of a trick-loving puppy to take centre stage as it entertains a young owner who is lucky enough to find this pet among their Christmas presents.. Not being an expert on the subject of dog breeds, I will limit my description of Ricky to his colour scheme of grey with white feature, paws and tail. Unpacking Ricky is an adventure in itself.
Did you know that 59% of UK toys bought for Christmas were chosen by the giver rather than selected from a child’s wish list?
While December brings us Christmas, the month of November reveals the choice of the top twelve toys that are expected to be the most sought after by parents for their children. This list of toys is referred to as DreamToys and it has been put together by a representative panel of retailers and industry experts.
Time to return to the classroom and practice your programming skills.
It has been quite a while since I last took a look at one of Orbotix’s Sphero robotic creatures. If memory serves me correct that product was Ollie who made its appearance back in 2014. In the intervening period Orbotix has made a movement towards a more educational stance with its robotic development. A result of this is the appearance of the Sphero Edu brand that includes the SPRK+ product.
You may have heard of the expression “Talk to the hand” but are you as familiar with “Beware the finger!?
Described as the first-ever line of animatronical collectible toys, the WowWee developed Fingerlings® recently won the 2018 Collectible Toy of the Year and the overall Toy of the year awards. Now more bite has been put into the product with the arrival of an UNTAMED™ element/ for the intrepid dinosaur collector to partake Joining the original gang of Fingerlings, featuring the baby monkeys, unicorns, sloths and glitter monkeys, are the UNTAMED Raptors.
Dipping into a bag of goodies, I came across a product from Leap Frog.
It is a simple question – just what is the condition of your fridge? I should make clear that I am referring to the outside of the fridge rather than its actual contents stored within. Probably, like many including myself, the door of your fridge will be decorated with an assortment of magnetic knick-knacks that you have collected, or been presented with for various reasons, over the passage of time.
Having looked in the past at a couple of other offerings from Sphero I was keen to add this smallest offering from Sphero to the list. It is a small round object that is controlled by an App that you can even learn to code to make it go through routines.
The Sphero Mini is a 4cm ball that has no connections at all it is simply a round ball. It is weighted on the inside and without power if it is moved around it will always roll to that one spot. There are three simple instructions on the inside cover of its small box. The two parts of the ball twist apart to enable you to charge it and that process will let you link it to a mobile App and then it is no longer simply a round ball.
I asked to look at this - solely on price - as most camera carrying Drones are not cheap – I am thinking three figures – but this offering is less than £20. In fact only just over a year ago similar items were well into the middle hundreds.
I looked at one very small drone last year that was suitable for children, yes suitable for children as it had blades that were fully protected and was very easy to hover. This unit is larger and will either need parental supervision or children of an older age as it needs to have more ability to fly it – yes even I could fly it – and the blades although plastic could do damage. It is circular and a maximum of 32cm across and up to 5cm tall with its camera attached.