Looking for something techy or gadgety for Christmas this year? Well I am at any rate. And I'm not talking about just the kids here but the whole family. Oh yes, isn't it about time we looked at some toys for mums and dads too?
There's something about flashy lights, and whizzy graphics, and things that go 'ting'. Or apps. Now apps are great although you can't wrap them and put them under the tree. At least it is one less bit of clutter to have around the house!
Here's a selection of some of the top tech Christmas presents to inspire you. I've looked for hot and trending toys or gadgets for all the family, from mum and dad, through teens to tots.
Also, I've not included toys that we've covered a bit here on PlayPennies, like the Fijit Friends. Or tablet PC toys, the Leapfrog LeapPad Explorer and the vTech Innotab. Personally I'm not sold on them, the tablet PC toys I mean. It sounds like the Innotab runs through batteries fairly quickly. But they definitely sound better than some of those toy laptops I've tried in the past that have just dreadful screens!
If you're tired of hearing about the Kiddizoom, then we can't blame you. The Kiddizoom was at the top of everyone's lists last year. The Kiddizoom Twist (RRP £49.99) takes stills and video, and is a 2 megapixel camera. That said, in my experience the picture quality isn't as good as other, normal 2 megapixel camera's. For a child aged over 4, who's not so hard on their toys, a cheap digital camera would be better. That said, if your child is heavy handed then this camera is robust enough to take the knocks.
Both the pink and the blue versions are available on Amazon for £34.99, including delivery if you have Amazon Prime.
Now something for the teens in your life, or perhaps for mum and dad. I would actually want to have one of these - if I had an iPad! It is the iCade for iPad, a gadget that lets you play retro-games on your state of the art, high end, iPad. Which seems a bit daft but hey, those old games were fun! And I'm told there's a trend for playing them among teens and early 20s. Don't take my word for that though, I'm hopelessly out of touch with any trend unless it involves dinosaurs or Bakugan.
The iCade for iPad is an arcade-style cabinet that has reassuringly chunky joystick and eight full-sized buttons that wirelessly integrate with your iPad’s internal jiggery pokery, allowing you to play various retro titles downloadable via the Atari Greatest Hits app.
It is available from Firebox for £79.99 including delivery.
Speaking as a mum, the best present anyone can give me at Christmas is a quiet hour in the afternoon to digest, put my feet up, and read my book without once being interupted with the word 'mummy'!
Every year it is a struggle for me to get myself my Christmas read though. By the time I have got all the presents, the food, the cooking, cleaned the house from top to bottom, done the decorations ...
This year I want a Kindle. I want to be able to sit down and think, now what book do I feel like reading? Switch on my computer and download it right then and there. Oh yes I do want a Kindle. The basic one now costs £89 at Amazon.
These are also a great idea for avid young readers. My friend took her's on holiday with her 8 year old son, and loaded it with books. He had no chance to complain of boredom on either the 5 hour train ride to Cornwall, or on the days where it rained them inside.
These are utterly mad. My son goes nuts when he sees the adverts on TV. They're helium balloons, and they're also remote controlled. They're called Air Swimmers. The ones I've seen demonstrated are the Clown Fish and the Shark. I don't know if they're others. And they are totally bonkers.
There's no space for these in our house, they're huge. But I have to say they do look like a heck of a lot of fun!
The cheapest I could find one of these online was £21.99 including delivery at Play.com, which isn't too bad a price really. You do need to buy the helium seperately though, although you can get the balloon filled at most party shops or simply buy a disposable cannister.
It all seems a bit Dr Who to me (which again is another selling point!).
Hamley's list of top toys for Christmas has all the usual electronic suspects on it. And this. The iBall 3. It sounds like it could provide a bit of fun for the whole family. The iball3 is a clear electric blue ball with what the website calls "electronic wizardry" inside. The iball has 6 light buttons and a single LED display. It can easily be played with by children or adults.
The cheapest I could find it online was for £14.97 at Tesco - delivery is free if you can collect instore.
Are you getting any electronic wizardry to put under your Christmas tree this year. What are the top toys in your house?