14 November 2016

FEATURE: Christmas Stocking Fillers #4

You're gonna need a bigger stocking.

A new week, four more new products to consider, and a decreasing amount of time until the big day itself. To inspire your gift giving creativeness, we have four random 'things' that could serve as great little treats for 'someone' you love. So here we go again...

Teksta Robotic Toucan

We actually saw this little fella, albeit in a prototype form, all the way back in January at the London Toy Fair. Just like Nocto, the Bat toy that we recently gave away, the Teksta Toucan is an interactive electric pet to which you can ask questions and play around with. Unlike Nocto the Toucan uses an app for much of the control, and offers the user a list of preprogrammed questions that can be asked at any time. But he also works without the app (phew – we're not giving our phones to our kids ever again following Screen Crack Gate), and also completely free of the internet.

Interestingly, this clever bird features a light sensor to actually wake up in the morning, and also a motion sensor to act as a room guard. You can also play plenty of games via the app that the Toucan will play along with, while you marvel at how incredibly articulated it is; flapping, bobbing, and spinning around on the perch.

Lots of fun for the kids, although mum and dad be warned – this thing ain't half noisy.

Around £40

Finding Dory Aquabeads

Craft gifts are always great at Christmas; not only are they fun for kids to do, but they're great at occupying them while they're home during the Christmas school holidays. Amen. Aquabeads do both of those things very well, being a system where kids assemble small beads into pattern, in this case characters from the film Finding Dory, and then add water.

Just 'adding water' is one of those magical things we remember from our childhoods, and Aquabads really nail it with this product. The beads, set into the shape in the included bead tray, then stick together, allowing the entire shape to be removed. It is a really simple operation, and the results are great. Fans of craft, and of Finding Dory, will cherish it. And, you know, once they've completed the included patterns they could go 'off book' and make something suitably mental. Because kids are metal. Seriously.


AR Wonder Dinosaur DNA

If your kids are looking for a craft project with more... bite... they might like to try the AR Wonder Dinosaur DNA kits. These sets, which include a T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops (which is what we were sent) versions, are a two-fold activity. First the intrepid adventurer has to physically unearth a dinosaur skeleton from a solid block of plaster (tools), then extract the creature's DNA.

Fortunately a Masters in Palaeontology is not required, as the DNA is actually a QR code which can be scanned by the accompanying app. Once done, marvel at a huge augmented reality version of the dinosaur itself, which will swish and stomp and roar its way around your bedroom. As well as learning facts and stats about the particular beasts, kids will really enjoy the process of uncovering the bones and DNA, and then 'seeing' it come to life.


Visit www.ryman.co.uk

Haynes Build Your Own Drone manual

This probably isn't something younger kids will relish (unless they are completely awesome), but teenagers who love to tinker, and dads who are keen to take up a new hobby, will. The manual from Haynes features just about everything you need to know to build your own drone and UAV, complete with a full lowdown about what drones are and also the fundamentals of flight.

(Click to expand)

If you're looking for a quick fix drone like a DJI Phantom, this isn't your manual (because you don't really need one other than one that says 'switch on drone'), but if you are looking to create your own racing quad, or even something to work with a profession like farming and surveying, this will help. As ever with Haynes manual, the book is well laid out with hundreds of full-colour images and step-by-step instructions. Because of it, we're seriously considering attempting to put something together for ourselves. Watch this space.


Visit haynes.com

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