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30 April 2020

FEATURE: Toys to keep the kids entertained in Lockdown


Quarantine fun

With the lockdown continuing, and with schools in most countries still closed, we can only assume the parents of the world are going crazy. Having your kids around more is great in many ways... and hell in others. So, to ensure the kiddies of the planet Earth have something to do other than watching Netflix, we've compiled a list of new toys and gadgets to consider as a distracting treat.



Zigzag Puzzler

Zigzag Puzzler

This small, handy puzzle from Smart Games has become rather addictive at Test Pit Towers. Imagine a game of Tetris, but 3-D and with it's own carry case. The single player (refreshing to get a single player game - Billy No-mates rejoice) has to arrange the playing pieces to make a certain shape - either a flat zigzag pattern, or a more challenging pyramid. Fun enough to keep kids entertained, while also challenge enough to keep the adults coming back, the Zigzag Puzzler is a hit.

Zigzag Puzzler


£12.99

Visit smarttoysandgames.co.uk


Greedy Granny

Greedy Granny

Remember Buckaroo? Well, prepare the old lady/biscuit version of that! Kids must sneak a biscuit off sleepy granny's lap without waking her. If they do, she jumps up, flings her arms out, and her teeth pop out. Gross, eh? Spin the spinner, nab a biscuit, then press the button the number of times indicated by your spin. If you're unlucky, she'll wake up... and then the bloodshed begins. Not really. Great fun for young and old, this game will keep the tiddlers happy for hours.

Greedy Granny


£16.99

Available from www.amazon.co.uk


Hexbug Nano Space Discovery Station

Hexbug Nano Space Discovery Station

Big fans of all that Hexbug does, we were pleased as punch to be sent their Nano Space Discovery Station play set. Featuring two of their battery-powered, vibrating nanobots - those crazy little things that vibrate and crawl around - as well a tonne of accessories and terrain, this is an immersive toy. Set up the station in different configurations, and let the bugs go, crawling around in their clip-on space suits and pushing the rover around. Great fun, lots of possibilities for creative play, and very cool tech.

https://www.thetestpit.com/search?q=hexbug


£22.99

Available from www.amazon.co.uk


Articulate for Kids

Articulate for Kids

The legendary board game for adults is now back in a kid-friendly version. You've probably played it yourself at some point in the past, but now the game of description features modified gaming cards, designed for children aged 6 to 12. Pick one of the 366 new cards and get started. Kids will have to describe what's written there, not using the old 'sounds like' or 'begins with' cop outs. Great for a quick game for between two to four players, Articulate for Kids is a worthy addition the family's game cupboard.

Articulate for Kids


£25

Available from www.argos.co.uk




Kidnoculars Extreme

Kidnoculars Extreme

Ever had your kids ask to see something in the distance more clearly? Be it a bird in a tree, a face in the crowd, or a flashy sports car racing along, the Kidnoculars Extreme can help. As you might have guessed from the name, these are binoculars designed for kids... with an added extra than grown-up spy glasses would benefit from. As well as 3x magnification, the 'noculars feature a directional microphone and ear pieces, allowing the kids to hear what they can see. Great for nature explorations, as well as spying on the neighbours (tee hee), these are fun, colourful and easy to use.

Kidnoculars Extreme


£19.49

Available from www.amazon.co.uk


Playmobil Novelmore

Playmobil Novelmore

Massive toy brand Playmobil has launched a new set, one that will be familiar to fans of Game of Thrones and The Witcher. Novelmore is their new line of toys set in a magical, mystical world of swords and sorcery. There are new characters, new sets, and new ways to play. Plyamobil were kind enough to send us a few of the new sets, including the massive Wolfhaven Castle with four figures and a whopping 374 pieces.

Playmobil Novelmore

Features include working crossbows and catapults, breakaway wall sections, a drawbridge and hidden traps. Huge battle scenes can be recreated on this beefy set, and it is definitely one of the most impressive Playmobil offerings we've ever reviewed. There are smaller sets available too, and also individual character and weapon packs. Parents be warned: yes, your kids will be engrossed for months, but something tells us they'll want more and more and (Novel)more of the Novelmore sets. Bank balance at the ready.

Wolfhaven Castle £155
Other sets £2.50 - £139.99

Visit www.playmobil.co.uk


Haynes Machine Works V8 Engine AR

Haynes Machine Works V8 Engine AR

Prepare for another beast of a product. Better known for producing instructional technical manuals (both real-world and fictional), Haynes have branched out into the model making biz with this mammoth V8 Engine kit. Using the 250 included parts, follow the instructions to build your own working engine, complete with transparent casing to see all the parts pumping away. Thankfully petrol won't be needed to make it work. Included also is AR functionality, allowing STEAM-happy kids to use an app to learn more about how and why the engine works, and see it in different environments. A challenging and technical build, this is recommended for kids over 10, but even we grown-ups found it a challenge. We're not the brightest bunch, however. So to fire the brains of your grease-monkey kids, fire up those pistons.

Haynes Machine Works V8 Engine AR


£50

Available from www.amazon.co.uk


UKick

UKick

Here's a great new pocket-money toy, one to keep the kids healthy and active in the back garden. The UKick from Wicked (see this video for a review we did of one of their boomerangs - complete with comments of 'you're doing it wrong!') is a shuttlecock-like toy that is designed for a good old game of keepy-uppy. Unlike a ball, which will fall far faster, making it harder to practice with, the UKick 'floats' down, thanks to the inserted feathers. Kids can therefore kick it up and around, doing tricks, and generally being active. Which is tough, in these locked-down days. Great fun, addictive to perfect, this is another winner from Wicked.

UKick


£8

Visit ukick.co.uk


Gravitrax

Gravitrax

Marble runs are fun, period. If you've ever built one, with an official set or not, you'll know that setting up the track and letting the marble run is extremely good fun. Now Ravensburger have come along with a new marble run series of sets, Gravitrax. Using various plastic track pieces and metal balls, the Gravitrax sets are designed to challenge young minds to build complex, involved runs and then challenge friends to see whose ball will reach the end first. So many possibilities are presented here, and the Starter Set we were sent contains over 100 parts. It comes with an instruction manual with ideas of tracks to build, but also allows for free-form building and racing. It kept our kids happy for hours, and continues to, so check it out.

Gravitrax


Starter Set £39.99

Available from www.amazon.co.uk



Two-player Retro Arcade Machine

Two-player Retro Arcade Machine

Yes, it possesses a screen, but this damn cute thing definitely deserves some consideration. Unlike most retro gaming machines you can buy to plug into your TV, this one features two wireless controllers, offering both one and two player games. You'll find 300 games on this thing, around 90 of which are good for two. The 4.3 inch screen is bright and clear, and the controls are neatly responsive. You can hook it up to your telly with the included AV cable, or just play on the screen, like a giant at an '80s arcade. Great fun, hundreds of games, and enjoyable for all the family.

Two-player Retro Arcade Machine


£39.95

Visit www.prezzybox.com




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