It’s a sign of the times that manufacturers have started producing sophisticated, app-enabled toy robots that can interact with people, play games, learn tricks and make facial expressions. There are even programmable robots for toddlers on the market. This Christmas, the range of robots for kids includes advanced, interactive characters and many of them are topping wish lists and Santa letters all over the UK. Below are some of the most popular robots for Christmas 2017. Robots are not the cheapest of gifts so it is well worth shopping around and comparing prices online to find the best deal.
Cozmo the Robot is an interactive, game-playing fellow that comes with in-built activities like Keepaway, QuickTap and Power Cubes. He enjoys exploring his surroundings and hanging out with anyone who happens to be around. Cozmo comes with a rechargeable battery, which is very handy. Prices for Cozmo start at about £180.
WoWee Chip the Dog also goes by the search term ‘robot dog toy’ but, rather than being an overpriced plaything for your puppy, he’s actually a robot dog for humans aged 6 and above. He comes with a smartball that he loves to play with and he can perform general dog tasks such as fetch, follow someone on a walk and bark. Chip the Dog is a pricey robot and will set you back around £120 or more. The Teksta robot dogs from Character Options are worth checking out as a cheaper alternative.
The App-enabled BB-8 robot from Sphero was a huge hit last Christmas. It is a solidly-built replica of BB-8 from Star Wars that can zip around the floor, controlled via an app on your phone. This year, Sphero continued the Droid series and released Sphero BB-9. Again, this is an app-controlled toy robot. An absolute top gift for Star Wars fans.
The infamous Hatchimals also fall under the category of toy robots. Suitable for ages 5 and up, the Hatchimals Surprise set was released just in time for Christmas 2017. This set has twin Hatchimals in need of some TLC before they will hatch from their eggs and look for someone to play with.
I.T. is a lucrative industry these days. Start the kids young and get them coding with the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar, recommended for ages 3 and up. This robot toy encourages problem-solving and planning skills. Modelled on a caterpillar, each segment of the Code-a-Pillar performs a different function, so combining the pieces in various combinations will make the robot move or light up differently.
Once little ones have mastered the Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar, they can move on to Teach ‘N Tag Movi, a programmable robot, also from Fisher Price. Measuring a sizable 33 cm in height, Movi can play games and encourages kids to move around with games like “Movi Says” and “Red Light, Green Light”. Teach ‘N Tag Movi is also recommended for ages 3 and up.
For children aged 10 and up, the robot kit Meccano Meccanoid is a challenging and educational toy. This robot requires about 10 hours of building time and will teach kids about mechanics and construction. Once built, Meccano Meccanoid measures a huge 122 cm in height, has motorised feet and articulating limbs. He comes with 3,000 pre-programmed phrases, can tell stories and quiz kids with trivia.
As with all electronics, batteries are essential for most toy robots and it is worth stocking up to avoid disappointment on Christmas day. Most of these toys will come with in-store batteries included, though these tend not to have a very long shelf life so it is best to have a spare set to hand.
And finally, it is not unusual for these kinds of toys to sell out in the run-up to Christmas. If you are having trouble finding a particular product on the high street or online, it may be worth checking online shops in other European countries. Have a look at our Christmas Shopping Hack post for more details. Some toys may even be a bit cheaper for UK shoppers if purchased from mainland Europe.