In Lego’s darkest days during the late 1990s, Mindstorms was a bright light that helped reinvigorate the brand. It’s been much quieter of late; but after seven years of silence, Mindstorms is blasting back with Lego Mindstorms Robot Inventor (£329.99). Available this autumn, the 949-piece kit combines Lego with robotic and coding elements. Instructions are provided for five robots, including Blast (stoic action hero that hammers through obstacles and grabs items) Gelo (trick-obsessed four-legged critter), and Charlie (quirky dancing ’bot who loves playing the drums and dishing out high fives). Because this is Lego, you can of course rip everything to bits and use the mix of plastic bricks, motors, sensors, app and Scratch/Python to craft custom devices for the home, or oddball robot creations to terrorise your local neighbourhood. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait seven more years for the follow-up.