There’s a time to put away childish things, and there’s a time to pick them back up again by using the excuse, “Well, it’s a technical marvel and not really a toy.” Here are five of the finest funtime gadgets on the planet.
Parrot AR.Drone £330
A quad-bladed helicopter that you control using an iPhone? And that has a built-in camera to give you a live view of what it’s “seeing”? Where do we sign up? Undoubtedly one of the coolest remote control gizmos in existence – and it even lets you play Augmented Reality games by overlaying enemy craft on your iPhone’s screen.
It was acceptable in the 80s and it’s acceptable now: this six-wheeled classic has been re-issued for the 21st century and it’s sure to bring a nostalgic tear to your eye. Programme the Big Trak and it’ll obey up to 16 linked commands to the letter, driving, turning and firing its “photons” (blue LED lights). You might want to see how Stuff treats its Bigtrak.
Angry Birds Plush £10
Nothing says “I am a geek and proud of that fact” like displaying cuddly toys depicting mobile phone gaming characters on your shelves. These stuffed representations of Angry Birds’ iconic cast won’t knock down a wooden structure – but you can catapult one into your girlfriend’s face without fear.
Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 £235
Keep telling yourself it’s not just playing with Lego blocks, it’s nothing less than robotic construction. This 600-odd piece kit features all the necessary bits to put together a near-limitless number of brick-built androids, and once you’ve done so you can programme them to do your evil bidding.
Yike Bike £2995
The 10kg foldable electric bike manages to be both fun and practical, as it’s small enough to slip under you desk during the work day and speedy enough to get you home before midnight. A worthy modern take on the penny farthing – but much zippier.