10 New Tech Toys of 2015

 September 23, 2015
Posted by jenn

1. ThinkFun Compose Yourself
(Pre-order available, ages 6+, $14.99)
Created by composer and cellist, Phillip Sheppard, this toy helps children compose their own music. How? It includes 60 transparent music cards that kids can combine to create different sounds. Your mini maestro can then use a computer program to hear their tune played by famous musicians. Or they can print out their composition and play it themselves. Watch the video below to see Sheppard explain how he came up with this cool idea.

2. Wowwee R.E.V
(Available in Fall 2015, ages 8+, $99.99 for two cars)
Have a little race car fan? Then you’ll want to check out the sleek Robotic Enhance Vehicles (R.E.V. for short) from Wowwee, the company that brought you 2014’s Toy of the Year MiP.

Each kit comes with two cars that can be controlled with a smartphone. And kids can race against A.I. (artificial intelligence) or their friends. Bonus: There are multiple game modes and it includes fun accessories like a ramp where kids can launch their vehicle off and unlock hidden gems.

3. HexBug VEX Robotics Age of Innovation Machines
(Available now, Ages 8+, prices vary by kit)
At last year’s Toy Fair, we thought the VEX IQ starter kit was pretty awesome. But Hexbug is back with an even cooler addition — the Vex Robotics, Age of Invention Machines collection. Designed to spark STEM-learning, it includes gears and hinges that can be used to build pint-size machines. There’s the Zeotrope, which turns pictures into a movie scene, and my favorite, the Orbit, which depicts the orbit of the Earth around the sun and the moon around the Earth.


4. Cubelets With Lego Pieces
(Available now, ages 4+, $159.95 for the Cubelets Six Kit)
Our kid testers loved playing with these Modular Robotics last year. I can only imagine what their reaction will be when they find out they can now attach their favorite LEGO pieces to them. Even better: They can make their creations come to life and program them to perform actions!

5. Makey Makey
(Available now, ages 8+, $69.95)
Your kid lost his Nintendo game controller? No problem. With this easy-to-use kit, he can make a new one with playdoh, lead from a pencil, bananas or apples. How, you ask? He just has to connect the object he wants to use as his command button to the controller board, program the board to associate that object with a button on the keyboard, then make a connection between the object and the board. The computer will think that he actually typed a key. This genius game is for the kid with boundless creativity.


6. Anki Overdrive
(Available in September 2015, $150)
If you mixed Mario Kart and Hot wheels, you’d get this cool racing game. Controlled with a smartphone, the cars communicate with the race track, so they don’t fly off the track during the race. The set comes with two cars and 10 track pieces that magnetically attach to each other. Cool feature: The tracks are flexible enough for kids to build up, as well as out. Buy enough pieces and your kid can make the Mega track that was at the 2015 Toy Fair!

7. CogniToys Dino Toy
(Available in November 2015, ages 4 to 7, $99)
Similar to the new Hello Barbie (which also debuted at this year’s Toy Fair), this talking Dino can intelligently interact with kids. Created by a small start-up company via a Kickstarter campaign, the doll can answer a kid’s questions and remember specific details about their conversation by storing data in a cloud. And while there is some fear that this info could be hacked, these toys could open up a new avenue to develop speech in kids with autism or speech impediments. Do the benefits outweigh the inherent risks? My guess is most definitely. The Dino is available for preorder now.

8. Puzzlets
(Available in September 2015, ages 6 to 96, $99.99)
Imagine you’re learning chemistry and you can actually see how two chemical structures bond together. That’s the premise of Puzzlets, which is designed to teach kids STEM concepts like algorithm efficiency and basic chemistry principles through fun interactive, virtual to physical play. In the main game, kids have to plan out their moves, set it up on the physical boards, and execute each command by tapping on the screen to navigate their Dino friend around his world. Future expansion sets will teach children about chemical reactions, counting, biology, and much more.

9. ChronoBomb
(Available in June 2015, Ages 7+, $25)
What kid doesn’t want to be a laser dodging secret agent? Originally released in France, ChronoBomb is now coming to the U.S. market. As fast as they can, kids have to navigate their own laser obstacle course (it’s actually colored string!) to defuse a make believe bomb. Players automatically lose time on the clock every time they bump the string.

10. Spin Master Air Hogs Shadow Launcher
(Available in Fall 2015, Ages 8+, $39.99)
A 2-in-1 RC car and helicopter, the car’s roof opens up to launch the copter into the air. What’s cooler than that?

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(taken from Good Housekeeping)