Clearly you could argue that everything at the International Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is a toy…for big kids with lots of disposal income, but today we focus on true toys for kids. While the focus of CES is clearly on grownups (make sure to see our post on the 33 Best Gadgets for Parents), we still managed to find 9 cool toys for the kids…
1. WowWee MiP, Your Self Balancing Robot Friend
What child does not want a robot friend? A robot friend that has personality, self balances on two wheels and responds to hand gestures??? Even better! The WowWee MiP ($119, available Spring 2014) is a fun little robot from WowWee that kids are going to love. Play games with MiP, control him with hand gestures or an app, watch MiP dance – this robot seems to have all the right moves.
Here is a quick video we shot of MiP at CES2014 -
2. Parrot Mini Drone
Parrot is one of those interesting companies that makes standard stuff for your car…oh and some of the coolest flying toys on the planet. The Parrot AR Drone is cool enough, but this year Parrot teased us with the Parrot Mini Drone and Parrot Jumping Sumo (more on that below). Just watch the video we shot of these Mini Drones doing a dance –
We say teased because no pricing or release date was given. The Mini Drone looked stable and uber fun. You can also attach two large rings to its side and then roll off walls, the ceiling or the ground. Where was this toy when I was a kid?
3. Parrot Jumping Sumo
Half robot, half insect and 100% fun! The Parrot Jumping Sumo is sort of like a RC car, in that you use your smartphone or tablet to drive it around…but can an RC car jump 2.5 feet into the air? Yes, the Jumping Sumo jumps, spins and beams video back to your smartphone or tablet. See the video above to see the Jumping Sumo dancing with the Mini Drones. We want it, but who knows when we will get it – no release date and no price.
4. VEX IQ Robotic Super Kit
Hey kids, frustrated by all these cool robots from CES 2014 that are “coming soon”? Take matters into your own hands and build your own robots with the VEX IQ Super Kit ($299). Normally when you mention build your own robot, Lego Mindstorms come to mind, but the VEX IQ kit is cheaper, has many more parts, comes with all the educational material and in our opinion is a better and more fun way to build awesome robots. Get your kids this kit and maybe in a few years they will be displaying their awesome creations at CES!
5. Sphero 2B
The hardest thing to do with the Sphero 2B is to try to explain it. It is a cylinder, that can be customized, rolls really fast, does tricks and is all controlled via your phone. Makes sense, no? Here, take a look at the video we shot at CES 2014, it will make a little more sense –
The Sphero 2B may be hard to explain, but once you play with it you know one thing for sure – it is fun! Sphero 2B will be available Fall 2014 for $99.
6. Tyche Smartphone Robot Car
There have been a number of toys that use your smartphone as their brain, but the Tyche Smartphone Robot Car (price and release date TBD) takes things to a whole new level. The demo we saw was pretty impressive. You ask the car “Is Mommy in the kitchen?” The car then drives into the kitchen (which it knows because of its mapping), scans the room for Mommy (which it knows because of its face recognition technology) and then drives back to you and let’s you know if Mommy was indeed in the kitchen. Tons of other cool tech in this toy – things like voice printing so it will only respond to one “master”. Wild, futuristic stuff!
7. MOSS Robot Construction System
Like the idea of the VEX IQ Robot Kit, but looking for a simpler way to get into the robot game? Take a look at the MOSS Robot System ($149 basic, $399 advanced, available April 2014). Build your own robots with MOSS by simply snapping pieces together. The intuitive, fun and kinematic robot construction system requires no coding and no tangled wires. You have to love the power of magnets!
8. Anki Drive Starter Pack
It’s a race car, it’s a slot car, it’s a video game, it’s a robot…It Is Anki Drive ($199 – starter kit). Anki Drive is not your standard iPhone controlled race car. Instead this is battle racing for the real world. You are not really steering the cars with your iPhone, you are giving the self driving cars powers and features. The price tag is a little steep, but Anki Drive shows that robots, cars and technology can definitely equal fun.
Finally we leave you with an app that is just mindless fun. YAKiT (Free App) by Freak’n Genius (best named company ever) takes your photos and makes them talk. Take your cat, your dog, your bacon – do a couple of clicks in the app – then whatever you say, your photo will come to life and say as well. You need to see this to understand –
There you have it – 9 awesome toys from CES 2014. Want more toys? Fear not, in February we will head to NYC for the International Toy Fair. Now go play and have fun!