Newshub's definitive Christmas gift guide: The best tech toys this Christmas

Newshub's definitive Christmas gift guide: The best tech toys this Christmas
Photo credit: Newshub

With December underway and everyone beginning to panic about what to do buy their loved ones, do not fear! In this new series, Newshub has put together a definitive list of pressie ideas - from the budget to the bougie - to help you on your way.

With Christmas almost here, many parents will be frantically combing the toy aisles but finding the right gadget gift can be tricker than it looks.

Here are a few tech toys that are worth considering:

For those who love robots there are plenty of options this year and there are one or two that will happily keep the whole family entertained.  Vector is such a robot. It's the big brother of last year’s hot toy, Cozmo, but so much smarter.

All the actions and processing are done by the robot itself with no need to connect to a mobile. I had a quick play and was impressed at how intelligent it is.  It can map environments and remember locations of objects, it responds to touch and it can take a picture and frame the shot by recognising the faces in it.

Through its ‘Ask Vector’ feature it’s able to answer all sorts of questions, a bit like a smart speaker can. Watch out Alexa and Siri. Vector, available from places Harvey Norman,  is coming for your living rooms. Because it's so smart, it's also expensive. $499 from places like JBHi-Fi.

Sphero Mini would also be fun for the whole family and would set you back about $89 for places like Harvey Norman. The size of ping pong ball, you can control it with different modes in the Sphero Mini app, or you can just use your face thanks to a new feature called Face Drive. This uses your facial expressions to steer the ball.

Sphero Mini packs tons of fun into a tiny, app-enabled robot about the size of a ping pong ball.
Sphero Mini packs tons of fun into a tiny, app-enabled robot about the size of a ping pong ball. Photo credit: Supplied

For those who like creepy crawlies, the Hexbug assortment of mechanical creatures can entertain children for hours. Each robotic microcreate has its own behaviour and unique characteristics and react to sounds and obstacles. You can find them at Noel Leeming.

For little ones who are desperate for a pet, a robotic version might be just the answer they need. The FurReal Munchin' Rex has more than 35 sound-and-motion combinations. You'd better be quick though. Many places have sold out. Farmers still have some in stores for $59.99

Another fun one to consider is the high-tech, high energy Zoomer Playful Pup, who can perform more than 25 tricks including shaking a paw and, much to the amusement of the kids watching a recent shop demonstration, lift its leg to pee. Toyworld have it for $249.99

You don't have to spend a lot for kids to have fun.  Fingerlings, a bestseller from last year, returns with a new ferocious beast in the mix. It'll be friendly or fierce and it will also fart.  Of course it does. That'll make it a winner!

You could weave a little magic at home this Christmas by teaching your kids to code while; still having fun with the Harry Potter Wand kit from Kano. 

The wand features a gyroscope to measure orientation and an accelerometer to measure speed. Kids can swish their way through 70 challenges and games, making feathers fly, fire flow and pumpkins grow, learning as they go.

The kit is available online from Apple priced at $169.95.

The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit gives you the power to build your own wand and learn to code with more than 70 creative challenge.
The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit gives you the power to build your own wand and learn to code with more than 70 creative challenge. Photo credit: Supplied

For the future globe trotter, the Neobear Globe uses AR technology on a smartphone to generate 3D images and gives kids a better understanding of countries, landmarks and animals around the world. It costs $69.99 from Noel Leeming.

Keen to force your offspring off the couch and into the wild world outdoors?  There's always one oversized gadget to consider. The electric scooter is topping many kids’ wish lists around the world. Kmart is just one of several retailers stocking one. It has one for $169.

Electric scooters are all the rage at the moment and there are some reasonably priced ones to be found such as this one from Kmart.
Electric scooters are all the rage at the moment and there are some reasonably priced ones to be found such as this one from Kmart. Photo credit: Supplied

Drones are flying out of stores this festive season with PB Tech reporting sky high interest in the Hubsan RC Quadcopter for a very affordable $65 and the DJI Tello Drone for $169. Both are easy to use but the latter can be programmed and controlled with your phone.

THe DJI Tello Drone  is easy for kids and teenagers to operate.
THe DJI Tello Drone is easy for kids and teenagers to operate. Photo credit: Supplied

At retailers such as the Warehouse, you’ll be able to get your kids the Air Hogs Supernova, an gravity-defying orb that can be launched, pushed and spun with just the power of hands.  No remote control or touching needed. It costs about $69.

Look no hands!  The Air Hogs Super Nova is a very clever orb.
Look no hands! The Air Hogs Super Nova is a very clever orb. Photo credit: Supplied

Finally, it's not very PC but game involving games with guns are unlikely to wane in popularity and the most popular this Christmas will undoubtedly be the Nerf Laser Ops Pro Blaster. Check out various deals at retailers but it looks like a pack will cost around $50.

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It's an updated version of laser tag. Kids can also download an app and keep scores of previous games.

The kids will love it and it might also be one for mums to crack out at the Christmas family barbeque when the relatives might be getting too much!

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