'Star Wars' drones top hottest toys for holiday 2015 season
They just don’t make toys like they used to, and that’s a good thing for “Star Wars” fans this holiday season.
Christmas shoppers looking to satisfy the little Jedi in their lives will have plenty of options to choose from this year, including two high-tech drones on the 2015 Hot Toys for the Holidays list, compiled by the Canadian Toy Association.
Drone-maker Sphero is projected to have the “it” toy of the season with its smartphone-controlled BB-8 droid, based on a robot from the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” The fully mobile little drone has a completely spherical body that’s about the size of a baseball, with a dome-shaped head that stays on top of the rolling ball using magnets. BB-8 is controlled using an app available for Android or iOS (smartphone not included), which allows the user to drive it manually or direct it using voice commands. The droid can also be set to patrol mode, which instructs it to wander the house on its own, avoiding obstacles whenever it encounters them.
CTVNews.ca has taken the BB-8 for a test drive, and the smartphone app makes it easy to use and enjoy – especially when you’ve got a pet in the home. The $189.99 price tag (Best Buy only) makes it one of the more expensive toys around, but it’s built to last.
And while BB-8 is a new addition to the “Star Wars” toy universe, another beloved toy from the franchise is getting a high-tech update for 2015. Spin Master’s Millennium Falcon quadcopter lets kids take command of Han Solo’s iconic space ship, using a controller that comes with the $130 toy. The “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” lights up and hovers up to 250 feet away from the user, and is built with impact-resistant foam to endure a crash or two.
Moving beyond the “Star Wars”-branded toys, the Canadian Toy Association is predicting big things for the Kidizoom Action Cam, a GoPro-style mini-camera that retails for about $70. The adjustable, waterproof, highly-durable camera is designed so kids can take photos or videos while doing all kinds of activities, including swimming, skateboarding and mountain-biking. It also comes with built-in learning games, a small LCD screen and a rechargeable battery.
For kids who still have “Frozen” fever, the Canadian Toy Association says Sing-A-Long Elsa will be a hot item this holiday season. Your child can share a microphone with Elsa and sing a duet version of the hit song “Let It Go.” Elsa will sing the whole song, but your child can interject to sing as much or as little of the tune as they want. The toy for ages three-and-up retails for about $60.
In terms of open-ended playsets, the Canadian Toy Association suggests the Playmobile NHL Hockey Theme will be a hit for young hockey fans, while the Yummy Nummies kit will be a popular no-bake evolution from the old Easy-Bake Oven.
The Canadian Toy Association also includes a number of do-it-yourself toys on its holiday list, including a LEGO City spaceport, a build-a-bear-style PlushCraft 3D Puppy, and the Crayola Cling Creator, which allows kids to make their own molded, sticky shapes and creatures.
INFANTS AND PRE-SCHOOLERS
For parents shopping for an infant or pre-schooler that has trouble falling asleep, and staying asleep, the Stay Asleep Buddies hedgehog is an adorable option at a retail price of about $45. The hedgehog helps children develop a sleep routine, using lullabies and a nightlight to help them wake up and fall asleep on a schedule. Motion sensors allow this soft hedgehog to detect when a child is waking up to early, prompting it to “sing” the child back to sleep.
Other recommended toys for this age include the Lil’ Ocean Explorers 3-in-1 Adventure Course, the Caillou School Bus Shape Sorter and the Twilight Buddies Palomino Horse, which projects a night sky in your child’s bedroom.
The Canadian Toy Association’s full list of Hot Toys for the Holidays can be found on their website.