Anki is one of the biggest names in electronic toys right now, and for good reason; it's one of the few companies that has brought robotics to kids. This all started with its 2014 introduction of "Anki Drive," a more modern take on slot car racing that added weapons and artificial intelligence. "OVERDRIVE" was released in 2015 as a successor to Drive, and proved to be a market success. After all, it's the first Anki product I'd ever heard of.
Now, Anki has released a Fast & Furious edition of OVERDRIVE, which throws Dom Toretto's crew and cars into the mix.
When I was young, I absolutely loved toy robots. I remember having a particular fascination for toys from WowWee, like the 'Robosapien' and the 'Roboraptor.' I managed to convince my parents one year to get the Roboraptor for my birthday, which I still own to this day. It was pretty basic by today's standards (the most advanced part of it was the IR sensor), but it was awesome at the time.
A few years later, I got my hands on the second-generation LEGO Mindstorms NXT. It was a robotics kit with pieces like IR sensors and motors, but it used LEGO's standard 'Technic' pieces.
Sphero's BB-8 remote control toy was a massive hit when it was released in 2015, partially because it was a great product, but also because the hype machine for The Force Awakens was at full speed. Now that another main series Star Wars film is on the way, it only makes sense that Disney would again partner with Sphero. Except this time, there are two of them.
Cozmo, which is unfortunately unrelated to Cozmo Kramer, is a fairly popular interactive toy robot. It can stack tiny blocks, play games, and be controlled like a typical RC car. If you've been waiting to try it out, you can now buy Cozmo off Amazon for $152.99, a $27 reduction from the usual price.
Sphero's tiny, motorized BB-8 droid (based on the company's well-known ball robot design) was the Star Wars toy to have when Episode VII hit theaters last year. It's become less of a hot commodity since then, but Sphero keeps adding new things to do with the toy, and now you can actually find it on store shelves. The miniature astromech was just a little past the impulse buy range at $150 retail, though it looks like most retailers have taken it down to $130 or so. Today Amazon has the toy for even less.
Dead Zebra's long-running line of themed Android figures is expanding by three next week. The latest figures use the now-iconic shape of the Android mascot, but bear cartoon likenesses of three of the biggest names in scientific history: Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Nikola Tesla. They'll go on sale in the Dead Zebra shop starting on Monday, April 20th at 11AM Eastern time (8AM Pacific). Each one will cost $10.
When OnePlus staff member David S. said that the tiny phone manufacturer would release a drone called the DR-1, our BS-o-meter shot past the "nope" point in under two seconds. As many of you guessed, the OnePlus drone is indeed an April Fool's Day joke. But apparently the company is taking a page out of Think Geek's playbook: in addition to being a mildly amusing misdirection, the DR-1 drone will also be available for purchase.
The promotional website is vague and mostly unhelpful... which is either a surprisingly self-aware critique of itself on the part of OnePlus, or simply an application of their previous marketing to a kinda-sorta fake product.
The currently-available Anki Drive series of toys are undeniably cool, allowing players to drive tiny remote controlled cars along real tracks with their smartphones while the app keeps track of video game-inspired additions like weapons and power-ups. The next iteration of the toy, Anki Overdrive, is set to take things to the next level when it debuts this fall. The most visible addition is the new piece-by-piece track system, including risers for overpasses and jumps, walls for faster banks, and a modular design that allows for near-infinite expansion. It's a mixture of classic Hot Wheels tracks and modern electronics.
When you begin a new game of Anki Overdrive, the miniature cars will drive themselves around the track, learning the layout and any special sections for themselves.
Android aviation enthusiasts, you've got a rare opportunity to get a sweet discount on a refurbished model of Parrot's full-sized AR Drone today. The 2.0 edition of the quadcopter that uses your phone or tablet as a controller is just $169.99 on Woot's Sellout mini-site, a full $130 off of the retail price. The deal is open for the rest of the day, until midnight Central US time, or until they run out of magical flying robots.
The AR Drone has quickly become a favorite among amateurs and enthusiasts thanks to its easy setup, piloting, and remote camera view. The 2.0 edition of the toy uses a 720p onboard camera and an expanded battery compared with the original, though the ~10-minute runtime is bested by the slightly newer Elite Edition.
Don't try too hard to pitch a product. When I first came across Toymail, I thought it seemed amusing enough. Here's the concept - people (preferably parents, siblings, or friends) speak a message into an app, and that message then comes out of a kid's toy in a weird voice. There's potential for fun here. Sure, I see it. I've been a kid before.
But then I watched the promotional video.
Like many tech trailers, this ad isn't content to tell you that the product is silly and that kids will love it regardless. Instead, it must demonstrate how this device will single-handedly enrich peoples' quality of life by bringing them closer together to the kids they love.