WowWee’s Miposaur may be from the Mesozoic Era, but he’s very 21st century when he plays fetch, reacts to gestures and “feels” curious, excited or annoyed. Control the dino-robot with your gestures, its TrackBall or a phone app. He can also do battle with compatible robotic toys. $110.
Build A Buddy
Great for parents and children to build together, a Meccanoid G15KS from Meccano can resemble a 4-foot-tall human or it can take other shapes. The adaptable robot will perform programmed movements, respond to voice commands or mirror your moves through a Bluetooth app. $400.
Kids can bring their coloring pages to life using Crayola’s Color Alive kits with a tablet or smartphone. Favorite characters, such as Minions, Barbie and Skylanders, are transformed by motion and sound on compatible smart devices, with a boost from the included special-effects crayon. Comes with six additional crayons, 16 coloring pages and a free app download to activate the magic. $6 each; compatible with iOS, Android and Windows devices.
Musicians can transform ideas into melodies quickly with an MPK Mini Mk2 Compact Keyboard and Pad Controller. The mobile device is ideal for traveling musicians and desktop producers, so they can record, compose and perform with just a single USB connection. $100.
Make It Snappy
Choose the road adventures you like best with VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels snap-together playsets—interactive vehicle tracks for ages 1 to 5. Each set, be it a speedway, a train station, an amusement park or other locale, features music, lights and phrases and can connect to compatible playsets. Set prices vary.
In The Loop
With three power levels at their control, new drivers can compete against old pros as they navigate loops, straightaways and crisscrossing tracks on the AFX Giant Raceway. Just 4 feet by 8 feet of floor space allows for 62.5 feet of track. $270, includes track, two HO-scale slot cars, controllers and digital lap counter.
Sweetening the kitty
A trainable cat? It’s been “purrfected” with Zoomer Kitty, an interactive feline that can play, perform tricks, pounce and cuddle, complete with purrs that can be heard and felt. Her technology lets her follow your movements and respond to petting. $80.
Today’s View-Masters show so much more than still photos. Mattel’s latest offers a Virtual Reality Starter Pack, which works with Google Cardboard to open views into 360-degree environments—outer space, under the sea, foreign countries and more. The interactive experience includes videos, fun facts and mini games. $30 for starter pack; compatible smartphone and free downloadable app required.
Becky Billingsley is a freelance writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C. Her monthly column also appears in South Carolina Living, the statewide electric co-op magazine of the Palmetto state. Product inclusion on this page does not imply endorsement; product availability and prices are subject to change.