If you’re on the lookout for the best toys around to give your kids (and inner kid, let’s be honest) endless fun, we’ve tested and put together a cracking list of wild and wacky gizmos and games that could turn even the grumpiest kill-joy.
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Children’s toys have come a long way since the old days when us grown-ups were content with just a cardboard box and our imaginations. Now, if you want to play with the walking, talking robot of your dreams, the chances are it’s sitting on a shelf in your local toy shop just waiting to be switched on.
Whether you want a brain-teasing game keep the whole family happy, a futuristic robot dog for your animal-loving child, or simply the latest Nerf gun to blast the living daylights out of your nearest and dearest, this list of the best toys currently available should have at least one toy you won’t be able to say no to.
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10 of 16
- Price: £25.00
- Best for: Family play
Although there will be occasions over the festive period where family gatherings take their toll, with the right board game – one that isn’t based on property trading – harmony can once again be restored. Camel Up combines the comic elements of a madcap camel race and the competitive thrill of a flutter on the gee-gees. Up to eight players follow five wooden camels as they race around the pyramid, while attempting to place bets on which animal will complete the course first and last to accumulate money along the way.
NERF Nitro MotoFury Rapid Rally
11 of 16
- Price: £49.99
- Best for: Lounge-bound Evel Knievels
Using the same flywheel tech that powers NERF’s rapid-fire blasters, the MotoFury pops out tiny foam cars instead of darts. Why? Well… Dunno. But it’s fun.
This set features a pair of ramps for firing the cars at, as well as obstacles to shoot them into or over. Just think how much more fun a domino rally will be if it starts with a tiny automobile hurtling off a ramp, over some miniature tyre stacks and into that first domino. Nice.
At the time of the review the Nerf Nitro MotoFury Rapid Rally was available for £49.99
Meccano Thunderbirds 2
12 of 16
- Price: £79.99
- Best for: Retro fans
This is one very impressive piece of Thunderbirds kit once the 654 parts are brought together. The most iconic of all the craft used by the International Rescue crew, this build comes with detachable pod and mole device. It may not be the most complicated of builds, but for the uninitiated, the Meccano process is an entirely different proposition to clicking together those Danish bricks. More akin to an engineering project, the metal plates are tooled together to create a satisfying and display-shelf worthy piece.
At time of review the Meccano Thunderbirds 2 was available for £79.99
Hatchimals and Hatchimals Suprise
15 of 16
Hatchimals were the hot toy last Christmas, but they’ve made a strong return for 2017 with Hatchimals Surprise. Spoiler alert: the surprise is that there are two of the cute little blighters in a single egg.
If you’ve not experienced a Hatchimal awakening then it really is a treat. I had a dozen people aged between 2 and 87 huddled around waiting for the Surprise version to hatch. You need to treat the egg well to get it to crack. It needs to be stroked and rocked gently. Shake it too hard and you can hear the little beasties inside getting sick.
The hatching is mesmerising. It’s like that scene in Jurassic Park, with the realistic eggshell breaking apart for a lively little pet to come out. Once out, the Hatchimals interact with you, and if you treat them well, by stroking them, patting their heads and bopping their noses, they might even sing you a song. They happily chirrup away to each other if left alone too.