More and more things in our life are connected. Which also means they're running code. Give your kid (or yourself) a fun intro to coding with the Sphero SPRK Edition. Like the regular version, it connects to an app for wireless control. Unlike the normal version, the app allows you to program the robotic ball with simple commands, then see the code behind them. As an added bonus, its casing is clear, so you can see the internal components working and better understand the robotics that carry out your commands.
You no doubt spent hours of your youth playing with Star Wars figurines and playsets, but those you had to move by hand. With these new Star Wars Battle Drones, you can finally watch the Millennium Falcon fly across the sky unencumbered — and at speeds up to 37 mph. Available in four models — the Falcon, the Endor Speeder Bike, an X-Wing, and the TIE Advanced X1 — each quadcopter is hand painted to model-quality and has both lasers and sensors that let you engage your friends in galactic warfare right in your own backyard. They arrive in display boxes worthy of your desk or shelf, and are individually numbered for added collectibility.
Its name suggests that it's a child's toy. The clean, modern design does not. This Marshmallow Crossbow looks more at home in a bookcase than in the toy aisle. Made by hand in Vancouver, it has a wooden shaft and trigger, with a steel bow, 'mallow holder, and release. It shoots up to 60 feet, so it's perfect for the boardroom, and won't make your office or cubicle look like a playplace when it's on the shelf.
Forget sneaking up on your colleagues, hiding behind cubicle walls waiting for the right shot. With the Nerf N-Strike Elite Terrascout Drone Blaster, you can assail your assistants from the comfort of your own desk. This insane toy has a built-in camera with a live video feed that lets you navigate around your home/office while you remain seated, and even aim and fire the built-in turret-style gun. It also records 720p video while it's at it, so you can instantly share the shocked reactions with the rest of the world.
Some Lego vehicle reproductions simply want to recall their inspirations without being overly complex. The Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS looks like it could take off on its own if you could just find a gas pump small enough. Clocking in at 2,704 pieces, this 1:8 scale model was developed with the assistance of Porsche AG and is shockingly realistic. Its brick-based boxer engine has moving pistons, the double-clutch transmission with paddle shifters is fully functional, and the glove box opens just like the real thing, showing off the laser-printed serial number. It comes packaged with a full-color collector's book in a premium black box, with all the major components packed in separate boxes so you get a little added insight into how its real-world counterpart comes together.
Created by seasoned toy maker Mattel, the ThingMaker 3D Printer gives you free reign over your own in-house toy factory. Design your creatures on the ThingMaker Design app or export them straight from the cloud. They'll be wirelessly sent to the printer where it will spit out your custom action figure. A retracting print head and automated door lock make it safe for the kiddos and overly anxious adults. The app is already available at the App Store and Google Play, but you'll have to wait until the fall to get your hands on those TOTY-worthy creations.
Usually, once you've assembled your latest masterpiece, it just collects dust on your shelf or becomes a plastic paper weight. But click in a few Brixo Blocks and get that Lego Back to the Future Time Machine hitting 88 MPH. Powered by a low voltage battery, these building blocks act as electric conductors to create simple circuits that add light, motion, and sound to any structure, without any annoying wires. A chrome coating makes them completely safe for the little ones, in case you decide to share.
Whether you want a trial run at building an adult-size project or just want to make a shelter for your pet bugs, these Mini Materials let you create custom structures with no permits required. The cinder blocks are made from real cement, the bricks are made from real terra cotta, and mortar that's thankfully easier to use than the real stuff. All the materials are 1/12 scale, which is pretty standard for miniature models, and are only limited by your imagination — and dexterity.
Whether you lack the funds to pick up a vintage Land Cruiser or just don't want to risk taking yours out on the trail, the Tamiya RC Toyota Land Cruiser lets you enjoy the offroad prowess of this legendary 4x4 without needing to get behind the wheel. This complex model comes disassembled, and can take a while to build. Doing so gives you a better knowledge of how it works, however, as well as the opportunity to customize it with your choice of transmitter, receiver, and battery, none of which are included in the package.
Lego's Architecture series has thus far done a great job of offering brick-based models of landmark buildings the world over. Now they're taking on entire cities. The Lego Architecture Skyline Collection includes mini-models of some of the most famous buildings in Berlin, New York City, and Venice. Representing the Big Apple are the Flatiron Building, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty, while the German capitol is portrayed via the Reichstag, Victory Column, Deutsche Bahn Tower, Berlin TV Tower and the Brandenburg Gate. Finally, the canals of Venice shine in blue tiles, on which sit Rialto Bridge, St. Mark's Basilica, St. Mark's Campanile, St. Theodore and the Winged Lion of St. Mark, and the Bridge of Sighs. Details are scant, but expect these sets to be on the small size — suitable for desk/shelf display — and to number in the hundreds, not thousands, of pieces.
Pairing a smart design with contrasting materials, the Rawstudio Travel Chess Set overcomes the limits regularly embraced by portable games to create something that's both easily packable and worthy of display at home. Each piece in the set is made from heat-treated and oxidized stainless steel, polished by hand to create the differences in color and designed so that they interlock when stacked. This results in a "tube" that can then be used to house the rollable leather pieces, which alternate the skin and suede sides of the Italian hide to create the black and white squares of the board. Shipped in a wooden presentation box, made using Victorian-era machinery in London.
They're nowhere near as complex as most building toys. And that's entirely the point. Cosmos Magnetic Wooden Blocks use a patented system of neodymium magnets that pop up to snap together much like real-world locking mechanisms. They're available in five sets — shuttle, rocket, satellite, lander, and planet — with a grand total of 28 wooden pieces and 58 connection points among them. An ideal gift for aspiring explorers and space-obsessed big kids alike.
With a sleek design and tons of custom options, McClure's Contempo Shuffleboard Tables are a thing of beauty, but the pro-level gameplay is what really stands out. Crafted entirely by hand, every Contempo table is built in Grand Rapids, Michigan using locally-sourced hard maple for both the playing surface and cabinet. The table is available in models ranging from 9 to 16 feet, and comes with your choice of solid color or two-tone finish to mesh perfectly with your game room, man cave, or office. Every table includes 8 pucks and wax.
You've already got the ECTO-1. Give it a place to park with the LEGO Ghostbusters Firehouse HQ. Measuring over 14" tall, this impressive model includes over 4,600 pieces, and has enough room inside to park the aforementioned wagon. It comes with 9 minifigures, including all four 'Busters from the original film, plus Janine, Dana, Louis, a zombie driver, and the library ghost, three ghost figures, including Slimer, and has a huge number of details, like the alarm bell, jars of slimes, an arcade game, the containment unit, and, of course, the fire pole.
An updated take on the classic game, Edge Dominos is both eco-friendly and visually appealing. Each tile is extruded from a solid block of aluminum, leaving zero waste, then anodized black, with the number patten laser-etched onto the tile to create a lasting finish. The 28-piece set is made entirely in the USA, and ships with in a cotton bag or wooden storage box — but they look so good, you may just want to leave them on display.
If you already feel bogged down by the upcoming Presidential election, with more than a year to go, The Contender might be what you need to keep things light. Following a similar premise as Cards Against Humanity, The Contender has one player act as moderator, while the other players take the roles of candidates during a debate. Candidates are charged with creating the best, funniest argument that supports their position using cards that contain sarcastic and hilarious summaries of actual statements from some previous presidential hopefuls.
iPads and physical activity aren't known for being complimentary. Until now. The Hackaball is a programmable toy that's packed with sensors to let it know when it's being thrown, kicked, bounced, or otherwise moved around. The ball connects to an iPad app that lets you (or your kids) create games using the various sensors to keep track of things, and it has lights, speakers, and a vibration motor to give you feedback while you're playing.
Most of us still haven't outgrown our love for Nerf guns, and the Nerf Rival Zeus Blaster will only feed those nostalgic feelings. First and foremost, it has the ability to shoot 12 high-impact rounds at speeds up to 70mph, that's right, 70mph. And just in case that isn't enough to get your interested, it features an easy to load ambidextrous magazine, flip-up sights, and the ability to rapid fire the whole clip at your target by holding down the acceleration.
Sure, you could build your home designs out of blocks procured from the local toy store. But if you're wanting to get serious about showing off your architect skills, perhaps you should graduate to the Arckit Architectural Model System. This building tool uses a variety of interconnecting components to represent floors, walls, windows, doorways, stairs, roofs, and pretty much any other architectural feature you could imagine, all of which snap together without any glue or tools required. You can also apply textures and finishes like wood, tile, and stone via adhesive sheets, and like any good building system, it's just as easy to rip it apart and start over again.
Yes, it's a toy. But it's also a loving tribute to the last car Enzo Ferrari ever put his seal of approval upon. The Lego Ferrari F40 is a faithful plastic brick reproduction of the late '80s supercar, including details like working pop-up headlights, custom-made molded rim inserts, and a twin-turbo V8 engine that you can remove from the body to admire up close.
Three years ago if you wanted a drone to take high-quality video, you had to shell out tons of cash and rely on a big, bulky flyer. With the Micro Drone 3.0 from Extreme Flyer, you get 720p HD quality video, all attached to one of the smallest drones on the planet. Video can be streamed directly to your smartphone, and works with live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat. And to help you concentrate on getting great footage, this quadcopter is incredibly stable, flying consistently thanks to motion sensors while it soars up to 300ft, through 45mph winds, with a battery life of around 8 minutes per charge.
Whether it's cold, wet, or just too damn hot to be outside, you can take the game under roof with this Indoor Cornhole Set. Designed specifically for indoor use, the boards measure 17 3/4" wide by 24 1/2" long, and are made by hand out of solid American Walnut. The bags are similarly plussed, with American-sourced leather on one side, canvas on the other, and Jolly Time popcorn filling.
Shooting guns at your annoying co-workers and family members isn't acceptable behavior. Shooting them with Elastic Precision Rubber Band Guns is. Handmade in Kansas City from solid hardwoods, these toy shooters are modeled after real guns like Bond's Walther PPK and the MP5 machine gun, come with a supply of rubber bands, and can shoot them distances of up to 30 feet.
It's okay — kids aren't the only ones who like Lego bricks. But when it comes time to display your creations in your office, cubicle, or home, you might want to add a little bit of adult sophistication to the mix. Do exactly that with Lego Carbon Fiber Tiles. Available in packs of 10, these 1x2 tiles are made from 3mm sheets of aerospace grade carbon fiber, manufactured in the USA, and lend a touch of class to any model you add them to, whether it be a serious Architecture model or a double decker couch.
Some of the best time wasters fit snugly into your pocket and we aren't talking about your smartphone. EDC Tops from J.L. Lawson & Co. take a game that has been around for centuries and modernize it with these manually machined pieces. Starting from a solid bar of 7/8" brass or copper, each piece is then manually turned and a tungsten carbide ball is press fit for the tip. A custom leather pouch is also included for storage. Whether it's a relaxing ritual or a competition for the longest spin time, each top is hand made to last for as many spins as you can muster.
If you're a fan of all things remote controlled, or are just fascinated with drone culture and the growing interest surrounding it, the Nano Drone from Morrison Technologies looks like a great way to get started. The world's smallest quadcopter measures 2" across and 3/4" tall and is capable of flying for 5-8 minutes on a single USB charge at a distance up to 150 feet away. Learn how to pilot a drone without the worry of possibly destroying something pricey.
Approved by the World Chess Federation, the FIDE World Chess Championship Set will lend an extra air of legitimacy to your friendly matches. The set was designed by Pentagram vet Daniel Weil, and draws inspiration from both classical Greek architecture and the classic Staunton design. Handmade out of rosewood and maple, the matching board is the perfect base for the ebonized boxwood chessmen.
Gain a whole new perspective on family game night with Wall Scrabble. Measuring nearly seven feet wide and roughly five feet tall, this massive game board is made from solid wood, and features vintage graphics taken from the original 1949 edition. Along with the board itself, the tiles are also made of wood, and boast powerful integrated magnets to keep them in place. Each player (up to four) gets their own detachable, chalkboard-backed tile rack that can be turned around to store their tiles on the board, a built-in chalkboard lets you keep track of the score, a fabric bag stores extra tiles, and, should you wonder how you're going to keep all this hanging on the wall, handware is mercifully included.
Nerf basketball was one of two enjoyable things you were able to do in your room when you were a kid. Recapture some of this magic with the Killspencer Indoor Basketball Kit. This upscale, corner office-friendly version features a matte black maple backboard, a black leather net, and a powder-coated black metal rim, with a breakaway feature for all those dunks. Not fancy enough for you? The Special Edition features a gold foil skirt on the bottom of the net and a 24-karat gold-plated rim.