What is it: A construction set with 120 pieces. You can build multi-layered tracks and watch ‘gravity spheres’ roll through your creations, and it is suitable for 1 or more players. Dimensions: 34.3cm x 34.3cm x 11.4cm.
Why we love it: Gravitrax has taken the old marble run game and brought it right into the here and now. Our toy awards child testers loved how you could make so many different kinds of tracks – and you can start small and not too complicated at first. There’s an end piece, too, so once you let the balls go they won’t be flying all around the house never to be seen again – phew.
Age: 8 years +
What it is: This lightweight radio-controlled drone has LED lights that you clip onto a Hot Wheels car (included) to make it drive, flip, jump and fly. Dimensions: 7.5cm x 4.4cm x 7cm.
Why we love it: It’s small enough to fly and flip indoors as well as out, and it’s great to see a drone that’s designed for pre-teen kids. The spare chassis and rotor blades are great for avoiding tears when kids (or adults) get a bit over exuberant with the stunts – though be warned: it gets pretty high!
3. Anki Cozmo, £99.99
What it is: A robot with forklift-y arms and amazingly expressive eyes. Once connected to the free Cozmo app (iPhone and Android compatible), he’ll recognise your face, say your name, and ask to play games. Over time, he gradually unlock more abilities and allow some simple coding. Comes with charger and 3 interactive power cubes that he – and you – can incorporate into his games. Batteries included. Dimensions: 12cm x 19cm x 25cm.
Why we love it: Cozmo has SO much personality. He’s pleased to see you when he ‘wakes’, snores as he powers down and celebrates when he wins a game – or throw a tantrum if you beat him too often! Our child testers particularly loved how he recognises faces – even the family pet.
What it is: A super-slimey experiment kit. Comes with protective googles and gloves, plus the tools, ingredients and step-by-step instructions to make an invisible monster, slimy snakes, sludgy goo and slime balls.
Why we love it: It’s messy play spliced with science and maths! In our toy awards, our child testers really enjoyed cooking up their potions and their parents were impressed that the kit has been development by proper scientists. You can do additional experiments using the kit and easy-to-find extras such as milk and washing up liquid, too.
What it is: A gorgeous unicorn toy that involves a pair of stripey socks, some stuffing and a pink mane. Once finished, you’ll get a 25cm unicorn to play with. Dimensions: 25cm.
Why we love it: This is perfect for crafty kids who enjoy a challenge. And they will end up with a really cute toy at the end of it to keep and be proud of. We’ve also heard that there is enough stuffing left over to make an extra unicorn, so all they need is another pair of socks and they could make two!