Best toys 2017: T3's must-have games and toys to keep you (and your kids) entertained

Christmas and birthday treats, with the hottest playthings for little kids and big kids alike

If you're looking for a birthday present, coming-home-from-the-dentist present, or random surprise, T3 has you covered, with awesome robots, futuristic transportation and even a 3D printer (of sorts), this is the ultimate round-up of all the tech your kids (or partner, or you) would love to play with. 

Here are the best toys anywhere - click through the gallery above and check out these great toy deals as well

We've also got our guides to the best Lego sets and best Nerf gun, too.

1. Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen

A next-generation remote control car

Accurate design
Fun
Sound effects

Launched just a few weeks ago, this is the latest toy from Sphero - and it isn't a ball! The Ultimate Lightning McQueen is the most advanced remote control car we've ever seen.

This animatronic model has animated eyes, an animatronic mouth, and emotive suspension. It's not just a static model, Lightning packs six motors, and is controlled by a app on your smartphone. These six motors and smart tyres allow Lightning to drift around every bend, just like in the films.

As well as the motors, Lightning features five capacitive touch panels, so it can respond to taps, three processors to control Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and animations, a digital display, and a decent set of speakers.

When not racing, users can relax while watching Cars, the film, with Ultimate Lightning McQueen in “Watch With Me” mode, where he reacts to the movie in real-time.

Yes, it's expensive, but it's the ultimate toy for any Pixar fan.

2. Anki OverDrive

Digital Scalextrics, without the tracks

Easy setup
Modern twist on a classic
Uses smartphone controls

The best way to explain Anki Overdrive is that it's a mix between Scaletrix, but with the freedom to have any track layout you want, and a mix of virtual and real-life Mario Kart.

The other way to explain it is to simply say it's just about the best toy you can currently buy.

This battle-racing game is a mix of video game and toy, where physical cars use virtual weapons to take first place. The cars are controlled from a smartphone app, and you can compete against friends and family, or AI rivals. There's even a campaign mode to keep you entertained.

The cars run around the track, but unlike Scaletrix they're not limited to slots, and are free to move where they want.

The good thing about Overdrive is that Anki have been busy releasing new vehicles and features. The most recent being a Fast and Furious branded set.

The Anki Overdrive Starter Kit comes with two cars and 10 track pieces. Expansion packs vary from £9.99 to £49.99.

3. Ubtech Humanoid Alpha 1S

One of the most realistic robotic toys around

Advanced servo setup
Teaches engineering/programming
Can take a bashing

The Ubtech Alpha 1S is one of the most advanced robotic toys we've ever seen. With 16 servo joints which can move with high precision, Alpha 1S can perform some very complex actions.

The bot is programmed from a smartphone app, and also 'finger friendly' for young robo-enthusiasts.

The aluminium alloy structure and ABS housing means this thing is well built and can take a bashing, but the for the price - that's exactly what you'd expect.

4. Lego Volkswagen Beetle

An iconic Lego set

Detailed kit
Everyone loves VW's Beetle
Working parts

If you take one thing from this feature, it's that you can NEVER go wrong with Lego. This year is a vintage year for the plastic-block-pushers, with a plethora of film and entertainment franchises to choose from. How does Star Wars, DrWho, Spider Man and Jurassic World sound?

Not good enough for you? The Volcano Exploration set is tipped to be massive this year, as well as the Technic Porsche 911.

Our favourite is the model Volkswagen Beetle (pictured above). The replica is packed full of details, from the rotating 4-cylinder engine, to the VW printed badge, and tiltable seats.

5. Zuru Finding Dory Robofish

Like real fish, but easier to take care of

Everyone loves Finding Dory
Battery saving feature
Less maintenance than real fish

A tie-in with what will no doubt be one of the biggest films this Summer, Robofish expert Zuru has created an official range of Finding Dory related toys.

Robot fish are even more low maintenance than real fish - there's no need to feed them, clean the tanks, or stroke them to sleep every night.

The robofish begin swimming when they sense water, and have a battery saving feature where they 'sleep' after one minute of activity. Simply tap on the bowl to get them swimming again.

You can buy eponymous Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new character Bailey - as well as playsets such as Dory's coffee pot and the Marine Centre.

Of course, you can also get the characters individually and just make bath times more fun.

6. Rubik’s Cube Spark

A high tech Rubik's Cube

Different games
Lots of levels
Modern remake of classic

The Spark is a reimagining of everyone's favourite cube based puzzle. This too is cube shaped like the original, but unlike the original it doesn't rotate, instead it uses sensors, lights and sounds to create games, and is controlled by tilting and turning.

If you want a deeper explanation as to how it works you'll have to buy one and read the instructions, because we're not really sure beyond our limited understanding.

The Rubik's Spark features five game modes, each with 26 levels, meaning this can cater for all ages and skill levels.

7. Playmobil Pirate Combat Ship and App

App adds extra interest
Optional motor
Shoots canon balls

The ever-popular, only intermittently bloodthirsty Playmobil pirates sail again, this time on a new combat ship with an optional underwater motor for navigating the high seas – or a paddling pool.

This - wahey! - 'flagship' product is sure to be a big success, but we were more interested in the toymaker's smartphone game launching later this year. The appcessorie's little bubble pack set includes a pirate figure with a cannon that launches rubber tipped missiles, controlled via the companion, Android/iOS app on your smartphone.

The app shows the combat ship bobbing about on screen and when your touchscreen registers a direct hit, the ship is damaged, and eventually sinks. It's Playmobil's first foray into smart gaming and it looks like it could be - wahey! - 'bang on target'. Ho ho.

8. Sphero BB-8

A working model of everyone's favourite robot (after R2-D2)

Can take a bashing
Remote guard function
Accurate design

It's no secret, we love the BB-8 Droid, it's a lovable little remote control droid from everyone's favourite iPad-controlled-ball-makers Sphero.

This is one of the coolest toys we've ever seen, even if you're not a Star Wars fan, this little droid has great character. It's simple to control, everything works well, and most importantly, it's fun.

A recent update to the BB-8 allows you to tinker with the code, making this fun AND educational.

Be careful with the slightly fragile antenna, however, or there may be tears before bedtime.

9. Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet

A durable tablet which Amazon will replace for free

Two-year no question warranty
Decent specs
Kids Unlimited

If you're fed up of parting with your precious, fragile and expensive iPad in order to entertain your children, the Amazon Fire Kid Edition Tablet is a perfect alternative.

It's not some crummy Fisher Price tablet, it's a fully fledged latest-generation Fire tablet, with an 7-inch IPS display, 8GB storage, and quad-core processor.

Obviously, Amazon has added a little extra protection in the form of tough and durable casing to protect against bumps.

The tab also comes with a subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited, providing access to thousands of books, TV shows, educational apps and games.

Perhaps best of all? The devices comes with a two-year warranty, where Amazon will replace it, no questions asked, including if your offspring breaks it by jumping up and down on top of it.

10. Technology Will Save Us

DIY tech for all ages

Educational
Gap between Lego and Xbox
Useful creations

Technology Will Save Us is the perfect present for tech addicts young and old alike. The idea is brilliantly simple: it's a range of DIY gadget kits, allowing you to make a handheld gaming device, automatic plant waterer and, soon, a kids' activity tracker.

The kits aim to get kids interested in technology and engineering, filling the gap between Lego and PlayStation, but the kits, from speakers to synths, are just as entertaining for adults who love to tinker.

11. Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster

Modular Nerf for the ultimate form dart warefare

Modular
Classic Nerf
Long range

Is there anything funnier than waking your loved one from a food-induced coma with a perfectly aimed nerf dart to the forehead? No, there isn't.

The Modulus ECS-10 recreates Call of Duty's Pick Ten system in real life, you can customise the gun, sorry, we mean 'Blaster', to your hearts content. There are more than 30 combinations to create, add a scope for improved range accuracy, a stock for better stability, or a banana clip for more ammo.

The blaster is capable of launching darts up to 90 feet, and there are also optional upgrade sets, such as the Stealth Ops Kit.

12. Lego Dimensions

Com the fun of Lego with the fun of video games

Everyone loves Lego
It's a great game
Lots of character and world choice

Do you want Lego to be more interactive? Well, thankfully Lego Dimensions has just been released. Taking a page out of Skylanders' book, Lego Dimensions features physical mini figures which are playable in the game.

The best thing about Dimensions? Characters from different brands can be mixed, meaning you can have Dr Who team up with Gandalf, Scooby Doo and Batman to fight the forces of evil.

The awesome thing about Lego Dimensions is the new sets they're always bringing out. 2016's offerings include Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, and Gremlins!

Do we really need to give you more reasons to buy it?

A word of warning: have a chat with your bank manager before investing in Lego Dimensions, at £85 for the Starter Pack, and £26 for level character packs, buying EVERYTHING will cost you upwards of £300.

13. Parrot Mini Drone Hydrofoil

An inexpensive drove which walks on water, like Jesus

Quick
App control
Boat and aerial drone

FACT: drones are fun. And drones that fly and float are double fun.

Parrot is the class-leading purveyors of cheap-but-not-too-cheap drones, offering the excellent Bebop Drone, and the more affordable, stocking-friendly Mini Drone range.

One of the newest additions to the Mini Drone family is the Hydrofoil, which is equally at home on water and in the air.

Top speed is an impressive 11.2 mph in the air, and 6.2 mph (5.4 knots) on the water. You can control it from an Android or iOS phone, and the battery phone lasts seven minutes.

Unlike more expensive DJIs, you won't be in tears if it crashes to the ground, although you'd still be quite upset, admittedly.

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