Best toys for Christmas 2017: T3's must-have games and toy gifts to keep your kids (and you) entertained this Xmas

Looking for a top Christmas present? These are the hottest playthings for little kids and big kids alike

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If you're looking for a great Christmas present for the kid or big kid in your life then T3 has you covered. Here we've got this season's hottest toys, with awesome robots, futuristic racers and superb build-'em-ups and more - simply put, this is the ultimate round-up of all the tech your kids (or partner, or you) will love to play with this festive season.

If you're like, where's the Lego T3? Then make sure you head on over to our dedicated best Lego sets buying guide or, if you're after a top Star Wars Lego set, over to T3's best Star Wars Lego buying guide. Equally, if you're all about the shooting of relatives in the arse with foam darts, then make sure you plant your peepers on best Nerf gun, too.

Lastly, if you would also like some gift giving inspiration for other, non toy centric products, then make sure you check out all of our awesome Christmas gift guides.

1. UBTech Stormtrooper

A very well equipped character, but at a price

Reasons to buy
+App enabled+A very good “on-display” item when not in action

Standing at over 30cm high this Stormtrooper is an impressive piece of eye-candy and, for a smidge under three hundred quid, you’d expect no less. You’ll discover it delivers voice command, facial recognition, the ability to patrol, some augmented gaming, and is also able to be app controlled. It can recognise four faces for bespoke interaction, take commands and you can, with the app, take a viewpoint directly from the trooper's on-board camera. There are lights and sounds also and the ability to perform basic coding operations – set to stun.

2. Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen

A next-generation remote control car

Reasons to buy
+Accurate design+Fun+Sound effects

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.

3. ANKI Overdrive Fast and Furious Edition

Fans of the franchise shouldn’t miss this ride

Reasons to buy
+A pair of cars featured in the film franchise+New power zone track piece

Compatible with all your existing ANKI Overdrive track pieces, cars, trucks and accessories, this set takes the smart car racing system into an entirely new realm.  The unique power track piece in this set lets you hack your opponents ride during one of six racing modes and you get to team up with or oppose the Toretto crew. The voices of actual the Fast & Furious characters adds atmosphere to each race and brings plenty of personality too. Step into Dom’s Ice Charger or Hobbs’ MXT, each having unique tactics and weaponry.

4. Soundmoovz

A wearable designed to improve your moves

Reasons to buy
+Do the robot dance you’ve dreamed of+Head-slappingly simple to use

Place the bands on your wrists or ankles and sync with the app - you are now a human packed with 400 rhythms, sounds and various tunes. Each move you make will create a sound but it is best to be elaborate as these bands really do make you think you can dance. The robotic mode and karate fight kick sounds are the ones that will make you grin the most.

5. Jedi Training Ball

Ooh, ooh, ooooh, you can feel the force

Reasons to buy
+Unleashes your inner Jedi+Decent battery life

After a short charge your training ball, a near replica of the one used by Luke back in 1977, hovers as it is powered by twin rotor blades. Once this has been mastered it is time to flick into Jedi mode and control the motion and height of this lightsaber-avoiding sphere. With motion sensors on-board you’ll be able to move this ball around your room and, after modicum of training it is time to ship out your replica plasma blade and and impress just about anyone as you manoeuvre it about your abode - vrummmummmmm fvish.

6. Hexbug Battle Arena

Robot wars in your front room

Reasons to buy
+Sizeable set+No engineering skills needed

Bring the grin inducing fun of battling robots into your home and pit Witch Doctor against Tombstone in the fold-out arena for mechanical mayhem. Each machine is controlled by a handheld remote and players make their attacks with the on-board weapons in an attempt to knock pieces off their opponents. It is one of those playthings that you can leave on the coffee table to be used to quickly settle settle scores (whose turn is it to empty the dishwasher, type affairs).

7. Web Weaver by K’Nex

Roll your own coaster

Reasons to buy
+Motor powered coaster+Glows in the dark

Get caught up in this 430-piece build that is challenging enough to put together but not so much as to induce any expletives. The air-propelled coaster whizzes about your completed build at a speed high enough to bring on satisfied sounds and can be set to run horizontally or vertically. This construction brand is often overlooked in favour of the Danish brand but take a look at their portfolio and be ready to switch allegiance (well, divert some of your toy budget at least).

8. Brio App Engine

A classic set gets its tech on

Reasons to buy
+Ideal addition to your classic wooden playset+App enabled but performs without

So far as train sets go the Brio range has to be one of the most tactile we know -  loads of accessories, as expandable as your wallet will allow, and lots of opportunities to add your own sound effects. This new engine takes some of that audio fun away but adds plenty to the play pattern - an exceptional engine indeed. Control it with an app, turn on lights and sirens, view the fuel gauge and accelerate. Plus, if there is no app around, then you can tap the top and it’ll steam around automatically.

9. Lenovo Jedi Challenges

Ultimate Star Wars toy this is

Reasons to buy
+Play holographic chess+Haptic feedback lightsaber hilt

We’re been treated to our fair share of VR misses in toy land, however, Lenovo have entered the fray with a spanking strike with this set. Pricey? Yes. Most fun you can have with your pants on? Yes. Complete with headset, tracker ball and haptic infused hilt this will have you reaching for your Star Wars cosplay outfit in no time. Battle against droids, Darth Maul with the lightsaber, undertake epic battles with the same and, best of all, immerse in some holographic chess – it is a dullard game but the experience is epic.

10. Bladez Drone Racerz

Another way to use your Hot Wheels track

Reasons to buy
+Employs a new play pattern+Decent standalone drone

Build your own ramp and faux flaming cardboard hoop and get set to race a machine unlike any before. A drone set into a Hot Wheels style chassis means you’re in remote control of a hybrid machine, trying to master the art of driving forwards but hitting the blades for full speed to get some air. Remove the drone from its four wheeled companion and you’ve an impressive aerial machine that’ll flip 360s with ease. Whip out all your old Hot Wheels tracks for extended on-track action.

11. Robo Alive

Really rather realistic reptiles

Reasons to buy
+Good value for money+Speedy movements

Drop your apprehensions about toys that pertain to be as lifelike as their counterparts, as this pair from Zuru should silence the doubters. We’ve a slithering snake who shifts along with some pace, side-to-side action with moving eyes and a tongue flicking action that’s rather good. Or, perhaps a lurking lizard finds more favour, with its cartoon-esque spinning legs sending him forward at a decent speed - tile its head for a brief respite in its action as his eyes prey (read cats/dogs) and then hurries on pointlessly towards a solid obstacle. Each one should find a place in the stockings of the nation this Christmas.

12. Anki OverDrive

Digital Scalextrics, without the tracks

Reasons to buy
+Easy setup+Modern twist on a classic+Uses smartphone controls

The non film tie-in version of 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 the aforementioned Fast and Furious branded set.

13. Ubtech Humanoid Alpha 1S

One of the most realistic robotic toys around

Reasons to buy
+Advanced servo setup+Teaches engineering/programming+Can take a bashing

From the same company that brought the impressive Stormtrooper toy, 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.

14. Lego Volkswagen Beetle

An iconic Lego set

Reasons to buy
+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, Dr Who, 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.

15. Zuru Finding Dory Robofish

Like real fish, but easier to take care of

Reasons to buy
+Everyone loves Finding Dory+Battery saving feature+Less maintenance than real fish

Zuru return with a tasty Finding Dory film tie-in.

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.

16. Rubik’s Cube Spark

A high tech Rubik's Cube

Reasons to buy
+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.

17. Playmobil Pirate Combat Ship and App

Reasons to buy
+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.

18. Sphero BB-8

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

Reasons to buy
+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.

19. Amazon Fire Kids Edition Tablet

A durable tablet which Amazon will replace for free

Reasons to buy
+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.

20. Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster

Modular Nerf for the ultimate form dart warefare

Reasons to buy
+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.

21. Parrot Mini Drone Hydrofoil

An inexpensive drove which walks on water, like Jesus

Reasons to buy
+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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