Robot Snob Holiday Gift Guide 2010
It's Holiday Gift Guide time here at Robot Snob and this year we found the majority of our robots at prices less than $30.00. Spend a few minutes and shop away, whether you prefer good ones that dance or fly around autonomously or evil ones that will challenge the recipient's skills. We guarantee you will find something for that robot snob in your life.
Our sincere thanks to Lisastarchild who produces the amazing line of Sleepy Robots 13. We are using one of her creations atop our guide because nothing says Happy/Merry Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa like Santa Bot does. Lisa began her line of bots because of the crappy economy. After losing work, she decided to make her art her mainstay. This is a very good thing for the rest of us. Visit her site for an incredible gift that will cost you almost nothing.
Alphie has come a long way from the basic toy that came out in the 80's. Designed for preschoolers, he sings, plays music and has buttons that light up. Similar to the original, he comes with 30 double-sided cards that teach letters, math, reasoning and other skills.
Last year ZhuZhu Pets, this year WowWee Fin Fin Friends. The animated fish come in various playsets (Castle displayed here.) Once you send one down a slide into water, she/he comes alive by swimming, lighting up, singing, dancing and making sounds. WowWee promises that the more you play with them the more responsive they become.
Struxx Robotrixx is a 502-piece construction system that comes with balls, sockets and rods that click together to form a robotic jaguar, shark or 5 ft. long T-Rex that roars while his eyes light up.
The Bladestar Flame Indoor Flyer can be controlled by remote or actually fly autonomously with built-in sensor detection. With 2 wings and its helicopter movement, it will perform in both beginner and expert levels. For your schizoid friends, the RC Dancing Robot can walk, turn left or right, grooves to his own music and can aim and fire foam disks from his mouth after warning you that he is about to attack.
Cepia's B2B Bot Buzzsaw Robot will roll around on its 4 wheels swinging its fists, shouting insults and has sound effects to enhance his hits and knockouts. Radio controlled, he comes in both red and black and silver and blue B2B models.
Technology is so advanced that even a 12" tall Buzz Lightyear action figure can utter 15 different phrases in his original Tim Allen voice. He can also light up, karate chop and pose. If the female in your life digs Pandora Jewelry, this sterling silver Ohm Robot will fit right in with her other beads.
One of the hottest toys of the season will undoubtedly be Sing-A-Ma-Jigs. Each talks in its own language, sings and, when paired with others, will harmonize. The more you adopt, the more music you get.
The Escape Robot Kit needs to be soldered, but once assembled will finds its way through any maze or will avoid obstacles in its place on its 6 legs. Elenco also puts out a Ladybug Robot Kit that avoids obstacles with IR eyes and six legs.
Zibits mini-RC robots come in a wide variety of characters that chatter and can do battle as each are located on separate frequency. Only 2" tall, our faves are the diminutive Spex and Dinc.
We had to put in at least one robotic creature to freak out your buds. That would be Uncle Milton's furry RC Tarantula that has light-up eyes and independent leg movement. Don't forget the batteries. Sanyo's eneloop Rechargeables will more than pay for themselves and save you the worry that the giftee will begin whining soon.
Looking for stocking stuffers? The Shiny Robot Stickers in paperback can be used to decorate a room, packages or toy box. The same is true with Create Your Own Robot Sticker Activity Book with parts that can be mixed and matched.
Apparently robots are in this year, as we found an overabundance of tree décor. This Retro set of four has each at a size of 2.25 x 2.25 x 4.5".
Add to that 6 (2 of each shown) Santas with trees on his tummy, reindeer with geared feet and snowmen with a snowflake.
Artist Janna Salak designed this Love Does Not Compute Ornament crafted of porcelain and this bot can be personalized. Don't forget the R2-D2 lights and a magnetic musical quartet that can hang out under your tree or on your fridge.
After you have stuffed yourself on that holiday feast, sit back with a good robot movie before the tryptophan puts you out. The Iron Giant from 1999 is still a classic. Similar to ET, a young Hogarth befriends the misunderstood massive bot while protecting him from others. For fans of anime, the Collection 1 of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is great for marathon viewing.
Robot Adventures features Robosapien and friends introducing younger kids to robotics with educational content without their knowing. And while the kids are watching theirs, adults can enjoy and early Toaster and Serge the robotic butler on the TV series Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica.
Over $50 - Ultimate Wish List
No list can be complete without at least one domestic Roomba. We feel so spoiled since we got ours as it picks up everything from dust to cat litter. Next purchase has to be a Pet Series Vacuum Cleaning Robot.
For younger kids, Dance Star Mickey walks, talks and dances. If Fisher Price continues to use the commercial that features Donny Osmond moonwalking with the electronic rodent, he will certainly cause a mini-commotion.
Fisher Price also has a new pair of RC creatures this year. The Imaginext Spike is an Ultra Dinosaur may not be as advanced as Pleo but he can walk, turn, blink his eyes and roars as he opens his mouth and blinks his eyes while his back spikes light up. And, although we dig the robotic pleosaurus, he certainly can't throw boulders or stand on his hind legs.
Big Foot is also RC controlled, does what Spike does, and can talk, pounds his fists, plays ball, and chews and burps. The i-Que Personal Robot contains the entire Merriam Webster student dictionary. He has text to speech capabilities, even in different accents and themes, and is full of thousands of facts and trivia.
Joebot responds to voice commands and can function in one of several play modes. He can dance, act as a sentry, play Simon Says and attack evil bots with his LED hands.
Finally, you cannot beat our buds from Trossen. Whether you are a serious roboticist looking for your first kit, in need of parts or advice or want to shop at their recently added online toy shop, this is one of the best sources for all things botty.
Have a great holiday season and remember 'tis the giving of yourself that is the best one of all.
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Posted by Sheila Franklin at November 1, 2010 6:10 AM