Anyone that has kids, or regularly interacts with kids, knows that getting them to talk on the phone is a nightmare at the best of times. Brooklyn-based studio Toymail knows this, so it's bringing "The Mailmen" to the UK to make things a little easier for friends and family to interact with the little people in their lives. You see, The Mailmen are small battery-powered toys that allow anyone with the free companion app to send voice messages to kids. You record a message, it gets sent to one of five animal-themed characters (including Rochester, Buck, Milksop, Fairfax and Snort) your child owns and they can immediately send one back.

Toymail originally started life as a Kickstarter project, before enjoying wider success in the US. The toys are easy to set up and connect to your home Wi-Fi network in order to deliver the messages, which can be read back in a funny voice or your own. Currently, it only works on iOS devices but its makers say an Android app isn't too far off (update: It's live!). To get your hands on one of these remote parenting toys, Firebox the exclusive UK stockist and has them up for pre-order at £49.99.