The best tech toys and STEM kits
There are smart basketballs that analyze your form. Golf sensors that do the same for your swing. Hasbro's Lightsaber Academy is basically that, but for your Jedi skills. This $50 toy lightsaber uses built-in sensors and a Bluetooth app to coach you on your form and then send feedback to an app. Like any good kids' toy, the lightsaber grows with young Padawans, with the movement combinations getting more complex as children master the easier ones. The lightsaber gives audio feedback, meaning there's less reason for kids to pick up their handset, plus if you buy a second lightsaber two people can duel each other, racking up points along the way. -- Dana Wollman, Editor-in-Chief
Toy companies have been trying their best to merge the real and virtual worlds in order to stay relevant among Fortnite-obsessed kids. To that end, products like Disney Infinity and Lego Dimensions have come and gone over the years. Now Lego's trying a different tack with Hidden Side, which actually requires children to perform activities with their physical Lego sets in order to progress in the free, mobile AR game. Between an interesting supernatural investigation story and some creative set designs, there's plenty to keep kids engaged. -- K.N.
Kids love cute things. And kids love drones. Owleez combines the two into a cute, somewhat cuddly owl that your child will nurture by petting and feeding, and if they show their new pet just enough love, it will learn to fly. And yes, we do mean fly: Owleez's head opens up to release a set of helicopter blades that allow the little plastic bird to fly short distances. It's weird as hell but in that endearing way that will have kids carrying it everywhere. -- K.N.