Daily Planet’s Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin pick their top toys of 2016

Like Christmas arriving every year, so too does Daily Planet‘s “High-Tech Toys” week. Airing next Monday to Friday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada, the five days spotlight the outrageous, mind-blowing and exciting gadgets and gear of the year.

Yes, the Transformer Car, Teal High-Speed Drone, Climball and PancakeBot all look cool—and will be featured next week—but how do they rank with Daily Planet co-hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin? And what are their other favourite toys of 2016? Note: there are only 24 days left to shop for them, so get moving!

ziyaZiya Tong
Boombox Painting: There’s nothing better than being able to combine art, music and technology, and all three come together perfectly in the Boombox Painting. So what is it? Well, at first glance it looks like a painting of an old school boombox—framed and everything—but the surprise is that the speakers are real! The company, Case of Bass, designed a shadowbox that contains all the gear so that the painting becomes a functioning speaker system that plays music via Bluetooth. Probably the best way to describe the aesthetic is that it’s super retro-futuristic.

Climball: I love the Climball because I often have to get tricked into doing exercise, and this is one very clever way to do it. Basically, it turns you and your game partner into a human version of the game Pong. The climbing wall tracks your movements and projects a virtual ball right on to the wall so that you compete against another player. It blends gaming and sport and certainly takes climbing indoors to a whole other level.

RC Surfer: I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of RC cars and RC planes, but one thing you may not have seen is an RC surfer. At just over 30 centimetres tall, the board and rider are perfect for the tiny waves that lap along the beach shore. Riding along the beach breaks however, the tiny surfer looks like it’s cruising through massive barrels. With a hollow design, the board automatically rights itself, allowing you to rock it like you’re in Point Break, without any of the wipeouts.

Flybrix Lego Drone: Like most kids, I grew up with Lego, and year after year I’m amazed by what these little blocks are able to create. And in keeping with the times, Lego has come up with a “make your own drone kit.” Connected via the Flybrix Bluetooth Flight Control App, now you can customize your own mini-drone and watch your ideas literally come to life, and take flight.

LeTrons Antimon: Leaping right out of the pages of comic books, the LeTrons Antimon is a real-life Transformer car. On the outside, it looks like a BMW 3-series, but the car can stand upright like an Optimus Prime! In its standing position, the “car” is able to move its robotic arms, fingers and even turn its neck and head. The future is really here friends, and on “High Tech Toys” week, we promise you’ll get more than meets the eye.

danDan Riskin
The Teal High-Speed Drone: It’s a quadcopter drone like you’ve seen all over the place by now, but this one is, (A) fast—like 120 kph fast—and, (B) open to developers who want to put their own spin on it. The folks at Teal envision an app store where developers share different ideas about how to make this drone hardware interact with games, utilities, and more. This high-tech toy isn’t out yet, but we’re watching this team make it happen.

Chariot Skates: These are like rollerblades, but bigger. Each skate has a giant wheel in front (as high as your knee) that rolls on the outside of your foot while you move. That allows your skates to handle rough terrain in a way no other skate possibly could. It also means more dynamic stability from rotational momentum, and thus a very different feel. I’m looking forward to trying these on this year. Bets are in on whether the fracture will be tibial or femoral.

PancakeBot: Pancakes are perfect, but now they can be “perfecter.” This Norwegian invention takes pancake batter as ink, extrudes it through an arm, and onto a hot grill. The result is pancakes shaped like the Eiffel Tower or really anything you want. In fact, you can even use your kids’ drawings as templates! You could even make a picture of a mandrake with a headache performing a jailbreak to get to a clambake on your pancake!

SeaXplorer: It’s an icebreaking luxury yacht from Damen in the Netherlands. The idea is to make even more of the world accessible than what those other billionaires get to see. This thing can take you from the North pole to the tropics to the South pole, and give you every opportunity to explore along the way. It’s fully equipped with SCUBA gear, small excursion watercraft, and more. This thing even has two helicopter landing pads, so if you and your significant other can’t agree which glacier to heli-ski from, you won’t have to bicker. (Helicopters not included.)

e-Go aeroplanes: This takes it up a notch—a personal one-seater mini-airplane. It’s like the “Mini Cooper” of airplanes. A propeller on the back pushes your carbon-fibre craft through the air with grace, but with enough punch to let you do a flip or two as well. Then when you land, the wings and canard come off so you can fit this thing in your garage. It’s perfect for supervillains, superheroes, and Daily Planet co-hosts. (Are you listening, Santa?)

Which of the toys Dan and Ziya have chosen would you like to see under your tree on Christmas Day? Comment below!

Daily Planet‘s “High Tech Toys” Week airs Monday, Dec. 5, through Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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