THE TOYNEWS BLOG: The Gadget Show Live 2013 toy round-up

We explore the latest hi-tech toys to take to The Gadget Show Live this year.
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We explore the latest hi-tech toys to take to The Gadget Show Live this year.

The change in the air was palpable at The Gadget Show Live this year, as the highest number of toy exhibitors to date turned out to show off their latest in tech play.

Attesting to the growing importance of the toy industry to the show, a new Toy Arena hosted by Toyology took to the NEC, while retailer Toy Galaxy exhibited.

There were plenty of impressive games and gadgets on show - here's our pick of the bunch:

Flying Gadgets

A personal highlight of the show was the AR Drone 2.0 from Parrot and Flying Gadgets.

Selected by Jason Bradbury as one of the fifty Must-See Gadgets of the show, the drone kicked-off proceedings by filming the show’s introduction as footage was captured from the pilot’s iPad.

Later on, visitors to the stand were greeted with an electronically choreographed dance routine from the drones, flown in time to music.

Aldebaran Robotics

Joining the trend of dancing robotics, the NAO robot from Aldebaran took to the podium with a futuristic slant on the cultural sensation of Gangham Style.

Developed by leading scientists and academics, the NAO humanoid is currently used primarily in higher education research.

However the robot has most recently been used in some military research while the robotics company are now targeting schools, promoting the robot as a learning tool for autistic children.

RP Tech Works

3D printing may be set to change the toy industry, and laying the path for the future is RP Tech Works with its latest Robuster 3D printing machine.

The 3D printing company offers a system of creating any shape or figure assigned it via its 3D software in a matter of hours.

The intricacy of detail the machine can print mean that this gadget is certain to be a focal point in the future of toy manufacturing.

JT Splat Master

With water-based soft paint pellets, JT has reinvented the wheel and taken the sting out of paintballing with the child and laundry friendly Splat Master.

Aimed at the over nines, Splat Master’s ‘ammo’ is 100 per cent biodegradable, non toxic, resists stains and easily washes away with water.

It is also fired from spring loaded guns so the velocity is less than half that of the adult game.


A prominent figure in the world of professional archery for 50 years, sports brand Petron has branched in to the toy industry.

This season Petron is right on trend with a collection of toy crossbows, handbows, blow-darts and archery sets complete with targets each designed to enhance the aim and skill of the individual.


Showcasing some exciting licensed products, including an exact scale replica of Ken Block’s 650hp Gymkhana Five Ford Fiesta, HPI-Racing brought some seriously souped-up R/C vehicles to The Gadget Show Arena.

It's a brand built for speed, stunts and power. A video even displayed the Baja 5B Flux towing a fully-grown man in an office chair.


Turning your smart phone in to a holographic-style projector, the HolograFX is a gadget show favourite and was voted Top Tech Toy at the London Toy Fair earlier this year.

This futuristic technology even allows you to film then watch a holographic version of yourself played out on the HolograFX set.


The Sphero is the world’s first robotic ball. And with 30 different apps its uses are virtually endless, from transforming into a remote controlled toy to a handheld wireless game controller at the push of a button.

The Sphero can also explore the world of augmented reality whereby users can watch their Sphero roam the room from their smartphone's screen. They can then change the ball to a character of their choice on the screen.

Combat Creatures – Wow Stuff

Combat Creatures had a vast presence at this year's show as its popular brand Attacknids were found roaming the Hub Theatre alongside BBC's Aled Haydn and Stuff TV's Lucy Hedges.

As the presenters battled it out with thier robots, smaller versions of the Attacknids were also available to buy in the Robo Challenge section.

The bots were also a massive hit with the kids in the Toy Arena.

Boys Stuff

Boy Stuff’s Bean Bag gaming chair is aimed at kids, as the company targets toy retailers.

Compatible with almost any device with an audio out port, including smartphones and tablets, Boys Stuff says the Bean Bag gaming chair is aimed at all ages.

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